So maybe you read this post and simplified your personal care? Now how about your medicine cabinet?
The other day I realized that I haven’t taken any kind of medication in three years, because I was pregnant and then breastfeeding. I’ve had a few mild illnesses during that time. But I was able to treat all of them with simple home remedies.
I like treatments that are safe, effective, and require ingredients that most of us already have in or around our homes. (Of course, this probably goes without saying, but it’s usually wise to talk to a health care provider about more serious ailments or symptoms that don’t improve with home care.)
Here are a few of my favorite simple remedies:
Sore Throat or Gums
- Mix a cup of warm water with a teaspoon of salt, and gargle and swish it around your mouth
- Mix 3/4 cup warm water with 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide and gargle and swish it around your mouth.
Nasal or Chest Congestion
- Use a Neti Pot. Never heard of one? You can find out where to get one and how to use it here.
- Do an herbal steam. Boil a large pot of water with a handful of Eucalyptus, Thyme, or Rosemary Leaf, or all three. Pour the water into a bowl, and put it on a table. Sit with your face about a foot away from the water and drape a towel over your head. Relax and breathe for about 10 to 15 minutes.
The Common Cold or Influenza
- Drink Hot Ginger Garlic Lemonade.
- Take Elderberry Syrup.
- Go out in the sun, if possible. (If it’s not sunny, you might try taking a Vitamin D supplement. You can read more about the connection between Vitamin D and colds and flu here.)
- Sip on Ginger Root Tea.
- Sip on Peppermint Tea.
- Stimulate the acupressure point on the inside of your wrist. You can learn how to do that here.
Bug Bites or Bee Stings
- Make a poultice of Plantain Leaf. (Plantain is a common weed that’s probably growing in your lawn or somewhere nearby. You can find out more about it and how to identify it here.)
- Apply Aloe Vera Gel.
Muscle Aches or Joint Pain
- Apply St. John’s Wort Oil.
- Apply Arnica Oil. (Both St. John’s Wort Oil and Arnica Oil can be found in the health and beauty section of most health food stores, often in combination.)
- Cook with Turmeric
- Mix Turmeric with Honey and apply to outbreak overnight (will temporarily stain the skin yellow).
- Cook with Turmeric.
- Drink Dandelion Leaf or Root Tea .
- Give baby a cup of Catnip Tea.
- Let baby chew on a frozen carrot or refrigerated apple.
I’ve always been fascinated by the ways we can stay healthy and treat everyday illnesses at home, and I’ve collected a number of references on herbs and other remedies over the years. A few of my favorites are:
- Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child by Zand, Walton, and Rountree
- Rosemary Gladstar’s Family Herbal.
- Folk Remedies That Work by Joan and Lydia Wilen
What’s your favorite home remedy?