Natural Treatments for Allergies, Acne, Insomnia and More

Allergies

Chamomile, Dandelion, and even Echinacea can help reduce sneezing, watery eyes, and shortness of breath associated with allergies. Chamomile, which is used to help people relax and sleep better, is used to sooth skin from allergic reaction and ‘calm’ the immune system down. Dandelion is also ideal for people with food allergies, as it aids in the digestion of food and maintains the health of the liver. These substances should be taken with food two to three times a day, with at least eight ounces of water and with a meal. You can find each of these herbs at a local drug or health food store; many grocery stores sell these as well.

Acne

The use of antibacterial alternative treatments and plant extracts to soothe and exfoliate the skin are best. Tea tree oil is one of the most effective alternative acne treatments, and can be found at most grocery stores. When first using tea tree oil, mix with witch hazel to make it gentler on the skin. After a few months, a dab of oil on problem spots should be fine. Lavender oil is also a great natural antibiotic for the skin, and its pleasant scent and relaxing properties can also aid in getting a good night’s sleep. To take internally, try zinc and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) to help repair the skin, increase blood flow to the face, and give the skin a healthy glow.

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are among the most common ailments adults face. While painkillers like Ibuprofen or Aspirin are traditional remedies for this discomfort, there are alternative treatments available for headaches as well. Peppermint oil has been known to relieve pain and is relaxing (sometimes lack of sleep can result in a headache). Capsaicin, a derivative of cayenne pepper, can help to can help to reduce Substance P (a nerve chemical involved in pain transmission) in the nerves. Sepia and Silica have also been proven to treat headaches, especially migraines; individuals who may want to try these treatments should be lying down in a dim room that is fairly warm-the herbs should start to ‘kick in’ within 15 to 30 minutes.

Insomnia

While herbs like chamomile and lavender have both been proven to relax the body, reduce stress, and aid in insomnia, the most effective alternative insomnia treatment is valerian. Valerian root should be taken in the evenings, and is most often found in a capsule. Valerian helps people to get to sleep faster, and induces deep sleep and even dreaming. Valerian can also be combined with lemon balm to increase sleep, and these herbs do not cause sleep hangover (a drowsy feeling in the morning; usually the result of taking prescription sleep medications). Valerian can be found at local vitamin shops and
grocery stores.

Back pain

For lower back pain, willow bark may be especially helpful. This should
be taken internally (usually in a capsule) and can loosen up the muscles in the back to eliminate discomfort. Devil’s claw capsules have also been proven to alleviate acute lower back pain in some people. Ginger has also been taken internally to ease back pain, but this has not been extensively research as of yet. Applying cayenne pepper topically to the back may also help to decrease discomfort and loosen the muscles while lowering stress levels. Many of these ingredients can be found in the grocery store (i.e. ginger, cayenne pepper); specialty vitamin shops will most likely have devil’s claw and willow bark.

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