Google+ Authentic Parenting: Your Natural Kitchen Apothecary

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Your Natural Kitchen Apothecary

Whenever possible, my family prefers natural cures over mainstream medicine. Over the years I have learned that I can relieve a great deal of illnesses without having to buy anything but the things I have in my home. You would be amazed how many natural medicines your kitchen harbors, so here goes: a list of everyday foods and spices that have healing powers, what they’re good for and how to use them.


Image: Alexandre Dulaunoy on Flickr
There’s probably several of these lying around in every family kitchen, and they’re useful indeed.
  • Ear infection: a roughly chopped onion wrapped in a handkerchief, tucked behind the ear will take the pain away in no time
  • Cough: Make an easy cough syrup by steeping a diced onion in honey overnight. Eat the honey one tablespoon at a time.
  • The daily consumption of onions helps your veins retain elasticity. Great prevention for varicose veins in pregnancy.
  • Onions also lower blood pressure. For the best effect, consume large quantities raw.
  • Onions reduce blood sugar
  • Bruised onions applied to burns and scalds accelerates healing.

Garlic is nature’s antibiotic. Instead of what’s generally assumed, garlic does not loose all of its healing qualities with cooking. It is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial and lowers blood pressure.
  • A clove of garlic up the vagina will ward off vaginal infection. This also works as a preventative measure and as a cure against GBS.
  • Garlic oil is probably the easiest way to ingest large quantities of raw garlic: just chop up some cloves of garlic and cover in olive oil, then use as a dip, marinade or dressing.
Because of its astringent and antiseptic qualities.
  • In the Far East, cinnamon powder is sprinkled on open wound to dry them and disinfect. I tried this when my daughter had scraped her lip and nose, which didn’t seemed to want to dry out because of the placement of the wound, and in one night, the wound was dry and a nice crust had formed.
Honey is another one of nature’s healing gems
  • Burns: Honey is used in special infused bandages in burn units. Smearing a burn wound with honey will speed up healing and prevent scarring.
Ginger works well against nausea and can be drunk as a tea or chewed on. Sugared ginger for the latter is a cheap and delicious option. ginger is also a recommended warming herb against any cold and flu type illness.

Thyme Thyme works particularly well as an antibiotic in cases of bronchitis. For medicinal use, wild thyme is preferred, but by lack of the wild variety, the kitchen variety will do.
  • A thyme compress on the head gives some relief in case of fever.
It’s well known that lemons are nature’s little bomb of vitamin C, but did you know that lemons are also anti-fat, anti bacterial, anti-histamine, anti-infective, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory? And above all that readily available and cheap!
  • You can make a lovely decongesting tea for cold type illnesses with lemon juice, half a teaspoon of grated ginger root and a spoonful of honey.
  • A lemon gargle relieves sore throats.
Be careful that lemon juice does not come into direct contact with your teeth, as it destroys the enamel.

  • A handful of rock salt, heated in a skillet until burning hot and wrapped in a piece of cloth makes a great pain relieving compress for ear infections
  • A teaspoon of salt diluted in lukewarm water is an effective gargle for a sore throat
Image: The Delicious Life on Flickr
  • Raw cabbage leafs relieve sore, engorged breasts.
  • Ironed cabbage leaf applied on the sore ligaments would also help against pains of rheumatism or arthritis.
Be careful when consuming anything in the cabbage family when nursing, as these greens may produce intestinal gas in your baby and cause colic.

Apple Cider Vinegar
  • To avoid convulsion in a feverish child, dip a pair of sock in a mixture of half water, half apple cider vinegar, wring and put on his feet. Put a pair of dry socks on top. This will steadily get the fever down.
  • To quickly plummet a fever, put your child in a lukewarm bath with one cup of apple cider vinegar.
If you are using every day foods and spices to heal, you’ll quickly realize that there’s a big interest in buying them as natural and organic as possible, or growing them yourself. Once you’ve tried and tasted the organic varieties, you’ll see they are much higher in taste - and in medicinal quality.

A Comprehensive Guide to Herbs And Breastfeeding. Earth Mama Angel Baby
Rosalee de la ForĂȘt Healing Herbs e-Book.
Bartram T. Bartram’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. London, 1998.
Gladstar R. Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health. 2008
Weed S.S. Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year. 1986




  1. I love this article, I wish I could pin it on Pinterest to share with other mamas. :(


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