Sunday, September 25, 2011

Natural Cures

Many Americans are relying more on home remedies or OTC drugs to save money on doctors’ visits, according to a Kaiser Health Tracking poll. While you should always see the doctor for serious ailments, you may be able to soothe minor complaints with these inexpensive products many of which you may already have at home.

Stress and Relaxation
Stress has been known to lead to all sorts of health problems. Drinking chamomile tea, lemon balm tea or a glass of warm milk will help you relax and unwind after a long stressful day.  Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, which can bring on relaxation.

Stomach Problems
Is lunch or dinner making you feel bloated and gassy?  Steep some crushed fennel seeds in boiling water and drink the tea.  Fennel is a natural anti-gas and will help you feel better quickly.  If you have stomach cramps as well steep them along with a bag of peppermint tea since peppermint is a natural antispasmodic.  Chewing fennel seeds after meals is a remedy for acid reflux.  Another great stomach remedy is Ginger root.  It’s great for relieving just about any gastrointestinal illness, including motion sickness and pregnancy morning sickness. To make a tea, steep a tablespoon of ground fresh ginger in hot water for 10 minutes, then strain.  Diarrhea can be treated by eating dried blueberries.

Common Cold
Zinc and echinacea when taken at the onset of a cold can help minimize its duration and severity.  Chicken soup is a awesome way to fight  your cold.  This is not just an old wives tale.  If you are congested the hot steam from the soup will help open your sinuses.  Most people make chicken soup with garlic and onion in it.  These are natural antibiotics and help your body fight off the cold.  The broth helps keep you hydrated and the vegetables give your body sorely needed nutrients since your appetite is probably fairly low when sick.  You can also fight the common cold with Elderberry Syrup (sold in health food stores by its Latin name Sambucus).  Elderberry is high in anti-viral properties and is  used in many countries to fight flu.  After our family started taking it daily over the winter months we discovered that we had not needed to see the family doctors as often as we had before!  

Urinary Tract Infections
Prevent Urinary Tract infections by drinking cranberry juice and eating yogurt on a regular basis.  Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice during a UTI helps keep bacteria from adhering to the bladder walls.  Increasing fluid intake and using the bathroom regularly to empty your bladder will help flush the bacteria from your system.

Chronic Joint Pain
Do you suffer from pain from  such conditions as psoriasis, fibromyalgia, shingles, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis?   Cayenne contains a substance known as capsaicin. Capsaicin has pain-relieving characteristics that works temporarily by effecting the nerves that are responsible for transmitting pain. When applied topically in a cream, capsaicin can be helpful in relieving pain. 

Chapped Lips
Do you often get chapped lips?  You could be dehydrated.  Dehydration is the main cause of dry or chapped lips, it is recommended to drink 8 glasses  of water daily. Also, on dry winter days, try to use a humidifier in your home to keep the air moist.  Aloe Vera is an amazing treatment for chapped lips apply a small amount daily.   

Sprains and Bruises
Arnica (Arnica montana) has been used for medicinal purposes since the 1500s.  Applied to the skin as a cream, ointment, liniment, salve, or tincture (available in many health food stores), arnica has been used to soothe muscle aches, reduce inflammation, and heal wounds. It is commonly used for injuries such as sprains and bruises.  It should however, not be used in instances where the skin has been broken.  

These alternative medicine (herbal home remedies) should only be tried for a short period of time. If you find that there is no relief from symptoms, please see your doctor to determine if additional treatment is needed. The alternative medicines can in most cases still be taken as complementary adjuvant's, but with the consent of the specialist. 

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