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Natural Medicine ChestAt Home Remedies Blogs

The Natural Medicine Chest

Natural Medicine ChestThe Natural Medicine Chest (Stuff to Always Have on Hand)

Looking through my medicine cabinet the other day, I realized the stuff in mine is probably a bit different than the contents in most other peoples’ chests. While I probably have a closet worth of supplements at home for emergency situations, I have a few go-to remedies that I think everyone should have on hand.

Check out what I always have on hand for the natural treatment of acute situations.


At Home Remedies Blogs

Manuka Matata – Wonderful Ways to Use Manuka Honey

Honey is great for treating the symptoms and effects of colds, sore throats and the flu. But few of us know that there are tons of different types of honey out there and they all differ in how they work and how well they work.

Manuka honey, for instance, is the not the typical honey you might find in grocery stores and has some great medicinal properties. This honey is only cultivated in New Zealand and parts of Australia, where the tea tree plant grows (beware the ‘Manuka’ honey that doesn’t come from this region). It has an active chemical called Methylglyoxal or MGO. MGO can be measured in Manuka honey to determine how medicinal it is. MGO can range anywhere from 100 to 550 parts per million (ppm). But to be antiviral and antibacterial, it has to have 250 ppm or more MGO.

Manuka Honey has the nutritional content and immune boosting abilities up to 4 times that of normal flower honey. It has many immune supporting nutrients including amino acids, B vitamins, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium and Zinc.

Besides honey’s typical actions of being a cough suppressant and helping with sore throats, Manuka has been shown to be so much more. It can be used for myriad uses including:


How to Use for Wounds, Ulcers, Burns and Abscess

  • Wash the area with clean running water.
    • For Burns
      • Wash the burnt area with water.
        • Avoid using anything too cold such as ice or refrigerated water, as these may cause frost bites on the skin.
          • Lukewarm or tap water will do just fine.
  • Check the bleeding on the wound.
    • If there are only tiny droplets gushing out, then it’s clear to dress it.
    • If the bleeding is moderate or severe,
      • don’t dress it immediately!
      • You could either dab or apply pressure on the wound with a clean cloth until the bleeding stops or lessens.
    • However, if the bleeding is severe and shows no sign of stopping, do not wait another minute!
      • Contact an ambulance immediately, as this could be far more than any simple first aid can handle.
  • It is best to spread the honey on a dressing and apply this to the wound.
  • The amount of honey used depends on the amount of fluid exuding from the wound.
    • Large amounts of exudate require substantial amounts of honey to be applied.
  • The frequency of dressing changes depends on how rapidly the honey is being diluted by the exudate.
    • This should become less frequent as the honey starts to work on healing the wound.
  • Occlusive (air-tight, water-tight) dressings help to prevent honey oozing out from the wound.
  • Abscesses, cavity or deep wounds need more honey to adequately penetrate deep into the wound tissues.


How to Use for Acne/Rosacea:

  • Honey, Yogurt, Oat Mask
    • The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory actions of Manuka honey make it a great way to improve and eliminate acne spots and scars.
    • Ingredients:
      • 1 tablespoon ground oatmeal
      • 1 tablespoon raw honey
      • 1 1/2 tablespoons whole, sugar-free milk yogurt
    • Instructions:
      • In a small bowl, mix together the oatmeal, honey, and yogurt.  
      • Apply to your face in a thin layer for about 20 minutes and then rinse off.  
    • Because honey is a natural moisturizer, you won’t need to apply moisturizer after use.
      • Repeat this process once or twice a week.
  • Manuka Honey Facial Cleanser
    • Remove makeup.
    • Massage a tablespoon of Manuka honey onto dry face.
    • Allow it to stay on the face for 30 seconds and then wash it off with warm water.
    • Finish wash with a splash of cold!
  • Overnight Treatment of Acne with Manuka Honey
    • Avoid doing this on sensitive skin (or do a skin test first!).
    • Cleanse your face with warm water and a gentle cleanser.
    • Apply a thin layer of Manuka honey all over the face and then massage it gently or dab a small amount onto a “problem” area.
    • Leave it on the skin overnight and wash it off with warm water the next morning.
      • Since honey is messy, you’ll want to use an old pillowcase or a towel to keep it off your pillow.


For Athlete’s Foot/Ringworm:

  • Dissolve in a warm foot bath or apply directly.


For Frizzy, Split Ends:

  • Add a teaspoon of Manuka honey to your regular conditioner.
    • Rinse hair for shine and smoothness.


For Sinus Infections:

  • Add 1 teaspoon of manuka honey to 1 cup of distilled or boiled water.
    • Use to irrigate the nostrils with a neti pot.


For Gingivitis (gum inflammation):

  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of manuka honey in cold or lukewarm water, and use this mouthwash after every meal.


For Stomach Ulcers and H. Pylori:

  • Take 3 spoons full of Active Manuka Honey in divided doses per day,
    • one in the morning, half an hour before breakfast,
    • one in the afternoon and
    • one in the evening, before bedtime,
      • You can take it on a rice cracker.
  • In the beginning you might experience a slight burning like sensation.
    • This should stop in 2-3 days and the natural antibiotic should start taking effect.


For Irritable Bowel Diseases:

  • 1 teaspoon of Manuka honey straight or dissolved in water twice a day on an empty stomach.


For Urinary Tract Infections (along with antibiotics):

  • Take 3 spoons full of Manuka Honey per day 


Want other natural remedies for whatever ails you? Follow my adventures on Facebook @drsarafrawleynd or you can make an appointment today by clicking on the ZocDoc button below or by calling (203)293-7293.



Naturopathic Confession #1

Recently in my practice, I’m coming across a lot of guilt from patients when they can’t stick to their diet or take their supplements everyday or exercise regularly; even though I make an effort to make it perfectly clear that it’s ok to mess up.

To show the world that it’s ok (and healthy) to not be perfect, I came up with the idea of ‘Naturopathic Confessions‘ (*read in a whispered voice*). Weekly, I’m going to post a quote from naturopathic doctors stating how they’re not always perfect when it comes to this stuff, too.

None of us are perfect and this is my effort to spread the word that even we don’t always stick to the plan.

So here is one (of many) of mine. Stay tuned weekly for confessions from some of your favorite naturopathic doctors.


At Home Remedies

What to do when your child has a fever.

The body normally runs around 98.6°F, but mild elevations can occur normally after exercise, excessive clothing, a hot bath or hot weather. And an infant’s temperature tends to rise after bottle or breastfeeding for a half hour or more.
Most childhood fevers, in the range of 99°-104°F or 37.8°-40°C, are not harmful, and are usually due to a viral infection.


A fever is the body’s normal response to an infection by raising the temperature to a level making the body inhospitable to viral or bacterial growth. It is important NOT to prevent the body from this important infection fighting process.

The naturopathic perspective tends to regard fevers below 102°F or 39°C as “friendly” and of use to the body to help the it kill off bacteria or viruses.

A fever won’t cause any symptoms until it reaches 101.5°-103°F or 38.9-39.4°C and no harm can come to a child until it their temperature reaches 106.7°-107.6°F or 41.7 to 42.2°C.
Only 4% of children with high fevers (over 104°F) will develop febrile convulsions, which are generally considered harmless.

Children over 2 months of age can be given acetaminophen/Tylenol every 4-6 hours, but only if the child is uncomfortable and the fever is over 102°F or 39°C.
This will reduce the fever 1-2°F or by 0.5°-1 °C within 2 hours, but only if the fever was low-grade to begin with.
Dosage is determined by weight. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer (there are some great resources online if you’re unsure).
Do NOT give children (up to the age of 21) aspirin if they have chickenpox, sore throat, cold, or flu symptoms because it is linked to Reye’s syndrome (a rare but serious condition that causes swelling in the liver and brain).

Rectal: Lubricate the bulb of the rectal thermometer. Hold the baby on your lap or have the child lay on the bed. It is best to keep the baby in a position that allows for minimal movement. Insert the bulb one inch into the rectum. Hold in place for 3-5 minutes. Normal is 99.6°F or 37.8°C, give or take 0.5°F.
Oral: Some children can manage an oral thermometer by age 4-5. If in doubt, use an axial or rectal temperature. Place the bulb of the thermometer under the tongue and hold for 2-3 minutes. Be sure to tell the child not to bite the thermometer. Normal is 98.6°F or 37°C, give or take 0.5°F.
Axillary: Place the bulb under the child’s arm and hold the arm down for a minimum of 5 minutes. Normal is 97.6°F or 36.5°C, give or take 0.5°F.

Immediately if:

Child under 2 months •
Purple spots present on skin

Fever over 104°F or 40.1°C(oral) •
Difficult breathing

Child cries inconsolably •
Child drools or can’t swallow

Child cries if touched/moved •
Convulsions occur

Child’s neck is stiff •
Child is very lethargic

Child difficult to wake •
Parent is very concerned
Discuss with your physician (during next available office hours) if:
Fever lasts longer than 72 hours
Child has a history of febrile seizures
Fever left for more than 24 hours and has now returned.
Within 24 hours if:
Fever lasts longer than 24 hours
Fever between 102-104°F
Burning pain when child urinates
Child is less than 24 months old (unless fever occurs within 48 hours of DPT shot)

Encourage, but don’t force fluids. Pedialyte or diluted juice can help keep them hydrated.
Increase frequency of breast or bottle feeding.
Keep clothing to a minimum.
Provide fresh air (60-65°F).
Cold wet compresses to forehead, nape of the neck, abdomen, back or feet.
Wet sheet wrap: Use a wet sheet (wrung out so that it is not dripping wet). Wrap infant so that all skin is covered, except the face and mouth are exposed. Cover in a wool blanket. The baby may fuss at first, but will settle down. Keep wrapped for up of 30-40 minutes.
Sponge with cool or tepid water in small circles moving towards the heart; or give your child a tepid bath.
Keep child calm and resting as much as possible; no vigorous playing.
Provide simple, bland nourishing foods such as soups, broths, or rice made with tons of garlic.

Free-Range ChildrenBlogs

Free-Range Children

How many times did you hear one of your parents tell you to go out and play as a kid?  If you were lucky like me, you heard it a lot. Why is that lucky? Because studies are showing that being outdoors can have a huge impact on the welfare of children and their present and future health.  In fact, more and more studies have shown that “natural environments” have a direct and positive impact on the well-being of one’s childhood, and later into adulthood [1].

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”

― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar


Save the Seeds!Uncategorized

Save the Seeds!

The Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds

It’s that time of year again, pumpkin season! I know for a lot of people this means pumpkin-spiced latte time. But for me, it means carving up a big, fat pumpkin and roasting the extremely nutritional seeds. Here are some of the top reasons I snack on tasty pumpkin seeds and why you should too.


Treat the Gut  (When You’ve Got the Blues!)Blogs

Treat the Gut (When You’ve Got the Blues!)

Depression and anxiety are common paralleling symptoms in patients with Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) [1].  Often, the mental symptoms precede the physical symptoms in patients with UC by about a year [1].  The reverse is generally true of IBD, with depression or anxiety following the actual physical disease [1].  Whether the mental symptoms follow or precede the physical disease, the connection is shown in both clinical and research settings.