If you belong to an Indian family, it is almost impossible that you have not tried to cure some of the common illnesses like cold, cough, fever etc. through home remedies which generally include organic remedies. Especially if you have grandparents at your home, they will always have a couple of solutions for every health problem you have. It has always fascinated me how these organic remedies are very effective almost all the time even though most of the people of their generation never even went to college where they can read and understand this stuff.
In the last decade, everything organic be it food or medicines has gained huge popularity because most organic remedies don’t have side effects. Even though most of these organic remedies take time to cure disease and need persistence but the cure is also more effective and long-lasting as compared to man-made medicines which generally provide instant relief compared to organic remedies.
What are organic remedies?
Organic remedies are plants which are used to help prevent or cure a disease. They use them to get relief from symptoms, boost energy, relax, lose weight etc. These are not generally tested as medicine but that surely does not make it less effective.
Natural does not always mean safe.
Before we jump into the detail about various organic remedies and when to use them, it is important to understand that organic does not always safe. People tend to think that there is no need for any precaution when curing oneself through organic remedies but that’s not the case my friend. Organic remedies when taken in excess or when it gets mixed with other substances can be harmful in various ways. Some of them even have side effects. Let’s take up some examples to make it sound more believable.
- Kava is a herb which is used for anxiety, insomnia, symptoms of menopause, and other ailments. Some studies show that it can work for anxiety. But at the same time, it can also cause severe liver damage.
- St. John’s Wort may be useful for mild to moderate depression. However, it can possibly interact with birth control pills, antidepressants, and other drugs which can be very harmful to the consumer. It may also cause side effects such as stomach upset and anxiety.
- Yohimbe is a bark used to cure erectile dysfunction. But the bark can also cause high blood pressure, increased heart rate, anxiety, and other side effects. It can interact with certain medicines for depression and taking it in high doses or for a long time can prove fatal.
How to choose organic remedies?
Although many organic remedies are fruitful for the consumer but one cannot neglect the downsides due to lesser rules and regulations. Here are some tips which can help you choose organic remedies –
- Look closely at the claims made by the seller of the product. How is the product described to you? Is it a “miracle” pill that “evaporates” fat? Will it work faster than what most doctors humanly possible? Is it a secret your health care provider and drug companies don’t want you to know because they want to earn? Such claims are red flags most of the time. If something’s too good to be true, it is most likely to be false especially when you feel that way about it.
- Remember “real-life stories” are not scientific proof because many products are promoted with real-life stories. Even if the quote comes from a provider, there’s no proof that other people will get the same results using that remedy or herbal medicine.
- Before trying a product, talk with your provider and ask for their opinion. Is safe to use that product? What are the chances it will work and are there any risks? Does it interact with any other medicine that you are currently using or any other treatment that you are going through? It is necessary to understand the details before one purchase or begins with any such remedies.
- Buy only from companies that have certification mentioned on the label, such as “USP Verified” or “ConsumerLab.com Approved Quality.” Companies with these certifications agree to test the purity and quality of their products and thus give more surety.
- Do not give herbal supplements to children or use them if you are older than age 65 years. Talk to your provider first because the remedy for the same disease may differ from age to age and person to person.
- Do not use herbals without talking to your provider if you are taking any medicines because they may interact with each other which can prove harmful
- Do not use them if you are having surgery.
- Let your provider know what herbals you use as they can affect the medicines you take as well any treatment you receive. If you change your medicines then ask your provider if you can still continue with the same organic remedies.
Organic remedies for Common Illnesses
Natural remedies for cough and sore throat
- Tea – Some teas with ingredients like licorice and slippery elm have throat-coating properties that can help to reduce irritation.
- Honey – It has throat-coating properties that can soothe sore throats and suppress coughs. You can directly consume through a spoon or stir it into tea.
- Echinacea* – It can reduce the duration of cold symptoms, particularly if used during the first day or two.
- Elderberry syrup* – It has antiviral properties that make it helpful for colds and influenza.
- Pelargonium* – This plant is used in some natural cold/cough remedies and it shortens the duration and severity of colds.
- *Don’t use all of the three together
Natural remedies for anxiety
- Set aside five minutes before starting your day for slow, deep breathing and think about what you are grateful for in your life. This can give a peaceful and loving start to your day.
- Choose calming music to listen to on your way to and from your work or school.
- Spend a few minutes after work to prepare yourself for the transition to home. Put to rest the unresolved issues at work and try to shift your focus to your family.
Digestive home remedies
- Ginger – It can helpful for upset stomach, nausea and motion sickness. It can be available as a tea (look for medicinal brands), or try candied ginger when you’re on the go.
- Probiotics – They are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system. They are available as supplements and in foods like yoghurt, miso paste, kombucha, kimchi and raw sauerkraut.