I’ve built up a natural first aid kit over the years and when I go abroad I just take 3-4 of the items with me – without having to make a trip to the chemist at the last minute! These live in my store cupboard all year long and I just pop the really essential ones into my hand luggage when I’m travelling. Nature is our biggest pharmacy and it’s often on our doorstep and quite a few “drugs” like aspirin come from natural sources when you think about it…

Here are the multi-tasking natural remedies that I keep on hand which always seem to work for me.  What do you swear by?


MAGNESIUM – The heart-friendly, de-constipating nerve calmer

Lifestream’s Pure Marine Source Magnesium is one of the best on the market in my opinion (there’s more info explaining why on their web page – click on the image or link below). It’s calming (good pre-flight or if you have a stressful travel itinerary ahead of you) and a quick fix for constipation.  Magnesium, like Vitamin D, isn’t really taken seriously enough and does more than we think it does – it’s so important for heart health, helping keep insulin levels balanced and people who take a lot of calcium but don’t balance it with magnesium are heading down a lopsided health path, brewing up potential problems for the future.


OREGANO OIL – Mediterranean “anti-everything” drops

First, a word of warning!! You can buy oregano oil “neat” or pre-diluted in olive oil, such as this one.  And there’s a reason! Oregano oil “burns” like mad, it’s very powerful stuff and if you – by accident – take it straight, even a drop, it’s like a burning form of torture.  So be very careful. I’d almost say if you have children in the house you may not want to keep this around – or relegate it to the highest shelf you can find.  That said, it’s one of nature’s true wonderworkers, it’s anti-fungal, anti-septic, works like a natural anti-biotic (all of these apply to raw garlic too).

Oregano oil contains two important phenols:

  • Thymol – a natural fungicide with antiseptic properties. It helps boost your immune system, works as a shield against toxins, and even helps prevent tissue damage and encourages healing.
  • Carvacrol – found to be effective against various bacterial infections, such as candida albicans, staphylococcus, E. coli, campylobacter, salmonella, klebsiella, the aspergillus mold, giardia, pseudomonas, and listeria.

What can it help with?

Sinus infections and colds, foot or nail fungal infections, killing parasites, urinary and respiratory infections, food poisoning and loads more…

Oregano’s name comes from the Greek “oros” and “ganos” – “mountain” and “joy” – so, “joy of the mountain”. There’s a reason the Greeks sprinkle crushed oregano over a big slab of feta in their salads!

I take Oregano Oil very heavily diluted in orange juice or olive oil and I’ve taken it when I think I’m coming down with a cold or flu, it seems to stop it in its tracks, and clear a blocked nose (you can use it for steam inhalation) Here’s a Greek brand that sells it diluted or straight on Amazon: ZANE HELLAS WILD OREGANO OIL

Just remember this is massively powerful stuff and the tiniest drop goes a long way – it needs to be diluted.

FRESH GINGER ROOT – The Ancient Anti-Inflammatory, Antibacterial Healer

Sore throat? Grate or very finely chop some fresh ginger into a big tablespoonful of Manuka honey and mix it with hot water to make a quick tea (it’s better if you can simmer the ginger gently in water first). Ginger is anti-inflammatory, good for nausea, antibacterial, antiviral, antiparasitic, anti-bad things generally!  Again, rather like garlic, it does a lot of things.

Dr Mercola has a good article on it listing all of the medicinal qualities of this ancient healer HERE

You can freeze it – but grate it first! I finely chop fresh ginger and blend it into orange juice in the mornings, it adds a bit of zest to the orange – delicious.


FRESH GARLIC – Your Personal Bodyguard

If you feel an ear infection coming on, peel a clove of garlic, warm it very gently (you don’t want to cook it) in olive oil, remove the oil-coated clove and place it in your ear while you lie on your side for a few minutes to let the garlic-infused oil seep in a little.  Obviously use a large clove to make sure it doesn’t slide into your ear (!) Repeat a couple more times, every 4 hrs.

Sore throat/cold/under the weather? Grate a clove of garlic.  Leave it exposed to the air for 10 mins (this “activates” it), mix with a large tablespoon of honey (or make more, so you can sip this through the day, keep this home made elixir on hand).  If I feel I might be coming down with something I’ll cook a stir-fry with lots of ginger, honey and chilli in it which seems to help ward anything off 95% of the time.

In the world of natural remedies, garlic is a super power!! It’s anti-pretty much everything – pick up a fresh bulb whenever you’re at the veg market.

And like ginger, it’s really cheap.


Not unlike Oregano Oil, this is a great internal cleanser, and not unlike oregano oil, it’s horrendous if you take it straight – DO NOT!! You’ll just want to add 4-5 drops of this to some water then mix in a lot of orange juice to mask the taste.  If you’ve ever bitten into grapefruit pips – yuck – this is sort of what it tastes like.  Horribly bitter.

I buy Higher Nature’s 25ml (small) drops and take them on holiday.  Grapefruit Seed Oil Drops can be used as a mouthwash, skin cleanser, or for digestive support while travelling. It’s like an internal disinfectant.  Just remember, you have to dilute this and like Oregano Oil this would be a product to keep away from children.  A brilliant little travelling companion, it’s £4.79 from Amazon

So I hope some of these ideas help – if you haven’t tried some of them and find they work, please let me know.

What do you use which is 100% natural and works for you? Tweet me at @BeautyShortlist x


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