It’s that time of year again when colds and flu begin their rounds so what better time than now to prepare for winter’s ills? Better yet, this post won’t just cover season bugs but also the fundamentals you need for everyday life.
The Complete Guide to a Natural Medicine Cabinet
As a child whenever I caught a cold, had overactive allergies, or had scraped knees and elbows my mom would always reach for conventional remedies like Tylenol, Benadryl, Neosporin, and other over-the-counter medications. Little did she know, most of the “remedies” she was giving us had unpronounceable ingredients and more side effects than they were worth. As a way to lighten the toxic burden on our bodies as well as save you time, money, and peace of mind, I’m going to list my top resources for staying well all year round.
Now, I’m not saying that conventional medicine has no place; it most certainly does in some cases but not all of them. What I would like to show you is that there is a multitude of safe natural alternatives that do a fabulous job aiding the body in healing itself without nasty side effects.
How to Begin Building your Natural Medicine Cabinet
First and foremost, if you go out and buy all of these things now it’s going to be expensive. My advice is to buy these things only as you need them. It’s also a great idea to shop around in order to find the best deal available.
Where I shop:
• Amazon– You can get pretty much anything you need on Amazon including herbs.
• Thrive Market– My new favorite place to shop! It’s like Whole Foods and Costco had a baby.
• Mountain Rose Herbs– The highest quality herbs and ingredients for making your homemade remedies.
• Bulk Herb Store– Another amazing online herb store that has everything you need to make homemade remedies.
What Ails You?
In order to begin building your all natural medicine cabinet, you need to know what you may need! Below is a long list of some of my favorite products that I have slowly gathered over the years as I needed them.
• Aztec Clay– This is one of the best and strongest bentonite clays I have used for pulling impurities from the skin. I use it most often mixed with raw apple cider vinegar to increase its effectiveness twice a week.
• Rhassoul Clay– This red clay is the best clay to use for blackheads. Use it two-three times per week to dry up blemishes and breakdown the gunk in your pores.
• Charcoal Soap– This is my favorite soap to use for killing acne causing bacteria and purifying the skin.
• Tea Tree Essential Oil– This essential oil is the best oil for keeping your skin blemish free. It kills acne causing bacteria long after it is applied.
• Acure Chlorella Scrub– This is my all-time favorite scrub to use to remove dead skin cells and freshen the complexion. It’s really scrubby feeling unlike a lot of other scrubs I’ve tried. I use it twice a week.
• Charcoal Konjac Sponge– This is a lovely sponge that gently exfoliates and helps clear acne with activated charcoal. One of my favorites!
• Hemp Seed Oil– By far the best oil to use for moisture and The Oil Cleansing Method. It has zero chance of clogging pores and doesn’t leave a greasy residue.
• Papaya Enzymes– Papaya enzymes are an amazing way to dissolve blackheads and give your skin a smooth and supple appearance. Use it fresh, powdered, or in tablet form 2-3 times per week.
For more tips on treating acne naturally check out my articles below:
Homemade Drying Lotion for Acne
Homemade Serum for Acne Prone Skin
3 Steps to Improve your Female Hormonal Acne – Anyone Can do It!
Hemp Seed Oil- The New Holy Grail Acne Treatment?
How to Treat Hormonal Acne Naturally
6 Skincare Tips That Cleared My Acne Naturally
• Neti Pot– Neti pots are one of my favorite ways to relieve allergies and clear congestion. The salt helps remove allergens, calm our histamine levels, and kill bacteria that may be causing our discomfort. I tend to use a neti pot once a day during allergy season and twice a day or more during colds and flu for best results. Always use distilled water.
• Salt Inhaler– Salt inhalers are great for removing impurities in the sinus and lungs. Paired with a clarifying essential oil like eucalyptus they work even better.
• Eucalyptus Essential Oil– everyone knows about the cleansing and purifying properties of eucalyptus. This oil is great for calming irritated tissues and membranes in the sinus and lungs. Add it to bath water, the shower floor, and in Epsom salts. I love adding a drop or two to my salt inhaler and also find comfort when diffusing it in my room at night.
• Nettles– This herb is one of the best herbs to use to combat allergies. Taking it daily not only replenishes your body’s minerals but also calms and balances your histamine response. Use as a tea, tincture, or capsule.
• Sabadil– this homeopathic remedy is great for when you need relief fast! Think of it like an all-natural Benadryl.
• Raw Local Honey– Eating a spoonful of local raw honey a day will help you adapt to your area’s allergens like pollen, grass, and other factors that trigger allergies.
• Essential Oil Diffuser– using a diffuser at night with a blend of cypress, eucalyptus, and bay laurel will help calm histamine levels and clear air passageways.
• Humidifier– Sometimes allergies can be triggered by having dry sinuses and if this is the case a humidifier in your room will bring quick relief. I love this one.
• Eye Drops– All natural eye drops help lubricate the eye while removing redness and soothing irritation. There are many different kinds like computer eye, dry eye, irritated eye, allergy eye, and one for children as well.
For more on allergies check out my articles below:
How to Naturally Treat Seasonal Allergies
The Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps
Herbal Remedies for Stuffy Nose
Herbal Remedies for Runny Nose
Herbal Remedies for Dry Sinus
The Amazing Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt Inhalers
Colds and Flu
• Carlson’s Cod Liver Oil– Cod liver oil is known to have healthy fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamins A, E, D, and K. The vitamin D found in cod liver oil is especially helpful during cold and flu season. There is also a kid’s version here.
• Gypsy Cold Care Tea– This tea has herbs that help soothe fevers, cough, and sore throat making it the perfect tea to always have on hand when a cold or flu is coming on. There is also a PM version here.
• Echinacea– You can take this herb as a tincture, tea, or capsule at the onset of a cold to increase the activity of your white blood cells. Echinacea is great for kicking colds fast.
• Elderberry– My favorite way to use elderberry is as a syrup but you can also take it as a tea or capsule. Elderberry is known to be effective against 8 different strains of flu virus and is know to shorten the duration of colds and flu.
• Garlic– Take it fresh by the clove or take it in capsule form. Garlic is known to boost the immune system and shorten the duration of colds and flu.
• Oregano Oil– This is potent stuff! I often add this to my wellness shot when I feel under the weather. It’s incredibly effective and kicks all types of respiratory ills fast. This is my favorite oregano supplement.
• Raw Honey– This simple home remedy is so easy to use! For colds, you can infuse it with raw garlic, cinnamon, or cayenne to make an effective cough remedy. For fevers, you can infuse it with elder flowers to make a syrup for homemade cold and flu tea. The possibilities are endless. Raw honey is a great way to get children to take their medicines.
• Vitamin C– Taking a good Vitamin C is at the first sign of illness is a great way to prevent a cold or flu from developing. Start by taking 1000mg every hour until loose stool forms and then continue taking 500mg after that once a day. I really love this food based Vitamin C.
• Vitamin D– Upping your Vitamin D during cold and flu season is a great way to help prevent catching a cold. The best way to get Vitamin D is of course from sun exposure (about 20 minutes a day), but you can also get adequate amounts by taking it in pill form. Vitamin D absorbs best when taken with a meal that contains fat.
• Zinc– Zinc is wonderful for preventing colds and flu. If you are under a lot of stress or feel like your immune system needs a boost then taking a zinc lozenge once per day is a great way to stay well. Zinc also shortens the duration of colds and flu. Zinc lozenges are also great for sore throat because it keeps the tissues wet.
• Epsom Salts– For aches and pains look to Epsom salts for quick relief. Add a cup or two to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes. Try adding soothing essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, or peppermint to increase the soothing effects.
• Diffusing Essential Oils like a mixture of cinnamon, clove, and sweet orange is a great way to kill airborne germs in the home.
For more cold and flu remedies check out my articles below:
The Best Remedies You can Buy for Cold and Flu
My Top 5 Preventative Cold and Flu Remedies
Cold Bustin’ Elderberry Tea
Natural Cold Remedies Part 1- The Healing Power of Elder
Natural Cold Remedies Part 2- The Healing Power of Ginger
Natural Cold Remedies- Part 3- The Healing Power of Garlic
Thyme Heals- A Natural Cold Remedy in Disguise
Cough and Sore Throat
• Raw Honey– Raw honey really is a fundamental part of a holistic medicine kit. For coughs, you can add a spoonful to hot water with a squeeze of fresh lemon and use it for troublesome coughs.
• Fresh Ginger– A fantastic herb to use for trapped mucus in the lungs and sinus. Infuse it with honey to make a delicious and effective syrup for coughs.
• Raw apple Cider Vinegar– Raw apple cider vinegar is alkalizing for the body. Colds and flu love when our bodies are acidic so taking a shot or two of ACV will help make our bodies a more inhospitable environment for germs and bacteria. ACV is also a great expectorant.
• Essential Oils like peppermint, wintergreen, eucalyptus in the bath, shower, or diffused into the air is a great way to help keep lungs clear.
• Salt Inhaler– This is an amazing remedy for stuck mucus in the lungs. Add a drop or two of eucalyptus essential oil to really help the salt cut through boggy mucus and clear the lungs making expectoration easier.
• Gaia Bronchial Wellness– This is a great syrup to use for dry and wet cough. The herbs are soothing and really help you expectorate trapped mucus. You can also get this as a tea.
• Thayers Slippery Elm Lozenges– Slippery elm is a mucilaginous herb that moistens and soothes irritated mucous membranes and is one of the best herbs to use for sore throat and dry cough.
• Throat Coat Tea– This tea contains soothing herbs that literally coat irritated tissues making swallowing much more comfortable. I prefer to drink this tea as hot as is comfortable for best results. There is also a version for children here.
• Fresh lemon and Raw Honey– Lemon helps kill germs while raw honey soothes a raw and irritated throat.
• Gaia Throat Shield– This is hands down the best throat spray I have ever used. The sage kills bacteria while the other herbs take away pain and discomfort. A must-have!
• Olba’s Throat Lozenges– These are really potent. Sucking on one of these will help clear your sinuses as well as cut through mucus in the lungs. They are very soothing for sore throats.
• Colloidal Silver– Gargle with colloidal silver to kill germs and keep them from coming back for a time. This is really effective!
For more cough and sore throat remedies check out my articles below:
The Easiest Ginger Tea Recipe
The Best Home Remedy for Cough
Herbal Remedies for Wet Cough
Herbal Remedies for Dry Cough
The Best Natural Remedies for Sore Throat
Simple Throat Coat Tea
How to Make Slippery Elm Lozenges
• Garlic Mullein Oil– These drops helped me get over a nasty ear infection in just a few days. The garlic is anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral a perfect combo for treating ear infections. The mullein is super soothing and helps ease pain.
• Raw Garlic– a neat little trick to know when you have nothing else and need a remedy NOW is to wrap sliced garlic in gauze and stick it gently into the ear. Put a piece of tape over the ear to hold in place and apply a heating pad. This remedy works so well and is really soothing because of the heat.
• Sea Salt– gargling with salt water during an ear infection will help the ear drain and reduce the time it takes for the ear infection to heal. You can also gargle with colloidal silver for the same effect.
For more ear infection remedies check out my article below:
• Lemon Water– Drinking lemon water daily is a great way to alkalize and hydrate the body upon waking. Doing this every morning leads to increased energy and better elimination and detox.
• Dandelion Root– This herb is a diuretic so it’s great for kidney and liver detox. I recommend drinking this tea if you have problems with water retention. dandelion root can also be taken as a tea.
• Milk Thistle– Milk thistle is one of my favorite herbs for restoring, rejuvenating, and detoxing the liver. It’s gentle yet very effective and can be taken daily as a tea, tincture, or capsule.
• Green Juice– Drinking green juice for a few days will help reboot your taste buds and allow your body to release trapped toxicity in the body. I try to have a fresh green juice once a day.
For more on detox check out my articles below:
Energizing and Detoxifying Charcoal Lemonade
The Top 10 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water
Green Juice VS Green Smoothie
How to Take an Epsom Salt Detox Bath
How to Detox your Liver for the New Year with Herbs!
How to Use Detoxifying Herbs for Spring Cleansing
Acne and Detox after the Holidays
• Activated Charcoal– This is an absolute must-have for stomach aches, indigestion, and food poisoning. Activated charcoal is known to absorb impurities and poisons from the body so it’s perfect for digestive discomforts. Never take activated charcoal with any medications as it will make them ineffective.
• Raw Apple Cider Vinegar– If you suffer from heartburn then this is the remedy for you! Believe it or not, ACV will balance stomach acid levels and soothe the burn.
• Food Grade Bentonite Clay– Just like activated charcoal bentonite clay pulls impurities from the body. Mix a little in water and take it when you feel bloated, nauseated, or have digestive upset. Bentonite will also impair the effectiveness of medications so be sure to take it separately.
• Ginger or Peppermint Tea– Both ginger and peppermint are amazing herbs for digestive complaints like gas and bloating. They are also great for stomach aches.
• Paragone– Dealing with parasites can be a long and arduous process. I recommend doing a parasite cleanse once a year to keep you healthy.
• Probiotics– Taking OTC pain medications and prescriptions drugs can really impair gut bacteria. Since 80% of our immune system lives in our gut it’s imperative that we keep our flora healthy by taking probiotics when necessary. I love Bio K and Garden of Life Probiotics.
• Smooth Move Tea– if you’re dealing with constipation then using Smooth Move Tea is a good way to relieve it. The herbs are gentle and the effects are fast. Drink a cup before bed for relief the next morning. This formula also comes in capsule form.
• Peppermint Essential Oil– Dilute 5 drops of peppermint essential oil with 1 tsp of lotion or body oil like sweet almond or coconut and rub it over the belly for relief from cramps.
• Parasympathetic Blend Roll-on– Try this roll-on recipe to help you relax before meals and create the much-needed cascade of signals for digestion.
For more digestion remedies check out my articles below:
• Yerba Mate Tea– This tea is a great way to get a bit of caffeine without the coffee. It tastes great and helps give you a little boost when you’re feeling run down. I love this brand and they even make a few yummy flavors to choose from like chocolate, mint, and chai.
• Matcha Tea– Not only will you get antioxidants drinking this tea but also a nice little boost of energy when you hit the 3 pm slump. I love this brand in particular.
• Ginseng– If you’re the type of person who has a cold constitution then ginseng is a great herb to consider when you want to increase energy naturally without the caffeine. Take it daily as a capsule or tincture for one month then rest for 2 weeks in between. If you have a hot constitution then taking Siberian Ginseng is a good option.
• Gaia Adrenal Health– This supplement is one of my must-haves if you are someone who is prone to stress. The herbs help restore your adrenals allowing you to feel more energized throughout the day.
• Jarrow B Right– This supplement is one of my must-haves if you are someone who is prone to stress. The herbs help restore your adrenals allowing you to feel more energized throughout the day.
• Arnica Gel– This is an amazing remedy for bumps, bruises, and minor pain associated with sore muscles. I always have it on hand because I’m super clumsy.
• Badger Sore Muscle Salve– This salve had a mix of warming herbs like cayenne, cardamom, ginger, and black pepper. It’s very soothing on achy joints and muscles and is one of my favorite salves.
• Bentonite Clay– This stuff is amazing for bug bites, stings, and rashes caused by poison oak and ivy.
• Bug Spray– This is my favorite spray to use to keep mosquitos and other pests at bay while outdoors. It’s all natural and works great.
• Coconut Oil– Coconut oil is great to use for anything related to fungus. Adding a few drops of essential oil like tea tree, lavender, or oregano will increase its antibacterial effect.
• Grapefruit Seed Extract– Another awesome remedy for fungus is grapefruit seed extract. It’s also great for candida and parasites.
• Lavender Essential Oil– An amazing remedy for wounds (mix a drop in your wound ointment) and burns. I put a drop on cuts, scrapes, and abrasions for fast healing.
• Pure Remedy Salve– This is my all-time favorite salve and it lasts forever! It’s made with elder tree sap and is incredibly healing and all types of wounds. Consider a natural Neosporin.
• White Willow Bark– White willow bark is great for treating minor pain associated with headaches, bumps, bruises, and sore muscles. You can use it as a tincture or capsule.
Menstrual Cramps/PMS/Secret Women’s Business
• Diva Cup– You’ll never go back to pads and tampons after using the Diva Cup. It’s all natural and no fuss, easy to clean, and just so much better for your health. There are two sizes small and large.
• Natural Calm– Taking magnesium is a great way to ease uncomfortable menstrual cramps. Many women are extremely deficient in this essential mineral that is responsible for keeping our muscles long, lean, and cramp free. I love taking Natural Calm to keep my levels in tip-top shape.
• Cramp Bark– This herb is an anti-spasmodic so it’s great for easing cramps associated with menstruation. Take it as a tincture or capsule.
• Black Strap Molasses– Taking a spoonful of unsulphured black strap molasses is one of the best ways to keep your mineral levels up. It contains essential iron in an absorbable form which is essential for keeping anemia at bay during our moon cycle.
• PMS Tea– Feeling irritated? Try this PMS tea for both you and those around you.
• Wild Yam Cream– If you suffer from tender breasts, mood swings, and severe menstrual cramps then trying a wild yam cream like this one may be your answer.
For more on PMS check out my articles below:
• Kava Kava– This herb both relaxes and induces sleep and is definitely one of my favorite sleep herbs. Take it as a tea, tincture, or capsule.
• Passion Flower– If you have an overactive mind that won’t turn itself off before bedtime then Passion Flower is the herb for you. Take it as a tea, tincture, or capsule.
• Gaia Sleep and Relax– This is a great supplement to take if you have trouble winding down before bed. It comes as a capsule and as a tea.
• Gaia Sleep Thru– Take this supplement before bed if you can fall asleep but have trouble staying asleep at night.
• Bedtime Tea– This tea has herbs like valerian, lavender, and skullcap to help you overcome sleeplessness and anxiety. Get it here.
• Essential Oils for Sleep– Some essential oils help you relax before bedtime like lavender, chamomile, cedarwood, and cypress. Diffuse these oils or make a roll-on blend to use before bed.
For more sleep tips check out my articles below:
• Natural Calm– If you’re feeling frazzled then you and Natural Calm will become fast friends. When I had long days at work and felt like I just wanted to scream and tear out my hair it was Natural Calm that helped me triumph. It’s crazy how a simple magnesium supplement can change your day for the better.
• Rhodiola– Rhodiola is an adaptogenic herb known for its ability to help you adapt to stress in the best way possible. You can take it as a capsule or as a tincture.
• Holy Basil– This is one of my favorite herbs for stress. Just like rhodiola, holy basil is an adaptogenic herb that helps you deal with stress in a constructive and positive way. This herb is great as a tea, tincture, or in capsule form.
• Stress Relief Tea– if you’re like me then tea is one of the best ways to wind down after a stressful day. This tea blend contains relaxing herbs like kava kava and aromatics like cardamom that sooth frayed nerves. You can get it here.
• Lavender and Rosemary Essential Oils– Just sniffing lavender essential oil helps lower stress levels. Dab it on your wrists and inhale deeply to help you clear your thoughts and bring back a sense of calm. Rosemary essential oil is known to lower the cortisol in your saliva just by smelling it. That’s how amazing it is!
For more stress remedies check out my article below:
For more tips and tricks check out my articles below:
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