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All Our Favorite Home Remedies in One Place

We've put together our favorite home remedies in "The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies" from National Geographic.

Q. I have been saving your columns for years, but my filing and retrieval system is not perfect. Do you have a book of home remedies I could refer to when I have a problem instead of rummaging through the clippings?

A. We think you’ll like The People’s Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies, published by National Geographic. It is a collection of the most popular home remedies and favorite foods to ease a range of common conditions. You’ll find it online at PeoplesPharmacy.com.

Here are some examples of our favorites:

Soy Sauce for Burns:

Q. I listened to your public radio show and heard a man call in recommending soy sauce for burns. “How weird is that?” I thought. But then, as I took a loaf of bread out of the oven, the inner edge of my thumb and the fleshy pad underneath hit the metal rim of the pan. I expected a painful burn. Since I had nothing else at hand, I decided to try the soy sauce remedy. The pain eased up in less than a minute, the soreness did not materialize and even the redness went away! It may be weird, but it certainly did work!

A. We wish we knew why this home remedy works, but we have heard from several people that it does, including an Army Ranger who told us that U.S. Special Forces medics also used soy sauce for combat-related burns.

Cold Keys for Nosebleeds:

Q. When I was a kid, I would get very bad nosebleeds. If nothing else worked, my mother would get out her keys and drop them down the back of my neck. I wish I knew why it worked so well.

A: We have heard from many people who have had success stopping nosebleeds with keys or a cold butter knife against the back of the neck. We don’t know why this trick works, but one reader offered the following from his experience as a medic doing water rescue:

“The keys work because of the mammalian dive reflex. Cold hits the nerves in the neck, causing the blood vessels to constrict. You might notice your pulse slowing too.

“The dive reflex is why cold-water drowning victims are not usually pronounced dead until they are ‘warm and dead.’ Cold water only in the face/head area shunts blood to the organs and away from the skin and slows the metabolism for survival. The vital signs are often too weak to detect.”

This hypothesis sounds plausible to us. We can’t offer a better one.

Liquid Bandage to Banish Skin Tags

Q. In one of your articles you stated that a reader used New Skin Liquid Bandage to help remove skin tags. Please address this again and describe how the New Skin was used. I recently saw a dermatologist and he wanted $300 to remove about 12 small tags.

A. A few years ago we heard from a reader who had managed to get rid of skin tags (benign fleshy growths) by covering them tightly with a Clear Spot BandAid. Several months ago another reader reported that he had tried the special BandAids but “could never get a bandage to stay on long enough.”

He was about to give up when he ran across some liquid bandage in his medicine cabinet. He told us he “had a large flap growing on my shoulder and put the New Skin Liquid Bandage on it. Within a week the flap fell off.

I put it on some smaller skin tags and they shriveled and fell off too.” Sadly, this reader provided no clear instructions. But subsequently we have heard from many people who have applied liquid bandage one or two times daily with good results:

“New Skin for skin tags worked for me too! I did reapply the product several times and they did shrink and were pulled off when removing the “bandage” after about 10 days. This saved me quite a bit of money I would have paid to my doctor.”

If you or someone you love finds such home remedies fascinating, you may be interested in our holiday gift bundle. We are offering 50% off our Recipes and Remedies book (174 pages) with the purchase of Quick & Handy Home Remedies. Here is a link to this special holiday bundle.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.”.
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