An Apple A Day

Jasmin Mitchell, Staff Writer

In my opinion, our nation suffers from poor health. We drink less water, eat less fruit, drink more sodas and eat more fast food. It seems that the importance of good health grows less and less important to our nation as a whole, especially within the younger generation. I look back at my childhood, and I think about how I never ate fruits and vegetables and that I hated eating them. Now, I can’t even seem to prepare a meal without having a vegetable in there somewhere. Vegetables and fruits are essential to maintaining our daily health.

Also, do you ever think about all of the medication you’ve taken over the years? Sometimes I think about all of the chemicals that I was exposed to at a young age because I was in some sort of pain and needed quick treatment. My dad was quick to grab medicine. Usually it was cough medicine when I had a cold or something like Alka-Seltzer whenever I had an upset stomach.

I believe people would benefit from using natural remedies to treat problems. In my opinion, there are fewer health risks, and the results are pretty much the same if not better. When I have a cold, I hardly use over the counter medicine. I do, however, use herbal teas and eat plenty of oranges. One over the counter medicine I do use is liquid Theraflu cold/ flu. I use that in the mornings, drink hot tea and eat oranges throughout the day, and at night I’ll take a dosage of NyQuil which will help me sleep and also helps the cold.

I think that if I only relied on Theraflu and NyQuil, my cold would take more than a week to go away. However, with the combination of medicine and natural remedies, my cold only lasts for a matter of days.

Also, garlic is beneficial to use when you have a cold. It boosts your immune system and kills a great bit of microbes. Thyme is also a good herb to fight microbes, and it opens airways when you’re feeling a bit stuffy. The vitamin E in papayas can reduce inflammation during a cold, and cranberries enhance the number of good bacteria in the body to help the immune system to fight against colds. It’s also never a bad idea to stock up on the oranges, whether it’s the fruit or plenty of pure, 100% orange juice. I am an advocate for vitamin C during a cold.

Before there were prescriptions and over the counter medicines, people relied on these herbs to help heal whatever problem they may have had. For example, for a headache, the quickest, ideal option would be to grab an aspirin, but there are more things to try than that.

Some remedies that can be used for headaches are peppermint oil, basil oil, passionflower and feverfew. Feverfew seems to be the most beneficial for easing migraines. Peppermint oil helps to relieve tension from headaches by promoting blood flow. Basil oil is a muscle relaxant which can relieve tight muscles. Another thing that is beneficial, which is new to me, is coffee. Coffee contains caffeine which is a vasoconstrictor, a chemical that reduces the size of blood vessels, which will help alleviate headaches.