How To

15 old home remedies that surprisingly work

December 7th, 2020

It’s quickest and easiest to pick up commercial remedies for all your ailments at your local pharmacy. But back in the day, when there was far less choice than today, people were using their own natural remedies that have made a name for themselves in history – so much so that many of them are still used today.

Read on for 15 of the most popular old home remedies that actually work!

1. Garlic oil for earache

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There’s nothing worse than an earache, but with everyone’s favorite fragrant root vegetable, you’ll be right again in no time. Just warm a bit of garlic oil and add a couple of drops to your poorly ear.

Garlic has a lot going for it: it’s antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory. It can relieve pain and the warmth of the oil should be nice and soothing.

2. Mustard pack

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Never heard of a mustard pack for chest infections? It’s easy enough to make: mix dry mustard with hot water and put it on a compress. Place the compress on your chest and let it sit, but don’t leave it for long enough to burn.

The mustard will bring heat to the area, acting as a counterirritant and causing the blood vessels to dilate. Because more blood is flowing to the area, more flows away, carrying away the toxic products that were responsible for the original inflammation.

3. Vinegar for swimmer’s ear

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More ear talk: swimmer’s ear is a particularly horrific ear infection (the sort that keeps you, a grown adult, up all night crying).

Rather than desperately heading to the chemists to stop one side of your head from feeling like it might explode, try vinegar diluted in distilled water. It’s an anti-bacterial, so you can rest assured it’ll kill the bacteria that’s causing the infection.

4.Vicks VapoRub for headaches

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There’s a reason why Vicks VapoRub has been selling for so many decades: it works. But it’s not just a decongestant, you know.

Put some Vicks on your temples when you have a headache and its mentholating properties will help to release pressure and lift your pain immediately.

5. Sugar for hiccups

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We’ve all tried every hiccup remedy under the sun in desperate times: cold water face-splash, having someone jump out and scare us, holding our breath… apparently we’ve been doing it all wrong, because all it takes is a spoonful of sugar!

Simply swallowing the sugar causes your diaphragm to spasm. You can also try a shot of vinegar, but, trust us, while being effective, that one is pretty traumatizing.

6. Hot toddy

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Hot toddy, a classic beverage that your parents probably gave you before bed, is a simple enough concoction: add an herbal tea bag to hot water with a dash of whiskey, honey and a lemon wedge.

Nope, it might not be the most child-friendly drink of the 21st century, but it works really well as a decongestant for colds, dilating your blood vessels and making it easier for your mucus membranes to see off an infection.

7. Deodorant for insect bites

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Roll-on deodorant might sound like a bit of a random treatment for insect bites, but it really does work. This is because deodorant contains a lot of the same ingredients as anti-itch cream. Try it out next time you get a mosquito bite.

8. Onion and honey for coughs

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Name a better combination than onion and honey… literally anything else? We don’t blame you. Okay, this one might sound a little gross, but onion and honey is an age-old remedy that actually works. You just slice up some onion and pop it in a jar of honey overnight.

Strain out the onions, then enjoy a delicious spoonful of slightly bitter honey when you’re not feeling your best. Onions are anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibiotic, while honey is antibacterial and soothing for coughs and colds.

9. Apple cider vinegar for hangovers

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If you can dare to do another shot the morning after a night of going too heavy, apple cider vinegar is your friend. It helps to balance the pH levels in your stomach, which should ward off those dodgy, “do I need to make a trip to the restroom” kind of stomach churns.

10. Tobacco for bee stings

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Smoking is a dying hobby, and thank goodness for that. But if you do happen to have an unused cigarette or two lying around, wet the end of one then squeeze it out and it’s an effective remedy for a bee sting. Turns out nicotine is a mild anesthetic and can numb the pain.

11. Tea for sunburn

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Tea is a bit of a miracle product nowadays, because it doesn’t just taste good – it’s also used for everything from cleaning to skincare.

In the case of catching the sun after a day at the beach, try soaking three or four black tea bags in a mug of water until the water goes very dark, then grab a clean cloth and dip it in the water. Place it over your sunburn and let the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the tea ease your pain and reduce the likelihood of blistering.

12. Spider webs for cuts

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Accidentally walking through a spider web is a thing of horrors for most people, but if you want your cuts to heal faster, this old remedy says webs are the perfect fit for you.

Just gather some spider webs (casually, as you do) and layer them all over your cut. Being high in vitamin K, the blood-clotting vitamin, these webs will help your cut to stop bleeding and start mending faster. Just make sure you don’t pick up any actual spiders with the webs.

13. Oatmeal for soothing itch

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Oatmeal isn’t just for eating, you know. You can also blend it up to form an oat flour then add a cupful to a warm bath and have a long relaxation session.

Oatmeal is touted for being effective at soothing the itch related to chickenpox, but it can also help to moisturize and protect your skin in general – that’s why it’s in so many skincare products.

14. Onion for stings and infections

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Slice that onion! It’s not just good for coughs and colds – it’ll also soothe your stings and skin infections. This is again because of onions’ anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties. They can help reduce pain and swelling, and even draw puss out of skin infections. Lovely.

15. Duct tape for warts

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Let’s finish on the most appealing of them all: using duct tape to get rid of your warts. Apparently, duct tape works better than cryotherapy (a cosmetic procedure that freezes warts off), so why waste your money?

Just apply a small piece of duct tape to your wart and leave it there. Then, every three to six days, remove the duct tape and rub the wart with a pumice stone. After around 10 to 12 hours of air exposure, replace the tape.

This process should gradually remove the wart, layer by layer. It generally takes a few weeks to fully work.

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Source: Home Grown Self Reliance

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