Why I Want to Stop Popping Pills {and DayQuil}

I want to stop using medicine.

That’s easier said than done, especially if you’ve grown up in America where we pop pills the first sign of a runny nose.

I don’t plan to ween myself off of medicine all at once. Rather, over the course of the next few years I want make a habit of looking to natural remedies first.

This is not as kooky as it sounds. If you’ve already started rolling your eyes, take a step back in your perspective and think about all the people in the world who don’t have access to simple medication, or all of mankind up until a few hundred years ago when medications and chemicals entered into our lives.

Before you take any medication, take a minute and think about what got you there in the first place. If your head hurts, think about the last time you had a glass of water. If your feet hurt, ask yourself if you’re wearing the right shoes. Look at the cause of the pain before you blindly numb yourself and ignore the symptoms.

Your body is trying to tell you something. Listen to it. Thank God our bodies are smarter than we are and send signals to our head to hurt a little so we stop and think, “Headache probably means dehydration. I should have some water!” Duh.

Hydration, healthy living, herbs & plants were all remedies that actually worked. They still DO work, but I’ve always had this notion that hippies and weirdos were the only ones who suffered through their pain to prove a point and stick it to the man.

But actually, I’m the sucker here.

I’m writing this as I cough and sneeze all over my keyboard, feeling a little guilty for spending $29 today on NyQuil, DayQuil, expectorant, cough drops and ginger ale. Although all of that is lovely to have and may slightly take the edge off of my symptoms (and give my cube-mates a break from my incessant coughing), I feel like a big baby. A big snotty baby.

Our bodies are designed to fight. The more we help it with chemicals, the less it knows how to do on its own. Popping pills for stupid reasons is like an overprotective mother micromanaging her children until they have no idea what to do or how to function on their own.

If you’re not convinced by my poor writing skills, check out The Gift of Pain. It’ll change you.

For the record:

  1. If I’m in labor someday broke my femur in half or in some mind-numbing pain, shut up and hand me the Vicodin. I’m mainly referring to the minor things–the things our bodies can handle on its own if we just give it a chance and listen to it.
  2. I won’t judge you for popping a few pills once in a while. Honest.
  3. Medicine can save our lives, and I’m thankful I’m in a country and financial situation that allows me to afford it. Truly, truly thankful.
  4. I don’t regret buying the expectorant. That son of a biscuit chest congestion is really tough to get rid of.
  5. I’m going to finish my DayQuil and NyQuil to the very last drop and not feel too guilty about it either. Hey, I never said this would be overnight.

Lucky for us, natural remedies and healthy living is a cheap way to avoid or heal sickness. But, I’m new to this. I kinda need your help. I don’t even know where to start. Where do you learn about LEGIT natural remedies? Have any you want to share?

By the way, I made my 2nd “natural remedy” concoction yesterday. In fact, this post was supposed to be that recipe but I totally went off on a rant here. So I’ll post my concoction tomorrow.

About Ande Truman

Ande has made mistakes in the kitchen since she could reach the countertop. From a restaurant head cook, to cooking meals for friends, to her own solo plate, experimenting & learning drives her. She's also a freelance graphic & web designer, photo/videographer, guitar player and wanderlust-er. In her spare time, she works a full-time 8 to 5 cubicle job. She's the creator of Broke & Healthy.

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8 Comments

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  1. […] = true; s.src = 'http://widgets.digg.com/buttons.js'; s1.parentNode.insertBefore(s, s1); })(); So, like I said last week, one long-term resolution I’d like to make is to transition more and more towards natural […]

  2. I’ve been lucky enough that my parents taught me that… “you only take medicine when you really need it. There’s a fine line between medicine and poison. The only difference is quantity, frequency and timing.”

    So I treat medicines with a good attitude. Take only when absolutely necessary. That being said I just finished reading Super Immunity by Dr Joel Furhman. It was a very good read and I’ve been applying many of his principles over the last few months and noticed a difference. While every else catches the cold or flu around me, I’m not getting sick. He focuses on boosting your immune system to prevent sickness and when you do get sick, shorten the duration of your sickness. I wrote a review here if you’re interested: http://rillsmenu.blogspot.com/2012/01/super-immunity.html

    Hope you get better soon!

    • Wow, I am REALLY interested in reading this book! Thanks so much for suggesting it!

  3. Rest, common sense, and http://www.bulkherbstore.com/?id=4yNurbE9. (I’m in no way affiliated with BHS just a fan:) The Bulk Herb Store sells tons of teas or tinctures for whatever ails you:) The also have a great catalog that includes some books about herbal remedies. My kids and I use very, very little medicine and it seems the longer I go without it the quicker my body recovers. I’m not even sure when I last had a cold! For a cold for myself or the kiddos I usually don’t even use anything. We take nice steamy showers, wrap up in warm cloths and blankets, drink plenty of fluid and sweat it out (and pee it out:)
    You can make going off medicine really, really complex (mixing your own meds ect.) or it can actually be as simple as just letting your body work through it and taking care to eat and drink well.
    An added benefit to going off meds is that on the very rare occasions you NEED to feel better right away a little bit of medicine goes a LONG way.
    Sorry that was so long! Hope it answers some of your questions though!

  4. I pretty much go by the exact same rule. I never want to use medicine for the small stuff. yes if I am very sick and need something than okay but all else I am a no go. Although yesterday I did burn every single one of my fingers and I took an advil after 8 hours of pain to help reduce it a bit. I dont know if it worked or not but the pain factor was high so I went with it!

  5. I am on the tail end of a cold too and have used mostly natural remedies. I took Airborne (store brand) for the first two days to get extra vitamins. I drank tons of fluids (hot, cold, juice, water, tea, coffee- yes, coffee) throughout. And when the headache turned nasal/sinus, I used a neti-pot at bedtime. It really helped me sleep even better than nyquil. I still took some theraflu when the headache was bad and had cough drops when the coughing got really raw, but overall the neti-pot was able to head-off the drainage before it became chest congestion and then became a cough.

  6. when I am sick I eat a lot of soup with ginger and garlic. and tea. hydration, and the ginger clears passages, and garlic works on the immune system.

    • i’m all about the natural remedies. people think i’m nuts because i don’t give my kids tylenol or motrin at the first sign of a fever. we don’t use cold medicine. i don’t know what exactly it is, but i just don’t like the idea of medicine in general. that being said, i, like you, am very very thankful to have medicine (both over the counter and prescription) and doctors available should they be necessary. i just think that most of the time it’s not. i promise i don’t judge people who though. 🙂

    • sorry, i just realized i hit reply instead of comment!