Sunday, July 22, 2012

Natural Remedies

This post isn't a recipe, since I've been out of town this week and not had time to cook.  But it did get me thinking about my arsenal of natural treatments/remedies/protocols I follow and it can be kind of a pain to travel with all said stuff.  What kind of natural treatments do you use and abide by? (Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or dietician, merely experimenting with natural remedies for my own issues.  I am not recommending or suggesting that any one adopt these, merely starting a dialogue about your own remedies!)

Here are some of mine:

Apple Cider Vinegar
I have just recently started using ACV, in two different ways.  1) Topically- for hormonal blemishes.  It's like a mini-peel.  Beware, this stuff is strong!  But it does work, it's quite potent actually.  I suffer from a host of hormone-related issues and ACV is one of the top remedies.  I have also started drinking it (ICK!!!) throughout the day, before a meal usually, as it has been proven to reduce insulin spikes.  About a teaspoon dissolved in some water.  It's pretty horrible, I won't lie, but I'll try anything!  Make sure you use organic, raw vinegar with the mother still attached.

Oil Pulling
I have been oil pulling daily since March.  You swish a tbsp or so of organic sesame oil in your mouth, like mouthwash, for about 20 minutes, on an empty stomach.  This is an ancient ayurvedic remedy for once again, a whole host of issues, but at it's core, is supposed to purify the blood and body by removing toxins and unwanted bacteria.  I have found it works wonders for your immune and digestive systems, and it also strengthens your teeth and has a whitening effect.  Many say it cures gum disease as well.

Spearmint Tea
Supposedly, two cups of spearmint tea a day (on an empty stomach) can regulate hormones.  Something about the properties of the spearmint binding to unwanted excess hormones in your body.  I have also just recently started drinking this tea and can't say if it's doing anything or not- but I can't imagine drinking all this organic herbal tea could be bad.  If nothing else, it's a great hydrator.

Daily Probiotics
I am lazy, so take pills, but of course there are some great edible probiotic foods out there.  Raw fermented vegetables, like cabbage (or kimchi) are great, or you could make your own coconut milk kefir.  I am doing my best to steer clear of dairy these days, other than the small amount of cream in my coffee, so for the moment yogurt is out.  I am reading more and more these days about the detrimental effect dairy has on insulin levels.

It has been proven that Chromium and Cinnamon have favorable effects on blood sugar levels, so those are part of my daily routine, as is Vitamin D, Biotin, Zinc, B6, B12, baby aspirin, inositol, magnesium, manganese, folic acid, royal jelly, and vitamin C.

Of course some of the most important "natural" remedies are the simplest, drinking lots of water, moving your body, and getting enough sleep.  There are days when even these most basic of healthy living approaches seem daunting.  Like when it's 105 degrees and the though of a brisk power-walk outside sounds like torture, or when you have tons of work to catch up on and not enough time in the day.  The topic of supplementing is much debated in the blogosphere.  Should you or shouldn't you?  I've even gotten comments in the past from people who prefer one or the other.  Obviously, you should aim for a varied and health diet that provides the minimum daily amounts.  But this also isn't always possible.  What if you are doing a fast?  What if you are on a very strict diet?  What if you are in the induction phase, or just beginning to heal your gut and are limited to an extremely small number of safe foods?  What if you're a vegan or vegetarian and may not always get adequate protein and/or iron and B12?  Or, like me, you may believe that mega-dosing certain vitamins and minerals can have a medicinal and/or healing effect.

I am always on the lookout for new remedies.  I have been mulling iodine for awhile, knowing that it can help an under active thyroid.  Let me know in the comments what kind of remedies you have tried, what you like and don't like, and so on!

Have a great day! XoXoGFG

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