Stocking Your Natural Herbal Medicine Cabinet

Screen shot 2009-10-20 at 7.22.56 AMPhoto by niachan

Edited and republished from the archives. Originally published 10/20/2009.

We have already been attacked with our first bout of illness for the year with coughs and colds, so it is time to restock the medicine cabinet with our favorite natural remedies. I love using herbal tinctures and remedies for our healing and was eager to share with you what we concluded were some of the best items to have on hand for all the little ailments that could come upon us. I am not apposed to using antibiotics on occasion if it is totally necessary, but for the everyday headaches, wounds, colds, flus, fevers, here is what I have found to be effective natural solutions.

Colds/Congestion

Emergen-C – I have talked previously about our favorite Vitamin C drink Emergen-C here. I like to stock up on this when I get a good deal. Trader Joe’s has a good price on it as well as Vitacost.com. Pumped full of 1000 mg of vitamin C, it also has a good portion of energy boosting B vitamins, in addition to various minerals and electrolytes.  This will keep you healthy or kick out those nasty colds quickly! When we get sick, we will drink several packs of this product daily. It tastes delicious and is a good way to cover up any other herbal tinctures that we may add to it. We use the Kids Emergen-C for our little ones. They normally drink one package each day for boasting the immune system during the winter.

Traditional Medicinals Teas – Gypsy Cold, Breathe Easy, Throat Coat – I love these delicious teas for specifically formulated with various herbs for every ailment. They are delicious, relaxing, and refreshing and really help solve the problem. They also help to encourage you to drink more fluids, which is most beneficial for healing. Amazon sells a sampler pack with subscribe & save discounts providing you with great natural support at low prices all winter long. Their Just for Kids line of teas is wonderful for your little ones.

Eucalyptus Oil – Eucalyptus in it’s essential oil form is wonderful to have on hand as it is highly beneficial. Add a few drops to the humidifier for easier breathing and rub it on the chest to help relieve congestion. We use this for our children especially. Dilute a few drops of oil in a dab of coconut or olive oil and rub on their chest to relieve congestion.

Echinacea/Goldenseal – A great combination to boost your immunity. We take in tablet form. Most do not recommend for pregnant mothers.

And as my mom always says, when the kids are sick, give them regular baths and change their sheets often! Keep those germ bugs running away.

Coughs

Coughs Remedies for Infants & Kids – We have recently discovered the wonderful natural remedies of cough syrups by Hylands and found them to be quite effective for our little ones. It is hard to find something safe for infants, but Hylands offers an infant cough syrup that works very well with all natural ingredients. They also offer a cough syrup for Kids ages 2+ made with honey. These are wonderful to have on hand for those nights when they just cannot go to sleep due to extensive coughing.

Adults – We love the Ricola Cough Drops for soothing coughs and sour throats, in addition to the Traditional Medicinals teas.

For further ideas for natural healing of colds, check out our previous posts:

Natural Cold Remedies for Children

Natural Healing for the Family

Soup Remedy for Colds

Flu/Fever

Elderberry Syrup – Elderberry is anti-viral, contains high levels of flavonoids and antioxidants, has cell-protecting components, soothes sore throats, and supports the immune system and respiratory system. The elderberry is effective in fighting viruses, such as the flu, and upper respiratory infections. According to Prescription for Herbal Healing, “a clinical study of elderberry found that it cured 90 percent of flu infections within seventy-two hours. In the same trial, patients receiving a placebo needed six days.” This is also effective as a cough syrup. We recommend Quantam Elderberry Syrup as it is naturally sweetened with honey or the sugar free version. This is recommended for children over 1 year. A nursing mother can take 1 Tbsp of Elderberry syrup 5 minutes before nursing to pass the benefits on to a infant less than a year old. For infants, Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years, recommends putting 1 drop per pound of body weight directly on a baby’s tongue, or administer while nursing. This book states it is completely harmless and can be given repeatedly as needed to help decrease fevers and the like. You can be taking this regularly as an immune booster as well. Make your own elderberry syrup and save money. Follow this recipe.

Echinacea – To ward off the flu at the first hint of symptoms, take echinacea, an herb with powerful antiviral and immunity-boosting effects, says renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar in her book, Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health. Echinacea is available in most health food stores in supplement form, as a tincture and as a tea. Echinacea works best over a short period of time, and isn’t an effective immune strengthener when taken long term. She suggests using the herb for no more than a week.

For infants, Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Years, recommends mixing 10 drops of Echinacea in a four ounce bottle of water. Allow baby to suck this as desired to keep a fever in bounds. A mother can also take a dose of 5-15 drops two to three times daily that will pass through the breast milk to protect the infant.

Calming Children, Teething

Catnip Tea – A combination of catnip and chamomile is a great aid in calming children when dealing with various stress, teething, pain, etc. Traditional Medicinals offers a catnip tea as well as Mountain Rose Herbs (the Quiet Child Tea) that we enjoy. You can freeze this tea in ice cube trays and allow a baby to suck on it for teething relief. I also dilute it a bit and offer it to a baby in a bottle if needed. Hylands also sells Teething Tablets that are semi-effective. I’ve also had people recommend a drop of brandy rubbed on the gums does the trick. I have yet to try this method. ;)

When all else fails and baby just can’t sleep, we do use a small dose of Infant Advil dye-free drops for teething and fevers.

Ear Ache

Garlic OilThis is a good recipe to use as a preventative as well! Press 2-3 garlic cloves in 2 Tablespoons olive oil. Let warm on stove for 15-20 minutes. Strain garlic from oil. Lay child on side and drop 2-3 drops of garlic oil in ear and massage lower outer ear for a few minutes. Wait for half hour or so before doing the other side so oil won’t drain out. 3-4 times daily. You can also buy a garlic oil already prepared for you. Make sure to use this homemade tincture right away or store in the refrigerator for up to one weeks time to avoid any safety risks. Please DO NOT store at room temperature.

Muscle Pains/Aches

Arnica Spray - Arnica is highly valued for sprains and bruises when the skin is not broken. Can help prevent bruising if applied quickly. Great relief for sour muscles. Also available in several other forms, as a tincture and in ointments, it makes an excellent treatment for rheumatism and some skin irritations as well. We use Hyland’s Arnica Spray.

Headaches/Nausea

Hylands Headaches – Hyland’s Headache is a traditional homeopathic formula for the relief of symptoms of head pain due to stress and sick or nervous headache. No side affects but rather natural healing response. Safe for adults and children. Take at the first sign of a headache for best results.

Ginger Tea - Ginger’s wonderful effects as a treatment for nausea have led it to be highly recommended for sea sickness or motion sickness as well. Ginger tea is very settling. A great aid for pregnancy nausea as well.

Stress

Rescue RemedyBach’s Rescue Remedy is a natural form of healing for everyday stress and help maintain control in your body. Homeopathic remedy. Composite of five of the flower remedies discovered by Dr. Edward Bach. Rescue Remedy calms the nerves, eases tension, buffers emotional shock, and combats stress. You can use this on your pets as well under the guidance of a holistic veterinarian. Crisis Calm from NaturoKits is also a great stress reliever. Our favorite tea for stress relief is Tension Tamer.

Herbal Healing Salts - My favorite way to relieve stress, muscle pain, or to heal any wounds, is to take a hot bath with a combination of herbal healing salts. Epsom salts is in this combination as well. But with the addition of lavender and other herbs it is very relaxing.I use the herbal bath salts from Mountain Rose Herbs and absolutely love them (they are on sale in October as well)! They help to relax me in order to sleep well.

Cuts, Bruises, Muscle Pain

Epsom Salts – Excellent for soaking a small open wound to prevent infection. Use daily as a soak for warts as well. It really works! These are also effective after childbirth to heal the vaginal area. These are cheap and available at your local supermarket.

Hydrogen Peroxide – A great antiseptic. Pour directly onto a wound to clear out dirt and fight infection. Cover with band aid.

Witch Hazel – Witch Hazel is one of the most widely used first aid remedies, both for its astringent and blood clotting actions. Use distilled Witch Hazel as a compress for minor burns and sprains, or apply directly to the skin for insect bites, nosebleeds and cuts. Witch Hazel also makes a good skin toner.

Super Glue & Butterfly Band-Aids – Butterfly band-aids and super glue are a must for the slighter deeper cuts as well. Saves you from getting stitches and prevent scaring. We used it all the time growing up with deeper cuts on the head or fingers. Use your discernment as to the deepness of the cut. Aaron gashed his finger a few months back which was definitely deeper than a regular band-aid would heal. So we cleaned it out with hydrogen peroxide, and then held the gash shut with our fingers and applied a thin strip of super glue  and covered with a butterfly band-aid. I cannot say how natural super glue but it was designed originally to quickly patch up soldiers on the battlefield during the Vietnam War. They even used it to glue lacerated livers together (lovely, huh?). I did find reference to it being non-toxic though. It does seals the cut and allows it to heal beautifully! We saved ourselves from many hospital trips growing up by using this simple frugal method. For more on this solution, read Super Glue: Safe for Treating Cuts? and How To Use Superglue for Cuts.

Stomach aches

Papaya Enzymes are a chewable digestive aid that is 100% natural. Each serving contains papaya fruit. Pepermint and chlorophyll are added to refresh and sweeten breath, so it is also a great breath refreshener! We love these chewable tablets! They really work! I usually use only two for myself when needed and one tablet for children.

Burns

Aloe Vera – The one to turn to for burns and skin irritations of all types. When you can, using a piece of live plant. Break off a leaf and rub it directly onto the skin for relief of burn, sunburn or poison ivy. Not for internal use.

I also love the Wild Weed Salve in the NaturoKits First Aid kits that works wonders for burns of every kind.

Baking Soda – for quick relief of the pain of a burn (as in receiving a burn in the kitchen), dash a little bit of baking soda on the burn. Love it!

Other items and supplements…

Lastly, we all take cod liver oil daily for it’s omega-3 content and naturally occurring vitamin A and D, which are also wonderful immune boosting aids. Cod liver oil is excellent for overall health and wholeness. We use the Nordic Naturals brand as recommended by my naturopath. Aaron takes the EPA version, I take the DHA version (more suitable for pregnancy, nursing, and female hormone balancing) and our baby and kids take Childlife Cod liver oil. I give the children a natural liquid multi-vitamin especially in the winter as a preventative. We use PediVites (also recommended by our naturopath due to it’s completely pure contents). Beyond that, we don’t take any other supplements.

Looking for a good reference guide for natural healing? An excellent resource that every family should have on hand to use as a guide for natural healing is the Prescription for Nutritional Healing: A Practical A to Z Reference to Drug Free Remedies. We use this book all the time and it is the only one I keep on hand for frequent use!

Further Reading:

Natural Insomnia Help

Hay Fever Homemade Allergy Tonic

Boosting Baby & Toddlers Immune System Naturally

5 Natural Medicine Cabinet Essentials

Those are the items in our medicine cabinet! Take stock of what you have for now is the time to prepare for the winter cold/flu season! These items will save you doctor’s bills because many basic sicknesses can be solved naturally at home.

Most of these items recommended above can be found very reasonably at Vitacost. Some links above to Amazon are affiliate links and we do receive a small percentage of the sales made through our links.

Disclaimer: As always, remember that I am not a doctor and offer these recommendations from my own personal experience and research into natural healing. Please double check with your naturopath/holistic practitioner before using any of these suggestions. Find a naturopath for the health and wholeness of your family!

Do you have any recommendations for natural healing that you would like to add to the list?

 

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

166 Responses to Stocking Your Natural Herbal Medicine Cabinet

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  2. Donna Randolph March 15, 2013 at 6:27 am #

    Thanks for this, I really appreciate what you have done here. Keep it up, and I will be back for more.

  3. JD November 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

    In advance of the cold weather that will eventually hit us here in North Texas, I am currently harvesting my gotu kola, dandelion roots, jiaogulan, marshmallow and holy basil for tincturing.

    All represent various preventative supplementation, especially the adaptogens gotu kola and jiaogulan.

    The Bell Back 400 (as in feet, not acres) is ready for Winter. I chronicle my adventures in the garden at http://www.mylifeinthedirt.com.

  4. sarah November 14, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

    hi~ love your website and list! ^_^
    just wanted to add the best remedy for burns that i have ever seen is mustard! my parents own a restaurant and one of the older chef ladies taught them this remedy and my dad’s put his whole arm/hand in the fryer on busy days and he covered his hand/arm in mustard and wrapped it up with plastic wrap until the mustard dried up and there wasn’t even a trace of burn on his arm.. use it all the time and it’s the best! it’s definitely the fastest and the relief is immediate! you can feel the heat being pulled out..

  5. Tessa November 14, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    WishGarden Herbs has a whole line of herbal tincture blends for the whole family. Specific herbal blends target symptoms and help your body naturally fight off illness. My children suffer from growing pains and the WishGarden Growing Pains blend works wonderfully. I have also had success with their blends that are specific to sinus issues, fever, cold and flu, etc. WishGarden is a small, family owned business whose herbs are responsibly cultivated or ethically wild harvested. Check us out. http://www.wishgardenherbs.com

    Tessa Wood
    Online manager of the Children’s Line for WishGarden Herbs

  6. Daisy November 2, 2012 at 10:02 am #

    Emergen-C is not a good choice either. The first ingredient is Fructose. The last thing you need when you are sick is any type of sugar. It actually slows your recovery. They also add even more sugar as the third ingredient. Natural flavors (which aren’t so natural at all, created in a lab), aspartic acid, and maltodextrin (another way to get the sweet into your C) are a few of the chemicals sickness can do without.
    There are much better natural choices to get your C, including Rosehips which contain more C than other herbs and food, and Hibiscus. Also, the citrus peels are high in C (only organic so you aren’t getting chemicals) as is Raw milk.

    Emergen-C uses absorbic acid as one of their ways to get the C in. This is a synthetic form of Vitamin C, which acts more like a drug in your body and not natural at all.

    And to make matters worse, the maltodextrin in their product is made from Genetically modified corn.
    Avoid this product at all cost. Children should never be given this. Ever.

  7. Daisy November 2, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    Echinacea and Goldenseal are not a good combination to take together. First of all, goldenseal is considered a “no pick” herb. It takes 8 years to grow. It’s over-harvested and used inappropriately.
    At the first sign of a cold you can use Echinacea, not Goldenseal.

    Goldenseal is very specific for immune activity at the mucus membrane level. It’s better for sinus infections or deeper rooted lung infections. You never use it at the first sign of a cold or bronchitis. You use it only when your bronchitis lingers. It’s used more for back up or the “clean-up crew.” It’s very rare that you would need to use these two herbs together.

    Echinacea at the beginning of cold, Goldenseal in the middle.

    Because of the alkaloids you don’t want to use Goldenseal for a long time. It’s not safe during pregnancy or nursing.

    • Daisy November 2, 2012 at 9:35 am #

      And children should only use Goldenseal in drop dosage.

  8. Lindsey North October 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm #

    You know instead of buying the Traditional Medicines Tea you can mix your own. Great way to be a bit more frugal or if you can’t make it to the store for whatever reason. Many herbs you have on hand for cooking can be used. For example whenever my kids have sore throats and runny noses I throw all spice, cinnamon, flax seeds, ginger, and sage into a pot with water and bring it to a boil then let it steep for about a half hour. Then I add plenty of honey and serve it up. The kids love it and it helps with sniffles, sore throats and is relaxing. Just Google herbals and you’ll find your pantry probably already contains just what you need for what ails you. Just brew responsibly, do your homework, especially if preggo.

  9. Monica October 26, 2012 at 6:48 am #

    Thank you Lindsay for such a comprehensive resource. Someone shared this with me. Here’s a link I like:

    http://www.babycenter.com/0_how-to-get-an-hour-back-every-day_10347621.bc

  10. Ambra October 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm #

    Thanks for the awesome list!! Great ideas on here! I use essential oils to prevent and combat colds and flu and they work amazingly well. Also, lavender essential oil takes the burn out of a burn almost instantly. It’s amazing stuff that has been given to us by God to enable us to heal ourselves! I would caution people to be careful about where they get their essential oils. You want them to be 100% pure, organic, and strictly tested so that what you are putting on or in your body is the best possible and most potent. I personally use and love doTERRA because of that. Love your site Lindsay!

  11. Julie October 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm #

    Great list Lindsay! I’m adding some things to my list of ‘must haves’ for the winter!
    The only thing that I would add is ‘Easy Now’ tea from “Traditional Medicinals’…just saying “I NEED A CUP OF EASY NOW” is enough to make me chuckle and start to de-stress even before I get the water heated! ;>)
    One caveat to the super glue wound remedy is that if you see swelling after gluing…try to re-open the wound even a little bit, bandage it and get to an urgent care/ER. My DH cut his thumb with a Dremel and it puffed up after he glued it….I made him go to the urgent care and it turned out he had cut a small vein and needed it cauterized. If he would have waited until the morning, he would have been in the operating room in serious trouble.

  12. Valerie October 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Great list! The only two things I would add are:

    Garlic socks for babies, toddlers, kids who won’t eat garlic. Smash up a clove, stir in a tablespoon of coconut oil, pour into two ziploc bags, put one on each foot, preferably having just soaked in warm water to open the pores. Then just put a couple tighter socks on each foot and try to keep ‘em on all day or night!

    We have done this for years and it significantly shortens the duration of any infection. I think when my oldest two were little, they got a cold on a Tuesday and I was desperate to get them well before the weekend for some important event. I thought, how in the world can I get nature’s most potent anti-viral/bacterial/fungal substance in their bloodstream without them tasting it and gagging? I decided that between the toes is the most untouched skin surface on their bodies and just gave it a try. They were completely well by Friday. Then I googled it and lo and behold, others do this too!! Works wonders on tiny little babies too.

    The other thing we use at the first sign of infection, especially tummy bugs, is bentonite clay, liquid. It is ionically charged or something and grabs the nasty little bugs quickly.

    Great post, great comment thread, love learning here! :D

  13. watchmom3 October 12, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    This is a great post! I want to add that my family was exposed to the flu by some little ones that we babysit. They had just taken the flumist…Happy to say that our immune systems kept us from going all the way down and the 3 of us were back to normal within a few days and really just had to rest and eat right to fight it completely off! (Of course, we don’t take vaccines, so I am happy that we all have antibodies now..) Let me mention that I have been studying on the vaccine issue for years and I am convinced that this is a money making deal and does not stop flu, in fact, since they use a live virus..it spreads it! Don’t take my word for it. Do your own research and all you savvy herbalist moms, keep doing what you are doing! It works! 29 years in healthcare and I have learned a few things! Thanks and God bless!

  14. This is an excellent list, Lindsay! We have used many of these remedies at home, ourselves.

    The Elderberry syrup is definitely a must have for flu season. Also, Mullein, Red clover, and Elecampane are great for coughs. And adding Marshmallow Root and/or Slippery Elm to a tea really helps soothe a sore throat that can result from a cough.

    Another thing I would add to any blend when ill and also to prevent illness is immune boosting herbs, such as Astragalus and Olive Leaf.

    One last thing is nourishing herbs such as Nettle and Alfalfa. A nourished body heals faster and avoid illness more.

    We use our Tummy Tamer blend for stomach ailments, our Lively Lungs blend for coughs, and our Immune Improve blend to build immunity – we take that one often during flu season!

    Great article!

    Nickole

  15. Ariel October 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    Lindsay, what natural remedies did you find safe and effective during pregnancy?

    • Lindsay October 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      Everything listed above is perfectly safe during pregnancy to the best of my knowledge. I can’t recall any thing that is unsafe.

      • Daisy November 2, 2012 at 10:09 am #

        Goldenseal is not perfectly safe during pregnancy and should be avoided during nursing as well. Please know what you are taking about before making these kind of blanket statements. You are making us real herbalists look bad. There is too much incorrect information on the net and people can get really sick.

        • Lindsay November 3, 2012 at 6:08 am #

          I did have a warning note under the goldenseal recommendation.

          • Daisy November 3, 2012 at 12:55 pm #

            You did, but when asked you said something different. Obviously, the above poster didn’t notice your warning sign since she had to ask.

  16. Sheri October 12, 2012 at 11:06 am #

    Thanks for this list, it is good to have all this info in one place :) I am wondering what flavors of Emergen-C you like best. Last year I bought a generic strawberry and it was really disgusting. I couldn’t even drink one cup. I don’t want to spend more money on it until i know which flavors are better. Thanks!

    • Lindsay October 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm #

      We prefer the raspberry flavor the best.

    • Daisy November 2, 2012 at 9:21 am #

      I would totally pass on the Emergen-C. It is just packed with sugar and you don’t need any excess sugar when you are sick. Rose hips are extremely high in C and would be a much better alternative.

  17. Trudy Callan October 12, 2012 at 5:46 am #

    Thank you for all of these wonderful tips. I have six children; so I am always looking for natural remedies for them.

  18. Mary October 12, 2012 at 3:23 am #

    This is awesome, thank you!! I would add that EGG WHITES on a burn is a miracle worker. For real. You mix a bit of egg white with water and coat the burn. Let it dry and apply several coats. It is phenomenal how it relieves the pain and how much more quickly the burn heals!!

  19. Sheila Falconer August 13, 2012 at 5:50 am #

    Warning — Garlic in oil can produce botulism. See http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/food-aliment/garlic-ail-eng.php

    • Lindsay August 13, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

      I added the clarification that it needs to be refrigerated and used within one week or discarded. Thanks for letting me know!

  20. Iryna Arute June 23, 2012 at 8:38 am #

    Lindsay, thank you for providing such a wonderful resource! I’ve been reading bits and pieces about natural remedies, but it’s helpful to find a place that has a description of an actual collection of things to have on hand and ways to use them. I do have a couple of questions for you. I was wondering if you have any good suggestions for natural remedies for menstrual cramps specifically (other than a heating pad). Secondly, I was wondering if there are any good books/resources you could recommend for futher reading about natural remedies (I am hoping for one good book that I can keep on my shelf and go to for reference when needed). And finally, I have done a lot of searching to find out what types of natural remedies like the ones you describe are safe to use during pregnancy, and so far did not have much luck on that. So, anything you could comment about that would be super helpful! Thanks again!! Iryna.

    • Lindsay October 11, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

      I can’t say I have any natural healing suggestions for cramps…I normally just use Ibuprofen. Sorry. I added a recommendation above for the natural healing book that we love and reference all the time.

      • Michelle October 12, 2012 at 3:32 am #

        I have heard that wine can actually help with menstrual cramps, I’ve never tried it though.

    • Sarah October 12, 2012 at 6:41 am #

      Look into oil of evening primrose… My sister and I just started taking it for this issue.

    • Ambra October 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

      Iryna, there is an essential oil blend made by doTERRA called Solace. It comes in a roll-on bottle and it is awesome for cramps!! It’s got clary sage, lavender, roman chamomile and several others. You just swipe it on your lower stomach, rub it in, breathe it in and relax and it works wonders for cramps and bloating! I very rarely need to use ibuprofen or tylenol for cramps now. Oh, and putting a heating pad on after the oil is like heaven!

    • Daisy November 2, 2012 at 9:24 am #

      Crambark, Vitex berries and Motherwort.

      Good books: Anything by Rosemary Gladstar or Susun Weed.

  21. Camy November 21, 2011 at 4:54 am #

    Great list. I would also recommend onion juice for earaches/infections. It doesn’t have the noxious garlic odor, and is not as messy as garlic oil. I take an onion, slice it, and grate a small amount on a plate. Tilt the plate slightly while pressing the onion with the back of a spoon. The juice will run down the plate. Keep it tilted so the juice doesn’t mix back into the onion pulp. I take an eyedropper and suck up the reserved juice. 2-3 drops in the ear and then plug with a cotton ball. This remedy has worked well for our family of 10. Blessings!

  22. Cynthia Carlson September 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    Have you tried Herbs for Kids Temp Assure for a temperature instead of the Tylenol? Their other products have been great for us, especially the Willow Bark/Garlic Oil ear one.

    http://www.vitacost.com/Herbs-For-Kids-Temp-Assure

  23. Jackie September 23, 2011 at 9:52 am #

    Hi Lindsay! I absolutely love love love this site. It’s pretty much one of the only sites I spend my time reading. I think you are such a positive force in the world and you have helped me in so many ways! I just wanted to give you an fyi that I just read that hydrogen peroxide is now considered not the best way to treat a cut or injury. The foaming that you see is it “killing” germs but it also is destroying the leukocytes needed for healing. The article recommends saline as it kills germs but not white blood cells. Just passing it along but wish I could find the article to cite it for you! Thanks again….keep up the amazing work!!!

  24. mr miller September 3, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Wow…you are obviously a talented blogger ! Keep up the great work !

  25. Nikki May 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    Nettle and the current season’s local honey for allergies.

  26. Heidi May 12, 2011 at 4:46 am #

    Jewelweed soap makes the oil come out of poison ivy and cuts our experience in half timewise. Also it makes it not itch for a while after applying.

    I use odorless garlic gelcaps every day on my whole family (no side effects and completely safe for preggo and babies) for the most amazing preventative ever!! We never have the stomach flu anymore!! And we have 5 kids to share the germs. It is antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. Good stuff. I buy Harvest Health brand, but they are local to me and I’m not sure how easy it is to order off the Internet.

  27. Heather January 19, 2011 at 5:17 am #

    Did you give Vitamin D supplement to Titus while breastfeeding? If so, what do you recommend?

    Thanks!

    • Lindsay January 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

      No. I did some liquid infant multi-vitamin supplement off and on that i picked up in the natural section at Fred Meyer’s, but I was never consistent.

  28. Hannah December 14, 2010 at 10:46 am #

    This remedy for bruises is a little strange, but my bishop’s wife swore on it. As soon as you notice an injury that could become a bruise, rub salt mixed with butter on the skin, and it won’t bruise as badly.

  29. Janette November 24, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    Thank you so much for the info about super glue. My daughter was running, fell and split her bottom lip open. We thought we were going to have to take her to the ER to get a few stitches but I remembered the tip about super glue so my husband glued her lip back together and she is doing fine. Everyone with kids remember this tip about super glue as you never know when you will need it. It really does work!

  30. Alicia November 13, 2010 at 1:36 am #

    Growing up – and now used for my own kids – the best thing we have found that works for fevers is this:

    Take about 5 slices of raw potato and immerse it in white distilled vinegar with a dash of salt. Mix around and let it set for a couple of minutes. Starting at the corner, fold a bandana and arange the slices on it. Tie it onto the forehead. The fever is usually gone within 20 minutes. This has always worked for us better than any medicine on the shelf and my kids have used this for over 9 years.

    *The vinegar smell can be overwhelming at first but it eventually evaporates. Remove the bandana when fever has broke and the forehead is cool to the touch!

  31. Christy C. November 8, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    I highly recommend emu oil for burns. It is amazing stuff.

  32. ~M October 28, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    Actually, my OB nixed the elderberry as it contains 20-something percent alcohol. When I had an awful sore throat last week, I drank a lot of apple cider vinegar + really raw honey + warm water and that helped a lot. So did gargling with salt water and lemon honey water and homemade chicken soup. A humidifier is always good too.

  33. Meredith October 27, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    I am 34 weeks pregnant and feel a cold coming on. What is best and acceptable to take while pregnant to help me fight it?

    • Lindsay October 27, 2010 at 7:58 pm #

      Elderberry Syrup and Emergen-C would be my choices!

      • ~M October 28, 2010 at 7:47 am #

        Actually, my OB nixxed the elderberry as it contains 20-something percent alcohol. When I had an awful sore throat last week, I drank a lot of apple cider vinegar + really raw honey + warm water and that helped a lot. So did gargling with salt water and lemon honey water and homemade chicken soup. A humidifier is always good too.

        • Meredith October 28, 2010 at 8:12 am #

          Thank you!! I had read some conflicting things about both, but none from very reliable sources. I drank apple cider vinegar and honey yesterday and it really helped! Thanks so much for your input!

        • Lindsay October 28, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

          Actually, homemade elderberry syrup is alcohol free.

  34. Reidun October 26, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    We use psyllium husks for both constipation and diarrhea. Somehow they regulate the consistency of the stool and if it is too hard they make it softer, and if it is too soft they make it harder. (Sorry to be gross!) It has a gelatin-like consistency when added to water that does this.

    • Brenda July 1, 2011 at 3:01 pm #

      Chia seeds also work in the same way for constipation and they seem to be a little easier on the sensitive stomachs.

  35. Katie Dickinson July 28, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    Our families’ $.02 and arsenal of remedies:

    I carry a small plastic jar of candied ginger in my first aid kit in my purse for nausea. My kids also use Sea Bands for motion sickness if we are on a windy road.
    A bath with baking soda (3/4 cup per half bathtub) is what our pediatrician recommends to help with yeast infections/rashes.
    We use Fels-Naptha for poison ivy.
    We like duct tape overnight for warts! Put duct tape over warts a few nights in a row and the wart will go away!
    Constipation: add apricot nectar or corn syrup (I know, refined) to fluids and meals. Sugar and fat increase transit time for bowels, our G.I. Dr. says cut back on the roughage, prunes and bran??? These things create MORE stool (which can be healthy) but they do not soften it and contribute to motility. In desperation, there is always caffeine.
    Pectin relieves sore throats.
    We have a homemade boo-boo comfort kit (mainly gives kids something to do instead of scream.) Special homemade wipes, ice pack cozies, ear muffs (to protect ears from screaming and add an element of silliness,) a stopwatch to time how long until the endorphins arrive at the boo boo (my kids picture endorphins as little firemen who live in the brain and travel on demand to emergencies in our bodies,) and fun reusable bandages are in a box on the first floor. Kids know just what to do when they are hurt, and it is becoming a fun tradition I hope they will remember fondly.

    Not-so-natural remedies: lidocaine ointment: either purchase at pharmacy counter, or in the “hair removal” section of the drug store, look for “Bikini Zone.” Strange, I know, but it is pure lidocaine. This will dull any ouchies, aid in splinter removal, or a tiny bit on a q-tip and gently applied to the ear canal can dull pain from infections.
    Zofran – 2-4mg solutabs are amazing. This drug (ondansetron) is a miracle for relieving nausea and vomiting. My doctors promote its use as it prevents dehydration, and does not have the side effects of predecessors like Compazene, Phenergen and Reglan. You can get a tablet form, but the ones you place under the tongue for rapid relief are amazing when you can’t keep anything down. Also no suppositories! It is a prescription-only drug at this point, but our PCP gave us a script with refills to keep it on hand. There is little risk of overdose (he compared its threat level to Maalox.) Apparently the FDA will be making the 2 mg. tabs OTC soon. I am told that nausea and vomiting will eventually become manageable with Zofran.

    I hope no one is offended by my not-natural advice. I am not a doctor or nurse. I just have 3 special medical needs boys and spend a lot of time researching the medical world.

    Blessings! Katie

    http://www.kdthreads.wordpress.com – meet your online sewing tutor!

    • elaine September 8, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

      Please tell me how you use the Fels-Naptha for poison ivy – I’ve got a daughter that is struggling with it right now and we are trying everything!! Thanks!!

      • Brenda July 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm #

        I don’t know how to use the Fels Naptha but Echinesea capsules for 10 days 3 times a day took good care of our group home boys who roamed the woods and staved off a number of other cases of which we have been aware.I had a son with a complete body case of poison ivy. An elderly friend told me to put honey on it and he was clear completely in a week. The doc had recommended cortisone shots-which were a no-no in our family. Again not a doctor but have done a lot of parenting-5 kids, 6 grands and a mulittude of kids as group home parents.

  36. Lark July 27, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    In reference to your cod liver oil supplements — I was curious about the NN DHA version that you mention taking (b.c it’s more suitable for pregnancy, nursing, and female hormone balancing). I went to the vitacost link to view the ‘supplement facts’ (which is different from what is found on the NN website) and was surprised to see that cod liver was NOT actually listed — rather, purified deep sea fish oil (from anchovies and sardines) is listed. So while there is clearly DHA + EPA in this formula it appears as though it is not from cod liver oil. I also assume this means it is lacking in Vits. A & D. Could you please confirm that this is the formula you take and if so, why, if it does not in-fact contain cod liver oil?
    The children’s DHA formula you link to DOES specifically mention containing purified arctic cod liver oil. Thanks!

  37. Shirlee Oneal July 26, 2010 at 8:47 am #

    http://www.iherb.com is a great place to buy good quality vitamins at a great price. I use Carlson very finest fish oil liquid lemon flavor great taste no burps, good quality company.

  38. Faith July 12, 2010 at 5:56 pm #

    Have you ever heard of Dr.Schulze’s SuperFood Plus powder? He has wonderful organic products!

  39. Carrie June 11, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    Do you still recommend the Nordic Naturals DHA fish oil? I’ve read many other blogs saying that the Blue Ice Fermented cod liver oil is the best for you, so I’m curious why you don’t take that. Could you say more on why you use what you do? I’m not liking the price tag on the blue ice CLO. Thanks! :)

    • Lindsay June 11, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

      Yes, I still use Nordic Naturals. The Blue Pastures is the best for you due to the fermentation process but it is absolutely disgusting and none of us can keep it down. It is such a strong fish flavor and yes, the price is very high (on top of the high shipping too!). The NN brands is the next best thing from my research as it is pure, no additives, and comes in capsule form which is far easier to take. I concluded that it was better to take NN then no cod liver oil at all. That is the only supplement we take.

      • Carrie June 12, 2010 at 7:42 am #

        Have you and your family ever try the capsules? We got the FCLO/butter-oil gel and WOW disgusting is right. I’m going to try and make it into capsules so we don’t waste it, but I definitely can’t tolerate the taste. We have yet to try the cinnamon tingle flavor that everyone else seems to tolerate okay. But the capsules we don’t mind at all. I got them here http://www.building-health.com/blue-ice™-fermented-cod-liver-oil-non-gelatin-capsules-120-p-70.html for only $30 (you could get two bottles and get free shipping) and the price is actually pretty much the same ($0.50/serving) as what you are taking. I’m not sure how much DHA is in the Blue Ice FCLO though, I just sent a message to the company to inquire.

        • Jen September 8, 2010 at 11:56 am #

          I learned on an autism board that the only cod liver oil that does not contain soy is the Green Pastures brand. All others, including Carlson’s and Nordic Naturals, have soy-derived vit. E (tocopherols). The fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend is superior to plain cod liver oil based off of the research by Dr. Weston A. Price. We’ve tried the FCLO/BO in chocolate cream – beyond disgusting. We actually ended up throwing the whole thing out, minus 4 servings, b/c it was so gross and no one we knew would even take it and my daughters cried the second time I tried to give it to them. However, we then ordered the cinnamon tingle, which was totally fine. It tasted like the little cinnamon imperial candies. I cannot deal with fish period and I was totally ok with the cinnamon one.

          • Lindsay September 8, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

            Good to hear. Yes, I knew the Green Pastures was the preferred option, but we also tried the chocolate cream and it was so gross and yet so expensive, I haven’t ventured to try another. Glad to hear the cinnamon tingle is good. Thanks!

        • Valerie October 12, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

          It is gross, but mix a little spoonful of Nutella with it and it won’t be wasted! :D

  40. Kate May 7, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    I just heard this the other day from a friend. Her fiance’ gives makes a “tea” w/fresh ginger at the first sign of a cold/flu to himself and his kids. it’s not the best tasting but it works wonders. No coughs, sore throats anything!

  41. Jenny May 4, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    One thing about cod liver oil – there are new studies coming out that show that the ratio of Vitamins A and D is not ideal, with too much Vitamin A and too little D, which apparently can be dangerous. Our family has converted to taking Vitamin D3, in super concentrated drops (2000 units per drop). The recommended daily dose is about 1 to 2000 I.U.’s, but most naturopathic dr’s recommend more. So we take about 8 to 10000 units daily. It really boosts our immune systems and makes a huge difference for us in the winter (we live in Alaska). I don’t know if you follow Dr. Mercola, but he has some good explanations on his website about the dangers of cod liver oil.

  42. Michele M November 2, 2009 at 10:34 am #

    Lindsay,

    Is elderberry is capsule form as effective as the syrup?

    • Brenda July 1, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

      We used to make our own syrup but ran out one year and used the capsules. I found that Blue Bonnett was very effective, Swanson’s works well to ward off the flu at first indication. Hope this helps. Our elderberries have been scarce lately and they say not to use ones by the road as they have toxic fumes overload.

  43. Tammy Jo October 27, 2009 at 8:29 pm #

    Lindsay,

    I have shared your blog with all my homeschool friend and food co-op ladies! Thank you for being such a blessing to our family! I scrolled down through the list of comments but I don’t think you mentioned where you buy each item in your medicine cabinet. Do you buy most everything from Vitacost? Essential oils? I was going to purchase some of your reccommendations,but I wanted to be frugal in the process. I thought you would be the best place to ask!

    On a side note, I have treated my children (some now adults) for almost 20 years with garlic oil! It works! In fact, I just finished treating our 8 year old with it this week!

    • Lindsay October 28, 2009 at 7:52 am #

      I bought the majority of items from Vitacost, including the essential oils. The throat spray and teas, I buy through Mountain Rose Herbs. I also bought the bath salts through MRH.

    • Debra E October 12, 2012 at 7:54 am #

      I just wanted to comment on a source for essential oils. doTERRA is the brand I use and it is expensive compared to other essential oils BUT it is potent and pure. Not only are they organic (no pesticides, chemicals or additives) but they test each batch to make sure it is potent and contains all the compounds it is supposed to. No other company goes through this strict standard that I am aware of. All doTERRA’s oils are Certified Pure Theraputic Grade. Essential oils are not well regulated and can legally say they are 100% pure but only contain 15% actual essential oil and the rest fillers. If you are serious about using essential oils then go with a potent one that will really work well for whatever ailment you are treating. So yes they are expensive but you will end up using less of the product becase it works so well! There are also a couple ways of purchasing your essential oils through doTERRA at a discounted rate and the ways are extremely reasonable (this coming from frugal person as well).

  44. April October 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    My step mother has had trouble with ear infections and shared this with me…

    A natural mixture to prevent an ear infection (or help at least) is equal parts rubbing alcohol and equal parts white vinegar. I place it in a container to keep in the bathroom closet and shake before using.

    Turn your head to the side, or lay your child on your lap and use a medicine dropper to drop a few drops in your/their ear. Let it sit for a little bit and then tip your head the other way onto a cloth to drain. Repeat for the other ear. The alcohol dries up any liquid in the ear and the vinegar fights the infection or the other way around, either way it works! :)

    It does not sting and is great to do when your kids get a cold or are teething just as a precaution.

    Thank you for your blog it is truly a blessing in my life!

  45. Amy October 27, 2009 at 5:01 am #

    RAW HONEY…the best thing ever for burns. A few years ago, when my youngest daughter was three. She was running and fall into the woodstove that was burning hot! She caught herself going all the way with the palm of her left hand. When I picked her up the skin on that hand looked like melted wax. It was all hanging in one pile. It was gross and it was bad. She was screaming in pain. I remembered reading about honey. So I grabbed the raw honey and applied it. Wrapped it up and waited for my husband who was on his way home from work to take us to the ER. We never went. When he got home 15 minutes later, it already looked a lot better and she calmed down within in 1 minute of applying the honey. We kept it covered for about a week only putting fresh honey and bandages on in the morning and evening. Never did we wash anything off. We just added liberal amounts of honey and rewrap. Two weeks later, you could not tell that she had ever been burned. I tried it myself when I had a terrible steam burn and it worked wonders.

    • Lindsay October 27, 2009 at 8:40 am #

      What a great tip! Thanks for sharing!

    • Michelle October 17, 2010 at 8:27 am #

      Amazing! I will have to remember that remedy.