The Five Creepiest Utah Cemeteries

The Five Creepiest Utah Cemeteries. I grew up in the Avenues here in Salt Lake City, just a couple of blocks from the venerable city cemetery. So we played hide and seek around the tombstones, ran circles around Emo’s Grave and dared the night watchman to chase us down after hours. I didn’t get the full respect and fear for the resting places of the dead until I went on a ghost hunt at the Mercur Cemetery in my teens.

 

ghost hunting

(photo credit: Andy Wilkes)

Speaking of ghost hunting…

Ghost Hunt Etiquette:

  • Many areas are private property, without getting permission, you run the risk of trespassing.
  • Do some research on the spooky spot first, so you’ll have a better idea of where the phenomenon comes from.
  • Double-check all your recording sources afterward, many things are picked up on tape that can’t be heard live.
  • Be respectful: don’t trample on gravestones, stir up sod, disturb flower arrangements, etc.

Now that we’re entering the crisp days of fall and our thoughts turn to all things creepy, it’s the perfect time to explore some truly terrifying spots here in our Pretty, Great State.

 

BTW: Still looking for some super creepy spots? Check out our “Utah’s 5 most haunted spots” here, and “5 Utah ghost towns you simply must explore” here.

We’re here for you, honey. Right up to the point of taking care of your therapy bills afterward. That’s your problem.

 

The Five Creepiest Utah Cemeteries

mercur

(photo credit: Niki Chan)

1. Mercur Cemetery:

The mining town of Mercur started in the 1870s, but it was a disastrous fire in 1902 that destroyed the entire town. The graveyard stubbornly persists, though no one’s been buried there since 1913. Picket fences surround 20 of the graves–but walk carefully, you’ll stumble over random tombstones if you’re not watching the uneven ground. Ghost hunters report seeing phantasmagoric flames rising from the graveyard and when taking pictures, terrifying faces would suddenly appear in front of the lens. Close enough to touch. EEEEEEEEEEE!

 

pleasant-green-700x467

(photo credit: Norm Thomas)

2. Pleasant Green Cemetery:

I find nothing “pleasant” about watching tombstones glow when a train passes by, but those of us screeching like a barn owl that night certainly witnessed the phenomenon. Pleasant Green’s graveyard was established in 1883, perched on a hill over Magna. The grave of “Sarah J” is often photographed with disturbed earth–like something is trying to dig out–not in.

 

 

3. Salt Lake City Cemetery:

I have decades-worth of stories about the scariness of this place – where to begin? Emo’s Grave is likely the most famous – run around the grave 3 times chanting “Emo, Emo, Emo!” and the scary old phantasm is supposed to leave his urn and chase you. There’s all kinds of creepy, crumbling tombs that look uncomfortably open and accessible. But the spot that scares ghost hunters the most has to be Lilly Gray’s tombstone: where her grieving husband had carved “Victim of the Beast 666.” Legend states poor Lilly was the victim of demonic possession. All I can tell you is that the sod around her grave can suddenly turn spongy and soft where you’re standing, winds blow up from nowhere and wordless howling will send you screaming out of the cemetery.

 

Ephraim1-700x525

(photo credit: Scott Law)

4. Ephraim Pioneer Cemetery:

This graveyard wasn’t really intended to exist – a settler in Fort Ephraim passed away and was set to be buried in the nearby Allred Settlement. But after a warning of an Indian attack, pioneers hastily buried the man just outside the walls. He was joined by dozens more, including several children who died in an Indian massacre. Sad little voices will ask you to “take me home!” and the wails of mourning parents echo through the tombstones.

 

the weeping woman

(photo credit: Holly Murdock)

5. Logan Cemetery:

Wait for the night of a full moon and watch tears pour down the face of The Weeping Woman. There’s scores of soldiers buried here, and there’s sounds of battle, shouts and screams that rise from nowhere to a deafening roar, then suddenly stop.

(cover image credit: Pixabay)

So, do you have a favorite “final resting place” to explore? Have you seen anything? Please, share! We’ll post your photos and stories too.

Five Minute Halloween Crafting – Corn Critters

Hold on to your corn husks! While you’re finishing off the last of the summer corn on the cob, save the husks for the Todd’s most clever new Halloween delight- Corn Critters. Our eight-year-old Zoe and the Todd show you how.

 

Five Minute Halloween Crafting – Corn Critters

You’ll need:

  • A glue gun
  • Craft “googly eyes”
  • Corn husks, spread flat with leaves radiating out to dry in the sun.

Admittedly, Zoe was more interested in eating the corn, but she gave her father the thumbs-up, so that’s participation. Sort of.

After mere minutes of easy crafting (and in my case, hot glue gun burns) viola! Your most clever new Halloween/Harvest decor – Corn Critters!

Looking for more ideas? Make a pretty paper medallion wreath for Halloween or Day of the Dead, instructions here. Of, creating magic wands that are totally Harry Potter worthy, click here.

I Did Not Know That! Genius Parenting Tips & Tricks

So, in the Good Old Days, everyone had a cool Nana that lived with them and basically told everyone what to do.

So Parenting Tips & Tricks weren’t really needed.  Nana knew all this stuff.

Then, we all decided to start moving around and multi-generational families weren’t so common.  And all of a sudden, it’s 2am and the kid is screaming his lungs out and there’s no one to tell you what to do!

 

Thus, behold the Awesome.

Genius Parenting Tips & Tricks:

 

1. Use a little glue glitter to make “Tooth Fairy Money.” (Editor’s note: a FIVER?  Hah!  My kids are lucky they graduated to a buck a molar.)

 

 

 

2. Wiggly kids that have a hard time sitting still long enough to study? Invest in a stability ball.  Long-term studies are showing increased concentration for longer periods of time–and an improved core! Find some good selections here.

 

3. Make your expensive iPad safe with “Kid Mode.” This feature locks the application and disables any hardware controls that could lead your toddler on a wayward path. Learn how to turn it on here.

 

4.  Use a shoe caddy as “kid central” for long drives.  Rather than paying $150.00 for a fancy car organizer (I’m not kidding.  $150 bucks!) I bought a hanging shoe caddy for $10.99.  Neatly stores everything and keeps it within reach of grubby little paws.

 

5. Temporary tattoos that help locate your little person. These are by a company called SafetyTat.  So brilliant that I can’t even stand it.

 

(Cover image credit: Sarah via Flickr)

$ – Some of these links are affiliate links, and we may earn a small fee if you purchase the product

5 Tricks To Make Your Produce Taste Better & Last Longer

5 Tricks To Make Your Produce Taste Better & Last Longer. Well, no wonder produce is so blasted expensive!  Simply between getting it out of the store or from the Farmer’s Market and into my fridge has been enough to make some of these nervous nellies expire right in the grocery bag.  Spend the extra $ for organic, and you can see the mold creep on to that peach as you enter the checkout line.

However, a chat with your produce fella at the store can yield some valuable advice about how to make these most delicate of flowers continue to bloom at home in your crisper.  They just need a little help.

 

5 Tricks To Make Your Produce Taste Better & Last Longer

1. Your Lemons & Limes Can Be A Home Decor Item Or Food. Not both? Here’s why. Yes, your citrus does stay juicy and nice sitting on the counter and looking pretty in a bowl–for about a week at the most. However, everything from oranges to grapefruit will stay juicy and tasty longer in the fridge–usually two weeks–longer than sitting out. However, if you take out your lemons a few minutes before using them to let them warm up to room temperature, they’ll be delightfully juicy.

 

 

2. Grapes Are Sneaky. We have to do a little reading to see how fresh they actually are.  First, checking to see if the grapes are wrinkled where they meet the stem is task #1. But read the label: grapes from Chile could be months old by the time they reach the grocer– no matter how well the growers try to store them. Grapes from Mexico tend to be from field to store within a week. Store the grapes in their little perforated plastic bag in your fridge the keep them fresh for 2 weeks.

 

3.  Asparagus Need Water. Notice how they’re usually sitting up with their stems in a bit of water at the store?  Asparagus is actually part of the Lily family: they need water to stay crisp.  Store them upright in the fridge with the stems in a half inch of water.  Sneaky inside tip: those little green guys went limp? Roll them up in a wet paper towel for an hour and they’ll get nice and crisp again.

 

4. Eat Your Strawberries Warm, Not Chilled. Strawberries are at their most heavenly when pulled off the stem and popped into your mouth, right?  Sun-warmed, sweet.  Eating strawberries directly from the fridge hugely dulls their flavor. Sneaky inside tip: if you quicky simmer (like, 1 minute!) the berries in very hot water, then let them air dry on a paper towel before putting them in the fridge, you’ll extend their life by stopping mold growth.

 

Correct Tomato Placement. Fussy, eh?  Here’s the deal: if you’re putting them on a sunny windowsill to ripen, store them stem-side up.  This way, the fragile top of the tomato doesn’t “get gooshy,” as my Zoe says.  However, if the stem is already pulled off, store them stem-side down so that air doesn’t enter and moisture doesn’t escape from the opening where the stem used to be.

 

(All images courtesy of Pixabay)

Hot Weather Helpers – The Best Body Care Products For 100 Degrees

Hot Weather Helpers – The Best Body Care Products For 100 Degrees

“Lady Anti-Monkey Butt?” My best girlie Caryn stared at me like I’d just slapped a dirty diaper in her outstretched palm.

“Trust me,” I promised, “you’ll thank me for this.” I know there are blissful little spots where summer temperatures never move above 70 degrees and cool winds blow gently through the trees.

We don’t live in one of those places. Summer in Utah is a blast-furnace of merciless heat and even the tired old, “Yeah, but it’s a dry heat!” means absolutely squat. I’ve been putting together hot weather survival care packages for visitors for years to our life-sucking Dust Bowl Of Death. I feel like a terrible hostess when the only place they can be comfortable is lying directly over our air conditioner vent.

Here are my top ten must-haves…

 

Hot Weather Helpers – The Best Body Care Products For 100 Degrees

 

 

 

Lady Anti Monkey Butt – My girlie Jen gave this to me on our last sojourn into the Salt Flats (a super intense spot in the desert here in Utah where the evaporated salt shimmers and glows) to avoid the inevitable… rash. It smells lovely and does the trick without getting all weird and gooey. $5.69

 

The Coldest Water – Right around now my running habits migrate into the evening hours when it cools down. Then, night. Which unfortunately is right around the time the rattlesnakes around our home in the foothills like to stretch out on the street. Umm.. back to the day-time hours, then! The Coldest Water band saved my life- throw it in the freezer, then wrap it around your neck or the small of your back. The velcro straps keep that sucker tight and against your sweaty skin. $20

 

WOW Dream Coat Supernatural Spray – This delightful little bottle tames my hair from the freakish spiral of fuzz that 100+ degree days seem to inspire, to a well-groomed ponytail. It’s refreshing to not look like there’s a pyracantha bush living on my scalp. It smells lovely, and when faced with a blowtorch of a day, will not melt down your neck. $28.00

IHHAPY Handheld Mini Fan- This adorable little fella charges off a USB port, and gives you between five and six hours of blissful chill. We tried this out during an outdoor concert on the Fourth of July- I looked behind us at the end of the fireworks and there were 11 people clustered behind us, trying to get in on the breezy action. $19.99 – There’s a 20% off coupon here.

 

 

Snake Brand Prickly Heat Powder– I did not know “prickly heat” was actually a thing until my first summer in Southeast Virginia. I looked like I’d come down with some appallingly invasive rash and I itched compulsively. Even my boyfriend wouldn’t sit next to me. The moment the powder slid over my skin was sweet, sweet relief. If I had to pick water or prickly heat powder for my survival kit… well, I’d be stealing your water. But I’d be rash-free while I did it. $98 for a package of 10.

 

UCOOL Body Cooling Band So the Todd – who loves gadgets – presented this to me with great ceremony, insisting on reading the entire booklet. “As your body heats up,” he instructed me, “a special heat wicking fabric inside 31 superconductive fins draws heat away from the body, replacing it with refreshing coolness.” Superconductive fins? Sign me up! As it happens, this thing works great and I slap it on our son Zachary when we go hiking because the kid insists on running up the steepest grade we can find, no matter what the temperature is. It’s nice having a child who doesn’t resemble an overcooked lobster. $24.99

 

“Arf” Cooling Mat – While we’re on the subject of children and pets, forgetting your furry little buddy at home is a terrible idea. The “Arf” Cooling Mat is an easy-peasy way to keep your pets comfortable, especially if you’ve got a long day and they’re languishing on the porch. The pad actually self-charges, so it’s zero-maintenance. And you’re the best pet owner on the planet. $69.99

 

Toes Home Outdoor Magic Buffs – I got my first buff as a gift at Burning Man, where it became my best friend during 50 mph dust storms, keeping my waist-length hair and associated irritating flyaway bits out of my mouth. I barely took it off long enough to wash it. These lovely little things are stretchy, dry instantly and make you look polished… put-together… like a Woman Of Adventure. $9.90 for a six-pack.

 

 The Wind & Weather Soothing Herbal Aromatherapy Neck and Back Wrap – This sucker rules for so many reasons- it cools down even the most overheated body, comforts you with a gentle weight on your shoulders and even offers several different scents to chill you out mentally, too. Throw it in the freezer and you’re set. I was surprised at how well this worked for pain relief- The Todd gets debilitating headaches during hot weather and he gave this two blissed-out thumbs-up. $37.99

 

EnduroPacks All-Natural Liquid Electrolytes – This handy spray bottle squirts a tasty mixture of electrolytes into your water, it’s sugar, gluten, and calorie-free with no artificial ingredients. It takes getting sunstroke just once (cough- me!) or several times (points at the Todd) to know that the fastest recovery is the best one. Or, if you’re not dimwitted like we are, maybe keeping hydrated with something tasty like this and never ending up with sunstroke. We exist to be your walking, talking cautionary tale. $17.50

 

 

 

 

The 5 Best Gifts In A Jar

 

 

The 5 Best Gifts In A Jar

So, it turns out all those mason jars I bought for handy crafting (go ahead and laugh, I’m waiting for it) will come in handy after all!!

There’s so many “first responders” that I want to thank- not only medical workers (we’ve had a stream of them staying in our guest suite because we’re so close to three of our local hospitals) but firefighters, paramedics who stopped by my elderly neighbor’s home twice “just to check in.” And more – like the grocery clerks at our local store who’ve been working 14 hours a day to stock the shelves and check out a countless stream of customers. Finding gifts for these lovely people was a little problematic, until I remembered that there was a safe way to show our appreciation and maybe offer them some comfort.

Editor’s note: anything food-related here was made according to the Utah Department of Health food service worker’s sanitary guidelines, you can find those here. Clearly, practicing safe food preparation is crucial.

 

The Five Best Gifts In A Jar

(image credit: Vairane)

 

1.  Salted Caramel Sauce with Fresh Apples in a Jar: Especially perfect as we’re heading into fall and teacher gifts become important. (Editor’s note: especially in this house. I do a lot of sucking up to a good teacher. A lot.) There’s a good salted caramel sauce recipe by clicking here. 

 

(image credit: Personal Creations)

2.  Pies in a Jar: There’s a heart-stoppingly good recipe for Pumpkin Pie in a Jar by clicking here, but any recipe looks adorable.

 

(image credit: Nicole Vaughan)

3.  Sewing Kit in a Jar: Especially helpful as a dorm or new apartment gift, since every Millennial I know is genuinely perplexed by the concept of sewing up hems or replacing missing buttons. Crap. I just sounded like my grandmother there, didn’t I?

 

 

4.  Memories in a Jar: I make these with the kids every summer – we collect sand, shells and such from the beaches we visit and include some sepia-toned photos. During the winter, they love to unscrew the lid and “take a sniff of summer.”

 

(image credit: soulinasuit)

5. Salad in a Jar: You really can’t go wrong here and there’s a wild array of tasty combinations. Fine 30 different salads in a jar here.

 

Cover image credit: Nina Nelson

Homeschooling During the Coronavirus Confinement? Five Sanity-Saving Resources

Homeschooling during the Coronavirus confinement? Five sanity-saving resources.

The true horror of my daughter’s situation just hit her today when I came home with her packet from school.

“What is that?”

“This is your school coursework while we’re homeschooling during the quarantine.”

“What?” Zoe’s voice rose to a pitch that could shatter glass.

“This isn’t a vacation, honey, this is a quarantine.”

Then, there was wailing and a lot of “It’s not faaaaair,” and “this is terrrribbllleeee…” Zoe likes to draw her infuriated monologue out for extra drama.

But her flailing and grief did prove a point. There has to be more than just keeping up on homework during this bout of staying at home together, or we’ll all lose our collective minds. So here’s some free resources that might be just the thing that makes the difference between happiness and insanity. We’re in this together, honey.

 

Five sanity-saving resources for homeschooling kids.

Epic video explorations.

The Shedd Aquarium sent out their penguins to take a tour of the aquarium when the Chicago legend had to close. Every day since, there’s been video updates of their adventures around the aquarium. Go on a virtual field trip with incredible video adventures set up by age or grade. The Metropolitan Opera is streaming performances for free – a wonderful chance to expose your kids without buying a pricey ticket. Twelve of the world’s most famous museums – like the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam – are offering virtual tours of their treasures, find a complete list here.

 

Get moving!

GoNoodle.com has free dance and exercise videos that are vastly entertaining, even to a bitter, jaded mother like myself. (Cat Party is a personal favorite.) FluencyandFitness.com diabolically gets your offspring to learn while they’re moving, and they’re offering 3 free weeks for parents. Two birds = one stone. Then there’s the Fitness Blender Kids Workout – 25 Minute Fun Workout for Kids at Home.

This is old-school, but I simply drag my complaining offspring out the door and on to a nature walk, where they have a list of items to find (ie: pine cones, a bird’s feather, etc.) before we can come home. Hmmm… That sounds vaguely punitive, but I swear we always have fun.

 

Keep Learning.

I’m stunned by how quickly our school district put together a rather detailed and info-rich homeschool packages for my kids. It was like the scene from Apollo 13 where they threw everything out on the table and tried to figure out what would work. If you haven’t been as lucky, there’s so many free, excellent sites to help you. Scholastic hastily created an excellent website – Scholastic Learn at Home with educational plans by grade. Bamboolearning.com is another spectacular option and offering many free courses to support parents during the confinement period. HippoCampus has over 3,000 free videos for 13 different subjects. Beanstalk.co is also free during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Become an artist with Draw with Mo Willems.

Ten art history classes you can take online for free from Art.sy.

Iron Chef Michael Symon is hosting free daily cooking videos on Facebook.

 

Non-screen activities.

  1. Write a thank-you letter to a local hero.
  2. Create a secret code. Write it in disappearing ink for extra difficulty. (DIY disappearing ink instructions.)
  3. Hold a photo session. Use your iPad, mom’s phone … play with the images and add extras and special effects with a free photo service like PicMonkey.
  4. Write a play, assign roles to family members, pets, etc.
  5. Recycle Art: gather stuff from the recycling bin and from around the house to create new art.
  6. Send a homemade postcard to your teachers. Tell them what you appreciate about them and how they’ve changed your life.
  7. Invent a new board game! Use a local location or activity and build around it, creating an adventure. You can make your own rules and mom and dad have to follow them. Oh, the power.
  8. Make a kitchen table fort or “under-hammock.” (See photo above.)
  9. Make homemade ice cream in a bag.
  10. Ready for a bigger challenge? Since eggs, butter and milk are increasingly short supply, what recipes can you make without them? There’s Vanilla Crazy Cake, or the English Water Cake, made during WWII when these items were extremely rare.

Reach out.

Sewing face masks! Hospitals and clinics are desperate for face masks and many are requesting the public’s health. Here’s some info from an Indiana hospital chain:  “This does follow CDC protocols that you can find on their website that if all other supplies are not available, that handmade masks that meet certain criteria are acceptable,” Deaconess spokeswoman Becca Scott said. The release with the video, pattern and instructions was posted to the Deaconess Facebook page Thursday morning and is available at www.deaconess.com/masks. A PDF of the pattern is available here. Editor’s note: I’ve called three of our local hospitals to see exactly what they need and what they can accept. I would suggest doing the same before launching your sewing project.

Support your local food bank and outreach meal projects. Feeding America has a very long list of local food banks and outreach projects who would love your donations and also your volunteer time. The demand is nearly triple on most sites and volunteer assistance is dwindling. There’s a list of more emergency food programs here.

Become your neighborhood “community captain.” I’ve noticed tons of offers of help on our local neighborhood website, but not many takers. Most folks who need the help may be shy to reach out or unwilling to post in such a public way. If you have a nextdoor.com page for your local area, there’s a “help map” with locations and contacts for people who can help, and the people who need it.

 

And this is so important…

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with homeschooling, keeping calm about the pandemic, worried about elderly relatives and fears about losing your job, you’re not alone. If you’re having trouble homeschooling (I’m raising my hand, here) the New York Times has an excellent article with tons of great ideas.

If your little ones are having a hard time expressing themselves, here’s a helpful list of questions to ask them from PBS Kids, hopefully getting that conversation going. And of course, the great, great granddaddy of Awesome, Sesame Street, has a wonderful list of resources, too.

Maybe you’re the one who’s struggling. No surprise there, it’s hard to be the one who’s strong for everyone else. the CDC created a wonderful page that goes into how to cope with your fears and anxieties right now. If you feel like you need to talk to someone but don’t feel like you have anyone to call, please, please call one of these numbers as soon as you can. Don’t be afraid to reach out, you’d be there if someone needed you, right? Let someone be there for you. We’re all in this together.

 

5 Streaming Experiences That Make Quarantine Fun (Almost)

5 Streaming Experiences That Make Quarantine Fun (Almost). Yeah, I know we’re all going nuts.

Our family was quarantined early with Todd and our son getting sick right away … so we’ve had 26 days to get used to rattling around the house together. I’m not proud of it, but there’s times I’ve hidden on our back deck just to take a breath of air someone hasn’t already breathed in and out already. And the silence, the blessed silence.

But there’s never been such a wealth of online experiences that inspire, amaze and move us. Here’s my latest five that’ll guarantee to make our black, bitter hearts swell like the Grinch’s.

Don’t forget our epic resources for homeschooling – everything from exercise to educational sites to non-screen activities here.

 

5 Streaming Experiences That Make Quarantine Fun (Almost).

  1. Animal cams: The Georgia Aquarium has live video streams covering the antics of their most adorable residents, like the African penguins, beluga whalessea otters, and barrier reef-dwellers. The Jelly Cam at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is oddly mesmerizing. If you haven’t seen the Giant Panda Cam at the Smithsonian National Zoo, prepare to have your children taking over your laptop.
  2. Vakis Demetriou posts videos from his daily dog walk … but he’s not leaving the house in Greece, so his drone takes the leash and walks (apparently) the best dog in the world. It’s freaking adorable. For the hardcore dog fan, have a look at the Old Friends Senior Dog’s Home – they have a live stream for their elderly pups.
  3. Go to the theatre without having to dress up. Several theatres on Broadway are releasing streaming videos of some of their most popular stage performances. Patrick Stewart is reading his favorite sonnets by Shakespeare on his Twitter feed.
  4. A night at the opera. The Metropolitan Opera features “Nightly Met Opera Streams,” and there’s over a dozen other respected opera companies releasing performances as well as some of the most popular classical music performances from symphonies and orchestras all over the world.
  5. Google Earth is … wow. Zoe and I have been taking virtual tours all over the world every night before bed. There’s a quiz for the most popular natural formations on the planet, adventures in globe-trotting with Carmen Sandiego, an awe-inspiring underwater tour of the Mariana Trench. Plus, we’ve been spending a lot of time exploring all the bird species on the Galapagos Island. Where else can you find a Blue-Footed Boobie?

 

Don’t forget the wealth of free streaming experiences from museums all over the world.

Share! What streaming experience have you found online that’s bringing you joy?

(Image credits: Pexels.com)

Homemade Hand Sanitizer

Have you been thinking about making a homemade hand sanitizer? With hand sanitizer gel currently sold out everywhere, there is a homemade option I got from a friend of mine who’s a doctor with UNICEF – they use this formula out in the field where there’s no Walmart just around the corner. But she emphasizes, “Wash your hands!! It’s just as important if not more so.” The full 20 seconds is important, singing “Happy Birthday” twice is about right.

 

 

 

Another important element is the aloe vera gel – alcohol alone is too harsh. Broken skin – even irritated, sore skin – is a more likely field for microbes to grow and flourish.

Are you looking for some sensible health advice regarding your coronavirus concerns? Try the Harvard University Health Review or The Washington Post. It’s easy to freak out – I don’t want to brag, but that is my specialty – but there’s plenty of excellent, professional information available. Are you looking for some good reasons to not panic? Allow me to introduce “Coronavirus: Ten reasons why you ought not to panic.”

 

 

 

Stocking An All-Natural Medicine Cabinet

Stocking An All-Natural Medicine Cabinet. I knew I had to get rid of all my sugar-drenched kid’s meds when my 8-year-old Zoe announced three days in a row that “Ow!  Mommy, I have a headache.  I need medicine.

And she was looking lovingly at the bottle of bubblegum-pink sludge ibuprofen.

I know that taking medicine to feel better shouldn’t be a punishment, but there are so many safe, natural elements that have been used for centuries.  They’re not drenched with sugar, and you don’t read those dispiriting reports that you’ve been dosing your kiddos with meds from a factory that was shut down for gross negligence.  (Editor’s note: yeah, I’m talking to YOU, Tylenol…Motrin…Benadryl…Zyrtec!)

Important Note: if you’re new to natural meds – even if you’re not – be sure to check with your pediatrician or qualified nutritionist to make sure you’re administering the proper dose for children.  You can check the FDA website here for the best-quality sources for your meds.

Looking for gentle ways to care for yourself during stressful times? We have some ideas here.

 

Stocking An All-Natural Medicine Cabinet

Vitamins and Other Supplements

  • Cod liver oil: Usually a supplement for us, but I “prescribe” extra during illness because Vitamin D is so good for the immune system.
  • Vitamin C (with zinc and echinacea)
  • Vitamin B: This has proven to be very important for my husband, and I take it occasionally when I’m really dragging and want to ensure that my B vitamins aren’t too low.
  • Calcium/Magnesium tablets: These are great for headaches, for relaxation when having a hard time sleeping, and especially for muscle cramping. I’ve been taking mineral supplements and cal/mag specifically this pregnancy and it’s the first time I’ve never had a single leg cramp.
  • Probiotics: To boost immunity, good for tummy troubles.

Herbs

  • Oil of Oregano: It really shores up the immune system and helps to fight off viruses quickly. We take it at the first sign of sickness.
  • Mullein: This herb is very soothing for the throat and for coughs. I use it in boiling water to create a mullein steam. We put a towel over our heads and breathe in the steam for several minutes at a time to help with really stubborn coughs.
  • Garlic: I’ve written an entire post about using garlic. It’s worth a read.
  • Ginger: Same as garlic. See the post!
  • Chamomile: I make this wonderful tea for my 8-year-old Zoe. It’s great for upset stomachs or if she’s having a hard time calming down or going to sleep.
  • Peppermint: This is also very soothing on an upset digestive system. Teas are wonderful to sip on.
  • Astragalus: Taking this in capsule form to boost your immune system when you’re fighting something.

 

Essential Oils

I have plenty of oils that I keep to use in cleaning supplies, homemade beauty, and skin care, and anywhere that I want something that smells beautiful. I also have a section that are most commonly used for medicinal purposes:

  • Peppermint: I put a couple of drops in water to help with nausea and indigestion. It can also be used straight on the skin (with caution- it is a strong oil) as a muscle rub. A friend rubs it on her neck to help relieve her tension headaches and she swears by it.
  • Eucalyptus: I make a very simple chest rub with this, for coughs and congestion.
  • Tea Tree: For infections.
  • Rosemary: My midwife turned me on to this for rubbing on my temples (a few drops in a carrier oil, like olive or almond oil) for headaches. It’s pregnancy and nursing safe.
  • Lavender: Anti-bacterial and soothing as well. I often add a few drops to baths.