These days we are inundated with print and television advertisements informing us of all the ways our house is in disrepair, our bodies are falling apart, and the world is just generally going to hell-in-a-hand basket! If you really stop to think about it, it’s no wonder everything is such a mess – our homes and our bodies are jammed full of substances and chemicals we’re told offer us the benefits of the latest and greatest treatments for pain relief, ways to ensure vital health, convenience and ease of use and time savings. What ever happened to the simpler times, when grandma’s home remedies were earth friendly, nontoxic, free and really worked!?
Okay, some of these new products are pretty amazing and actually do what they’re advertised to do. But do we really need any more toxic chemicals and dangerous substances in our homes and in our bodies? What ever happened to the old tried and true ways of dealing with life’s aches and pains, unhealthy stress levels and minor household inconveniences? More and more baby boomers and Gen Xer’s today are defying the new conventional wisdom and are seeking more earth friendly, nontoxic, natural solutions to problems large and small. Maybe our grandparents had the right idea after all!
The most effective, nontoxic, natural way to prevent illness in the first place is through washing your hands. I know that sounds so simple, but it really is the best way to prevent the spread of germs. The most effective way to wash your hands according to one expert is that you turn on the water and let it run to warm, soap and lather your hands, including between your fingers, up to your wrist and under your fingernails. While you’re lathering and rinsing, sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” That’s how long it should take you to wash your hands after using the rest room, coming home from the grocery store, after covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, or any time you’ve potentially been exposed to germs. It may seem like overkill, but better a few extra seconds now, than going on antibiotics to fight off some strange bacteria or missing time from work because you’ve picked up a virus.
Many cooks today enjoy having a windowsill herb garden for adding seasoning to their dishes. You don’t even have to be a gourmet or have a green thumb to maintain some of the more common herbs like basil, dill and parsley. Another great plant to keep in the kitchen is an aloe vera. These are amazing plants that offer a drug free natural way to treat minor cuts and burns in the kitchen. Many advertisements for lotions and body creams tout aloe among their ingredients. The reason is the extract, the sticky sap that comes from breaking off a leaf of the aloe plant, has curative powers for soothing burned skin and heals minor cuts and scrapes with limited or no scarring. Some health food experts even suggesting drinking the juice extracted from aloe for its curative effects and health benefits.
Some of the more prevalent advertisements lately are for sleep aids, either for those who can’t get to sleep, who can’t stay asleep, or both. Popping a pill seems like the easiest and most convenient method for falling asleep and staying asleep through the night. Pills can become habit-forming and can have some unpleasant side-effects, not the least of which can be a hang-over like feeling in the morning. A better, non-toxic method for falling asleep is to cut off the television, perhaps turn on some relaxing music and sip a cup of chamomile tea. Some of the teas available today have various flavorings and all of them are natural, nontoxic, and not habit-forming. For those who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, taking a walk or participating in other light exercise a couple of hours before bedtime is a good way to unwind and let your body and mind settle down after a stressful day. Make sure the room temperature is comfortable
It’s important to look at some of the root causes to sleeplessness, too. Sometimes eating too much, and/or too much of heavy, spicy foods for dinner can cause indigestion, or may at a minimum put a strain on your digestive system – all the blood is racing to your stomach and intestines attempting to digest your meal. No wonder no blood makes it to your brain! If you notice a pattern of sleeplessness, or continue to have trouble falling asleep, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor.
One of the more common ailments that just about everyone can relate to is headaches. Headaches and body aches are not typically life-threatening, but they can impact our lifestyle and our level of activity. Yes, many analgesics and pain relievers are available over the counter and by prescription. But why take a pill when you can use peas? Yes, a bag of frozen peas makes a great ice pack. Talk about a nontoxic approach to pain relief! If you do yard work, heavy housework, or you or your kids are involved in sports inevitably there will be bumps, bruises, aches and pains. A bag of frozen peas conforms perfectly to the body area experiencing pain. No extra trouble, no prior planning, and no waiting for results required. The frozen peas can also be applied on the back of your neck, your forehead, or on your temples, depending what type of headache you’re experiencing. Again, an ongoing condition or a pain or swelling that doesn’t seem to improve requires medical attention.
Yeast infections are a plague on women everywhere! The first thing you want to do is get rid of it! So many products are available on the market, but there’s real cause for concern about what women are inserting into their bodies. Even if the product boxes claim to have all-natural ingredients, it is still expensive, and certainly contains some unnecessary ingredients. The least expensive, natural way to treat a mild yeast infection is using salt water. Yeast can’t grow in the presence of salt. No special equipment or supplies are even required. Simply fill the tub with several inches of water, add about ¼ cup of salt, soak for about 15 minutes, and allow the water to enter the infected area. This may need to be repeated twice a day for a couple of days. This is an especially good remedy for women who routinely have yeast infections as a result of taking antibiotics. Eating yogurt with active cultures can also help maintain good probiotic health. Persistent, recurring or very prevalent yeast infections should be treated by a physician.
None of the medications advertised in print or on television are bad in and of themselves. Most of them do have undesirable side effects, though. All of them involve consumption of unnatural ingredients, some of which can actually be detrimental to your health. There’s a reason more and more adults are tending away from blind consumerism. It’s not been proven that the prevalence of cancer and some other diseases like Parkinson’s disease are due to any substances in any of the products mentioned in this article. Not yet. Why take an unnecessary risk when it comes to your health. Besides, if none of the earth friendly, nontoxic solutions don’t work, conventional medical treatment is still available.