Flu, bruise, nosebleed, or boils — it doesn’t matter what ails you, friends and family all have their passed down opinions on the natural home remedies to fix you up.
But do they really work? Well, often the origins of these old wives' tales can be traced back to an ounce of scientific truth. Many of these suggestions stem from an isolated nutrient that had been historically linked to a symptom of deficiency, and despite the eradication of any serious deficiency today, we still assume the generations-old remedy works.
Other therapies seem so outlandish they can only be traced to superstition, which may have been all people could hold onto in times with less scientific knowledge. No matter what the case, we’ve compiled 15 of the weirdest home remedies for all of your apparent health problems using foods you may have in your pantry right now. We’re not saying any of them necessarily work or are supported by current literature, but they won't hurt — and who hasn't believed in a placebo effect before?
How many of us had a grandparent convince us to mow down on the undesirable brown bits of bread if we lusted over Shirley Temple’s locks? It may sound like a sneaky picky eating parenting trick, but historians relate the association to class as historically, both curly hair and bread were associated with prosperity
. Ladies, go ahead and eat those delicious crusts right up, but we wouldn't toss your curling wands just yet.
John Lamb via Getty Images
Sick of medicinal throat lozenges? Apparently a youthful round of Chubby Bunny is the tastier way to soothe a hoarse throat
. While the sap from the marshmallow plant originally used to make the candies has been praised for its anti-inflammatory properties, people continue to believe that the gelatin-based sweets we see in stores today still offer relief. Sounds to us just like a sneaky excuse to make s’mores.
Lecic via Getty Images
Moistening bread with milk or water and slapping it on your skin seems like something only an infant could teach us to do. But seriously, there are full-grown educated people treating their boils this way today
, too. Poultices (that is, any soft, moist substance used for healing) come from the word for “porridge,” which is likely where the idea to transform day-old bread into a skin remedy originated.
Adam Gault via Getty Images
Bar fight? No problem. Asian tradition
states that you should slip an old silver coin into a freshly peeled warm hardboiled egg, wrap it in a thin cloth and then rub it into the bruise until the coin “absorbs” the purple hue. No intell on the financial value of the smelly violet coin after the procedure, or how long your face will smell like a bad 90’s perm.
mariusFM77 via Getty Images
Regular sufferers of nose bleeds have likely been advised to up their intake of vitamin K-rich foods like spinach, due to the nutrient’s role in blood coagulation. But some families figure, why bother eating it when you can just hang it like a dangling pair of slimy spinach bangles behind your ear
? Well, we all had plenty of opportunities as kids to hide our greens in unforeseen places, it’s probably time we stop pretending this magically could work.
Daniel Grill via Getty Images
Basil has long been regarded as a natural laxative and home remedy for constipation, but most modern holistic websites just tell you to chew and eat the stuff
. Some homemakers, on the other hand, swear you need to insert the fresh leaves up through the back door and let it sit there until something comes out. I can’t imagine how this awkward trick would work or who thought to test it out, but on the bright side, your bowel movements will smell like pesto!
vanillaechoes via Getty Images
Looking to perk up the girls? Forget the Wonderbra and just pour yourself a glass of fresh papaya juice and milk. For decades, women have sworn by this natural boob job
— there are full blogs solely devoted to this technique! The theory: milk supplies a hit of protein, while papaya’s unique enzymes help digest and absorb that protein to help bulk up those pectoral muscles. All that sugar sounds like any other classic weight-gain cocktail to us, so you may get bigger boobs, but don’t be surprised if they comes with a matching belly.
monkeybusinessimages via Getty Images
Athletes rejoice! You can apparently run off those calories and then keep yourself from eating them by rubbing your favourite licorice candy sticks onto your callused feet. The theory goes that licorice supposedly contains an estrogen-like substance that can soften tough skin
, especially when mixed with a little oil or jelly.
John Rizzo via Getty Images
Tradition holds that when your baby runs a fever, just slip a slice of onion into their socks and let the onion “absorb” the ailment
through their little feet. This old wives' tale stems from the early 1900s when families claimed they survived the influenza by placing cut onions around the home. And while there is no doubt that onions have powerful health and nutritional properties when consumed, feet don’t have mouths and are putrid enough as is. Put your onions in your sandwich, not in your socks.
David Emmite via Getty Images
Well, doesn’t this sound appetizing. Apparently next time you have the runs, you just cut the lining out of a standard chicken gizzard and then let it dry out. After it’s dry, you can pop it into a pot of boiling water and drink the tea until your diarrhea disappears. Honestly, just the thought of gizzard tea
makes us want to rush to the bathroom, so it may have the opposite effect.
Ls9907 via Getty Images
Apparently First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s routine to improve her memory included eating three chocolate-covered garlic cloves
each day, assumedly related to the brain-supporting antioxidants in both foods.
Chris Mellor via Getty Images
MakiEni's photo via Getty Images
Impatient for the little bundle of joy to arrive? Moms have been abuzz about this natural induction method
of years. Just pour a fresh pot of Joe into a bowl, sit it into the toilet and squat over it like you’re going to relieve yourself. Apparently, you may end up relieving yourself of something a lot bigger then your daily business.
ALSO ON HUFFPOST
Home Remedies For Cold Or Flu