When it comes to physical ailments, we hear all sorts of suggestions, from your grandmother's family secret to the many results of Google searches. Nothing is worse than trying a natural remedy with no improvement, but there do happen to be a number of home remedies that have been proven to work. Knowing which cures are legitimate can help you in your greatest time of need, because why run out to the drugstore when you have the solution to a sore throat in your kitchen cabinet?
A growing number of people are turning to complementary and alternative medicine for solutions to their problems. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), one out of three people in the United States seek alternative forms of medicine. From 2002 to 2007 alone, there was a 14 percent increase in the use of complementary and alternative medicine, according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.
"Home remedies have been around for centuries," says registered nurse Rebecca Lee over email. "They have been our medicine long before pharmaceutical drugs came into existence. Most of what medicine is today comes from Ayurvedic Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine, which originated thousands of years ago."
With so many people expressing interest in these types of treatments, it's important to know which remedies actually work, and which ones are actually bogus. Next time you're feeling under the weather, try using one of these seven home remedies that have been proven by science to actually be effective.
1. Stop Nausea With Ginger
If your mom ever gave you some ginger ale when you were feeling sick, she may have been on the right track. Eating ginger is a highly effective remedy for getting rid of nausea as well as preventing vomiting, according to studies from the University of Exeter.
2. Banish Warts With Duct Tape
Multiple studies have found duct tape to be just as effective at diminishing warts as cryotherapy, and this option is often less painful. Placing duct tape over your warts can get rid of them in about 28 days, while other treatments can take multiple treatments that need to be spaced out weeks apart.
3. Take Magnesium For Better Sleep
Magnesium deficiency has been linked to sleep disorders, and studies published in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences show that magnesium supplements are effective in helping to reduce symptoms of insomnia. "Magnesium is known as the anti-stress mineral, says Carolyn Dean, MD, ND over email. "It helps relax muscles and acts as a sleep aid for natural deep sleep."
4. Lower Your Fever With A Sponge Bath
A study in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care found that sponge bathing is effective for initially containing a fever. "Sponging can bring a temperature down by one to two degrees in about 45 minutes," says Dr. Hansa Bhargava, MD to me over email. "Lukewarm water is best, and [you should] keep the room slightly warm (around 75 degrees)."
5. Soothe Your Throat With Honey And Lemon Tea
"Both lemon and honey are antimicrobial, so at the first sign of a cold, add them into a cup of hot water to help with a sore throat and boost your immune system," says Holistic Health Practitioner Amanda Campbell over email. A study from the journal Pediatrics found that two teaspoons have honey can help soothe a sore throat and reduce coughing in people with simple colds.
6. Diminish Headaches With Peppermint Oil
Essential oils have been all the rage recently, and for good reason. Studies from the journal Nervenarzt support the notion that rubbing peppermint oil on your forehead and temples is an effective way to reduce headaches, and it works in just 15 minutes.
7. Drink Some Chamomile Tea To Alleviate Anxiety
"Chamomile is one of the oldest medicinal herbs," says Lee. "Chamomile has no known adverse side effects and is non-habit forming." Numerous studies show that the herb is a mild sedative that is effective in treating anxiety.
These remedies tend to work for most people, but if you have any extreme sickness or pain, you should always check with your doctor for the best form of treatment.
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