Home Remedies

HadacolThis is a follow-up to STRETCH: Recovering From Injuries.  I thought I would add a few more tricks using everyday household or easily obtainable items that can help with various bumps, bruises, and injuries.

Photo by Carole Salmon

First up is an alternate use for mentholatum or Vicks Vaporub.  As a kid, this stuff gets rubbed on your chest to help with colds and chest congestion.  But, it turns out that the menthol, camphor, and other oils in the ointment help improve circulation, making this an excellent balm for sore, bruised, or sprained muscles.

Besides being an astringent for keeping your pores clean and offering relief from bug bites and poison ivy, witch hazel can also be used to treat sore muscles.

Epsom salts are a tried and true treatment for similar issues.  A hot bath  with Epsom salts mixed in the water works wonders.

Recently, I have been battling a case of swimmer’s ear.  Not just the sore ear canal that comes from trapped water, but the infection of the outer ear by bacteria or fungus.  The ear itches, flakes, and is generally irritated.  My research showed that medical treatment may call for oral antibiotics.  Before heading to the doctor, I thought that I would try some home remedies for the condition.  The first step in my treatment protocol was to dry out the ear with a hair dryer (Note, hair dryers work wonders for relieving itching from poison ivy too).  This helps eliminate the moisture that the microbes live in.  Next, I alternated swabbing the outer ear with alcohol (more drying)  or hydrogen peroxide.  These steps worked really well and helped reduce the itching, flaking and irritation.  But, this is a difficult condition and my little parasitic friends were not going to vacate without a struggle.  Next up, apple cider vinegar.  A quick swab with this stuff and the acidity of the environment is dramatically changed, helping make the ear a less inviting home for annoying guests.  The kids started teasing me about smelling like pickles, but I had sweet relief.  (Read about how Vicks helped me resolve this issue once and for all here.)

One last tip.  I can’t stand dull razors.  I despise shaving with them nearly as much as having to fork out money for new ones.  Here is the trick, the reason your razor gets dull, is because it is oxidizing.  A wet razor left in the open air rusts and dulls.  When I am done with my razor, I let it dry on a piece of tissue paper, while I handle the rest of my grooming.  After I am done, I drop the razor into a jar filled at the bottom with baby oil or mineral oil, just enough to cover the head of the razor.  The oil keeps air from getting at the razor.  No air, no rust, no dull razor.  Your razors will last for months, not days if you follow this simple routine.

Leave a comment letting us know about your favorite home remedies.

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