Living Naturally: A Peek Inside My Herbal Medicine Cabinet
March 6, 2012 Health + Home Remedies
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I am in no way a professional herbalist (although that’s on my Bucket List!) and like many of you, I am just getting started in my “natural medicine cabinet” so I thought I’d list for you what my family uses and what we keep on hand.

A Peek Inside My Herbal medicine Cabinet | Vintage Kids Modern World

So here we go, a mini tour of sorts, of what’s in my herbal medicine cabinet (including herbs and supplements)

Dried Elderberries.  I purchase these in 16oz. packages from my local Farmer’s Market, which is where they’re the most economically priced.  You can find them online, and if stored in a cool dry place, they’ll last for quite awhile.  I use these to make my elderberry elixir and tinctures  and these little berries pack a HUGE punch!  The elixir is my go-to flu remedy and we also take small doses of it daily in the winter for an incredible immune boost!  Check out my post here for the recipe I use and to read about the benefits of eldeberries.

Astragalus. My hubby and I take this because it’s a great immune booster.  If you’ve already come down with something, don’t bother.  However, if you know you’ll be travelling or will have a particularly busy few weeks and could get run-down, this is a great herb to take for an extra boost.

Mullein Oil.  If you’d like to make your own ear ache relief oil, you can find recipes for this online.  I purchased mine at our local health food store and it has been a life-saver.  My daughter had an earache several weeks ago and woke up screaming and crying.  A few drops of this in each ear, and she was out like a light and slept through til morning.

Calendula Salve.  I made my calendula salve when I reviewed Michele’s ebook.  It is a great “boo-boo” cream and very soothing and moisturizing. If you’d prefer to purchase it, instead of making it at home, we love this brand.

Coconut oil.  Coconut oil is naturally anti-bacterial, so this gets slathered on skinned knees and even on chapped lips, plus I use it as the base for several home remedies and my toothpaste recipe.

Fermented Cod Live Oil.  Yep.  We bought it and we use it, and despite how horrendously repulsive it sounds, my kids actually really like it.  This is a powerhouse supplement and my little ones take it daily during cold and flu season. You can read more about it here, and take a look at all of their flavors (my kiddos take the peppermint flavored gel)

Raspberry Leaf, Fennel and Nettle Tea.  I purchased these items at our Farmer’s Market as well, in loose leaf form and then I mixed them in a 1:1 ratio.  I still breast-feed my youngest and these three herbs helps with my milk production, mood and energy (nettle has incredibly high amounts of naturally occurring iron) (updated: I am no longer breastfeeding, but still use the nettle tea as it’s high in iron and helps with energy because, 4 kids.)

Echinacea and QBC Plex.  We talked about these in this post, so you can check it out for more information.  I use these to treat upper respiratory congestion and swelling and they work wonders!  And Hallelujah, they’ve started making chewable QBC Plex!!!  We haven’t tried these yet, but I’m SO glad there’s now an option for my littles to take these as well.

Kudzu Root.  A great immune booster and cold fighter. We make a tea out of it and it’s great for kids and adults.  You can read more here

Arnica Gel.  I purchased this at our healthy food store and it’s wonderful for soothing sore muscles, tense necks and muscle strain.  It’s a natural counterpart to Bengay or Aspircream and since my hubby does manual labor, we keep this on hand all the time.

Probiotics.  My littlest girl has constant intestinal trouble, and we can tell that it’s much worse without the use of probiotics.  We use Standard Process and have really liked it.  Shelf stable probiotics tend to be weaker, so look for the ones in the cooler.

Thytrophin. Again from Standard Process, this is a natural boost for slow/sluggish thyroids.  This has made a HUGE change in my energy levels and overall health and it was just the extra shove I needed.

Ginger. Regular old ginger, made into tea for upset tummies.

Garlic. an AMAZING healing food for coughs, colds, respiratory issues, allergies, and the like.  It’s best taken raw, but any amount of garlic, even lightly sauteed in your dinner dish, will help heal and boost your immunity.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. We mentioned this one in an earlier post as well, but I keep RACV on hand all year long and we use it in our teas.

Raw Honey.  In this post as well, it’s great in teas, anti-bacterial (so it’s another great boo-boo healer..and a tasty one) and it’s a wonderful cough suppressant.

Essential Oils: Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Lavender, and Tea Tree Oil.  These are strong and last a long time, and I use these in poultices and creams, like my Baby Chest Rub,  as well as in cleaning products, so they’re very versatile and worth the investment!

These are the basics that I keep on hand year round, and after using natural remedies for the past 10+ years, these are the items that I’ve found to be relatively cheap and are staples in my cabinet.


check out our other posts on Natural Medicine as well:

Resources for Getting Started With A Natural Medicine Cabinet

When Natural Remedies Are Too Confusing


Here are some other great resources for building a Natural Medicine Cabinet:

Stocking Your Natural Herbal Medicine Cabinet

Resources for Home Remedies: What To Buy and Where to Buy It.


What’s in your cabinet?


And for the record: I’m not a doctor, I’m just a mama, so everything that I list here comes from my own experience and research.  Please consult with your doctor if you have a serious or lingering illness, and talk with a naturopath/holistic practitioner for certified herbal recommendations.

This post is part of: Traditional Tuesdays at Whole New Mom, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, Real Food Wednesday at Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Simple Living Wednesday at Our simple Farm, Women Living Well Wednesday at Women Living Well, Simple Lives Thursdays at GNOWFGLINS, Your Green Resource at Live Renewed, Fight Back Fridays at Food Renegade, Fresh Bites at Real Food Whole Health, Monday Mania at the Healthy Home Economist, The Welcome Home Link Up at Raising Arrows, The Homestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, The Sunday School Blog Carnival at Butter Believer, Seasonal Celebrations at Natural Mothers Network

"25" Comments
  1. Wow our herbal medicine cabinets are really similar. A quick tip for eating garlic raw, it is only helpful if chewed. Swallowing a whole garlic clove like a pill doesn’t do you any good. I like to mince it really fine and put it on a piece of toast with lots of butter. The kids love it this way!

    And I posted a homemade elderberry syrup recently on my blog. If anyone would like to make a very effective cough and cold treatment, it really works!

  2. Sounds like a good list! Thanks! Just bounced over from Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways…

  3. Hi Kelsey, 🙂

    This would be a great addition to Wildcrafting Wednesday! I hope you’ll stop by and share.

    Thanks! 🙂
    ~ kathy

  4. I love this! I knew some of this but certainly not the elderberry. Wow! Love it

  5. Really interesting post! I love herbal remedies and am a big fan of homeopathy too.

  6. thanks! I’m slowly building my medicine cabinet, but thankfully, we’ve been healthy enough this winter that I haven’t had to use much of it! Thanks for stopping by!
    – kelsi

  7. We have similar medicine cabinets. I also use some Standard Process supplements, including the Thytrophin. I’ve yet to add kudzu though it grows like crazy in our area so I plan to dry some this spring. I haven’t transitioned to the fermented cod liver oil yet but that’s likely on the horizon. And I love my essential oils. They are often my first line of defense. Oregano oil is my BFF.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Oh your medicine cabinet looks awesome!! I am new to your blog and am so very glad that I found it!!

  9. SO glad you found us! thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! – kelsi

  10. I’ve found that local raw honey also helps a lot with outdoor allergies. And it’s way tastier than conventional medicine!

  11. Pingback: Add Herbal Remedy - Herbal Remedies - Cure By Nature Information Site - Herbal Remedies - Cure By Nature

  12. Hi, my medicine cabinet is similar to yours too! I just started my 4 yo daughter on the fermented cod liver/high vitamin butter oil and am hoping to reverse some tooth decay with it. If anyone else has had any luck with using it, please do shout – would love to hear some positive experiences with it! Great post x

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  15. Did anyone know that the finer you mince garlic the stonger and more potent it is? I read this a long time ago and for some reason is just one of those things that stuck in my head forever. Just thought I would share it!

    Great blog

  16. Cathy – that makes sense – I just never thought about it! thanks for the tip! – kelsi

  17. I was curious about what you knew or your thoughts on Belladonna?
    It was recommended to us for fevers. I had/have never heard of it and have not come
    across it in my food research.

  18. Marissa, I have looked into it and it’s one of the herbs I want to add to my collection. I’ve heard/read really good things about it, it’s just that I have other herbs that serve the same purpose (I like feverfew for fevers as well as some homeopathic items) so I haven’t been in a rush to get it. From what I’ve read though, it’s amazing and definitely worth checking out. It’s partly trial and error when it comes to herbs – to see which you prefer and which works best for you. – kelsi

  19. Great List!!!
    I also have:
    Olive oil: Earinfections
    dried Thyme: cough, drink as tea, also brew 5tsp in 2 qt water and put in kids bath
    Pepermint oil: fevers
    Dried sage: tonsile infection, sore throat as tea
    Camomille tea: upset tummy, with honey, lemon and cinnamon for cough and sore throat
    … a part of my list 😉

  20. looks good to me Rita! -kelsi

  21. Just want to share about Belladonna. It is wonderful to have on hand for when pain gets intolerable. Most people just reach for pain relievers, but some of us are stubborn. It does not actually relieve pain but it increases your tolerance to pain. The end result is the same; all of a sudden the pain doesn’t seem so bad. Good for severe toothaches, etc. I can go for years without using it but I like knowing it is in my arsenal for when I really need it.

  22. Thanks Dawne – how interesting! I’ll definitely have to check that out! thanks! – kelsi

  23. Where do you purchase the thytrophin? Do you know if this is just a suppliment or can it been used to maintain normal thyroid levels? I am hypothyroid and my synthetic hormone is not working properly.
    Loved reading this post. Thank you for all your helpful information. I am certainly going to stock up on some of these!!

  24. Kate, I get the Thyrophin from my Chiropractor’s office but the brand I use is available on Amazon as well. It’s from Standard Process, and yes, it’s a thyroid support and it supplements the thyroid with natural bovine thyroid (it’s weird, and I try not to think about it when I swallow!) so that your own thyroid can get a break from working overtime. It has made ALL the difference for me and after taking it for a few days I wanted to cry because I felt so.much.better! hope it helps – it’s been a game-changer for me! thanks for stopping in! All the best! – kelsi

  25. Big believer in mullien Descends from my native American heritage. If you can find the regular mullien without garlic you can take a dropper for respitory infections.

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