There’s growing interest in herbal remedies and natural healing. More people are waking up to the fact that over-the-counter drugs are marketed aggressively.
The public has been sold on the benefits of chemical cough suppressants and OTC pain relievers. But tall of these medications have potentially serious side effects. This fact, apparently, has been downplayed.
For at least three generations, home remedies have taken a back seat to the pharmaceutical formulas we’ve been led to believe work much better. So we’ve stocked our medicine chests with drugs. Many of us reach for them at the first sign of illness.
Starting a Natural Medicine Cabinet
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Please understand that I’m not a doctor. This means I can’t give medical advice. Also, I can’t promise that any natural remedy will work for you. All I can do is share my favorite natural medicine cabinet essentials, and tell you why I’ve selected them.
This is not a complete and exhaustive list by any means. Instead, it’s a suggestion for people interested in acquiring their first natural remedies. My own natural medicine cabinet is pretty extensive. (Actually, at one point my husband joked that we’d need to build an addition to store all of my herbal teas.)
Natural Remedies Medicine Cabinet
But you can start slowly and expand. To begin, you probably only need a few basic essential oils and a couple of frequently used homeopathic remedies.
If you’re brand new to natural medicine, you will then the joining the 38 percent of adults in the United States who are using alternative and complimentary medicine, according to a 2007 study published by the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health. (Since this study uses figures from more than a decade ago, it’s likely this figure is even higher today.
Europeans also use alternative therapies. However, this varies from country to country. About 40 percent of Germans use natural medicine within a given year. Overall, about 26 percent of Europeans turn to holistic healing within a given year, according to a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health.
Natural medicine is enjoying a revival.
It was the dominant form of medicine since the beginning of time. However, during the 1900’s, holistic healing fell out of favor. That’s when pharmaceuticals were introduced. However, with a renewed interest in plant-based medicine, coupled with the easy exchange of information found on the Internet, herbal formulas, homeopathic remedies and plant-based essential oils have, once again, have come into their own.
Stocking A Natural Medicine Cabinet
Essential oils are great for beginners. They are so easy to use. I’m of the personal opinion that everyone should be armed with an aromatic germ-fighting blend during cold and flu season. Plus, they should have a few other popular essential oils always in stock. For instance, peppermint essential oil is a great natural pain relief remedy.
Lavender essential oil is also a must have. It’s a well-known aromatic sleep remedy and it can also help to heal burns and wounds.
Building a Natural Medicine Cabinet
In my family, we treat our aches, pains, strains and upper respiratory infections with home remedies. (We don’t even own over-the-counter formulations, such as ibuprofen.)
We’ve accumulated our natural medicines slowly, over the last two decades. We now have many different products. Some are more useful than others. Some I rarely touch. Others I use often.
Essentials For a Natural Medicine Cabinet
But for people just beginning to stock a natural medicine cabinet, you can probably get by with just a few remedies. Many of them do double duty. For instance, lavender essential oil can be used for relaxation, insomnia, bug bites, wounds, burns and added to homemade cosmetics.
If I were just beginning to acquire natural remedies, and I could only buy a few things, I’d probably go with a couple of bottles of essential oil. If I had to pick just two, I’d narrow these down to lavender and peppermint essential oil.
Natural Medicine Cabinet Essentials
Peppermint essential oil is considered a good digestive remedy. If I have a throbbing head, this is one of the aromatics I rub on my forehead and temples. I’m also a big fan of germ-fighting essential oil blends. (I use these during cold and flu season.) Here are three types of essential oils I never want to be without.
Plant Therapy Lavender OilPlant Therapy PeppermintPlant Therapy Germ Fighter
Essential Oils For Health
As I mentioned earlier, lavender and peppermint essential oil are two of my “go to” essential oils. They have a myriad of personal care and household uses.
Here are some of the amazing things these aromatics can be used for.
- Peppermint oil mixed with a carrier, such as pure grapeseed oil, quickly dulls my throbbing headache when it’s applied, after being diluted, to the forehead and temples. Relief is almost instantaneous. Plus, it gives me a mental boost when I inhale this intoxicating and comforting scent.
- I often use lavender essential oil to help me sleep. I place a couple of drops on a cloth and then put it near my pillow. It is a very calming oil. It’s also considered good for relieving muscle spasms if you massage it into the part of your body that hurts. Peppermint oil is also thought to be a good muscle spasm remedy. I’ve used both of them together to tame my chronic nerve inflammation. Peppermint and lavender were two of the oils I took on a cross country trip. (I didn’t want to be without them.)
Rescue Remedy Homeopathy
Flower essences are safe and gentle homeopathic remedies made from common wildflowers. This type of healing was developed by British physician Dr. Edward Bach, MD., one of the first modern medical doctors to recognize the mind/body connection.
Dr. Bach, who died in 1936, believed that negative emotions could eventually lead to disease. So he formulated a line of flower essences to correspond and clear these emotional states. Flower essences are infinitely easier to use than regular homeopathic remedies. I don’t need to work with a professional, because it’s so easy to pick the right remedy. By far, his most famous creation is Bach Rescue Remedy which you can see below.
Rescue Remedy Drops Review
Dr. Bach’s Rescue Remedy is a blend of five flowers. Many people swear by this remedy, designed to take the edge off of severe mental stress that suddenly appears, such as when one is confronted with bad news.
In our house, we use Rescue Remedy to treat headaches and minor injuries, such as sprains and muscle pulls.
Some dog owners purchase Rescue Remedy to alleviate their pet’s anxiety before grooming appointments and vet visits. (There’s a special Rescue Remedy formula made just for pets.)
Homeopathic Arnica Montana Uses
When my children were little, we made the decision to go the natural route. So we invested in a basic homeopathic remedy kit.
One of the remedies we used most was homeopathic Arnica montana. That’s because my son was injury prone. He suffered a lot of head bumps. As long as he wasn’t bleeding externally, this was the remedy I’d reach for during the inevitable falls and sports mishaps. (He would take just a couple of doses.) My homeopath told me it’s really important to not take too many doses. Otherwise, the symptoms you are trying to get rid of can increase. So one dose and watch and wait. Only if it’s needed take another.
Using Homeopathic Arnica
Homeopaths who recommend homeopathic Arnica say that it helps with healing, pain, bruising and swelling. If taken immediately after an injury, it’s believed arnica will mitigate some of the effects. My own homeopath tells me to take a remedy just once, and see what happens, and not to repeat the dose unless I feel I need it again.
I was really happy to have had some in the house a few years ago, when I fell while taking a brisk walk and injured my elbow. It was a nasty fall, but I believe it helped me recover faster than I would have otherwise.
Essentials for Natural Medicine Cabinet
The term “Natural Medicine Cabinet” has become really popular in recent years. If you Google it, you’ll see more than 3.8 million results. This seems to reflect the renewed interest in natural healing.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils or herbal or homeopathic remedies unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.
For More Reading
Number of Americans Using Alternative and Complimentary Medicine
Scandinavian Journal of Public Health Study