I’ve made it no secret — I love natural remedies.
I grew up using pretty conventional stuff. When I had a headache, I got acetaminophen. When I had a stomachache, bismuth liquid. As a young adult, I was “diagnosed” with acid reflux and IBD (I put that in quotes because the doctor gave me a short information leaflet to read, and when I said ‘that sounds familiar’ she considered it good enough) and given Nexium. Now, I know that all that stuff is really dangerous. (It’s true.)
A lot of people think that the choice is between the “real stuff” (I.e., the kind of stuff I mentioned above) or “fake stuff.” That is, they think the natural stuff doesn’t work.
I’ll admit I once thought that too. Not because I thought it was truly fake, but it seemed crazy that something so simple, mild, and safe — often something we use in everyday life — could possibly be potent enough to be effective. I was stuck in the mindset that only specially prepared drugs could possibly work.
But that isn’t true.
Actually, there’s a lot of evidence that natural remedies can and do work against both the simple and the complex stuff. I’ve now seen it with my own family repeatedly. And I love that these remedies have little-to-no side effects — something I can’t say for pharmaceutical drugs.
That’s why you should try natural remedies!
10 Reasons Why You Should Use Natural Remedies
1. They Work
Bottom line? They really work. Truly, natural remedies do work. We wouldn’t have used them for thousands of years if they didn’t. And pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t be studying plants, taking their extracts, and patenting them as drugs. (Red yeast rice = active ingredient in statins; willow tree bark = active ingredient in aspirin.)
Ginger studies reveal anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties while helping regulate blood sugar. Mullein (one of my favorites) can kill worms, tuberculosis, pneumonia, e. coli, and other bacterial infections. Lavender studies indicate sleep, relaxation, and pain-relieving benefits (among other things!).
That’s just a small sample of what natural remedies can do! There are many other herbs and many other uses!
2. They’re Safe
The majority of herbs — including all the ones I listed above — have basically no side effects. They can be used for almost anyone, including babies, young children, and pregnant and nursing women. No dose is dangerous, either, and they aren’t addicting.
The “safest” herbs (ones that can be used by just about anyone in any dose) include ginger, garlic, turmeric, lavender, mullein, nettles, red raspberry leaf, blackberry leaf, oatstraw, skullcap, catnip, peppermint, spearmint, arnica (topical only), goldenseal root, Oregon grape root, marshmallow root, wild cherry bark, and more.
Some herbs shouldn’t be used by certain people or only in small doses. These include ashwagandha (not in pregnancy or nursing), saw palmetto, passionflower (small doses; caution in pregnancy/nursing), poke root, black and blue cohosh, yarrow (not in pregnancy), and others.
This isn’t a comprehensive list. But many herbs are very safe!
3. They’re Affordable
Here’s another cool thing — herbs are very affordable. They’re often $1/oz. or less (and an ounce of dry plant material is a lot). Even prepared remedies are often $20 – $30 for a small bottle, which usually lasts months to years. Herbal remedies can be stored longer than most OTC medicines and taken by multiple family members.
When you prepare your own, they’re really cheap. A 2-oz. tincture bottle may cost a couple of dollars, and it’s potent. That’s pretty awesome. If DIYs aren’t your thing, you can find premade and affordable herbal remedies at our store, Earthley Wellness.
4. They’re Easily Available
It’s happened, inevitably, that we have traveled and someone has come down with a cold. I always know that I can get at least a few of my go-to remedies at the grocery store — I usually go for ginger, lemon, honey, baking soda, and Epsom salts. It’s a simple way to make ginger lemon tea and a nice bath with baking soda and salts. These items are truly available almost anywhere.
And now, many nicer grocery stores also carry brands of prepared remedies in their pharmacies — there’s usually a whole aisle of supplements and herbal remedies. While traveling, I have found elderberry syrup and quality probiotics, vitamin C, etc., at some stores. Of course, I prefer to make my own when I can!
5. They’re Customizable
Here’s an especially cool thing. With natural remedies, there are endless combinations. If, for example, you are allergic to one remedy (many people are allergic to chamomile because it’s similar to ragweed), then you can just choose another.
Or, if you simply have certain herbs that work better for you than others, you can create remedies that use those herbs. Many people find elderberry extremely effective against colds and flu; I don’t find it works well for my family. Mullein, however, does. And that’s the neat thing — I can base my respiratory remedies on mullein instead of elderberry because herbs are totally customizable!
6. They’re Versatile
While you can choose several herbs that each do the same thing — hence why remedies are customizable — each herb has many uses! Ginger can be used for colds, flu, inflammation/pain, upset stomachs, cancer, and more! Lavender can be used for burns, promoting relaxation, headaches, and more. Herbs are so versatile that it’s possible to have only a few common ones around and still be able to treat many different things.
7. They’re DIY
I don’t know about you, but I love doing things myself. I love creating unique, affordable remedies that work for my family. I love being able to totally control the ingredients in them. I love knowing that if someone isn’t feeling well, I have what I need in the kitchen to whip up something to make them feel better in minutes. That’s just awesome.
8. They’re Truly Natural
When you create your own remedies, you control the ingredients completely. There are no preservatives (even “natural” ones) or ingredients you simply don’t prefer. Some forms of glycerin, used to make tinctures, are based on soy. But if you make tinctures at home, you can choose glycerin based on palm or coconut instead. This is especially important for families with allergies!
9. They’re Easy
I know — it can seem intimidating when you’re brand new to natural remedies. But I promise, they are easy. Most only require a few ingredients and come together in just a few minutes. Even the ones that take longer really only need time to sit — not active time from you. There are only a few main types of remedies and preparation methods, too, so once you learn the basics, you can make anything. Really, they are easy to make!
10. They’re In This Awesome Book!
I understand; it really is intimidating if you’ve never tried natural remedies before. You don’t know what to start with, where to buy, or how to make anything. It’s hard to take that leap, even if you really want to.
But you don’t have to be intimidated anymore. My book, Natural Remedies For Kids, is available at Five Below (in stores and online). It’s a beautiful, full-color guide to making and using natural remedies (despite the title, they’re for the whole family). It’s also my first traditionally published book. 🙂
See, I once was totally intimidated, too. I wished I had an experienced mama to accompany me and show me how to get started. That’s why, after 6+ years of experience with using and preparing natural remedies, I wrote this book (now I know even more!
You’ll learn all about the basic preparation methods — teas, decoctions, infusions, tinctures, salves, lotions, and more. Plus, which herbs to start with in your natural medicine cabinet.
The book is divided into 4 main sections — respiratory symptoms, digestive symptoms, skin and hair symptoms, and emotional symptoms. Within each section, you’ll find key symptoms (like ‘sore throat’ in the image above) with possible causes, what to watch for (I.e., when it’s serious enough to call the doctor), and how to treat it — with several simple, natural remedies (ones you can often put together in minutes and that have only 1 – 2 ingredients). At the end of each section, you’ll find recipes to create your own syrups, teas, tinctures, and more.
Every recipe explains the ingredients used — what they are and why they’re included (and metric measurements for those not in the US). They also suggest how to “kick it up a notch” to increase the effectiveness for older kids or more serious symptoms. There are step-by-step instructions on how to make the remedy, information on how to store it, what to use it for, how to dose it, and even contraindications to know if this remedy isn’t for you.
This makes trying out natural remedies a no-brainer! Really!
Throughout the book, you’ll also find tips and hints from several of my excellent colleagues and bits of wisdom from my awesome co-author, Dr. Bob Zajac. He’s a practicing, board-certified pediatrician and father of 8, so he adds a lot to the book. I loved working with him! (And we hope to collaborate again on future projects!)
Make natural remedies easier and make your family healthier with Natural Remedies for Kids. You deserve vibrant health. 🙂