Thrifty tried and true home remedies -

Favorite home remedies

When it comes to curing what ails you, Grandma may truly know best.

"I think it's so much better to go the natural way," says 84-year-old Freida Salvatore. She's got a cure for just about any ailment or condition you can imagine, and most of the ingredients can be found right in your kitchen.

"As an underarm deodorant, you could use white vinegar with a soft cloth and rub it underneath," she explains. "For the age spots: Lemon, plain lemon. Rub it on the spot and there again, within a week or two it will be gone."

Salvatore has a long list of home remedies, most passed down by her own mother and grandmother. She even picked up some tips from her dad, who had a special use for the astringent witch hazel.

"He would use it on his hair because he thought, ‘I'm getting a little gray,'" recalls Salvatore. "And he really never did get a gray head of hair."

And forget the drug store when it comes to many common illnesses.

If you've got a tummy ache, Salvatore recommends chamomile tea. For nausea, peppermint oil. Warm browned butter for a sore throat... and here's one you've probably never heard of: Castor oil for itchy feet.

Rubbing castor oil on itchy feet may sound a bit strange, but many people swear by old-fashioned home remedies.

Dr. Brenna Murphy should know.

She runs Elements Natural Medicine in Columbus, Georgia and is one of only a handful of naturopathic doctors in the state. These specialized doctors bridge the gap between modern medicine and old-school home remedies.

Murphy says for many ailments, a home remedy is the right medicine.

"I think they can be really useful," she says. "You just have to use them wisely and know who to ask when you're not sure what to do."

Murphy says going natural can help you live longer and healthier, and even save you money. She says there are some common items that should be in every home that can be quick remedies for various ailments.

"Raw honey, that's a good one, garlic and cinnamon... a half-teaspoon a day can help control blood sugar," she explains.

And if you cut yourself, Dr. Elizabeth Cantrell of Elements Natural Medicine advises putting cayenne pepper on the wound to stop the bleeding long enough to get to a doctor.

For Salvatore, many of these remedies are tried and true.

Her smile is a testament to them: While regular dental visits are important, she credits her own remedy for those pearly whites.

"You use a sage leaf on your teeth, within a week your teeth will be beautiful white," she says.

At 84, Salvatore looks as great as she feels….all the more reason why many times, a home remedy might be just what the doctor ordered.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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