Most people have a medicine bag or medicine cupboard where they keep all the essentials, such as band aids, cough syrup, sunburn cream and more. This is something a lot of us continued from our parents and grandparents, who tended to be more self-sufficient with personal medical care.
A lot of our ancestors probably knew more than we did about using natural resources to treat illnesses and maladies. They may have used natural cures for all sorts of illness, and then tried to pass some of that knowledge on down to us.
A lot of that personal knowledge about natural cures is starting to come back, and natural remedies are more prevalent than they have been in a long time.
If you would like to keep a chest or container of natural remedies in your home, then we have a list that should get you started. Here are some of the best natural products to use for the most common ailments.
Vitamin C - This vitamin repairs tissue and helps fight infections. You can get it from broccoli, oranges and watermelon.
Echinacea - This daisy family herb has been shown to fight colds and strengthen the immune system. It can also fight off hay fevers and should be taken before allergy season for the best results.
Arnica - This is used in ointments and in creams to ward off bruises. Arnica comes from the sunflower family of plants.
Comfrey - A lot of organic gardeners will use this plant to help their plants grow much faster, since it operates like a super powerful mulch. The stem, root and leaves of this plant, however, can be used for medicinal purposes. You can use it to fight osteoarthritis, back pain, springs and swelling. You should avoid using it internally, though.
Calendula - This is another name for marigold, and when used as an oil, it can reduce inflammation and promote healing. There are a number of ointments and tinctures that are made from these ingredients, and they are excellent for dealing with bruises, burns and infections.
Manuka Honey - The manuka tree’s nectar is used to make a famous New Zealand treat. It’s a great tasting honey, but it’s also been known to provide incredible healing benefits, and is sometimes used as a salve or as a way to prevent infection.
Rescue Remedy - This mixture of Bach flowers, water and brandy is designed to have curative powers and to improve the body’s healing speed. This has been used as a homeopathic treatment for years now, and it’s essential to any natural medicine chest.
Eucalyptus Oil - The eucalyptus tree is an Australian treasure, and the oil is a mainstay of many a medicine chest. The scent is great for your mental state, and the oil is a muscle relaxer as well as a disinfectant. You can use it to handle breathing issues and to fight various cold and flu symptoms. There is even some anecdotal evidence to suggest that eucalyptus oil is great for your circulation and improves dental health.
Mother Apple Cider Vinegar - This kind of vinegar is made from aged apples, and it is a powerful antimicrobial. It is made with mother of vinegar and is incredibly powerful. Its strong taste makes it unpopular with some, but its myriad uses ensure it is an essential medicine chest addition. You can use it to lower your blood sugar levels, to lose weight or to kill bacteria in your mouth.
Aloe Vera - This favourite natural remedy is great for treating sunburn and other skin conditions. It is also beneficial for your immune system and your circulation, and you can use it as an oil, a soap or a healthy beverage.
Chamomile - This daisy family plant is often used as a tea to treat vomiting, insomnia, eczema, anxiety and irritation of the skin.
Ginger - Of course, we all know of ginger’s strong flavour, but it is more than just a cooking ingredient. Ginger has long been used in eastern medicine for nausea and vomiting, for motion sickness and for treating coughs and sore throats.
There are plenty of other items you could add to the medicine chest, but this should get you started and give you some indication of what you may need. Hopefully, you will be inspired by our suggestions to start up a natural medicine chest of your own and to ensure that you have what you need on hand for emergencies and minor medical problems.