When you’re feeling poorly, it’s important to give yourself a little extra love to help you recover quickly. Experts swear by these non-drug cures for back pain, nausea, hot flashes, and other common ailments. Try them at home.
Excerpts from an article by Jen McCaffery in Prevention magazine
Long before there was an urgent care clinic at your chain pharmacy, there were fruit trees, the honeybees, and the herb garden. “Using home remedies is a way of honoring information that has been handed down through generations,” says Amy Rothenberg, past president of the Massachusetts Society of Naturopathic Doctors. We asked experts, Prevention readers, and Prevention staff for their go to favorites, old and new. Some of them may be just right for what ails you. (People with medical conditions, as well as women who are pregnant or nursing, should consult a doctor before trying these remedies.)
Try: Honey and Turmeric
“You can make a great pimple paste with honey (any kind, but I prefer raw) and turmeric. Mix ¼ tsp of each – a little goes a long way. Make a paste and apply directly to the pimple.” (Note: This remedy may leave a temporary yellow stain on your skin, which you can remove with coconut oil.) – Trevor Cates, naturopathic doctor in Utah
Maple Organics has created the Rose Detox Mask, made with kaolin earth clay, turmeric and activated charcoal. These ingredients combined help minimize excess oil, deeply clean pores and refine skin texture, ultimately helping prevent future breakouts.
Try: Local Honey
“Besides adding sweetness to your tea, honey – if it’s local – may help you built your resistance to allergens specific to where you live.” Just be sure not to give honey to children under the age of 1. – Chris D’Adamo, epidemiologist at University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore
“Deeply inhaling fresh or dried rosemary can help boost cognitive function in the short term, studies show. For greater effect, use the more highly concentrated essential oil. Taking a moment to simply sniff a fresh branch of Rosemary once a day can also improve alertness.” – Ellen Kamhi, author of The Natural Medicine Chest
Your cats favorite herb can help relieve anxiety. It’s easy to grow in a home garden, and 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 calms the mind.” – Eric Yarnell, naturopathic doctor in Seattle
Natural gelatin contains collagen, which is made from pig skin or cow bone and may help relieve joint pain and inflammation. Add natural gelatin to fruit and fruit juice to make a refreshing dessert, or take collagen in the form of supplements. One study found that people who regularly took collagen reported less knee pain. – Mark Moyad, author of The Supplement Handbook
Looking for a topical alternative? Maple Organics Joint Therapy is Health Canada approved to alleviate symptoms related to stiff joints, inflammation and soreness. Massage into your skin morning and night.
Try: Lemongrass Oil
If your scalp is scaly, try some lemongrass. The perennial plant contains high levels of antimicrobial compounds called citral and geraniol that fight fungus, which can cause dandruff. Although the oil shouldn’t be used on its own, one study showed that people who applied a tonic containing 5 to 15% lemongrass oil had less dandruff two weeks later. – M.M.
Want to get your hair back into shape? Maple Organics hair line rebalances pH and detoxifies with our liquid shampoo and shampoo bars for every type of hair, an ACV-based conditioning rinse and a rejuvenating hair oil to nourish your hair and scalp.
Try: Flaxseed Oil
Too much screen time irritating your eyes? Take 1 to 2 tsp of flaxseed oil each day. The anti-inflammatory properties of the omega-3 fatty acids it contains can help relieve the dryness in your eyes. – M.M.
Try: A Foot Bath
Fill a basin with hot water, taking care not to burn yourself. Soak your feet for 5 to 8 minutes, splash your feet with cold water, dry them off, and put on warm socks. “It’s a beautiful treatment for drawing inflammation away from the head and neck.” – A.R.
Try: Garlic and Honey
“At the first sign of a cold or flu, I crush 2 cloves of garlic in a glass of water, add a splash of raw honey, and drink it.” – Cindy Santa Ana, Washington, D.C.
Try: Apple Cider Vinegar, Cayenne and Cinnamon
Mix 2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar in 8 oz of hot water. Add a dash of cinnamon, and 1 Tbsp of honey, and stir. I’m a singer, and this has saved my voice!” – Kristina B. Valcarce, Tujunga, CA
Reach for Maple Organics Cold+Flu Therapy. Health Canada approved to relieve the symptoms of cold and flu such as congestion, stuffy nose, sinus pressure and coughing so you can rest easier day and night. We’ve also formulated Cold Congestion Jr., safe for your little one fighting any cold symptoms.
Try: Witch Hazel
“For 57 years, I’ve never gone to bed or woken up without soothing my face with a wipe of witch hazel. It provides immediate relief of irritated skin.” – Dill O’Hagan, Richmond, VA
Try: Sage Iced Tea
Studies find that sage can reduce the frequency of hot flashes. Put a tablespoon of the herb – dried or fresh – into 8 oz of water for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain, chill, and drink. – Danielle Miller, naturopathic doctor in Seattle
“Melatonin is great for getting your circadian rhythm back in the groove.” Look for sublingual supplements, which you place under your tongue rather than swallow. They go directly into the bloodstream instead of through the stomach. – D.M.
Try: Frozen Ginger Chips
When you have a queasy stomach, chop fresh ginger into small pieces and boil for 10 minutes. Strain, then pour the liquid into ice cube trays. Crush the frozen cubes and suck the icy chips throughout the day to provide your stomach with a steady dribble. – E.Y.
Try: Fennel Seeds
Fennel is a carminative, a compound that can disperse gas from the intestinal tract. “You can find fennel seeds in the spice section of most supermarkets, and they’re sold in Indian grocery stores as a digestive aid. Try chewing and swallowing half a teaspoonful of the seeds at the end of meals.” – Andrew Weil, Prevention columnist and founder and directly of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
Try: Oatmeal Bath
“Put raw oats inside a thin sock, and tie the sock around the bathtub faucet. Let water run through the sock as you’re filling the tub. The water that’s gone through the oats is soothing and anti-inflammatory for irritated skin.” – T.C.
Try: White Willow
Available as a supplement, white willow is sometimes considered an alternative to aspirin because it contains salicin, a natural form of the drug’s pain-relieving component. It’s often used to enhance other anti-inflammatory treatments.” – E.K.
Ease muscle soreness, tightness and stiffness with Maple Organics Muscle Therapy. Health Canada approved, this ointment can be used as needed and massaged directly into sore muscles for an instant warming sensation.
Try: Green Tea
“Green tea can help spur weight loss when combined with eating a nutritious diet and exercising. That’s because compounds called polyphenols in the tea target fat cells, and the presence of caffeine might help, too.” – C.D.
Fill a 1 oz bottle halfway with rock salt and add 10 drops of bergamot essential oil. Inhale. “Citrus brightens spirits and soothes tension.” – Tieraona Low Dog, fellowship director, Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine
Maple Organics favourite essential oil is Lavender – proven health benefits of lavender essential oil include its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, eliminate nervous tension, relieve pain and aid in a restful night’s sleep. Try our lavender Skin Therapy or our Lavender Essential Oil rollerball & bring tranquility to self.
Try: Lemon Juice
“Squeeze some drops from a fresh lemon directly into the ear. Studies have shown that lemon juice has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.” – David Howard, story editor
“My grandmother made poultices out of comfrey leaves to heal wounds. She grew the herb in her garden.” – Andrea Barbalich, former executive editor
Maple Organics is excited to help you reduce use of antibacterials and antibiotics in your home. Our new organic Wound Therapy is made with Calendula to help wound healing. With natural wound moistening and a non-stinging formula, you can keep cuts clean, reduce infection rates and assist the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
“My grandmother would give my mom a mint leaf to chew on for fever reduction.” – Kelsey Kloss, food and nutrition editor