Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Drug-Less Medicine Cabinet Exposed

by Amelia Baker
Posted Thursday, January 21st, 2010 at 9:33 am on

On a not so far off branch under the green umbrella, you’ll find natural, holistic treatment.

Ever so timely, ‘tis the season for eternal runny noses and deep coughs, I thought I’d give an alternative approach to treatment. I’m one to self-medicate instead of going to the doctor so I’ll usually try just about anything.

Along with my tried and true natural remedies, homeopathic medicine has done me well this season. Homeopathy is the law of similars, which means that in order for the body to effectively treat and fight off disease, remedies must produce indicators that mimic the intended pallet of symptoms. Homeopathy can be easily defined as similar suffering. It’s been practiced for more than 200 years and founded by a German doctor, Samuel Hahnemann.

Without further ado, my drug-less medicine cabinet exposed.

The Neti Pot, oh how I love thee, protects and cleans the nasal cavity which is on the front line of whole body health. Used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic (of Indian root literally meaning ‘life related to knowledge/science’ intertwined with Hindu and Buddhist influences and practiced by many yogis) medicine, the Neti Pot system swooshes a salt rinse through one nostril into the sinus nook and out the other side for an amazingly clear head.

Oscillococcinum is another favorite that I keep around at all times. At the onset of a flu-like bug, take oscillo every 6 hours for a couple of days and you’ll kick some serious flu butt. The reason I am partial to oscillococcinum is because it doesn’t have any side effects or weird interactions with other medicines. It’s a homeopathic dose of little balls of milk sugar that you dissolve under your tongue.

Salt is always kept on hand in large quantities. Mixed with warm-hot water and gargled in the back of your throat, the mixture kills bacteria and germs destined to give you congestion filled, sleepless nights. If you think you’ve been contaminated, calendar some gargling in the morning and at night for a few days.

I have this knack for buying local honey every time I see it packaged in the cute little bear-shaped bottle which is silly because bears don’t even make honey, bees do. Anyway, honey is superb for suppressing coughs and soothing sore throats. The honey coats your itchy throat allowing it to heal and successfully smothering the annoying cough that keeps you up all night. Two spoonfuls at night before bed should do the trick. Or, mix into your tea or hot water throughout the day.

Winter Wonder Balm was an amazing companion for me through the holidays when I was wheezing, sniffling, and producing a raspy whisper of a voice. It’s an olive oil-based chest rub filled with goodies like tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, rosemary, and ginger. You can also use it as a steam inhalant for more immediate relief.

Essential Oils are considered intelligent chemistry because they are comprised of hundreds of molecules that fight and kill bacteria. The best part is that no two batches of oil are the same so the sickness bugs don’t form resistance to the oils. Some of the best cold and flu fighters are lemon for immunity (a few drops in water…not on the skin), cinnamon also for immunity can be inhaled, peppermint and eucalyptus for soothing repertory infections can be applied directly to the skin or inhaled, and ginger is great for chest congestion and can be rubbed on or diffused.

Natural treatments aren’t new; they’ve been around for centuries and then some. I have to note that I’m no doctor nor do I have any legitimate medical training. These are my at-home, natural recommendations that I’ve tried and can attest to. If you have a lengthy sickness, you may just need to go to the doctor.

What do you have in your medicine cabinet?

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