How to Use Natural Remedies

Three Methods:Treating Physical AilmentsPreventing IllnessImproving Mental Health

Natural remedies are a way to treat minor ailments that can be safely dealt with at home. Because of this, natural remedies are useful for preventing excessive trips to the doctor. It is helpful to know what types of remedies are available and how to use them, but you should seek professional health advice for any diagnosis or treatment suited to your specific needs.

Method 1
Treating Physical Ailments

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    Look at using essential oils. Many people find relief using essential oils to treat everything from headaches to bug bites. For example, some oils have analgesic results when used on the skin (relieving pain) or anti-inflammatory effects on muscles. [1]
    • For example, chamomile essential oil has been known to stop headaches and muscle spasms related to PMS.
    • Lavender essential oil is commonly used to treat insomnia because its scent promotes relaxation.
    • Peppermint essential oil is often used to relieve headaches and muscle aches because of its anti-inflammatory properties. (This oil should be avoided around children under age 6.)
    • Essential oils should be diluted with a carrier oil like olive oil or coconut oil and rubbed onto the skin. It is very important to only use two or three drops at a time, and to always use them with a carrier oil to keep them from irritating your skin. Do research before using them on children.
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    Investigate herbal remedies. Herbs are another treatment option that many people use. Most kitchens are stocked with herbs for cooking, making them cheap and easy to access.[2]
    • For example, the spice turmeric can relieve muscle soreness because it reduces the enzyme that causes arthritis swelling.
    • Another useful herb is ginger, which is often used to reduce nausea. Its properties block serotonin and free radical production, both of which cause an upset stomach.
    • Garlic has a host of benefits, including reducing blood pressure, promoting cardiovascular health, and preventing strokes.
    • Most herbal remedies can be diluted into water (like when making tea) or added to healthy dishes (like a salad). Many, however, can be purchased in capsule form and swallowed like vitamin tablets.
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    Look into eating different foods. Herbs are not the only things you can eat or swallow that can provide a cure to physical ailments. Different foods, when consumed more frequently when you need relief, can bring quick physical aid. Although food is often more helpful as a preventive measure, some foods can provide relief in a day or so.[3]
    • For example, yogurt, when eaten without added sugars, can aid digestive health and reduce gas.
    • Dark brown honey can relieve a cough (though don’t use this solution for babies under the age of 12 months). Two teaspoons diluted into a cup of tea is an effective way to consume honey.
    • Orange juice can resolve afternoon drowsiness and renew your energy.
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    Consider using holistic doctors. Holistic doctors (or alternative medicine) are especially good at treating musculoskeletal pain and relieving it quickly. Many patients turn to homeopathic doctors to solve immediate physical ailments, finding relief without having to deal with the side effects of medications. Sometimes these treatments can even find the root cause of pain, resolving pain so that it does not return.[4]
    • You will need to find a holistic practitioner in your area, and a session can cost anywhere from $20 to $100 an hour or more. Check with your health insurance before going, as a growing number of holistic alternatives (like chiropractors) are starting to be covered.
    • Holistic medicine includes chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, and physical therapy, among others.

Method 2
Preventing Illness

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    Investigate essential oils. You can use essential oils to prevent illness. To use essential oils as prevention, you can apply them to your skin on a daily basis, or at least 3 or 4 times a week. In fact, some say the best way is to dilute them in a carrier oil and rub them on the bottoms of the feet at bedtime to generally boost the immune system.[5]
    • A carrier oil is a basic oil like olive oil or coconut oil, and you mix one or two drops of essential with it before rubbing it into your skin. Essential oils are very powerful, and diluting them in other oil prevents them from irritating your skin.
    • Oils that are good to rub on your feet at night to boost the immune system include lavender, lemon, pine needle, and tea tree. Use one at a time or a combination of two or three, but do not exceed four drops on each foot with the carrier oil.
    • Use half this amount on children, and make sure it is safe to use each oil on a child. Most oils are safe after age 6, but certain oils like eucalyptus and peppermint should not be used on young children.
    • Don’t bathe for 7 hours after applying the oil so that you get the full benefits.
    • Essential oils can be found in many locations, such as vitamin stores, drug stores, health food stores, or from individuals who sell them from home.
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    Consider herbal prevention. Herbs can be a very effective way to prevent illness. When you consume herbs on a regular basis, you are able to boost your immune system. In fact, herbs have been used for hundreds of years as preventive measures for illness.[6]
    • Many herbs have been shown to prevent cancer: turmeric may prevent colon cancer, rosemary may stop tumors from growing, and holy basil may prevent breast cancer.
    • Herbs also have a reputation for improving heart health: cinnamon lowers cholesterol, ginger lowers blood pressure, and garlic improves the cardiovascular system as a whole.
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    Eat specific foods. Food and weight have always played a major role in our overall health. Having a healthy weight prevents many of the health problems that come with obesity, such as increased cholesterol and risk of heart disease. Eating the right foods can also help you prevent cancer and other diseases.[7]
    • For example, eating foods rich in antioxidants like berries, spinach, and beans can prevent free radicals from overwhelming your system and growing tumors.
    • Eat lean meats and whole grains to prevent iron deficiency.[8]
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    Take vitamins. If you are eating a balanced diet, you don’t need a lot of vitamin supplements. But many of us don’t eat a perfectly balanced diet. A diet severely deficient in vitamins can allow your body to break down faster so that you end up with things like joint pain and skin discoloration. Taking vitamins can prevent a breakdown of health.[9]
    • For example, vitamin B12 deficiency can cause numbness, weakness, fatigue, and difficulty walking.
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    Use alternative practitioners. Holistic medicine, such as at a chiropractor, acupuncturist, massage therapist, or other practitioner, can prevent your body from experiencing pain. For example, most chiropractors like to treat patients on a monthly basis to prevent pain from returning.

Method 3
Improving Mental Health

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    Find out how essential oils may help. Your physical body isn’t the only part of you that can benefit from natural remedies. People take medications for ailments of the mind like anxiety and depression, and essential oils can be used for mental problems as well. The aroma of many different oils can boost your mood and clear your mind.[10]
    • Oils like bergamot, frankincense, and lavender may banish the blues of depression.
    • Anxiety may be relieved with many different oils, but one reliable mixture is lavender, ylang ylang, and bergamot.
    • Clary sage may clear your mind and make you feel calm.
    • The aromatherapy practice of essential oils includes several different mediums. You can put a few drops on a piece of cloth and hold it to your nose; you can place a few drops in an essential oil diffuser, which is a small version of a cool mist humidifier; or you can place a few drop of oil in boiling water or a bowl of dry rice.
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    Consider how herbs can change your mood. Specific herbs can help you feel better if you are depressed or feeling stressed. Herbs for mental health can be taken as both extracts (usually dropped into a tea) or in pill form as supplements. Not all herbs do this, but if you find the right ones, you may start improving your quality of life.[11]
    • For example, the extract of holy basil (usually available in health food stores) can be added to tea and sipped at home. Holy basil reduces stress by increasing adrenaline and decreasing serotonin levels.
    • St. John’s wort can help boost mood and relieve anxiety because of the phytochemical hypericin. Just alert your doctor before use because it can interact with several medications.
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    Eat for mental health. Food has a profound effect on the way we feel and think. When you eat a lot of simple sugars, blood sugar spikes may wreck your mood. On the other hand, the complex carbs of whole grains and the steady energy from lean protein levels your blood sugar supply. Likewise omega 3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce symptoms of schizophrenia and depression. In general, what we eat may be an important part of treating mental troubles.[12]
    • Whole grains such as oats, brown rice, and barley may be good for the mind.
    • Lean protein like chicken and turkey provide amino acids for the brain to use. Turkey’s famous by-product, tryptophan, produces serotonin.
    • Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in foods like fish and walnuts.
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    Take vitamin supplements to boost your mood. Low levels of specific vitamins are linked to mood disorders like depression. For example, vitamin D deficiency is key for bone health, but it is also important because the brain actually contains vitamin D receptors and they are located in areas of the brain associated with depression.[13]
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    Seek holistic alternatives for mental clarity. Exercise in general helps to relieve stress, and when you couple this with the body mechanics that are encouraged at most holistic practitioners, you are assured some release of stress. For example, massage therapy uses human touch to relieve tension in muscles, but also releases emotional tension.[14]


  • For best results, remedies should be taken in very small doses. If in doubt, do not use it. Always seek professional health advice suited to your own needs.
  • There are many natural remedy solutions out there. The above steps are by no means an exhaustive list of such remedies.


  • Sanitize the workspace and anything used to prepare these remedies.
  • If pain or illness persists, seek immediate medical assistance. This article is for informational purposes only. Self-diagnosis of illness is not advised.
  • Be very cautious about the use of essential oils. Use only a few drops at a time in a carrier oil. If you spill it or pour out too much, use a carrier oil to get it off of hands and surfaces—water will only spread it.

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Categories: Alternative Health