Did you know you could dress a wound with honey, lose weight with ginger, and condition your skin with olive oil? These remedies may be as old as the hills, but their application is so 2020.
In a pinch or with a plan, common pantry staples can help with everything from cleaning the counter to cleaning a cut. Although it’s important to discuss medical applications with your doctor, these six deserve a spot in your kitchen:
A cough, sore throat, or allergies got you down? Add a teaspoon of honey to a cup of green tea, drink it two to three times a day, and keep tabs on how you feel.
Honey has antimicrobial properties that fight bacteria and infections, which is probably why the ancient Egyptians and Greeks used it frequently to treat wounds and other ailments.
Honey also allows tryptophan to enter the brain, which promotes feelings of relaxation and calm. Used as an old Ayurvedic treatment for insomnia, honey raises your blood-insulin levels, which triggers these effects (so be careful if you have diabetes!)
For additional benefits, pick up some propolis, or sour honey. Sour honey has similar antibacterial action as its unfermented brother, but it can also combat dental issues like gingivitis. Despite the rumors, though, no evidence exists that it can cure cancer.
The yellow spice often used in Indian cooking, turmeric also comes in capsules good for improving fatty liver and reducing inflammation.
Many of turmeric’s benefits are due to curcumin, an antioxidant that has benefits for the brain and body. By suppressing cortisol levels and boosting serotonin, turmeric fights stress.
A study in the Journal of Affective Disorders found turmeric has antidepressant and anti-anxiety effects. Some early research suggests it might be effective against certain joint disorders, such as arthritis.
Turmeric’s distinctive yellow color can stain your skin, so be careful about spills, and wash your hands if you use it in powder form.
Ginger has been used in Asian medicine for thousands of years. The spicy-sweet food additive shows promise for treating digestive disorders, including stomach aches, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. It’s also an effective treatment for motion sickness.
Because it helps people feel fuller longer, ginger is also a great supplement for people working to manage their weight. Ginger stabilizes blood-sugar levels, minimizing post-meal spikes and reducing sugary food cravings.
Ginger works well in teas, baked sweets, soups and stir-fries, but perhaps the best thing it cures is the need for warm and cozy cookies. This gingerbread cookie recipe might be just what the doctor ordered.
A flower native to the French countryside, lavender is best known for its sweet smell and anxiety-busting properties.
A little lavender on your pillow or in your bath promotes restful sleep. Muscle aches, tension and soreness evaporate away with this purple essential oil.
Need a home remedy for a burn? Placing a few drops of an olive-lavender oil solution on it can help it heal faster. If you’re struggling with alopecia, a study of mice suggests that it might promote hair growth.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar does more than add zest to soups and salads. This tangy liquid can be used to remove skin tags, reduce obesity, and improve heart health. A regular dose of it might help diabetics control blood sugar levels.
If you’re experiencing digestion issues, try brewing up a detox tea with ACV. By raising acid levels in the stomach, ACV breaks down gas and tough-to-digest foods. Because of those benefits, it can also ease heartburn.
What about ACV’s uses beyond the body? It makes an impressive cleaning solution. Because of ACV’s antibacterial properties, it’s a natural alternative to chemical cleaners. Mix it with water and spray it in the air to fight odors.
6. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) is jam-packed with antioxidants and healthy fats. It’s good not just for your heart, but for your skin and brain as well.
Safe for use on all parts of the body, EVOO soothes skin conditions like eczema. Toothache sufferers report that swishing EVOO around in the mouth for several minutes can relieve pain. It may preserve memory and improve inflammation associated with muscle strains and sprains.
And as you’ve noticed at swanky Italian restaurants, EVOO makes a delicious bread dip: We prefer this spicy, herb-forward recipe.
Kitchens aren’t just for cooking. Keep these six home remedies stocked, and you’ll have just the ticket next time you’re not feeling well.
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