After my Dr Oz guest segment last week, I’ve had many viewers ask for more information on home remedies (I’ll choose not to be hurt by the fact that no one EVER actually wants to come see me in the ER 🙂 ). So I’ve added a couple more below, and will post more in the future.
So, what other home remedies may you already have on hand?
You can click here to watch my clip from Dr Oz, and read below for more!
For a sore throat or cough
You heard me talk about honey on Dr Oz—with the new guidelines advising that all cough and cold medicine NOT be used in children less than 6, I frequently have worried (and exhausted) parents asking me what they CAN use in this age group. Honey has been shown to be as effective as many over-the-counter cough medications, and is safe in children OLDER than 1 year (never use it in children younger). Simply give one teaspoon (10grams) of honey before bed, and less coughing and sore throat, without the risk of cough medicine. (note: honey can be used in adults too—try it!)
Toothache, sore throat, or canker sore in your (or your child’s) mouth? Try Magic Mouthwash!
I didn’t make up that name. I promise. But we use this in the ED regularly—especially for infants with mouth sores and tooth pain and it works SO well. To make it, mix 1 part Maalox and 1 part Children’s Benadryl (make sure that you don’t put any more Benadryl than would be your child’s normal dose per weight, so that if they do swallow it, it’s ok). If your child is old enough to gargle, then have them do that and spit. If not, use a tongue depressor or Q-tip (this works for mouth ulcers or sore teeth) and you can “paint” the solution onto wherever it hurts. It will taste and feel funny at first, but after a few minutes, they will have real pain relief.
For that aching headache
Ok, we’ve all been there. You have a blasting headache and 3 more hours of work to get done. Did you know that 100mg of caffeine (about 1-2 cups of coffee) can minimize the pain? (of course, if you have a headache because all you’ve had today is coffee and no water, this is not the remedy—you, my friend, need a big 8-16 ounce glass of H20!). But if you’re not dehydrated, try this little “cocktail”: 650mg acetaminophen (Tylenol) + Aspirin 81mg (baby aspirin) + 1 cup coffee + 8 ounces of water. Caffeine has actually been shown to work in multiple types of pain—but seems to be particularly helpful for a headache.
Ladies—skipping your calcium or iron pills because of constipation?
Ok, who wants to talk about constipation….yeah, I get it. But SO many female patients tell me that they skip their calcium or iron supplements for this reason. NOT NECESSARY! Add a magnesium supplement (about 200-300mg) or better yet, just take a supplement that has calcium + vitamin D + magnesium. BTW, this is helpful for constipation of any kind.
A caffeine-free alternative to staying awake
A new study found that when people experience the scent of peppermint, they have increased alertness, can stay awake longer, and focus better. I used to do this in residency, driving home after a 36-hour shift—I’d take 2 of those little Listerine pocket strips at once—yowza. Remember those “York Peppermint Patty” commercials? Like a cold blast of wake-up-now!!! breeze.