Sometimes Eco Lassie only has to look inside her pantry or cabinets to find home remedies that really work. All of these she’s going to mention have scientific proof behind them that they work — trust her, she’s a nurse!
The first is one even your Grannie used — honey to quiet a stubborn cough. One spoonful can be more helpful than over-the-counter cough syrups for children, as found in a Pennsylvania study. The honey soothes a throat irritated from coughing and coats it. For adults, two teaspoons are probably a better dose, but not for diabetics, due to the high sugar content.
While you’re checking out your pantry, don’t overlook the wonders of cranberry juice. Great for urinary tract infections, drinking the juice or taking cranberry extract pills can actually help to prevent them. A Dutch study found that cranberries keep bacteria from attaching to bladder walls. The caveat here: be careful if you take blood-thinning meds like Coumadin or Plavix; possible interactions may lead to bleeding.
Another berry with healing properties is tart cherries. Drinking their juice can prevent gout attacks and relieve muscle soreness after exercise. There is evidence that their natural anti-inflammatory content can reduce arthritis pain, too. Research on animals shows links to retarding diabetes and heart disease, making these cherries not just for pie anymore. Be certain to reach for the bright red tart cherry, high in antioxidants than its sweeter relatives, black or Bing cherries.
Ginger, fresh or powdered, has been shown to have powerful anti-nausea effects. Studies have shown taking one gram an hour before surgery reduced nausea and vomiting those first 24 hours after the event. The National Cancer Institute also found that patients undergoing chemotherapy who take as little as one-quarter teaspoon of ginger daily before their treatment cut nausea by 40%.
But you can use it for simple motion sickness by eating one or two pieces of crystallized ginger, found in most supermarkets and food stores, before getting in that car.
Turning to your medicine cabinet, next time you reach for the menthol rub, such as Vicks, for a cold, be aware that you could be treating nail fungus at the same time. Safe and easy to obtain, wipe those nails affected with a cotton ball wet with white vinegar before applying a thin coat of the menthol gel. Easy to apply, studies show using this approach once daily cured or cleared up the fungus, sometimes more effectively than more expensive alternatives.
While you’re in the bathroom, don’t overlook baby shampoo at the back of the closet if you’re one of the many adults who suffer from itchy, red or crusty eyelids, known as blepharitis. This causes scaling and crustiness along the base of the eyelashes and is very common in older adults. The Mayo Clinic suggests the following: Dilute a tiny amount of baby shampoo with water and gently rub the mix with clean fingers on your closed eyelids twice a day for one minute. Rinse well with water. Remember to apply the mix only to the eyelids, never to the eye itself.
Eco Lassie is not recommending specific brands of items, nor has she or Eco Women profited from mentioning any of these remedies.