It is so easy nowadays to go to your nearest pharmacy and get an over-the-counter drug for your ailment, whether it’s just a simple headache, a back pain, or nausea caused by motion sickness and other related factors. But while some are willing to shell out a couple of dollars for these modern medicines, more and more doctors are going back to nature for answers to these common, troublesome conditions.
Here are more of the old cures that help alleviate common nuisances such as the ones mentioned above.
Butterbur and feverfew are two anti-inflammatory herbs that have proven effective against headaches and migraines. Similarly, magnesium relaxes overstimulated nerves, and vitamin B12, also known as riboflavin, boosts energy production within nerve cells, leading to migraine relief. Studies have also shown that vitamin D may aid in migraine relief.
For upset stomachs, try teas brewed from ginger, peppermint, chamomile, fennel or licorice. Instead of commercial antacids, mix a teaspoon or so of baking soda into a mug of warm water. Water with a little bit of lemon, or even warm saltwater, can also sometimes do the trick.
The best remedy for a sore throat is in your kitchen cabinet. While its popularity waned as antibiotics came on the scene, “now if a patient has a sore throat but doesn’t have a fever or real difficulty with swallowing, I suggest gargling with salt and H2O” to clear out mucus and reduce swelling, Hagen said.
Back in the 1800s, Vaseline was a popular remedy for skin complaints. Though it fell out of vogue in favor of newfangled creams, doctors have a surprising modern-day use for it: applying it to wounds after surgery. “Some patients have allergic reactions to antibiotic ointments, and petroleum jelly works just as well in the absence of infection,” said Dr. Stephen Stone, professor of dermatology at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield, Ill. You can use it on minor cuts, too.
Ice packs are a classic headache-killer. Newer pain relievers may be more effective, but a recent study shows that migraine
sufferers get great relief from ice packs—especially when placed for 15 minutes on the front of their neck, over the carotid arteries, rather than on their head. For best results, try a bag of ice mixed with salt water.
The more that old remedies pan out in studies, the more likely physicians are to suggest them. Part of the drive for these natural cures is the cost of health care. So trying these at home could save you a trip to the doctor. Consider these golden oldies the next time you’re feeling under the weather.