Learn how to improve how you feel with natural health remedies. Jump right in, we’ve got everything you ought to know.
Brain, head, eyes
Brain: If you’re feeling more than just the Monday blues (But Tuesday blues, Wednesday blues and all blues all day), you’d be pleased to find that acupuncture, Chinese herbs, Tai Chi, and yoga are known depression-fighters; For fatigue with depression, try acetyl-L-carnitine (an amino acid derivative). Take 500 milligrams two or three times a day.
Head: Biofeedback, a relaxation technique that sends brain-wave info to the user via headphones and fingertip electrodes, can prevent migraines. Magnesium supplements or herbs such as butterbur or feverfew may also help headache sufferers.
Eyes: Keep your vision sharp with bilberries, which are packed with antioxidants—even more than their blueberry cousins. Billberries sound a little bit like what we’d read in an Enid Blyton book, but it’s time to take them more seriously now.
Sinuses, jaw, throat
Sinuses: Aromatherapy could help if you are prone to sinus infections. Think of all the oils that put you in a relaxed state, more specifically, oils from dill, bishop’s weed and cumin work as well, if not, better than antibiotics against 8 types of common bacterial infections. Plus a herbal combination called Kan Jang can make sinus infections and the common cold more tolerable and reduce recovery time! We can see you say “Wow!”
Jaw: Biofeedback paired with cognitive-behavioral-skills training (a mind-body type of therapy), can significantly reduce pain from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
Throat: Fight germs and kill bacteria with a tea tree–oil gargle (11⁄2 tablespoons of pure tea tree oil to 1 cup of water). Swish and spit. (Don’t swallow.)
Breasts: Flaxseed, which contains omega-3 fatty acids, reduces inflammation and tumor growth. Start with 1 tablespoon of ground organic golden flaxseed daily for a week, and work up to 4 tablespoons; drink lots of water to avoid constipation. Flaxseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, zinc, iron, vitamin E, and calcium, among other vitamins and minerals, and are low in saturated fat. They have a low smoke point, so they can’t really be used in cooking, but you can use them in baking, in cereals and in smoothies.
Tummy: Excuse you! Get rid of your burping and bloating with digestive-enzyme supplements that help your body process sugars, starches, proteins, and fats; they’re available in capsule form.
Mint (drink it in tea; leaves) long been considered a tummy soother, too. And enteric-coated peppermint-oil capsules (the enteric protects your tummy lining—never ingest essential oils in liquid form) may ease irritable bowel syndrome.
Pelvis, urinary tract, colon
Pelvis: That time of the month is here and your pesky cramps are making their timely visit. A hot water bottle and your favourite chocolate can help, but to relieve cramps naturally, try taking black cohosh, magnesium supplements, omega-3 fatty acids, or vitamins C, B, and B6—all of which are thought to ease pain; calendula oil (made from marigolds) applied topically may help, too. Castor oil packs placed on the abdomen may also decrease pain, reduce inflammation, and increase relaxation.
Urinary tract: Natural health tip! And it’s not an old wives’ tale: Cranberries, in juice or capsules, can keep bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall—and this can help fight urinary tract infections. The herb uva ursi (bearberry) might provide some relief, too; it contains a natural antibiotic that soothes irritation and reduces inflammation caused by bladder infections.
Colon: Research in natural health shows that hypnotherapy improves irritable bowel syndrome in most patients who try it. And probiotics (good, helpful bacteria) specifically Lactobacillus GG or Bacillus coagulans (we aren’t laughing if you can’t pronounce it) can help maintain healthy gastrointestinal flora and restore balance after a bout of traveler’s diarrhea. In two words – More Probiotics!
Back: Hours and hours of sitting and straining has put its toll on your back. Magnet therapy for low back pain has been recommended but it is controversial. For proven results, try acupuncture—relieving chronic low-back pain is one of the things it does best, research shows. In fact, recent trials in Germany showed it to be almost twice as effective for chronic low-back pain as conventional therapy. Meditation reduces pain, too.
Check your posture – ideally, we should be sitting upright with two feet flat on the floor.
Butt: Heat therapy reduces muscle spasms and increases blood flow. Moist heat—heat packs, a microwaved damp towel, or soaking in a hot tub—penetrates deeper than dry heat. But be warned: Heat increases swelling, so don’t use heat packs after an injury, and of course, check the temperature, don’t burn yourself!
Maybe Nicki Minaj’s famous tush uses one or two heat packs too.
Skin, hands, bones
Skin: One way to prevent or lessen wrinkles in the name of natural health is to build collagen, which becomes thinner as a woman’s hormone levels fall. Try natural progesterone cream (rubbed into the thin skin behind your knees or on your chest), foods rich in phytoestrogens (soy), and antioxidant supplements (vitamins C and E; glutathione; and pine bark or grape seed extracts).
Bones: Vitamin D has emerged as a potent way to strengthen bones, as research has shown that calcium is virtually useless without enough of it. For those who don’t get much sun (which produces D), try a daily supplement with 800 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D.
Hands: Lifting weights and doing breathing exercises may help warm up cold hands and feet. Your hands can spread germs to your skin, so make sure you wash your hands regularly.
You know better now how to utilise natural health to you body’s advantages!