Friday, November 4, 2011

Home Remedies That Work

Americans spend billions of dollars for over-the-counter health remedies for everything from nighttime coughs to poison ivy. In many cases, there is no need to spend tons of money to find relief. If you check your cupboard, you may find some surprising home remedies.
Here are some cheap, easy to find home remedies that really work:

One spoonful can help quiet a nighttime cough better than over-the-counter cough syrups or suppressants.  Honey coats and soothes an irritated throat. Doctors say that using honey is generally safe and can be used repeatedly as needed. Honey does have a high sugar content, “which may be inappropriate for older adults with diabetes.”

Liquid dish soap
If you come into contact with poison ivy or poison oak, washing the affected area with liquid dish soap within two hours of contact may prevent you from getting an itching red rash. Liquid dish washing soap  is formulated to remove oil, so why not use it to get rid of the plant oil on poison ivy leaves that causes a rash when it gets on your skin.

Tart cherry juice

Drinking tart cherry juice can help prevent gout attacks, relieve muscle soreness after exercise, and possibly help with arthritis pain because of its natural anti-inflammatory properties.  The juice seems to reduce the joint inflammation that gout causes. A study found that patients who took a tablespoon of tart cherry juice concentrate twice a day for four months cut the frequency of their gout attacks in half. More than a third remained gout attack-free.  Other studies have shown that drinking tart cherry juice daily helps runners reduce muscle soreness and reduces inflammation in over-weight patients.

Baby Shampoo

A half-and-half solution of baby shampoo and warm water is a simple, effective way to clean eyelids that are itchy, red or crusty. The condition could be blepharitis, a common eye problem in older adults. It can cause scaling and crustiness along the base of the eyelashes. Gently cleaning the eyelid with a baby shampoo wash helps get rid of oil and bacteria but won’t ting your eyes. Remember that baby shampoo should only be used on the lid, and never on the surface of the eye.
Witch Hazel

Derived from leaves and twigs of a flowering shrub, witch hazel can be used as an astringent to help tighten the skin and relieve inflammation. It’s the main ingredient in commercial hemorrhoid pads, used to relieve mild itching and irritation. You can do the same at home with pads you moisten with witch hazel. For even more relief, use chilled witch hazel.

While many home remedies work, they can interact with prescription medications, so check with your doctor before trying something new.
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