How many times have I scoured the net for a natural remedy? Hundreds. And how many times have they actually worked…not a lot.
In fact, I’d give it about a 60% success rating.
But I keep trying because I hate having to resort to pharmaceutical solutions (I’m very anti-drugs, unless I’m in severe pain and then I’m all like: “GIVE ME THE DAMN OPIATES”).
And along the way, I’ve actually discovered some keepers which I wanted to share with you.
All of the below have been tested by yours truly and given the TMBL stamp of approval.
They are used time and again in my house and never let me down so I invite you to scan the list, you might have heard of some before, others might pleasantly surprise.
Either way, I think everyone should know this stuff.
Who wants to give their hard-earned cash to the drug companies when there’s probably a cheaper (and safer) solution in their kitchen cupboards?
10 Home Remedies That Actually Work
1. Cuts/acne/any small infections just need a dab of diluted teatree oil. I got a stye a while back and it even cleared that up within a day (be warned though – you have to be extremely careful when applying around the eye area, do not…I repeat DO NOT….jab it into your eyeball. My very unscientific opinion is that you will burn a hole right through your retina until people can see your brain).
2. If you suffer from heartburn, mix a tsp of baking soda and a tsp of apple cider vinegar (careful, it will fizz) in a glass of water and down it. Tastes foul, works brilliantly.
3. Baking soda is a superstar. I also use it to treat greasy hair and/or flaky scalp. The ratio I use is 1 tbsp to 1 cup of water (if your water is hard, I’d recommend boiling it first). I mix up a big batch, put by the shower and use as a shampoo. Just pour over your head, rinse and comb out. Then (this is optional) shake your hair in slow motion as if in a shampoo advert. Silky smooth!
4. Summer season is critter season sadly. Mosquitos love me, I mean in a full on screaming-teens-love-Justin-Bieber kind of way. Neem oil is the best natural insect repellent I’ve tried (and I’ve tried ’em all). It’s a bit pungent but I like the smell and find that it doesn’t need re-applying unless I sweat like a monster.
5. Another summer bummer – sunburn. Kudos to you for not being afraid to get your vitamin D but it’s important not to get too baked. When I’m a bit roasted, I plaster on either fresh aloe vera (we’ve a plant in our backyard) or coconut oil. That way, the chance of peeling is minimised, and I don’t have to worry about leaving parts of my skin around the place.
6. For burns of a different kind ie fiery pepper burns caused by handling chillis, soak hands in a paste made of baking soda and water until the stinging goes (it doesn’t take long). I love the white powder! If there’s ever a baking soda shortage I am well and truly screwed.
7. Chopping garlic and left with hands that are so pungent even the dog doesn’t want you to touch him? Either rub your hands against a stainless steel surface immediately after handling the garlic (no idea how this works but it does) or rub them in lemon/lime juice. If I’m cooking garlic, there’s a good chance lemon is in the recipe too so I just wait til I’ve used the lemon and rub the peel over my fingers. Also, when washing your hands be sure to use cold water. Hot will open your pores and then your pores will radiate garlic. Note: remember this in case of vampire apocalypse.
8. Provided it’s not a screaming migraine, I find that headaches can usually be relieved by drinking a small cup of coffee. Something about the caffeine? This article is more insightful than me so read it.
9. UTIs. Ladies, we all get them. If you haven’t then you’re one of the few lucky ones. I knock ’em out with 3 drops of oregano oil, three times a day and a couple of vitamin C tablets.
10. Feel a cold coming on? I super-dose with zinc and shove a neti pot up my nose the second I feel a tickle in my throat. There was that horror story doing the rounds a while back about some poor soul who used tap water in a neti pot and contracted some kind of brain-eating virus (sounds a lot like the plot of Prometheus) so perhaps use filtered water when cleaning those nasal passages. I also got my hands on some himalayan salts and, it may be the placebo effect talking, but the inside of my nose really did feel sparkling afterwards (TMI?)
And ones I’m still looking for (any suggestions gratefully received):
- Insect bites. When I run out or forget my neem oil, I get bitten a lot. I’ve tried baking soda, white vinegar and ice packs but nothing works. Help!
- A good natural deodourant. None of the store-bought ‘natural’ ones seem to do the trick and I’m desperate to find a homemade variety (without coconut oil, it’s too hot here and it just melts). Do you make your own?
What home remedies do you rely on? Have you ever tried anything wacky that surprisingly worked? Anyone else a mosquito-magnet?