Castor oil to induce labor. Rubbing peppermint oil on your forehead and temples to dull a headache. Honey to heal a wound. Traditional home remedies are more than old wives' tales. Many of those concoctions are actually effective at soothing all sorts of aches, pains, and ailments.
A growing number of people are turning to natural remedies. According to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, between 2002 and 2007, there was a 14% increase in the use of complementary and alternative medicine. But do home remedies create an actual physiological change in the body, or is it more of a placebo effect? Because of the rising interest in these types of treatments, several home remedies have been proven by science to be effective.
Whether it's taking turmeric for pain or drinking fenugreek tea to help breastfeeding mothers with milk production, there are many simple home remedies for treating all sorts of ailments. Here's why I'd rather reach for my kitchen cupboards than my medicine cabinet.
Benefits of Home Remedies
Compared to drugs that are processed, advertised, and marketed as a commercial commodity, natural remedies are cheaper to make. Yet another benefit of home remedies is that you have complete control over what goes into them. There are no unknown dyes, chemicals, preservatives, or synthetic ingredients.
Another reason why I'm partial to home remedies is that they make thoughtful homemade gifts. Who wouldn't appreciate receiving a DIY homemade elderberry cold & flu syrup kit during the cooler months?
5 Simple Home Remedies That Really Work
I believe that it's possible to eat your way to better health. However, even natural cures can interact with medications. If you take pills regularly, or have a chronic health condition, check with your doctor before trying these.
1. Sage Tea For Colds And Coughs
The air gets cold, and the wind is sharper. Not only is this a sign to dust off your parkas and mittens, but it also means that flu and cold season is right around the corner. No matter how many times you wipe down surfaces, wash your hands, or gulp down a glass of my immunity broth, chances are high that you might catch a cold.
Generally speaking, the change in seasons leaves the human body more susceptible to viral infections, causing problems like colds, coughs, and sore throats. Let's check out one of my top home remedies for a cough.
Why Sage Tea works
A cup of sage tea is one of my favorite home remedies for a cough, cold, or scratchy throat. Sage leaves, the main ingredient in sage tea, have several antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Because of this, it has a long history of use for sore throats, coughs, and mouth inflammations. Lemon juice is high in vitamin C. Getting enough vitamin C can help relieve upper respiratory tract infections and other illnesses. Raw honey is believed to coat the throat and soothe mucus membranes. Additionally, it contains antioxidants and antimicrobial properties that may have a role in promoting healing.
How to prepare Sage Tea
Place the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Turn off the heat and add the sage leaves. Remove from the heat and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain and add lemon juice and raw honey.
2. Ginger Tea + Umeboshi Plums: Home Remedies for Heartburn & Other Digestive Issues
Experiencing tummy trouble is an uncomfortable — and sometimes downright embarrassing — situation that everyone goes through from time to time. Common symptoms of indigestion and an upset stomach include abdominal pain, bloating, excessive belching or flatulence, nausea, bad-smelling or sour breath. No fun, right? If you suffer with any of these symptoms you might be looking for relief. Therefore, if you need some home remedies for acid reflux or other stomach-related ailments, then read on.
Why Ginger Tea works: The unique fragrance and flavor of ginger come from its natural oils. Gingerol, the most important of ginger's naturally occurring oils, is believed to be the most abundant bioactive component and responsible for much of the ginger root's medicinal properties.
Because of these natural oils, ginger may help relieve digestive stress such as an upset stomach. Additionally, ginger may also be quite useful for morning sickness. Ginger has been shown to speed up emptying of the stomach (delayed stomach emptying is a major cause of indigestion).
Ginger is also known to reduce inflammation. This may help to reduce stomach acid and prevent it from rising up into your esophagus.
How to prepare Ginger Tea: Firstly, thinly slice fresh ginger and combine it with fresh water in a small saucepan like this. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer for up to 10 minutes. Lastly, pour the tea through a small, fine sieve and serve with a thin round of lemon or a drizzle of raw honey if you'd like.
Umeboshi plums are pickled ume fruits that have been used as a natural remedy for digestive problems for centuries in Japan. Traditionally, umeboshi plums are dried and then preserved in a salty brine using shiso leaves. They're quite salty and also taste sour because of their high citric acid content. Therefore, you don't want to each too much umeboshi plum. A small pinch of the pickled plum added to a hot cup of kukicha tea is often all that's needed for tummy relief.
Why Umeboshi Plums work: In Japan, umeboshi plums are prized as a "cure-all." They've been used to help everything from neutralizing heartburn to providing quick recovery for samuri warriors after battling. Japanese people also say that umeboshi plums protect against infection and food poisoning. The combination of citric acid and salt is the reason why umeboshi plums may have the ability to fight off viruses and bacteria. These pickled fruits may help support digestion as well as the health of the gastrointestinal tract. Furthermore, they have also been shown to have a natural laxative effect and may aid the movement of food through the digestive tract.
In addition, umeboshi plums also contain something called mumefral, which is a blood cleansing substance that improves circulation.
Fortunately there is some research being done to help confirm that umeboshi plums can help to alleviate symptoms caused by gastrointestinal problems. A 2015 study found that eating umeboshi plums daily improved gastric motility and significantly reduced acid reflux symptoms.
3. Sweet Vegetable Tea: Home Remedy For Anxiety & Calming Hyperactivity
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults aged 18 and older every year. While medication, exercise, and meditation are commonly referred to when you search for ways of how to calm an anxiety attack, you may also want to look at your diet and perhaps consider some natural remedies.
Hyperactivity is another common issue. Marked by constant movement, agitation and getting easily distracted, if you have this problem it can be difficult and socially challenging. And that can lead to anxiety and depression.
If you're a parent or caregiver of a child who is hyperactive, you may have trouble dealing with it and feel exhausted at the end of the day. There are pharmaceuticals like Ritalin, but many parents choose not to give this to their kids because of the possible side effects. Fortunately, there are natural approaches that can help. Sweet Vegetable Tea is a home remedy that many find helps to both ease anxiety and calm hyperactive behavior.
Why Sweet Vegetable Tea works
The main ingredients for this drink are sweet winter squash, carrots, green cabbage, and onions. Winter squash and carrots are rich in fiber and complex carbs, which can help to keep your blood sugar levels steady. Onions are rich in dietary flavonoids that have proven antidepressant effects. Cabbage has folic acid, vitamin C, and some B vitamins that may help ease anxiety.
How to prepare Sweet Vegetable Tea
In a saucepan, place ¼ cup finely diced winter squash, ¼ cup finely diced carrots, ¼ cup finely diced onion, and ¼ cup finely diced cabbage. Add 4 cups of water and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain out the veggies and drink the tea hot or warm. Enjoy a cup of this relaxing tea once or twice a day every day for a few weeks, and then have it every other day for a few weeks.
Sweet Vegetable Tea can help with hypoglycemia as well. So you can have a cup mid-morning or mid-afternoon. Because those are typical low blood-sugar times of the day, a cup of Sweet Vegetable Tea can help to give you a little pick up. And it's a healthier alternative to grabbing a donut!
4. Carrot Daikon Soup: Home Remedy For Weight Loss
Let's be honest: many of us have googled how to lose weight naturally at home. This is not one of those home remedies to reduce weight in 7 days. To lose weight safely and keep it off, focus on adopting healthy eating and exercise habits. Adding a cup of carrot daikon soup to a low-calorie, nutrient-rich diet may help you reach your weight loss goals faster.
Why Carrot Daikon Soup works: Let's look at all of the ingredients in this home remedy for weight loss to see why it works.
First, Daikon radishes are non-starchy vegetables, meaning they are very low in carbs. Furthermore, they're high in fiber, which may decrease hunger levels by slowing digestion and increasing fullness. Daikon radish has been used in macrobiotic and Japanese cooking to help with weight loss. Specifically, in Japan daikon is known for the ability to break down fatty deposits around the heart and liver.
Carrots are also featured in this remedy. Carrots are naturally low in calories, high in fiber and full of nutrients. So carrots combined with fat-burning daikon may help your weight loss efforts.
Nori Sea Vegetable
Nori sea vegetable is another ingredient. Nori is a type of edible seaweed, and it may help you lose weight because it contains alginate. This compound inhibits the enzymes that digest fat, so the body absorbs less.
How to prepare Carrot Daikon Soup: In a small saucepan, place ⅓ cup finely grated carrots, one third sheet of toasted nori sea vegetable ripped or cut into tiny pieces, ⅓ cup finely grated daikon radish, one third of an umeboshi plum, and 1 cup water. Cover it, and bring it to a gradual boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to simmer on low for around 3 minutes. Add a few drops of soy sauce and cook for one more minute. Serve hot.
Note: Carrot daikon soup can be taken every day for ten days, then every other day for three weeks. Don't take it for any longer than this as it can be too cleansing.
5. Wet Body Brushing: Home Remedy For Dry Skin & Circulation
Microbeads found in body scrubs are indirectly contributing to the environmental damage, and alternatives like crushed walnut shells or apricot kernels can be pretty damaging to the skin. So how are we supposed to slough away layers of dead skin cells? Enter body brushing.
Body brushing has gained a lot of popularity over the last few years and is even offered at many spas. It's one of those rare things that feels just as good as when you do it yourself as when someone else does it to you. What's more, body brushing is incredibly easy to incorporate into your routine.
Why Wet Body Brushing works: Wet body brushing exfoliates the skin and increases blood flow and circulation. Brushing with hot water is thought to stimulate the skin's pores and open them up, making it easier for the body to sweat. This cleanses the pores and promotes healthy skin cell rejuvenation.
How to do Wet Body Brushing: Dip a small cotton towel or cloth in hot water, wring it out, and gently rub the whole body. Dip the towel or cloth into hot water again when it cools. Be sure to work from your hands or feet upwards, towards the heart.
Bonus Natural Home Remedy: Sleep
When you're feeling under the weather, give your body the rest it needs. This is a lesson that I've learned many times over: to help your body heal, you need to sleep as much as your body needs. In other words, don't just try to push through whatever's ailing you. After all, your body is working extra hard to fight something, so rest and allow it to recover.
When you sleep, your body restores and repairs various functions and replenishes hormones to a healthy level. If you need some tips to help you slip into a soothing slumber, you can make exercise a part of your daily routine as it helps the body get tired and sleep. Besides that, establish a relaxing nighttime routine that includes unplugging from your devices and drinking a cup of calming tea like chamomile.
What Do you Think Of My Home Remedies?
Have you tried any natural home remedies? What has been effective for you? Can you offer any additional tips on using nature's cures for different ailments? I'd love to hear from you.
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