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Home Remedies Notebook

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Here’s something that you might not know about Barry and me….we don’t like taking medicine. In fact, it’s so bad that when we’re sick, we usually just go without anything in order to avoid taking medicines. For some reason, pharmaceuticals give me the freak out. Yes, I know they have their place and they do marvelous work! But, I have issues with plugging my body full of them any time I get a sniffle. Annie is 2 ½ years old and she’s never had an antibiotic. I know that’s because of the grace of God.

Do I have problems with people that use antibiotics? Nope. We just try to avoid them if at all possible – I know they have their place, and I’m thankful to know they’re around if/when I need them. That paragraph might be one of the most controversial things you ever hear me say….except for my stance on tithe. Ha! 

Recently I’ve become very interested in herbs and their medicinal properties. I’ve been trying to learn new things about them here and there – and I have a wonderful tutor, the fabulous Carrie who also taught me to make Kefir Cottage Cheese. I purchased Herbal Remedies for Dummies with Swagbucks to start teaching myself (Thanks Carrie!) and it’s a great starter book. The world of herbs and essential herbs is so overwhelming!!! Really.

And something you might not know about me either….I freak out. I really freak out. If Annie or Barry gets sick, I freak out first and think later. Do you know that when you’re in freaking-out mode, you can forget what you would normally know? So, to help myself out, I created my own Herbal Remedies book to keep at home.

I took a three ring binder and got some page protectors to get started (I’m a nerd and I like page protectors). Some of my favorite blogs post herbal remedies and such all the time! Since I love all things in print form, I printed out the materials to keep instead of just reading them online. Did you know if you NEED to get to something online, the power will go out or your internet won’t be working? Murphy’s Law.  Barry, using his awesome Photoshop skills, created a cover page for me and it says “Herbal Remedies: Recipes for Sickness and Health.”

Here is my disclaimer: you have to be careful with herbs, just like you have to be careful with medicines…..but, there is less worry with overdosing. Some herbs can’t be used with certain medicines….some herbs cannot be taken during pregnancy…some herbs are not for children under certain ages. So, proceed with caution – that’s why it’s good to get a book if you’re first starting out, so you make sure not to make a major boo-boo.

Another disclaimer: herbs are expensive. I’ve been slowly growing my collection, month by month as I had extra money in the budget. Then last month, we budgeted in $100 specifically so I could finish out the things I really wanted – some essential oils and teas that I bought from Vitacost. So, don’t go out and buy a ton of herbs all at once, unless you like emptying out your bank account. Start slowly – buy a few things here and there. Your supply will slowly be filled.  😀

So, now I’m going to tell you what is currently in my binder and where the “recipes” are located. Is my collection complete? Nope. As I find new concoctions, I add them to the book. It will always be a work in progress.

Homemade Herbal Vapor Rub (Vicks) from Keeper of the Home

Keeping Healthy During Cold and Flu Season from The Marathon Mom

Flu Fighting Kit from Authentic Simplicity

Healing Ear Infections Holistically from The Humbled Homemaker

Thieves Oil from Heartland Renaissance

Herbal Cold and Cough Syrup from Frugally Sustainable

Elderberry Syrup from Frugally Sustainable

Homemade Vapo Rub from Modern Alternative Mama

Important Herbs and How To Use Them from Creative Christian Mama : Part One & Part Two

Sore Throat Spray from Jo’s Health Corner

Horehound Lozenges from Frugally Sustainable

First Aid Antiseptic Ointment from Frugally Sustainable

Grapefruit Seed Extract and Its Many Uses from The Family Homestead

15 Uses for Witch Hazel

Do you see any BIG ones that I’m lacking? If so, please list them below with the link to the website so I can add them to my collection and this list. Thanks!

*This post is linked at Fat Tuesday on Real Food Forager, at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, at Healthy 2Day Wednesday on Day2Day Joys, at Wildcrafting Wednesday on Mind Body and Sole, at Simple Lives Thursday on GNOWFGLINS, and at Hearth and Soul Blog Hop on Penniless Parenting.


Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.


  1. Hmmm I should make a similar binder! You’re right; those herbs and essential oils are really expensive. I also like to use old-fashioned home remedies (like the standard honey and lemon for sore throats), too, b/c they’re not quite as costly.

  2. My boys are 9 and 6, and both of them have only had to be put on antibiotics twice so far. One had strep and the other had an ear infection, and then one had an ingrown toenail that got so infected that half of his foot was red and hot, so they had to put him on antibiotics. I attribute it to breast-feeding for their entire first year of life, and also not being too neurotic when it comes to “Don’t touch that! It’s so dirty!” Or overusing antibacterial hand sanitizer. I figure a little dirt never hurt me and my sisters, so a little dirt won’t hurt my kids. And my friends who are germ nazis? Their kids are sick ALL THE TIME!

  3. I love this binder! I think I should add a section to our family cookbook binder with these pages in. Thanks for sharing!

    I share your stance on antibiotics. We avoid them as much as possible, too. But we don’t avoid dirt. Dirt is our friend. :)

    • Dirt is nice….I like it. I try to keep it around. In fact, there is a large abundance of it right now under my kitchen table. Ahem.
      Please tell me your family binder also includes page protectors so that I feel better about my geekiness. :-)

  4. jade baker says:

    I have a healthy supply of page protectors as well… consider yourself in good geeky company. :)

  5. I cannot believe I did not think of this. What a genius idea, Stacy! I will pin this for later reference. I will be making one of these. You’re so smart.

    P.S. I found our first difference. I don’t freak out. I think first and if I come up with nothing then I freak out. I freak out big time. I’m a know-it-all ya’ know? 😉

    • :-) Yes, I knew we were different that way…but that just means you and I would be good together in a sticky situation. lol

  6. Hi, Stacy!

    I’ve been ‘into’ herbs for a long time (used to be an RN) and thought you would like to know about a couple of sites. This one has lots of free remedies to try, how to make tinctures, poultices, etc. I buy many of my bulk herb from They are very no-frills, but the prices are excellent.

    Keep at it! I have several notebooks now filled w/ lots of recipes/ideas I have picked up over the years. Have even thought of becoming certified once the kiddos are raised.

    Love your encouragement on finances, btw. That’s how I found you! We just finished our first ‘whole month’ of grocery shopping (only took us 8 hrs!! – still recovering! lol) and working on Dave Ramsey’s baby step #1 – emergency fund. You would think after being married for almost 28years and 6 children later we would have this finance thing worked out…better late than never!


    • Thanks for the encouragement Lori! :-) There is so much to learn that sometimes I feel overwhelmed. Thanks for the references – I have heard of Bulk Herb Store, but not the other one. Thank you!

  7. has some great tips–apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, all that (as well as some less-well known “remedies”). The thing to remember there is that ALL of the stories are anecdotal and tell someone’s success story (“ACV cured my warts!” or “I tried ACV, and burned my skin but the wart is still there!”), so everything there should be taken with a grain of salt. I wouldn’t necessarily consider printing this information for your binder, but maybe making some bullet points for the various “remedies” and their list of (possible) treatments from that remedy. This is the first place I turn when hubby (who does NOT take good care of himself, despite my best nagging) comes down with some new screaming symptom–recently found there that aloe vera juice is very helpful for diverticulitis (duh? Gee, why didn’t I think of that? Oh yeah, cuz I’m like Stacy–blank out then start thinking).
    For the record, I have a stack of page protectors that I inherited from my old job when some people were cleaning out their offices. I am in the process of literally cutting up my Nourishing Traditions “text book” to have and each page is going to get it’s own sleeve–I can’t STAND how that thing won’t stay open on a page! GEEKY GEEKS, UNITE!

  8. I tend to prefer the natural remedies, too…because I just am not completely certain the effect that pharmaceuticals would have on my body. So I definitely try those first, before I resort to anything else. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  9. I agree with you on antibiotics – I was given antibiotics from the endodontist a couple of weeks ago, and at first thought I was going to have to take them because I’d had such an ‘invasive’ procedure. But then I called my dentist -and he said that if I used a toothpaste with xylitol rather than fluoride (and with no SLS), I could probably avoid the antibiotics altogether. (He gave me Dr. Nate’s Naturals toothpaste, but I think there are others.) He said that the xylitol keeps the bacteria out of the mouth, which in turn reduces the risk of infection. I was happy because natural toothpaste is a lot cheaper than $50+ antibiotics that are only going to give me a stomachache!

    • That’s very interesting! I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about toothpaste….some people don’t even use it at all because supposedly it’s the brushing action that helps and not the paste. Still thinking on it…

  10. What a great idea to make a binder like that! My oldest is graduation this summer and he wants me to share some of my tips with him..I think I will make a similar binder..

    Oh, I’m glad you found my sore throat spray useful, I’m honored that you put it in your binder.

  11. What a neat idea, Stacy! I’m going to have to do this. Also, I appreciate your disclaimer. It always frustrates me when people assume that everything natural is safe for everyone. :)

  12. Hi Stacy, :)

    What a great post! Would you mind sharing this on Wildcrafting Wednesday? I’m sure my readers would enjoy this too! :)

    ~ Kathy

  13. Yes, I agree it pays to have things written down rather than relying solely on the internet. Not all herbs have to be expensive,however, many easily identifiable herbs can be found growing wild and many more can be easily grown in your own garden or even on a sunny window ledge.

  14. Hi Stacy,

    A couple of extremely useful essential oils you should add to your armoury: Lavender – for headaches, insect bites, burns, relaxing; Origanum – nature’s own antibiotic, and for bushing your teeth with, as it kills the clostridium bacteria which grow in our mouths; and then Olive leaf extract – also a natural antibiotic and works wonders for colds and flu.

    Thanks for the interesting blog!


  15. maggiek1972 says:

    I should make a remedy binder that is a peach of an idea, I have lot because my Granny was Fifth generation granny-woman from the hills in East Kentucky. My Momma uses lots of granny-MEDs for when I was growing up and I use them for my girls, too. The ones I have not memorized I have in a shoebox somewhere…

  16. Dakota122503 . says:

    An older post, but this is a great idea, now if only I wasn’t out of printer ink…. =) We avoid medicines in our family too as much as possible, 4 children and 8 years and we have only had one time one of them has needed antibiotics so far (for a UTI after a bad cold) and it’s NOT because we haven’t gotten sick! One of my newer favorite home remedies is a cut onion, warmed and held over the ear for an ear infection (Here’s a link on Gwen’s nest about it I have done this 4 or 5 times now with a child crying and saying his or her ear hurts ALOT and within a half hour saying it was fine! (I still use the garlic oil too, for a few days after to make sure no infection remains) Also, we use colloidal silver (we ended up buying a generator) for skin infections (we moved South last year and have had almost every bug bite turn into an infection since we got here) and that works really incredibly well! So there’s my tips to add to your collection- hope they help!!

  17. Herbs don’t have to be expensive! The spirit of herbalism is in the plant relationship, see what you have growing around you, or what you can plant.

  18. Mtn. rose herbs sells a lifeline medicinal seeds kit. It help bring down the cost of herbs by growing and harvesting them yourself as well as you know what your growing and can help make them easier to identify outside of the home in case of some sort of disaster. there is also a smaller kit for children. heres a link!

  19. Sherri Wisniewski says:

    Ok, sales idea: :-) what I would buy from you Stacy, is a “starter” binder. the binder with labeled tabs, website addresses, items/recipes that have worked for you. Then I can add to it as I find stuff. I have been “meaning” to do set this up for over a year but for some reason I don’t get past the point of even purchasing a binder! Not to mention freezing up when I try to think of categories or labels! Even if I bought the tabs and binders, when I was ready to start, I wouldn’t be able to find them. Arrrgghhh….

    • myersbr2 says:

      I’m sure somebody’s done this on Etsy already. If you find one you like, post a link on here so we can all see what you found!

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