If you have a long-term health condition, or are just more prone to coughs and colds throughout the winter, you might find yourself looking for alternative medicines to avoid dosing up on the chemicals. Read on for some natural remedies to common ailments that you can get from many health food shops, or even try making yourself.

Cilantro

Although not often thought of as a plant with medicinal properties, more commonly associated with salad dressings and Mexican food, cilantro is also a powerful digestive aid. It contains compounds and properties that can detoxify the body from heavy metals and other toxic agents. It grows best in a cool, moist garden if you are going to grow it yourself, and will flourish in hot weather. Try this recipe for a cleansing juice or pesto.

Cannabidiol and Tetrahydrocannabinol

Two of the active ingredients in cannabis, more commonly known as CBD oil and THC, are currently part of legalization debates due to their proven health benefits. You can now buy weed online, which means those who are looking for the plant for its pain-relieving properties and the other common ailments it can alleviate such as depression and insomnia, can now access it with more ease.

Rosemary

The medicinal properties of this pretty, woody herb cannot be underestimated. One of the best uses for it as a bath soak – you can purchase these but it’s just as good (and far cheaper) to make your own. The rosemary will ease fatigue and aches and pains. If used in recipes – for example, a rosemary instead of cilantro pesto as above – then the herb can have the same effect as caffeine on the brain, providing you with a natural wakeup.

Lavender

This plant is known to most for its vibrant color and attractive spears seen in many a garden. Most of us know that is has relaxing properties and can ease insomnia, however, it can also benefit your nervous system according some studies. You can purchase, or make, lavender oil to drop on your pillow and soothe you through the night. The flowers can also be added to salads, honey, butter and numerous other recipes so you’re upping your intake of this natural remedy.

Garlic

We’ve all heard of honey and lemon for a cold, but did you know that infusing hot water with a garlic clove as well will also help with the congestion, sore throat and sneezes that come with a flu. Increasing your garlic intake during the winter months can boost your immune system and fuel your body with garlic’s powerful medicinal properties.

Lemon Balm

Simple to grow and nurture in your home garden, lemon balm will be a bright green patch amongst your herbs. It loses some potency after six months so make sure you use it up quickly. It can have anti-spasmodic effects on the stomach and is more than gentle enough to be given to children in teas and tinctures with a glycerine base. Relaxing for both the stomach and the nervous system, you can grow lemon balm for most of the year.

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