Acetaminophen (sold as Tylenol in the US and paracetamol in the UK) is one of the most recent painkiller drugs to come under scrutiny due to questions about how effective it really is, as well as evidence of some adverse side effects. More and more medical practitioners are reconsidering whether they should prescribe it, particularly for long-term treatment, even though you can also buy it over the counter. People take drugs such as this for common ailments – to reduce a fever or because they have a headache, for example. However, you have the option to choose natural solutions for conditions that cause discomfort in the form of essential oils and herbal remedies. Here are a few of the best for everyday complaints.
What do you take for headaches if you don’t want to use chemicals? A wide range of factors, including stress, allergies, colds, and migraines, can cause headaches. There are also many herbs that are known to relieve particular types of headaches; for example, peppermint oil has been proven to be as effective as Tylenol when it comes to pain relief, and eucalyptus is naturally anti-inflammatory and analgesic.
Spruce oil has a similar effect to the hormone cortisone, while lavender is used in aromatherapy to reduce stress and promote relaxation. The best essential oils for headaches are those that blend the most effective individual herbs to make an all-purpose remedy – if headaches are an issue for you, it’s worth taking the time to get more information on potential herbal solutions.
You may be surprised to learn that burns can be treated with honey and also with prickly pear. Honey keeps the burned area moist and stimulates recovery, stopping infection. For treating sunburn, fillet a cactus pad (wearing gloves, naturally) and rub the slippery plant material you will find inside all over the sunburned area.
For cuts and grazes, you can make up a powder from a variety of herbal ingredients and treat your wound quickly and easily. Start with barberry, goldenseal, or another member of the berberine plant family, and add the root or leaf of comfrey and, if liked, some oregano, thyme, or rosemary. You can use this for a few days and then switch to honey.
Rashes can be troublesome and as with headaches have a number of different causes. Hives are often maddeningly itchy, and echinacea can be very effective as it has wound-healing and antibiotic properties. Touch-me-not, also known as jewelweed, makes a good ointment, especially if chamomile or calendula flowers are added – all have soothing properties that will protect your skin. If you’re unfortunate enough to suffer a bite or a sting, you can treat it with the echinacea or prickly pear remedies.
Finally, if you’ve succumbed to the common cold or have a nasty sinus infection, turn to an essential oil that is blended to include eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon grass, and camphor. Remember that often the most effective solutions for everyday ailments are the simplest ones.