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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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