Home Remedies Guide

Home Remedies Guide

Home Remedies Guide

 

 

Table of Contents:

Home Remedies for Allergies

Home Remedies for Constipation

7 Remedies for an Upset Stomach That Work Fast

6 Herbal Sleep Remedies for Those Restless Nights

Home Remedies for Headaches Using Essential Oils and Herbs

How to Treat Arthritis Naturally

Natural Pain Relievers From Your Garden

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Home Remedies for Allergies

Natural Remedies For Allergies Might Be As Close As Your Backyard

Allergies

Although I’m fortunate enough to never have suffered from the symptoms of seasonal allergies, I’m married to someone who suffers greatly every year once the pollen, spores and mold of the season make their way into the air. But thankfully, there are lots of great home remedies for allergies that we use to give my husband relief from the never-ending itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion, cough and headaches that come with the changing of the seasons here in upstate New York.

Home Remedies for Allergies: Prevention

As the saying goes, when it comes to home remedies for allergies, an ounce of prevention is most definitely worth a pound of cure. When thinking about finding natural ways to relieve your allergy symptoms, it’s best to start planning about one to two months ahead of allergy season.

You can start boosting your resistance to seasonal allergy symptoms by making small changes in your diet to improve digestion. Adding a variety of dark, leafy green vegetables, dark yellow and orange vegetables, nettles, beets, carrots, onions, garlic and ginger to your diet can make a big difference in the severity and duration of your allergy symptoms.

Reducing or cutting back on processed foods, sugar, caffeine and alcohol can also help reduce symptoms from seasonal allergies. Dietary changes can also help ensure that any home remedies for allergies that you use are more effective in relieving symptoms.

Home Remedies for Allergies: Using Local Honey

Locally-produced honey is one of our favorite home remedies for allergies. Because we have three beehives on our property, we have a plentiful supply of local honey that includes the right combination of pollen and spores to help ease my husband’s seasonal allergy symptoms.

If you can find locally-produced honey, it’s a great way to reduce and prevent seasonal allergies. Eating a spoonful of locally produced honey 3-4 times a day can also help reduce symptoms once seasonal allergies set in. Year-round consumption has been known to completely eliminate seasonal allergies. As far as home remedies for seasonal allergies go, local honey is relatively inexpensive, but may be difficult to find if you live in a more urban area.

Allergies

Herbal Home Remedies for Allergies

Our small home apothecary includes several herbs that can be used as teas and infusions as herbal home remedies for allergies. We always make sure to grow a fresh supply of these herbs every year so that we have plenty on hand throughout the winter so my husband can start his season allergy treatments early.

When using herbs as home remedies for allergies, it’s always best to seek out and use whole, organic herbs instead of relying on capsules and tablets from the grocery store or supplement store. Growing these herbs in your garden is an even better option and ensures that you have a fresh supply of your own herbs.

Turmeric tea: You may already know that turmeric tea is a great remedy for lots of things like sore throats, nasal congestion and other symptoms from seasonal colds. Turmeric has powerful anti-cancer properties, as well as being antifungal, antibacterial and helping to lower harmful levels of cholesterol in the blood.

Turmeric tea is another one of our favorite home remedies for allergies because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Making a simple tea of turmeric powder, fresh turmeric root, or dried turmeric root can help relieve the nasal and chest congestion that comes with seasonal allergies.

If you have a supply of dried turmeric root handy, chewing on a small piece of peeled turmeric root can provide fast relief of seasonal allergy symptoms.

Adding turmeric tea to your list of home remedies for allergies is simple. Use a minimum of 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, but you can use up to 2 tablespoons if you prefer a stronger tea.

Thyme and Rosemary: These two herbs are excellent home remedies for allergies. They both are effective for opening the nasal passages and relieving congestion due to seasonal allergies. You can make a simple tea out of thyme and rosemary by steeping 1 teaspoon of dried herbs in 1 cup of boiling water for at least 15 minutes. Fresh herbs are better, but require at least 1 tablespoon of each. And you can always add a spoonful of locally-produced honey to your tea to boost your immune system and help relieve your seasonal allergies.

We keep a thyme plant growing in our kitchen year-round that produces wonderful, fragrant leaves for us to use in cooking and in our home apothecary.

Nettles: Many of us love to cook with nettles when they appear in the spring, and it turns out that eating nettles as well as making tea with them are great home remedies for allergies.

Take care when harvesting and preparing nettles to avoid any skin irritation. (They’re not called stinging nettles for nothing, you know.) If you’re harvesting your own nettles, it’s best to harvest them before they flower and go to seed. When harvesting nettles, use scissors and wear long sleeves. Protective gloves aren’t a bad idea, either.

Wear gloves when preparing your nettles. Just place them in a large colander for a few minutes, then rinse with cold water and allow as much water as possible to drain off. You can dry them for use in tea by placing them in a brown paper bag, and placing the bag in front of a source of warm, flowing air such as a furnace.

If you want to make tea with fresh nettles, boil a handful of nettle leaves with a handful of fresh peppermint in about 2 cups of water. Strain the leaves from the liquid and allow the tea to cool slightly before drinking.

Because peppermint has so many healing qualities, we also keep a peppermint plant or two growing indoors year-round to provide us with fresh leaves.

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10 Natural Constipation Remedies That Work

Try a Natural Home Remedy for Constipation to Relieve Discomfort

natural-constipation-remedies
Natural constipation remedies can take on many forms: you can use gentle herbs and herbal teas, lifestyle changes, diet changes, and gentle exercise to relieve constipation. While most people don’t feel comfortable talking about constipation and natural constipation remedies, this is something we discuss freely around my house. Since my husband works in a wastewater treatment facility, there’s never any shortage of jokes about poop at our house. And since I study holistic and natural medicine, we also know plenty of natural constipation remedies that really work.

Chronic constipation is defined as having less than three bowel movements per week over the span of several weeks. There are many causes of chronic constipation: medical conditions like diabetes and thyroid disorders can cause bowel movements to slow or stop, and some common prescription medications and over-the-counter medications can also cause constipation. However, it is now believed that stress, unhealthy lifestyle habits, and an unhealthy diet are the leading causes of this uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition.

Note: Many pregnant women also experience constipation during their pregnancies, beginning in the first trimester. If you’re pregnant and looking for natural constipation remedies, always check with your doctor before taking any herbal remedies for constipation.

Natural Constipation Remedies: Herbal Remedies for Constipation

Herbal tea tops my list of natural constipation remedies because most herbal teas are gentle on the stomach and the entire digestive tract and work quickly to relieve constipation. Almost any hot drink will be stimulating enough to a backed-up digestive tract to get things moving. It’s worth noting that you should avoid drinking coffee while constipated because caffeine is a diuretic and can worsen dehydration if that’s one of the causes of your symptoms.

natural-constipation-remedies

A simple ginger tea made with fresh ginger root can help relieve constipation. When taken regularly, ginger tea benefits include an overall improvement in digestion and a healthier immune system. To make a simple ginger tea, take a thumb-sized piece of fresh, peeled ginger and add it to two or three cups of boiling water. Allow it to steep for at least 20 minutes before drinking. You can add a teaspoon of honey to enhance the laxative effects of the ginger and to sweeten the ginger tea.

If you suffer from chronic constipation that lasts for several weeks, a morning drink of hot lemon waterwith honey can help. Boil two or three cups of water and allow it to cool slightly before adding the juice of ½ fresh lemon, along with a teaspoon of honey if desired. Drink a cup every morning for at least three weeks to help relieve and prevent chronic constipation.

Another effective herbal tea for relieving constipation is an Ayurvedic spice water. An added bonus of drinking this spice water is that it helps balance women’s hormones and can actually be part of a healthy digestive cleanse. To make Ayurvedic spice water, boil six cups of fresh spring water for about five minutes. Allow to cool slightly, and then add ¼ teaspoon each of whole, organic coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds. Allow the whole seeds to steep for at least 15 minutes before drinking. Spice water can be taken warm (not hot), or at room temperature. While Ayurvedic spice water is effective, it’s something of an “acquired taste” and might take a few days to get used to. DO NOT sweeten spice water with honey or other sweeteners!

Senna is another popular herbal remedy that pops up on many lists of natural constipation remedies. I generally don’t recommend using senna unless the constipation is severe because it can also cause painful stomach cramps in some people. If you choose to use senna as part of your natural remedies for constipation, always do so under the care of a qualified health practitioner. Pregnant women should NOT use senna unless under the care of a qualified health practitioner.

Natural Constipation Remedies: Diet

What you eat can play a big role in preventing and relieving the symptoms of constipation. The vast majority of the American diet consists of highly processed foods that have little nutritional value and are difficult to digest. One of the best natural constipation remedies for chronic constipation is simply a change in diet.

The first change you can make to your diet is to eat plenty of warm, well-cooked foods, and that includes your vegetables. Choosing ingredients for your meals from a garden vegetables list and avoiding highly processed foods like store-bought pasta and bread for a few weeks can certainly make a difference in your symptoms. Remember that anything warm or hot will help stimulate the muscles affected by constipation, so eating warm foods with plenty of liquid in them will help relieve your symptoms.

Eating foods high in fiber is also important when thinking about natural constipation remedies. But remember that some foods like beans, broccoli, and apples can be hard to digest when undercooked or eaten raw. To help make these foods more digestible, cook these foods in plenty of good olive oil or even ghee (clarified butter) and add a teaspoon of your favorite spices: cumin, fennel, and cardamom are all effective natural constipation remedies when added to food on a daily basis.

Soaking fruit overnight to be eaten with breakfast in the morning is also another effective home remedy for constipation. Take two tablespoons of raisins, or four or five prunes or figs and soak them in just enough water to cover. Eat with breakfast.

Yogurt is one of my favorite natural remedies for constipation, mainly because it tastes so good. As long as your digestion is strong enough and you’re not lactose intolerant, you can eat three cups of yogurt a day starting with one cup in the morning with breakfast. You can also take a wonderful Indian yogurt drink called lassi to help relieve the symptoms of constipation using one of the following recipes:

Plain lassi: Mix one cup yogurt with three to five cups of fresh spring water, as you prefer. More water makes the lassi easier to digest. Blend well and drink throughout the day.

Digestive lassi: Mix together ½ cup yogurt with two cups room temperature water. Add a ¼ teaspoon each of ground cumin and salt. Blend for one to two minutes, and skim the foam off the top before drinking.

Sweet lassi: Mix together ½ cup yogurt with 2 cups room temperature water. Add ½ teaspoon Turbinado sugar, four drops rose water and ¼ teaspoon cardamom. Blend for one to two minutes, and skim the foam off the top before drinking.

Natural Constipation Remedies: Castor Oil and Olive Oil

If chronic constipation is severe and is not accompanied by dehydration and/or upset stomach, a quick tablespoonful of either castor oil or olive oil can do the trick to help get things moving! This particular remedy for constipation can work quickly in some people, so make sure that you have easy access to a bathroom for a couple of hours after taking the oil.

To use castor oil, take 1 – 1 ½ tablespoons of castor oil mixed with ¼ cup orange juice (to hide the taste). Hold your nose while swallowing to avoid smelling the castor oil.

To use olive oil, take one tablespoon of olive oil mixed with one tablespoon fresh lemon juice (not bottled). Just like with the castor oil, you can hold your nose while swallowing to avoid smelling the olive oil.

Natural Constipation Remedies: Gentle Exercise and Movement

Maybe I’m biased because I’m a yoga teacher, but a lifestyle routine that includes some kind of daily gentle exercise and movement is a great way to prevent chronic constipation. In particular, the yoga pose called Malasana (which sounds a lot better than the English name – squat) can help relieve tension in the muscles that cause constipation. Squatting is a more natural position for bowel movements.

To practice malasana, stand with your feet a little wider than hip distance with your toes pointing out at about a 45-degree angle. If you are tight in the hips, place a thick blanket under your heels to give you some lift. Gently bend your knees and sink your hips down toward the floor – your body will tell you when to stop! Hold this pose for five or six full cycles of breath, and then release. You can repeat this as often as you need to throughout the day, but like I tell all my yoga students, if the pose causes you pain anywhere in your body, don’t do it. There are lots of other natural constipation remedies in this list that you can try!

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7 Home Remedies For Upset Stomach That Work Fast

Overeating Means You May Need These Home Remedies for Upset Stomach


We just can’t help ourselves, can we? We overeat during the holidays. So many parties, so many celebrations it’s just hard to say no or enough. Don’t worry, I’ve got some of the best home remedies for upset stomach to help you through.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This would be my go to among home remedies for upset stomach, not just because I wrote a book about it, but because I know from years of personal experience, it works. So we’ll be on the same page, when I say ACV, I’m referring to raw, organic Apple Cider Vinegar.

The mother in organic, raw ACV, the stuff floating around in it or settled on the bottom of the bottle, is the most important part of ACV in maintaining and restoring balance to the digestive system.

Put 1/3 teaspoon ACV in your mouth and swish for 1 minute before swallowing. This promotes the secretion of enzymes and saliva which get the digestive juices flowing.

Speeding up digestion will bring you fast relief from an overeating tummy ache. If you’re feeling nauseous, take one Tablespoon of ACV. If it’s just too strong for you to handle, add it to four ounces of water along with a teaspoon of raw honey and sip it slowly.

Chamomile Tea

The benefits of the chamomile plant make it a reliable choice among home remedies for upset stomach. The tea can help ease the pain of a stomach ache, headache, or insomnia. It acts by relaxing smooth muscle fibers which make up the upper digestive tract.

To make chamomile tea, you’ll need

  • One chamomile teabag or one to two teaspoons dried chamomile flowers (I prefer the dried flowers.)
  • Tea strainer or brewing basket (if you use loose flowers)
  • Four to six ounces of hot water

Bring the water to a boil and pour over the tea bag or brewing basket with chamomile flowers in it. Cover cup and steep for five to 10 minutes depending on how strong you like it. Add raw honey if you just need a little sweetener. Sip slowly.

Peppermint

Peppermint is easy to grow and dry at home. The list of peppermint plant uses is extensive. It’s on the list of home remedies for upset stomach because of the soothing effects it has on the digestive system.

Peppermint tea and therapeutic grade peppermint essential oil relieve nausea, gas and bloating, as well as headaches. It relaxes smooth muscles, increases bile production, opens sinus passages increasing blood flow, and generally relaxes the nervous system.

To make peppermint tea you’ll need

  • One peppermint tea bag or one to two teaspoons dried peppermint (We use dried peppermint) or four to five fresh peppermint leaves.
  • Brewing basket for loose peppermint.
  • Your favorite mug.
  • Four to six ounces of boiling water.

Bring the water to boil and pour over the peppermint tea bag or brewing basket of dried peppermint. Cover the cup and let steep five to 10 minutes depending on your taste. You can add a little raw honey if you want to, but it does take away from the crisp flavor of the tea.

Tips: If you use dried peppermint or fresh peppermint, you can chew them for a little extra benefit.

If you make your tea with fresh peppermint leaves, let it steep 15-20 minutes to receive full benefits.

Sip it while it’s warm.

For essential oils, inhale straight from the bottle or add to the diffuser. If you have a headache, you can place a few drops on your temples and base of your neck and rub in for relief.

Lemon Water

Lemon water is made with warm or boiling water. It’s on the list of home remedies for upset stomach because it increases the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Increased hydrochloric acid speeds up the digestion of food in the stomach.

To make hot lemon water you’ll need:

  • One fresh lemon
  • Six to eight ounces of water
  • Mug or cup

Boil the water, pour over the lemon – cut into wedges. Cover the cup and let it steep for 10-15 minutes. Squeeze the lemon pieces into the boiling water and drink warm.

Be sure you use organic lemons and wash them well before pouring the boiling water over the wedges.

Ginger Tea

Ginger tea benefits go far beyond home remedies for upset stomach. It’s great for aches and pains of joints and muscles, sinus and cold symptoms, stomach cramps, gas, nausea, and more. It can be made from fresh ginger root, dehydrated ginger root, chopped ginger root, and ginger root powder.

To make ginger tea you’ll need:

  • One inch fresh ginger root cut into small pieces, a couple pieces of dehydrated ginger, or one teaspoon ginger root powder.
  • Eight ounces of water.
  • Favorite mug.

Wash and peel the ginger root, if you’re using fresh ginger root. Boil the water and add the ginger root. Let it boil for three minutes then simmer for another two minutes. Strain ginger from the water and add a little honey if you like. Sip slowly.

If you use ginger root powder (I use it a lot for tea), boil the water, add the powder, cover the cup and let it sit for five minutes. Add honey if you like and sip slowly while hot.

For aches and pains, sinus and cold symptoms, and headaches I add one teaspoon turmeric powder or root, one teaspoon cinnamon – true cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper powder to my cup along with the ginger powder before adding the hot water.

An Old Switchel Recipe

Switchel is an ancient drink for upset stomach and general digestive health. Unlike most fermented beverages, it can be mixed and drank readily because it starts with raw, organic, apple cider vinegar.

To make your own switchel, you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup ACV
  • One to two teaspoons raw honey (more to taste).
  • One tablespoon fresh ginger, minced or grated or two teaspoons ginger root powder.
  • One teaspoon fresh lemon juice.

Put all of these ingredients into a quart sized glass jar with a lid. Add water to just below the rim. Stir it well. You can let it sit on the counter overnight if you use fresh ginger root so you can enjoy more of the benefits of ginger. I like to use ginger root powder so I can sip this right away.

You can drink it warm or chilled. We like it either way.

Rice Tea

Rice tea has been used as one of the home remedies for upset stomach for centuries. It’s easy to make and has no offensive flavor.

To make rice tea, bring six cups water to boil, add 1/2 cup of white rice and boil for 15 minutes. Strain the water from the rice. You can add honey if you like, I like to add a dash of healthy salt. Sip four to six ounces at a time. You can reheat the rice tea as you need it.

Prevention is the best way to avoid a belly ache and not need any of these effective home remedies for upset stomach. I hope you don’t need them, but if you do, you have a list of effective options for fast relief.

6 Herbal Sleep Remedies for Those Restless Nights

Many People Turn To Natural Sleep Remedies When Counting Sheep Doesn’t Help

More and more people are learning how to beat insomnia by finding natural herbal sleep remedies for those occasional restless nights. We’ve all been there, the stress of the day, minor aches and pains, or thoughts we just can’t get out of our heads. No matter how many sheep we count or how many happy places we go to, we just can’t sleep.

The body has a natural rhythm known as the circadian rhythm. This rhythm ensures we are able to sleep. Sleep is the only time during which our bodies can properly carry on repair and maintenance. When I was young, I thought I didn’t need as much sleep as everyone else. As I got older, I realized how necessary sleep is for health and well-being, and that I was costing myself by not getting enough sleep. A minimum of eight hours is ideal. I know some people who say, “I don’t need eight hours I only need seven. I do just fine.” Maybe so, for now, but it’s scientifically proven how, over an eight-hour period of sleep, the body is allowed to fully perform its many necessary tasks for repair and maintenance.

In our American society, sleeplessness seems to be at an epidemic level. Have you ever watched a commercial for a prescription sleep aid? Scary, huh? No wonder so many people are looking for herbal sleep remedies. You see them in every drugstore and in every drug aisle in the grocery stores. From melatonin tablets to teas designed to help you sleep.

While there is a long healing herbs list for sleepless nights, I have six favorites. These are tried and true herbal sleep remedies I have used for myself and my family. It is necessary for me to say I am not a doctor, nor am I prescribing anything for your health. Your health and that of your family is your responsibility alone. It’s sad I have to say this and can’t just share with you the information I have, but it is what it is. So I am sharing with you what I use and what works for us.

You’ll notice in my favorites, lavender is an essential herb to me. From teas to bath salts it is by far my favorite ingredient for rest and relaxation. It is as beautiful and fragrant in the herb garden as the rosemary plant, another of my favorites.

Lavender Tea

I use organic lavender flowers. I like a stronger flavored tea so I use 2 teaspoons of lavender flowers to a 6 to 8-ounce cup of boiling water. Use 1 teaspoon lavender flowers for a weaker tasting tea. Place the lavender flowers in the infuser of your choice and put it in your cup. Pour boiling water into the cup and cover it. Let it steep for 6 minutes. Remove the strainer ball and add the sweetener of your choice. I don’t like a very sweet tea so I only add one-half teaspoon of organic honey.

I like to turn on soft, relaxing music and sip my tea about 10 minutes before going to bed. It’s important to not watch TV, be on your computer, your tablet or phone 30 minutes to an hour before bed. The blue light had been proven to be a stimulation which prevents the body from falling into its natural circadian rhythm.

Lavender Oil

Lavender oil can be used in several ways to create a calm and relaxed atmosphere in your bedroom.

You can sprinkle lavender oil over your sheets and pillowcases and allow to dry before lying down.

You can use a diffuser to fill the air with the calming scent of lavender oil.

You can also make your own spray. Combine 6 ounces of water, 2 tablespoons of witch hazel, and 25 to 35 drops of lavender oil. Shake well to combine and mist the air and your bedding. Allow to dry before lying down. Be sure you shake the bottle well before each use. I keep a bottle of this beside the bed and use it frequently as an herbal sleep remedy.

Epsom Salt Bath

Epsom salt is considered a necessary part of any natural home. It’s many benefits and uses, I believe, are yet to be fully known. As an herbal sleep remedy, I find it to be most beneficial.

Pour 1 cup Epsom salt into the warmest bathwater you can stand. Add 15 to 20 drops of lavender oil and 10 to 15 drops of rosemary oil. Now, climb in and relax being careful to take deep breaths to inhale the relaxing, calming, herbal stress relief from the scent of the oils.

Valerian Root

If you have never smelled Valerian root, you will be shocked by its odor. To me, it smells like stinky feet. It can be taken in capsule form, added to tea, or crushed and added to warm milk. Granted, I’ve never been brave enough to try it in warm milk so I only have the word of friends who do this. I can’t stand the smell so I like to put it into a capsule and swallow it fast!

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is probably best known for its calming properties and is a great herbal sleep remedy. I like to mix chamomile flowers with lavender flowers for a brilliant, aromatic sleepy tea. For pure chamomile tea, place one teaspoon of chamomile tea into your tea ball and place it in a 6 to 8-ounce cup. Pour 6 to 8 ounces of boiling water over the strainer ball, cover and steep 4 to 5 minutes. Once steeped, you can add a sweetener of your choice. If I sweeten this tea, I usually only add one-half teaspoon raw, organic honey.

If you want to make my favorite, chamomile lavender tea, place three-fourths teaspoon chamomile and one teaspoon lavender in your infuser. I like a strong tea, but if you prefer a weaker tea use one-half teaspoon chamomile flowers and one-half teaspoon lavender flowers. Steep and sweeten as above.

Warm Milk

Yes, it’s true! Warm milk does make us sleepy. The reason it does may be surprising. Warm milk, like turkey, contains an amino acid known as tryptophan. Yep, the stuff that makes you sleepy after a large Thanksgiving meal.

While tryptophan does induce sleepiness when ingested in large doses, it’s more than this which causes warm milk to help us rest. There’s a psychological factor. Whether consciously or unconsciously, milk is associated with a mother’s love and care. For many people, warm milk creates feelings of comfort and warm memories which causes the brain to produce serotonin. Serotonin is the chemical in our bodies which gives us a sense of well-being and relaxation allowing us to sleep.

There is also a physical response to a glass of warm milk. The warm milk warms the tummy which warms the body. When the body is warm the muscles relax and our systems slow down as they naturally do before sleep.

More Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

• Have a bedtime routine. By doing the same things every night, you train your body to know when it’s time to sleep.

• Shut off all electronics an hour or at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

• Take a short, slow-paced walk about an hour before bath and bedtime.

• Remove all sources of ambient light from your bedroom. This includes alarm clocks, cell phones, nightlights, indicator lights on electronic equipment, anything that puts light into the room. If you need an alarm clock, turn it upside down where you can’t see the light, but it will still sound.

• Turn off the wi-fi signals in your house while sleeping. Place your cell phone on the opposite side of the room if you choose to leave your wi-fi signals on. It is medically proven that wi-fi signals penetrate the body and disturb sleep patterns.

• Read a book, a paper book, not on an electronic device.

• Some people enjoy falling asleep while listening to relaxing music.

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Home Remedies for Headaches Using Essential Oils and Herbs

Basil Health Benefits Include Pain Relief From Headaches

home-remedies-for-headache-lavender-essential-oil

Home remedies for headaches can be lifesavers when you find yourself coming down with a headache and don’t have any over-the-counter painkillers or can’t take a painkiller for whatever reason. As a lifelong sufferer of headaches (I had my first migraine at age 6!), I’ve found that very often I get better relief from my headaches when I use essential oils and herbs rather than over-the-counter painkillers and without any of the nasty side effects.

Over the years, I’ve tried lots of home remedies for headaches, and I’ve come back to this list of essential oils and fresh or dried herbs that work for me. Because everybody is different, and everyone’s headaches are caused by different factors, you might have to try more than one of these home remedies for headaches before you find one that works for you. You also might need to use different home remedies for headaches depending on what type of headache you have – migraine, stress headache or cluster headache.

Home Remedies for Headaches Using Essentials Oils

The key to using essential oils as home remedies for headaches is that you do not ingest them. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause serious side effects if taken internally.

Essential oils as home remedies for headaches includes the following.

  • Lavender – Lavender oil can be used for migraines and stress headaches.
  • Rose Geranium – This cooling essential oil works wonders for migraines caused by excessive heat in the body.
  • Nutmeg – Another wonderful warming essential oil that works well for migraine headaches, sometimes mixed with patchouli for tension headaches.
  • Peppermint – For migraines, peppermint essential oil is great for relieving both pain and nausea.
  • Rosemary – Rosemary essential oil is wonderful for both migraines and tension headaches caused by stress.

To use essential oils as home remedies for headaches, you have several options.

Apply the oil directly to the forehead and temples. If you choose to apply the essential oil directly to the skin, make sure it’s been diluted in a carrier oil like sweet almond, jojoba, sesame or sunflower. You can find bottles of plain carrier oils at most natural foods stores.

Make a cold or warm compress. Depending on what type of headache you have, you can use a cold or warm compress with a few drops of essential oil.

To make a warm compress, soak a soft hand towel in hot water, then wring it out and apply a few drops of essential oil to the center of the towel. Fold the towel into a long strip and apply it to the bridge of the nose, covering the eyes for a migraine. For a stress headache, you can apply the towel across the forehead or over the back of the neck.

To make a cold compress, you can soak a soft hand towel in ice water or wrap it around a pre-made frozen ice pack. Add a few drops of essential oil to the center of the towel before folding it around the ice pack or folding it into a strip and applying it to the head or neck.

Steaming with essential oils. Boil four cups of water for five minutes and remove from heat. Add a few drops of essential oil to the water. To inhale the steam, drape a towel or pillowcase over the head and place your head about 12 inches above the steam. Never place your head or your face directly in the steam – you could end up with a serious burn on your face.

Diffusing essential oils. Place a few drops of your preferred essential oils into a diffuser and place near your bed or desk. Another option for diffusing essential oils is to use a clay diffuser pendant worn throughout the day.

Home Remedies for Headaches Using Dried or Fresh Herbs

Herbal teas also make my list of favorite home remedies for headaches. For both tension headaches and migraines, sometimes a warm cup of herbal tea made with fresh herbs from my garden is exactly what I need to relieve the pain of a headache so I can get on with my life.

My favorite herbs from my garden to use as home remedies for headaches.

  • Basil – Growing basil for seasoning in soups and sauces is great, but fresh basil used in tea is also an effective home remedy for headaches.
  • Ginger – Most people know that ginger tea benefits include relief from stomach upset and discomfort, but it’s also effective at relieving the pain of a tension headache.
  • Peppermint – Another herb known for relieving gastric discomfort, peppermint is wonderful at relieving the pain and nausea of a migraine headache.
  • Licorice – Licorice is a wonderful preventative for migraine headaches.
  • Chamomile – The soothing effect of chamomile tea can help relieve a bad tension headache.

You can make an easy herbal tea out of any of these fresh herbs. Boil two to three cups of water, and remove from heat before adding six tablespoons of your chosen herb if using fresh herbs. You can add a bit of sweetener to taste. For some migraine headaches, it’s recommended that you allow the tea to cool to room temperature before straining and drinking. For dried herbs, use three tablespoons.

In a pinch, if you can’t make a tea out of your favorite herb, you can also chew a few leaves of fresh herbs as home remedies for headaches. Chewing a few leaves from a fresh rosemary plant or peppermint plant is one of my favorite “in a pinch” home remedies for headaches because it relieves both the pain and nausea that’s sometimes associated with my migraine headaches.

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How to Treat Arthritis Naturally

Healing Herbs List: Natural Treatments for Joint and Arthritis Pain

Treat Arthritis

If you or a loved one has ever experienced joint orrheumatoid arthritis pain, then you understand the importance of knowing how to treat arthritis naturally. More than one-third of the American population is affected by joint or arthritis pain. This represents more than 100 million people!

There are many known and unknown causes of joint and arthritis pain. A major cause in today’s American society is the sedentary lifestyle of the older generation and general lack of regular light exercise among people. Even those people who work outside a great deal of the time, homesteaders like me for example, need regular exercise. We get ours with walks and stretching.

Some people develop pain and have to learn how to treat arthritis naturally following an injury of some sort. Others have a hereditary factor involved. It doesn’t matter if the pain is a result of stress, lack of exercise, emotional disturbances, over exercise (yes, there is such a thing), injury, or heredity, the reason for the pain is inflammation in the body.

Inflammation in the body is a deadly culprit. Blood vessels are constricted, pain ensues, fluids are out of balance, lymph vessels get congested resulting in the buildup of toxins in the joints and muscles. This damage causes scar tissue which makes the joints stiff and painful. Scar tissue can be ripped or torn during exercise causing the cycle to start over again. So you see the dilemma this process can create.

Learning how to treat arthritis naturally can assuage the symptoms, alleviate the pain, and allow for movement in the affected joints. We can’t expect a natural remedy to provide the same result for everyone. Arthritis is a complicated issue. Yet, for those who try these and get relief naturally, they are a welcome addition to their remedy shelf.

Many years ago, we had a horse, Buffy, rescued after Hurricane Katrina. She was a 2-year-old Percheron. She had a weakness of being touched on the hind quarter because of how she was pinned in the barn as she stood in belly deep water until rescued. When anything brushed up against it, she would rear and buck. Well, to make a long story short, she cracked my pelvis, dislocated my hips more than once, and I now sport what we lovingly call my “Buffy finger” which is crooked after she broke it. Needless to say, I have had some pain in my hips and hands since then. Arthritis is prominent in my family history. So I use the knowledge of how to treat arthritis naturally every day.

Turmeric – My Personal Preference

Turmeric helps supports the health of the cartilage which lines the joints. It’s known to help lubricate the joints and to support the natural production of collagen and elastin in muscles and joints. This is important because these are often taken over by fibrous tissue which is part of the pain felt.

There are many ways to add turmeric to your diet. My personal favorite is to add a teaspoon of powdered turmeric to my coffee with a little raw milk or to add a teaspoon to my morning smoothie. Turmeric tea can be made in so many ways. It’s easily customizable to your tastes and preferences. Here are my favorite recipes for turmeric tea.

Basic Turmeric Tea Recipe

2 cups of water
Tea bag or loose tea of your choosing
1 teaspoon powdered turmeric
Sweetener of choice (I use raw, organic honey if I use any)

Directions:

Heat water to boiling
Add turmeric
Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes
Remove from the heat and pour over tea bag or infuser (I use loose Earl Grey)
Let steep 5 minutes, sweeten and enjoy!

Turmeric Milk

1 cup milk of your choice (coconut, almond, cow, goat…)
1 teaspoon powdered turmeric
1 – 1 ½ teaspoon of honey or sweetener of your choice

Directions:

In a pan, gently warm the milk, but do not boil
Add the turmeric and stir until turmeric is mixed in well.
Pour into your cup and add sweetener (I don’t use one for this recipe)
Add a small amount of the warmed milk and stir it into the mixture.

Ginger

Ginger is also known for its pain-relieving properties. There are many ginger tea benefits and it’s easy to make. I like to combine it with turmeric for an extra dose of anti-inflammatory properties. Those who suffer from chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid or osteoarthritis will find this is well worth trying. It has considerable results in reducing inflammation throughout the whole body.

Ginger Turmeric Tea

4 cups water
4 – 1” slices of fresh or dehydrated ginger or 1 tbsp powdered ginger
1 tbsp powdered turmeric

Sweetener of choice

Directions:

Add fresh or dehydrated ginger to water
Bring to a gentle boil and let boil gently for 8-10 minutes
Strain into cup and add turmeric mixing well
Sweeten to taste

Cayenne Pepper

I once knew a preacher who was around 80 years old, to the best knowledge, he wasn’t sure! He was energetic and would challenge the young men of the church to a contest to do “the wheel”. This is an exercise device used to work the abs. From a standing position, you roll yourself out perpendicular to the floor and back as many times as you could. I never saw a younger man beat him!

When you asked him what kept him so fit you would tell you, “Cayenne pepper, yep, yep, that’s what it is, cayenne pepper.” He took cayenne pepper in capsule form before every meal, he had it in a glass of water every morning, and I have seen him take a teaspoonful when he “wasn’t feeling quite right.” Now, I’m not recommending this to anyone, I’m just sharing the story of Bro. Earl Hughes, a Tennessee mountain preacher who has now gone on to heaven. No one knew exactly how old he was.

Of course, capsicum is responsible for the effects felt by those who use cayenne pepper. It’s known to be effective in reducing the pain of osteoarthritis. It’s pretty accepted the hotter the pepper, the higher the capsicum content, but I wouldn’t recommend your setting about taste testing that idea!

Besides capsules, teas, and powders, you can also get or make your own capsicum salves. BE SURE to wear protective gloves whenever you work with hot peppers, trust me I learned the hard way. You may want to test this on a small area first to be sure it isn’t too much for sensitive skin. I certainly wouldn’t use it on children.

Mix ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper powder with one cup coconut oil or aloe vera gel. Apply the rub to the affected area (remember to use gloves for mixing and applying). If you have leftovers, store in a container with a lid. Do not use this salve on your face — especially around the eyes, nose or mouth.

Magnesium – Epsom Salt

Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant. It’s a necessary nutrient for maintaining healthy muscles, especially the heart. Magnesium rich foods should be an essential part of everyone’s diets, but especially those who suffer from joint pain and know how to treat arthritis naturally. Foods rich in magnesium include black strap molasses (I use this for iron too), dark leafy greens like spinach, and nuts and beans.

Epsom salt is a necessary part of any natural homestead supply box. It’s magnesium sulfate. Epsom salt works by helping to pull excess fluids from tissues to reduce swelling.

My favorite Epsom salt soak:

Add one cup Epsom salt to your tub. Start water and stir the salt until dissolved. Get in the tub and get the water as warm as you can stand it. Add 15-20 drops of eucalyptus oil, 15-20 drops of tea tree oil, 10-15 drops of rosemary oil, and 10-15 drops of lavender oil. Soak for at least 15 minutes or until the water is too cool for you. Do this at least three times a week for chronic pain, but it’s not recommend to do it more than 4 or 5 times a week. If you are a diabetic, have serious heart conditions or unmanaged high blood pressure, don’t try this without your doctor’s advice.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Raw, organic apple cider vinegar is another ingredient I am never without. There are so many uses and benefits to this jewel, I’m actually finishing a book about how we use it from house to stable! Every morning, the first thing we drink is a 10-12 ounce glass of cool water with 2 teaspoonfuls of ACV mixed in. It’s the perfect way to break the fast of the night. This apple cider vinegar recipe jump starts the metabolism and restores electrolyte balance.

For those suffering from joint and muscle pain, drinking this mix 3 times a day is beneficial. I’ve read of some people who take it straight by the tablespoonful, but I’m not one of them. You can also place ACV on a cotton ball and rub it directly on the affected area. I’ve tried this and it works for me. When my husband had shingles, they immediately dried up and stopped hurting when we added raw, organic ACV with lavender oil to a cotton ball and applied it.

Old-timers swear by mixing ACV with honey. They say when a tablespoon of ACV is mixed with 1 teaspoon of honey in a glass of water “you’re instantly revived to go back to the field or barn and get the job done.” I have to admit, it does energize and restore those afternoon droops.

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Natural Pain Relievers from your Garden

Parsley Uses Make it Like a Vitamin Pill in a Plant

Natural Pain Relievers

Did you know that some of the most commonly grown culinary herbs are natural pain relievers? There’s a reason a sprig of parsley adorns your restaurant plate, and it’s not just for looks. Parsley uses and benefits number in the hundreds. Dill is a staple in pickles and has been used for ages in treating colic. That rosemary plant you’ve nurtured helps boost memory. Basil health benefits are numerous and include the prevention of bacterial infections. Lavender uses run the gamut from soothing frazzled nerves to adding aromatic flavor to beverages. So go ahead, eat your medicine! Here’s a list of my favorite culinary herbs that double as natural pain relievers and how to use them.

Basil: Beauty is Skin Deep

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Basils

Common sweet basil is one of nature’s best natural pain relievers. It helps alleviates the pain of arthritis, but it’s not hard on the tummy like some conventional medicines. Asian varieties have more healing power and can reduce blood glucose levels. Basil combats stress by acting as an “adaptogen” helping your body to adapt to those situations. Basil contains iron, potassium, and Omega 3 fatty acids, which offer excellent skin health.

Layer basil leaves with Parmesan cheese in a freezer-proof container. They will flavor each other during freezing. It’s wonderful on pizzas and pasta.

Dill: Build Strong Bones

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Dill

The little ones in our family love to pluck leaves from “the pickle herb” and munch on them. And what a bonus they get! Dill contains calcium, which is good for strong bones and teeth. Dill is effective against staph bacteria, as well.

Instead of buying dill seeds for growing, use what’s in your pantry. Like fennel and coriander, the seeds stay viable for a long time.

Add a sprinkling of fresh dill to steamed and buttered carrots.

Fennel: Good Digestion Starts Here

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Florence Fennel

Feathery and delicate looking, this savory licorice-tasting herb is a true pioneer when it comes to natural pain relievers. Fennel is good for digestion and alleviating appetite. The adult Shakers chewed fennel seeds during long ceremonies. Guess what they gave the little ones? They gave them dill seeds to keep active kids calm. Fennel, along with dill, is an ingredient in natural pain relievers, like gripe water for babies with colic.

For an herbal treat, layer fennel and Parmesan shavings with a drizzle of olive oil on each layer in a shallow dish. Season with freshly ground pepper.

Flax: Flax Your Muscles

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Flax seed

One of nature’s best vegan sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, flax is a good herb for a strong immune system, healthy brain, heart, skin, and nails. It contains iron, protein for strong muscles, and needed B vitamins. The fiber in flax helps maintain a healthy gut. Flax has to be ground (sometimes called flax seed meal) for your body to absorb it. Otherwise, you’d be just getting fiber (not a bad thing, though!).

I always add flax seed to my granola for extra crunch and nutrients. Sprinkle flax on cereals, casseroles or add to smoothies.

Garlic: Heart-Smart

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Garlic Scapes

All herbs in the garlic family are good for cardiac and lung health. Garlic has antibiotic properties and improves circulation and blood flow. The antioxidants it contains help fight free radicals. The slaves who built the pyramids ate garlic as a vegetable – it was known even then as a “good for you” food.

Make an herbal dipping oil by stirring in fresh minced oregano, rosemary and basil into fresh extra virgin olive oil. Store in refrigerator. Right before serving, stir in minced garlic. Serve with French baguettes.

Ginger: Natural Pain Reliever Calms Upset Tummy

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Ginger root

Ginger has been used for centuries as a remedy for stomach aches and other digestive discomforts, but it also has a lot to offer those with chronic pain and inflammation.

The pungent root has anti-inflammatory properties and lots of antioxidants, plus some analgesic ability. It can reduce the amount of pain you feel.

Ginger root makes a soothing, healing tea. Combined with lemon and honey, it will help cure upper respiratory illness.

Lavender: Mood Food

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Lavender

Lavender reduces stress, in part by lowering cortisol levels in the body. Sniff a fresh lavender sprig before you go to sleep. Its anti-bacterial qualities are legendary. It is said that during the plague, glove makers scented the inside of the gloves with lavender, and they were some of the few not infected.

For a yummy stress reliever, crush some lavender flowers or leaves into lemon juice when making lemonade. Sweeten as desired.

Mint: An Invigorating Digestive Aid

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Mint

I grew up with this herb, which we called “Nana” as kids. Peppermint is still my favorite mint. Mint invigorates the senses, quells nausea, and aids digestion. Peppermint is especially helpful after a high fat meal. Mint contains vitamin C which we need to replenish daily.

Stir fresh chopped mint into strained Greek yogurt. Add some minced garlic. Stir in minced cucumber drained well. Add a pinch or two of salt and you’ve just made the classic Tzatziki dip!

Oregano: Immunity Booster and Sniffle Stopper

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Golden oregano

Oregano is an effective antibiotic and anti-fungal herb. Plus oregano is a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Good for yeast and nail fungal infections. Its antibiotic qualities help reduce the duration of a cold.

With its strong flavor, a little oregano goes a long way. It’s a staple in my bean soups. Add it at the beginning of cooking time so that the flavor has a chance to bloom.

Parsley: A Multi-Vitamin in a Plant

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Curly parsley

Parsley is like a vitamin pill in a plant. It contains more calcium than milk, more iron than spinach or liver, more beta-carotene than a carrot and more vitamin C than an orange! Plus, it contains chlorophyll for freshening breath. Parsley promotes healthy skin and kidneys. With its gentle diuretic qualities, parsley is an effective kidney cleanser.

Parsley is key to my family’s tabouleh, that amazing bulghur wheat and vegetable salad. For those in your family who are green challenged, stir a few sprigs of parsley into canned soups while heating. It will work its magic during the heating process. Just remove the sprigs before serving. I won’t tell! Garnish with chopped parsley for a pop of color and nutrients.

Rosemary: For Remembrance

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Common rosemary

Rosemary’s strong piney, camphor-citrus like flavor along with its disinfectant and antibacterial qualities made it a popular strewing herb in olden days for cleaning floors and sick rooms. “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” Well, I guess Shakespeare was pretty smart when he coined that phrase since rosemary indeed helps our memories and mind. Rosemary enhances blood flow to the brain, and with its abundance of calcium, a glass of rosemary tea can help calm and have a positive effect on the mind.

Top a steak with an herb butter made with rosemary, thyme, parsley, garlic, cayenne pepper and blue cheese.