Natural Remedies at The Little House

I hope you all had a wonderful Earth Day! Today, I have Kathy Gruver, author of “The Alternative Medicine Cabinet,” sharing some insights about her book and alternative medicine!

1). Tell us a little about your book:

The Alternative Medicine Cabinet is a collection of natural health information to illustrate options other than Western medicine to achieve to better health. It covers general modalities like massage, homeopathics, reiki, Bach Flower Essences and then moves into specific issues that might need to be addressed like sleep, depression, high blood pressure, cancer, mind/body medicine, nutrition and many others.

2). Why did you decide to write a book on natural remedies?

I see such a breakdown of the current medical system. It’s so drug and surgery heavy and though there are certainly times that those things are needed, we can eliminate a lot of our dis-ease with lifestyle changes and natural remedies. There are some great books out there, but because this is a collection and not on one specific ailment or modality, I think it gives a great overview of options available.

3). What is one of the most common myths about natural remedies?

There are so many. Two are very important to me. One is that people think because something is natural it’s ALWAYS safe. And most natural remedies are, but if you look at a system such as herbs, they are a chemical compound and they can interact with other things. It is also possible to get too much of a certain vitamin for example. I don’t think we can fear things because they’re natural but we must also realize that some can be dangerous if used improperly. The second misconception is that because your doctor didn’t tell you about it, it must be bunk. There are some fabulous physicians out there, but not everyone knows about everything. I have seen some amazing recoveries using alternatives such as massage, acupuncture, homeopathics and Bach Flower Essences.

4). Sometimes when I tell people of my “cocktail” to rid myself of a cold (which consists of vitamin C, Echinacea and Zinc), some people will say, “That’s not been proven to work.” Do you think pharmaceutical companies and maybe our own government, in collaboration with them, don’t want us to think natural remedies work?

YES, a gigantic yes. I hate to say that, because we’d like to believe that the government and its organizations want the best for us. But I see more and more evidence that it’s just a matter of the bottom line. Let’s say you “cure” your illness with something natural. That’s a heck of a lot of money that’s not going to the pharmaceutical companies or the health insurance megalith. I’ve had doctors mad that I’ve “fixed” a client that was scheduled for surgery. I think the Western medicine moguls feel very threatened that society is starting to look towards less invasive, natural solutions.

5). What is the most surprising remedy you’ve found?

I was stunned when I first started working with Homeopathics and Bach Flower Essences. They are very similar in method and I’ve seen conditions clear up in a matter of hours. It’s pretty phenomenal that these are affordable, accessible and have no side effects and can be so effective. You have to pick the right ones, but I’ve seen them do amazing things. It also never ceases to amaze me, the power of our minds. I’m a huge proponent of mind/body medicine and the mind is the most amazing healing tool we have. We can change our bodies by changing our minds.

Here’s another Friday giveaway! I’ve shared one of my all-natural medicine tips in the above interview. Give us one of your own in the comments section between now and Sunday, April 25 at 5 p.m. CST and I will put you in a drawing for one of Kathy’s books! I will draw the winner and name you on the post on Monday morning. You will need to contact me by email by 5 p.m. CST on Tuesday, April 20 with your snail mailing address.

Apologies to my international readers, but you have to be a U.S. based resident to win. (Disclaimer: I do not work for Kathy, nor am I receiving compensation for offering this giveaway).

Good luck!

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29 Responses

  1. MarthaandMe says:

    I am a big believer in some natural remedies, but I would like to find a homeopath in my area but am unsure how to evaluate them. How do I know if someone is an expert? And how do you know which brands to buy? from what I’ve read there is so much variation in quality.

    • I’ve done some research on homeopaths and found that they should be accredited. I usually take the advice of the experts at our local health food store on the brands of vitamins and herbs we use. Hopefully, someone on here might have a better answer for you!

  2. Kim says:

    I’m loving these replies!

    My most recent amazement is the difference in the way my husband and I feel after adding two capsules of magnesium asporotate (sp?) to our morning routine. We were both waking up achy, sore, and stiff in the mornings, and thinking we were just entering middle age. A friend was reading a book on the importance of magnesium and the fact that we’re almost all deficient in it. I believe he said that it enables the body to process other nutrients/minerals/etc. We went out and (skeptically) bought some, and WOW. We wake up feeling a thousand times better, and have more energy throughout the day, too.

    My other big success story is with essential oils, in all different kinds of ways– too many to list. My introduction to them was a raw, throbbing stove burn that, after a single drop of lavender essential oil, healed within a few hours so thoroughly that I could wash dishes in hot soapy water with that hand. AMAZING.

    It is really immoral that these kinds of healings are available and our medical profession isn’t pursuing and promoting the knowledge with gusto.

  3. V Schoenwald says:

    I practice a holistic and herbal lifestyle along with yoga for my fibro and fused spine.
    I also would like to chime in along the lines with the Food Inc story of an article listed in the April/May 2010 magazine Mary Jane’s Farm. It is an article about “pink slime” that is manufactured by a company in South Dakota called Beef Products Inc, (
    This “slime” is produced and put into hamburger and other products for the market, cafe, and school lunch program. I urge everyone to be careful of this product as it comes from the scrap end of meat processing and this company is making millions shoving this stuff down everyone’s unknowing gullets. I can send Kerri a copy of this article and maybe she can look at it. I shudder at this as this stuff is put into kid’s lunches, and probably Wal-Mart hamburger, without being listed what it is. It all boils down to money and profit for the company, not your health.

  4. Frugal Kiwi says:

    I’m very lucky to have found a doctor’s surgery that believes in a Holistic approach. They are proper MDs and will send me off for regular medical tests if they think I need them, but for many complaints I get sent out the door with herbs and vitamin supplements. Fabulous.

  5. Bj says:

    I too years ago learned to use the natural remedies. I don’t get sick, haven’t been sick in 14 years, except for the occasional (every 4-5 years) cold in winter.
    Every day I take Echinecea, Golden seal, Fish Oil, and grape seed extract. When the occasional cold appears, I do add zinc for about three days, and then the cold is gone.
    I have health insurance now, though the past 15 years I had none, but never worried since I never got too sick. I too, have used the arnica for bruising.
    I laugh every time I see articles saying these don’t work. I know if I run out for a couple days, there is a big difference in how I feel. My daughter and granddaughter are also using these same formulas, and are never sick!
    I had heard of and do use the glucosimine for the stiff joints (and feed it to Sandy too to keep her up to walking with me). Had not heard of using cinammon, but will try that as well.

    • Bj says:

      Kerri, I am also hoping you mean if you draw someone on the 25th they have until Tuesday the 27th to send you their snail mail addy. 😉

  6. Heather says:

    I’ve never heard about cucumbers as a hangover remedy before. Very interesting.

    Great topic for a book.

  7. olivia says:

    Love the Bach flower remedies. Rescue Remedy is a staple in my house. Years ago, when our beagle (!) developed a fear of walks (he had been chased by a Rottweiler)I started giving him Rescue Remedy and within a short period of time he was happily going for walks again. Prior to that, he would cower behind the couch whenever we took out the leash.

    • kerri says:

      Thanks for chiming in, Olivia! I’ll keep that in mind. We never know when we’re going to have a traumatized rescue dog coming our way.

  8. When our big boy Ginko started having more arthritis pain in his boo-boo knees, I increased the amount of fish oil that I add to his meals, and we saw an almost immediate response.

    I really really don’t want him to have to take pain meds for the rest of his life, so we use a liquid glucosamine (and other stuff) supplement … along with the omega-3 to try and cut back on the inflammation he has.

    • kerri says:

      I didn’t know about fish oil in dogs, Roxanne. Would love to know how much of that to give. My Emma is getting older and we give her the gluc., but she still seems pretty stiff.

  9. SusanIs says:

    I swear by natural. Having seen the damage done to family members by conventional medicine, that would be my means of LAST resort. I use arnica to prevent bad bruises, calendula for cuts and scrapes, swear by Echinacea during cold season (and have only had one in the last two years) and right now I’m using a poultice (sp) of apple cider vinegar on a weird skin eruption of unknown origin that is finally slowly scabbing. Not only do I swear by naturals/herbs/homeopathy for myself, but for my dog too. Apple cider vinegar cleared up his ear infection and calendula healed a cyst.

  10. Sandy says:

    Hey Kerri,

    For the past 2 years I have been using a combination of herbs to control my menopause symptoms. I read and researched before trying them and after some adjustments I have hit upon a regime that works to keep most of the symptoms at bay. Not 100% but 95% and certainly tolerable. The sleepless nights and morning sweats are now a rare occasion. I currently take Black Cohash, Evening Primrose, Vit B12, Dandelion root, Vit E, Vit C, Grape seed extract. If anybody needs the exact amounts just email me and I would be glad to share. I can tell a difference if I forget to take them. I would much rather use a natural approach versus a prescription one. I’d like to now find something natural to take for my aching and aging joints…lol(sounds like that would make a good country song..aching and aging..hehe)

    • kerri says:

      Ok, Sandy, sing me, in a country tune, those exact amounts! 🙂

      • Sandy says:

        Can’t sing worth a lick and can hardly carry a tune…lol. But the amounts are:

        Black Cohash 540mg
        Dandelion root 540mg
        Grape extract 50mg
        Vitamin E 400iu
        B12 500mcg
        Evening PRimrose oil 500mg
        Vitamin c 500

        Take each 2x daily. Hope that helps!

  11. Susan says:

    I’m a big believer in using Natural products to help heal. I use a Neti pot all the time for my sinuses. Also cinnamon for arthritis, seems to help me anyway. Have also used vitamin theraphy for certain things as well as needed. You need to be careful though as you can overdose on those as well.

    I hate it when doctors tell you some things don’t work…I also think doctors need to encourage good nutrition and I mean really good nutrition. When my daughter was going thru her breast cancer and she asked the doctor about nutrition she said that had nothing to do with her healing. The medical profession certainly has a place but we have allowed them to think they are gods and a lot of people think they can do no wrong.

    After watching Food Inc I am so glad I’m a vegetarian. I knew how inhuman they are to the animals that are slaughtered, and how they are feed diets that are not meant for the animals (especially feeding cows and chickens animal products.)Here is an article I read a long time ago: ,but some of the processing like using ammonia in ground beef….I remember an incident about Food Lion using bleach on meat as well.
    Really liked that one farmer that processes his own animals…he is doing it all the right way and the way it was intended.
    Guess I have rambled enough for this post.

  12. Alexandra says:

    I find this topic fascinating and am totally open to this type of thing. I read somewhere about a natural cure for some cancers, was it mistletoe?, that has been debunked by the chemical industry and the pharmaceutical lobby. I know, in France, I used arnica when my kids got bruises and it worked. No one knew about it in the USA at the time. Now it has become available in health food stores. There is so much to learn on this front. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. I would love to win a copy!

  13. kerri says:

    Thanks for that, Pam! That is funny and something I’ve never heard of! 🙂

  14. Pam Spruk says:

    Great article Kerri. I’m always interested in “home remedies”. Especially since my son has always been “anti-medicine”. However, this is my best home remedy. It really works and I thought you’d get a kick out of it! Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!