Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Natural Medicine Cabinet

As my experience in the natural world deepens, my cabinet contents have shrunk. We used to have numerous over-the-counter medicines and toiletries - antacids, pain killers, anti-fungals, anti-itch creams, cleansers, lotions, and potions that I used for a while, didn't like, but still kept. At this point, my teensy home is seeing less and less clutter because of my newish-found ability to concoct natural products at home.

I've had some time off of work recently, so naturally the first thing I do is wake up at 6:00 AM and organize the linen closet (totally normal, right?). Our sole bathroom is exceptionally little, so even though we utilize the medicine cabinet in the bathroom with our immediate needs (toothpaste, deodorant, face cleanser), the linen closet not only houses our linens, but the overflow of toiletries.

I organized my little heart out. Alongside the flannel sheets, towels, and extra blankets, there was a beautifully organized, crunchy little collection of essential oils, homemade salves, and spray and dropper bottles full of homemade potions. Happy girl. Here's what you'll find in there:

Carrier Oils

I keep these specific oils because each one has its own benefits. Remember, if you are going to use essential oils, at least one carrier oil is critical!

- Shea butter: Our main body moisturizer. I combine Shea and other oils for different applications.
- sweet almond oil: This is a base to my oil cleanser and moisturizer.
- avocado oil: A great vitamin boost for any skin-related concoction!
- vitamin E oil: A superb natural preservative, (even helps fade scars - i.e. stretch marks!).
- jojoba oil: Another base oil for my facial cleanser. I love that it doesn't clog my pores <3
- coconut oil (mine's in the kitchen): Smoothes/thins out Shea butter when mixed, good for applying to minor abrasions.
- fractionated coconut oil: I mostly use this for dilution of essential oils, but it is also a great, quick-absorbing, non-comedogenic moisturizer.

Essential Oils

Its really important to me to have my oils. I use them for several applications, daily! They help with colds, headaches, fungus, cuts/scrapes, minor burns, sleep, exhaustion, muscle pain, and list goes on. I won't give you the entire list of everything I use, because its lengthy. The list I will give you, however, is one that (thankfully) my favorite company already thought up before I found 'em (it's called the Family Physician kit), and it consists of the bare bones of what I believe to be truly vital, if you happen to choose this way of natural wellness.

- Lavender: sleep aid, soothes minor abrasions.
- Lemon: add to water/tea, lighten scars, get sticky gunk off of anything, even strengthens nails!
- Peppermint: relief from headaches, nausea, fatigue.
- Melaleuca: antibacterial; great for acne and minor abrasions.
- Oregano: anti-fungal powerhouse.
- Frankincense:anti-inflamitory, anti-fungal, antidepressant. When in doubt, use Frank.
- DeepBlue: sore muscle relief.
- Breathe: Replace your Vick's!
- DigestZen: upset tummy relief.
- OnGuard: immune defense.


- mason jars: 4 oz & 8 oz for salves, creams, and rubs,
- plastic and metal lids (for mason jars - use plastic for items that don't have essential oils in them),
- droppers*
- spray bottles*
Gotoobs** (I make our toothpaste, but these are great for lotions, or even hair gel!)
* Always use glass! Amber glass is usually best. Dark glass protects the essential oils that they usually contain, and they tend to be less expensive than the cobalt.

** I choose to use the darkest available, in case I choose to use the tubes for something containing essential oils

Other ... stuff

- witch hazel - astringent, also great for homemade bug spray!
- apple cider vinegar - I use this in the kitchen and bathroom. Great for cleaning anything, even one's face!
- an aloe plant (I keep that on the front porch rather than in the bathroom closet, of course).
- corn starch or arrowroot powder (alternative to baby powder - if you don't have a baby, like we don't, this is great for when your husband likes to run a lot, and you like to wear skirts with big girl thighs).
- beeswax - for making lotion.
- Epsom salt - for soaking.
- baking soda - use this in deodorant, as a face scrub, and to eliminate stagnant odors.
- Bentonite clay - for toothpaste and healing rashes.
- cotton balls - all applications. all of them. I like to stick a cotton ball with 3 drops of a citrus oil in the trash cans, under the trash bags. Keeps things fresh ;)
- bandages and gauze -cuz muslin just doesn't stay on little boys for any length of time, sorry!
I strongly caution against buying everything all at once - with the exception of oils, because you get bulk discounts and its something you can save for. Converting to a more natural lifestyle is definitely overwhelming (at least it was for me!), and my best suggestion is to take things in small steps. When you run out of face wash, go to the natural grocer and get some carrier oils to use for face wash. Then when you run out of toothpaste, you can pick up some bentonite clay and trace minerals in lieu of your Colgate. When you see spray bottles on special online, just grab them if it fits the budget (just to have them on hand - trust me, you'll need 'em!).

Baby steps and determination, friends. Its the little things, like a tiny shelf in a tiny closet, full of natural, nontoxic products (some homemade!) that really make me smile!

Love and crunch,

1 comment:

  1. I love this article. There is so much to learn and benefit from by using homeopathic medicine which has allowed humans to thrive for thousands of years.