Today plants are a source of many powerful drugs for those modern plagues including, heart disease and cancer.
But there is also a wonderful variety of homemade herbal remedies available, and here we list 50 of them!
before we begin please remember that no natural or homemade herbal remedies should be taken in pregnancy or for any major illnesses, as a rule if your symptoms continue for more than a week you should see your GP.
Quick Guide Contents
Homemade Herbal Remedies For Coughs Colds and Fevers
There are probably more traditional homemade herbal remedies for these ailments than for any other category of illness.
And no wonder when there are about 200 viruses responsible for the sneezing, wheezing and general discomfort caused by the common cold.
Now that doctors are trying to limit the use of antibiotics (which in any case can not help if you have a viral infection) it’s a good time to look again at some of the tried and tested ways in which families have relived the symptoms of both colds and flu.
For information about the benifits of essential oils and where to buy them, check out our Essential Oil Use Chart.
Oil of Eucalyptus (stuffy nose)
The pungent aroma of oil of eucalyptus(traditionally known as the fever tree) gets through however stuffy your nose is. Scatter a few drops on a handkerchief and breath in the vapours, or sprinkle a little on your pillow at night.
Add five drops to one tablespoon of olive or almond oil and massage into your chest, or gargle with a few drops in a glass of warm water.
To relive a heavy cold inhale using the following method:
- Add 4 drops of eucalyptus oil to a small bowl of freshly boiled water.
- Cover both your head and the bowl with a towel and breath in the steam as deeply as you can for several minutes.
- If you prefer you can use a facial sauna or a special inhaling cup instead, available from pharmacists.
Fragrant Catarrh Cure
This combination of sweetly scented antibacterial and stimulant herbs can be used as a chest rub (diluted in a neutral oil such as almond or olive) or inhaled, to make breathing easier.
Why not try both?
Mix 1 drop each of essential oils of chamomile, lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint in 2 tablespoons of carrier oil for a chest rub.
If you’d rather inhale them, add the same number of drops to a basin of boiling water. Cover both your head and basin with a towel and breath in deeply.
Honey and Lemon Cough Linctus
These 2 traditional cold remedies are given a kick by a third one – whisky – So this is for adults only! It’s been around since 1867 so its certainly stood the test of time.
Whisk 1 tablespoon each of clear honey, whisky, lemon juice and glycerine in 4 tablespoons of warm water.
Take 1 tablespoon 3 times a day.
Red Sage Gargle (sore throat)
Red sage gargle is an excellent homemade herbal remedy for a sore throat and more potent than it’s kitchen garden cousin.
Add 1 heaped teaspoon of dried red sage to 1 mug of boiling water and leave to stand for ten minutes.
Strain then add 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar.
The infusion can also be sipped as a tea, but may be too strong for some tastes.
Salt Water Snifter(blocked nose)
For a traditional decongestant, try this salt water snifter.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon of table salt to 1/2 a glass of water and transfer to a small pan.
- Bring to the boil then leave to cool.
- Sniff 2 to 3 drops up each nostril to clear a blocked nose.
Spice Oils (cough)
Inhaling spice oils with a sedative effect can sooth an irritating cough and help you get a good nights sleep.
Add 2 drops each of frankincense and sandalwood oils to a basin of freshly boiled water. Put a towel over both your head and basin and breath deeply.
Herbal Chest Rub
This contains antibacterial lavender and tree tea oil, great homemade herbal remedies to fight infection.
Dilute 2 drops of lavender oil and 1 drop of tree tea oil in one tablespoon of almond oil. Rub into your chest, back, hands and feet morning and night.
Homemade Herbal Remedies For Digestion
Should prevention fail, the kitchen garden also provides standbys to relive indigestion, often just as affective as those offered by modern medicine. Such as oils of peppermint, recommended by doctors today to counteract spasms, many have been used for hundreds of years.
Here are some garden remedies and some cupboard buys to help:
Recommended for nausea, including morning and travel sickness, even astronaut have taken ginger into space.
Take a piece of crystallized ginger to nibble during journeys, or try ginger tea (one teaspoon of grated ginger infused in a cup of freshly boiled water for ten minutes), or make your own ginger ale!
- Soften a large piece of fresh ginger root with a rolling pin to help release the oil.
- Add to 1 pint (550ml) of boiling water and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Strain, add honey to taste, and top with sparkling water. (to much ginger and cause indigestion if your sensitive to it so sip with care).
Chamomile has been called the “mother of the gut” for its soothing properties, and its also relieves insomnia and stress.
If you have a tendency to indigestion, or simply don’t want to be kept awake from drinking coffee at night, try a cup of this delicate tea after meals.
- Take 10 fresh chamomile flowers or 1 teaspoon of dried and infuse in a mug of freshly boiled water for ten minutes.
- Strain and drink 3 times a day.
- In the summer, chill the tea and blend it with pineapple juice, which contains enzymes that help digestion.
Yogurt and Rice
Yoghurt and rice can settle an acid stomach.
Live yogurt is best because it contains the bacteria bifidus and acidophilus, which help maintain a healthy balance in the gut.
- Soak a hand full of rice in a glass of cold water overnight.
- Next morning, strain and mix with a carton of plain (preferably) live yogurt and eat for breakfast.
Caraway, Cardamom and Cinnamon
The three Cs – caraway cardamom and cinnamon are spices that warm your insides.
They have whats called a carminative action, which means they can relive colic and bloating.
- Caraway – Infuse 1 teaspoons of seeds in a mug of hot water for 10 minutes. strain, and drink before meals.
- Cardamom – Crush 6 cardamom pods to release the oil then cover with 1/2 a pint of hot water. Infuse for 10 minutes, then strain.
- Cinnamon – Flavor hot milk with a cinnamon stick or 1/2 a tea spoon of ground cinnamon.
Potato juice is a traditional way to relive stomach cramps and its said, even ulcers. But make sure you avoid green potatoes, which can be poisonous!
Alternatives include cabbage juice and, or water that new potatoes have been boiled in.
- Peel and scrub 2 medium size potatoes.
- Chop into bite- size pieces before liquidizing or putting in a food processor.
- Add lemon juice to taste.
- Take 2 table spoons before each meal.
- Do not take for longer than 24 hours.
An aromatherapy massage does more than just rub it better, though many doctors believe touch helps close the nerves (gateway to pain.)
Using essential oils will help you benefit from the healing power of plants even if you cant face the thought of food or drink.
Mix 2 drops of geranium to tone, 2 drops of lavender for pain relive, and 2 drops of peppermint, known to help indigestion, in a tablespoon of warmed almond oil.
Massage gently into the abdomen using circular strokes in a clockwise direction and then cover the abdomen with a warm, damp towel. (replace with another before it cools.)
For information about the benifits of essential oils and where to buy them, check out our Essential Oil Use Chart
Homemade Herbal Remedies For Aches and Pains
Today however central heating has improved our living conditions inside, but the climate hasn’t changed and arthritic aches and pains are still as much a problem as ever. And many people who are affected instinctively know when its going to rain and find that they feel better when its dry.
Wearing a cooper bracelet is one folk remedy thats said to help, you can buy special bangles from pharmacists. If you are still plagued by joint pains, try one of the following traditional or herbal remedies.
Meadowsweet Compress (homemade herbal remedy for aching joints)
Meadowsweet is is a natural pain reliever, and soothes aching joints. It grows wild in the garden and is also available dried from herbalists.
Meadowsweet is one of the original sources of aspirin, an anti inflammatory drug that fights both pain and swelling.
As many people with arthritis know, aspirin and similar drugs can also wreak havoc with the digestive tract but unlike the extracted drug, meadowsweet contains ingredients that protect the stomach.
- 1/2 pint -275 ml -(about one cup) of freshly boiled water
- 3 tbsp ( 40g) of fresh meadowsweet leaves and flowers or 1 tsp (15g )of dried
- Pour boiled (not boiling ) water over meadowsweet cover and leave for 10 minutes.
- When it is comfortable and cool enough to touch, soak a pad of cotton or cotton wool in the liquid.
- Squeeze out the excess and hold the pad against the skin until it dries or cools.
- Repeat as necessary, using the warm liquid.
Honey and Cider Vinegar (arthritis)
Many people swear by this sweet and sour homemade herbal remedy for for arthritis, believing that it clears the toxins from the system.
Add 1 teaspoon of runny honey and 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a cup of hot water and drink it daily
Garlic Cloves (earache)
Garlic is a homemade herbal remedy for for earache and guaranteed, so country lore has it, to draw the pain if the ear is inflamed.
Peel a clove of garlic and cut if necessary so that it fits just inside the ear. Wrap it in a piece of gauze or fine cotton, and replace every few hours.
This is one of the great homemade herbal remedies, and is a family favorite. Cinnamon and ginger offset the side affects of a sick headache.
- Pour 1 cup of water and 1/2 glass of milk into a small saucepan.
- Add a 1 inch (2.5cm) piece of peeled fresh ginger root, a large stick of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of strong tea leaves and bring to the boil.
- Leave it to brew over a hot heat for 5 minutes, then strain and add sugar to taste.
A headache cushion filled with soothing herbs also makes for a great homemade herbal remedy. Slip it under your pillow for a sound sleep and sweeter dreams.
Make up a bag from a square of cotton and fill it with dried lavender, marjoram, rose leaves and petals, wood betony and a scattering of crushed cloves.
Lavender Rub (headache)
lavender is antiseptic, relaxing and deliciously scented. Just whats needed when a headache strikes.
- Take the pure essential oil aromatherapists use and add 5 drops to 1 tablespoon of almond oil.
- Massage it slowly into your temples ant the nape of your neck.
- After the massage, sit down and put your head between your knees.
- Massage your scalp gently and relax.
Homemade Herbal Remedies For Stress Relief
Country people had their own ways of coping with it, and drinking chamomile tea to sooth the nerves was just one of them. stress is not always harmful, but excessive stress can impair immunity.
If thats not the state your approaching set aside at lest 15 minutes a day to do nothing but relax, and try these gentle remedies.
Do make sure to see your doctor, though, if stress continues to affect your health.
Cumin is an oriental spice that helps counter anxiety. Try it as an infusion or tea.
Pound 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds and add to 1 mug of boiled water. leave for 10 minutes, then strain and drink.
Valerian is one of the strongest sedatives in the plant world. It is said to be the herb the piped piper used to attempt the rats out of Hamelin, and certainly it was in general use as a tranquillizer until the second World War.
Because its so powerful Valerian is usually combined with other herbs and can also be bought in tablet form.
- Mix 1 teaspoon of dried valerian root with 2 tablespoons of fresh mint leaves.
- Pour over 1 pint (550ml) of boiled water and leave for several hours before straining.
- Drink warm or cold, no mare than 3 times a day.
Vervain (verbena) has been valued for its stress-relieving properties since Roman times, its so affective that it was once associated with witchcraft.
It has a bitter taste so sweeten this tea with a spoonful of honey.
- Take 1 teaspoon of dried vervain or 1 heaped teaspoon of fresh vervain leaves and flowers and cover with 1 mug of freshly boiled water.
- Leave to stand for 10 minutes, then strain and serve.
- Add honey to taste, if you like.
Basil and Sage
These homemade herbal remedies can help you absorb the emotional shock caused by good or bad news. (physical shock resulting from injury is quite different, and in this case nothing should be given by mouth at all.)
Using equal parts basil and sage, put 1 teaspoon of dried herbs or 1 heaped teaspoon of fresh into a jug and cover with 1/2 a pint (275ml) of boiling water. Leave to stand for 10 minutes then strain and drink
For information about the benifits of essential oils and where to buy them, check out our Essential Oil Use Chart