The Crunchy Writer

Basic Essentials for the Home Apothecary

Lately, I’ve been changing the way I look at what I put into my body. Or use on it. In a previous post, I showed you how to make your own home cleanser, but let’s take it further now. It’s time to focus on alternatives to over-the-counter products, like DayQuil, which ultimately don’t cure any illness, they just dull the symptoms.


Now, I’m no herbalist, but I’ve developed an interest in using natural alternatives for things like shampoo, conditioner, face wash and yes, cold and flu symptoms. And although it takes a while to use up what you already have in your cabinets, it’s nice to know that over time, your home can become exactly what you want it to become: a more compassionate, healthy place.


If you’ve been thinking of starting your own home apothecary, there’s a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Glass jars and bottles are better for you and the environment than plastic
  2. Ensure you cover the basics first before trying out any exceptional concoctions that you don’t readily need. In other words, maybe look to keep your immune system strong, before using up all your ingredients on something for ingrown hairs. Prioritize. There’s a time and a place for everything.
  3. Label, label, label.
  4. Measure everything as precisely as possible.
  5. Write down all recipes and keep them in a safe place that you don’t lose track of them. You don’t want to make something and then forget how to make it.
  6. Always research benefits and drawbacks of every ingredient you use.
  7. Consider growing your own herbs, if you have the space and climate for it.


But what are some items to start off with?

  • Witch hazel
  • Cinnamon
  • Tumeric
  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Coffee grounds
  • Raw sugar
  • Ginger
  • Astragalus
  • Basil
  • Black pepper
  • Echinacea
  • Cowslip
  • Elderberry
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemon balm (leaves)
  • Calendula
  • Burdock
  • Chamomile
  • Cleavers
  • Oatmeal
  • Comfrey
  • Nettle Leaf
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Argan oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Hemp seed oil
  • Sweet almond oil
  • Ashwaganda root
  • Rose petals/water
  • Activated charcoal powder
  • Matcha powder


Again, these are just some herbs, oils and substances that you can start with, but you should explore options catered to your specific needs. You might find that you need charcoal for a face mask, but then realize it’s also great in toothpaste. You might settle on baking soda for teeth instead. You might find witch hazel can replace your face toner and never look back.


Of course, there are naysayers that swear that you shouldn’t rely on natural remedies for things. Truth be told, I’m an advocate for going to the doctor’s office myself. But that being said, I’ve found that whenever I’ve needed to take chemicals for something, I’ve never enjoyed it and I’ve always found myself having a miserable time. Natural remedies have helped me more than the alternative. Of course, to each his/her own. You might feel more secure reaching for the natural remedies and the pills to cover all your bases.


But as someone who has firsthand seen results with things I’ve prepared myself, I wanted to share my knowledge with my awesome readers.


As a starting point, here’s a little recipe for a cellulite scrub that I swear by:

  • Equal parts coffee grounds and raw sugar
  • 4-6 drops of coconut oil (you want the mixture to be combined, but not wet)
  • Place mixture in a clean glass or ceramic container with lid, and use it every time you take a shower
  • Rub in circular motion around area you want to improve upon


Cellulite is a thing for pretty much every woman, regardless of size. It even occurs in men. Most people have it, even if it is just a little.


In my case, I only have it on the top of one thigh, it’s a little dimple. It’s annoyed me for a while now, but after using this for weeks now, it’s almost gone. Coffee helps with blood flow and circulation, so that does the trick!


I hope everyone reading this post is reminded that there’s more to veganism than just what’s on your plate. Food is plant-based, but veganism is a whole way of life. And if we can take even just a few steps toward a more natural state of being, we may find a whole new appreciation for our environment, as well as our bodies.


Best of luck!


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