Popular and Effective Home Remedies

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By: Yehudis Schamroth

If you are looking to try more natural approaches to healing, this article is for you. Remedies from the past are making a comeback—because they work. Home remedies are here to stay! Here are some home remedies to try:

Bad Breath

To battle halitosis and whiten teeth, combine a cup of water with 1 tsp baking soda, swish around in your mouth, and then spit the mixture out. The baking soda helps to fight smelly bacteria and combats dry mouth.

 

Bruises

Bumps can leave an ugly mark, but applying ice to the area several times a day helps decrease the pain and discoloration. For a DIY ice pack, mix 1 part rubbing alcohol with 3 parts water in a resealable bag and freeze. (The solution will remain slushy, so you can mold the bag around the bruise.) Also, buy a tube of Arnica cream from your local pharmacy or health food store. Arnica can be applied to the skin for pain and swelling associated with bruises, aches, and sprains. It is also used for insect bites, arthritis, muscle and cartilage pain, chapped lips, and acne.

 

Constipation

Make an avocado smoothie! Avocados contain magnesium—a mineral that acts as a laxative by drawing water into the intestinal tract—to keep things moving. For a stomach-soothing smoothie, blend ½ avocado, ½ cup raspberries, ½ cup unsweetened almond milk and a handful of ice.

 

Colds

Viruses that cause the sniffles often start in the back of your mouth and throat. Stop them from spreading with a cleansing gargle. At the first sign of symptoms, combine 1 tsp salt with 2 cups strong green tea. Stir and refrigerate. Gargle twice daily, using ½ cup at a time.

You could also take a teaspoon of chopped garlic, covered with a large dollop of honey, twice a day for cold/flu prevention. Really! Both garlic and honey are the most natural antibiotic and anti-bacterial sources known.

 

Dry, Cracked Skin

Smooth your elbows and heels with this inexpensive at-home treatment: Mix ½ cup Epsom salt with ½ cup water to make a paste. Exfoliate by gently massaging into rough areas, then rinsing with water.

 

Headaches

Drink more water! Dehydration can be a primary cause of headaches. Be sure you drink at least a liter a day—and more in summer months—to keep well-hydrated. Magnesium deficiency is also linked to headaches and migraines. You can get magnesium from foods such as: almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, cashews, peanut butter, oatmeal, and eggs. Rubbing lavender and peppermint oils into the temples is known to give quick relief for headaches as well.

 

Hot Flashes

When you're in the throes of a hot flash, deep breathing can help stop it in its tracks by calming your nervous system quickly. Just take a deep breath in for a count of four, feeling your belly rise, then breathe out slowly and fully for a count of four. Repeat this sequence four more times in succession.  

Also, watch what you eat. One study reviewed women’s experiences over several years and found that the Mediterranean diet, which features fresh vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, reduced hot flashes. Your experience might be different, but eating plant-based foods is associated with better health outcomes for virtually everyone, so it can’t hurt to try.

Learn what foods and drinks trigger your hot flashes and limit (or completely avoid) them if you can. Regularly sipping on cool beverages throughout the day may help keep your body temperature down, and thereby reduce hot flashes as well.

 

Insomnia

Nutmeg is actually a mild sedative, so sprinkle ¼ tsp into warm milk, and sip before you go to sleep.

 

Insect Bites

A carrot compress can help reduce inflammation and dry out insect bites and stings to take out the itch. Finely grate a carrot and wrap the pulp in a thin paper towel or cheesecloth. Place it on the swelling for 20 minutes, then store the compress in the refrigerator, and repeat four times in 24 hours.

 

Nausea

Olives contain tannins, which are chemicals that help slow down the excessive production of saliva. Eat a few green or black olives as soon as you start to feel woozy. Fresh mint and or ginger teas also can settle an upset stomach right away.

 

Pimples

Dab a bit of honey on a pimple in the morning. You can leave it on all day—even under your makeup. Honey works as an antiseptic to stop the growth of bacteria that can cause breakouts. Arnica cream is good for acne too, as it is anti-inflammatory.

 

Poison Ivy

The next time you get a rash, ease the irritation with a cup of cooled black coffee or coffee grounds. The beverage contains acids that act as anti-inflammatories, which can help soothe the itch.

 

Swelling

Is your knee throbbing? Try Arnica ointment to ease the ache. Spread a thin amount onto the problem area two to three times a day. Ginger oil is also known to reduce swelling when rubbed into the leg.

 

Urinary Tract Infections

Just like cranberries, blueberries contain substances that prevent bacteria from sticking in your bladder. To ward off UTIs, combine 1 part unsweetened blueberry juice with 2 parts water and sip daily.

 
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Yehudis Schamroth

has had a long career as a nurse anesthetist, and also in Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and herbalism. She has a very busy integrative medicine practice in the Beit Shemesh area, and also at the Balance Center of Rechavia. Yehudis focuses on patient education and gives lectures on integrating both Eastern and Western medicines into healing. As a volunteer, she teachers CPR and first aid to all ages. You can contact her at RBSAcupuncture@gmail.com, 0545-91-6673, or yehudis.appointy.com. Find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RBSAcupuncture/.

Rochel Lazar