How to Heal Yourself:
Timeless Natural Remedies from the Holistic Healer’s Medicine Chest
All too often we find ourselves visiting the doctor because we feel unwell only to hear that it is a viral infection and an antibiotic is not the answer. There is nothing within their scope of practice that they can give. Nothing they can do to alleviate the symptoms so they advise you to rest, hydrate and heal. While these are good suggestions, they bring little respite from your illness. You still feel miserable.
What can you do? How do you find relief? How can you heal yourself?
We suggest you make your own natural first aid kit, a holistic medicine chest, with versatile, inexpensive and useful healing tools that you can keep on hand to heal yourself at home. You might want to include some of these alternative remedies listed that have been used by healers to prevent and treat maladies for thousands of years.
We aren’t saying that you shouldn’t visit your physician. By all means—go to the doctor when you need to. However, if you are turned away with nothing more than their bill and are seeking supplementary care, perhaps you may want to try some of the therapies below. Please use with caution as these therapies may affect some people differently than others, and as always, advise your healthcare practitioner of any remedies you are using at home.
If you are in disbelief that these therapies may improve your health, do some research. Many if not all of these remedies have been the subject of scientific scrutiny and have been researched for their antibacterial, antiviral, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal and analgesic properties. In this article we chose to target sore throat, cough and headache as these are common conditions that we are forced to battle from time to time. These herbs are not exclusive to the specified ailments.
Ingredients to Create Your Own Holistic Healer’s Medicine Chest
Holistic Remedies for Sore Throat
Licorice root has been used to make over-the-counter medicines. It is an ingredient in many herbal tea blends. It can also be mixed with water as a gargle solution.
An ingredient in many ‘throat coat’ herbal tea blends. It can also be mixed with boiling water and drunk. Slippery elm was traditionally used by the Native Americans for soothing an irritated throat.
Honey has been used since ancient times for multiple conditions. It is antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. You can consume honey in tea or straight up. You may also relieve allergy symptoms by using local honey. If you feel inclined to splurge, Manuka is our choice as the best medicinal honey.
Salt Water Gargle
Sea salt is an affordable and versatile item to have in your medicine chest. A warm salt water gargle draws out inflammation from the throat.
Marshmallow root is not to be confused with marshmallow candy. They do NOT come from the same source. Mix with boiling water and drink to experience sore throat relief.
Tulsi (Holy Basil)
Tulsi also known as the ‘queen of herbs,’ is antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral. It is especially valuable for its use in treating sore throat associated with the common cold and flu. It has also been used for inflammation, malaria, heart disease, fever, stress, reducing blood pressure and more.
We cannot say enough good things about the health benefits of Peppermint. Peppermint has been used as medicine since the Greco-Roman period. Dilute a few drops of oil in a glass of warm water and gargle away. Or opt for aromatic peppermint leaf tea.
Cultivated since ancient times, Chamomile has been used to medicate many ailments. The small sweet flower packs a powerful punch. Its anti-inflammatory and antiseptic characteristics make it a good choice for reducing spasms and pain. Drink chamomile tea before bed for a good night’s sleep.
Holistic Remedies for Cough
Echinacea stimulates the immune system, helping it fight off illness. It contains substances that reduce pain and inflammation, as well as kill viruses and fungal infections. Echinacea is widely used to shorten the duration of colds and flu, including bronchial dry cough.
The flowers, leaves and oil of thyme are commonly used by people for the treatment of colic, excess gas, sore throats, and as a hangover remedy. Thyme also proves beneficial as an expectorant to loosen and expel mucous. Mix thyme with boiling water and drink.
Boiling flaxseeds in water gives you a thick, gooey gel that eases throat and respiratory discomfort. Add honey and lemon to taste.
Lemon is a well-known natural antibiotic. Drinking a concoction of lemon, honey and hot water may help calm the throat and loosen mucus that may be irritating your airways. Add an optional drop of bourbon or whiskey to help you sleep.
Oranges or orange juice are an essential source of vitamin C, the widely researched immune-boosting supplement. It has been used to treat the common cold among other disorders like cancer. Try orange juice with ground almonds. Almonds have crucial phytonutrients. If you are allergic to nuts, try a small spoonful of vitamin C crystals dissolved in your favorite fruit juice instead.
Whether it is taking a hot shower, holding your head over a pot of boiling water or inhaling the vapor rising from your cup of hot tea, steam is a wonderful way to open and soothe your airway.
Hydration is key to health. Drink as much water and hot tea as you can stand. Eight, 8 oz glasses of water are recommended per day.
Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb that is well known for its ability to calm upset stomachs, respiratory discomfort and can be quite comforting when brewed as a tea.
Holistic Remedies for Headache
A member of the ginger family and a commonly used ingredient in Indian cuisine, turmeric is a pain reliever. Turmeric’s potent anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and analgesic properties can prove to be beneficial for people suffering from general headaches and migraines, as well as to promote overall wellness. Sprinkle any dish with ground turmeric.
Buckwheat is anti-inflammatory and a good choice to fight off the conditions that make a headache occur.
One of the most important tools to have in your herbal first aid kit. The medicinal uses of garlic are diverse and have been recorded since the beginning of the known world. There have been biblical references to this herb that has been used for headache relief as well as to promote overall health.
Chia seeds are an abundant source of Omega-3s, anti-inflammatory fatty acids that are crucial for the body’s well-being, as well as other essential nutrients. A diet high in Chia seeds may reduce levels of inflammation that are contributing to pain like that which is experienced with migraine headache.
A cup of black tea or coffee may do just the trick to relieve muscle spasms linked to headache. Be careful though, too much caffeine can be dehydrating, which may exacerbate a headache.
Scalp massage is an immediate way to increase blood flow to the cranium. It provides an instant source of good feeling!
Basil oil may be applied topically as a muscle relaxer when mixed with a carrier oil.
Smell lavender oil to relieve physical and mental fatigue. Sniffing peppermint oil can also help increase mental relaxation and clarity. You can put a drop of either oil on each temple to ease the discomfort of a headache.
About the Authors
Kamaira Philips, Bachelor of Music (BM), is a co-founder of Good JuJu For You. She is an operatic soprano, an intuitive energy healer and modern shaman, a meditation instructor, a certified EMT and a scientist. Kamaira is researching topics related to immunology and alternative medicine at UNC’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center and at the UNC Program on Integrative Medicine.
Kaylee is a co-founder of Good JuJu For You. She has been mindfully aware of and practicing her psychic abilities since she was a child. Led by her spirit guides, Kaylee has obtained a vast wealth of knowledge and experience with the ethereal realm and alternative modalities of energy healing. Kaylee is a shamanic healer and New Age artist.