Ways you can deal with common ailments at home
Written by Caitlin Schille
The use of home remedies, particularly herbal medicine, has grown in popularity in the United States—nearly one third of Americans use at-home treatments or herbs to treat various maladies. Wrongful deaths from prescription drugs, as seen commonly on nightly news channels, spur this trend on. Herbal and at-home treatments may be less expensive than mainstream medicine, and in some cases, may have fewer side effects.
It should be noted that before attempting any at-home or herbal treatments, do your research. Determine if the herbal remedy has scientific backing, and use your best judgment to decide if the at-home treatment is safe and effective for you. Herbal products are not regulated in the United States, so they may contain additives and ingredients that are not disclosed on the label. Herbs may cause allergic reactions in some users, and some herbs may even be toxic when taken in high doses or improperly ingested. Some herbs may also cause adverse health effects when they interact with other medications or treatments. It is wisest to consult with your doctor before trying any home remedy.
Here are six at-home remedies backed by science:
- Use ginger to combat nausea. Ginger naturally fights nausea and vomiting, which makes it an excellent way to treat stomach flu, motion-sickness, and nausea induced by chemotherapy. A study by the National Cancer Institute found that study participants who were assigned to take ginger reported feeling much less nauseated than those who took a placebo treatment.
- Consume garlic regularly to decrease your risk of cancer. An article found in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition determined that a regular, high consumption of garlic decreased rates of various types of cancers, including colorectal and ovarian. For best results, include several garlic cloves per day in your diet.
- Gargle salt water to ease the ache of a sore throat. According to Dr. Douglas Hoffman of The Medical Consumer’s Advocate, a sore throat results from infected tissue, and the salt helps to draw out the fluid that causes the painful swelling characteristic of a sore throat. The typical concoction calls for one tablespoon of salt per eight ounces of water.
- Chamomile tea can be used to treat colds, and it can also be used to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps. Chamomile has long been believed to have healing and anti-inflammatory properties, and new research seems to be backing up this belief. A study found in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has deduced that chamomile tea has certain molecular compounds that may fight off the common cold virus as well as ease the pain of menstrual cramps.
- Use baking soda to treat canker sores. Create a paste made of baking soda and a little bit of water, then apply that paste to the canker sore. This treatment is endorsed by the Mayo Clinic and the National Institutes of Health.
- Turmeric may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, and it may also ease general pain. Turmeric contains curcumin, a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help ease pain, particularly joint pain and swelling caused by arthritis. A study found in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that curcumin is helpful in ridding the brain of certain plaques that are the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.
Sources: Umm.edu, nlm.nih.gov, naturalhealthadvisory.com, mayoclinic.org, webmd.com, prevention.com, womansday.com