Medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, are some of the biggest expenses for American households. According to the online news outlet CNBC, the average person spends about $1,200 a year on these drugs. This is more than the average paid in any other developed country. Despite this, over a dozen pharmaceutical manufacturers recently hiked up their prices by around 6%—which is sure to swell costs even more.
Thankfully, we don’t have to pay these exorbitant prices just to get some relief. For hundreds of years, natural remedies have been used to treat various concerns inside and out. From the common flu to period cramps, natural and effective solutions may already be in your pantry. Here are a few of them for some of the most common ailments:
Ginger for the flu
Despite being called “seasonal” the flu isn’t something you should normally experience. SymptomFind explains that this highly infectious illness can easily become life-threatening. In fact, over 36,000 people die each year of the flu. Therefore, it’s important to know potentially life-saving home remedies. Among the best options is ginger. With scientific proof of its curative powers, raw ginger tea can ward off flu symptoms like coughing, a sore throat, and nausea.
Related: 50 Uses for Ginger
Turmeric for inflammation
Turmeric is a golden spice hailed for its many curative properties. One of the most popular uses of turmeric is as a cure for inflammation. A study with arthritis patients even revealed that turmeric treatments were more helpful than prescription anti-inflammatory drugs. While turmeric supplements are the most potent, a soothing cup of turmeric tea a day will also help. Consistently drinking a cup of this tea every day (with some black pepper to aid absorption!) will help you experience long-term inflammation relief.
Related: Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tea
Honey for common colds
A powerful antimicrobial and antibacterial ingredient, honey can relieve even the most severe of cold symptoms. Once you feel a cold coming, try drinking a cup of tea with honey and a squeeze of lemon. This will help kill off the cold virus and relieve any lingering symptoms. Evidence suggests that honey may even help those with colds sleep better.
Chili peppers for pain management
Capsaicin, which is found in chilis, is a proven topical pain treatment. The way capsaicin works is by first providing a relieving warmth, and then numbing the area. If you have any sore muscles or painful joints, chili peppers can be used to make DIY capsaicin cream. To do so, simply mix in cayenne pepper with some oil or cream over low heat. Once it’s cooled and set, massage the capsaicin cream onto the skin. Remember to keep this away from open wounds and orifices to avoid a nasty burning sensation.
Chamomile for anxiety attacks
Chamomile works as both an aromatherapy and herbal supplement against anxiety. Studies have shown that when used regularly, chamomile may directly address symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder. Such a remedy is beneficial today, given that reports from the national library NCBI have shown that anxiety has increased by up to 15% in all age groups. If you or your loved ones are suffering from an anxiety attack, try drinking chamomile tea and inhaling its vapors slowly.
Holy basil for depression
An excellent herbal option included in Rose Keefe’s article on stress relievers, holy basil is full of beneficial antioxidants. This helps it flush out free radicals which may exacerbate stress. Since it can also balance out cortisol, holy basil can alleviate depression and its related symptoms like nausea. To enjoy, boil fresh or dried leaves into a tea before adding honey to taste.
Lavender for migraines
When migraines attack, lavender has been said to reduce the pain and distress associated with it. As a tea, it has been said to relieve headaches and throbbing sensations. Meanwhile, when used as an oil or potpourri, lavender is a great aromatherapy option to reduce pain. If you prefer to use lavender oil to massage your temples, remember to first dilute them. This will prevent irritation and hormonal changes.
Fennel for period cramps
Recent studies suggest that period cramps are comparable to heart attack pain. This is why it’s crucial to know how to alleviate this discomfort at home. One such method is to take fennel extract. Fennel is an herb known to have a spasm-relieving compound called anethole. In a recent study, this fennel compound has been shown to work just as well as OTC menstrual cramp medications. To use, simply steep fennel as a tea and enjoy.
Fenugreek for breastfeeding
According to the lifestyle website The Spruce Eats, fenugreek is a popular spice in Mediterranean and Asian cuisine. From leaf to seed, fenugreek has a variety of uses. As a home remedy, fenugreek can help women produce milk during breastfeeding. Aside from this, fenugreek can also help firm stool and lower blood sugar. To enjoy, either sprinkle the fresh herb onto your meals, steep it in tea, or ground it to add flavor to your food.
Yogurt for heartburn
Heartburn is often a painful symptom that accompanies acid reflux. Because of yogurt’s thick consistency and dairy properties, it can act as a temporary buffer in the stomach and esophageal lining. For the best results, ingest some yogurt before or right at the onset of your heartburn. So as not to trigger GERD (which is sensitive to dairy), opt for a low-fat non-acidic option like Greek yogurt. Over time, the probiotics in yogurt may even quell an acidic stomach that causes heartburn.
While we can’t discount pharmaceutical drugs completely, it’s also important to know the treatments we have at our fingertips. All-natural and just as effective, natural home remedies can help you live a better life, without compromising your budget or your body.
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