Home remedies often prove useful

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Old wives’ tales about cure-all remedies can provide a good laugh, but home remedies are sometimes useful for certain ailments.

From the ridiculous to the practical, home remedies can actually hold medicinal properties by helping with certain conditions.

Under the weather

Feeling sick, whether it be a cough, sore throat or congestion, can make the outside world feel uninviting and a warm blanket feel like a best friend.

Barbara Johnson, Health and Wellness Center coordinator, advised a more commonly known remedy for cough. She said a mixture of honey and lemon will help soothe the cough.

Slathering vapor rub on the bottoms of the feet and slipping them into some warm socks will also help with coughs. It’s a strange approach, but Johnson said it does work to help quiet coughs or congestion. 

A mixture of equal parts liquid Benadryl and Maalox, an antacid, will help soothe a sore throat, said Shauna Zundel, a registered nurse at the Health and Wellness Center, said.

Gargle the mixture and then either spit it out or swallow it. Be warned that if it is swallowed, it will cause drowsiness, so driving is not recommended if that path is taken, Zundel said.

Cassie Fish, a freshman general education major from Chandler, Ariz., said a cup of chamomile tea works well to relieve her sore throats.

Pains, aches and itches

If a skull-splitting headache is what ails, then taking ibuprofen, or another pain reliever, is an obvious choice, but don’t count out other forms to help with the ache.

Registered nurse DeAnne Larsen said essential oils could be worth looking into.

“Essential oils [are] actually a good alternative for therapy,” Larsen said.

Dabbing peppermint oil on the temples and the back of the neck can relieve pain caused from a headache.

Warmer weather also means ants and mosquitoes claiming the land and air once again, increasing the chances of getting bitten or stung.

Creating a paste from baking soda and water can help soothe the itch from mosquito bites, Larsen said.

Likewise, Zundel said the herb Plantain can be used for red ant bites. Chewing the plant then applying it to the bite will help ease any pain. 

Other remedies 

Many of these home remedies seem quite sensible, but they can get a bit strange.

Johnson said soaking a piece of bread in milk, wrapping it in cloth, and applying it to an ingrown toenail will actually help heal the infection.

Zundel also has a strange remedy for warts that involves material found at the local hardware store. Covering a plantar wart, or warts that appear at the bottom of the foot, with duct tape will actually help remove it.

These home remedies can be helpful and cost-effective, but they should never be a replacement for actual medical care.

Johnson and Zundel said if symptoms worsen or persist for an extended amount of time, depending on the types of symptoms, then getting proper medical care is imperative.

“I would never replace a home remedy with something you need to get checked by a doctor,” Johnson said.