28 Jan HomeRx // 7 At-Home Remedies for Wellness
herbs & nutrients, when used as natural remedies, can be as effective as traditional treatments & often without the same negative side effects¹
You may have heard the terms homeopathics, complementary medicine, alternative medicine, & holistic medicine. These terms are viewed in a similar light, as they all highlight practices often recommended for physical & mental health concerns, whether for sore throat, migraine, or depression. We at WHyyc believe psychology, holistic nutrition, & alternative medicine are natural bedfellows, given their similar philosophies of holism & theoretical position of the mind–body connection.
Although a multitude of pharmaceuticals are on the market, especially for the treatment of mood disorders, anxiety & insomnia, many people have difficulty tolerating the side effects, don’t respond well, or see the effectiveness of medication wear off. Numerous therapeutic herbs & nutrients have fewer side effects & can be either an alternative treatment or used to enhance the effect of prescription medications. Always seek medical attention & advice before taking herbs or supplements, as they may interact with medication.
If you look in your pantry, you’d probably be surprised to find that many common herbs & nutrients are also superhealers. Whole foods, plants, herbs, tonics & other items in your pantry may have the power to help you reach optimal wellness.²
WHy Oil of Oregano //
Oil of oregano is from the oregano herb. The oil that is extracted has many beneficial health properties², including:
- Provides relief from a sore throat or cold.
- Add a couple drops of oregano oil into a diffuser & inhale for a few minutes.
- Add a few drops to water or juice.
- Put a few drops under your tongue (it’s very potent, so go easy on yourself when you first try it!).
- Has anti-fungal & anti-viral properties.
- Helps improve skin conditions like cold sores, muscle aches, joint pain & dandruff.
- NOTE: Don’t apply to sensitive or broken skin because of its strength. Either dilute it to a 1 part oregano oil to 3 parts carrier oil, such as olive oil. You can also purchase diluted oregano oil.
WHy Apple Cider Vinegar //
The benefits for apple cider vinegar are PLENTIFUL³!
- Apple cider vinegar, mixed with water, may help soothe intestinal spasms because of its antibiotic properties. Try:
- Mixing 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water or a clear juice.
- To soothe a sore throat & kill off most bacteria, try:
- Combine a ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar with ¼ cup of hot water & honey.
- Alternatively, combine a ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar with ¼ cup of hot water & gargle this mixture throughout the day.
- Experiencing cold-like symptoms? Try:
- Mixing 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water or a clear juice.
- A natural remedy to help clear-up acne! Try:
- Apply a small amount of apple cider vinegar to a cotton pad & wipe over face. This acts as a toner to help to exfoliate, reduce redness & balance the PH of your skin.
- Feeling tired? Apple cider vinegar contains potassium & enzymes that may relieve that tired feeling. Try:
- Adding 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water or a chilled vegetable drink.
- Apple cider vinegar aids in weight loss as it is virtually devoid of calories, so it is an ideal alternative to fatty salad dressings.
WHy Ginger //
Ginger root has been used in Traditional Chinese medicine to help decrease pain & inflammation. Ginger has many well-documented therapeutic uses3,4 including:
- Anti-inflammatory & cholesterol-lowering properties.
- Helps to relieve nausea & motion sickness, without causing drowsiness.
- Can help reduce the pain of migraines.
- Can help relieve bloating. Try:
- Adding a slice of ginger (fresh or candied) to a warm mug of water & sipping on it.
- Alternatively, grating it over a salad can help treat indigestion.
- Relieve a cold with ginger tea. Try:
- Simmering 1-2 slices of ginger in water for 10 minutes. Remove from heat & enjoy (add 1 tbsp of honey for some sweetness).
WHy Honey //
Since honey is a natural syrup produced by bees, it contains all of its vitamins & minerals in their natural proportions. Honey isn’t just loved for its sweetness. It’s health benefits3,4 include:
- Raises blood glucose levels (beneficial for those with hypoglycaemia).
- Eat one tbsp of honey, wait 15 minutes & then refuel with more whole foods.
- Helps relieve a cough. Try:
- Take 2 tsp of honey before bedtime to reduce coughing through the night & help sleep.
- Helps lower “bad cholesterol”.
WHy Garlic //
Garlic, or the “stinking rose,” helps treat mild, recurring or chronic infection3,4.
- It protects circulation & fights various types of toxins.
- It’s an antibacterial agent, an anti-stress agent, an antiviral agent, & an anti fungal agent (the list goes on).
Garlic can be found as various compounds; tablets, capsule, oils, or extracts.
TIP: Garlic is a wonderful addition to any dish! Sauté with vegetables, meats & season whole grains. Garlic makes everything good & has been coined a “cure-all,” so indulge!
WHy Turmeric //
Turmeric, which comes from the plant Curcuma domestica, belongs to the ginger family. It’s used traditionally used for flavour, especially in curry dishes. However, the plant also has some health benefits3,4:
- In Asia & India, turmeric is considered a tonic for the whole body. It is commonly prescribed for liver problems & colic.
- It’s also used by herbalists to help reduce the pain & inflammation of arthritis in the body & preventing gallbladder disease.
Turmeric is available as a powdered root, in capsule & as liquid tincture.
TIP: turmeric powder can be added to smoothies & salad dressing, incorporated into lentil dishes, soups & stews, for a brilliant yellow colour.
WHy Cayenne Pepper //
You might be familiar with cayenne pepper if you’ve attempted the Master Cleanse (yikes)! But this compound is more than just a Master Cleanse friendly herb — it’s been used to treat a number of ailments. Why is cayenne pepper great?
- It produces a natural warmth in your body.
- if you have cold feet, you can sprinkle a little bit of cayenne into your socks and it will increase circulation!
- It is useful in alleviating allergies.
- it improves digestion.
- It is an anti-irritant, helping to ease upset stomach, sore throat, coughs & diarrhea.
- It helps with wound healing.
TIP: Turn up the heat in some of your most favourite dishes & add a dash of cayenne pepper too boost the nutritional value & colour of some of your faves.
WHy St. John’s Wort //
St. John’s Wort is an herb. The flowers & leaves of this herb are used to make medicine. A little interesting piece of history for you: use of St. John’s Wort dates back to the ancient Greeks with Hippocrates noting the medical use of it’s flowers. Now that we filled your noggin’ with that nugget, here’s the health benefits3,4,5 of this herb:
- There’s strong scientific evidence this herb is effective in treating mild to moderate depression5.
- It’s indicated in many studies as being an effective treatment for conditions that can co-occur with depression, such as anxiety, tiredness, loss of appetite & sleeping difficulties3,4.
- May help treat heart palpitations, moodiness & other symptoms of menopause, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), & seasonal affective disorder (SAD)3,4.
WHy not do your own research //
A lot of the information we’ve included above is contained in academic journals & past course materials in psychopharmacology & holistic nutrition. But you don’t have to go to university & sign up for a degree to boost your knowledge on health promoting herbs & nutrients! A couple of great resources include:
- US National Library of Medicine’s MedLine Plus list of herbs & supplements. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/herb_All.html
- US Department of Health & Human Services National Centre for Complementary & Integrative Health’s Herbs at a Glance database. https://nccih.nih.gov/health/herbsataglance.htm
So do your own research on ingredients you’re curious about (even if it’s just banter for the water cooler talk at the office!).
We hope we’ve inspired you to test out some popular at-home remedies for common aliments that your body & mind may thank you for!