As a mom, I've lost count of the times I've used home remedies for my family over the years. It's such a blessing to be able to turn to the pantry, garden or herb stash to help relieve pain and treat minor ailments. Natural cures are convenient and cost effective – you can even use common weeds for herbal medicine. At Common Sense Homesteading, we've built an extensive natural medicine library, sharing what works for our families. REMEMBER – Always see a trained health care provider if symptoms are severe or last an unusually long time. The posts on the site are for information only. I share what works for us and our readers, as well as the latest research.
Our Natural Health posts are divided into several categories, grouped below. Let's start with our general home remedies:
Cold and Flu Remedies
Winter is generally cold and flu season, but viruses can hit any time of year. I work to boost our immune systems through the use of herbs and probiotics. If symptoms hit, there are natural treatments that may help reduce the duration and severity of the illness.
The Best Cold and Flu Fighters – summary of all our cold and flu related posts
Beating Candida and Psoriasis
In 2015, I was diagnosed with psoriasis, which covered large areas of my body in red, crusty, peeling skin. It was extremely painful, and made me uncomfortable going out in public. (A large area of my face was affected.) When I went to the dermatologist, she basically said, “Live with it.” Thankfully, through research and trial and error, I found a solution that worked for me. My skin is now clear and smooth except for a few small patches. (No more scaring small children.) I share my story in the following posts. WARNING – graphic images. The “before” photos were not pretty.
My Anti-Candida Anti-Psoriasis Diet – MAY BE HELPFUL FOR OTHER HEALTH ISSUES
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This section is mostly for the ladies, but gentleman may sometimes have breast issues, too. Too often we do so much for others, but forget to take care of ourselves. A little self-care can go a long way to prevent illness and heal.
Natural Health and Wellness
A key point in natural medicine is daily self care. There are many simple steps you can add to your daily routine to improve your health. Self-diagnostics, like checking your poop, can help you spot problems before they get severe.
What you put on your body is as important as what you put in your body. Transdermal medications work because things absorb through the skin. I recommend skin care products with simple, non-toxic ingredients, and avoiding synthetic fragrances.
Sometimes natural remedies are enough, sometimes you need a little extra help. It pays to be prepared for minor medical emergencies with some basic equipment and training. (If you have the time and ability for advanced first aid training, even better.) My husband had EMT training and I come from a farming background. Between the two of us, we've seen and patched up a number of messy situations.
Food, Diet and Farming
Hippocrates said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” Good health is impossible without proper nutrition. Each of us are unique, so our nutritional needs will vary. That said, good food, well prepared, should be part of the foundation of wellness.
Live Culture Foods
When I first started writing, hardly anyone had heard of live culture (fermented) foods. Now, yogurt, kefir, kombucha, raw kraut and more are common items in many grocery stores. Live cultures have proven benefits as probiotics, improving gut health.
Store fermented foods are great for convenience, but you can save a lot of money if you make your own. Fermenting at home also allows you to experiment with different flavors and food combinations.
Water Kefir Versus Kombucha – What’s the difference between water kefir and kombucha?
Flavoring Kombucha and Kombucha Testimonials – Tips for flavoring kombucha and stories about how people I know have been helped by kombucha
Kombucha Q and A and More Flavoring Ideas – More flavoring ideas and all the Q and A from the comments in a more readable format
How to Flavor Kombucha – Holiday Flavors – Fun seasonal flavor ideas.
Herbs can be wonderful as a daily tonic, and are also useful as a first aid option. It's darn handy to grab the right leaf out of the garden and slap it on a mosquito bite to relieve the itching. I'm partial to wild plants (weeds), since they grow with little care, but I do cultivate a few favorite herbs. Whether you grow your own or purchase quality herbs, it's worthwhile to make herbal medicine a part of your life.
Grandma Called it Medicine Leaf – Medicinal Properties of Plantain, How to Infuse Plantain in Oil
Please see also the “Herbs and Wildcrafting” page.
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Originally published in 2012, updated in 2017.