As most of you know, we just returned from a year and a half living in South America. Before I left, I spent quite a bit of time putting together an EPIC holistic medicine kit. I had no idea what I would face in our expat journey and I wanted to be prepared for anything. Today I want to give you a sneak peek into my own personal holistic medicine kit and offer my thoughts on how to create a holistic medicine kit of your own.
How to Create a Holistic Medicine Kit: The Kula Mama Essentials
1. Buffered vitamin C powder: Vitamin C is a powerful supplement that supports the immune system. I use this during cold and flu season when there are many viruses floating around and I see one of my children is feeling tired or down. Buffered vitamin C is a great choice as it is easy on the tummy. We use a powdered supplement and add it to smoothies and fresh green juices. You can also introduce foods containing vitamin C like oranges and pomegranates.
2. Cod liver oil: Our immune systems depend on essential fatty acids to stay in optimal shape. We call these fatty acids “essential” because the body cannot make them for itself and must obtain these fatty acids from food. Wild caught seafood like salmon or sardines are good sources, but my kids won’t eat those foods right now (we’re in a picky phase, my son used to eat salmon by the handful). Nuts and seeds like walnuts and chia seeds also contain essential fatty acids, but the nuts should be soaked overnight first to be better absorbed by the body. Usually I give my kids a cod liver oil supplement year round, at least 3 times a week. I use a syringe like this and carefully (and slowly) squirt it into the inside of their cheeks. Cod liver oil is full of naturally occurring vitamin D and vitamin A, two vitamins that work together to support immune function. We use this Fermented Cod Liver Oil but I also like this one too.
3. Probiotics: Probiotic flora (good bacteria) in the gut is the key to our immune function. To boost immune function year round I give my children probiotic-rich beverages like kombucha, kefir water, or another cultured beverage like Kevita . Sometimes they like these drinks and sometimes they don’t so I also use a probiotic supplement. My kids love it and we cycle between these two (here and here) probiotics year round, with a week or so off every few months.
4. Vitamin D3: Vitamin D is an essential vitamin to support immune function during healing and is a necessary vitamin to consume year round. We take these drops every day, but in times of acute illness I increase the amount slightly to help support immune function.
5. Elderberry syrup tincture: Elderberry syrup is best to take when symptoms first come on. High in antioxidants, elderberry is a powerful natural medicine. I add this to water or juice for my kids when they are sick or when I think they are fighting off a virus OR when we are about to travel.
6. Echinacea tincture: These herbs support the immune system . You can buy them in tincture form and add them to a bit of water or juice.
7. Biocidin: A combination of herbs that may work on yeast and parasites and also support immune function. This is something we keep in our first aid kit and at the beginning of cold and flu season we each take a few drops each day for 10 days. It contains oregano which is a powerful herb, so I always follow up with a probiotic to replenish any lost gut flora.
8. Lauricidin : This supplement is made up of monolaurin, a component naturally occurring in coconut oil. These small pellets are easier for kid’s to swallow and I use them when my children have an acute illness.
9. Trace minerals: Modern farming practices have depleted our soils (and hence our food supply) of many important trace minerals that are vital to immune function. When my kids are under the weather I add a few drops of this to their water. If you make a batch of bone broth and include extra kombu, the broth will also contain extra trace minerals too.
10. Homeopathic medicine: I use this book to help me decide on the correct homeopathic medicine to use with my children. I have had good success using homeopathic medicine when my children have fevers or a cold virus. Because the pellets taste like sugar, my children don’t give me a fight about taking them.
11. Essential oils: Essential oils are very powerful plant extracts that can help aid in healing. Because they are very powerful I am careful about how I use them with my kids. What I love about essential oils is that my kids don’t have to take them internally (they smell them instead by using a diffuser). And my kids LOVE the smell so they never fight me on using essential oils. Here is my must have list:
I’ve tried a lot of brands of essential oils and like most people who use essential oils, I have my opinion on what brand is the best. This is the only brand I trust and use in my home. (PS: If you’d like to learn about how to use essential oils to support health and wellness, check out my Essential Oils for Families Facebook Group: click here to join!)
12. Epsom salts: We use Epsom salts in the bath when my kids are sick. Here’s my post about how to give a child a safe detox bath. These baths are a staple in my holistic medicine kit. Even my children request Epsom salt baths when they are feeling down. We also keep them healthy year-round by using Epsom salt baths on a weekly basis.
13. Garlic: Known as nature’s antibiotic, garlic is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral. An immune boosting (and very cheap) powerhouse! But kids may not want to eat raw garlic. I have had success chopping garlic up finely and my son swallows it like pills. I do this if he is in the middle of an acute illness and I make sure we do it with a meal so the garlic isn’t hard on his tummy. Another option is to make chicken and vegetable soup and add lots and lots of garlic, or chop up fresh garlic and sprinkle into a bowl of soup. Raw garlic has more healing benefits but if cooked garlic is all your kids will eat…it’s still all good.
14. Bone broth: Homemade broths made from the bones of organic/grass fed animals are full of trace minerals and gelatin to heal the gut lining and increase immune function. Broth is highly absorbable and is almost like giving your immune system an IV drip of liquid gold. We make a big batch of broth weekly and freeze the extra for days when one of my kids needs an immune boost.
15. Trust the body to heal: One of the biggest lessons I learned while living in South America with limited holistic health resources was to TRUST the BODY to heal. I tell my kids all the time that their bodies will heal as long as they give them the proper food, drink and rest. Our bodies are true miracles and are capable of SO MUCH healing all on their own.
These are my most used tools in my holistic medicine kit. Obviously I don’t use them all at once for every bacteria or virus, but instead I pick and choose according to the situation. These remedies have worked for our family time and time again. During our year and a half in South America, I healed us of everything we faced there with these tools, no pharmaceuticals required.
What are your holistic medicine kit must haves? Tell me below in the comments!
Interested in learning more about natural remedies for kids? You might be interested in these posts from me (click on the photo to read the post):