Would you ever try oil to cure your back pain or take herbs to fight a cold? Some of you would say no, but there are many who would try a natural remedy, especially if it keeps them away from the doctors office. It’s estimated that as many as 36 percent of US adults aged 18 and over use some type of complementary and alternative medicine. With the rising costs of traditional healthcare, I feel like this number will keep rising.
Growing up, I rarely went to the doctor other than for a yearly checkup. Part of the reason was we couldn’t afford it and another part of it is my family believed in the power of natural remedies.
Depending on the severity of the illness, there was always an herb or supplement that would heal the illness or completely prevent it. When I reached adulthood, I found it easier to go to the doctor and get a pill for whatever ailed me instead of taking the time to let my body work it out. I ignored the home remedies that our family had used for centuries and turned to modern medicine.
But I’ve recently gone back to using essential oils and herbs to treat a chronic health condition I have after being disgusted with the way my doctors just prescribed pills to mask the illness instead of working on making it better. Instead of popping pain pills, I have turned to homeopathic remedies.
From aromatherapy to acupuncture, there are many ways to treat illnesses without popping pills or wasting your precious time in your doctor’s waiting room.
Types of Natural Remedies
There are many ways of treating medical conditions naturally. For people with chronic pain, massage therapy, acupuncture and even aromatherapy are alternate treatments. When someone has a cold or fever, there are essential oils and herbal remedies that can help.
We treat my son’s allergic asthma with an essential oil blend diffused in his room at night and rubbed on his feet. Instead of cough medicine, we use local honey for his cough. His episodes in the past ended up with multiple doctors’ appointments each spring and fall. Those visits resulted in a prescription for steroids (and sometimes antibiotics). Since we have turned to natural remedies, we haven’t had to visit the doctor for this condition in over a year.
You can now find herbal and natural remedies in your major pharmacies. Companies like Zarbees, Boiron, and Little Remedies use ingredients found in nature to relieve anything from coughs to pain in children and adults. But are they effective?
Cheaper than Prescriptions
Many natural remedies are less expensive than their prescription alternative. A few drops of an essential oil can be as little as a few cents, compared to a few dollars per pill. Many Americans do not have prescription coverage. Even those who do can have high copays.
Long-term Health Benefits
Using natural remedies to treat illnesses could possibly lead to better long term health. The healthier you are, the less you will spend in medical expenses in the future. Many people are finding that making changes to their diet and treating illnesses naturally can improve their overall health which will save you money in the long run.
Save on Doctor Copays
Two years ago, my son was at the doctor 6 times for his condition. Last year, he was only there for one well visit. Even though the essential oil we use is expensive, last year alone it saved us over $150 in copays and around $200 in prescription costs. If you can treat minor illnesses with natural remedies or use proactively, you may not even need to see a doctor.
Chronic Pain Management Costs
Traditional therapies for pain management can be expensive. Although some alternative treatments like chiropractic, supplements and essential oils seem expensive, when compared to the big picture, it can still be a savings.
Since natural remedies can help you avoid the trip to the doctor, you won’t be missing work to sit in the waiting room. Since some remedies may help to alleviate symptoms or ease chronic health conditions, it may keep sick days to a minimum.
As always, you want to run it by your physician if you have a medical condition before starting any natural remedies and alternative therapies. Some oils and herbs can interact with traditional medicines that you take. Do your research. You may want to meet with a herbalist, aromatherapist or naturopath first to put you on a regimen and teach you about the healing properties of these natural remedies. But it can be worth looking into. It was for my family!
Have you tried natural remedies in the past? Share with us in the comments below!
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