I’m always looking for natural ways to solve health issues. Here are seven quick natural remedies for common problems your family may encounter.
For Sore Throat
One of the easies natural remedies I’ve found for sore throat: mix 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar with a couple teaspoons of raw honey (optional) and drink in 8 oz water six or more times a day until symptoms disappear. The vinegar kills the bacteria in the throat and soothes irritation. It is better to forgo the honey if possible, but the taste can be rough!
This sore throat spray is another great option and I keep it on hand in the winter months.
For Ear Infection
Ear infections can be awful, especially for kids. Antibiotics don’t often work and many doctors don’t want to give antibiotics for ear infections. Thankfully, there is an easy and extremely cheap home remedy. At the first sign of an ear infection (for adult or child) or cold, have the affected person lie on his/her side. Use a dropper to put pure 3% Hydrogen Peroxide into the ear. This will cause a bubbling, tickling sensation that in rare cases stings mildly. Have the person lie there until the bubbling subsides. This can be repeated every few hours until symptoms are gone.
Another frustrating condition that is often caused by a cold and can’t be cured with medicine. Rather than taking over the counter drugs to mitigate the symptoms, I start taking Vitamin C every couple hours until symptoms start to fade. (This post has good info on the best type of Vitamin C to take)
To battle acute congestion, boil a large pot of water. When boiling, take off heat and drop in peppermint leaves, peppermint tea bags or a couple drops of peppermint oil. Cover head with a towel and place over the pot. Breathe in the steam for 10-15 minutes using slow, deep breaths. This will help loosen and drain congestion.
For Nausea, Morning Sickness or Motion Sickness
Peppermint tea or Ginger tea do wonders for these ailments, as do their essential oils. A homemade tincture of peppermint, ginger and fennel is extremely effective as well. For kids with motion sickness or nausea, I mix a couple drops of peppermint essential oil with a TBSP of a carrier oil like almond or olive oil and rub on the feet, chest and back of neck.
For pregnancy, I found that these tips also really helped me avoid morning sickness.
In most cases, fever is a good sign that the body is fighting illness. While our first instinct is to treat the fever, this can actually slow down recovery from the illness as the body uses the heat of the fever to help kill the virus or bacteria. That being said, a high fever, especially in children, can be very dangerous. To lower a fever without drugs, put pure peppermint essential oil (adults) or diluted peppermint essential oil (babies and children) on the bottom of the feet and back of the neck. A cool ice pack on the back of the neck is another effective method, as the heat center of the body is located there.
For cuts, scrapes and other causes of bleeding that don’t stop, pour Cayenne pepper powder (make sure cayenne is the only ingredient and get organic if possible) directly into the wound. It will burn for a couple minutes, but will greatly help the body’s clotting ability. After the bleeding has stopped, rinse with cool water and treat as you would any other bleeding wound. This one has saved us several trips to the ER.
A fact of life in the summer for me when gardening or for the kids playing outside! Remove stinger without squeezing it. Rub toothpaste or baking soda/water paste into the sting. Pain should subside within minutes. A drop of lavender essential oil will do the same thing.
Alternately, if you know what it looks like, the leaf of plantain immediately soothes bee stings, and this likely grows all over your yard (you think its a weed). If you chew a leaf up (it’s good for you anyway) and spit it onto the sting, the pain vanishes instantly.