Check out our top 8 essentials for natural medicines. These hardworking ingredients multitask for culinary purposes AND maintaining your optimal health.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: Always use caution and consult a medical professional before using any herbal remedy. Remember to do allergy, taste and skin sensitivity tests before applying or ingesting any natural remedy!
Apple Cider Vinegar
For bruised skin: Make a compress for bruises! Soak a cloth in vinegar and apply to reduce the swelling and discomfort.
For fevers: Combine 1 part ACV with 3 parts water. Soak cloths and wrap around calves and wrists. Remove once fever is reduces (just a few minutes). Re-wrap as necessary.
For nosebleeds: Soak a small cotton ball in vinegar and pack it lightly into the nostril. The astringent vinegar may help the blood to clot.
For poison ivy and sumac: To relieve itching, combine equal parts of water or alcohol and apple cider vinegar. Dab on affected areas, let dry, and repeat as often as needed.
For sunburn: Apply a wash of half and half ACV and water to the burn with a spray bottle, or make a cooling compress for a large area to relieve the pain. Keep the skin moistened.
Raw Local Honey
For a sore throat: Mix ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar and ¼ cup of honey. Take one tablespoon every four hours or as needed for pain relief.
For minor burns: Dab honey over the burned skin and cover lightly with a piece of cloth to keep from getting your clothes and furniture sticky!
For an upset stomach: Make a tea by mixing 1 teaspoon fresh ginger juice or freshly grated ginger and 1 teaspoon honey in a cup of boiling water; drink as needed.
For earaches: Garlic juice has awesome antibacterial properties! To treat an earache, either nick the tip of a garlic clove and gently place just inside the ear. Or place 2-3 drops of garlic juice into the ear and pack with cotton ball. DO NOT put ANYTHING into the ear if there is concern about or evidence of a ruptured ear drum.
For asthma: An onion poultice is an effective (but smelly) way to soothe asthmatic breathing. Slice onions, wrap in a thin cloth and crush to create a poultice pack, place on chest, check 10-15 minutes for reactions.
For cough: Make an onion cough syrup. Yes, it looks less appetizing than the traditional red syrupy sweet stuff, but it’s just as soothing and has great antibacterial properties. Simply take a small jar or container, and layer chopped onions with small amounts of sugar or raw honey. The sugar or honey will help break down the onions into juice over two hours, creating a sweet onion syrup. Take 1-2 tablespoons as needed.
For anxiety or nerves: Chamomile tea has been tested successfully through time to be one of the best calming remedies! Simply steep 1-2 teaspoons of dried chamomile flowers or a tea bag in hot water for 5-7 minutes. Drink up to 3 cups.
For diaper rash, eczema and other irritating skin conditions: Chamomile is soothing for skin. Make a strong chamomile tea or infusion, let it cool, then dip a cloth in it to apply to irritated skin. You can also use dried chamomile in a bath bag or cloth tea bag in your bath to help soothe larger skin areas, or pour a strong chamomile tea straight in the bath.
For a toothache: Place a whole clove between the aching tooth and your cheek. It can be held in place by holding your finger on the outside of the cheek. Chew the cloves a little to release their juice, then leave them in place for half an hour or so or until the pain subsides.
(Call your dentist or care provider if you experience severe pain or a fever!)
For cold sores: Applying clove oil in small amounts can help speed up the healing process of a cold sore.
Caution: Do not apply cayenne powder directly to the skin! It will cause severe skin sensitivity and pain, or an allergic reaction.
For congested coughs: Mix ¼ to ½ teaspoon of pepper in a glass of water and use as a gargle.
For arthritis: Cayenne and other herbs such as white willow bark contain salicylates, compounds like those found in aspirin. When diluted in a gentle oil, cayenne can be applied in a salve to the areas around joints to relieve arthritis pain.
For cramps or abdominal pain: Add one teaspoonful of powdered ginger root to one cup of boiling water. Drink up to three cups a day.
For sore muscles and arthritis pain: Treat yourself to a rosemary-ginger soothing bath. Make a strong tea with grated fresh ginger, about 1 1\2 cups of water to a tablespoon of ginger. Strain and add to bath water, with 6 drops of rosemary essential oil.
What are your go-to kitchen spices, foods and herbs for medicinal remedies?