When you are looking at other aspects of your life to 'make-over' this season, take some time to consider the items you use to ease annoying symptoms.
IMPORTANT - These are suggestions for alternatives to over-the-counter medications. Do not replace prescription medications without first consulting your prescribing physician.
Advil/ibuprofen, Aleve/naproxen - these pain relieving medications work by reducing inflammation. Natural products with anti-inflammatory properties include MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), Lymphdiaral® (available as a topical ointment and oral drops), and the culinary herbs ginger and turmeric. Ginger can be used internally via tea, or to spice-up your food, and can also be used as a soothing soak; add the dried powder to your bath water.
Tums, Pepto-bismol - ginger teas (eg. Ginger Aid by Traditional Medicinals) or digestive enzymes are sometimes the key to settling an upset stomach. However, some people actually need to encourage stomach acid production for better digestion. How do you know if you are one of these people? The next time you experience indigestion, swallow 1Tbsp of apple cider vinegar... within 1-2 minutes you will know if it is working! Share your results with your naturopathic doctor (ND) and they will be better able to help you have longterm, trouble-free digestion.
Cold & flu - the drugstore pills are good for symptom-relief, but if you really want to recover faster, you need to support your body's ability to fight infection. Some natural immune-supporting options include an echinacea & goldenseal herbal combo, oil of oregano drops (on soles of feet for children) and zinc tablets. For nasal congestion, try daily flushing with a neti pot, or inhaling the steam of hot water with eucalyptus oil.
Antihistamines - there are many natural products that have anti-histamine properties. A few common selections include a bioflavonoid called quercetin, Euphorbium® nasal spray, and vitamin C (available in oral and intravenous forms, the latter from your ND). Flushing the nose with a neti pot throughout the allergy season helps many people prevent the progression of more intense symptoms.
Blemish stick - pimples need minerals, not chemicals. At bedtime, dab solé water on to each blemish... you will notice an improvement in 1-2 days. Solé water is basically mineral-rich salt water... at a health food store purchase rocks of Himalayan salt, put 2-3 rocks in a glass jar and fill with water, and then let sit overnight. Keep jar in bathroom for daily use.
Antibacterial cream - for minor cuts and scrapes keep tea tree oil, manuka honey, and oil of oregano on hand. Manuka honey is also good for applying to burns; it speeds healing and prevents infection.
For best results, begin applying these suggestions at first sign of symptoms. These are natural substitutions for symptom relief; however if you really want to address the cause of your symptoms, speak with your naturopathic doctor.