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Natural treatments don't usually seem to work...resorting to conventional frustrations

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
Does anyone else experience this? More often than not, when I try to use a natural remedy or product, it either doesn't work at all, or not as well as it's conventional counterpart. Examples:

I recently got athlete's foot for the first time in my life. I tried a natural topical antifungal that I found at the natural foods store. Used it religiously for 3 weeks and the infection only got worse and I had to resort to Lotrimin.

I tried a natural deoderant and that didn't work worth a darn. There are a lot of different natural ones out there, but I cannot afford to keep buying them just to try them.

I've tried Arnica topical gel for bumps/bruises for both DS and I. Never noticed a difference versus non-treatment.

Natural honey cough syrup - I can't even tell if it makes a difference when I give it to DS.

Homeopathic teething remedies never worked for DS

I have also given him various homeopathic remedies, never could tell if they worked.

BM in the eye never worked for pinkeye. Now he has it again, and I got a natural eyewash at the store. It seemed to work at first and the eye was almost healed, but it started getting goopy again this morning and i had to resort to antibiotic drops. The eyewash stung his eyes anyways

The only things that work/may have worked for us:

Mullein garlic oil for ear infections
Vit C/echinacea for colds
zinc helps my cystic acne somewhat
fish oil/Vit D to help prevent illnesses

I'm trying so hard to avoid chemicals and perscriptions, but it gets so frustrating when the natural stuff just doesn't work for us! Am I doing something wrong?
post #2 of 51
Well, I think it helps to look at what actually has back up research that show it will likely work. Example: honey has actually been proven to be more effective than cough medicine in kids. http://www.livescience.com/health/07...ney-cough.html That said, cough meds aren't really effective for coughs. I don't know what was in your medicine either. And if you were seeing viral asthma honey isn't going to touch that. There are lots of variables.

My son had a nasty parasite called b. hominus. I knew from extensive research we had almost no chance of killing that thing with anything short of big gun pharma. drugs if that even worked. I knew they only possible natural treatment (unlikely to work even then) was oregano oil. We did that. We also ended up with the big gun.

On deodorant I looked a lot at reviews (here and elsewhere) of natural deodorant before I decided to "gamble" on funk butter (which worked for me).

I guess I'm saying you have more of a chance of success if you do your homework and have reasonable expectations based on what you find. Sometimes you'll find that natural is more effective and sometimes it isn't. Life is a balance.
post #3 of 51
I can only share how things are working for us, which isn't always perfectly, but overall I think I'm seeing good progress.

For me, right now, when something health-wise starts up, I start looking for why it happened. When I was new to this, I just tried to substitute conventional products for less toxic, hopefully healthier ones, and I had mixed success there. Now, and I can only speak to my situation--me, DH and our two kids--when something odd happens, health-wise, I assume there's a reason, some imbalance in us, something that's different with what we need compared to other people, and the hunt begins for that reason. And if I address that, then problems start to resolve, or a natural remedy will help, when before it wouldn't have.

DH actually, just within the past few weeks, started to get athlete's foot again. He's had it in the past, actually for a long time, but it went away when our family life got better and he got happier. Very cool. That's not the problem now, but I think the underlying issue, that his digestion isn't great, and now it's spring and here it's getting warm (hot and humid, Houston summers aren't the most pleasant), well, I think it's exacerbating the problem--a lot of people with his digestive issues have more trouble in the summer. We may try tea tree oil again, as a band-aid (didn't work last time, but maybe his unhappiness was too intense, whereas now he and I are both in much better shape mentally/emotionally), but I think the problem we truly need to address is digestion and diet. It'll be a slower solution, and more work, and it's not a guarantee that I'm right, but that's my best guess now.

I have a hard time figuring out if homeopathic remedies are helping. I mean--I've seen some really work, the nat mur for DD's canker sores is rocking good, and ledum for DS's fire ant bites, but others I haven't been sure of. But even the nat mur--I think part of the underlying reason she kept getting canker sores was zinc deficiency. I've been working on that for years, and I didn't see a change in the canker sores, but when I added the nat mur acutely when she got the canker sores plus the zinc she gets every day, well, the canker sores happened less and less frequently, and now it's been more than a year since she's had one. But it's a combination approach, a concrete underlying issue, plus the homeopathic.

I don't know if I've described things very well. It took me changing the way I think, not just substituting in better products, but making lists of possible root causes for why these things (all our health issues) are happening to me, and not the lady next door, and then starting to try stuff. There's been trial-and-error mixed in, plenty of it.
post #4 of 51
as far as natural deodorant goes, all the ones i tried were lousy. so now i use baking soda and cornstarch and it works way way better! I rub a little coconut oil under my arms (not entirely necessary but it gives the powder something to stick to.) and, using a blush brush, i brush on a mix of equal parts cornstarch and baking soda from a jar that i keep in the bathroom. the baking soda makes you not stinky and the cornstarch keeps the baking soda from being all scratchy. you can put a few drops of essential oil in it to make it smell nice, too.
post #5 of 51
I think it depends on the situation. I've tried the "natural" remedies for UTIs (cranberry pills, D-mannose, etc.) but since I have a nerve issue that's causing the UTIs, they didn't help. But I am taking Pure Encapsulations Anti-Inflammatories (which has natural things like turmeric and bromelain) and it works better than ibuprofin.

I find that Arnica gel works way better on relieving my muscle spasms than any of the Ben-Gay type rubs.

I found that Bentonite Clay reduces my DS's food reactions by a third, when nothing else affected them at all.

I also find that if I ask the right people, I know which ones work and don't work, so that I'm not spending a ton of money on useless things. Not all things work for all people, regardless of whether it's "natural" or not. For instance for allergies, DH uses Rhinocort, which gave me nosebleeds. I tried Claritin, and it didn't work at all for me. So big pharm doesn't necessarily work all the time either. I wouldn't issue a blanket statement on either.
post #6 of 51
I highly recommend the book Prescription for Nutritional Healing. They go through the research and are very thorough. They also lists drug reactions for herbs and vitamins. It's a good,evidence approach to things.

Not everything works and every body is different. Natural remedies are often slower than allopathic ones.


My experience is, if a natural remedy is going to work, you'll know it. Sometimes it works great, sometimes just so-so. If it's not, you'll know it and move on.

The homeopathic stuff is on shaky ground scientifically but I do think it helped DD with her colds but the effect was very mild. I still wish she was old enough for stronger stuff.

Also, to me, deodorant is not the same category. Natural cosmetic and hygiene products are notoriously overhyped and overpriced ime.

V
post #7 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by erratum View Post
as far as natural deodorant goes, all the ones i tried were lousy. so now i use baking soda and cornstarch and it works way way better! I rub a little coconut oil under my arms (not entirely necessary but it gives the powder something to stick to.) and, using a blush brush, i brush on a mix of equal parts cornstarch and baking soda from a jar that i keep in the bathroom. the baking soda makes you not stinky and the cornstarch keeps the baking soda from being all scratchy. you can put a few drops of essential oil in it to make it smell nice, too.
Do you still sweat with this, or it clogs your pores?
post #8 of 51
Sometimes I use 'natural' therapies so I won't have the side effetcs that come with using allopathic ones. Eg. I'd use natural deodorant so I won't have to deal with aluminum, etc. in the mainstream ones. It likely won't work as good, but is'a cost/benefit analysis at that point.

I've also gone through reams of stuff that works well or not at all, and I can't explain why they did or didn't work.

eg. Hyland's homeopathic ear pills put my screaming toddler (screaming from an ear infection) asleep in 2 min. Garlic oil also helps really well. I'd prefer to use these as a first line of defense rather than casually scripted antibx.

I usually read up on something to death before I add it to my repertoire, and if it's not backed up, I won't go for it.
post #9 of 51
Yeah, I look for studies too.

But nothing works for everyone. Not even prescription meds. Some statins are effective for something like 30% of the population--not a great success rate, but you wouldn't know that from the commericials.

V
post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by tanyalynn View Post
I have a hard time figuring out if homeopathic remedies are helping. I mean--I've seen some really work, the nat mur for DD's canker sores is rocking good, and ledum for DS's fire ant bites, but others I haven't been sure of. But even the nat mur--I think part of the underlying reason she kept getting canker sores was zinc deficiency. I've been working on that for years, and I didn't see a change in the canker sores, but when I added the nat mur acutely she got the canker sores plus the zinc she gets every day, well, the canker sores happened less and less frequently, and now it's been more than a year. But it's a combination approach, a concrete underlying issue, plus the homeopathic.

I don't know if I've described things very well. It took me changing the way I think, not just substituting in better products, but making lists of possible root causes for why these things (all our health issues) are happening to me, and not the lady next door, and then starting to try stuff. There's been trial-and-error mixed in, plenty of it.
As it always should be! Homeopathics do NOT take the place of adequate nutrition!

I will add my two cents here. Natural methods that we utilize successfully aren't used allopathically. By that I meant that it's not about using a natural version vs an allopathic method for us. It's about shifting the paradigm to a place that allows healing and using alternative methods to support that. For the deoderant issue, eliminating processed food, sugars and giving my body food that it handles efficiently greatly reduced my need for deoderant so that the natural stuff that works well was perfectly adequate. That's one example from the many that you posted.

I also have observed that people often don't use natural remedies correctly. I'm not saying this is the case for you-just an observation. They generally DO need to be used with more frequency and the changes can be slower. However the way I look at this is that it's part of paying attention to our bodies and cultivating health. Yes, it's more inconvenient but in the long run we pay quite a price for convenience.

Anyway, just my two cents.
post #11 of 51
Check out GreenMedInfo.com It is my favorite new site!! GreenMedInfo.com exists in order to provide free and convenient access to the biomedical research available today on the therapeutic value of natural substances in disease prevention and treatment.

You can search by Ailment. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/ailments

Pat
post #12 of 51
Homeopathic remedies can be easily antidoted. For example, caffeine will disrupt the effect of the homeopathic remedy or even reverse the symptom. If you drink coffee, and nurse your infant, then the homeopathic remedy might not work because of low levels of caffeine in your breastmilk - and caffeine has a very long half-life in infancy, so if you drink coffee and they nurse, they may never clear all the caffeine from their system and homopathic remedies might not work.

I recently learned that mint can antidote. And toothpaste, because of the mint, I believe...google antidote homeopathy and it's easy to see how some people may never respond to homeopathy because of the antidoting factors in their lives.
post #13 of 51
i also think the use of herbalism, homeopathy, flower essences, aromatherapy et al are also depended on what else your doing. are you accidentally counteracting the therapies your using? how is your nutrition? enviromental exposures? are you giving time to the complimentary medicine you are using?

i use the word you in the general form not the specific. ftr.
post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ASusan View Post
Homeopathic remedies can be easily antidoted. For example, caffeine will disrupt the effect of the homeopathic remedy or even reverse the symptom. If you drink coffee,
My understanding is that it is the coffee, not the caffeine which is an issue for antidoting homeopathic remedies. Some practitioners do more frequent dosing or don't worry about coffee and mint. We are easily antidoted here and must remain very vigilant about it.

Pat
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ian'smommaya View Post
i also think the use of herbalism, homeopathy, flower essences, aromatherapy et al are also depended on what else your doing. are you accidentally counteracting the therapies your using? how is your nutrition? environmental exposures? are you giving time to the complimentary medicine you are using?
Yes, energy medicine has many ways it can be disrupted. We've had amazing benefits from homeopathy, flower essences, aromatheraphy, etc. Wouldn't have believed without seeing for myself, however. So, I understand if one's experience has been different. I just know dh no longer has asthma and allergies, nor medications for these since starting homeopathy about 5 years ago.


Pat
post #16 of 51
I sort of feel this way too, which makes me sad because I really really want to use natural stuff as much as possible. For example, as a baby, none of the natural (herbal or homeopathic) remedies did anything for DD and I often had to resort to Motrin or antibiotics, which would work immediately. When I had depression, I researched and tried everything under the sun I could think of to avoid meds (light therapy, high dose vitamins, fish oil, aminio acid therapy, accupuncture, exercise). Nothing worked at all. But within a few days of taking Prozac I started feeling better. (Of course it came with all kinds of crappy side effects, but the point is, that is the only thing that "fixed" my brain chemistry issue.) And when people tell me that lavender helps them sleep, or mint relieves their migraines, I am just because I feel zip from stuff like that. Maybe I'm overly toxic. lol

Having said that, I did have one amazing thing happen....conventional doctors couldn't do anything about a skin condition I had, but a naturopath cleared it up in one visit.
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
My understanding is that it is the coffee, not the caffeine which is an issue for antidoting homeopathic remedies. Some practitioners do more frequent dosing or don't worry about coffee and mint. We are easily antidoted here and must remain very vigilant about it.

Pat
Huh. OK, I stand corrected. (and I used to think it was the flouride in the toothpaste, but it's probably the mint that's a problem.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by WuWei View Post
Yes, energy medicine has many ways it can be disrupted. We've had amazing benefits from homeopathy, flower essences, aromatheraphy, etc. Wouldn't have believed without seeing for myself, however. So, I understand if one's experience has been different. I just know dh no longer has asthma and allergies, nor medications for these since starting homeopathy about 5 years ago.


Pat
And I wouldn't have believed it unless I'd seen it myself. And the antidoting - after DS had a single BIT of mint, it brought back the coughing that the homeopathic remedy had been keeping in check - immediately!
post #18 of 51
And I don't get antidoted by any quantity of mint, but coffee will knock any remedy right out of me. I am very sensitive to caffeine and even a little bit will instantly stop my remedy from working.

Dh takes his remedy with his coffee and has no problem. He has no issue with mint either.

Dd can't do mint or her remedy is toast, but she also has an allergy to mint so that's not suprising. Point being, It's very individual.
post #19 of 51
WuWei - thanks for that site. What a great resource!
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ASusan View Post
(and I used to think it was the flouride in the toothpaste, but it's probably the mint that's a problem.)

Yep, mint, not fluoride, as far as I know.

Pat
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