The Sacrifices of a Mother: Are You Sacrificing Your Health? Take the Quiz!

Mothers everywhere understand that the sacrifices of a mother for her children know no limits. But how do you know if you're sacrificing your health?

It's a common practice I see in many patients and even friends and family members. We're often so focused on caring for those we love that we forget that if we don't care for ourselves as well, we're ultimately limited on what we can do for our family.

If you're wondering whether or not your health has been impacted by your desire to put others first, take my quiz below to learn if you're sacrificing too much, including your own health. And then keep reading for some of my top tips and tricks for taking some much-deserved guilt-free "me time" to help rebalance and reset!


QUIZ: The Sacrifices of a Mother: Are You Sacrificing Your Health?

Answer the true/false questions below as honestly as you can to learn if your sacrifices for others, especially your kids, are impacting your health.

1. I have less energy than I once had. [True or False?]

2. I often describe myself as feeling overwhelmed. [True or False?]

3. I constantly feel exhausted, even when I get more sleep than usual. [True or False?]

4. I often catch my children’s colds or other illnesses. [True or False?]

5. I easily take on the bulk of the housework and childcare, even if I have a full-time job. [True or False?]

6. Lately, I tend to experience more mood swings and snap at my kids or partner more than usual. [True or False?]

7. I’m struggling with unwanted weight gain, even though I’ve been known to miss some meals. [True or False?]

8. Due to increasing demands and an ever-growing to-do list, I have trouble relaxing—even when I have downtime. [True or False?]

9. I feel guilty when I take time for myself. [True or False?]

10. I have at least one unexplained symptom that I think should be checked out, but I’m too busy to go to the doctor. [True or False?]


I have some tough news, my friend. If you answered “True” to at least three of these questions, it’s likely that the everyday sacrifices of a mother have caused you to also, unwittingly, sacrifice your health. Specifically, you’re showing signs of caregiver burnout along with the early signs of adrenal fatigue.

But don’t worry! I have some tips to help you overcome the ways that the sacrifices of a mother have impacted your health. Keep reading for my top tips to help support your body’s ability to handle stress and calm anxiety.


Sacrifices of a mother - Dr. Pingel


Dr. Pingel’s Top Tips for Improving Your Physical and Mental Health

It’s no secret that the sacrifices of a mother extend far beyond time. When you’re putting your children, and even your partner or entire family, above yourself on a daily basis with no time for addressing your needs, it’s bound to add up.

Those unexplained headaches and bouts of exhaustion? They are the effects—and they’re the signals from your body crying out for help and some much-needed attention.

While it can be tough to make the transition to prioritizing yourself, I have to ask: When is the last time you really put yourself first? I bet it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I get it—I’ve been there, too. But when I saw the impact of my children not getting the best version, the healthiest version of me, I made some changes. So I know that you can, too.

If it helps, every time you put yourself and your health first, think of how it will improve your family’s life. The sacrifices of a mother are understandable, but if you sacrifice too much, namely yourself, your kids could be faced with losing the best parts of you, or worse—losing you altogether.

Here are some of my top tips for improving your health, starting with some smaller steps that I know you can implement successfully!

1. Ask for support.

While I know it can be hard to admit that you can’t do it all, asking your partner, parents, friends, or even a professional nanny or sitter for help for an hour or two can make a huge difference. Just getting out to take a walk or meditate or even just enjoy a funny movie can go a long way in rebalancing your center and helping to release stress.

2. Make some dietary changes.

I know that even just the idea of changing your diet can be overwhelming, but by eating more plant-based whole foods, you’ll consume more nutrients, which will support your body’s stress response and help to prevent those mood swings that can leave your kids feeling sad or confused and you feeling like you’ve failed. You’re a great mom; you just need the right nutritional support so you can show up and be your best!

3. Consider supplementation.

The truth is that we can’t get all the nutritional support we need from even the best diet; there are bound to be gaps. But one of the sacrifices of a mother shouldn’t be supporting her body on a cellular level!

There are many great supplements out there that will support your efforts. If you have trouble finding reputable sources or don’t know where to start, check out my line at Total Health Apothecary. These supplements are hand-selected to support your body’s stress response and help fill common nutritional gaps even the busiest mothers can experience.

4. Seek additional guidance.

When we get stuck in unhealthy habits and cycles, it can be hard to break them. You may need the guidance of an understanding physician to help you along.

One thing I often see in both my Personal Health Consultations and in my concierge patients is that many people just need the guidance along with the emotional support to get started on the right path.

Look, I’ve been there, so I get it. But just know that you absolutely have the power to turn things around—and you don’t have to do it alone!

The major reason I offer these services is to help people just like you turn your health around so that you can feel like yourself again and support longevity in order to be there for those you love the most for as long as possible. That doesn’t sound like such a sacrifice now, does it?

Key Takeaways:

6 Natural Energy Boosters: Foods + Supplements + Lifestyle Changes

If you're anything like my friends, family, patients, and even me, you have a lot on your plate. And it can be so draining! So, if you're looking for some natural energy boosters, this is one article you’ll want to read.

Ready to get all my tips on ways to increase your energy naturally so you can feel and perform your best? Let’s dive right in and discuss my top six natural energy boosters.


Natural energy boosters - Dr. Pingel

6 Effective Natural Energy Boosters

Here are six of the most effective natural energy boosters. Give them a try and watch your energy soar to new heights!


Natural energy boosters - Dr. Pingel

1. Eat a nutritious breakfast.

It’s pretty common when we’re under stress that we don’t pay as much attention to what—and when—we’re eating. For example, have you ever been so busy in the morning that you’ve run out of time to eat breakfast or been so consumed with work that you forgot to eat lunch?

Those are common examples of chronic stress and the resulting adrenal fatigue—a major energy zapper!

One of the best things you can do if you’re looking to start implementing natural energy boosters is to begin eating breakfast in the morning.

Here’s why: Studies have shown that people who regularly eat breakfast tend to stay more satisfied throughout the day and have up to 60 percent higher levels of energy-supporting iron, B vitamins, and vitamin D than those who don’t regularly eat breakfast. [1]

But there’s more. According to a 2011 study confirmed that the type of breakfasts you eat have a direct impact on your energy levels. Breakfasts consisting of lower amounts of carbs and higher amounts of protein were found to be associated with higher self-reported energy levels! [2]

Personally, I love to incorporate natural energy boosters in the forms of whole foods in my breakfasts. It’s pretty common for me to eat eggs with a healthy fat source, such as avocado, and a side of low-sugar berries.

If you’re cravings something sweeter, though, you may want to opt for these Super Delicious Breakfast Cookies, which are packed with protein in the form of chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, and almond butter! The best part? You can make them ahead of time to just grab and go on busy, hectic mornings!


Natural energy boosters - Dr. Pingel

2. Cut the caffeine.

While many of us rely on our morning cup of joe to get going, it’s actually quite counter-productive.

Because coffee contains caffeine, it often causes the body to increase cortisol production and can even cause anxiety if consumed in higher volumes.

The high volume of caffeine in energy drinks can lead to cardiovascular risks such as an irregular heartbeat or even cardiac arrest. [3]

Need an alternative? In terms of natural energy boosters in the form of beverages, green tea contains a much lower amount of caffeine than coffee and black tea. And it also contains many antioxidants and properties that help prevent the crash we often encounter after the caffeine wears off from our coffee beverages.

Plus, green tea is known to provide several health benefits, including helping to lower blood pressure, possibly helping to prevent cancer, and helping to boost the immune system, among others. [4]


Natural energy boosters - Dr. Pingel

3. Manage your stress.

While it may seem like the adrenaline rush of stress gives you an energy boost, over time you’ll find that constant adrenaline takes a toll. Chronic stress can wear you out and leave you feeling exhausted and depleted, not to mention at greater risk of further health problems.

Most people who are under chronic stress report that they crash after lunch and then find themselves wide awake in the middle of the night, which hinders their energy the next day. As a result, finding ways to reduce stress is key to increasing your energy levels.

Taking time to yourself, whether it’s in the form of a walk, meditation, or curling up with a good book can be a great way to relieve some of the stress you encounter each day. Find what works best for you to have a little down time and then make sure to take a few minutes each day to incorporate that into your routine.


Natural energy boosters - Dr. Pingel

4. Stay active.

Getting some exercise each day not only helps improve your health and wellbeing, but it’s also one of the top natural energy boosters I recommend. [5] Simply taking a 10-minute walk will help to get your blood moving, which helps to circulate oxygen throughout your body and improve your energy level.

If you start to feel the effects of the mid-day slump, skip the standard afternoon latte and try doing some brisk walking around the block instead. Need a concrete plan? Check out my Walking for Weight Loss e-book, which isn’t just for people who want to lose weight! The protocol is based on reducing stress and cortisol levels, making it a perfect guide as you’re starting out.


Natural energy boosters - Dr. Pingel

5. Supplement.

As I mentioned above, consuming energy drinks can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to further fatigue and lower energy levels. Instead of turning to these sugar-filled drinks, consider these natural energy boosters: supplements!

The best supplements to boost your energy? Adaptogenic herbs such as ashwagandha, rhodiola, and schisandra berry.

So, how effective are they? According to one animal study, taking an extract of ashwagandha root restored energy levels in mice who had disease-related diminished levels of energy. [6]

Meanwhile, another study found that taking rhodiola twice daily and saw a significant reduction in fatigue. [7]

If you’re looking to take advantage of these herbs, the easiest way to do so is in supplement form. Personally, I use Total Energy to help support my body’s stress response and provide the power of these three incredible adaptogens and keep myself feeling energized throughout the day.


Natural energy boosters - Dr. Pingel

6. Take a power nap.

When it comes to natural energy boosters, this one is a trick tip, but worth mentioning. When you feel exhausted, an afternoon nap can sound like a great idea. But here’s the problem: If you have trouble rising, resting too long during the day or napping too frequently can set you up for insomnia and further exhaustion. [8]

So, if you’re feeling run down and think a quick power nap will help, just make sure to set a timer or alarm for 20 minutes. Any longer will disrupt your sleeping patterns and set you up for exhaustion the following day. [9]

Key Takeaways

The Best Immune Booster For Kids? Dr. Pingel’s Top 5 Recommendations

Looking for an immune booster for kids? You aren't alone.

It's back-to-school time, and given the ongoing circulation of out-of-season viruses, we're all thinking of ways we can support our kids' immune systems. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to help support their immunity while also supporting other aspects of their health and well-being as well!

Want to learn more? Keep reading to learn about the best ways to support your children's immune health as they venture back to school!


The Best Immune Booster For Kids: 5 Tips to Support Their Immunity

Here are my top recommended tips if you’re looking for a great immune booster for kids as they venture back to school

1. Get plenty of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is probably most well-known for its ability to support your immune system. But exactly how does it work?

According to research, vitamin C assists your body’s immune defense by supporting numerous cellular functions within your immune system. But that’s not all. It also helps to protect your body against pathogens and promotes the removal of free radicals from your skin, which strengthens the barriers in your skin. As a result, it offers potential in protecting your body against environmental oxidative stress. [1]

According to a 2013 meta-analysis of 30 trials involving 11,350 participants, the most active participants reduced their risk of getting a cold by an amazing 50 percent when they took 200 mg of vitamin C daily. [2]

Furthermore, taking that amount of vitamin C each day also reduced cold symptom duration in children by 14 percent.

While vitamin C should be consumed every day, this study shows that vitamin C deserves a place in your child’s routine as they head back to school and especially at the onset of cold and flu season.

2. Take vitamin D.

While it isn’t as well-known for its immune-supporting abilities as vitamin C, vitamin D has been shown to support children's immune health, suppress inflammation linked to autoimmunity, and even regulate allergic responses, making it a great immune booster for kids! [3]

Most of the health benefits of vitamin D can be linked to the fact that its antioxidant-rich properties are known to improve cellular function and repair DNA. Additionally, research has shown that being sufficient in vitamin D reduces the risk of both flu and COVID infections. [4]

Personally, I like to give my kids vitamin D in liquid form. It only takes one single drop to give them all the protection they need each day. But if you’re looking for a more creative way to administer it, check out my recipe for these delicious-tasting 4-Ingredient Homemade Vitamin D Gummies.


Immune booster for kids - Dr. Pingel


3. Consume zinc from diet and supplements.

A top recommended immune booster for kids that I always turn to is zinc. Here’s why ….

According to a 2011 study, using a minimum of 75 mg each day of zinc lozenges reduced cold duration by up to 42 percent! [5]

So why is zinc so effective? A 2010 study confirmed that zinc activates your body’s T-cells, which are known to not only stimulate and moderate your immune system but also help attack invaders (such as viruses, bacteria, and even cancerous cells). [6]

Just remember that there are a lot of zinc products on the market—and some are more bioavailable than others. To get a list of which types you should consider, and which to avoid, click here.

4. Get a good night’s sleep.

Making sure your kids get to bed on time and get plenty of quality rest is another one of my top suggestions when asked about a great immune booster for kids.

Simply put, when children get more rest, their immune system gets to repair and strengthen.

Accordingly, a 2019 study revealed that proper sleep improves T cell functioning, which is important because your immune system requires healthy T cells for optimal function. [7] This is important because healthy T cells are necessary for proper immune function.

In fact, according to one study following 153 people who came into contact with rhinovirus, those who slept less than seven hours at night were 2.94 times more likely to develop a cold compared to those who slept eight hours or more. [8]

Now, kids can be notoriously difficult to settle and get to dreamland. So, if you’re looking for a few tips on how to establish a nighttime routine for better sleep, check out my article filled with tips that will help your little one drift off a little easier.

5. Manage stress and anxiety.

We’ve previously discussed how stress can make you sick. But you can’t just tell your kid to stress less, right? And going back to school can be quite stressful for children.

So, what do you do? I’ve found that supporting your child’s adrenal health is the single best way to help boost his or her body’s ability to handle stress. And by calming their stress, you’re helping them to naturally lower their cortisol levels.

This is critical because research has confirmed that chronic elevations of cortisol can increase the production of inflammatory cytokines, which ultimately compromise the body’s immune response to illness. [9]

This is why managing stress and anxiety is such an important immune booster for kids. Click here to learn more about how to best support adrenal health and help prepare your child’s body to handle any stress that comes their way.

Well, there you have it: my top recommended immune boosters for kids. Give each a try and see how they work for your children as they head back to school. And if you’re looking for even more tips, check out my article on 4 Healthy Back to School Tips.

6 Common Health Myths and Facts You Need to Know About

Have you ever wondered about the truth behind common health myths and facts?

"Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day."

"Eat a low-fat diet to lose weight."

"If your mucus is green, you have a bacterial infection."

There are many common health beliefs, but which are true and which are only health myths?

Today, I'm covering common health myths and facts and lifting the veil on the truth behind each of them. So, if you want to get the real deal on your health, keep reading and discover which “old wives’ tales” are true—and which aren’t!


6 Common Health Myths and Facts

Here are some of the most common health beliefs. Let’s dive in and discuss which are health myths and which are facts.

Common health myths and facts - Dr. Pingel

1. The best way to lose weight is to eat a low-fat diet.

Myth. Despite popular belief, research has repeatedly shown that following the Mediterranean diet, which is high in fat, is the healthiest way to reach and maintain a healthy weight. And because this is commonly misunderstood, I knew it was important to include this myth in the list of common health myths and facts.

In fact, studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet features key nutritional elements that are recommended to treat certain risk factors of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. It’s even been linked to preventing diabetes—by as much as 83 percent! [1]

Additionally, other studies have shown that the Mediterranean diet was more effective than low-fat diets at lowering fasting glucose levels in diabetics and promoted greater weight loss. [23]

Common health myths and facts - Dr. Pingel

2. Honey works for a cough just as well as cough medicine.

Fact. Numerous studies have confirmed that honey is incredibly effective at relieving coughs. It’s so effective, in fact, that it deserves one of the top spots in this list of common healthy myths and facts.

According to a 2021 meta-analysis of 14 studies, honey was found to be more effective at reducing both cough frequency and severity in comparison to many other methods. [4]

And one study on 105 children with upper respiratory infections found that the children who consumed honey found as much relief as those who took honey-flavored dextromethorphan. As a result, honey was the preferred treatment by parents. [5]

I recommend taking a spoonful of manuka honey as needed or trying my homemade cough drops, which feature honey. Just remember not to give honey to children under the age of 1.

3. You need to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day to stay hydrated.

Myth. I know—it’s shocking, right? Here’s the deal: Drinking 64 ounces of water isn’t enough for most people.

Why? Because you need to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water each day in order to stay hydrated. So unless you weight 128 pounds, 64 ounces simply isn’t enough. Take your bodyweight and divide it in half; that’s your ideal amount of daily water consumption.

4. Feed a cold; starve a fever.

Myth. When you have a fever, you don’t feel like doing much of anything. But, if at all possible, avoid this old saying. It’s so important, that no list of common health myths and facts would be complete without discussing it.

The simple fact is that in order to properly support your immune system, you need to consume nutrients as much as possible when you’re sick. The stronger your immune system is, the faster you’ll bounce back.

Depriving your body of vital nutrients can actually prolong your illness, which is the last thing you want!

5. Eating carrots can improve your vision.

Fact. Perhaps one of the most well-known of all the common health myths and facts is this tidbit about carrots and eye health. And it’s absolutely true.

Here’s why: Of all fruits and vegetables, carrots actually contain the highest amount of beta-carotene, which your body converts into the powerhouse vitamin A.

Believe it or not, vitamin A is known to help fight dry eyes and even slow the progression of macular degeneration. [678, 9] But that’s not all.

Vitamin A is so critical for proper vision and eye health that night blindness is actually one of the first signs of being deficient in vitamin A! Why is this the case? Vitamin A is a fundamental component of rhodopsin—a pigment found in the retina that’s extremely sensitive to bright light. [10]

6. If your mucus is green, you have a bacterial infection and need an antibiotic.

Myth. Despite popular belief, the color of your mucus isn’t a direct indication of infection, which is why this myth had to be dispelled in my list of common health myths and facts.

The truth is that the color of your mucus is a direct indication of how much oxidation has occurred.

This means that a bacterial infection could contain clear or while mucus while a viral infection could present with yellow or green mucus. When trying to determine the type of illness you’re facing, it’s best to go off of your other symptoms, such as whether or not a fever is present or how long your symptoms have persisted more so than the color of your mucus.

I hope this list of common health myths and facts has helped you to navigate your health journey going forward. Remember, you can't trust everything you hear, and if you ever have questions about your health, you can reach out to your physician or schedule a consultation with me.

5 Health Benefits of Being Organized At Home

If you take a moment to consider then benefits of being organized, a few obvious points come to mind, such as relieving stress, increasing productivity, and even helping you feel in control. But you may be surprised to learn that there are some health benefits of being organized as well.

From improved sleep to having a higher metabolic rate to supporting healthy eating, keeping your home organized provides benefits to both your mental and physical health.

Ready to learn more? Keep reading to discover all the health benefits of being organized, and get some of my very own tips to get and stay organized in your daily life!

5 Health Benefits of Being Organized

Here are five of the top benefits of being organized.

1. Relieves stress

If you’ve ever had someone stop by unexpectedly or ask to come over with limited warning, you know the stress and anxiety that can occur quite quickly if your house isn’t clean and organized. That’s why one of the best benefits of being organized is that it relieves stress.

Because chronic stress often results in adrenal fatigue, which affects many different areas within the body, getting your clutter organized can go a long way in helping to relieve not only stress and anxiety but also help prevent a myriad of other condiions.

2. Supports heart health

While Americans tend to deprioritize their heart health, heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the U.S., accounting for 1 in 4 deaths every year. [1] Additionally, someone has a heart attack every 40 seconds. [2]

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of a heart-related event—and organizing your home tops the list! In fact, a study has shown that spending just 30 minutes cleaning and organizing can reduce your risk of heart disease by 20 percent!* [3]

Now, I believe this happened for two reasons: First, cleaning and organizing your home require movement and activity, which are known to support cardiovascular health. But also simply having an organized home can reduce stress, as we’ve discussed above, which can also help to promote heart health.


Benefits of being organized - Dr. Pingel


3. Increases productivity

According to a 2011 study, having multiple stimuli in your line of sight can cause you to become distracted and unable to focus on any given task. [4] But having a clean, organized space doesn’t present you with multiple stimuli. This is why increased productivity is one of the benefits of being organized.

When you aren’t being distracted by other objects or clutter, you can focus on what you’re trying to accomplish, whether it’s a work-related task or even something to promote your health and well-being.

Think about it: Can you exercise in your living room if you have clutter thrown about? No, you’ll be distracted and focused on how the house needs to be decluttered and cleaned. But if there’s nothing out of place in the room, you won’t have that problem and can focus on getting in a healthy workout!

4. Helps You Feel In Control

Our modern lives are busier than ever, and we juggle more than our ancestors ever thought possible. As a result, you can easily start to feel overwhelmed by it all.

But one of the benefits of being organized at home is that it gives you a feeling of being in control of your environment. But it goes beyond this.

Keeping your house organized may even help you control your appetite and cravings!

While it may be hard to believe, research has shown that when people were in a clutter-filled environment, they tended to consume about three times more calories than those whose environment was clean and organized. [5]

The researchers hypothesized that a chaotic environment can create a vulnerability to results in making unhealthy food choices.

5. Decreases Depression

Believe it or not, having a cluttered home can actually increase your likelihood of developing depression. [6] In fact, studies have shown that people who live in an area with high pollution are more likely to be depressed.

Conversely, cleaning and organizing your home requires active decision-making, patience, careful thought, and even emotional regulation, which all impact your likelihood of falling into depression.

By keeping yourself engaged and active, you’re less likely to become depressed.

Dr. Pingel’s Top Tips for Being Organized At Home

Life can get crazy sometimes, so you don’t want to let clutter lie around for very long in order to keep it in control.

Here are some tips to help keep your home organized.

1. Clean as you make the mess. I like to clean as I cook or fold and put away laundry as I pull it out of the dryer. Leaving a mess and clutter that you have to come back to is overwhelming and can also cause issues in your personal relationships. By cleaning up after yourself right away, you don’t have to circle back.

2. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Yes, it’s nice to think that you can declutter and clean your entire home in one day, but is it realistic?

When I was reorganizing my home, I chose to empty and replace/restock one cabinet at a time or plan to organize just one closet in a single weekend. Trying to do too much almost guarantees that you won’t get your items completed, which can leave you feeling lie a failure.

3. Set yourself up for health. As you’re organizing, ask yourself how this task can help to promote your overall health and well-being. When reorganizing your refrigerator, make sure to stock it with easy, nutritious foods you enjoy. When doing your closet, focus on a few outfits you can’t wait to wear again.

By focusing on the positive aspects of organizing your home, you’ll be motivated to continue, which will only benefit your health even more!

10 Science-Backed Home Remedies Everyone Should Know About

Not every health concern is a major one. Sometimes we're faced with relatively minor annoyances that we just want gone—fast! That's where my top home remedies, also known as health hacks, come into play!

Got the hiccups? There's a sweet fix for that. Cold sores? Stop them in their tracks with a citrus application. Have a headache that won't go away? You don't have to hit the medicine cabinet in search of OTC pain relievers when you have this minty home remedy!

Want to get my top health hacks that I use at home and recommend to my patients? You’re in the right place! These home remedies work so well that you'll become the go-to person in your family and circle of friends for advice on minor health annoyances in no time.

So, let’s not delay any longer and dive right into my top home remedies for everyday minor health problems.


Home remedies - Dr. Pingel


Dr. Pingel’s Top 10 Home Remedies for Common Health Concerns

Here are my top 10 home remedies for minor health problems. Take a look and you may be surprised to learn how effective these health hacks actually are!

1. Avocado for stress and anxiety

Let’s start with one of my favorite and lesser known of the home remedies in this list: eating avocado to help manage stress and anxiety.

As you know, I believe chronic stress is the root of many of our major health concerns today. But you may be surprised to learn that avocado is a great natural source of B vitamins, which are known to help combat both stress and anxiety.

So, how do B vitamins fight stress? According to a 2010 study on 215 healthy men, B vitamins helped decrease their stress levels. [1] Meanwhile, a 2014 study showed that consuming B vitamins helped reduce workplace stress by 20 percent! [2]

So, whenever you find yourself feeling a little stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed, consider that your body may be low in B vitamins and reach for an avocado to help give yourself some much-needed relief.

2. Peppermint oil for headaches

One of my favorite natural remedies is to diffuse peppermint oil to help relieve headaches.

How effective is it? One study revealed that applying diluted peppermint oil topically was as effective as acetaminophen, a common over-the-counter pain reliever, in relieving headache pain. Plus, it was substantially more effective in relieving headache pain than a placebo. [3]

If you have sensitive skin, try diffusing a few drops of peppermint oil first. You can also apply it with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil.

3. Valerian root for insomnia

I love to use valerian root for a variety of home remedies, but there’s no question that one of its top benefits is that it promotes restful sleep.

According to one study, taking valerian extract can decrease the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and also promotes longer sleep. [4] This occurs because valerian contains both valepotriates, which have natural sedative properties, and sesquiterpenes, which contain calming properties.

Additionally, a double-blind study found that these components in valerian not only improved sleep for 89 percent of participants but also supported “perfect sleep” in 44 percent of those studied. [5]

So, if you struggle to fall asleep at night, consider consuming valerian in tea or capsule form. You can also use this herb in an alcohol-free tincture or extract at bedtime, like I do. Just make sure to speak with your physician first, especially if you’re currently taking other medications.

4. Cayenne pepper for pain

We can’t discuss home remedies without offering an alternative for pain management. Fortunately, capsaicin, a compound found in cayenne peppers, is an all-natural pain reliever due to its ability to increase blood flow in your body.

Most of the research for capsaicin to treat headaches has been done with people who suffer from cluster headaches. When it’s applied to the inside of your nose, it can prevent these debilitating headaches. [67]

That said, it’s also commonly provided in creams to help relieve pain due to arthritis and muscle sprains.

5. Apple cider vinegar for kidney stones

Now, let’s talk about one of my absolute favorite home remedies: taking apple cider vinegar for kidney stones.

So, how does it work? Studies have shown that daily consumption of vinegar reduced kidney stone recurrence—specifically for those who have calcium oxalate stones.

According to a 2019 study, this effect is largely due to the major bioactive component in vinegar, which is known as acetic acid. This acid is believed to break down and even help dissolve kidney stones to the point that they’re easier to pass. [8]

It’s worth noting, though, that apple cider vinegar is known to make your urine more alkaline, so if your stones are due to magnesium ammonium phosphate, you may want to avoid drinking too much.

6. Lavender and tea tree oils for head lice

Believe it or not, using a combination of lavender oil and melaleuca oil (commonly known as tea tree oil) was found to be an effective treatment against head lice, which is why this made my list of top ten home remedies.

In a 2011 study, researchers found that participants who used an Australian head lice treatment product containing lavender and melaleuca oils (NeutraLice Natural Lotion®) showed a 44.4 percent success rate (live head lice eggs killed). [9]

Want to make your own shampoo? Check out this recipe, which offers different versions for different types of hair.

7, Coconut oil for dry, itchy skin

When it comes to home remedies, we have to include coconut oil. Not only is it a great fat source that you can consume to support your overall health, but it’s also a fantastic option for topical use to fight dry, itchy skin.

In fact, researchers conducted a study to test the effects of using coconut oil topically and found that those who used this oil on their legs twice daily for two weeks experienced significantly increased levels of skin hydration, which is known to reduce itching. [10]

When you’re purchasing coconut oil, make sure to get unrefined virgin coconut oil for the purest form. Apply as needed for improved moisture and reduced itchiness.

8. Honey for hiccups and coughs

Did you know that using honey is a great natural remedy for both hiccups and coughs?

Here’s how it works: The vagus nerve controls the parasympathetic nervous system, and one of its functions is to control actions in the digestive tract. Honey soothes the vagus nerve, breaking the continuity of the hiccup reflex, thus making them stop.

Additionally, honey is known to help relieve coughs. In fact, 2021 meta-analysis of 14 studies, confirmed that honey was found to be more effective at reducing both cough frequency and severity in comparison to many other methods. [11]

I recommend taking a spoonful of manuka honey as needed. Just make sure not to give honey to children under the age of 1.

9. Oil of oregano for sore throats

As I’ve mentioned before, oil of oregano is a fantastic supplement to take anytime you’re suffering from a sore throat.

Many sore throats are caused by postnasal drip, which is often the result of a viral or bacterial infection upper respiratory infection. And a 2011 study revealed that participants with an upper respiratory infection who used a throat spray containing oregano oil combined with other essential oils experienced decreased symptoms within 20 minutes of using the spray. [12]

You can find herbal sprays containing oregano oil or oil of oregano capsules in your local health food and supplement stores. Use as directed on the label.

10. Witch hazel for cold sores

Finally, witch hazel is a multipurpose use for a variety of home remedies. But I want to focus on one troublesome nuisance: cold sores!

Studies have shown that witch hazel helps to soothe inflammation and even fight the virus that prevents cold sores. It works by helping to dry out cold sores and even inhibits the activity of the virus that causes them! [13]

Simply soak a cotton ball in witch hazel and apply to your cold sore a few times daily until it’s dried out.


Key Takeaways