Salt water for a sore throat
Salt doesn’t just make food taste good—it’s extremely useful around the house for a variety of purposes, one of which is an old-fashioned remedy to soothe a sore throat. “Gargling with salt water when you have a sore throat may help relieve some of the pain and irritation,” says Dan McGee, MD, a pediatric hospitalist at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. “But don’t overdo it—one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of water should do it.” And be sure not to swallow it—yuck! Studies have shown gargling to be effective, but if the symptoms persist, see your doctor to make sure you don’t have an infection.
Ginger for nausea
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Ginger has been used for hundreds of years for its medicinal properties, including helping to calm tummy troubles. “Research has found ginger to be an effective digestive aid most notably by helping to alleviate nausea due to morning sickness during pregnancy, motion sickness or chemotherapy,” says registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE, author of Belly Fat for Dummies. “Although we do not yet understand the exact method that allows ginger to be effective at reducing nausea, it is thought it may work by ginger obstructing the serotonin receptors in the gut that cause nausea.” It also may prompt the body release enzymes that help break down food, she says.