Feeling tired? A stick of peppermint of cinnamon gum might perk you right up. A Wheeling Jesuit University study found that chewing one of the flavored gums increased alertness in participants by 30 percent. This is just one example of an easy, natural health solution that doesn't require a prescription or much money. Check out our full list of 10 simple remedies that might surprise you — and naturally we included duct tape and Listerine. Find out why.
Duct tape to remove warts
Duct tape eliminates warts better than liquid nitrogen, according to a study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. If you have a wart, cut a piece of duct tape slightly larger than the wart and apply it to the cleaned area. Every few days, remove the tape and exfoliate the wart with a pumice stone or nail file. Repeat until the wart is gone.
Scientists aren't sure why duct tape is so effective, but they reason that a chemical in the tape could be the cause. It could also be that duct tape irritates the area and stimulates the body's immune system to attack the wart.
Bite a pencil to relieve a headache
When you're stressed, you often clench your teeth, which strains the muscle that connects the jaw to the temples and can trigger a tension headache. By placing a pencil between your teeth — but not biting down hard — you relax your muscles, which reduces pain. However, this remedy applies only to tension headaches and won't relieve pain caused by other types of headaches.
Listerine to dry out blisters
Mouthwash like Listerine is a powerful antiseptic, which can dry out blisters. Use cotton balls to dab Listerine onto blisters three times a day until they heal.
Oatmeal to soothe eczema
If you have eczema or simply have dry, irritated skin, try soaking in an oatmeal bath. Add two to three cups of colloidal, or finely ground, oatmeal to warm water and soak in it for 15 minutes. The oatmeal reduces inflammation and is through to have an antihistamine effect.
Olives for motion sickness
Motion sickness is accompanied by increased salivation, which is the body's way of protecting teeth from stomach acid in the event of vomiting. Olives contain tannins, which dry the mouth out, so eating a few can eliminate the excess saliva. Treating that symptom can reduce nausea and keep the body from vomiting.
Sugar to cure hiccups
It seems a spoonful of sugar does more than just help the medicine go down. Taking a teaspoon gets rid of hiccups by stimulating the vagus nerve, which makes the body forget to hiccup. The vagus nerve is a cranial nerve that conveys sensory information about the organs to the brain. When it's distracted by something else — like swallowing sugar — it tells the brain that something more important than hiccuping has come up so the diaphragm spasms stop.
VapoRub for nail fungus
Although there's no scientific proof that Vick's VapoRub kills nails fungus, there's a wealth of anecdotal evidence that the treatment is effective. Some people believe it's the menthol that kills fungus, while others think it could be the suffocating effect of the balm. To treat nail fungus, simply smear VapoRub over the affected area twice a day until it's gone.
Vegetable oil for dry nails
If you have dry, brittle nails, apply vegetable oil to your hands and cover them with plastic gloves overnight for a deep-moisturizing treatment.
Vodka for foot odor
Alcohol is an antiseptic that can destroy odor-causing bacteria and dry out the moisture that allows these organisms to thrive. Simply soak a washcloth in the liquid and wipe your feet down at the end of the day. Of course, rubbing alcohol works just as well, if you'd rather save that vodka for a martini.
Yogurt to cure bad breath
Bad breath at can originate in several places, but one of the most common sources is the stomach. Eating yogurt and other foods that contain probiotics can neutralize acid and help the odor.