The Holistic Medicine Cabinet

The following remedies contain herbs, vegetables, fruits and other natural ingredients and techniques reported to relieve many common ailments. They are a compilation of folk lore, books, magazines, articles, word of mouth and personal experience. The author of this web site is not a doctor and is not prescribing any of the following remedies as a cure for any condition but simply presenting the theories and findings of authors, researchers and naturopathic physicians.
The author of this web site is not responsible for any condition or adverse reaction produced by the following remedies.
Use any/all at your own discretion and risk.


Check out The Children's Corner at the bottom of
this page for remedies for common childhood conditions.


Any of the following herbs may be drunk as a tea or used in capsule form to relieve stress and anxiety:
1) Valerian Root is probably the most effective herb for easing tension and stress, often called "natures Valium".
2) Passionflower (do not take while pregnant)
3) Chamomile
4) Hops
5) Catnip
6) Skullcap
7) St. John's Wort
8) Kava

Appetite Stimulants

Caraway and ginseng are good appetite stimulants. Drink an infusion of either herb 1/2 hour before a meal.


1) Avoid eating foods/using substances in the nightshade family:
White Potatoes
All peppers except black pepper

2) Avoid milk and milk products

3) Feverfew has been used for centuries to relieve arthritis

4) Drink licorice root tea

5) Wear a bracelet made of copper and/or gold

6) Make a salve made of "unpetroleum Jelly" (available at health foods store) and oil of eucalyptus, apply to joints

7) Take willow bark tablets for pain relief

8) Take 1 teaspoon per day of cod liver oil

9) Arthritis Tea: American indians made a tea of rose petals, peppermint, lemon peel, and linden leaves for arthritis.

Bleeding/Swollen Gums/Gingivitis/Pyorrehea

1) Brush teeth with goldenseal herb powder every day for at least one month.

1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
1/8 tsp salt
1 glass very warm/hot water
Rinse mouth with solution, spit, then rinse again with solution.
Repeat several times a day for about a week.

3)Sage and Thyme Mouthwash
Alleviate swollen gums with a mouthwash brewed from the antiseptic herbs sage and thyme. Use 1 tablespoon each of the fresh herbs per cup of water. Brew in hot water, then strain and cool. Use as a gargle three times daily.

4) Puncture a capsule of liquid vitamin E, rub on rubs to help heal.

5) For bleeding gums, rub with freshly juiced cranberries which contain quinine.

6) Mix:
6 ounces distilled water
2 ounces prickly ash bark
Reduce in volume to 2 ounces by simmering, NOT boiling, over low heat. Strain and add enough table salt to make a very thin paste. Rub mixture, with fingers, on tooth area and gums once daily for 2 days.
Variation: Add a few drops of peppermint oil


1) Apply tea tree oil full strength
2) Apply a heated slice of tomato, cover tomato with gauze and secure with white first aid tape.
3) Apply a raw sliced onion and secure as above
4) Apply raw mashed garlic and secure as above
5) Apply a warm black tea bag
6) Apply the outer leaves of a head of cabbage, tie on with a length of gauze
7) Apply a poultice of warm milk and bread
8) Apply a poultice of burdock leaves
9) Apply full strength lemon juice to the boil.
10) Secure 1/2 warm baked onion to the boil. Remove center layer of onion to allow onion to sit over boil.
11) Apply a poultice of catnip leaves, plantain leaves or pulverized fenegreek seed to reduce inflamation and speed healing.
12) Add some fresh raw garlic to your diet, or take 3 garlic capsules, 3 times a day.


1) To promote the flow of milk, drink an infusion of borage leaves and/or seeds, dill seed, anise and fennel seed 3 times a day.

2) Make an infusion of 1 tsp of dried leaves of goats rue in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes, drink twice a day.

3) Make a decoction of fenegreek seed and drink 3 times a day. Simmer 1/2 tsp seeds in 1 cup water for 10 minutes, add honey to improve taste.


Sweet Lemon & Brandy Syrup
1/2 pint of honey
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 jiggers brandy
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Mix all this up together, refrigerate. Take 1 tablespoon full (when coughing) or once an hour. This mixture heats up the blood vessels in the throat and soothes coughing, the cayenne acting as a blood cleanser.(Courtesy of Sarevadin)

Elecampane Tea
Pour 1 cup of cold water onto 1 teaspoon of shredded elecampane, let it stand for 10 hours; heat, and sip 1 cupful, 3 times a day.

Other herbs and nutrients helpful for bronchitis:
Bronc-Ease herbal formula (available at natural foods stores)
Black Radish extract
Iceland Moss
Pau d'Arco
Slippery Elm Bark
Vitamin A
Vitamin E
Wheatgrass Capsules


Bathe the bruise with a cool solution of witch hazel.


1) The aloe vera plant is well known for reducing pain, preventing infection, and promoting the healing of burns. To treat a burn, remove a leaf, slit leaf open, and rub the gel from the leaf on the burn. Alternately, aloe gel may be puchased by the bottle from any health food store.

2) Apply tea tree oil to the burn

3) For minor burns, spread a thin layer of honey on the injured area.

4) Plantain Lotion
Make an ointment from plantain leaves by mixing:
About 1 pint of fresh plantain leaves
1 pint of cream
Cook until thick, being careful not to scorch the cream. Use as an ointment for burns.

Canker Sores

1) Mix:
1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide
1/8 tsp salt
1 glass very warm/hot water
Rinse mouth with solution, spit, then rinse again with solution.
Repeat several times a day for about a week.

2) Sage and Thyme Mouthwash
Alleviate painful canker sores with a mouthwash brewed from the antiseptic herbs sage and thyme. Use 1 tablespoon each of the fresh herbs per cup of water. Brew in hot water, cool. Use as a gargle three times daily.

3) Make a strong tea of goldenseal root and use it as a mouthwash, or make a paste of it and apply directly to sore.

4) Apply a wet black tea bag directly on the sore, the tannin in black tea is an excellent pain reliever

5) Apply vitamin E from a capsule directly on the sore several times a day

6) Apply cold-pressed castor oil directly to the sore

Cold Sores

1) Apply a drop of tea tree oil to the sore 3-4 times a day

2) Apply a drop of rubbing alcohol to the sore 3-4 times a day

Colds/Flu/Sore Throat/Fever/Coughs


1) Have 3-4 prunes or a 4 ounce glass of prune juice daily

2) Eat an apple

3) To help promote bowel movement use the following:
Cascara Sagrada

4) An infusion of crushed flax seed helps. Drink 1 cup in the morning and evening.

5) Licorice is a mild and pleasant tasting laxative. Chew on the root or make a decoction of 1 tsp of root in 1 cup water. Take 3 times a day.


1) Folk Remedy: Soak 1/2 slice white bread in vinegar. Apply to the corn once in thew morning and once at night, laying the soaked bread on as a poultice. Cover with a waterproof bandage to keep bread moist.

2) Massage for 3-5 minutes with baking soda which has been dampened with spirits of camphor. Repeat every day for 5-10 days. After condition has improved, mix olive oil with and equal amount of tincture of myrrh and massage into the affected areas.


Massage with castor oil twice a day. Apply straight cold-pressed castor oil to the cyst or make a hot castor oil compress.


1) Make an Infusion of 1 ounce each of fresh or dried rosemary and sage in 2 cups of water. Let steep for 24 hours, then use daily as a hair rinse.

2) Boil 4 tablespoons dried thyme in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes, strain and cool. Pour half the mixture into hair, massage in, do NOT rinse out. Save remaining mixture for the next day.

3) Heat a few ounces of olive oil on the stove until warm. Wet hair with water then apply warm olive oil to scalp with a brush or cotton ball. Massage in, put on a shower cap, leave oil on for 20 minutes. Then shampoo as usual.


1) Apple Cider Vinegar Cure
1 glass of room temperature water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
Take 1 teaspoon of the mixture every 5 minutes Make up a second batch and take 2 teaspoons every 5 minutes Make up a third batch and take a sip of it every 15 minutes

2) Blackberry Wine Cure
Adults: Take 1-2 ounces of blackberry wine
Children and babies: Smaller amounts

3) Carrot Soup Remedy
Cook 1 pound of carrots in 5 ounces or more of water until soft. Strain the pulp or blend in blender and add boiled water to make 1 quart. Add 3/4 tsp salt (to correct sodium imbalance in body). Eat samll amounts every half hour.

4) Carob Cure
Add carob powder (St. John's Bread) to a cup of hot water (to taste). Tastes like hot chocolate, kids love it.

5) Garlic Cure
Eat fresh raw, or take capules, powder or tablets

6) European Lemon Cure
Take straight lemon juice!!!!!!!!!! Be sure to rinse out mouth to prevent tooth enamel erosion.

7) Avoid high fiber foods for 1-2 days, eat boiled white rice and bananas

8) Eat about dozen or more blueberries

9) Eat yogurt

10) Pour 1 cup of boiling water onto 2 teaspoons of dried goldenseal root, and infuse for 15 minutes: drink 3 times a day. Caution: Do not use during pregnancy.


1) Eardrops made from a weak infusion of goldenseal soothe earaches. Mullein may also be added to the infusion.

2) Drop oil of mullein, garlic oil, warm olive oil or lobelia extract drops directly into the ear.

3) Folk Remedy: Cut a clove of garlic, rub over and around the ear.


For red sore eyes:
1) Raw potato slices laid on sore eyes reduces heat and redness.
2) Eye Puffiness: Any tea bag (herbal is better, especially eyebright), slightly cooled, placed on the eyes while you rest.

For tired or bloodshot eyes:
1) Soak sterile cotton balls or soft cloth in cold skim milk. Place over eyes for 10 minutes. Rinse face in warm, then cool, water.

For Dark Circles:
To lighten dark circles under your eyes, wrap a grated raw potato in cheesecloth and apply to eyelids for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Add 1 teaspoon of the eyebright herb to 1 cup of boiling water, allow to cool, strain. With an eyecup, use the solution to rinse the eye.

Styes, also called chalazia or chalazionare, are blocked mucus glands in the eylids.

1) Apply hot castor oil compresses

2) A facecloth moistened with hot water should be applied for 15 minutes every 3 to 4 hours. This may be required over a couple of days.

3) Old Chinese Remedy
The easiest way to give warm compresses is with a hot hard boiled egg wrapped in a DRY washcloth. The heat lasts longer than with just a wet warm washcloth.

Foot Problems

Athlete's Foot
1) Apply diluted tea-tree oil several times a day until condition clears.

2) Apply cider vinegar directly to the affected areas.

3) Soak feet daily in a basin of warm water and cider vinegar until condition shows improvement. A few drops of tea tree oil may be added if desired.

4) Soak feet daily for about 1/2 hour in a strong infusion of goldenseal root

5) Soak the feet in a mixture of 2 teaspoons of salt per pint of warm water.

6) Take 1 tablespoon of baking soda, add a little warm water to make a paste. Apply to affected areas. Rinse off and dry well. Finish by dusting feet with cornstarch.

7) Mix 1 ounce of sage, 1 ounce of agrimony and 2 cups of white wine. Simmer in a covered pot for about 20 minutes. Let cool just enough to be comfortable to soak feet in.

Ingrown Toenails:
Make a mixture of baking soda and castor oil. Rub into affected area. Follow with rinse of spirits of camphor.

Plantar Warts on the Feet:
Massage wart with a paste made of castor oil and baking soda


Regular Headaches

1) Feverfew has been used for centuries to relieve headaches and prevent migraines
2) White Willow Bark is an excellent pain reliever.
3) Drink a cup of peppermint tea
4) Take a hot bath adding 3 drops of lavender oil to the bathwater
5) Jeanne Rose's Headache Inhaler: In a small vial mix 10 drops lavender oil, 10 drops peppermint oil, 10 drops marjoram oil, 10 drops rose oil, 5 drops clove oil. Inhale when needed to help a headache.

Migraine Headaches

1) Feverfew is effective in preventing migraines
2) Try either a hot or cold compress to constrict or expand blood vessels (see which works for you)

Sinus Headaches

Take 1-2 capsules of stinging nettle herb or make a tea made of the same

Tension Headaches

Use any of the following in tea or capsule form:
Valerian Root

Genital Herpes

The following herbs/supplements are immune system boosters and viral inhibitors reported to aid the body in the suppression of symptoms of the herpes virus for which there is no known cure:
L-lysine (amino acid) 500-1,000 mg daily
Osha Root
Licorice Root
Red Clover


1) Take a deep breath, hold your breathe as long as you can, exhale, repeat procedure as many times as necessary until hiccups are gone

2) Folk Remedy: Put 2 drops of vinegar on a sugar cube, let cube dissolve in your mouth

Immune System Stimulants & Tonics:

The following have anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties:
Licorice Root
St. John's Wort
Osha Root
Red Clover
Pau d'Arco

Insect Repellent

For repelling insects on skin mix the following essential oils:
1 teaspoon pennyroyal
1 teaspoon citronella
1 teaspoon eucalyptus
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon tansy
Shake oils in 1 cup of cold-pressed vegetable oil. Store away from heat and light. Use by rubbing a small amount between the palms of your hands, then apply to any exposed skin. Avoid getting any into the eyes. Reapply as necessary. Discontinue if a rash develops.


1) Any of the following is reputed to help insomnia
Valerian Root
St. John's Wort

2) Warm milk

3) Take a hot bath, followed by a cup of warm milk or any tea made from the above herbs

4) Hops Sleep Pillow: Make a pillow filled with hops herb, many claim this is an excellent sleep inducer

Mental Depression

St. Johns Wort is an excellent aid in overcoming depression, its effects being compared to the currently popular anti-depression drug Prozac. Take one 300 mg capsule of St. John's Wort extract 3 times a day (for a total of 900 mg per day).

Morning Sickness, Nausea & Motion Sickness

1) Drink a cup of cool ginger ale

2) Drink a cup hot pepperment tea

3) Suck on a peppermint hard candy

4) Eat a little cottage cheese

5) Eat some plain yogurt

6) Eat a few crackers

7) Fennel and caraway are useful for nausea and vomiting. Use as a seasoning or make an infusion of the seeds/herb.

Mosquito/Insect Bites

1) First wrap an ice cube in a washcloth, apply to bite to reduce swelling and numb itching. Then, to reduce itching, apply a paste made of baking soda and water. Wash paste off after 15-20 minutes. Repeat ice and baking soda treatment every 3-4 hours until itching stops.

2) Mix table salt with a little water, apply to bite

3) Nana's Mosquite Bite Remedy
With your fingernail press to make an X-mark on the bite, then apply saliva from your mouth to the bite. (My grandmother showed me how to do this when I was a helps the itching, I never knew why!) Recent scientific research has shown that saliva contains growth factors that stimulate cells to multiply and cover the wound, and also contains nitrates that are broken down by skin bacteria to NO, acting as an antibiotic. . . hmm. . .maybe Nana really had something there!

4) Wash bite thoroughly, apply tea tree oil to fight infection

5) Folk Remedy: Take a pinch of either chewing or cigarette tobacco, moisten, then apply it to the bite and keep it there for several minutes. If desired, secure on with a bandaid/bandage.

Poison Ivy and Oak

1) Jewelweed (Impatiens, Touch-Me-Not) is a popular treatment. Apply the juice of the plant to the rash or simply take the entire plant, roll it into a ball then dab, NOT smear or rub it over area that was exposed to the poision plant.

2) Drip the juice of the milkweed plant onto the rash

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Evening primrose oil is THE most effective herbal remedy for PMS. Take 2 capsules 3 times a day for a total of 6 capsules a day.
Cramp bark relieves cramping associated with the menstarl cycle
Licorice root helps alleviate PMS symptoms

For breast tenderness, eat plenty of chopped fresh parsley to help the body expel excess water. Caution: Excessive consumption should be avoided during pregnancy and lactation.

Other helpful herbs include:
Blessed Thistle
Dong Quai
Raspberry Leaves
Squaw Vine

Scars/Scar Tissue/Stretch Marks

1 ounce peanut oil
1/2 tsp dissolved lanolin
2 ounces camphorated oil
Camphorated oil
Tincture of myrrh
Olive oil
Olive oil
Tincture of myrrh

Stomach and Intestinal Problems

Ginger tea, ale or capsules is excellent for nausea, gas and indigestion
Peppermint Tea is good for nausea, gas, stomach ache and bloating
Fennel relieves stomach cramps and gas and aids in digestion
Dill is good for gas and indigestion
Basil is excellent for reducing gas
Cinnamon helps gas, diarrhea, and upset stomach
Catnip tea is effective for bouts of diarrhea
Cayenne has a healing effect on ulcers
Marshmallow root is highly recommended for ulcers and colitis
Angelica aids digestion
Anise seeds aid digestion
Caraway aids digestion
Cardamon aids digestion
Dill aids digestion
Club soda helps indigestion
Avoid soft drinks containing caffeine helps indigestion


1) Apply aloe vera gel

2) Strawberry juice is an excellent sunburn soother

3) Lettuce juice is soothing and cooling to the skin making it a great sunburn remedy

4) Cucumber juice is another excellent sunburn soother

5) For instant sunburn relief, blend 2 tbsps. castor oil, 1 tsp. baking soda and a
pinch of salt. Apply to affected area.

6) Lavender Sunburn Oil
6 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp iodine
10 drops lavender oil
Mix all ingredients together and bottle. Apply gently to relieve sunburned skin.

7) Apply apple cider vinegar


1) Rub some oil of cloves into the gums

2) Stir 1 teaspoon of salt into an 8 oz glass of water. Swish water around in the mouth for about a minute, spit out salt water.

3) Swish whiskey around the sore tooth

4) Chew on or hold a piece of ice on/around the sore tooth to numb the pain.

5) Put a piece of a garlic clove inside the cavity or between the bad tooth and your cheek. It kills the pain and guards against infection.

6) Add 2 teaspoons of red sage leaves to 2 cups of water, bring to boil, steep, covered, for 15 minutes. Gargle with the warm solution several times a day.

7) Mix:
6 ounces distilled water
2 ounces prickly ash bark
Reduce in volume to 2 ounces by simmering, NOT boiling, over low heat. Strain and add enough table salt to make a very thin paste. Rub mixture, with fingers, on tooth area and gums once daily for 2 days.
Variation: Add a few drops of peppermint oil


1) Apply dandelion juice to heal warts.

2) Apply castor oil directly on the wart, cover with a bandage

3) Apply liquid vitamin A from a capsule directly on the wart

4) Apply liquid vitamin E from a capsule directly on the wart

5) Make a paste of castor oil and baking soda, apply to wart and cover with a bandage.

6) Apply crushed fresh garlic clove directly on the wart, cover with a bandage

7) Apply oil of cloves to the wart

8) Apply aloe vera gel to the wart

9) Apply milkweed juice to heal warts

10) Rub warts with a piece of raw potato

11) Apply oil of thuja (white cedar) to the wart

12) Extract the juice from the stems, leaves and head of the dandelion plant, apply juice to the wart

13) Apply spirits of camphor to the wart to make it dry up and fall off.

14) Plantain Lotion
Make an ointment from plantain leaves by mixing:
About 1 pint of fresh plantain leaves
1 pint of cream
Cook until thick, being careful not to scorch the cream. Use as an ointment to cure warts.

15) Moles
To remove a mole, massage with a paste made of castor oil and baking soda


1) Use comfrey leaves as a poultice for wounds and other skin abrasions.

2) Apply tea tree oil to the wound to fight infection and speed healing.

3) Wash cut/scrape thoroughly then apply a dab of honey and a bandage.

4) Apply a bit of your own saliva to the cut/scrape.Saliva contains growth factors that stimulate cells to multiply and cover the wound, and also contains nitrates that are broken down by skin bacteria to NO, acting as an antibiotic.

The Childrens Corner


Dill: Give 1 teaspoon of dill water before feeding if distress is anticipated. To relieve colic, give 1 teaspon as needed.

Diaper Rash

1) Expose sore areas with fresh air frequently whenever convenient (remove diaper, put a waterproof pad under baby to protect bedding while diaper is off).

2) Apply a cool compress of calendual or chamomile infusion to sore areas for short periods.

3) Buy or make a lotion or ointment that contains calendula, comfrey or marsh mallow herb to soothe the skin and speed healing.

4) Make a dusting powder of:
1 part white clay
1 part volcanic mineral ash
1 part slippery elm powder
1/2 part finely powdered myrrh

Head Lice

(This formula developed by Maggie Tisserand author of Aromatherapy for Women)
25 drops rosemary oil
25 drops lavender oil<
13 drops geranium oil
12 drops eucalyptus oil
1/3 cup cold-pressed vegetable oil
Combine all. Divide hair into small sections, saturate each section from roots to ends of hair. All areas of hair and scalp MUST be saturated. Put on a snug fitting shower cap to prevent evaporation of the oils or wrap plastic around hair and scalp.
If plastic is used, the child must be under constant supervision to avoid accidental suffocation.

Remove shower cap or plastic wrap after 2 hours. Shampoo well, rinse well. Comb with fine toothed comb. Repeat every 3 days untril no longer needed.

Sleep Problems

Chamomile tea is safe and effective for children with sleep problems and is also said to be helpful for nightmares. Give 1 cup of warm chamomile tea 1/2 hour before bedtime. Take child to toilet just before bed. For small babies, add 1 tablespoon of the tea to the bedtime bottle. For older babies and toddlers, use up to 1/2 cup.


Chamomile tea is helpful in calming teething children, see Sleep Problems for dosage.


If you are looking for a great Ayurvedic physician, contact:
Ojas Ayurveda Wellness Center to speak to Dr. Shekhar Annambhotla

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Last updated: 4 October 2009
Site Owner: Loretta Wallace

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