When brand-name product guru Joey Green tackles a subject like home remedies, readers can be found reaching into their closets, cupboards, and pantries for their favorite products to cure what ails them. From relieving a migraine with Dole© Pineapple Chunks, treating stinky feet with Clearasil®, and soothing an insect bite with Colgate® Toothpaste, Joey Green's Magic Health Remedies is packed with reliable, user-friendly cures for everything from acne and calluses to morning sickness and toothaches—121 conditions in all. Joey divulges that many products have special, never-before-revealed qualities not found on the label and, with a little ingenuity, can be used to treat minor health issues and conditions.
There's compelling evidence for experimenting with off-label uses—like when hay fever strikes, a little McCormick® Ground Turmeric in a glass of water brings relief in 15 minutes; the bioflavonoids in the spice are antioxidants that suppress histamine production. Who knew? Well, Joey knows and now he's bringing fast relief (and lots of fun) to health care at home!
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• Bayer Aspirin. To clear up a blemish, use a mortar and pestle to pulverize one Bayer Aspirin tablet into powder, add just enough water to make a paste, and apply it to the blemish (unless you're allergic to aspirin). The salicylic acid dries up pimples. You can also soothe an acne outbreak by taking one or two Bayer Aspirin (regular strength) tablets four times a day. Aspirin reduces inflammation. (Before taking aspirin regularly, consult a doctor.)
• Chicken of the Sea Salmon, Chicken of the Sea Sardines, or Chicken of the Sea Tuna. To bring acne under control, eat salmon, sardines, or tuna three times a week to add the fatty acids commonly known as omega-3 oils to your diet. These fatty acids help reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, and increase resistance to stress. A study published in 2008 in Lipids in Health and Disease showed that omega-3 fatty acids improved inflammatory acne lesions.
• Colgate Regular Flavor Toothpaste. To dry up pimples, apply a dab of Colgate Regular Flavor Toothpaste and let sit overnight.
• Dickinson's Witch Hazel. Saturate a cotton ball with Dickinson's Witch Hazel, and use it to cleanse your skin twice a day. A natural astringent, witch hazel helps dry pimples and reduce inflammation.
• Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt. To help clear up blackheads, mix one teaspoon Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt, three drops iodine, and one-half cup of water. Bring the solution to a boil, let cool, and using a cotton ball, apply the mixture to clean your pores. The solution removes dirt and excess oil from the pores.
• Fels-Naptha Soap. If your sebaceous glands are working overtime, wash excess oil from your skin and cleanse your pores with caustic Fels-Naptha Soap. Rinse thoroughly and dry.
• Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel. To heal pimples, apply Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel to the blemishes three times a day until they clear up. Aloe vera fights infection and heals most skin blemishes within five days.
• Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar. Pour one cup Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar into a large bowl and carefully add two cups of boiling water. Lean over the bowl and drape a towel like a tent over your head and the bowl. Inhale the rising steam for five to ten minutes. Twice a week, use this facial steam bath, followed by rinsing with a mixture of equal parts Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar and cold water to close the pores.
• Heinz White Vinegar. To help clear up acne pimples, use a cotton ball to apply Heinz White Vinegar to the blemishes. The acids in vinegar help flush out blocked pores and dry up blemishes.
• Knox Gelatin. To eliminate blackheads, dissolve one tablespoon Knox Gelatin in two tablespoons milk over low heat. Let cool, then use a cotton ball to apply the mixture to your face, avoiding the eyes. Wait thirty minutes, and then peel off the mask, exfoliating a thin layer of skin and removing blackheads with it.
• Lipton Chamomile Tea. To reduce acne inflammation, place two Lipton Chamomile Tea bags in one cup of boiling water, cover with a saucer, and steep for five minutes. Squeeze and remove the tea bags, and let the liquid cool to the touch. After cleansing your face, use a cotton ball to apply the tea to the blemishes. When applied topically, chamomile is an anti- inflammatory that can help soothe pain.
• Lipton Green Tea. Brew a cup of Lipton Green Tea, cover with a saucer, steep for ten minutes, and let cool. Then use a cotton ball to wash your face with the tea. Do this twice a day until the acne clears. Or dampen a Lipton Green Tea bag with warm water, and apply it to the affected area as a compress for ten minutes. The antimicrobial and antioxidant com£ds in green tea help eliminate acne pimples, according to a 2009 study at the University of Miami.
• Listerine. Use a cotton ball to dab original formula Listerine antiseptic mouthwash on pimples. The antiseptic doubles as an astringent (which tightens the skin, reducing inflammation and relieving pain) and an antibacterial (which kills the bacteria causing the blemish).
• McCormick Ground Nutmeg and SueBee Honey. For a folk remedy to heal pimples, mix equal parts McCormick Ground Nutmeg and SueBee Honey, and apply the mixture to the pimple. Let sit for twenty minutes, and then wash thoroughly. Com£ds in nutmeg exhibit strong antibacterial and antifungal properties, according to a 1999 study published in the Journal of Natural Products. Honey is hygroscopic. The antibacterial com£ds in honey fight the infection and reduce the inflammation, and the hygroscopic properties help dry up the blemish.
• Pepto-Bismol. To dry up pimples, put a dab of Pepto-Bismol on the blemish. The salicylate reduces the inflammation and redness, and benzoic acid is an antifungal that fights the bacteria causing the pimples.
• Phillips' Milk of Magnesia. Using a cotton ball, apply Phillips' Milk of Magnesia to the entire face as a mask, let dry, and then wash clean with warm water, followed by cool water. Or apply a dab to pimples and let dry overnight. The alkalinity of the magnesia hydroxide absorbs oils from the skin and the antibacterial properties help kill bacteria. The trace amounts of zinc help heal the blemishes.
LET MY PIMPLES GO
• When the sebaceous glands in the skin produce too much sebum, the excess oil blocks the pores, causing acne pimples.
• Puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, perimenopause, or birth control pills cause hormone production to vary. The hormones, in turn, increase the production of sebum, triggering an acne outbreak.
• The two types of acne are acne vulgaris (whiteheads, blackheads, or red blemishes on the face, chest, shoulders, or back) and cystic acne (painful cysts or firm lumps).
• Emotional stress can also trigger an outbreak of acne pimples.
• Do not pick, pop, or squeeze pimples. Doing so can cause infection or scarring.
• Drugs containing corticosteroids, androgens, or lithium can cause acne.
• Dairy products and carbohydrate-rich foods--such as bread, bagels, and chips--may trigger acne.
• Contrary to popular belief, eating chocolate or greasy foods does not cause acne.
• Certain cosmetics or greasy or oily substances applied directly to the skin can provoke or aggravate acne.
• Every night while you sleep, you rub your face in your pillowcase for eight hours. If that pillowcase is dirty, you're rubbing your face in accumulated sebum oil, dirt, and dead skin cells that can block pores, causing blemishes. Changing your pillowcase and sheets at least once a week allows you to rest your face on a clean surface.
• Quaker Oats. To clear up acne, mix up a bowl of Quaker Oats according to the directions on the side of the canister, let cool, spread it on your face, cover with a clean, damp washcloth, and let sit for fifteen minutes. Wash clean. Repeat daily for two weeks. As an astringent, oatmeal cleans the pores, kills bacteria, and contains beneficial proteins.
• ReaLemon. Use a cotton ball to apply ReaLemon lemon juice to pimples to quicken healing. The acid in lemon juice works like an antiseptic to kill bacteria and clean pores.
• SueBee Honey. To improve acne, apply a dab of SueBee Honey to the blemishes twice a day. The antibacterial com£ds in honey fight the infection and reduce the inflammation, and the hygroscopic properties help dry up the blemish.
X marks the spot! If blemishes fail to respond to over-the-counter treatments or home remedies within three months, consult a dermatologist.
• Castor Oil. To fade age spots, rub Castor Oil onto the spots twice a day-- once in the morning and again in the evening. Within a month, the age spots should start to fade.
• Coppertone. To prevent age spots, use a high-quality sunscreen like Coppertone with a sun protection factor (SPF) rating of at least 30 (ideally 40 to 45). Apply the sunscreen fifteen to thirty minutes before going outdoors, and once outside, reapply the sunscreen every two hours. Limiting your exposure to the sun or other forms of ultraviolet light helps prevent age spots from forming.
• Dannon Yogurt and SueBee Honey. To diminish age spots, blend equal parts Dannon Plain Nonfat Yogurt and SueBee Honey. Apply the mixture to the affected area, let sit for thirty minutes, and wash clean. Use daily until the homemade bleaching agent fades the age spots.
• Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel. Once or twice a day, apply Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel to the age spots and rub. Aloe contains chemicals that exfoliate dead skin and allow healthy new skin to grow in its place.
• Gerber Peaches, SueBee Honey, and Quaker Oats. To fade age spots, mix five ounces (one small container) Gerber Peaches, one tablespoon Sue-Bee Honey, and enough Quaker Oats to create a thick paste. Apply to the affected area, wait ten minutes, and then rinse well with cool water. Peaches contain large amounts of alpha-hydroxy acids, which gently exfoliate skin, accelerate cell renewal, and fade age spots.
• ReaLemon. To lighten age spots, use a cotton ball to rub some ReaLemon lemon juice on the spots twice daily. The acid in the lemon juice safely peels away the upper layer of skin, and in six to eight weeks, the age spots should start to lighten or fade completely.
• Saco Buttermilk. Apply Saco Buttermilk, the only brand of buttermilk containing natural emulsifiers, to the age spots on a daily basis. The lactic acid in buttermilk exfoliates the overly pigmented patches of skin.
• SunGuard. Clothes do not fully absorb the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun, which, over time, cause age spots. A typical white t-shirt, for example, has an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF) rating of 5 or less. To help stop UV rays from penetrating clothing, add SunGuard to your washing machine when laundering clothes. SunGuard infuses your clothes with a UV protectant that gives the fabric a UPF rating of 30, helping to prevent 96 percent of the sun's UV rays from reaching your skin. The protection lasts for up to twenty washings.
Johnny-on-the-spot! If an age spot looks irregular or feels raised, or if you notice changes in the appearance of an age spot, consult a doctor to confirm it is not skin cancer.
PUT 'EM ON THE SPOT
• Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light accelerates the production of melanin, the pigment in the epidermis that gives your skin its color, creating a tan to help protect deeper layers of skin from UV rays. After years of sun exposure, clusters of high concentrations of melanin produced in the skin create age spots. Besides sun exposure, aging sometimes causes excess production of melanin.
• Age spots, while sometimes considered unsightly, are generally harmless.
• Also known as liver spots, age spots are not caused by the liver or liver function. The name refers to the shape of the painless, flat, brown-black age spots.
• Common after age forty, age spots occur most frequently on areas with the greatest exposure to sun, primarily the face, backs of hands, forearms, and shoulders.
• To protect your skin from the sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat (providing more protection than a baseball cap) and clothes that cover your arms and legs. Actress Natalie Schafer, best known as Lovey Howell on the sitcom Gilligan's Island, wore a pair of white gloves whenever she went outside to avoid getting age spots on her hands.
• Susceptibility to age spots may be influenced by your genetic makeup.
• Age spots range from the size of a freckle to more than one-half inch in diameter.
• The easiest way to prevent age spots is to avoid the sun.
• Age spots can be faded by applying skin bleaching creams (containing hydroquinone, deoxyarbutin, glycolic acid, or kojic acid) or retinoids. These products may cause skin irritation. Consult a doctor before using any of these products.
• Dermatologists can remove age spots with cryotherapy (freezing the spots to destroy the extra pigment), laser treatments (to destroy the cells that produce melanin), or dermabrasion or chemical peels (to remove the outer layer of skin).
• Since exposure to UV light causes age spots, using commercial tanning lamps and tanning beds can contribute to the development of age spots.
• Clorox Bleach. To kill the mold in your home that may be causing an allergic reaction, mix three-quarter cup Clorox Bleach in one gallon of water, clean bathroom and kitchen surfaces with the solution, let sit for five minutes, and rinse thoroughly.
• Gold's Horseradish and Nabisco Original Premium Saltine Crackers. To decongest your chest, eat one teaspoon Gold's Horseradish spread on a Nabisco Original Premium Saltine Cracker. Horseradish is a scientifically proven decongestant.
• Huggies Baby Wipes. If you're allergic to your pet, have a family member wipe down your pet daily with some hypoallergenic, fragrance-free Huggies Baby Wipes to lessen dander and shedding.
• Johnson's Baby Shampoo. Have a family member or friend bathe your pet with Johnson's Baby Shampoo on a weekly basis to reduce shedding and decrease the amount of dander.
• Kellogg's All-Bran, Kellogg's Special K, or Total. To fortify your immune system against allergens to stop allergic reactions before they start, eat a bowl of Kellogg's All-Bran, Kellogg's Special K, or Total cereal every day to increase the amount of folate in your diet. A study at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine showed that people with high levels of this B vitamin in their bloodstream tend to have fewer of the antibodies that trigger allergy symptoms. One-half cup of Kellogg's All-Bran, Kellogg's Special K, or Total cereal contains 100 percent of the daily value of folate.
DUST YOURSELF OFF
• Allergies result when your immune system overreacts to a harmless substance--such as pollen, pet dander, dust, or mold--interpreting it as a genuine threat.
• When you inhale an allergen--such as the aforementioned pollen, pet dander, dust, or mold--your body produces an antibody that detects the invader and then signals the immune system to neutralize it. The immune system releases histamine and other chemicals, which cause the runny nose, sneezing, itchy eyes, the sinus headache, and the scratchy throat.
• While allergies tend to mimic the symptoms of a cold, more itching and sneezing accompany an allergy.
• Other common allergens include peanuts, strawberries, bee venom, dust mites, latex, penicillin, and poison ivy.
• Taking an antihistamine treats the symptoms of an allergy, not the cause. Antihistamines cause drowsiness, and non-drowsy antihistamines may cause heart arrhythmias.
• Taking a detoxifying bath decreases the amount of infections, environmental toxins, and stress in your body, enabling your immune system to better cope with allergens. In the bathtub, immerse your entire body (with the exception of your head) in the hottest water you can tolerate (without inflicting any pain) for five minutes. Doctors believe the heat from the bath releases stored toxins from fat cells into the blood, allowing them to travel to the surface of the skin. Then wash the toxins off your skin with a warm shower. (Do not take detoxifying baths if you suffer from multiple sclerosis or severe heart disease.)
• Air-conditioning your home and car alleviates allergy problems with pollen, mold, and dust mites by lowering the humidity, filtering the air, and sealing the environment.
• To clear allergens from your living space, use an air purifier with a HEPA filter.
Table of Contents
But First, a Word from Our Sponsor ix
Age Spots 6
Anal Fissures 14
Animal Bites 21
Athlete's Foot 35
Back Pain 38
Bad Breath 42
Binge Eating 48
Body Odor 54
Breast Discomfort 61
Caffeine Withdrawal 82
Canker Sores 86 Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 89
Chapped Lips 92
Chicken Pox 95
Cholesterol Control 98
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 103
Cold Sores 105
Corns and Calluses 119
Cuts and Scrapes 125
Dry Eyes 146
Dry Hair and Split Ends 149
Dry Mouth 153
Dry Skin 155
Eye Strain 175
Food Poisoning 194
Foot and Heel Pain 198
Foot Odor 202
Genital Herpes 212
Gum Pain 225
Hay Fever 231
High Blood Pressure 251
Hot Flashes 258
Ingrown Toenails 268
Insect Bites 271
Iron-Deficiency Anemia 279
Irritable Bowel Syndrome 282
Jock Itch 285
Kidney Stones 288
Knee Pain 291
Memory Problems 297
Menstrual Cramps 304
Morning Sickness 313
Motion Sickness and Dizziness 317
Muscle Soreness 320
Muscle Spasms 324
Neck Pain 339
Nicotine Dependency 343
Oily Hair 349
Oily Skin 352
Panic Attacks 361
Pizza Burn 364
Poison Plants 367
Premenstrual Syndrome 371
Sore Throat 389
Swimmer's Ear 403
Tartar and Plaque 406
Tick Bites 409
Urinary Tract Infections 418
Vaginal Dryness 421
Varicose Veins 424
Yeast Infections 438
Trademark Information 449
About the Author 466