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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.


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


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.


The Effects of Lead Poisoning and  Naturopathic Treatment for ToxicityBlogs

The Effects of Lead Poisoning and Naturopathic Treatment for Toxicity

The recent publicity over Flint, Michigan’s water contamination has lead to an increased awareness of lead toxicity.  In April 2014, the City of Flint switched its water supply from Detroit-supplied Lake Huron to the Flint River.  The lead levels increased from 2.4 percent to up to 6.6 percent in certain areas (1).  Along with dietary recommendations from the state of Michigan, naturopathic medicine is ideal in helping with this crisis (2).