These Are the Only Natural Remedies That Actually Work

Sophie Miura
PHOTO:

Alyssa Rosenheck for Domino; DESIGN: Elsie Larson

As children, it's rare to question any advice from your parents. When you had a sore throat, a spoonful of honey seemed like a miracle cure while a bowl of hearty chicken soup was trusted to ease the flu. But is there any scientific evidence to suggest these commonly accepted natural remedies actually work?

To sort fact from fiction, Michael Rabovsky, MD, at Cleveland Clinic reviewed studies to determine which foods have scientific merit—and which are likely placebos. His findings suggest that a surprising number of common pantry staples could help ease your cold, nausea, or a sore throat. According to Rabovsky's research, these are the only kitchen cures that actually work:

  1. Honey: This natural remedy helps with healing after a tonsillectomy, suggesting it could ease a sore throat. It's also a proven salve for wounds and is being studied for pressure ulcer care.
  2. Rice: Doctors recommend eating this binding food for diarrhea. Bananas, applesauce, and toast are also effective.
  3. Chicken Soup: It turns out your mom was right; carnosine, a compound in chicken soup, can help prevent colds and the flu.
  4. Turmeric: This spice is believed to relieve joint pain and inflammation.
  5. Prunes: Studies suggest this trusty fruit is more effective at keeping you regular than psyllium fiber supplements.

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