Being a student isn’t easy. You’re constantly overloaded with assignments and exam stress while trying to have a social life. These factors are enough to bring down your immune system, which will eventually cause you to be sick. And unless you have your medical bills covered by a parent or place of work, paying a visit to the clinic can be pretty expensive or sometimes, it just takes too much effort!
So if you’re feeling unwell, here are some easy-to-prep homemade remedies using ingredients you can easily find hiding in your pantry. The best part? You don’t have to spend a dime!
#1. Sore throat
Remedy 1: Salt and water
This is an age-old remedy that helps to get rid of a sore throat. The salt is effective as it reduces the swelling in your throat by pulling water out of your throat tissue and killing unwanted bacteria.
Simply mix 1 teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water and stir to dissolve. Then, gargle a mouthful of the mixture in the back of your throat for 30 seconds, twice a day. Be sure to spit it out after and do not swallow the mixture.
Remedy 2: Honey, lemon and water
This popular beverage is also known to help soothe an aching throat. Here’s why: The acid from the lemon breaks down the mucus that causes a sore throat while infusing your body with immune-boosting vitamin C at the same time. The honey, on the other hand, has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which aid in reducing swelling and relieving the ache.
To prepare, squeeze some lemon juice into a cup of warm water, then add 2-3 teaspoons of honey and mix well.
#2. Flu and cough
Remedy 1: Garlic
Although some of you may think it’s stinky, there are many health benefits of garlic. Garlic is a plant in the Allium (onion) family and one of its main benefits is its ability to boost one’s disease-fighting response to colds. This is possible thanks to a special compound called allicin, which is released when garlic is chewed or crushed.
To benefit from its medicinal properties, chop or crush a few cloves of fresh garlic and let it sit for 10 – 15 minutes. You can use it to make a variety of dishes such as soup, garlic bread or hummus.
Remedy 2: Ginger tea
Ginger has antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory compounds that are able to stop the spasm of coughing by relaxing the muscles of the airways. This is especially good if you have a dry or asthmatic cough.
All you need is to slice a few pieces of ginger and brew it in boiling water for about 20 minutes. When it’s ready, you may add some honey or lemon to improve the taste. If you’re feeling a little queasy, the tea also helps to alleviate nausea.
Remedy 1: H20 (lots of it)
This may seem like a pretty obvious thing to do, but many may not know that fever can cause fluid loss and dehydration within the body. Your high body temperature may deplete water from your cells so be sure to drink at least 8 to 12 cups of water to keep yourself hydrated.
Remedy 2: Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a traditional remedy known to have been able to “draw out’’ fevers with its acidic nature, hence leaving a cooling effect on your body. Simply get a cloth and soak it in a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water (1:2 ratio) and place the cloth on your forehead or tummy. You can also take a warm bath and add a cup of the vinegar to it.
#4. Menstrual cramps
Remedy 1: Use heating pads
In a study published in 2012, it was found that the application of heat on the abdomen or lower back area is able to relieve menstrual pain. All you have to do is simply get a heating pad at the local pharmacy like Guardian. Or, you could also get a hot water bottle or a warm towel and place it on your lower abdomen. The heat works by relaxing contracting muscles in the uterus, making the pain more bearable.
Remedy 2: Chamomile tea
This popular beverage has a stellar reputation for promoting sleep and relaxation. Besides treating insomnia, sipping a cup can also help with cramps as a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has shown that the tea contains glycine, an amino acid that has been proven to relieve muscle spasms.
If you don’t already have this relaxing tea at home, you may easily find it at the supermarket.
Remedy 1: Almonds
It’s tempting to pop a pill whenever you get a headache. However, the next time the ache strikes, try popping in some nuts such as almonds instead. Almonds contain salicin, an anti-inflammatory agent that is also found in over-the-counter aspirin to relieve pain. Not only that, but almonds are also rich in magnesium, which can relax your muscles and ultimately reduce headaches.
Remedy 2: Ice pack
This method to lift a headache isn’t new, and in fact, has been used for over 150 years. Proven by a study in 2013, cold therapy does alleviate the pain of migraines and headaches as it slows down pain nerves. Applying something cold like an ice pack to your neck or head area also cools down the blood in the vessels around that area and relieves the pressure that causes the throbbing pain.
It’s easy to neglect your health when you’re swamped with tasks and duties, so don’t forget to take good care of yourself even when you’re busy. But, keep in mind that these are remedies that can help with minor illnesses. Should you suffer from any prolonged ailments, do consult a doctor and always prioritise your health before anything else.