I have a friend who has been popping Ambien for so long it has stopped working. She’ll text me restless at 5 a.m. as she drifts in and out of nightmarish sleep. Clearly a lifestyle change is in order, but that’s always easier said than done. While you’ll want to consult with your doctor first, there are so many natural options that can be considered before opting for prescription meds (and all the side effects that come along with them). To find out more about these remedies and how we can soothe common ailments, I spoke with wellness expert and author of the new book Coconut Kitchen, Meredith Baird. Here’s a look at her favorite natural remedies!
Stop Colds: Ginger/Lemon/Cayenne + Oil of Oregano
2-inch chunk of ginger, juiced
1/2 a lemon, juiced (with peel)
A pinch of cayenne
2-3 drops of oil of oregano
1 tablespoon of honey (optional – to make it more palatable)
Combine all ingredients.
For Lung and Throat Health: Licorice Tea
2-4 teaspoons of dried licorice
8-16 ounces of boiling water
Steep licorice with boiling water for a least 5 minutes using the brew method of your choice. If you actively have a sore throat or upper respiratory infection, steep longer. Add a few drops of stevia or honey (optional).
Natural Insect Repellent: Colloidal Silver Spray
2 ounces of colloidal silver
1 ounce of rose water
1 ounce of aloe
1-2 drops of the essential oil combination of your choice
“Oil pulling is the basic method of swishing one to two tablespoons of sesame or coconut oil in your mouth for at least twenty minutes. The prescription for this recipe is to do it on a completely empty stomach.
Although oil pulling is an ancient method for improving oral health, the benefits are just starting to be recognized in western culture. This practice originated in Ayurvedic tradition as a means to improve dental hygiene. Oil pulling works by dissolving the toxins and bacteria in your mouth, cutting through plaque, and absorbing into your skin through your gums and tongue. Sesame oil was traditionally used, but coconut oil is preferred in this recipe because of its natural antibacterial and immune-boosting properties. There are many reported benefits behind the method of oil pulling. Some of the most easily noted improvements will include whiter teeth, stronger teeth and gums, better breath, and less gum and mouth sensitivity.
Whether or not you fully believe in the benefits, give oil pulling a try. At the very least, coconut oil makes a great organic mouthwash substitution because of its vitamin E and its antibacterial and antifungal properties.”
Swish 1–2 tablespoons of oil around in your mouth for at least 20 minutes. Spit. Rinse your mouth with warm water. Brush and floss. Store the rest of the oil in a jar for future uses.
Oil pulling is also great to do after a night of toxins because it can help alleviate hangovers.
For Headaches: Coconut and Magnesium
“For many of us, headaches are an inevitable part of life. Daily stress, lack of sleep, anxiety, allergies, dehydration, low blood sugar, and too much time on the computer can all cause headaches. With improvements in diet and stress management, they are possible to avoid, but when they creep up, it is best to treat them naturally. This combination of magnesium and coconut oil is a great solution to add to your temples to alleviate the pain. Magnesium oil is a transdermal mineral supplement that is easily absorbed by the skin. Many of us are magnesium deficient, so increasing magnesium intake is an added health bonus. Magnesium oil relaxes the muscles and blood vessels, and helps ease tension. The combination of essential oils further increases the benefits.”
1 tablespoon of beeswax or carnauba wax, finely grated or chopped
4 tablespoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of jojoba oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of magnesium oil
10–15 drops of peppermint essential oil
10–15 drops of lavender essential oil
10 drops of chamomile essential oil (optional)
Using a double boiler or low-heat method, melt the beeswax with coconut oil and jojoba or olive oil. Stir gently and make sure not to overheat. Remove from the heat, and add magnesium and essential oils. Whisk the ingredients together to make sure they are all well combined. Pour into the container of your choice. Refrigerate to solidify before using. To use, gently massage into temples and the back of the neck or any spots with tension. This recipe makes enough for 20+ uses and it’s also a great salve for dry skin.