What Works?

We have a tendency to self treat when relief is needed, but before this is done you need to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before trying any home remedy.  Every drug or herb works differently so if you take prescription, over-the-counter meds, or go to the health food store, keep in mind that many don’t have research to back them up and they might react to what you are already taking.

Mint has been used for hundreds of years for a health remedy.  Help with irritable bowel syndrome and possibly headaches might be helped with peppermint.  More studies are need to see how much and why it helps.  No evidence is so far found.

Using honey as a natural sweetener may work as well for a cough as an OTC med, and could be especially helpful for young children not old enough to take other meds.  Do not give it to an infant or toddler younger than 1.  Food poisoning could be  a danger for them.

Turmeric has been touted for helping with inflammation.  Some studies have shown it might help with arthritis knee pain and skin rashes following radiation treatment for cancer.  Don’t overdo it with high doses.

For thousands of years ginger has been used in Asian medicine for stomachaches, diarrhea and nausea, which has shown through studies it does work.  It may help with colds, but not good for everyone as it can cause tummy trouble, heartburn, diarrhea and gas.  Always checks with your doctor as it may affect how it works with some of your medications. It may not always be good for someone who has high blood pressure.

Believe it or not sex can help ease pain when you have headaches and can improve heart health, ease stress and boost mental alertness.

That comforting green tea doesn’t just keep you awake and alert.  It is a source of powerful antioxidants that protect your cells from damage and can help you fight disease.  Your odds of heart disease and certain kinds of cancers might even be lowered. It is known to contain anti-tumor properties in it.

Garlic has studies showing it may lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels, but doesn’t seem to help that much.

Grandma’s chicken soup can actually be good for a cold.  It can ease symptoms and help you get rid of it sooner while curbing swelling and clearing out nasal fluids.

Put salt and warm water in to a neti pot and pour through one nostril to drain out the other.  It takes some practice but it can ease allergy or cold symptoms to help you get rid of a cold quicker. Be extra sure your neti pot stays clean at all times. This can prevent you from getting an infection from bacteria brewing in the neti pot.

There is no evidence that cinnamon does anything for any medical condition, so be careful as the extracts can be bad for your liver in large doses.

Hot baths are good for muscles, bones and tendons, arthritis, back pain and joint pain, but don’t make the water too hot.  Ice packs work well in the first 48 hours after an injury to hep with pain and swelling, and never use more than 30 minutes at a time.

Ear candling is dangerous so don’t do it to draw out that wax.  It can puncture the eardrum, push wax deeper, candle wax can get inside the ear or it can burn your ear canal, face, scalp or hair.  Your doctor can easily remove the earwax. If you are going to do ear candling, please be sure you get someone to do it for you with training and experience.

So there you have it.  What works for you??

Dr Fredda Branyon