Home remedies are the homemade antidotes that our families would give us growing up to cure any ailment imaginable. Whether it be vapor rub for a severe cold, a special tea blend for a sore throat, or a scented oil for body odor, we all have plenty of examples of ways in which we made our everyday aches/conditions better by just using what we found in our bathroom cabinets. Here’s a compilation of some of the most universally popular home remedies used all around the world:
Buttermilk is known to be an amazing ingredient for any homemade face-mask, as well as a great absorbent for fixing age spots. Buttermilk contains ascorbic acid, which is essentially a watered-down version of Vitamin C which, as we know, has a multitude of health and beauty benefits especially.
Vitamin C in general is a great home remedy for pretty much any ailment. Most people know that the vitamin is amazing at combating common cold symptoms, but most don’t realize that this also means vitamin C is perfect for helping relieve allergy symptoms.
In fact, according to Reader’s Digest, “74% of study subjects who received a vitamin C nasal spray reported that their noses were less stuffy, compared with 24% of the allergy patients who took a placebo. The study’s authors recommend getting two grams per day from food and/or supplements.”
Petroleum Jelly is definitely a “super-topical” in terms of how hydrating and anti-drying it is for the skin. Traditional use for petroleum jelly tends to focus more on dry skin spots, however, it has a multitude of uses beyond hydration. So much so that it can actually be used to get rid of blisters, scabs, and even some scratches.
Oatmeal is more than just a healthy breakfast option, the gooey hot cereal can also be used as an anti-itch lotion for bug bites. “Oatmeal has a long history—and equally solid biological basis—for its anti-itch effects,” says Dr. Adam Friedman, an associate professor of dermatology. Friedman recommends mixing equal parts oatmeal and water, applying it to the bug bite, letting it sit for 10 minutes and then rinsing; this process is most ideal for mosquito bites.
We all know Aspirin is amazing for headaches and pain relief in general, but were you aware you could also use it for calluses and blisters as well? By crushing around 5-6 tablets of Aspirin and mixing it with half a teaspoon of water and half a teaspoon of lemon juice, you’ll get a lumpy past that you can place on any callous. Once the paste is applied, wrap some plastic wrap around the spot to keep it secure, and then wrap the plastic wrap in a heated towel. After 10 minutes, whip away the excess paste and scrub the area gently to remove any additional flaking skin.
Having smelly feet is one of the most embarrassing, yet common, issues that many of us can relate to. There are plenty of powders and products out there that can help combat foot odor, and many of them work, but for a more homemade route, use some lavender oil. Lavender oil has antibacterial properties that can help kill the germs in your feet that cause them to have a bad odor. Before bed, rub some lavender oil onto your feet and put on a pair of socks to ensure that it absorbs. Sleeping in socks may seem like a major downfall, but your feet will definitely thank you.
Another essential oil that’s amazing for curing headache/migraine symptoms is peppermint oil. Peppermint oil is known for its cooling properties, and applying some to your temples and forehead will work like an absorbent ice pack that helps relieve the pain associated with a headache. Just make sure to mix a few drops of the peppermint oil with some olive oil beforehand to prevent any skin irritation, especially if you have sensitive skin.
One of the best home remedies I’ve personally used my whole life is to help cure the hiccups. The next time you find yourself with an uncontrollable case of the hiccups, cut a slice of lemon, dip it into some sugar (and I mean dip, not sprinkle, coat that bad boy) and suck on the lemon, your hiccups will be gone within seconds.
Chapped lips is one of the most universal issues most of us can relate to. There are a multitude of chap stick brands out there that work, and a lot of them that tend to have the opposite effect. If you’re tired of buying brand after brand and being left disappointed, look no further than your kitchen cupboard for some olive oil. Olive oil is a natural lubricant, and it also tends to absorb in the skin, so it’s perfect for those cold winter days where your lips just never seem to re-hydrate.
Finally, the next time you feel a sudden wave of uncomfortable nausea, look no further than the produce aisle to pick up some ginger. It’s unclear what specific properties allow ginger to combat nausea, but most believe it releases enzymes that help aid digestion and break down food. Beyond ginger, peppermint tea is also known for its anti-nausea properties, especially when you wake up at 1 pm on a Saturday in last night’s outfit, if you catch my drift.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.