The road of a real food journey is scary. You question everything you eat, and wish you didn’t have to read the list of ingredients. After awhile though, you get into the swing of things and generally know what’s considered “safe,” and what should be avoided.
Sooner or later, you’ll stagger into the realm of natural medicine and the techniques you learned about food – questioning brands, reading labels, knowing less ingredients is usually better – will carry over to your medicine cabinet.
Friends, medicine is a scary, two-headed monster.
There’s the good side. The side of medicine that genuinely heals the body with little, if any, side effects. Medicine that cures serious diseases and makes living with illness bearable. Medicine that is responsible for saving lives.
Then there’s the bad side. The side of medicine that achieves little good and leaves great damage in its wake. Medicine that’s made with bad chemicals and causes awful side effects. Sometimes, medicine causes illness in the first place.
I’ve reading all sorts of stories about natural-minded parents dabbling in their own forms of medicine. They’re using natural ingredients like real food, natural oils and plant-based elements, and combing it with traditional methods to treat the issue at hand.
However, I know that making medicine is not for everyone. It requires time to research, ingredients that aren’t always available and several extra doses of patience.
For the real foodie who’s not ready to delve into homemade medicine, we need to learn more about the medicines out there. The first thing on our list to look-up, is how the medicine is made.
Surprised I didn’t say “read the ingredients?”
The ingredients in medicine are definitely important, but I personally get lost in the terminology. One item can go by several different names and while a name might be really long and practically impossible to pronounce, that doesn’t necessarily make it bad.
By digging a bit deeper into HOW the medicine is made and WHERE the ingredients originate from, we can partially skip a step and eliminate the majority of the bad ingredients right off the bat. If the goal is for natural medicine, then we want it to be made with natural methods and come from natural sources, right?
A Simple Step to Natural Medicine
So here’s a simple step in the search for a better medicine: Avoid medicine that is made from petroleum.
Why? Because in the refining process of petroleum, impurities and by-products are created. Ideally, these toxins are filtered out before a final product is made, but that’s not always the case. In fact, known carcinogens have been found in items like lipstick and baby shampoo.
By avoiding petroleum-based medicine whenever possible, we’re decreasing the chances of consuming harmful toxins. However, petroleum is in a lot more than just lipstick and shampoo.
Petroleum is used to create mainstream medicine that we use on any given day – medicine that’s probably in our medicine cabinets right now.
For example, check out what’s listed under the “Infant and Children” section of this big list:
Or see what’s listed under “Sports, Hobbies and Games:
Allergy medication, liquid pepto-bismol, aspirin, first-aid cream, inhalers, burn lotion, nasal decongestant, antihistamines, cortisone, laxatives and cough syrup.
I don’t want to use scare tactics on you by any means, but this kinda freaks me out! Medicine – that is supposed to make my family BETTER – could be contaminated with harmful toxins.
It truly makes me wonder, are these medicines safe to use on my family? Are they really helping us get healthy, or making us sicker?
Finding an All-Natural and Safe Brand
Maty’s Healthy Products is a family-owned business, started by parents whose daughter was born with severe heart defects and without a spleen – a vital component of the immune system. With a young child whose body was weak and vulnerable, mother Carolyn wanted to combine modern knowledge of healing with traditional natural remedies in order to get her daughter healthy, and keep her that way.
After becoming a certified Holistic Health Practitioner and a certified Applied Kinesiologist, Carolyn began developing her own natural remedies that were 100% food-based. In her research, she found that…
The problem with petroleum based products is not the medium itself, but the by-products that contaminate the substance during manufacturing. Unless they can get all the contaminants out, the petroleum jelly can be hazardous to your health. Therefore, petroleum jelly is only as good as its refining process.
If you think in this day and age manufacturers can get all those nasty impurities out, you’re right. They should, but they don’t. An independent lab tested many popular commercial health products like baby shampoos and lipsticks and found these carcinogens present.
By creating products that were NOT based on petroleum, and based ONLY on food, Carolyn was able to create medicines that not only worked, but they were safe and kept her healthy.
Before I began testing Maty’s all-natural vapor rub, I wanted to address four key questions:
- What is it made of?
- How much does it cost?
- What’s the difference versus a homemade version?
- Does it work?
What is it made of?
Here is the ingredient list for Maty’s all-natural vapor rub (which you can also find here, as well as the purpose for each item):
sunflower oil; coconut oil; caster oil; shea butter; essential oils of eucalyptus, peppermint, pine, wintergreen and cedar leaf; vitamin E and candellila wax.
That seemed pretty straight forward to me. Nothing crazy, unheard of or processed, right?
For comparison purposes, here’s the list of ingredients of a mainstream competitor:
cedarleaf oil, nutmeg oil, special petrolatum, thymol, turpentine oil, synthetic camphor, eucalyptus oil and menthol.
Does anything stand out to you? “Special petrolatum” caught my eye, as well as “turpentine oil.” I’m not sure I feel okay using these ingredients on my kids… do you?
How much does it cost?
A 1.5oz container of Maty’s all-natural vapor rub costs $6.99 on Amazon.
It’s competitor costs $5.04 for a 1.76oz container.
While cheaper, I’m kinda hung up on the fact that the competitor uses turpentine oil. Is it just me?
Just my own opinion here, but jeopardizing my family’s health isn’t worth the $2 saved.
What’s the difference versus a homemade version?
There are homemade versions of vapor rub all over the web, and most are made with ingredients you likely have in your kitchen like coconut oil and peppermint oil. It’s a really simple recipe too, but most of the recipes also include essential oils that aren’t very common and it’ll cost roughly $40 upfront in order to make just one batch.
Granted, you’ll have the oils on hand, but if you only need a little bit right now, this might not be the most affordable way to go. Even more so if you’re not comfortable making your own medicines.
Does it work?
Likely the most important question, I can answer confidently after testing it often (and repeatedly) for several weeks that Maty’s all-natural vapor rub does work.
This time of year really brings my allergies to the surface. They’re so problematic that on some days it feels like I’ve caught a cold… sniffly and nasaly and sneezing like a maniac.
Going to sleep at night is especially difficult, since laying down seems to make all the congestion lay dormant in my nose. I blow, but nothing comes. Yet I can’t stop sniffling!
I rubbed Maty’s vapor rub on my chest before I went to bed and within 2 minutes, my nasal passages were clear enough for me to breathe. It felt like a miracle! I did this every night for a week, and every night I was able to quickly fall asleep without any congestion issues. Considering I NEVER sleep well while dealing with allergies or colds, this was a great relief. And you guys know how important sleep is when you’re sick!
At the tip of Maty’s, I also tried applying it to the bottom of my feet. I don’t know if it helped me breathe, but it made my feet warm and tingly, which was kinda fun to experience.
So I kept doing that too, lol.
It smells clean and minty, not medicine-y at all. And I also noticed that the formula wasn’t greasy. It went on without a problem, and there wasn’t the immediate need to wipe my hands off on a towel. Bonus!
Are You Ready to Take a Baby Step with Medicine?
Making your own medicine can be daunting, but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck having to use medicines that can potentially cause more harm than good. One simple step you can take to improve your medicine cabinet is research how the medicine is made and the methods used to make it and avoid those made with petroleum. After all, the whole point of using medicine is to get better, not to cause more problems.
Have you tried Maty’s products before? Or do you prefer to make your own medicines?
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Maty’s Healthy Products. I’m excited to have found their brand as quality I can trust and share it with you. As always, I would never recommend anything on Crumbs that I wouldn’t recommend to a close friend or neighbor, and all opinions here are my own.