Monday, September 2, 2013

3 Surprising Home Remedies

Some of these therapies may sound crazy, but they just might work the next time you need a quick remedy for a common ailment.

Warm socks in bed
Socks might not be the first thing you think of when trying to reduce a fever.

Have you ever awoken at 3 in the morning to a child’s earache and wondered what to do? Did you know the vegetables and spices you already have in your own home can alleviate the symptoms of common acute situations? Some of these therapies may sound crazy, but they just might work the next time you are awoken in the middle of the night!

Cough and congestion? Go straight to the spice cabinet!

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Dice the garlic and mix with the cinnamon and honey. If needed, thin with a little warm water before swallowing. Take this remedy three to four times per day.

How it works: The garlic and honey work as antimicrobial agents. Cinnamon is warming to the circulatory system and the honey also helps to soothe a throat that is sore from coughing.

Earache? Grab an onion!

  • Slice the onion in half and heat it in the microwave or oven until it is warm but not hot. 
  • Wrap the warm onion in cheesecloth or a dish towel and place it on the affected ear for 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat as necessary.

How it works: The volatile oils that the warm onion provides are antimicrobial and decrease inflammation. The warm application soothes irritated ears.

Fever? Put some wet socks in the freezer!

  • Just before you are ready for bed, wet a pair of clean cotton socks and place in the freezer until they are cold but not completely frozen.
  • Place cold socks on your feet and cover with warm, dry wool socks.
  • Climb into bed with extra blankets.

How it works: The cold socks draw heat and congestion from your head and chest. When you wake in the morning the socks will be completely dry. The extra blankets can help you break the fever and decrease congestion. For an extra immune boost, take a hot bath right before putting the socks on and getting into bed.

Try some of these home remedies even if they sound slightly crazy. A naturopathic doctor can help you come up with other home remedies for your specific health needs.

— By Emily Lesnak, ND, naturopathic doctor and resident at Bastyr Center for Natural Health.

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