This comprehensive guide to building a natural medicine cabinet will give you all the tools you need to stock your own natural medicine cabinet! Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. I am not a doctor. Please consult your own trusted healthcare provider before making any decisions about your health.
Part of the reason I disdained conventional meds–even long before my healthy living journey began–was because I didn’t like how they made me feel. Sure, Tylenol would relieve a headache, but allergy meds always made me feel loopy. Taking them almost made me feel worse than the allergies themselves.
When I became a mom, I learned about some of the negative side effects of children’s medications. I decided to begin researching more natural alternatives to healing.
And my natural medicine cabinet was born.
I’m happy to say that my family only uses conventional medications as a last resort–but we don’t just grin and bear illnesses anymore. We conquer them head-on with these more natural alternatives.
Building a Natural Medicine Cabinet
When I began preparing for this post, I was shocked to find just how full my natural medicine cabinet has become. It was not always like this. It has taken years to build up my natural medicine cabinet.
It would be very expensive to stock a full natural medicine cabinet all at once. If you have the resources, then go for it! But if you are living on a tight budget, you can still begin replacing conventional medications with more natural alternatives–little by little.
When I first began, we were living on a low income. I would visit our local health store frequently and check out the clearance shelves.
Besides this, at first, I mostly just purchased items I needed as needed. It definitely helps to already have things on hand, but that isn’t always possible for some families.
Some of these items you can also make for yourself–like elderberry syrup or some essential oil blends. This is an even more cost-effective way to build a natural medicine cabinet.
Places to Shop
I now purchase most of what’s in my natural medicine cabinet from Amazon( other than I can gather and do my own). I have found they have the best prices for most of the stuff I need. Plus, I never have to leave my home to shop! When placing an order, I will often price compare between Amazon or any other seller.
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You might notice in the pictures and links that I use a wide variety of brands. I usually look at reviews, but some of these brands are simply the most cost-effective ones I found when I ordered them.
There are a few linked-to brands that I haven’t used yet. As I wrote long ago in a post about the essential oils “wars,” I am not brand loyal. I purposely linked to some neutral essential oils brands for this reason–although I do name some blends we use from the larger companies.
Natural Medicine Cabinet
I store our natural medicines in two locations–a kitchen cabinet for supplements we use often and in a bathroom closet for those remedies we only use as needed.
For this post, I’ve broken my natural medicine cabinet into categories, according to ailment. This is mostly how I keep things organized in my actual cabinet and closet.
We are also continually adding to our natural medicine cabinet, so be sure to check this post at least once per year to look at what I’ve added to this list.
My older two daughters and husband all have exercise-and-illness-induced asthma, so respiratory health is something we take seriously. In an emergency or extreme case (like when our middle daughter had pneumonia as an infant and again as a toddler!), we will use conventional breathing treatments. But we like to keep it to:
- eucalyptus essential oil: I will dilute this with coconut oil and rub it on our chests or dab it on our pajamas, so we can sniff it throughout the night. I will also use it in baths, mixed with bath salts, or used in our essential oil shower diffuser. Note that eucalyptus oil should not be used on children.
- elderberry syrup: I like for us to take this to build up our immune systems all winter long, but it’s also great for respiratory health! Sambucus Elderberry Syrup is the preferred brand that we get on Amazon, but we recently started making our own syrup as well. My kids prefer the Yum V’s Immune Shield gummies. I love that they are sweetened with xylitol instead of sugar; however, xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs, so take care if you have one.
- cool mist humidifier: Not technically medicine, but we use these in our bedrooms to help with clear breathing.
- essential oil diffuser: This is different than a humidifier. It helps to diffuse respiratory-building oils into the air. We personally have several of them that we use in different rooms of our home, but there is also a huge selection of diffusers available on Amazon. I recommend checking reviews before ordering.
- Lympha Rub: This is a great rub for swollen lymph nodes, especially if you don’t want to mix your own essential oils and herbs.
- Clear Lungs: I learned about this herbal blend when all four of our kids and I had the flu back in 2019. It became part of our daily healing regimen for me to give the kids a capsule of it broken into a cup of applesauce. It gave me so much peace of mind when my asthmatic kids, especially, were battling such a severe illness.
- Umcka: I LOVE this, and when I discovered it in 2019, I thought: Where have you been all my life? Umcka is a homeopathic medicine combined with herbs and the umcka root plant. It makes for a very powerful and healing natural medicine. I noticed a difference within a very short time of taking it. It especially helped calm the cough that accompanied my flu virus in 2019. It’s now our go-to “medicine” for any respiratory illness. I really feel it elevates symptoms and also shortens the illness. If you don’t like liquids, Umcka also comes in chewable and powder form.
- Plant Therapy Respiratory blends: These are effective and affordable essential oil blends.
Thankfully, we have not had to deal with ear infections for several years, but my middle daughter had several when she was a baby. This is what worked for us:
- colloidal silver: I put drops of this in my daughter’s ears, and it really helped! It’s almost like a natural alternative to antibiotics!
- garlic oil drops: I would rotate garlic and colloidal silver.
- Trilight Health EarAche Wellness Relief Kit: This is a great kit to keep on hand if you have little ones who are prone to earaches and infections.
- Hydrogen Peroxide: Likely something everyone has around the house already, this germ buster is not just for scraped knees. A few drops in each ear when you or your child feels a cold or ear infection coming on can often stop the illness altogether. A few drops in each ear during an illness or infection can speed recovery. Simply use a dropper to put a few drops in each ear and stay still until the bubbling stops. Some bubbling is normal and good and some people experience very minor stinging.
Taking our daughter off of dairy and getting her chiropractic adjustments also helped with ear infections.
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- bentonite clay: This is a must-have! We love the Redmond Clay brand that is already hydrated. If you order directly from Redmond. We use this on cuts, scrapes, burns, bug bites–you name it!
- lavender essential oil: Also great on scrapes, cuts, burns.
- frankincense essential oil: I recently used this to remove an ingrown hair bump. It’s also great for just about any area that needs healing.
- DIY coconut oil stick: I honestly haven’t made this yet myself, but we use plain coconut oil for soothing cuts, etc. all the time.
- homemade antibacterial hand soap(or you can buy some non-toxic soap refills)
- arnica pellets for pain
- Ouchie by Rocky Mountain Oils
- Earth Mama Organics Eczema Cream
- activated charcoal: I’m certain this kept me from getting the stomach virus even when the rest of my family fell ill!
- peppermint essential oil–diluted with coconut oil and rubbed on the abdomen
- ginger tea: Ginger is great for calming nausea.
- probiotics: These are also great for daily health!
- bentonite clay: This is great to dissolve in water. It absorbs any toxins causing discomfort.
- DiGiZen by Plant Therapy
- elderberry syrup: Elderberry juice syrup has been used for centuries as a home remedy to treat the cold and flu, both of which are caused by a virus. The syrup is believed to reduce the severity and duration of the infection if taken within 48 hours of the first symptoms so this is a must-have.
- neti pot: I LOVE using this to clear out my nasal passages! It is very important to use clean water with this. We usually boil our water first and then let it cool.
- Vitamin C: We up our vitamin C when we feel sick, but we also take it daily during the winter months.
- Vitamin D3: Vitamin D3 is vital to immune health! Like Vitamin C, we take it daily during the winter months, but I make sure we are getting good Vitamin D3 if one of us is ill.
- Echinacea: We give the echinacea drops to our kids, while hubby and I take echinacea capsules.
- I also really love this echinacea-elder tea and have also used this echinacea-goldenseal blend.
- oregano essential oil: diluted with coconut oil and rubbed on the feet
- zinc–for extra immune health
- garlic: Garlic capsules are easy to swallow, but raw garlic is always best.
- air purifier: We keep one of these in our living room year-round.
- bath salts or bentonite clay to take a detox bath
- Immune Boom by Plant Therapy
- Cold Calm: These homeopathic tablets dissolve in your mouth and can seriously lessen symptoms!
- Oscillococcinum: These homeopathic pellets can help elevate flu-like symptoms.
In this post, I wrote about 10 natural ways to prevent colds and the flu from items in your natural medicine cabinet.
- Throat Coat tea: LOVE this!
- raw, local honey mixed with cinnamon
- lemon water
Aches and Pains
- arnica cream
- Arnica Tincture: Made from the flowers of the arnica plant, arnica tincture (external use only) has amazing benefits for bruises, strains, sprains, and muscle soreness, especially when used quickly. I follow my usual process for making a tincture. This can be used externally on the painful spot or muscle (avoid open wounds).
- bath salts or bentonite clay to take a detox bath
- Muscle Aloe Gel
- Deep Blue rub essential oil blend or cream–or a blend of spearmint essential oil and peppermint essential oil
- lavender essential oil: rub on the bottom of your feet for a good night’s sleep!
- bath salts or bentonite clay to take a detox bath before bed
- Cal/Mag: This is a relaxing drink great for before bed. I began drinking it during pregnancy. It can also help with leg pain during pregnancy.
- magnesium: This really helps to get a good night’s sleep.
- melatonin: This helps regulate your sleep.
- magnesium lotion: My husband swears up and down that this lotion is magical and gives him the most restful sleep he’s ever experienced.
- peppermint essential oil
- bath salts or bentonite clay to take a detox bath
- saline solution
- neti pot
- raw, local honey
- lemon essential oil
- lavender essential oil
- eucalyptus essential oil
- Trilight Health’s Female Formula
- Clary Sage Essential Oil
- heating pad
What if you’re reading this and you’re already sick and can’t get to the store to get any of these supplies!
I feel your pain! When our family was sick with the flu in the winter of 2019, and my husband was away at work, I utilized Instacart for the first time.
While I don’t use this service on a regular basis, it was a huge godsend to me when I could not get out to shop for medicine and food!
While none of these are services that make it into my regular routine, if I were stuck at home sick for a long period, I would definitely use them.
What’s in your natural medicine cabinet?
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