Pimple– Put a dab of essential oil of tea tree on it. Or put a dab of bentonite clay on it (mixed with water) you want a clay paste. You can do both back to back (tea tree then clay mask). Can leave the dab on there overnight.
Foot cramp or Charlie horse– If these are just occasional from over-stretching or dehydration, long travel, wearing high heels too long and so forth, just buy coconut water and drink it. The electrolytes work to stop the cramp and spasms. You can do this right before bedtime if it’s frequent. Any electrolyte drink will work, unfortunately commercial drinks most contain artificial colors.
Insomnia– For mild bouts of insomnia due to occasional stress try soothing Delta wave music (download an app or play YouTube in bed), and apply essential oil of Lavender to your wrists, and inhale it. Then take long inhalations so that they are equal to, or longer than your exhalations. Keep breathing rhythmically (equally) for a few minutes. Another 5 minute hack is to crawl into bed with a heating pad, the warmth is soothing and relaxing. Two herbal considerations are lemonbalm and California poppy.
Kitchen cuts and wounds– Cayenne powder, the spice, is a well-known hemostat so it stops bleeding within seconds. Outdoor survivalists know this and often have it in their backpack, but what about the rest of us? It’s amazing that you can pour this onto a cut and within 10 seconds, the bleeding will pretty much stop. I found this out when I was working in the kitchen and the knife I was using slipped onto my finger! The water from the faucet wasn’t helping, nor any of the shameful words I mumbled while hopping from one foot to another…. so I poured some cayenne pepper powder on there and took a deep breath waiting for a burn. Surprisingly, no pain, but it did control the bleeding. Super cool for a hot pepper extract! If you’d like to read more about my shenanigans in the kitchen, and how else cayenne pepper helps with prostate function, migraines, blood and bone health and neuropathy, just CLICK HERE to read my other article, Cayenne Pepper Stopped My Bleeding in 30 Seconds.
Headache– Sometimes a cup of coffee or black tea will help because of the caffeine, and you can also add 2 ibuprofen. If that doesn’t help, then take a cool pack and put it on both your temples and take 250 – 350 mg of chelated magnesium. Chew gum, it helps if the headache is from clenching your teeth.
Hangover– Truthfully, I have no experience with this one as my drinking habits amount to probably one drink (or a few sips of one drink), about 3 times a year. I just don’t like feeling ‘messed up’ in my head and it causes insomnia for me. But lots of my friends drink, and some get hangovers. I suggest you take two N-acetylcysteine supplements (approximately 1200 mg of NAC) and also a B1 (thiamine) tablet with your drinks or in the morning. There’s a biochemical reason for why this works better than drinking raw eggs or sweating in a sauna, just take my word for it.
Dry, chapped lips– Drink more, always infuse your water with marshmallow root (keep it in the fridge) and apply honey to your lips (instead of lip gloss). You’re more kissable that way too.
Heartburn– So you ate the whole entire foot-long with chili? Shame on you, now reflux is going to haunt you all night, and probably tomorrow, lol! Try putting a half teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water, and sip it. Some experts suggest more but I like to use the lowest effective dose. Make sure this trick is fine with doc because it increases the pH in your gut (it’s the opposite of an acid blocker). It should help on contact.
Stuffy nose– Take a hot shower so it is steamy in there and dump a few drops of essential oil of Eucalyptus on your shower floor. This allows you to gently inhale the steam infused with a known decongestant. Basil essential oil is a good expectorant. Just be careful not to use too many drops of oil because it could hurt your eyes.
Itchy eyes– This 5 minute health hack should be in everyone’s bathroom. It’s a glass or plastic eye cup with normal saline used for eye health. You can rinse your eye and bring immediate relief to itchy, red or sore eyes. It’s important to keep this, you never know when a drop of a household cleanser is going to spray your eyes, so keep an ‘eye wash’ kit handy.
Minor burns– Maybe you’ve touched the handle of a hot pot or hurt yourself from a hobby. Put some wet tea bags from black tea on the minor burn. The tannic acid is soothing. You can also make a pitcher of black tea and pour it on there for soothing relief.
Colicky baby– Okay, this is funny but a useful 5 minute hack. In 1990 when my daughter was born, she was colicky. I would turn on the dryer, put some fuzzy blankets on top of it (making a little soft ‘bed’) but you can use any baby lounger/cuddler… and then lay her on top of it (with the dryer turned on to create warmth and subtle vibration), and hold her with my hand. Crying would stop immediately, and within 5 minutes she would fall asleep. I never took my hand off her. I could then transfer her to her crib and she’d sleep for a solid 4 or 5 hours.
Hangnails– A manicure will solve it, but sometimes if you’re traveling or short on time. These little boogers can cause a great deal of pain if they get caught on things over and over. Say all you have is 5 minutes. Do this:
Run warm water on it for 2 minutes to soften it and stop bleeding.
Apply some oil if you can, for example, as a waiter for a bit of olive oil and dab it on there for instant soothing. Find a bandage and cover your nail, I always keep a little Band-aid tucked deep in my wallet for minor mishaps or to give to someone in need when I’m traveling. Bandages are also available at any gift shop at a hotel if you’re traveling.
Suzy Cohen, has been a licensed pharmacist for over 30 years and believes the best approach to chronic illness is a combination of natural medicine and conventional. She founded her own dietary supplement company specializing in custom-formulas, some of which have patents. With a special focus on functional medicine, thyroid health and drug nutrient depletion, Suzy is the author of several related books including Thyroid Healthy, Drug Muggers, Diabetes Without Drugs, and a nationally syndicated column.