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Word-of-Mouth Cures That Really Work!
By Quick & Simple Staff
It’s amazing how many traditional cures actually have evidence to support them, says Francesca J. Fusco, M.D., of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Here are seven that have solid research—not just someone’s grandma!—behind them.
Zap nail fungus with bleach
Why: “We’re not sure why, but there is something in bleach that slows down the growth of nail fungi,” says Dr. Fusco.
How: Combine one teaspoon of bleach with one cup of water.
(Note: Always dilute the mixture—applying pure bleach will burn skin.) Then, use a dropper to place this mixture under the affected nail. Repeat twice a day until the infection disappears; this could take up to three weeks.
Prevent blisters on your feet with deodorant
Why: Blisters are caused by skin rubbing against your shoes, and are made worse by sweating. “Deodorant works on your feet just like it does under your arms: It stops sweat glands from producing sweat,” says Ranella J. Hirsch, M.D., president of the American Society for Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery.
How: Before heading out, roll deodorant—any kind will do—on your soles.
Soothe burns with tomato
Why: “The tomato contains lycopene, which is a natural anti-inflammatory, so it calms inflamed skin. And the wetness of the tomato juice helps draw some of the liquid out of the burn, reducing swelling,” says Dr. Fusco.
How: Slice a large tomato and apply pieces to damaged skin. Leave on for five minutes, then remove, letting the remaining juices fully dry on skin. Once dry, rinse skin with cool water. Repeat twice daily until discomfort ends.
Calm insect bites with aspirin
Why: “Aspirin is made of salicylic acid, a potent anti-inflammatory that can reduce pain and itching,” says Dr. Hirsch.
Crush three aspirin and add a few drops of water—enough to make a paste, Dr. Hirsch says. Apply mixture to the bite. Leave on for two minutes, then rinse with cool water. Repeat twice daily until pain and itching stop.
Stop small cuts from bleeding with used tea bags
Why: “The tannic acid in tea has an astringent effect, prompting blood vessels to constrict more quickly, which slows the flow of blood,” explains Dr. Fusco.
How: Using light pressure, hold a cool (not warm) tea bag against the cut for one minute. Rinse, then cover with a bandage.
Remove warts with duct tape
Why: Experts at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Wash., found this remedy could clear warts in two months. There are a few theories about how it works. One is that duct tape irritates warts, causing an immune system reaction that attacks them. “Another is that the tape removes the virus-laden skin cells,” says Anthony Mancini, M.D., professor of dermatology at Northwestern University.
How: Apply a piece of tape that’s the same size as the wart and leave on for six days. (If tape falls off, replace ASAP.) Remove tape after the six days and clean area with soap and water; leave tape off overnight. In the morning, reapply tape, keep on for five days and repeat until wart disappears. It may take up to two months, says Dr. Mancini, but it’s less painful and less expensive than repeated doctor visits.
Nix dandruff with apple cider vinegar
Why: “The vinegar’s acidity reduces the natural pH of the scalp,” explains Dr. Fusco. “And this creates an unfriendly environment for yeast that tend to overpopulate the head and cause dandruff.”
How: Mix 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar with one quart of water and use as a final rinse after shampooing, twice weekly.
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