It may be hard to imagine, but in the days before prescription drugs, people turned to natural remedies to treat diseases such as infections and toothaches. Currently, approximately 4 out of 10 adults still turn to alternative and similar therapies, including herbal supplements, to treat what hurts them.
Ideally, it is better for patients to consult with their doctors before trying any natural remedy. In turn, it's a good idea for doctors to understand which of these remedies really works.
Let's look at some examples.
Probiotics, live cultures of bacteria or yeasts, are considered strong defenses against "bad" bacteria, such as Clostridium difficile, who can take care of your insides. It is likely that it has been bombarded with ads that promote probiotics in the form of yogurt. But does this help? And is it worthwhile to shell out a small fortune for large packages at your local wholesale warehouse?
According to one JAMAvedctevuruubsrrqwwbbdxbqryasvuv In this review, several mechanisms have been suggested to explain how certain probiotics could have health benefits, especially with respect to diarrhea. For example, Saccharomyces boulardii, a strain of yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, has been shown to impede the pathogenicity of bacterial toxins. In addition, acetic, lactic and propionic acid produced by Lactobacillus species could lower the intestinal pH and inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria such as Escherichia coli Y Clostridium species. On the other hand, the presence of Lactobacillus The species and other probiotics in the intestines can physically and chemically prevent adhesion and colonization of pathogenic bacteria. Finally, such probiotics could induce or improve an immune response.
Not all strains of probiotics help relieve diarrhea, and it remains to be clarified which specific strains of probiotics are most useful in treating this unpleasant condition.
Dating back to ancient Greece, mint has been used for a long time as an herbal remedy to treat gastrointestinal diseases. Today, peppermint oil and leaves are commonly used to treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The relief of the symptoms is probably due to the menthol found in the mint, which has an antispasmodic effect on the intestinal smooth muscle. Menthol is also used in several topical over-the-counter products for respiratory congestion, headache, and muscle pain.
According to the results of a large meta-analysis published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Peppermint oil vs. placebo is effective in treating global complaints of IBS, such as abdominal pain. In addition, mint oil did not have negative side effects. The number of patients who had to be treated to avoid a patient having persistent symptoms of IBS was three, and four patients were needed to avoid a case of abdominal pain.
In the Middle East, flavored tea with spices is a common practice, and for good reason. In addition to enriching the flavor, spicing tea can produce several metabolic benefits. In an Iranian trial, subjects who incorporated cardamom, cinnamon, ginger or saffron in their tea for 8 weeks experienced improvements in metabolic biomarkers, such as lipid profiles, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol and high lipoprotein levels. Density compared with controls However, these spices did not decrease blood sugar levels, insulin and HbA1c, or fasting body weight.
As a child, you may remember being painted in a hot calamine lotion for stinging diseases, such as mosquito bites, exposure to poison ivy or chicken pox. Calamine lotion is a mineral mixture of zinc and ferric oxide that is used in lotions, liniments and ointments to relieve the itching, pain and discomfort of minor skin irritations.
In a study published in the Journal of Orthopedic Surgery Children 6 to 15 years old who used casts, those who used calamine lotion experienced less itching and less skin lesions compared to controls. Users of the calamine lotion were also less sweaty. It seems that the mother really knows better. Hurray for the pink things!
Poor sleep quality is often associated with women after childbirth, but chamomile tea can help. According to the results of a Chinese trial, postnatal women who drank chamomile tea for 2 weeks experienced better sleep quality and greater relief from symptoms of depression than controls.
Echinacea is derived from the roots of coneflowers. For some time, experts have been interested in the immune effects of this natural supplement. In a meta-analysis published in Advances in MedicineIt was found that echinacea extract decreases the risk of infections and recurrent respiratory complications, such as pneumonia, ear infection and tonsillitis. Experts hypothesize that echinacea harbors the immune modulating, antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects that appear strongest in susceptible individuals. In particular, it appears that echinacea is most effective during episodes of acute illness.
Buckeyes, with which sports fans may be familiar, are part of the horse chestnut family. Horse chestnut has been used as a conservative therapy for varicose veins instead of compression stockings. According to the authors of a review published in Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: "The evidence presented suggests that (horse chestnut seed extract) is an effective and safe short-term treatment for (chronic venous insufficiency.) However, there are several warnings and, to confirm the effectiveness of this treatment option , larger and more definitive tests are required (randomized controlled trials).
Although there is some evidence that supports the use of natural remedies to treat certain conditions, in general, there are many more examples of treatments that do not provide scientifically proven health benefits. For example, some people believe that cranberries (including juices and supplements) are an effective treatment for urinary tract infections despite the lack of sufficient clinical data, as experts have pointed out. Also, taking nail oil for toothache does not work according to the FDA.