If you’ve ever had a nagging cold, relentless migraines, or acne that just won’t go away, chances are you’ve tried every drug, cream, and medicine on the market. Unfortunately, many of these drugs have both known and unknown side effects, such as a damaged stomach lining or making you drowsy, that effect our future health and potentially make the very health problems they’re meant to solve worse.
What if the answer to many of the common ailments we all suffer weren’t found at the pharmacy or doctors office? There are hundreds of natural remedies that various cultures have used for generations, and we are just beginning to realize their true potential for solving our health problems without the use of synthetic drugs and chemicals.
Here is a list of the best natural remedies for headaches to acne and everything in between:
Natural Remedies You Can Make and Use at Home
Natural Remedies for Back Pain Relief:
1. Castor Oil: Castor oil is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties thanks to its high concentration of ricinoleic acid. The best way to use it for back pain is to make a castor oil pack that you then apply to the affected area. This works for other types of joint pain, as well.
2. Hamstring stretch: There are three hamstring muscles that run up the back of your leg. When those muscles are tight, they restrict the movement of the pelvis, which in turn puts stress on your lower back. Stretching your hamstrings like this daily will relieve and prevent your chronic back pain.
3. Exercises: Back pain is more than just pain in your back; It is often connected to posture and the alignment of your head, neck, shoulders, spine, hips, knees, and ankles, as well as tightness in your chest. Perform these neurologist-approved exercises multiple days a week and your back pain will disappear.
4. Acupressure in your feet: For many people, their back pain actually starts in their feet. Think about it: Your feet really take a beating, and are often tight and cramped in uncomfortable shoes. Press on these three acupressure points on your feet to relieve the tension building in your back.
5. Herbs: There are several herbs that have incredible anti-inflammatory and back-pain healing properties, such as cats claw, eucalyptus, and even turmeric.
Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux and GERD:
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back up the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest and a hot, uncomfortable feeling in the stomach (known as heartburn). When acid reflux becomes a more severe, chronic issue this is known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Fortunately, there are some natural ways to find relief and eventually get rid of acid reflux:
6. Change your diet: For some people, acid reflux is caused by the consumption of certain foods that don’t agree with their digestive system. Common triggers are: (1, 2)
- Nicotine (aka smoking)
- Greasy, spicy, and fatty foods
Avoiding the common offenders, and instead focusing on whole, nutritious, natural foods, may help decrease acid reflux.
7. Warm Lemon Water: This recommendation along with apple cider vinegar (below) are more appropriate if the cause of your acid reflux is low stomach acid, accompanied with bloating and indigestion after meals. If you have cramps, pain or more severe symptoms of GERD this is not advisable.
Warm or room temperature water with lemon, when consumed on an empty stomach fifteen minutes or so before a meal, can help bile production and ease digestion. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, cold water also tends to stress the stomach, whereas warm is more acceptable.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar: Often, people think they have recurring acid reflux because their stomach is too acidic, but it can actually be due to improper digestion of food from inadequate acidity in the stomach. Take apple cider vinegar like this to relieve indigestion and heartburn.
9. Probiotics: Probiotics, or the beneficial bacteria that improve the health of our gut, can be a huge help in relieving acid reflux. When your gut’s microbiome is out of balance, you will have difficulty digesting food properly, which can cause heartburn. (3) Including more probiotic foods such as kefir, saurkraut, kimchi, or kombucha in your daily diet should help. If you are still struggling, you may want to consider taking a probiotic supplement.
10. Herbs: Herbs like slippery elm, chamomile, fenugreek, and peppermint are all beneficial at soothing an irritated stomach and helping to promote proper digestion. (4)
Natural Remedies for Headaches and Migraines:
Headaches and their big bad cousin migraines affect thousands of people every day and prevent us from getting work done and enjoying time with family and friends. The next time you feel that familiar ache starting to grow, try one of these natural remedies to nip it in the bud right away.
11. Acupressure: Often headaches can be caused from tightness and tension in other areas of our body. These are five common headache-relieving acupressure points on your head, neck, face, and even hands!
12. Magnesium: Magnesium is a muscle relaxer and natural electrolyte, which helps to keep your body’s calcium and sodium levels in balance. If you experience chronic headaches or migraines, it could be your body’s way of telling you that your magnesium levels are too low. Drink this magnesium bicarbonate water to replenish your magnesium stores and stop headaches from coming back.
13. Lavender Tea: Many people find migraines and headaches are brought on by stress and anxiety. Lavender is well known for its ability to relax the mind and body, relieve inflamed blood vessels, and calm the nerves. Drink lavender tea to relieve headaches before they turn into full-blown migraines and prevent future headaches from forming.
14. Ginger Powder: Researchers have discovered that even just an eight of a teaspoon of ginger powder works just as well as the leading migraine medications for a fraction of the cost and none of the unwanted side effects. (5)
15. NASA Sleeping Trick: Due to the lack of gravity on the space station, astronauts experience frequent headaches from a build up of blood pressure in their brains. They discovered that sleeping with your head at a thirty degree angle eliminates these pressure-related headaches. A similar phenomena happens when we sleep at night. Consider sleeping with your head on a thirty degree incline to relieve that pressure, and thus your headaches. (6)
16. Essential Oils: There are a number of essential oils that help to relieve different types of headaches, including:
- Eucalyptus globulus
- Lavender oil
- Peppermint oil
- Rosemary oil
Each oil has there own best method of use, such as diffusing or mixing with a carrier oil and massaging into your temple. Click through each link to learn how to effectively use each essential oil for migraines relief.
Natural Remedies for Cough and Sore Throat:
Coughing and sore throat go hand in hand, and they always seem to come just when you have to make an important presentation at work or the day before your child’s first choir concert. Find relief fast with one of these natural sore throat remedies:
17. Homemade cough drops: Everyone’s favorite item to reach for when they have a cough are those sugary cough drops you can buy at the store. The problem is that not only are they essentially candy, they can have other unwanted ingredients. Instead, make these simple, three ingredients homemade cough drops the next time you or a family member catches a frog in their throat.
18. Gargle Salt Water: Every hour, gargle salt water as deep in your throat as you can without coughing or choking. This will help to moisten your dry throat and soothe the cough.
19. Drink plenty of water: Even though it may be painful to swallow, it is important that you stay well hydrated. This will help you clear away whatever is causing the sore throat in the first place and help to keep your throat moist. If it’s extremely difficult or painful, try warm or hot water or herbal teas. The heat will soothe your throat further and make it easier to swallow.
20. Raw Honey: A tablespoon of honey will help to fight the bacteria in your throat causing the illness, as well as soothe and ease the discomfort. (7)
21. Honey, Lemon, and Ginger trick: This hot honey, lemon, and ginger drink will bring together tip 19 and 20 into a powerful, hydrating cough and sore throat remedy. The addition of lemon and ginger brings antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory compounds to relax further and soothe your throat, as well as effectively fight off the infection.
22. Eat a pear: Pears are naturally cooling and juicy, so they provide much-needed moisture to a rough, sore throat. The next time you have a sore throat, prepare your pear in this way to turn it into a sore throat soothing powerhouse.
23. Warm Soup: Just like hot tea or the honey, lemon, ginger tonic, warm soup will also make swallowing easier. When made with bone broth and vitamin and mineral filled vegetables, soup can be an incredible cough, cold, and flu fighter. Try this turmeric, vegetable, and chicken soup recipe for an immune-boosting meal.
Natural Remedies for Insomnia:
Insomnia, whether you suffer chronically or just from time to time, effects your mood, health, weight management, and ability to get work done and enjoy life. Start sleeping better tonight with one of these natural insomnia remedies and treatments:
24. Thyme Lavender Tea: Both thyme and lavender have calming, stress relieving, and sleep-inducing effects on the body. When combined in this hot tea, they work together to decrease insomnia and help you get a restful night’s sleep. (8)
25. 3-Minute breathing trick: How you breath effects the amount of oxygen that gets to your organs. Breathing like this each night before bed will relax your body and ensure all organs are properly oxygenated, preventing you from snoring and helping you (and your partner) get a better night’s sleep.
26. Ashwagandha: This ancient herb helps to lower the stress hormone cortisol, helps to relax your mind throughout the day, help to stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the night, improve and protect lymphatic drainage in the brain, and optimize the body’s ability to burn fat during the long overnight fast. All of these factors play an important role as to whether or not we will have a good night’s sleep. (9) Ashwaghanda can be taken in powder, tablet, or liquid form. For more on how to take this root, read here.
27. Acupuncture: Acupuncture can increase the nighttime production of the sleep hormone melatonin, helping people sleep deeper for longer. (10)
28. Bedtime yoga: These six yoga poses all effectively calm your mind and release any tension that built up throughout your day, and slow down your heart rate to help lull you right to sleep.
29. Establish a nighttime routine: A nighttime routine starts several hours before bed, and can include avoiding heavy meals closer than two to three hours before bed, avoiding stimulating activity or screens, taking time for meditation, and even a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon milk (non-dairy preferable) before bed. Check out this comprehensive guide to what to include and what to avoid in the hours and minutes leading up to bedtime.
Natural Remedies for Joint Pain:
Whether you have arthritis or just get achy when the weather is bad, joint pain makes everything uncomfortable. Get rid of pesky joint-pain and arthritis causing inflammation with one of these natural remedies:
30. Glute Stretches and Exercises: Due to the amount of time we spending sitting at desks, in cars, and in front of the TV or computer, a majority of the population has weak, tight glutes and tight, overdeveloped quads. This can cause tracking problems and pulling on the patella, which leads to knee pain. Performing glute strengthening exercises and stretches can help avoid common knee problems that lead to pain.
31. Gelatin: The gradual wear and tear on the cartilage in our joints as we age causes inflammation and joint pain. Consuming a tablespoon of gelatin every day along with calcium and vitamin C has been shown to improve the health and integrity of the cartilage in our joints and decrease the inflammation that is causing the pain. (11)
32. More Exercises: Just as there are specific glute exercises for knee pain, there are other exercises to protect and strengthen other joints as well. Perform these exercises for joint pain relief daily to rebuild and prevent the degradation of your joints.
33. Ginger: Ginger isn’t just for your immune system! Taking ginger over the course of several days will help to decrease the painful inflammation that has built up in your joints. You can take in the form of a ginger compress, a bath remedy, or in food.
34. Aromatherapy: Even just breathing in certain aromas, such as vanilla or peppermint, can have incredible relaxing and anti-inflammatory benefits on the body. Read here to learn more about the powerful effects of aromatherapy.
35. Cayenne Oil: Known primarily for it’s metabolism boosting effects, cayenne is also an amazing anti-inflammatory that can be used to relieve arthritis and joint pain. Learn how to make your own cayenne oil and how to use it for joint pain here.
36. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These are incredible joint health-supporting fats that we have to get from our food. Unfortunately, the average American diet is low in these essential fats. To increase your omega-3 intake, include foods such as sardines, salmon, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and walnuts as part of your daily nutrition, or consider supplementing.
Natural Remedies for Acne:
Acne can be caused by a variety of different things, from clogged pores to dry or oily skin and hormones that are out of balance. Heal and prevent acne from returning with these natural acne remedies:
37. Tea Tree Oil: You’ve probably heard of using tea tree oil for dandruff, but this essential oil is also an excellent weapon against acne breakouts! Why? The bacteria that cause dandruff are the same that cause acne on your face. Be sure to dilute tea tree oil in a carrier oil such as coconut oil before applying to breakouts. (12)
38. Diet: Avoiding high sugar, processed foods is crucial in preventing acne breakouts. Other common skin offenders include: (13)
- greasy fast food
Instead, focus on eating plenty of vegetables (especially the orange and green ones), unprocessed grains and whole food carbohydrates, and lean, organic meats and other protein sources. You also need to drink plenty of water to help flush out toxins that will otherwise try to exit through the skin.
Natural Remedies for Constipation:
Constipation is uncomfortable and embarrassing and can make it difficult to leave the house! It also can be a sign of other health problems. Try these natural constipation remedies the next time you’re having trouble “getting going” for fast, natural relief:
39. Spiced Date Coconut Milk: The healthy fats and warming spices in this coconut milk recipe will help soothe your intestines, promote proper digestion, and help get you going like normal in no time.
40. Drink more water: Funny how drinking more water seems to be the cure for so many common health problems! If you are chronically dehydrated, there won’t be enough water in your stool, making it slow and difficult to pass. Try to drink around 2L of water each day for optimum constipation relief and prevention.
41. Eat healthy fats: Fats such as chia seeds, avocado, and hemp have added fiber, making them stool-passing promoters and will help to keep your colon moving.
42. Eat High Fiber Foods: High-fiber foods such as vegetables, berries, pears, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds have soluble and insoluble fiber to help get you going when you’re having trouble.
Natural Remedies for High Blood Pressure:
High blood pressure leads to potentially fatal heart attacks, strokes, and more. Here are ways to help manage blood pressure naturally.
43. 15 Minute Hand Exercise: This hand grip exercise, involving squeezing a handgrip for two minutes followed by a two minute rest, showed to decrease systolic blood pressure. Learn more here.
44. Beet Juice: Beet juice has been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure in men without any additional changes to diet or exercise habits. Try making this apple, carrot, beet, and ginger juice recipe.
Natural Remedies for Stress and Anxiety:
Everyone gets stressed and anxious occasionally, but when it becomes a chronic problem, it can prevent you from getting the most out of your life. Overcome your anxiety and calm your nerves with these natural remedies:
45. Acupressure: according to reflexology practitioners, there are various places on your chest and body where, when you apply gentle pressure, they can relieve stress, calm anxiety, and decrease feelings of nervousness. The best part about acupressure is that you can perform most of it anywhere, anytime, on yourself!
46. Breathing Technique: Most of us are told to take long, slow breaths when we are feeling stressed and anxious. This technique, however, which involves taking small, controlled breaths has shown to effectively calm the nerves and the mind.
47. Sound Therapy: Also known as a sounds bath, this anxiety reducing method involves creating music and sounds with ancient Tibetan instruments that envelop the body and calm the mind. Learn how to perform your own sound bath at home here.
48. Meditation: Meditation, which involves focusing your energy inwards to induce a sense of calm, can significantly reduce stress and anxiety, even if only practiced for a few minutes a day. (14) Learn how to meditate to relieve anxiety and stress here.
Natural Remedies for Bad Breath:
Bad breath doesn’t just occur after a meal of garlic and sardines; in fact, chronic bad breath can tell you much about the health of your mouth and gut. Try these natural methods to take care of the root of the problem and get rid of bad breath permanently:
49. Probiotics and Gut Healing: Bad breath is often a sign that something is wrong with your microbiome in your gut, usually a loss of the good bacteria that help to break down and digest food. Increase your intake of probiotic foods, eat more fiber, and cut out gut irritants, processed and high sugar foods.
50. Oil Pulling: Oil pulling is an effective, natural way of removing the bacteria and toxins that build up in your mouth throughout the night and day that cause bad breath. Try this coconut oil pulling method for an all-natural, full-mouth clean.
51. Tongue Scraping: Trust us, it’s not as painful as it sounds! Tongue scraping involves using a special scraper that you pull across your tongue every morning before eating residue and bacteria that cause bad breath. Learn how to clean or scrape your tongue here.
52. Apple Cider Vinegar: The acidity of ACV helps to change the pH of your scalp and prevent the bacteria that causes dandruff from growing. To use apple cider vinegar in your hair, dilute it so that it is one part apple cider vinegar and 3-4 parts water and put it in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture onto your scalp and gently massage it in, then rinse thoroughly. Don’t worry about the vinegar smell, you won’t be able to detect it once your hair is dry.
53. Tea Tree Oil: We can’t talk about natural remedies for dandruff without mentioning tea tree oil! As we mentioned earlier, tea tree oil is a natural anti-bacterial agent that is highly effective against the bacteria that cause dandruff. You can use tea tree oil before washing or as an overnight treatment.
54. Coconut Oil: Coconut oil contains lauric acid, which helps fight against bacteria and fungi that irritate and dry out the scalp. It also acts as a natural moisturizer and prevents the dry flakes of skin associated with dandruff. (15)
As you can see, there is a never-ending list of natural remedies to the common health issues many of us face today. Do you have any favorite go-to remedies that weren’t mentioned in this list! Let us know in the comments!