The average American never considers using an herbal remedy for their common everyday day-to-day ailments. Ibuprofen, aspirin, Tylenol, cortisone cream, antifungal creams, antihistamines and several other over the counter medicines are the usual medicine cabinet fare. They are convenient and, for the most part they do work. But taking these medications on a regular basis should not be considered a healthy thing to do. These medicines do have side effects, and will eventually lead to the need for bigger medicines (prescription medicines) to get the same affect.


Changing this pill popping habit will take some determination and patience but can provide the same relief you were looking for while providing numerous healthy benefits. The next time why not try these simple inexpensive remedies.


For indigestion- try some peppermint or chamomile tea. Or use the essential oils of these herbs- applied externally. Chamomile can also be added to the bath water to calm frayed nerves, excellent to calm a wild child at bedtime.


For tension headache- use feverfew as a tea. Use Fenugreek tea if the headache is sinus in origin, relieving the pain and pressure of a stuffed up nose. Or a drop of eucalyptus oil directly over the sinuses can provide hours of relief from sinus pressure and pain.


For skin rashes without blistering use tea tree oil. This oil is naturally high in antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial phytochemicals (plant based chemicals.) Mix 3-5 drops in one ounce of olive or jojoba oil and apply sparingly. A fresh squeeze of lemon applied with cotton balls is another wonderful remedy for skin rashes or insect bites.


For sleeplessness try valerian capsules, lavender essential oil or grate some nutmeg onto a cloth and inhale the vapors. These herbs all help relax the mind and allow for natural sleep. If muscle aches and pains are keeping you awake use a magnesium supplement one hour before bedtime.


For a dry cough use slippery elm lozenges or zinc lozenges. Slippery elm helps calm and soothe and zinc will prevent a viral cold from taking hold, and relieve the cough.


For joint aching try some ginger tea. Take it internally or brew 5-6 bags in a concentrate and poor it in a bath of hot water. Ginger not only helps with joint aches, it relieves indigestion, calms nerves and helps balance the internal organs.


For minor toothache the old time remedy of clove oil really does work. Not meant to stave off a visit to the dentist- just help you get through a toothache until you can see your dentist.


For fatigue and restlessness try ginseng. This herb is called an adaptogen as it helps the body adapt to conditions of occasional undue stress providing energy and endurance.


These few natural medicines can be used safely and for a number of minor ailments that come up from time to time. If used as directed in simple teas or applied topically they should not interfere with any prescription medications. Till next time, Rebecca