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Kristine Mahan / Spoon
Wellness > Health

Seven Natural Remedies I Use To Heal Myself

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Virginia Tech chapter.

Not all natural remedies can cure illnesses, pain or discomfort, but several of them are a much better alternative to over-the-counter medications. Incorporating these natural remedies into my everyday routine has significantly improved my health and happiness. 


The use of garlic as medicine is an ancient practice from all around the world. Modern day science is, in fact, verifying these medicinal properties. Garlic, containing allicin, can act as a strong antibiotic to help fight off many types of infections, such as bacterial, viral and fungal. Consuming raw garlic also improves immune function with all of its powerful antioxidants. It is known to reduce the risk of cancers and can lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels — the list is endless. One of my recent goals is to have at least a garlic clove a day, aside from incorporating it into my meals. If you ask me, I think the quickest way to get it done is to smash and mince the raw garlic and swallow with water.


Like garlic, ginger also strengthens the immune system and can help prevent cancer cells from growing. One short-term benefit of ginger that most people have heard of is its ability to cure stomach aches and indigestion. A healthier alternative than drinking ginger ale for stomach aches is cutting raw ginger and boiling it with water to make a nice tea. There are also several types of herbal tea you can buy that have ginger root in it. I find that simply chewing raw ginger and chugging some water to wash it down is the quickest solution. If I haven’t convinced you yet, consuming ginger also helps with menstrual cramps. 

Plain Yogurt 

Yogurt is something I incorporate into my diet almost every day. Plain yogurt contains probiotics which is really beneficial for women particularly. It can help prevent things like yeast infections and UTIs because it increases the “good” bacteria in our bodies. Really, anything fermented will be a good source of probiotics. I personally enjoy making homemade tzatziki sauce using plain yogurt and incorporating it into at least one meal every day. It’s so good. 

Cranberry juice 

Pure cranberry juice is a great source of vitamin C and contains several antioxidants that boost immune health and help to flush out toxins in your body. It is also particularly beneficial for women as it promotes urinary tract health and pH balancing. Women are generally more prone to UTIs and cranberry juice can be a great preventative, but it may not always treat a UTI. Pure cranberry juice is certainly not as pleasant to drink as the cranberry cocktail due to the lack of added sugar and how strong it is, so I either mix it with water or chug to get it over with.


Turmeric is known to remove heavy metals in our bodies and is an excellent anti-inflammatory. It can help prevent cancer — seems to be a common theme here — improve memory and can help with depression. Over winter break, I worked at an organic turmeric root farm and thought the process of harvesting raw turmeric was fascinating. I was also lucky enough to be able to consume as much raw turmeric as I wanted, which is typically a very expensive and rare produce item. Turmeric powder is much more accessible and can be easily incorporated into meals. I usually put some on my rice, veggies and soups. It’s also a great additive to a smoothie.

Essential oils

The benefits of essential oils are endless. When used with a diffuser, it can help with improving mood and reducing stress, and it kills bacteria in the air and probably bad vibes too. I often use peppermint oil as a natural alternative to muscle rubs, such as Tiger Balm. Other than their healing properties, I use essential oils as a natural perfume. Who wouldn’t want to smell like lavender extract?


Chamomile is very helpful for anxiety, sleep, digestion and more. A warm cup of chamomile tea never fails to help me feel better. It is also particularly soothing when I am feeling under the weather, as it is an herbal medicine. Plus, it is one of the few natural remedies listed here that is actually very pleasant to consume. 

I think it is important to take advantage of what the earth has to offer with these natural alternatives. My mother always encouraged me to use one of these natural remedies as a first resort when I wasn’t feeling well. I hope to develop my passion more for natural substances and learn more about other alternatives.

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