The 5 Must-Haves In My Natural Medicine Cabinet

oh the skeptics, they love to judge

say you prefer natural cures to going to the doctor and everyone loses their minds *sigh*

Living in the wilds of the Caribbean, I’m accustomed to various creatures wanting to snack on my delicate flesh.

Yep, I’ve been bitten by lots of things – mosquitos, ants, horseflies (oh man, those hurt), and fleas, to name a few.

No sharks yet happily (fingers crossed while I still have ’em!).

But last weekend something larger than your average pest got ahold of me when my friend’s dog decided I looked delicious.

It turns out that when I say: “Hello boy! How are you doing fuzzy features?”, what I’m actually saying in dog language is: “My thighs are soft and meaty, why don’t you have a taste?”

I was left with two angry bite marks, one of which broke the skin, and had to dip into my emergency first aid medical kit for some natural treatments.

It got me thinking – is my medicine cabinet well stocked enough? What should I have in there and what natural antibiotics/antiseptics are the best DIY treatments for cuts and scrapes?

So I’m giving you a virtual look inside my bag o’ tricks. Please feel free to leave a comment about your own natural medical must-haves and perhaps together we can build the perfect first-aid kit for when the zombie apocalypse happens and all the doctors get eaten first.

Tea Tree Oil

when using it for my face I put 2-3 drops in a capful of water

when using it for my face I put 2-3 drops in a capful of water

Tea Tree Oil has been the mainstay of my cosmetics routine for a while now. I dilute it down and use it as a topical toner for my face. It clears up all the grime that accumulates over the course of a busy day, takes off make-up beautifully and keeps my skin pretty clear.

It’s antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and antisocial (okay, not that last one. I just wanted to be sure you’re paying attention). Its uses are legendary and range from treating dandruff and cuts /burns to bladder infections and rheumatism.

Oil of Oregano

the pills are for Dog, the drops are for us

the pills are for Dog, the drops are for us

We’ve just started Dog on Oil of Oregano. Poor thing gets crippling allergies that make him breakout in crusty patches and intense itching. After a week on his new oregano oil regime, his skin is clearing up, the bounce is back in his step and his glossy fur is coming back.

I’m annoyed at myself for not thinking of it sooner since it’s been a big help to me in the past. I’ve used it for the flu, UTIs and dabbing on cuts. The oil is a very potent antibiotic and kills bacteria, parasites, fungus and yeast.

Herbal authority Steven Foster credits oregano as having been used successfully to treat indigestion, diarrhea, nervous tension, insect bites, toothache, earache, rheumatism, and coughs due to whopping cough and bronchitis (from

Activated Charcoal

it's messy, but it does the trick

excellent for those times when you’ve over-indulged

This bad boy got used just the other night in my house. Hubs and I went out for dinner and I ordered a glass of red wine with my meal. Unfortunately it was cheap-ass wine and my snobbish liver Did Not Like.

Perhaps it was the tannin, perhaps it was expired. Whatever the reason, l I started feeling almost hungover – gassy, headachey, tired, nauseous.

I swallowed a few charcoal pills and, within an hour, started feeling better.

Why? Because charcoal is excellent at absorbing and neutralising toxins. It’s used primarily for treating accidental poison overdoses, excessive gas and indigestion. Just make sure you buy the proper stuff rather than chowing down on actual charcoal, from coals. That’s very much frowned upon here at TMBL.

Activated Charcoal is also apparently great for whitening your teeth. Weird.

And Wellness Mama uses it for spider bites (aka the only insect in this country that hasn’t bitten me…yet).

Baking Soda

I buy Bob's Red Mill because it's aluminium free

I buy Bob’s Red Mill because it’s aluminium free

I love the white stuff so much that I’m surprised my family hasn’t staged an intervention.

We use baking soda for everything in our house – cleaning, bathing the dog, washing our hair, scouring dirty pans etc etc

When we’re not smearing it on our hair, or our pet, we occasionally drink it. Mixed up in half a glass of water with a tbsp of apple cider vinegar, this is a great remedy for heartburn and acid indigestion.

It’s also effective for insect bites, sunburn and deodourant.


goodbye cramps!

goodbye cramps!

Guys, look away now. We’re about to talk lady bits.

When Shark Week comes around, I like to beat the cramps by liberally slathering my abdomen with magnesium oil. The oil acts as a relaxant on muscles which is why it’s fantastic for cramps (of any muscle, not just that pesky uterus). Massaged into my belly, I’ve found it to be a great help in reducing the pain and inflammation of Aunty Flo.

Ok, the menfolk can rejoin the conversation because I’m moving onto the other miraculous uses of this amazing mineral. Magnesium is a known stress reliever and cure for insomnia. I gave a bottle to my acupuncturist who sleeps about as much as your average vampire ie not at all.

She loved it and said she noticed the difference almost immediately. While it didn’t help keep her asleep, it definitely helped her nod off.

If you want to make your own magnesium oil, the Health Extremist hasa very good tutorial.

Weigh in: What natural medical must-haves are in your first-aid kit? Do you use any of the above? What should I have put on my dog bites?

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This post was also shared at Party Wave Wednesday

28 thoughts on “The 5 Must-Haves In My Natural Medicine Cabinet

  1. Reblogged this on veggiewitch and commented:
    LOVE! I need to get some charcoal and oregano oil for my natural first aid kit! I had thought my kit was pretty complete until this post. Thank you!

    Great tip about the ACV and baking soda with water, too, my friend. Thank you once more. ♥

  2. I was once enamoured with tea tree oil until this spring. I used it on a pesky scratch on my thumb that got angry while i was travelling in italy. The sore spread and bubbled and got redder and uglier. I went to a pharmacy and got other stuff to use instead and slowly it got better. At home i had an unrelated appointment with my dematolgist, who said: what the heck happened to your hand? She told me many people are allergic to tea tree oil and that was likely the cause of the mess on my thumb… Just to say one thing doesn’t work for all!

  3. We always have chewable papaya enzyme tablets. If your tummy’s a little off or you have indigestion, they work like a charm, and my kiddo will even take them.

  4. The ones you have listed are great. I’ve used magnesium oil to clear up dry skin rashes I get in the winter. I haven’t noticed that it helps with cramps, but nothing natural I’ve tried helps much with that. I’ve pretty much given up and take Aleve when I need it.
    Some others I can’t live without:
    lavender oil – works great for burns – sun burns (I mix it wit coconut oil and slather on) or blister burns from hot pots (use it straight).
    coconut oil – it’s anti-fungal, anti- bacterial and rich in anti-oxidants. I use it for everything. Just started this oil pulling thing…have yet to find out if it does any good. 🙂
    colloidal silver – I know, very controversial, but I use it in a heart beat over antibiotic drugs and it’s worked so far!
    Burt’s Bees Coconut foot cream – I use this liberally on infected cuts and scrapes and it works fabulously. Also coat my feet with it when I’m wearing shoes and socks – it really helps those cracked heels – and even put it on dry hands and elbows, covered with socks, overnight.
    Thanks for sharing your must haves!

    • I recommend raspberry leaf tea for cramps/PMS/period side effects. Note: raspberry-flavored tea is different from raspberry LEAF tea. It’s also supposed to be good for the uterus. It tastes more like black tea than an herbal tea and is also good iced.


      • Thanks for the suggestion, Lily! I looked it up and read that I need to drink 3 cups a day. Would that be every single day or just when I’m having cramps?

      • HI Sarah! I think it would still help even if you just drink it during your period, although if you chart your cycle on the calendar and know when your PMS time begins, it would be great to drink it then, too.

        It is said to tone the muscles of the uterus and relieve cramps. I have pelvic floor issues and it’s one of the many things I do to help with symptoms – I think it works. I wish I had known about it earlier because I had HORRIBLE cramps throughout my 20s.

        The Yogi brand is good, but if there is a coop near you it’s easy and cheap to purchase the loose tea. But sometimes that feels inconvenient. I drank MANY boxes of the Yogi tea before I finally started just buying the loose tea. Whatever works! Hope it helps! 🙂

  5. This is a great list. I tried the activated charcoal for teeth and it is truly amazing!

    I was having some crowns redone and the teeth next to them were way too yellow. I didn’t want the dentist to match the crowns to that! So even though I’m a freak about not using chemical stuff, I did use some white strips (boo,hiss). I wish I would have known about the charcoal then. It worked better and was cheaper! It’s easier, too, except for the potential for a big mess.

  6. Thank you soooo much – very helpful. I would add peppermint oil to this as it is great for nausea and headaches. Just dab a bit at your temples or rub into your palms, cup your hands and breathe deeply. It’ll clear the sinuses a bit as well. Quality oils work better. I use and sell doTERRA oils if anyone is interested in more info – they also make a very fine oregano oil.

  7. Pingback: Why I Stockpile Apple Cider Vinegar (and you should too) | Things My Belly Likes

  8. Pingback: 5 Ways to Reduce Pain (without popping pills) | Things My Belly Likes

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