7 Modern Folk Remedies That Actually Work

[Ed. Note: Here at the Daily Reckoning, we strive to bring you a unique and entertaining view of the world of finance. But we also realize that there’s more to this world than money. After all… what good is money if you don’t know how to enjoy it? So as part of our ongoing “Tip of the Day” series — brought to you by our friends at Laissez Faire Today — we’re proud to share this little actionable tip on living a happier, healthier and more enjoyable life than you ever thought possible. Enjoy!]

In ancient Chinese medicine, the cure for stuttering was a good hard whack in the face.

But it must… and this part is crucial… be on a cloudy day.

The funny thing about folk remedies is some of them actually work.

Early American settlers apparently believed that urine cured acne. We don’t know if that’s true. And we’re not that interested in finding out.

Merrie England’s once-favored method of treating sore throats was to wrap your own dirty socks around your neck.

Again, not interested.

All cultures and societies have folk medicine of their own. And the modern day is no different.

The funny thing about folk remedies is some of them actually work. Today, we’ll take a look at the ones that work… and how to use them…

ONE: Eradicate foot odor with vodka. Suffering from foot stench? Wipe down those dogs with a vodka-soaked washcloth. The alcohol is antiseptic and destroys the fungus and bacteria that causes odor. And it dries out the moisture that allows these organisms to grow. (Yes, you could use rubbing alcohol. Whichever is closer-at-hand.)

TWO: Cure your headache with a pencil. When stressed, most people clench their jaw and teeth. This can strain the muscles in your face and temples and cause tension headaches. A simple trick is to put a pencil between your teeth, but don’t bite down. By doing this, you’re forced to relax your jaw. This will ease the tension.

THREE: Bad breath? Cure it with bacteria. The live bacteria in yogurt have been shown to suppress the bacteria that cause bad breath. The “good” stuff will fight off those baddies that make your breath kick. Eat up.

The live bacteria in yogurt have been shown to suppress the bacteria that cause bad breath.

FOUR: Listerine cures blisters. While it’s not as effective for bad breath as yogurt, Listerine does have one use: curing blisters. Moisten a cotton ball with the burning blue and dab the blister three times a day. Watch the blister go away.

FIVE: Cure mouth herpes with tea. Suffer from cold sores? Lemon balm tea has antiviral properties that have been shown to tame herpes outbreaks (the mouth kind, not the sexually transmitted kind). Dab your cold sore with the tea several times a day and voila… mouth herpes no more!

SIX: Grind your corns with licorice and jelly. This is a weird one. Licorice contains estrogen-like compounds that can soften your skin. Especially the rough skin of calluses and corns. So grind up a few licorice sticks, mix them with petroleum jelly, rub it on your feet, and ignore all the weird looks your family gives you.

SEVEN: Motion sickness? Pop some olives. Motion sickness makes you produce excess saliva. This excess saliva is a signal to your body that something is wrong… in turn, making you feel nauseous. Olives have tannins that can help dry out your mouth and trick your body back to wellness.


Chris Campbell
for The Daily Reckoning

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