When we made the change to a more natural way of living, our medicine cabinet underwent a major overhaul. We started finding new (and better) ways to treat ailments like the common cold and even the infamous flu.
Now instead of mainstream over the counter medicines, you’ll find alternative, natural remedies lining our shelves. I am far from an expert on the topic, but after studying the topic for many years, I’m slowly but surely adding more and more to my hip pocket by way of treating my family in a safer, and dare I say, better way!
I am often asked how I treat “this” or “that,” and thought it might be helpful to list for you what you’ll find in our home to treat illnesses naturally, especially now that cold and flu season are upon us!
How I Stock My Natural Medicine Cabinet
Vitamins and Other Supplements
I’ve linked to each supplement on Amazon for reference (with my affiliate link). Amazon usually has great prices, but I can usually find my supplements at my local health food store as well.
Cod Liver Oil – This is a supplement for us, but we do not take it every day. It’s loaded with wonderful fats, as well as a nice dose of Vitamins A & D. In the summertime, we find we need this supplement less than we do in the winter time. However, if we hear of something going around, or we get sick, we will take extra doses of Cod Liver Oil.
Liquid Vitamin D – If we aren’t able to get outside for at least 20 minutes a day, we will take a supplement to keep our Vitamin D stores up.
Vitamin C – My husband likes to keep extra Vitamin C tablets on hand for sinuses and when he’s feeling under the weather or just tired. It’s a natural boost for him. We also use Emergen-C for not only the extra dose of Vitamin C but electrolytes as well.
Probiotics – To boost immunity and to help with any stomach troubles.
I buy my herbs in bulk from my local health shop or The Bulk Herb Store. The following are the herbs I keep on hand.
Nettles – Very versatile herb! It helps with arthritis, bleeding, allergies, bladder infections, and more. Nettles is especially helpful for pregnant women. Nettles is high in iron which helps fight anemia and fatigue. It strengthens your baby and helps balance your hormones. It aids in milk production for nursing mothers and is an overall digestive aid. The benefits of nettles is almost endless! We add it to all of our tea mixtures.
Peppermint – Peppermint has so many wonderful uses. It’s an herb I always make sure to keep stocked. It’s wonderful for the digestive system, migraines, and a natural pick me up. It’s very easy to drink and great for children, especially to make other more bitter herbs palatable!
Chamomile – A calming herb, chamomile is great for children! We use chamomile in our toddler’s nightly tincture to help him calm and get ready for sleep. This herb is great for soothing teas.
Red Raspberry Leaf – Red raspberry leaf is most widely known for pregnant women, but it is especially beneficial for women in all stages of life. It’s high in magnesium, iron, potassium, and B vitamins. Red raspberry leaf helps balance the hormones and strengthens the uterus and pelvic bones. It’s said to help shorten labor when taken regularly during pregnancy. My first baby came after only 4.5 hours and my second in a mere 2.5! I took red raspberry leaf in tea form regularly during both pregnancies!
Elderberry – We use this herb a lot during cold and flu season. It helps treat flu like symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, sore throat, etc. It’s a great immune booster and tasty enough for a toddler to handle!
Echinacea – Another herb we take during cold and flu season (usually along with elderberry). Echinacea is especially helpful with the common cold.
Alfalfa – An incredibly beneficial herb. It’s high in B vitamins, A, D, E, and K. It’s also a great source of iron, niacin, biotin, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. In addition it’s a good source of chlorophyll. If you have a family history of lupus, then alfalfa should be avoided. But if not, it’s a great herb to add to a daily tea!
Rosehips – High in Vitamin C this is a great addition to immune boosting teas and tinctures.
Catnip – Another versatile herb! Helps with insomnia, headaches, tummy troubles, cold symptoms, and more. Great for children! It has a calming affect and is mild in flavor so it’s very easy for little ones to take in tea or tincture form.
Garlic – I’ve written an entire post on garlic and its benefits. It’s actually the number one post on Intentional By Grace. Who would have ever thought it?
Cayenne – We use this for cold and flu symptoms and for allergies. Great for circulation!
Calendula Salve – Soothing cream to treat rashes and itchy skin.
Update 2015: Due to laws and regulations, I can’t share what I use these oils for, but I didn’t want to leave them out of the post. I will say that I don’t sell oils or have certain brands that I think are must haves.
Epsom Salt – Great to add to bath for a detoxing effect.
Arnica Spray – Good for joint aches and muscle pain.
Garlic Oil – Great for healing (and preventing) ear infections.
Witch Hazel – A natural astringent, that helps tighten pores and reduce swelling, makes a great facial toner. But we use, or rather, I use witch hazel the most during pregnancy and postpartum recovery. If you deal with hemorrhoids (I know, I know…embarassing), this stuff is like magic. Please do yourself a favor and keep it on hand! I buy mine with aloe vera for the extra soothing effect.
Aloe Vera – Soothing gel for irritated skin, especially sun burns.
Baking Soda – We use this most for bee stings!
Hylands Kids Kit – Hylands Teething is our most used of this bunch. We use this kit almost exclusively to treat ailments like teething and fevers until my babies more readily drink herbal teas and tinctures. After two years, we pretty much exclusively use essential oils and herbs. But between one and two years of age, I reach for this kit.
Hylands Tension Headaches – My husband uses these a lot when he feels a headache coming on.
Calm Forte for Kids – Our toddler has a really hard time calming at night to prepare for sleep. We use this homeopathic remedy to help calm his mind and alleviate night terrors. It works really, really well!
Camilia – A new find for teething relief. This works great with my almost 3 year old. It takes 2-3 doses to get a good effect, but we’ve found these to work better than Hylands recently.
Honey – Local is best to help with season allergies.
Apple Cider Vinegar – We like to make sure we’re using raw apple cider vinegar with the mother.
We are constantly adding new remedies to our cabinets as needed, but the above listed is always in the cabinet. I’ve slowly added this and that through the years as I learn more of the benefits. Don’t think you have to go out and buy everything all at once.
Do you use natural remedies to treat common illnesses and injuries? Tell us about them in the comments!
Other posts you might like:
- How to Naturally Fight the Flu
- My Favorite Herbs to Grow in My Backyard
- 7 Ways to Eat Raw Garlic (Flu Fighting Food)
This post contains my affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure here.