Prevention magazine says these home remedies actually work. Comment on this blog and let me know if you’ve ever used any of these remedies.

Apples for whiter teeth
Apples and other crunchy fruits and vegetables act as natural “scrubbers” on the teeth, a natural cleansing action that helps fight stains on enamel.

Listerine for blisters
This mouthwash brand is also a powerful antiseptic, and applied with a cotton ball to blisters 3 times a day, can dry out blisters quickly.

Lemons for motion sickness
Lemons (and olives, too) contain tannins, which dry out saliva — a byproduct of nausea, the “sick” in motion sickness.

Papaya for smoother skin
Papaya contains an enzyme — papain — that acts as a natural yet gentle exfoliator. Try this easy mask: mix 2 tablespoons of papaya (peeled, seeded and washed) in a food processor with 1 tablespoon of dry oatmeal, pat mixture onto clean skin and leave it on for 10 minutes before removing with a wet washcloth.

Sugar for hiccups
Forget drinking water backward or holding your breath; a spoonful of sugar will stop the hiccups. It seems like it works because it’s such a shock to the system to eat straight sugar (yuck!), but professionals say it actually modifies the nerve muscles that contract the diaphragm spasmodically — i.e. a hiccup.

Vodka for stinky feet
A vodka-soaked washcloth will do the trick if you’ve got some foot odor going on. It contains alcohol and works as an antiseptic and drying agent on the odor-causing bacteria that make your feet reek; of course, rubbing alcohol works equally well.

Olive oil for eczema
Sooth a flareup by rubbing 1 teaspoon per square inch of skin in the irritated area; this creates a seal that prevents skin from drying out. Olive oil is packed with antioxidants that can reduce inflammation associated with eczema, and lacks chemical irritants found in many store-bought cures, too.

Ice cream for pizza mouth
Ever burn the roof of your mouth on a slice of hot pizza? A few bites of ice cream will help soothe the burn in that sensitive area, where the skin is only a few millimeters thick.

Pencils for stress headaches
Your mom told you to keep it out of your mouth, but if you’ve got a stress headache, holding a pencil between your teeth may be exactly what you need (but you still shouldn’t chew!). People under stress tend to clench their teeth, which can lead to head pain, and a pencil between your teeth causes you to relax those tense muscles, which in turn prevents the pain.

Duct tape for warts
This is a common folk cure that really does work. — better than freezing them off, according to one study, because chemicals in the tape suffocate and kill the wart. To use this cure, clean the warty area, then cut a piece of tape that’s slightly bigger than the wart. Put the tape over the wart and rub it so it sticks. Take the tape off every three days and file down the dead skin with a pumice stone or nail file; repeat until the wart is gone.

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