As all the chatter continues about what we eat, what we put on our bodies, and what we put into our bodies, it stands to reason that we would also turn toward how we treat our bodies for minor illness and injury. I’ve been looking into this for quite a while for my family and have decided that it’s time to pull together a natural medicine cabinet of my own. I’ll be sharing today how you can get yours started as well.
In order to build a natural medicine cabinet for your family, you will want to make a list of the minor ailments that your family deals with most often. These should be minor ailments that you and your family are comfortable treating with home remedies. Below I share some of the areas that our family treats at home and what we use, as well as some additional suggestions that you might like.
Cold and Flu
When anyone in our family manifests cold and flu symptoms, our go-to treatment to ward off illness is elderberry syrup. For a while we were buying a variety called Sambucus, which worked beautifully. However, I recently learned how to make it at home for much cheaper using organic dried elderberries and some herbs. The recipe I used was similar to this one by Jen at 1840 Farm. I am also brewing up some Fire Cider/Master Tonic from a recipe I got from the Herbal Intermediate Course I am taking through Herbal Academy of New England. I’ll be sharing that recipe shortly, but here are some other ideas to try from our friends at My Healthy Green Family:
This recipe is from the Herbal Intermediate Course that I am taking with the Herbal Academy of New England. (See sidebar for link to the course site.)
- 3 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons fresh grated horseradish
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon powdered cayenne
- 4 cups apple cider vinegar
- Honey to sweeten (at least 1 pound)
- Allow ginger, horseradish, onion, garlic, and cayenne to steep in the vinegar for at least one month. Add half as much honey (in volume) to the amount of steeping herbs and vinegar (i.e., if you have 4 cups of vinegar mixture, you would add 2 cups of honey).
- Store in a clean mason jar or bottle with a tight-fitting lid.
- To use: Take 1 Tbsp. 3x/day when you are coming down with a cold.
Minor Cuts and Abrasions
Our family’s favorite treatment for minor cuts and abrasions is somewhat of a knock off of our old standby, Neosporin. It is a calendula healing salve, and it fantastic for cleaning out minor cuts and abrasions as well as relieving any pain associated with them. I make it from the calendula flowers that I grow in my herb garden, the beeswax that I get from Mohawk Valley Trading Company (I don’t get anything for sharing this link, I just love their beeswax), and a few other ingredients. It took very little time to make a whole tray full of salve, and now we have it whenever we need it.
If you don’t grow your own calendula flowers, here is a great recipe for DIY All Natural Antiseptic Ointment by our friends at Fresh Eggs Daily which uses essential oils (calendula and other) to make a similar salve.
Nausea, Gas and Bloating
We all know that ginger is great for nausea, but did you know that catnip and mint are great for gas and bloating? In our family, we keep Ginger Syrup in the fridge for nausea, and dried catnip and mint from the garden to make Catnip-Mint Tea. Both are a great way to combat tummy troubles.
I want to share with you another great recipe using ginger by Jen at 1840 Farm. This fantastic post for candied ginger can be used for alone for nausea, or double as a cold and flu blend because of the antiseptic properties of the honey, as well as the antibacterial and warming properties of the ginger.
Our family doesn’t suffer muscle pain very often, but when we do, we use an arnica-based salve (similar to this one) by my friend Jan, The Nerdy Farm Wife. If you prefer not to purchase salve, but would rather make it, you can try her Aches & Pains Balm Recipe.
I have dabbled in making oil blends for a couple of friends who suffer frequent muscle pain due to lupus, and my lavender-rosemary massage oil is said to work wonderfully for that type of pain. It takes seconds to make, and it’s pretty inexpensive.
If you have been following my blog at all, you know that I suffer frequent anxiety due to perimenopause. My husband and I don’t believe that prescription medication is appropriate for me, so I treat myself regularly and successfully with these three natural anxiety busting remedies.
Another option is Fresh Eggs Daily’s Relaxation Salve. It has calming lavender and vanilla in it and is sure to bring the stress right down.
Urinary Tract Infection (onset only)
If you understand your body’s manifestations of a urinary tract infection, you can try this herbal tea blend that I use to clear up the beginning of a urinary tract infection tea. Also, you can try 10 drops of grapefruit seed extract in a pint of water for the same
Other Helps to Get You Started
MYO medicine capsules
Homemade Hand Sanitizer
Building a Materia Medica/Herbal Notebook (text post or podcast)
Free Printables: Blank Herb Info (monograph) Page PDF (fill in yourself), Garlic Monograph PDF
Stay tuned to my blog for more free printables for your materia medica/herbal notebook!
This post is part of the 30 Day Natural Living Challenge that is being hosted at A Blossoming Life. Please accept this invitation to other posts in this series:
If you are interested in expanding your knowledge of herbs, click over to the Herbal Academy of New England and sign up for their Intermediate Herbal Course (click course photo below). It’s been fabulous for me, and I’ve learned quite a lot in the past months. I highly recommend it! Also, I’d like to invite you to subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss any of my new Herbal Primer series, where I will be sharing all about the herbs, and recipes you can make with them.
NOTE: The Herbal Course link is an affiliate link, and if you click on it and purchase the course for yourself, I make a few dollars from it, all of which go to the production of this blog and its content. Thank you in advance for your support.
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