Quick Natural Cures
1. Soak a washcloth in cold water, then lie down and put the compress over your abdomen. Some naturopaths and Asian medicine healers believe that the cold compress pulls energy from the head to the torso, relieving much of the pent-up stress responsible for keeping you awake.
2. Drink a cup of valerian tea at bedtime. Valerian root, available in tea bags at health-food stores, contains valepotriates and other sleep-inducing compounds. A traditional remedy for anxiety as well as sleeplessness, it is recommended by Commission E, the German equivalent of the US Food and Drug Administration.
Chamomile, hops and lavender teas will also help you rest, but they are not as potent as valerian root.
Ginger is the best remedy for all forms of nausea, including motion and morning sickness. The active ingredient, gingerol, is more effective than over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Each day you have nausea, drink two to three cups of ginger ale that contains natural ginger. This variety is available at health-food stores. The ginger-flavored ingredients in commercial brands of ginger ale won’t have the same effect. As an alternative, make ginger tea. To prepare, chop about one tablespoon of fresh ginger root and steep it in hot water for about 10 minutes. Drink one to three cups daily.
Most people have heard that gargling with warm saltwater reduces sore throat pain. However, few prepare and use the mixture properly. Add three teaspoons of table salt to one cup of warm water and stir. Gargle with a full one-cup mixture at least two to three times daily. Viruses, which cause colds, can’t survive in a high-salt environment.
Most headaches are caused by muscle tension and/or emotional stress. Millions of Americans can’t take aspirin or other painkillers because of allergies, drug interactions or side effects, such as stomach irritation. Using your thumb and forefinger, squeeze the area between your upper lip and nose for five seconds. Repeat as needed. This technique blocks nerve signals and reduces headache pain in many sufferers.
Briefly apply ice to the side of the neck to interrupt the reflex that causes hiccups.
If you are craving sweets, rinse your mouth with one teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in a glass of warm water. Do not swallow. The craving should disappear immediately.