A vast majority of prescription medicines and over-the-counter medications are expensive, not very effective, and can cause unfavorable side effects. On the other hand, natural remedies can be used in the comfort of your home, are inexpensive, and are made from ingredients commonly found in households.
The following are some common illnesses that can be treated with simple natural remedies.
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- Gargle and gently swish in your mouth a mixture of ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon organic turmeric powder and ½ cup warm water. Do not drink or eat anything for at least ½ hour after you gargle for the salt and turmeric to do their job of killing harmful bacteria. You can repeat this as often as you need throughout the day. (Related: Natural remedies for a sore throat.)
- Gargle and gently swish in your mouth a mixture of one cup warm water, ¼ teaspoon baking soda and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Use this rinse every three hours as needed. Gargling with this solution can kill bacteria and prevent the growth of yeast.
- Take one to two tablespoons of honey on its own for your sore throat. One study found that honey is more effective at taming nighttime coughs than common cough suppressants. Other research shows that honey can promote wound healing, which means it may help relieve sore throats quickly. You can also mix two tablespoons of honey with a warm glass of water or tea and drink it as needed.
- Drink chamomile tea. Chamomile tea is known for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and astringent properties. Studies show that inhaling chamomile steam can help relive symptoms of a cold, including a sore throat. Drinking chamomile tea can also stimulate the immune system to fight off sore throat-causing infections.
You can make a simple cough syrup by chopping six medium-sized onions, putting the pieces in a dish and adding four tablespoons of honey. Cover and leave them in a water bath (the dish is surrounded by hot or simmering water) over low heat for two hours. Strain and take one tablespoon of the syrup every three hours.
Corns and calluses
- Before you try anything else, your first remedy may be a simple 20-minute soak in warm water. After towel-drying your skin, see if you can gently rub a layer of the callus away with just your finger. Over the course of several soaking sessions, you may be able to completely remove the callus.
- Mix a solution of four parts water and one part apple cider vinegar (ACV) and soak your callus for about 20 minutes. The acid content in ACV can soften the hard skin of a callus. When you remove your skin from this soak, you may be able to peel a layer or two of the calluses off. Don’t pull too hard and try to be patient. Do not break the skin around or on top of the callus as this can result in infection.
- Soak your skin in warm water mixed with five tablespoons of castor oil to lubricate the tough skin and soothe the affected area. Castor oil has properties that make it a natural skin lubricant. This can be helpful when you try to condition your skin to rub a callus off.
- Chew a few basil (tulsi) leaves after a meal. More than just an antacid, basil can help the body absorb food and prevents reflux and the formation of ulcers.
- Drink a mixture of ½ teaspoon of baking soda and four ounces of warm water. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) can quickly neutralize stomach acid and relieve indigestion, bloating and gas after eating. Baking soda is generally safe and nontoxic.
- You can suck on a piece of clove after a meal, which also helps reduce stomach acidity.
- You can stay hydrated by drinking six to eight glasses of water a day to keep your stool soft and promote regular bowel movements. When an individual becomes dehydrated, the body starts pulling water from all over the body, including the colon.
- Consider a relaxing approach by stretching and practicing yoga. The twisting motion of the torso in yoga can squeeze the intestines so that the stool loosens in the colon. Seated twist and supine twists are two yoga positions that incorporate twisting the torso. Numerous other yoga poses, such as downward-facing dog and standing forward bend, are also recommended for naturally stimulating bowel movement.
- Try massaging your abdomen. Lie on your back and press your abdomen in a clockwise motion for approximately 10 minutes. You can do this massage twice a day. The clockwise motion helps push the stool in the colon toward the rectum. You can also drink hot water or tea before you massage your abdomen to further improve your gastrointestinal system.
- Take a tablespoon of organic extra virgin coconut oil each day. Coconut oil contains an abundance of medium-chain fatty acids, which help stimulate bowel movements and soften stool. It also helps remove excess waste from the body.
- Drink fresh coconut water, which can be detoxifying and hydrating. Coconut water supports kidney function and stimulates the digestive system. Magnesium is also naturally found in coconut water, which helps the muscles in the intestinal wall move fecal matter out of the body.
- Eat fiber-rich foods for a healthy digestive system. The daily recommendation for dietary fiber consumption is 25 to 30 grams. The insoluble fiber found in foods like oatmeal, whole grain, fruit, beans, bran and vegetables can prevent stools from hardening.
Dry and/or itchy skin, sunburn, hives, poison ivy, bug bites
You can use powdered oatmeal to create a paste by mixing it with cool water. Apply this paste directly to affected areas as needed and allow it to dry. Once the paste has dried up, soak it off gently. The oatmeal helps draw out toxins from itchy problem areas and delivers many other beneficial effects. Oatmeal is rich in vitamins, minerals and protein.
When buying oatmeal, remember that it should be whole, uncooked and organic. If there is sensitivity to gluten, find an oatmeal that is not processed in a facility with other grains.
Dark circles under the eyes
- Make tomato paste by taking one or two fresh tomatoes, one tablespoon of lemon juice, a pinch of gram or besan flour and turmeric powder. Blend these ingredients nicely until they become a thick paste. Apply the paste very gently around your eyes. Rinse it off gently with clean water after 10 or 20 minutes. Repeat this process two or three times every week to make the skin tone around your eyes lighter and eventually make the dark circles go disappear.
- Apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and shrink dilated blood vessels. This can reduce the appearance of puffiness and help eliminate dark circles. Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean, soft washcloth and apply to your eyes. You can also dampen a soft washcloth with cold water and apply it to the skin under your eyes for 20 minutes for the same effect. Repeat this process if the cloth becomes warm or if the ice melts.
- Apply cold tea bags to your eyes to improve their appearance. Tea contains caffeine and antioxidants that can help stimulate blood circulation, shrink blood vessels and reduce liquid retention beneath your skin. Soak two black or green tea bags in hot water for five minutes. Let them chill in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes. Once they are cold, apply the teabags to your closed eyes for 10 to 20 minutes. After removing the teabags, rinse your eyes with cool water.
Watch the video below to learn about other effective home remedies for common ailments.