The Medicine Cabinet
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As we begin getting closer to the cold and flu season I’d like to share what I keep stocked up in my natural medicine cabinet and why you might want to do the same.
Over the last few months I’ve gathered a new collection of supplements, however there are a few things I suggest everyone have stocked up on at all times.
The same way most people have their essentials and first aid in their medicine cabinets, I believe it is just as important to have a select few remedies, herbs, or supplements on deck for both prevention and treatment.
The last few months have put a huge focus on health and immunity in the world which opened up a lot of eyes on the importance of prevention. Something that is the basis in holistic/ natural medicine.
When we focus on prevention, we have less to worry about. Your body has all it needs to fight any cold or virus that it comes across.
However when you’re not supporting the whole body’s health you can find yourself with a cough, runny nose, sinus issues and even allergies that longer for weeks.
Personally my main area of weakness is sleep. Having a toddler who finds himself in my bed every night makes it hard to get a full night of undisturbed sleep.
Which is a huge aspect of the body’s ability to fully recover.
Since sleep is an issue, I need to work extra hard on the other dimensions of health to ensure my body gets the help it needs to detox, and rebuild.
Along with supporting the body’s ability to heal and fight off illness on its own, preventive medicine also helps avoid the need for prescription medicine.
While there are times one would absolutely need to take prescription medication, I feel it is best to avoid that as much as possible.
Prescription medicine comes with so many side effects and not to mention very costly for those who don’t have insurance.
And if you can avoid that with naturally based medicine then why not?
Here Are 13 Products You Can Start Building Your Own Natural Medicine Cabinet With
Known for its immune boosting properties, vitamin c also helps assist the absorption of iron and the formation of collagen. And because of that Vitamin C is something I usually take everyday.
However when I feel something coming on or during the cold and flu season, I take it twice a day to ensure healing.
I love this specific vitamin C as it’s made from rose hips.
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*When taking any supplement you want to be sure it’s food based as most are synthetically made in a lab and contain chemicals and other unneeded additives.
I feel like this year was the year everyone was made aware of the importance of vitamin D.
I’ve been taking vitamin D for quite a few years since as a higher melanated person I am generally low in vitamin d and have to supplement.
But I also increased my intake when I started breastfeeding in 2018.
Vitamin D is known for regulating the body’s absorption of calcium and its ability to facilitate the body’s immune functions.
It is probably one vitamin everyone should take as most of us rarely spend time in the sun.
I keep this in my medicine cabinet mostly for preventative purposes and make sure to take it daily as it works best with long term use.
Magnesium is one supplement I will forever use. *I do suggest getting your blood levels tested to ensure you need it. Some people can have somewhat of a digestive effect when taking magnesium and that could be that their body does not need supplementation.
I began taking magnesium when I was experiencing joint pain many years ago. Since I’ve begun I haven’t had any pain and even noticed better quality of sleep, so I make sure to take it before bed.
Magnesium is great to have around for headache relief and muscular cramps.
Elderberry is another one of my favorite preventative measures. I usually get it in a tea or syrup form. This one is especially popular with my children as it tastes like candy.
Elderberry is best used on the one set of a cold or flu.
It is advised to stop taking elderberry when you are at the peak of an illness as it can inhibit a cytokines storm.
Part of elderberries immune boosting functions is creating healthy inflammation as a stage of healing. However when one is already over inflamed as in cases like auto-immune diseases, it can create a more inflamed environment.
Otherwise, elderberries are amazing to have around during the cold and flu season for prevention and a kid approved!
Quercetin With Nettles
My first experience with quercetin and nettles was a few years ago, when I had a minor infection and was given antibiotics. I hesitated taking them as I had my mind set on avoiding prescription medication. However I was working for a doctor at the time and felt like I should take his advice.
And of course within hours of taking the antibiotic, I have the worst allergic reaction.
My entire body was covered in the craziest hives. Not only were they insanely itchy, they burned.
My whole body was on fire. My face swelled and my clothing touching my skin felt like sandpaper against open wounds.
I came across quercetin and nettles on an herbal remedy blog and ran to the nearest health food store and popped the capsules in the car. The effects kicked in pretty quick and I felt better within hours.
You want quercetin and nettles in your medicine cabinet for any sorts of skin rashes, allergic reactions, even seasonal allergies.
Nettles are also known to aid urinary and bladder infections too!
Another one to have around for topical itching or rashes.
I used calendula oil on my skin to help soothe and heal my allergic reaction to the antibiotic.
I’ve also used it on my toddler when he’s gotten bug bites and diaper rashes.
Calendula is a great topical aid to have in your natural medicine cabinet. It works well to heal cuts, scrapes, burns, acne, eczema and even sunscreen.
“I have 99 problems and coconut oil cured 86 of them”
That should be enough reason to keep coconut oil around.
On top of it’s amazing benefits for skin and hair. Coconut oil is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory, so you can pretty much use it similarly to calendula oil.
However the main reason I keep coconut oil around is to use as a carrier oil for my essential oils.
I think I could write about essential oils all day. I use them for everything. One of my favorite ways is to mix them with coconut oil and make a chest rub for respiratory illness or muscle balms for aches, sprains and soreness.
You can quickly mix it together when you need it, or prepare it in advance in small mason jars to have ready for use.
I currently make a natural “Vicks rub” that consists of coconut oil and about 23 drops of doTERRAS Breathe oil.
As I mentioned before, I dont sell doTERRA and they can be quite expensive. So I suggest making the blend yourself.
Here are the oils used in the doTERRA’s breathe blend:
On top of the breathe blend I love to have these oils stocked up in my natural medicine cabinet:
Tea Tree Oil: for acne, dandruff and to deter bugs.
Citronella: for muscle aches and to deter mosquitos
Clary Sage: for menstrual cramps
Lavender: for headache relief
A newer herbal tincture that I just started using but decided I needed to keep it in stock after experiencing its power.
Great for stimulating lymph, red clover assists in lymphatic drainage. Which is great when you have an infection or feel one coming on.
Recently, I used red clover when I noticed I had a swollen and tender lymph node under my neck for days. I was convinced I was going to get sick.
I took the tincture a couple of times a day, for a few days and it eventually went down and I never got sick.
Red clover is also known to be great at fighting respiratory infections so it’s definitely one to have around for the cold and flu season.
Another one I will always keep suggesting. Epsom salt has many uses but it is my go to when I’m feeling under the weather.
Epsom salt helps draw out toxins, absorb magnesium and relax and soothe sore muscles.
I always feel like a nice warm bath with Epsom salt speeds up whatever I’m fighting.
It also has laxative effects and speeds up muscle recovery after a workout.
I can’t express enough how much I think everyone should have a bag of Epsom salt in their medicine cabinet.
Over the years I’ve become a huge herbal tea drinker. I have a huge collection for every mood or occasion. However my top 3 must haves are:
Breath easy is amazing at opening up the sinuses and has such an amazingly subtle sweet taste. I absolutely love it even when I’m breathing just fine.
Throat coat is a must in this house when anyone has any itching or soreness going on in their throat. It’s perfect for dry coughs as it has licorice and marshmallow root which soothe and coat the throat.
Echinacea Plus (with and without elderberry)
The Echinacea blend is another great tasting tea that I’ve used for years. I get both with and without elderberry so that I can drink it during times of peak illness and not worry about the elderberries causing a cytokine storm.
As you can see I am a huge fan of the brand Traditional Medicinals. They are organic and always have the freshest tasting teas.
Since I grew up in a home where natural remedies and herbs were common, Colloidal silver was something I took here and there as a child. I don’t remember why my mom had it around, I just knew it was good for me so I’d take it.
After I started my own journey of natural healing in 2012, I stumbled across colloidal silver.
I used it mostly topically but then used it as an immune supportive supplement for a while. It always helped me have a speedy recovery from any illness and also quickly healed any wounds.
This is the one I’ve used for the last few years.
I’ve also used it for rashes, canker sores, sinus infections, colds, flus, eye irritations, raw nipples from breastfeeding, and more.
The next few items aren’t necessarily supplements but are definitely healing. These are food items you can get at your local grocery store and I’m almost sure you might already have some in your kitchen.
I always make sure to keep those six foods around and use them in every meal or any way I can.
Ginger is a must have for any natural medicine cabinet. It can be used for all sorts of ailments like nausea, menstrual cramps and lowering blood sugar. Most of all ginger is anti-inflammatory, so it works great for any form of inflammation as well as helping soothe the throat and sinuses.
Garlic is not just an herb that’s commonly overused in recipes, it’s also known for its powerful antibiotic properties. I’ve known people who’ve cured UTIs and other infections by eating raw garlic during the onset of infection and days after.
One thing that makes garlic better than any antibiotic it’s that your body can’t become immune to it.
You can eat garlic regularly to prevent any infections, colds or flus. Or begin taking it as soon as you feel sick and be sure to have it every 3-4 hours until you feel better.
If you know me personally or have been following me on Instagram for the last few years, you’ll know that I LOVE TURMERIC. It’s my “spirit herb”. I love it so much that I started growing it in my garden 3 years ago and have gotten such a good harvest every year.
Turmeric is similar to ginger and is an amazing anti-inflammatory herb to keep around the whole year.
In the summer and spring I make an amazing turmeric-ginger lemonade which is such a great refreshing mood booster but also helps keep my allergies at bay.
During the fall and winter I make my famous turmeric tomato Gouda soup or golden milk lattes.
I put it in salads, curries, and even use it topically.
Turmeric is a must have for a natural medicine cabinet as it is an all around powerful immune boosting herb.
Honey is the main sweetener we use in my home. We use it for the turmeric lemonade mentioned above, straight up for soothing a sore throat or even just a spoon of local honey during allergy season to keep symptoms down.
Honey can also be used topically for burns, cuts and scrapes as it has powerful healing properties.
Lemons are essential in my natural medicine cabinet. They’re mostly known for their high vitamin c content however, I love to use them for their hydrating and detoxifying effects.
Adding them to detox waters is my favorite way to use lemons as it helps flush out anything my body is holding on to.
I add them to teas to assist with immune functions and soothing a sore or itchy throat. Everyone should keep a bag of lemons around, you never know when you’ll want to make fresh batch of turmeric lemonade.
Apple Cider Vinegar
From salad dressing to probiotic, apple cider vinegar is another one to always have around. It smells a bit funky and the taste is a lot to get used to, but it is another powerful one.
I use ACV whenever I eat something too heavy to help with digestion. It’s also a great probiotic and balances gut bacteria, which is important for proper immune function.
It’s another one that is great for warding off the flu, allergies and even dandruff.
As smelly as it is, I have used ACV plenty of times for soothing and clarifying my scalp. It’s also oddly great for hair and skin health.
DIY Ginger Turmeric Honey “Bomb”
These foods are essential to have around for optimal health. One of my favorite DIY “Syrups” is this ginger turmeric honey bomb.
You cut up ginger, turmeric, lemon and black pepper corn and pack it into a mason jar. Then fill the jar with raw honey until everything is fully covered.
Leave this in your refrigerator overnight and you have a powerful syrup to drink when you have a cold or flu. The longer it sits the more potent it is.
After you’re done with the syrup you can add the other contents to teas to continue getting the effects.
I hope this list was helpful and enough to get you motivated to start your own natural medicine cabinet. Definitely let me know in the comments if you have some other must have natural remedies in your medicine cabinet you’d like to share.