Natural remedies for illness and problems are milder, less expensive, and easier on the environment. Here are five reasons why you should try them first before turning to harsher pharmaceutical treatments.
“So what meds are you taking?”
The nurse had her fingers on the keyboard, ready to list all of my medications before I checked into the hospital for surgery.
“What I mean is, what are you taking for diabetes, high blood pressure, anything like that?’ There was a long pause as she stared at me and I just shook my head. “You’re forty-three years old. Are you telling me that you don’t take any medication at all?”
“Well, I drink greens sometimes when I’m feeling tired. Does that count?”
We are a society of pill-poppers, and most of us know it. From headaches to colds, insomnia to acne, we have medication and usually pills, for everything. We take medication to get to sleep and then we take other medication to wake up.
Maybe it’s time to take a step back and reconsider all of these chemical medications that we’re putting into our bodies.
“I have arthritis. I need the pain gone.” Yes, you do. But did you know that there are many, many natural treatments for arthritis? Some are pretty kooky, to be fair. But millions of people swear by copper bracelets, while others regularly drink water out of copper cups. Hey, does it hurt to switch out your (brain-damaging) aluminum baking dishes for some lovely (arthritis-easing) copper ones!
So let’s look at 5 reasons why you should be looking to natural remedies FIRST before popping yet another pill.
5 Great Reasons to Seek Out Natural Remedies
You’re in charge!
It’s your body and often you’re the best doctor you could have.
You can certainly go to your doctor and receive a prescription for medication that reduces your cholesterol. Do you understand what you’re taking, though, what it’s doing to your body, and what possible side effects you might face? Oh, of course, you could sit down with your pharmacist and get an explanation, but even then, you probably don’t really know what is in your medication.
Years ago, my doctor gave me medication for depression.
It made me hyperactive.
He gave me another pill to deal with the hyperactivity. That slowed me down but I couldn’t sleep.
Then he added another pill to the mix to help me sleep.
And all of this without an MRI to find out that the cause of all my problems was a large tumour in the back of my brain.
The doctor didn’t really understand the conflicting and stacking side effects of that cocktail of medications on my body, did he?
If your first step for a problem like cholesterol is to look at natural remedies, you’ll change your diet and include more garlic and herbs known to reduce bad cholesterol and improve good cholesterol. If you move away from medications for depression, you’ll first see if herbal remedies, activity, and vitamins will do the job. Or you’ll try to figure out the source of the problem before treating it!
Treating pharmaceuticals as valuable but only after other treatments have proven ineffective means that you are being empowered to know your body and take control of your health.
Addiction and Dependence Are Less Likely
You probably won’t develop addiction or dependence.
Can’t sleep? There’s a pill for that.
The downside, though, is that they are notorious for being additive and causing drug dependence. So you start out by taking the pills to get through a stressful time when you need sleep but can’t relax. Eventually you realize that you can’t sleep at all unless you take the pills! You try to quit and you have to deal with withdrawal symptoms and insomnia. What’s worse – addiction to sleep-inducing drugs can cause liver damage.
The natural route for dealing with insomnia? Drink chamomile or other soothing teas, turn off devices an hour before bed, drink warm milk with honey, have a relaxing bath before bed … there are plenty of ways to calm your body and mind, and none of them cause addiction!
There are also plenty of natural cold treatments that help you feel better without meds.
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You’ll Save Money
Natural and homemade remedies are cheaper.
Have you priced pain medication lately?
Sometimes a hot compress or a warm bath is enough. For tooth ache, clove is incredibly effective. Sinus pain is relieved with saline nasal sprays or a Neti pot.
Natural pain medication may not always be the answer if you’re having a tooth extracted or have had surgery or other major issues, but there are plenty of times when it can work.
And a sock full of rice and microwaved to heat it up is much less expensive than a bottle of muscle relaxer!
They’re Easier on the Earth
These treatment options are eco-friendly.
It’s a sad truth that many of the medications and remedies you’ll find for sale have been tested on animals and contain ingredients that are actually toxic – not just for you but also for our environment.
Natural remedies use sustainable, healthy ingredients. The best part is that many of them are naturally sourced from materials you can replace by simply planting them – aloe vera, garlic, chamomile ….
Milder is better
Have you ever taken the wrong dosage of a prescription drug? How about taking a medication and finding out that it’s really, really bad for you? I learned years ago that codeine (and everything related to it) make me violently, physically ill – not a reaction you want when you’re already in pain.
Natural remedies usually (not always, mind you, but usually) work in a milder manner. Side effects are very rare, and no strong components or toxic chemicals means that you can feel confident in your safety.