15 Harmless Folk Remedies Worth a Try

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1. Cover yourself in crystals

1. Cover yourself in crystals
It’s hardly a widespread or accepted form of healing, but there are many people who steadfastly believe that crystals and gems contain a vibrational energy that can help people heal. In fact, gemstone therapy has been around for thousands of years. Proponents note that each stone has its own talent. According to them, amethyst and amber calcite are the gems associated with improved memory. Their message: Carry or wear them everywhere you go, and it will help your mind function more clearly.

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2. Freckle fader

2. Freckle fader
Ireland is a country of fair-skinned folks who freckle, and this sweet remedy for age spots hails from there. It’s actually more a garden remedy: Pick a handful of honeysuckle leaves and flowers and soak them in water overnight. Splash on the resulting mixture, and see what happens.

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3. Honey for hay fever

3. Honey for hay fever
Actually, this remedy for hay fever may not be as wacky as it sounds — it’s endorsed by many reputable healers, and it’s a popular treatment in England. Honey that’s produced locally — say, within 25 miles of your home — may contain pollen from the plants that trigger your allergies. If you eat a spoonful or so of this honey daily during the winter, it’s just possible that it could act similarly to allergy shots and blunt your allergic reaction. We think it’s a sweet remedy that can’t hurt and just might help. (Note: Never give honey to babies under a year old.)

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4. Tomato juice soak for body odor

4. Tomato juice soak for body odor
We wouldn’t do this ourselves, but an old, traditional body-odor treatment was to add 2 or 3 cups of tomato juice to bathwater and soak in the solution for 15 minutes. The effectiveness of this harmless treatment has never been verified — but since it’s also used for bathing dogs who’ve gotten “skunked,” there must be something to it.

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5. Callus cure

5. Callus cure
Here’s an odd-sounding folk cure that home remedy experts swear by. Soak a half slice of stale bread in apple cider vinegar. Use adhesive tape to secure it to the affected part of your foot. Wrap with plastic wrap and cover with a cotton sock. In the morning, your corn or callus may be history!

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6. Odd fever buster

6. Odd fever buster
Consider using the wet sock cure. This oddly soggy strategy really does help ease a fever and clear congestion by drawing blood to the feet, which helps increase circulation throughout your body. The best method is to warm your feet in hot water, soak a thin pair of cotton socks in cold water, wring them out, and put them on just before going to bed. Put a pair of dry wool socks over the wet ones. The wet socks should be warm and dry in the morning, and you should feel much better.

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7. Coffee for pink eye

7. Coffee for pink eye
In some Italian neighborhoods, where coffee making (and drinking) is elevated to a high art, you might find a mother using cold brewed espresso as a pinkeye treatment. Odd? Absolutely — but it just might work. Here’s why: Coffee’s acidity is similar to boric acid, and caffeine works to constrict blood vessels so it could reduce puffiness.

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8. Hiccup distracter

8. Hiccup distracter
We actually like this oddball remedy we discovered. It’s just silly and distracting enough to make you forget to hiccup: Hold a penny between two toes and transfer it to two toes on your other foot. Don’t let the penny touch the floor.

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9. Trouble falling asleep? Try onions

9. Trouble falling asleep? Try onions
There’s certainly no science for this nutty-sounding folk remedy, but who knows? Maybe onion vapors contain a sleep-inducing substance that researchers have yet to discover. We’d consider trying this one only as a last resort. Cut up a yellow onion and put it into a canning jar. Screw on the cover and put the jar on your nightstand. If you have trouble falling asleep, or wake up in the middle of the night, open the jar and take a few deep breaths. Then close the jar, lie back, and visualize calming images. With any luck, the next time you open your eyes it will be morning.

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10. Nutty way to help laryngitis

10. Nutty way to help laryngitis
For reasons we couldn’t fathom, chestnut shells turn up in folklore as a laryngitis remedy. The directive is to chew the shells as if you were chewing gum. Frankly, we thought this treatment was just plain nutty until we came across a 2007 medical study — it suggested that the shells are actually loaded with antioxidants

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11. Try popcorn soup for nausea

11. Try popcorn soup for nausea
We don’t think this old folk remedy for nausea sounds very appetizing, but perhaps it worked for someone: Air-pop some popcorn and put it in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and let stand for 15 minutes. Eat a teaspoon of the soggy stuff every 15 minutes or so.

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12. Easy skin healer

12. Easy skin healer
It may sound crazy to think that something as simple as a bandage could heal something as complicated as psoriasis, but for some lucky folks, that might be all it takes. Back in the 1980s, Ronald N. Shore, a doctor from Johns Hopkins Hospital, discovered that when he covered a spot of psoriasis with a regular adhesive bandage for three weeks, the skin covered by the adhesive–but not by the gauze pad–healed completely. He went on to repeat the treatment on other lesions on his patient’s elbows-and these also healed completely. Dr. Shore noted that this trick seems to work best when combined with other psoriasis treatments; it appeared to be effective on its own for only a minority of patients.

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13. Give your nose a hand

13. Give your nose a hand
Make like an ancient healer. Acupressure is an ancient Chinese healing art. Think of it as needle-free acupuncture. Use your left thumb and index finger to press the areas next to the inner eyes on both sides of the bridge of your nose. At the same time, use your fingers and the heel of your other hand to grab muscles on both sides of the spine at the back of your neck. Put pressure on all four points for about one minute. Press out the pain.

Weird as it may sound, giving your sinuses a finger massage will increase circulation to the area and help erase the pain. Here’s how: Using your index fingers, press hard on the outer edge of your nostrils at the base of the nose. Hold for 30 seconds, release, and repeat three or four times.

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14. Peanut butter and mustard for toothache?

14. Peanut butter and mustard for toothache?
Some natural healers recommend it in an emergency. It’s an edible version of a mustard plaster that eases sore muscles. In this case, you coat a chunk of peanut butter with a little powdered mustard, and stick it, mustard-side down, on the tooth. Mustard is a counterirritant, like the capsaicin in peppers, which may interfere with pain messages your body sends to the brain. The peanut butter holds the mustard against the tooth.

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15. Way to the stomach could be through the feet

15. Way to the stomach could be through the feet
Oddly, no scientific studies have been conducted on this silly piece of folklore. And we’re pretty convinced there’s no way it could possibly ease an ulcer. But who knows? Maybe old folk healers knew something we don’t about the power of this harmless remedy. Here goes: Just before you put on your shoes and socks in the morning, swab the soles of your feet with apple cider vinegar. Let it dry, then don your footwear. Repeat the process before dinner.

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24 thoughts on “15 Harmless Folk Remedies Worth a Try

  1. For Pamela …You may have hand, foot & mouth disease. It’s a virus that just has to run its course. It is VERY contagious. It also has symptoms of pin-sized red sores that spread. It can last from 3-10 days.

  2. i’ve got some kind of ulcers or lesions going on and the pain is so severe that i have considered calling 911 on a number of occasions not sure whether i was having a heart event or not.  i’ll try the apple cider vinegar thing.

  3. If you have a toothache & it is a cavity(you can see a hole) bust open a Benadryl capsule & pour the contents into the cavity.  The pain will stop immediately.  Benadryl has a topical effect.  I am a cardiac nurse & a doctor taught me this a long time ago in the ER.  It really works.

  4. tomatoe juice doesn’t remove skunk smell at all, try cider viniger

  5. All very entertaining  —  and just crazy enough that these remedies might work!  COOL!

  6. ginger are also stop various alergies… kitchn cabinet cures natuarlly the best way for treatmnt…

  7. My family has used vinegar for years to cure foot and nail fungus.  Use equal parts of vinegar and water, soak the feet (covering the nails) for 15-20 minutes every other day for a couple of weeks, and the nail fungus is killed.  We warm the mixture first, and it makes the feet feel smooth.  I never thought about it being good for calluses, but I will try it. We just use plain vinegar, not apple cider vinegar, but I imagine either would work.

  8. Another tooh ache remedy is to place a whole clove against the tooth ache and hold it there til the pain is gone. Good temporary relief.

  9. Another tooh ache remedy is to place a whole clove against the tooth ache and hold it there til the pain is gone. Good temporary relief.

  10. Onions and Apple cider vinegar for wart removal.  Soak onion and vinegar for 8 hrs. Apply with bandage . Change daily until wart is removed

  11. my daughter became allergic to her allergy shots – we got honry with the honeycomb from our area.  she chewed some of the honeycomb 3xs a day & spit it out.  in no time she had no allergies.   awesome!!!

  12. Onions are a natural decongestant, so there may be some truth in this if you are having trouble sleeping when you are stuffed up.  Just don’t use pickled onions.

  13. best way to stop a hiccup (that i’ve tried) is to press the “starting points” of your eyebrows…..ahahah I dunno how to call it. But I am pertaining to that two spots where the eyebrows almost meet on top of your nosebridge. Press each point with one finger and you’ll see that the hiccups will stop.

  14. I’ve heard using white vinegar as oppose to bleach to kill germs is 95% as effective & less harmful to our health with it’s use. I keep a spray bottle to use on my kitchen & bathroom surfaces of vinegar.

    Vinegar & honey are two of the most valuable tools for home remedies.

    1. To make this bearable without the overpowering odor of white vinegar- and it’s a really great counter cleaner!!!! – cut lemons in half,  use the juice in a recipe or lemonade or whatever-take the leftover halves and put in a glass  jar with a lid ( I use a fruit jar) each time I juice a lemon I will put the halves in the jar-replenishing the vinegar as needed to the top-when I want to clean & pour it out to clean, just fill it up again and again-it smells great!!!!!!! You are still killing germs with vinegar and enjoying the smell of clean, refreshing lemons at the same time!!    posted by: CoolBreeze

  15. I think the ailment with the most number of folk cures for & some are really out there, “wart removal”!

  16. For a cronic cough iv’e found relief in two cheap treatments;
    Either drink about a jigger of white vineger or a jigger aloe vera juice.  

  17. An episode of the Partridge Family had the entire family bathing in a tub of tomato juice because a skunk got loose in the Band’s Bus perfumed the group.

    I’ve seen a skunked dog before & had hit fits trying to crawl out of his skin.

    1. My dog has been sprayed by a skunk 2 times, once it got me too, I tried the tomato juice and it didnt work too well! Cider vinegar worked better, also put it in a spray bottle to clean where the porch got sprayed. Still we both stunk a little for quite awhile.

  18. i am so going to try a few of these…already use a variation of one or two of them now.

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