Your grandma was onto something when she healed your sicknesses and scrapes with things she had in her kitchen.
Roughly 73 per cent of Canadians regularly use natural health products, such as herbal products, homeopathic medicine and vitamins, Health Canada says, and alternative treatments are increasingly accepted in doctors' offices, the New York Times reports.
So why use natural remedies? Well, these convenient, low-cost and gentle, natural antidotes have a long tradition of healing. They can also reduce dependence on harsh antibiotics, naturopath Loch S. Chandler points out in the video above.
"What we're trying to do with these natural antibacterial products is to minimize the use of antibiotics to save them for when the person really needs it," he says.
Herbs and spices and foods such as turmeric, Oregon grape, honey and goldenseal can remedy sicknesses and scrapes, the video adds. Many others can help to heal everything from rashes to arthritis symptoms.
However, physicians have seen an increase in natural remedies’ harmful reactions, particularly when mixed with prescription drugs, notes an article on Canada.com. Always alert a doctor when a serious side effect or illness presents itself.
SEE: Check out how to harness the healing powers of a few natural remedies in the gallery below:
Aloe vera, commonly found as a potted plant in households, produces a gel used to treat skin ailments, such as mild burns, rashes and leg ulcers. The plant contains acemannan and aloin, which some researchers suspect could be helpful in treating cancer, TLC reports. How to use: Clean skin or wound thoroughly, break a branch off the plant, apply the juice inside to the skin and cover with a bandage.
It's not just for the Winnie the Pooh anymore -- unless he has bad skin, that is. A natural antibacterial, honey fights acne while helping skin retain moisture. How to use: Mix equal parts honey and yogurt to make a face mask, or apply it directly to blemishes, Daily Glow recommends.
Fresh ginger taken daily has been linked to increased circulation and reduced arthritis pain, Best Health says. Ginger comes in powder and capsule form, and can also be ingested as a tea or as a cooking ingredient. However, ginger can also act as a blood thinner, MSNBC reports, and excessive consumption can lead to adverse side effects, such as an upset stomach. How to use: In tea, add one teaspoon of grated ginger to boiling water. You can also slice it and add it to meals. Do not exceed 4g daily, or 1g during pregnancy, the University of Maryland Medical Center advises.
"The therapeutic advantages of turmeric and curcumin (its main active component) are almost too numerous to list," Andrew Weil, M.D. writes in The Huffington Post. It can aid digestion, has been found to protect the liver and stomach lining, may prevent heart disease and doctors have suggested the spice has the potential to kill cancer cells. How to use: The daily recommended dose for adults ranges from 1.5 to 3g of cut root, or 1 to 3g per day of powdered root, the University of Maryland Medical Center says.
Cranberries (and blueberries, for that matter) contain antioxidants that some believe may prevent urinary tract infections, Charles Patrick Davis, M.D. wrote on MedicineNet.com. Doctors still prefer to combat UTIs with a more effective low-dose antibiotic, however a daily antibiotic dose generally leads to a higher resistance over time, CNN says. How to use: The recommended dose is a 300 to 400 mg tablet twice a day, or roughly 240 ml of unsweetened cranberry juice, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians.