With ever increasing numbers of people switching to a more healthy way of living, and not just where their food is concerned, it only seems natural that the public interest in alternative therapies and medicine is seeing an influx of interest.
From reflexology to homeopathy, there are a wide range of professional practitioners available to help you, whatever your ailment. If however, you just want to keep your general health in check, or top your medicine cupboard up with a few herbal alternatives, most health food shops will not only be able to provide the products but also offer helpful, friendly advice on what to buy to suit your requirements.
If you have decided to make the switch to herbal and plant based remedies instead of chemical alternatives, you may like to try the following selection of widely used remedies for the common ailments and complaints listed below.
Colds and flu
The best offense against cold and flu is having a strong immune system to begin with, but with ever busy lives, we all get run down sometimes and succumb to the dreaded cold. If this happens, echinacea is excellent for boosting the immune system and you should take a high dose at the first signs of the cold starting. Most products will advise the maximum dose, however up to 600mg 3 times a day for up to 4 days should help your body fight the cold off in no time.
Garlic tablets are also effective for boosting the immune system, as well as helping with coughs and catarrh. Garlic is usually taken as a capsule once a day. Another effective remedy for relieving sore throats and coughs is Thyme and Liquorice syrup. This can sometimes also contain echinacea, so bear this in mind if you are also taking echinacea tablets.
Spots or small cuts and grazes
Tea Tree oil is an excellent ally against spots. Just apply the oil neat to the site of an existing spot, or the tell tale sore spot of one just under the skin and it will dry out the oily skin and speed up the healing process. Because of its antiseptic and anti-fungal qualities, tea tree can also be applied to infected cuts and grazes, or to help clean the area to prevent infection occurring.
Distilled witch hazel is also effective for use on cuts and grazes as it is highly astringent and stops bleeding.
Muscle aches and pains
Tiger balm, which contains clove oil, camphor oil and menthol, among other ingredients, can provide warming, soothing relief for aching or painful muscles.
If your muscle pain is from a sprain or strain, comfrey ointment can be applied to help speed up tissue regeneration.
Diluted lavender oil can also help relax the muscles and relieve pains. Either massage the oil directly into the skin, or add a few drops to the bath and enjoy a relaxing soak.
Headaches can be frustrating at the best of times, and if they strike in the middle of the day, you have to do something about them. Tiger balm can be effective for soothing most headaches. Simply apply a little balm to the temples and replenish when the effects wear off.
Feverfew has been widely used to treat the effects of migraines, and some people also find this is effective at providing relief of other headaches too. Alternatively, you could try applying a little lavender oil (diluted in a vegetable base oil), again to the temples, to help relax and sooth the headache.
There are a number of remedies you can apply to help sooth sunburnt skin. Lavender oil diluted in a vegetable base oil can help, as can distilled witch hazel – particularly good due to its cooling effect to help take the heat out of the burn, and also chickweed cream.
Insect bites or stings
A number of remedies can be applied to insect bites and stings. Diluted lavender oil, chickweed cream and distilled witch hazel can all be used effectively to help sooth the pain and irritation caused by the bite or sting.
All of the above remedies are fairly easy to track down, and as you can see, a number of remedies can be used to effect with a number of different ailments.
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Of course, it goes without saying, if any problems persist, always seek the advice of a qualified medical practitioner. All information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. The Green Village does not accept responsibility if members act upon the information in this article.