32 results for Home Remedies
Traditionally carved from pink Himalayan salt mined from the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan, Himalayan salt lamps can not only be used to create a more relaxed, mindful space at home but are also believed to have a number of health benefits.
Made from large chunks of pink salt or placed in a decorative bowl, the lamps typically have a single bulb or candle to heat them and release a distinct, warm orange-pink glow. Similar to table salt, small amounts of minerals give it a distinct pink colour.
As well as being a soothing night light and a positive addition to any mindfully-focused space, Himalayan salt lamps are thought to help clean the air, soothe allergies, boost your mood and help achieve better quality sleep.
How do they work?
Thought to provide health benefits by naturally ionizing the air around them, many users believe they change the electrical charge of the air circulating in a room by attracting water particles. These particles then evaporate as a salt solution when the lamp heats them, forming negative ions. It is worth noting that, while this is widely believed amongst those who use Himalayan salt lamps (or HSL), there has yet to be any proven, scientific studies around if these are produced in quantities, high enough to affect humans.
Do Himalayan salt lamps have any positive health benefits?
There are a number of claims surrounding the use of Himalayan salt lamps, with some individuals using them as a complementary therapeutic way to assist with a range of ailments, from insomnia to allergies.
While some users report experiencing benefits to their sense of well-being and physical health, many of these have not been fully researched to ascertain if the effects are due to the lamps themselves, or the users’ expectations and other changes in their behaviour.
Some of the benefits Himalayan salt lamps are thought to provide include:
Improving air quality – many believe that salt lamps can improve the air quality at home or in their office, decreasing symptoms of asthma and allergies. Thought to be linked partially with the ancient practice of halotherapy – a complementary therapy where individuals would spend time in salt caves to benefit from the presence of salt in the air.
Dating as far back as the medieval era, halotherapy is believed to help ease smoothing-related symptoms such as coughs, wheezing, and shortness of breath, as well as to lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety, improve skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
Promoting better sleep – harsh, electric lights can delay the production of melatonin (the sleep hormone), while blue lights can further negatively impact our sleep pattern and biological clock. The gentle, ambient light produced by Hymilayan salt lamps can help you to unwind and relax, whilst promoting feelings of calm and well-being. The soothing glow can also stimulate feelings of deep relaxation, whilst creating a more organic feel to the space.
Mood-boosting properties – believed to have positive, mood-boosting effects not only due to the ambient glow and soothing appearance, but some animal studies have also suggested that exposure to high levels of negative ions (such as those thought to be created by salt lamps) may improve serotonin levels (a chemical involved in mood regulation).
Despite the positive impact on animals, human studies have yet to find consistent effects on feelings of well-being and mood. Although those with depressive symptoms reported improvements in their mood following exposure to high levels of negative ions, researchers expressed uncertainty as to whether the improvements were results of the negative ions or a placebo effect.
Although there are no known posed threats to humans, pet owners may want to make sure they keep their salt lamp out of reach. Too much salt can be toxic to many pets including cats and dogs, meaning caution is advisable in case lamps are within licking distance.
For many of us, the knee jerk reaction to a headache is to take some over-the-counter painkillers. Of course sometimes this truly is the only thing that helps, but before you rush to the tablet cupboard why not consider a natural approach?
Below we look at some tried and tested natural ways to help with headache pain.
Note: If your headaches are frequent/severe, be sure to seek advice from your GP.
1. Keep a headache diary
When a headache strikes, note down what you’ve had to eat and drink, how you’re feeling (stressed, calm?) and how much sleep you’ve had. Learning your headache triggers will go a long way to prevent future episodes.
2. Eat small meals frequently
When your blood sugar gets low it can trigger headaches. Try to keep this in check by eating smaller meals more frequently and snack between meals. Try to keep foods healthy and nutritious to avoid inflammation.
3. Stay hydrated
Dehydration is a common headache trigger. Ensure you are drinking plenty of water and avoid dehydrating alcohol where possible!
4. Apply hot or cold compresses
Applying hot or cold compresses can help, depending on the nature of your headache. This is all linked to muscles and blood vessels expanding/contracting. Try both and see which works best for you.
5. Look at improving your posture
Tension headaches can be caused by poor posture, this can be especially true if you are sat at a computer all day. There are various techniques and therapies that can help with this, we recommend the Alexander Technique and Bowen therapy.
6. Try peppermint oil
Aromatherapy is helpful for a number of concerns, with peppermint oil recommended for it’s cooling, pain-relieving properties. Apply a little mixed with olive oil to your temples and forehead, massaging and breathing deeply.
7. Enjoy some pumpkin seeds
Magnesium is known to help relieve headache pain. Pumpkin seeds are a great source of magnesium, so enjoy a handful often to keep your levels topped up.
8. Get a massage (or massage yourself!)
Many tension headaches are caused by tense neck and shoulder muscles. If you can get these relaxed, it may help to prevent future headaches. Invest in regular massage treatments, ask a partner/friend to give you a shoulder rub or simply take 10 minutes to relax and massage yourself.
9. Stretch out and relax
Stress is a big culprit for tension headache sufferers, so it’s important to get this under control. Taking time out every day to stretch your body and relax your mind is crucial. Try yoga, Tai Chi and/or meditation.
10. Try feverfew
Feverfew is believed to be especially helpful for migraines. This is down to the plant helping to relax constricting blood vessels and reducing inflammation. You can take feverfew in a number of different ways, we recommend speaking to a herbalist for more information.
Since the beginning of time, bathing has been considered an art form, used to restore good health and peace of mind. Today, running a bath is still considered a simple, but luxurious way to wash away daily stressors. While spa treatments are effective in fighting negative feelings, they aren’t always the most practical way to de-stress.
Using a few simple ingredients, you can make your own bath a haven. By creating a weekly ritual of de-stressing with a warm bath, you’ll be able to help encourage peace, cleanse the mind and ease tension in the body.
The first step in creating a beautiful experience is to prepare your body and your bathroom. To transform your bathroom into your own, private spa, turn off any overhead lighting. Light some candles and choose some soothing music. Whether it is a relaxation playlist on spotify, or a selection of your favourite songs, choose whatever calms you personally.
Before entering the warm water, practise a short fifteen-minute meditation. This allows you to notice your thoughts, both negative and positive, making it easier to clear your mind. Finally, gather your props. Maybe you like to sit back with a good book and a glass of wine, or perhaps you enjoy relaxing with a warm mug of cocoa.
The temperature is perfect, you’ve chosen your playlist and have prepared a nice cup of tea or a chilled glass of wine – it’s time to get in. Perhaps you could add some epsom salts or a couple of drops of essential oil. Sandalwood, rose, patchouli, lavender and chamomile are all lovely options that can help promote well-being and peace.
You can also take this time to indulge in some beauty rituals you wouldn’t normally have time for. Use a body or face mask to refresh the skin, exfoliate the body and give yourself a small massage. Taking this time to provide your body with such rare, tender care increases your self-love and can provide a deeper connection to the self.
Have you considered learning more about massage therapy? There are many benefits, including reduced feelings of stress and anxiety.
There comes a time when the water starts to cool and you are ready to end the experience. You may have a shower to wash off any masks or soap, perhaps a little blast of cold water to refresh you. Be sure to have your favourite, fluffy towel waiting for you on the radiator. Dry off and take a moment to lie down and moisturise. Finally, tuck into your favourite pair of comfy pyjamas and relish in the aftermath of the experience. This small indulgence gives your body and mind many benefits, so enjoy them.
As honey is produced by bees, it is commonly found throughout the world. However, there are certain forms of honey that are only produced in a few locations and each country has its favourite. When bees are able to access large areas of one type of flower, they can produce a monofloral honey that has a specific flavour. This is why there are so many varied tastes to honey, depending on where it was produced and from which flower.
But what is it?
Honey is essentially the sweet food made by the bees, using the nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is what we know to be honey, collected by beekeepers and sold in supermarkets to be consumed by people. People have been using honey as a sweetener for many years, it has also been used for its medicinal traditions, as well as for symbolic and religious uses.
What can it heal?
Honey is believed to have a wide range of health benefits, which can help heal the entire body. It is thought to have anti-inflammatory qualities as well as being nutritious. Its anti-inflammatory effects and ability to soothe a sore throat gives it the ability to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms.
As it contains small amounts of pollen, many believe honey acts like a natural vaccine. A common theory is that if the body is exposed to small amounts of an allergen, the body will trigger an immune response that produces antibodies. Honey is also a natural source of energy. It works to increase blood sugar in time for physical exercise and as it is loaded with antioxidants, it can help boost memory and prevent cellular damage.
How does it heal?
It is commonly used to reduce and soothe acid reflux, an upset stomach, a cough or sore throat and can also serve as a treatment for wounds and burns. You can add honey to tea, warm water or food, depending on symptoms.
The bees who produce honey are considered “power animals” and are an integral part of many shamanic traditions. It is symbolic of fertility, prosperity, diligence and worth ethic. Many cultures view bees as messengers of the Gods, while their honey has been compared to the nectar of the Gods.
When it comes to simple first aid, many of us prefer natural, DIY home remedies to those from a pharmacy. Fortunately, there is a wealth of fast-acting remedies thought to effectively treat minor ailments.
Whether you’re a parent dealing a child’s scrape or bruise, you’re prone to accidents or you just want to be prepared, these all-natural remedies will be handy to have in your first aid kit.
Baking soda for bee stings
Baking soda is usually found at the back of your kitchen cupboard waiting to be used in a recipe or as a cleaning agent, but it can also treat bee stings. Simply pour some baking soda into the palm of your hand and add a little water to make a paste. Apply the mixture directly to the sting to help reduce pain and inflammation.
Basil for mosquito bites
Believe it or not, this common ingredient is also thought to relieve the itch of a mosquito bite. To relieve the itch and soothe the skin, gently rub some basil leaves on the area. Some studies also show that the oil from basil leaves can act as a form of insect repellent.
Aloe Vera for sunburn
A well-known remedy and commonly sold in supermarkets and pharmacies. However, many of these products are mixed with alcohol and artificial colours. For effective relief, all you need is an aloe plant. To treat sunburn, break off a piece of the plant and tear it open. Rub the gel directly on the sore area.
Thyme for cuts
A trick for cleaning minor cuts and scrapes is to use thyme. This herb is a staple in many homes, yet it is not known for its oil and healing properties. To use it, bring a cup of water to a boil and add one teaspoon of dried thyme leaves. Let the mixture steep until cool enough to apply to the skin.
Remember to clean the cut first and then apply the mixture with a clean cloth.
Lemons, oranges and limes are readily available in the UK and when they are so affordable, it is a great time to make a big batch of lemon concentrate to keep in the freezer, ready for when you need a boost.
To make the lemonade concentrate, you will need:
- One part freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- One part water.
- One and a half parts sugar.
1. Heat the water and sugar together until dissolved.
2. Let the syrup cool to room temperature.
3. Add the lemon juice.
4. Once mixed, pour into cupcake cases and place in the freezer.
5. When ready to drink, depending on strength, mix with cold water.
Now this alone tastes delicious and refreshing, but if you are fighting off symptoms of a cold or flu, herbal lemonade can help give your immune system a boost as well as make you feel a little more relaxed.
For the herbal lemonade, mix the lemon concentrate with some hot water. Add lavender, lemon balm and elder flowers and leave to steep. The lavender will help to relax and soothe the body, while lemon balm and elder flowers are known for the cold-fighting abilities.
After steeping the herbs for about 10 minutes, strain the liquid and allow it to cool. Pour into a mug, top with cold water and enjoy!
To really make the most of the soothing, cold-relieving benefits of the herbal lemonade, take the time to de-stress and relax. You can try taking 10 minutes to practise meditation, yoga or running a warm bath filled with essential oils. It is important to practise self-care, especially when you aren’t feeling at full health. There are many ways you can do this, if you are busy, simply schedule some “me-time” into your daily routine.
These days herbal remedies can be found in supermarkets, health food outlets and pharmacies, but you can also create a corner in your garden where you can grow your own.
Medical herbalist, Luzia Barclay is currently busy setting up her own medicinal herb garden. She says that the best place to start is to divide your corner into sections devoted to each of the body systems, for example:
- digestive system
- skin health
- nervous system.
The next step is to fill the plot with the herbs that are thought to help keep your body in good health.
Milk thistle – The seeds contain silymarin, a compound believed to boost liver health. Once the purple flowers have blossomed into seed heads, remove them. Place in a warm, dry place and tap the buds to release the seeds a few days later. Grind the seeds and add them to your cooking or as a breakfast topping.
Mint – There are over 20 different species of mint, but peppermint is the most common. The active ingredient in mint, menthol, relaxes the stomach muscles, which in turn improves digestion. You can pick mint leaves any time during growing season. You can use them fresh or dry them ready to add to a tea.
Lemon balm – Lemon balm holds essential oils, citral and citronella, which can help calm the nervous system. Like peppermint, you can use the leaves fresh or you can dry the leaves and make into an infusion.
Aloe vera – The gel of an aloe leaf is rich in glucomannan. This has a soothing effect and is great for minor cuts, sunburn, insect bites and dry or chapped skin. Simple to use, you just remove a leaf and squeeze out the healing liquid. Use immediately.
Lavender – Lavender contains chemical compounds believed to help reduce irritability and relieve pain. Lavender can be used to ease insomnia and soothe bites and burns. It is best to harvest lavender during the summer, as the flowers bloom. You can either infuse the fresh flowers with oil or dry the plant and add a sprig under your pillow to promote sleep.
At some point in our lives, we will all be affected by bouts of nausea. Whether yours is related to acid reflux, medication or pregnancy, there are some natural remedies hiding in your kitchen cupboard that may provide relief.
While research continues to look at the effectiveness of ginger as a natural remedy, it does have a long history of treating nausea, diarrhoea and stomachache. Ginger has been used to treat a variety of digestive issues for thousands of years. It is unclear how and why ginger can be effective in relieving nausea, but the active component, gingerol, is thought to have a direct effect on the digestive system.
There are many ways you can add ginger to your diet – add it to hot water and lemon for a soothing tea or add it into your recipes for a warming kick.
Peppermint has also been used for many years as a natural remedy. Both peppermint leaves and oil are helpful in managing indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome.
It is also effective in treating nausea. Due to its calming and numbing effect on the body, peppermint works to relax the stomach muscles. Peppermint is available in a variety of forms, such as oils and ointments. Peppermint tea is a common remedy for nausea, however it is also available as an essential oil, where the aromas are believed to soothe and calm the body.
Acupuncture and acupressure
Many scientists believe the needles involved in acupuncture stimulate the nerves of the body, alerting the brain to release hormones to reduce the feelings of nausea, pain and discomfort.
Acupressure involves a similar approach, instead of needles; pressure is applied to certain points of the body physically. One study published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine reported that acupressure applied to the wrist was significant in reducing nausea and vomiting.
Both acupuncture and acupressure are believed to help ease pregnancy-related nausea – however, do make sure you speak to your GP first.
Our sense of smell is closely related to our memories and actions. When our noses pick up a scent, it is immediately sent to the brain for processing.
When we recognise a scent, it gets sent to two important parts of the brain. The olfactory bulb identifies what the smell is, and the thalamus tells us what to do. For example, when we smell smoke, we know that it may mean danger and to get out. Or, if you’re a coffee-lover, the simple smell of freshly ground beans may perk you up, affecting your productivity levels.
Aromatherapy candles can often be seen as a bit of a novelty – a gift to get someone when you don’t know what else to give them. But, here at Therapy Directory, we see them as tools we can use to elevate daily rituals and embrace a more mindful approach to self-care. And, although scented candles only produce subtle scents, they can still have a powerful and positive effect on our mind.
If you’re a fan of scented candles, take a look at our guide on the different ways you can use them to add a little luxury and intention to your day.
1. To signal your wind-down time
Switching off after a day at work can be difficult. One of our favourite ways to use candles is to light one when we’re home, ready to unwind. The simple act of lighting a candle and filling your home with a relaxing scent at this time signals to your brain that it’s time to relax.
2. To focus on during meditation
Sometimes having an object to focus on during meditation helps you focus in and clear your mind. Look at the flame for a few minutes as you begin and then close your eyes. You can then picture the flame in your mind’s eye and use this as an anchoring point during meditation.
Using an aromatherapy candle has the bonus of scent, so ensure you pick an aroma that matches the type of meditation you’re doing.
3. To re-energise
We can all fall victim to the afternoon slump, but this can get rather frustrating when it happens on a daily basis and you have work to do. Choose an orange or lemon-scented candle to tackle this decrease in energy. Keep it lit for about 30 minutes to let the scent take effect.
Or, to help you complete everything on your to-do list, try lighting a rosemary-scented candle. This aroma is thought to boost memory, relieve headaches and indigestion. The scent of rosemary is most effective when used in the morning.
4. To enhance your yoga practice
Yoga is a very mindful practice. It helps you get out of your head and into your body, and is the perfect way to prepare for meditation. Having an aromatherapy candle burning as you practise is a great way to enhance the mindfulness aspect. You’ll be able to focus on the scent and how your body feels in each pose.
5. To elevate self-care practices
Taking time for you is so important for your physical and mental health. Taking a bath or reading a good book are some of our favourite ways to embrace self-care and having a beautifully scented candle burning makes the experience feel extra special.
6. To inspire creativity when you work
If you work from home (or your office allows it) try lighting a candle in your workspace. Uplifting scents like citrus or mint can help you stay alert, focused and productive. Or, if you’re feeling uninspired and stuck for new ideas, peppermint or cinnamon-scented candles can stimulate your senses. Research has found that these aromas help boost alertness and memory levels.
Now and then, take a mindfulness break – maybe focus on the candle, how it looks, how it smells. This can help you slow down and allow creative ideas to surface.
7. To calm nerves
If you need to calm down before a presentation or interview, opt for a jasmine-scented candle. This aroma is known to calm nerves, improve confidence levels, boost optimism and improve hand-eye coordination.
Tips for using aromatherapy candles
- Where possible, allow candles to burn for an hour to let the wax melt evenly.
- Trim the wick regularly, aim to keep it around 0.5cm. If it’s too long it can create smoke when burnt.
- Where possible, extinguish candles using a candle snuffer or lid as this minimises smoke and the burning smell.
Scents can be effective in promoting relaxation, boosting energy levels and improving well-being. For more information on aromatherapy, visit our fact-sheet.
Many of the spices used in winter recipes are found to be effective in boosting our immune system and improving digestion. If you’re feeling poorly, get yourself in the kitchen and add these four spices to your dishes.
Known for its positive effect on the digestive system, ginger is rich in the active compound, gingerol. This has been shown to improve indigestion, reduce feelings of nausea and reduce vomiting. Ginger is also an anti-inflammatory, assisting in pain relief and inflammation.
Add fresh ginger to boiling water for a sweet tea or slice it up and add it to your stews for a kick of flavour.
Nutmeg is a spice packed with minerals, including magnesium, potassium and zinc. These minerals are particularly important in the body’s fight against cold and flu symptoms. This magnesium-rich spice is also known to promote relaxation and sleep.
Many home remedies include nutmeg, such as using the spice for pain relief or indigestion. Mix nutmeg with honey to heal aches and pains.
Cardamom is known as a digestion aid and an antiseptic. The essential oil of cardamom contains high amounts of iron and manganese and is topically used to heal infections. Many countries use the whole cardamom pod boiled with ginger to help relieve indigestion after eating.
Cardamom is used in many recipes including deserts, drinks and rice dishes. Add this spice as a cupboard essential and keep the essential oil in your medicine box.
Turmeric is a favourite spice for combating illness. It has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, hence why it is so popular within Ayurvedic medicine. The active ingredient in turmeric, curcumin is also an antioxidant.
Try adding turmeric to your evening tea or your breakfast smoothie and juice to fight off infection.