Medicine Cabinet Makeover
Homeopathic remedies to have handy in the new year.
During winter, much time is spent indoors, which means a greater risk for bringing home and sharing germs. To prepare for sniffles, the new year is a good time to clean out and organize the medicine cabinet, and add a few homeopathic remedies that can help to relieve the stress of caring for yourself or a sick family member when the need arises.
Where to Begin
- Start by tossing all expired products. Don’t flush or throw away medicines, but instead find a pharmacy, like Walgreen’s, that offers safe medication disposal.
- Many medicine cabinets are in bathrooms, which is OK as long as moisture and steam doesn’t get inside the cabinet. Products can degrade when exposed to humidity and warm temperatures, so choose a cool, dry space like a pantry or hall closet for storing items.Of course, be sure that medicines and supplements are out of reach of children.
- It’s also a good time to review precautions for over-the-counter drugs. Review dosing instructions as products for children are dosed by weight or age, and always be cautious that medicines and homeopathic remedies are safe for children.
What to Restock
Below are homeopathic remedies that can help with minor bruises, viruses and rashes. If fever persists or a child is in pain, unable to breathe or you feel there’s an emergency situation, call you pediatrician or seek immediate medical attention.
- For bruises and muscle strains: Arnica, available in tablets or gel, is a homeopathic remedy that can be used for treating minor bruises and muscle strains. It can reduce pain and swelling and speed healing. Keep a flexible cold pack handy to manage pain and swelling from an acute minor injury such as a strain or sprain. Ibuprofen is always good to have on hand to help treat aches and pains.
- For the common cold: Consider stocking up on black elderberry syrup. It contains flavonoids called anthocyanins, which have a remarkable ability to stimulate the body’s immune system.
- For sore throats: Buckwheat honey is great for managing a sore throat. It contains antioxidants and nutrients that help speed healing. It also lubricates and soothes a sore throat. Buckwheat honey can be given to children age 1 year and over and is available in most health food stores. Throat sprays with echinacea, sage and peppermint can also help.
- For eczema/skin rash: Oatmeal baths can help relieve dry, itchy skin. Add two cups of ground colloidal oatmeal (not breakfast oatmeal) to a tub of warm water (hot water can further dry out and irritate skin). Then apply a moisturizer with soothing and hydrating ingredients such as vitamin E, aloe and lavender.
- For nausea, upset stomach: Studies show that the potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols found in ginger can help relieve motion sickness, dizziness, nausea and gas, and soothe the intestinal tract. You can find supplemental ginger in chewable tablets and gummies in pharmacies and health food stores.
Bryce Wylde is a leading health expert specializing in integrative and functional medicine homeopathy, clinical nutrition and supplementation.