The next time you or your loved ones come down with a cold or other ailment, consider rushing to your pantry instead of the nearest drug store. The following six commonly used household ingredients are great for treating minor illnesses and saving you a few dollars in the process. As always, use your judgment when deciding whether or not to seek professional medical help.
Honey: A spoonful of this wonder-ingredient will not only help to ease a sore throat, but applying it directly to a minor burn and covering with a bandage can serve as an antibiotic and speed healing times.
Oatmeal: Not just a nutritious breakfast, oatmeal can be used to soothe a rash or irritated skin. Create a poultice by putting cooked, cooled oatmeal in a cotton cloth and applying to the affected area, or steep uncooked oatmeal in a warm bath to treat the entire body.
Toothpaste: The next time you or a loved one is stung by a bee, consider reaching for a tube of toothpaste. Just a dab of toothpaste on a bee sting can quickly relieve the irritation.
Baking soda: This versatile ingredient soothes sunburn when added to a lukewarm bath, relieves the itching from insect bites when added to a cool bath, and can relieve an upset stomach when half a teaspoon of it is dissolved in a glass of water.
Olive oil: This common cooking ingredient can soothe an earache for most adults. Put two to four drops of warm oil in your ear to lessen the pain until you can contact a medical professional.
Ginger: For hundreds of years, ginger has been used to combat nausea and upset stomachs. Simply steep a 1-inch slice of this root in hot water and drink to ease a bellyache.