Great Natural Remedies

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  • By Robin Westen

    Herbs are touted as a treatment for a wide range of diseases. Unfortunately, a lot of these claims are bogus. Even worse, taking certain herbs under the wrong conditions can jeopardize your health. What to do? To be safe, only opt for scientifically proven and effective herbs and to be extra cautious, speak with your doctor before using:

    Aloe

    This is a proven remedy for rashes and burns. The gel in the leaves of the aloe plant can be applied directly to a burn not only to offer relief but to act as a disinfectant and help to speed up the healing process. Since aloe also moisturizes the skin without the use of oils, it’s also an excellent treatment for sunburn. Slice open a fresh leaf from the plant, or buy the pure gel or extract from a natural food store.

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  • Capsicum Otherwise known as cayenne or chili pepper, capsicum is effective in the treatment of arthritis pain. You can buy capsicum in the drugstore as an OTC cream or ointment. Most creams containing capsicum should be applied externally four or five times daily for a period of at least four weeks.
  • Chamomile With its gentle sedative effects, chamomile can help with anxiety and insomnia, as well as indigestion caused by stress. Make a tea out of two to four teaspoons of the flower heads (or purchase premade) in one cup of boiling water, or the equivalent in the extract form. Take three times a day or more.
  • Echinacea Also known as the purple coneflower, it’s used traditionally for a variety of conditions ranging from wounds and infections, to colds and sore throats. Recently, clinical studies have confirmed its immune boosting effects. Echinacea stimulates white blood cells and lymphocytes to attack infected areas and destroy invading organisms. Tinctures of Echinacea, one gram doses, or gel caps can be found at health food stores.
  • Evening Primrose Oil Over 120 studies in 15 countries have reported that evening primrose oil eases imbalances and abnormalities of essential fatty acids, especially during PMS. A dose of evening primrose oil is in the range of three to six capsules a day taken with meals. Caution: about two percent of those who take evening primrose oil may experience stomach discomfort, nausea, or headache.
  • Ginger Used for all types of nausea, including morning sickness and motion sickness, ginger has a warming effect and supports digestion while stimulating circulation. It can be taken as a powder in capsules for alleviating nausea (two capsules three times daily), as a tea by simmering dried or fresh ginger slices, or as a tincture (two dropperfuls two to three times daily).

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