Big Pharma and conventional medicine have made us accustomed to reaching for an over-the-counter drug when we experience an itch or ache. Nature’s medicine cabinet, however, is bursting with healthier and less expensive remedies. Here are 5 strange but true health tips you might not know about.
1. Stop Bleeding with this Spice
Nearly every kitchen is equipped with this humble hero. Black pepper is naturally analgesic, antibacterial, and antiseptic, and it won’t sting when you sprinkle it onto and apply pressure to a well-washed wound to stop bleeding.
2. Disinfect a Wound with Honey
Nix the Neosporin, which comes with unhealthy and, to some, allergenic ingredients in the ointment. Keep the pantry stocked with raw honey from your local beekeeper. Or, more practically, from your local health food store. It’s antibacterial, antimicrobial, an antioxidant, and humectant, which means that any wound healed with honey will heal faster and leave less of a scar. (That’s also what makes it such a good remedy for acne and dry skin.) Think honey is too sweet to pack a healthy punch? A study published in the Archives of Surgery says that honey kills almost all strains of bacteria seen in everyday wounds.
Sniffing a green apple can help you feel less nervous in tight spaces according to Dr. Alan Hirsch, M.D. Try carrying one with you in your bag if you begin to feel claustrophobic on the subway to work. It may sound strange, but give it a try.
4. Massage Away Nicotine Cravings
As published in Preventive Medicine, a study found that men who rubbed the skin between their index fingers and thumbs and the middle of their palms smoked 25 percent fewer cigarettes than quitters who relied on conventional methods, like chewing gum. The action of keeping your hands busy in such calming motions seemed to do the trick.
5. Eat This Oil to Lose Weight
We’ve become deathly scared of oils and fats in the past few decades, thanks to the ad campaigns of Crisco and various diet fads shunning fat. Coconut oil is high in saturated fats, which were demonized in the ‘70s, but as many human studies show today, this oil can actually help cut abdominal fat In one experiment, a group of women receiving 2 tablespoons of coconut oil daily for 12 weeks lost visceral fat and experienced a rise in “good” HDL cholesterol levels while the control receiving no coconut oil group saw no changes.
Shedding girth isn’t the only reason to think about adding coconut oil to your daily diet. It can improve bone and dental health as well as prevent—even reverse!—Alzheimer’s disease. Read here for more health benefits of coconut oil.