All-natural, expert-recommended ways to treat ailments quickly, safely, and effectively at home.
The following 7 home remedies are like having a doctor on call 24 hours a day.
Heal dry skin, rashes, and eczema
Bathe in your breakfast. Although oatmeal is a centuries-old skin soother, researchers only recently recognized the avenanthramides in oats as the key compounds that calm inflamed, itchy skin. Put whole oats in a clean, dry sock. Seal the open end with a rubber band, and then drop the sock into a warm or hot bath. Soak yourself for 15 to 20 minutes.
–Expert: Laurie Steelsmith, ND
Douse a cotton makeup pad with isopropyl alcohol, hold it up to your nose, and take a few deep breaths (no more than three in a 10-minute period). According to a recent study, emergency room patients who inhaled the isopropyl alcohol–saturated pads saw a 50% reduction in nausea, compared with patients who sniffed pads doused in saline solution.
-Source: Annals of Emergency Medicine
Whiten stained teeth
Crush a few fresh strawberries into a scrubbing pulp that you mix with a pinch of stain-removing baking soda and enough water to make a paste. Apply the mixture to a soft-bristled toothbrush and polish for a few minutes once every 3 or 4 months. (More often can erode tooth enamel.) The astringent malic acid in strawberries helps buff coffee and red-wine stains from teeth.
–Expert: Mark Moyad, MD, MPH
Swallow 1 to 2 teaspoons of sugar. The dry granules stimulate and reset the irritated nerve that is causing the spasms of the diaphragm. Any coarse substance, such as salt, can work in a pinch, but sugar tastes best.
–Expert: Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, medical director of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers and author of From Fatigued to Fantastic!
Before bedtime, eat a handful of cherries (or drink tart cherry juice), which scientists discovered are jam-packed with melatonin, the same hormone created by your body to regulate sleep patterns. Then steep yourself in a hot bath to relax your muscles and your mind. In bed, rest your head on a lavender-filled pillow—the fragrance induces sleepiness.
–Experts: Mark Moyad, MD, MPH; Jacob Teitelbaum, MD
Stop foot odor
Soak feet nightly in 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water to eliminate odoriferous bacteria. Or take a daily foot bath in strong black tea (let it cool first) for 30 minutes. Tea’s tannins kill bacteria and close the pores in your feet, keeping feet dry longer; bacteria tend to thrive in moist environments. You’ll see results in a few days to a week. One caution: Do the soak only when your feet are free of cuts.
–Expert: Laurie Steelsmith, ND
Try frozen ginger chips. First, infuse fresh ginger in hot water. Strain, then freeze the concoction in ice cube trays.
Crush the cubes and suck the icy chips throughout the day to provide your tummy with a steady soothing dribble. Ginger’s antinausea properties are particularly effective during pregnancy or after surgery.
–Expert: Eric Yarnell, ND, faculty member of the department of botanical medicine at Bastyr University