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2.24.2015

The evolution of my natural remedy kit

My entire natural remedy kit.
I have posted the contents of my natural remedy kit before, in the Herbal Remedies I keep on Hand series (huh, I never got to infections, did I?).  But really, that was like 3 years ago.  And to be honest, I may have overdone it.  I didn't need some of the ones I had, and I ended up throwing quite a bit away (but really, have you gone through your conventional medicine cabinet lately?  The same is probably true).  So I have really narrowed it down.  Kind of.

I say kind of, because my kit has a lot in it.  And I mean a LOT.  But I have branched out more.  It contains homeopathic remedies, lots more essential oils (I am really just breaching the surface of their usefulness), and even a few conventional drugs.  Because I'm all for herbal remedies, but I feel just as strongly about the value of mainstream meds, and when your son is running a fever of 104.3 peppermint tincture just ain't gonna cut it.

I digress.  I'm going to give a quick overview of what I keep around now, what I would use it for, and how I store it.

Level 1 of my home remedy kit.

Level 1:  (that makes it sound like a video game, which is fun, right?)
  •  Essential oils.  Ha, yeah, that is one bullet item.  If you can't tell from my pictures, fully 1/2 of one of the trays is essential oils.  But I'll go into those in more detail in another post.
  • Tinctures.  Same as above- if I tell you all of them and what I use them for, this will turn into a novel.
  • Homeopathic remedies.  Now these I will get into here.  I am working on figuring out if I need more, and if so which ones.  At the moment my "stash" consists of: Arnica (for trauma, bruising, etc), Boiron's Coldcalm (its for colds, yo), Hylands Calm and Restful (super helpful for kids who have a hard time sleeping), Homeopathy for Kids' No More Monsters (ditto... no idea why I have both), Hylands Teething Tablets (for teething... you see a pattern here?), and Hylands Tiny Cold Tablets.  Why homeopathy?  For one thing, I've found it to be super effective.  With the exception of the cold calm (I took it when I had a cough while pregnant with Violet, that I suspect wasn't a cold at all) all of them have been effective at what they are recommended for.  Also, there are readily available formulas that are safe for tiny babies (labels say 6 months and up, but definitely confer with your doctor).
  • Pipettes.  I really only have pipettes because a few essential oils I get in 4 oz bottles that do not come with the reducer caps, and only because I used those oils a lot in my shop.  I wouldn't call them necessary.
  • 4 oz glass cobalt glass spray bottles (amber glass would work too).  For making essential oil sprays.  I am not exaggerating when I say putting the wrong essential oil in plastic will melt the plastic.  Now, I have put bergamot and lemon (citrus oils are super melty) DILUTED into a plastic spray bottle before so that should be safe, but glass is just always better if you can get it.
  • 15ml amber bottles with reducer caps (that's what the little plastic deal in the top of the bottle that makes the essential oil come out one drop at a time), for making custom essential oil blends.
  • 1 oz amber dropper bottles, for mixing up custom herb tincture blends.
  • Labels.  Anything you mix up you should LABEL with the ingredients and date, as well as dose and who it is for, if applicable.  Example- my cat has a cold.  I mixed her up a bottle of diluted goldenseal tincture and labeled it "Kitty's FRV meds, 2 droppers 2x per day" and the date.  That way I'm never guessing.  Guessing and any medicine, holistic or otherwise, is bad news bears.
  • Bach's Rescue Remedy.  So far as my opinion on this one goes, the jury is still out.  I bought it because it was recommended for post partum healing, but I don't know if it helped.  I was taking this, arnica, and placenta caps and yes, I had a fantastic post partum period, but I don't know if it was any of those or the simple fact that I gave myself permission to just rest for those first few weeks.  But many people swear by it, and it is safe for babies and pets.
  • The extra pads for this diffuser.  That is the diffuser I use in the kids' room, and the one I try to remember to grab when we travel.  It's simple, cheap, and effective.  Throughout the rest of the house I mostly use candle diffusers (also cheap), but it's generally not a good idea to leave a lit candle in a kids room while they sleep.
And I nearly forgot to explain my storage solution.  I used to keep it all in a make up bag.  But the bag was far too small, so I had some things scattered all around my house.  I actually had no idea what essential oils I had because they were everywhere.  I finally found THIS container at Target.  When I got it home I was initially disappointed my tincture bottles and some of my larger essential oil bottles wouldn't fit standing up, but now I actually like them better laying down.  Plus you can add more levels to it- I'm looking at adding a 3rd level for just whole herbs.  Just trying to figure out what to store the herbs in, as jars would definitely make the entire unit too heavy.

ALSO, clear is no bueno when it comes to storing herbs and essential oils, and it isn't very pretty, either.  So I painted the inside with some craft paint I had.  It was a pain because I had to sand all the surfaces first, and even though the paint said it was fine for plastic it didn't stick very well.  But I still think it looks cute, and I plan to do it again some day with legit plastic paint. 

I'll go over the contents of level 2 soon, as well as more details on the herbs and essential oils I like to keep around.

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