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It is common knowledge that garlic is good for your heart and that raw onions can help clear up a stuffy nose.
But did you know that a few seemingly bizarre home remedies have actually been tried and tested and found to work? They’re worth taking a look at, especially if you’re out of traditional medicine and need something to tide you over until you can get some.
Weird But Effective Home Remedies
Here are a few unheard-of home remedies that actually work.
1. Banana peels
Banana peels have been used for ages to treat a variety of ailments.
The humble banana peel is packed with nutrients including potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C. When applied to the skin, these nutrients can help soothe inflammation and irritation. Banana peels have even been shown to help heal wounds and burns. (1)
If you’re struggling with an itchy bug bite or poison ivy rash, try rubbing a banana peel on the affected area. You can also use a banana peel to fight acne by gently rubbing it on your face in circular motions; leave the peel on for 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
Looking for a natural way to whiten your teeth? Believe it or not, rubbing a banana peel on your teeth can actually help to remove stains and achieve bright teeth. Just make sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly afterward!
2. Raw potato
Some home remedies are backed by science, while others are more of an old wives’ tale. The jury is still out on whether this particular remedy actually works, but people swear by it nonetheless.
It may sound counterintuitive, but placing raw potato over your black eye can help reduce swelling. The starch in the potato is anti-inflammatory and speeds up the healing process. (2)
Just cut a thin slice of potato and place it over your eye for 15–20 minutes.
3. Honey and cinnamon
Honey and cinnamon have been used as home remedies for centuries. Honey is a natural antibacterial and can help to fight infections. (3) Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce pain and swelling. Together, these two ingredients can help to treat a wide variety of ailments. (4)
One of the most well-known uses for honey and cinnamon is for treating colds and flu. Honey helps to soothe your throat, while cinnamon helps to clear your congestion. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and take this mixture three times a day until your symptoms improve.
Honey and cinnamon can also be used to treat acne. The antibacterial properties of honey help to kill the bacteria that cause acne, while the anti-inflammatory properties of cinnamon help to reduce swelling and redness. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of raw honey with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and apply the mixture to your skin. Leave it on for 15 minutes before washing it off with warm water.
If you suffer from joint pain, honey and cinnamon can also be helpful. The anti-inflammatory properties of both ingredients help to reduce redness and swelling. Mix 1 tablespoon of each ingredient, and massage the mixture on your sore joints thrice a day until you feel relief.
4. Peppermint extract
If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to freshen up your home, look no further than peppermint extract. Simply add a few drops to a diffuser or humidifier, and enjoy the refreshing scent of peppermint. You can also add a few drops to boiling water to create a refreshing steam inhalation.
Peppermint extract is also great for relieving congestion and headaches. (5) Simply massage a few drops into your temples and forehead, and breathe in the soothing scent. For congestion relief, add a few drops to a pot of boiling water and inhale the steam.
Looking for an all-natural way to keep pests out of your home? Peppermint extract is your answer. Simply mix equal parts water and peppermint extract, and spritz the solution around doorways and windowsills. The strong scent will deter pests from entering your home.
5. Sugar packet
One strange home remedy that actually works is using a sugar packet to fix a squeaky door. If you have a door that’s starting to make a lot of noise, simply take a sugar packet and rub it along the hinges. The fine sugar helps lubricate the hinge and stop the noise.
6. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is one of the most popular home remedies. It helps with a variety of issues, including weight loss, digestion, and skin problems. (6)
There is some scientific evidence to support the use of apple cider vinegar for weight loss. One study showed that people who consumed vinegar daily lost more weight than those who did not. Vinegar may help to increase satiety and reduce calorie intake.
Apple cider vinegar may also help with digestion. One study showed that it helped to improve symptoms of indigestion. ACV contains acetic acid, which kills harmful bacteria.
Skin problems are another common issue that apple cider vinegar can help resolve. Acetic acid, which is the main component of ACV, has antimicrobial properties. (6) This means that it can help to kill bacteria that cause acne. ACV is also beneficial for dry skin and dandruff. (6)
7. Green tea to reduce a beer belly
A beer belly is often seen as a sign of overindulgence, and while that can be true, there are also some other causes. Beer bellies are most commonly caused by excess abdominal fat. This type of fat is different from the fat that is found elsewhere in the body and is more difficult to lose.
There are several things that you can do to get rid of a beer belly, but it will take some time and effort.
One of the best ways to get rid of a beer belly is to exercise regularly. This will help to tone the muscles in the area and reduce the amount of fat that is stored there. Cardio exercises such as jogging or cycling are great for this, but strength training exercises can also be effective. (7)
In addition to exercising, it is important to ensure that you are eating a healthy diet. Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein will help to reduce the amount of fat stored in your abdomen. (8)
If you have a beer belly and want to get rid of it quickly, there are some home remedies that you can try.
One popular remedy is to drink green tea before every meal, along with developing healthy habits. (8) It may not work for everyone, but it is worth a try if you want to get rid of your beer belly fast.
8. DIY lip gloss
Looking for a fun and easy beauty project? Try making your own lip gloss! All you need is a few simple ingredients that you probably already have at home.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 tablespoon of Vaseline, to protect the skin (9)
- 1 teaspoon of honey, which acts as a humectant and is antibacterial (10)
- ½ teaspoon of coconut oil, which nourishes the skin and is anti-inflammatory (11)
- A few drops of essential oil (optional)
Simply mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl and transfer to a small container. That’s it! Enjoy your homemade lip gloss.
9. Toothpaste on a paper cut
If you’ve had a paper cut, you know how painful it can be. The next time you get one, reach for the toothpaste. Yes, toothpaste!
The menthol in toothpaste acts as a numbing agent, so it can help to relieve the pain of a paper cut. (12) Just apply a small amount of toothpaste to the cut and let it sit for a few minutes. You’ll soon feel the pain fading away.
10. Root beer on sunburn
Who would have thought that root beer could be one of the ways to deal with sunburn?
The root bark from the sassafras tree or sarsaparilla vine is typically used as the main flavor in root beer, a sweet soft drink popular in North America. Typically, but not always, root beer is carbonated, sweet, caffeine-free, and nonalcoholic.
According to anecdotal evidence, this fizzy drink can help to soothe sunburn. The high levels of caffeine in root beer can help to constrict blood vessels, which can reduce swelling and redness. (13)
To try this remedy, simply pour a can of root beer into a bowl and apply it to your sunburned skin with a clean cloth. Let it sit for 10–15 minutes before rinsing it off with cool water.
I just got sunburnt at the beach and I do not have any root beer handy. What do I do?
Root beer is great for sunburn due to its high caffeine content. You can use any drink containing high amounts of caffeine such as most energy drinks and cold drinks. Make sure to read the nutrition facts to check whether it contains caffeine.
I have a dry and itchy scalp. Can I still use apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is beneficial for people with dry and itchy scalps. (6) However, if your problem is persistent and does not resolve after 2–3 applications of apple cider vinegar, it might be time to book an appointment with a dermatologist.
Who would have thought that some of the strangest home remedies out there would actually work? If you’re ever in a pinch and need to fix something quickly, they’re worth a try. These strange home remedies just might save the day.