5 must-have items for a natural medicine cabinet

5 must have items for a natural medicine cabinet

Has this been an exceptionally sickly season, or is it just me? I feel like every time I turn around someone is talking about how sick their family is: whether it be strep throat, colds, stomach bugs, or even pinkeye, it seems this season has been rough for many. When myself or someone in my family begins to feel a little off, I turn to my natural methods and for many, many ailments, we are able to avoid the doctor and prescription medications!

Here are my five favorite remedies to keep on hand year-round.

1. Garlic

This stuff is potent and not just to your nasal passages. Garlic is both antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial. I use this at the first sign of a sore throat, runny nose, or general dreariness. It is also an effective remedy for hand, foot, and mouth disease, e. coli and salmonella! Garlic is most effective when consumed in a raw state, so mix a clove or two with some grass-fed butter and slather it on a piece of sourdough (or if you are daring, just swallow pieces whole). Additionally, you can crush up a clove or two and mix it with coconut oil, spread on the bottoms of your feet (for quick absorption) and put socks on. This is safe for children and adults and you will be amazed at how quickly it works!

2. Raw Honey

(Not to be confused with the processed honey that you can find at any local grocery store. It needs to be raw and if possible, local.) Raw honey, in addition to being delicious, is antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial and is loaded with powerful antioxidants. It can be used for sore throats, indigestion, colds, seasonal allergies, and topically for skin abrasions and burns. Administering raw honey is a breeze: just add a spoonful to hot tea or…eat it straight from the spoon (I have been know to hide pieces of garlic in the honey and easily consume both).

3. Probiotics

What kills bad bacteria? Good bacteria! Ok, maybe that isn’t exactly how it all works. But. When I don’t feel well, particularly if I am having a stomach issue, loading up on my probiotics helps every time. I take probiotics in a pill form, but I also consume it via kombucha, milk kefir, and the occasional fermented vegetable.

4. Ginger

This is another one that is great for various tummy ailments. Ginger has been used for centuries to help soothe an upset stomach and is a well-known remedy for nausea (during pregnancy and otherwise). An anti-inflammatory, ginger has also been shown to be helpful for respiratory virus and pain relief. My favorite way to consumer ginger is in a simple ginger tea, an immune boosting tea, or a homemade electrolyte drink.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

A great remedy for the common cold, cough, or sore throat, apple cider vinegar is an anti-fungal and antibacterial. Add a teaspoon to the ginger tea listed above, or if you can stand it, take a tablespoon in a shot glass (and chase it with kombucha!).

I always have those five items stocked year round. You never know when you will be hit with illness and the last thing I want to do when I don’t feel well is have to make a trip to the store! Other natural items that keep my family away from the doctor’s office this time of year are essential oils, epsom salts and bentonite clay (for detox baths), elderberry syrup, mullein, bone broth, and cod liver oil.

What do you use to prevent illness this time of year?

My name is Jill, and I am the editor at Modern Alternative Mama. I have been on a real food journey for about three years now and am passionate about food. I am a Jesus-loving, Bible-reading, kombucha-brewing, raw milk–drinking, real food–eating gal. I was born and raised in the Midwest, and currently live the non-mainstream life in the St. Louis area with my husband Graham and our infant daughter.
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  1. says

    I love these lists on ways to prepare for illness. There is nothing worse than getting sick and having to run to the store to prepare.