Image by Tracy Hunter
I abandoned the Monday Health & Wellness for the month of July, so that I could do the Real Food Confessions. I hope you enjoyed them! I think it’s fun to see how different people *really* live!
But I’ve missed talking health. Today I want to sum up a few of my most used, simplest home remedies…and introduce you to a couple of new ones.
(Speaking of “home remedies,” don’t forget to enter Monday’s giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Naturally Knocked Up!)
Most illnesses are minor and self-limiting. There’s no reason to rush off to the doctor to treat every little cough, sniffle, and fever (nor basic bumps and bruises). If you’re like me, you don’t remember in advance to prepare stuff, or buy what you need. Then you’re caught off guard. Rather than overwhelm you with a whole bunch of different remedies, I want to highlight my top choices that I always have the ingredients on hand for.
Cough and Cold Syrup — Thankfully, we haven’t needed this during the summer. But once the weather starts turning cooler, which won’t be too long now, I’ll make up a batch of this and stick it in the fridge. I’ll keep the ingredients in the pantry, too, so that a bottle is never more than a few hours away. This stuff stops colds in their tracks if taken at the onset of symptoms. It is simply my most effective cold remedy. It lasts about a month in the fridge, too, so you can just keep it around easily.
Sore Muscle Salve — There are a million uses for this. If you’ve dropped something on your foot (I wouldn’t know anything about that…), if you’ve exercised too much, if you strained something…this can help. And it lasts indefinitely on the counter so it’s easy to keep around. A little massage with this and some rest and sore muscles feel better! It’s also useful for headaches, especially tension headaches.
Herbal Multi-vitamin — I thought this was a good idea when I came up with it. But now that I’ve been taking it for a few months, I think it’s a really great idea. It’s made me feel so much better. It’s so simple and easy, too. It takes a few weeks to make (i.e. ‘wait time’), but it will last on the counter for several months after that. I’ll be talking about one of my favorite uses for this in a couple of weeks.
These are my most popular home remedies. You can see all my home remedies here.
Now…what in the world does this have to do with home remedies?
Sadly, constipation is one of the most frequent concerns among Americans these days. There are a lot of reasons for it — poor diet, lack of exercise, mild dehydration, and so on. But another reason for it that we don’t often talk about is bathroom posture.
Yes, the posture in which you use the toilet affects your ability to go. The natural position for using the toilet isn’t sitting, it’s actually squatting. But trying to perch on the toilet is uncomfortable…and awkward. Who wants to do that?
Enter: Squatty Potty.
This interesting little device helps you to “sit” on the toilet, but places your feet widely set and up high so that you can achieve a squatting position. This makes it easier to go and helps prevent constipation and can help relieve hemorrhoids and other bathroom issues (if the hemorrhoids are related to straining — extra fat, especially vitamin E, is also a good idea).
We’ve had one for a few months and I won’t go into the major details, I’ll just say we’ve liked having it around.
This neat little contraption can be one simple part of the solution to better health. We keep talking about how important gut health is? Well, this can help improve gut health by making elimination easier.
Some of you are saying, “Okay, I get it, but, why not just use a footstool? Or even a box? It’s cheaper.” True. But, those objects sit right in front of the toilet, so your feet are in front of you rather than off to the side. You’re not quite in the right position. Plus, those objects are in the way. Squatty Potty slides nearly under your toilet so it doesn’t take up much room in the bathroom. There are lots of advantages. Plus, they’re made so well that they’ll last, even if your kids are climbing and jumping on it a lot (ahem). We have a newly potty-trained 3-year-old, so…you can imagine.
Other helpful (not homemade, necessarily) things to have on hand would be:
- Fresh garlic — This is a natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal. You can use it for tons of different symptoms, and you can either eat it or mix with coconut oil and put it on your feet (great for babies and small children who won’t eat it).
- Fresh ginger — This is great for helping colds, coughs, and sore throats, among other things. It can be made into a tea or poultice.
- Chicken stock — This is something everyone should always have. It boosts immunity, helps heal colds and flu, and contains tons of nutrients.
- Probiotics — These can be in supplement form or in food form. Probiotics help increase gut health and resistance to disease.
- Coconut oil — This is another anti-viral, anti-bacterial food. It can be consumed or used on the skin or hair. It acts as a natural sunscreen, moisturizer, and is used in creating many types of salve or cream.
- Bentonite Clay — This is really neat stuff that can be used internally or externally. We’ve used it in a paste on bug bites (super effective) and have taken it as a supplement. It can stop food poisoning or stomach viruses if taken early enough. It has so many uses! Redmond Clay makes it in many preparations (you’ll be hearing more about that later this month).
With these items on hand, you can at least begin to treat almost anything that might crop up.