Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Frugal Medicine Cabinet

A visit to the doctor’s office nowadays can put a fair size dent in your monthly budget. With co-pays at record highs, huge deductibles and even more astronomical premiums our family has used medical visits more as a last resort rather than the first line of defense. We still know when it’s time to go visit our favorite family doctor or the local emergency room but when it comes to the run of the mill colds, illnesses, or symptoms we visit our kitchen instead. Our frugal medicine cabinet isn’t full of over the counter pills and cough medicines. It has just a few ingredients, purchased from the grocery store to see us through a sick spell. Here are a few things to keep on hand when you start to feel an illness coming on.

Fresh Garlic contains sulphur properties that act as an antibiotic, anti-viral and a fungicide. It’s been known to lower cholesterol, act as an expectorant and help with digestion among other things.

Raw Unpasteurized Honey has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It’s great for coating throats to get rid of germs and to soothe sore throats. It should be unpasteurized since the heat can remove some of its healing properties. Children under the age of one shouldn’t be given honey.

Lemons are a super food that contains loads of Vitamin C which helps in the growth and repair of body tissues. It can be used as an astringent as well as an anti-inflammatory.

Apple Cider Vinegar was probably in your grandmother’s medicine cabinet. It’s been around for ages and my own grandmother took it daily and attributed it to her own 98 years of active life. It’s been known to ease heartburn, aid in digestion, relieve rashes and sunburns, to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and aid in ear or yeast infections. You’ll want to make sure you get apple cider vinegar that is organic, unpasteurized and contains the cloudy “mother” in the bottom.

With these simple ingredients you can treat all kinds of common ailments for minimal cost and maximum health benefits. The next time you start to feel ill try a few of these natural recipes to relieve your symptoms and speed up your recovery all while keeping your budget on track.

Garlic Tea

(For cough, colds and as an antibiotic to kill bacteria and fungus)

3 cups water

3 cloves garlic peeled and crushed or cut into pieces

½ cup raw unpasteurized honey

½ cup fresh lemon juice

Bring water and garlic to a boil. Turn off heat and stir in honey and lemon juice. Drink ½ cup warm tea 2-3 times per day until symptoms are gone. Store extra in refrigerator. Courtesy of

Cough Controller

(not for infants under the age of 12 months)

1 teaspoon of honey
1 tablespoon of lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
Stir mixture in a little bit of drinking water and drink immediately.
Take this 2-3 times a day.

Courtesy of

Sore Throat Relief

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

6 -8 ounces water

Add vinegar to water. Take a tablespoon of the mixture and gargle with it, spitting it out. Immediately take another tablespoon of the mixture, gargle and swallow it.

Courtesy of Vermont Folk Medicine by D.C. Jarvis


{ MELBOURNE ROAD } said...

very nice Gayle!

Anonymous said...

very helpfull, thanks !

Gypsy Trader said...

Grandma's Dad used to make Apple Cider Vinegar and sell it to the locals.

Emma said...

Hi! I just found your blog, and I love it! I recently started doing a series of $60 a week for two, but you're absolutely inspiring me to cut it down even further. (It's the organic produce that gets me!)

These are excellent tips for a natural medicine cabinet. I was sick this winter, and most of these recipes/remedies are what got me through. Great advice!

I'll be following!
:) Emma

City Sister said...

I often love the frugal and natural side of things...often they do not go together, but in this instance they do!

Anonymous said...

At the first sign of a sore throat and sniffles, I gargle with a store brand of Listerine mouthwash. It really seems to knockout a cold before it can develop. My mild symptoms just go away before I feel sick.

lfturpin said...

Made my own apple cider vinegar last year when I canned apples. Put apple peelings and cores into gallon jar, filled with water(well water), added the leftover syrup that was used to can apples, and added a small amount of mother from previous made vinegar.Let it set for a few weeks and strained. Hard to believe how high organic vinegar is to buy in stores.

Kim said...

Thanks for sharing. I love these home remedies, especially for someone with no health insurance. I will be trying some of them.