alternative medicine http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/12100/all en-US 9 Frugal Ways to Treat the Common Cold http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-ways-to-treat-the-common-cold <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-frugal-ways-to-treat-the-common-cold" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/369210589_7e28e4eed3_z.jpg" alt="resting" title="resting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's winter again, and the common cold will be very, well, common. Fortunately, frugal ways to <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/symptom-relief.html" target="_blank">treat the common cold</a> are readily available so you don't have to spend a fortune on doctor visits and over-the-counter medication.</p> <p>Many frugal cold remedies are healthier than cold medicines that only cover up symptoms instead of actually curing your cold. Plus, many cold medications have unwelcome side effects, and they're rarely inexpensive.</p> <p>The next time a cold lays you low, try one or more of these nine frugal remedies to put you back on your feet again. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a>)</p> <h2>1. Steam</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/common-cold-000038.htm">Steam</a> can ease sore throats and clear nasal congestion. Indoor heating systems frequently make indoor air too dry, which is probably a factor in spreading winter colds. Put a humidifier in your bedroom overnight or living room during the day. Or, if you don't want to spend money on a humidifier, sit in the bathroom with the door closed while running a hot shower or stand over a pot of boiling water.</p> <h2>2. Saline Nasal Drops and Sprays</h2> <p>Frequent drops or sprays of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cold-remedies/ID00036">saline solution</a> in the nose can help encourage decongestion. Saline drops are cheap and available over the counter, and they're different from medicated <a target="_blank" href="http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/nasal-sprays-cold-relief">nasal drops or sprays</a>, which can prompt cold symptoms to worsen if used more than several days. You can also make your own saline solution with a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of baking soda in a pint of warm water, and apply it with a child-size medicine dropper.</p> <h2>3. Salt Water Gargle</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/health/28real.html?_r=0">Gargle </a>with a quarter- to half-a-teaspoon of salt dissolved in an eight-ounce glass of warm water. Gargle for several seconds, then spit it out. It can soothe sore throats by drawing out excess fluid from inflamed tissue and loosening mucus. If you disdain salt water, you can gargle with warm water spiked with lemon and honey instead.</p> <h2>4. Rest</h2> <p>And plenty of it. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cold-remedies/ID00036">Resting </a>helps restore your energy and strengthens your body's immune defenses, helping avoid complications like bronchitis and pneumonia.</p> <h2>5. Drinking Liquids</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/cold-remedies">Drinking</a> water, juice, clear broth, or warm lemon water with honey helps loosen mucus and aids your immune defenses. Warm liquids, like broth or herbal teas, help soothe sore throats and loosen mucus, which eases congestion. Natural herbs can be added to hot water for teas.</p> <h2>6. Chicken Soup</h2> <p>Your grandmother was right. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cold-remedies/ID00036 ">Chicken soup</a> is easily digestible, and its warmth can help loosen mucus and relieve sore throats. It speeds up movement of mucus, possibly helps relieve congestion, and helps reduce inflammation.</p> <h2>7. Vitamin C</h2> <p>Many people swear by <a target="_blank" href="http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/common-cold-000038.htm">vitamin C</a>, although scientific evidence has yet to prove that it cures colds; it's more likely that it can help you avoid catching colds. But if it works for you, placebo effect or not, reasonable doses won't hurt.</p> <h2>8. Healthy Diet</h2> <p>Fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and C, such as sweet potatoes, spinach, and broccoli for vitamin A; and oranges, kiwi, and tomatoes for vitamin C, help improve your immune system, although a year-round <a href="http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/common-cold-000038.htm">healthy diet</a> is best before you catch a cold. Avoid caffeine and sugar.</p> <h2>9. Herbs</h2> <p>Elder (also called elderberry), eucalyptus, goldenseal, licorice, and marshmallow are some of the many plants used to treat colds, coughs, and sore throats. You can find these herbs in your local market or health food store; teas made from these herbs are also widely available. If you live in the right area you might be able to grow these herbs in your backyard or find them around your neighborhood.</p> <p>Cold sufferers should research which herbs to use, as the list of <a href="http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/2053/" target="_blank">possible herbal treatments is quite long</a>, and the best options vary by person, symptom, and stage of the cold. Keep in mind that scientific evidence on their effectiveness is inconclusive, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and people with health conditions should talk to a doctor before using herbal remedies.</p> <p>The best way to fight colds may be to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&amp;ContentID=4512">avoid them</a> in the first place. You've probably heard about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-changes-you-can-make-today">eating right, exercising, and washing your hands</a> especially after being out of the house and touching doorknobs, shopping cart handles, and shaking hands at parties. You might not have heard that reducing stress through <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-free-or-cheap-yoga-classes">yoga</a>, tai chi, or <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/time-to-get-down-with-your-inner-zen">meditation </a>can also help reduce chances of catching colds, too.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/michael-kling">Michael Kling</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-ways-to-treat-the-common-cold">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/low-cost-medical-clinics-that-can-help-boost-your-health">Low Cost Medical Clinics That Can Help Boost Your Health</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cost-comparison-emergency-rooms-vs-urgent-care">Cost Comparison: Emergency Rooms vs. Urgent Care Centers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-places-to-get-vaccinated-for-cheap-or-free">7 Places to Get Vaccinated for Cheap or Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ouch-5-ways-to-make-paying-for-the-dentist-less-painful">Ouch! 5 Ways to Make Paying for the Dentist Less Painful</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-times-to-consider-declining-your-employers-health-coverage">3 Times to Consider Declining Your Employer&#039;s Health Coverage</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty alternative medicine cold remedies healthcare sickness Fri, 04 Jan 2013 11:24:30 +0000 Michael Kling 958811 at http://www.wisebread.com Don’t Waste Your Money on Homeopathic “Remedies” http://www.wisebread.com/don-t-waste-your-money-on-homeopathic-remedies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/don-t-waste-your-money-on-homeopathic-remedies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/water_glasses.jpg" alt="water glasses" title="water glasses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I&rsquo;m sure I&rsquo;ll get some serious verbal abuse for this one, but I can stay silent on this no longer. I&rsquo;ve been following this homeopathic trend for years now, and I am convinced that it is nothing but a bunch of mumbo-jumbo that delivers empty promises and fake cures. Worse than that, I think it&rsquo;s dangerous, and it rips people off. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/job-search-scams-that-target-high-performers">Job-Search Scams That Target High Performers</a>)</p> <p>To understand where I'm coming from, you would first need to understand what homeopathic medicine is. It&rsquo;s important to note that homeopathy should not be confused with natural cures. By that I mean herbal remedies, vitamins, minerals, and so on. No, I fully believe that our planet contains a wealth of natural cures that can do the body a world of good. My article about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">witch hazel</a> is a good example of that.</p> <p>Homeopathy was started over 200 years ago in 1796 by <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Hahnemann">Samuel Hahnemann</a>, a German physician. It basically takes minute doses of what you are suffering from, and then dilutes it repeatedly in water. For example, if you have a cold and the symptoms are similar to those caused by Mercury poisoning, then 1 part Mercury is diluted with 1,000,000,000,000 parts of water. That&rsquo;s your cure. And regardless of your symptoms, that&rsquo;s the cure you are given. The premise is that water has memory, and the more diluted the remedy, the more powerful the cure becomes.</p> <p>There are four general parts of homeopathy. They are:</p> <ol> <li>The proving. This is explained more below.</li> <li>Matching the symptoms of a patient to the proving and using that as a basis for the treatment.</li> <li>NOT giving the patient the substance found from the proving, but an incredibly diluted form of it.</li> <li>The final product (I hate to say medicine) gets stronger the more diluted it is.</li> </ol> <p>Now, what&rsquo;s a proving? Basically, you take a completely healthy person and give them a known substance. You then record any symptoms that arise from prescribing that substance by observing and asking numerous questions. And then you use that substance to reverse those symptoms. For example, if you give someone caffeine and they have trouble falling asleep, caffeine is used to treat people who can&rsquo;t fall asleep.</p> <p>Therefore, highly diluted caffeine becomes a sleeping pill! See what I mean by mumbo-jumbo?</p> <p>You can read all about homeopathy on the&nbsp;<a href="http://abchomeopathy.com/">&nbsp;ABC Homeopathy website</a>&nbsp;and at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.homeopathic.org/">Homeopathy.org</a>. These are just a couple of the many sites devoted to the subject, and I don&rsquo;t want anyone to think that my &ldquo;oversimplification&rdquo; of this medicine is not doing it justice.</p> <h3>The Big Issue &mdash; It&rsquo;s All Done on Faith&nbsp;</h3> <p>Scientists around the world have tested millions of different homeopathic remedies ad nauseam. They have found no active ingredients within these cures. In fact, they are usually just water.</p> <p>&ldquo;Ah yes&rdquo; the homeopathic practitioner will say. &ldquo;But you cannot test for the efficacy of this medicine. You cannot test for something that is not picked up by modern scientific methods. You cannot test for water memory.&rdquo;</p> <p>How handy. You can&rsquo;t test for the tooth fairy either, but I&rsquo;m fairly sure that relying on one to deliver money for your old teeth will leave you very disappointed.</p> <p>So if you cannot test for it, how can people who dispense these medicines stand behind them? Well, they have proof in the form of patients who have been cured by the medicines they prescribed.</p> <p>Unfortunately, that doesn&rsquo;t really stand up because in legitimate studies, the results of homeopathy fared no better than sugar pills and placebos. The water given by homeopaths is as effective as curing disease and illness as, well, water! What are the odds?</p> <p>There are stories of people who swear by it though. And people make careers from this pseudo-science. How is that possible? Well, the mind is a powerful thing, so it is believable that we can cure ourselves if we actually believe something is working. But does that give these people the right to charge gullible people an arm and a leg for a bottle of water or packet of sugar pills?</p> <h3>Prove Me Wrong and Get $1 Million!</h3> <p>This is where homeopathy has the chance to prove itself, and if you practice it, please come forward and defend your chosen profession. James Randi is <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMukj31qw1U">giving away $1 million</a> to anyone who can prove that homeopathy actually works. It's all part of something called <a href="http://www.1023.org.uk/">the 1023 Challenge,</a> which I urge you to read more about.</p> <p>Now, you can't just submit affidavits from people swearing it really did work, because that&rsquo;s not evidence. No court in the land would accept that as proof. You need to submit hard evidence that homeopathic cures actually do what they are supposed to do.</p> <p>I don&rsquo;t see anyone coming forward though, and that&rsquo;s because it cannot be proven. It&rsquo;s the stuff of witch doctors and fancy imaginations.</p> <p>For instance, thousands of people have proven the ineffectiveness of the homeopathic sleeping pills by taking a huge overdose of them. (The recommended dosage is two, by the way.) <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4ies9j5dRE">And the results?</a></p> <p>No one died. No one got even remotely sleepy. Nothing happened to anyone because there are no active ingredients in these products. It&rsquo;s all nonsense. The fact that there is an overdose warning on the pill box is laughable. You can&rsquo;t overdose on nothing.</p> <h3>The Real Danger Here Is for the Patient</h3> <p>My biggest beef with homeopathy is that people with genuine illnesses put their trust (and money) into useless medicines. It&rsquo;s dangerous to think that you can treat illnesses with anything that has been diluted so much that it is now just plain water. It&rsquo;s wrong, it should be against the law and I for one would support any act that did so. In fact, there are some diseases that homeopaths and homeopathic remedies are not allowed to treat.</p> <p>For instance: &ldquo;In 1996, oncologist Vincent Speckhart, MD, was ordered to pay the widow of deceased patient Robert Rizzi $235,715. Rizzi's widow charged that Speckhart led her husband to believe that homeopathy was enough to cure him of his Hodgkin's disease after Rizzi refused further chemotherapy because of side effects.&rdquo; You can read more about that on this page about <a href="http://homeoinfo.com/04_the_case/legal/legal_issues.php">legal issues in homeopathy.</a> I have also posted some links to videos below that I hope will open your eyes somewhat. But please, if you have any kind of real proof that homeopathy works, let&rsquo;s hear it. I will be the first to admit that I was wrong.</p> <p>Somehow, I think that&rsquo;s about as likely as a diluted caffeine pill <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-enough-sleep">putting me to sleep</a>. So unless someone offers you real, hard evidence that homeopathic remedies actually work, don't waste your money on them. You'll sleep better.</p> <p><em>Further viewing:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWE1tH93G9U&amp;feature=related">James Randy Explains Homeopathy</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1UJ_qGZ24k&amp;feature=related">Homeopathy and Malaria</a></li> </ul> <p><strong> </strong></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/don-t-waste-your-money-on-homeopathic-remedies">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-fall-for-these-common-obamacare-scams">Don&#039;t Fall for These Common Obamacare Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/healthcare-20-websites-to-help-you-save-on-doctors-dentists-and-more">Healthcare 2.0: Websites to Help You Save on Doctors, Dentists, and More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/netspend-the-story-of-the-visa-debit-card-we-did-not-apply-for">netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-vile-craigslist-scams-to-watch-out-for">8 Vile Craigslist Scams to Watch Out For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-apartment-hunt-on-craigslist-without-getting-scammed">6 Ways to Apartment Hunt on Craigslist Without Getting Scammed</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Health and Beauty alternative medicine health care homeopathic scams Thu, 10 Feb 2011 13:00:06 +0000 Paul Michael 489471 at http://www.wisebread.com Low Cost Medical Clinics That Can Help Boost Your Health http://www.wisebread.com/low-cost-medical-clinics-that-can-help-boost-your-health <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/low-cost-medical-clinics-that-can-help-boost-your-health" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stockxpertcom_id10900391_jpg_3476a594aca2f7d0a532e6f369984d7f.jpg" alt="Acupuncture" title="Acupuncture" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Times are tough. Health care costs are steep and getting a good deal on a doctor&rsquo;s appointment can seem like a faraway dream. Sure, the new reform is floating around out there, but it will take some time to execute it and see how it all works out. In the meantime, there are other options for the un- and under-insured, especially on the alternative health care front. Acupuncture treatments, massage appointments, and meetings with a homeopathist are only a short phone call and a little bit of money away &mdash; when you call the right place.</p> <p>One of the best places to start is a local acupuncture or health school. One of my favorites include the <a href="http://www.bastyr.edu/">Bastyr Clinic,</a> which offers a complete range of services from naturopathy to basic gynecological exams. They offer a sliding scale based on your income and may be able to work out a payment plan with you. Another super location is the <a href="http://www.siom.edu/">Seattle Institute of Oriental Medicine</a>, where you can get a excellent acupuncture treatment from students under the supervision of seasoned practitioners and some herbs for less than $50. Plus, you can combine these alternative treatments with other practices, such as <a href="http://wisebread.com/time-to-get-down-with-your-inner-zen">meditation and qiqong</a>, to give your health an even bigger boost.</p> <p>For those looking for more standard care at a reduced cost, there are free clinics all around. One of the best in terms of offering an array of physical and dental care is the <a href="http://www.berkeleyfreeclinic.org/home.html">Berkeley Free Clinic</a> in Berkeley, California. This clinic focuses on helping homeless and extremely low-income patients. The waits are long and sometimes you don&rsquo;t even get in, but if and when you do, you receive good care from well-trained physicians and dentists. If you find yourself in dire straits, this is a good resource. For those with a little more leeway, they are still a good resource because they also provide quite a bit of information on other free and low-cost health care services in the San Francisco Bay area.</p> <p>Other great spots in the Bay area are the <a href="http://www.pamf.org/healtheducation/hrc/">Community Health Resource Centers</a> that dot the area from the Peninsula to the East Bay. They offer complete health care services with payment based on your income. The sliding scale is quite useful and the physicians very compassionate. It&rsquo;s better to make an appointment in advance, although walk-in services are available. They even have a mobile dental clinic where you can have your teeth checked, cleaned, and x-rayed. Best to check on the hours and locations before you hit them up for service.</p> <p>Another stellar resource is local practitioners in smaller towns who will sometimes offer a trade or a discounted rate for the first few sessions. That way you get to decide if you like both the treatment and the person doing it and whether you want to come back for more. If you work out a trade agreement, you can extend your treatments in a win-win situation. They get free brochures written up or professional help with their computer problems and you get improved health over a longer period of time.</p> <p>Until the healthcare plan starts to hit the mainstream, it can&rsquo;t hurt to check out the alternatives. They may not be completely free, but they&rsquo;re a good start, and many of the practitioners you see at these spots can guide you to more cost-effective basic health clinics if you need them. They're interested in helping you heal. And there's no time like right now to start boosting your health. So give them a call. They'll be happy to help.</p> <p>And let me know if you have other spots you like to hit for good healthcare at lower costs! It never hurts to expand the list of options.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sasha-a-rae">Sasha A. Rae</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/low-cost-medical-clinics-that-can-help-boost-your-health">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-frugal-ways-to-treat-the-common-cold">9 Frugal Ways to Treat the Common Cold</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cost-comparison-emergency-rooms-vs-urgent-care">Cost Comparison: Emergency Rooms vs. Urgent Care Centers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-places-to-get-vaccinated-for-cheap-or-free">7 Places to Get Vaccinated for Cheap or Free</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/3-times-to-consider-declining-your-employers-health-coverage">3 Times to Consider Declining Your Employer&#039;s Health Coverage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ive-lived-both-sides-of-the-healthcare-system-this-is-what-ive-learned">I’ve Lived Both Sides of the Healthcare System. This Is What I&#039;ve Learned.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty alternative medicine clinics healthcare Fri, 30 Apr 2010 14:00:03 +0000 Sasha A. Rae 55012 at http://www.wisebread.com