What do I always keep on hand at home? Well, if you ask my husband, he’d say “too much!” But I like a well stocked home pharmacy. It means I don’t have to run to the store when I’m feeling sick or run-down. I have a few standbys that are always in the cabinet, and fortunately for me, I can just pop down to my office if I need to write myself or someone in my family a formula. I rely on a lot of alternatives especially since I’m still nursing my son, and many medications for cold and flu could decrease my milk supply.

So here are my tried and true:

  • Wellness Formula by Source Naturals: While it has both a pregnancy and breastfeeding warning. I have found it to be safe in smaller doses and if taken at the first sign of a cold, can really nip it in the bud. For my patients who are not pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding, then I recommend taking the maximum dose to really knock something out.
  • Ester C: This is a form of Vitamin C that is derived by using water based manufacturing system. What does this mean? It means that the end product is ph neutral, so it is not hard on the stomach like traditional Vitamin C. This makes it much easier to take for most people. You could take any brand of Ester C and it is carried in most pharmacies and health food stores. When you are feeling run down or on the brink of a cold, this is a good vitamin to add.
  • Grapefruit Seed Extract: Again, this can be found in most pharmacies and health food stores. It is a potent antibiotic and antiviral. I keep both the liquid and the tablets at home. The tablets are much easier to take as the liquid is extremely bitter. But the liquid is a great ingredient to add to a gargle if you are getting a sore throat. I also take it orally if I feel like I’m getting sick, or if I’ve been exposed to a lot of sick patients at work. The liquid can also be used to disinfect and clean surfaces and cutting boards.
  • Gaia Kids Sniffle Support: This is a great supplement if your child has a runny or stuffy nose, you can even use it for ear & throat issues. It works very quickly and does not contain any dangerous ingredients. Most children’s cold medications have been pulled from the market. This supplement is alcohol free and contains herbs such as elderberry and thyme that have antibacterial and antiviral actions. It is very gentle and safe to use on babies that are just a few months old. Whenever I’ve needed to use this formula, it has helped to clear up my son’s nose so quickly that I generally only need it for a day or two.
  • Ginger Tea: I always have either fresh ginger or ginger tea bags at home. There is nothing better during cold and flu season. I don’t generally use this if there is a fever or sore throat present. But for all other manner of feeling run down or sick, it’s a great thing that you can make quickly and tastes good. I like to add a little local honey to my cup of tea.
  • Arnica: I keep this at home in both tablet form and as a topical cream. This is great for all those little boo boo’s, pain from injections, bruises, sprains, etc. It comes in several forms. I use the topical gel, when I want it to absorb quickly so that it doesn’t rub off on my clothes. And I love the cream for when something is really hurting, like my multiple ankle strains last year! I found this one on a trip, and it’s the best that I’ve tried so far. I also take the tablets orally when I’ve hurt myself. The tablets are a great support during labor and post-delivery as well.
  • Rescue Remedy: This is one of the greatest products out there for times of stress, anxiety, depression, road rage, etc. I have used this when I’m very stressed and the best thing is, you can give it to your pets as well. After my dog had her leg amputated, I used this in addition to her other pain medications to help keep her calm. It is great for pets that are scared of fireworks or being left alone. I prefer the pastilles, some people prefer the sprays. Whichever you choose, it is a great addition to any home medicine cabinet.

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