6 Holistic Home Remedies that Work We’ve all heard little tips and tricks for home remedies—you know, those interesting or long-held beliefs like swallowing a spoonful of sugar to get rid of hiccups or sipping chicken soup for a cold? It’s great to avoid medication and a trip to the doctor when you can, but do these actually work? We can’t be 100 percent sure they’ll work for everyone, but why not give them a try—when needed—to learn if these holistic remedies work for you?

Foot Odor

Many people have stinky tootsies—and those who do know it can be very embarrassing! Instead of trying chemical-filled or synthetic foot sprays, soak a cloth in vodka and use this to wipe your feet down. The alcohol in vodka is not only an antiseptic, but it dries out and destroys the fungus and bacteria that cause odor. And don’t worry about getting tipsy from this—a study by the British Medical Journal concluded that soaking your feet in alcohol won’t increase your blood alcohol level.

Bad Breath

Nothing is more off-putting than having a close conversation with someone who needs a mint. Some people believe that yogurt can help combat halitosis (fancy name for bad breath), but it can’t be just any kind of yogurt. In fact, regular sugar-filled yogurt will probably worsen your breath. Instead, try traditionally fermented yogurt, like kefir. Find kefir at most grocery stores; this tasty drink is a great source of probiotics made from raw milk.

Sore Feet

At the end of a long day your feet need some TLC, especially if you stand all day. Give yourself an easy mini-massage by rolling your foot over a tennis ball, concentrating on the arch. For an added effect, roll your foot over a cold bottle of water. Be sure to do this while seated so you don’t slip and fall. And if you are pregnant, be cautious with this massage; acupuncturists report that pressure points in the foot can induce labor.

6 Holistic Home Remedies that Work

Motion Sickness

If you get nauseous or dizzy when traveling, ginger is a great trick for curing motion sickness. Simply slice off a piece of fresh ginger and swallow it, or make a ginger tea by steeping a half teaspoon of ginger in hot water. If you’re really queasy, eat a couple green olives or suck on a lemon. The tannins will dry out your mouth and may keep you from getting sick.

Cold Sores

Some people are prone to cold sores—which are not only painful, but can be a source of embarrassment. The next time one pops up, soothe the sore by brewing 2 to 4 tablespoons of fresh lemon balm (an easy-to-grow herb) in boiling water. Let the herbal tea cool and then dip a cotton ball or clean cloth in the liquid and blot the cold sore gently. The tea will soothe and its antiviral properties will help to calm the blister. 

Eczema

If you suffer from recurring eczema, you know how uncomfortable and irritating the constant itch can be. To help soothe your inflamed skin, place a saltwater compress on the affected area. Dissolve Himalayan sea salt in a bowl of warm water, soak up the liquid with a clean cloth, squeeze out excess water and place over your eczema. Another homemade trick to help eliminate the itch: Dab organic extra-virgin olive oil over your irritated skin. Most importantly, slowly eliminate wheat, gluten and sugar from your diet and watch for a change in symptoms. Research shows a direct link between chronic inflammation, such as eczema, and diets based heavily in grains and sugar.

By the way, avoid swallowing a spoonful of sugar to beat hiccups! None of us need extra sugar in our systems. Instead, slowly sip water through a clean cloth placed over a glass or hold down the tragus of your ear (the little pointy part in the middle of your ear by your cheekbone) and drink a full glass of water.