Who hasn’t tried a home remedy? Whether it’s because of your grandmother, a friend who swears by it, or the Internet, we’ve all tried these natural remedies for a sore throat, colds, or anything in between. Not only are they simple and inexpensive, but the ingredients you need are also almost always readily available around the house. But which ones are backed up by research and science? In today’s list, we give you our top five!
Looking for pain relief? Then some turmeric will do the trick thanks to the main active ingredient in it called curcumin. It’s even more effective for pain associated with inflammation. In fact, studies show that turmeric extract is as effective for pain treatment as ibuprofen as shown by this study in patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis. In another study, people with pain caused by arthritis reported lower pain levels after 500 mg of curcumin compared to taking an anti-inflammatory drug.
Unlike other home remedies, though, turmeric isn’t about instant relief—to see and feel the benefits, it’s recommended to consume 1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric per day! Add it to a cup of warm water and drink away!
Known for its medicinal properties, it’s impossible not to include ginger in this list! Over its long history as a traditional and alternative medicine, it’s been used to help with the flu and common cold, reduce nausea, and can even aid in digestion. It’s also recognized to help with weight loss, which may be due to its potential effects of increasing the number of calories people burn as well as its ability to reduce inflammation.
Studies indicate that lavender has been used for many centuries to help treat anxiety and depression. Whether it’s the flowers or the extract and in the form of essential oils or tea, one study found that lavender can be a promising treatment option because of how it improves depression-like behaviour. This herb is known to be calming without being sedating and can also reduce anxiety because of its effect on our fight and flight response. By regulating breathing, improving sleep quality, lowering adrenaline levels, and improving mood, it’s a great complementary treatment for people experiencing mental health challenges.
Oregano has several antioxidants that not only give it its flavour and scent—these also help provide health benefits. Among these antioxidants, a study found that carvacrol and thymol may have antimicrobial properties when they prevented strains of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria from developing on meat and dairy products. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, and testing on animals suggested it could help prevent allergic asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. That and did you know that both the Greeks and the Romans associated oregano with happiness? So it’s probably great for your emotional wellbeing too!
Garlic isn’t just great with food—it’s a known home remedy too! Popular for its antibiotic properties, the Greek physician Hippocrates even used garlic to treat respiratory problems, poor digestion, fatigue, and even parasites in the past. Nowadays, however, its also used for cardiovascular-related conditions, some of them being hypertension, heart attack, heart disease, and high cholesterol. A note, though, that heating or cooking garlic can reduce some of its effects – so if you want to eat it with good food and still enjoy the benefits, make sure to add garlic by the end of cooking.
While there are a lot of modern medications out there that we can either buy over the counter or through a prescription, nothing beats the convenience of natural remedies. They’re almost always readily available at home, and the fact that they’ve been around for centuries just goes to show how effective they are. Of course, going to a health professional is still recommended for any type of sickness and disease, but if it’s something any of the things on this list can fix? A home remedy is a great choice!
Yes. You read that right. What’s better for you isn’t freshly cooked, straight-out-of-the-oven pasta but a reheated one! This is important because if you’re anything like us, then you love pasta too! Inarguably a favourite around the world, pasta is preferred by a lot of people because of how simple and versatile it is. It’s also pretty fun—it goes with almost any sauce and comes in many shapes. But what about reheated pasta is good for you exactly? Well, to answer that question, we first need to talk about this undeniable truth:
Unfortunately, pasta is fattening.
This isn’t a surprise considering it’s a type of carbohydrate, and carbs are known to become simple sugars once digested and absorbed by the body. This causes our blood glucose levels to rise. In order to balance everything out, our pancreas releases the hormone insulin, and the result? Just as quickly, our blood glucose levels drop and surprise, surprise: we then become hungry again. This is a complete contrast to fibre—fibre-rich food produces a much more gradual rise and then fall of sugar levels.
According to University of Surrey scientist Dr. Denise Robertson, there’s a way to make pasta act more like fibre: by cooling it down after you cook it. The process changes the pasta’s structure and turns it into something called “resistant starch.” It’s named so because cooked starchy food, once cooled down, becomes resistant to the enzymes in our intestines that break the carbs down and turns them into sugar. But what of people who hate cold pasta and cold food in general?
This is where reheated pasta comes in.
In an experiment done by Dr. Robertson along with Dr. Chris van Tulleken with a group of volunteers for BBC’s Trust Me I’m A Doctor, they discovered that while cooling down pasta after it was cooked had less of an effect on blood glucose levels, cooking, cooling and then reheating it was even better: it reduced the spike in blood glucose levels by 50%. Talk about resistant starch being as resistant as ever!
This is, of course, no reason to start overindulging in pasta. It just goes to show that simply changing the temperature without changing anything on what you include in your pasta recipe can have a positive impact on your food! So no, don’t throw away the leftover pasta in your fridge—not only will it be such a waste, now you know that reheated pasta is definitely good for you.
For anyone who’s just getting into meditation, starting can seem a bit of a challenge. After all, when you look at the many types of meditation techniques out there, it’s pretty obvious that a lot of time and effort is involved. And while it’s true that meditating can take a while to get used to, once you get the hang of it, it’s sure to become a seamless, integral part of your everyday routine. But what are some of the things that can help you jumpstart your meditation journey? In today’s article, we want to share with you our top three!
- Meditating doesn’t mean being thoughtless.
Many people who are new to meditation think it’s all about emptying the mind—but that’s just not the case! It’s downright impossible not to think of anything at all, and trying otherwise will not only be futile, but it can also turn you off from meditating. Instead of fighting your own naturally occurring thoughts, a healthier way of managing them while in the middle of meditation is to be aware of them enough to let them go. Once a thought has run its course, observed without you attaching meaning or judgment to it, you can then go back and refocus on your body and breath, and what you’re sensing and feeling at a given moment.
- Always start with a realistic goal.
Are you the type to go big or go home? This mindset is admirable, but not if it sets you up for failure. If you’re new to meditation, there’s nothing wrong with a 2 to 5-minute session a day to start with. First and foremost, test the waters and figure out what works for you—because, in all honesty, there are a lot of things to consider, and what’s effective for a handful of people you read about online may not be the approach for you. You can start small, meeting little achievements as you go, and from there, you can build up a steady, lengthier meditation session that fits your schedule and needs.
- Right vs. Wrong vs. You
You’ll find a lot of “experts” online who will tell you exactly how to meditate, going as far as to convince you that theirs is the right way. While we’re not saying they’re wrong, more often than not, their “tried, tested, and proven” methods have been tailor-fit for them and them alone. This means that while you can give what has worked for them a try, don’t let yourself get boxed in: it may not work out for you in the long run, and you’ll feel unaccomplished and frustrated. Here’s what you can do instead: take everything that you consume from these meditation gurus as suggestions but don’t forget to try new things for yourself. Experiment a little bit and find something awesome that works right, just for you.
Beginning something new is always a challenge, and because it is, it’s perfectly fine to start small. You don’t have to be a Zen Master on day one—all you have to be is dedicated and willing to see what you’ve committed yourself to until the very end. So keep on meditating no matter how slow the start. Over time, you’ll find the calm, peace, and balance you’ve been aiming for!