Alternatively Speaking: Soothing the sickness

Alternative medicine expert Natalie Marx answers your questions: Any remedies for athletes foot? Can anything be done to limit morning sickness?

pregnant woman 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [illustrative])
pregnant woman 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [illustrative])
Q. Natalie, I have been suffering from a rather uncomfortable urinary tract infection. I would be so grateful if you can suggest some natural remedies to help relieve the pain.
A. The most common remedy, and favorite of mine, is using cranberry for Urinary-Tract Infection. Cranberry prevents bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall long enough to cause an infection. Finnish researchers divided 150 recurrent UTI sufferers into three groups. One drank cranberry juice (50 milliliters a day). Another took Lactobacillus. The third took nothing. After six months, 36 percent of the no-treatment group and 39 percent of the Lactobacillus group reported at least one recurrence. Of the juice drinkers, only 16 percent had recurrences. Other options are dried cranberries (Craisins) and cranberry-extract capsules. A study published in the Canadian Journal of Urology in 2002 compared pure cranberry juice, cranberry extract tablets, and a placebo in 150 women at high risk for infections. Both the juice and tablets both significantly reduced UTI. Of the two, the tablets were the most effective. An important tip to remember to make sure that the cranberry juice you buy is unsweetened. Unsweetened juice can often be found in health food stores.
Drink plenty of water to dilute your urine and help flush out bacteria and especially avoid drinks that may irritate your bladder. Avoid coffee, alcohol, and soft drinks containing citrus juices and caffeine until your infection has cleared. They can irritate your bladder and tend to aggravate your frequent or urgent need to urinate.
I also recommend using a heating pad. Apply a warm, but not hot, heating pad to your abdomen to minimize bladder pressure or discomfort.
Finally, you can use the wonderful goldenseal root. It has a long history of being a strong antimicrobial agent. Take 1,000 milligrams daily in capsule form. Or, make a tea with one teaspoon of dried herb per cup water.
Q. Natalie, I am two months pregnant and have been experiencing terrible morning sickness. I am at a loss and need some advice!
A. Ginger is a wonderful remedy for preventing and treating morning sickness. In a recent study published in Obstetrics and Gynecology, researchers at Thailand's Chiang Mai University gave 70 nausea-plagued pregnant women ginger powder (one gram a day) or a placebo. In the latter group, 28 percent reported relief, however in the ginger group, the figure was 88 percent. You can use the dose given in the study, or brew a tea using two teaspoons of freshly grated root per cup of boiling water.
I also highly recommend using any teas or tinctures made of chamomile, peppermint, spearmint, fennel, raspberry leaves and/or wild yam for treatment of morning sickness. Teas and tinctures may be taken throughout the day or as nausea arises. Essential oils of lavender or peppermint may also be inhaled for relief. Nux vomica is a homeopathic remedy I frequently use in the treatment of morning sickness, but you should only use under the supervision of a homeopath.
A highly effective remedy for morning sickness is acupuncture. Debra Betts, RN, author of The Essential Guide to Acupuncture in Pregnancy and Childbirth, notes three points that are particularly effective in treatment. Pericardium-6 (PC-6) is located in the middle of the tendons about three finger widths below the wrist on the inner arm. Kidney-27 (K-27) is located in the chest, about two thumb widths from the breast bone. Kidney-6 (K-6) is located just above the bone in the inside of the ankle. Thin needles are inserted into these points for approximately 20 minutes. An alternative to acupuncture are "sea bands." These are worn around the wrist (at the PC-6 point) throughout the day and night, their light pressure offer relief from nausea.
Q. I was wondering if you can help me. I suffer from athletes foot and I can't seem to shift it. I have tried conventional treatment and it keeps returning. Can you recommend anything?
A. A favorite remedy of mine for athlete’s foot has long included tea tree oil. Many studies have also shown it to be effective for reducing symptoms. By actively using tea tree oil for four days it should begin to bring upon the healing, while after 10 or so days the athlete’s foot infection should have a quite notable, almost healed condition. To ease the itching and burning, you can use garlic. Garlic is a wonderful remedy for curing fungal infections. Simply soak your feet in a small tub, add a fairly decent amount of crushed garlic cloves and rub into the feet. The aroma may not be inviting...but well worth the results.
Lemon grass is another powerful herbal remedy for athlete’s foot due to its anti-fungal agents which help prevent infections. The oil from lemon grass can provide healing in two forms. It can be taken internally as a tea, then followed by using the teabags as a compress to be directly applied to the area of the foot that is infected.
Finally, another effective method I often tell my patients, is to use ginger to bring relief. Take one ounce of chopped ginger root and add it to one cup of boiling water. Use a clean cloth to absorb the concoction and apply to the foot. The warmth will provide soothing to the foot whilst being absorbed by the infected area.

This column is brought to you as general information only and unless stated otherwise is not medical advice nor is it based on medical experiments. This column is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. For more information about specific problems, please contact a doctor.
Natalie runs a clinic both in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem offering a wide range of natural treatment, including a women’s clinic every Wednesday. Healing is achieved using homeopathy, reflexology, massage, flower remedies and nutritional wisdom.To make an appointment please email nateopath@gmail.comAsk Natalie: If you have a health query and would like an alternative answer then email Natalie with your question at 
Someone Once Said: "The longer I live, the less confidence I have in drugs and the greater is my confidence in the regulation and administration of diet and regimen."
- John Redman Coxe, 1800