What Are the Best Natural Remedies?

Reviewed on 6/9/2021
natural remedies
Here are some of the best all-natural home remedies you can use to treat common ailments

People have used natural remedies to treat a wide range of conditions, from joint pain to diarrhea, for centuries. Natural remedies are often cheaper and don’t have the adverse effects of medications. Some are even recommended by doctors. So which ones are the best?

Here are 5 of the most common home remedies for ailments that are effective and won’t break the bank.

5 home remedies that work

1. Ice

Cold packs that contain gel can be kept in the freezer and placed on affected areas to relieve pain and swelling. If you don’t have cold packs, a bag of frozen peas or ice wrapped in a clean towel can work just as well. 

Using any of these in the first 48 hours after an injury can help alleviate pain and reduce swelling. To achieve maximum benefits, apply it to the affected area at least 4-5 times a day for 15-20 minutes. Using it for more than 20 minutes at a time can cause more harm than good.

2. Heat

Applying a warm compress to affected areas can help alleviate joint, muscle, bone, and tendon pain (the tissues that connect muscles to bones). Warm compresses and hot baths can be effective for conditions such as arthritis, helping blood flow to areas that need it. Just make sure the temperature is between 92 and 100 degrees F. Water that’s too hot can trigger skin conditions if you have any.

3. Neti pot

A Neti pot looks like a small teapot but is an effective remedy for nasal allergies and stuffy noses. Create a solution of warm sterile water and salt in the neti pot, then pour this solution into one of your nostrils and let it flow from the other nostril by slightly tilting over. This may require some practice, but once you get used to it, it can ease cold and allergy symptoms and provide much needed relief.

4. Chicken soup

Chicken soup is an effective natural remedy for a cold, fever, or flu. It loosens secretions and relieves nasal swelling and obstruction. It is also a good source of proteins and helps your body stay adequately hydrated.

5. Petroleum jelly

Petroleum jelly is an effective home remedy for dry skin, itchy insect bites, chapped lips, and cracked heels. It can also be used as a temporary solution for diaper rash.

Are natural remedies safe?

Natural remedies should be used as a supplemental or supportive treatment that you can try initially or many times throughout the duration of an illness. However, you shouldn’t use them as a substitute for other medications and treatments advised by your doctor

Not getting appropriate medical treatment may worsen the progression of an illness. Avoid self-medication, especially for children and the elderly.

Are herbs safe to use as natural remedies?

While some herbs have reported benefits for certain conditions, sufficient research is lacking to provide proof that they work. It’s fine to incorporate herbs into your diet, but you should talk to your doctor before trying to use them in medicinal amounts. This is especially true if you have underlying health conditions or are already using prescription drugs, since some herbs can interact with medications and cause mild to serious side effects.

Remember that the perception that herbal remedies are completely safe can be misleading and at times wholly untrue. Herbs can cause serious side effects, some of which can even be life-threatening.

Which herbs are effective as natural remedies?

Herbs that have proven to be effective in a few studies include chamomile tea, garlic, turmeric, ginger, pepper, cinnamon, clove, etc:

Using these herbal remedies in the short-term is fine, but make sure to consult with your doctor before long-term continuous use.

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References
Ekor M. The Growing Use of Herbal Medicines: Issues Relating to Adverse Reactions and Challenges in Monitoring Safety. Front Pharmacol. 2014;4:177. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24454289/

WebMD. Home Remedies: What Works? https://www.webmd.com/balance/ss/slideshow-home-remedies

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