Thursday, April 3, 2014

Building Your Natural Medicine Cabinet

Please welcome Jodie from This Little Light Of Mine as she shares with us her experiences in building a natural medicine cabinet. This is a topic I am very interested, and I myself have found this post to be very informative and helpful. It's amazing the way God designed our bodies as well as safe natural ways to overcome sickness. Thanks Jodie for sharing this great post with us today!
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Ok let's get real, there are more remedies, tinctures, herbs and oils in just one aisle of Whole Foods than there are probably germs in the world. Well, maybe not, but I assume you are slightly interested in this subject because, like me, you want to stay ahead of those bugs and not pump your kids with stuff that teenagers are using to get high. Almost five years ago thru a set of very unexpected circumstances, my husband and I made a commitment to our children that we would provide them safe, natural and effective "medicine". So began a "makeover" of the good ol' medicine cabinet. For the record, I am not a dip my toe in the water type of momma, I dive in with gusto; which is exactly what I did and have never looked back. Out went the Tylenol, Motrin, NyQuil, Robitussin, Inhalers, Allegra, Neosporin and with God's protection we have been able to steer clear of prescriptions and antibiotics. I will not go into why these drugs require caution, you can read up a bit more here and here . Our shift to the crunchy side was prompted by my husband and I feeling truly convicted by the Holy Spirit to provide our children with medicine perfectly designed by God. Having a natural medicine cabinet provides numerous benefits:
  • Long treks to the Doctor are no fun when sick and being exposed to a whole host of new germs while you are there is just plain scary.
  • Providing your family with quick and easy solutions that support their immune systems, rather than interfere with it.
  • Spending less on co-pays, ER visits and mad dashes at midnight to pick up pedialyte, tylenol or a script from the pharmacy.
  • The knowledge that natural medicine actually improves your immune system which means you are sick less and your response to illness is stronger.
But can it be done on a budget? I say yes. Initially it may seem like you are spending more, but over time it is pennies compared to synthetic medicine, and you can begin one swap at a time. Learn a bit more here. Below is a Top 10 list of what we currently have in our natural medicine cabinet, ranked from what we use on a daily basis to what we need less often and based on more rare occurrences of a particular illness. **side note: this was a process of educating ourselves on what we really needed. I have been able to whittle down my massive collection of natural remedies to these 10 and they really are all we require minus a major injury or illness.
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Essential Oils I honestly do not think there has been a more transformative medicine in our home and the recovery process of our boys from Autism than these oils. I could write and talk for hours on the subject, but because your time is precious I will share a few basic points.
  • They are God's unique medicine. His design is perfect in every way and that is why oils work so effectively in our bodies
  • Essential oils have the ability to cross the blood brain barrier and promote natural healing in many key areas of the brain due to their teeny tiny molecule size. This has been a game-changer for us with Autism and ADHD
  • Oils can continually mutate and morph to stay ahead of all of those "super-bugs" out there. Oils have been proven over and over to kill pretty nasty viruses and bacteria, where synthetic medicine is the same formula each and every time and does not have to ability to adjust if a virus decides to mutate.
  • There are no side effects and really no wrong way to use them
We use them every day for prevention and when an illness arises I find comfort in the fact that I know "there is an oil for that!" To read more on some specific ways Essential Oils are making their mark in our home: a pretty nasty ear infection, fevers and our Autism regimen. **I suggest the use of the highest quality essential oils. Please do thorough research before buying from any particular company.
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Homeopathic remedies Specifically, Nux Vomica and Belladonna. In homeopathy, Nux Vomica is used for allergies, back pain, colds, constipation, digestive problems, emotional stress, flu, hangovers, headaches, hemorrhoids, and menstrual problems. Often our Doctor prescribes this for flu symptoms and upset stomach or vomiting. It has come in handy many times during our bouts with Norovirus. Belladonna is often prescribed to bring down our fevers. Again, this one was critical in lowering little sisters high temp from a pretty nasty ear infection. This remedy is one replacement for Tylenol and Motrin. **I find that locating a very experienced Homeopathic Doctor is crucial for the right combinations of remedies. We are lucky to have found a "mainstream Doctor" who turned to Homeopathic medicine, so he bring the best of both worlds and fully understands how the body functions.
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Elderberry Syrup Oh Elderberry, where have you been all my life?? Elder flowers are a wonder for colds, flus, upper respiratory infections and fevers. Elder has immune enhancing properties and you can make a very potent, safe and effective tea or syrup. Adding echinacea is also a plus. Elderberries support and increase immune function and contain antibacterial and antiviral properties. I highly recommend you make some and keep it in your house over the winter. Just do it. If I do not have time to make some I always keep a store-bought bottle on hand. A quick and easy recipe: ring to boil 1/2 c. dried elderberries (or 1 c. fresh) in 3 c. water for 20 minutes. Strain. Add the liquid back to the heat and reduce to 1 c. of liquid. Add 1/2 c. raw honey and 1/4 c. cherry brandy (optional). Stir well and store in the fridge for up to 6 months. Take 1-2 tsp daily for prevention, and 3-5 tsp spread out over the day when sickness comes knocking. I often give this every morning to the kids.
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Arnica Topical creme used for muscle pain or injury, bruises or any type of trauma. We’ve found that it greatly reduced healing time or bruises and sore muscles when used topically right after injury. You can either use a topical cream or pellets to take internally. In the past we have taken the pellets before and after surgery or dental work. We tend to be searching for this daily with two active boys in the house.
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Propolis Propolis has proven antibiotic and antiseptic properties and may also have antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects. It is a by-product made by bees and they often use it to help make their hives stronger. "Propolis has been justly called Nature's premier preventive. The immune system is supported and strengthened by the ingestion of propolis. Modern scientific studies indicate that those who take propolis regularly escape winter colds and sore throats and seem to develop a natural immunity to common viruses, including the various strains of flu." from draper bee.com This was not a staple for us until a few months ago when we just could not shake that oh-so-persistent cough. Then I remembered my propolis and after one day of giving it to the boys, it was gone! Now it is a part of our 2-3 times a week regimen to keep our immune systems boosted. It does have quite a bitter taste so I cut it with raw honey on a spoon and say, "open up!"
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Bentonite Clay The great detoxifier! Once again we are seeing a resurgence in ancient medicine and clay is one of the oldest and most effective when it comes to purging the body of toxins. We use this every time we are faced with a cold or flu, and we used it extensively as part of our autism protocol to pull out heavy metals from our precious boys. Bentonite Clay is a swelling clay, much like a sponge. As it reacts to water its pores absorb toxins in the body. It carries a negative charge which easily bonds to the Positive charges that toxins carry. We have seen Bentonite clay be very effective in the following issues:
  • Digestive disturbances like acid reflux, constipation, bloating, gas, etc.
  • Skin and allergy issues
  • Providing minerals for the body
  • To help speed recovery from vomiting and diarrhea (we have taken many midnight baths with clay)
  • Detoxification
  • In oral health preperations
  • Externally for all types of skin problems and to speed healing
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Calendula Great for healing the body and promoting cellular repair. It is antiseptic and commonly used externally for bruises, burns, sores, skin ulcers, eczema, psoriasis. It is also used internally for gastrointestinal issues and is wonderful for healing the stomach lining. It can be taken in a tea for fevers, cramps, indigestion, diarrhea and leaky gut. It also promotes lymphatic movement. I use this as a cream for skin issues and also as a tea at least once a week for the littles.
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Stinging Nettle Leaf Stinging Nettle: This herb is a vitamin powerhouse. High in iron, calcium, potassium, silicon, magnesium, manganese, zinc and chromium along with a host of other vitamins and minerals. It increases metabolic activity and strengthens and tones the entire system. It is useful for growing pains in young children, achy joints and arthritis, reproductive health, alleviating PMS and menopause symptoms. It is strengthening to the genitourinary system including the kidneys. It is also indicated for liver problems or congestion and to treat allergies and hay fever. This herb was critical in getting us off the breathing treatments and steroid inhalers for big brother. The only solution given to us by modern-med docs was full of icky ingredients and not working! We prayed and felt God speak to us that big brother did not have asthma and the road we were on was only making his behavior and immune system worsen. We gave big brother daily doses of nettle leaf in a syrup form and saw how quickly the symptoms disappeared, and by the grace of God he has not had an "attack" in about two years.
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Activated Charcoal For acute use in cases of food poisoning intestinal illness, vomiting, diarrhea, ingestion of toxins, etc. It is always a good idea to keep the local poison control number on hand in case a child ingests a toxic substance and immediately take a child to the hospital if he/she has swallowed anything of concern. This is something we need on hand for those "middle of the night" occurrences and there is no time to get to the health food store. You will be relieved it is in your medicine cabinet should the need arise.
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Cod Liver Oil This is actually a "medicine" we use daily and mostly as a preventative. However, when illness does arise I give more doses to increase Vitamin D. Numerous recent studies show how crucial vitamin D is to boosting the immune system and a good high quality Cod liver oil can be very useful. Additional options for your medicine cabinet:
  • Colloidal Silver Drops (great killer of bacteria, Strep Throat)
  • Otoscope to look for a possible ear infection
  • Echinachea
  • Vitamin C
  • Garlic Oil (ear infections, swimmers ear)
Should we completely turn our back on Modern Medicine? I personally do not feel the Bible condemns people for seeking practical and scientific help with their illness if they first have their trust resting on God. God wants us to examine any health problem and make wise decisions, while looking to him to lead and guide us in those decisions. That is what God expects us to do in all aspects of this life. Notice Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." Yes, in any decision of any consequence we have to make, it should be our way of life and our habit to go to God for help and wisdom — and this applies when seeking medical attention or health advice for illness as well as in any other aspect of life. God has given us life and that it is our duty to safeguard that life by whatever reasonable and wise course is open to you that does not contravene his law. I do believe that God wants me to learn how to handle the trial of illness as wisely as any other kind of trial and part of that learning for me lies in fully understanding natural medicine. It has been a long road, but as I look back I can see exactly where God closed doors, but then directed our paths to where we are today.
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Disclaimer - I am not a Doctor (yet, although in school) so these are our experiences. Please use your best judgement and seek advice of a personal Doctor whom you trust. I am in no way prescribing a regimen to use.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post! Pinning this one! :) I have a large collection of EOs and use them regularly.

    ReplyDelete

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