Friday Feature: Can nature heal?

Ever since I can remember I have suffered with hayfever. Some summers it is bearable and and others summers it’s like torture. So far this summer I’m happy to report that my symptoms have been quite mild, mainly due to the lack of sunshine.

Recently I have been exploring the ideas of more natural and gentle remedies to help alleviate my symptoms, one of which is introducing local honey into my diet. The idea being that by eating local honey means that the local bees pollen is already in your system, which eventually prevents an immune response.

I’ve been testing this theory out for a couple of months now and I’ve noticed no difference in my symptoms, even on days when I’ve forgotten to take my medication.

Another natural remedy for hayfever, which I have yet to try, is applying a balm or Vaseline around the inside of your nostrils to trap the pollen before it enters your nose.

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Apparently, onions are also good as they contain high levels of quercetin, which can help ward off the symptoms of hayfever .

I’m willing to try anything reduce the impact of pollen on my sinuses and eyes, but this got me thinking…

Do natural and homeopathic remedies actually work?

The use of natural remedies has been implemented for centuries, way before any advances in medical science and can be traced back to the Egyptian era. There are a lot of medications available on prescription that are based on many inexpensive vitamins, herbs, fish oils and minerals.

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Many ingredients and natural occurring products have been shown to remedy a whole range of ailments:

  • Vinegar – regulates your appetite
  • green tea – full of antioxidants that are associated with the prevention of cancer
  • fish oil – improvement in the appearance of the skin and improves the joints and heart
  • ginseng – increases blood flow
  • turmeric- anti-inflammatory properties
  • Lemons – full of vitamin C which forms collagen

Rather tһаn taking potentially toxic medications, natural remedies are viewed as a less harmful way to treat illnesses. This also means that only one type of treatment is required to treat both adults and children as opposed to two where prescription medication.

Of course, natural remedies are not for everyone. Some people will not even consider them as a form of medicine. There are many that believe that the ability of natural remedies is all down to having faith in the method. If you really believe that something is working then it usually does. Is it really all in the mind like most cynics would like to believe?

I for one are in two minds about whether natural remedies work or not. Since I work in a lab that is potentially looking at at treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy the scientific side of me is often drawn to the use of medicines. Everyday I pay witness to the effects that certain drugs can have in acute and isolated situations in the lab.

On the other hand, I would rather not pump my body full of drugs and have them not to be my first point of call when I am ill. I very much believe that nature is bursting with healthy vitamins and minerals that can aid us to be less predisposed to certain diseases. Eating a healthy and balanced diet always makes me feel great!

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Can nature and medicine function together? In my mind, yes I think they can go together hand in hand-one perhaps could help the other. Nature can equip us with everything that is good, but sometimes it may need a helping hand, something more powerful that only medicine can provide.

*Natural remedies should not be used as a replacement for your doctors care. If you do have a medical enquiry then please contact your doctor.*

I would love to hear all of your thoughts on this topic!

What are your opinions on natural remedies?

Have you had any success with natural and homeopathic remedies before?

Have a great weekend everyone! 🙂

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Friday Feature: Can nature heal?

  1. I did hear something interesting on radio 4 the other day- maybe medical matters- anyway it was that the placebo effect is so strong that even when people are told they are taking a placebo, the treatment works. So if you believe it works, then it will help somewhat.
    Although I do think homeopathy is a load of rubbish. But other natural treatments I can see they would work- eg local honey for hayfever follows the same principles as immunisation. Plus a lot of medicines come fro nature, so we need to learn how to use these natural things too.

  2. I had to use a chinese doctor last year to help my back and he really helped me, I like natural remedies and think they are worth a try before any chemical pills the docs push down our throats! x x

  3. I would definitely always prefer to try a natural remedy first (as long as the problem wasn’t life threatening) just on the off chance that it might work, before resorting to pharmaceuticals but i’m not sure wether natural remedies really do work.
    That said, i’ve been feeling horrible with a cold and sore throat recently and really think lots of tea with manuka honey has helped sooth my throat and made me get better quicker than i usually would.

  4. My anatomy professor was diagnosed with skin cancer and was using herself as a guinea pig to try natural remedies over medicine. Unfortunately she never gave us updates so I’m not sure how it panned out..but it’s an interesting idea.

  5. ahh I’m all for natural remedies. I much prefer to use them over the classic medications. I’m not sure if they really work but I know my chiropractor has helped my back tons so as to other natural ways to heal I’m all for it!

  6. I’m on the fence about natural remedies, but as Maria says a lot of medicines come from nature …

    I believe that natural things can really make you feel better for minor ailments – I always drink peppermint tea to settle my stomach and help with heartburn.

  7. vivoir

    i’m not sure, still. i’ve had 80% face coverage weeping eczema for over 2 months. then i went onto the ayurvedic diet for my particular ‘type’/ dosha. it’s cleared up! but is this a result of the diet or is it simply time for it to have healed? i have no idea. which is frustrating when the risk of coming off it leaves me with a highly visible skin condition…

  8. stuffedsillysarah

    deep… I think there is a lot to be said for clean living and meditation to treat illness. I always thought that herbal medicines treated the mind more than the body. The only one I’ve ever had any luck with was bachs rescue remedy, but there again I used it for panic attacks which would lead you to think that this was a mental release too… oh, ,and vaseline up the nose definatley works – generations of west indians can’t be wrong in my family 🙂 x x

  9. I always try natural remedies first before resorting to any kind of medications. Actually, I hardly ever take medication – not even painkillers for headaches. I think people have become way too dependent on Western medicine, and although in some instances pills and prescriptions are necessary, a lot of the time our health can be greatly improved just by diet and lifestyle changes.

  10. I think natural remedies are possible, but they should NEVER replace the need/use of doctors!!

  11. This is such a great debate, and I think my stance is similar to yours. As a nurse (almost), I believe it’s important to have a holistic appraoch to healthcare. As part of this I think a healthy diet and exercise is important, along with stress management. Whilst I am open to considering natural remedies, I think huge caution needs to be exercised. So many patients take medicine prescribed by their doctor alongside natural/herbal supplements not realising that these can interact with each other. In turn this can either cause harm, or reduce the efficacy of the drug prescribed by their doctor. Also, I’m highly suspicious as there’s no official regulatory body governing the use herbal/alternative therapies. As a result, not enough research has taken place looking how these alternatives really work/don’t in our bodies, and whether they actually cause harm.

    Gosh, I could go on and on. Great topic! x

  12. Great post, I think the affects of nutrition are often over looked by the medical profession (certainly from the experiences of my friends). I think there’s a difference between more faddy natural remedies and good solid nutrition but you only need to read books like the China Study and crazy sexy diet to see that good nutrition can heal. I do think there could be a bit of a psychosomatic affect with some things but if it makes you feel better who cares! I think the best approach is one that uses all options available – good nutrition and medication if needed. Personally medication and drugs will always be the last resort for me as I hate the idea of being pumped full of chemicals!

  13. I think you’re spot-on with the “going hand-in-hand” thing. I like homeopathic remedies like arnica for bruising and there are some miraculous compounds in some herbs and leaves. But then I couldn’t go without the tablets I take for my blood disorder, literally.
    Like you, I think the best thing everyone can do for their health is to eat a balanced, healthy diet. Then medicines probably won’t be needed as much…
    And what a brilliant job to have too; that you’re working on treatments like that 🙂
    Hope you do have some luck with the hayfever!

  14. Its an interesting idea and its so cool that you can work on treatments like that! I always choose something natural over a pill or vitamin, but if I need it I’m willing ot take some Advil.
    Godo luck with your hayfever!

  15. Lenna (veganlenna)

    I like natural remedies, there´s nothing better for curing the cold than drinking a huge cup of ginger-lemon-honey tea!!

  16. I’m not too keen on natural remedies, except for when it comes to tea!! Chamomile tea always helps me get over a cold or a sore throat! I hope you find something to take care of your hay fever!

  17. Pingback: Smoothies, Salads and Compote! « Celery and Cupcakes

  18. I suffer from mild hayfever, and Iestyn always tells me to get some local honey. I don’t really like honey, which is why I haven’t tried it out yet, I just suffer in silence! Maybe you need to eat a significant amount of honey for it to be of benefit?

  19. Pingback: What is hayfever?

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