We all know that chicken soup is not only good for the soul, but also to help relieve the symptoms of cold and flu. And what many do not realize is that there are many other things that we may already have around the house that can help remedy this, as well as other ailments.
We asked holistic medical experts what home remedies and cures they think work and compile a list of their suggestions about things that you may already have at home or that you can easily obtain at a local store.
You can rub coconut oil on sore and tired muscles to relieve pain, according to Dr. Randy Martin, a doctor of Oriental medicine and certified homeopath.
Both Crystal Blair and Anita Gage are wellness consultants at the Wellness Center in Valencia, and suggest using coconut oil as a face wash and makeup remover. This can help with acne, wrinkles, dry skin, eczema, sunspots and more, according to Blair, who is also the center's manager.
Gage also suggests using coconut to "extract the oil" to eliminate bacteria and improve dental health. To do this, shake a spoonful of oil in your mouth, spit it out (do not swallow it) and rinse it well.
According to Martin, using turmeric in your kitchen or taking it in the form of capsules can help relieve pain, inflammation and congestion, and you can also use it as a topical ointment to rub on sore joints.
According to Gage, magnesium is one of the minerals in which Americans are most exhausted and are constantly running out when we stress, mentally, physically and even chemically when we eat badly.
Taking magnesium supplements can not only help your health, it can also decrease feelings of anxiety or depression, Gage said.
Taking a bath with epsom salt can be very soothing for colds and flu, as it will help detoxify your body and can also help with pain and inflammation, Martin said.
According to Blair, mixing baking soda with water and then washing your hair can help eliminate the buildup of chemicals and oils on the scalp and hair.
Dr. Cynthia Thaik, cardiologist and integrative functional medicine doctor at the Holistic Healing Heart Center, and Dr. Barbara Rush, a naturopath, agree that sodium bicarbonate can help cure athlete's foot. Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda in a bowl of warm water and soak your feet for 20 minutes. When finished, thoroughly dry your feet and do not rinse.
Thaik and Rush also suggest drinking a small amount of baking soda to relieve heartburn. Put 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda without baking soda in a shot glass, add just enough water to dissolve the baking soda and drink it. Then, refill the glass with enough water to clean the container and drink it.
Apply organic castor oil on sore or aching joints to relieve pain, and according to Martin, applying it to any nodules or lumps that you may have will also help to dissolve them.
Castor oil can also be an easy solution for hair loss or help when the hair is receding, according to Gage.
Apple cider vinegar
Drink a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with honey to improve immunity and help with the absorption and digestion of food or nutrients by the body, according to Martin and Blair.
Mixing two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with water and drinking it about 10 minutes before eating can also help break down fat and lose weight, according to Thaik and Rush.
Drinking warm or hot water (like a tea) with half a lemon a day can improve digestion and balance your body's pH levels, according to Martin and Blair.
It may sound strange, but Blair suggests wetting a pair of thin socks with cold water (the colder the better), sounding soft and putting them on. Then, place a pair of thicker socks (preferably cotton) over the wet pair and keep them on during the night while you sleep.
According to Blair, because the lower part of his feet has pores, this helps his body detoxify by acting as a traction agent, which can also help with congestion, a cold or flu, and insomnia.
And although there are many things that can be used alone, there are also some excellent recipes that are easy to put together.
Sore throat or cough
Mix honey, lemon and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with warm or hot water (like a tea) to soothe a sore throat and break mucus, according to Gage and Blair.
Martin, Thaik and Rush agree that gargling can help with sore or sore throat. While Martin suggests gargling with salt water, Thaik and Rush suggest mixing 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of water and gargling for at least 30 seconds, both saying they have seen excellent results.
Fill a large bowl with warm water, 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and 1 cup of Epsom salt. Soak your feet for about 20 minutes and dry. Then, cover them lightly with coconut oil and put some socks on them. This will make your feet soft and clean, according to Thaik and Rush.
A detoxification bath can shorten the duration of a cold or flu, and you do not need all the ingredients to be effective, according to Gage and Blair.
Mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 cup of Epsom salt, 1/2 cup of diatomaceous earth, 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1/4 cup of bentonite clay in the tub and , optionally, add some essential oils such as tea tree or lavender.
Make sure you mix well, then relax in the bathroom for 30 minutes. Then, get up with soap and water and be sure to hydrate so that your body can eliminate the toxins.
Mix apple cider vinegar with water and apply it over the itchy area with a clean cotton ball, then repeat as needed, according to experts.
Although all of these are excellent home remedies, be sure to see your doctor to make sure your problem is not something more serious and that you need medical attention, Martin said.