Last month, we ran an article calling out ten common health and grooming life hacks that are total BS. But there are some home remedies that have an actual basis in science: Below, you’ll find five common ailments that, according to recent research, you may be able to treat yourself (although, y’know, you should probably still go see the doctor).
The Ailment: The Common Cold
The Home Remedy: Research claims enjoying a warm bowl of chicken soup with vegetables can slow the movement of neutrophils (a common type of white blood cell) in the body. When neutrophils move slowly, they concentrate themselves in areas of the body that require the most healing—this, in turn, reduces the length of common colds and makes them more bearable.
The Ailment: A Sore Throat
The Home Remedy: A study in the European Journal of Medical Research found that a spray containing 15 percent sage—an aromatic plant with anti-inflammatory properties—is as effective for soothing sore throats as lidocaine (a common medicinal numbing spray). For a simple DIY sage tea, pour one cup of almost-boiling water over two tablespoons of fresh sage (or one tablespoon of dried sage). Then, cover and steep for 10 minutes, and strain.
The Ailment: Nausea
The Home Remedy: Numerous studies agree that ginger root effectively alleviates nausea and vomiting. That’s because the root accelerates stomach-emptying and helps break down and release intestinal gas that might otherwise cause irritation. For best results, try drinking ginger ale or ginger tea.
The Ailment: Eczema or Psoriasis
The Home Remedy: Studies show that adding a quarter-cup of baking soda to a bath can reduce the itchiness and irritation associated with eczema and psoriasis. That’s because baking soda returns acidic skin that’s been affected by eczema and psoriasis to a more neutral (and less irritating) pH level. As an added benefit, baking soda also helps slough off dead, flaky skin caused by these conditions.
The Ailment: Athlete’s Foot
The Home Remedy: A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology reported that ajoene, an antifungal compound found in garlic, can reduce the symptoms of athlete’s foot. Simply crush a few cloves of garlic, mix the crushed cloves with olive oil and rub the mixture onto the affected area several times a day until the infection clears up.
So now you know. And remember: If you’re in any doubt at all about the state of your health, get your head out of the pantry and go see your doctor.