Ways to save… at the chemist

Health – can’t afford to get sick? Sometimes you can’t help it: make sure your purse doesn’t suffer with you.

Go generic

Description: Go generic

When you buy medicine without a prescription to teat minor ailments, you can usually be sure that generics will be cheaper than their branded equivalents. As long as both products contain exactly the same active ingredients at the same strength (always check the packaging), the generic or own-brand medicine will ultimately have exactly the same effect as the branded one and so could save you money.

Get free samples

Ask your doctor for free samples of vitamins or supplements. “Unfortunately, our law have changed, so no medication samples are given out, but there are often samples of vitamins or supplements,” says Dr Tamyn McKeag, WH’s health advisor. Dermatologists may have freebies of face creams, cleansers and sunscreens. Eye doctors often give out free contact lens cleaners.

Peek inside your kitchen

Feeling below par? Don’t rush to the chemist – relief may be as close as your kitchen. McKeag shows you how to heal yourself at home:

Milk – Dip gauze in skim milk (it contains a soothing protein called lactoferrin) and lay it over a rash to reduce inflammation.

Honey – Pure honey contains natural bacteria-fighting properties. Clean a cut, then smear honey over it and apply a bandage.

Fennel – Can be used to ease an upset stomach. Turkish research found that intoxicated rats experienced less nausea when they were fed fennel.

Ginger – Not just for your teatime. Add a slice of fresh ginger or lemon as a natural remedy for nausea – especially useful if you’re pregnant.

Salt water – This has brilliant antibacterial properties when used as a throat gargle, nasal rinse or to clean open wounds or piercings.

Oils – Olive oil or sweet almond oil drops can unblock waxy ears. With a dropped or small syringe, drip three drops of room-temperature olive or sweet almond oil into your ear. Lie with your head tilted to the side to allow drops to settle for a few minutes. This will soften any hardened wax.

Psyche out sickness

Description: Allergies

Two brain tricks that can heal your body

The ailment - Allergies

The mental medicine

Laughter – Line up those side-splitters when allergies strike. A study from Physiology and Behaviour showed that participants were less affected by allergens after seeing a funny film. The reason: laughter revs your parasympathetic nervous system, stopping allergens from taking hold.

Your therapy – Weekly viewings of 30 Rock.

The aliment – Cuts, scrapes and bruises

The mental medicine

A healthy relationship – positive interaction can speed recovery by at least a day, says psychiatrist Dr Janice Kielcolt-Glaser. “It boosts cytokines (chemicals that recruit cells needed for making repairs) in the area around the wound.”

Your therapy – Trade massages with your partner at the end o a long day. Bliss.

Description: massage therapy

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