I feel that I can assume that we have all experienced minor aches and pains, or illnesses that do not require a trip to the doctor. Whether it be a sore throat or stomach bug, there are ways that we can manage these ailments at home. Building up your stash of needs is as easy as a trip to the grocery store, and simple preparations. Here is my list of top 10 items every home needs.
For more than just baking! Baking soda is a great quick fix for many everyday issues. It is best known as a remedy for heartburn and indigestion (mix with water and drink up). For skin issues, it is a must have. From questionable rashes to bug bites, slather a quick baking soda paste on there for relief.
Epsom salt is a great source of magnesium, something that many people are deficient of. The most common use, I believe, is adding it to bath water for a relaxing soak. This may relieve muscle aches and swelling, promote restful sleep, and help reduce stress. Also, no worries if your child swallows some of the bath water… it is a great remedy for constipation.
Stomach bugs are nightmares. Am i right? In hospitals, activated charcoal is used for overdoses and food poisoning. At home it can be used to help relieve the symptoms of stomach bugs. The way it works is by binding to toxins and bacteria, and flushing them out. Along with that, it is sold over the counter as an aid for gas and bloating.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Dense with probiotics and b vitamins, ACV is a good tool to keep in your home. However, drinking it too often can affect your dental health and provoke existing acid reflux. Aside from ingestion, I have found that it is great to keep on hand for many other needs. It is great for sunburns (though you will smell like a pickle), fermenting foods for a homemade probiotic powerhouse, and great for hair health/dandruff control.
Raw Honey (locally and sustainable source)
Honey has seen a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. It is a wonderful aid in health and beauty products, and can serve you a great deal in raw form at home. On it’s own, it is great for sore throats and allergies to local pollens. Paired with other ingredients, it is the base for many remedy recipes such as garlic honey and elderberry syrup. Rockford Crunchy Ladies has videos and classes on both of those recipes.
I firmly believe that every home needs an aloe plant. We personally have a large one, named Ally, and little baby offshoots that we gift to friends. I remember as a kid, my mother had one. For every scrape, burn, or bug bite we would break a tiny piece off and apply the juice to the offending wound. The skin also makes a great bandage when needed. On top of the topical uses, the juice is great for digestive health and hydration. I use it mixed with pineapple juice and coconut water to re-hydrate after we have been ill, or sluggish from overheating. If you aren’t up for caring for a full plant, some ethnic grocery markets may carry the stalks. If nothing else, the juice is not hard to find in most grocery stores.
Garlic is more than just a delicious herb for cooking. It’s also great at repelling mosquitoes, treating cold symptoms, and maintaining your immune system. You can make garlic honey (as previously mentioned), a garlic steam for sinus troubles, and a delicious garlic soup for when you need that extra kick from the flu.
Who reaches for the ginger ale when he are feeling nauseous and sick? Nearly everyone. Though, the soda most people buy doesn’t contain real ginger. Instead reach for ginger beer, or better yet ginger chews. The flavorful root is an amazing tool against common tummy troubles most of us have experienced. Not to mention, it is fantastic in stir fry and makes delicious candies.
Witch Hazel is a common, inexpensive astringent you can find at most drugstores. Be sure to get alcohol free when you purchase it, to avoid discomfort. Being an astringent means that it constricts skin tissue. This makes it good for minor abrasions or lacerations, burns, hemorrhoids, and many other skin issues.
Oil (Coconut, olive, hemp, jojoba, etc)
Everyone has a preferred oil that they have at home, for whatever reason. Having one, or more, that works best for your needs is a must have. Whether it be to make a salve, use as a carrier, deal with skin issues or wounds, or for plain old cooking; feel confident in finding the right fit. For our home, coconut oil is often our go-to for it’s adaptability and affordability. Raw shea butter, though not an oil, is our close second.
**Disclaimer: be aware that even some home remedies may interact with medications. It is best to be aware of your own health needs and have a good relationship with your medical provider. The information shared here is not meant to be used to treat, diagnose, and advise health conditions. They are remedies long used and passed down by individuals. Below is a list of resourced websites on the topics we have covered here for your further research.
Resources for more information: