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Folk Remedies: Fact or Fiction?

A few do-it-yourself fixes that work, and others that don’t.

A cup of teaMonica Buck


  • Chicken soup for a cold. Many studies have shown that the homemade remedy has anti-inflammatory effects that soothe sore throats and clear stuffy noses.
  • Cucumber compresses for a headache. The vegetable relieves a throbbing head by tightening blood vessels, lessening blood flow to the area, and relieving pressure. Bonus: Cucumber slices fit nicely over the eyes.
  • Green tea for bad breath. Drink a cup to kill any trace of garlic or onion.


  • Krazy Glue for cuts. It made headlines for its ability to seal small wounds, but the Food and Drug Administration and many doctors recommend against this.
  • Hemorrhoid cream for puffy eyes. Models may use the stuff to deflate eye bags, but over time more blood vessels will form and the skin will thin, causing even more swelling.
  • Sucking venom from a snakebite. This wilderness trick will do more harm than good. It can lead to infection in the bite and can introduce bacteria into the mouth. Instead, keep the affected area below the heart and get to a doctor immediately for an anti-venom treatment.
  • Urine for a jellyfish sting. This may have worked on that Friends episode, but urine can actually make the jellyfish stingers release more venom, which will result in more pain. Instead, rinse the area with salt water, which deactivates the stingers.
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