We take them out of habit, a little too often sometimes, forgetting that none is harmless. What if we switched to plants to treat small ailments?
Back pain: harpagophytum instead of ibuprofen
Widely recognized, “devil’s claw” has been shown to be effective against lower back pain in several clinical trials.
Why replace ibuprofen? Like all non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), it attacks the stomach and can cause ulcers. Last year, the European Medicines Agency also warned of an increased cardiovascular risk when consumed in high doses.
Advice from the specialist. Harpagophytum contains very anti-inflammatory harpagosides, whose spectrum of action is more complete than that of ibuprofen. It can be combined with a local massage based on essential oil of juniper, officinal lavender, rosemary with camphor and peppermint, in equal parts in a neutral gel.
Fever: white willow instead of aspirin
It is rich in salicylic acid, like aspirin, but without its drawbacks!
Why replace aspirin? We regularly discover new properties to this drug that we ultimately know very little about. In 2012, a study published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine revealed a risk of serious internal bleeding for long-term use. Mistrust !
Advice from the specialist. Fever is a natural process that fights germs. Do not try to lower it when it remains below 38 (for adults) and does not exceed 24 hours. Beyond that, white willow is an effective herbal remedy, especially if combined with a lukewarm bath. See a doctor if the fever persists beyond 24 hours.
Common cold: echinacea instead of the RhineAdvil®
If there was only one plant to keep, it would be this one! It strengthens the immune system and has an action on the nose, throat …
Why replace the RhinAdvil®? It contains pseudoephedrine, a vasoconstrictor used to decongest the nose, but which also increases cardiovascular risks.
Advice from the specialist. Echinacea can make a cold go away in 24 to 48 hours, especially when combined with cypress, a powerful antiviral. Take a large dose of both plants at the first symptoms. As a long-term treatment, it can also prevent recurring colds.
Dry cough: thyme instead of Clarix®
Recognized antitussive and anti-infectious, thyme is also a powerful antiviral and antibacterial.
Why replace Clarix®? It contains codeine, a substance too strong for a simple cough.
Advice from the specialist. Drink three or four thyme herbal teas per day, both against dry coughs as against fatty coughs. At the same time, we take trace elements: silver and copper, in the form of granions.
Sleep: valerian instead of Donormyl®
Several studies have proven the sedative action of valerian. Valerenic acid inhibits certain nerve transmissions, and thus acts against insomnia linked to anxiety.
Why replace Donormyl®? This antihistamine has side effects, such as a feeling of dry mouth in the morning or heart palpitations.
Advice from the specialist. Valerian is a very credible alternative to sleeping pills. We can combine it with escholtzia to increase its effect. The advantage is that we do not just help falling asleep, we also re-educate sleep cycles.
Thanks to Dr Éric Lorrain, President of the European Plant Substances Institute.
Read also Stomach ache: phyto alternatives