Thursday, 19 December 2019

22 Best Natural Remedies for Common Health Issues, According to Doctors

“When stomach flu strikes, ginger can help relieve nausea and vomiting and ease stomach cramps and bloating. Clinical studies show that the chemicals in ginger work in the stomach and intestines as well as the brain and nervous system to control nausea. Use it as a spice in meals, chew a piece of fresh ginger, or try taking ginger capsules.” —Maria C. Mejia de Grubb, M.D., associate professor, Baylor College of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Medicine

Coconut oil
“People with acne tend to overdry their skin, which triggers more oil production. Apply a thin coat of coconut oil after cleansing with a salicylic wash. It has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, and its ingredients, including vitamin E, repair the skin barrier and help the marks heal.” —Diane Madfes, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology, Mount Sinai Hospital

Salt water
“A sore throat is most often caused by a viral infection, which usually resolves on its own. But the scratchiness is uncomfortable, and swallowing worsens the irritation. Speed up the healing by dissolving 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and gargle several times a day. Salt acts like a water magnet and pulls the excess fluid to reduce swelling and loosen mucus, helping flush out irritants or bacteria.” —Dr. Meija de Grubb

Unsulfured blackstrap molasses
“Unsulfured blackstrap molasses is a wonderful stool oftener. Take one tablespoon daily on its own or stir it into water or any beverage. It’s especially useful for pregnant women as a natural alternative to chemical laxatives—plus, it contains iron and many
other essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B6, magnesium, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, and
selenium.” (Patients with diabetes should avoid molasses.)
—Ashita Gupta, M.D., assistant professor of endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital

“Soak a cotton ball or swab in vinegar and apply several times a day. Dilute with water if it stings too much. Warts are caused by a viral infection in the top layer of skin. The vinegar probably works because its acidity is toxic to the replicating viral cells.” —Tanya Kormeili, M.D., dermatologist, Santa Monica, CA

Brown rice
“If you’re suffering from a bout of diarrhea, cook brown rice in twice the normal amount of water, then strain it. Once the water is cool, drink it. It contains electrolytes often lost with diarrhea.
Replacing electrolytes can help ease the problem.” —Amy Rothenberg, N.D., Naturopathic Health Care, Enfield, CT

When a cold is coming on, fight it with tea made with cinnamon, a powerful antioxidant: Put 1 cup honey into a sterilized jar and place in a double boiler over low heat. Gently heat for 15 minutes—don’t boil. Stir in 3 Tbsp powdered cinnamon and 1 tsp allspice, then remove jar from double boiler and cool. Stir 1 Tbsp of this mixture into hot water and drink when cooled. —adapted for Prevention from The Herbal Kitchen by Kami McBride

Ayurvedic tea
“Steep 1⁄2 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, and fennel seeds in a quart of boiling water; strain in to a thermos and sip all day until sunset. This is anAyurvedic remedy that helps improve digestion and sleep and decrease palpitations, hot flashes, worry, and anxiety.”—Kavitha Chinnaiyan, M.D., cardiologist, Beaumont Health

“Studies suggest that garlic has immune-boosting properties. Mince or crush one to three cloves and leave them exposed to air for a few minutes. This boosts a sulfur compound called allicin, which acts like an antimicrobial to kill viruses and bacteria. Heating can destroy allicin, so add garlic at the very end of cooking.”—Chris D’Adamo, Ph.D., associate director of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Integrative Medicine

“Oregano is a concentrated source of antioxidants, which help to reduce inflammation and soothe the stomach. To use it, steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of fresh or dried oregano in 8 ounces of hot water for approximately 10 minutes. The recommended dosage is up to three times daily.” —David Borenstein, M.D., founder, Manhattan Integrative Medicine

“Studies show that the equivalent of 15 milligrams—or about one-fifth of a teaspoon of threads—of saffron twice daily can decrease PMS symptoms, including anxiety, irritability, depression, mood swings, and insomnia. Add saffron to your food, take it in capsule form, or brew a cup of tea.” (People with bipolar disorder shouldn’t use saffron without a doctor’s supervision.) —Skye McKennon, PharmD, clinical assistant professor, University of Washington and Washington State University

“Curcumin is the anti-inflammatory compound in turmeric. It’s poorly absorbed in supplement form unless you get pills with bioavailable curcumin; look for a formulation with ‘BCM-95’ or ‘Meriva’ on the label. I recommend it for chronic pain (such
as back pain) or inflammatory illnesses. I use it myself if my tendinitis flares up.” —James N. Dillard, M.D., integrative pain expert and former medical director at Columbia University Medical
Center’s Rosenthal Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Immune-support tea
“This concoction has rescued me many times from developing a full-blown cold: Simmer a 1-inch knob of chopped fresh ginger (an antiviral) and 1⁄2 teaspoon of goji berries or 1⁄4 teaspoon of rosehips (for vitamin C) along with 2 to 3 slices of dried astragalus root (for immune support) in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Strain and add raw honey (which has antibacterial properties) to taste. Drink 1 cup two to three times a day for two to three days at the first sign of a cold.” —Yufang Lin, M.D., integrative medicine physician
at Cleveland Clinic

“Your cat’s favorite herb can help relieve your own anxiety. 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 it calms the mind.” —EricYarnell, N.D., Bastyr University, Seattle

“Butterbur (petasites hybridus) can replace drugs that prevent migraines (such as beta-blockers) and is even recommended by the American Headache Society and the American Academy of Neurology. Butterbur can also replace drugs like antihistamines in patients with allergic rhinitis. It’s thought to work by inhibiting leukotrienes—but be warned that some butterbur formulations contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids, which can cause liver damage.” —Skye McKennon

Whole milk
“For oven burns, or even winter sunburns, apply cool milk compresses. Milk, particularly whole milk, contains proteins, which help the skin repair itself, and lactic acid and fats that help to hydrate the skin. Keeping the skin hydrated is the best way to help it heal itself, and the compresses are also very soothing.” —Elizabeth Hale, M.D.,dermatologist at NewYork University Langone Medical Center

Chamomile and peppermint tea
“As someone who loves to talk, I am always getting a sore throat. I love chamomile and peppermint tea, known for reducing inflammation and relieving pain. I prefer decaffeinated, especially at night, because good sleep is just as important when fighting an illness.”—Raj Dasgupta, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine, Keck School of Medicine of USC

Manuka honey
“Manuka honey helps speed the healing of cuts, burns, and other wounds because of its antibacterial and antifungal properties. It’s rich in gallic acid and the antioxidant quercetin, which both help with healing.I recommend washing the area and massaging a small amount of honey directly onto a cut. Then cover with an adhesive bandage.” —Dr. Diane Madfes

“Most sinus infections occur due to poor movement of nasal cilia, designed to expel bacteria and dust from the nose and sinuses. Humming stimulates nasal and bronchial cilia and breaks up mucus in your nose, sinuses, throat, and chest.” —Murray Grossan, M.D., ENT-otolaryngologist, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Cooling eye mask
“When you are feeling anxious or suspect that a panic attack is coming on, hold a cooling eye mask (even a bag of peas will do in a pinch!) over your eyes for at least 30 seconds. The shock will bring you back to the present when your mind is racing. The cold also activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which calms the physical symptoms of anxiety like a racing heart and quick, short breaths.” —Rachel Zar, LMFT, Spark ChicagoTherapy

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