We all know that chicken soup isn’t only good for the soul, but also for helping relieve cold and flu symp- toms. And what many might not realize is that there are plenty of other things we may already have lying around the house that can help remedy these, as well as other ailments.
We asked holistic medical experts which home remedies and cures they believe work and compiled a list of their suggestions for things you may already have at home or can easily get at a local store.
You can rub coconut oil into sore and tired muscles for pain relief, according to Dr. Randy Martin, doctor of Oriental medicine and certified classical homeopath.
Both Crystal Blair and Anita Gage are wellness consultants at the Valencia Wellness Center, and they suggest using coconut oil as a face wash and makeup remover, as well. This can help with acne, wrinkles, dry skin, eczema, sun spots and more, ac- cording to Blair, who is also manager of the center.
Gage also suggests using coconut for “oil pulling” to remove bacteria and improve dental health. To do so, swish a tablespoon of the oil in your mouth, spit it out (don’t swallow) and rinse thoroughly.
Using turmeric in your cooking or taking it as capsules can help with pain, inflammation and congestion, according to Martin, and you can also get it as a topical ointment to rub it into your sore joints.
According to Gage, magnesium is one of the minerals Americans are most depleted in and is constantly being depleted when we stress — mentally, physically and even chemically when we eat wrong.
Taking magnesium supplements can not only help healthwise, but can also lessen feelings of anxiety or depression, Gage said.
Taking a bath with epsom salt can be very soothing for colds and flus as it will help detox your body and can also help with pain and inflammation, Martin said.
Mixing baking soda with water and then washing your hair can help get rid of chemical build up and oils on your scalp and in your hair, according to Blair.
Holistic Healing Heart Center’s Dr. Cynthia Thaik, a cardiologist and integrative functional medicine doctor, and Dr. Barbara Rush, a natu- ropathic doctor, agree that baking soda can help cure athlete’s foot. Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda into a basin of warm water and soak your feet for 20 minutes. When done, dry your feet thoroughly and do not rinse.
Thaik and Rush also suggest drinking a small amount of baking soda to relieve heartburn. Put 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of aluminum-free baking soda in a shot glass, add just enough water to dissolve the baking soda and drink it. Then, refill the glass with just enough water to clean out the container and drink that.
Apply organic castor oil to sore or painful joints for pain relief, and according to Martin, applying it to any nodules or lumps you may have will also help dissolve them.
Castor oil can also be an easy fix for hair loss or help when hair is receding, according to Gage.
Apple cider vinegar
Drink a couple spoonfuls of apple cider vinegar with honey to improve immunity and help with the absorption and digestion of food or nutrients by the body, according to both Martin and Blair.
Mixing two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with water and drinking it about 10 minutes before eating can also help with fat break down and weight loss, according to Thaik and Rush.
Drinking warm or hot water (like a tea) with half a lemon daily can improve digestion and balance your body’s pH levels, according to Martin and Blair.
It may sound odd, but Blair suggests wetting a thin pair of socks with cold water (the colder the better), ringing them out gently and putting them on. Then, put a thicker pair of socks (preferably cotton) over the wet pair and keep them on overnight as you sleep.
According to Blair, because the bottom of your feet have pores, this helps your body detoxify by acting like a pulling agent, which can also help with congestion, a cold or flu, and insomnia.
And although there are a lot of things that can be used on their own, there are some great recipes that are easy to put together as well.
Sore throat or cough
Mix honey, lemon and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with warm or hot water (like a tea) to help with a sore throat and to break up mucus, accord- ing to Gage and Blair.
Martin, Thaik and Rush all agree that gargling can help with a sore or raspy throat. While Martin suggests gargling with salt water, Thaik and Rush suggest mixing 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of water and gargling for at least 30 seconds — both say they have seen great results.
Fill a large bowl with warm water, 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of Epsom salt. Soak your feet for about 20 minutes and pat dry. Then, lightly coat them with coconut oil and slip on some socks. This will make your feet soft and clean, according to Thaik and Rush.
A detox bath can shorten the duration of a cold or flu, and you don’t need all the ingredients to make it effective, according to Gage and Blair.
Mix 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup Epsom salt, 1/2 cup diatomaceous earth, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup bentonite clay in the tub and optionally add some essential oils like tea tree or lavender.
Make sure to mix well, then relax in the bath for 30 minutes. Afterward, rise with soap and water and be sure to hydrate so that your body can flush out toxins.
Mix apple cider vinegar with water and apply to the itchy area with a clean cotton ball, then repeat as necessary, according to the experts.
Although these are all great home remedies, be sure to still go to your medical doctor to be certain your problem isn’t something more serious and in need of medical attention, Martin said.