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Home Remedies That ACTUALLY Work: From Peppermint, Garlic To Honey, Turmeric And More

Home remedies are plenty, and for most of us, the remedies we can find in our kitchen and garden are the go-to for minor ailments such as a slight burn, heat rash, dehydration, headache, stomach pain, and the list goes on.

As home remedies are in abundance, it is easy for one to get mixed up between a home remedy that can actually remedy the ailment and not one that will not do anything, a may even cause more harm.

Some of the most common and effective home remedies could be ginger for stomach pain, peppermint for nausea and turmeric for inflammation etc. In this article, we will tell you about the most effective home remedies that are backed by science. Under each of the home remedy, we will cover all about the uses of these spices/herbs and how they can be used as a home remedy in time of need. Take a look.

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1. Turmeric (Pain, Inflammation)
2. Ginger (Nausea, Period Cramps)
3. Honey (Sore Throat, Cold & Flu)
4. Peppermint (Digestion, Bad Breath)
5. Garlic (Cold & Cough)
6. Cinnamon (Acne, Hair Fall)
7. Chilli Peppers (Pain, Soreness)
8. Fenugreek (Breastfeeding, Body Heat, Dandruff)
9. Ice Pack (Pain Relief)
10. Hot Compress (Pain Relief)
11. Petroleum Jelly (Chaffing, Diaper Rash)

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1. Turmeric (Pain, Inflammation)

The curcumin contained in turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It helps to fight oxidative stress and reduce airway inflammation. Turmeric also possesses antiseptic, anti-fungal and antibacterial properties that can benefit your immune system in several ways [1].

Turmeric as a home remedy: The spice can be used to treat cuts, bruises, wounds, digestion problems, cold and cough, and acne and skin troubles.

How to use: Turmeric can be added to the food regularly. Or heat a teaspoon of ghee, then turn off the heat. Add a teaspoon of turmeric and then mix it well. Have this along with a cup of lukewarm milk. Studies have also pointed out that consuming ½ to 1 ½ tsp. of turmeric per day should start providing noticeable benefits after four to eight weeks.

Warning: Excessive consumption of turmeric can cause digestive problems.

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2. Ginger (Nausea, Period Cramps)

Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger helps to break down the mucus, making it easier for your body to expel air. It also helps improve circulation to the lungs and reduces inflammation [2].

Ginger as a home remedy: Ginger can be used for relieving nausea, vomiting (morning sickness), menstrual pain and minor infections.

How to use: Take an inch of ginger root, peel it, chop it into pieces and then boil it. Strain it and drink it in the form of tea for relief. Or you can add sugar, ginger and few drops of water, extract the juice using a spoon and gulp it up for relief from menstrual cramps.

Warning: Don't consume more than 4 grams of ginger in a day as it may cause heartburn, stomach upset, among other minor issues.

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3. Honey (Sore Throat, Cold & Flu)

For ages, honey has been used both as a medicine and food and is remarkably high in beneficial plant compounds and offers several health benefits [3]. Honey also has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Taking honey and mixing it in with other herbs, fruits, and foods can help enhance healing properties, studies point out.

Honey as a home remedy: Honey can be used for sore throat, colds (honey+lemon), sore stomach (ginger+honey), toothache (clove+honey), acid reflux (apple cider vinegar+honey), acne (honey+yoghurt face mask) and sore muscles (honey+coconut water).

Warning: Limit your daily consumption of honey to 3 tbsp because excessive honey can cause constipation, bloating or diarrhoea.

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4. Peppermint (Digestion, Bad Breath)

Mint leaves are low in calories. Due to the rich fibre content of the herb, it can help prevent indigestion, reduce high cholesterol levels and limit the risk of weight gain and obesity [4]. A very common flavour used in candies to drinks to toothpastes, to mouth freshers, pudina promotes better digestion, prevents nausea, helps cure respiratory problems, depression and fatigue and prevents bad breath.

Peppermint as a home remedy: Peppermint can be used to treat flatulence, bad breath, menstrual pains, diarrhoea, nausea, depression-related anxiety and headache (calming effects), common cold, and indigestion.

How to use: Chewing mint leaves can help with bad breath, gas etc.; you make peppermint (mint) tea for depression-related anxiety and headache, common cold and also for indigestion.

Warning: Excessive consumption of mint leaves can cause heartburn, dry mouth, nausea, and vomiting.

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5. Garlic (Cold & Cough)

Garlic has antiviral and antibacterial properties and also stimulates the production of white blood cells within the body. Garlic is high in sulphur compounds that help increase levels of glutathione, an antioxidant that can help reduce stress levels [5]. Studies have pointed out that regular consumption of garlic can help combat stress and reduce symptoms of anxiety.

Garlic as a home remedy: Garlic is used for treating colds, coughs, toothache, constipation, and infections.

How to use: You may consume raw garlic on an empty stomach to relieve constipation. Regularly eating garlic may help prevent the common cold or the flu. If you do get sick, eating garlic can reduce the severity of your symptoms and help you recover faster.

Warning: Excessive consumption of garlic can cause a burning sensation in the mouth or stomach, heartburn, gas, nausea, vomiting, body odour, and diarrhoea.

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6. Cinnamon (Acne, Hair Fall)

Cinnamon contains coumarin, a compound that works as an excellent anticoagulant and can help relieve inflammation [6]. Consuming this spice can help reduce inflammation generally caused by inflammatory conditions.

Cinnamon as a home remedy: Cinnamon can be used to treat pimples, acne and blackheads (cinnamon+lemon juice), cough, headache, sore throat, insomnia (hot water+1/2 spoon cinnamon+pepper powder.

How to use: To get rid of cold and sore throat, insomnia, headache and cough, boil a cup of water and add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and black pepper powder. For hair fall, add 1 tsp of cinnamon powder and honey to 100 ml of warm oil olive and apply on the scalp, leave it for 15 to 30 minutes and wash it off.

Warning: Avoid eating cinnamon in excess can be damaging for your liver, and in some cases, could be toxic (for people with liver problems).

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7. Chilli Pepper (Pain, Soreness)

Chilli peppers or cayenne pepper contains capsaicin that helps relieve pain in the throat. It also helps reduce inflammation and clear the infection of a sore throat. The active component present in chilli peppers, capsaicin, is a popular, topical ingredient for managing pain [7].

Chilli pepper as a home remedy: So, if you are having trouble with sore muscles or generalised body pain that won't leave you alone, look for some chilli peppers in your kitchen and make some capsaicin paste.

How to use: Mix 3 tbsp of cayenne powder with 1 cup of coconut oil. Then heat the oil on a low simmer until it melts, stirring the mixture thoroughly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a bowl, let it firm up and then massage onto the skin when cooled.

Warning: Never use this cream around the face or eyes and be sure to wear gloves during application.

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8. Fenugreek (Breastfeeding, Body Heat, Dandruff)

Fenugreek is a widely used home remedy to treat dandruff and body heat and has several medicinal properties. Studies point out that fenugreek can help with milk production for breastfeeding, diarrhoea and constipation as well [8].

How to use: Take one tablespoon of fenugreek seed, soak it overnight in a glass of water. Strain and drink this water in the morning. For dandruff, soak fenugreek seeds in water overnight. Drain the water and mash the seeds into a paste and apply on the scalp and allow the paste to remain there for about an hour.

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9. Ice Pack (Pain Relief)

The use of ice packs is plenty; be it a headache, knee pain, or back pain, these come in handy for immediate pain-relief [9]. Applying ice to the knee for 15 to 20 minutes every two to four hours can help relieve knee pain and muscle pain as well. For headaches, apply the ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. A cold compress has been known to help with ear pain too.

How to make an ice pack/cold compress: Wrap an ice cube in paper towels or freeze a cold pack and then cover it with a light cloth.

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10. Warm Compress (Pain Relief)

One of the best and effective remedies for muscle/joint and ear pain is a warm compress. It can also be used for menstrual cramps [10].

How to make a warm compress: Fill a bowl with water that feels warm and not too hot. Soak a towel in hot water, wringing out the excess, fold the towel into a square and apply it to the area that's in pain. Hold the towel to your skin for up to 20 minutes at a time.

Warning: Make sure that the heating pad is only warm and avoid falling asleep while using a heating pad.

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11. Petroleum Jelly (Chaffing, Diaper Rash)

A common product found in almost all homes, petroleum jelly, can be applied for a number of things, such as to avoid chaffing, protect your baby's skin from diaper rash, minor indirect heat burns etc. [11]

Some more home remedies you can try out are as follows:

  • Chewing a few basil (tulsi) leaves or cloves after a meal can help with acidity [12].
  • A headache caused by summer heat can be managed by consuming watermelon juice [13].
  • For some people, eating an apple on an empty stomach in the morning provides migraine pain relief [14].
  • Eating half a cup of cooked beetroots before breakfast can help ease constipation and indigestion [15].
  • Grated cucumber applied over the face, eyes, and neck for fifteen minutes is very beneficial for acne and blackheads [16].
  • A mixture of baking soda and lemon juice applied underarms will reduce body odour [17].
  • Smelling a lemon can help manage nausea and vomiting sensation [18].
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On A Final Note…

It is important to note that home remedies may not always be safe and effective for you. Yes, the ones given here are all backed by science but keep in mind that these are studies done on clinical trials and not on a mass population.

However, in most cases, we know what works for us because we've been following it for a long, such as eating ginger for stomach pain.

Note: DO NOT depend on home remedies for severe health problems such as chest pain, excessive bleeding, large burns - please visit a hospital immediately in such cases.