Thursday, January 3, 2013

Home Remedies for Common Ailments

Bananas are a great source of potassium.
Bananas are a great source of potassium.
Image: Shutterstock
 As the holiday season comes to an end, I find myself feeling run-down, tired, and under the weather. I’m still eating well and exercising daily, and I love spending time with friends and family—but after two weeks, it can become exhausting. Yesterday, I was at work when my eye muscle started twitching, one of the signs of potassium deficiency. This morning, I dutifully ate a banana before work. Then I got to wondering what other natural remedies can be used for common ailments. Here’s what I came up with:

Chicken soup is a traditional cold remedy.
Chicken soup is a traditional cold remedy.
Image: Bram Cymet via Flickr CC
  1. Chicken Soup has long been used to treat the common cold. It provides a warm meal for the body, but some also claim it helps reduce white blood cell activity, which is what causes the respiratory symptoms of the common cold.
  2. Clove Oil contains eugenol, which is both an antibacterial and a painkiller. Because of this, it can be used to treat toothaches when mixed with olive oil. However, be sure to look up exactly how to prepare the clove oil. It should never be used undiluted, put directly on broken skin, or taken in large doses.
  3. Bicarbonate of Soda (baking soda) is the main ingredient in most antacids. By mixing a teaspoon in a cup of water, you can easily treat an upset stomach (as long as you don’t mind it being a little salty tasting).
  4. Whole Milk contains Monocaprin, which can be especially useful to those suffering from cold sores. Monocaprin slows the virus activity that causes cold sores to emerge and blister, so drinking whole milk can help promote healing when this happens.
  5. Honey is probably my favorite remedy for a sore throat. Not only is it delicious, but also it is as effective as some cough syrups to suppress coughs and soothe sore throats. It can be mixed with lemon and ginger tea or eaten alone.
  6. Vinegar is one of the best ways to cool sunburns when applied as a solution or pure via spray bottle.
  7. Olive Oil, which I’ve spotlighted before as a natural beauty product, can be used to treat earaches when warmed. It soothes the inflamed eardrum and helps relieve pain in the eardrum, which is caused by a mucus blockage.
Honey is a delicious remedy for a sore throat.
Image: Shutterstock
Have you ever used any of these home remedies (or others) with success? Or are there any that you think don’t work? I’ve tried about half of the remedies above with success, but the other half is listed on the word of others. List any other remedies you can think of in the comments below! I’ll look forward to reading them!