Which home remedies really work?

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You likely learnt a number of home remedies from your parents while you were growing up. Be it lavender under the pillow to help you sleep, or honey and lemon tea when you were sick, many people still frequently use these remedies.

Some of these are supported by research while others are not, yet many users swear by them.

Neti pot
A neti Pot looks like a small teapot and is used to pour warm salty water in one nostril and out the other. While it may look a little ridiculous, it is believed to reduce cold symptoms and allergies, and may even help to reduce the duration of a cold. It is believed to help to clear your nostrils, remove excess mucous, alleviate sinus headaches and reduce snoring.

Some preliminary studies suggest that turmeric may help conditions such as fatty liver and arthritis. However, more research is needed to validate claims that it can heal ulcers and skin rashes associated with radiation.

Sex may help to boost alertness, improve heart health, lower blood pressure, reduce stress and ease headaches and migraines. The hormones released during an orgasm are known to improve sleep and relieve menstrual cramps. In women, sexual activity is known to improve bladder control, strengthen pelvic floor muscles and reduce incontinence. One study found that men who had more frequent intercourse had less risk of developing prostate cancer. Men who ejaculated 4.6–7 times a week were 36 per cent less likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 70.

Peppermint oil is said to help ease the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome including bloating, diarrhoea, gas and constipation. It may also help to ease headaches. More research is needed. 

Eating garlic may help to lower blood cholesterol, blood pressure and can even reduce your risk of developing some cancers. However, garlic supplements haven’t been shown to offer these effects, so it’s best to eat garlic cloves or pre-minced garlic.

Taking a hot bath
Running a hot bath doesn’t just feel great, it also helps your muscles and tendons by easing the symptoms of joint pain, back pain and arthritis. A hot bath can also help with blood flow if you stretch and massage your body while you’re in the tub. Just be careful to make sure the water isn’t too hot, as this can irritate the skin.

There is some evidence to suggest it may help to ease menstrual cramps. It has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years to treat nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach aches. However, it may cause adverse effects for some people, including heartburn, gas, diarrhoea and stomach trouble.

Green tea
Packed with antioxidants that can help your body fight off disease, green tea can reduce your risk of developing heart disease, increases energy levels and may even lower your risk of skin, colon, lung and breast cancer.

An ice pack
Ice packs have been shown to shrink damaged blood vessels, limiting blood to the area and reducing the swelling of injuries. Whether it be a store-bought ice pack, a plastic bag with cold water and ice in it or a bag of frozen peas, cooling down the site of an injury can help to ease pain and swelling. If your skin gets red under an ice pack, remove it.

Some of these remedies may interact negatively with other medicines, and not all are supported by research. Before you try any home remedies, it’s important to consult your doctor, especially if you are taking prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Have you tried these home remedies? Which ones have or have not worked for you?

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Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

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Written by livga


Total Comments: 4
  1. 0

    If only a fraction of the national budget for alternative medicines was available, we could finance all the public housing we need. We can map the world’s gene pool yet we cannot adequately test these “medicines”. Does anyone else thing that big Pharma has a vested interest in not testing these products? With very little but anecdotal support for the efficacy of alternative medicines, it never ceases to astound me that so many make claims of usefulness that are never supported in any scientific analysis or clinical trials.

    • 0

      I think you’re right, Flapgum. Maybe scientific and clinical trials of alternative medicine are not done because there’s a chance that some folk medicines work, and how much profit would big pharmaceutical companies lose then?

  2. 0

    Big pharma will do anything to discredit alternative medicine!

  3. 0

    The best thing to relieve a cough, sore throat or croup is my mother’s old fashioned remedy. One tablespoon each of edible olive oil, fresh lemon juice and honey mixed together very well. Yes it’s strong but if you sip it gradually off a spoon and tell yourself it’s all natural ingredients you’ll get through it. Give this to children before going to bed if they get croup at night. I think it puts a lining on their throat and it works.



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