This has proved to impact me quite a bit in the last few years. I grew up with chicken soup and taking extra vitamin C, sure, but otherwise, there was cold medicine, Tylenol, neosporin, and all those good, everyday kinds of drugs that make getting sick or injured a little more bearable.
|Old drug ampoules look like the aftermath of a frat party, eh? (source)|
They're all gone now. It's been 4 years now since I had an over-the-counter med, and the last one was benadryl that I was taking to try and stop an allergic reaction, which instead made it even worse.
So what the heck do you do when you have grown up in a culture that primarily uses over-the-counter medication for everyday ailments?
If you're me, you start going back in time.
I looked into homeopathics, and then came to the conclusion that it makes absolutely no sense at all. Homeopathic practitioners are some of the sweetest, most caring people I've met, and they really seem to listen to their patients. But homeopathic remedies? Uh uh.
Then I started looking at herbalism, and that? That works. Mostly because it's what all those over-the-counter medications started out as a few hundred years ago, only inside the plants, the dosage levels are not as consistent and there are other components in the plants that have been taken out in the medication. These are still drugs, just...more in our own control, if we can learn enough about them.
And actually, they may be of great use to us soon, considering that some plants with antibiotic properties seem to actually be effective against bacteria that have become antibiotic resistant to our modern antibiotics (http://www.scielo.br/pdf/bjm/v31n4/a03v31n4.pdf ).
I've had a lot of luck with one particular book by an herbalist from my neck of the woods: Medicinal Plants of the American Southwest by Charles Kane.
I'd recommend this book, especially for the directions on how to properly make a poultice, a decoction, and so on. Very interesting, and so far, it's helped me with pain relief, coughs, colds, a broken bone (swelling and pain), and wound treatment and healing.
I've got a long way to go before I'm very knowledgeable about this, but I learn more every day. And considering that everything it helped with was going to be suffered through without any relief at all, I really like this book.