- Plants in the mint
family have been used for centuries as
antispasmodics, that is, to keep intestinal
muscles from contracting. Peppermint oil,
available in capsule form, helps relieve gas and
- A 1992 study found
that eating a daily cup of yogurt containing
Lactobacillus acidophilus substantially reduced
the number of vaginal yeast infections. This was
a small study, however, and the yogurt contained
live cultures (not all yogurt does). A
supplement, such as yogurt, containing L.
acidophilus can also help ease the diarrhea that
sometimes follows treatment with antibiotics.
- A 1993 Harvard study
showed that drinking 10 ounces of cranberry juice
daily helped prevent urinary tract infections
(UTI). This should not be used to actually treat
the infection but might be a useful adjunct to
antibiotic therapy for the UTI.
- For extensive
sunburn, scatter a cup of dry instant oatmeal in
a tub of cool water and soak for a while.
Colloidal oatmeal is available commercially
(Aveeno) and can soothe irritated, itchy skin,
notably from poison ivy.
- In 1993 a professor
at the U. of Nebraska put chicken soup to the
test for treating a cold. It won't affect the
virus itself, which still has to simply run it's
course, but the soup can make you feel better
temporarily. That's about as much as any
drugstore "cold remedy" can do! An even
more recent study found that Zinc lozenges can
shorten the course of cold by about three days.
It's too early to believe these results, but, if
proven to be true, then zinc would be our best
treatment yet for the common cold.
- Gargling with warm
salt water temporarily helps soothe a sore
throat. Corn syrup also works well. Use ¼
teaspoon of salt (or 1-2 teaspoons of corn syrup)
in 8 ounces of warm water.
- To prevent swimmers
ear: mix equal parts of white vinegar and rubbing
alcohol, and put 1-2 drops in each ear three
- Vitamin C may also
help our bodies fight infection. A dose of
500-1000 mg. Of Vit. C twice a day has shown
slight benefit in combating the common cold. I
personally do not recommend exceeding this
- An herbal product
derived from daisies, Echinacea, seems to
slightly boost your bodies immune system when you
take it while fighting an infection. It has not
been shown to provide this effect longer than 3
days, however, so I don't recommend using it any
longer than that.
|Luckily, most diseases are
self-limiting and resolve without any treatment at all if
we simply take good care of ourselves. Our bodies have a
very powerful self-healing mechanism so it's important to
be sure that all of our therapies
"Do No Harm"while the healing takes place.
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