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28 Natural Cures That Work

While several remedies have been around for centuries, are there natural cures that actually work? According to science, these 28 remedies really do!

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Whether succumbing to illness or struggling through a painful sinus headache, some depend on natural cures to ease some of the body's most stressful aches and woes. 

While several natural cures and remedies have been around for centuries, not all have proven to be effective at managing their indicated condition.

So, the question is: Are there natural cures that work? According to sound evidence, these 28 remedies really do!

Natural Cures and Remedies

1. Black Cohosh for Hot Flashes

This natural cure dates back centuries ago, as black cohosh was used by Native Americans to help women's health conditions regarding menstrual cramps, muscle pain, indigestion, and hot flashes. 

A study published in the Journal of Education and Health Promotion suggests supplementing with black cohosh effectively reduces hot flash severity and quantity and improves quality of life. 

But when it comes to cohosh, it is also important that you avoid blue cohosh, which can potentially be harmful.

2. Female Ginseng for PMS

"Female ginseng," also known as dong quai, relieves premenstrual syndrome symptoms such as cramps thanks to its antispasmodic properties. 

Dong quai may also stabilize irregular menstrual cycles and infrequent periods, particularly in women who stop taking birth control pills.

3. Mint for Memory

The ingestion and smell of mint has been shown to have brain stimulation effects and enhance memory. Chewing gum can also improve long-term and working memory, along with increasing alertness and mental performance.

4. Turmeric for Arthritis Pain

Turmeric is an extensive list of health benefits, including improving arthritic pain and symptoms. 

The Arthritis Foundation reports several studies indicate turmeric bares anti-inflammatory properties and modifies immune system responses, including preventing and reducing joint inflammation and easing pain in those living with osteoarthritis (OA) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Dosing recommendations for OA typically involves 400 milligrams (mg) to 600 mg capsules three times per day or 0.5 grams (g) to 1 g of powdered root up to 3 g per day. For RA, 500 mg twice daily is endorsed.

5. Steam to Clear Up Sinus Headaches

This "old school" natural cure actually works, as inhaling steam can flush out your nasal passages, which will help relieve the sinus pressure that can often cause sinus headaches. 

If you feel like trying this natural cure the next time you feel a sinus headache coming on, add a drop of peppermint or eucalyptus oil – when smelling more potent things such as the oil, this can cause tingling sensation in the nasal membrane and act as a decongestant.

6. Olive Oil for Diabetes Management

Though olive oil should not displace a sound diabetes management plan, adding it to meals helps to reduce after meal blood sugar levels.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar also for Diabetes

The acetic acid found in apple cider vinegar displays usefulness in blocking starch, successively helping to reduce blood sugars. 

Consuming the vinegar before meals and at bedtime has also shown to lower post-meal and fasting glucose levels according to an updated post from Diabetes Self-Management.

8. Pomegranate Juice for Muscle Recovery

Pomegranate juice may promote greater muscle recovery between training sessions, which poses the opportunity to maintain a comfortable, consistent exercise regimen.

9. Tart Cherry Juice for Sore Muscles

The powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of tart cherries can treat and prevent sore muscles. Evidence published in the Journal of the International Society of Sport Nutrition found ingesting tart cherry juice for 7 days prior to and during a strenuous running event can minimize post-run muscle pain.

10. Meditation for Dystonia

Dystonia is a movement disorder in which muscles contract involuntarily, which causes repetitive or twisting movements. 

Though there is no known cure at this time, natural home remedies for dystonia symptoms include meditation and deep breathing. According to the Mayo Clinic, both might ease stress that can worsen spasms.

11. Frankincense for Oral Health

The astringent and antiseptic properties of Frankincense make it beneficial for oral health, as it can be used in a homemade toothpaste or mouthwash to naturally reduce bad bacteria in the mouth. 

The oil may also alleviate mouth sores and toothaches.

12. Baking Soda for Canker Sores

Baking soda can help relieve canker sores by balancing pH and reducing inflammation. 

Make a rinse by dissolving 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a ½ cup of water, swish in the mouth for 15 to 30 seconds, and repeat as needed.

13. Bananas for Hangovers

If happy hour got too happy, noshing on bananas may be your ticket to recovery. Bananas assist in hangover relief by providing carbohydrate to stabilize blood sugars and replenishing lost electrolytes.

14. Ginger for Upset Stomach

Well-known in alternative medicine as a natural cure, ginger is often used to treat an upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting (and perhaps that hangover).

Studies have also revealed ginger may be an applicable treatment for women experiencing morning sickness and those facing post-operative nausea.

15. Echinacea for the Common Cold

WebMD details taking certain echinacea products during initial cold symptoms can modestly reduce symptoms of the common cold, further proposing vitamin C, zinc, and Echinacea may help shorten the length of colds by a day or so.

16. Lavender Oil for Stress

Lavender oil may reduce feelings of stress, anxiety, and tension by stimulating a calming effect on the central nervous system. Apply to a small amount onto skin, spray on pillows, or add to a diffuser to induce relaxation.

17. Chamomile Tea for Nerves

In addition to lavender oil, drinking chamomile tea also shows to calm nerves, reduce anxiety, and improve overall well-being thanks to its soothing and relaxing effects.

18. Salt Water for Sore Throat

A saltwater gargle is one of the most common home remedies for a sore throat, particularly by providing symptomatic relief and offering preventative benefits.

WebMD reports gargling works by "creating a high-salt barrier and you're pulling out a lot of fluids from the tissues in the throat area, so you're washing the virus out. The salt functions as a magnet for water. It's good for symptomatic relief. And you end up swallowing some of it, so it's sort of helping you with dehydration as well."

Mix a ½ teaspoon of table salt with 8 ounces of warm water, gargle the solution, then spit it out. Repeat the gargling process a few times each day.

19. Coconut Oil for Hair Growth

Though often used in the kitchen, research shows coconut oil reduces protein loss in both damaged and undamaged hair. More interestingly, though, the results were compared to mineral oil and sunflower oil, two oils commonly found in hair products. 

Researchers suggest the reduction in protein loss is related to coconut oil’s composition, as it is able to penetrate the hair shaft.

20. Psyllium for Constipation

Psyllium is one of the most well-recognized fiber sources, even comprising many common over-the-counter laxatives such as Metamucil. Psyllium is a natural cure for constipation by absorbing water in the intestine, which makes stools firmer and more regular. 

(Just remember to ensure adequate fluids, too!)

21. Black Seed Oil for Asthma

Based on a compiled literature review, black seed could be beneficial in improving different asthma outcomes, including reducing airway inflammation and managing symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. 

Benefits are primarily related to the oil's anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine effects.

22. Rhodiola for Low Energy

Rhodiola is a well-known adaptogen showing to protect cells from damage and grant a number of health benefits to the body, including battling fatigue. 

Research published in Complementary Medicine Research indicates 400 mg of rhodiola daily may be a successful treatment in those suffering from prolonged or chronic fatigue, while likewise showing to be safe and tolerable.

23. Tea Tree Oil for Toenail Fungus

Thanks to its antimicrobial characteristics, applying 100 percent tea tree oil over a six-month duration is used to treat nail fungal infections according to Drugs.com.

24. Aloe Vera for Sunburn

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends a moisturizer that contains aloe vera or soy to help sooth the skin. 

Aloe also aids in the healing of sunburns and may slow or prevent skin peeling.

25. Cranberry Juice to Prevent UTI's (Urinary Tract Infections)

This natural cure may sound like an old wives' tale, but cranberry juice for UTIs may actually work! The compounds in cranberry juice can maintain urinary tract infection and fight against bacteria, subsequently defending from a UTI. 

But guzzling down the juice is not recommended to treat a UTI, as your doctor will advise some sort of action plan, mostly including an antibiotic. 

Also when selecting cranberry juice, watch out for juice high in sugar and make sure the juice is at least 20 percent pure cranberry.

26. Iron for Restless Leg Syndrome

Iron deficiency may cause restless leg syndrome, a condition in which the nervous system causes an impulse of leg movements. 

Supplementation with the mineral shows to markedly improve, if not eliminate, the RLS symptoms according to the Johns Hopkins Center for Restless Legs Syndrome.

27. Elderberry for Flu Symptoms

Research shows the use of elderberry could shorten the duration of flu by about four days, presenting to be an efficient, safe and cost-effective treatment for influenza. along with lessening symptom severity if taken within the first 24 hours of having the flu.

28. Coffee Scrub for Cellulite

According to the American of Dermatology, "Products containing caffeine may dehydrate cells, which can make cellulite less obvious." But "to maintain the results, you'll have to apply the product every day."

Written By Sarah Asay, RDN. Published on November 07, 2012. Updated on April 15, 2019.

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