When minor medical issues arise, you may want to head to your kitchen cupboard or medicine chest before you head to the local drugstore. According to MSN Health, some surprising new uses have been found for common remedies that many of us already have in our homes. Who knew that the same mouthwash that freshens our breath may also be a preventative for athletes foot, or nasal spray not only eases congestion but may also stop a nosebleed. Here are some of those common dual purpose remedies you may want to give a try.
1. Antacidtablets: That Alka-Seltzer tablet that may help sooth an upset tummy could also help in soothing an insect bite. An MD physician in dermatology and dermatologic surgery from Beth Israel Medical Center in New York says that the aspirin in your antacid tablet is an anesthetic that can help ease the sting and itch of insect bites. Dr. Sobel suggests making a paste with the crushed tablet, a pinch of oatmeal and water and applying it to the bite. Results are immediate, Dr. Sobel says and it has a healing bonus that other anti-itch salves lack.
2. Mouthwash: This breath freshener contains antimicrobial properties that not only reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth, but when swabbed with a soaked cotton ball to the bottom of your feet and between your toes after your shower, the high alcohol content of traditional mouthwash helps ward off fungal infections that cause athletes foot.
3. Nasal Spray: The decongestant oxymetazoline, that is found in nasal sprays like Afrin and Mucinex that shrink blood vessels and swollen mucous membranes making it easier for you to breathe is the same ingredient that is used in a number of emergency rooms to treat nosebleeds, according to the director of Drug Information Services at Butler University. She suggests tilting your head forward, blowing out any clots and then inhaling through your nose while spraying with the nasal spray, and then pitching the soft part of your nose closed. Maintain pressure for 10 minutes, and if it hasn’t stopped bleeding, continue pinching for another 10 minutes. If this doesn’t work, seek medical attention for further treatment.
4. Baking Soda: This product is probably one of the most common products found in kitchen cupboards across America. It’s used for tooth whitening, bad breath, and getting rid of plaque embedded in the area between teeth and gums. A new suggestion for baking soda is using it as a topical to relieve the sting on your skin caused by sunburn, eczema, poison ivy etc. Place a cup of baking soda under a running bath tap and then soak for about 30 minutes.
5. Aloe Vera: It’s been used for soothing burns and aiding in speeding the healing process for years. In a recent research review, the vitamins and amino acids that help repair tissue damage found in aloe vera have helped in the healing of canker sores. Applying aloe vera gel to canker sore sufferers help heal the sores about 50% faster.
6. Yogurt: We eat it for digestive health. According to scientists at Kyushu University in Japan, adults who consume 55 g. of yogurt per day, have significantly fewer markers of periodontal disease than those who didn’t include yogurt in their diets. The research found that the lactic acid in yogurt helps protect their gums from the harmful bacteria that can cause this chronic condition.
7. Extra Virgin Olive: We use it to lower our cholesterol. How about trying it to improve your vision. Studies show that the omega-3 fatty acids in olive oil help prevent age related macular degeneration. People who ate the most olive oil, about 100ml. per week were about half as likely to develop late AMD as those who consumed less than 1ml. per week, according to researchers at the University of Melbourne in Australia.
For a more complete list of those surprising new uses for common remedies that have some unexpected health benefits, check out MSN Health.com.