Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Cheap Ills

Several unpleasant conditions have easy remedies from the supermarket if you know what to look for and use. When people drink a lot of fluid or have diabetes or sweat excessively from exertion or hot weather, they are susceptible to nocturnal cramps. These arise because their electrolyte levels have fallen with the flushing out of their blood by the liquids they urinated or sweated out. This excess water carries off potassium and sodium. The muscles need a specific level of these chemicals to contract and relax properly. Cramp arises when the muscles cannot relax. The replacement of the potassium is easy if you have potassium chloride in your house. It is sold as a salt substitute and is very bitter tasting but once you get relief from those horrible cramps you will be happy to endure a bad taste for a few seconds. A teaspoon in a glass of water will suffice. After drinking this, a bit of plain water will help the taste pass. Potatos, bananas and other food sources are too slow to help, plus you'll gain four pounds just eating enough!There are many sources of very expensive drinks which can replace these electrolytes. Some are just sold as sources thereof(especially for babies with diarrhea) but they are all overpriced from the standpoint of the active ingredients. They work but at a much higher price than necessary. Just look in the same place regular salt is sold and the substitute will be there in a 4 ounce size or so. Mix a little with some flavored drink and make your own.
The harsh coughs that I used to get where my lungs felt like I'd been breathing chemical wastes are much less unpleasant since I discovered expectorants. Even the cheapest cough syrups have guaifenesin, which makes your lungs produce something to cough up so they are not dry and burning anymore, and dextromethorphan, which suppresses coughs so that you don't have as many spells. If your nose is runny or clogged you can rinse it out and save yourself many sniffles and handkerchiefs. Some people have more relief with a mildly saline solution, otherwise known as salt water, because plain water may irritate or feel unpleasant. A method used in Yoga to relieve nasal clogging is to lay on your back on a bed and hang your head off the side. The sinuses will drain down your throat and may clear up enough to stop clogging. Years ago the Navy researched and approved a method of sore throat treatment that seems slightly nuts but works well for some sore throats. Press a cold source(ice water or the like) on the BACK of your neck. It works on sore throats that are aggravated by tense muscles.
Headaches are sometimes relieved by pressing firmly on the web between your thumb and first finger. This is a method called acupressure, along with acupuncture a subject we shall discuss further in future.
I have discovered a way to treat diabetes related ulcers on my hands. These appear at infrequent intervals and seem to have no initiating factors other than not taking my pills. They sometimes seem like small boils, sometimes like holes in the epidermis, dry cracks or rashes. The use of bag balm is not effective and rather causes some discomfort, though the stuff is great for almost every lesion other than these. I found that a green aloe lotion sold to help sunburn can heal these within a day. The first time I used it, it was a highly advertised and well-known brand that cost about $6 a bottle. Since then I have found cheaper and cheaper versions, though I am sure that the aloe in the lower-priced forms is not so plentiful. I want to try plain aloe for the next outbreak to see if that works. Aloe, of course, is the way to help so many ailments. It can be used internally as a purgative, and I am so amazed by its efficacy I would bet that drinking some could help with internal lesions like ulcers and possibly even early cancerous lesions perhaps. I have no proof but with all the help it has given us in so many ways it just might be good for that!
There are painkillers for toothaches that can make the night less horrid, if you can get them into the hole that is in your tooth. There are even temporary fillings that you can insert and keep out irritants until the dentist wakes up. Saltwater and aspirin and other treatments are rarely effective but try them anyway. The direct application of aspirin is generally a bad idea due to the damage it can involve but it has been spoken of very much. I have never had a bit of luck with it or clove oil.
An annoyance after swimming is the water in the ear problem. My favorite treatment is MORE WATER! I get mildly warm water and pour it right in the ear so that it mixes with the water in there and helps it drain out when I turn my ear down. Remember that you don't always need to spend money to feel better-just read and learn!

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