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Natural And Herbal Remedies

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 21 Oct 2010 | comments*Discuss
Natural And Herbal Remedies

A medicine cabinet will ideally hold the best of both worlds and will include natural remedies and drug based treatments. Natural remedies often have fewer side effects and can be a pleasant alternative to conventional medicine. Most pharmacies stock a range of natural remedies which tend to include plant-based ingredients. This guide here is not exhaustive by any means, so do ask your pharmacist for additional suggestions.

Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is an excellent natural remedy for treating burns and soothing skin ailments. You can find aloe vera based gels over-the-counter and these can also facilitate superficial wound healing. Other people may want to keep an aloe vera plant on their kitchen windowsill. When a cut or burn occurs, you can snip off a piece and squeeze the gel from the centre of the leaf onto your skin.

Chamomile, Ginger and Peppermint
These three herbal remedies are helpful for dealing with digestive difficulties. Ginger in particular is wonderful for easing nausea while chamomile can soothe an upset tummy. Peppermint is useful for indigestion. Try a cup of peppermint tea after dinner-it's a safe and effective way to calm your stomach.

Arnica Montana
Arnica works to treat bruises, reduce pain and help with inflammation. Most arnica preparations are in ointment or cream form; you simply rub the cream into the affected area and you should feel benefits within days.

Zinc Lozenges
Several studies have suggested that zinc is a helpful mineral for reducing the intensity and duration of the common cold. Most lozenges also have vitamin C and may be flavoured with honey or lemon. They often provide immediate soothing relief due to their supportive ingredients and the zinc itself may help to improve your symptoms over the course of the cold. Be careful not to go over the recommended amount, as this can result in nausea. It's also a good idea to take lozenges with food whenever possible.

St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort has received a lot of media attention and the studies can be conflicting. It is not considered effective for major depression but it has, however, shown to be beneficial for treating milder forms of depression. It's a relatively safe alternative to antidepressant therapy and worth considering if your depression is mild. Caution should be taken, however, if you are going to be in direct sunlight because it can increase sun sensitivity. Ensure that you wear a sunscreen that provides adequate protection.

Valerian Root
Valerian is a herbal remedy which is thought can help with insomnia. It is non-habit forming and also has a very calming effect. It can be purchased in tinctures or capsules and may take a few weeks to show effects. Many people experience relief from insomnia with valerian root and find there is no lingering drowsy effect the next morning.

Don't forget that natural remedies does not equal safe. Herbal remedies can still have side effects and interactions with other medications as well as foods or medical conditions you may have. You must still read the label carefully and take the remedy exactly as directed. Fortunately, you at least have the option to choose from natural and drug treatments. This will provide you with an effective and broad range of medications to deal with your discomfort.

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