Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils derived from plants and flowers to treat psychological and physical issues. While the term ‘aromatherapy’ may not have been around for very long, the practice itself dates back thousands of years. Aromatherapy has been commonly used throughout various cultures like Chinese, Egyptian, Indian and even Mayan.
Different aromatherapy oils can treat different health issues. Eucalyptus oil can treat pimples, the common cold, sinusitis and symptoms of influenza. Chamomile can treat hay fever, acne, arthritis and digestive problems. Lavender can relieve headaches, depression and insomnia, and peppermint can treat nausea, headaches and indigestion. Aromatherapy oils contain many medicinal properties, like antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, antimicrobial, expectorant and sedative.
The essential oils used in aromatherapy are absorbed into the body either through inhalation or topical application. As such, aromatherapy is often used in conjunction with massage therapy and other holistic treatments. Aromatherapy can also help get rid of excess water from the body, due to the diuretic properties of many essential oils.
To use aromatherapy for water retention and swelling, add a few drops of essential oil to massage oil or body lotion, and then gently massaging the affected areas upwards towards the heart. You can also add a few drops to your nightly bath. Choose essential oils with diuretic properties like juniper berry, lavender, geranium, rosemary, or grapefruit.
9. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented apples. Its popularity has risen over the past few years to become one of the most popular natural remedies, with purported health benefits like reducing high blood sugar levels, cholesterol and blood pressure, aiding weight loss, curing dandruff and treating acne.
Apple cider vinegar can also be used as shampoo, to treat fleas in animals and as a household cleaning product. The best apple cider vinegar contains ‘mother’, a jelly-like substance made up of proteins, enzymes and good bacteria, and it’s believed to be the source of apple cider vinegar’s many nutrients.
Apple cider vinegar contains essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, sodium, manganese and selenium, as well as other active ingredients like malic acid, acetic acid and pectin. Potassium deficiency contributes to edema and water retention, and the high levels of potassium found in apple cider vinegar can help remedy this.
Add one teaspoon of raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and drink twice a day. You can slowly increase the amount of apple cider vinegar until you’re adding two tablespoons to a glass. It’s important to always dilute apple cider vinegar, because drinking it straight can damage tooth enamel and cause irritation to the throat.
Onions are a hugely versatile vegetable that is consumed all over the world. They’re a member of the lily family and are scientifically known as Allium cepa. Onions have been a food source for centuries, and have also been used for medicinal purposes for just as long. Native Americans would use onion to treat colds and insect bites, in Chinese culture they were used to warm the body and induce perspiration, and in Europe they were even used as currency.
Onions have been used to help loosen congestion, relieve gas, calm an upset stomach, stimulate the appetite, lower cholesterol, prevent blood clots, reduce blood sugar levels and improve the circulatory system. Onion juice has also been used topically, to treat bacterial and fungal infections, remove warts, stimulate hair growth and relieve earache.
Onions contain high levels of antioxidants like anthocyanins, which give red onions that deep reddish-purple color, and quercetin, which is thought to potentially protect against heart disease and cancer. Onions also contain biotin, manganese, copper, vitamin B6, vitamin C, phosphorus, potassium, folate and more.
Onions are diuretic, and adding them to your diet can help reduce fluid retention. Onions are best eaten raw as cooking them can destroy the beneficial enzymes, but eating them in any form is better than not eating them at all.