What's in your health supplement cabinet?
A natural health supplement cabinet is a handy thing to have in times of need such as illness or injury. You don't want to just wait for accidents to happen to then go out and stock up on supplies. Being proactive can save you a lot of stress and frustration as well as minimize any health problems.
Holistic health supplements can be just as effective, if not more, than conventional options without giving potential side effects. Though conventional medications may at times be necessary, as a society we are over-consuming them even in times when they are not necessary.
Antibiotics, for instance, are routinely prescribed by healthcare practitioners for common illnesses. Of these antibiotic prescriptions, 30-50% in the U.S and Canada are deemed unnecessary. Antibiotics can wreak havoc on our gut flora resulting in health issues over time. It has been shown that just a single course of antibiotics may alter the gut microbiome permanently.
This makes a big impact on our health and immunity because 70% of our immune system resides in the gut.
The good news is you can minimize your use of unnecessary medications by supporting your health with nutrition and lifestyle practices as well as natural remedies when your body feels under the weather.
There is a wealth of natural healing that is available to you that supports the body in its healing process.
Want to know what our supplement cabinet looks like?
Activated charcoal is commonly used to treat digestive upset such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, and even cases of food poisoning. It is commonly produced from coconut shells and works by absorbing toxins and gases in the gut and transporting these toxins out of the body. Always drink lots of water when taking charcoal to avoid dehydration, support the flushing of toxins, and avoid constipation.
Charcoal is safe to use to treat digestive symptoms mentioned above however do not rely on for chronic episodes and consult your doctor instead.
Raw unpasteurized honey has been used historically as a superfood due to its impressive nutritional profile providing prebiotics, antioxidants, and anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. You have most likely used raw honey to soothe a sore throat and it also works as a cough suppressant, even shown to be just as effective as pharmaceuticals (1). Raw honey also contains bee pollen which can help combat seasonal allergies and boost immunity. Keep this good stuff in your pantry at the first sign of a cold.
Not only is this root a delicious addition to meals, but it's also highly therapeutic due to its main health compound gingerol. One of the most common uses for ginger is for the treatment and prevention of nausea. It also can relieve indigestion by helping to speed up transit time which means it can help fight symptoms such as bloating, gas, and stomach cramping. Our favourite way to consume ginger is as a tea with some raw honey to double up on the health benefits!
Got a cut or a sunburn? Aloe vera is a great natural remedy for skin irritations as it forms a soothing and healing gel that you can apply topically to the affected area. Aloe is naturally anti-inflammatory and helps to stimulate the repair of damaged connective tissue.
You can buy aloe vera gel in-store or grow a plant in the comfort of your home! You just have to cut open the leaf to gain access to all of the healing goodness inside. Always start with a small amount to test on your skin to avoid any allergic reactions.
Arnica gel can be applied topically to treat inflammatory conditions such as joint and muscle pain, bruising, and sports injuries. Do not apply to open wounds and always test a small amount on your skin first.
Oil of oregano
This healing oil has a wide range of therapeutic uses from its antimicrobial, antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Basically it kills everything in sight!
Oil of oregano can be taken internally, always diluted, to treat infections such as yeast overgrowth, fungal infections, parasitic infections, sinus infections, and colds. This oil is very potent so always start small with dosing.
Zinc lozenges are a great supplement to have on hand at the first sign of a cold. Feeling a scratching in your throat? Pop a lozenge and you'll feel relief immediately. Zinc is naturally anti-viral and can reduce the symptoms and duration of a cold when taken at the first onset of symptoms, so make sure you have some in supply.
This calming herb is usually consumed by drinking it as a tea. It is soothing to the nervous system as well as the digestive system and can help promote relaxation before bedtime if you are feeling wired or anxious while also calming an upset stomach. Chamomile has also been shown to help alleviate PMS symptoms.
Our holistic medicine cabinet would not be complete without vitamin C! This essential vitamin has been shown to prevent and treat the common cold and flu and boost immunity. Vitamin C is used up in the body in about 3-4 hours which is why supplementation is usually recommended at regular intervals when using the form ascorbic acid. Liposomal is better absorbed at higher doses therefore you won't need to consume as much.
Note: This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be construed as medical advice. Please consult with your healthcare practitioners before undertaking any changes in your diet or adding supplements.
Laurence Annez is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and Health Coach, specializing in PCOS and women's hormones. She also holds a degree in Creative Writing and has extensive experience writing on health and wellness topics. Laurence's mission is to inspire and motivate individuals to take control of their own health and reach their ultimate health goals.