Feeling under the weather? If you’re sick of running to the drugstore and popping pills, these 10 inexpensive home remedies may be just the alternative you’re looking for. We reached out to the experts for non-pharmacological treatments that can help resolve your minor health ailments. From colds to insomnia, fatigue to indigestion, read on to learn their advice for solving your everyday health problems the all-natural way.
Pour a glass of fennel tea. Fennel can help with gas, bloating or an upset stomach, says Teerawong Kasiolarn, ND, a naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist, who recommends drinking the tea after meals to promote digestion. You should also take care to eat slowly, chew food thoroughly and avoid drinking very cold liquids or soda with your meals, since these factors can contribute to indigestion, acid reflex and heartburn.
For an itchy rash…
Turn to nature. Instead of using a steroid cream, why not try a plant-based cream or ointment like calendula? The cream works as a natural mild antiseptic and is ideal for treating burns, scrapes and irritated skin. Want to grow your own rash relief? Keep an aloe plant in your kitchen, says Michael Finkelstein, MD, a certified holistic physician. It’s a great remedy for itchy, inflamed skin, and is also more economical than purchasing a tube of aloe from the drugstore.
Strike a (yoga) pose. While you may still need an occasional puff on your inhaler, the cobra yoga posture has been found to aid ashtma sufferers by opening up breathing passages, according to Dana Ullman, MPH, founder of Homeopathic.com and author of The Homeopathic Revolution. Begin by lying on your stomach and placing the palms of your hands on the floor, under your shoulders. Inhale while you raise your head and chest by using your back muscles and hands to support you. Exhale while lowering your body. Repeat at least five times.
For a fever…
Slip on some wet socks. Before you reach for Tylenol, try this naturopathic treatment, which could lower a fever overnight, according to Dr. Kasiolarn. First, pour cool water onto cotton socks and place them on your feet. Then cover the wet layer with a pair of wool socks to draw your body heat down to your feet and reduce your overall temperature. It’s also wise to avoid sweets, dairy, and fatty or greasy foods while suffering a fever, as eating these types of foods has been found to raise body temperature. Instead, indulge in watermelon, a fruit that’s very cooling to the body.
For stress or anxiety…
Make your own recess. When stress becomes exceedingly difficult to manage, try carving out time during the day for a short break, says Dr. Finkelstein. An outdoor break is ideal, since natural light, fresh air and movement can be especially restorative for your mind frame. Can’t leave your desk? Take a five-minute time-out to do a simple stretching exercise to rev up your energy and boost circulation.
For a cold…
Concoct an herbal cure. Infuse a glass of water with natural antiviral vegetables and herbs, such as garlic, fresh ginger slices, basil, green onion and cinnamon, to ward away cold symptoms. A tincture of echinacea is also helpful for boosting immune health, says Dr. Kasiolarn. An effective tincture will numb the tongue and should be taken with early onset of cold symptoms.
For chapped lips…
Make your own salve. Mix equal parts beeswax and olive oil for a homemade balm that soothes and smooths cracked lips. If your lips are frequently chapped, you should also make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids, since dehydration could be the real culprit. Fish oil in liquid form can also be taken with meals to help with chapped lips and dry skin for additional relief, says Dr. Kasiolarn.
For a cold sore…
Tackle it with tea. Black tea contains tannic acid, which is thought to have antiviral properties, says Ullman. Pour hot water over a tea bag to moisten it slightly and then let it sit out to cool. Place the warm bag directly onto the sore for about five minutes to aid in its healing. For the best results, apply this remedy immediately after a cold sore surfaces.
For a cough or sore throat…
Chew a garlic clove. Raw garlic, which has both an antiviral and immune-stimulating effect on the body, may actually clear infection, says Finkelstein. If raw garlic is too strong for your taste, try popping it in the microwave briefly before ingesting. For a stubborn cough, also try sniffing eucalyptus essential oil, which naturally clears mucus.
Slow down at nightfall. You can’t run around the block, put on your pajamas, hop into bed and then expect to fall asleep, says Finkelstein. Quiet the mind and body several hours before you go to bed by limiting your nighttime activities to relaxing pursuits like reading. To further ready yourself for bedtime, try dimming the lights and shutting off the TV and computer screen at least half an hour before hitting the pillows.
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