Natural remedies are an area of controversy. If you listen to many in the mainstream medical community, you would think that natural remedies are simply nonsense, the product of superstition just like the idea of bad luck caused by black cats crossing your path or walking under ladders (which is something that you probably don’t want to do anyway).
Still, for some traditional natural remedies, there is a reason why some people still swear by them (and, incidentally, it’s also useful to remember that the mainstream medical community, with its emphasis on using pharmaceuticals for treatments, has to start from a natural plant or animal to develop their synthetic pharmaceuticals). For example, putting lemon juice on an insect bite can help to heal the bite. This iis probably due to antibacterial qualities of lemon juice. Also, if you don’t have a ruptured ear drum, then olive oil can help to loosen excess earwax buildup.
Still, other natural remedies don’t appear to have science behind them. One example of this is putting butter on a burn. Ralph Flores gives us the truth on this one:
Experts say that this is counterintuitive, as butter will trap the heat in the burn and possibly cause more injury. A better alternative is to run it under cool (not icy) water to relieve the pain.
Another example is having a “nightcap” before bed to help you sleep better. The truth of the matter is that, while having a drink before bed can help you to relax, it affects the quality of your sleep. That drink may help get you to sleep, but it isn’t going to help you to sleep better.
Yet one more natural remedy to be cautious about is the idea of pouring saltwater on cuts. The caution here isn’t so much about whether cleaning a cut with saltwater is a good idea but is rather concern about the source. Flores writes,
People have been using saline solutions in wound management, but swimming in the ocean’s a different thing altogether. Aside from saltwater, the ocean also carries microbes that may be harmful – even deadly – as well as waste materials from pollution.
And if you’re one of the people who think that raising your body temperature to fight off the flu by going to the gym is a good idea, think again. Your body will raise your body temperature when it feels it is necessary for fighting off the sickness. Forcing it doesn’t work. Get lots of rest instead.
So, that’s the lowdown on a number of natural and home remedies. Some work well. Some do not. Knowing which to follow and which to ignore can help your health.