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Kitchen Cures: What's in Your Cabinets Might Help What Ails You

Kitchen Cures: What’s in Your Cabinets Might Help What Ails You

Have you ever gargled with salt water for a sore throat, or sipped ginger ale for an upset stomach? If so, you’ve already practiced the most common kind of medical care. According to research, nearly 80 percent of all health care is administered at home using common items found in the kitchen.

Try the following common household items to relieve minor symptoms and uncomplicated ailments:

Cranberry juice — A study published in the British Medical Journal confirms that drinking cranberry juice regularly can prevent urinary tract infections. Natural substances found in cranberries, called proanthocyanidins, may help prevent certain bacteria from causing infection.

Baking soda — Adding baking soda to bath water may help relieve the pain of a sunburn. Dissolve 8 ounces of baking soda under the tap, then give yourself half an hour to soak in the lukewarm water. Baking soda also can be used in a cool bath to soothe other skin irritations and alleviate itching from prickly heat, insect bites and other minor skin conditions. A baking soda paste placed on an insect bite or sting can help draw out and neutralize poisons.

Milk — For mild cases of insomnia, try warm milk. Warm milk contains high levels of tryptophan, a natural sedative that may help you relax.

Grape juice — The flavonoids in grape juice have been shown to prevent the oxidation of LDL or the “bad” cholesterol that causes plaque to form on artery walls. Grape juice also can lower the risk of developing the blood clots that lead to heart attacks, according to research.

While most home remedies are harmless, be sure to check with your family doctor if symptoms persist or if you show signs of a more serious illness. Home remedies are not a substitute for routine medical care.

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