Whether you prefer a more holistic approach or just hate going to the doctors, natural remedies have been around for centuries for good reason. While it is always important to consult with a medical professional regarding any serious health issues, common ingredients that can be found at your favourite supermarket can cure more of your ailments than you realise. Adding a few of these key ingredients to your shopping list can help to provide relief from everything from indigestion to blemishes. Read on for details...
Cold and Flu: Leafy Greens
While citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and limes are likely to be the first foods that come to mind when it comes to boosting your vitamin C intake, dark leafy greens such as kale, spinach, romaine lettuce, Brussels sprouts and broccoli all pack a more powerful punch. Although vitamin C can’t prevent you from getting ill, or make a cold or the flu go away, it can reduce the severity of your symptoms and the length of time that you’re affected.
Blemishes: Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be great for blemish-prone skin, and as a natural treatment for acne. As a natural astringent, it makes a top-notch toner. Just apply a washcloth soaked in apple cider vinegar diluted with water to your face and the acidic solution will make your skin feel smoother, absorb excess oil and reduce the appearance of fine lines. This works by restoring the proper pH levels to your skin.
Brittle nails: Coconut oil
Coconut oil can be a great remedy if you’re suffering from brittle and chipped nails. The oil, just like the coconuts it comes from, is rich in protein, so massaging it into your cuticles and nails on a regular basis will add moisture and strengthen your nails, allowing them to grow. It will also help to keep your hands soft and smooth – and it smells great, too!
Peppermint leaves, peppermint tea, and peppermint oil can all help to relieve indigestion. The herb’s calming and numbing effect relaxes your stomach muscles, assisting with the natural break-down of fats and enabling more efficient digestion of food. Peppermint tea is probably the most common way to take this remedy – just sip the brew after dinner to round off the meal, or try a cup at bedtime for a restful night’s sleep.
Nasal congestion: Salt water
Doctors often prescribe antihistamines and decongestants to treat a runny nose. However, a simple solution made with salt and water can be just as effective. Dissolve the salt in warm water and sniff it up one of your nostrils. Then, gently blow your nose to expel the salt water and repeat with the other nostril. It takes a bit of practice, but the effects can be incredibly restorative.