4 Natural Home Remedies That Should Not Be Overlooked

A honey dipper balanced on an open jar of honey.

Honey can be used to treat minor cuts and burns, a cough, or sore throat. Honey is soothing, antiseptic, and healing. (Image: fancycrave1 via Pixabay)

Before running off to the doctor or the pharmacy to get some over-the-counter drugs, just have a look in your cupboard and you could find natural home remedies to cure a variety of ailments.

Here are a few natural home remedies that should not be overlooked

1. Honey

Honey can be used to treat minor cuts and burns, a cough, or sore throat. Honey is soothing, antiseptic, and healing.

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To soothe a sore throat or ease a cough, just drink some warm water with lemon and honey.

To treat a minor cut or minor burn, apply warm honey to the affected area and cover it with a gauze bandage, which you should change on a daily basis. Dr. Weil recommends using medicinal honey such as Manuka honey. If you do have a severe cut or burn that is accompanied by fever, swelling, or pain, see your doctor immediately, as you may need antibiotics.

Sea salt with wooden mortar and pestle.
Salt can be used for sinus congestion and a sore throat. (Image: 91539 via Pixabay)

2. Salt

Salt can be used for sinus congestion and a sore throat.

When you have a stuffy nose, a saltwater solution can be used instead of a decongestant. The solution may help for a short amount of time to remove mucus from the nose, reduce nasal stuffiness, and reduce postnasal drip.

To make the solution, mix ½ tsp (2.5 g) of salt and ½ tsp (2.5 g) of baking soda in 1 cup (237 mL) of distilled water (at room temperature). If you use tap water, boil it first to sterilize it, and then let it cool until it is lukewarm. You may also purchase a saline solution at your pharmacy.

Gently squirt the solution into your nose. Aim the water toward the back, not the top, of your head. The water will run through the nasal passages and into the back of your throat. Spit it out through your mouth. It will not hurt you if you swallow some of the water. To squirt the solution, you can:

  • Use an all-rubber ear syringe, which you can buy at a drug store.
  • Use a medical syringe without the needle.
  • Use a water-flosser device, such as the Waterpik, set on low.
  • Pour the solution into your hand and “snuff” it up through your nose, one nostril at a time.
  • Pour the solution into a plastic bottle, such as an empty nasal spray bottle. This method is less effective than the other methods.

If you have a sore throat, these tips may make you feel better:

  • Gargle with warm salt water to help reduce swelling and relieve discomfort.
  • Gargle at least once each hour with 1 tsp (5 g) of salt dissolved in 8 fl oz (240 mL) of warm water.
  • If you have postnasal drip, gargle often to prevent more throat irritation.

3. Peppermint tea

Peppermint tea can help relieve a sore stomach or indigestion.

Peppermint calms the muscles of the stomach and improves the flow of bile, which the body uses to digest fats. As a result, food passes through the stomach more quickly. However, if your symptoms of indigestion are related to a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease, you should not use peppermint.

Oatmeal is one of the natural home remedies that can relieve eczema, sunburn, or hives.
Oatmeal can relieve eczema, sunburn, or hives. (Image: Ivandzyuba via Dreamstime)

4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal can relieve eczema, sunburn, or hives.

Oats can soothe itchy and inflamed skin as they pack phytochemicals with anti-inflammatory properties. To help relieve the itchiness avoid taking a hot shower or bath. Keep the water as cool as you can tolerate. If you are using regular oatmeal, make sure you grind it to a fine powder until it will easily dissolve in water.

To treat soothe itchy and inflamed skin take an oatmeal bath or hold an oatmeal-soaked washcloth on the itchy area for 15 minutes. If you prefer, you can make your own oatmeal solution. Wrap 1 cup (0.2 L) of oatmeal in a cotton cloth, and boil it for a few minutes until it is soft. Use this like a sponge, and bathe in cool water without soap.

In all cases, your symptoms should be assessed individually by a health care professional to rule out other possible causes.

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