Home remedies from the kitchen

Sep 20, 2012 at 6:00 p.m. ET

Feeling a little off? Head to the kitchen and eat your aches and pains away with these home remedies.

Ginger lemon tea

If you're battling a stomachache, sore throat or other common ailment, don't reach for the medicine cabinet. First, try these foods that are known for their healing properties.

You'll be surprised at how many things you have in your kitchen that actually double as pain-fighters.

Sore throat

Although taking a swig of that syrupy sweet cough medicine might seem like the easy thing to do, there are several options in your pantry that will help a sore throat.

saltSalt: This tried-and-true method really does work! A saltwater gargle does wonders to ease a scratchy throat. Simply mix a ratio of 1/2 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of warm water and gargle away. Repeat

Lemon, honey and ginger: Make yourself a big mug of hot tea and add plenty of lemon and honey. The honey coats and soothes while the citrus can help to break up mucus (if the sore throat is associated with a cold). As an alternative, make ginger tea by steeping a few tablespoons of fresh ginger in hot water.

Stress and anxiety

Having a stressful day? A glass of wine might sound like the best way to unwind, but if you're stuck at work and have a few more hours until 5 o'clock, try these foods instead.

chocolateBananas: Get a serving of fruit and some stress relief at the same time. Bananas help the brain produce serotonin, which helps calm you down.

Dark chocolate: Now we have a good reason to eat that chocolate bar. Dark chocolate helps reduce stress hormone levels and can also help improve your mood. The flavonoids in chocolate are responsible for these beneficial effects.

Salmon: Salmon helps reduce stress hormone levels because of its high omega-3 fatty acid content, which, like bananas, also boosts serotonin.

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Stomachache and nausea

Whether your stomachache is caused by too much bad food, gas or cramps, these foods can help.

papayaPapaya: The enzyme papain found in papayas helps break down food and can be helpful in banishing stomachaches. For an easy year-round version, opt for the papaya capsules found in the vitamin section.

Peppermint: Stomach cramps or gas can be soothed by peppermint tea. Not only is liquid usually easier on an upset stomach than solid food, peppermint also calms and relaxes the stomach muscles.

Crackers: If you're suffering from nausea, usually the only thing that sounds good is a bland cracker. It's a good thing too, because those crackers (or any food high in starch) help to absorb the acid in your stomach and therefore settles it, so eat them if you can keep them down.

Check out these top 10 best detox foods >>

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Foods that help menstrual cramps
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