(NC)—Canadians are becoming increasingly concerned about their use of over the counter (OTC) medications. In a recent Immunity-FX/Leger Marketing survey it was revealed that 70% of Canadians believe natural remedies can help prevent illnesses and health concerns, and more than half (55%) believe they are better for your body than prescription medications. In fact, 41% of Canadians believe natural supplements are as effective as OTC drugs and already 32% use natural alternatives to prescription medication.
Sherry Torkos, a pharmacist and the author of The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine,helps consumers find the most effective solutions for common health concerns. She recommends taking a multivitamin daily, and for those with hectic lifestyles, an immune supplement like Immunity-FX to help reduce the impact that stress and fatigue may have on immune health. Here are a few of her top natural recommendations:
For treatment, try acupuncture, butterbur, and/or magnesium. For prevention, butterbur and feverfew have been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.
Valerian improves many aspects of sleep and is non-addictive. Melatonin is particularly helpful for those who experience sleep problems due to jet lag or shift work.
Gamma-linolenic acid, or GLA, is a fatty acid found in vegetable oils. Supplements of GLA can reduce itching and inflammation. Celadrin (fatty acid mixture) applied topically or orally is also helpful.
Ginger contains very potent anti-inflammatory compounds called gingerols. Recent research has found that it can help relieve motion sickness, morning sickness, dizziness, nausea and gas, and soothe the intestinal tract.
Bananas contain a soluble fibre called pectin that can normalize bowel movements, aiding both constipation and diarrhea. Since diarrhea depletes us of important electrolytes such as potassium, which in severe cases that can affect heart function, bananas are especially helpful because they provide one of our best sources of this essential nutrient (467 mg each). Probiotic supplements, such as Kyo-Dophilus or Bio-K, can also help ease the symptoms and shorten the duration of this uncomfortable condition.