In all our efforts to move to more sustainable living, growing our own food and going green with energy, why wouldn’t we also try to kick our bad habit with modern medicine? Recent studies have shown that nearly seven out of ten U.S. citizens are taking prescription medicines each year, and of course, that doesn’t even begin to take into account all of the over-the-counter pills, powders, and syrups. It’s the wrong mentality.

While medical technology is without a doubt something we should all utilize when we need it, the right answer isn’t always a synthetically derived capsule. As we all know, the best medicine is prevention, but even when the inevitable cold or headache strikes, there are other avenues to be taken before turning to store-bought or doctor-prescribed “health” care.

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Nature can provide viable, effective treatments for any common ailment, and what’s more, is that they enable the body to pacify illnesses, engaging our highly capable human faculties as opposed to bypassing them. This means our overall health is improved rather than one symptom subdued with the price of several side effects and reliance on drugs instead of actual better wellbeing.

Herbal remedies are not hooey. They are common sense.

1. Headaches

How to Make Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar-Andy Roberts / Flickr

 

 

We all know the signs, the fingertips to the temples working in circles, trying to will it away. Headaches happen. Why? They are a form of inflammation, signaling to us that our bodies are struggling somehow: loud noise, a bump on the head, high blood pressure, too much alcohol or caffeine…

Basically, we first need to acknowledge the possible sources and address them to start taking preventative measures to avoid them. This includes eating less processed food and sugar, reducing caffeine and booze intake, and increasing our magnesium. There are lots of foods to help with this. However, to start working on the problem right away, go for this quick recipe:

2. Stomach Aches

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Another in the list of common aches that keep us from going to school or work, that slow us down enough to make living a struggle, stomachaches are miserable. But, they are sometimes a part of life, and one that we can deal with quickly and naturally, as opposed to turning to scarily pink solutions.

Again, stomach problems have causes and trying to pinpoint those causes and address them is where to start. There are lots of foods that will help to soothe cramps and digestions issues. But, for a more medicinal sounding response, there is always this:

3. Burns

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Some ailments have nothing to do with our dietary woes or lifestyle choices, but they are plain old accidents. Nevertheless, we’ve got to address them. We need relief, and that relief doesn’t necessarily have to come from a tube. Nature has equipped us very well with plants that have miraculous qualities. When it comes to burns, does anything really stack up against aloe vera? Just keep one as houseplant instead of buying medicine.

  • Topically apply the natural gel within the aloe leaf. It cools the burn, as well as has reparative clout for reducing inflammation and healing the skin. Plus, it basically comes in its own natural squeeze tube.

4. Cuts

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Once more, accidents sometimes happen, and unless the occasional cut is coming from juggling knives or sword fights, there is likely not a lot we can change to prevent them. So, we just have to do our best to deal with them when they happen, and that doesn’t have to be in the form of a chemical paste. Lots and lots and lots of natural plants have anti-bacterial and antiseptic attributes that will keep that slice for getting infected and becoming a real problem.

5. Rashes

Coconut-OilMeal Makeover Mom/Flickr

 

Since skin is our largest organ and also completely exposed to the elements, it’s no wonder so many common ailments — burns, cuts and now rashes — are skin-related. Rashes can come from all sorts of sources, both natural and chemical. They can be itchy or simply unsightly. Luckily, they are also perfectly treatable.

Many chemical medicines can truly help with the symptoms of rashes but, with toxic ingredients that have negative effects on the rest of the body, to what end. Plenty of natural remedies are out there for whatever kind of rash has ailed us, so why not just go the safe, effective route?

  • Coconut and tea tree oil are both potent anti-fungal agents that will conquer many rash and all the while provide respite from stinging and/or itchiness.

6. Cold and Flu

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One need only see the range of products and their varying strengths to understand the modern medical discord with colds and flus.

Luckily, there are a lot of things that can be done/eaten in order to ward off colds and flus, most of which match perfectly with the seasonal produce in the autumn and winter. However, when the winter out wiles us, all hope is not lost, and we can most certainly turn to the garden rather than the science lab.

  • Drink green tea all the livelong day to boost the immune system, and combine it with some lemon, ginger, cayenne and stevia for an oddly tasty and strong elixir.

There is certainly a time and place for medical technology, but perhaps it’s not always the first road we should take. In fact, nature can handle many of the bumps and bruises that can complicate life, often for much less money and with fewer negative consequences.

Lead image source: Meal Makeover Mom/Flickr