When you've got a sore throat, a funny stomach, or a blocked nose, you're probably not going to go to the doctor. But you don't want to have to stock your bathroom cabinet full of medicine, either. The good news is you don't have to.
People have been dealing with little common ailments the natural way for hundreds of years, using the same products we have in our homes now. Lemon and honey, vinegar, peppermint and massage therapy. They're nothing new, and they get the job done well. So here are home remedies for twelve common ailments that you can deal with at home.
1) Lower back pain. Many people suffer from lower back pain, including sciatica. Do you have a tennis ball at home? Try this brilliant exercise to reduce lower back pain.
2) Nausea. You can experience nausea for a number of reasons - motion sickness, stomach bug, pregnancy, or even as a side effect to medication. Ginger has long been used for its anti-nausea properties, and there are a number of ways you can take it. Most people suggest making hot ginger tea by steeping fresh ginger in boiling water, but Prevention has another great alternative - frozen ginger chips. Essentially you just freeze the tea, crush the ice and nibble on the ginger-ice throughout the day. It's easy to stomach and keeps you hydrated.
3) Sinus congestion. Feeling stuffy? There are plenty of medications on the market for clearing your sinuses, but why not try a more natural approach? Try this very simple home massage therapy to clear your sinuses. It only takes a few minutes, is great for your circulation and will have you feeling lighter and clearer in no time.
4) Constipation. The source of constipation is usually your diet, so why not turn to your diet to get your bowels working as normal again. There are a number of foods which are great for alleviating constipation, such as sesame seeds. They're high in oil, which works to lubricate your food and your intestines. Check out Reader's Digest for more great ways to alleviate constipation.
5) Sore throat. Did you know that you can clear up a sore throat using only what's in your kitchen pantry? Peppermint, turmeric, honey - there are plenty of home remedies that people have been using for hundreds of years. Put down the nasty cough syrup and go natural. Read more about how to clear up your sore throat here.
6) Aches and pains after sleeping. We've long adhered to the theory that a firm mattress is better for the back, but according to WebMD, the opposite may be true. Experts are now beginning to acknowledge that a softer mattress is better able to adapt to the natural curves of your spine. If you've been waking up with aches and pains, try adding a soft foam topper on top of your mattress and enjoy a good sleep once and for all!
7) Smelly feet. Foot odor is unpleasant and embarrassing, but there are a ton of home remedies that can put a stop to it. Our favourite is the black tea soak, which kills off the bacteria which cause the stink. You can find seven other remedies for smelly feet here.
8) Toothache. Cloves are your friend when your teeth are aching. You can apply clove oil directly to the sore are with a cotton bud, and it'll numb the pain very effectively. Body and Soul also advise that you can chew on dried cloves for the same result, if you're able to chew.
9) Urinary tract infections (UTIs). There has been plenty of debate about whether cranberry juice is an effective treatment for UTIs, but scientists have finally put an end to it. Although cranberry juice won't necessarily get rid of an existing UTI, it will stop you from developing one by preventing the bacteria from sticking to the lining of your urinary tract. Eating Well reminds us to only drink natural cranberry juice - avoid sweetened varieties!
10) Soothe a cough. Good news: Prevention explains that research has shown the theobromine compound in dark chocolate to be more effective than codeine at suppressing a cough. It doesn't have any nasty side effects, either. Enough said!
11) Trouble sleeping. There are many environmental factors that are conducive to a good night's sleep (switch your phone off early, build a routine, reduce light and noise - the list goes on) but there's one little home remedy that works a treat. We're talking about lavender oil. You can dab it onto your temples or onto your pillow for a calming effect and deeper sleep. In case you're not convinced, you can read more about lavender oil's amazing benefits here.
12) Settle your stomach. If you're suffering from bloating, stomach cramps, or excessive gas, peppermint is an incredible home remedy. It kills bacteria in your stomach and relaxes your digestive tract for pain-free digestion. You can chew on mint leaves from your herb garden or steep the leaves in boiling water for a fresh, hot tea. Prevention also recommends that if this is an ongoing problem and you can't always have fresh mint on hand, find peppermint oil capsules at your pharmacy. They are effective and fast-acting.
It's easy to treat minor ailments at home - save yourself a trip to the pharmacy, and save your body from the unnecessary chemicals found in so many common medications. We'd love to hear about your home remedies - let us know in the comments!