Maybe it’s the sinus infection I’m fighting, but for some reason tonight I was thinking of Naaman and his reaction to Elisha’s direction. Naaman had leprosy, and his servant, an Israelite, told him about Elisha and how Elisha was a holy man who could surely heal the leprosy. When Naaman arrived, though, Elisha told him to bathe in the Jordan to be cured. Naaman became indignant, but one of his retinue said, “Father, if the prophet had asked you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? All the more reason, then, when he says to you, “Bathe, and you will become clean.’” (2 Kings 5:13, NJB).
It occurs to me that this is often the case when speaking of alternative remedies. For example, few parents question giving acetaminophen to a teething babe, but many are skeptical of trying amber first. The same could be said of trying hazelwood first for milder eczema and reflux (or in conjunction with medicines for more severe forms). To be fair, though, many are simply unaware of these alternatives.
Now, let me be clear that I am not against medical treatments. Far from it! I simply prefer to try natural remedies first, and then use medicines if needed after that. For example, with this sinus infection. My ears and throat are sore from the drainage (the forehead sinuses only seem to really hurt if I bend over, so I avoid that). I’ve been able to combat the ear pain through a natural remedy, and tea helped some with my throat, but I finally decided I needed acetaminophen to help with that.
And not all home remedies are always appropriate. My father offered a hot toddy for my throat; if I weren’t nursing Leo, who cannot tolerate me ingesting any alcohol, I would’ve accepted, but it isn’t a possibility right now. I’ve a friend whose son has an allergy to garlic, so using garlic oil for an ear infection wouldn’t be appropriate for her. Really, these are things that should be common sense, though.
But the next time you hear of a natural remedy and shy away from it, ask yourself why. 🙂