Have you noticed how difficult it can be to see a doctor these days? If you get past the automated phone system, you might be able to schedule an appointment six months from now. As the medical field changes and I grow older, I tend to google search for solutions to the minor ailments that greet me each morning. If my symptoms don’t fit under the category “When to see a doctor,” I seek simple, natural remedies for what ails me.

In my younger days, I avoided taking any kind of medicines or vitamins. That was before the years of arthritis, bursitis, stiff joints, and mysterious creaking sounds. Whenever possible, I look for solutions like a change in my diet or muscle-building exercises.


Reliable Sources

When researching symptoms, stick to reliable sources. Stay away from promises like Grandpa Jake’s 21 Uses for Cod Liver Oil or websites that are selling a product to go with their advice. I usually seek answers from:

Mayo Clinic

National Institute of Health

Cleveland Clinic


Harvard Health



Natural Remedies

Here are some examples of research-based natural remedies for an aging body.


What is that buzzing noise?

One evening, as I was sitting crisscross applesauce on my blue floral sofa in the sunroom, I felt a vibration in the cushions of the sofa. I looked under the couch, ran to the basement to check for strange sounds, and searched my room for noisy devices. Nothing. I sat down and worked a while longer when the vibrations came again.

Turns out, the buzzing sensation was coming from my feet. Vibrating feet! How does that happen?

An internet search gave several possible causes, some of them less appealing than others. The medical term, if my self-diagnosis was correct, is pallesthesia, a buzzing sensation from faulty nerves. After eliminating other potential causes and conditions, I found an easy cure – vitamin deficiency. I haven’t had foot buzz since adding  Vitamin B complex to my daily routine.


Arthritis, bursitis, and joint pain

Inflammation, whether short-term acute or chronic, is the body’s way of protecting after an injury or from infection and disease. But inflammation can also be a cry for help. Chronic inflammation is connected to serious diseases like diabetes, heart problems, arthritis, and COPD.

Arthritis pain frequently hinders my ability to move as fast as I think I need to move. My doctor advised me to try an old Amish secret: soak golden raisins (juniper berries) in a jar of gin for 24 hours. Take one teaspoon or about nine berries once or twice a day.

I had to forego my alcohol-free lifestyle, but a daily dose of the remedy allows me to walk without pain for most of the day.

Here are other natural remedies for inflammation and arthritis:

-Citrus fruits, apples, cherries, berries, cranberries, avocados

natural remedies
Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

-Olive oil

-Peanuts, almonds

-Dark chocolate

-Leafy greens, broccoli



-Red cabbage

-Coffee and tea

-Fish oils

-Milk and other dairy products, eggs

-Sweet potatoes

-Curcumin and tumeric

-Glucosamine Chondroitin (which comes in wonderfully fruity gummy flavors)

Most of these inflammation-fighting foods contain antioxidants, especially polyphenols, that work to protect the body from diseases. Nearly every website or ailment I researched suggested eating lots of fruit, nuts, and fish or fish oils. Check out these 22 Best and Worst Food For Inflammation


What about onions?

There are many natural remedies that include onions: onion water, onions in the socks, onion pouches, raw onions scattered around the house. Some folks swear by their onion remedies. Science doesn’t always back up this unusual cure-all. Since I haven’t tried onion socks, raw onions, or onion water, I can only share what the scientists say.

Research does not support the healing properties of onion by osmosis (physical touch) or drinking onion water, at least not yet. However, onions are loaded with nutrients and the compound quercetin that carries tremendous health benefits. Some people (like me) cannot tolerate onions. For those who can, here are some of the scientifically proven benefits of eating onions:

-Kills bacteria

-Good for digestion

-Lowers the risks of heart attack and stroke

-Reduces the risk of some cancers

-Regulates blood sugar

-Builds stronger bones

-Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s


Stress & Anxiety

Years ago, I decided to tighten my belt and my calorie intake by cutting out chocolate. By the third day, I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t find any reason for the tears. I just needed to cry. It turns out dark chocolate has a lot of healthy ingredients like magnesium, polyphenols, and tryptophan that work as mood enhancers. It’s best to opt for the 70% cacao and low-sugar varieties like ChocZero. No matter what dieting regimen I follow, there must always be chocolate.

Plenty of other foods work to reduce anxiety too – egg yokes, the omega-3s found in fatty fish, green tea and camomile, almonds, Brazil nuts, and vitamin D-rich foods like salmon, cheese, and milk.


More to come

Somewhere down the road, I’ll look at the benefits of vitamins and the results of vitamin deficiencies for older people (or those of us who don’t want to admit we’re getting older despite what the body has to say about the matter.)

Always talk to your doctor about physical problems before making changes to your diet. New ailments may be a sign that something more serious needs to be addressed. But sometimes, it’s a simple matter of the body calling for missing nutrients. Remember these natural remedies, fruits, nuts, dark chocolate. You can’t go wrong with dark chocolate.

Have you found a natural cure for what ails you? Share your secrets. Send an email or post a comment on this page.


For more on growing older, visit Growing Older With Grace & Humor

Had you lived two hundred years ago, you might have been at the mercy of a frightening bunch of quacks. For a case of jaundice, European doctors prescribed drinking a mixture of lice and ale each morning. Beetle juice was used to cure baldness. The cure for a toothache meant wearing the beak of a magpie around the neck. Other concoctions included medicines made of pig brains, snake oil, urine, moldy bread, and dead mouse paste. (If you’re feeling bad about your well-being, read Terry Deary’s series of Horrible History books. You’ll feel much better.)


Additional Resources:

Dietary Supplements for Older Adults

Gin-Soaked Raisins for Arthritis

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