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6 DIY Cures for Winter Ailments You’ll Find in Your Kitchen


Biting winds and dry indoor temperatures can take a real toll if you’re dealing with health hassles such as eczema, arthritis, or a chronic cough. Luckily, you won’t have to leave the house to ease your aches! These kitchen cure-alls are just the answer for what ails you.

1. Tame Eczema With Oolong Tea

Drinking four mugs of floral oolong tea daily ($25.95, Amazon) can cut winter eczema flares by 54 percent in the first week. With regular use, it can erase those red, itchy, rashy patches for 63 percent of women who enjoy it year-round, suggests research in the journal Archives of Dermatology. Study co-author Ken Sakurai, Ph.D., says oolong is brimming with compounds (polyphenols) that increase moisture retention and speed skin healing.

2. Soothe Arthritis With Baking Soda

Chilly weather doubles your risk of arthritis flares. But sipping two large glasses of water with 1⁄4 tsp. of baking soda mixed in daily can lessen joint pain within a week. Researchers at Georgia’s Augusta University say baking soda signals special immune cells (macrophages) to switch jobs, so they’ll reduce inflammation instead of creating it.

3. Calm Coughs With Honey

Cold breezes tighten our airways, increasing our risk of coughing fits — particularly if you have asthma, emphysema, or chronic sinusitis. Luckily, research suggests enjoying 1/2 tsp. of honey prior to bedtime quelled a coughs in children. Explains microbiologist Thomas Henle, Ph.D., manuka honey ($14.99, Amazon) in particular contains a rare germ-killing compound (methylglyoxal) that calms the irritated nerves that trigger coughing fits

4. Sleep Deep With Romaine Lettuce

Romaine lettuce tea can help you drift off 50 percent faster, thanks to its rich stores of natural sedatives, suggests research in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology.

5. Banish Winter Blues With Cardamom

British researchers say the sweet aroma of cardamom ($4.59, Amazon) can help you shake off a winter-glum mood in two minutes. Credit a unique compound (cineole) that boosts a mood-lifting hormone called acetylcholine. Simply mix 1⁄2 tsp. of the spice in hot water and inhale.

6. Soothe an Achy Back With Celery

Celery contains 20 different pain-killing compounds that can soothe an achy back in as little as seven days if you enjoy 1 cup daily, say Columbia University researchers. Try braising chopped celery in chicken stock, then tossing it with butter, salt and pepper — or add it to your mix when roasting winter vegetables.

This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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