A natural remedy is a natural substance that is used for medicinal purposes, whether that be therapeutic or to prevent medical issues.
Quite often, herbal medicines are what make up natural remedies, with the ingredients coming from plant leaves, roots and flowers. However, herbal medicines are not the only source of natural remedies and people often overlook the more simple and effective ways to treating ourselves naturally.
Natural Remedies Headache
Headaches can be a common nuisance that many people struggle with. These headaches can range from tension headaches to cluster headaches, as well as migraines. For most, we think to take a medicine that targets headaches and can relieve us of our pain. However, it may be worth trying some natural remedies instead.
If you are not getting enough sleep or your sleep routine is not regular, it can cause headaches. Research taken from Healthline found that people who got less than six hours of sleep per night were experiencing more frequent and intense headaches than those who were getting more than six hours a night. It is important that you attempt to get between 7 and 9 hours sleep. Note that getting too much sleep can also cause headaches, so getting just the right amount of sleep could eliminate headaches.
Healthline's research suggests that applying a gel pack to the head can reduce migraine pain and other types of headaches. This is due to the cold decreasing inflammation, slowing the nerve conductions and constricting blood vessels, this then causes the headache to reduce significantly.
A cold compress can be in the form of:
- Ice and other frozen objects such as frozen vegetables that are packaged and covered in a towel
- Headache gel
Drink more water
If you are dehydrated this may cause you to get a headache. Headaches are a common consequence of chronic dehydration. If you find yourself with a tension headache or a migraine, this can be a cause of not enough water.
Research shows that drinking water is thought to relieve symptoms within 30 minutes. If it does not improve then this may not be the cause of your headache. In order to avoid getting headaches for this reason, ensure that you are keeping up your water intake.
Essential oils are a type of remedy that comes from plants and they can be used as an aid to relieve headaches or migraines. The following essential oils can be used:
- Peppermint Oil - The menthol helps to ease pain and relax muscles
- Rosemary Oil - Anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties
- Lavender Oil - Can relieve migraines and stress related tension headaches
- Chamomile Oil - Relax the body and muscles, reduce tension headaches
- Eucalyptus - Opens nasal passages, clearing the sinuses and reducing headaches as a result of sinus issues
If your headaches are a result of stress and anxiety, then using essential oils that are catered to reduce those symptoms may be beneficial. These can be:
- Clary Sage
- Ylang Ylang
As with all essential oils, ensure that they are diluted and never use them in their concentrated form.
Acupuncture is a tradition in Chinese medicine. The process involves using very thin needles and inserting them into the pressure points on the body. It is thought that acupuncture restores positive energy and removes the negative energy that is causing the pain.
If you are having acupuncture, the needles are inserted close to the nerves within your body, the area depending on where your symptoms are, and this stimulates the nerves and releases hormones that then trigger a response from your body. It is this stimulation that is thought to relieve migraines and tension headaches.
Ensure that a well trained practitioner is the one to carry out the process as this carries a reduced risk. Alternatively, you may experience bruising, fatigue or soreness.
Yoga and Meditation
Yoga and meditation can be a great way to relieve headaches that are caused by stress and anxiety. Yoga can relieve this stress and decrease pain. Healthline suggests that yoga can reduce the intensity of the headache and how often you are getting them. Research shows that headache frequency and intensity were reduced in those who suffered from chronic migraines and had yoga therapy.
Practicing yoga for three months can have significant reduction rates for headaches.
There are herbal remedies that are thought to reduce symptoms of headaches. It is thought that those containing feverfew and butterbur are the most beneficial. Feverfew is a flower plant that has anti-inflammatory properties and it is thought that taking 50-150mg supplements per day can reduce the frequency of your headaches. Although, contradicting studies have found no evidence to support this.
Butterbur in the form of extract, in doses of 50-150mg are thought to reduce headaches too. Take this with caution as forms that are pure can cause damage to the liver and there may be long-term side effects that are currently not known.
Natural Remedies Upset Stomach
Upset stomachs can be a cause of many different issues and it can be difficult to target the root cause of the problem, so knowing how to reduce symptoms can be even harder. Some common causes of an upset stomach are:
- Food Poisoning
- Viral Gastroenteritis
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
There are other stomach conditions that can cause this issue. If you have a persistent or continuous upset stomach, contact your GP. We have outlined some of the natural ways in which you can relieve symptoms of an upset stomach.
If you have issues such as bloating or digestive issues, then eating yogurt can help to keep reduce your symptoms, by keeping your digestive system healthy. Yogurt is high in probiotics, which is the good bacteria we need in order to maintain gut health. Additionally, if you are struggling with diarrhoea, it may help you to relieve symptoms. This is due to the notion that probiotics shorten how long you will have diarrhoea if it has been caused by bacterial, viral or parasitic infections.
However, note that if you are lactose intolerant eating yogurt can make your stomach much worse.
If your upset stomach stems from nausea, then it is thought that ginger ale, as a plant that includes turmeric and cardamom, can be used to treat the nausea and reduce vomiting. Additionally, ginger ale has been used to treat morning sickness in pregnant women and pain relating to menstruation.
For the first 24-36 hours, drinking clear liquids can be a great form of treatment, but do not drink large amounts. Drink fluids, such as:
- Sports drinks
- non-caffeinated sodas (sprite, 7-up, ginger ale)
- Apple or Cranberry juice
- Ice lollies/Popsicles
If you are vomiting, start with water or ice before drinking these types of drinks.
Aloe Vera Juice
Drinking aloe vera juice can help with indigestion, heartburn and constipation. Aloe vera is a natural laxative and its natural enzymes can breakdown sugars and fats, enhancing your digestive system in the process. For those who struggle with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) aloe vera can be helpful.
It can increase the water intestines and help aid your stool movements. Aloe vera juice can be bought in local stores.
Drinking water is incredibly important as being dehydrated will impact your digestion. This makes it much more difficult and this can then cause cramping and nausea. If your upset stomach is causing you to vomit, it is all the more important that you drink water and stay hydrated. Drinking fluids that contain electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, chloride, calcium and magnesium, will be really good for you.
Natural Remedies Strep Throat
Strep throat is a bacterial infection that causes the throat to become sore and scratchy. Whilst it is not serious if treated and caught early, you may still want to try to natural remedies. However, consult with your doctor as you may require antibiotics in order to kick the infection and prevent yourself from becoming contagious. However, if you are looking to try some home remedies, then you can try the following.
If your throat is sore, gargling warm salt water can be a quick relief. Take a mug and fill it with warm water and pour in some salt, take the drink and gargle it in your mouth for a few seconds and then proceed to spit it out. This can be done multiple times throughout the day and can be extremely beneficial.
Keeping yourself hydrated throughout any infection is important. However, with strep throat, if your throat becomes dry, it can make the symptoms much worse and it can become incredibly painful to swallow. Drinking water will ensure that your throat remains lubricated.
Eat Soft Foods
Eating soft foods throughout the duration of the treatment can ensure that you do not cause agitation, and it can be much more comfortable to eat foods that are soft. Also try to avoid foods that have a high acid content or are spicy. The following foods are recommended.
- Mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and/or other mashed vegetables
- Scrambled eggs
- Frozen yogurt/Ice lollies
Natural Remedies Pink Eye
Pink eye, otherwise known as conjunctivitis, is an infection in the eye and is caused by bacteria or allergies. It usually heals by itself within a few weeks, however there are some natural remedies that you can try, such as:
Wash your bedsheets
Washing your bedsheets, pillowcases, towels and other fabrics that often come into contact with your face, in hot water with washing detergent can reduce the risk of pink eye. This is because sleeping on a pillowcase that has bacteria can increase your chances of getting pink eye. In the instance that you or someone in your household has gotten pink eye, it is always good practice to wash all sheets in order to eliminate the risk of transferring the infection.
Zinc supplements can improve our bodies immune system and taking 30-50mg of zinc per day can ensure that your immune system is best equipped to deal with any infections. However, there is controversy about whether this supplement can protect us from conjunctivitis.
Compress to your eyes
Conjunctivitis can make your eyes feel uncomfortable, but using a wet compress, preferably cold, can reduce the discomfort as well as any swelling. Ensure your eyes are closed when using this method. This may also remove any other effects of the pink eye, such as weeping or dried discharge.
Natural Remedies Runny Nose
A runny nose is the result of excess nasal fluids. These can be clear, mucus or in between and can run out of your nose or down the back of your throat, sometimes both. It is not often that a runny nose is the consequence of something serious, but nonetheless, you may want to try to natural remedies in order to reduce it.
Hot drinks, such as tea can help with two aspects of a runny nose. It ensures that you remain hydrated, whilst helping to clear congestion. The heat and steam from the drink will help to open decongested airways. Some teas will contain herbs that act as a mild decongestant, such as:
Placing your face within hot steam, but not too hot, can cause the inhalation of the steam to reduce congestion and clear your air ways. This can be done by filling a bowl with hot water and placing a towel over your head. Lean your face towards the bowl and have the towel over your head, do not put your face into the water. Allow the steam to come up towards your face and inhale.
This can also be done in the form of a hot shower. The spray of the shower can help to reduce congestion and clear airways that are causing a blocked or runny nose.
A neti pot is a device that is used to clear sinuses. It looks like a tea pot and has a spout that is used to pour the solution, typically made of saltwater, up one nostril and it comes out the other. This then rinses the sinuses and clears them of congestion.