Do those health tricks passed on from Grandma really work?
We have all heard some of those ‘tried and true’ home remedies that grandma passed along to mom and mom passed along to us.
There are even some new remedies that filter through our social circles. No one seems to know the origin of these remedies…but co-workers and friends agree they are absolutely effective!
And with all of the time we spend out and about during the summer months, it seems the perfect opportunity to investigate some of these remedies, in order to separate those that work from the duds. I gathered some expert opinions on several of the most popular home remedies that may be used (or ignored!) this summer:
Home remedies for a jellyfish sting
According to an article published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine this week, home remedies such as vinegar, alcohol, meat tenderizer, baking soda and urine may be less effective at relieving pain caused by jellyfish stings than plain hot water and lidocaine.
Related: 5 Not-So-Common Allergy Triggers
“Some of the remedies promoted by word of mouth and online, such as vinegar, actually make the pain worse with certain species of jellyfish,” said lead study author Nicholas T. Ward, M.D., of the University of California San Diego Department of Emergency Medicine. “Current evidence suggests hot water and topical lidocaine, which is available at local pharmacies, may be more universally beneficial in treating pain from a jellyfish sting. Topical lidocaine, a local anesthetic, may also inactivate the stinging cells of the jellyfish, preventing further envenomation.”
Home remedies for sunburns, bug bites, and poison ivy
“My best home remedies are to use milk compresses for sunburn. Mix ½ skim milk with ½ ice cold water and place on a compress for 15 minutes,” advised Dr. Debra Jaliman, author of Skin Rules. “The lactic acid in the milk is anti-inflammatory. Use ice on a bug bite. It numbs the c fibers which are the itch fibers. Use eggs whites as a mask to dry out oily skin (leave on for 5 minutes). Put oatmeal in a warm bath. It takes the itch out of poison ivy. It's anti-inflammatory. Aloe Vera squeezed out from the succulent plant helps to take the redness out of a burn,” she explains.
Home remedies for smooth skin and acne prevention
“Coconut water is key to keeping heat low in the body and cooling the body and it nourishes the body with potassium, “suggests Denise Baron, wellness coach and lifestyle expert. “It has lots of magnesium too. Apple cider vinegar can be applied to skin but make sure to pat not rub. Watermelon pulp is also great for hydrating the skin.”
“The acid contained in tomatoes helps to balance skin tone, and they’re also high in vitamins A and C. So yes, tomatoes can help with a variety of skin-related issues,” explains Dr. Carly Stewart, contributor at Money Crashers Personal Finance. “Tomatoes provide a cooling sensation when applied to raw skin, which can be comforting and relieve minor pain. Tomatoes can also remove oil from your skin and help treat acne. Most uses require you to mash a tomato into a pulp and apply to the desired area for 15 to 30 minutes. Combine with avocados for cleansing purposes. To get your skin to glow, mix equal amounts of tomato juice and honey. Just be sure to rinse your skin thoroughly after applying, and only use organic tomatoes, as non-organic vegetables often have trace amounts of pesticides,” she advises.
Home remedies that may not work:
Stewart also advises against trying certain home remedies:
Putting butter or mayonnaise on a burn is more likely to lead to infection than it is to cure the burn.
Putting a cold steak on a black eye is not recommended. Instead, use a cold-pack or a bag of frozen vegetables if a cold-pack is not handy.
Apple cider vinegar has a number of medicinal uses, but drinking it will not cure heartburn.
More from GalTime: