Easy, affordable home remedies for sore throat, headaches and other ailments for college students

Adding honey to your diet can help relieve sore throats. (Credit:  Berenice Herrmann)

Adding honey to your diet can help relieve sore throats. (Credit: Berenice Herrmann)

When you have classes to attend and deadlines to meet, you can’t afford to let yourself get sick. Neither do you have a lot of time or money for doctors. That’s why learning about home remedies for sore throat or headaches can come in handy. Thanks to Doctor Oz and other health professionals, we now have validation for many affordable and easy-to-use home remedies. Here are just a few.

Home remedies warning

Before we get started, let’s think about some safety issues. The editors at HowStuffWorks.com put things in perspective in an article titled, “Home Remedies A-Z.”

The articles on their site that cover home remedies include these suggestions:

  • depression: include serotonin-enhancing foods like wild salmon and coconut oil in your diet.
  • hangover: drink plenty of water and dress it up with tomato juice, cayenne pepper, sugar and lime to replenish electrolytes and stabilize your blood sugar.
  • seasonal affective disorder: get depressed during the winter when it’s more cloudy? Be sure to spend at least 30 minutes outside every day.  Get close to nature with a hike or a brisk walk.

“Just remember that these home remedies don’t provide miracle cures and aren’t meant to take the place of the advice and treatments prescribed by your health care professional. You should continue to work and consult with your doctor about your health problems,” they said.

Fight stress and depression

It’s hard to not stress out when you’re balancing a job, classes and a social life. Get used to it because it doesn’t get any easier after college. A little bit of stress is a good thing because it keeps you on your toes. Too much, however, and your body begins to suffer. But you can learn how to use natural cures to help you cope.

Robert A. Barnett offered a number of suggestions for battling stress in an article for Health.com titled, “19 Natural Remedies for Anxiety.” His list of natural cures includes:

  • chamomile tea: In a study at the University of Philadelphia, patients with generalized anxiety disorder who took chamomile supplements for eight weeks had a significant decrease in anxiety compared to participants who took a placebo.
  • valerian: This herb is more of a sleep aid due to its sedative compounds. Take it as a tincture or a capsule as its odor can be a bit strong.
  • lemon balm: Taken as a tea, capsule or tincture, this herb will help you mellow out yet stay alert. Don’t take too much, however, as it can make you feel anxious. For this reason it is often combined with chamomile or valerian.

If these remedies are still too challenging because of your budget, then Barnett offered a remedy that doesn’t cost you a thing but your time.

“Exercise is safe, good for the brain, and a powerful antidote to depression and anxiety, both immediately and in the long term,” Barnett concluded.

The doctor is in

Doctor Mehmet Oz has been spreading the word about natural and home remedies through his television show and website. In an article for DoctorOz.com titled, “Dr. Oz’s Top 9 Home Remedies,” he outlined easy, affordable remedies for your common complaints.

  • migraine: rub a few drops of peppermint oil into your temples and leave it there for 15 to 30 minutes while its anti-inflammatory properties do their work.
  • bloating: a cup of dandelion tea will act as a mild diuretic to rid your body of excess fluid. As an added benefit, it stimulates bile that will break down fatty meals that can make you feel bloated.
  • sore throat: make your own syrup with a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper, one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, two tablespoons of water and one tablespoon of honey. Take the syrup straight or add a spoonful of the syrup to your favorite herb tea.
  • insomnia: an eight-ounce glass of tart cherry juice will give you a dose of melatonin that will help you drift off to dreamland.

If back pain is getting you down, then have a friend help you out with a peppermint-ice massage. According to Dr. Oz, “Begin by freezing a mixture of a cup of water and two drops of peppermint oil in a paper cup. When the ice has hardened, remove the paper cup and have a friend massage the frozen mixture directly onto your back.”

Interested in learning more about home remedies? Check out Home Remedies on Pinterest.

What are your favorite home remedies? Tell us about them in the comments below.

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