Wouldn’t it be great to visit with family and friends without worrying about embarrassing uh-ohs? You can, thanks to no-Rx, natural home remedies you likely already have on hand.
To heal cold sores:
When you feel a cold sore coming on, reach for aspirin. Research in American Family Physician found folks who took 125 mg. a day until the infection subsided cut the length of their flare-up in half — that’s as good as OTC meds. The NSAID tamps down inflammation-triggering prostaglandins in the skin. Also smart: Dab on tea tree oil (Buy at Amazon, $8.92). Australian scientists say it spurs healthy cells to replace infected cells 38 percent faster, results on par with prescription drugs. None on hand? Vanilla extract (Buy at Walmart, $6.72) dries sores to speed healing too!
To sweeten breath:
Sweeping a stainless-steel tablespoon across your tongue three times a week after brushing reduces levels of sticky sulfur compounds responsible for bad breath by up to 75 percent , suggests research in the Journal of Periodontology. The spoon scoops away bacteria hiding in the nooks and crannies of your tongue, while molecules in steel bind with sulfur to whisk away unpleasant odors.
To relieve gas:
If a potluck dinner leaves you feeling uncomfortably bloated and gassy, go check the mail. A study in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found simply walking a few dozen yards cuts trapped gas by more than 50 percent and keeps it at bay for hours. Walking gets the bowels moving, diminishing trapped air pockets faster than any other method.
To prevent B.O.:
Sweaty armpits don’t have to cause body odor. Dabbing clean underarms with apple cider vinegar lowers skin’s pH, blocking odor-causing bacteria growth, suggests U.K. research.
To remove warts:
Warmth and dampness are breeding grounds for warts, which is why after a summer splashing in the pool, we’re 33 percent more likely to notice these bumps. Luckily, Canadian scientists found the easiest fix yet: duct tape! It’s even better at removing warts than six weeks of expensive cryotherapy treatments, the most common doctor-prescribed fix. To do: Suffocate the wart by placing a square of duct tape over it for a week. Replace the tape weekly for four to six weeks until the wart is gone.
To stop bladder leaks:
Top nachos with jalapeños and you’ll block leaks with every tasty bite, British research suggests. Scientists credit capsaicin, the compound that gives peppers their heat, with nearly tripling bladder volume by desensitizing spasming nerves responsible for a trigger-happy bladder.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.