By Chef Lauren Cox, Closer to Your Food

Many common ailments are easily treated with simple remedies that can come out of your home garden. I have learned which plants will grow in my climate and I keep a bed dedicated to herbs in my garden to help complement my “medicine cabinet.” I’ll be honest, I don’t have enough time to make complicated tinctures and salves all day long, so I have to rely on easy DIY remedies. Here are some of my favorite go-to remedies that I have used plants straight out of my garden for:


Lavender + Chamomile + ACV Soak:

I live in Arizona, sunburns happen. One of the easiest remedies is to boil lavender and chamomile flowers in a pot with 2 cups water for 10-30 minutes. Strain and pour into a lukewarm bath followed by 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar to balance the pH. This soak is very soothing and it will help your skin heal faster.

Aloe Vera:

Aloe is also a very easy remedy. Using a large knife, peel the skin of one medium aloe leaf until you are left with the translucent inner membrane. Cut off any yellow-tinged parts. Blend the aloe in a blender and apply directly to the skin.


Calendula Salve:

Calendula is the Jack-of-all-trades for skin. Keeping this salve on-hand will help almost any skin woes. Put ½ cup calendula flowers and 1 cup coconut oil in a pot or crock pot and heat on low for 3-4 hours. Very slowly strain this mix through a cheesecloth into a new container. Add about ⅛-¼ cup beeswax flakes and 1 teaspoon Manuka honey and stir. Let the mix cool completely then cover it and store in a cool place. It should keep for at least 6 months, if you don’t use it all by then!


Lemon Balm + Feverfew Tincture:

Finely chop 1 cup lemon balm and ⅔ cup feverfew and add 1 cup of 100-proof clear alcohol to a clear glass jar with a lid. Shake and set aside near a window for at least 2 weeks and up to 8. Strain the mix through a cheesecloth and discard the plant scraps. Pour the alcohol-based tincture into a dark glass bottle. Take ½ teaspoon as soon as you feel a headache/migraine coming on. You can take a dose up to every 30 minutes.


German Chamomile + Epsom Soak:

Add 1 cup Epsom salt and ½ cup chamomile flowers to a very hot bath, soak at least 30 minutes.

Stomach Ache

Mint + Fennel Seed Tea:

Add ½ cup mint and 1 teaspoon fennel seeds to your kettle. Boil about 5-10 minutes, strain and enjoy hot as tea.


Ginger +Honey Tea:

Boil ¼ cup freshly chopped ginger root (skin on is ok) in 2 cups filtered water for 10 minutes. Strain and serve in a mug with 1 teaspoon honey.


Basil + Cardamom Latte:

Add 2 tablespoons chopped basil and a pinch of cardamom seeds to 2 cups coconut milk and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and mix with honey to sweeten.

Garlic + Oregano Broth:

Add 3-4 cloves of thinly sliced garlic and 1 teaspoon fresh oregano to 2 cups organic stock (vegetable, beef or chicken) and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with sea salt. Sip as necessary to help improve symptoms.


Lemongrass +Eucalyptus Shower:

Collect 2-4 stalks of lemongrass and one small branch of eucalyptus. Hit the base of the lemon grass with a wooden spoon to help release the oils. Hang the lemongrass and eucalyptus from the shower head. Close the bathroom door and seal any cracks at the bottom with a towel, so the steam will not be able to escape. Turn the water as hot as it will go and allow the bathroom to steam up at least 10 minutes before lowering the heat and enjoying a hot shower.



Closer to Your Food is a wellness blog focused on eating and cooking for health and sustainability with recipes and lifestyle tips formulated around a plant-based diet and home-grown local foods. Chef Lauren Cox holds a B.A. from the le Cordon Bleu in Culinary Management with over 8 years of fine dining experience in private dining, catering and Michelan star restaurants.



*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.