Common Everyday Ailments in Seniors and Some Natural Home Remedies to Help You Relieve Them

March 15, 2022

Heart and circulatory problems, pain, stress, and other emotional complaints. As we get older we are taking more and more medicine. In our sixties and seventies, we are perhaps taking three or four tablets a day. When we’re in our eighties this can increase to five or six a day. On top of the medicine we are prescribed, are those we can purchase over the counter. How does our body deal with all that medicine as we age? 

We know that medicines have side effects, but what isn’t so well known is how the side effects may be different for a young senior to an older senior. Medicines can relieve us of many illnesses, and can often prolong our life expectancy. However, not all the side effects are always known. 

We Needn’t Always Look Far to Improve on Our Good Health

Perhaps we’re suffering from a complaint that can be dealt with, without a prescription or a bottle. Sore throat, cold, sleeplessness, pains, or cough? We don't always have to reach for the chemical cudgel when natural remedies are close at hand. Sometimes we just need to think about and adjust our lifestyle. Incorporating a moderate amount of activity into our daily routine can help maintain healthy bones, muscles, joints and reduce blood pressure. In fact, the loss of strength and stamina are attributed to aging because the majority of seniors don’t get enough physical activity.

Home remedies for health problems have proven to be effective against many complaints. Let’s find out which home remedies are available, which complaints they help with, and most importantly some of the differences between Natural Home Remedies and Homeopathic Remedies.

Don’t Forget. 

As with any medical advice, we strongly advise you to tell your doctor about any home, natural, or herbal remedies or supplements you are taking. Better yet, consult your doctor before taking anything that may interfere with other medications or current medical treatment.

What are those Tried and True Simple Home Remedies for Seniors?

Remember your mother boiling eggs when you had a stuffed nose? You hoped she wasn’t thinking of pushing them in! While they were still hot she would wrap them in a sock and you would hold the eggs against your nose. Natural treatments, including herbal remedies, aim to activate the body's self-healing powers and thus to rebalance our energy balance.

Our great-great-grandparents treated itchy skin with kerosene and an upset stomach with chicken gizzards. (Yikes!) I guess we can thank modern medicine for some things! 

Some common natural home remedies include:

  • Coughs can be soothed with honey, elderberry, or licorice tea.
  • Our sleep disorders can be soothed with lavender oil.
  • Stress and anxiety can be soothed with calming music and sounds.

Thinking about digestive home remedies? How about ginger or yogurt

  • Ginger – helpful for upset stomach, nausea, and motion sickness.  Available as a tea (look for medicinal brands), or try candied ginger when you’re on the go.
  • Probiotics – live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system. Probiotics can help with diarrhea caused by infections or related to antibiotic use. Available as supplements and in foods like yogurt, miso paste, kombucha, kimchi, and raw sauerkraut. 

Probiotic bacteria are similar to vitamins because they are necessary for the body to function. We’re used to thinking of bacteria as bad, but that’s an oversimplification. The body requires a balance of bacteria, particularly in the intestines. The official term for this is the gut microbiota. These good bacteria are essential for fighting off disease and for digesting food. 

Another digestive issue worth mentioning is heartburn. For this, you can try bicarbonate of soda, one teaspoon dissolved in a glass of water; healing earth is also helpful.  With digestive issues, you should always consult a physician to find out what causes them. In older age, liver problems, for example, are common. 

Willow Bark, Cat’s Claw, and Marshmallow root. Does this sound like Halloween? Not at all. 

  • Turmeric, willow bark, and cat’s claw –  known for helping calm inflammation. Instead of taking aspirin, use one of these natural remedies to help arthritis.
  • Marshmallow root for irritation and sore throats -- It helps moisten and reduce swelling in mucus membranes throughout the body, and reduces irritation as a result.

Especially in the case of recurring everyday complaints, a natural approach can be worthwhile to help with:

  • Migraine
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Acne, rashes
  • Susceptibility to certain diseases
  • Allergies

Did You Know? 

Researchers have been devoted to the extract of the hemp plant for many years. It has been shown that several life-changing health benefits for seniors can be achieved with CBD oil, including:

  • a calming effect on the central nervous system 
  • alleviation of anxiety
  • a reduction in pain
  • an anti-inflammatory effect potential

“Natural medicine can be used to treat a wide range of conditions—everything from colds to depression, nutritional deficiencies to anxiety and pain. When looking to stock up on remedies—teas, supplements, ointments, and such—consider which of these conditions you experience most regularly and focus on making sure you have the right items available to you at home.” Readers Digest

What Are Some Examples of Homeopathic Remedies for Seniors?

Homeopathy belongs to the alternative forms of medical treatment. It is intended to stimulate the body's self-healing powers according to the so-called principle of similarity. The principle is: a substance that causes certain symptoms in a healthy person should alleviate the same complaints in a sick person. 

The benefits of homeopathy have already been proven in scientific studies for, among other things:

  • Allergies, especially hay fever
  • Rheumatism
  • Sinusitis
  • Sleep disorders
  • Bronchitis
  • Fatigue syndrome
  • Arthritis
  • Depression
  • Anxiety and stress symptoms

With the occasional cold, an upset stomach, or the like, home remedies can be a good alternative to

conventional medicine. But if any symptoms linger for more than a few days, or if they keep coming back, or if they are severe, disrupt daily life, a physician should always be consulted. Something more serious may be hiding underneath those seemingly innocuous complaints.

Homeopathic remedies come in different forms, most often as tinctures (drops), pellets, or tablets.

One dose is usually 2-3 pellets or 5 drops in a bit of water or 1-2 tablets. It is a good idea not to eat or

drink anything for 20 minutes before or after taking a remedy.

When we get older, we are less stable on our feet, and we may fall. If you have taken a fall or gotten a bruise, Arnica is the remedy to go here. Hopefully, there are no serious consequences from a fall – but unfortunately, sometimes bones are broken. Of course, a fracture needs to be seen by a doctor – and you should always have yourself checked after a fall, just in case. 

Sleep can elude us as we get older. Many homeopathic remedies can help with sleep, such as Coffea, Nux vomica, or Ignatia; a homeopath will be able to advise you based on your exact symptoms.

These remedies are remedies that often work in the said conditions. Used by a trained homeopath,

however, homeopathic remedies are always prescribed on the exact symptoms. Any illness can

present in different ways with different people. This is why there are few ‘one remedy for all’

solutions and prescriptions in any homeopathic remedies for seniors.

Sometimes All We Need is a Freshly Baked Cookie and a Walk

If you are physically active, your body stays flexible, and you help reduce stress hormones. You become more relaxed, more balanced and find it easier to rest at night. Healthy sleep makes complaints and worries smaller.

Whether baking your cookies, making lasagna, or a simple soup, spending time in the kitchen does your soul a favor. Turn on some music, relax, prepare a meal in peace, paint a picture, make a puzzle, or write a letter to a friend. These activities offer us a mindful moment and allow our body and brain to work together in harmony and can themselves be the source of simple home remedies – like chicken soup. That can sometimes be all it takes to feel great again.

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Senior Living FYI

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