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Posted April 1, 2010: by Bill Sardi
This article provides a list of proven home remedies and self-help strategies that readers can begin utilizing today to maintain health while avoiding costly medical care.
While I have written articles in the past at LR that have addressed heart disease, cancer and other maladies, I hadn’t yet addressed every-day and emergent health problems that cause Americans to run to the doctor.
Americans can begin to stock their home medicine chest with items that will avert or forestall a visit to the doctor. Many of the most common reasons to visit a doctor, stomach pains, chest pains, fever, cough, headaches, sore throats, infections, toothaches, back aches, can be handled with low-cost remedies at home. Here are some proven home remedies:
Chicken commonly harbors a bug called campylobacter. Beef harbors E. coli. Salmonella is commonly found in meat and dairy products.
Spices added to these foods kill any bacteria that may survive heat. A Cornell University study shows that garlic, onion, oregano and allspice kill off all food-borne germs. Save a trip to the doctor’s office and spice up your foods.
In the event of food-borne infection, natural antibiotic molecules in spices need to be given more consideration in an era when overuse of prescription antibiotics increases the risk for antibiotic resistant bacteria. Natural alternatives that don’t induce germ resistance are carvacrol, the active ingredient in oil of oregano, and allicin, the active ingredient provided when a clove of garlic is crushed. (See www.garlicbreakthrough.com )
Added note — some people with gum disease brush their teeth with diluted oil of oregano to kill off the acid-forming bacteria that causes gum inflammation and destroys dental enamel.
It’s amazing how many people forget to gargle at the first sign of a sore throat and later have to run to the doctor for antibiotics. Forget to gargle and you may end up with inflamed tonsils, bronchitis, and other upper respiratory symptoms.
Gargling is effective for winter-time respiratory tract infections. One study showed that gargling with green tea extract (catechin) during flu outbreaks would reduce flu infection from 10% to 1.3% among nursing home residents. Even simple water gargling is effective against respiratory tract infection. I want to urge people to place a small sign on their bathroom mirror which reads “don’t forget to gargle.”
N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), a sulfur molecule is an underused remedy for bronchitis. It is available at health food stores. NAC inhibits lung inflammation during bouts of the flu. For chronic cough, theobromine, an extract from cocoa bean, has also been shown to be effective.
An elusive cause of a chronic tickling cough at the back of the throat is dry eye. When glands in the eyelids do not secrete a sufficient amount of oils and mucin onto the surface of the eyes, a water gland located above the brow is switched on, creating a stream of watery tears that flows into the nasal passages via a drain (punctum) in the eyelids, and then drips onto the epiglottis, which then causes a person to continually clear their throat. If your eyes are watery, red, burning, and your skin is dry and your nails are brittle, and you have a chronic tickling cough, these are indicators you need to supplement the diet with essential oils. A combination of flaxseed and borage oil will stimulate glands in the eyelids to secrete a sufficient amount of oil to coat the eyes and reduce evaporation of tears, and the water gland switches off, and no more tickling cough.
To prevent colds and flu, at least 2000 IU (international units) for children and 5000 IU for adults is recommended. Therapeutic doses range from 10,000 to 50,000 IU, with many adults reporting rapid disappearance of common cold symptoms (in minutes) at this dosage range.
While many Americans are unduly concerned about overdose of vitamin D, a full hour of midday summer sun will produce ~10,000 IU of natural vitamin D without side effects and for many years doctors have injected 250,000 IU vitamin D in a single day for wintertime protection without reported side effect. Ignore health authorities who warn against overdoses and have intentionally kept this remedy from the public for far too long.
Families with young children should have liquid and chewable vitamin D available. The Vitamin D Store has an online array of 50 products to choose from, including D for kids, high and low-dose D, and its famous 30-Minutes-Of-Sunshine pill. It also offers The Uncensored Family Guide To Vitamin D, by this author, free.
Nature does provide safe and effective anti-inflammatory agents such as tart cherry (as effective as ibuprofen or naproxen).
Another natural molecule with striking ability to reduce markers of inflammation (COX-2, C-reactive protein and TNF (tumor necrosis factor) is resveratrol, a red wine molecule. Resveratrol should be taken in modest doses (175—300 mg).
For wear-and-tear arthritis (osteoarthritis), ~1200 mg of SAMe (S-adenosyl methionine) has been shown to be effective. One study showed SAMe to be as effective as Celebrex for joint pain. SAMe is available at both drug and health food stores.
Magnesium (as mag-citrate or malate or glycinate), 200—400 mg is worth trying. (Magnesium oxide is so poorly absorbed it is no better than a placebo.) Be aware, excessive magnesium can result in loose stool. Certainly menstrual migraines are often relieved or prevented with magnesium supplementation.
A New York Times survey published some time ago showed many headache sufferers found relief by taking supplemental coenzyme Q10, a remedy that is backed by good science.
Another common cause of headaches in young females is iron-deficiency. Ferronyl (carbonyl) is the only safe iron pill. If an iron pill isn’t handy, a piece of red meat will usually provide enough iron to quell a headache.
The avoidance of alcohol and strong coffee is often helpful for this condition. Prescription drugs often induce heartburn. When bedtime heartburn is experienced, prop your head up on a pillow to prevent backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus.
Recently it has been shown that mastic gum capsules markedly reduce heartburn symptoms.
Many heartburn drugs are histamine blockers (histamine is required for stomach acid secretion). Quercetin, a natural histamine blocker found in red onions and red apple peel, is available as a dietary supplement and may reduce the severity of esophageal reflux.
Availability and use of these and other natural remedies should save thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket health care expenses and increase school and work productivity.
Bill Sardi’s Natural Medicine Chest
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