How Natural Remedy works?


How natural products contribute to your health?

 

Natural remedies are everywhere these days. From vitamin C to zinc, everyone’s touting their version of a cure for what ails you. And between the COVID pandemic and the coming cold-and-flu season, this conversation is just heating up.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the options, to fall under the spell of well-concealed marketing techniques. But do all these supplements and so-called superfoods really help? Or, could they even be harmful?

Conserving the herbal medicine in the modern age is crucial.

Are any supplements proven to prevent respiratory infections?

 

Greenfield: There’s some promising data about the
effectiveness of vitamin C, and aside from some concerns about people
with kidney stones, it’s generally safe. Evidence suggests a reasonable
dose of 500-1000 milligrams a day during cold and flu season may have a
protective effect.

Natural health remedies are the best healing formulas.
Herbal medicines are generally considered to be safe and effective agents but, please
consider that inappropriate use of herbal medicines can cause negative or dangerous effects.
A proper use of herbal medicine will boost your immunity system and  will play an important factor to decrease toxicity.

Other popular natural remedies…

We also asked Greenfield about a few of the most popular home remedies on the internet, where they are often touted as cure-alls. Here’s what he had to say:

  • Apple cider vinegar: If taken appropriately — always diluted, and in small amounts — I think apple cider vinegar is safe, and it may have certain benefits. In cancer settings, the idea of acid-base balance comes up, but that’s still far from a proven theory. As far as effectiveness in terms of COVID, flu and colds, it would be premature to jump on board now.
  • Coconut oil : Generally, I’m not opposed to coconut oil, but it is a saturated fat. Recently, an article came out of the Philippines about coconut oil and COVID. It got a lot of play, but one study isn’t enough to say whether it’s going to help. I’m glad people are looking into this, but I’m not going out of my way to recommend coconut oil yet.
  • Garlic : In my training with Dr. Andrew Weil, one of the things I learned was to swallow up to a tablespoon of minced or chopped garlic (straight!) at the first signs of a cold. The evidence for this is anecdotal, but just as with coconut oil, it’s a generally safe action to take, and there is some rationale behind it.
  • Green tea : Green tea has some antimicrobial activity, but I don’t know of any data showing it’s effective against COVID. Green tea’s high antioxidant levels and polyphenols might help fight cancer and lower cholesterol. Also, it contains the amino acid L-theanine, which may help with anxiety. So, there are good reasons to drink green tea, but I am not a fan of taking green tea supplements, some of which have been linked to liver damage.
  • Medicinal mushroom extracts: I take a medicinal mushroom extract every day. It may help boost the immune system, and there’s no evidence yet suggesting it could induce cytokine storm. Do I know of research showing it will prevent me from coming down with COVID? No, I don’t. But, even though I’m a physician, I’m just like everyone else: looking for a little extra something that might help keep me and my family safe.
  • Zinc: Zinc looks interesting — there’s some thought that it may inhibit the entry of the coronavirus into cells. But again, we don’t have enough evidence to say everyone should be taking it. Many people use zinc during cold and flu season, but they often think more is better. That’s not true, and taking large amounts of zinc can cause side effects, Greenfield said. High zinc intake over time can result in low levels of copper, that with high levels of zinc, can actually lead to a depressed, rather than strengthened immune system. The FDA has also warned consumers that zinc nasal sprays can lead to loss of smell.

Our days

We’re still in the infancy stage, in terms of knowing whether any of these natural agents will be helpful with COVID.

It may sound old-fashioned, but the best way to stay well is still mom’s common-sense advice: eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, stay hydrated and take steps to manage your stress. We also know for a fact that the general guidelines about social distancing, frequent hand-washing and wearing a face mask are very effective at preventing the spread of disease.

Above all, it’s important to check with your doctor — an integrative medicine specialist if at all possible — before taking any natural remedies, to make sure they don’t interact with your current prescriptions or worsen any underlying medical conditions you may have.

It’s important to remember that “natural” is not synonymous with “safe.” Until we’re certain about safety, we shouldn’t go out willy-nilly, taking everything we can find at the health food store. And, even when natural agents like echinacea or melatonin do show promise for colds or flu, that doesn’t mean the same will be true for the novel coronavirus.