25 Basic Natural Remedies to Have at Home
People these days are going back to their roots and using natural “medicine” more and more. In fact the popularity of alternative medicine is at an all-time high and Facebook groups like Modern Alternative Mamas are driving this interest for natural over allopathic. Here’s a checklist of basic natural remedies to have at home.
I grew up in a medical family that went to the doctor for almost everything. The most natural remedy we had at home was aloe vera which my grandmother used for burns. I spent the better part of my childhood in the doctor’s office with sore throats, respiratory problems, and urinary tract infections Despite having an extremely intelligent mom who was a nurse she didn’t take to anything natural and she smoked. In fact, the three adults in our home smoked and they smoked inside the house. Today that would be considered child abuse but then it was the norm. So, I was sick – a LOT.
Eventually I followed in my mother’s footsteps, but I had already dealt with having a sick child of my own and the realization that traditional medicine did not work. We did everything right. I breastfed, grew my own food, made organic baby food, we didn’t smoke, but I did have to return to work when my daughter was 10 months old and three things happened. She had separation anxiety, she stopped breastfeeding despite my best effort, and she almost immediately got sick.
The first week taking Lauren and picking her up at the babysitter was heartbreaking. I didn’t want to leave her but I needed to work because my husband was a student. About the fourth day when I started to take her from the babysitter and she clung to her like a chimp, refusing to let me hold her. I was devastated, and the fact she got sick just added to my guilt.
I had chosen a young female pediatrician when Lauren was born. I also assumed she would take a more natural approach since the first time I met her she was wearing Birkenstocks and Hippie earrings but I was wrong. Her approach was straight out of medical school and the merry-go-round of antibiotic overuse began. Of course antibiotic prescription without a culture and sensitivity test is like throwing a dart in the dark. You might hit the dart board but probably not.
After two and a half years of guesswork, trying different antibiotics about every two months and anticipating a pending surgery for her frequent ear infections I’d had enough. I took to the library, I read Mother Earth News and I made a decision to stop all antibiotics. I had already stopped dairy except for cheese after trials of goat milk. I continued a small amount of cheese and started giving my daughter Pac-Man calcium chews. I also gave her yogurt.
The following month we had a pre-operative appointment with a surgeon for tubes in her ears. I was dreading the appointment and the surgery. When we met the surgeon he inspected her ears and looked confused. He asked what I had done. I explained I’d given up on antibiotics because none had helped and what other basic natural remedies I had tried. What came out of his mouth next surprised me.
“There’s no way I’m putting tubes in this child’s ears when she doesn’t need them. Keep doing what you’re doing.” Not only was I ecstatic I realized I’d found the answer when doctors had not.
It’s no wonder people are turning to alternative medicine. Just listening to the news is scary when you consider how much pharmaceutical companies pay to market drugs that have horrendous side effects. Add that to the conservative number of over 100,000 deaths per year from pharmaceutical drugs and the picture becomes clear. If you ask, most people have a checklist of basic natural remedies to have at home.
The experience with my older daughter certainly changed the way I dealt with my second child. I still encouraged a healthy diet but I didn’t run to the pediatrician for everything. I had my RN degree by that time and about 15 years of studying natural medicine. When my oldest was about 30, I was doing research and ran across a TedMed talk with Dr. Robynne Chutkan, and was finally able to get over some of the guilt I’d been carrying around for almost three decades. I realized even doctors fall into the trap and her family story mirrors ours to the tee.
I also had my own checklist of basic natural remedies to have at home by that time. My younger daughter grew up using natural medicine so it’s second nature for her as well.
25 Basic Natural Remedies to Have at Home
1. Arnica – Arnica montana comes from a flowering plant and is one of the best pain relievers I’ve found for everything from toothache to back pain and even broken bones. Arnica applied to a fresh trauma can stop bruising since it interrupts the bleeding cascade. Arnica pellets taken orally for pain work fast because they begin to absorb in the mouth. This homeopathic comes in an oral form which it taken under the tongue and cream. You can purchase straight arnica gel or cream, or, a compound such as Arnica The Rub, a less expensive version of Traumeel by Heel.
2. Comfrey – Comfrey, or knit-bone can be taken internally for respiratory and inflammation but is best known for healing bones. It can be made into a “cast” and speeds bone growth and healing.
3. Neti pot – Neti pots are great for cleansing and moisturizing the nasal passages. On small children saline nose drops and suction work best but once a kid is older you can teach how to use this wonderful device. I use sea salt and a half to one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (ACV) in my neti pot. Use less ACV if the child complains of burning.
4. Local Honey – honey is a great barrier for wounds but is also a wonderful soothing ingredient for natural cough syrup. I use honey, lemon and fresh garlic. Remember to keep refrigerated.
5. Elderberry – Elderberry syrup has a long history in treating colds and cough. It’s easy to make or find in the health food store.