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My Natural Pharmacy

My Natural Pharmacy

Have you ever thought of switching your regular medicines to essential oils as part of your first aid kit? We hear about it every day that certain over-the-counter drugs and their side effects, even a simple Tylenol, can cause dangerous side effects on our liver. Let’s not forget muscle relaxants, pain relievers and so on.

Each year, Canada Health counts 4,500 hospitalisations caused by an acetaminophen overdose, for which 16% are accidental.

As for ibuprophen, accordingly to a meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal in 2011, it would be associated to a high risk of stoke. As per this study, the analysis of all causes of deaths demonstrated that a patient under ibuprophen had 77% more chances to die compared to a patient using a placebo alternative. You simply have to do a few internet searches to find tons of information and studies related to the risks and dangers in using over-the-counter drugs.

To quote Marc-André Gagnon, Public Politics teacher who specializes in the pharmaceutical sector at the Carleton University in Ottawa: ‘ What makes it dangerous is the culture that lets you believe that the more you take medicine, the better it is. We have to stop thinking that the drug is safe. There are important risks that need to be taken seriously ‘.

Over two years ago I made an almost ultimate switch, for myself and my family, in order to limit the maximum chemical/toxic products in the house, and we’ve never been better. Today my medicine cabinet is mainly composed of many phytotherapy products, natural supplements and essential oils. I would like to share a few tips to help you start your own natural pharmacy at home; a turn towards a healthier and greener lifestyle, because let’s be honest, at the begining, it can be overwhelming!

Let’s all be rational. I am not saying here that all over-the-counter medicines are unnecessary and dangerous. I’m simply saying that sometimes  we’re too quick on taking this solution for small ‘booboos’ that could be healed in a more natural way. Honestly, I’m convinced that if there were a greater education on medicine drugs and their long term side effects, people would be better informed and would make different choices regarding what they put in their system and their children’s.

That being said, let’s look at the solutions! Oviously, you can integrate an element in your pharmacy once at a time, but I’m convinced that once you’ve realized the therapeutic potential of essential oils, you’ll want to replace almost everything!

I will try however to reduce my list today in order to go with, what I think, are the must-haves for the entire family. First of all, if you haven’t heard of LAVENDER or EUCALYPTUS yet, go get some now. I think that it’s not necessary anymore to promote their many proprieties, but you must know that lavender, on top of its calming and soothing vertues, is an excellent mosquito repellent! For a family like mine, that spends the majority of summer outdoors, it’s really awesome! I spray some on my kids’ clothes (good quality essential oils don’t stain!). And to be honest, it’s more effective than any other chemical products containing DEET, a well-known product for its toxic effects on our health. So let’s switch that kind of aerosol for lavender or citronella, please!

Next, a product I use often is peppermint. Being a massage therapist, I use this oil a lot for its therapeutic anti-inflammatory effects. I apply it directly on sore and muscles and painful region of the body, then I massage with a neutral vegetable oil like jojoba or sweet almond. The result? An immediate relief and a pleasant sensation of freshness and heat thanks to its proprieties, close to the ones like the products found in a pharmacy, such as the famous Antiphlogistine rub ointment, but 100% natural, without petrol, emulsifiers, or preservatives. Note however that peppermint isn’t recommenced for young children and pregnant women. It’s not because it’s natural that it’s not powerful!

If you’re a beginner in the world of essential oils, I recommend trying Divine Essence’s Ready-To-Use remedies which are essential oil blends formulated specificaly for many ills and pains. Some are available for diffusion, such as PRANA, which smells like heaven and is ideal to freshen up a room, but especially to relieve respitory issues, infections and allergies.

There are also the roll-on remedy blends which are awesome! The ones I commonly use are #7 which quickly soothes headaches. You simply have to apply some directly on the temples, at the base of the neck or along the hair line. There is also #3 STRESS & INSOMNIA, highly effective for everyone, but even more on hyper sensitive kids. My 6 year old son is rather anxious in life and the year that just passed has been high on emotions for him. Kindergarten hasn’t been easy and around mid-school year, I decided to buy him this roll-on so he could keep it in his school bag and use it when he needed it. Honestly, the differene was amazing! On top of having the therapeutic effects such as calming his nervousness, he also had the impression of using a ‘little magic potion’ that made his days special and helped him forget all his troubles…

Then there’s the remedy blends #6 and #8 that work wonders for INSECT BITES and BRUISES, ideal for families like mine that travel all over Quebec! Because, oh boy! do we have bugs here! As for bruises, well you know how children play, run, jump and fall! This little jewel is composed of a maceration of anica flowers, fine lavender, everlasting and laurel leaf essential oils. All effective on bruises!

Finally, I realize that I won’t be able to reduce my must-haves list! I personaly think that each one has its own proprieties and we all have different needs. What I would suggest is really simple: note the ongoing health issues in your daily routines and search the keywords on the internet. You’ll find tons of information regarding all the possibilities and alternatives to help you deal with your health issues. And who knows? Maybe you’ll discover new things that will positively change your life entirely!

I hope that I transfered my curiosity to explore the fabulous world of essential oils and all its wonders to you!

Stéfanie Crevier

Mom, blogger, massage therapist, naturopathy student, lover of nature and holistic medicine.

Photo credit: @debphotographe

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