There is a lot of hype about alternative medicines, and some of them are certainly without much value. Of course there is a lot of hype about regular medicines, many of which do as much harm as good. The fact that natural remedies and treatments rarely hurt people as much as prescription drugs is one reason to at least try them. Here are a few that I can vouch for from experience.
Tea Tree Oil
I had a lump on the side of my nose, growing slowly, bleeding at times. I had it for years, and the one time I asked a doctor about it, he wasn't sure if it was actually cancerous. I read somewhere that tee tree oil might work. I bought a bottle at a health-food store for $6. I applied a drop to the lump each day, and in less than six weeks, the lump was gone completely.
Coincidence? After having the growth for years? I don't think so. In fact I had another growth years later on my neck, and for several years, I couldn't remember what I had used the first time. When I found a clue in some old notes, I used tea tree oil on that growth, which was even larger than the first one. It was gone in about six weeks.
St. John's Wort
When hiking in Canada, I cut my foot. The gash was deep. I found St. John's Wort (Hypericum perfolatum), which has been proven to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. I mashed up a few leaves and bandaged them to the cut, replacing them occasionally. I have honestly never seen a cut heal faster.
St. John's Wort is one of the better known alternative medicines now. It is used as an anti-depressant, with numerous studies showing it's effectiveness. It is also used by some as a temporary mood-elevator. This effect isn't proven yet, but whenever I've had tea made from the plant, it tasted awful and left me happy for two hours. Anecdotal and subjective evidence (I'm not even entirely convinced), but interesting.
When my wife has cramps and pain, nothing works better than a cup of tea made from valerian root. You can get the tea in many stores now. I wouldn't try driving after having valerian root. This is a powerful relaxant.
In fact, valerian root is too strong for some people. A gentler herb that will relax you is chamomile. You can find this as tea too. It makes a great drink with honey, just before you are ready to go to bed.
There are so many alternatives out there. I have stopped a headache just by chewing on willow twigs. I have stopped diarrhea with oak bark (careful - this can hard on the liver in large doses). I have watched a friend's poison ivy rash disappear overnight with the application of jewelweed juice.
I am sure that I have tried just as many alternatives that didn't work, too, but you know what? Put all the ineffective ones together and the cost probably doesn't add up to the cost of one visit to a doctor. As for the effective ones, well, no doctor yet has introduced me to one of them. You have to do your own research on alternative medicines.