Favorite things: my top 5 natural “medicines”
The world of natural medicine is nothing short of daunting when you first step foot into it. It’s like throwing a 5 year old into allopathic medicine and expecting them to just figure it out.
Typically, you grow up learning about allopathic medicine. Between parents, doctors, prescriptions, and trial and error, you just have an idea what works by the time you hit adulthood. But when you decide to ditch the chemicals, where do you start?
Eventually, after you ask questions and buy a few things here and there, you settle into a routine, and find those things you have to have. Today, I thought I’d share my top 5, my favorites that I can’t live without and don’t let myself run out of.
1. Bentonite Clay
If you don’t know, bentonite clay holds a negative charge and attracts heavy metals. This in itself is reason to keep it around. With all the exposure we get between foods, medicines, pesticides and more, it’s fabulous to have something to counteract.
But beyond that, it just has so many uses. From dry shampoo to detox baths, and everything in between, bentonite clay is really invaluable. Just a few ways we use it around my house:
-in drinks to settle stomachs or remove heavy metals
-armpit detox when you’re switching to natural deodorant, or need to help rid some extra stink
-bug bites: we make a paste to pull them out and stop itch
-dry shampoo: it actually helps with body without stripping natural oils
-as a face mask to help acne and redness
The list goes on. But probably my favorite use is a detox bath. Any time we are getting sick, we add a scoop to the bath to pull out toxins. We rarely stay sick long.
Get yours here:
2. Epsom Salts
Speaking of detox baths, they aren’t complete without Epsom salts. The benefits of magnesium are endless, especially to a body that needs healing. Magnesium promotes restful sleep, and helps any body aches associated with sickness. They help lower fevers and can help to prevent seizures and spasms.
I have used Epsom salts as much more than just a bath additive, though. Did you know it is actually good for your hair? And dissolved in a small amount of water or cream, it creates a very targeted pain relief for sore muscles and joints. We use them almost nightly, and I dread the days we run out.
You never want any with additives that can absorb in your skin with the magnesium. if you want a clean brand, look here:
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
While most people see this as a kitchen ingredient, it is honestly so much more. Add a tablespoon to a glass of water to heal the gut and lower blood pressure. Use it on your hair to clarify and condition, and stop the symptoms of dandruff. Use it diluted on the skin to clarify and help heal acne. We also add this to detox baths to level the body’s PH. But perhaps my favorite use- fevers.
Fevers are actually the body’s way of healing sickness, so the last thing you want to do is break it before it’s ready. But you also don’t want it to get too high. So what do you do? Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to a tepid bath, make sure the head gets covered a couple times, and soak for 10-20 min. My kids fevers ALWAYS drop without fully breaking, and break when ready once the illness has passed. They heal more quickly from sickness this way.
Make sure you always buy apple cider vinegar “with the mother”, or it’s too filtered to do any good. This is my favorite brand:
4. Coconut oil
I’m not sure I could even tell you all the many uses of coconut oil, because I am positive I haven’t discovered them all yet. From cooking to hair care, we use it everywhere.
Diaper rash? Coconut oil.
Dry hair? Coconut oil
Dry skin? Coconut oil
Yeast infection? Coconut oil.
You get the picture. Basically anything you could need a cream or oil for, coconut oil can be that. It’s antifungal and antimicrobial, plus antiviral. It basically kills infections without killing anything beneficial. It’s safe for babies, and good for skin issues. But the best use: take a spoonful of coconut oil to relieve cramps!
Always make sure it it raw, cold pressed, and unfiltered, like this one
5. Activated Charcoal
This is probably one of the least used things in my cabinet, and yet my absolute favorite to have. Why, you ask?
Raise your hand if you like throwing up?
No? Me neither. When someone in my family comes home with a stomach bug, the last thing I want is to catch it. I used to think it was inevitable. It didn’t seem to matter how much I cleaned the bathroom after EVERY.SINGLE.EPISODE... we still passed it like the plague. UNTIL we found activated charcoal.
Now, when one person comes home ready to spill their guts, we all immediately take some activated charcoal, (and then I methodically clean up germs, haha). In the two years I’ve been doing this, not one time has a virus gone past the first person. And, the sick person is usually done in one or two more episodes.
Activated charcoal is nothing like the charcoal you use on your grill. It is a porous substance (that’s why its good at cleaning pores and teeth too) that hospitals use when they pump your stomach. It absorbs toxins and flushes them through. So if you start to get the bacteria, it will trap it and pass it, so you never actually get sick, or get over sickness faster. It is quite possibly my favorite natural medicine.
Be sure when you look, that you get a clean brand. I went looking one day and although it claimed to be pure, it had blue dye in it! As a mom of a kid with food dye sensitivities, I fortunately read everything. But most people wouldn’t even think to look in this! This is a brand I’ve used many times, and I trust.
Others that didn’t make the list but come in close behind are colloidal silver, tea tree oil, vitamin c, and arnica.
What are your top 5 things for your natural medicine cabinet?
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