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Got a cold or a headache? You most likely have relief in your kitchen. Home remedies can fight these illnesses and others for many of us.

Why and When to Use Home Remedies

There are many reasons to want to try something at home versus a pharmaceutical solution for a medical concern. Natural medications may cost less and are usually better for the environment. There's also the motivation to reduce chemical intake.

But how do you know when to use a home remedy and when you need to get additional medical help? Before using any treatment, do your research to make sure you understand the directions, use and expected benefits. You should check with your medical provider when in doubt.

Foods with Healing Powers

There are medicinal benefits to many common foods, spices and herbs. Below are a few foods and some of their benefits you might use in a home remedy.

Honey

Honey provides more than sweetness, it also has been used for centuries in medicine. Don't put butter on a mild burn; use honey. You can actually buy medicinal honey at natural health stores.

It is also wonderful for nagging coughs in children over one and adults. One teaspoon before bed performs better than cough syrup in one study.

Ginger

One of my childhood memories consists of my parents giving me ginger ale whenever I had an upset stomach. The ginger in the drink is known to provide nausea relief especially with motion sickness or morning sickness.

There are many folk treatments using ginger root, tea or some other form that have not borne out scientifically.

Coffee

This is a drink that has scientific backing for many health claims. Coffee consumption can relieve headaches and prevent the chance of many disease including prostate cancer, Alzheimer's, gout, Parkinson's disease and more.

Be sure what you add to the coffee doesn't work against those health benefits!

Olive Oil

Besides adding great flavor to foods, this unsaturated oil has many uses in health. The mild laxative quality not only is a stool softener but also can be used to soften ear wax.

Longer term benefits are lowered blood cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.

Baking Soda

Not only is baking soda great for home cleaning it has medicinal applications. Make a paste of baking soda and water and apply on mild burns. It is also helpful to relieve itching from allergic reaction rashes whether it is from poison oak or detergent.

These are just a few of your kitchen staples that can provide more than just flavor to your meals. What super foods do you use for good health and home remedies?

Photo: Some rights reserved by Siona Watson

About Kay Lynn

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