I have a mix of remedies at home in my own medicine cabinet. Some of it is homeopathic based, some consist of essential oils, and some are just plain old fashioned items. Some of them I have used, some of them I have bought to use should the occasion arise.
Here is a list of some of my home medicine items and their use:
Witch Hazel: I use this for any type of minor skin irritation like bug bites and itchy skin. I wet a cotton ball and wipe down the whole area. It can also be used for acne, pain and swelling (inflammation), eye inflammation, skin injury, mucous membrane inflammation, hemorrhoids, and bruises. I only use it topically, but it may be used internally for diarrhea, colds, and fevers.
Oil of Oregano: This is not the same oregano that is found down the spice aisle. This is Mediterranean wild oreganol oil, which tends to be a bit more expensive. The one I bought is from the Vitamin Shoppe. It’s made by a company called N.American Herb Spice and I paid about $13 for just an 8 ml bottle. There are many unique properties and uses of oil of oregano, but the one I specifically use it for is the antiseptic properties through an ingredient called thymol, which happens to be the active ingredient in Listerine mouthwash. I use 2-3 drops of oil of oregano on top of my toothpaste a few times a week to help with any issues with my gums. Also, if I feel something brewing I also place 2 drops of oil of oregano under my tongue (since the thymol boosts the immune system and helps shield against toxins). It has a kick to it so 2 drops is more than enough. I have not tried this on my kids.
100% Cocoa Butter stick: This one is probably the simplest of them all. Mainly this is used for fading any scars (my kids have a lot of them from boo-boos and bug bites). It works slow, but it works. Believe it or not, a pure 100% cocoa butter stick is not easy to find. I got mine from Walgreen’s for under $2. There was also another brand there that had a “100% cocoa butter” on the packaging, then proceeded to list 5 “no-no” ingredients on the label…uh, no thank you.
Tea Tree Oil: This essential oil is a cleansing oil, so it has great antibacterial and antifungal properties. I use it topically (mixed with coconut oil) for fungal infections. You may also use it (still in diluted form) for cuts and burns and in aromatherapy for colds, persistent coughs, acne, toothaches, and sunburn relief.
Calamine Lotion: I wasn’t entirely pleased with still having calamine lotion in my possession, but the ingredients weren’t as bad as other regular products on the shelf (calamine – a combo of zinc oxide and ferric oxide, zinc oxide, bentonite, calcium hydroxide, glycerin, and purified water). I didn’t part with it so quickly because it was at least working on my daughter’s neck irritation. But, this brings us to the next item…..
Aloe Vera Gel: This is what I was finally able to replace the calamine lotion with. I tried this on my daughter’s neck and it’s working very well. Yes!
Redmond Clay: First Aid Hydrated Clay: Redmond Clay is a bentonite clay. I got introduced to this by another mom that is into alternative and holistic remedies. She highly recommended it. You can use it for burns, cuts, abrasions, insect bites, bruises, rashes, bee stings, blisters, poison oak, poison ivy, and dry, itchy skin. This was my first attempt to replace the calamine lotion. It seemed to work okay, however, the one problem was that I put it on my daughter’s neck before she went to bed. It’s very messy (it has the look of mud) and the way my daughter sleeps it just ended up all over the place (even when I put gauze and tape over it). Despite that I have kept it to use for another occasion.
Hyland’s Complete Allergy: This is a homeopathic remedy for allergy relief that I bought in the regular grocery store. My two older kids tend to get seasonal allergies and this works quite well. It’s good for runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes. And it doesn’t make them drowsy.
Wild Carrot Herbals: Gaia Goo Healing Salve: This salve is used for scratches, bites, bruises, rashes or anything that might need a little extra soothing! My son has used this on the scars on his arms from bug bites and he notices a difference. Already on my second container!
Elderberry Syrup: This is my most recent addition to the medicine cabinet. The good thing about the elderberry syrup is kids can take it, too, in case they need to. The only one in the house that really suffers from either the cold or flu is my husband so this one is really for him. Hopefully, this year he doesn’t come down with either, but I will have it just in case!
I tend to have more than one item that can be used for the same thing. I do this because not everyone reacts the same to each remedy, for example, my daughter’s skin, even when it was very, very, very well diluted, did not appreciate the tea tree oil application. But, as I mentioned above she did well with the aloe vera gel.
You’ll have to play around with the items you buy to see what works best for you. You may also get stuck with using products you’re not entirely pleased with (like the calamine lotion) until you find that alternative that will correct the issue without causing more irritation. You’ll have to gradually try new stuff one at a time, perhaps a few days apart, so you don’t overwhelm the problem, or you, while trying to find the best solution.
It’s also possible that the problem will get worse before it gets better while using a certain product. If you have the guts to wait it out then it might be worth it, just proceed with caution.
What are some things that are in your medicine cabinet? Are you trying to find natural alternatives?