I was never a fan of homeopathy, and always turned my nose up at home remedies. Arriving in the Middle East just over two years ago, I was surprised to find that doctors take a very natural approach to health. Medication is readily available and prescribed when needed, but, in addition to healing, the doctors try to help their patients prevent recurring illnesses and annoyances. Looking back over the past two years, I have to admit that I’ve gotten sick far less than I used to. Perhaps some of it is because of the climate, but I also think it has to do with the more natural take on health encouraged by the doctors, who suggest things like sage to help with stomach troubles, green tea to prevent sinus infection, and ginger tea to alleviate morning sickness.
I have no doubt that these remedies have penetrated this area due to cultural interaction with the Far East, where many natural medications, as well as natural forms of medical treatment, such as acupuncture and chiropractice, which are still snubbed or marginalized as “alternative medicine” in some areas of the West, originated. The East basically believes that, since man is a part of nature and lives within the natural world, understanding nature and utilizing it is one of the best ways to keep one’s health balanced. Without going to the extremes of spiritualism or pantheism, this understanding can be lived out in medicine by learning what natural resources provide antibodies that fight off sicknesses. The body never becomes immune to these natural resources, because it is capable of breaking down and absorbing them in their entirety, unlike the case with manufacured medications, which gradually build up immunities that render them useless.
I still balk a little, from habit, when I hear about natural remedies. But so far, I’ve had a surprisingly good experience, especially after caving in and trying green tea. Drinking it regularly, once or twice a day, really does help ward off colds and congestion. It’s antioxidants both lessen the immune system’s susceptibility and help cleanse the system when you are fighting something.
If you decide to give green tea a try, bear in mind that some brands taste better than others – I would recommend Twinings. For variety, spruce up a hot cup of green tea by adding mint and honey, or turn it into iced tea for the summer days.