by Katherine Sperduto ‘19
Americans are justifiably known for their dependency on medications to solve a majority of health ailments. A Google Trends Comparison from November 5 to November 11 shows that on a rage from 1 to 100 (100 representing the peak popularity of a searched term), medication-related searches ranked 97 in popularity in the United States while natural remedies only ranked 20. However, natural remedies are not packaged with all of the potential risks and side effects that many over the counter medications have. Here are some natural remedies to solve common health issues faced by teens.
Headaches: Painful headaches, often a result of poor blood flow, make many teens tired, irritable, and unwilling to learn. WebMD notes that the majority of headaches are caused by stress, dehydration, lack of sleep, caffeine, or too much screen time. So along with limiting and addressing these harmful behaviors, it is recommended to apply a cold ice pack or take a nap to help reduce inflammation of the blood vessels. DailyNaturalRemedies.com also claims that by smelling peppermint oil, which has vasoconstriction and vasodilating properties that help control blood flow in the body, proper blood flow can be restored by opening and closing the vessels.
Colds: A terrible cough, stuffy nose, and sore throat are the main indicators of a cold. Mayo Clinic states that a sore throat can be eased through gargling warm salt water along with eating ice chips and that congestion can be loosened by inhaling steam making it easier to breathe. Honey can also coat the throat and reduce the urge the cough because it has antioxidant, antiviral, and antibacterial properties that combat cold and flu symptoms.
Acne: According to Laser and Dermatology Institute of California, at least 85 percent of the American population suffered from acne at least once in their lifetime. Many teens turn to Clearasil, Proactiv, Neutrogena, and other products to clear up acne. WebMD warns that over time, the acne-causing bacteria can be resistant to the medication, forcing teens to switch to an alternative route. Along with drinking plenty of water, applying a mixture of baking soda and apple cider vinegar can drastically reduce one’s acne. Baking soda helps reduce the inflammation of pimples, exfoliates the skin, and eliminates future breakouts. Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that help fight the breakout.
Menstrual Cramps: The Huffington Post reports that at least 40 to 70 percent of women experience some type of menstruation cramps. Whether the cramps are in the abdomen, breasts, or back, nutritionist Kathy Smart says drinking a mixture of parsley in green tea will relax the muscles and eating celery will help fight fluid retention. The Mayo Clinic recommends limiting caffeine intake to help relieve cramps by relaxing the muscles.