The medicine cabinet is just as important as the food cupboard in our kitchen, and every home should have one. Over the years, we’ve found that these 25 items are a necessity for dealing with the various types of ailment and injuries we get from time to time.
1. Bandages (and Gauze Pads)
It is good to have a box of bandages in assorted sizes, and a box of gauze pads to dress cuts, scrapes, and burns. We also use gauze pads to cover an inflamed eye.
2. Mercurochrome and/or Gentian Violet
This is a topical antiseptic applied to minor wounds, burns, and scratches to prevent infection. Gentian Violet is also used to treat fungal infections such as thrush, ringworm and athlete’s foot.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide
We use hydrogen peroxide to wash away germs from cuts and scrapes before applying ointment. We also use it as a mouth rinse to relieve minor mouth irritations, and gum boils. Caution: I read that hydrogen peroxide should not be used to treat deep wounds, animal bites, or serious burns. Read this article on the uses and benefits of hydrogen peroxide.
4. Witch Hazel
My grandmother always had a bottle of Witch Hazel and that’s why we include it in our medicine cabinet. Witch Hazel is used to treat itchy skin, bruises, insect bites, and scrapes.
I read that Witch Hazel can be also be taken by mouth, although I’ve never tasted it. When taken internally, it is used for diarrhea, mucus colitis, vomiting blood, coughing up blood, tuberculosis, colds, fevers, tumors, and cancer.
5. Antibiotic ointment
We use Antibiotic ointment to treat and protect wounds, and minor burns.
6. Voltaren Gel or Bengay Ointment
These items are used to relieve muscular aches and joint pains. Caution: Voltaren Gel contains diclofenac which can increase the risk of fatal heart attack or stroke when used for a long period, or taken in high doses, or if you have heart disease. Diclofenac may also cause stomach or intestinal bleeding, which can be fatal. Persons with asthma should not use Voltaren Gel.
7. Rubbing Alcohol
We always use Rubbing alcohol to cool down a fever. However, I read that we should be careful when applying rubbing alcohol to the skin, as it can be toxic if used over large parts of the body.
Although it can have a cooling effect when left to evaporate off the skin, Rubbing alcohol has a warming effect when it is rubbed in. It can also be poisonous if inhaled, and should only be used in well ventilated areas.