January is a time of renewal and reinvention, and many people embrace goals that will improve their physical health.

Exercise and eating better are probably the most popular New Year’s resolutions. And January is as good a time as any to start new healthy habits. But why stop there? If you’re committed to detoxing your body, why not also detox your medicine cabinet? When it comes to symptom relief and prevention, consider tossing out some of your pharmaceuticals and give natural supplements a try. Holistic, straight from nature, supplements can help alleviate, heal or even prevent a variety of ailments.

Acupuncture physician Michael Kowalski uses holistic methods to treat patients at the Acupuncture and Holistic Health Center. We asked Dr. Kowalski to share with our readers some holistic remedies to replace more conventional medicines that may be found in your medicine cabinet at home. Many of them can be found online, or at a local health food store.

To Prevent the Onset of Common Colds or Flu / Echinacea Root

An antiviral supplement that supports immune defense, take it at the first indication of a cold or flu symptoms, along with buffered vitamin C.

For High Cholesterol / Cholesterol Care by Restorative Formulations

Some people can’t tolerate the side effects of cholesterol lowering prescription statin drugs. Cholesterol Care is composed red yeast rice, and CoQ10, artichoke leaf, milk thistle seed and Reishi mushroom—all good for the liver, which breaks down fats.

Sleep Aid / Slumber Spray

Sprayed into the mouth, Slumber Spray prevents feelings of grogginess upon awakening. Main ingredients are melatonin and 5-Hydroxy L-Tryptophan. Melatonin helps you fall asleep, while tryptophan is an amino acid (naturally found in turkey) that converts to serotonin, which helps you stay asleep.

HolisticAlternatives

For Cardiovascular Health / ProOmega by Nordic Naturals

Made of Omega 3 fish oil, this supplement raises good cholesterol and lowers bad cholesterol. It also supports a healthy brain and eyes.

For Depression / St. John’s Wort

This herb has been shown to be as effective as Prozac, without the side effects (including weight gain), Kowalski says.

For Anxiety / Adaptogen and HPA Adapt by Integrative Therapeutics

Both products help restore adrenal function, because it is the adrenal gland that produces stress hormones, Kowalski says. The ingredients in these products include a mix of B-vitamins, Siberian ginseng and “Ashwagandha,” an Indian herb that has a calming effect on the body.

For Thyroid Problems / ThyroCare by WTsmed

The main ingredients are iodine and selenium and the herb Blue Flag, which detoxifies the thyroid. It helps maintain a normal body temperature, and healthy metabolism as well.

Pain Relief / T-Relief Pain Ointment

This is great for joint and muscular pain, made of all natural ingredients.