When you get sick, especially mildly or moderately so, going to the doctor may be a hassle or an expense you just don’t want to incur. Maybe the illness isn’t that serious, the cost of seeking treatment doesn’t seem worth it, or maybe it just doesn’t warrant medical attention. No matter the reason, you may feel helpless with your new symptoms. Luckily, you can treat many illnesses from from home. Check out these eight most common illnesses and their remedies to skip the doctor and get back to feeling like yourself.
1. Sore or Strep Throat
Sore or strep throats can be helped by gargling with saltwater a few times a day. The water should be warm and moderately salted. The salt in warm water helps get rid of infection. One of the best home remedies for strep throat or a sore throat is simply what you ingest. You can ease throat pain with raw honey, which can be added to hot tea. Drinking various hot teas (especially with raw honey) eases the pain and soreness associated with strep throat and sore throat. Popsicles and liquids can be consumed to maintain food intake while easing throat discomfort.
Whenever you think of fever, you usually think of danger. But it may please you to know that mild fevers are not dangerous or life-threatening. Usually, fevers can be brought down without the help of doctors or hospitals. If you have a fever, you can take an over-the-counter fever reducer, but you don’t have to do so. You should stay away from bundling up too much, and try taking a lukewarm sponge bath to help reduce your fever. Another way to reduce fever is getting plenty of rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding high fat foods. Sipping linden flower tea also has been shown to help control body temperature by inducing sweating.
3. The Flu
The flu is a little different than your average cold because it usually involves fever, nausea, vomiting, and more. It also typically hits you a little harder than a cold and can keep you off your feet longer. It’s important to drink plenty of fluids and get plenty of rest if you have the flu, but there’s a few other things you can try to get rid of the flu. You should have at least eight glasses of water per day. Incorporating vitamin C and zinc into your daily diet can strengthen your immune system and help fight infections faster. Drinking ginger tea can help fight nausea, while adding honey can help with throat discomfort.
Whether your stomach is upset, or you’re having indigestion issues, nausea can stop you in your tracks. Ginger has been shown to be made of elements that naturally quell nausea. It helps stimulate digestion and relieve stomach pain. You can try eating frozen ginger chips throughout the day, or drinking ginger tea a few times a day. Ginger also can help cure nausea caused by motion sickness. Other options include drinking ginger ale or eating ginger candy. Drinking plenty of fluids also helps prevent dehydration and reduces vomiting.
5. Sinus Congestion
Sinus congestion is one of the most common illnesses and its remedies can be varied and frustrating. Many people find relief from over-the-counter medicines, but you may be able to find relief elsewhere. According to Fox News, “nasal irrigation with a saltwater solution relieved the symptoms of sinus congestion and improved sinus-related quality of life.” You can use a squeeze bottle or neti pot to pour a solution of eight ounces of warm water and a ½ teaspoon salt into your nostrils. Be sure to do this over a sink to catch any drainage.
If you feel a headache coming on, you can prevent it from getting worse by taking magnesium. Magnesium helps reduce muscle tension, but it’s much better as a preventative than a curative solution. Aromatherapy oils such as peppermint, rosemary, and lavender can help promote relaxation and ease headaches. Taking a warm shower, putting a cold pack on your head, and exercising also can reduce headaches. Drinking plenty of fluids and ensuring you have a proper diet is a great way of reducing headaches, as most headaches are caused by diet.
Getting to bed can be hard sometimes, especially if you have insomnia. Many are wary of taking prescription medicines to help them sleep, because they are addictive. Try eating cherries before bed, which “scientists discovered are jam-packed with melatonin, the same hormone created by your body to regulate sleep patterns,” according to Mark Moyad, MD. You also can drink tart cherry juice, which does the same thing. Taking a hot bath helps by relaxing the body and mind, as does infusing some lavender oil into your pillow.
8. Dry skin, eczema, and rashes
Oatmeal has been used for centuries to smooth skin. It contains avenanthramides, which calm itchy or inflamed skin. You can place whole oats in a dry, sealed sock and place it in a warm bath; soak for 15-20 minutes. Because of its anti-inflammatory compounds, oatmeal can be applied right to the skin in lotion form as well. Cucumber is another food that also can be used to soothe skin irritation or burns. It can be ground into a paste and applied directly to the skin, where it has a calming and cooling effect. Since it’s made of mostly water, cucumber helps hydrate the skin.
These remedies for the eight most common illnesses will keep you away from the doctor and feeling better in no time. For thousands of years, people have found ways to cure these common ailments and get back to doing what they do best, without medicines, doctors, and professional treatment. By following a few simple tips, you can fight off these common illnesses for good.