Alternative remedies, whether used alone or in concert with more traditional medical therapies, are generally a great first course of action when dealing with common, everyday afflictions. Choosing to change your diet, take vitamins and supplements, apply homemade topical treatments or poultices, or utilize alternative remedies like acupuncture, ayurveda, Chinese medicine, chiropractic, homeopathy, naturopathic medicine, osteopathy are all great ways to handle the everyday physical discomforts and conditions.
Worse comes to worst, you can always go through the over the counter medical treatments and then move onto prescription medications if your condition doesn't improve. The following alternative remedies are not meant as medical advice or to take the place of a visit to a doctor.
Dandruff is annoying, unsightly, and sometimes itchy and uncomfortable. Expensive shampoos can be purchased and even more expensive prescription shampoos are often an option. Before you opt for these, try changing your diet and avoiding fried foods, fatty foods, dairy products, processed sugars, and peanuts. Eating whole foods and lots of leafy greens instead may help alleviate the problem.
Other alternative remedies for dandruff includes nutritional supplements like biotin, vitamin B complex, vitamin A, omega fatty acids, and zinc. You can also make your own at home topical treatments by adding grapefruit seed extract or tea tree oil to your regular shampoo or choosing selenium based shampoos. Before you wash your hair, try combining a 1:1 ratio of apple cider vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spraying on your hair, then wrap your head in a towel for 15 minutes before getting into the shower.
There's no condition more annoying and common than acne. There are whole shelves at the supermarket dedicated to its cure and prevention. Some will say that your diet alone can fix your problems with acne and it's true that eating healthily and lowering your intake of inflammatory foods can help. A special herbal extract concoction of equal parts sarsaparilla, yellow dock, burdock, and cleavers taken three times a day, a spoonful at a time is an often used alternative remedy for acne. Also, dabbing tea tree oil directly onto your blemishes will help get rid of them more quickly.
Colds and Flu
Ah, the common cold. Despite the fact that there is no cure for it, there are tons and tons of remedies for the its symptoms. Alternative remedies can help save you the cost of the overpriced products and may even prove more effective. For example, tea has often been touted as a great way to fight colds and the flu. Ginger tea especially has as one of its components something called sesquiterpenes, which are particularly useful in fighting rhinoviruses, which most commonly cause colds. By slightly raising the temperature of your body, the ginger also acts to help you get rid of the virus through sweating. Elderberry in any of its forms including juice, syrup, and capsules and zinc have been show to chop the length and strength of a cold in half.
Tea tree oil is a great remedy for itchy, uncomfortable athlete's foot in much the same way that it gets rid of acne by killing bacteria and decreasing inflammation. Applied directly to the infected area, tea tree oil is as effective as any over the counter treatment. All you need is between 5-12 drops, depending on the size of the infected area. Or, mix it with aloe vera gel to create a soothing alternative remedy that not only gets rid of athlete's foot, but soothes the discomfort that often accompanies it.
You can also apply grapefruit seed extract in the same way that you would apply tea tree oil. Washing socks in it helps keep the fungus from returning. Crushed garlic in dry socks before you go to sleep at night can help kill athlete's foot, as well.
There are a variety of alternative remedies to choose from to help alleviate pain caused by headaches. Aromatherapy using peppermint extract or eucalyptus extract has been shown to be effective. Herbal supplements of feverfew when the headache strikes has also been studied and shown to be effective. Acupuncture is another alternative remedy used to alleviate the pain and recurrence of frequent headaches.
Tooth aches are almost always symptoms of serious dental issues that should not be ignored. Get to a dentist as soon as possible to take care of the problem before it gets any worse, but in the meantime, use clove oil dripped on cotton balls as makeshift compresses. Dilute it with olive oil and place the cotton ball beside the tooth that hurts. Be careful with the amount of clove oil that you use, though. A few drops is fine. Too much, and you could cause more pain, even vomiting, seizures, liver or kidney damage.
Activated charcoal mixed with enough water to make a paste, placed on gauze and applied to the hurt tooth is a viable option if clove oil doesn't make you feel comfortable.
No matter which alternative remedies you choose, make sure that you don't have concurrent or conflicting conditions or medications that will either make your chosen remedy ineffective, cause adverse effects, or make another condition worse. Check with a professional before you begin any treatment. Herbal and alternative remedies are not nontoxic and when used improperly can be detrimental to your health. Use with care.