10 Household Items That Double as Natural Remedies

Do you remember the scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding where the father uses Windex as a cure for everything? As Toula said, “My dad believed in two things: that Greeks should educate non-Greeks about being Greek, and every ailment from psoriasis to poison ivy can be cured with Windex.” Well, how her dad was with Windex is kind of how I am with tea tree oil. Cuts, scrapes, bruises, pimples, you name it, are all treated with tea tree oil. The movie comparison dawned on me the other day when I ran out of yet another bottle. It got me wondering about my friends’ natural home remedies, what their “cure-alls” might be, and how I could utilize them. After all, who would want to miss out on the next Windex?

So here are 10 terrific uses for natural home remedies:

  • 10 Terrific Uses for Natural Remedies 1 of 11
    10 Natural Home Remedies
  • Common ailments & illnesses 2 of 11
    Natural remedies for common illnesses

    Lisa Frame uses eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil in her humidifier when she has a cold or bronchitis. Dresden Shumaker gargles with vinegar when she feels a sore throat coming on. In my house we drink honey dissolved in warm water for a sore throat and for bronchial issues. Cecily Kellogg loves Oscillococcinum for cold and flu prevention, saying that it is really helpful when taken right away at the first signs or symptoms. (Well, that last one is not a homemade remedy, but it's natural and homeopathic so we threw it in there anyway.)

  • Heartburn and bloating 3 of 11
    Natural Home Remedies for Heartburn

    Jo-Lynne Shane drinks raw organic apple cider vinegar for seasonal allergies and heartburn, putting a teaspoon of it in a glass of water. Elena Sonnino uses Dandelion root to relieve bloating. Dandelion root can be purchased in an herbal form or as a tea.

  • Skin care 4 of 11
    Home remedies for skin care

    Lisa Frame mixes turbinado sugar and grapeseed oil w/ lavender essential oil to make a body scrub. Sometimes she tosses in used coffee grounds too. So does Beth Avant, who uses coffee grinds and olive oil as a body exfoliator. It's a little messy, she says, but the olive oil makes your skin amazingly soft while the caffeine tightens your skin's appearance.

    Oils for dry skin is quite popular among home remedies. Lisa uses coconut oil for dry skin. Hillary Chybinski uses olive oil.  And for cuticle care, Hillary uses Vitamin E oil while Jennifer Quillen prefers olive oil or coconut oil.

  • Wounds, warts, cold sores & blemishes 5 of 11
    Natural Home remedies for Blemishes

    As I mentioned, I use tea tree oil on blemishes as well as cuts and scrapes. Jo-Lynne swears by raw, organic apple cider vinegar for warts and blemishes. Sherry Aikens uses witch hazel for anti-itch and as an anti-inflammatory for the skin.

  • Hair and scalp 6 of 11
    Home remedies for hair and scalp

    Dresden uses vinegar for a hair rinse.  Actually, when I was a teenager I used vinegar as a natural way to lighten my hair in the sun.  Speaking of hair, Hillary uses tea tree oil to deter lice from setting up camp on her kids' scalps.

  • Foot odor 7 of 11
    Home remedies for foot odor

    No one wants to talk about stinky feet, but no one wants to have them (or smell them) either. (If you have a teenage boy you just might know what I am talking about.) One friend, who shall remain nameless, found that a foot bath of water, black tea, and Epsom salts is a great remedy for stinky feet.

  • Arthritis 8 of 11
    Home remedies for arthritis

    Hillary said that her mom swears by Turmeric for her arthritis. According to this article in Time magazine, her mom is certainly not alone. Turmeric is available as a powdered root, in capsule form, or as a liquid.


  • Sleep issues 9 of 11
    Home remedies for sleep issues

    Chamomile tea has calming properties, so I sometimes use it before bedtime. However, melatonin is a clear favorite amongst friends with sleep issues. Cecily even called it "a gift of the gods."

  • Laundry 10 of 11
    Home remedies for laundry

    Lisa uses tea tree oil in her clothes instead of bleach, saying that it kills germs and also eliminates the need to use fabric softener. Dresden uses vinegar in her laundry for killing germs.

  • Home appliances and cleaning 11 of 11
    Home remedies for appliances and cleaning

    Hillary uses white vinegar in her drains, while Lisa uses white vinegar for cleaning her toilets. I also run white vinegar through my washing machine, dishwasher, and garbage disposal every so often to remove buildup.



Please note that this post is intended to share information and ideas, as well as to create conversation. Please consult a medical professional before making changes to your lifestyle.

Jessica also recently wrote:

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Read more from Jessica at  And be sure to follow her on Twitter too!

Article Posted 3 years Ago

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