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Wive's Tales & Home Remedies - How Effective Are They?

By Mike Thayer

AppleDoes an apple a day really keep the doctor away?  Does mixing rubbing alcohol and water to make a de-icer really work? 

Here are a few that I know first hand to be tried and true.  Let's start off with a classic, eating those apples....

Wives Tale: An apple a day keeps the doctor away.  There have been a number of studies done on this and apples do indeed have many health benefits, from being heart healthy to improving your immune system.  I don't know about you, but I'd rather eat an apple than visit the doctor.

And with apples in mind....

Home Remedy: After a night of hard drinking, try easing your hangover pain with a shot of apple cider vinegar.  Alcohol messes with your blood sugar and your stomach.  The apple cider vinegar helps to offset what the alcohol messed up, getting your blood sugar back in balance and soothing your stomach.  If you don't want to drink it straight, dilute it with some water.  Of course, we all know that the only true cure for a hangover, is to not over-do the adult beverages in the first place... 

Wives TaleCount sheep to fall asleep.  No, you don't have to actually count sheep, but the act of counting something and the use of mental imagery can certainly assist in getting you to fall asleep faster.  It works because it distracts you from thinking of stressful or worrisome thoughts. 

Home Remedy:  Using baking soda and vinegar to unclog drains does indeed work.  So much more cost effective than buying a bottle of Drano or Liquid Plumber, it works just as well and you're not pouring a bunch of toxic chemicals down the pipe.  If you've got a slow drain, unclog it using the following steps:

  • Pour a pot of hot water down the drain, this helps loosen up that sludge or clog buildup.
  • Just before all the hot water is completely drained away, put a heaping 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain.  You want to get that stuff into the pipe, not just sitting on top of the drain and that remaining very hot water helps to do that. 
  • Once all the baking soda gets below the drain, pour in 1 cup vinegar followed immediately by 1 cup of very hot water down that drain. 
  • Once the sink is completely drained, flush the drain with another pot of boiling water.  You may have to repeat this whole process again for tougher clogs.

Wives Tale: When you have a cold, eat chicken soup.  No, chicken soup won't help cure your cold, it's going to run its course, but the chicken soup  does actually help relieve the symptoms of your cold.  Studies show that chicken soup helps clear nasal congestion, breaks up mucus so you can cough it up better and the soup classic also has an anti-inflammatory effect that can help ease other cold symptoms like a sore throat. 

Home Remedy:  If you're feeling nauseous, don't reach for the stomach medicine, eat some ginger or drink some ginger tea instead!  Studies show ginger to be very effective at relieving nausea and even preventing vomiting.  And if eating ginger or whipping something up with ginger in it doesn't appeal to you, there are a lot of ginger supplements on the market today.

Wives Tale: Use oats to help sooth bug bites.  Yes, it really works!  Just mix oatmeal with enough water to create a thick paste and slather it on those mosquito bites.  It will reduce the inflammation and more importantly, the itch - it's the antioxidants in the oats that does it.  If you don't want to walk around with that concoction on your arm (or elsewhere on the bod), go to the drugstore and get a moisturizer or skin lotion that lists oatmeal as a main ingredient. 

Home Remedy:  Have a nagging cough?  Grab the honey, which studies have shown to be just as effective as any of those expensive off-the-shelf cough suppressants.   Honey tastes better and what it does is coat your throat and sooth irritation, just like dextromethorphan  - the main ingredient in that off-the-shelf stuff - is designed to do.  

Wives Tale: Fish is brain food.  Stock up on salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, cod and other kinds of fish rich in omega 3- and omega-6 essential fatty acids because science does show that eating fish aids in brain growth and development.  In fact, a  lot of research of these omegas has gone into the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.  Omegas also have anti-inflammatory properties that  help to reduce joint stiffness and prevent heart disease. 

Home RemedyRubbing alcohol and water makes a de-icer. This isn't quite as quick as the commercial stuff, but it does indeed work and it's A LOT cheaper!

  • 2 parts rubbing alcohol
  • 1 part water

Pour the alcohol and water into a spray bottle. Spray on the windshield or other surface and let it work for about 1-5 minutes (depending on how thick the ice is).  A second application may be necessary.  Scraping ice off the windshield or opening up the lock on the door becomes easy peasy.

I can attest to all the effectiveness of all these wives tales and home remedies.  I've tried them because they're Bachelor on the Cheap wallet friendly and I use them because they work.

$pend Wisely My Friends.....

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