Part of being self-sufficient means going to the doctor very seldom. We have learned over the years how to treat common ailments ourselves. With doctors tied up at the moment treating very ill patients with COVID-19, it’s a good time to learn how to support your body’s immune system using plant-based remedies. (Note: this is not medical advice nor am I a medical professional. I recommend only food-grade supplements which we have found to be beneficial. If you are sick, call a doctor.)
On our boat, we carry both prescription medications (for emergencies) and natural remedies (for run-of-the-mill illnesses). Over the last 12 years, we have used far more supplements/herbs than medicines. In fact, except to prevent infection from a monkey scratch, no one has been on antibiotics at all since we bought the boat. Whether by luck or lifestyle, no one on our boat takes ANY prescription medications. Here are some of our holistic healing hacks:
For assisting fevers (not fighting them) we drink a tea made of equal parts peppermint, yarrow, elder flower, and elder berry. We want to make sure the body does its job of burning off bad bugs, so we also cover up and sweat our way to wellness.
For cold symptoms, a tea made from fresh or dried ginger root and honey seems to reduce severity and duration of symptoms. I just bought some licorice root to add for coughs.
The Beeyoutiful Company produces supplements like “Ultra Immune” which we take preventatively when something’s going around. Our other favorite products are the Supermom, Superdad, and Superkid multivitamins, the Berrywell elder berry syrup, the Tummy Tuneup probiotic, the Bone Ami mineral supplement, the Gentle-C vitamins, Cranberry Power Cleanse, Yeast Assassin, and Miracle Salve for cuts and scrapes.
Tummy troubles are treated with pro-biotics and activated charcoal, but truthfully, we don’t have many problems.
I use a wide range of essential oils to treat all sorts of ailments, from burns (lavender) to stuffy noses (eucalyptus) to skin rashes (tea tree) to oregano (infections of all kinds). Some of the oils must be diluted to be used, and some are for external use only. I dilute oregano oil in warm olive oil and add crushed garlic. After straining it, it can be used externally, rubbed around the ears and throat to fight earaches and swollen glands/sore throat. Bonus: you walk around smelling like an Italian restaurant!