We’re incredibly grateful for the wonders of modern medicine, but when something’s off with our health, it’s worth considering centuries-old wisdom and holistic home remedies to improve symptoms and heal yourself naturally.
Using the inherent power of plant medicine, herbs, essential oils, nutrient-dense foods, acupressure, and even physical movements, you can often curb symptoms of common health issues naturally.
Of course, you should always consult your doctor about a comprehensive treatment plan for serious health concerns—but you can also discuss incorporating some of these natural remedies into your treatment plan.
So whether you want to ward off sinus issues or nausea, osteoporosis, or halitosis, we’ve got you covered. From pickle juice to peppermint oil, here are 101 natural remedies for common ailments.
Table of contents
- Home Remedies For Allergies
- Home Remedies For Arthritis
- Home Remedies For The Cold and Flu
- Home Remedies For Digestive Issues
- Home Remedies For Eye and Ear Health
- Home Remedies For Foot Health
- Home Remedies For Feminine Health
- Home Remedies For Hair and Nail Health
- Home Remedies For Mental Health
- Home Remedies For Oral Health
- Home Remedies For Pain Management
- Home Remedies For Skin Issues
- Home Remedies For Sleep Issues
Honey is a known natural cough suppressant. Studies have shown that taking 2 teaspoons of honey 30 minutes before bed can lessen the severity and frequency of nighttime coughing from allergies or a cold.
- Pine Bark Extract
Pine bark contains a unique combination of bioflavonoids and organic acids and was used for years by Native Americans to make soothing pine extracts and teas. Studies have shown that taking pine bark extract can naturally reduce the uncomfortable eye and nasal symptoms of hay fever. Look for pine bark extract supplements.
- Spicy Tonic
The following Spicy Tonic from Everyday Roots is great to have on hand when dealing with sinus congestion from allergies or a cold. That’s because the ingredients included all act as natural expectorants (helping your body rid itself of phlegm) or decongestants (soothing nasal passages that have become swollen and inflamed.)
Natural Sinus Congestion Relief Spicy Tonic Recipe:
- Combine ¼ lemon juice with ¼ cup apple cider vinegar in a pot and bring to a gentle boil.
- Stir in 3 tablespoons of raw honey and ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper and powdered ginger each.
- Store mixture in a jar in a cool dark place—take 1-2 tablespoons daily as needed. (Shake well before using.)
- Red Grapes
Red grapes are among the superfoods that help reduce allergy symptoms because of their high resveratrol content. Resveratrol helps reduce inflammation in the lungs and remove phlegm from the airways.
More than 15 million people over the age of 45 suffer from osteoarthritis, which causes pain and stiffness in the joints. One natural remedy for arthritis pain is capsaicin—the “hot” chemical in chili peppers. Apply it topically to the skin.
- Tart Cherries
Studies have shown that tart cherries help reduce chronic inflammation, which leads to osteoarthritis pain. Munch on tart cherry varieties (like Montmorency or Balaton) or drink a glass of tart cherry juice daily to reduce pain symptoms.
- Eat A Diet Heavy in Omega-3’s
Among the key anti-inflammatory sources found in food, fatty acids found in fish are one of the greatest. Salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel are the best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids and can help reduce the inflammation linked to rheumatoid arthritis.
The Common Cold
- Thieves Essential Oil
We’re big fans of Thieves essential oil, which is a blend of clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus, rosemary, and lemon. This antimicrobial blend works to stop the spread of cold and flu viruses. We like to rub a little on our carotid artery or the bottoms of our feet when we feel a cold coming on to keep us healthy.
Taking Echinacea can increase your number of white blood cells, which helps fight infections. You can buy Echinacea extract or Echinacea supplements at your local health foods store to take throughout the duration of your cold.
- Beta Carotene
Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant that boosts immune function—one of our editors swears by upping her intake of beta-carotene foods when she feels a cold coming on! Get a healthy dose of beta-carotene from foods like carrots, butternut squash, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes.
- Eucalyptus Chest Rub
We’ve been rubbing Vick’s on our kid’s chests when they have a chest cold for years—it also can help stop a cough if rubbed on the bottom of the feet. But we’re also fond of an all-natural eucalyptus chest rub that works just as well to open up airways and soothe a sore chest.
- Dark Chocolate
Yep, we’re giving you an excuse to eat some dark chocolate! Research has found that cocoa contains demulcent properties that help quell the urge to cough—so grab a few squares of dark chocolate to suck on or chew when you have a cough that just won’t quit.
Lemons are loaded with Vitamin C and are one of the best foods you can incorporate into your diet to stay healthy. Drink warm water with lemon to boost your immunity or build resistance to a flu or cold.
- Vitamin C
Speaking of Vitamin C, whether you’re suffering from the flu, a cold, or other ailments, over 75 years of medical research have conclusively found that Vitamin C has the power to activate the body’s “self-healing response.” So yes, it is worth it to take vitamin C supplements and load up on orange juice when you want to get over an illness.
- Slippery Elm
The inner bark of the Slippery Elm tree has long been used medicinally and is often used as an at-home treatment for laryngitis. Add some fresh slippery elm to the water. It will form into a gel-like substance—swallow the gel several times a day or try slippery elm lozenges instead.
- Cilia Simulation
Ingredients like fennel, sage, hot mustard, and horseradish stimulate the cilia—the little hair-like structures that move mucus through your nasal passages—helping to relieve congestion. Incorporate the ingredients into your meals when trying to relieve a stuffy nose.
- Saline Solution
When you’re suffering from a stuffed-up nose, the over-the-counter saline solution may be your best bet. Follow the instructions and spray the solution in your nasal passages to moisten them and relieve congestion.
Garlic is high in sulfur, which aids with blood clotting.
- Vitamin K
You can take Vitamin K supplements daily to prevent nose bleeds during the winter or whenever you are most susceptible to nose bleeds.
- Garlic Cloves
Soothe a sore throat with garlic, which contains antiviral compounds that can destroy a flu virus before it becomes a full-blown flu in the body. Chew a raw clove every three hours or, if you can’t handle the taste, cut cloves into pieces and add to a soup or stir-fry recipe. Essential oils can also be a sore throat’s best friend! Get even more tips and recipes on this topic.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera contains enzymes that help neutralize stomach acid and calm inflammation that may be caused by acid erosion. Pick up Aloe juice at grocery or drugstores and start with an ounce dose, gradually working up to a 2-3 ounce dose. Drink 20 minutes before the meal to reduce acid reflux.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Dilute two tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar in a glass of water and drink for a natural laxative that helps stimulate the bowels.
- Slippery Elm Tea
Slippery Elm tea has been used as an herbal remedy since the 19th century because it helps relieve several digestive ailments, including constipation. You can purchase teas with slippery elm as a main ingredient or get slippery elm bark powder and combine it with boiling water to make homemade tea.
Drink fennel tea, incorporate fresh fennel leaves in stews and salads, or simply chew fresh fennel leaves—however, you get your fennel, it will help alleviate gas pain and bloating. This is because fennel contains anti-spasmodic, anti-inflammatory properties that relax the stomach.
- Marshmallow root
Marshmallow root has a mucilage (slimy quality) similar to slippery elm, which coats the stomach lining and esophagus and soothes heartburn. Marshmallow root can be taken as a capsule, tea, or you can infuse a tablespoon of marshmallow root in two cups of cold water overnight—you’ll end up with a slightly bittersweet-tasting concoction you can drink the next day to soothe your pain.
- Pickle Juice
It may sound counterintuitive, but a few sips of pickle juice helps balance the pH in your stomach and quickly alleviates heartburn. Take a few sips when you have heartburn or indigestion.
- Elevated Bed
Raise the head of your bed 4-6 inches so that you prevent the acids in your stomach from flowing up into the esophagus at night. You can stick blocks or books underneath the head of the bed to elevate it.
- Sleep On Your Left Side
Sleeping on your left side has been shown to reduce nighttime heartburn symptoms by keeping the junction between the stomach and esophagus above the level of gastric acid.
Almonds help neutralize stomach acid; as soon as you experienced heartburn, reach for a small handful to stop the burn.
When intestinal discomfort sets in, take your thumb and forefinger to the outer portion of the middle of the soles of your feet. Firmly massage the area—which reflexology suggests is connected to the colon—for five minutes. Your strokes should direct toward the heel.
Effective in numbing the stomach wall, the cooling menthol in peppermint oil eases stomach pain and relieves nausea. Suck on some peppermints after dinner to ease digestion.
Some people find that pressing the inner parts of both wrists together firmly can reduce feelings of nausea. This area is referred to as the Inner Gate—experts suggest pressing firmly for three minutes to temporarily relieve nausea.
Ginger is a commonly used remedy for stomachaches of many kinds. Keep some on hand for whenever an upset stomach presents itself.
- Peppermint Essential Oil
Whether by plane, train, boat, or car, motion sickness can occur while traveling and is no fun. Take a whiff or two of peppermint oil before leaving on your journey to calm an upset stomach.
- Eye Breaks
In today’s age of constant screen time, most cases of dry eye are caused by a lack of “rest” time for your eyes away from screens. Take a break from screens every 20 minutes to focus on objects in different planes at different distances.
Boil water over the stove or with a teacup, and pour into a mug. Hold the mug close to the affected eye, careful not to touch the skin or burn yourself but letting the steam rise to the stye. Repeat multiple times per day to bring the stye to a head.
Eyelash Hair Loss
- Aloe Vera
Aloe vera can help nourish your lashes and help them grow more quickly. Take an old mascara wand and dip it in some aloe vera gel. Run the wand through your lashes before bed, rinse off with warm water the next morning.
- Hot Water Bottle
For ear pain, take a hot water bottle and wrap it in a towel. Hold it against the affected ear for five minutes at a time to reduce pain.
Ringing In The Ears
- Gingko Biloba
Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, can be caused by anything from poor circulation to infection. Gingko Biloba is an herbal remedy that can be taken as a supplement; it boosts circulation and has been shown to reduce tinnitus symptoms.
- Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and works as an effective anti-fungal when fighting infections like athlete’s foot. Add five drops of Tea Tree Oil to a tablespoon of olive oil and apply to the foot twice a day for several days.
- Brewer’s Yeast and Lemon Juice
Take a teaspoon of brewer’s yeast and add a drop or two of lemon juice. Apply this mixture to the corn using a cotton pad, and bind it in place. Leave the cotton ball in place overnight, and remove the next morning. Repeat until the corn is gone.
- Milk of Magnesia
Milk of Magnesia, which is usually used as a laxative, can also help reduce body odor. Pour a little bit of Milk of Magnesia on a cotton ball and rub it on your feet several times a day to reduce foot odor.
Vinegar treatments can help lessen foot pain caused by sprains because they reduce inflammation. Fill a tub with hot water and add two tablespoons of vinegar and some Epsom salts. Soak your feet in the mixture for about 20 minutes.
- Ground Flaxseed
Preliminary studies have found that women halved the frequency of their hot flashes by incorporating two tablespoons of ground flaxseed into their diet per day. Flaxseed contains lignans, which are estrogen-like compounds thought to help fluctuating hormonal levels in the body. You can sprinkle flaxseeds on yogurt, toss them in salads, or add them to your granola and oatmeal.
- Mustard or Pickle Juice
Both of these household condiments contain vinegar, which contains acetic acid. Acetic acid makes acetylcholine, which helps our muscles work—the more acetylcholine you have, the more pain-free your muscles will function.
- Tonic water
Sip on tonic water during the days leading up to your period to alleviate cramps. Tonic water contains quinine, which is a natural muscle relaxant.
- Raspberry Red Tea
Raspberry tea is made from raspberry leaves, which have been used for centuries to relieve menstrual cramps and have even been used during pregnancy to ease discomfort.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar three times a day before meals can help relieve some of the symptoms of PMS. You can dilute it in a little water if the taste is too unpleasant.
Selenium deficiency can cause thyroid problems, such as hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. Upping your intake of this important mineral can help protect your thyroid or correct a thyroid hormonal imbalance.
Natural sources of selenium can be found in Brazil nuts, tuna, oysters, onions, garlic, and more.
Urinary tract infection
Cranberries prevent bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall—drink at least three glasses of cranberry juice (unsweetened) to help a UTI or try a cranberry supplement.
- Eat bananas
Just another reason to reach for a banana before you head out the door—they help with premenstrual water retention. Bananas are rich in potassium and vitamin B6, both of which prevent water retention and bloating.
- Lemon Juice
When you’re dealing with unsightly dandruff, massage a few tablespoons of lemon juice onto your scalp and rinse. Lemon’s acidity balances your scalp’s pH, which helps keep dandruff away.
- Apple Cider Vinegar
An apple cider vinegar rinse is a great way to cleanse the scalp and rid it of dandruff. Mix a cup of apple cider vinegar with a half a cup of water. Massage into scalp and rinse with warm water.
- Eucalyptus Oil
Due to its antiseptic and antifungal properties, eucalyptus oil can prevent microbial growth on the scalp, which can stop an itchy scalp in its tracks. Mix 5-7 drops of eucalyptus oil with your shampoo for itchy scalp relief.
- White Vinegar
Vinegar helps restore the skin’s pH balance—and a pH imbalance is usually to blame for nail fungus. Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a bowl and use a cotton swab to apply a small amount to affected nail twice a day to treat nail fungus.
- Petroleum Jelly
If dry winter air or one-too-many-gel-manicures made your nails turn brittle, reach for some Vaseline. Applying petroleum jelly to your nails and covering them with cotton gloves help them retain moisture.
Lavender has been known to produce a calming, slightly sedative effect and has been used as a holistic remedy for nervousness or anxiety for many years. You can buy lavender essential oils (be sure to get 100% pure essential oils) and either take a whiff when nervous or combine a few drops with a carrier oil like coconut oil and massage it into your skin.
- Vitamin B
Vitamin B-12 helps produce brain chemicals that affect our mood, and low levels of B-12 may be linked to depression, according to the Mayo Clinic. The best way to get enough B-12 is to eat a healthy diet that contains things like lean protein, fish, and eggs—but a B-12 supplement may be beneficial for those suffering from depression.
- Rosemary Tea
Studies have shown that consuming rosemary tea has a slight anti-depressant effect on one’s mood. Even taking a whiff of rosemary has been shown to reduce cortisol (stress) levels in the body, and the herb has been used for centuries as a natural mood balancer.
- Breathing Exercise
The 4-7-8 Breath, championed by Dr. Weill, has been said to reduce feelings of panic and anxiety. Take a 4-second to inhale, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and then exhale for 8 seconds. Repeat the pattern several times until feelings of panic subside.
In Germany and other European countries, Passionflower is a known and approved cure for “nervous restlessness.” Why? It’s been found to increase brain levels of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which makes you feel more relaxed. You can take passionflower supplements or drink passionflower tea.
Fennel, dill, and anise seeds help freshen breath naturally. Chew on them after dinner to prevent bad breath.
A sprig of parsley on your plate does more than garnish your meal—munching on some parsley after you eat can also help freshen your breath.
- Warm Salt Water
Gargle with warm salt water a few times throughout the day to relieve pain caused by canker sores.
- Slippery Elm Lozenges
Suck on slippery elm lozenges or take slippery elm capsules found at your local health foods store. Slippery elm helps soothe the tissue inside the mouth.
- A Spoonful of Sugar
For a bad case of hiccups, turn to this sweet solution. Take a teaspoon of sugar and, using your tongue, massage it around the roof of your mouth for several seconds as the sugar begins to melt. Sugar is usually enough to stimulate the vagus nerve, essentially “distracting” your body enough to stop hiccupping.
- Dried Cloves
Grab some dried cloves and apply them against the tooth is sore in your mouth. As you feel your spit begin to mix with the cloves, you should begin to feel pain relief.
- Epsom Salts
Mix one teaspoon of Epsom salts with a cup of hot water and use it to rinse your mouth. Do not swallow.
Aches and Pains
Frankincense essential oil helps improve circulation and reduce symptoms of joint and muscle pain. Combine a few drops of Frankincense to coconut oil and massage it over achy joints.
- Epsom Salt Bath
The magnesium in Epsom salts is a known muscle relaxer; soaking in an Epsom salt bath can help ease sore muscles and reduce back pain.
- Devil’s Claw
Devil’s claw is an herb native to Africa and it contains chemicals that help reduce inflammation-related pain. Studies show that a daily dose of Devil’s claw reduces back pain more than placebo pills.
- White Willow Bark
The use of willow bark dates back to 400 BC when people were given the bark to chew on to reduce inflammation. The bark contains salicin, which is a chemical similar to aspirin. White willow bark has been shown to reduce pain more slowly than aspirin, but its pain relief may actually last longer once it sets in. You can find white willow bark supplements at your local health foods store.
- Cayenne Pepper
The capsaicin found in cayenne pepper helps reduce pain and inflammation while also stimulating circulation. You can mix cayenne powder with a starchy food and ingest when you have a migraine or throbbing headache.
Dating back to the physicians of ancient Greece, peppermint has been one of the most commonly utilized natural headache treatments. Either sip peppermint tea, apply peppermint oil mixed with a carrier oil to your forehead, or crumple a clean mint life and insert it into one nostril, removing after two minutes.
- Inversion Yoga Poses
Inversion yoga poses are poses where your head is lower than your heart or legs—like downward facing dog or legs up the wall pose. Inversions stimulate circulation in the head and can help alleviate tension headaches.
Related: How To Relieve Headaches With Yoga
- Fish Oil
Two types of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil are EPA and DHA, both of which can reduce inflammation and joint pain. Take fish oil pills daily for pain management.
- Stay Hydrated
One of the best ways to prevent leg cramping from exercise is to stay hydrated. Don’t just drink when you’re thirsty; continuously drink water throughout the day, making sure to get at least 64 ounces per day.
- Magnesium and Potassium
Try adding more veggies, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and berries that have plenty of magnesium or potassium into your diet. Your muscles need both of these minerals in order to function pain-free. You can also take magnesium or potassium supplements if you have a hard time eating enough magnesium-rich foods.
Traditional Chinese medicine has used acupuncture to treat migraines for thousands of years by inserting fine needles into specific points on the body to reduce head tension.
Caffeine causes blood vessels to constrict, and some people theorize that this constriction helps to relieve headache pressure. A cup of coffee or caffeinated tea can sometimes help relieve headache pain.
- Tea Tree Oil
Whiteheads often respond well to tea tree oil—which has antimicrobial properties to help keep your skin clean and pimple-free. Choose a topical treatment consisting of at least 5 percent tea tree oil.
- Castor oil
Castor oil is a common vegetable oil that has been used for its medicinal purposes across Africa, India, and the Mediterranean for centuries. Castor oil has strong healing properties—applying it to the affected skin with a cotton ball and rinsing off after 30 minutes twice a day can help lessen the appearance of age spots. Castor oil is a vital tool in the home remedy took kit, there are so many uses!
- Olive Oil and Vinegar
Mixing pure olive oil and vinegar can help take the sting out of fresh bug bites.
- Lavender oil
Lavender oil has been used for thousands of years to help soothe burns. Combine a few drops to a carrier oil (such as coconut oil) and apply to the affected area daily.
- Aloe Vera Gel
Applying aloe vera gel to a burn can help soothe the affected area and stimulate new skin growth. It also contains compounds that may dull the pain and inflammation associated with a burn.
- Homemade Coffee Scrub
Coffee grounds help improve skin circulation and texture, diminishing cellulite and the appearance of varicose veins. To reduce the appearance of cellulite, combine ½ cup of ground coffee with ¼ cup of brown sugar. Rub olive oil or coconut oil into the cellulite first, and then massage some of the coffee/sugar mixtures into the same area.
Dry Patches of Skin
- Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is one of the best natural remedies for dry skin—the saturated fats it contains help the skin stay moisturized, smooth, and even-toned.
- Oat Bath
An oatmeal bath has been shown to help reduce itchy skin caused by eczema or other skin conditions. To create, fill a dry sock with whole oats. Close the open end with a rubber band and add the sock into a warm bath—soak for 20 minutes.
- Tea Tree Oil
Tinea versicolor is a common skin infection that causes patches of discolored skin that may itch. It’s more common in the summertime or in hot climates. Tea tree oil has natural anti-fungal properties and can help inhibit the spread of tinea versicolor and help with itchiness. Add 5 drops of 100% pure tea tree oil to a tablespoon of coconut oil and apply to the skin twice daily.
- Baking Soda
To relieve itching caused from a run-in with poison ivy, add a half-cup of baking soda to a bath filled with warm water and soak.
- Melrose Oil
Melrose oil is a natural antiseptic and also helps regenerate tissue. Dilute to a 50/50 ratio of Melrose oil to vegetable oil and apply several drops of the mixture to cuts, burns, or wounds to prevent infection.
- Hazelnut or Primrose Oil
Apply a few drops of hazelnut oil or primrose oil—which have anti-inflammatory and cooling properties—directly onto the face and gently massage to soothe rosacea.
Frankincense oil has so many fantastic uses—among them helping to prevent those dreaded stretch marks. Add 1-2 drops of this essential oil to a carrier oil (like coconut oil) and slather on skin to prevent stretch marks.
Carrots stimulate skin renewal and strengthen the immune system because of their high Vitamin A and Vitamin C content. Finely grate a small carrot and combine it with a teaspoon of olive oil. Apply the mixture to warts once a day.
- Duct Tape
Oddly enough, studies have proven duct tape can be just as effective as cryotherapy when fighting warts. The duct tape is believed to irritate the area, so the patient’s immune system is triggered and forced to react. Place duct tape on the affected area and leave it on for six days, then take off and soak the skin in water and exfoliate with a pumice stone. After 12 hours without the duct tape on, replace it with new duct tape and continue this cycle until the wart disappears.
- Rosemary Oil
This essential oil has many benefits, but one of our favorites? Helping us fight afternoon fatigue. Rosemary oil contains a high amount of cineole, an oxide that is associated with increased cerebral blood flow, which reduces feelings of fatigue. Take a whiff, combine a few drops with a carrier oil (like coconut oil) and apply as a lotion, or get a rosemary diffuser for your desk to keep you alert and focused.
- Vitamin D
Persistent fatigue can be a symptom of vitamin D deficiency. If you’re getting adequate sleep but still feel consistently tired, try taking a Vitamin D supplement—especially if you live in a climate where you don’t get plentiful sunshine.
- Magnesium Supplements
Magnesium helps promote sleep, and most people are deficient in it. Although you can get magnesium from certain foods (like almonds, bananas, or leafy greens) many people are magnesium deficient, so taking a magnesium supplement before bed may be necessary.
- Sleepytime Tea
Nothing helps you relax like a nightly cup of tea. Try Celestial Seasoning’s Sleepytime Tea, blended with a mixture of calming chamomile, spearmint, and lemongrass—the combination is ultra-soothing and sweet with a little honey.
- Epsom Salts
Epsom salt is a natural mineral compound made of magnesium and sulfate, which helps relax your body. Soak in an Epsom salt bath before bed to fall asleep faster.
Problems Staying Asleep
- Tart Cherry Juice
Research shows that drinking tart cherry juice twice a day can help you sleep almost an hour and a half more per night because of its high melatonin content. Drink a glass in the morning and one before bed.
- Peppermint Mouthwash
Add a drop of peppermint oil to a cup of cold water and gargle the mixture in your mouth to shrink the lining of the nose and throat—it’s thought to help prevent snoring, especially if it’s caused by a temporary condition like sinus congestion.