HOME REMEDIES INTRODUCTION You do not always have to see a doctor for what ails you. For years home remedies have been used to treat everything from athlete’s foot to yawning. Some home remedies are based on scientific fact while others work in spite of the fact that they have no medicinal merit. Some doctors will tell you that home remedies often work simply because of the placebo effect. They essentially offer a soothing or gratifying solution. MINOR ILLS Probably at on time or another you have used home remedies to relieve minor ills. For example, maybe you drank a cup of hot tea with honey and lemon to soothe a sore throat. Or perhaps you drank a glass of warm milk to help you relax at bedtime. It is likely, too, that on at least one of those occasions when you used a home remedy you claimed that your home remedy was more effective than a doctor’s care. CURE-ALLS A few household items are used so frequently as home remedies that they are frequently called cure-alls. For instance, baking soda will stop bleeding gums. A wet tea bag will take the sting out of a fever blister or ease eyestrain. Ground oatmeal in the bath water will dry up oozing blisters resulting from chicken pox. EXAMPLES OF HOME REMEDIES Home remedies make everyday life easier and usually save you time and money by eliminating trips to the doctor for medical care. A few home remedies, some of which you may not be aware of, are described below. Insect Bites All of us have been bitten by mosquitoes, and we know they can be quite painful. One of several known home remedies to relieve the pain of a mosquito bite is to apply a drop of household ammonia to the affected area. Poison Ivy/Poison Oak Since youth, we have all learned to stay away from three-leafed plants that contain a sap called urushiol. Urushiol causes a bad rash that we commonly know as poison ivy or poison oak. If you come in contact with urushiol, wash your skin immediately with soap and water. If a rash develops, apply a baking soda and water solution to dry the oozing blisters. Congestion Often when you catch a cold, you experience congestion in the throat and lungs. Licorice is a natural ingredient that will help to discharge the mucus from the respiratory tract. Lozenges or tea that contain licorice are especially effective in clearing your throat and lungs. Tension Headaches The best cure for a tension headache is to relieve the headache at its source by ending the stress. Relaxation techniques such as a warm bath, a massage, or meditation can provide comfort. To relieve the pain, drink a cup of coffee or a soda drink containing caffeine at the first sign of the symptoms. Caffeine is sometimes found in over-the-counter pain relievers. Hiccups No doubt you have heard of placing a paper bag over your head to get rid of hiccups. It rarely works, though. Hiccups are caused by nerve impulses in your mouth that cause your diaphragm to contract. The next time you have hiccups, try eating a teaspoon of granulated sugar. The sugar interferes with the nerve impulses. Using sugar is especially handy when treating young children with hiccups. A WORD OF CAUTION You should always use common sense when applying these home remedies. If the ailment does not improve within a day or two, or if the symptoms get worse, you should contract a doctor immediately for some sound medical advice.
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