9 Home Remedies You Should Never Try

By , Marlisse Cepeda, Woman's Day
There's no denying the secret curing powers found in certain everyday items. Salt water, for instance, can take the sting out of a sore throat. And an oatmeal bath can ease eczema. So how about soothing a burn with butter? Not so fast. That and other common home remedies aren't just ineffectual; they can actually exacerbate the issue. So before you go DIY on treating bad breath, colds or cuts, check out these nine tactics to avoid. 

Butter for Burns

Sure, putting a cold piece of butter onto a burn sounds promising, but according to Derek van Amerongen, MD, medical director of HumanaVitality, a health and wellness company, this method practically asks for an infection. "Butter can seal bacteria in the tissue," he explains. The kitchen staple also creates an environment for bacteria growth, irritating skin even more. If you don’t want to rely on antibiotic creams and over-the-counter meds to soothe the injury, an aloe vera plant can provide relief. 

Mayonnaise for Lice

While slathering on the white stuff can smother some live lice, it can’t kill eggs, says Laurie Steelsmith, MD, medical director of Steelsmith Natural Health Center in Honolulu and co-author of Natural Choices for Women's Health. Plus, the condiment turns rancid fairly quickly—and is guaranteed to make a big mess. A more effective (and pleasant) DIY treatment: oil and vinegar. "Apply ample amounts of olive oil to the scalp, leave on for three hours, wash out and then apply straight, white-distilled vinegar, which can break down egg casings and remove them from the hair shaft," says Dr. Steelsmith. Repeat the process for two to three days to kick those creepy-crawlies to the curb. 
Coffee for Hangovers

The best part of waking up doesn't do much for your liver, which has been overwhelmed with alcohol. Worse, a cup o' joe can further dehydrate you and irritate your stomach, warns Dr. Steelsmith. "You want to help your body clear toxins, and drinking enough water is much better at supporting your recovery," she points out. Pairing H2O with B-complex vitamin supplements, which aid in cell function, and some easy-to-digest food, like crackers and toast, will bring your body back in balance. Before you drink next time, Dr. Steelsmith suggests taking a milk thistle supplement—and another before you go to bed. Although the herb isn’t proven to zap hangovers, it does protect the liver from booze’s toxic effects. 

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I remember being a child and families using these remedies, too funny. Report
KHALIA2 6/14/2019
Thanks! Info each of us should know. Report
BONNIE1552 6/2/2019
Thanks. Report
KHALIA2 5/4/2019
Great article! Report
DRAGONFLY631 4/12/2019
Good info Report
Use toothpaste for acne! It dries it up quick and works quite well!! Report
KHALIA2 10/25/2018
Thanks! Great info! Report
Great article! Report
Thank you Report
The RAW honey (not pasteurized) on burns really really works amazingly well, especially on burns where it's in an awkward location not easily kept in cold water. I burned my hand in a cooking mishap and finally remembering the saying, I put some on. The other part of the equation is "...wrap in cotton cloth" is just as important. In my incident, we were getting ready to eat and after I got the honey on, I realized I needed cloth or something to keep the honey from sliding off. I covered in plastic wrap to start with, so we could get the blessing done and start eating. But, that wasn't good - the plastic kept the heat in and so it felt like I was burning myself again. I then remembered I had 100% cotton tea towels, so I took plastic wrap off and put the cotton towel (they are washable, remember!?) on. After dinner (I was really starved that day!!), I found a cotton bandanna to use to keep the honey close to my arm and the next morning the burn blisters had shrunk back down and there was no more pain. Wow! I'm a believer on that cure! Report
Olive Oil works really good for head lice. I know the head lice remedies that you can buy just don't work on those buggers. I repeated the Olive Oil more than once, with about 3-4 days in between. I also used Tea Tree Essential Oil which is don't like because its doesn't have a nice smell. Report
Toothpaste works well for a burn. (Just not a cinnamon one) It's what I have to use because I'm allergic to burn cream. Report
I tried a baking soda paste for my athletes foot itch yesterday and that works amazingly! Report
Not too many surprises here. Report
Yellow mustard will sooth a burn and keep it from pain and blister free. I used this after touching a hot oven and was shocked how well it worked. Awesome home remedy!! Report
These all surprised me. Report
I heard of someone who made poison ivy tea and drank it for his poison ivy allergy. It almost killed him. Report
Coconut water is great for hangovers :) Key West island remedy. Report
Like other commenters, I disagree with the mayo for lice advice. I used this when I had lice as a child and it worked fabulously. (Made my hair really soft too). It isn't going to go rancid in the couple hours it's on your head. We followed up with a lice comb for the nits (eggs). Report
My Dad told us to have a milk shake the following morning after a night of drinking. It rehydrates you and the milk gives you some much needed protein. It has always worked for us. Report
Don't know if I agree with all them like the peroxide one or the o.j. one but most of the alternative suggestions make sense. Report
and coffee + ibuprofen + running (even better if it's a cold day) is the best hangover cure EVER. I will keep doing it always. Report
We used mayonnaise after trying the other remedies. the mayonnaise worked great and we washed it out with vinegar. We never had another problem. Report
The mayonnaise really does work - REAL mayonnaise. My daughters were getting lice at school and neither the over-the-counter stuff nor the prescription stuff worked. The mayo did work. Report
I strongly disagree with the mayonnaise for lice argument. It has been proven to work again and again. You must use "real" mayonnaise and follow up with white vinegar to get rid of the nits. This is a true "go to" for child care workers. Report