Every Sunday morning when I sit in my recliner with a cup of coffee and read the newspaper like an 80-year old man, one of my favorite columns to read is the syndicated "The People's Pharmacy". If you're not familiar with the concept, the newspaper is a daily publication that reports on events locally, nationally, and world-wide that is delivered right to your doorstep every morning for a monthly fee, but I digress.

What I like about "The People's Pharmacy" in particular is how they offer suggestions on better health using common household items. For example, they've had several readers over the years claim that placing a simple bar of soap under their fitted bed sheet has caused their night-time leg cramps to stop. They can't explain why, but apparently it works.

I remember an incident growing up where a ground bee found it's way into my shorts while I was playing in the yard and firmly placed it's stinger into my right butt cheek. To take the pain away and reduce the swelling, my mom mixed together meat tenderizer and water into a paste and dabbed it on the sting. While it did reduce both the pain and the swelling, it did not take away the embarrassment of laying face-down on the couch with my pants down near my knees and my bare backside out there for the world to see.

While perusing the internet today, I came across an article on Yahoo! Health explaining several other home remedies that, for whatever reason, seem to work. A few which I found particularly interesting such as...

#1 Using Duct Tape for Wart Removal


Duct tape, is there anything it can't do? Apparently not. Citing a study by the American Academy of Family Physicians, using a six days on, one day off with light emery board scrubbing process with the tape had an 85% success rate in wart removal compared to a 60% success rate by freezing the wart off. I'd like to take this opportunity to thank whatever magical fairy invented duct tape. I also wish this article had been written about 2-1/2 months ago when we first noticed a wart on my son's toe. Theoretically, this would have been easier to mess with instead of applying wart removal liquid to it nearly every night.


#2 Chewing a Pencil to Prevent Stress Headaches


If you have a job, you have stress. Even in the radio business where my "uniform" consists of jeans or shorts and whatever t-shirt I pull out of the dresser in the morning, there are days where I just want to rip my hair out. There are deadlines that need to be met, or a piece of equipment necessary for broadcasting fails, or a group of 10-year old's take turns calling the request line asking for the same song thinking that it will get played sooner if I believe a ton of random people are requesting it, there are moments when I grit my teeth and let out a frustrated "grrrrrr". That tension of the jaw muscles can lead to a stress headache. Placing a pencil in between your teeth with cause the muscles to relax and prevent the tension from setting in.


#3  Bananas - Nature's Duct Tape


Apparently bananas can be used as more than just a healthy snack or a tool to prevent L.A. police detectives from trailing you as work a murder case Detroit-style.  The fruit itself contains natural ingredients that moisturize skin. So go ahead and mash up a bowl full and rub it all over your face like a baby. It won't be nearly as cute as when a baby does it, but that's not what you're going for. And much like the aforementioned meat tenderizer, the inside skin of the peel can be used to relieve the inflammation of a bug bite or the itch of a poison ivy rash; just lay the inside part of the peel across the stung or itchy area. But the peel's magic doesn't stop there, it also has anti-acne properties. Once again, rub the inside skin of the peel over your fresh clean face to take advantage of the fruits anti-microbial effects and stop everyone from calling you "Zit-Face". Although they may start calling you "Banana Split" instead (depending on your level of promiscuity, this may already be the case...whether you know it or not).

Check out the Yahoo! Health article for the full list of home remedies which includes using ginger for motion sickness and mustard to soothe burns. If you have a home remedy that works for you, don't hoard it all for yourself, share it with everyone in the comment box below.

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