Almost 45% of Americans say they’ve relied more on home remedies or OTC drugs in the last year to save money on doctors’ visits, according to a Kaiser Health Tracking poll. While you should always see the doctor for serious ailments, you may be able to soothe minor complaints with these inexpensive products already in your pantry, from The Big Doctors Book of Home Remedies
Use it for: Athlete’s foot
A saline solution provides a hostile environment for fungus, decreases excess perspiration, and softens skin so antifungal meds can penetrate deeper. Soak your foot for 5 to 10 minutes in a mixture of 2 teaspoons of salt per pint of warm water, recommends podiatric surgeon Suzanne M. Levine, DPM.
2. Tonic Water
Use it for: Restless legs
A 6-ounce glass of tonic water before bed might calm symptoms of restless legs syndrome; the quinine it contains helps stop repeated muscle contractions.
Use it for: Age spots
Cut a few wedges and place them directly onto your age spots for 10 to 15 minutes a day, suggests Audrey Kunin, MD, a cosmetic dermatologist in Kansas City, Missouri. “The acid in the fresh lemon juice may help lighten the age spots,” she says, but it won’t happen overnight. You’ll notice a difference in 6 to 12 weeks. Watch carefully; overuse may cause the upper layer of the skin to peel.
Use it for: Cuts and scrapes
This natural sweetener contains 3 powerful wound-healing components: sugar for absorbing moisture so bacteria can’t survive, hydrogen peroxide to disinfect, and the nectar-based compound propolis to kill bacteria. An added bonus: Honey dries to form a natural bandage.
5. Olive Oil
Use it for: Eczema
Packed with inflammation-reducing antioxidants, olive oil is the basis of many moisturizers; used alone, it’s free of chemical irritants you may find in store-bought creams. Rub 1 teaspoon per square inch of skin, creating a seal that keeps skin from drying out. For serious cases, cover oiled skin with plastic wrap overnight.
Use it for: Anxiety
To calm yourself before bedtime, pour a glass of warm milk. “The old wives’ tale of having warm milk really does help,” says Bernard Vittone, MD, a psychiatrist and founder of The National Center for the Treatment of Phobias, Anxiety, and Depression in Washington, DC. Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan, which can bring on relaxation.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Use it for: Bruises
Apple cider vinegar is an excellent natural anti-inflammatory. Dab a little on a cotton ball and rub it directly on a bruise, or make a paste out of the vinegar and an egg white or petroleum jelly and smear it on the bruised area.
8. Chamomile Tea
Use it for: Calluses and corns
If your feet are prone to bumps and lumps, soak them in a diluted chamomile tea bath, advises Levine. The tea will soothe and soften hard skin. The brew will stain your feet, but it comes off easily with soap and water.
9. Baking Soda
Use it for: Urinary tract infection
It makes the bladder more alkaline, which prevents bacteria from multiplying, says urologist Larrian Gillespie, MD. Drink a solution made with ¼ teaspoon of baking soda mixed in 8 ounces of water at the first sign of symptoms. Continue this once a day until you see a doctor, get a culture, and start taking antibiotics.
Use it for: Stomachaches
This root is well-known as a stomach soother, and rightfully so. It’s great for relieving just about any gastrointestinal illness, including motion sickness and pregnancy morning sickness. To make a tea, steep a tablespoon of ground fresh ginger in hot water for 10 minute
I knew about these and use the ones that don't bother me. Baking soda in the bath is also good for rashes in your "southern" region. It helps soothe the area and was recommended even by the conventional doctor I'm still fighting the Candida infection. Baking soda in the bath helps neutralize the "vinegar" type smell from the Candida, because it works the same way as when we were kids and would mix vinegar and baking soda just to watch it explode. They cancel each other out.
ANY vinegar really. It's not really "exploding", but they will react together to bubble and fizz like nothing else you've seen. This is why it was used when we were kids and had to make models of volcanoes for grade school or middle school projects. It was better than having the stuff from the volcanoes shoot up to the classroom ceiling. I think the stuff we did in later grades are done in earlier grades nowadays. The cheap white vinegar used to clean with works the same way. But, you can't use both together to clean with, because any antibacterial and anti fungal properties in the vinegar will be cancelled out from the neutralizing effects of the baking soda. It is for this reason that baking soda works for a temporary solution when someone has acid reflux. Vinegar is the acid. This is a safe experiment to try at home if you've never seen the reaction of vinegar and baking soda together. Get a large mixing bowl to do it in or you will have a mess to clean up later.
Place about (doesn't have to be exact) two tablespoons of baking soda in the mixing bowl. Next, start slowly pouring the vinegar over the baking soda in the bowl and watch what happens. It's not really a true "explosion", but you'll see why I chose that word. No, it will not explode like you would think of with dynamite or gun powder. Otherwise, schools wouldn't encourage kids to make those volcano models and use the baking soda and vinegar for the "lava". For those volcano models, by the time the vinegar hits the baking soda and the mixture comes out of the top of the "volcano", the stuff resembles what happens with a lava flow and not so much a full on eruption. But, it is still fascinating to watch that mixture of vinegar and baking soda together. Such massive bubbles from such a little bit of stuff.
I use an aluminum free baking soda when I need a home remedy for the acid reflux. I have the perfect measurement figured out so that it isn't too much. It does neutralize the acid that is in the stomach at the time and provides temporary relief. I use it with about 12-16 oz of filtered cool water. The coolness of the water provides some relief, too. Plus, the water itself dilutes the stomach acid. I mention this, because it's really the same science project, only inside the stomach. The stomach acid instead of the vinegar, but it's the same kind of thing.
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