With spring in the air, there is a sense of opening things up and getting around to spring cleaning. I hope you have been able to do a little cleaning and clearing of your space this month.
Trust me, the thought of cleaning anything does not excite me, but I was looking for one of my favorite herbal products recently and spent too long trying to locate it.
Searching for one herbal remedy made me think my medicine cabinet needed a spring cleaning.
As an herbalist, I have herbs and plant remedies in almost every room of my house. Yes, confession time; I have products in my kitchen, bathroom, home office, travel bag, and garage!
I am sure by now you are wondering why I might have herbal products in the garage—I prepare seasonal supplement packets for my horse, so I even have herbs for that. It is almost comical that I have this many herbs and have difficulty locating the one I need. So, you can see why the idea of spring cleaning might enter the picture.
Do you have cabinets full of herbal products, supplements, and prescription medications?
Be honest with yourself here without judgment. We all do it. Someone suggests an herbal remedy that will be perfect for whatever problem we are dealing with, and we take it for some time, then it gets pushed to the back of the cabinet and forgotten.
If you are no longer taking some of these supplements, vitamins, or herbal products, do they need to occupy valuable space in your medicine cabinet?
How much do you know about your prescription medications—are you taking them as prescribed? Do you need to take it with or without food? Does the time of day make a difference?
Here is what I want you to do. Take everything out of your medicine cabinet, kitchen cabinet, or any other obscure place (like my garage) where you store your vitamins, supplements, herbal products, and prescription medications.
You might recognize this tactic if you have read Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, where she instructs the reader to bring out EVERY item in your home in a specified category, such as books. Once everything is in plain view, you must hold each one to see if it sparks joy.
I assure you that while I am asking you to bring ALL of your bottles and containers out into plain view, I am not expecting any of them to spark joy as you hold them, but you get the picture.
We need EVERYTHING on display to make serious decisions about what goes back into the cabinet.
Once ALL the items are on display, you can quickly view them and separate them into categories: Prescription medications, Herbal Remedies, Nutritional Supplements, and Vitamins.
To begin, look at each bottle for the expiration date. If it has expired, set it aside for disposal.
Next, on a sheet of paper, make five columns with the following headings:
Name of Medication, Herb, Supplement, or Vitamin
Why Do I take this product?
Who prescribed or recommended it?
Do I take it consistently as recommended?
How does this product benefit or enhance my health?
Once you have completed your table, look at the products you take regularly or responded yes in column #4. If you answered ‘no’ to taking something regularly, is it because you have side effects or do not feel it benefits your overall health?
**If you are taking prescription medications, please do not stop without discussing them with your healthcare provider.
This process can be a challenging but valuable exercise to see the overall picture of the products you are currently using or simply storing.
Remember, the FDA offers advice and tips for properly disposing of used medications or supplements.
Drop me comment and let me know how this process is going for you or if you need assistance with your self-care routine.