Homeopathic medicine or home remedies have been catching on in recent years. People are opting for more natural solutions to medical problems. It is safer and has fewer side effects than many modern medications on the market. The idea is to detoxify the body by returning to friendlier products. It is also more cost effective for those without health or prescription insurance.
For thousands of years, civilization has practiced medicine in one form or another. Depending on where in the world they were, the plants and herbs used grew locally. There was someone who was familiar with the ancient customs and knew what remedies were best for what ailments. He or she may have been called the village holy man or witch doctor or whatever the terminology is.
Ancient Greek, Romans, Indians, Native Americans, and Africans all developed medicinal processes. For the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, the cocoa bean was the basis of their health remedies. The home remedies created by these peoples were for prevention, infection, birth, and in some cases, surgery.
The practice of using herbal remedies preceded modern pharmaceuticals. Many of the medicines we use today originated with various plants and herbs. Modern techniques have improved on the form and mode of transmission so that common medicines are more accessible to the public. But, there is something to be said for natural solutions.
So, those old wives’ tales that you have been hearing about from your mother and grandmother have a basis in history. Many sound ludicrous but they work. When people didn’t have modern concoctions they used the next best thing—the plants that produced those modern miracles. Dismissing them out of hand could be a mistake.
Now, working with natural home remedies does require a bit of know-how. There are plants that can have dangerous interactions with each other just like medicines today that can interact or counteract with each other. Many people have become seriously ill or experienced fatal results from drug interactions. Herbs have similar effects but more so the reactions are detrimental to a certain condition, such as using senna during pregnancy. This and a number of other herbs can increase miscarriage.
In this guide, you will learn about the natural home remedies that exist today and the different ailments they affect. Some are ailments that we all would expect to find information on and others are things that we didn’t know there were home remedies for. Some are funny to read and others may make you scratch your head as you decide whether to try them or not.
Home Remedies for Common Ailments
This is a common problem for both teenagers and adults. There are several products on the market including Retin-A, Clearasil, Proactiv Solutions, and more that all try to tackle the issue of fighting acne. Whether over-the-counter or prescription, most people can find something to treat their acne situation.
If you want another choice, here are some other home remedies and suggestions for combating acne.
*Change your eating habits. Eating the wrong foods which are high in fat can cause pimples to erupt on your body, most commonly on the face. Each person has their trigger foods that can worsen the acne if they are already experiencing pimples.
*Consume more Vitamin A. Deficiencies of this vitamin have been linked to acne outbreaks. Good sources of Vitamin A include fruits and fruit juices.
*Buttermilk facial rinses have been known to treat acne. Using pure buttermilk, rinse your face daily.
*Pastes created from various items such as tomatoes, mustard seeds, garlic, avocado, or orange peels can be applied to the acne to lessen the inflammation.
*Many herbs can treat acne flare-ups: turmeric, fenugreek, and basil.
*Use a clean cotton ball and soak it in lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Apply the liquid to your face and let it sit. Use warm water to wash it off.
Colds and Flu
Everyone suffers from some form of cold. Since a cold is caused by a virus, there is no way to treat the actual cold strain that you may be suffering from. The only way to treat a cold or influenza is to treat the symptoms. There are fewer strains of the flu so shots are given to vaccinate against as many strains as possible. Those at greatest risk for catching the flu, the elderly and children, are the first to get the shots in an attempt to keep them healthy.
In my experience, sometimes the cure is worse than the disease. The side effects of over-the-counter medications leave one feeling disconnected and sleepy. Sometimes I feel worse than I did before I took the medicine. It is hard to function.
There are home remedies you can use to battle a cold and/or the flu. If you have a remedy from the store that works for you, that’s fine. But if these products leave you feeling much the same way that I have, give these home remedies a try. It couldn’t hurt and you’ll spend less money.
While even home remedies cannot “cure” a cold, it can lessen the duration of the symptoms. And, that is a godsend. Cold symptoms can drag on for weeks especially with a busy schedule. Natural home remedies have proven to be gentler to the body systems than some of the medicines we currently take.
*Create saline nasal drops to combat dry nasal passages. In a squeeze bottle, combine warm water with a small amount of table salt (about half a cup of water to a quarter teaspoon salt). Use it to moisturize your nose after constant blowing. Change the solution often to avoid contamination and to keep up the potency. Store in the refrigerator to avoid bacterial growth in the bottle.
*Chicken soup is not only "good for the soul" but has been the standard for colds for so many years. Combine sautéed garlic with chicken stock, egg whites, egg yolks, and vinegar. It is not Campbell’s, but it should help your cold.
*Ginger tea with honey is another warm option for combating that cold. This is not the flavored tea bags but homemade tea with fresh ginger.
*Echinacea has been known to speed healing. Many over-the-counter herbal remedies involve this herb as their main ingredient. Taking Echinacea at the first sign of a cold can thwart the worst of it.
*Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic. Using it as a gargle with warm water can kill the germs in the mouth and combat sore throat.
*Instead of medicated chest rub, try a bit of olive oil on the chest to combat a cough.
*Warm milk is supposed to help you be able to sleep but mix it with some honey and it will quiet that cough as well as help you to sleep.
*Drink orange juice. It is chock full of Vitamin C which keeps colds from every being a problem in the first place. Meeting the maximum daily requirement for Vitamin C will help to avoid colds and flu in the future.
For those people who grow herbs for cooking, they can also be used for quieting a sore throat and respiratory problems.
It is the monthly cross that women have to bear. From the time of puberty until we reach menopause, most women will have a menstrual cycle each month except during pregnancy. For many women and young girls, the cramping of the uterus can prove to be debilitating each month.
Here are some home remedies to combat menstrual cramps and get you moving again.
*Eating certain vegetables before and during menstruation can lessen the pain from the spasms. These are not the usual veggies eaten but on the bright side, you get to try a new taste. Papaya, white pumpkin, and bitter cucumber are among the strange vegetables that can help.
*Sesame seeds are surprisingly helpful when it comes to relieving menstrual pains. Mix some sesame seeds in a glass of water twice a day for pain. Boiling allows the seeds to steep. Strain them out before drinking the water.
*Heavy blood flow can lead to anemia. Eating iron-rich foods can stem the tiredness and rebuild the iron in the blood to replace what is being lost.
*Pain and excessive bleeding can be alleviated by boiling coriander seeds in water.
*The drink is not too tasty but good for the pain.
*Eating bamboo leaves are good for stopping menstrual pain. Regular consumption can regulate irregular periods.
Menopause is the period of a woman’s life that follows the end of the menstrual cycle. It can be fraught with hot flashes, irregular periods for a year or so, sexual changes, skin changes, hormonal changes, and the feeling that you are losing your mind. Pills can help but many women don’t want the side effects. So they turn to more natural home remedies.
*Phytoestrogens help maintain the level of estrogen in the body. During menopause these levels drop. A good source of phytoestrogens is soybeans. Increasing the consumption of tofu, soy milk, soy nuts, and other soy-based products (live vegetarian meatless meals) will raise those levels and help with the symptoms.
*Many doctors are prescribing substances like black cohosh, alfalfa, and wild yam to help with the hormone levels in the body during menopause.
*Increasing the amount of vegetables you eat each day will help with hot flashes. The veggies that provide vitamin C and fiber such as beets, broccoli, beets, fruits, berries, whole grains, and flaxseed are full of good things that are not only healthy to the body but also will lessen the symptom of menopause.
*Calendula and Aloe Vera handle the matter of vaginal dryness during this phase of life.
Everyone has had to deal with pain at one time or another. It can be from exercise, work, stress, or an accidental injury. No matter the source, muscle pain can be hard to deal with. Back pain especially is a problem because our back, combined with our abdominal muscles, makes up our body’s core. The core stabilizes the entire body and keeps us balanced. Pain in this area is not a pleasant thing to experience.
Here are some home remedies to work on all types of muscle pain you may experience.
*Soak the area in witch hazel or an infusion of chamomile to release the pain and unknot those muscles. Witch hazel can be purchased in the store. Try Epsom salts for sore muscles as well.
*Lavender is a relaxing flower. Lavender oil is helpful for relaxing muscles when used during a massage.
*Eating garlic every day can help to heal a sore back. If you are worried about bad breath, combine lemon juice and salt for a backache stopping drink.
*Exercising those muscles is one way to keep them from every being a problem. A strong lower back and abdomen will resist pain and injury from daily activities by maintaining correct posture when sitting, lifting, standing, and bending.
*Eucalyptus oil rubbed on the site of pain works to ease the ache.
Home Remedies for a Hangover
It is sad but true that many of us celebrate and make merry way to much sometimes. The next morning we are still feeling the effects of our good time on the hot town. Instead of popping a few aspirin and putting a pillow over your head or drawing the shades, try the list of home remedies below to ease the banging in your head.
I was always told that to avoid a hangover, don’t drink on an empty stomach. When you do the effects of the alcohol are more immediate and intense. If you spend the evening sitting at a table imbibing, as soon as you stand up you will fall over.
*Eating fruits like bananas and kiwis the morning after can get rid of that hangover.
*A glass of citrus fruit juice will help if you don’t have bananas or kiwis around.
*Drink coffee; it is a good idea. The caffeine will restore your right mind. Chocolate contains a mild amount of caffeine and it can be used as a substitute for coffee if you don’t drink it.
*Dehydration is a result of drinking alcohol all evening. Drinking water before you indulge and before going to sleep will hopefully stop a hangover from forming.
If you can stomach it, eat eggs and toast for breakfast. After a night of nothing but alcohol, you will need some nourishment to calm your stomach.
Home Remedies for the Body
Let’s face it: We all worry about our appearance. If we look good then we feel good about ourselves. When encountering one of those troublesome beauty conditions, look around your kitchen or medicine cabinet to find a way to stop it.
Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungus, tinea pedis. It thrives in warm, moist areas. These areas exist in locker rooms, gym showers, at public pools, and any other areas like this that are frequented by a lot of people. The fungus hides between the toes and under the nails. It causes burning and itching that are quite bothersome.
*Tea tree oil to the rescue again. It is an antiseptic. Soaking feet in warm water with added tea tree oil retards the growth of the fungus. Be sure to dry your feet after soaking so that the moisture won’t allow the fungus to grow all over again. Applying the oil directly to the affected area after drying is extra protection.
*Keep feet dry. After leaving the pool or the shower, completely dry the feet so the fungus can’t thrive. Change into clean socks after working out.
*If you like to eat garlic you’ll love putting it between your toes. Well, not exactly between the toes but in the shoes to get rid of the fungus.
*Spray your feet with deodorant. Deodorant is essentially anti-perspirant. It will keep your feet from sweating and creating a moist environment for the fungus to thrive.
Dandruff is caused by an overly dry scalp. The skin flakes and peels. When combing the hair, the flakes become entangled in the hair and also fall all over your clothing. If you are wearing dark clothing or your hair color is a darker shade, the dandruff will be readily noticeable to everyone.
Dandruff also causes itching. The dryer the scalp, the more it will itch. Constant scratching can further irritate the scalp and make it sore to the touch.
Try these home remedies to solve your flake problem.
*Apply coconut oil mixed with lemon juice to your scalp. Covering the hair with a warm towel will slowly let the oil and juice infuse into the scalp. Increase blood flow to the area with a gently scalp massage.
*You may not like to eat beets but they are good for treating dandruff. Chop a beet and boil it. Use the beet water to wash your hair and massage the scalp.
*Lime juice works as well as lemon juice. Squeeze the juice of a lime directly on the scalp and massage it in.
*Herbs are good for solving the dandruff dilemma. Dried rosemary and sage can be boiled in water. Let the water cool and use it as a hair rinse each day instead of plain water.
*Fenugreek seeds can be softened in water and then ground into a paste. Apply that paste to the scalp and let it sit for at least half an hour before rinsing out.
Dry skin is akin to dandruff. Dandruff is dryness of the scalp, but dry skin can plague the entire body. Our largest organ is the skin so when it is dry, everyone can see it. Dry skin can crack and bleed from the lack of moisture. Restoring moisture to the skin is the only way to stop the dryness.
Try these home remedies:
*Cucumbers work to combat dry skin. Have you seen the women at the spa with cucumber slices on their eyes? That is to relieve tired eyes, but that cucumber juice will restore moisture to the face and other areas of dry skin.
*Honey is great also. Mix it with a little rose water to create a skin moisturizer that can be used all over the body, wherever dry skin is a problem.
*The same Aloe Vera that is used for burns and scrapes works wonders for dry skin. That’s probably why so many companies use it as an ingredient in their lotions and other skin softeners. Pure Aloe Vera works better. Simply massage the healing juice of the plant on the dry skin areas to restore moisture.
*Have you ever had chicken pox? The bumps dry your skin out and make it itchy. Many people use oatmeal to combat the itchiness. This same treatment can be used for people with dry skin. Create a paste using oatmeal, vanilla extract, baking soda, and warm water. Add the paste to running bath water.
*Olive Oil. After each bath or shower, apply olive oil all over your body. Your skin will become smooth and silky as never before.
Ingredients for Home Remedies
Home remedies employ several ingredients. Some we have heard of and others sound like something out of a witch’s potion book. But, there are a few that do more than their fair share of healing. These ingredients are found to be of help with many ailments and diseases.
Apple Cider Vinegar
We have all heard the adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples are a beneficial fruit. They provide several vitamins and minerals, such as potassium and calcium to the body. They can also be natural home remedies for constipation if you eat too many in one sitting.
Besides apples, vinegar made from apples has been one of the many home remedies for ages to deal with such ailments as respiratory infections, sinus issues, and others. As far back as ancient Egyptian civilization, apple cider vinegar was at work improving the health of the people.
Apples contain pectin which is a form of fiber. As such this fiber helps to eliminate cholesterol from the body. For those suffering from high cholesterol, this means that the pectin fiber attaches to bad cholesterol in the foods we eat and flushes it out of the body.
When vinegar is produced from fermented apples, it retains the vitamin and mineral properties of the apple. The body needs potassium. It has a reciprocal relationship with sodium. The potassium in the vinegar helps to flush out excess sodium, water, and control blood pressure.
Calcium is needed to add strength to bones. Regular use of apple cider vinegar can help to combat osteoporosis in aging women.
Apple cider vinegar is also used to treat bacterial and fungal infections in the body. It was applied to cuts and scrapes much like an antiseptic. It can be ingested as a body cleanser, removing toxic substances from the blood and flushing them out of the body.
It is even thought that apple cider vinegar can help with weight loss. This may sound far-fetched but it is not as crazy as some of the things that people are trying these days to fight the battle of the bulge. This vinegar speeds up the metabolism.
The person using it must eat right and exercise. The vinegar helps our bodies to digest food more efficiently and quickly. Taking it daily increases the benefit of what is already being done to lose weight.
The Aloe Vera plant has always been known to heal burns. This wonder plant has other significant properties.
The gel from the Aloe Vera plant acts as an anesthetic when used readily for burns, cuts, and scrapes. Not only is healing sped up but the gel soothes the pain with cool comfort. The gel stops itching and heals blisters.
Drinking the juice from the plant is beneficial. It has been known to help with heartburn, irritable bowel syndrome, and ulcers. Instead of using an over-the-counter remedy for constipation, drink a little aloe Vera juice.
Aloe Vera is also a skin softener and moisturizer. Those with itchy, dry skin can benefit from the gel being applied to their skin regularly. By stimulating collagen and elastin production in the skin, Aloe Vera slows the aging process.
Finally, what other foods do you have around your home that are not being used to their fullest potential as home remedies? It would seem that food is not just for eating anymore. Or, actually, it never was just for eating.
Plants, herbs, and fruits have been used for centuries as both food and medicine. They are the basis for most if not all of the medicines we use today minus the added fillers. Try these home remedies to detoxify your body and stay healthy.
Remember, if you encounter a serious problem, check with your physician before treating anything. Modern medicines can interact with herbal or natural home remedies. It is important to let the doctor know about any substance you are using for medicinal purposes.
In the meantime, check your kitchen. You never know what might be available to cure a hangover, heartburn, dry skin, or dandruff.