4 Home Remedies That Work

Even if you have a fully stocked medicine cabinet, you might not have a go-to treatment for certain problems that pop up. When that happens, simple household items might be able to do the trick. While most home remedies are questionable at best, these four can actually make a difference and save you a trip to the drugstore.

1. Honey calms coughs. If you have little ones at home, keep a bottle of honey on hand during cold season. Giving kids ages 1 and older a dose of honey before they go to sleep when they have a cold can make them cough less and sleep better. (Honey is not safe for children under age 1 because of the risk of infant botulism.) It can even be more effective than cough medicine, studies have found. Honey is packed with antioxidants that may play a role in calming coughs. When your child has a cough, offer 1/2 tablespoon of honey about 30 minutes before bedtime. Sweet dreams, indeed.

2. Duct tape treats warts. Warts are caused by a virus that affects the skin. While they tend to go away on their own, they can spread and stick around for a while. To wipe them out, turn to that reliable fix-all, duct tape. Although experts aren’t sure how it works, sticking a piece of duct tape over a wart can help with wart removal. Be sure to replace the tape every few days. Visit a dermatologist if your wart isn’t getting any better after a few weeks, or if it spreads. You may require a stronger solution.

3. Aloe helps heal burns. If you get a mild burn, such as after accidentally touching a hot pan while cooking, apply cool water for five to 30 minutes. Then cover the burn with aloe and apply a bandage to protect it. Aloe helps speed healing, reduces pain, and prevents the skin from getting too dry. Use aloe only if your burn is mild—meaning it might be red and painful, but it isn’t blistering. Otherwise, seek medical attention.

4. Salt water soothes sore throats. Whether your sore throat is due to a cold, the flu, tonsillitis, or strep throat, gargling with warm salt water can help soothe your pain. Several times per day, create a solution with 1/4 teaspoon of salt mixed with 1/2 cup of warm water. Gargle and spit.


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