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Grow Your Own Drugs: 5 Easy Recipes for Natural Remedies

These plants can grow right in your parlor!

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Coughs and Sore Throats
Licorice has been used for centuries as an expectorant to loosen phlegm. When mixed with marshmallow, which contains a soothing mucilage, it reduces coughing and helps to soothe sore throats. This syrup is especially good for dry or tickly coughs. Quantities differ depending on whether you use fresh or dried marshmallow root.

The information in this feature should not be substituted for, or used to alter, medical therapy without your doctor’s advice. For a specific health problem, consult your physician for guidance. Before using any of these remedies, especially if you have an existing medical condition, or are pregnant or breast-feeding, check with your physician. Some herbs may interact with prescription drugs, including the Pill and antidepressants; always do a 24-hour skin test before using. The publishers and author cannot accept responsibility for any damage incurred as a result of any of the therapeutic methods contained in this work.

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Insect Bites and Stings
Insect bites cause immediate redness, swelling, and itching. Take the heat out of them with plantain, which has both anti-inflammatory and antiallergenic properties. If you don’t have a green thumb but still want a new hobby, try out these recipes that are easier than boiling water.

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Aching Muscles
Chili and mustard work as both a local anesthetic and a deep-heat treatment to ease stiff and painful muscles. This recipe makes 4 to 5 plasters. Non-fractionated coconut oil is available in ethnic food stores. It should be white and solid at room temperature.

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To soothe the pain of both hot and cold arthritic joints, try this spicy remedy that has been countered with peppermint and rosemary oils for scent and pain relief.

Make this natural oil to relieve arthritis symptoms and learn how to use cabbage for pain relief.

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Heartburn and Indigestion
Bloating and belching are common side effects of heartburn and indigestion. At the first sign of any discomfort, take a spoonful of this soothing mixture. The seaweed coats and protects the stomach lining but also floats on top of the stomach contents, acting as a “raft” to calm things down and stop reflux. The mixture also works as an antacid, thanks to the baking soda.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest