Go ahead, try them at home: Experts swear by these nondrug cures for back pain, nausea, hot flashes, and other common ailments.
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3. PROBLEM:AnxietyTRY: Catnip
Your cat”s favorite herb can help relieve anxiety. It”s easy to grow in a home garden, and you can drink it in tea or take it as a supplement. “Catnip is a stimulant when cats sniff it but has the opposite effect on people. For us, it”s relaxing and calms the mind.”
4. PROBLEM: Arthritis painTRY: Gelatin
Natural gelatin contains collagen, which is made from pig skin or cow bone and may help relieve joint pain and inflammation. Add natural gelatin to fruit and fruit juice to make a refreshing dessert, or take collagen in the form of supplements. One study found that people who regularly took collagen reported less knee pain.
MORE: 7 Best Stretches For Arthritis Pain
5. PROBLEM: Back painTRY: White willow
Available as a supplement, white willow is sometimes considered an alternative to aspirin because it contains salicin, a natural form of the drug”s pain-relieving component. It”s often used to enhance other anti-inflammatory treatments. (These six exercises can also ease your lower back pain.)
6. PROBLEM: Bee stingTRY: Meat tenderizer
“If a bee stings you and you aren”t allergic to it, remove the stinger and apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes. Then mix meat tenderizer or baking soda and water and apply to the sore area. Leave on until it dries (about 30 minutes).”
7. PROBLEM: DandruffTRY: Lemongrass oil
If your scalp is scaly, try some lemongrass. The perennial plant contains high levels of antimicrobial compounds called citral and geraniol that fight fungus, which can cause dandruff. Although the oil shouldn”t be used on its own, one study showed that people who applied a tonic containing 5 to 15% lemongrass oil had less dandruff 2 weeks later.
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8. PROBLEM: DiarrheaTRY: Cooking water
Boil brown rice or oatmeal in twice the amount of water you would normally use, then strain. Once the water is cool, drink it. The water contains electrolytes that are often lost when you have diarrhea. Replacing electrolytes can help ease the problem.
9. PROBLEM: Dry eyesTRY: Flaxseed oil
Too much screen time irritating your eyes? Take 1 to 2 tsp of flaxseed oil each day. The anti-inflammatory properties of the omega-3 fatty acids it contains can help relieve the dryness in your eyes. (Prevent dry eye from happening in the first place with these seven tips.)
10. PROBLEM: GasTRY: Fennel seeds
Fennel is a carminative, a compound that can disperse gas from the intestinal tract. “You can find fennel seeds in the spice section of most supermarkets, and they”re sold in indian grocery stores as a digestive aid. Try chewing and swallowing half a teaspoonful of the seeds at the end of meals.”
12. PROBLEM: Hair lossTRY: Cedarwood, lavender, rosemary & thyme essential oils
In a 7-month study published in the Archives of Dermatology, people with hair loss (alopecia) who massaged these essential oils, along with jojoba and grapeseed carrier oils, into their scalps exhibited new hair growth. (Make sure you start eating these seven foods that stop hair loss.)
13. PROBLEM: Hay feverTRY: Butterbur
Studies have found that supplements derived from this herb, which typically grows on riverbanks, can help relieve hay fever symptoms.
Readers” Favorite Home Remedies
2. PROBLEM: Cold/fluTRY: Garlic & Honey
“At the first sign of a cold or flu, I crush two cloves of garlic in a glass of water, add a splash of raw honey, and drink it.”
MORE: My Flu-Like Symptoms Turned Out To Be A Heart Attack
3. PROBLEM: Sensitive skinTRY: Witch hazel
“For 57 years, I”ve never gone to bed or woken up without soothing my face with a wipe of witch hazel. It provides immediate relief for irritated skin.”
4. PROBLEM: Weak nailsTRY: Black currant capsules
“At 75, my biggest concern was splitting nails. Within 2 weeks of trying black currant oil capsules, my nails were no longer splitting, and the growth was amazing.” (Here”s what the health of your nails says about you.)
nhatroso.com Staffers” Favorite Home Remedies
3. PROBLEM: Minor woundsTRY: Comfrey
“My grandmother was a fan of making poultices out of comfrey leaves to heal wounds. She grew the herb in her garden.”
4. PROBLEM: Muscle crampsTRY: Pickle Juice
“Friends who are athletes say you can prevent muscle cramps by drinking pickle juice. The theory is that electrolyte imbalance can spark cramps and that the salt in the brine helps restore missing sodium if you”ve been sweating a lot.” (These are the nine best treatments for muscle cramps, from nhatroso.com Premium.)
14. PROBLEM: HemorrhoidsTRY: Flavonoids
Flavonoids are antioxidants found primarily in dark berries like blueberries and blackberries. In a study by Italian researchers of 134 people who had hemorrhoid flare-ups, those who received a supplement of 500 mg of flavonoids had fewer and less severe hemorrhoid symptoms.
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15. PROBLEM: High blood sugarTRY: Berberine
This herb plus chromium (in individual supplements or together in one) helped reduce blood sugar in prediabetic patients on a diet low in refined sugar and high in complex carbs.
16. PROBLEM: HivesTRY: Oatmeal bath
“Put raw oats inside a thin sock, and tie the sock around the bathtub faucet. Let water run through the sock as you”re filling the tub. The water that”s gone through the oats is soothing and anti-inflammatory for irritated skin.”
17. PROBLEM: Hot flashesTRY: Sage iced tea
Studies find that sage can reduce the frequency of hot flashes. Put a tablespoon of the herb—dried or fresh—into 8 oz of water for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain, chill, and drink. (Menopause might not be fueling your hot flashes—here are six other common causes.)
18. PROBLEM: Jet lagTRY: Melatonin
“Melatonin is great for getting your circadian rhythm back in the groove.” Look for sublingual supplements, which you place under your tongue rather than swallow. They go directly into the bloodstream instead of through the stomach first.
MORE: 17 Ways To Prevent Jet Lag And Feel Alert After Your Flight
19. PROBLEM: Knee osteoarthritisTRY: Curcumin
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, can help reduce joint pain and swelling in people with osteoarthritis. It”s available as an extract, and some studies have found 1,000 to 1,200 mg per day to be effective.
These exercises prevent knee pain as you age:
20. PROBLEM: Memory lossTRY: Rosemary
“Deeply inhaling fresh or dried rosemary can help boost cognitive function in the short term, studies show. For greater effect, use the more highly concentrated essential oil. But taking a moment to simply sniff a fresh sprig of rosemary once a day can also improve alertness.” (Reduce your memory loss after menopause with these four tips.)
21. PROBLEM: NauseaTRY: Frozen ginger chips
When you have a queasy stomach, chop fresh ginger into small pieces and boil for 10 minutes. Strain, then pour the liquid into ice cube trays. Crush the frozen cubes and suck the icy chips throughout the day to provide your stomach with a steady dribble.
22. PROBLEM: Sinus congestionTRY: Foot bath
Fill a basin with hot water, taking care not to burn yourself, and soak your feet for 5 to 8 minutes. Then splash your feet with cold water, dry them off, and put on warm, dry socks. “It”s a beautiful treatment for drawing inflammation away from the head and neck. It”s very relaxing, too.”
MORE: I Ditched Allergy Meds For A Sinus Wash, And Here’s What Happened
23. PROBLEM: StyTRY: Black tea
“Moisten a black tea bag in warm or cold water–whichever you prefer–and apply it to your eyelid. The tannic acid in the tea shrinks swelling around the sty.”
24. PROBLEM: Swollen legsTRY: Horse chestnut
In a study of 240 people, horse chestnut extract reduced swelling in the lower legs of people with chronic venous insufficiency as well as compression stockings did. Horse chestnut contains a compound called escin, which improves vein elasticity.
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26. PROBLEM: Urinary tract infectionTRY: Black chokeberry juice
Some studies have questioned cranberry juice”s effectiveness, but researchers found that nursing home residents who drank a small amount of chokeberry (also known as aronia berry) juice each day had 55% fewer urinary tract infections.
27. PROBLEM: Weight gainTRY: Green tea
“Green tea can help spur weight loss when combined with eating a nutritious diet and exercising. That”s because compounds called polyphenols in the tea target fat cells, and the presence of caffeine might help, too.”