1. The first step to building your natural medicine chest is to write down exactly what you need on a regular basis and what you need on an occasional basis.
A multivitamin, calcium supplement (if you’re a woman over 35), extra folic acid (if you are hoping to get pregnant), valerian root if you have occasional trouble sleeping, white willow bark if you need something for headaches on occasion, arnica for those times when you need a natural pain reliever. This is how you stock your natural medicine chest.
2. Write down your needs based on conditions or symptoms, what has worked for you, what you need to look into or ask your doctor about, and anything else you can think of. Remember you can include tinctures, capsules, pills both herbal and homeopathic.
3. You can also base your decisions on the seasonal calendar. Herbs for seasonal healing are an important element in deciding just what is necessary at the time. Each season has it’s own particular beneficial herbs for healing particular conditions during that time period. Remember, this is also geared towards the region of the world you live in. For a reference of current seasonal herbs to use, see this page.
4. If you’re trying to “go herbal” with your medicine chest, discuss any conditions you have with your acupuncturist, naturopath or holistic practitioner. Be advised that asking your allopathic doctor probably does not have the knowledge about herbs that a holistic practitioner has.
Some physicians dislike the idea of herbal remedies, primarily because of patients who use them without the proper information or precautions. A healer of any kind, be them holistic or allopathic should be searching for the power in the greater good. Many doctors now try to include those options for their patients.
And if a doctor who is open to natural remedies advises against it, trust that judgment. Work with the practitioner on contraindications for the herb when you are considering taking them with allopathic medicine. There could very well be side effects. So when you’ve decided what your needs are, see your doctor, then decide which remedies you will need to take on a daily basis for an extended period of time.
5. Doses are always a question and what herbal remedies are good for which conditions, but another step in the natural health process is to decide exactly how much of each item you need. Check our Western Materia Medica (below) for the safe and trustworthy information you need.
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Herbs for Seasonal Healing
Herbal medicine is the best alternative therapy when it comes to finding a substitute for allopathic drugs. The benefits are tremendous. Side effects are minimal.
Caution should be used when taking herbal medicine with allopathic drugs.
Certain herbs can be very beneficial during particular seasons based on their mechanism of action and their healing properties. As the seasons change, it is a great idea to create a seasonal medicine chest with herbs that you can really utilize during that period.
You will find that herbs in many forms can be both practical and versatile. Below are considerations for each season.
- Spring is the season of new beginnings and rebirth. Using herbs to tonify and detox the liver and gallbladder are recommended. Consider making a Spring Herbal Medicine Chest with milk thistle, dandelion and nettle. You can benefit by having Spring Essential Oils such as jasmine, neroli and patchouli.
- Summer is the high season of greatest Yang and activity is complemented by the hot fun-filled days at the beach and warm, delightful nights enjoyed outdoors. We tend to overdue in summer..too much sun, physical activities and food. Using herbs to tonify the heart, intestines and stomach are recommended. Consider making a Summer Herbal Medicine Chest with basil, elderflower and chamomile. You can benefit by having Summer Essential Oils such as tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus.
- Fall is the time of gathering and harvesting in preparation for the next season. Using herbs to tonify the lungs and large intestines is recommended. With the changing of light and the dropping of temperatures, consider making a Fall Herbal Medicine Chest with astragalus, calendula and ginseng. You can benefit by having Fall Essential Oils such as bergamont, cedarwood and clove.
- Winter is the time for rest and replenishing. It is the season of greatest Yin and should be observed with peaceful tranquility. Using herbs to tonify the kidneys and urinary bladder is recommended. Consider making a Winter Herbal Medicine Chest with sage, mullein and garlic. You can benefit by having Winter Essential Oils such as cinnamon, ginger and peppermint.
Top 10 Homeopathic Remedies for Your Medicine Chest
Your Homeopathic First Aid Kit is very useful to have around the house, in the car or on vacation. Make sure your kit is readily available when you need it! This kit contains the top ten homeopathic remedies that would normally be enough to treat most first aid situations including:
- Arnica suave all pain, bruises, sprains, strains, headaches, jet lag, sunburn
- Arnica all pain issues, bruising, sprains, strains, headaches (taken internally)
- Apis Mel bites, stings, fluid retention, swelling of legs and feet during travel
- Argentum gastroenteritis, sore throat, hurriedness, stress
- Cocculus sleep pattern disturbances, tetanus, seasickness
- Gelsemium sore throats, cough, colds, influenza with shivering
- Ignatia Amara irritability, hypersensitivity, hysteria, nervousness
- Mezereum burning pain, bone pain, sensitivity to cold, headaches
- Nux Vomica food poisoning, travel sickness, upset stomach, jet lag, hangovers, indigestion
- Rhus Tox muscular aches, pain, stiffness, overexertion