When people are asked whether they think home remedies are the answer to curing illness, the question is often met with a scoff. Why make a concoction of whatever you can find in your cupboard and hope for the best when you have modern medicine? However, alternative medicine has been used for centuries to treat common illnesses like the cold, toothaches and sore throats. While we do have a range of contemporary medicine that aid us with a range of health issues, the question is worth asking; do home remedies work?

Soothing symptoms

The majority of adults will turn their noses up at home remedies; roughly 4 out of 10 adults have or will use some form of natural remedies. When struck with a sore throat or congestion, a large number of people will make themselves a lemon and honey tea to soothe the uncomfortable symptoms they’re feeling. This is often because they’ve been told to drink this during childhood, usually by a parent, and have since seen it as a way to alleviate their symptoms. This recipe has been around for centuries, with the assumption that it was created in ancient Greece due to their fascination with, and knowledge of, honey.

Whilst alternative medicine is strongly advised against for more serious illnesses, it may actually be worthwhile to consider alternative medicine for symptoms of illnesses like the common cold or toothaches. Many adults tend to avoid alternative medicine as it relies heavily on plant-based components. However, even modern medicine uses herbs and plants. Medicine like Aspirin is made up of artificial compounds similar to those found in the willow tree. While there are plenty of negative views of home remedies, many have been proven to work, whether due to a placebo-like effect or as a genuine treatment.

Natural examples

An example would be chicken soup. As children, the advice to those who have a cold is that eating chicken soup can help. There isn’t a definitive answer as to whether chicken soup can positively affect a common cold. However, there is potential evidence surrounding the movement of neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) when mixed with soup. As the chicken soup is consumed, the neutrophils reacts with it, which creates an anti-inflammatory impact on the rest of the body. This can suggest a possible anti-inflammatory procedure that could help to reduce cold symptoms.

Another example would be how ginger can aid stomach problems, such as intestinal gas and general stomach-aches. Often people are told to drink ginger ale or tea to alleviate stomach pain symptoms, as it acts as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory. It is also known to be a mild stimulant that improves blood flow.

The use of home remedies can be effective, and they are used around the world by a range of different people. However, replacing modern medicine and visits to doctors with ‘traditional’ medicine is dangerous and can threaten your life. Home remedies are a big part of the history of medication and health, paving the way for our current modern medicine and the medicine knowledge that follows.

At FluCamp, we conduct studies to research how the body reacts to common viruses like the cold. The more knowledge we gain, the closer we are to finding and administering treatments that can be potentially life-saving – and ultimately eliminate common viral illnesses. Find out more about how you can help by taking part in our trials.

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