Top 10 Homemade Remedies For What Ails You

Feeling under the weather? Thinking — as you look around your office — that you might be soon? Hone your home-remedy skill set with a look at 10 of our favourite DIY cures for illnesses and your body's annoyances.

Photo by Robert Couse-Baker.

10. Honey for rough coughs

When you've got a bad cough, it feels like your own body is fighting against you — your throat dries out, your lungs spasm beyond your control, and it all makes a bad illness experience feel even worse. Before reaching for the over-the-counter stuff, consider a spoonful of honey. It did better in studies of children's coughs than any of the expensive cough medicines, and it very likely elicits fewer taste complaints. Even better? An Ayurvedic-style honey-lemon-ginger infusion drink.

9. Toothpaste for bee stings

Slate's William Brantley tried out all the pharmaceutical and home remedies he could find for bee stings, including the well-regarded sliced onion. Brantley said the onion made his sting feel worse, and pulls for the acid-neutralising, itch-reducing properties of toothpaste.

8. Olive oil for children's ear-aches

When a tyke has an ear-ache, everybody knows about it. To soothe the pain until you can get to the doctor, a Columbia University Medical centre paediatrician recommends using a syringe or something similar to put 2-4 drops of warm oil in a small child's ear, age two and older, or 5-10 drops in your own if you're the one with the aches. Photo by fdecomite.

7. Vick's VapoRub or thyme oil for toenail fungus

It's not the most pleasant of afflictions to discuss, but nobody wants to keep dealing with yellowed, brittle toenails if they don't have to. Vick's VapoRub has thymol in it, a derivative of the herb that researchers have found effective in combating fungus, and it's much cheaper than the prescription treatments. eHow explains the step by step of applying Vick's to infected feet, and the Times suggests adding essential oil of thyme, found at health and natural food stores, to a bath is a strong supplement.

6. Vinegar, oatmeal and others for sunburns

Ever get the feeling that the makers of sunburn treatments kind of have you in a painful price position? If your bottle of the green goopy stuff doesn't seem to work, or you don't have any, the Wise Bread blog's natural recommendations might do the trick: vinegar, crushed-up aspirin, tea, milk and straight-up aloe vera. We've also heard that an oatmeal paste can do the trick. (Original post: remedies)

5. DIY elixers for colds and flu

The Hot Knives blogger loves an excuse to hit the grocery store, and when stricken with a cold (or maybe the flu), he found his muse: a DIY, Southern-Comfort-based elixir to make sleeping, resting and feeling better much easier.

4. Duct tape for warts

There's not a lot we can add to this amazing little mash-up of modern life, other than to say that, while a double-blind, placebo-matched study isn't available to assuage the uncertainty, many Lifehacker readers swear by the grey stuff's wart-healing powers.

3. Clear nail polish or hot water for bug bites

Gil Grissom on CSI claims it's true, but the crime scene scientist has a lot of fellow believers in the air-blocking, itch-reducing power of a small drop of clear nail polish on especially bad bites. Using Ben Gay can also work, and some commenters suggest close-but-not-direct contact with heat to draw off the need to scratch.

2. Baby or talcum powder for greasy hair

When you're travelling, pressed for time, or otherwise unable to shower on your regular schedule, your hair can end up looking a bit, well, greasy and unwieldy. The simplest solution we've found is running baby powder through it. That link comes from eHow, but the testing is, sadly, rigorously vetted by a certain Lifehacker editor whose morning blogging sometimes leaves him little time to get presentable in a rush. If your baby powder leaves you smelling like a changing station, consider talcum powder or a little cover-up scent. (Original post)

1. Bacon sandwich for hangovers

The morning after a long night out, your brain is depleted of neurotransmistters and your stomach is in need of something calm and steady. A bacon sandwich, according to British researchers, is just what the hangover doctor ordered. The bread has the carbohydrates you're hungry for, while the bacon's protein (made more appealing by tasty fat) breaks down into amino acids, which your brain has been starving for ever since happy hour started. Photo by amagill. (Original post)

What's the best home or natural remedy you know of, or that your parents swear by? We want to hear about it in the comments.


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