Long before conventional medicine, people used natural remedies to treat all types of ailments. Today, some people still use natural home remedies for many conditions. Some should be avoided, such as rubbing butter on burns, which can cause an infection.
From natural anti-inflammatories to antioxidants, these home remedies can actually have some benefits.
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Chili peppers are rich in healthy bioactive plant compounds — including lutein, ferulic acid, capsanthin, and most importantly, capsaicin. They also have potassium, iron, and vitamins A, B6, and C. Hot peppers have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and obesity and tumor-fighting properties.
Chili peppers have flavor and spice, which varies depending on the type of pepper. Sauté some sliced chili pepper with olive oil to infuse it with flavor, add chilis to stews and soups, or add some chili powder to a smoothie or a sauce for a vitamin and antioxidant boost.
The active ingredient in turmeric — curcumin — is known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory components. It may help to lower the risk of heart disease and cancer, relieve arthritis and depression, and could prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Turmeric can be added to coffee or tea, mixed in oatmeal, added to curries and marinades, or added to a spice rub for roasted vegetables. Since turmeric is only 3 percent curcumin, some people take curcumin supplements. This must be done cautiously, as it can interfere with certain medications.
Made from crushed apples, sugar, and yeast, apple cider vinegar (ACV) contains B and C vitamins and acetic acid, which is thought to promote health. ACV may lower blood sugar, help curb appetite, aid digestive issues, and ease gout pain.
The easiest way is to use it in a salad dressing. You can also add a tablespoon or two of ACV to a hot or cold drink in a ratio of one ACV to 10 other liquid. Although some people drink it straight, doing so can cause erosion of tooth enamel or damage the esophagus.
People have used honey for thousands of years for its perceived health benefits. In particular, Manuka honey is known for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It’s used to treat eczema and psoriasis, soothe coughs, reduce allergies, relieve sore throats, aid oral health, and possibly improve gut health.
Medical-grade Manuka honey can be used on minor burns, wounds, acne, or eczema. However, medical-grade Manuka honey is not meant for consumption. Only use topically after speaking with a medical professional.
For other health benefits, you can eat a tablespoon size of edible Manuka honey daily. This can be right out of the container or mixed in tea.
Fermentation is the process of controlled microbial growth. Foods and beverages that have undergone this process are known to have anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-oxidant, and antimicrobial benefits. Fermented products are most associated with creating a healthier gut biome.
There are a wide variety of fermented options. These include sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir, kimchi, and pickles. Miso paste is a versatile fermented option and can be used in various recipes.
The active ingredient in baking soda is sodium bicarbonate — the same ingredient that’s in antacids.
The sodium bicarbonate neutralizes stomach acid, which can reduce heartburn symptoms. These include a burning sensation in the throat or chest — especially after eating, and/or a bitter taste in the mouth.
Dissolve half a teaspoon of baking soda in four ounces of water and drink slowly. While this is generally a helpful remedy, it’s meant for temporary or occasional heartburn. It should not be used for more than two weeks.
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Epsom salt is a naturally occurring mineral salt comprised of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. It dissolves in water while the magnesium and sulfate are absorbed through the skin. Epsom salt baths are used to reduce tension and stress, relieve muscle aches, and lessen swelling from arthritis. Some people find it makes them tired and helps them to sleep.
Take a warm bath with two cups of Epsom salts. If you pour it under the running water, it will dissolve better.
Please note not all home remedies are for everyone. If you’re experiencing a critical medical issue, please seek a medical professional.