10 Home Remedies That Actually Work

..and uses natural remedies where appropriate

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.

I don’t know any doctors like this…sadly

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!

good for hair, heartburn and chilli burns. LOVE this stuff

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.

good for vampires, bad for your significant other

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?

This post also appeared on The Healthy Home Economistย and Party Wave Wednesday.


31 thoughts on “10 Home Remedies That Actually Work

  1. Interesting list! I’ve heard of some, some not…must do some research. My biggest problem is prevention of chiggers and if prevention fails, the treatment of those itchy buggers. I am their favorite target!

    • Oh ick, never heard of chiggers (perhaps we call them by another name) but I’m generally open season for any kind of bugs so I feel your pain. Neem will prob do the trick for them, creepy crawlies hate it!

      • Don’t know your location but in the South, chiggers aka red bugsrule. They discovered me age 8 when I went w/aunts to pick wild plums. Next day, my entire upper torso was covered in them. I ran a high fever and if I remember right, Mother dunked me in a baking soda bath and got out the Calamine lotion. I couldn’t wait to leave them behind me when we moved to the central plains. Sadly, they followed me. Or it could be the fescue grass I planted in the backyard?! They love humidity and heat. I’ve tried the B vitamins suggested for mosquitoes…wear long pants and sleeves, gloves, socks, spray down with repellant and still, some welcome me to their world! Chiggers..the bane of my existence. Wahhhh! Interesteingly enough, one of my uncles was named Chig…on his birth, his daddy said he was no bigger’n a chigger!! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiggers

        BTW, love your blog!!

      • Thanks so much! I love your story, keep meaning to get some calamine myself for the mosquito bites. Just thinking about them makes me itch. Very glad we don’t have chiggers here or I’d probably be eaten to the bone. Have a great (bug-free) weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Oh hey, I can probably help you out. My mom uses plantain (the weed, not the banana-like fruit) leaves to alleviate mosquito pain. My brother uses straight up baking soda for deodorant. And hot peppers burn your hands because of the heat in the oil that soaks into the skin, so to prevent the burn from happening, rub a little oil on your hands and they won’t be able to soak up the firey oils.

  3. I use baking soda as a deodorant. Just apply a little in the armpit area, maybe mixed with a little cornstarch for moisture control.

  4. Pau ‘D Arco worked wonders for a really awful yeast infection. I used as a douche as well as a compress and brewed a fresh tea to take internally.

    Oil of Oregano rocks for bronchitis, sinus infection, cuts, candida overgrowth… Awesome stuff.

  5. I absolutely hate taking any sort of medication– definitely printing this tidy list out for when I get sick! Baking soda works wonders for anything. Also, I’ve never heard of oregano oil for UTI’s…interesting. I usually take vitamin C and drink loads of water.Great tips though!

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  7. The quickest mosquito bite remedy is ammonia…..windex with ammonia. I also use Ssssting Stop by Boericke & Tafel if I couldn’t get the windex fast enough. Ammonia also works on major stings even better like spider and scorpion! Just soak them longer. It neutralizes the venom.

  8. I agree with Sallie, I use ammonia, and it works right away, and seems to help them dry up a bit faster. For yeast infections, I often go without underwear at night and keep my legs open with a fan directed at me. I learned this one in my microbiology class. The cooler temperature and extra oxygen actually kill off just the right amount of yeast. It can be annoying trying to sleep that way, but if you catch it early on, it will work! The yogurt works too, just be sure you get the right kind!

    If you ever have a sore throat, bronchitis, or anything that’s causing pain in the respiratory system, put ice in a tall plastic cup! Put your face directly “into” the cup and breathe. The cold air will work in the same way as putting ice on a sore muscle!

    Salonpas – check them out, they’re a life saver.

    Epsom Salts – I could not live without them! There are sooooo many uses, please go check them out! I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and my husband works a physical labor job. They help both of us immensely!

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  12. For itchy mosquito bites asap after bite occurs, run hot water over back of a spoon. Press the spoon against the bite, the heat from the spoon breaks down the secretions from the blood sucker so that you dont make anymore histamine! Works like a charm!

  13. I too am accosted by mosquitos relentlessly. I stay indoors.
    For a natural deodorant try that tea tree oil- you can mix it with your baking soda. 5-10 drops in a handful of baking soda should do it.
    (And 1 drop on a tampax is miraculous for a mild uti)

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