Natural Herbal Remedies and Holistic Cures

Three do-it-yourself natural remedies make home care a cinch

Some might consider the following remedies the equivalent of placebos or modern-day snake oil. But others have found that these natural substances — which are readily available over the counter and online — help alleviate various health challenges without great expense. Dr. Carolyn Dean, a naturopathic physician, medical doctor, and author of the e-book, Future Health Now Encyclopedia, says they offer an additional benefit to many of her patients: “They don’t present the same side effects that drugs may, so I always suggest going for the natural remedies first.” But if problems persist, consult a physician or other health expert.

Locally, you can purchase these remedies at Mother Earth’s Storehouse locations in Poughkeepsie, Kingston, and Saugerties.

Tea Tree Oil

Used for: Nail fungus
What it is: An oil obtained from the tea tree, which can be used directly on the nails as an antifungal product, or as a component in creams, ointments, skin washes, even toothpaste and shampoo
How it works: A few drops rubbed on the nail are absorbed into the nail and surrounding nail bed; results are usually seen after a few months of use
Other uses: In shampoo (for dry scalp), in toothpaste, in mouth wash, in hand sanitizers
How to buy it: Available over the counter as drops. It’s also an ingredient in several antifungal products, such as Fungavir
What it costs: From $4.50-$8 for a half-ounce, depending on where it’s purchased
Extra tip: Don’t use too much as a dental product, since it may irritate gums

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Used for: Inflammation
What it is: A flowering plant
How it works: The flowers are used to make a homeopathic remedy for topical or oral use to lessen swelling, bruising, bleeding, and pain
Other uses: Whenever there’s an injury, bump, or bruise before or after surgery; and before or after dental work
How to buy it: In homeopathic pellets, cream, or gel form
What it costs: Depending on where it’s purchased, about $7 for a container of approximately 80 pellets; under $10 for a two-to-four-ounce tube of cream
Extra tip: “Ancient lore has it that you don’t put the cream or gel directly on an open wound or it might fester — so we suggest the same,” says Dr. Dean



Used for: Indigestion
What it is: An herb
How it works: According to, ginger neutralizes the balance of toxins and acids found in the stomach, regulates movement of bile through the intestines, and stimulates production of enzyme-rich saliva and other digestive fluids that are secreted into the body
Other uses: To combat nausea, seasickness, morning sickness
How to buy it: Ginger is available as a root, powder, in capsules, and in beverages like ginger ale and tea. Dr. Dean thinks it’s best to buy it in capsule form to ensure taking the right amount. If you like the flavor, she suggests opening a capsule in a cup of hot water to dissolve for tea
How much it costs: About $10 for 90 capsules
Extra tip: Ginger should not be used to treat indigestion following surgery. High doses of ginger act as a mild blood thinner, and can exaggerate the effect of a prescribed blood thinner

» Return to Ultimate Hudson Valley Health Guide 2012


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