Yes, the title is a little misleading. Clearly 10 remedies aren’t going to cover everything in the whole entire world.
But right here are my top 10 go-to treatments for whatever ails you problem-wise. They’re my staples. My rock. They work like charms before you know it.
And, best of all, they’re in no particular order – pick your problem and try the solution. (But remember, not everything works for everyone in the same way. You are all unique snowflakes.)
1. Dandruff – Coconut Oil
To be completely honest, I haven’t ever had a problem with dandruff (just product build-up back in the day), but I have lived with people who have the sneaky white stuff every once in a while, and after trying many remedies, I can safely say the answer is: Coconut oil. It has worked every single time in one or two treatments.
The key is to get virgin coconut oil that’s been cold pressed – it’s going to have all the active moisturizers and antibacterial properties that you need to quickly and efficiently cure yourself or someone you love (who probably wears a lot of hats). Guess what else? This is a stellar treatment for cradle cap, too. Yay babies!
(If you want to make it extra potent for adults, add in 5-7 drops of tea tree oil to your coconut oil.)
How to treat dandruff with coconut oil:
- Before showering, massage 3-5 Tablespoons of coconut oil directly onto the scalp. Rub it all in there good.
- Leave this on for at least an hour.
- Shampoo as normal (or sorta ‘poo as normal). There should be no need to use conditioner – a coconut oil hair mask is a fantastic pre-conditioner.
Do this treatment every day up to five to seven days before giving up! And if you’ve forgotten, there are TONS of other things you can do with coconut oil (like a millionish).
2. Frizzy Hair – No ‘Poo
This is the last of the hair treatments I’m going to mention, so pay attention. I know MANY of you are already no ‘poo, so this one is for newcomers or people who haven’t even been here yet.
But, without a doubt, the best way to treat frizzy hair is by ditching the shampoo completely. It’s not always the right thing for straight, fine hair (like mine) as it’s typically suggested, but it’s worth a try no matter your hair type.
How to go no ‘poo:
- Wash your scalp well with a solution of baking soda and water.
- Rinse your hair well.
- Finish by rinsing your ends with a solution of diluted apple cider vinegar.
- Here are the actual precise instructions you can try to begin with, and here’s a thread in the Crunchy Community that’s FULL of tricks and tips from over 100 people).
3. Headaches – Cayenne Pepper and Peppermint Essential Oil
I’m pretty prone to headaches, so this one has had a lot of experimentation – and finally I found what works like nobody’s business: Cayenne pepper (taken internally) and peppermint essential oil rubbed on the temples.
This works well for my eye strain headaches and other non-muscle related pains, but doesn’t seem to affect neck-tension headaches much.
Here’s how I vanish my headaches: Typically, I’ll just sprinkle cayenne liberally on some cottage cheese (or other food dish) and then make a cup of tea with 1/4 tsp cayenne sprinkled into that, as well. The capsaicin in cayenne depletes something called Substance P, which is a neurotransmitter that sends pain impulses (and it also helps increase your circulation).It’s a great painkiller that comes with no other side effects than a slightly spicy mouth.
Then, I just dab on a drop of peppermint essential oil diluted with sweet almond oil (or another carrier oil) to each temple and close my eyes for 15 minutes. The headache is usually gone within 15-20 minutes.
And here’s a bonus about peppermint essential oil: Over in the Crunchy Community, several people mentioned using peppermint essential oil (just to sniff, not to use topically) for nausea – whether it was car sickness or morning sickness.
4. Nausea – Ginger Tea
Nothing does it for me like ginger tea when my tummy is unhappy. I find that it works well no matter what the reason for an upset stomach – whether I’m under the weather, have eaten something unfortunate, or am just having “one of those days.”
In fact, I remember watching a Mythbusters several years back where they tested motion sickness remedies, and ginger was the only one that was labeled a SUCCESS! (Although motion sickness pills passed muster, the testers were super loopy after taking them, so booo to that.)
This is my favorite way to use ginger for the stomach:
- Cut 4-5 pieces of fresh, peeled ginger (each about the size of a dime).
- Boil a cup of water.
- Pour the water over the ginger in a mug, and allow the tea to steep for 15 minutes.
- Add honey if desired.
- Sip slowly (with the ginger still in there).
5. Puffy Eyes – Green Tea Ice Cubes
I’ve needed this remedy quite a few times lately, what with allergies and other puffy-eyed demons rearing their heads. This is particularly nice, because you can freeze up a whole batch of these and use them whenever you need them – for as long as you need them (they last forever in the freezer).
Just pop them out of the ice cube trays once they’re frozen and keep them in a small lidded jar or bag in your freezer until the morning they’ll come in handy.
How to make green tea ice cubes:
- Brew one or two strong (very strong) cups of green tea.
- Leave the leaves in if you’re making it with loose-leaf tea, or strain (or get rid of your tea bags) if not.
- Wait 30 minutes for the tea to cool.
- Pour in ice cube tray(s) and freeze.
Green tea isn’t just great for puffy eyes, but it’s a wonder for acneic and oily skin, as well – so don’t be afraid to rub that ice cube over your whole face if you want – especially if that whole face is puffy.
6. Monster Pimples – Lavender Essential Oil and Clay
This is one of those remedies that may or may not work for you (I’ve heard varying results, and if you’re interested in other possibilities, there are a ton of them in Crunchy Betty’s Food on Your Face for Acne and Oily Skin).
It works for me, though. Every. Single. Time.
All you need is a little bit of cosmetic clay (which you can find at Mountain Rose Herbs or any natural food store), lavender essential oil, and a few drops of water.
Get rid of that giant pimple like this:
- In a small bowl or the palm of your hand, pour about 1/2 tsp of clay.
- Drop in 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil (or you could use tea tree or peppermint if that’s what you have on hand).
- Pour in a TEENY TINY bit of water and smush the clay around until everything is combined and the clay is pasty (adding more water if necessary – but be careful, a little goes a long way).
- Dab your tiny clay mask onto the pimple area.
- Leave this on for at least an hour (I always leave mine on overnight).
Enjoy a nonexistent pimple the next day. You may still notice some redness, but the inflammation will most likely be decreased to the point that you can’t even tell.
7. Keratosis Pilaris (Or Those Bumps On Your Upper Arms) – ACV and Sugar Scrub
These funny chicken bumps on your upper arms are common, so don’t feel too bad. In fact, this is one of the common questions I get: “How on EARTH do I stop being embarrassed to show my arms, Crunchy Betty? HELP!”
Well, luckily (or unluckily), I have this problem, too. So I know how I fixed it – finally. (And, believe you me, I tried dozens of things here and this was the most magical).
Finally I settled on washing with apple cider vinegar and then using a gentle sugar scrub afterward. It took two or three times of doing this to see any difference, but once I saw improvement it went away almost immediately.
Here’s how to have NO MORE CHICKEN SKIN ARMS!
- In the shower, wash your upper arms with apple cider vinegar (you can dilute it or just use a teaspoon on a wet washcloth).
- Rinse your arms with water.
- Finish with a very gentle sugar scrub using 1/2 c. sugar with 1/2 c. coconut oil or grapeseed oil mixed in (which you can put in a jar and leave in your bathroom at all times if desired).
- After massaging gently for a minute or two, rinse this off and enjoy your arms – finally!
8. Heartburn – Baking Soda (or Apple Cider Vinegar, but not both at the same time!)
So I used to have the worst – the worst – frequent heartburn. Now it’s only really rare, ever since drinking water kefir on a daily basis (score one for the yeasty bacteria of life).
I tried the purple pills, the chalky tablets, and every other OTC medication in the world, and nothing got rid of it completely, and it always seemed to make it come back.
That’s when I turned to natural remedies (which was WAY before I was even really crunchy). I’ve noticed that, occasionally, one of the above remedies (baking soda or apple cider vinegar) doesn’t work. But when one doesn’t work, the other always does. Immediately. I just never know which is going to be the magic bullet at which time.
Just remember, if you’re going to try both of these in one day/night, leave a good half hour between trying each of them – otherwise you could end up with a science experiment volcano in your stomach.
Here’s how I use baking soda:
- In a small cup, I dump in about 1/2 (or a little more) teaspoon of baking soda.
- I fill the cup with water and swish it around until it’s all dissolved, and then drink it as quickly as I can (not the best taste in the world).
- The heartburn is usually immediately resolved, but if it’s an acid issue … well … burp (but they don’t hurt).
And apple cider vinegar:
- In a small cup, I pour 3 tsp of apple cider vinegar.
- I fill the cup with water and swish it around until it’s all combined.
- Then I drink it down as quickly as possible (not the best taste in the world).
- It will burn intensely for about 2 seconds, and then (if it’s the right cure), the heartburn will be gone immediately.
Just remember that persistent and frequent heartburn could be a sign of an intestinal problem (whether it’s a bacterial flora issue or something else), so be sure to visit a doctor or a naturopath if it lasts too long, is too intense, or happens constantly.
9. Chapped Lips – Baking Soda Exfoliation and Cocoa Butter
I hesitated to put this in here, because we’re about to start a new challenge where we’ll all be getting ready for winter with different wintertime/cold/flu remedies to have on hand.
So consider this a tiny preview of what’s to come – during the “winter skin” day.
Fix those chapped lips:
- In a small bowl, combine baking soda and milk or sour cream until you have a thick paste.
- Lightly (very lightly) scrub your dry lips with this paste in a circular motion for 2-3 minutes.
- Rinse well with water.
- Finish by slathering on cocoa butter (or your favorite natural lip balm – I just prefer to use a thick coating of cocoa butter).
This may not cure the chapped lips immediately, but it will get you moving in the right direction. Just remember to continue to slather on cocoa butter or lip balm every few hours. And don’t do the exfoliation if your lips are bleeding – OUCH! Let them heal first, and then go for it.
10. CRAMPS (GRRRR) – Warm Castor Oil Pack
We’ll get to the castor oil pack in a second, but I have two mention two other things that have really helped decrease my flotime cramping pains: Making sure I get enough vitamin C (daily and increasing it a little when it’s that time of the month) AND taking a cod liver oil (or fish oil) supplement regularly. As soon as I started doing those two things (and switching to the DivaCup), my cramps are actually completely tolerable.
But before that, this is what I’d do in a pinch with castor oil:
- In a small pan, I’d heat up about 1/4 c castor oil – until it’s very warm, but not even remotely boiling.
- Then I’d soak a piece of thick flannel (which I used specifically for this reason) in the castor oil.
- After that, lay down and place the flannel on your lower abdomen. Cover this with a warm towel, hot water bottle, or other warming device if you have one.
- Stay there for 30 minutes to an hour.
The castor oil helps relax the muscles that are strained and cramping, and the relief – for me anyway – lasted pretty much the rest of the day. I only had to do this once or twice each month. It’s a great reason to have to “take a nap,” and if you’re using the oil cleansing method, you probably have a lot of extra castor oil lying around.
Do You Have Any Tried-and-True Remedies?
Please share them with the class.
What have you found that’s a natural no-brainer for fixing something that really ails you?
Or, do you have a particular ailment/problem that you need help finding a solution to? We’re ALL here to help!
(PS – hopefully tomorrow I’ll have up a shopping list that you can use to get ready for the natural medicine cabinet for winter challenge. The plan is, the challenge is to make THREE things to get ready for winter woes, and everyone who does will be eligible to win one of 10 of the coolest things ever … it’s a surprise, but it rhymes with mracelet and is STRICTLY for Crunchy Betties and is made by a woman who will blow. your. mind.)