Stocking up on OTC medications

MissPatricia Posts: 318 ✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in Herbal Medicine-Making

I think all of us, or most of us, prefer not to use many, or any, over the counter medicines so I just saw this list on Pinterest and wondered how many of these items we could find a substitute for, that would be safer and more healthful.

Not all these items are bad or toxic, but some I would avoid.


  • Three more recommendations:

    1. Mucinex or generic formulation-- Guaifenesin. Given how many times COVID19 attacks the lungs, this one should be near the top of most lists. The medication assists in coughing out mucus and phlegm.
    2. Not a pill, but a skill: Learn about Postural Drainage poses to help clear the lungs using good old gravity. One one of my other groups, a person told a story about her grandmother, an older nurse trained in the era before widespread antibiotics. When pneumonia spread through nursing homes in Vermont in the 1970s, she remembered the old ways and used postural drainage to keep most of her patients alive. In her nursing home they only lost three people-- other institutions lost 20 or more.
    3. Triple Antibiotic. From futurist Kevin Kelly: "A cocktail of three popular antibiotics invented in the 1950s that is synergistically more powerful than any of the three alone or in sequence. Trials have shown that triple antibiotic combo reduces scarring better than double or a single antibiotic. It’s an over-the-counter ointment." It is the first thing I add to every medical kit in our house.
  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,517 admin

    For Guaifensesin - I would substitute elecampane which is one of the best herbs to use as an expectorant for congested lungs. Mullein, plantain, marshmallow and/or violet for dry coughs. Lobelia, valerian or cramp bark for spasmodic coughs. Guaifensesin has a number of side effects, including diarrhea and/or constipation, nausea, vomiting, dry mouth and the risk of forming kidney stones. It should not be given to children under the age of 6.

    I googled Triple Antibiotic cause I had never heard of this before. So my substitution for this is Oregon Grape Root tincture (extremely good as a topical antiseptic and antibacterial agent) followed by a healing salve with calendula or self-heal or a combination of some kind. Oregon Grape Root tincture makes a good spray or gargle for bacterial throat infections, as well.

    Postural drainage is being recommended for some cases of COVID-19 and I think is an excellent treatment for congested or fluid filled lungs.

  • Gail H
    Gail H Posts: 359 ✭✭✭✭

    I went out the other day to restock my medicine cabinet. I found most of the things that I wanted: bandages, butterfly strips, epsom salt, etc. I am still unable to hydrogen peroxide. I don't know if it's the container shortage that I've heard about or perhaps some interests want to make it harder to get. I know people were having great success recently with nebulizing it.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,517 admin
    edited August 2020

    Please do not nebulize peroxide at home!!!

    There is quite a lot of conflicting information and opinions on this treatment. There have been cases of long-term lung damage using this technique and may actually make you more susceptible to infections.

    If you are considering this treatment, it should only be done in a clinic under medical supervision!

    Oregon Grape Root tincture is a very good antiseptic and antibacterial agent and makes a good substitute for hydrogen peroxide for treating topical infections. It is being suggested that peroxide could do more damage to already damaged tissues and slow the healing process. Isopropyl alcohol (which is also in short supply) is actually more recommended for cleaning medical instruments than peroxide.

  • Linda Bittle
    Linda Bittle Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'll be bumping up my supplies as I can. Even though I prefer to use herbal/natural remedies, I do keep some basic first aid supplies and OTC meds on hand. I'm a big fan of Mucinex, and Advil for my own use. Also allergy meds that don't raise my blood pressure. In an emergency, there's no time to make my own, and having some OTC stuff on hand seems like a good idea to me.

    Some would be good for barter if needed, too.

    Today I'm going to look for alcohol and for Epsom salts for my stash.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,375 admin

    Bag Balm usually has an antibacterial in it. I agree with @torey's list for it. I would still want to add a little more, however. I know that there are plenty of recipes online. Some will certainly be better than others.

    We use a lot of a similar balm to bag balm (the brand name stuff just got way too expensive), and it works even better. Unfortunately, it isn't all natural.

  • stephanie447
    stephanie447 Posts: 404 ✭✭✭

    We've got zinc on hand in case someone gets COVID, and I also stocked up on boxes of Tulsi tea, which is good for respiratory health. I need to get more back-up quercetin, vitamin C, and vitamin D.

  • dottile46
    dottile46 Posts: 437 ✭✭✭

    @torey as always I feel so blessed when you share your knowledge with us here on TGN. Thank you for being here with and for us.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,517 admin

    @dottile46 Thank you! You are very kind.

    I don't want any of this knowledge to be lost. The more we share, the less chance there is of that.

  • Melissa Swartz
    Melissa Swartz Posts: 270 ✭✭✭

    @torey Thanks for the list above. Great info!

  • MissPatricia
    MissPatricia Posts: 318 ✭✭✭

    Thank you, Torey. You are a wealthy of information. I just thought that this group could come up with better alternatives to most of the items, and you did. Great answers. I did not know what some of the items were, such as bag balm.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,517 admin

    @MissPatricia Feel free to ask if you have any questions about any of the items I listed.

    Bag balm is a product that was first produced to soothe and heal an udder that may be scratched or cut or chapped. Milkers started using this on their hands and it became a known hand cream on farms before its use spread to gardeners and then the general public. Depending on the brand, it generally contains lanolin, petroleum jelly or parrafin, some herbal ingredients and often a product called 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate.

  • Annie Kate
    Annie Kate Posts: 680 ✭✭✭✭

    I had never heard of postural drainage @seasparrow32 but it certainly could help. I'm bookmarking that link. Thank you!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,375 admin
    edited September 2020

    Bag balm is a healing udder/teat balm often used for cows, and milking type animals. It can heal wounds & scratches, bites from calves, relieve chapped areas & reduce the inflammation of mastitis.

    As @torey says, it is great on hands. The brand name stuff has a vaseline (so, oil by product) base & does have other conventional ingredients in it. If you can manage to make your own, it should be better.

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    The only OTC thing on the list that I have used in the past 20 years are the gloves (and as @torey says, there really isn't a substitute for them), vitamins, essential oils and the books. None of which are traditional (except the gloves).

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,517 admin

    After going through 7Song's course, I was reminded of two other things to add to the list.

    Charcoal. Very effective at drawing external infections or poisons. Also good for certain internal poisons and food poisoning as it absorbs the toxic materials so they can be flushed safely through the digestive system.

    Propolis. Antiseptic. Helps to cover and protect wounds. Helps bandaids to stick. Good as an ingredient in throat sprays.

  • Annie Kate
    Annie Kate Posts: 680 ✭✭✭✭

    When we lived in Europe, they had thyme-based cough syrup. I've never made it, but did plant an enormous section of our lawn in low-growing thyme just in case....

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,517 admin

    Something else very important. Have the number of your local poison control office beside your phone or programmed into your phone. They will be able to tell you if this is something that can be treated with charcoal or a glass of milk or water to dilute the poison. This can be a very important first treatment for poisonings, to assist, before you go to the hospital, if it is a serious enough incident to warrant hospital treatment.