Taken from Womens Day
Swollen feet? Stuffy nose? No need to run out to the drugstore. These tried-and-true household remedies are inexpensive, readily available, and they really work to cure your most common complaints, from head to toe.
- Remedy: Apply cotton balls dipped in ice-cold whole milk or cream for five to ten minutes.
- Why it works: The high fat content of these liquids provides a moistureizing treatment for the delicate skin around the eyes and reduces puffinness.
- Remedy: Apply a dab of fluoride toothpaste to the blemish and cover with a Band-Aid overnight.
- Why it works: Fluoride flights the bacteria that causes acne, and the calcium carbonate in the toothpaste helps dry out pimples. But this remedy won’t work for everyone. People with sensitive skin can sometimes worsen their acne by using toothpaste topically.
- Remedy: Drink 1 teaspoon of freshly grated horseradish mixed with 1/4 cup of lemon juice.
- Why it works: Horseradish produces quick mucus release, and the lemon juice helps it go down easier. Just don’t put the mixture directly in the nose because it will cause blisters to form.
- Remedy: Mix 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1/4 cup of honey.
- Why it works: One tablespoon of this mixture taken six times a day will soothe your throat. The honey fights infection and coats the throat, relieving irritation, while the vinegar kills bacteria.
Gum Pain or Toothache
- Remedy: Rub a few whole cloves on the afflicted area.
- Why it works: Cloves are a great anesthetic for surface pain. But they won’t work for deep pain.
- Remedy: Put salt directly on the sore.
- Why it works: It creates a kind of chemical burn on the surface of the skin, which acts as a protective coating for quicker healing.
- Remedy: Use a blender to mash up a cucumber, and moisten a cotton pad with the juice. Use it to gently dab the sensitive area.
- Why it works: Cucumber juice is a natural anti-inflammatory agent, plus the coolness is soothing to burned or irritated skin.
Urinary Tract Infection
- Remedy: At the onset of symptoms, drink 16 oz of unsweetened cranberry juice and pop a 1,000mg vitamin C tablet every day for as long as symptoms last.
- Why it works: Vitamin C and unsweetened cranberry juice can help acidify the urine and prevent bacteria there from colonizing in the bladder. Avoid sugar and alcohol, both of which can worsen the symptoms of a UTI.
- Remedy: Brew a pot of tea and allow it to cool to room temperature. Soak a clean cloth in the tea, wring it out and apply to burned skin for 10-15 minutes.
- Why it works: The tannic acid in tea cools and actually helps repair sun-damaged skin.
- Remedy: A bowl of chicken soup.
- Why it works: Not only does this hot meal help to clear a stuffy nose, but researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha also found that chicken soup actually reduces phlegm by inhibiting the production of certain types of white blood cells.
- Remedy: Sip a cup of warm peppermint or licorice tea.
- Why it works: Swalling helps to reset the irritated diaphragm nerve. Both peppermint and licorice are soothing anit-spasmodic agents.
- Remedy: Drink a cup of peppermint tea.
- Why it works: Peppermint contains menthol, which is a mild anesthetic and will calm the muscles in your stomach and esophagus. Eat foods high in complex carbohydrates (potatoes, rice, pasta), which help absorb acid and relieve discomfort.
Dry, Cracked Skin
- Remedy: Place a vinegar-soaked cloth over the affected area for about 30 minutes to soothe and prevent peeling.
- Why it works: Vinegar helps rehydrate the skin and kills any bacteria that may be growing there.
- Remedy: Swipe lip balm or Crazy Glue over the wound.
- Why it works: Both methods deprive teh exposed nerve endings of air, which helps stop the bleeding and instantly relieves the sharp pain of those tiny cuts.
- Remedy: Cover with duct tape for six days, remove the tape, soak the affected area in water and scrape it with an emery board or pumice stone.
- Why it works: The duct tape irritates the wart, which causes an immune-system reaction that attacks the growth.
Dull Splintered Nails
- Remedy: rub a dab of cod liver oil or castor oil onto cuticles and nails.
- Why it works: Both oils soften cuticles and make nails shiny, plus the massage helps them grow.
- Remedy: Soak your hands in a few tablespoons of rosemary mixed with warm water.
- Why it works: Rosemary is a natural anti-imflammatory and warm water helps improve circulation.
Dry Skin and Hard Calluses
- Remedy: After showering, coat your feet with vegetable shortening and cover them with socks. Wear overnight.
- Why it works: Vegetable shortening is the cheapest miracle moisturizer. The longer you let it soak in, the softer your feel will be.
- Remedy: Fill a foot tub with ice water and another tub with warm water. Add a few drops of peppermint oil and alternate soaking for five minutes each.
- Why it works: Peppermint is an essentail oil that relieves pain and relaxes the muscles. Alternating hot and cold will reduce swelling.
- Remedy: Soak your feet in vinegar for 10 minutes four times a day until symptoms disappear.
- Why it works: Vinegar is acidic and kills bacteria and fungi. You can also wash your lesions with Listerine. It stings quite a bit but the antispetic seems to kill the fungus.
- Remedy: Dissolve two Alka-Seltzer tablets in a quart of warm water and soak feet for 15 minutes twice a week.
- Why it works: The baking soda in Alka-Seltzer increases the acid level on your feet, which inhibits the growth of the odor-causing bacteria. If you’re allergic to aspirin (a key ingredient in Alka-Seltzer), try sprinkling baking soda into your shoes to absorb any odors.
- Remedy: At night, mash a clove of garlic and smear it directly onto the war, then cover with a bandage. Wear a sock to bed and remove the bandage in the morning. Repeat for 10 days.
- Why it works: Planter warts are caused by a virus, and garlic is a natural immunity booster as well as an anti-septic.
- Remedy: Soak your foot in warm salt water.
- Why it works: Salt, a natural antiseptic, will draw out any dirt and help prevent the growth of bacteria. The warm water softens teh swollen skin and the nail. This allows you to gently pull back the skin and round off the painful straight nail to promote proper growth.