Natural health remedies are having a serious moment on the wellness scene right now. Whether it’s oil pulling to cure a myriad of concerns, or applying apple cider vinegar to your skin to clear up acne, your grocery store can be a pretty effective place to find health fixes.
So, if you want to try out natural solutions to common health complaints, keep reading. We rounded up 50 of our favorites right here–but remember, if you’re really worried, you should always see a doctor.
1. Bad breath: Try oil pulling.
If you find yourself avoiding getting up-close with people for fear of your own bad breath–and brushing and flossing twice daily does nothing to help, try this. Oil pulling fans swear by the technique’s ability to freshen breath for way longer than an Altoid or packet of gum. Simply swish around a table spoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes each day before cleaning your teeth. Interested? Check out a bunch of other benefits of swishing with oil here.
2. Cold and Flu: Try Dark, Leafy Greens
Nutritionist and Instagram sensation, Jessica Sepel, recommends eating dark, leafy greens and Vitamin C to prevent colds and flus: “I am a firm believer in whole foods to provide immune support–dark, leafy greens are always my go-to.
When it comes to supplements, Vitamin C is a staple on my desk because it attacks the nucleic acid of the virus–and it keeps attacking the bacteria until it’s dead. I love Nature’s Way Whole Foods Vitamin C because it’s created with gorgeous whole food sources like Amla Berry, Acerola Cherry and Camu Camu. Because they’re whole foods they’re more bio-available to our bodies, which actually increases their immune-boosting properties.”
3. PMS: Try Magnesium
Magnesium is key in easing PMS symptoms for many women. Sepel explains that “it helps calm and relax the body, which helps with cramps.”Look to foods like almonds, sunflower seeds, and greens like spinach and broccoli, for a natural dose of magnesium.
4. Indigestion: Try peppermint
Peppermint, peppermint tea, and peppermint oil are essential for relieving stomach issues like indigestion, nausea, gas, and cramps.
5. Weak, brittle nails: Try massaging coconut oil into your nails
Ditch the artificial additives in drug store moisturizers for natural coconut oil.
6. Anxiety: Try meditation.
If you suffer from anxiety, it could pay off to try meditation before you start popping pills–here’s how. Chronic stress has been linked to people with increased risk of Heart Disease, weight gain, sleep problems, and memory and concentration impairment. In studies, daily meditation has also been proven to help manage the symptoms of anxiety disorders, sleep disorders, depression, heart disease, and cancer. Translation: Meditation actually works, so you should try it.
7. Dry and flaky skin: Try honey
Not only is it cheaper than anything in the beauty aisle, honey softens and moisturizes dry skin, and can be applied directly to problem areas.
8. Headaches: Try acupuncture.
Acupuncture has been used to treat headaches since the beginnings of Traditional Chinese Medicine. A study in 2009 showed acupuncture helped reduce the intensity and frequency of headaches in frequent sufferers.
9. Weight problems: Try good fats
If you’ve been gaining weight lately and it won’t seem to budge, Sepel recommends incorporating more healthy fats into your diet and avoiding anything marked as low-fat or fat-free.
“Low fat and fat-free foods are loaded with sugar, and the body stores extra sugar as fat. Don’t be afraid of good fats like avocado, olive oil, nuts and seeds–they give you an energy boost and keep you full longer. And learn to love veggies –they’re loaded with fiber and B-vitamins, which help purify your system. A clean body is a lean body,” she said.
10. Period pain: Try Vitamin D
Hot water bottles, painkillers, and stretching are all common ways to relieve period pain, but here’s one you probably haven’t heard of: Vitamin D. A small group of women who usually suffered severe menstrual cramps experienced significantly less pain when they were given ultra-high dose of Vitamin D five days before their next expected period.
11. Sore lower back: Try Pilates
Strengthening your abdominal muscles through muscle-lengthening exercises like Pilates can dramatically improve lower back pain.
12. Eczema: Try magnesium baths
Magnesium bath salts have been known to relieve eczema.
13. Headaches: Try peppermint oil
Peppermint oil is often applied to the skin to help relieve a headache. When it’s applied to the skin, peppermint oil can cause surface warmth, which relieves pain beneath the skin.
14. Stress: Try avoiding caffeine.
Caffeine increases adrenaline in the body, which can cause stress, so avoid at all costs if you’re feeling tense.
15. Sore muscles: Try ice therapy
While a warm bath will give sore, over-worked muscles immediate relief, icing with crushed ice wrapped in a damp towel actually prevents further muscle damage and can speed up the muscle’s recovery process.
16. Arthritis or joint pain: Try turmeric
Turmeric is a bright yellow herb that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine across India and China for 2,000 years. Anecdotal evidence shows it’s useful in treating inflammation of the soft tissue in arthritis cases. Try a turmeric tea, or sprinkle it over your food when cooking.
17. Urinary tract infections: Try a liver detox cleanse
While a dose of antibiotics prescribed from your doctor will usually get rid of a urinary tract infection, Sepel notes that they can be also be a sign of candida, which can be helped naturally.
“I recommend a liver-detox cleanse to help flush out the system. My ‘Restart Plan’ is a healthy, easy and really yummy way to cut some the sugary, inflammatory foods that feed yeast and ease frequent UTIs,” she said.
18. Hangover: Try coconut water and bananas
Coconut water is a powerful hydrator–which is key after a big night out drinking–and has five electrolytes our bodies need: Potassium, sodium, magnesium, phosphorous, and calcium. The body also loses potassium when you drink alcohol, and bananas will help you to replenish.
19. Vertigo: Try basil
Basil is a traditional aromatherapy treatment for vertigo: Add leaves to the boiling water and breath in the steam to help with vertigo.
20. Pimples: Try Apple cider vinegar
“I love using apple cider vinegar on blemishes–it works wonders! Just dab a little on the spot and you’ll notice improvement overnight,” Sepel said.
21. Nicotine cravings: Try exercise
Just quit smoking? Good for you. Try exercising for 30 minutes every day–it’s been shown to help with cravings and could help you kick the habit.
22. Nauseas: Try ginger
Ginger has been used for thousands of years to help with nausea and diarrhea. Add some chopped, fresh ginger with lemon into hot water for a delicious way to beat nausea.
23. Hiccups: Try apple cider vinegar
Sounds random, right? Apple cider vinegar has a lot of uses, but the sharp and sour flavor has been shown to get rid of hiccups–miracle! And while we’re at it, here are 15 other genius (and natural) ways to stop them.
24. Anemic: Try green vegetables, red meat, and liver
Low energy levels? You might want to check your iron levels. It’s important that women eat plenty of iron, so check whether your intake of leafy green vegetables and red meat is high enough.
25. Dry cuticles: Try honey, aloe vera, and olive oil
Combine raw honey, aloe vera juice and olive oil in bowl, then use as a natural hand cream and massage onto cuticles. Repeat this several times each week.
26. Urinary tract infections: Try cranberry juice
According to Web MD, research suggests that the beneficial substances in cranberry juice could reach the urinary tract and prevent bacterial adhesion within eight hours. If your UTIs are recurring, however, get to the doctor.
27. Muscle cramps: Try magnesium
Low magnesium levels result in a buildup of lactic acid, causing pain and tightness in your muscles.”I use both a supplement as well as Epsom salt in baths to get an extra hit of this awesome mineral while I’m relaxing in the tub,” Sepel said.
28. Body odor: Try drinking liquid chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is the dark green pigment found in plants, and has a molecular structure to hemoglobin (the substance that’s responsible for transporting oxygen around the body.) Add a tablespoon to your bottle of water to boost red blood cells, improve oxygen, increase energy, help body odor, protect from cancer, help regulate bowel movements, and increase your intake of magnesium, vitamins, folic acid, iron, calcium and protein.
29. Asthma: Try fish oil and Vitamin C
Some suffers have found that upping their intake of fish oil and Vitamin C helped relieve symptoms. Why not get your doctor’s advice, and then give it a try?
30. Sweating: Try potato
Nope, we’re not giving you an excuse to eat potato chips (sorry!) Instead, rub raw, sliced potato under your arms to prevent excess sweating.
31. Smelly feet: Try baking soda and lemon.
Soak your feet in a mixture of water, baking soda, and lemon to control odor, kill bacteria and fungus, and soften your skin.
32. Gassy and bloated: Try activated charcoal
Activated charcoal is said to be detoxifying and help reduce gas.
33. Hip pain: Try minerals
Minerals like boron, copper, manganese, silicon, and zinc can help treat osteoarthritis.
34. Cracked heels: Try hydrogenated vegetable oil on the feet
First, clean and dry your feet, and then massage the oil into your heels as a natural moisturizer.
35. Rosacea: Try anti-inflammatory herbs
Rosacea is thought to be possibly caused by an abnormal immune or inflammatory response, and some empirical evidence suggests an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce the symptoms.
36. Digestion issues: Try warm lemon water and probiotics
Sepel recommends warm water with lemons in the morning: “One of my top tips is warm lemon water. I enjoy this hydration boost every morning to prepare my body for digestion and detoxification. Probiotics are also essential, whether it’s in supplement form or probiotic-rich foods like fermented vegetables, tempeh and organic yoghurt. I also encourage my clients to cut gluten for a few weeks as it causes bloating and digestive discomfort for so many,” she said.
37. Infected cut: Try honey
Honey has antibacterial qualities and is one of the world’s oldest treatments for wounds and cuts.
38. Dry, dull hair: Try silica and zinc
Silica and zinc are key for beautiful, shiny hair, and are found in so many foods. “For hair growth, silica is key,” Sepel explained, recommending we “include lots of green leafy vegetables, cucumber, zucchini, mango, and beans. Zinc is equally important and can be found in things like eggs, pecans, Brazil nuts, and fresh oysters. Oily fish is another must for shiny hair.”
39. Irritable bowel syndrome: Try peppermint
Make a peppermint tea or suck on a peppermint lolly to help ease IBS.
40. Runny nose: Try a salt water rinse
Warm water and salt could be all you need to get rid of that runny nose.
41. Insomnia: Try cherry juice
In a 2010 study, participants who drank cherry juice twice a day fell asleep sooner than those who drank a placebo beverage. Why not give it a go?
42. Dandruff: Try baking soda
Swap your shampoo for baking soda. Simply wet your hair and then rub baking soda into your scalp, and rinse. This can reduce the overactive fungi that can cause dandruff.
44. Constipation: Try eating prunes
Prunes are an age-old home remedy when it comes to constipation, thanks to the high fibre count, and a compound called dihydroxyphenyl isatin that invigorates the intestines and colon into action.
45. Dry cough: Try licorice root tea
Licorice is a traditional treatment for cough, though studies have shown mixed results as to whether it works. Tastes great though, so why not give it a go?
46. Rash or itchy skin: Try a clay mask
Applying bentonite clay masks to the skin has been shown to help with itching and a number of other skin issues–even acne.
47. Chronic acne: Try cutting out dairy and processed sugar
Sepel suggests ditching dairy and processed sugar to help with chronic acne: “I recommend clients take a six week break from dairy if they’re dealing with chronic acne. Many will notice that their inflammation and redness goes down quite quickly. Cut processed sugar, too,” she said.
48. Fatigue: Try ginseng
Gingseng extract is an age-old cure for fatigue–you’ve probably noticed it in many energy drinks. Try a ginseng tea and ditch all the nasty additives in fizzy energy sodas.
49. Hair loss: Try eating more salmon
Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids–a nutrient that nourishes the hair shaft and the cell membranes in your scalp. Plus, they increase your hair’s, which can help prevent it from breaking off in your hair brush.
50. Toenail fungus: Try tea tree oil
Officially, the jury is out on this one. However tea tree oil is thought to be effective against several fungus species, and there’s plenty of buzz on the blogosphere about the oil’s ability.