Baby Steps Toward a More Natural Medicine Cabinet
I’m sick today. I caught a cold from who-knows-where and I feel like I’ve been walking around in a fog all day. I’ve been meaning to write a post for a while now about our slowly changing medicine cabinet and today is just the day to do it. (Nothing like a tangible reminder to get you motivated!)
I tend to be fairly skeptical about natural medicine. I’m just not sure if it works. However, the further I go down this “crunchy rabbit hole,” the more its starting to make sense to me that God would give us different things to heal our bodies. The more I reject processed food and common beauty products, the more it makes sense to at least question what I keep in my medicine cabinet and give to my family. I still have a LONG way to go in this area, but I’m trying to slowly learn more. I will also say that the lack of health insurance over the past year has also really increased my motivation to try natural remedies. Feeling like I don’t have that “safety net” underneath me has made it even more important to me to learn about natural ways of helping my body (and my family’s’ cute bodies!) to heal.
What I Keep in My Medicine Cabinet
- Vitamin D – Studies keep coming out showing that vitamin D is really important for fighting off colds and infections. During the winter, all of us take a vitamin D supplement. I don’t worry about it in the summer unless one of us is sick.
- Vitamin C – Also effective for keeping colds at bay and staying healthy.
- Elderberry Syrup – Elderberry syrup has antiviral properties and is super healthy for you. I make my own from dried elderberries and local raw honey and then keep it in the fridge to store it. Here’s a recipe and video tutorial if you are interested in making some.
- Raw Honey – A gentlemen right down the street from me keep bee hives and I buy my honey from him. Studies have shown honey being just as effective as cough medicine for cough suppression.
- Healthy food such as homemade chicken stock and yogurt – Both of these are super healthy with lots of vitamins, minerals, and healthy bacteria.
- Probiotics – If I even suspect a tummy bug is going around, I start giving everyone extra probiotics (in addition to our normal habit of frequent yogurt eating). I haven’t jumped on the GAPS diet bandwagon yet, but I think it makes sense to supplement your gut with healthy bacteria if you are fighting some kind of tummy related illness.
- Activated charcoal – This is also good for tummy troubles. Its used in emergency rooms to bind to ingested poisons and prevent their absorption. (Obviously I’m not a doctor, so this isn’t medical advice. I’m just telling you about it.) I’ve used this for tummy troubles as well. A charcoal supplement is good for upset stomach, colic, nausea, vomiting, acid indigestion, gas and more.
- Coconut oil – I love coconut oil. It has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, so I’ll often use this instead of triple antibiotic ointment on cuts and scrapes. Its also really healthy for you, so this is the main oil I use for cooking. Its replaced vegetable oil in our household.
- Tea tree oil – This has antiseptic and antifungal properties. In addition to adding it to my vinegar I clean with, I’ll often add a bit to coconut oil to apply topically for scrapes and cuts.
- Graham Gardens Healthy Skin Salve – This is also a replacement for triple antibiotic ointment. It isn’t petroleum based and it smells nice. My kids ask for the “green stuff” when they get hurt. Its nice that they can apply it themselves too since it isn’t messy. I like that.
- CJ’s BUTTer – Great for diaper rash. Both of my kiddos are out of diapers now, but I still have some left and its great for skin irritations.
- Trilight Health – I’ve used their Hear No Evil within the past month. Both of my kiddos were complaining about their ear hurting during a particularly bad cold. I put drops in their ears over the course of a day or two and neither one off them developed an ear infection. In fact, after the first round of drops, they never complained about ear pain again. Be warned, though—it smells strongly of garlic! I didn’t mind it, but it was a little humorous to have them walking around smelling like they were trying to ward off a vampire. I also like that they were comforted by actually putting something in their ear—like putting a band-aid on a scrape. I also bought Lympha Rub and Scout Out, but I haven’t tried either one yet. Katie at Kitchen Stewardship tried the Lympha Rub though and really liked it, so that’s good enough for me. I’ll try it next time someone in the house has those symptoms.
- Olba’s oil – I found this in the UK, but this is the same company in the US. It is a blend of essential oils that is great for helping with congestion. I’ll often add a few drops to the humidifier that gets pulled out when someone is sick.
Other not so natural items
- Acetaminophen – a.k.a. Tylenol – I try not to use this as a first resort, but I do pull it out if I feel like its warranted.
- Pseudoephedrine – a.k.a. Sudafed – Again, I try not to use this as a first resort, but when that sinus pressure is building up, this can really help. Anyone know of a natural remedy to help with sinus pressure?
- Vick’s Vaporub – This is so effective for relieving coughs and helping to relieve congestion. However, its petroleum based, which I don’t like. I think my next “baby step” is going to be to try to make my own.
- Dramamine – Yep. I’ve got a kid who gets car sick if she’s in the car too long. I haven’t tried a natural remedy because cleaning up vomit in the car is no fun if the natural remedy doesn’t work. We only have to have my daughter use it for long car trips, so it doesn’t get used very often.
That’s what I have on hand for this winter. Like I said, I am very new to this and have barely scraped the surface of learning about natural remedies. I’d love to hear about any resources you’ve found to learn more about this stuff. I’d also love to hear about any effective natural remedies you use. I asked about it on my Facebook page a while ago and got all kinds of great answers!Disclaimer (again): I’m not a doctor! This is not medical advice! Do your research, speak to a medical professional, and made your own decisions! Also, the link to the coconut oil is an Amazon Affiliate link. If you purchase through that link, I get a small kick back. (And by small, I mean small. I’ve yet to make one cent from this blog, although I did get a free magazine subscription once, but not from Amazon.) Thanks for supporting Kinda Crunchy Kate! (I wasn’t saying that sarcastically, either! I promise!) _____________________________________
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