Are you struggling to stay awake during the day? Or do you hate waking up to a face full of zits that’s worse than the acne you faced as a teenager? You don’t need to run off to the doctor - plenty of natural solutions exist to help treat or cure the problems we face every day!
According to the Australian Natural Therapists Association, naturopathy is:“A holistic approach to wellness based on the principle that the body has the inherent ability to heal itself. Using the healing power of nature and gentle therapeutic techniques, the body, mind and emotions are supported during the healing process.”
Those who train in natural therapies learn to use everything from herbal medicines to hydrotherapy and from homeopathy to flower essences to treat common conditions. These approaches aren’t new, but they still aren’t widely used in today’s modern medical climate – and that’s everybody’s loss!
Want to learn a few of their secrets? Here’s how natural therapists approach six everyday health problems with naturopathic remedies.
Problem #1: Acne and skin conditions
The side effects of acne prescriptions like Accutane are so severe that, in this case, the cure may be worse than the sickness itself. If you’d like to avoid potential complications like the onset of Crohn’s disease or depression, consider the following natural acne and skin condition remedies a try before reaching for something stronger:
Tea Tree Oil
Although many medical practitioners reach for antibiotics to clear stubborn acne, tea tree oil has proven just as effective against the P. acnes and Staph aureus strains of bacteria that lead to zits. Make your own home treatment by blending one part tea tree oil to 19 parts non-comedogenic oil.
Instead of using traditional, salicylic acid containing face treatments, change up your routine with willow bark cleansers or serums. Willow bark contains a natural form of salicylic acid, which gives you a gentler, yet still effective exfoliation.
Moroccan Rhassoul Clay
Skin treatments such as retinol may help clear up skin, but they do so at the expense of causing burning, redness, stinging and peeling. Rhassoul clay can help minimise oil production without drying skin out when mixed with warm water and applied as a mask.
Just a note - Although these and other suggestions in this article have been reviewed by natural medicine practitioners, it is important to consult your own doctor before attempting natural solutions, especially if you’re already taking prescription medications to treat your conditions or if you’re pregnant or nursing.
Problem #2: Nausea
Stopping nausea in its tracks doesn’t have to mean prescription therapy. Whether you’re suffering from nausea due pregnancy, the stomach flu or any other medical condition, look to the ginger and peppermint plants to comfort your upset stomach. Both of these natural digestive aids can be taken in the form of tea or candies and represent a safe, yet effective alternative for soothing sick feelings.
Problem #3: Energy levels
Instead of reaching for another cuppa - or worse, a prescription alertness drug with potentially unpleasant side effects - give the following suggestions a try to boost energy naturally:
Rub the edge of your ears from top to bottom a few times using two fingers. This stimulates a part of the body that's associated with wakefulness and active energies, according to traditional Chinese medicine.
Take a B-complex vitamin. Not only will this help fight fatigue, it boosts energy by speeding up your metabolism.
Try an L-tyrosine supplement. This compound enhances the production of dopamine and norepinephrine, two neurotransmitter hormones that help you stay alert throughout the day.
Problem #4: Better sleep
Natural remedies can help keep your energy up during the day, but they can also be used to help you power down at night. If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, consider the following naturopathic sleep solutions:
This hormone controls sleep naturally, so it's no surprise that supplementing with melatonin can improve sleep quality. That said, stick to lower doses between 0.3 and 0.5 mg before bed, as higher doses could contribute to depression or other problems.
This potent supplement can help reduce anxiety, calm restlessness and even stop restless legs syndrome. To use it to improve sleep quality, try a dose between 30 and 120 mg before bed.
Calcium and magnesium
The bone and heart health benefits of calcium and magnesium are well-established, but did you know that, when taken together, these two supplements can help you sleep deeper? Start by taking no more than 200 mg of magnesium and 600 mg of calcium each night.
Problem #5: Natural aphrodisiacs
Use of “the little blue pill” and other prescription libido supplements may be up (no pun intended), but these medications can carry some unfortunate side effects, including chest pain, irregular breathing and vision changes. Talk about symptoms that won’t help you get in the mood!
Practitioners of naturopathy have a number of alternative tools to offer from their aphrodisiac arsenals, such as:
This doesn't just taste good - it's also a natural source of the phenyl ethylamine (PEA) chemical that the body and brain produce when falling in love.
These fruits are known to aid sexual performance and improve muscle control.
This healthy plant contains high-quality Vitamin E heightens arousal states and boosts intensity of strong loving feelings and stimulation.
Problem #6: Anxiety relief
Ask anyone who’s ever suffered from anxiety, and you’ll hear that it’s hard to imagine a worse feeling in the world. The fear, the panic, and the tightened chest - all of which often occur for no detectable reason.
But while many medical practitioners jump immediately to prescription drugs with potentially harmful side effects, naturopathy offers a range of natural methods for dealing with anxiety:
Anxiety sufferers can take this tip from yogis, who breath in for a count of four, hold the breath for seven counts and then exhale to a count of eight. Repeat several times over the course of the day, and you'll find that it's nearly impossible to be anxious when you're breathing deeply.
This potent plant doesn't belong in the aphrodisiac section above - it's actually a sedative that's been approved by the German government to help with nervousness and restlessness. Some studies suggest that it may reduce anxiety symptoms as effectively as prescription medications, though it shouldn't be used for more than one month at a time (or in combination with other sedative herbs).
A brisk walk
Dr Drew Ramsey suggests that it takes about 21 minutes to reliably reduce anxiety through exercise. The next time you're feeling upset, try 20-30 minutes walking outdoors or on the treadmill to resolve your anxiety issues.
Furthering your passion for natural remedies
Want to learn more about the naturopathic solutions that can be used to treat everyday health problems? Take a look at our Natural Therapies course, which will give you all the skills needed to improve your well-being and pass these healing approaches on to others!