Aches, pains, coughs, cuts and burns needn’t send you to the drug store in the middle of the night. Often you can soothe what ails you using plants, herbs and foods you already have at home.
But the best part about using home cures isn’t the convenience factor — it’s the ability to heal your body safely, naturally and, often, quickly.
10. Baking Soda for Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
If you feel a UTI coming on, drink ¼ teaspoon of baking soda mixed with eight ounces of water. Doing this once a day should help make your bladder environment more alkaline, which makes it harder for bacteria to multiply.[i] (You should still get checked out by your doctor if you think you have a UTI.)
9. Ginger for Nausea
If you’re feeling nauseous, try nibbling on a piece of fresh ginger root. It works wonders for a queasy stomach and has been shown to improve symptoms of nausea and vomiting by five-fold.[ii] You can also steep fresh ginger in hot water and drink in tea form (hint: ginger freezes well, so keep a piece in your freezer so it’s there when you need it).
8. Cold Tea for Minor Burns/Puffy Eyes
Tea is rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants. If you have a minor burn, soak a washcloth in cold tea and apply it to the area for relief. You can also use cold tea bags to take puffiness out of your eyes (and, according to Dr. Oz, warm peppermint tea bags are useful to relieve itchy eyes[iii]).
7. Aloe for Sunburn and Acne
An aloe plant does more than make a cool-looking houseplant. Break off a piece and apply the fresh gel to sunburned skin for instant relief. Aloe gel is anti-inflammatory and also helps soothe irritations such as acne (and some even believe it helps minimize the appearance of wrinkles).
6. Honey for Coughs, Minor Wounds and Irritations
Honey has been shown to reduce coughing frequency and severity, as well as improve the quality of sleep (that would otherwise be interrupted by coughing).[iv] Because honey (especially raw honey) has antibacterial properties and live enzymes, you can also use it to help speed wound healing and soothe minor skin irritations and blemishes.
5. Pomegranate Skin Tea for Upset Stomach and Diarrhea
The skin from a pomegranate can be steeped in boiling water to make a tea. Drinking this is useful for calming an upset stomach and relieving diarrhea. As a bonus, you can keep the dried skin for up to six months and it will still be effective.[v]
4. Burned Toast and Tea for Food Poisoning
According to Georgianna Donadio, PhD, director of the National Institute of Whole Health, consuming a few slices of burned toast and black tea may help you feel better faster, courtesy of the toxicant-neutralizing tannic acid and charcoal they contain.[vi]
3. Cloves for Oral Health (and Toothaches)
Cloves have antiseptic and mild anesthetic properties, making them ideal for oral care. You can make an antimicrobial mouth rinse by steeping 10 dried cloves in one-half cup of water for 10 minutes. Separate out the cloves then swish the water in your mouth for pain relief and to kill bacteria. You can also apply clove essential oil directly to a toothache using a cotton swab.[vii]
2. Garlic for Healthy Cholesterol
If you want to keep your cholesterol levels healthy, try eating a clove of fresh garlic a day (chop it first to release its active ingredient). As reported by Dr. Oz, the National Health and Medical Research Council states that this simple trick may lower cholesterol by nearly 10 percent.[viii]
1. Tart Cherry Juice for Sore Muscles, Aches and Pains
Consuming tart cherry juice reduces important markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP). The juice is especially valued for its pain-reducing effects in arthritis and joint pain, but it has also been shown to help sore muscles. Virtually any type of anti-inflammatory pain may be better managed with tart cherry juice.
If you want natural pain relief, fast, you should also check out these additional 10 most powerful natural instant pain relievers.