I have never liked taking medication. You don’t know what’s in them or what the long term effects are, and for me personally, I’m very sensitive to regular, western, medications and usually end up with most of the possible side effects listed, and then some.
Sure, there are times when you absolutely need antibiotics or other drugs, I’m not saying that western medicine is useless, but I really wish doctors would try natural alternatives first whenever possible, or at least mention the possibility to you so you can make an informed decision about how to treat an illness.
Since they don’t do that, I have experimented with natural remedies on my own, and through trial and error over the years, have found many alternative options that work great for me.
These are my top 9:
Sambucus (Black Elderberry)
We call this the magic potion, and it really is. Black Elderberry is a natural antioxidant, antiviral and immune booster, and many clinical studies show that taking it daily can prevent colds and flu, or if you’re already sick, shorten the duration by several days. A recent study also showed that it is 68.37% effective against the H1N1 (swine flu) virus.
My husband started taking it about a year ago, and he would come home with the beginning of a cold, drink lots of Sambucus and be fine. I was allergic to it at the time, so I couldn’t take it, and would end up getting all these horrible colds. Thankfully, I got rid of my allergy through NAET so now I take it too, and so far, I have not been sick once this season. We’ve tried a few different kinds, but we like Nature’s Way Sambucus the best. You mix 2 teaspoons with water, and it tastes like a juice drink, but not overly sweet. We get ours at drugstore.com – they’re $10 less/bottle there compared to Whole Foods. And you get free shipping. And sometimes they are on sale.
Another great cold and flu fighter is Gallium, a liquid homeopathic remedy from Heel BHI that my husband’s acupuncturist turned us on to. When I feel like I’m coming down with something, I usually take this in addition to Sambucus to be on the safe side. You just take 10 drops under your tongue 3 times/day until you feel better. We buy ours at iHerb.com, and if you put in the code COY619 at checkout, you get $5 off your order.
Valerian is a fantastic natural sleep aid. Whenever my brain is spinning at 7200 rpm and I just can’t seem to turn my mental to-do list off, I take Valerian before going to bed and always end up sleeping soundly through the night. It also makes me grind my teeth less. Again, we order ours from iHerb, and entering the code COY619 at checkout gives you $5 off.
We use this both in pill and gel form from Boiron. Great for sprains, strains and sore muscles. Whenever I have lower back pain, I take the pills and put the arnica gel on my back and it’s almost instant relief. When our dog sprained a toe, her vet suggested we put some arnica pills in her water, and she was better within a few days. We get ours from drugstore.com
NOTE: Don’t buy the Arnicare Arnica Cream – it has several “bad” ingredients, including two types of parabens. Weleda’s version has all good ingredients, but we haven’t tried it because it has peanut oil and we’re both allergic to that.
ALSO: Check with your Dr. before using this. My Mother-in-Law said it’s not good for people with high blood pressure.
Traumeel, by Heel BHI, is also for sprains and strains and come in both tablet and ointment form. It has a mix of ingredients (including Arnica) and sometimes works even better than Arnica. I’ve only tried it a couple of times, and it worked great, but I’m allergic to something in it and get a migraine every time I use it. It’s on my NAET treatment list, but we haven’t gotten to it yet. We buy ours at drugstore.com
We keep bottles of this 5-flower essence blend from Dr. Bach everywhere – in the house, in my purse, in our cars. It’s great for settling your nerves and just calming you down in general when you (or your pet) is in a stressful situation, like going to the dentist (or vet), driving in Boston :-), funerals, anything that makes you stressed out and/or uneasy. I also use it in the water for my plants. I read that it’s great to give it to plants after they have been moved or fallen over, but since plants tend to not survive for very long in my care, I use it all the time (and I have several plants that have survived for years now!). Again, we get it at drugstore.com
Not as fast acting as Rescue Remedy, but a great natural treatment for depression, PMS, and irritability. You need to take it for a few days to really notice the effects, but once it kicks in, it really works. iHerb.com (enter COY619 at checkout for $5 off).
A few years ago, I suspected I had systemic Candida (Candida Albicans). So many of the symptoms described were there, and when I did the “saliva in water” test*, it came out positive. (To learn more, read my post about Candida Albicans.) After doing a bunch of research, I discovered Threelac, a probiotic powder you mix with water.
I started taking it and went through a 2-week detox of sorts, where I had flu like symptoms and was achy all over. But once I was through that phase, I felt great, I had so much energy, was focused and alert, my acid reflex was gone, and my whole body felt lighter (I don’t know how else to describe it). I’ve been taking it ever since, now I’m back down to 1 package/day (you work your way up to several packets/day while battling the Candida but can then cut back to a maintenance dose) and if I for some reason don’t take it for a few days, I notice the difference.
If you have issues with chronic yeast infections, definitely give this a try. It has made a world of difference for me.
Another probiotic. I have tried several other kinds, but they have either been difficult to swallow (I have a hard time swallowing capsules) or they make my stomach very upset (Pearls really did a number on me). This one, however, comes in tiny pills and make me feel great. They calm my stomach down and I have never had any stomach upset when taking them. When I take both these and Threelac daily, my stomach feels great.
Threelac and Flora Five are distributed by a company called Global Health Trax and I get mine straight from them.
Remember to always check with your doctor before taking a new medication, regardless of whether it’s natural or not.