Alternative Medicine Today: Is It Time to Recognize This Overlooked Treatment Option?

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By Erin Talbot

doctorAlternative medicine used to be laughed out of the doctor’s office. But, anymore, even medical doctors are realizing the powerful effect of natural remedies. Here are a few reasons why people turn to them, and how they complement traditional medicine.

It Works

Who can argue with a treatment that works? If you have a toothache, and you use oregano oil on it, and you get better (assuming that nothing else about your diet or lifestyle changed), then it boils down to two things: natural spontaneous remission or the oil.

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy dental insurance. It just means that natural remedies may be able to augment or complement traditional medicine, which could lower the cost of treatment for certain illnesses or conditions.

And, if they didn’t work, we wouldn’t have used them for thousands of years. Pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t be studying plants and extracting compounds from them to make their patented drugs. It’s true that some drugs are more powerful than their natural counterparts. But it’s also true that people used them with great efficacy before the drug companies patented them.

For example, red yeast rice contains the active ingredients in many statin drugs. Willow tree bark contains the active ingredient in aspirin. Ginger is another example. It has been shown to have anti-cancer properties, as well as anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to regulate blood sugar. Mullein can kill worms in the body, may kill TB and pneumonia, e.coli, and some other bacteria.

Lavender may promote relaxation and sleep. It can also be used as a mild pain reliever.

As more and more research comes out on this stuff, one thing is clear: there is evidence that it works.

They’re Safe

The majority of the herbs you can buy in the store are safe. They have few, if any, side effects. And, the side effects they do have are mild. They can be used by almost anyone, even pregnant and nursing women. A therapeutic dose is generally not considered dangerous, and they’re not addicting.

The safest herbs include ginger, garlic, turmeric, lavender, nettles, mullein, raspberry leaf, oat straw, skullcap, peppermint, spearmint, arnica, goldenseal root, Oregon grape root, marshmallow root, wild cherry bark, and catnip.

Some are more powerful, like ashwagandha, saw palmetto, passion flower, yarrow, blue cohosh, poke root, and a few others.

They Tend To Be Affordable

Herbs tend to be more affordable than patented drugs. That’s because there is no patent standing behind them, and no drug company recovering research money that had to go into development, and marketing, for the drug. They’re often less than $1 per oz, which prepared remedies costing up to $30 per small bottle.

They’re Ubiquitous

You can find most of the common herbs almost everywhere and anywhere. Ginger, lemon, baking soda, and epsom salts can be found in nearly every grocery or drug store. And, these things can help you relax, calm a nervous stomach, take away nausea (ginger), and help put you to sleep (epsom salts).

They’re Very Versatile

Some herbs have multiple uses. This makes them very customizable and versatile. Ginger, for example, can be used for colds and flu, inflammatory conditions, upset stomachs, and more. Lavender can be used on burns, to help relax, for headaches, and more.

You Can Prepare These Things At Home

This is a big one. You cannot make drugs in your kitchen. OK, you could, but you will probably get a visit from the FDA or some other federal agency. If you’re a DIY’er, you’ll love the fact that you can juice a ginger root, and prepare an effective treatment for a cold or upset stomach.

They’re Natural

When you make your own remedies, you are the one controlling the ingredients. There aren’t any preservatives, no unnatural ingredients you can’t pronounce, and you know exactly what goes into the mixture. If you use something like glycerine to suspend oils or liquids, you can use your own, which can be made with palm or coconut oil instead of soy (which is used in commercial preparations).

It’s Easy

You don’t need a degree to prepare a lot of this stuff. Home remedies often only have a few ingredients, and the preparation methods are simple: grinding, juicing, blending, soaking, and steeping.

In many cases, you’re making a tea or tincture of the herb or root, and then using that in your remedy. Even stuff that takes longer to make only takes longer because it takes time to sit and steep in something.

– Erin Talbot is a financial advisor who is also a spiritual woman who lives a green lifestyle as much as possible. She loves sharing her insights and experiences on the web. If you’re seeking dental treatment, visit Guardian Life to view their plans.