A few days ago a little wound on my finger got slightly infected.  For how scary the word “infection” sounds, it was actually a minor thing and it reminded me of how many natural ailments we can find in nature under the shape of food.

The typical course of action for most people would be to start a course of antibiotics under the recommendation of their GP.

In the past 10 years, I cut down a lot on taking medicines, so much that I only do it when it’s extremely necessary. This for me is a mean to reduce toxins and chemicals in my body and pushed me to start researching alternative natural remedies.

Please note that I am not telling you to avoid looking for medical advice or ignore a doctor’s prescription. There are different levels of illnesses and each requires a different level of treatment. What I usually do is to rationally assess the situation and decide if my condition is safe to be addressed with natural remedies or not.

In this particular case, I had a tiny, slightly red, slightly painful bump on my finger’s knuckle, definitely nothing life-threatening. I do choose natural remedies for headaches, flu, colds, PMS, stomach ache, belly pain, mild IBS symptoms, toothaches, etc. For more severe situations or in doubt, I always refer to a doctor.

If you are unsure of how bad your illness is or if you live with a pre-existing condition, go and see a doctor. If you want to explore natural remedies, you can talk to your GP about alternatives and ask for advice. There are a lot of different doctors who use different approaches to medicine, so you can always ask for different opinions until you think you find something that makes you comfortable.

If you have assessed the situation and you decided to explore some natural remedies, the options are really endless.

In the past herbalists cured many different illnesses using solely plants, herbs, roots, and seeds. Different traditional medicine practitioners still treat patients in this way, and a lot of western medicine doctors seem to be opening up to combining different approaches.

Dr. Andrew Weil talks about how, nowadays, we tend to abuse taking medicines and how doctors are sometimes contributing to this overuse in his book “Mind Over Meds: Know When Drugs Are Necessary, When Alternatives Are Better — and When to Let Your Body Heal on Its Own”. We have so many medicines easily accessible to us that we often don’t allow our bodies to function properly in winning its battles. We don’t learn to handle the pain, we just take a painkiller. We don’t allow our immune system to fight infections, we take antibiotics.

Imagine that your immune system is like an army. If you don’t allow it to train, to fight, and to improve, it will automatically grow weaker and will make you prone to contract illnesses. One of the benefits of natural remedies is that they help your immune system without interfering with it.

Here is a list of herbs that have medicinal properties and can be easily accessible:

  1. Garlic – eating a few cloves every day can help fight a lot of different viruses and bacteria, including infections. It’s also really good to fight colds, flu, and pain (even toothache). To get the full potential of the garlic properties, you should eat it raw.
  2. Onion – similar to garlic, eating raw onion every day can boost your immune system and can help fighting inflammation, cold and flu symptoms, and reduce pain.
  3. Horseradish – one of the most powerful medicinal roots you can find to give your body energy, boosts your immune system and improves blood circulation. Once again, consume it raw to get the most out of its properties.
  4. Manuka Honey – it contains peroxide, hence has antibiotic properties.
  5. Cinnamon – helps lowering blood sugar, therefore is really good for people with diabetes. It contains antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties.
  6. Apple-Cider Vinegar – a good antibiotic source, it can help to fight against sore throat by killing the germs that cause it. You will need to be careful with quantities as it is highly acidic and overusing it could damage your teeth, hurt your throat, and upset your stomach.
  7. Ginger – It can be used to fight flu and colds and for treating an upset stomach and for nausea as well as treating muscle and joint pain. You should avoid consuming ginger in very large amounts if you are expecting to be pregnant, however.
  8. Eucalyptus – it has a lot of antiseptic properties when placed on the skin and if used in teas and inhaled it can help fighting coughs.

For reference and more tips, you can visit https://www.ecowatch.com/dr-mark-hyman-1882106949.html by David Wolfe. You will find a lot of information about natural remedies and alternative medicine.

Photo credits: Chelsea Shapouri