Home Remedies for Beginners Wanting to Learn More

Home Remedies For Beginners

You are on the hunt for home remedies for yourself or your family.

You don’t know much about home remedies but you hear a lot of people talking about these natural health type things.

You know there are home remedies that will help you greatly without having to make a trip to the doctor but you aren’t sure of the what/how/when it comes to medically helping your family from home.

You feel overwhelmed just thinking about it.

Your friend sells essential oils and you don’t get on board because it just seems like too much to figure out.

And honestly, you don’t want to be “oily” anyway.

You see, I’m the beginner who has felt those things.

I’m the unbeliever at times.

How can an oil do that?

How could a tea help with that?

How does one herb accomplish all that?

How do you even know how much or when?

How do you know who to trust when someone tells you about some tea or vitamin or supplement?

But, a few years ago, I became a believer.

Home Remedies for Beginners Wanting to Learn More

And I made a decision to at least learn more.

Being overseas really speeds up the need to know and learn about home remedies.

Having a sickness or rash or unexplained pain when a doctor is far away is scary! Especially when it is your kids.

Often times the person behind the counter at the pharmacy doesn’t really know about what you are asking.

Sometimes the big trucks that are supposed to be hauling refrigerated medicines break down for hours and hours on the side of the road. And that medicine still gets shelved and sold at the pharmacy.

Sometimes, even though the doctors really want to help, the language barriers, cultural practices and educational differences keep us from being on the same page with basic care.

During our first term overseas, I’ve had a few different times when I needed medical help and had to figure out what to do from home.

And each time, I didn’t have what I needed on hand. But between help from friends in the states or hunting something down at the market or standing in a shop with my google translate giving me the vocabulary… I’ve been able to treat these things at home.

It takes asking questions, researching, googling, talking to friends, reading books and making sure you have a good understanding of what you need and why.

It takes prayer and a little bravery to step up and start using home remedies for your family.

You can do it.

Even beginners can help their families from home.

This coming from the girl who never felt a single contraction after having 3 babies because I’m a little in love with epidurals.

This coming from the girl who hates taking vitamins and never remembers to stay on my daily regimen.

This coming from the mom who is quick to call the doctor.

But sometimes, things can be treated from home and even beginners can find home remedies for their families.

It can be simple. The overwhelm can subside. And home remedies can take place without going “oily”, if you know what I mean.

Home Remedies for Beginners Wanting to Learn More

Simple Home Remedies for Beginners

1} Essential Oils – When we first landed in Africa, the dirty water had gotten in my ears and I was dealing with terrible, gross ear infections. That story is long, starting with tubes in my ears in 2010. Anyway, the ear thing got out of control pretty quickly and our first 8 weeks in country were awful for me. I couldn’t hear anything, my head hurt, I had puss coming out my ears… yeah. that. I’d remembered using antibiotic drops after surgery so I walked into a local pharmacy and bought the drops. They helped with the immediate infection but it would keep coming back because of the fluid built up in my ears.

A friend wrote me and said, “You should use essential oils!” And I thought, “No way! That isn’t going to help this bad of an infection.” She was insistent and sent the oils to me here in Africa. I found this video online about which oils to use and how to use them for fluid in the ears. AMAZING and nearly instant results. The fluid drained within about a week and I’ve been able to keep my ears good since then with this technique and just a few simple oils.

Annalise got a weird, scary rash last summer with huge blisters that would burst and literally burn her skin with the acid inside. Some kind of beetle, we were told, will do that if it touches your skin. Tea Tree Oil to the rescue. Acne? Infected mosquito bite? Mango worm? Tea Tree Oil. Headache? Peppermint oil. On and on I could go. I’ve had oils mailed to me, flown to me and even found a few in local markets here.

I’m now a believer in oils and I’ll be bringing a good supply back to Africa with me when we return.

Essential Oils for Beginners – a really helpful resource

doTERRA Oils – I started using these. There are many kinds and brands. Just do some research and find the ones you trust and want to use. But taking a kit like this when you move overseas is a really good idea!

2} Tea – Whether we need to sleep after a stressful day or have a headache or upset stomach, I’ve learned that tea can really help. Natural, herbal teas with chamomile or lavender. There really are so many teas available to help with everyday issues. You can even mix your own.

3} Apple Cider Vinegar – Buy yourself a big bottle. And make yourself some hot tea with honey. Stomach, skin, gall bladder, colon… so many things can be calmed and helped with a tablespoon or two a day.

4} Epsom Salt – When we were training for the marathon in France, I had gone for an xray on my foot because I was in so much pain. The xray was normal and I just prayed for God to show me what to do to help my foot! I truly believe that God dropped epsom salt in my heart. We were on the hunt for it but it is not common at all in France. After some funny discussion with the pharmacy, I found a small bag of epsom salts. Withing a few days of soaking my foot, I was healing and doing better. The salts opened a deep running blister in my foot that I didn’t even know was there. Gross, I know… but I was able to treat it at home and run the marathon. Epsom salt baths and soaks are helpful for many things and really good for you! Those dry, cracked feet? Soak them. Promise. I’ve since had these bags shipped over.

5} Vitamins – Living overseas greatly increases our stress levels. That stress takes a toll and I’ve seen it take a toll in the health of missionaries. Last winter, I was experiencing great fatigue. I was needing a ton of sleep and just not feeling well at all. I did go to the doctor in Dakar and he very wisely gave me a prescription for 30 days of high dose liquid vitamins. I think there were 5 vitamins in the vials. Each morning, I would add 3 vials to some juice. Within a few days, I had my energy back and was doing better. I think we often discount how important a little vitamin D or E or C can be in our daily lives! I take Women’s One A Day because a multivitamin is easier for me right now. Ideally, I’d love to be taking them all separately. But that isn’t practical for me in this overseas season.

Remember, doing something is better than nothing.

6} Youtube – Abby was having really bad pain in her hips. We again went for xrays and the doctor said she needed stretching and physical therapy. Well, to get physical therapy 3 times per week meant driving back and forth to Dakar and paying a lot of money. Of course, we’d do it if it was needed but I knew we could do it at home as well. I did some research, found a few credible youtube channels with stretching routines, physical therapy videos and some simple exercises she could do for her hips, back and legs. Her and I worked through those videos together, making sure she was doing them correctly and following the instructor. She is doing so much better now and has learned the stretches she needs to do when she starts to feel that hip pain. I wouldn’t recommend just hopping on youtube for everything, but in some instances, it can be a huge blessing when medical care is far away.

7} Heat – Sometimes heat can be incredibly healing, restful, helpful and exactly what that muscle, that ear, or that back might need. We have this heating pad {We have to use a transformer box to plug it in but it’s worth it. You might be able to get one in your country that would have the correct plug.}

8} Cold – These cooling towels can help with everything from heat stroke to hot flashes to sunburn and more. They can be preventative and keep you cool on a hot day or they can be healing after a sprained ankle. And for headaches… a cold cloth that stays cool for 3 hours? Yes, please.

9} What you eat – This can be the hardest one yet sometimes the simplest one in home health care. None of us want to deal with figuring out what we might be eating that’s causing a problem but for some health issues, it could be life-changing. Inflammation, immune system, gut issues… so much can be solved by taking a look at what we eat and making the needed changes for our health. Take a peek at Feast & Farm… her story might encourage you.

10} Exercise – It is amazing how much just a simple walk or a short time of stretching can help with muscle aches, back issues, neck pain and lack of sleep. The benefits are many. Blood flow, heart rate, release of endorphins, oxygen to your whole body and on and on it goes. Go slow. Start today. But just move. Having something like an Apple Watch or Garmin Smartwatch can be so helpful in keeping track of your movements for the day! Nothing motivates you quite like seeing those numbers count up {or not} each day. Plus, it’s a huge asset for those long walks. Make this investment and start now.

A few other posts I’ve written about health:

Mommy Tips for Sick Kids with a printable chart

Healthy Ways to Lose Weight

Running Tips for Beginners

Taking Care of You

Needing Time Away


A Beginner’s Guide to Medicinal Herbs with herb plant growing tips!

Prescription for Natural Cures

Alternative Cures

Living overseas and not having access to health care can be a scary, overwhelming part of life.

But arming ourselves with information is comforting, beneficial and empowering. Being able to cure something naturally from home has been a blessing for our family.

But, I definitely need to learn more.

What is your go-to home remedy?

What resources to you have for home remedies for beginners?

Are you a beginner? What is holding you back from learning?

Please share here in the comments!



  1. That is a great newsletter! Funny to think you were so against essential oils at first.. but someone knew you HAD to try! Glad you did. 🙂

  2. Also, I really, really recommend learning what’s available around you and how to use it. When our children were little, I had a patient friend with some paramedic training, and she talked me through everything, so that I learned to use local medicines and home remedies. That’s invaluable, and sometimes I’m kind of surprised at how many missionaries bring everything over from the USA. (Although, last time we were in the states and got sick, I was LOST.)

    As far as oils, I stared learning about them from my Russian midwife, when I was pregnant with our first 13 years ago, before they were a fad in America. I use the cheap local oils. 🙂 You probably don’t have those in Africa, though?

    1. That is such great advice to add!! Thank you! We do have some oils that are available to us locally. I’ve used a few so far! But learning what they use for sickness is a wonderful tip.

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