We tend to rely heavily on our doctors or the local drugstore to provide the items in our medicine cabinet. Of course there’s nothing wrong with taking medicine prescribed by your doctor or with taking the occasional over the counter medication. However, it is possible to use foods and herbs for more of your basic needs. In doing so, you may find that you need to rely on the doctor and the drugstore far less, which translates into more money and fewer side effects.
You can find many herbs and teas in bulk in the spice aisle of the natural foods store very inexpensively. Many of the other items on this list can be found in the produce department. Shopping this way allows you to buy only what you need at the time, or to stock up, as you budget allows. Many of the items on this list are also available in ready-made capsules, but this is more expensive than buying in bulk to use as tea or to make your own capsules. I am also very pleased with the strength and effectiveness of the bulk herbs. Do be careful if you have allergies or sensitivities! Make sure your local stores doesn’t stock the bulk herbs with or near open bins of product you’re allergic to!
Catnip–Use as a tea to reduce fever, calm anxiety, reduce pain, ease muscle tension, aid sleeplessness. Can be made into capsules. Also available in ready-made capsules, but this is more expensive. Caution: I suggest using organic catnip, not the cheap bags of catnip in the pet aisle.
Valerian Root–Use as a tea to calming anxiety, reduce pain, headaches, ease muscular tension, aid sleeplessness. Can be made into capsules.
Arnica–a homeopathic remedy which is very effective at relieving pain, particularly the pain of an injury or overwork of a joint or muscle. Dissolve under the tongue.
Ginger Root– Excellent anti-inflammatory and pain relieving tool. Also helpful for nausea, indigestion, heartburn, immunity boosting, easing lung irritation from cough or asthma so that breathing is easier. Most Effective–bulk ginger root from the produce section (often found near garlic and other herbs, mushrooms). This can be sliced thinly (I don’t even peel it), put about 2 inches, sliced, into 4 cups water, bring to a boil. Sweeten (I like using local raw honey, but use what works for you)and drink. Can drink hot or cold. Next most effective–bulk ginger root powder made into capsules. Pre-made capsules in a bottle also work, but get them from a quality company, if you do this. Solgar and Nature’s way are both brand’s I have had good results with.
Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar–Pulls toxins out of the body, good for preventing gout and arthritis flare up and soothing an active flare up, balances stomach acid. Use only a food grade, organic, raw apple cider vinegar, like Bragg’s. The others taste awful and can make you sick. Take 1-3 teaspoons in water or tea, one to three times a day.
Baking Soda–Eases bladder irritation/irritability, calms heartburn/excess stomach acid. Mix 1 teaspoon in 8 ounces of water and drink. Can be taken up to three times a day.
Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice–Removes toxins from the blood and the body, balances the acidity level of the body, boosts immunity. Squeeze a quarter to a half a lemon into a glass of water or tea at least once a day, especially first thing in the morning.
Elderberry–dried berries can be used as a tea or made into a syrup to boost immune system strength and fight viral infections, colds, flu, some bacterial infections. Can also be found in store bought syrup or capsule, but is fairly costly. Can be made very inexpensively at home in about an hour.
Slippery Elm Bark–Soothe sore throat, soothes digestive tract when irritated from things like diarrhea or cramping, soothes lungs from coughing and eases loosening of phlegm, will soothe any mucous membrane. Don’t let the name fool you–It doesn’t make the lining more slippery!! Won’t cause diarrhea or make it worse! It often stops it after one dose.
Burdock Root–Blood and liver detoxifier. Good to take periodically to cleanse the blood and liver of environmental toxins, particularly if you have to take prescription medications as these can be very difficult for the liver and kidneys to clear out of the body completely on their own. Also good to take during and after you have been ill, to help flush the toxins from the illness out of the body.
Dandelion Root and Leaves–Blood and kidney detoxifier. Much the same as above for burdock root, only this helps the kidneys more than the liver. Use both together for a very useful cleanse.
Goldenseal Root and/or Leaves–Very powerful herbal anti-biotic, but without the concern of wiping out healthy gut flora/beneficial bacteria. Of course, you need to use your best judgment and discuss all your options with your doctor, but there are often cases where prescription antibiotics may not be necessary. Goldenseal can be an option. The leaves are milder and can be used for a longer period. The root is very powerful and has worked on strong infections for me in the last several years. Caution: Do not use Goldenseal root for more than 3-7 days (the leaves can be used for up to 14) without taking a break of about 5-7 days. It can build up in the liver of some people, and it can also lose effectiveness. Drink a cup of Burdock root tea daily, if you can, during the time you are taking it, or after stopping, to flush your system out from the toxins of the illness and of the goldenseal root.
*Disclaimer–I am not a medical health care provider. I am providing you with my own experience, based on what I have studied and used in my own life and with my own family over the last 25 years. While I have done my own reading and research, I suggest that you do your own, particularly if you have an questions or concerns about anything I offer as a suggestion.
Hello! My name is Angie Webster. I am enthusiastic about sharing Reiki, herbalism, flower essences, and reflexology, I have studied and practiced herbalism for over 30 years, over time adding other healing practices, such as Bach flower essences, crystals, reflexology and aromatherapy. I am a Reiki Master Teacher and a freelance writer. You can see my writing at https://naturalholisticlife.wordpress.com/and on www.reikirays.com as well as, Elephant Journal and Be You Media, among others. I am the author of Infinite Reiki, Infinite Healing and other books, which can be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other locations.