When you’re under the weather, you reach for your well-stocked medicine cabinet. However, over-the-counter medicines aren’t always the best choice to stock your medicine cabinet with. There are many great natural alternatives that will help you feel better quickly.
1. Colds and coughs
Over-the-counter medications (OTCs) can actually cause rebound symptoms long after you’re feeling better. Instead of reaching for OTCs, try using essential oils . Lemon oil, lavender oil and peppermint oil are all great for colds, coughs, allergies and sinus congestion. They are safe and best of all, you can’t overdose on essential oils! Simply rub a drop of oil behind the ear or even a little dab under the nose to help with congestion.
Saline nasal spray is also a good tool to have in your medicine cabinet for nasal congestion. Look for strictly saline spray – no additives. You can also make your own homemade salt water rinse for this purpose and use with a sprayer or neti pot. Another great congestion fighter is steam. With just a bowl, towel and some hot steamy water, you can help open up your sinuses quickly. Drop in a few drops of the essential oils listed above for a nice sinus-opening boost.
When you’re down with a cold or a cough, you should also drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Increased water intake can help break up mucous. You should drink at least 8 to 10 eight-ounce glasses of water daily. Fluids such as juice and herbal teas will do, too. Limit your cola and coffee intake because it acts like a diuretic and may dehydrate you when you’re sick.
2. Stomach issues
Ginger is great for nausea – from tummy bugs to morning sickness, ginger can help. Eating ginger root or making yourself a cup of ginger tea is a good idea when you’re suffering from stomach ailments.
Peppermint oil is also good for calming a stressed or upset tummy. You can rub peppermint oil directly onto the abdomen, or take it orally as long as it is certified, pure oil safe for ingesting. Peppermint tea can also help ward off nausea.
Probiotics are also an excellent way to treat stomach ailments and digestive issues. Get yourself on a good probiotic regimen and you may avoid much of the digestive discomfort right away.
3. Aches & pains
More and more people are turning away from ibuprofen and NSAIDS for pain relief, looking for more natural and healthy options. Thankfully, there are more options on today’s market for treating pain naturally than before. One option is arnica cream. It’s a homeopathic herbal cream that is good for aches and pains. It is a great option for treating muscle pain, joint pain, bruises and sports injuries.
Turmeric, grated ginger, and even black pepper can help with inflammation and pain issues. Add them into your morning smoothie in small amounts – two teaspoons of turmeric, one teaspoon of ginger, and a dash of fresh grated black pepper.
Soaking in a tub of Epsom salts is also good natural treatment for sore muscles, minor sprains and bruises. Some people like to use Epsom salts with essential oils together, to create a detoxifying bath.
Detoxifying bath “recipe”
- ¼ cup Sea Salt
- ¼ cup Epsom Salt
- ¼ cup Baking Soda
- ¼ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 10 drops of your favorite essential oil (I like peppermint, lemon, or lavender best)
Dissolve the salts and baking soda into boiling water and set aside. Fill your tub with hot water and add in the apple cider vinegar and essential oils. Pour in the salt mixture. Soak in the bath for 30 minutes or as long as you’d like.
Note: Sometimes you will feel tired or lightheaded after a detox bath. Make sure someone is home with you the first time you try this.