An adventurer by nature, I jump right in when a natural method of healing comes to my attention as long as it makes sense and seems safe. In my research in the field, I have noticed that the remedies that actually work the best are the ones that grandma used to push. We may not see her as much as we’d like, but her old-fashioned natural remedies still prove strong for our children— and we parents, too.

Here is a list of some common ailments and a round-up of natural solutions that rely on grandma’s best remedies to alleviate symptoms.

  • Coughs: A great sweetener, honey is also loaded with antioxidants and has been known to alleviate coughs. In fact, studies have shown that buckwheat honey may provide better relief of nighttime coughs than over-the-counter cough syrups.
  • Upset Stomachs: Ginger has a long history as a digestive remedy. While studies confirm the root is useful for treating nausea and vomiting, research also suggests ginger may help fight inflammation. Boil ginger in hot water with a some sugar or just drink flat ginger ale to calm an upset stomach.
  • Sore Throats: It may be deceptively simple, but gargling with warm salt water can help ease sore throat symptoms and keep you healthier during flu season. Salt actually draws out the fluid from your inflamed throat tissues, helping to kill bacteria. Add half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and gargle away.
  • Nasal Congestion: Eucalyptus oil has been shown effective for treating a number of respiratory problems, including coughs, runny noses, sore throats, asthma and nasal congestion. Combine a few drops of eucalyptus oil with peppermint oil and rub on the chest, back or neck for soothing comfort.
  • Colds and Flu: A fever is your body’s natural response to an infection. This unique treatment consists of giving yourself an artificial fever to shorten the duration of a cold or the flu by killing off the infection. Draw a hot bath and make a cup of hot tea. Sit in the bath for at least 20 minutes and drink your tea. Afterward, get up carefully­ as you may feel a bit light-headed, then wrap a sheet around your body. Don’t even dry yourself off. Instead, get under some heavy covers and relax for at least 20 minutes during which you let your body sweat it out. Of course, if you already have a high fever (above 102 degrees), you do not need to do this. You can also put a cool compress on your forehead to keep your head cooler during the process.

No matter what grandma says, one of the most important things we can do to keep our bodies healthy is to have a good night’s sleep. There is nothing better than opening your eyes in the morning and feeling rested. Though often ignored, good sleep is one of the cornerstones of health. Too much or too little sleep can have adverse effects on your well-being.

If you want a drug-free solution to help you drift off to dreamland, there are many options to choose from depending on what’s troubling you. If you suffer from nighttime nasal congestion, a product like Maty’s Breathe Better Nasal Ointment helps alleviate stuffiness. The blend of coconut oil, grapefruit seed extract, lemon balm and cayenne pepper assists in promoting a healthy nasal environment to help you breathe easier throughout the night. Maybe you’ll even enjoy waking to nature’s alarm clock, the sun.

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