Head to the Pantry, Not the Pill Bottle
With a more holistic approach to health and wellbeing in 2017, Lane Crawford goes in search of the au-naturel treatments that help ease minor, common pains – no prescription necessary.
Giving us the inside knowledge is New York-based naturopathic doctor Dr. Gabrielle Francis, who reveals which foods and natural remedies we should be reaching for first.
Cold and Flu
“Eat extra antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables (which are yellow, orange, and red in colour) as well as food with antibiotic properties, such as garlic and onions. Avoid sugar, dairy, wheat, and alcohol, which are inflammatory and weaken your immune system. Finally, stay hydrated by drinking a minimum of 8–10 glasses of water and herbal tea, especially if you’re already sick.”
“Boost immunity with probiotics containing Lactobacillus acidophilus (daily, per bottle instructions) and vitamins A (25,000 IU daily) and C (1,000 mg daily). Supplement with herbal cold and flu fighters like astragalus, echinacea, elderberry, goldenseal, and ligusticum.”
“Apply a nightly chest rub of eucalyptus oil or balm to ease coughing. Bolster your defense with acupuncture 1-2 times weekly. Finally, limit or avoid exercise while your body heals and be sure to sleep 8-10 hours a night.”
“The blues can turn into something far more serious when prolonged and untreated, if this happens, see your doctor – but in the meantime, these natural remedies that can improve your outlook on life. Eat brain-boosting foods such as wild cold-water fish, eggs, coconut oil, olive oil, organic meats, dark chocolate, and dark leafy greens. Avoid sugar, alcohol, refined carbohydrates, sodas, and processed foods, which cause hormone and blood sugar imbalances that impact your mood and brain function. Dehydration can heighten anxiety by causing mood swings, fatigue, tension, and difficulty concentrating. Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily and limit caffeine to 1-2 cups daily.”
“Increase neurotransmitters and improve brain function with 5-HTP (50–100 mg at dinner), daily B-complex vitamins, and L-tyrosine (50–100 mg in the a.m.). Add herbs with extra mood-boosting power including ashwagandha, maca, rhodiola, Saint-John’s-wort (300 mg, 3 times per day), and Siberian ginseng.”
“For more immediate relief use ylang-ylang essential oil, a natural antidepressant, in a diffuser in your home or office. Every day exercise for 20-30 minutes to boost serotonin levels, meditate 10-20 minutes, aim for eight hours of sleep each night, play or do something you love, and finally surround yourself with friends and family. Weekly acupuncture, Reiki, and psychotherapy treatments can also help.”
Heartburn, Reflux and Stomach Aches
“Eat easily digestible foods such as white rice, yogurt, oatmeal, and cooked foods. Enjoy smaller meals more frequently instead of large meals so you don’t overeat and don’t forget to chew your food well. Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day, but avoid drinking at the same time as you eat because it dilutes the enzymes. Finally, avoid caffeine, alcohol, sugar, spicy foods, tomatoes, citrus, and white flour, which can trigger heartburn.”
“Heal and protect your gut-associated lymphoid tissue with glutamine (1,500mg daily), daily probiotics, and digestive enzymes (one with each meal). Herbs are also helpful in treating heartburn. I recommend aloe, deglycerinated licorice, marshmallow, okra, and slippery elm.”
“Alternative therapies work well for heartburn. I recommend weekly acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation of the thoracic spine, weekly Rolfing sessions to release diaphragm tension, adjusting your posture for proper and lifted alignment. Aim for 8-10 hours of sleep nightly on a slant with head and upper body elevated, and chest-opening yoga poses, such as back bends, that expand the front of the body and release the stomach.”