If you still run to the pharmacy for every ailment, maybe it's time to turn to your refrigerator for healthy ways to treat illnesses. The below natural home remedies can help the body to heal itself.
Think of the body as you would a delicate garden. When the soil is well tended and nourished the plants grow and thrive. If, however, the soil is neglected and out of balance, those plants will become sickly, weak, and eventually die. Just like the soil, our bodies exhibit a sensitive biochemical environment; if we fail to cultivate the ideal balance within that environment, we become susceptible to disease.
I think it is safe to say that at one point or another, each and every one of us has been or will be prescribed a medication to treat either an illness or an ailment in our lifetime. However, in most cases, this prescription drug being offered will work to counteract the symptoms brought on by our condition, rather than tackling the problem at its core. Case and point: we take a pain reliever for our headaches, not an actual headache medication. This is the equivalent of placing a framed picture to cover a crack in the wall—but in reality, the crack is still there, and it may get bigger. As time passes, the crack grows, and we must hang more and more pictures to cover it. However, with every picture we hang, we must also nail a hole in the wall and thus, we create a secondary problem. It is the same way with modern Western medicine. We are often so busy chasing our symptoms that we neglect to look deeper to find what caused that proverbial crack to begin with.
Take Sandra, she would lie awake all night with chronic joint pain. She began taking over-the-counter pain pills as a remedy. Years passed, and her pain persisted. In fact, it worsened. Her doctors prescribed her a more potent dosage, and for a while this seemed to help. That is, until she suffered incredible stomach problems as a result of these harsh medications. See, her root problem was not pain; it was the culprit causing the joint pain: inflammation. No longer able to take her prescribed pain medication, Sandra decided to turn to foods as her treatment. She began an anti-inflammatory diet rich in superfoods, and very quickly found healing for both her stomach and her joint pain.
More and more studies are showing how greatly the foods we eat and the lifestyles we choose impact our health. People are curing cancerous tumors with specialized diets, they are staving off diabetes and sleep apnea with exercise, and they are banishing inflammatory illnesses with meditation and green food concentrates. When we deliberately use nature’s nutrients in combination with light exercise and stress management, we are finding that quite often we may forgo prescription medications…and all the side effects that come with them.
At its root, most illnesses can be chalked up to inflammation, oxidation, poor eliminative function, or toxic exposures. The good new is, there are many natural ways we can address these issues and oftentimes, replace or reduce the prescribed drugs we use. Here are five of my favorite remedies:
1. Darkly pigmented fruits and veggies for inflammation. Whether discussing Crohn’s disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, various cancers, or even those stubborn allergies, they are all linked to inflammation. The likely agitator: a diet containing sugar, refined carbohydrates, and non grass-fed dairy and meat. Mother nature’s prescription: anti-inflammatory foods like blueberries, pomegranate, fresh herbs, and green tea seed oil.
2. Chlorella for oxidation. By now, we’ve all heard of “free radicals,” but many of us are not aware of the diseases to which they contribute: cancer, heart disease, as well as Alzheimer’s disease. Instead of relying solely on harsh medications and treatments, why not turn to antioxidants? Why not, indeed, but it must be the right antioxidants. Raw, deeply green foods like chlorella, which greatly reduce oxidation, are a great place to start.
3. Deep breathing for fatigue, aches, and poor digestion. All of these ailments have been associated with low alkalinity. Alkalinity is all about maintaining proper balance. The practice of deep breathing helps rid the body of excess carbon dioxide, which negatively affects our pH levels. How easy is that?
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4.Cruciferous veggies for detoxification. We are constantly exposed to pollutants and carcinogens that lead to cancers, intestinal problems, and heart disease. Crucifers, such as broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, are not only anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich, but they are also powerful detoxifiers due to their immense nutrient content.
5. Kimchi and Sauerkraut for poor eliminative function. Colon cancer and irritable bowel syndrome are just two of the illnesses associated with a sluggish eliminative function. Many doctors will prescribe harsh laxatives or even an anti-spasmodic as treatment, when in reality, a diet change is often all that is required. Fermented foods, which are naturally rich in probiotics, will help to restore balance within the intestinal tract and improve “regularity.”
These are just some of the ways individuals are embracing pure foods and a healthy lifestyle in lieu of or in combination with prescription drugs. If you are battling a disease or sickness or even a minor ailment, I urge you to ask your physician about alternatives or compliments to prescription medications. If you are unsure which questions to ask, consider finding an educated patient advocate to come with you. They can act as a bridge between you and your doctor to make certain you don’t swallow another pill, when you could just as easily be chowing down on a superfood salad.
[Editor's note: This article is not medical advice. Please always consult with your primary care physician about diet changes or changes to your medications.]
David Sandoval is the founder of Purium Health Products, a world- renowned expert in phytochemistry and superfoods, and author of "The Green Foods Bible."
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