I've been thinking about this post for awhile and haven't had time to get it written up. I have a great interest in herbs and healing one's self naturally. I would really like
to grow my own herbs and make tinctures and dry the herbs. Alas at this stage of life I don't how that could be a reality.
But, there still some great things you can use instead of conventional medicines that are easy to find and fairly cheap. The first thing I want to mention is apple cider vinegar. The kind I use is Bragg's and I buy it at our health food store. It's important that it be a good quality- one that has the 'mother' in it. Not only does it taste great in salad dressings we've discovered some other uses for it as well.
1. It is antifungal. I was fighting a ringworm, which is a fungus not a worm, for many months. It started as a quarter sized ring on my inner thigh, and spread into a patch the size of my hand and then also on the other leg. I used over the counter creams and then I went to the doctor and paid way too much money for some medicine. The medicine worked, but it was derived from penicillin, and I am allergic to penicillin. I had a really bad reaction to it. My husband read online that apple cider vinegar could be used to heal it. I applied the vinegar to the area twice a day for several days and it dried up. Gone!
2. It draws out toxins. If you have a sore throat, dilute some vinegar in water and gargle. It's rather gross, but it draws out the bacteria as you gargle, and then you spit it all out. It really does help a lot.
3. It is great for heartburn, tummy aches, indigestion whatever. Last Tuesday night my belly was achin' for a long time. My husband told me to take some and I didn't want to afraid it might make it worse. I finally drank about two teaspoons for water/vinegar and I was better! Much better than tums or our expensive digestive tonic from Dr. Schulze.
It's also a good idea to drink some before a meal to insure good digestion, especially if you are having problems in that area.
I'm sure there are lots more uses for it than what I've listed here.
Another product that has made a huge difference in our health is taking a probiotic. Probiotics are the healthy organisms found in yogurt, kefir, kombucha etc. that populate the gut and keep things in good working order. They are also a large part of our immune system, strengthening our defense against all these weird viruses and things that are around. My husband and I take one called Gr8-dophilus. It's is specially coated capsule with 8 strains of probiotics that will go straight to the intestines and begin populating it with the good guys. This product virtually healed me of IBS. It costs approximately $10 for 60 capsules, which lasts 1-2 months depending on how we are feeling. My kids take a chewable one and also I've started them on the drinkable immune booster yogurts for extra support.
Ok, this ones sounds weird, but it works. If you are dealing with a nagging, itchy, dry type of cough, this is what you do. At bedtime take some Vicks Vapor rub, and coat the bottoms of your feet with it. Put on some old socks and go to bed. It works!!! I only had baby Vicks and it still worked great. No coughs at all.
Something else I keep on hand is tea tree oil. I've had the same bottle for over three years and it cost me $3. It is anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial. I make a solution of vinegar, water and a few drops of the tea tree oil and use to clean with. (bathrooms) Also in the second rinse of washing diapers, I add vinegar and a few drops of the oil in a downy ball. It helps to make sure the diapers smell good and kill anything nasty. I sometimes do this with my kitchen towels and dishcloths as well.
Something else I've just started doing is instead of buying Febreeze to freshen the house and furniture, I took a little spray bottle, filled it with water and some lavender essential oil drops. I spray it on the furniture, bedding and use it for ironing. Works nicely, and is definitely cheaper.
I know there was something I else I had to add but my mind is blank. Maybe later I will remember.
I remembered already. How could I forget the garlic!?
Garlic is just amazing. It is such a gift to use from the Lord with all of its healing properties. Read this to learn more about what garlic can do.
For congestion/colds we make garlic tea. Chop up a medium-large clove of garlic. Add 6oz boiling water and let steep for a few minutes. Add honey to taste, and adding apple cider vinegar will help as well as make it taste like sweet pickle juice. Drink as much as possible. I took five sips and my nose was clear.
We've also chopped garlic finely, added boiling water to steep, then soaked a paper towel or washcloth in it and used it as a poultice on the chest and/or feet for the kids. I've never been good at remembering to keep applying it, but it does work to open things up.
For awhile my husband would chop the cloves in small pieces and swallow them like a pill. He never got bit by bugs :)
I have crushed a clove of garlic, added some olive oil and heated it till the garlic is fragrant, then dropped it in baby's ears and massage the oil around the ear area to get rid of ear infections and to prevent them. Much nicer than going to the doctor and getting antibiotics. Much cheaper too.