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Natural Remedies

Updated on June 6, 2011

I grew up in a family that believed that our bodies know how to heal themselves. This idea has stayed with me all my life pushing me to use and discover natural medicines. Even more, the increasing complexity of modern live stirs in me a deep need for simplifying, slowing down and reconnecting with nature to restore balance.

Whenever possible I try to rely on simple natural home remedies to keep healthy, and although I am not opposed to the appropriate use of modern medicine, and I acknowledge the dangers of self diagnosing for serious problems, I do prefer to use natural remedies.

What are natural medicines

The therapeutic benefits of plants have been known for many centuries.  Natural remedies include herbs, essential oils, homeopathic remedies, nutritional supplements and everyday items such as sea salt and ice.  With the increasing popularity of natural medicines you can probably find most of them at large pharmacies and supermarkets. 

Herbal medicines come in three basic forms:

  1. Teas or infusions.  Herbal teas are a traditional easy and inexpensive way to use herbs.  Teas are excellent for treating digestive up sets because the herbs quickly come into contact with the gastrointestinal tract.  They are also excellent for urinary tract infections because the fluids help flush the bladder.  The downside is that not all herbs have a pleasant taste.
  2. Capsules.  This is a convenient way to take herbal medicines.  They provide exact doses and are easy to take.
  3. Extracts or tinctures.  Convenient to take, they are highly concentrated.  Extracts contain alcohol or vegetable glycerine.

Dried herbs

Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art
Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art

A comprehensive guide to using essential oils in health, beauty, and well-being.


Aromatherapy and the use of Essential Oils

Aromatherapy uses plants in their most natural form, capturing the essence of the oil from various different parts of the plant their healing characteristics can be unleashed in various ways. René Gattefose first coined the term aromatherapy in the 1920s while studying the properties of essential oils. Gattefose’s work was put to the test when he accidentally burnt his hand one day in his laboratory. Plunging his hand into a container of pure lavender oil to cool his burn, he discovered that his burn quickly lost its redness and began to heal.

Essential oils

Although essential oils are mostly applied externally, they are able to penetrate the body’s organs and systems via the nose and the skin. The oils exert their unique properties by influencing both physical and emotional states. Many oils have antiviral, antibacterial, antiseptic, immune boosting, pain killing and anti inflammatory properties.

When you are buying essential oils always look for the best quality. Essential oils are at their best when undiluted and unadulterated. They evaporate easily so store them properly.

Warnings with essential oils:

  • Never take and essential oil internally unless prescribed by a trained professional.
  • Unless indicated, do not apply essential oils directly to the skin.
  • Before using an essential oil, check that it is safe for you to use.

dried chamomile flowers for tea

Dried Herbs

Herbs have been used for healing since ancient times, and herbs and their derivatives form the basis of many modern medicines.  Herbs can be used at home safely for a wide variety of ailment –from colds and period pains to some chronic conditions such as arthritis. 

Always select the finest quality dried herbs for best results when preparing your own herbal remedies.  Look for herbs that are fragrant and bright coloured and store them separately in air tight containers.  Properly stores, herbs maintain their medicinal properties for about a year. 


Although herbs have a good safety record, they should still be treated with care.  Do not use them unnecessarily, in greater doses or for longer than needed.  Some herbs are toxic when taken in large quantities. 

Arnica & Calendula

Boiron Arnicare Gel, 2.6-Ounce (Twin Pack), Homeopathic Medicine for Pain Relief and Bruises
Boiron Arnicare Gel, 2.6-Ounce (Twin Pack), Homeopathic Medicine for Pain Relief and Bruises

Use Arnicare Gel for relief of muscle aches and stiffness due to minor injuries, overexertion, falls and blows. Reduces pain, swelling and discoloration from bruises.


The natural Medicine Box

The following essential oils, herbs and other items are those indispensable for a basic natural medicine box:

  • Arnica: As cream or gel for muscle strains and bruises.
  • Calendula: As cream or gel for burns, scrapes and insect bites.
  • Chamomile: As dried flowers for an upset stomach or for stress.
  • Echinacea: For colds, flu, cuts and infections.
  • Elderberry: For colds and flu.
  • Epson Salts: For muscle soreness and relieving tension.
  • Eucalyptus: As an essential oil for respiratory congestion.
  • Ginger: As fresh root for colds and respiratory congestion, nausea and upset stomachs.
  • Lavender: As an essential oil for stress and headaches.
  • Sea Salt: For a sore throat and for baths.
  • Tea Tree oil: for skin infections.
  • Valerian: For mild pain relief and insomnia.

When you should see your doctor:

Natural remedies are effective for most common conditions that you would ordinarily self treat.  However, if you experience any of the following heath problems or injuries you should seek medical attention immediately:

  • Fractured, broken or dislocated bones.
  • Injury to the head, neck or spinal cord.
  • Puncture and other severe wounds.
  • Third degree burns.
  • Unconsciousness.
  • Vomiting blood.
  • A high fever (40.5°C) that persists for more than 3 days. 


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    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      9 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      I always believe that natural is better. though I take conventional medicines, I always prefer natural or herbal whenever possible. nice hub.

    • Envoy profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      Great hub I love Chamomile & Peppermint tea :)

    • Anath profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      I'll call you first next time I have a little acc. bloodnlatex!

      Yes, to many doctors prescribe antibiotics with no reason at all and instead of doing us good we are becoming inmune to medical treatments, shamelabboush

      I feel the same Money Glitch, in my family we always looked for natural treatments using fruit juices and vegetables, plants and herbs from the garden and when everything failed my mom just gave us a lollipop... it worked 95% of the time LOL

      Lavender oil is one of my favourite oils not only for its medicinal properties but for its aroma Sage Knowles.

      You are welcome BkCreative.

    • BkCreative profile image


      9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Your list has everything! I can bookmark it and share it! Living healthy has to be our right! I get fresh lavender from my cousin when he comes from England. And I now grow my own mint - delightful!

      Great hub! Many thanks!

    • Sage Knowles profile image

      Sage Knowles 

      9 years ago

      Lavender oil is essential in my aromatherapy kit.

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      I like this hub, for I always seek the natural remedies first. My sister and I laugh now because we feel that it is part of our heritage!

      As kids our grandmother use to always have a remedy for every cut, fever, bug bite, whatever ailed you..."the dirt doctor"(that's what we lovingly call her now that she has passed away)could fix you up quickly! LOL

    • shamelabboush profile image


      9 years ago

      This is a nice hub bcz after all, we are becoming weaker day by day due to chemicals... Thanks Anath.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      The funny thing about it was that I told him just to glue it up, and he was convinced that all of the Captain Morgan over the years had gone to my brain and you'd have to be an idiot to do that. Then low and behold his doctor did the same thing. I build cars and am always getting cut or burned. I'm the king of the homemade first aide kit.

    • Anath profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      I agree BrianS, people can heal themselves with the power of their mind, just as they can make themselves sick when they are unhappy and unsatisfied with their lives.

      We might celebrate toguether BadCo...fancy a chamomile tisane to calm your ardours? ;-)

      LOL that is so funny bloodnlatex, you lost $400 there, if only your friend had seen you before the doctor! You sound like a tough kind of guy, reminds me a biker boyfriend who wore black tape instead of silly little plasters!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I have always hated going to doctors for anything. All they ever do is look at you for a minute and send you on your way with a bottle of pills. About twenty years ago I just started using natural ways of staying healthy and I've only been to the doctor a few times since. Hell, when I was 15 I started using super glue instead of getting stitches. You know what, it works a lot faster and leaves almost no scar. Everyone always called me crazy for doing it until my buddy went to the hospital for stitches and ended up paying $400 for the doctor to use super glue. I laughed my ass off. Great job. Once again I am leaving your hub knowing more than I did before.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      It's only a matter of time before your Hubber score hits 100, you have improved vastly in the last month. Proud to be a fan and btw am taking up yer quest and will do a Hub on it for Friday ; )

    • BrianS profile image

      Brian Stephens 

      9 years ago from Castelnaudary, France

      I actually think that if you really do believe you can heal yourself strongly enough then this will have a beneficial effect whatever means you use. Nice hub.


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