50 home remedies that work

1 Bad Breath
No other natural remedy freshens bad breath as well as parsley, says David Orlarsh,
N.D., a naturopath in Plymouth, N.H. This herbal food garnish is rich in chlorophyll, a
green plant compound that kills the bacteria that cause bad odor. Nibble on a sprig after
eating raw onions or garlic or whenever your breath smells sour.

2 Blemishes
To clear zits quickly, keep a small sealed jar of this natural topical remedy on hand (it
keeps for a few months): Combine 2 tablespoons of green clay, 1 tablespoon of
goldenseal powder (Hydratis canadensis), 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil (Melaleuca
alternifolia), and enough water to form a paste. Apply the paste to your blemish at
bedtime and leave it on all night. The clay dries up pore-clogging oil, and the goldenseal
and tea tree oil kill the bacteria that cause infection.

3 Blisters
Don't pop your blister, no matter how tempting it is. Doing so increases the chance of
infection. Instead, dab a cotton ball dipped in plain old drugstore witch hazel (Hamamelis
virginiana) on the area at least four times a day, says Brad Bongiovanni, N.D., a
naturopath in Atlanta, Ga. Witch hazel contains astringent tannins that dry up the fluidfilled
skin and relieve pain by increasing circulation. It also contains alcohol, which is

4 Body Odor
If your body odor persists despite good hygiene, your problem may be clogged pores.
When your skin can't properly eliminate body wastes, bad body odor can result. Gently
dry-brushing your skin just before every shower exfoliates the dead skin that traps those
odor-causing wastes. You'll find body brushes in most drugstores. If you brush with long,
gentle strokes moving toward your heart, you'll also improve circulation, which will help
your body detoxify more efficiently. (This won't eliminate your need for deodorant, but
you may be able to use less of it.)

5 Bruises
Experts say the popular muscle soreness remedy Arnica is also your best bet for
minimizing bruises and healing them fast. As soon as you bump your knee or other body
part or notice a swelling or discoloration, gently rub a dollop of this homeopathic cream
on it. Arnica shrinks inflammation and increases circulation to flush away the stagnant
blood that turns your skin black and blue.

6 Burns
You may know lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia) best for its soothing scent,
but you can also use it to take the sting out of a first-degree burn (the kind you might
get by touching a hot pan). Not only does this oil speed the healing process and prevent
scarring, Bongiovanni says, but it also fights bacteria on vulnerable new skin. Gently
clean the burn with soap and water first. Then combine one part pure lavender essential
oil and three parts carrier oil, like almond or olive oil, and apply the mixture liberally to
the burn at least three times a day, leaving the wound uncovered.

7 Canker Sores
You can once again eat spicy foods in comfort if you douse painful canker sores with
raspberry leaf tea (Rubus idaeus). Steep 2 tablespoons of dried raspberry leaves in 1 cup
boiling hot water until it cools. Strain the tea, and then swish a few mouthfuls for about
one minute each three times a day. The tannins in this tea (which tastes a little like black
tea) reduce the swelling and clean the sore so it can heal faster, explains Andrea
Candee, a South Salem, N.Y.-based herbalist.

8 Chapped Lips
First, chuck your Chapstick. Conventional lip balms contain petroleum and sometimes
alcohol, both of which dry the sensitive skin on your lips. Instead, moisturize and protect
your parched, peeling lips with castor oil. Carry a small squeeze bottle of the oil and
apply it with your finger often throughout the day. If you plan to be out in the sun, use a
natural petroleum- and alcohol-free balm with an SPF of 15 a few minutes after rubbing
in the castor oil.

9 Chest Congestion
The sweetness of your breath may suffer, but eating a plate of curried, sauteed onions
on rice can really loosen congestion in your chest. Lightly saute two onions, sliced, and
at least 1 teaspoon of curry powder in 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil until the
onions are soft. Onions contain quercetin and sulfur, two plant compounds that break up
mucus and increase circulation, explains Orlarsch. Curry also loosens phlegm. And for
that breath? See remedy 1, page 48.

10 Constipation
If you don't like prunes, you have another option for constipation relief. Dried figs work
just as well as prunes. They contain soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which flush out
your intestines. In fact, five figs supply at least 20 percent of your daily fiber
requirement, more than almost any other fruit. Nibble on four or five at the first sign of
constipation and drink at least one glass of water. If you don't get results within three
hours, eat a couple more every three hours until you do.

11 Corns
Soften this thick, callused skin with a little castor oil, recommends Bongiovanni. Apply a
drop of oil to the corn with your finger first thing in the morning, as soon as you get
home from work, and right before bed. Cover the corn with a Band-Aid before putting on
socks and shoes. You should see slow and steady improvement over several weeks.

12 Cough
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) may be best known as a candy, but as a tea it can lick a
lingering cough. Steep a licorice root tea bag or 1 teaspoon of the loose dried root in 1
cup boiling hot water for five minutes, and drink up to three mugs of it throughout the
day. Your cough should improve right away, but you can continue to drink three cups a
day for up to three days. Licorice can raise your blood pressure, so don't drink it if you
have hypertension or diabetes.

13 Cuts
The antioxidant power that makes vitamin E so good for your heart also speeds the
healing of minor cuts. Simply prick a vitamin E capsule with a sterile needle and squeeze
the oil onto your cut at least three times a day. Cover it with a Band-Aid if it's a serious
wound. Be sure to choose natural vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol), Orlarsch says.
Research shows that it has more antioxidant power than synthetic vitamin E.

14 Dandruff
To clear up dandruff you need to counter the cause of the problem: your scalp's acidic
pH level. To restore your scalp's natural alkaline pH level, first wash and condition your
hair. Then, while still in the shower or bath, pour a cup of apple cider vinegar on your
head and rinse with water.

15 Diarrhea
It may seem counterintuitive, but to clear up diarrhea you may need more bacteria--
good bacteria, that is. Diarrhea can be a sign of an imbalance of good and bad bacteria
in your intestines. Taking probiotic supplements corrects that imbalance, Bongiovanni
says. Look for a brand that contains six to eight strains of live organisms, including
Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacter. Bongiovanni recommends taking enough
supplements to get 20 billion live organisms a day (this may be a large number of
capsules). You should see improvement in one or two days; if you don't, see a doctor.

16 Dizziness
A common kitchen spice can stop a case of the spins. Simply drop a pinch of cayenne
into a glass of warm water and sip. The warmth of the water and the heat of the cayenne
cause your body to pump more blood and oxygen to your brain, which makes you feel
clearheaded and steady. If you continue to experience bouts of dizziness, see your

17 Dry Eyes
You'll need to shed a few tears to remedy a case of dry eyes. And the easiest way to
stimulate your tearing action is to apply moist heat to your eyelids. Dip a small towel or
washcloth in warm water, wring it out, lie down, close your eyes, and put the cloth over
your lids for 15 minutes. Do this two or three times a day or as needed.

18 Dry Skin
Almond and grapeseed oil are the quickest fixes for dry skin. They soak into your skin
faster than creamy moisturizers. If your skin is extra dry and rough, opt for thicker oils
like castor and avocado. If you're prone to breakouts, try filtered jojoba oil. Spread a
thin coat of whichever oil you choose to the dry areas twice a day.

19 Earache
Ease the pain and pressure of an ear infection with a store-bought blend of mullein
(Verbascum densiflorum) and garlic (Allium sativum) infused oils, advises Tukwila,
Wash.-based naturopath Eric Yarnell, N.D. These oils kill pain and fight bacteria. Before
bed, warm the drops. One way to do that is by placing the bottle in your armpit for 45
seconds. Tilt your head and squeeze 5 drops into the infected ear and then place a
cotton ball in your ear for a few minutes to keep the drops from running out. You should
experience immediate relief.

20 Eye Strain
To revitalize tired eyes, treat yourself to a soothing chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
compress twice a day. The chamomile soaks through your eyelids, soothing eye tissue
and reducing swelling in the capillaries, Candee explains. Make the compress by steeping
1 teaspoon dried chamomile flowers or 1 chamomile tea bag in 1 cup boiling hot water
for 20 minutes. Strain. Allow the tea to cool, soak a washcloth in it, wring it out, lie
down, and place it over your closed eyes for 15 to 20 minutes.

21 Fatigue
Sleep is what you need if you're overtired. But for a quick pick-me-up, drink a mug of
mate (Ilex paraguariensis). This tea contains caffeine, but in lower doses than coffee. It
also contains theobromine, an energizing compound. Steep a mate tea bag or 1
teaspoon dried mate in boiling hot water for 5 to 10 minutes, strain, and drink. This
earthy-tasting tea is good black or with milk and sugar.

22 Fever
Maintaining your fever, rather than breaking it right away, can fight the virus that's
making you sick. If you have a mild fever (up to 100 degrees), wrap yourself in a blanket
and drink a cup of yarrow tea (Achillea millefolium). Make the tea by steeping 2 yarrow
tea bags or 2 teaspoons dried yarrow in 1 cup boiling hot water for 15 minutes. Reheat it
until it's piping hot, and sip it slowly. Your temperature may rise or fall a degree as you
start to sweat. If your starting temperature is 101 to 103, drink the tea but skip the
blanket. Check your temperature every 30 minutes throughout this process. Eventually
your temperature will drop. If your starting temperature is 104 or more, or if the teadrinking
brings your temperature to 104 or more, call your doctor. Don't do this with
babies or children, or if you're pregnant; consult your doctor instead.

23 Foot Odor
Chlorophyll, the same plant compound that gives plants their green color, can also
sweeten your feet. Pour 2 to 3 teaspoons liquid chlorophyll into a bucket filled with a
gallon of warm water, and soak your feet for 15 minutes. Dry your feet completely
afterward, and wear cotton socks which let your feet breathe.

24 Gas
Chew on a small handful of anise, dill, or fennel seeds when you feel bloated. The
compounds in these seeds relax the muscles in your digestive tract, which allows trapped
gas to pass. You can buy the seeds in the spice aisle of grocery stores or the bulk section
of natural food stores. Bonus: They freshen your breath, too.

25 Headache
Dull a tension headache by massaging a few drops of peppermint essential oil (Mentha
piperita) into your temples. Peppermint works as well as 1,000 mg of acetaminophen,
the main ingredient in aspirin, according to one German study. Herb experts don't know
exactly how it works, says Yarnell, but the peppermint appears to prevent your body
from sending pain signals to your central nervous system.

26 Heartburn
You'll need to find a carpeted area for this heartburn remedy called a heel drop. This
sounds strange, but it works, says Yarnell. Roll up onto your toes as high as you can, and
then allow your heels to quickly drop down onto the ground. Repeat this 20 to 30 times,
holding onto the back of a chair for balance if you need to. The downward motion pulls
the acid that causes heartburn back into your stomach.

27 Hemorrhoids
The tannins in witch hazel tighten the weak veins that trigger painful hemorrhoids. Apply
witch hazel cream (be sure to buy the cream and not the clear liquid) three times daily,
says Yarnell.

28 Hiccups
Think you've tried every hiccup remedy in the book? Candee swears by this one: Put a
straw in a 6-ounce glass of water, press the tips of your index fingers into the
indentations behind your earlobes where your neck and jawbone meet, and drink
through the straw. Drink as much as you can while keeping pressure on those points.
When the glass is empty, your hiccups should be gone.

29 Hives
The moment you feel yourself start to break out in hives, take 1,000 mg of vitamin C
and 500 mg of pantothenic acid, advises Orlarsch. The combination of these
supplements helps your body produce antihistamines, which fight hives, he explains. If
the hives don't disappear after the first dose, take another dose every 10 minutes, up to
three doses. The high vitamin C dose may cause diarrhea. Reduce your dose if this

30 Indigestion
If your tummy's in turmoil, drink a mug of chamomile tea (Matricaria recutita). The
essential oils in this herb ease muscle spasms in your gastrointestinal tract and may also
decrease your body's production of pepsin, a digestive enzyme that exacerbates
indigestion. Brew your tea using loose chamomile flowers rather than the less-potent tea
bags. Steep 1 to 2 teaspoons of the dried flowers in boiling hot water for 20 minutes,
strain, and sip slowly.

31 Inflamed Gums
When your gums feel tender, mix a dropperful of myrrh liquid extract (Commiphora
myrrha) in 14 cup of water, swish it around in your mouth, and spit it out, instructs
Rosemary Gladstar, an herbalist in East Barre, Vt. Myrrh soothes sore, swollen gums. Do
this twice a day.

32 Insect Bites
Relieve the itch from bug bites with an onion. The sulfur in onions neutralizes the
chemicals that cause the itch, explains Candee. Simply slice a yellow onion in half and
rub one of the cut sides on the bite. The itching should stop immediately. Refrigerate the
onion in a sealed container to use again if the itching resumes. Make a fresh slice before
reapplying it.

33 Insomnia
On nights when you can't get to sleep, a gentle herbal extract can do the trick. Take 2
teaspoons of valerian liquid extract (Valeriana officinalis) mixed in 14 cup warm water. As
you wait for the herb to take effect, read a book. You can safely take two more doses of
valerian throughout the night if you wake up again. Be aware that valerian makes some
people jittery. If you have that reaction, try skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) or passion
flower (Passiflora incarnata) instead.

34 Joint Pain
Capsaicin ointment, made from fiery cayenne peppers, can make your joints feel as good
as new by interrupting pain signals. Rub the ointment into your joints every few hours.
You may feel a mild burning sensation in your skin when you first apply it, but any
discomfort will subside in a few minutes. Be sure to keep your hands away from your
eyes until you've washed them thoroughly.

35 Menstrual Cramps
It should be no surprise that an herb named cramp bark (Viburnum opulus) would work
wonders for menstrual pain. It contains at least six compounds that relax muscles, as
well as salicin, the pain-relieving compound from which aspirin is derived. Take 1
teaspoon of the liquid extract every hour until your cramps subside. If they don't ease
within 48 hours, stop taking cramp bark.

36 Muscle Strain
The tried and true Epsom salt bath works magic on sore or strained muscles. Epsom
salts contain magnesium, a mineral which relaxes muscles when absorbed through your
skin, explains Bongiovanni. The salts also soothe pain and kickstart your body's muscle
repair process. Dump 2 cups of Epsom salts into a tub filled with warm water and soak
for 20 minutes.

37 Nasal Congestion
Nothing works faster to clear clogged sinuses than horseradish, Gladstar says. The oils in
this plant boost circulation in your nasal passages, which then loosens mucus. Mix a
teaspoon of grated fresh horseradish with a little apple cider vinegar or honey, and eat it
on toast (the vinegar and honey take the edge off the potent horseradish taste). Inhale
deeply as you grate the horseradish; the fumes alone will start breaking up your

38 Nosebleeds
Halt a mild nosebleed in minutes with this simple, albeit strange trick. Tear a piece of
brown paper from a grocery bag, place it inside your mouth between your top lip and
your gum, and leave it there until your nose stops bleeding, says Candee. No one knows
why it works, but Candee says her patients have used this trick successfully for 30 years.

39 Poison Ivy
Stop the itch of a poison ivy rash and prevent it from spreading with the following
homemade paste: Mix 1 tablespoon of salt and 18 teaspoon of peppermint essential oil
(Mentha piperita) with 12 cup green clay, and add enough water to form a paste. Apply
the paste liberally to the rash and leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes. Store leftover paste
in a tightly sealed jar and reapply as needed. The remedy soothes the itch by absorbing
the irritating plant oils and drying the rash. It also works for poison oak.

40 Puffy Eyes
If your eyes are puffy in the morning, go straight for a cube of ice. Wrap it in a paper
towel and hold it over each eyelid for a few minutes. The cold will reduce the swelling.

41 Razor Burn
A razor burn victim himself, Yarnell recommends slathering aloe gel (Aloe vera) on your
skin when you're done shaving. You can buy aloe gel in drugstores, but look for a
product that has few additives and is made with 100 percent aloe.

42 Sore Throat
Most people know that echinacea (Echinaceae spp) can help you fight off a cold. But it
also acts as a mild local anesthetic when taken in liquid extract form, says Yarnell. Mix
12 teaspoon of the liquid extract with about 14 cup water, gargle, and swallow. Do this
every hour for up to 48 hours or until the soreness disappears.

43 Sties
The warm compress that most doctors recommend to heal sties can be made more
effective if you soak the compress in a solution containing the herb eyebright (Euphrasia
officinalis). Steep 1 teaspoon dried eyebright in 1 cup boiling hot water for 10 minutes
and strain. Soak a washcloth in the solution, gently wring it, and apply it to the stye for
15 minutes two or three times a day.

44 Sunburn
Your afternoon snack can also soothe your sunburn. Smearing yogurt on your skin as
soon as it turns pink cools your skin and reestablishes its pH balance so it heals faster.
Use plain, full-fat yogurt that contains few additives. Let it sit on your skin until it warms
up and then rinse it off with tepid water. Apply as often as needed.

45 Toothache
Numb a throbbing tooth with clove essential oil (Syzygium aromaticum). The aromatic
chemical in clove called eugenol anesthetizes pain and kills bacteria. To apply it, soak a
cotton ball or swab with the oil and use it to wipe your sore gums and tooth. Repeat this
four to five times a day until you can see your dentist.

46 Urinary Tract Infections
Drink cranberry or blueberry juice when you feel a urinary tract infection coming on.
Both contain compounds that fight the infection by preventing troublesome bacteria from
adhering to the walls of your urinary tract, explains Bongiovanni. Down one to two 8-
ounce glasses of 100 percent cranberry or blueberry juice daily until the infection
disappears. If you buy cranberry juice cocktail, drink four glasses a day. Or take 2.5 g of
cranberry extract capsules (Vaccinium macrocarpum) twice a day with meals. If you still
have symptoms after two days or if your symptoms worsen, see your doctor.

47 Vaginal Dryness
Vaginal dryness is triggered by a hormone imbalance. Vitamin E oil combined with the
herb black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) restores vaginal moisture and tips your
hormones back into balance, explains Yarnell. Simply squeeze the oil from six vitamin E
capsules into a small cup, add about 5 teaspoons of black cohosh cream, and stir. Apply
the mixture to the inside and outside of your vagina two or three times a day until you
find relief.

48 Varicose Veins
Putting your feet up and applying a compress made with sage tea (Salvia officinalis) can
minimize the swelling of your varicose veins. Rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, sage
reduces swelling by shrinking vein walls, Candee explains. Steep 6 teaspoons dried sage
in 3 cups boiling hot water for 30 minutes (double the recipe if you're treating both legs)
and strain. Dunk a medium-size hand towel in the tea and gently wring it out. Sit in a
spot where you can put your feet up above your heart and wrap the towel snugly around
your problem leg.

49 Warts
This wart remedy may sound wacky, but Yarnell swears by it. Gently rub the wart with
your finger for 15 seconds at the same time each day. Rubbing the wart stimulates blood
flow to the area and prompts your immune system to fight the wart virus. Doing this at
the same time every day trains your immune system to kick in on its own.

50 Yeast Infections
Ease the maddening itch of a yeast infection with a suppository made with boric acid.
Although its name sounds harsh, boric acid acts as a mild antiseptic and has antiviral
and antifungal properties. Insert one suppository every night as long as needed. Do not
exceed 14 days. If you don't find the suppositories in your natural food store, ask your
pharmacist to make them.

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