By Samantha Bove
If you find yourself popping pills to cure anything from a sneeze, headache to an upset stomach, it is likely that your medicine cabinet (and spice rack) are in need of a serious renovation.
Over-prescribed antibiotics can lead to countless side effects, including often killing beneficial bacteria inside your intestines, while also suppressing your immune system. Over the counter medications such Tylenol (acetaminophen) are also associated with permanent health threats when taken over long periods of time, in excess, or paired with alcohol. Tylenol abuse is also a leading cause of acute liver failure.
What you might not hear about are the thousands of natural remedies that have been proven for centuries to treat various illnesses.
Lucky for us, the world of integrative and holistic medicine is making a serious comeback and I’m here to share the seven must-have, all natural essentials to fight off any illness; no prescription necessary.
While it is wise to speak to a physician to ensure supplements do not interfere with the success of other drugs, incorporating these into your every-day diet will prove most beneficial in eliminating recurring ailments. Our ancestors did it for centuries and now you can reap the healing powers; naturally.
- Flaxseeds: Since inflammation is often the sole cause of headaches, flaxseed’s abundance of anti-inflammatory omega 3’s are perfect for alleviating pain. These magical seeds are not only easy to incorporate into your smoothies, but when consumed daily, they are also shown to reduce cholesterol by up to 11%. And as an added bonus, they can potentially prevent skin cancer! A study conducted on mice diagnosed with melanoma showed up to a 63% decrease in size and spread of the tumors in the mice who had flaxseeds incorporated into their diet compared to the mice who did not.
- Peppermint oil: Peppermint oil is ideal for clearing up congestion, relieving headaches and curving nausea. To alleviate cold symptoms, simply place boiling water into a bowl with a few drops of peppermint oil, place a towel over your head and allow the steam to work its way into your airways. For headaches and nausea relief, you can place 1-2 drops directly onto your temples, or behind your ears and neck; make sure to be careful around your eyes.
- Magnesium: People who experience migraines often show an overall magnesium deficiency and especially low levels in the brain when a migraine attack occurs. One study in which 30 people experiencing migraines were given magnesium, 13 out of 15 reported their pain disappearing within the first 30 minutes, compared to only 1 out of 15 who reported an alleviation of pain, in the group that received the placebo pill. And if you need an excuse to eat more sweets, dark chocolate serves a great source of magnesium.
- Ginger: If you have ever experienced stomach pain or a nasty hangover, Ginger ale was likely the go-to solution. Instead of reaching for the soda, why not get to the root of the problem, literally. Ginger root is proven to settle your stomach pain by reducing inflammation thanks to tiny compounds called gingerols; which also work in relieving headaches and nausea. It is best to buy the ginger root at your local grocery store, skin the outside, dice it up and simply add it to boiling water, then top with honey or lemon and enjoy. This tea provides the quickest stomach relief without the high fructose corn syrup and unnecessary carbohydrates that store-bought Ginger ale is often loaded with. And if you really love the taste, try a powder form to incorporate into meals to potentially lessen your risk diabetes. more benefits. The Tehran University of Medical Sciences showed when participants with type 2 diabetes consumed 2 grams of ginger per day, they showed a 12% decrease in their fasting blood sugar.
- Melatonin: As an alternative to prescribed sleeping pills, which are often accompanied by scary side effects, melatonin is considered a safe and effective natural hormone that studies prove successful in limiting the number of hours it takes to dose off. Margaret Romero, board certified nurse practitioner suggests taking 5-10 Miligrams at night.
- Turmeric: AKA the God of all spices.Turmeric has been used in Asian medicine for centuries because of its powerful anti-inflammatory which can help to alleviate chronic joint pain and arthritis. It has also been linked to lowering blood cholesterol levels and even fighting cancer cells. If you are not fond of this powerful orange spice you’re in luck because it is sold in capsule form.
- Butterbur: If you suffer from seasonal allergies, this is a must-have product. Butterbur is a member of the sunflower family and possesses muscle-relaxant and anti-inflammatory properties. When compared to Cetirizine, an Antihistamine and the active ingredient in products like Zyrtec, butterbur showed similar results in helping to alleviate symptoms that accompany seasonal allergies like congestion and headaches. Make sure your butterbur product is free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA’s) which is chemical that may damage the lungs and liver.