15 Do-It-Yourself Natural Remedies

If a disaster occurred and the medical industry was strained, how would you get medicine? Or even closer to home, what if you were lost in the woods while camping this weekend and needed to relieve your pain? There are dozens of natural remedies that you’re very familiar with that you’ve probably never used for healing. They can be found in your yard, in your food storage or flying around your home. Things like baking soda, salts, honey and ginger can be used for healing in case of an emergency.

Part of being prepared is knowing how to use items for multiple purposes. These ideas are perfect to help you stay ready for an emergency situation and be prepared while you’re enjoying the outdoors. Comment below to let us know what you’ve used to stay healthy and well!

Epsom Salt
natural remedies with epson saltYou would have never thought that simple magnesium sulphate - also known as epsom salt - could do so much. This mineral is great for skin-softening, stress-reducing and aching sore muscles.

Splinters. Add some water to a handful of epsom salt and apply it to the skin’s surface. Let it go to work for about 10 minutes. It will help to draw out the splinter and save your from digging around.

Sprains. Epsom salt will reduce the swelling of a sprained ankle or bruised muscle. Add 2 cups Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak the sprain.

Muscle pains. Epsom salt helps draw fluid out of the body and helps shrink swollen tissues. As it draws out fluid through the skin, it draws out lactic acid - which can contribute to muscle pain. Add a cup or two of salt to a hot bath and soak the affected muscle.

Baking Soda
natural remedies with baking sodaEntire books have been written about the benefits of baking soda. We’ve even written a whole article on what you can do with the stuff. It comes at no surprise that baking soda is a natural healer too!

Stings. You can use baking soda to soothe mosquito bites and other insect stings. Apply a little water and make a baking soda paste. Apply this to the itchy areas. The paste can also be used against poison ivy and chicken pox.

Sunburns. Add baking soda to warm water and apply to your skin. This will soften the water and make a soothing remedy.

Bladder infections. Bacteria thrives inside acidic environments inside your bladder. Make a cocktail of baking soda and water to down after dinner. This will soothe your bladder infection problems.

natural remedies with gingerGinger is one of the most used kitchen cures. It’s closely related to other spices like turmeric and cardamom and has been used medicinally for over 5,000 years. Ginger is used to ease nausea, vomiting, and other digestive problems.

Migraines. Danish researchers have found that taking a teaspoon of fresh or powdered ginger at the first sign of a migraine, may reduce symptoms by blocking prostaglandins - the chemical that causes inflamed blood vessels in the brain. Unlike aspirin, ginger blocks only prostaglandins that cause inflammation, the beneficial ones such as ones that strengthen the stomach lining.

Menstrual cramps. The chemical compounds in ginger act as antispasmodics. They inhibit painful contractions not only in the digestive tract but also in the uterus.

natural remedies with honeyHoney is great for healing because it lasts for so long. Stored in the right conditions, honey can have an indefinite storage life. It’s good for soothing allergies, coughs and ulcers. Check out other uses of honey here.

Ulcers. Honey may reduce ulcer symptoms and speed the healing time. Honey reduces inflammation, stimulates blood flow and enhances the growth of epithelial cells on the inside of the stomach. Honey also kills H. pylori - the bacteria responsible for most ulcers.

Cuts. The sweet goo is great for taking care of cuts or scrapes that could end up getting infected. Honey contains hydrogen peroxide and propolis - a compound that kills bacteria. Applying honey to cuts or scrapes locks out other contaminants and denies bacterial growth.


natural remedies with lavendarIf you’re out in the wild and spot a lavender plant, be sure to grab some. It will probably come in handy! Lavender is great for treating headaches, insect bites, ear infections and athlete’s foot.

Skin infection. Lavender is a great way to fight infections in cuts and scrapes. Soak a clean cloth in a lavender infusion and apply and compress to the wound.

Ear infection. The same chemical compounds that fight infection in scrapes and cuts, also help sooth swimmer’s ear.

Pain reliever. Lavender has some minor pain killing properties. It appears to reduce the transmission of nerve impulses that carry pain signals. Mix a few drops of the oil in a tablespoon of carrier oil (an oil derived from nuts or fruits of a plant) and rub it in. It’s also great for relieving itching.

natural remedies with GoldensealThis herb can heal just as well as man-made medicines and drugs. In studies, goldenseal has proven just as effective against certain infections as prescriptions.

Infectious diarrhea. The berberine in goldenseal helps prevent diarrhea-causing organisms from clinging to the lining of the intestines. Fighting the spread of infection during a disaster is an important preparation.

Eye infections. Goldenseal is too bitter to enjoy as a tea or drink but you can strain the beverage, let it cool and use it as an eyewash to speed the healing of eye infections such as pinkeye. You’ll have to continue to apply goldenseal to your eyes to continue to fight the infection.

Your recommendations
So, what do you think? Have you found something that works really well as medicine in the wild? Share your knowledge below and help the community!

39 thoughts on “15 Do-It-Yourself Natural Remedies”

  • Howard

    I have used goldenseal for years and can verify it works

  • Robert Gschwind
    Robert Gschwind October 17, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    Echinacea (Purple Cone Flower), is also good for infections (virual and bactererial), Taken together with Goldenseal they are very powerful. But if taken too late you will still need an antibiotic.

  • Becky Giroski

    I use Lavender for cat scratches, and lately I used it for a cold sore that started. I applied Lavender oil every 30 minutes (on the outside of my lip) or more for one day and then as I remembered. It took the pain of the sore away and it never fully developed. I only had the small sore for three days. Lavender will help with pain as well as heal. Wonderful find on my part.

  • Robert

    My daughter is plagued with Migraine headaches, so the natural remedy "Ginger" will be a real help if it works for her...Thanks

  • Bill

    I've been stung 4 times this year by yellow jackets. The baking soda past worked woders!! Make sure to get the stinger out first.

  • Diane

    I grow feverfew in my backyard. It is good to use as a tea for any kind of headache including a migraine.

  • Lloyd

    Thanks great stuff and thanks for the reminders. It's been a long time since I used these herbs I may have forgotten

  • George Munton

    Rice bags heated for about one minute can ease pain when applied to the area where pain is felt. Use flannel to make the bag. Heat in a microwave for 45 seconds turn and heat other side. This can be used for even severe headaches.

  • Ryan Danforth

    I love this. Using small bottles of essential oils are part of our medicine cabinet and often work much better than their over-the-counter counterparts. They're certainly more convenient than carrying around a bush of lavendar.

  • Casey W.

    Garlic, garlic, GARLIC!!! It has more uses than warding off vampires or seasoning tomato sauce. It helps colds and flus by boosting your immune system, it has antibiotic, antiviral and anti-fungal properties. (Be warned though, if you use it to treat a cut, while effective it does BURN like Hell.) Some people even use it to treat heart disease, as it can help lower blood pressure and help lower cholesterol. There are even claims it can help prevent cancer! So no matter what, it can hurt to have some on hand either in your pantry or growing in your garden.

    • Johnny McTonny

      Good for boosting testosterone. Natural steroid IMO. Crush and let sit for 10-15 minute. Season with sea salt or herbs crushed in. Eat raw, in food, sandwhiches, etc., or put in soup after you cooked it.

      Must be eaten RAW.

  • Anita

    Vinegar for fire ant bites. The venom is alkaline (different from other insects) and so the vinegar, when applied liberally to the sting site, neutralizes the venom. It takes away the sting and reduces swelling, redness and the next day there is only a small bump! I've been using it for years.

  • Rose Dempsey

    Epsom Salt makes a really good soak for small infected wounds, also. Just sprinkle a couple of spoonsful in 1/2 c warm water, then soak for 10 minutes or so. Repeat as often as needed. You can also make a poultice for larger wounds or ones that are difficult to immerse.

  • John

    Epsom salts are also great for soaking infected ingrown toenails in to reduce the infection.

  • Robert

    This is one of my biggest concerns should there be a total collapse economically or a collapse from an unforeseen or unpreventable global disaster. My mother and I are both Type II Diabetics. In a total collapse where the pharmacies are looted and empty, I don't know how we would survive once our diabetic medicine ran out. I mean, really. Sure we could try and avoid eating foods with high carbohydrates. But eventually even food will be hard to find in such a situation and every bit would count. So my question is this; Are there any natural remedies (that really work) to help manage Type II Diabetes in a disaster situation?

  • Sue

    Comfrey can be purchased as salve, powder or grown. EXTERNAL use for burns, cuts etc but can also draw out an infection or be made into a "cast" of sorts. It will dry hard and help stablize while drawing out problems. INTERNAL use can be done but is dangerous and warned against. But those that do use for themselves do super small amounts to remove toxins incl heavy metals. PETS--not so much! Very dangerous for them and some livestock can't handle it at all.

  • Pam

    Prickley Pear Cactus Fruit is said to bind the sugar you consume and release it gradually. Maybe you should move to where the cactus are. They taste good too! I make low sugar jelly every year, and can pints to drink, I have a big cactus.

  • Christopher

    Cinnamon can lower blood sugar if taken internally. You might read up and stock up. A good web site for information as well as good prices is viable-herbal.com. I use many herbal supplements and am a quadriplegic with 27 years experience.

  • JeannieC

    For reasons not known to me, echinacea-goldenseal will show up as a "dirty" if you have to take a drug test on or for a job. Keep that in mind. Echinacea alone doesn't seem to cause a problem. Also - you don't HAVE to remove the stinger from a bee to use baking soda paste - just make a thick paste and apply it to the sting - it will, in most cases, draw out the stinger. For small wounds, a slice of raw potato taped or wrapped to hold it to you will draw very nicely. Has been known to clean out the little red line from blood poisoning. Change as needed. Leave it on til it dries - also the soda paste - leave it on til it dries hard. My grandmother taught me these things and I've used them for over 50 years.

  • Paul Silva

    Robert,I am in the same boat as you as far as being diabetic. Cinnamon can help your body process the sugar and it is used to by some diabetics. My mother uses it along with her small dose of medicine. Seems to help her. If I remember right it is one good heaping teaspoon of cinammon once a day. If you get the pills the dose is usually twice a day. Vinegar is also supposed to help. Check a good herbal book. Hope that helps.

  • Echo

    For glucose management in the absence of antidiabetic medications, consider some of these: gymnema, chromium piccolinate, cinnamon powder, benfotiamine (a fat-soluble form of the B-vitamin thiamine - used in Japan). For immune boosting, also consider garlic, echinacea, goldenseal, cayenne pepper and medicinal mushrooms (maitake, shitake, reishi, oyster, portabella and others). See Paul Stamets' books on medicinal mushrooms. Compounds isolated from mushrooms that you can buy on-line that help in treating infections, cancer: Beta-glucans and AHCC (activated hexose carbohydrate complexes).

  • Alana

    Article was great but lacked how much one uses for whatever ailment the person may have. Also, what part of the plant would one use (flower, root, all of it)? Some also didn't state whether one ingests said plant or apply to the affected area. Where would I get further info in regards to how to use these plants? Thank you.

  • Dottie

    Any one know of any good books that reference herbs for natural healing?

  • Carol Neil

    Feverfew is a natural herb which is great for headaches and especially migraines - need to take regularly as a supplement to ward off headaches.

  • Toby

    Add Colloidal Silver to your emergency kit. Health food stores stock it (or you can make your own) and it is a powerful antibiotic and antifungal! It is effective at 10 ppm, and is safe up to several thousand ppm. A real good add to any first aid kit.

  • Lori

    One of the best books I have ever found about herbs and their medicinal values as well as recipes and full instructions is called "Back to Eden" by Jethro Kloss. It can be bought for as little as $2.48 at Alibris.com. I used this book daily when I lived without electricity or running water with 5 children for 2 years. I highly recommend it.

  • Lee

    we are highly allergic to all bee stings. an md/friend taught me this; don't know why but IT WORKS! put a copper penny on a sting and the pain and allergic reaction is gone immediately.

  • NameJulie

    For those of you who are diabetic find the book by Dr Ron Rosedale called the Rosedale diet and read it now while you have time. Youn may find your answer in this book.

  • Bob

    Yellow jackets do not leave stingers behind, thus their ability for a single yellow jacket to sting numerous times. However, honey bees do leave their stingers, therefore they can only sting once. You can use any edged item such as a credit card, matchbook, knife, etc. to help remove the stinger and then apply the baking soda.

  • Larry

    Lemon Balm.. not seeing that on here, but make a tincture, wonderful stuff

  • Charlotte

    VERY interesting article. I really like natural remedies so much better than chemical ones with all the side effects. However, I think I need a book, maybe several books, to learn what to use for each ailment or injury and how to use them. Is there a book, or books, that you recommend? :-)

  • Diana

    You want to stock not just honey, but manuka honey. I burned myself with hot water late one night when the budget definitely didn't allow for an ER visit. I had about a 4-inch-square deep 2nd to bordering on 3rd degree burn. I knew about manuka honey having been used in burn dressings and had some I'd bought for my father to treat a bad ulcer. In desperation, I tried that with boiled cloth bandaging. Surprise, surprise-that burn healed fast with absolutely no residual scarring or discoloration. I never did go see a doctor for it. It also was only minimally painful, and dressing changes hurt not at all. The only other bad burn I ever had in my life got treated by a specialist with state-of-the-art silver ointment, debridement, etc. Dressing changes hurt like heck, and I still have a faintly darker area of skin there years later.

    Manuka honey is one of the few things effective against MRSA, and makes a great ointment for wounds of all kinds, not just burns. Stored in a glass jar, it will keep a very long time. I have an allergic-type reaction to the ointment base used in neomycin, bacitracin, and similar antibiotic ointments, so have never been able to use any of them. Manuka honey, though, is no problem at all. It's become a permanent resident in my medicine cabinet. It's great to use in great-gran's honey, lemon, and whiskey treatment for sore throat/bad cough as well. That and old-fashioned horehound drops are my winter cold remedies.

    • Charlene

      Silver Sol by Activiz is awesome for burns as well. My granddaughter got a 3rd degree burn that took the skin off & I slapped the gel on it & it healed wonderfully. She barely has a scar & never seen a Md @ all. It is known to kill MRSA as well but they can't advertise it. I won't go anywhere without mine. It comes in gel, liquid & lozenges & works wonderfully. I use the liquid to spray up my nose for sinus infections & it kills it.

    • Mary

      I've read very good things about Manuka honey. It comes in different forms, strengths, and brands. It can very greatly in price. Where do you buy it? What brand/type do you use?
      Thank You

  • Joan D

    Flaxseed. My dad was a butcher and when he would get an infected cut, mom would make a flaxseed poultice to pull the infection. Now my brother is a butcher and she uses it on him. Works great. Mom puts ground flaxseed on ice cream and creamed soups to avoid the effects of lactose intolerance. Whole flaxseed is tasty and it helps put a shine in your hair.

  • Ruby

    Amounts of ingredients to use would be very helpful. How do we know how much to use? Apply or ingest?

  • Edwina

    I like knowing alternative health care for humans but what about my cat. I talk to him everyday (which is better than talking to a Wilson volleyball) I worry about his health in an emergency. How do I find out what herbs and such are ok for injuried or ill animals? Vets don't seem to be preppers.

  • Virginia Resident

    I recently was told that Bitter Melon really helps lower blood sugar. My friend uses a few pieces of fresh bitter melon (looks like a wrinkled light green cucumber) she buys at the Asian Market in her green shakes or even as stir fry ingredient. Since it is harder for me to get the fresh bitter melon, I am trying the pill form I purchased from Amazon to see if it can help my blood sugar.

  • Roger

    Honey for throat - I had a cough with thick phlegm so thick I thought I would choke. I went to an ear, nose, throat Dr. who did nothing for me. I went home and took a tea spoon of honey in the back of my mouth so it would go down my throat and not coat my mouth. I did that several times a day and by the end of the 2nd day the cough and phlegm was GONE. I have done that several times since for throat issues. I believe God made the world and He put the stuff we need on it to be healthy.

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