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20 home remedies that actually work

Most of these drug-free home remedies can be found in your kitchen

Whether it is a salt water gargle to ease throat pain or ginger to reduce nausea, home remedies may be the answer to several minor ailments. But it is important to know which work and which don’t. With more people turning to alternative medicine these days, interest in home remedies has increased.

Grahak Sathi brings you 20 home remedies that work and are not just folklore. Instead of popping a pill, try these proven home remedies for minor ailments. But do consult a physician for anything serious or if the remedy does not give you results within a reasonable time-frame.

Honey for wounds: Honey contains the enzyme glucose oxidase, which after a chemical reaction releases the antiseptic hydrogen peroxide. Apply honey directly to a minor wound every 12 to 24 hours and cover it with sterile gauze.

Ginger for nausea: Studies show that ginger reduces nausea and vomiting. It is believed that ginger obstructs the serotonin receptors in the gut that cause nausea.

Apples for heartburn: Apples have pectin, a soluble fibre that absorbs stomach acid. Sweet apples, especially, are alkaline foods that restore pH balance and prevent Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERhome remediesD).

Chicken soup for colds: This home remedy helps get rid of a cold sooner. Studies have shown it curbs swelling and clears out nasal fluids. 

Ice for pain and swelling: Use a plastic bag or wet towel with ice in the first 48 hours after an injury to help with pain and swelling. Never use ice for more than 20 minutes, and take it off if your skin gets red.

Aloe vera for burns: The gel derived from the aloe vera plant contains anti-inflammatory agents that can help with minor burns.  It is also a soothing remedy for sunburn.  

Lemon for motion sickness: Motion sickness causes you to produce excess saliva, which can upset your stomach and trigger nausea. Sucking on a lemon can reduce the production of saliva. Research has shown that even sniffing the refreshing scent of a lemon can help.

Prunes for constipation: Dried plums are rich in insoluble fibre, a key nutrient to help fight constipation. Insoluble fibre doesn’t dissolve in water and creates more bulk so waste can push through the digestive system.

Sugar for hiccups: When it comes to ­hiccups (contractions of the diaphragm), sugar is a proven remedy. Eating the grainy sugar crystals forces you to swallow harder than normal, and this resets your diaphragm.

Salt water for a sore throat: Gargling with salt water when you have a sore throat may help relieve the pain and irritation.

Fennel for indigestion: Fennel seeds contain agents which expel gas from the intestinal tract.

Clove oil for tooth and gum pain: It soothes an inflamed tooth and also has a numbing effect.

Turmeric for infections: It contains the compound curcumin that has the ability to stop bacteria from multiplying. Dab a little turmeric on minor cuts or scrapes to aid healing.

Ginger for menstrual cramps: Ginger improves blood flow and reduces inflammation in uterine muscles. One study found it as effective as ibuprofen for relieving period pain.

Oatmeal for eczema: Itchy, inflamed skin can be soothed with oatmeal which contains phytochemicals that have anti-inflammatory properties. Put ground oatmeal in bath water to treat inflamed skin and rashes.

Cucumber for puffy eyes: Putting cold cucumber slices over your eyes is soothing. Also, the cold temperature causes blood vessels to constrict thereby reducing inflammation.


Honey and lemon tea to soothe the throat: Both lemon and honey are antimicrobial, so add them to a cup of hot water to help with a sore throat, cough or cold. It will boost your immune system as well.

Apple for cleaning teeth: When you eat this fruit, it cleans the teeth – apples are a natural toothbrush. The skin of the apple, which is extremely high in fibre, can scrub against your teeth, helping to remove plaque and stains. 

Ice for headaches: Apply cold packs on the forehead and temples if you have a headache.

Eucalyptus oil for sinusitis: Used in steam inhalation, droplets of the oil loosen congestion in the sinuses. Studies indicate that the main ingredient in eucalyptus oil, cineole, can even help people recover faster from acute sinusitis. 

Sources: www.rd.com, www.webmd.com, www.bustle.com, www.health.com

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