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What’s in my Natural Medicine Cabinet?
If a mild and acute illness like a cold comes in your home what do you do? Call the doc immediately? Feel scared and unsure about what to do? Or break out the herbs and get to work?
If you know about healing then you can jump right into action with herbs and other remedies and have everyone feeling better in no time. Instead, we’ve been trained to rush to the doc, drag your sick kids out of the house, expose them to even more illness at the office, often to just be told you have to let the illness run its course.
You have to go through all of that chaos and stress for several hours when everyone could have been resting and healing at home. And that’s IF you could even get in to see your doc that day- most people are finding that they have to wait months to see even their primary care doctor, which is incredibly unhelpful.
Here are the items I always keep on hand in my own natural medicine cabinet for acute health concerns.
For Colds and Flus
We don’t get sick often, but when we do I am always glad we have a stock of the best immune supports ever. Getting sick is a normal part of life, and nothing to be scared of. Letting our bodies get through the illness naturally is important- many OTC items can suppress symptoms and drive them deeper in the body. Natural remedies support your body’s natural healing ability AND reduce symptoms, which is the ideal way to truly get through illness.
The three biggest items I always keep on hand in my Natural Medicine Cabinet are:
- Earthley’s Feel Better Fast-supports fever, helps with congestion and coughs, helps with the overall fatigue and drained feeling of being sick, supports digestion as well. Safe for ages 6 month + (always check their site + labels for proper dosing though!).
- Earthley’s Elderberry Elixir-this tincture has elderberry with other synergistic herbs that help make this formula even more effective. Elderberry Elixir helps with cold and flu symptoms, supports respiratory health, and it has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.
- Earthley’s Cough B Gone– strong support for congestion, coughs, and sore throats
These 3 items are an amazing tag team for any cold or flu. Years ago, my husband and I had H1N1 and cleared it in 3 days with elderberry syrup. This was in the early days of my natural healing journey and this was something that truly proved to me that natural remedies WORK. Elderberry has always been a staple for us after that, but making the syrup is honestly a pain (especially if you’re actively sick!) so keeping Earthley’s tinctures on hands if perfect. They are shelf stable for quite some time and work just as well as fresh elderberry syrup.
Other items I love for immune support are:
- One of my favorite things to keep around just in case we end up with a cold is the Seasonal Sampler teas from Traditional Medicinals. This box includes Echinacea Plus, Herbal Cold Care, Throat Coat, and Breathe Easy. My favorites are the first two (and they do have their own boxes of each of these- it’s usually just easier to find the sampler box in stores).
- Vitamin C is a very important nutrient for immune health but we have been lied to about what true vitamin C is. 90% of the supplements you will see out there that have “vitamin C” on the label are really ascorbic acid which is just the shell of the vitamin C complex. . Read all about whole food C here. Ascorbic acid can actually cause copper deficiency while whole food vitamin C supports proper copper balance. Copper is an antioxidant and another nutrient that is needed for proper immune health. I love Synergy Pure Radiance for a supplement, and Earthley has an amazing whole food C as well. Perfect Supplements now has a pure Acerola powder too (you can use the code SASSY for 10% off as well!).
Most people will experience digestive distress at some point in our lives. Whether it’s food poisoning or a nervous reaction to stress, belly problems are no fun. There are some big things you can do to help though!
- Activated Charcoal can help with food poisoning, acute bloating, nausea, vomiting, and more. I think of this as a true emergency support, only to be used when things are truly bad and you need instant relief. Since this is a binder, it can interfere with nutrient absorption or absorption or meds or other supplements so it’s not great for daily use.
- Ginger is a MUST have to keep on hand. Ginger can help with bloating, constipation, nausea, and so much more. I love The Ginger People’s Ginger Juice and I always have this on hand. 1-2 tablespoons in some water or apple juice can help quite quickly with digestive distress. If you don’t love the taste of ginger, then capsules would be good too! Tea is always an idea as well, but personally I love the full flavor of ginger juice vs tea.
- Apple Cider Vinegar is a perfect helper for some people with acid reflux, constipation, nausea, and more. Reflux is actually more often due to LOW stomach acid than high, which is why ACV can help so much. But if you’re feeling a lot of pain and burning in your stomach, it might be best to use marshmallow or aloe first as ACV can be rough on a stressed gut lining. Most people dilute 1-2 Tablespoons of ACV in 4-8 ounces of water about 15 minutes before meals or when they are dealing with bloating, gas, or a feeling that food is just sitting in the stomach. If you can’t stand ACV on its own, try making switchel, a fermented drink made with apple cider vinegar!
- Aloe vera is one of my FAVORITES for overall gut healing. It helps soothe gut inflammation and heal the gut lining, and it can help with histamine/mast cell issues as well. For acute use, it can help with heartburn, bloating, gas, burps, and constipation. I love George’s brand Aloe – dosing depends on age, but most adults can use 2 ounces twice a day for the best benefit.
- Marshmallow root is another super helper for heartburn, indigestion, acid feeling stomach, constipation, and overall soothing. The best way to get the benefit of marshmallow is to make a cold infusion: fill a Mason jar ¼ of the way with dried marshmallow root and fill the rest with cool water (not hot). Let it sit for at least 4 hours and then strain. Drink about 1/4-1/2 cup for soothing relief!
- Traditional Medicinal Belly Comfort tea is a great one to keep on hand for bloating, gas, and other common gut symptoms.
When it comes to headaches, there are so many root causes. It can be hard to really pinpoint what is causing a headache that is acute, but if you’re getting them constantly it can be a little easier to figure out your root cause.
Mineral imbalances, dehydration, stress, nervous system dysfunction, spinal misalignment, lack of sleep, poor posture- these are all some of the most common causes of headaches.
- Homeopathy is one of the best ways to stop a headache or migraine in its tracks. The trick with homeopathy is finding the right remedy for you based on physical AND emotional symptoms. There is no one remedy for headaches, so it can take a few minutes to read and figure out what fits best. Check out a site like this, or if you have an awesome kit like this one you can check the booklet that comes with it and match your symptoms.
- Earthley’s Pain Potion is an awesome support to have on hand for headaches, migraines, or even body pain in general. It’s an excellent anti-inflammatory herbal blend.
- If you are dealing with any muscle tension, then massaging your neck and shoulders can make a big difference.
- Chiropractic care can help if you’re dealing with misalignment.
- Something like an adrenal cocktail can help if it’s electrolyte related. My favorite recipe is: 4-8 ounces coconut water, ¼ tsp unrefined sea salt , and vitamin C powder. Read my post on hydration here for more ideas!
- Assess your day- did you have poor sleep last night? Are you stressed about something specific? Headaches are often a stress response for physical and emotional reasons.
- Using a handheld massager like this one or a foam roller to help with muscle tension can be helpful. Gua sha is particularly helpful for headaches as you can use this on your head, face, neck, and shoulders. Wildling has a lot of great videos on how to use this modality. This stone is a good one!
If you’ve been struggling with sleep issues out of nowhere, it’s most often due to something stressful going on in your life. However, if you’ve dealt with sleep issues for a long time there could be many root causes. You can read my whole post on improving sleep here. Here are some easy ways to support better sleep though!
- Tart cherry juice helps to stimulate melatonin production in the body. This is better than taking melatonin straight so you’re supporting your body in its natural healing ability instead of confusing it. I love this one from Dynamic Health that is 5x the usual strength– 1 tablespoon is all you need to get some amazing deep sleep.
- Limit screen time at night and try to cut it off completely about an hour or 2 before bed; or get blue-light apps (f.lux for Android, or Night Shift on iPhones 5s and above, which comes automatically with the phone now). You can even wear blue light blocking glasses at night to help reduce how much light you’re exposed to. Getting sunlight in the morning is helpful as well! This will stimulate the natural circadian rhythm cycle. Read a physical book at night instead of an ebook to help with reducing screen time AND getting sleepy.
- Address any stressors that you can- journal to get emotions out, talk to anyone that could help reduce your mental load, find a way to release any emotions that are stuck.
- Earthley’s Sleepy Time– safe for kids and adults. This can help with getting more restful sleep of course, but it can also help with calming anxiety and increasing mental clarity through the day.
Learning How to Heal Yourself Naturally
These are just some of the items that are amazing to keep on hand in your Natural Medicine Cabinet when needed. I hope it helps to give you some ideas on how to address common, acute health issues.
You can learn even more about specific issues from this post here.