My Favorite Home Remedies

After 35 years of taking care of patients, I’ve heard many, many different home remedies for every malady and problem known to mankind.  Some of these “home cures” seem to work great and some of them seem to be a lot of hot air, if you know what I mean.

Here are some of my favorite home remedies for a variety of different problems:

1. Rash or irritated skin - No matter our age, we’ve probably experienced a rash at some point in our life, but how to get rid of a rash?  Rashes come in so many varieties. Sometimes the reason may be obvious (like a rash caused by poison ivy) while other times it can be really hard to put your finger on the root cause.  Try these home remedies:

  • Using essential oils topically like geranium, rose and lavender can help to improve rashes. Simply combine three drops of oil with a half teaspoon of coconut oil and apply it to the problem area three times per day.
  • Apply cocoa butter to the inflamed area.  Cocoa butter contains polyphenols which can help soothe sensitive skin and diminish the itchy, redness or a rash.
  • Aloe vera is definitely a great home remedy for many skin conditions.  In fact, it is excellent for all kinds of rashes and skin concerns.  Aloe vera is not only incredible at soothing rashes by reducing inflammation and redness, it also helps to decrease itchiness while improving moisture and healing.  For a rash, you can use a high percentage aloe vera gel or you can try a 0.5 percent aloe extract cream.
  • Apply oatmeal mixed in water over the irritated area.  Put the dry oatmeal in the blender for just a few seconds to grind it up a bit.  Mix with water to a thin paste consistency and apply wherever it hurts.

2. Coughing is one of the most common problems we are faced with at home.  Our body’s natural response is to cough when we have irritants in our respiratory passages.  Even though coughing is a natural way to expel these irritants, there are times we just don’t want to cough anymore. For those times, try these home remedies:

  • Steam inhalation is a great nasal passage clearing practice and brings soothing warmth into our body. Mix a few drops of peppermint oil, eucalyptus and lemon in the water prior to steaming.
  • Some of the more effective supplements can be zinc lozenges, sucking on a small spoonful of honey or taking vitamin C lozenges.
  • Massage and percussion can be relieving and effective measures for a person coughing. Focus gentle percussion in the mid to upper back area and then add massage over the upper back and neck area.

3. Hangover cures – perhaps this one is the most often requested of all home remedies.  If you’ve ever spent an evening overindulging in alcohol, chances are you’ve experienced the group of unpleasant symptoms known as a hangover. Headaches, nausea, vertigo and abdominal pain are just a few of the troublesome symptoms associated with consuming alcohol to excess.  Unfortunately, there is no magic pill to suddenly regain your vitality and feel great again. However, try a couple of these to ease the pain?

  • Rehydrate with good clean water. Alcohol is a diuretic which means it causes us to excrete water. Many of the unpleasant symptoms of a hangover are due to dehydration.
  • Replenish electrolyte, mineral and vitamin balances. Alcohol is not only a diuretic but it also can deplete us of vital vitamins and minerals. Coconut water is a great liquid to consume and is much better than sports drinks at replenishing vital electrolytes like potassium and magnesium.
  • Consume good clean sources of protein and complex carbohydrates. Alcohol depletes our bodies of amino acids and vital energy sources. Eating a hearty and healthy breakfast such as eggs mixed with sweet potatoes will go a long way in replenishing complex carbohydrates and protein levels. There is a lot to be said for a good old-fashioned sweet potato hash following a night of excess alcohol consumption.

Of course, all great home remedies start with getting good sleep and staying warm. Sleeping in a long-sleeve shirt or sweatshirt is a great practice during the fall and winter months. Even waking up feeling a bit warm is very positive in staying healthy during the winter months. Take care of yourself. Be Blessed.   

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