Natural Medicine Cabinet | Dr. Patti Kim

It seems virtually impossible that if you’re in search of a new, great naturopath in LA that Dr. Patti Kim’s name doesn’t come up; and rightfully so, as she is a true talent. Dually versed in Chinese Medicine as well as a Doctor of Natural Medicine, she has the perfect all-around tools to heal each individual, individually getting to the root of the problem rather than slapping a Western band-aid approach on the issue. A ceramicist mother and architect for a father, you’d feel certain that she’d have landed in the arts; however, her pre-med undergrad at Notre Dame inspired a whole new direction. Healing. And I’m ever so grateful it did. Here to help you stock the perfect home natural medicine cabinet is Dr. Patti Kim.   

The Natural Medicine Cabinet

Whether it's food poisoning at 2am or your dog getting skunked, it's Murphy's Law that things will pop up when we least expect them. This is why I have a natural deskunking kit all made up and ready to go because the last thing I want to do at 2am is run to a drugstore for baking soda and hydrogen peroxide (another topic for another day for all you dog lovers).  And when it comes to natural medicine, unfortunately for those of us living in the States, there are no 24 hour natural pharmacies we can run to (even if we were willing and wanted to), where we can pick up a homeopathic for food poisoning or herbs to ease that high fever.  So it's a great idea to be prepared and stock your own natural medicine cabinet.  The following items are a variety of natural medicines great for treating some common ailments:


Arnica | great for strains, sprains, muscle aches and bruising.

Nux vomica | good for any kind of toxicity due to overindulgence including eating and/or drinking too much | it's also great for hangovers!

Arsenicum | an essential for food poisoning especially with symptoms of...get ready...diarrhea AND vomiting.

Apis | this is a good one to carry around in your purse as it is effective for allergic reactions and can be helpful for bee stings.

Herbs for the immune system

Oregon Grape | almost like an herbal antibiotic, this is a great overall immune stimulator and is antiviral and antibacterial.

Elderberry | a fantastic antiviral and a terrific remedy for kids and pregnant women; studies showed it was as effective as Tamiflu when the H1N1 "swine" flu was going around.

Herbs for stress

Lavender, Passionflower, Lemonbalm | these are all great for calming the nervous system and can help with stress induced insomnia as well; drink one or all of the herbs in a tea or take as a liquid tincture to maximize effectiveness.


Activated charcoal | keep this handy in your medicine cabinet for anytime you eat anything questionable or feel the onset of food poisoning coming on; it will absorb toxins but don't be alarmed, as it will turn your poop BLACK!

Apple cider vinegar | a great overall remedy for too many ailments to list here but primarily, it is great for treating indigestion and reflux; take 1 tsp in 4-8oz water before meals or as needed.

Herbal Ed's Salve by Herb Pharm | this is a general all purpose salve with antibacterial and tissue healing herbs that I recommend to all my friends and patients for any sort of abrasion, small cuts, itching, and for rashes.

Castor oil | an ancient oil that used to be ingested for constipation or to induce labor but I recommend using it for castor oil packs over the belly and liver to balance digestion, detoxify and stimulate the immune system; it can also be massaged into joints for joint pains.

Wool socks + cotton socks | use these for "Warming Socks Hydrotherapy" for everything from headaches, a flu/cold, to poor circulation...

+ Make sure feet are not chilled by taking a bath/shower or just running them under warm water.

+ Wet the cotton socks under cold water and wring them out WELL then put the moist cotton socks on your warm feet. Yes, I just said put on moist socks. Trust me on this.

+ Put the DRY 100% wool socks over the moist cotton socks and go straight to bed. 

In the morning, the cotton socks will be dry.  Do this for a minimum of 3 nights.  It has the same effect of increasing circulation and pumping more blood through the lymphatic system as going back and forth between hot and cold tubs at a hot springs. 

Aloe vera plant | keep this easy to grow succulent in a pot in full sunlight and whenever you have a rash or an itchy bug bite, split open one of the leaves and rub some of the jelly directly on skin.

Vit C | an overall immune balancer, this is great to keep handy. When feeling under the weather, take to bowel tolerance to fully saturate your cells.  It's water soluble so your body will naturally get rid of whatever it doesn't absorb. 

During a trip to India with my best friend, I had the worst flu of my life and all I had with me were my cotton and wool socks and a bottle of Oregon Grape and it saved me!  Of course, consult your Integrative or Naturopathic Doctor for any medical issues but in a pinch at that 2am hour, for minor ailments, these can really come in handy! 

 Be well!!