Why We Love All Things Natural
When I was little, my grandmother used to say that I should not play outside for too long especially when the sun was out. To a child, getting sunburned was a small price to pay for the fun of playing “restaurants” with my friends; so, I ignored her, instead returning home much later to receive an earful.
She would march me sternly into the garden to cut some aloe vera leaves. I remember cringing as she smeared the slimy stuff on to my face daily for a week; as a child I imagined it was some disgusting goo that my grandmother was applying on my face. Little did I know how much it helped lessen the sunburn that I had; not to mention saving me from being called a buttered shrimp by a bunch of 10-year-olds.
Many of us have had similar experiences with our elders.
Have you ever wondered why our parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents would opt for natural substitutes when it comes to our day-to-day activities and consumption? Or why they prefer using herbs over conventional doctor-prescribed medicines?
When it comes to our bodies, many of us believe we are being careful about what we consume and apply to our skin. Hence, the inevitable skepticism towards traditional remedies that were practiced by the previous generation. But this is back-to-front thinking. It is the chemicals in many of the products we consume that is harming our bodies, whereas natural remedies are safer and sometimes even more effective than the chemical cocktails we believe in.
For instance, if an individual is experiencing a headache, the fastest and most convenient medicine that we could think of is the one we get from our fridge. However, do you know that there is another element which is safer and natural to cure headaches or migraines. A study in 2014 has shown that ginger powder’s benefits are comparable to sumatriptan’s, which is a commonly prescribed migraine drug, but with fewer side effects (Maghbooli et al, 2013). Also, ginger has anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties.
Another example of traditional medicine, but one that is made a daily routine in some cultures is the consumption of green tea. These days we can see that this drink is not unfamiliar even among the youths. It is evident that green tea has become remarkably popular that an individual could purchase it in most restaurants and cafes. Nevertheless, it is to no surprise that even some green tea lovers do not know the real nutritional value behind this authentic yet delicious drink. Green tea (without milk) is widely known to be a good beverage in everyone's diet; not only does it help to lose weight, but research suggests it may be beneficial against certain cancers and reduce fatigue (John Hopkins Medicine, n.d).
Finally, the most overlooked substance that endows people with amazing benefits is water! Nothing is more natural than water itself. Our body’s water content averages about 60%, which means that more than half of our body is water. Drinking water has become a habit for most of us but not all of us know that it could benefit us in ways that go beyond hydration. As an example, rubbing ice on your face can help to minimize your pores, apart from keeping your skin glow due to the improvement of blood circulation. Besides that, rubbing ice on the face could also be an easy remedy for heat rashes as it relieves the inflammation and the rashes itself (Sinha, 2019).
In short, there are numerous natural and healthy substitutes that we could use in place of chemicals, even ones whose uses are yet to be fully discovered. We live in a world that is filled with hundreds and thousands of amazing examples of the beauty and wisdom of nature.
This June, let’s explore them together!
John Hopkins Medicine. (no date) Herbal Medicine [Online]. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/herbal-medicine (Accessed: 23 May 2021)
Maghbooli, M, et al. (2013) ‘Comparison between the efficacy of ginger and sumatriptan in the ablative treatment of the common migraine’, Phytotherapy Research, 28(3) [Online]. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23657930/ (Accessed: 22 May 2021)
Sinha, R. (2019) Ice Cubes on Face: 15 Beauty Benefits [Online]. Available at: https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/beauty-with-ice-cubes/ (Accessed: 22 May 2021)
Stickler, T. (2020) Migraine Herbal Home Remedies from Around the World [Online]. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/migraine-herbal-home-remedies-from-around-the-world (Accessed: 23 May 2021)
USGS. (no date) The Water in You: Water and the Human Body [Online]. Available at: https://www.usgs.gov/special-topic/water-science-school/science/water-you-water-and-human-body?qt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects (Accessed: 23 May 2021)