The scientific evidence behind some well-known home remedies

From honey for a sore throat to ginger candy for nausea, there are common home remedies everyone turns to in a pinch. And though most will undoubtedly attest to their efficacy, the big question is whether they really work. Scientific evidence says some do while some don’t, and you may be surprised to find which ones fall into the former category.

  • Honey, coughs, and sore throats. Adding honey to tea or downing a whole spoonful is a popular treatment for both sore throats and coughs. As it turns out, doing so can actually do your body good. According to, this is because honey is a demulcent with antimicrobial properties. As a demulcent, honey relieves aggravated mucus membranes. Its antimicrobial qualities help the body combat harmful viruses and bacteria. Tip: combining honey with lemon, another antimicrobial agent, will give your immune system a welcome boost.
  • Warm salt water and sore throats. Another well-known sore throat remedy, warm salt water is indeed effective. The salt draws out water from the tissue in your throat, “starving” whatever germs or viruses are causing the discomfort.
  • Apples, carrots, and whiter teeth. Can you really whiten your teeth with apples and carrots? If these are eaten raw, then there’s a good chance you can. Chewing on fresh carrots and apples scrubs the surface of your teeth, massages your gums, and gives your mouth a good workout to promote saliva production. Moreover, apples contain enamel-whitening malic acid while carrots have enamel-strengthening vitamin A. Though there’s no absolute guarantee that carrots and apples will grace you with a pearly white smile, including them in your diet will give you excellent oral health.
  • Toothpaste and pimples. It’s affordable, but just because toothpaste works as a remedy for pimples doesn’t mean you should use it. The baking soda and hydrogen peroxide in toothpaste will definitely dry out pimples. However, those aren’t the only ingredients in toothpaste. Other chemicals such as alcohol and menthol can cause your skin to dry out, become irritated, or may even result in a burning sensation. For a less risky home remedy, try mixing two tablespoons of honey and one tablespoon of cinnamon to make a 15-minute face mask. (Related: How to Treat Pimples For Oily Skin With These 2 Simple Remedies)
  • Ginger and nausea: Exactly how ginger reduces nausea has yet to be fully understood. But the most popular theory is that the compounds found in ginger act similarly to anti-nausea medicine. Regardless, ginger remains a safer option than most chemical medications. In fact, as per, a handful of studies have suggested that ginger is an effective method of reducing nausea during pregnancy and after chemotherapy or an operation.
  • Chicken soup, colds, and the flu. Without a doubt, this is the most famous of home remedies. Unfortunately, just like with ginger, it’s still unknown how chicken soup acts as the amazing cure-all for colds and the flu. One study suggests that chicken soup relaxes the inflammation that causes cold symptoms to manifest. Still, there’s no harm in enjoying this sick day staple. Hot liquids keep you hydrated, salt eases the soreness of your throat, while chicken provides much-needed protein.


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