In America we usually turn to pills and medicine for even the tiniest of aches and pains. When you’ve got a headache, stuffy nose, or indigestion you reach for a bottle in the medicine cabinet. But there are many ways to treat these everyday ailments with safe, natural remedies. These herbs, diet strategies, and supplements may take longer to work than their conventional counterparts, but they may prove to be even more effective in the long run because they target the root of the problem instead of just suppressing the symptoms. Here are ways to naturally treat five common ailments.


For minor pains and headaches you should consider Tiger Balm, according to Andrew Weil M.D. Tiger Balm is a Chinese ointment that contains menthol, which creates a warm and tingling sensation that will ease pain when rubbed into your temples.

For headaches triggered by stress you can massage a few drops of lavender essential oil onto your temples, according to herbalist Deb Soule. Lavender has been shown to promote relaxation and will ease away the stress that caused the headache. Soule also recommends willow bark and meadow-sweet which both have anti-inflammatory properties that can relieve headaches.


For colds you can take a dropperful of echinacea tincture in water four times a day at the sign of cold symptoms until they subside. This can shorten colds, although results of studies are mixed on its effectiveness. Another possibility is elderberry syrup, which has been suggested by studies to combat the flu and also ease the symptoms of the common cold.

To help fight off colds diet matters too. You should eat plenty of raw or lightly cooked garlic and add thyme to soups or salad dressings. The anti-viral compounds contained can help combats commons viruses.


You can use natural remedies to rid yourself of a cough first before turning to medicine. You can loosen phlegm by adding either crushed eucalyptus or sage leaves to a pot of boiling water and then breathing in deeply. Other herbs can calm a cough, like mullein leaf, licorice root, and marshmallow root. You can find teas containing these herbs and then sip on a few cups throughout the day for relief.


For those pesky seasonal allergies like hay fever, you can try the herb butterbur which eases allergies without causing drowsiness. Try to find brands free of pyrrolizidine alkaloids which have been linked to liver damage. This herb can be taken at meals in 50 to 100 mg dosages twice daily. Quercetin, found in apples and onions, may also fight allergy symptoms. This is preventative however and needs six to eight weeks to build up in your system.

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