If you find yourself heading to the medicine cabinet for every minor discomfort, consider the benefits of natural alternatives instead. Not only can they be more cost effective, but natural supplements, oils, and herbs are actually good for your body, unlike common over-the-counter remedies that can cause damage with long-term use. Natural alternatives actually treat your symptoms, rather than mask them temporarily. Here are nine safe, effective, and natural ways to treat common complaints—some of which you may already have in your home!
• Stop ACID REFLUX with APPLE CIDER VINEGAR AND DIGESTIVE BITTERS You may have heard that apple cider vinegar does wonders for the occasional heartburn attack, but did you know you can increase its power by combining it with digestive bitters? Simply mix a tablespoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar (such as Bragg Organic) with a few drops of digestive bitters in a glass of water and drink up. If acid reflux is more of a chronic issue for you, be sure to cut out triggering foods like tomatoes (and other night shades), hot spices, and wine from your diet to see if you find relief.
• Break up CONGESTION with EUCALYPTUS OIL Decongestants like Sudafed can clear your sinus passages for a few hours, but they can also leave you feeling speedy and even lead to rebound congestion. For effective, natural relief from a stuffy nose, try eucalyptus essential oil—either a few drops in a diffuser, on a tissue (held near your nose, but not directly on the skin), or at bedtime, on your pillow, to help you breathe easier.
• End CONSTIPATION with MAGNESIUM CITRATE Constipation is a common problem, but the over-the-counter remedies can sometimes push things along a little faster (and more forcefully) than desired. The next time you feel backed up, a magnesium citrate supplement can provide quick but gentle results. Approximately 200 to 400 milligrams, in either tablet form or as powder mixed in water can help pull water into your intestines and relax them, getting things moving again. Always be sure to get enough water, dietary fiber, exercise, and sleep, as these are all important factors in keeping your digestive system operating smoothly.
• Treat an EARACHE with GARLIC MULLEIN OIL For a mild ear infection, natural garlic can be just as effective as antibiotics—without the side effects (like resistance) that come with antibiotic overuse. Garlic is naturally antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral, so it packs a real punch when it comes to treating earaches. Just a few drops in each ear will decrease swelling and can provide relief in as quickly as a few hours, and they’re just as safe for children as they are for adults.
• Soothe a HEADACHE with MAGNESIUM GLYCINATE Over-the-counter pain relief can be particularly hard on the body when overused, so consider swapping out NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like aspirin or ibuprofen, or acetaminophen (Tylenol), for a magnesium glycinate supplement. Many of us are magnesium deficient, so a regular supplement can be an effective solution for chronic headaches and migraines, without the risks of kidney, liver, heart, and intestinal damage damage, GI issues and high blood pressure that can be brought on by too many NSAIDS or acetaminophen overuse.
• Relieve INSOMNIA with LAVENDER OIL Can’t sleep? Skip the sleep-aids that leave you feeling groggy and try a little lavender essential oil instead. Research shows that lavender not only induces sleep, but helps you sleep more deeply. Try a few drops in a bedside diffuser, on your pillow, or in a relaxing bedtime bath blend (essential oils need a carrier oil to diffuse in bathwater, so a blend like Aura Cacia’s Relaxing Lavender Body Oil blend is an easy solution).
• Soothe JOINT PAIN with CURCUMIN Turmeric gets all the glory as a superfood, but it’s really curcumin, the phytochemical that makes turmeric yellow, that is the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial superstar. Curcumin is just as effective on joint pain as ibuprofen without increasing your risk of heart disease or leaky gut. While enjoying a little turmeric in your cuisine isn’t likely to provide much of a benefit (beyond being yummy), a 500-milligram supplement twice a day just may.
• Stop NAUSEA with GINGER Feeling green? Motion and morning sickness can be tempered with a little fresh ginger, a natural digestive aid. For occasional upset stomach, try grating it into a smoothie or drinking ginger tea. If you’re prone to motion sickness while traveling, ginger tablets can provide quick and portable relief.
• Relieve SORE MUSCLES with ARNICA GEL or an EPSOM SALT BATH When it comes to body aches, skip the damaging side effects of NSAIDS or the dangers of opioids and try topical arnica gel or an Epsom salt bath instead. In addition to stretching and keeping hydrated, both are great ways to manage chronic and occasional body pain such as achy muscles, sprains, arthritis, and swelling. Epsom salt has the added benefit of containing magnesium (that versatile mineral) that can help keep you regular and headache free.
If you are a frequent sufferer from any of these ailments, contact me. I can provide you with the information and highest quality supplements available. Together, we can work on a nutritional plan that will help give you the support you need to feel your very best!