Must Have Herbs For The Kitchen

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Herbs that do double or even triple duty, that you need to have in your kitchen.

 Every cook has their own favorite herbs that they like to cook with and tend to put into just about everything. I do that with cumin and garlic. But did you know that many of those same herbs that you love to flavor you food with, can also be used in home remedies? Here are a few that should be in every home and some must have herbs in the kitchen.


Lavender is a low-lying bushy flower with long stems and many tiny, pale purple buds, that simply smells amazing! The flavor is just a little floral and used frequently in French cooking

Lavender can be used for treating loss of appetite, headaches, restlessness, sleep issues, cramps, and can help with circulatory issues. The oil is also an effective treatment for burns.


Sage is a low-lying, silvery bush with oblong, soft and fuzzy leaves that is used frequently to flavor pork and poultry.

Used to help improve appetite and ease inflammation. Can also be helpful for slowing down milk production in nursing mothers.


There are many varieties of basil, but is pretty easy to identify by its large, thin oval and easily bruised leaves. Basil is sweet, a bit peppery and offers a slight anise-like aftertaste. Depending on the variety of course.

Basil has very strong antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. Traditionally used to stimulate appetite and for helping calm upset stomachs. Chinese medicine uses basil to support kidney function and as a treatment for ulcers of the mouth and gums . Traditional Indian medicine uses basil to treat everything from earaches, rashes, itching, malaria, respiratory issues, arthritis and and loss of appetite. Anorexia.


Mammoth Dill can grow quite tall with beautiful, fragrant flowering heads and feathery, fragile leaves. Dill and parsley have a lot in common, which is why they are often paired together or are used in many of the same dishes. Dill is traditionally used to treat an upset stomach upset , gas, heartburn and other gastrointestinal issues. It can also be used to help treat sleep disorders, like insomnia and can be given to children who have colic.


Deep green, slightly serrated leaves that curl up from the stem with a potent fragrance reminiscent of carrot leaves and parsnips.

Parsley is can be used to treat urinary tract infections and is just as effective as cranberry juice, it can also be used to treat kidney and bladder stones. Parsley can be used to help with other stomach issues and can help simulate menstruation.


Peppermint is a bushy plant with long stems, and bright green, slightly fuzzy leaves.

Usually taken as a tea or as an infusion, peppermint is traditionally used to treat colic and digestive upset, but it’s also great for treating colds, the flu, stuffy noses and seasonal allergies. Combine with Honey and you have a great treatment for sore throats and coughs. Peppermint essential oil, applied to the temples, can help relieve headaches and migraines. Peppermint leaves can also be used as a treatment of liver and gallbladder issues.


Rosemary is a pine-like shrub with long stems and short, needle-like leaves.Rosemary is traditionally used for upset stomach, gas, headaches and migraines. It can also be used to treat menstrual disorders and when applied to wounds can help speed healing. It is also effective in treating eczema and controlling blood pressure.


Oregano is a short, shrubby herb with small, deep-green leaves. Oregano is used to treat respiratory problems like stuffy noses and coughs and is an effective expectorant. It can also be used to help ease menstrual cramping and it has very potent antimicrobial activities.

 Image: TonalLuminosity


Germany’s Commission E

First Aid – Build Your Own Natural First Aid Emergency Kit

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medicine cabinet




Everyone should have a well stocked first aid kit. Knowing that you have the items on hand to be able to handle medical issues at home and immediately is simply priceless.


Know what you can treat at home and what you need to see a professional for is also essential. But, in this post we will talk about what you should have in your first aid kit. Herbs and essential oils have been effectively treating people (and animals) for thousands of years. But, which ones should you use for what? Read on to find out.


In the event of an emergency or disaster having all the items you need close at hand can make all the difference. A word of caution when selecting herbs and oils, always make sure that you are getting your herbs from a trusted source, they need to be clean and organic. Growing your own is a great way to stay stocked up. For Essential oils, you need to make sure that you are using therapeutic grade essential oils. NOT perfume oils, this is not something that you should try and skimp on. We like Young Living Essential Oils.


All of the remedies are available at any well-stocked health-food store and online.


Aloe vera gel: Cooling and healing, aloe vera (Aloe vera) soothes the inflammation of sunburn and common kitchen scalds and burns.

Arnica gel or cream: Arnica (Arnica montana) flowers have anti-inflammatory and circulation-stimulating properties; the gel or cream is excellent for sore muscles, sprains, strains and bruises. Do not apply arnica to broken skin. 

Calendula-comfrey salve: The bright yellow-orange blossoms of calendula (Calendula officinalis) have astringent, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties. Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) contains allantoin, a compound that stimulates the growth of new tissue and helps heal wounds. 

Chamomile tea bags: With its delicious distinctive flavor, chamomile (Matricaria recutita) makes a tasty tea. Gentle enough for children, chamomile has mild sedative, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It promotes relaxation, relieves indigestion and, when applied topically, soothes skin irritations.

Echinacea liquid extract: Rich in immune-stimulating chemicals, echinacea (Echinacea spp.) can be used for any type of infection. Liquid extracts are the most versatile because they can be used both internally and externally.

Elderberry capsules or liquid extract: Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is essential for stopping a cold or flu from ruining your vacation. The berries contain compounds that prevent cold and flu viruses from invading and infecting cells. If you’re flying or otherwise potentially exposed to viruses, taking elderberry is a good preventive. If you do come down with a cold or flu, taking elderberry can hasten your recovery time.

Eucalyptus essential oil: A potent antibiotic and antiviral, eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) is excellent for treating colds, flus and sinus infections when used as a steam inhalation. Dilute with oil or witch hazel extract before applying to the skin, and do not take internally.

Ginger capsules, tea bags and crystallized ginger: The antispasmodic and gas-relieving properties of ginger (Zingiber officinale) soothe digestive upsets. Ginger also has been proven to relieve motion sickness better than Dramamine, the conventional drug treatment.

Goldenseal capsules or powder: A powerful antimicrobial, goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is effective against a variety of microorganisms that cause traveler’s diarrhea. The powder has antiseptic properties and can be sprinkled onto cuts or wounds to stop bleeding. Do not take goldenseal internally during pregnancy.

Grindelia poison oak/ivy tincture or spray: Grindelia (Grindelia camporum), also known as gumweed, contains resins and tannins that help to relieve the pain and itching of plant rashes. It’s available as a tincture and also as a spray specifically for treating poison oak/poison ivy rashes.

Lavender essential oil: Virtually an all-purpose remedy, lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) has sed- ative, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It’s helpful for anxiety, insomnia, headaches, wounds and burns. For most people, lavender essential oil can be applied directly to the skin. Do not take more than 1 to 2 drops internally.

Laxative herbal tea bags: Travel constipation is a common complaint. Most herbal laxative teas rely on senna (Cassia senna), which contains compounds called anthraquinones that stimulate intestinal activity. Because senna has a bitter, unpleasant flavor, it’s often combined with tasty herbs such as cinnamon, fennel, licorice and ginger.
Peppermint essential oil and tea bags: With its high concentration of menthol, peppermint (Mentha xpiperita) soothes an upset stomach, clears sinuses and curbs itching from insect bites. If you have sensitive skin, dilute peppermint oil before applying. Taken internally, peppermint may aggravate heartburn. Valerian tincture: The sedative properties of valerian (Valeriana officinalis) make it useful for relieving anxiety, insomnia and tension; it’s also a mild pain reliever.

Witch hazel extract: Distilled witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) has mild astringent, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful for insect bites and skin irritations. It’s also an excellent base for diluting essential oils for a variety of simple, topical herbal first-aid remedies. Do not take it internally.


Additional First-Aid Essentials

  • Adhesive bandage strips: Various sizes, including butterfly closure bandages.
  • Alcohol: Small plastic bottle for removing poison oak/ivy oils from the skin.
  • Bandage materials: Sterile gauze pads, a roll of gauze, adhesive bandage tape.
  • Cosmetic clay: With drying and drawing properties, clay is useful for healing skin rashes and insect bites. Store in a small plastic container.
  • Elastic bandage: For sprains or strains.
  • Electrolyte replacement: Powdered drink packets such as Emergen-C.
  • Moleskin: Blister treatment.
  • Scissors: Small pair for cutting bandages, adhesive tape, moleskin.
  • Thermometer: Instant-read type.
  • Tweezers: For removing ticks and splinters.
  • Waterless hand sanitizer: Travel-size bottle.