As much as it’s criticized by practitioners of western modern medicine, alternative medicine has been proven effective in treating a host of afflictions. From headaches and gout to the hiccups, the wonders of alternative medicine are hard to deny. Here’s a look at some of the most notable afflictions that can be eased through these measures.
Headaches have been treated by alternative means for centuries. Some of the alternative medicine methods that are commonly used that have been found to be effective are:
- Acupuncture is used to alleviate migraines through relaxing key muscles in the neck and back.
- Acupressure refers to the practice of applying pressure to certain points on the body, and can be self-administered.
- Biofeedback can track, pinpoint, and prevent the cause of headaches, including the tension and migraine varieties, through various methods of teaching the patient to lower their physical reaction to stress.
- Aromatherapy and Essential Oils, particularly peppermint and eucalyptus, lavender, chamomile, and marjoram, can be administered in many ways, including applying the oils directly to the skin with a carrier oil and breathed in through a diffuser.
- Nutritional supplements, especially those that alleviate certain vitamin deficiencies. Some common health supplements that have been shown to prevent and relieve headaches are magnesium, coenzyme 10, and B12.
- Dietary factors, such as Almonds, have been known to relieve headaches. Simply eat 10 to 12 of them and you’ll feel relief within 30 minutes or so. Aloe vera commonly used to chase away headaches caused by pollution or acidic foods. Add a cup to your daily diet by mixing it with your favorite juice or drinking it plain to prevent these headaches.
There are many alternative treatments for gout. Of the many factors that can cause — and trigger — the affliction, the most profound is related to diet. Here are some common dietary changes and supplements that can treat gout, without intervention by a medical professional:
- Ripe Cherries, specifically natural, concentrated black cherry juice, has been known to relieve the painful effects of gout.
- Apple Cider Vinegar is great for preventing gout from developing or worsening. Simply mix two tablespoons each of apple cider vinegar, raw (preferably local) honey, and water. Drink this two times daily to prevent acidic buildup in your joints, which causes gout. You can also soak your feet in one half cup apple cider vinegar and three cups hot water at mealtime to combat the effects your diet can have on your condition. The feet are a great conduit for this activity, as the thin skin of the feet allow the mixture to enter the bloodstream very quickly.
- Black Cohosh moderates blood acidity naturally.
- Blueberries are high in natural anti-inflammatory compounds known as anthocyanins. Among other inflammatory conditions, these compounds have been known to reduce the painful symptoms of gout.
Hiccups are an incredibly annoying side effect of spasms in our diaphragms. There are countless wives tales that center around getting rid of hiccups, including drinking water upside down, having someone startle you, and holding your breath. Regardless which method you choose, the idea is to disrupt the spasm. Here are a few remedies that have been proven to be effective:
- Regulate your breathing. Sit still and breathe in as deeply as possible for five seconds. Then exhale as hard as you can for seven seconds. Repeat this ten times. The last time you do it. Keep the air pushed out, and hold your breath as long as you can bear it. It should work the first time, but if your case of the hiccups is particularly intense, repeat it as many times as you need.
- Eat a bunch of peanut butter. Simply eat a heaping teaspoon of peanut butter all at once. The act of swallowing and digesting it will disrupt the spasm, though isn’t as effective as the breathing remedy.
- Sugar. Swallow a teaspoon of sugar dry. It should stop the hiccups within a few minutes. The sugar acts as a way to change the nervous impulses that tell your diaphragm to go into spasm. You can apply this tactic to baby hiccups as well. Simply mix one-half teaspoon of sugar in four ounces of water.
There are countless alternative medicine remedies for common ailments that are just as (if not more) effective than those of modern western medicine. After all, human beings were suffering from these ailments long before the advent of modern medicine anyway. Why not take a page from the history books and try some of these home remedies before you pop a pill next time?