8 kitchen cupboard cures for common ailments

8 kitchen cupboard cures for common ailments

If illness has struck and you haven’t yet managed to get to the chemist, try taking a look in your kitchen. Traditional methods of treating a variety of conditions rely on food, herbs and spices to soothe, relieve and heal. Here are some of our favourites.

Sore throat

Try thyme. This herb contains a chemical compound called thymol, which is a powerful antiseptic. Steep one teaspoon of dried thyme in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Strain and add lemon or sugar to taste.

Colds and flu

Try a curry. A spicy curry made using chilli and cayenne can help clear out mucous and phlegm from your nasal passages (and tastes delicious as well!)


Try cloves. This traditional spice can be used to calm a bloated or irritable tummy due to the eugenol component of the spice. Try adding a pinch of cloves to your dessert or a hit drink.

Mouth ulcers

Try chamomile. A warm cup of chamomile tea is thought to contain inflammation-fighting properties. Make up a strong cup and allow to cool before swilling around your mouth.

Leg cramps

Try tonic water. If leg cramps are keeping you awake, try sipping a small glass of tonic water before bed. Tonic water contains a compound called Quinine, which can prevent muscles from going into spasm.

Bites and stings

Try onion. Rubbing a slice of freshly cut onion into a bee or wasp sting can help reduce swelling and pain while speeding up the healing process.


Try honey, cider vinegar and ginger. All these ingredients have anti-inflammatory properties making them fantastic for joint pain. Try starting your day with a glass of hot water, honey and apple cider vinegar and including a hot cup of ginger tea throughout the day.

Urinary tract infection

Try cranberry. Drinking a glass of pure cranberry juice or taking cranberry tablets has been shown to be effective against the activity of E. coli, the bacteria responsible for cystitis.