Apart from the odd paracetamol (the safest painkiller on the market) I don't have any over the counter preparations in the house and rely totally on natural products which not only work but are also safe to use. So this article I am setting out a few ideas for your own Alternative Medicine Cabinet.
The list below covers a whole range of ailments and is by no means definitive but a good starting point for those of you wishing to start your own alternative medicine cabinet.
Use the 6C or 30C potencies (all listed should be obtainable from pharmacies and health shops). Adults should take 2 tablets and children under 12 one only. Take without water and do not eat or drink for 15 minutes before and after taking.
ACONITE - good for shock. For example, if you have fallen and are a little shaky take this remedy before the following one (Arnica). Take 2 tablets immediately.
If taken at the first sign of a cold brought on by actually being cold they should stop it developing. Take 2 tablets every hour on 6 occasions.
ARNICA - wonderful for bruising, be this bruising you can see after, for example, a knock, or internal bruising. Take immediately after knocking yourself - 2 tablets every hour x 6. Dental work - take 2 tablets on the day of the work and then 3 times a day for 2 days afterwards. Do the same pre and post surgery to avoid internal bruising. Arnica cream is also useful to rub on a bruise - do not use if the skin is broken though. In this case use Calendula cream or Pawpaw ointment (see below).
ARSENICUM ALBUM - great for digestive problems, sickness and diarrhoea. Take 2 tablets every 15 minutes 6 times maximum.
CALENDULA CREAM - can be used on broken skin and great for heat rash, sunburn, nappy rash and chickenpox.
GELSEMIUM - good for colds and flu if you have a humdinger of a sore throat, aching and shivering. Take as Aconite.
FERR PHOS - this can stop a cold before it develops. Take as Aconite. I find Gelsemium stops a cold with me. My husband finds this remedy works for him so experiment to see which is the best for you.
RHUS TOX - excellent for aches and pains following gardening, DIY, etc. Take 2 tablets straight after the manual job and then have an Epsom Salt bath(see details on this below) that evening and the next day you should be pain - free.
Homoeopathic remedies last indefinitely if stored away from light, heat and strong smells. So keep these away from the following essential oils.
CLOVE - apply neat with a cotton bud to aching teeth or gums. Repeat twice daily.
LAVENDER - can be used neat on wounds, insect bites, burns (after holding burn under cold running water for 10 minutes).
TEA TREE - can be used neat on cold sores, spots and infected acne. Use 2 drops in a glass of water to gargle with if you have a sore throat. Repeat 3 times a day. For wounds - clean well under running water, add 10 drops to 1 pint warm water and use this solution to bathe the wound. Cover with a dressing.
All the above oils last a maximum of 2 years so discard after that time.
ALOE VERA - you can buy a gel but it is easier to buy a plant and keep on a windowsill in the kitchen. Great for burns (as with Lavender, hold burn under cold running water for 10 minutes first) break off a leaf and squeeze some of the gel onto the burn. For wounds, put some of the gel on after cleaning under cold water first.
ECHINACEA TINCTURE - an immune system booster. Take for one month during September and again in March to avoid flu following the directions on the tincture bottle.
RESCUE REMEDY - one of the Bach Flower Remedies and something every home should have. It is good for any acute situation be this following sudden shock, fear or anxiety. Use before flying, driving tests, exams, etc. Take 4 drops direct on tongue every 10 minutes. Repeat as often as necessary.
PAWPAW OINTMENT - this is available from suppliers on the internet. It is an ointment which can be used for every age group, including babies being particularly good for nappy rash. It works on bruises, insect bites, cuts, burns, nettle rash, eczema. I have used it on small diabetic ulcers on the feet as well. If you are on a budget you could use this and save money on the Arnica and Calendula creams.
EPSOM SALTS - these are available from pharmacies. They are excellent to add to a bath up to 4 times a week to help arthritis, aching muscles and at the start of a cold or flu (they heat up the water so cause you to sweat the inflammation out). Add a mugful to a warm, not too hot, bath. Agitate the water and soak for 15 minutes. If you have high blood pressure or a heart condition make sure the water is warm and not really hot and use at most three times a week.
There may seem to be quite a few remedies to buy to stock up your own Alternative Medicine cabinet but, once purchased, they will last for a couple of years at least and it will mean you have something on hand to deal with most first aid problems. If you do have a problem that persists, however, have it checked by your doctor rather than continuing with self - prescribed treatment.