HOME REMEDIES MOTHER'S SWEAR BY
There is a healing power in being cared for, a power that mothers seem to possess innately. As children, we believed that a mother’s touch could cure us of any ailment or illness. Whether pain was internal or external, mothers always seemed to know precisely how to relieve us of it.
TACKLING COLDS & FLU
THE POWER OF VAPOR RUB
When we had a cold, she would have us sit down on a chair with a bucket of very hot water at our feet. She would spread vapor rub on the soles of our feet and have us dip them in the water. While our feet were soaking, we had to drink a hot cinnamon tea. We would always feel better after this. I’m open to trying it again for my own children in the future. - Amy, Chicago
Growing up in a Nigerian home, I grew up with a holistic understanding of wellness. One common cold cure that my mother passed on to me is this: fill a basin with hot water (not warm, hot) and mix in a teaspoon of Vicks Vaporub, then grab a dish towel. Wet the dish towel with the mixture and place it over the top of the basin. Put your face onto the cloth and breathe deeply for 5 to 10 minutes. This will clear your sinuses and undoubtedly have you breathing right again. - Sarah, New York City
THE POWER OF GARGLE SALTWATER
When we were younger, whenever one of my sisters or I would start to feel sick, my mom would have us gargle salt water. If we had a sore throat, runny nose, or any flu-like symptom, we would sometimes wait to tell her because we knew the first thing she’d do is reach for the Morton Salt.
Her mother always had her do it, and she believed that salt killed the bacteria in the throat. It did always seem to work, or at least help. I guess I’ll eventually make my children do it too since I don’t want the burden of ending this superstitious cycle. - Charlotte, New York City
THE POWER OF GINGER
She’s always been a big advocate for starting from within to rectify an issue. I’ve never known a time when there wasn’t a freshly brewed pitcher of ginger beer in the fridge. It’s honestly her cure-all when cramping, congested, or groggy. She grinds up the ginger with lime and keeps straining until smooth. She then adds cloves and drinks it daily. She claims it helps with strengthening her immune system. The stronger the batch, the better! - Hadiatu, Chicago
My mom is Greek and swears by hot red wine for colds. Mind you, “hot red wine” does not mean mulled wine, but putting any red you bought at the grocery store in a mug and microwaving it for 30 seconds. She believes the alcohol cures you, but I think it just makes it more bearable. I loved it because it meant I was able to drink when I was younger. - Jamie, Chicago
ON SOOTHING EAR INFECTIONS
THE POWER OF ONION
For bruises, we would eat an onion (or any red vegetable), because it was believed that those were the ones that went directly to red blood cells and helped reproduce them. Eating an onion actually did help [me], but the side effect is that if you work out or sweat you smell bad because you’re basically sweating out the onion. - Gabriella, Guayaquil, Ecuador
THE POWER OF POTATO
Growing up, my mother always tried to heal us naturally as often as she could. She carried and respected the traditions passed down to her from her great-grandparents. I often bruised easily or ended up with small cuts from playing outside with my boy cousins. My mom would use leftover potato skins to heal my wounds. Potatoes help wounds heal faster by reducing inflammation. They also help break down hyperpigmentation so they’re great for post-wounds [scarring] as well. - Tatiana, New York City
ON SOOTHING EAR INFECTIONS
THE POWER OF HYDROGEN PEROXIDE
I was raised solely by my mother. She was born in Mexico and came to the States at a young age. Some of the remedies she grew up with are ones we still use today. When we had an earache, she would wash our ears with warm water and follow by putting a capful of peroxide in our ears until it fizzed. Once it stopped fizzing, we would let it drain out. - Andrea, Houston
THE POWER OF CIGARETTE
No one was allowed to smoke inside the house, but whenever someone started to get an ear infection, my mom would light a cigarette and put it inside their ear to relieve the itchiness. I don’t think it actually works, even though she and a number of the older generation of women I’ve met all swear by it. - Paloma, NYC
ON ELIMINATING HEADACHES
THE POWER OF MALOCCHIO TEA
Southern Italian practices are entrenched in superstition, paganism, and rituals. Whenever I have a headache, my mother insists it’s from malocchio, the evil eye, and performs an oil and water ritual. She reads, much like others would with tea leaves, how the oil is moving against the water. If there is the presence of malocchio, another prayer ensues to rid the person of “the curse.” To be honest, it works! - Elisabetta, Toronto
THE POWER OF VAPOR RUB & ONION
One remedy that my mom swears by is using vapor rub on your temples, the back of your ears, and the back of your neck. After you apply the vapor rub, peel an onion and grill the peels until they are warm and soft. Once soft, put salt on top of the vapor rub. Then, put the warm onion peels on your temples.
She does this anytime she has a headache. She learned it from her mother, and it’s been passed down for a few generations. - Maria, Chicago
ON PURGING SKIN-DEEP ISSUES
THE POWER OF FIREWOOD ASHES
In Honduras, my mom would use ashes from firewood when her siblings had breakouts or rashes on their skin. The ashes would apparently lift bacteria, chemicals, and dirt to the skin’s surface so that when the ashes were washed away, so were the toxins. It’s similar to how people now use charcoal face masks for issues like excess oil. - Amelia, Chicago
THE POWER OF LIME
For mosquito bites, my mom would hold half a lime over the flame of the stove. Once the lime was charred, she would let it cool only slightly, as it needs to be fairly hot to work. Then, she would rub the charred part on the bite — the more juice, the better. This sped up the recovery process and eliminated the itch. I definitely still do this today because it’s so effective and cheap. My mom learned this from her mom and her mom-in-law. - Julyssa, Chicago
HOW TO FIGHT BACK ACNE?
Acne is one of the most common skin conditions in the world, affecting an estimated 85% of people at some point in their lives. Conventional acne treatments can be expensive and often have undesirable side effects like dryness, redness, and irritation. This has prompted many people to look into how to cure acne naturally at home. The internet is filled with suggestions, but do natural treatments actually work?
WHAT CAUSES ACNE?
Acne starts when the pores in your skin get clogged with oil and dead skin cells.
Each pore is connected to a sebaceous gland, which produces an oily substance called sebum. Extra sebum can plug up pores, causing the growth of a bacteria known as Propionibacterium acnes, or P. acnes. Your white blood cells attack P. acnes, leading to skin inflammation and acne. Some cases of acne are more severe than others, but common symptoms include whiteheads, blackheads, and pimples. Many factors contribute to the development of acne, including genetics, diet, stress, hormone changes, and infections.
Below are 13 home remedies for acne that you might want to try.
APPLY APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting apple cider, or the unfiltered juice from pressed apples. Like other kinds of vinegar, it is known for its ability to fight many types of bacteria and viruses Apple cider vinegar contains several organic acids that have been shown to kill P. acnes In particular, succinic acid has been shown to suppress inflammation caused by P. acnes, which may prevent scarring. Also, lactic acid has been shown to improve the appearance of acne scars. What's more, apple cider vinegar may help dry up the excess oil that causes acne in the first place.
How to Use It
Mix 1 part apple cider vinegar and 3 parts water (use more water for sensitive skin).
After cleansing, gently apply the mixture to the skin using a cotton ball.
Let sit for 5–20 seconds, rinse with water and pat dry.
Repeat this process 1–2 times per day, as needed.
It is important to note that applying apple cider vinegar to your skin can cause burns and irritation, so it should always be used in small amounts and diluted with water.
TAKE A ZINC SUPPLEMENT
Individuals with acne tend to have lower zinc levels than people with clear skin. Several studies show that taking zinc orally can significantly reduce acne.
MAKE A HONEY & CINNAMON MASK
Both honey and cinnamon are excellent sources of antioxidants. Studies have found applying antioxidants to the skin is more effective at reducing acne than benzoyl peroxide and retinoids. These are two common acne medications for the skin that have antibacterial properties. The antioxidants studied were vitamin B3, linoleic (omega-6) fatty acid and sodium ascorbyl phosphate (SAP), which is a vitamin C derivative.
These specific antioxidants are not found in honey or cinnamon, but there is a possibility that other antioxidants may have a similar effect. Honey and cinnamon also have the ability to fight bacteria and reduce inflammation, which are two factors that trigger acne. While the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial properties of honey and cinnamon may benefit acne-prone skin, no studies exist on their ability to treat acne.
SPOT TREAT WITH TEA TREE OIL
Tea tree oil has strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Applying it to the skin has been shown to reduce acne.
How to Use It
Mix 1 part tea tree oil with 9 parts of water.
Dip a cotton swab into the mixture and apply it to affected areas.
Apply moisturizer if desired.
Repeat this process 1–2 times per day, as needed.
APPLY GREEN TEA TO YOUR SKIN
Green tea is high in antioxidants that help fight bacteria and reduce inflammation. Applying green tea to the skin has been shown to significantly reduce acne.
How to Use It
Steep green tea in boiling water for 3–4 minutes.
Allow tea to cool.
Using a cotton ball, apply the tea to the skin or pour into a spray bottle to spritz on.
Allow to dry, then rinse with water and pat dry.
You can also add the remaining tea leaves to honey and make a mask.
Even though there isn't any evidence that drinking green tea can fight acne, some research suggests it may still be beneficial.
APPLY WITCH HAZEL
Applying witch hazel to the skin has been shown to fight bacteria, reduce inflammation and help heal the skin. It may be beneficial for individuals with acne, but more research is needed.
How to Use It
Combine 1 tablespoon witch hazel bark and 1 cup water in a small saucepan.
Soak witch hazel for 30 minutes and then bring the mixture to a boil on the stove.
Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
Remove the mixture from the heat and let sit for an additional 10 minutes.
Strain and store the liquid in a sealed container.
Apply to clean skin using a cotton ball 1–2 times per day, or as desired.
Nevertheless, it is important to note that commercially prepared versions may not contain tannins, as they are often lost in the distillation process.
MOISTURIZE WITH ALOE VERA
When applied to the skin, aloe vera gel can help heal wounds, treat burns and fight inflammation. It may be beneficial for individuals with acne-prone skin, but more research needs to be done.
How to Use It
Scrape the gel from the aloe plant out with a spoon.
Apply gel directly to clean skin as a moisturizer.
Repeat 1–2 times per day, or as desired.
You can also buy aloe vera gel from the store, but make sure it is pure aloe without any added ingredients.
TAKE A FISH OIL SUPPLEMENT
Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly healthy fats that offer a multitude of health benefits.
You must get these fats from your diet, but research shows that most people who eat a standard Western diet don't get enough of them. Fish oils contain two main types of omega-3 fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
EPA benefits the skin in several ways, including managing oil production, maintaining adequate hydration and preventing acne. High levels of EPA and DHA have been shown to decrease inflammatory factors, which may reduce the risk of acne. In one study, 45 individuals with acne were given omega-3 fatty acid supplements containing both EPA and DHA daily. After 10 weeks, acne decreased significantly.
There is no specific recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids, but most health organizations recommend healthy adults consume a minimum of 250–500 mg of combined EPA and DHA daily. You can also get omega-3 fatty acids by eating salmon, sardines, anchovies, walnuts, chia seeds and ground flaxseeds.
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HAIR LOSS REMEDY
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8 Dry Hair Treatments From Your Kitchen
Whether your hair is long or short, curly or straight, every woman dreams of having a luscious and healthy mane. Unfortunately, some of us are born with hair that is dull, dry, and frizzy by nature. And even if you were born with healthy, lustrous hair, dealing with dryness is inevitable when your hair is constantly battered by heat styling tools, chemical treatments, and pollution. When dealing with dryness, a good place to start is to raid your kitchen for some cost-effective and natural hair care ingredients. Using ingredients from your pantry is not only convenient, but it also gives you the same, if not better, results as high-end hair treatments with none of the chemicals. While it may take longer to see results, your hair will thank you in the long-term.
Hot Oil Treatment
Hot oil treatments are one of the simplest and most effective remedies for dry hair. The best part about a homemade hot oil treatment is that you can make custom blends to suit your hair type.
Egg Yolk & Water Mix
Egg yolk is another wonderful dry hair remedy. It conditions your hair shafts and keeps them moisturized.
Egg, Honey & Yogurt Mask
Egg yolk is rich in fats and proteins and is also naturally moisturizing while the white contains the bacteria-eating enzymes that remove unwanted oils. It moisturizes dry and brittle hair. The protein content of yogurt will strengthen your hair strands from the roots and add extra shine, without removing its natural moisture.
Honey & Vegetable Oil Mask
This pack nourishes your hair while conditioning it. The moisturizing property of honey will give you soft and super smooth tresses.
Rice Milk & Honey Hair Wash
If your hair is dull and dry, this mask will restore shine and nourish your hair. Honey is an amazing natural emollient that seals moisture in your hair shafts. This is an excellent way to get lustrous hair in minutes. You will also love the smell of your hair once it’s dry.
Avocado & Banana Hair Mask
When it comes to sealing moisture in your hair, the efficiency of avocado can never be ignored. Bananas can increase the elasticity of your hair shafts and make them stronger and softer. Both these ingredients contain natural oils that condition your hair while nourishing your scalp and hair.
For those who want to condition the hair to make it smooth, soft, and manageable, mayonnaise could be the best ingredient to use. Mayonnaise contains L-cysteine, a powerful antioxidant that provides strength, shine, and volume to your hair. It is very beneficial for dry and damaged hair. If you want an instant remedy that does not need much preparation, go for a full-fat mayonnaise massage. This dry hair treatment is highly recommended by hair stylists and can easily be done at home.