Today, 83% of us will use Google and online forums to diagnose our health problems, so it’s no surprise quirky home remedies that have been in families for generations are becoming increasingly popular.
While alternative remedies have existed for thousands of years, many have been lost over time as medical treatment has improved. However, there are still some secret remedies that can help treat a range of health problems that may be more than just ‘old wives tales’.
See below for some kitchen cupboard favourites that are thought to have therapeutic benefits:
Tomatoes for bad breath
Bad breath is caused by smelly sulphur compounds produced by bacteria that thrive on the back of the tongue. Tomatoes contain compounds called ionones which are thought to tackle bad breath by making sulphur compounds odourless.
Bicarbonate of soda for body odour
Bicarbonate of soda is considered one of the best and cheapest remedies for body odour – especially for the underarms as it works by stripping the hair of product build-up and oil. Bicarbonate of soda can be dusted on the skin to neutralise and absorb sweat and smells.
Cloves for toothache
Researchers from the University of California and Los Angeles found that chewing on a clove can ease tooth pain and gum inflammation for up to two hours. Cloves contain the compound, eugenol which is a natural anaesthetic.
Bananas for headaches
The magnesium in bananas helps to relax blood vessels, and as a complex carbohydrate the fruit will also help to keep blood sugar levels even. If you suffer from headaches repeatedly, including bananas in your diet may help reduce the frequency of your headaches or stop them completely.
Turmeric for aching joints
This spice contains the active ingredient, cucumin, which gives it anti-inflammatory qualities. This makes turmeric particularly helpful for treating skin injuries and aching joints. We recommend making a paste with boiling water and leaving it to cool before applying to the affected area. Fix in place with clingfilm and leave for 20-30 minutes.
If you’d like to find out more about alternative remedies and complementary therapies to treat a range of health conditions, please see our therapy topics page.
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