Natural Remedies For Everyday illness

Chances are you’ve used natural remedies at some point: herbal teas for cold, essential oils to dull a headache, and plant-based supplements for a better night’s sleep. Maybe it was your grandma or you read about it online. The point is you tried it — and perhaps now you’re thinking, “Should I try it again?”

It’s not clear exactly what makes natural remedies do the trick. Is it an actual physiological change in the body or more of a placebo effect? Thankfully, in recent decades, scientists have been asking the same questions in a lab, and are finding that some of our plant-based remedies aren’t just old wives’ tales.

Natural remedies for cough and sore throat

  • Tea – teas with ingredients like licorice and slippery elm have throat-coating properties that help reduce irritation.
  • Honey – its throat-coating properties can soothe sore throats and suppress coughs. Have some on a spoon or stir it into tea.
  • Echinacea – can reduce the duration of cold symptoms, particularly if used during the first day or two. It is available as tea, drops, or pills.
  • Elderberry syrup – has antiviral properties, making it helpful for colds and influenza. Follow dosing on the package.
  • Pelargonium – a plant used in some natural cold/cough remedies. It shortens the duration and severity of colds.

Digestive home remedies

  • Ginger – helpful for upset stomach, nausea, and motion sickness. Available as a tea (look for medicinal brands), or try candied ginger when you’re on the go.
  • Probiotics – live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your digestive system. Probiotics can help with diarrhea caused by infections or related to antibiotic use.

Topical products for soreness and skin irritation

  • Arnica cream – soothes muscle aches, pains, and bruising.
  • Tea tree oil – is an anti-inflammatory agent for bacterial or fungus infections. Use it for spot treatment of acne and for athlete’s foot.
  • Calendula – soothes skin irritations like eczema and diaper rash.

Natural remedies for sleep

  • Tea – try chamomile tea in the evening as you are winding down.
  • Lavender – An aromatherapy oil is used for calming and relaxation. Safe for both young children and older adults.

Note: Tell your doctor about any herbal remedies or supplements you are taking. Consult your doctor before adding herbal remedies if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking prescription medications.