Holistic Health Remedy Guide
Brought to you by Texas Back Institute and Texas Health Spine & Orthopedic Center
Want holistic, natural and/or organic healing? Let me let you in on a little secret: The answers may be as close as your kitchen! Surgery is not always the answer, sometimes it’s…plants! That’s right! There are several natural, organic ways to stop the pain and start living life through herbs and other natural means!
Help the body naturally heal itself with holistic medicine and diet!
According to NaturalHealthMag.com, there are a host of at-home remedies that will cure everything from bad breath to bug bites:
Fight bad breath! No other natural remedy freshens bad breath as well as parsley. This herbal food garnish is rich in chlorophyll, a green plant compound that kills the bacteria that cause bad odor. Nibble on a sprig after eating raw onions or garlic or whenever your breath smells sour.
- Get rid of blemishes! To clear zits quickly, keep a small sealed jar of this natural topical remedy on hand (it keeps for a few months): Combine 2 tablespoons of green clay, 1 tablespoon of goldenseal powder (Hydratis canadensis), 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), and enough water to form a paste. Apply the paste to your blemish at bedtime and leave it on all night. The clay dries up pore-clogging oil, and the goldenseal and tea tree oil kill the bacteria that cause infection.
- Cure those blisters! Don’t pop your blister, no matter how tempting it is. Doing so increases the chance of infection. Instead, dab a cotton ball dipped in plain old drugstore witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) on the area at least four times a day. Witch hazel contains astringent tannins that dry up the fluid-filled skin and relieve pain by increasing circulation. It also contains alcohol, which is drying.
- Eliminate body odor! If your body odor persists despite good hygiene, your problem may be clogged pores. When your skin can’t properly eliminate body wastes, bad body odor can result. Gently dry-brushing your skin just before every shower exfoliates the dead skin that traps those odor-causing wastes. You’ll find body brushes in most drugstores. If you brush with long, gentle strokes moving toward your heart, you’ll also improve circulation, which will help your body detoxify more efficiently. (This won’t eliminate your need for deodorant, but you may be able to use less of it.)
- Reduce bruising! Experts say the popular muscle soreness remedy Arnica is also your best bet for minimizing bruises and healing them fast. As soon as you bump your knee or other body part or notice a swelling or discoloration, gently rub a dollop of this homeopathic cream on it. Arnica shrinks inflammation and increases circulation to flush away the stagnant blood that turns your skin black and blue.
- Heal those burns! You may know lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia) best for its soothing scent, but you can also use it to take the sting out of a first-degree burn (the kind you might get by touching a hot pan). Not only does this oil speed the healing process and prevent scarring, Bongiovanni says, but it also fights bacteria on vulnerable new skin. Gently clean the burn with soap and water first. Then combine one part pure lavender essential oil and three parts carrier oil, like almond or olive oil, and apply the mixture liberally to the burn at least three times a day, leaving the wound uncovered.
- Get rid of dandruff! To clear up dandruff you need to counter the cause of the problem: your scalp’s acidic pH level. To restore your scalp’s natural alkaline pH level, first wash and condition your hair. Then, while still in the shower or bath, pour a cup of apple cider vinegar on your head and rinse with water.
- Stop the itching! Relieve the itch from bug bites with an onion. The sulfur in onions neutralizes the chemicals that cause the itch. Simply slice a yellow onion in half and rub one of the cut sides on the bite. The itching should stop immediately. Refrigerate the onion in a sealed container to use again if the itching resumes. Make a fresh slice before reapplying it.
Assist the healing process with green tea!
According to UMM.edu, green tea is made from unfermented leaves and reportedly contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. Antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals – damaging compounds in the body that change cells, damage DNA, and even cause cell death. Many scientists believe that free radicals contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of health problems, including cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants such as polyphenols in green tea can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.
In traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, practitioners used green tea as a stimulant, a diuretic (to help rid the body of excess fluid), an astringent (to control bleeding and help heal wounds), and to improve heart health. Other traditional uses of green tea include treating gas, regulating body temperature and blood sugar, promoting digestion, and improving mental processes.
Green tea has been extensively studied in people, animals, and laboratory experiments. Results from these studies suggest that green tea may help treat the following health conditions:
- High cholesterol
- Cancer (bladder, breast, ovarian, colorectal, esophageal, lung, pancreatic, prostate, skin, stomach)
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS)
- Liver Disease
- Weight Loss
Additional Alternative Medicine and Complementary Health Options
Check out these alternative medicine techniques provided by Catie.ca:
Aromatherapy is a branch of herbal medicine that uses the medicinal properties found in the oils of various plants. The oils are extracted from the flowers, leaves, branches or roots. The oils can be breathed in directly, added to bathwater, or warmed to produce an aroma. Aromatherapy can enhance a guided visualization or a massage.
Affirmations and visualization (also called guided imagery)
Many people with HIV believe that having a positive attitude is an important part of survival and healing. An affirmation is a statement of something you want to happen, declared in the present tense. Some examples of positive affirmations are: “I am strong and healthy” or “I love myself.” Visualization or guided imagery is one way of developing positive thinking that is popular with people who have life-threatening illnesses. It involves imagining your body and your life as healthy and well. Usually, a group leader guides the process of the visualization with spoken instructions. Alternatively, you can use audiotapes or CDs that lead you through the visualization process.
Ayurvedic medicine is a medical system that comes from India and is more than 5,000 years old. It is the oldest recorded medical system. In Sanskrit, “ayur” means life and “veda” means knowledge or science, so Ayurveda means the science of life. Ayurvedic medicine uses natural healing methods like nutrition, herbs, exercise, massage, yoga and meditation to bring your body to a healthy state.
Homeopathy is a system of medicine that began in Europe about 200 years ago. It is based on the principle that “like cures like.” This means that your symptoms are treated with small doses of a medicine that would cause those symptoms if a full dose were given.
Stress and anxiety can negatively affect your immune function and health. Mind/body medicine is based on the idea that the health of the mind affects the health of the body. It covers a number of health practices that focus on reducing stress, creating a sense of wellness and fostering spiritual and emotional connectedness to one’s surroundings.
The word naturopathy comes from Greek and means “a natural way to relieve suffering.” Naturopathic practitioners, called naturopaths, see symptoms as your body’s attempt to restore balance. They use a holistic approach to healing that can include herbal medicine, nutrition, supplements, homeopathy, Traditional Chinese medicine, chiropractic (spinal manipulation), massage and counseling.