By Nil Cagurangan
Trying to incorporate more natural products into your lifestyle? While there’s still a debate on the real benefits of homeopathy as a substitute for over-the-counter prescription, we take the middle ground by acknowledging the need for both pharmacy-bought drugs and vaccines, and the real potential of natural remedies to alleviate common illnesses.
These remedies are NOT to be confused with going “chemical-free” (since, technically speaking, everything is made up of chemicals), opting for natural products should be all the rage because of the simple reasons that they are cheaper, more accessible alternatives—and it also helps our own farmers.
Here are a few items that you might want to check out, that may be available in your own cupboard or garden! But don’t forget to keep in mind the “no therapeutical claims” disclaimer, and do your own personal research for any contraindications.
Also dubbed as “the golden spice” or luyang dilaw in your local palengke, turmeric is fast becoming popular for cough relief and sore throat due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. If it looks or tastes familiar, that’s because it’s what gives yellow curry its bright yellow color. Keep an eye out for this soothing salabat alternative, usually blended with honey and in powder form usually available in those weekend markets.
7. Bee Propolis
We know that honey works wonders for the hair, skin and as a healthier all-around sweetener with antifungal properties, but have you heard about THIS other bee by-product? Propolis or bee glue, specially made from Philippine Stingless Bees, have been making a name as a key ingredient in health and beauty products such as creams and ointments for its anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. It’s been used for centuries, even all the way back when Egyptians made use of Propolis for mummification.
If you think Gugo shampoo sounds like it should stay in your lola’s back-in-the-day stories, think again–more people are turning back to good ‘ol gugo products made from the bark of the Entada Phaseoloides tree to reduce hair fall and dandruff.
5. Virgin Coconut Oil
So you’ve heard about VCO as a daily dietary supplement, but did you know that it’s also a great makeup remover, cure for puffy eyes and a gentle sunblock (with an SPF of 4 to 5) that gives your skin a nice tropical glow?
4. Essential Oils
Speaking of oils, keeping a set of small vials of essential oils can give you instant all-around relief and even lift your spirits. Tea tree oil, for example, has long been used as a key ingredient in antiseptic and antifungal bath and body products, as well as anti-acne gels. Other oils like peppermint, lavender and citronella have been staples in aromatherapy as a mood stimulant, sleep-inducer and an insect repellant, respectively.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Does the bottle above look familiar? If it does, that’s probably because you’re seeing more of your friends posting it on their social media accounts. Taking a swig of Apple Cider Vinegar in the morning is another whole-health magical potion that can help you lose weight, boosts your energy, and gets rid of bad breath. You can use it in the shower for your hair too, to get rid of dandruff and make your hair look extra groovy.
Forget the cough syrups that make you drowsy, lagundi is readily available in drug stores now to help you beat that cough. If it gives you any extra assurance, it’s among the Philippine herbal medicines approved by the DOH.
What was once known as the lowly malunggay is in demand all around the world as “the miracle tree” because of its status as the top herb in cancer research, malnutrition in kids and nursing mothers and richness in vitamins A, B and C, calcium, iron and protein.
What natural remedies do you rely on? Share your tips in the comments below!