The next time you feel unwell, it’s tempting to run down to the local pharmacy and grab a bunch of pills. But did you know that the perfect cure can often be found lying around your home? Here are some easy, cheap and in some cases, unusual remedies for common complaints.
Cold, flu and fever
Struck down by the dreaded lurgy? Put a sock on it! This quirky remedy provides a twist on the concept of ‘sleeping it off’, and involves placing onion layers in your socks before you go to bed at night. The next morning, you will feel better (and according to some sources, not at all smelly). The idea is that onions have anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties which will draw out toxins through your feet, which is one (two?) of the most absorbent parts of your body.
Researchers have found that the theobromine compound in chocolate is more effective than codeine in suppressing a persistent cough. Dark chocolate has maximal theobromine levels so indulge in a square or two. Yummier than over-the-counter medicine, without the drowsiness and constipation.
Ginger is a fantastic natural anti-nausea agent, helping to prevent motion sickness as well as pregnancy nausea and other nausea. To combat or prevent queasiness, try frozen ginger chips. To start, mix fresh ginger in hot water. Strain then freeze the liquid in ice cube trays. Crush the cube and suck on the ice chips through the day to give your stomach a steady soothing trickle.
When it comes to excessive sun exposure, prevention is far better than cure. However, accidents happen. If you find yourself or a loved one sunburnt, don’t panic. Slap some extra virgin oil on the burn. Studies have shown that olive oil’s antioxidant properties have protective effects which may reduce the risk of developing skin cancer.
In case you need another excuse to have vodka in the house, did you know that it’s the perfect antidote for stinky feet? The antiseptic properties in vodka destroy foot-odour-causing bacteria and fungus, as well as inhibiting their future growth. All you need to do is soak a cloth with the liquid and wipe down your feet at the end of each day.
Talk about happy feet…
A recent study has found that the humble duct tape is a superior treatment for warts compared to liquid nitrogen and other pharmaceutical treatments. This MacGyver-esque method may work through stimulating the patient’s nervous system.
All you need to do is clean the area, apply a piece of tape that fully covers the wart, then rub it gently but firmly into place. Remove the tape every three days and file down the dead skin with a nail file or pumice stone. Repeat until the wart is gone.
A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but did you know it also helps get rid of hiccups? This remedy has been doing the rounds for some time, backed up by a 1971 scientific study. The catch here is that it needs to be a spoonful of dry sugar, so shoving a handful of lollies down your throat might not help – though if it does, let us know!
Headaches and migraines
A home remedies blog would not be a home remedies blog without at least one reference to the almighty lemon. To get rid of a nagging headache, simply peel a lemon, take the white parts of the peel and rub them on your temples on both sides.
Some migraine sufferers swear by a slightly different method. Take a fresh lemon, peel it, then grind the peel with water to make a fine paste. Apply the paste onto your forehead and leave it for half an hour.