- Alternative & Natural Medicine
5 Home Remedies For Everyday Illnesses
There are many ingredients you can find around your house that can help cure or ease the symptoms of everyday illnesses and ailments. This article looks at five of these ingredients, and explains how they can be used to help you when you are sick.
Ginger has been used for many different ailments, from morning sickness to menstrual problems, and stomach upsets to travel sickness. In fact, it is considered "an essential component of the kitchen pharmacy." (Ali & Gilani, 2007, pg. 269).
There is scientific evidence that ginger can be successfully used in "the treating of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy..." (Ozgoli et. al, 2009). It can also be used for treating nausea caused by other factors, including chemotherapy (Levine et. al, 2008), as well as reducing "postoperative nausea and vomiting" that may occur after surgery (Levine et. al, pg. 546).
Ginger is well known for its ability to help with nausea, due to the fact it is not only effective, but also safe (Ali & Gilani, 2007). It has been used safely for centuries, and will probably continue to be used for many centuries to come.
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Tea is well-known as a home remedy to help with sore and puffy eyes, as it has an inflammatory effect. In fact, it has been used as a home remedy since as far back as the 6th century!
It was difficult for me to find scholarly evidence showing the usefulness of tea as a treatment for puffy eyes, or for any other ailment for that matter. There is, however, a large number of magazine and newspaper articles, as well as websites, singing the praises of the humble tea leaf.
One particular tea identified by many popular websites and articles is chamomile. Chamomile tea is recommended to be used to help with headaches and sinus troubles. You can also have ginger tea to help with nausea (see previous section to learn more about ginger). Other types of tea that can be useful as home remedies include raspberry leaf tea to help relieve the pain associated with canker sores, green tea to help acne and encourage healthier-looking skin, and catnip tea to help with teething. Tea can also be used to help with acid reflux, constipation, and sunburn.
Peppermint is a home remedy widely used, especially in Mexico. There have been some studies conducted that have researched its usefulness in helping relieve or cure sicknesses and ailments.
Rodriguez-Fragoso et. al (2008) summed up the findings of some of these studies. They explain that peppermint is a plant that can help with "the common cold, inflammatory processes of the mouth, pharynx, sinuses, liver, gallbladder and bowel, as well as gastrointestinal tract ailments such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cramps, flatulence, and dyspepsia. Also it is used for headache, morning sickness, and dismenorrhea." They also state that peppermint is so popular, not only for being a treatment for a wide variety of ills, but also because it is safe and readily available.
It is important to note that peppermint can have some side effects, including heartburn, nausea, headache, and allergic reactions. If any of these symptoms are experienced, it would be best to consult a doctor for advice.
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Lavender is known for helping treat problems from bites, to burns, to pimples, as well as facilitating relaxation and sleep.
Leyla Bringas, spokeswoman for the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy, has said that, "When you inhale lavender essential oil, it affects you on a psychological level and works as an antidepressant and calming agent...when you apply the oil topically, it has analgesic, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties." (Natural Health, 2004).
Lavender can easily be grown at home, and infused with boiling water to make tea. It can also be purchased as a cream or lotion to help with skin conditions.
Garlic is probably most famous for its ability to help with the humble common cold and coughs. Some people claim garlic helps with everything else, from asthma, leprosy, and deafness, to worms, broken bones, and heart conditions. It is claimed to even help with cancer!
One of the main problems with garlic, of course, is its odour. If you can cope with this, it is recommended that it forms a part of your daily diet to help with your well-being. You can cook with it, or if you prefer you can buy it in capsule form and swallow it.
Ali, A., & Gilani, A.H., (2007). Medicinal value of ginger with focus on its use in nausea and vomiting in pregnancy. International Journal of Food Properties 10(2) 269-278. Retrieved March 3rd, 2010, from Academic Search Premier.
Levine, M.E., Gillis, M.G., Koch, S.Y, Voss, A.C., Stern, R.M., & Koch, K.L., (2008). Protein and ginger for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced delayed nausea. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine. 14(5) 545-551. Retrieved March 3rd, 2010, from Academic Search Premier.
Natural Health, (2004). Soothe and Satisfy. 34(5) 17. Retrieved March 3rd, 2010, from Academic Search Premier.
Ozgoli, G., Goli, M., & Masoumeh, S., (2009). Effects of ginger capsules on pregnancy, nausea, and vomiting. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 15(3) 243-246. Retrieved March 3rd, 2010, from Academic Search Premier.
Rodriguez-Fragoso, L., Reyes-Esparza, J., Burchiel, S.W., Herrera-Ruiz, D., & Torres, E., (2008). Risks and benefits of commonly used herbal medicines in Mexico. Toxicology & Applied Pharmacology. 227(1) 125-135. Retrieved March 3rd, 2010, from ScienceDirect.