Natural Cures That Are Supported by Science

Natural remedies are becoming more and more popular. Many Americans reading this may use some form of alternative  — or “integrative” as it is now called — medicine. So why are so many people keen to try something else these days? Patients are dissatisfied with the small amount of time and care they get with their doctors and with doctors who prescribe a pill for every ill. But do these sorts of “natural” treatments even work? Some do, and, according to science, these are the most effective natural remedies you can try.

Lemon and warm water to aid digestion and prevent kidney stones

Lemon and water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, usually 20 minutes before a meal, is a popular Ayurvedic health tonic used to aid in digestion and boost immunity.

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Aside from the healthy dose of vitamin C and potassium, there’s some evidence that the citric acid in lemon juice and the lemon rind really helps several uses, including aiding in digestion and preventing kidney stones. Grandma starts the day with a mug of hot water (not boiling), the juice of half a lemon, and a little (organic) zest. I like adding a spoonful of honey for its antimicrobial properties and a pinch of turmeric to help with digestion and reduce inflammation.

Gargle with Saltwater

When I feel a sore throat coming on, grandma tells me to gargle with saltwater in the morning and before bed. It turns out that a saltwater gargle is recommended by health professionals, not in place of treatment, but to reduce uncomfortable symptoms from illnesses like the common cold. You can try a scant teaspoon of salt dissolved in a glass of warm water to soothe a sore throat.

Honey as an antimicrobial

Since ancient times and across cultures, honey has been used to dress wounds and burns, sustain blood sugar, relieve sore throats and coughs, treat allergies, and more. Honey is a natural antimicrobial; you can have a spoonful to soothe a cough or apply honey directly to clean burns or wounds. Sounds delicious!

Meditation as an immunity booster

A 2012 study looked at whether mindfulness meditation helps reduce stress, an exercise regimen, or a control group. Those in the meditation group were more resistant to colds than the others, and though more research needs to be done on the physical side, you really can’t go wrong with the mental benefits you’ll get, too.

Chamomile for anxiety and depression

Chamomile has been used for thousands of years throughout Europe and other continents to ease anxiety, sleeplessness, and gastrointestinal complaints. It’s also applied topically to soothe skin ailments. The most common variety is German chamomile, which was used to make teas, salves, and tinctures. It turns out that chamomile not only works to ease anxiety but also may function as a mild antidepressant — and the benefits don’t stop there.

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The best cure for white-knuckled nighttimes is a steaming pot of chamomile tea served with a touch of honey.