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Video: Cure what ails you the natural way

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    >>> adults are turning to alternative medicine to help with certain health problems, but do they work and are they safe? today nutritionist joy bauer is here with a list of the most effective natural health remedies.

    >> good morning. they work.

    >> that's what our grandparents told us. we would hear people pass along great advice and they work.

    >> some of them do work. the ones we'll go over are natural food remedies. there is no down side. you may as well try them. you can alleviate lousy symptoms you may be having.

    >> what are the natural concerns we should have here?

    >> certainly if you have a serious medical condition like diabetes or high blood pressure , first you want to go with your doctor's advice. a lot of times that will involve prescription traditional medications. these are natural food remedies and things we'll go over are safe. but the intense concentrated herbs, supplemented herbs and things, check it out with your doctor.

    >> the first thing you have is vinegar for lowering blood pressure .

    >> blood sugar .

    >> i love this strategy, particularly for people with type 2 diabetes . if you take in two to four teaspoons of vinegar with the meal or before the meal it can blunt the rise in blood sugar you get from the meal. nobody wants a shot of vinegar, but mix vinegar with olive oil and start your meal with a salad or drizzle balsamic on a vinegar, tomato and onion along with your meal to reap the benefits.

    >> mixing it with the food makes it the same.

    >> we have honey. for years we have honey that helps with a lot of things.

    >> plain old honey helps your child falls asleep when coughing. again, regular honey helps to coat and soothes the throat and loosens mucus. for kids 1 to 6. no honey for kids under 1. half a teaspoon 30 minutes before bedtime. if kids are over 6 you can have one teaspoon up to two.

    >> same effectiveness in adults?

    >> absolutely. this is good news. the american academy of pediatrics is not recommending cough syrup for young kid spms for menstrual cramps , a specific tea.

    >> chamomile tea . the herb has been around for years used as traditional medicine . the reason i particularly like chamomile is it elevates glycine in the body which is an amino acid which squashes muscle spasms . it will help women who struggle with cramps to feel better. one to three cups a day during the menstrual cycle . it's caffeine free so you don't have to worry about it interrupting sleep.

    >> and pepper mint oil for people with irritable bowel syndrome. it relaxes the muscles in the lining of the intestines. pick up pepper mint capsules and take one three times a day, 30 minutes before a meal. it can really help.

    >> that's a nice list of things. put those many your medicine cabinet.

    >> food as medicine. we love it.

updated 12/2/2011 5:30:42 PM ET 2011-12-02T22:30:42

Alternative medicine is not so alternative these days, as four out of 10 adults are now turning to natural remedies to help with certain health problems. TODAY nutritionist Joy Bauer lets us in on her favorite natural cures. The best part: They're all things you get to eat!

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“Some of them really do work,” Bauer says. “There is no downside. You may as well try them — you can alleviate lousy symptoms you may be having."

She adds later, "Food as medicine — we love it!"

1. Vinegar can lower blood sugar. "If you take in two to four teaspoons of vinegar with the meal or before the meal, it can blunt the rise in blood sugar you get from the meal," Bauer explains, adding that this is particularly helpful for people with type 2 diabetes.

We're not telling you to do a shot of vinegar here, Bauer assures. Instead, try mixing vinegar with olive oil and start your meal with a salad, or drizzle balsamic vinegar on a cucumber, tomato or onion.

2. Honey soothes a cough. "Regular honey helps to coat and soothe the throat, and also loosens up the mucus," Bauer says. For sick kiddos ages 1 to 6 (no honey for kids younger than 1!), try half a teaspoon 30 minutes before bedtime. For kids older than 6 — and for adults, too — try up to two teaspoons.

3. Chamomile tea eases pain from menstrual cramps. Sipping chamomile tea helps relax the uterus by elevating the body's levels of glycine, an amino acid that stops muscle spasms. Try one to three cups a day of the caffeine-free tea during the menstrual cycle.

4. Peppermint oil relieves IBS symptoms. "It relaxes the muscles in the lining of the intestines," Bauer says. Pick up peppermint capsules and take one three times a day, 30 minutes before a meal.

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