There are thousands of supplements on the market and even more influencers, doctors and health professionals telling you all of them are needed to be healthy. It can get overwhelming determining what are essential and what are not needed. This article is going to break down what I believe is essential and necessary to have on hand in case of acute common ailments.
While these supplements are generally regarded as safe, they may not be right for you and your particular condition so please always check with your medical doctor before taking any supplements recommended in this article.
Probiotics: These are essential for everyone, in my opinion, and should be in every fridge in every home. You may not need to take them everyday but if you accidentally eat food your sensitive to, have a particularly stressful week, catch a stomach bug, go travelling, take a course of antibiotics, etc, you will be happy to have these on hand so that you can start taking them right away to improve your symptoms and health.
Digestive enzymes: These are another supplement I believe to be essential. It is very easy to accidentally eat gluten or other inflammatory foods you may be sensitive to so popping a few enzymes when needed can help reduce the uncomfortable digestive disturbances you may experience post-meal. I also find I am particularly bloated or uncomfortable after eating at someone else’s house or restaurant and having enzymes on hand makes it very easy to reduce the discomfort. I like having enzymes for kids on hand as they need them sometimes too especially if they accidentally consumed foods they are sensitive to. Usually chewable enzymes are best for kids so they don’t have to worry about swallowing pills
Vitamin C: This is another incredibly important supplement for so many reasons! Several times a year you will probably find yourself sick with a cold or flu (especially kids). Usually as the seasons change and temperatures rise and fall, our bodies become susceptible to all kinds of bugs and ensuring we have strong immune systems to fight them off is 100% necessary. Vitamin C is great to take year round for maintenance but it is also nice to have on hand for DURING an illness to help recover from it much quicker. I like using pure ascorbic acid (if you’re wanting a very high dose) and mixing it with water and a dash of spirulina of chlrophyll (protects the teeth form harsh acid). I always drink this with a glass straw and try to bypass the teeth as much as possible. If you only want a few thousand milligrams for maintenance, I like using liposomal vitamin C (this is great for kids).
Arnica Montana ointment: Arnica ointment is a homeopathic cream that you can apply topically to sprained ankles, fractures, bruises, etc to help stimulate faster healing. I always have a tube of this on hand in case there is an emergency, especially when you have small children. If you would like a homeopathic first aid guide sharing appropriate remedies and potencies for a wide variety of common illnesses/ailments, check out my eBook!
Slippery elm: This is a cheap but very important supplement to have in your cupboard because its great for ALL digestive issues you may experience. If you have IBS flares, diarrhea, constipation, extreme bloating, ulcers, etc, you can take this acutely to help reduce GI inflammation. It works very quickly so is a great supplement to have ready for when/if you need it.
Echinasyr: This is a fantastic for kids during cold and flu season. Give them this delicious Echinacea syrup during the course of the illness to help their bodies fight off viruses and pathogens efficiently. I like to pair this with vitamin C for fast relief.
Activated charcoal: You knew I couldn’t go on without listing one of my favourite extremely versatile supplements ! Charcoal can be used for SO MANY things ranging from face masks to whitening teeth to detoxing from mold which is why I love having it on hand! I find we use it most often though for a quick colon detox if the kids get a stomach bug or if I accidentally consumed gluten or something inflammatory without my knowledge. I know parent use this for kids who consumed (snuck from the cupboard) too many multivitamins or supplements but always check with a doctor before using it for this purpose.
Gelatin: This is not technically a supplement but I’m listing it because it is very important for optimal health. For adults and children alike, gelatin is important to maintain a healthy intestinal lining as well as strong bone, teeth, joints, hair skin, etc. While we try to take this a few times a week, I find myself really turning to this supplement after a road trip, vacation, etc to help restore the health of our gut after a week or so of eating sugar and other not-so-great foods.
Oregano oil: This supplement will last you years since it is so potent! You only need a drop when necessary but even this tiny dose can be extremely effective. Because of its strength, please only use this with the guidance of a practitioner. This can be used if you develop ear aches, acute fungal infections, digestive issues, etc.
Magnesium: This is a supplement that should be consumed regularly in my opinion, however, it also has acute benefits. If you experience headaches, anxiety, muscle aches/tension, restless leg syndrome, difficulty falling asleep, etc, I like dosing up on some magnesium (specially right before bed) to help relax the muscles and body.
Quercetin: Quercetin is absolutely incredible for all its benefits. This supplement is especially important for seasonal allergies, acute skin flare ups, sinus issues and much more! If you find yourself sneezing, itching, coughing, tearing up… any symptom produce from too much histamine, you want to be taking this supplement alongside vitamin c for fast relief.
Melatonin: This is a supplement I use more than I wish I needed! I always find myself having anxiety (thinking too much) before bed which prevents me from falling asleep and staying asleep. I like to take a couple milligrams of melatonin on certain nights to help me have restful sleep. This is great to take for jet lag also (pair with magnesium for extra benefits).
Astragalus: Every one of us experiences some degree of stress on a daily basis, some more than others. Stress has massive negative impacts on our health and making sure you’re supporting your body’s ability to react properly to stress is important. I like taking adaptogens to help reduce the stress chemistry in the body (inflammation produced by stress). Ashwagandha, holy basil, medicinal mushrooms, ginseng and Astragalus are all great adaptogens to consider. I like Astragalus in particular for its benefits for the immune system however all adaptogens can be beneficial.
Herbal Teas: Again, this isn’t a supplement but having a variety of herbal tea on hand can help support you and your family during times of illness at a very affordable price. I suggest having peppermint for digestive disturbances, green tea for natural energy, dandelion for digestion and detoxification, ginger for nausea and indigestion, chamomile for anxiety and inability to sleep, and lemon for skin health!
While this is not an all-inclusive list, if you’re just starting off on building up your supplement cabinet, this is definitely a good starting point and can help you with a range of conditions that may pop up throughout the year.