“We have finally started to notice that there is real curative value in local herbs and remedies. In fact, we are also becoming aware that there are little or no side effects to most natural remedies, and that they are often more effective than Western medicine”. Anne Wilson Schaef
It’s natural that, as we get older, we may get more aches, pains and ailments but that doesn’t mean that we need to take root in the local doctor’s surgery; there are many natural remedies we can use which have the added benefit of no side-effects, unlike many drug treatments.
Take something like a touch of arthritis, common in many middle aged people; we get some pain and reach for the nearest bottle of pills, typically an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen. Unfortunately, this group of medicines, known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can have a number of side effects, some quite mild such as headaches, nausea, stomach pain, changes in bowel movements and heartburn but, especially with prolonged use, they can also cause stomach ulcers, blood clots and high blood pressure. Although pills are an easy and quick acting option there are also natural anti-inflammatories that Mother Nature has been kind enough to give to us:
Curcumin which is found in turmeric is a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory and you can find it easily in big super markets or health food stores. Mix a teaspoonful with hot water to make a tea and drink twice a day; if you’re not keen in the taste, add in a spoonful of honey.
Ginger is another natural alternative to ibuprofen. Take a piece of fresh ginger root about half the size of your thumb and then slice, crush the slices a little to break them down and then add to hot water; let it stand for 10 minutes or so and then drink up. If you’re a juicing fan, you can also add raw ginger to orange and carrots……
Adding shitake mushrooms to our diet is another great way to discourage inflammation in our bodies and the same applies to fatty fish such as salmon.
Another common ailment in older people is high blood pressure which can lead to some serious health problems; medicines are available to treat it but side effects can include stomach problems, dizziness and headaches so some dietary changes could be your first port of call:
Increase your intake of potassium, magnesium and calcium by adding white beans, greens such as spinach and kale, fresh milk and bananas to your diet. Scientific studies have also shown that eating garlic regularly can help significantly to help reduce your blood pressure.
High levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol put us at risk of serious heart problems and, unfortunately, as we get older, our LDL cholesterol levels rise so we need to do what we can to lower the bad and raise the good (HDL) and food can help with that:
When you cook or make salad dressings use Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Increase your intake of high fibre fruits such as prunes and pears
Eat more avocado and almonds both of which will help raise HDL levels and lower LDL levels.
Avoid trans fats which are often found in processed and junk food.
Ultimately there will be times when we need to see a doctor and have our medical problems fixed but improving our diets and getting our bodies moving more will mean that our visits will be likely to be less frequent…