Folk medicine, natural cures or even old wives’ tales… you can call them whatever you like. But there’s a reason that no matter how advanced the field of medicine becomes some home remedies never seem to fade away.
It turns out Grandma was right, they work!
And what is it that makes a home remedy stand the test of time? Typically the simpler it is the better chance it has of surviving through the years.
Proven home remedies you can count on to work
Following are five of Grandma’s best home remedies that deserve a spot in your own healing bag of tricks.
1. Soothe a sore throat with saltwater:
If you’re suffering with a sore scratchy throat, a saltwater gargle is the perfect way to soothe the pain without having to resort to drugs.
Salt naturally reduces swelling relieving your sore throat pain. Simply stir a teaspoon of sea salt into an eight ounce glass of warm water and gargle with it, spitting it out into the sink.
Repeat as needed to soothe your throat.
2. Take an oatmeal bath to calm skin:
Itchy, flaky skin can quickly drive you up a wall. And regardless of whether it’s caused by a condition such as psoriasis or eczema, a mild allergic reaction or simply dried skin you need relief FAST.
Well experts say Grandma’s advice to climb into a warm oatmeal bath is right on target. Oatmeal is a terrific way to get rid of itchy, dry skin. The oatmeal leaves a thin protective film on your skin that soothes the itch as it traps in moisture.
To make an oatmeal bath skip the instant variety and use rolled oats instead. Run one cup of the oat flakes through a food processor or blender to grind them up. Fill your bathtub with warm water and stir the flakes in.
Soak for at least 20 minutes. And when you get out pat yourself dry instead of rubbing.
3. Eat prunes to relieve constipation:
Prunes could use a good PR person, because when many folks hear the name they turn up their nose. But the truth is dried plums are delicious. And more importantly, Grandma’s go-to for constipation is effective.
Prunes are full of digestion-friendly fiber. Which means if you’re feeling backed up and bloated, they can help get things moving along again. Then plan in a serving, with a full glass of water, daily (or every other day) to keep things running smoothly moving forward.
4. Calm a cough with honey:
If you have a cough but don’t want to use a heavy-duty cough syrup or steroids, reach for honey instead. Swallow a tablespoon or two to stop the hacking in its tracks.
According to research published in the Journal of Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, honey works as well as the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, without side effects.
Honey coats and soothes irritated throat tissues, reducing your urge to cough. Plus, as a natural antibacterial, it gets to work fighting the bugs that caused the cough in the first place.
Do you want to take this “cough cure” to the next level? Drink a cup of coffee first.
According to research published in the Primary Care Respiratory Journal this odd combo virtually eliminated coughing. In fact, taken three times a day, it worked far BETTER than the steroid prednisone.
The warm coffee helps relieve throat irritation on contact, while its caffeine content serves are a mild pain reliever. Then the honey goes to work soothing and healing inflamed tissues.
5. Restore calm and sleep using lavender:
Grandmas from Fairbanks, Alaska to Key West, Florida know the key to relaxing when you’re keyed up, so you can get a good night’s sleep, is lavender. This fragrant flowering plant is a proven relaxation remedy.
Research published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand showed the sweet smell of lavender lowers blood pressure and heart rate. And according to another study, smelling lavender before climbing into bed could help you achieve deeper sleep.
Don’t dismiss Grandma’s remedies simply because they’re old-fashioned. Sometimes an oldie, but a goodie, is exactly what the doctor ordered.