For the last 10 years or so I have been exploring herbal medicine. I have just had bad luck with conventional doctors, prescription meds, and over the counter fixes for common ailments. And I happen to love science experiments and textbook reading material.
It feels really good to know there are natural and inexpensive (free, even) ways to balance my body and take care of my health- many of which were practiced by previous cultures, centuries before the current overdependence on chemicals, philosophical flaws and over-expense within the industry of training doctors, dis-ease of the population, dis-connect with our own bodies, and dis-proportion between our payment and our treatment due to disconnect in the payment system.
Now that I'm off the soapbox, here are top three things that I keep in supply at all times. These more than anything else have kept me out of CVS for years!
1- Oregano: this is a very powerful antibiotic, and if I am in the beginning stages of an infection, I eat a piece of toast covered with honey, with at least a tablespoon of dried oregano on top, followed with drinking 3 glasses of water. It is gentle enough not to have the side effects of prescription antibiotics, but I usually take probiotics afterwards anyway. (disclaimer: you are at your own risk if you choose to follow my method instead of a doctor's)
2- Rosehips: I drink rosehip tea at the first sign of a cold/flu. Infuse a teaspoon of rosehips in a cup of hot water, that's it. Rosehips have a ton of vitamin C and I think it absorbs better than a vitamin would, since it is plant-based and there are other vitamins, fatty acids, and antioxidants in the rosehips that help absorption and complement the immune system boost without stressing out the body.
3- Grapeseed Oil: This is a beautiful, wonderful oil. It is even healthier than olive oil, and can be used in any and every kind of cooking, including high heat. Besides consuming a lot, I use it as a lotion and face moisturizer. Every commercial product (or even homemade) I have ever tried as a moisturizer have all made my face break out. I have the most sensitive skin ever, and I was so happy to find out that grapeseed oil truly does not clog pores, and it adds moisture to the skin, and it does not stay "oily" once it is absorbed by the skin. For about 50 cents/ounce, this can surely replace all of the expensive face/eye creams, lotions, and even eye makeup remover in your bathroom cabinet. But save some for the kitchen.