Grandma was right… Those old-time home remedies really do work. For those wary of the various pills we buy with prescriptions or over the counter, these more natural alternatives are worth a look.
The age of modern medicine has brought us many great advances. But some conditions can be treated the way humans have successfully done for thousands of years. From sore throats to acne, a wide variety of common ailments can be treated with natural remedies.
Sore Throat Remedies
Several home remedies can soothe a sore throat. No matter what particular virus or other irritant is causing your sore throat, there are a variety of ways to relieve your discomfort with things that you most likely already have in your kitchen. It should come as no surprise that some of the most tried and true remedies for a sore throat are the same remedies our grandparents swore by.
1. Saltwater gargle
One of the oldest and most well-known treatments for a sore throat is gargling with salt water. Simply add a teaspoon of table salt to one cup of warm water. Stir until the salt is fully dissolved in the water. Gargle with the mixture for approximately 30 seconds every hour as needed to control the pain.
2. Honey and lemon tea
Both honey and lemon are helpful home remedies for treating a sore throat, so is a cup of hot tea. To ease the pain of a sore throat, try combining these three remedies. Fix a cup of hot tea, add a little lemon and sweeten to taste with honey. Drink it as hot as you can without scalding your mouth and throat.
3. Sage and echinacea spray
You can make your own throat spray from sage and echinacea. Both of these herbs soothe a sore throat and this spray also has antiseptic properties. This recipe will have your throat feeling better in no time.
Make your own sage and echinacea spray:
- Bring the half a cup of water to a boil.
- Place the 1 teaspoon of ground sage and 1 teaspoon of ground echinacea into a small jar.
- Fill the jar with boiling water.
- Let the mixture steep for 30 minutes.
- Pour the mixture through a strainer and then combine it with half a cup of hard liquor (optional).
- Place the mixture in a small spray bottle and spray it into your throat every two hours or as needed.
The easiest way to treat and prevent constipation at home is by paying close attention to your diet. Make sure you are drinking enough water and eating enough fiber. Unfortunately, this isn’t always enough to keep constipation at bay. But thankfully, there are home remedies to relieve your constipation woes.
Perhaps the most time-tested remedy for constipation, prunes and prune juice are an all natural way to get your digestive tract moving again. Prunes are a good source of fiber, but they also contain the sugar alcohol sorbitol, which is a natural laxative. To effectively treat constipation, you need to eat around seven prunes to get the recommended dose of 50 grams. In addition to being one of the oldest remedies for constipation, this may also be the easiest.
5. Herbal laxatives
Some herbs have laxative properties. Senna is an herbal laxative that can relieve constipation. You can buy Senna over the counter (OTC) at your local drug store. Senna contains several types of plant compounds called glycosides, which stimulate the nerves in your digestive tract. Another OTC supplement to treat constipation is magnesium citrate. While higher doses of magnesium citrate are sometimes used to clean out the bowels before medical procedures, smaller doses can be used at home to relieve constipation.
6. Probiotics and prebiotics
Eating plenty of foods that contain probiotics and prebiotics can help prevent constipation. Both of these help to regulate the good bacteria in your gut to prevent digestive dysfunction, such as constipation. Probiotics and prebiotics can also be added to your diet through supplements that are available over the counter.
Home remedies for Yeast Infection
Whether you are dealing with a vaginal yeast infection or an oral yeast infection (called thrush), the end result is the same: you are miserable. Candida, the fungus responsible for yeast infections, is always present in the human body. When there is an overgrowth of this fungus, a yeast infection occurs. Fortunately, there are several natural remedies that can help get candida levels back under control.
Greek yogurt can be used to treat a yeast infection. To be effective, the yogurt needs to contain live bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. These live bacterial cultures are probiotics. For this reason, yogurt can be used to treat a yeast infection naturally by bringing candida levels back into balance. In addition to making sure the yogurt you choose has live bacteria, you should also make sure that it does not have added sugar. Candida thrives on sugar, which is counterproductive when treating a yeast infection, so plain Greek yogurt works best.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Some women swear that bathing in apple cider vinegar helps cure their yeast infections. To try this remedy, add half a cup of apple cider vinegar to a lukewarm bath. Soak in the water for 20 minutes. It should be noted that this is not the same as douching with vinegar, which kills off both good and bad bacteria in the vagina, leading to even more infections down the line.
9. Coconut oil
Another natural remedy for fighting yeast infections is coconut oil. Coconut oil has antifungal properties and is one of the few home remedies to has been proven effective by scientific studies. When treating a yeast infection, make sure you use pure, organic coconut oil with no additives. Apply the undiluted coconut oil to the affected area as needed.
Home Remedies for Acne
Acne has plagued teenagers and adults alike since the dawn of man. Harsh chemical treatments can end up doing more harm than good. However, there are a variety of home remedies that can treat acne and help you put your best face forward.
10. Green tea spritz
The benefits of drinking green tea are well-known. Green tea is an antioxidant. However, studies have shown that green tea can also be used topically to treat acne. The flavonoids and tannins in green tea fight bacteria and reduce inflammation, which are both causes of acne. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), one of the antioxidants in green tea reduces the production of sebum, fights inflammation and inhibits the growth of P. acnes.
Make your own green tea spritz:
- Steep green tea in boiling water for 3–4 minutes.
- Allow tea to cool.
- Pour the tea into a spray bottle and spritz onto your skin.
- Allow to dry, then rinse with water and pat dry.
11. Cinnamon Honey Mask
Both cinnamon and honey are full of antioxidants. It is also thought that cinnamon and honey are both able to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation. Although no studies have been done so far to investigate the antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties of honey and cinnamon on acne, this mask is so luxurious that it is definitely worth giving it a shot.
Make your own green tea mask:
- Mix together 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 of teaspoon cinnamon until they form a paste.
- After thoroughly cleansing your face, apply the mask and leave on for approximately 10–15 minutes.
- Rinse your face to completely remove the mask, then pat dry.
12. Tea tree oil
The therapeutic benefits of tea tree oil have made it one of the most popular essential oils on the market. Tea tree oil has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Research has found that tea tree is an effective treatment for acne. Studies showed that after three months of use, applying 5% tea tree oil significantly improved acne. Always remember that because tea tree oil is very strong, it must be diluted before applying it to your skin.
Make your own tea tree oil spot treatment:
- Mix 1 part tea tree oil with 9 parts water.
- Apply mixture to the affected areas with a cotton ball or swab.
Use These Remedies to Feel Better Naturally
If you are interested in treating these common ailments naturally, you now have the power to get yourself feeling better with a variety of home remedies. Whether you have a sore throat due to the common cold or you have a teenager suffering from acne, you can use these home remedies to help treat your condition with ingredients you probably have in your house already. As always, you should contact your doctor for any persistent symptoms that bother you and follow his or her medical advice.
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