Natural remedies like herbal tinctures, salves, teas and other remedies you can make at home fascinate me. Sometimes homemade natural remedies can be more effective than their over-the-counter pharmacy counterparts.
Take this homemade calendula salve (recipe below), for example. More natural than triple antibiotic ointments made with petroleum jellies, this is one of many natural remedies you can make at home to sooth minor scrapes or cuts and help them heal up quite nicely. At least, that’s been my experience. Your mileage may vary. My family, for one, believes that this calendula salve works more quickly than triple antibiotic ointment to help heal minor scrapes and cuts. In fact, when my boys get minor injuries while at play, they don’t want anything else. (Okay, maybe a hug.) Why are they so attached to it?
Because they helped make it! That’s the glory of natural remedies you can make at home. Your children are more willing to use them than “normal” medicine because they’ve helped concoct them!
Natural Remedies: An Example
As promised, here’s the recipe for one of my family’s favorite natural remedies — a homemade calendula salve*:
- 2 Cups Calendula Petals (not the entire flower “heads”) (where to buy calendula petals)
- 1 Cup Hemp Oil, Olive Oil, or Coconut Oil (where to buy quality oils)
- 1/4 Cup Beeswax Pastilles/Pellets (where to buy organic beeswax pastilles)
- 10 Drops Lavender Essential Oil (where to buy essential oils)
Pour calendula petals into a stainless steel pot, and add oil. Turn on low heat, and stir to combine. Watch for tiny bubbles in the oil to gauge the temperature- it should not get any warmer than the “tiny bubbles stage!” (Try to keep it under 100 F, approximately.)
Continue stirring occasionally over the next 2 hours, keeping the oil gently warm.
Meanwhile, begin gently melting the beeswax in the top of a double boiler (don’t let this get too hot; you’ll want it to be a similar temperature as the oil, when you combine the two).
After 2 hours, strain the petals from the oil. (You can use a fine-meshed strainer, coffee/tea filters, or cheesecloth.) Squeeze/press out as much of the oil as you can into a bowl. Then slowly pour the oil into the melted beeswax in the double boiler, stirring to combine. Then stir in the drops of lavender essential oil. (The oil acts as a “preservative,” as well as being a healing and calming ingredient.)
Pour the warm oil into small jars/containers, and allow to cool. Avoid using clear glass, if possible. Choose containers that will help protect the salve from sunlight. Store in a cool place.
*This recipe is taken from Michele Augur’s book Herbal Nurturing: A Family Healing And Learning Guide.
Natural Remedies: Why Make Them?
- Making natural remedies can be a fun and educational way to involve the whole family. As in my example above, my boys are thrilled to take the medicines they help make. It doesn’t get any better than that!
- Natural remedies are just that — natural. You don’t have to worry about strange chemical compounds that serve as the base — like petroleum-based ointments.
- When you make natural remedies at home, you can control exactly what goes into them. That means you can use entirely organic ingredients, use the essential oils that you prefer the scent of, and more.
- Making natural remedies costs far less than buying them! If you are a lover of natural remedies, you may be surprised at how easy and inexpensive they are to make at home. Why pay $15 for an herbal salve that you can make for mere pennies?
Natural Remedies: How To Make Them
You can learn a lot online, researching various natural remedies, reading first hand testimonials about what homemade natural remedies worked for someone and which other so-called natural remedies were total hooey.
OR, you could buy a book from a trusted authority on the subject.
May I introduce you to such a book? Researched and written by Michele Augur of Frugal Granola (a fun Real Food lovin’ blog), the book is called Herbal Nuturing: A Family Healing And Learning Guide. The e-book is available as an instant download, so within minutes of purchase you’ll have access to everything you’ll need to naturally prepare for cold/flu season, PMS, headaches, sunburns, postpartum, tummy aches, rashes, and more with over 30 recipes, additional homeopathic suggestions, and healthy-living tips.
It’s also a smokin’ good deal at just $8.95!
This holiday season, why not give the gift of homemade natural remedies? It’s part of my own personal plan to give frugal, loving, and thoughtful presents. I’ll be making a few big batches of some of the most useful natural remedies from Michele’s e-book, then dividing them up into cute little containers and giving them in little baskets to my loved ones.
Please note, I *am* making a small commission if you buy the book through a link from my site. So, THANK YOU! I’m sure you’ll find it just as valuable an addition to your home as I do.
(photo by pbouchard)