I knew I had to get rid of all my sugar-drenched kid’s meds when my 2 year old Zoe announced 3 days in a row that “Ow! Mommy, I have a headache. I need medicine.”
And she was looking at the bottle of bubblegum-pink sludge ibuprofen.
I know that taking medicine to feel better shouldn’t be a punishment, but there’s so many safe, natural elements that have been used for centuries. They’re not drenched with sugar, and you don’t read those dispiriting reports that you’ve been dosing your kiddos with meds from a factory that was shut down for gross negligence. (Editor’s note: yeah, I’m talking to YOU, Tylenol…Motrin…Benadryl…Zyrtec!) The starting list for an all-natural medicine cabinet comes from Keeper of the Home.
Important Note: if you’re new to natural meds–even if you’re not–be sure to check with your pediatrician or qualified nutritionist to make sure you’re administering the proper dose for children. You can check the FDA website here for the best-quality sources for your meds.
Stocking An All-Natural Medicine Cabinet
Vitamins and Other Supplements
- Cod liver oil: Usually a supplement for us, but I “prescribe” extra during illness because Vitamin D is so good for the immune system.
- Vitamin C (with zinc and echinacea)
- Vitamin B : This has proven to be very important for my husband, and I take it occasionally when I’m really dragging and want to ensure that my B vitamins aren’t too low.
- Calcium/Magnesium tablets: These are great for headaches, for relaxation when having a hard time sleeping, and especially for muscle cramping. I’ve been taking mineral supplements and cal/mag specifically this pregnancy and it’s the first time I’ve never had a single leg cramp.
- Probiotics (such as acidophilus, though there are many strains to choose from): To boost immunity, good for tummy troubles.
- Oil of Oregano: It really shores up the immune system and helps to fight off viruses quickly. We take it at the first sign of sickness.
- Mullein: This herb is very soothing for the throat and for coughs. I use it in boiling water to create a mullein steam. We put a towel over our heads and breathe in the steam for several minutes at a time to help with really stubborn coughs.
- Garlic: I’ve written an entire post about using garlic. It’s worth a read.
- Ginger: Same as garlic. See the post!
- Chamomile: I make this soothing tea for my children, if they have an upset tummy or are having a hard time calming down or going to sleep.
- Peppermint: This is also very soothing on an upset digestive system. Teas are wonderful to sip on.
- Astragalus: We only have this in capsule form, take it to boost your immune system when you’re fighting something.
I have plenty of oils that I keep to use in cleaning supplies, homemade beauty and skin care, and anywhere that I want something that smells beautiful. I also have a handful that are most commonly used for medicinal purposes:
- Peppermint: I put a couple drops in water to help with indigestion. It can also be used straight on skin (with caution- it is a strong oil) as a muscle rub. A friend rubs it on her neck to help relieve her tension headaches and she swears by it.
- Eucalyptus: I make a very simple chest rub with this, for coughs and congestion. You could also use it to make more of an ointment-style herbal vapor rub.
- Tea Tree: For infections.
- Rosemary: My midwife turned me on to this for rubbing on my temples (a few drops in a carrier oil, like olive or almond oil) for headaches. It’s pregnancy and nursing safe.
- Lavender: Anti-bacterial and soothing as well. I often add a few drops to baths.
For more ideas from KeeperOfTheHome.com, click here.