One place in the house that is often overlooked for a makeover is the medicine cabinet.
In the past, my New Year’s Resolution list was filled with goals like eating healthy foods, exercising more and intentional living. What I neglected to look at until this year was improving what happens when my family doesn’t feel good.
Striving for a healthier, more natural life when I feel good AND bad.
When I opened up my medicine cabinet (which is actually a series of baskets on a high shelf in the master bathroom linen closet), it was a little sobering to see all the leftovers of illness-past.
And don’t get me started on what the OLDEST date I found attached to a bottle!
It was definitely time for a makeover.
My goal was to find natural substitutes for things we reach for when under the weather. I was looking to eliminate ingredients such as petroleum, fragrances, menthol, hydrogenated oils, parabens, sulfates, phthalates, artificial colors, mineral oils, alcohol, and even “natural flavors” because, in fact, they’re NOT natural at all. Both natural and artificial flavors could contain anywhere for 1 to 100 ingredients including synthetic chemicals and GMO-derived ingredients. Flavors can also include excitotoxins like MSG.
And then if it qualifies, I want it to be organic as well. The last thing I need when I am sick is to use something that has the potential of residual pesticides. I mean, I already don’t feel well!
One Crazy House has partnered with Maty’s Healthy Products and been inspired by the easy changes that can be made to make a healthier home by using their products.
Natural Substitutes for Common Medicines:
Maty’s All Natural Vapor Rub replaces Vicks VapoRub & Mentholatum Ointment – What I love about the Maty’s product is that it doesn’t contain petroleum. Petroleum is a chemical that can damage and suffocate the skin. If you have kids, Maty’s also has a Baby Chest Rub that is safe for babies 3 months old and up. It is both petroleum and menthol free and delivers soothing comfort. Even other options like Zarbee’s Baby Chest Rub contain ingredients like hydrogenated castor oil which is a chemically altered oil unlike Maty’s who uses all natural oils like coconut and jojoba.
I had known that petroleum was something I wanted to avoid, but this journey making over my medicine cabinet prompted some additional research about menthol. Menthol is not recommended to be used for children under 2 years old.
“The ingredients in Vicks can be irritants, causing the body to produce more mucus to protect the airway. Infants and young children have airways that are much narrower than those of adults, so any increase in mucus or inflammation can narrow them more severely.” – Dr. Bruce Rubin, Department of Pediatrics at Wake Forest University School of Medicine
Saline Wash replaces Sinex Nasal Mist – I made this change several years ago and have found it to be one of the best things when I am congested. I used to use a decongestant nasal mist like Sinex or Dristan and it worked really good for a few hours and give me relief. The problem came when I wanted to stop using it. Some research showed that this is a common problem called rebound nasal congestion brought on by extended use of nasal sprays. When I switched to a Neti Pot which is a nasal irrigation, I was surprised at how effective it was and how it shortened the time I was congested without the rebound effect.
Maty’s Baby Ointment replaces Aquaphor – I had never noticed how many common items in my medicine cabinet have the label “drug facts” on them. At this point you may be saying, “yes, but Holly they are in your MEDICINE cabinet.” And I might answer, “yes, I totally get it if I was talking about actual drugs, but things like Aquaphor?” Maty’s Baby Ointment doesn’t have a drug fact label because it is made with whole-food ingredients which makes it free of petroleum, hydrogenated oils and fragrances. While I don’t have a baby anymore, I keep things like baby ointment in my medicine cabinet for those intense rash and skin hydration needs!
Epsom Salt Foot Soak replaces Gold Bond Foot Powder – Stinky feet is not uncommon in a house with three boys. Epsom Salt naturally neutralizes odor and it can help soothe feet. You can make a simple foot soak with 1 cup of Epsom Salt to every 15 cups of warm water.
Maty’s Organic Cough Syrup replaces Robitussin Cough Syrup – Maty’s Organic Cough Syrup is made with USDA certified ingredients like honey, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, lemon peel, and more. They also do NOT contain artificial preservatives, color additives, sweeteners, corn, soy or wheat. Traditional cough syrups like Robitussin have a ton of ingredients that I don’t understand and have side-effects I don’t want. The really cool thing is that Maty’s Organic Cough Syrup tastes better and can be easily added to hot drinks for even a more feel-better experience!
Lemon, lavender & peppermint essential oils in an essential oil diffuser replace Vicks Waterless Vaporizer – When Vicks first came out with the what was similar to a fragrance plug-in with a Vicks scent, I used it and loved it. As I desired to find more natural alternatives to things I used, I found what is commonly called as an LLP essential oil mixture which soothes without menthol.
Maty’s All Natural Acid Indigestion Relief replaces Prilosec – the Maty’s Acid Indigestion Relief has no side effects or drug interactions. The Prilosec side effects include an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and kidney disease.
Maty’s Organic Nighttime Cough Syrup replaces Tylenol PM – Every once in awhile I need a little nudge to fall asleep at night. In the past, taking a Tylenol PM has been my solution. That decision in the evening can cause issues in the morning like feeling “foggy” and sluggish. The other thing I have found is that doesn’t always work for me. Lately, when I have a stressful day or feeling a little under the weather, I have tried a hot drink in the evening with Maty’s Organic Nighttime Cough Syrup and it has resulted in better sleep with no grogginess in the morning. The natural ingredients like chamomile and nutmeg calm and promote peaceful sleep.
I haven’t had a new year’s resolution that was so easy to implement!
You can find more about Maty’s better alternatives by visiting their website and following them on FB and Twitter: @Matys.