Natural Remedies In Their Natural Form

Natural Remedies may need to come directly from real plants and real food. When we use these remedies in non-food capsules, pills or liquids we may not only lose their effectiveness but may end up thinking they just don’t work. Our grannies spent years passing down low cost remedies that worked for them, then we turned them into expensive capsules, which researchers keep telling us are ineffective or maybe even dangerous, like this recent Globe and Mail article.  The following natural food remedies do help for minor ailments in their natural form so with the knowledge of your health care provider give them a chance.


 Some Native Americans have used cranberries for years whenever they had urinary problems yet the research supporting cranberries for this purpose is inconclusive. Maybe it’s because we don’t use them the way Native people did, which was just to chew on the raw berries daily until the problem went away. I have had one urinary tract infection in my life, it was during pregnancy. I talked to my obstetrician and he suggested antibiotics but I had made a pact with myself to take no pills except pregnancy vitamins so I told him I would boil whole cranberries and drink the water for a week, if the infection was not gone by then I would take the antibiotics. I drank three cups of boiled cranberry water daily for 4 days and the infection was gone. Maybe they are just meant to be used in this way, sour as hell though.


I once worked in a Community Health Centre where I tried to convince the Physician to suggest Ginger Tea to pregnant women who were having a lot of nausea in the first three months. He said no scientific evidence and could be some adverse effects. Three months later he showed me an article in a Canadian medical journal suggesting physicians give ginger tea a try for pregnant clients with nausea; they even had a recipe for ginger tea!

Ginger is a plant medicine that has used in many parts of the world for over 2000 years yet there is still inconclusive scientific evidence; maybe the problem again is we are trying to “pill” it. Let’s try ginger in its natural form. For nausea, wash about a 2 inch piece of fresh gingerroot, hit it a few times to slightly crush it and put it in a litre of water. Boil about 5 minutes and sip tea as needed for nausea, keep the leftovers in the fridge and reheat as needed. Most important thing here, the papery ginger skin with all its natural oils is never removed, maybe that’s the secret.

Fish Oils

Omega 3 fatty acids are another area where research can be confusing, just this week a researcher looked at fish oil supplements and concluded that the best way to help your heart may be to eat fish! But many people hate fish so we have capsules but do capsules make any sense? If you hate fish is it really any better to burp fishy breathe after taking a bunch of fish oil capsules? Maybe you are not meant to eat fish, somehow people who hate fish have managed to survive. This is where a varied diet is your best friend. Some plants like Algae contain omega 3 fatty acids, maybe fish haters in the past ate enough varieties of food that they managed to get the nutrients that they needed without supplements.

 Stop with the pills, capsules and drops lets try herbal remedies in their non-processed form. Next time I will look at a few more of those natural remedies that we ought to get in food form.

Published by maisievanriel

Welcome to my website. My name is Maisie Vanriel and I am a Registered Dietitian. I am a graduate of The University of Toronto with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Food and Nutritional Science and a Diploma in Food Safety from the Guelph Food Technology Centre. I realized a few years ago that some of the best times I have had in my career as a Dietitian have been those times when I was writing. For many years I was part of the Editorial Advisory Board of Diabetes Dialogue Magazine (The Canadian Diabetes Association) which afforded me the opportunity to write articles and editorials on diabetes. I contributed to the first Ontario Healthy Eating Manual and recently reviewed the lesson plans in the updated version launched this March 2012. In May of 2011, I won the Toronto Star’s MoneyVille section Next Blogger’s contest beating out 265 other contestants for the chance to write on nutrition and sensible shopping. My winning Blog was entitled: 5 things your grocery store won’t tell you. Writing is one of my favourite ways of communicating and like cooking it relaxes me; so in some ways your allowing me to communicate with you will contribute to my health and I hope in return I can contribute to your health and wellbeing. The inspiration for this website is my grandmother who lived 97 years and enjoyed excellent health for almost all of those 97 years. She believed in healing power of herbs, a plant-based diet and in paying attention to the type of fuel (food) that she put in her body. So my postings will be less about the constant stream of research and studies around what and how to eat and more about reminding us that we have always known how to eat. We just need to get back in tune with our bodies and focus on providing it with the best possible fuel, quality foods.

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