50 Home Remedies: How Black Pepper Saved Me $700

Warning: this is a long post.

I have been meaning to write a comprehensive post on home remedies for some time but when I sat down to do it, I struggled with what to include or what not to include. I worry about people getting bad information. I trust we all know better than to lick a finger and stick it in an electrical socket, and yet, thousands of people go to the emergency room each year for that very reason. We is geniuses.

And speaking of emergency rooms…

Early Sunday morning I was washing dishes and I cut my thumb on a knife. Bad. Bad enough that I couldn’t get the bleeding to stop after 30 minutes of applying ice and restrictive pressure. It wasn’t a big cut but there was enough blood to make me worry. Normally I would have gone to an urgent care center but the one by me didn’t open for another three hours (remember this is early Sunday morning). Plan B was a hospital emergency room, but with my insurance, an ER visit costs $700 the second I cross the threshold. Don’t even ask me what a band-aid costs. Now, $700 is a price I’d pay it for a broken bone, but a tiny thumb cut? I decided to give it another hour; if I couldn’t get the bleeding to stop in an hour I would have to suck it up an go to the ER.

So what did I do? I googled “stop bleeding home remedy”.

Let me tell you, I read all kinds of crazy stuff. And I tried most of them. Vinegar, diluted bleach, sugar… Nothing helped. Then I read about fresh ground black pepper. I thought this was crazy but I tried it.

Keep in mind, the photos below would be far more effective if I had taken a BEFORE shot, but 1. I don’t think y’all would want to see that and 2. I didn’t want to get blood all over my camera. So you will just have to imagine and big bloody thumb. Go on now….

I cleaned the wound thoroughly, then packed a teaspoon of fresh-ground black pepper over the cut as best I could, then wrapped the whole thing it a clean paper towel and secured with a big piece of masking tape. After ten minutes I removed the paper towel and expected to see more bloody mess. To my shock and amazement, this is what I found…

What the?

Look, I’m not suggesting anyone tries to use this method to heal a gunshot wound, but if you are in a bind, give it a try. 

So while I am singing the praises of one home remedy, I thought I would take the opportunity to share some more. I emailed a bunch of friends and asked you guys on facebook for some tried-and-true home remedies. If you have one that is not listed below, take a second to chime in the comments below.

***50 Home Remedies ***

Colds / Nasal

Take a super hot bath. Mix in a couple of bottles of hydrogen peroxide, a hunk of fresh ginger (shredded), and five crushed IBprofen capsules. Soak for half an hour. This will detox your whole body by pulling the crud out through your skin (remember your skin is an organ too!). Drink tons of water to replace the stuff that comes out in the bath. Warning, you might grossed out an want a cold shower afterwards. If you have any cuts or hangnails cover them with vaseline before getting in the tub. Sandra

Remember that Ibuprofen is the only pain reliever made to work on mucus membrane (mouth, ear, sinuses). Christina

Eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil. Sprinkle some in a hot bath. When you are dry, rub it on your feet, wrists, neck and scalp then over the ears with hats, scarves and put socks on top. I also mix it with a bit of chapstick and rub it on my temples and beneath my nose. The vapor helps loosen mucus, coughs, and opens up your lungs. It’s also an anti-inflammatory and just sinks into your skin and takes the edge off of the achyness of being ill. Susan  (Note, I, Aunt Peaches, second this method wholeheartedly. I am rarely without Vicks Vapo rub for this very reason. Love my menthol/eucalyptus combo!)

My family swears by ouzo. If you think you are getting sick, drinking a shot and/or gargling with it before you go to bed to fight off the cold. Cynthia
Homemade chicken soup. I make sure to put fresh ginger in mine (calms upset stomachs and is very soothing). Kelly
For a nasal infection, a cup of warm water with a tablespoon of table salt shoot a cc or so up your nose, then wait until you’ve caught your breath and do it again a couple of times, it dries all the gunk. You can also gargle the salt water for a sore throat. Rhonda

If you have to sneeze pinch your nose and rub the roof of your mouth with your tongue. Cat  

Skin Ailments

(For sunburns) Make tea; pour it over the afflicted area (while standing or sitting in tub) and gently rub the teabags over the area. Dawn

If you have a pimple, wet a cotton ball, wring it out, add a few drops of Yonka serum and hold it to your face as long as you can, or use a band aid.  It has oil of thyme, lavender oil, oil of geranium, and one other. They are all anti-inflammatories. Ann

Apple cider vinegar is great on warts. Soak a cotton ball in it, place on wart and bandaid over. Refresh every day for a week. That should do it. Bev

Honey and salt paste for a facial scrub. The salt will disinfect and pull out impurities while the honey is a natural moisturizer. Cassandra

Poke a pin in an Advil Liquid Gel capsule and apply to the spot. It will knock that sucker out in no time. Caitlyn

Tea tree oil is the real deal, brilliant antiseptic and good for spot-treating acne. Katie

For bee stings, cut a green onion and apply the raw end to the sting. Same thing works with banana peels. Herby

A spoonful of honey a day makes your lips super soft. Randi

Lavender essential oil will help a burn (like from a stove) and it helps it heal faster and scars are less visible. It has to be a true note or pure form not mixed with any carrier oils. Elizabeth 

Use Listerine as bug spray. Spray all over your skin and clothes. Mosquitoes hate it. Janet

Bug bite? Rub it with a dry bar of soap. Will stop the itching. Susan

Crush up an asprin and mix it with baking soda and lemon juice. Make a paste and rub over your face for a couple of minutes. Rinse with cool water and ice cubes. Great for special occasions. Reem


An almost surefire cure for nausea, even extreme nausea (where things have already started to happen, ahem)….try saltines and coke. Not ginger ale or sprite–there is something about the coke syrup that works. Eat a tiny corner nibble of the saltine (has to be the salted kind), take the tiniest sip of coke. Wait ten minutes, do it again. Repeat as often as needed. Works almost every single time. Myra

Chewing on fennel and caraway seeds is a great way to calm an upset stomach. My mother is Persian — they have used for thousands of years. Salma


I learned this trick from a bar tender who said it works on everyone, even drunk people. Take a glass of water and drink 3 or 4 sips from the opposite rim. Meaning the rim that is not closest to you. This will mean bending over and probably spilling some water so do it outside or in the shower. Something in your diaphragm stretches in order to reach like that. It smooths the hiccups in two seconds. Amanda

A spoonful of peanut butter for hiccups. Works every time! Melissa

Especially for children: hold your kid’s nostrils closed with your thumbs (one for each nostril) while using your fingers to close their ears. (Push in the flappy guys that partially cover the ear opening; don’t try to plug the ear canal like a cork.) Have them take 10 sips of water. If they insist on breathing, let them do so only after the 5th and 10th sips. Voila! Works almost every time. John

Our sure fire hiccup trick: a glass of tap water, hold a paper towel over the top of the glass, sip the water *through* the towel. A few gulps ought to do it. Tracy

Ear problems

Mix equal parts vinegar and rubbing alcohol and put 4 drops in effected ear. Works great to prevent my kiddos’ swimmer’s ear. Jayme

To help babies and toddlers with ear pressure problems on airplanes (especially small planes)…during take-off ask the flight attendant for two paper cups and two of those piping hot towels (or ask for hot water and soak some towels yourself). As the plane is taking off, put the towels in the cups and cup them over your child’s ears — no gaps. The steam will escape from the cups into their ears and alleviate the pressure. This works great on my son who has chronic sinus problems. Stopped him from screaming bloody murder and now he thinks it’s a game. Learned this trick from a flight attendant and I never got a chance to thank her properly! Rebecca

Soar Throat / Coughing

Warmed lemonade with a teaspoon of honey swirled in cures a kid’s nighttime coughing fits. Amy

Gargling with salt water – works wonders. Sore throats, cough, even earaches. Becky

Eat a couple of marshmallows for a sore throat. Dawn

A spoonful of honey makes a sore throat feel better and stops cough better than OTC stuff. Our crew team (rowing) goes through a lot of “honeybears” at regattas when the weather is cooler- the coach is a doctor and he originally recommended to rowers, etc. Dawn


My favorite is eating a big thick shake (like a Blizzard) when you have a headache. Numbs it away. Lisa

I have to travel for work and I’m always getting headaches from smells on buses, trains, planes and conference rooms (imagine — perfumes, BO, cleaning products, etc). I keep a plastic bag with a tissue loaded with lemon oil. When I need it I waft the tissue under my nose to block or balance the offending smells. Justin


Make a paste of baking soda and water. Pack it on the splinter and put a band-aid over it. 10 minutes later the splinter will pop out. Jennifer

Apply hydrogen peroxide. It draws the stuff out. Heather

Soak the area in olive oil before trying to pluck it out with tweezers or a hot needle. It makes it easier to grab onto the splinter. Natalie


Clove oil for toothaches. A couple drops from a Qtip helps immensely. Don’t swallow it! It will make your mouth water and it tastes horrible, but it works. Christina

Hold an ice cube between your thumb and your forefinger (same side as the toothache). The nerves hook up in a weird way. It will calm the pain long enough to get to the dentist and have the real problem taken care of. Grant

For a canker sore, gargle with warm water and salt for 30 seconds every few hours. If it is a particularly bad sore, soak a black tea bag in very hot very salty water for a couple of minutes, then press the bag directly on the sore for 10 minutes. The salt will draw out the crud and the tannins in the tea will relieve pain. Dee


MSG. Cat

My roommate taught me a after a night of heavy drinking to take a multivitamin before you go to bed and one when you wake up. Mary Elena

A hangover is just a symptom of dehydration. You can prevent the worst of it by drinking 2 liters of water before going to bed (hopefully you can remember). I also take a small dose of an anti-inflammatory like aspirin. Coleman

Urinary Tract Infections

Alka Seltzer has never been advertised for such, but it will treat UTI’s. Cassandra

I get UTIs all the time since having mt second baby. I get no warning at all. Unsweetened cranberry juice will get rid of it in a day or two, but if you are worried about, ahem *making a mess* , and you can’t spend all day sitting on the toilet, you can fold a couple of clean cotton socks and stick them in your underwear like a pantyliner. It’s not glamorous but it gets the job done. You can tend to your kids and go to the store for medicine without worrying you will pee your pants. Anonymous

Baby Care

Pure cornstarch cures diaper rash better than any OTC remedy I’ve ever tried. Amy


Listerine is wonderful for a great foot soak. It’s a very powerful disinfectant and will keep your feet smelling yummy. I like the vanilla mint. Cassandra


Soak socks in vinegar and put on clean feet (stick a towel underneath). Wear until they dry out. Maybe an hour or two. Take temperature, it should have come down a bit. June


Natural Remedy for Lice: 3 tblspoon baby shampoo 3 tblspoon olive oil 1 tsp tea tree oil 1 tsp eucalyptus oil. Leave on hair for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.  Jen

Taking Pills

If your kid has to take yucky pills or medicine, have them suck on a popsicle first. It will numb their tongue and sense of taste long enough to make swallowing easier. Jennifer

OKay. That’s it for today. Feel free to chime in the comments with your favorite home remedy. Also, this is the part when I am supposed to encourage you to seek professional medical help in cases of serious illness, but I am going to assume we all have enough common sense to know that much already. Right? Right. Stay safe and healthy everyone!


  1. Rikke says

    Try toothpaste on minor burns. If I burn my hand on pots or pans, I just put toothpaste on the burn and I can continue cooking. I let the paste dry on the burn and wash it off a couple of hours later. You won’t get any redness or scarring.

  2. Madison Helman says

    It worked for us, but has the potential to ruin your carpet–we’re renters with nasty dirty carpet, so we don’t really care, but you might. We just used table salt (dollar tree!) that we put in a food processor to powder-rize. You sprinkle it on the carpet like you would vacuum powder, and then work it into the carpet with a broom (you don’t sweep, you just kinda mash the bristles into the carpet with a dragging motion to make sure it really gets in there.)

    We locked our kitty in the bathroom for the night so she wouldn’t ingest/get coated with salt powder, and vacuumed thoroughly the next morning. Vacuuming is key–we vacuumed twice a day after we did this for about a week, then once a day for a week, etc. This makes sure that you get all the little nasty eggs that hatch later on. If you have a vacuum with a bag, put a flea collar in there to make sure the fleas die once you suck them up. If you have a bagless vacuum, make sure you empty it and take the trash bag outside immediately.

  3. taria lorehand says

    well I’m a renter too so I guess this wont matter to me either :)..but I have a dog and she would freak if I kept her locked in the bathroom to salt the carpets down. so I wonder if I just put her in her kennel for the night if that would do the trick. then vacuum before I let her out. maybe that would work and thanks for the reply. 🙂 I am gonna try this.

  4. taria lorehand says

    does this really work? the salting the carpet trick? and if so, what type of salt? and do you vacuum it up? please let me know, I having a problem with my little girl (my pup) getting fleas after I have cleaned so much the carpet is starting to show wear marks. I don’t want to spray the carpet cause she plays on it and rolls around. Some of the fleas products aren’t good for dogs skin and cause them to become irritated.

  5. Madison says

    deodorant immediately applied to bug bites keeps them from itching (girl’s deodorant seems to work better–no idea why)

    pure cranberry juice and ginger tea works miracles for cramps

    toothpaste on blemishes works in a pinch!

    dryer sheets to frizzy hair!

    also, if you pet spontaneous develops fleas, look into salting your carpets….weird, but it works!

  6. taria lorehand says

    does this really work? the salting the carpet trick? and if so, what type of salt? and do you vacuum it up? please let me know, I having a problem with my little girl (my pup) getting fleas after I have cleaned so much the carpet is starting to show wear marks. I don’t want to spray the carpet cause she plays on it and rolls around. Some of the fleas products aren’t good for dogs skin and cause them to become irritated.

  7. ActivistSheep says

    Do not put regular tap water in your nose! You must use previously boiled or distilled water to prevent fatal infection. here’s more info. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neti_pot

    My husband recently got a plantar’s wart and some googling suggested putting duct tape on it was as effective as medical intervention. He did it for about two weeks and the wart was gone. That was a lot faster than when I used wart-away to get rid of one I had a decade ago.

  8. Paige says

    Just wanted to second the distilled water suggestion. I don’t know about the rest of the country, but anyone who grew up in Central Florida knows that lakes are frequently tested and closed to swimmers because of a bloom of the “brain eating amoebas.” Naegleria fowleri is always in the water but it can only cause death if it goes up your nose and follows your olfactory nerve into your brain…and it can only do that if you swim in fresh water or shoot tap water up your nose. 🙁

  9. says

    Interesting anecdote about the black pepper. Here’s the thing, though. In the absence of testing a “control cut,” you don’t know if simply another ten minutes of applying pressure would have worked by itself. Maybe the pepper made the difference, maybe not. How does one know for sure? Most home remedies fall into this category. They appear to work because of regression to the mean. We tend to seek them out when our symptoms are at their absolute worst. In most cases, those symptoms would have improved without the use of eucalyptus oil, or cranberry juice, or vinegar-soaked sweat socks. In some cases, these “home remedies” can actually be bad, even dangerous. Putting any kind of oil or cream on a fresh burn is the wrong thing to do. covering the burn with anything – other than cool water – will only serve to hold the heat in and make the burn worse. And, in the case of severe burns where skin in broken, topical remedies will promote infection. Your blog is neat, but you should restrict your advise to lemon bag pot scrubbers, and old nylon hair bands, and refer people to qualified medical personnel for health advice.

    • Michelle Rodriguez says

      Words from someone who has obviously never faced a health crisis without medical insurance.

    • Anonymous says

      I agree with you Michelle.

    • Anonymous says

      Two thumbs up Michelle. Paul medical doctors are taught during medical school to precribe medicine, that’s there job & the only way they get paid. They probably use these same remedies there self, but aren’t going to let you in on it, if so they’ll be out of business. My doc wonted to put me on BPmed, And I ask her if vinegar would control it. She said yes vinegar has been known to bring down BP. Now why didn’t she tell me that in the first place, whether than wont to precribe me BPmed. with all then side affect, when vinegar would do just as good no side effects. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you have no choice but to go to the doc, but if you can get around it and save yourself some of them med bills, why not try to heal yourself first. There’s nothing wrong with that. Your comment makes me think you either “Doc or just not Old School” lol

  10. Anonymous says

    If you have a boil on your skin, apply a thick slice of raw potato to it for a couple of hours, check slice, if the boil has not broken, apply a fresh slice. Continue until boil breaks.

    I have a friend who swears by applying fat back to infections and splinters, she wraps the fat back around the site and binds it with cloth for 24 hours then checks, if the problem is still there, she re-applies a fresh slice until the problem is gone.

  11. Anonymous says

    Do NOT use Vicks Vapo Rub. It is in a salve form. You breath in the vapors
    and then it returns to it’s original state in your lungs. It also contains camphor which
    is toxic if absorbed into the skin or swallowed(young children). It increases mucous production and can restrict airways in children. Never
    use on children 2 yrs or younger. Stick with inhaling the Eucalyptus oil.

  12. Guidya says

    Came across your blog after trying almost everything else at home – the pepper/papertowel worked as advised!!!
    Thanks(all the way from New Delhi, India) for sharing

  13. says

    Aunt Peaches, I LOVE reading your blog! Glad you took time to take a vacation. Wanted to add my two cents on a couple of your remedies.
    1) YES, salt in your carpets will kill the fleas.
    2) Put Vicks Vapor Rub on your feet (or whomever is sick) at night before bed. Cover with socks. It will open passageways and help tremendously with coughing.
    3) For wasp stings, rub area with ice to numb, then cover sting with meat tenderizer. In no time at all the sting will only be a memory! This is coming from someone who was stung 5 times on her upper thigh on her wedding day by ground wasps. Tobacco was put on at the moment it happened but didn’t help. Once I was home 15 minutes later I did the above and within no time I had no pain and swelling was going down.

  14. says

    Most of the time I use home remedies. It works great great every time ! But we should not forget these are general tips for healthy life, please consult your doctor for prescription products that promise dramatic results.

    • Anonymous says

      Home Remedies are natural cures with no side effect. Prescription Drugs may cure you but comes with many side effects. Do you think Jesus used prescription drugs? I don’t think so. I would think he used natural cures, herbs of the earth. Do you agree

  15. Eleanor says

    Enjoyed reading your blog. Here’s some that my granny lived by, that works great.
    1. To open up your Sinus: Boil not quit half a pot of water & pour in a half cup of apple cider vinegar & 1Tbs of vicks vapor rub. Remove pot (put it in your sink) cover your head with a towel & hold your head over the pot and breath the vapors. Works every time.
    2. For Arthritis & Joint Pain: Use half a bottle of clear rubbing alcohol. Insert a banana peel. Close the bottle and let it set for 24 hrs (or until the peel turns black) Then just rub your aching joints with it when needed. My granny sometimes would take out the black banana peel and then appiled it directly on her aching joints, she would bandaged it up where she needed it and wore it for all day relief. This is the only remedie that my granny used for her arthritis & swears to the effect that it works on contact So I tried it out on my husband and he loves it. He said “Dam this stuff stints, but it’s working” lol. It does stink but the stink dont last long, just when you put it on. Try it You’ll Like It !!!!

  16. Anonymous says

    Here’s a good one for you guys. To relief Joint Cramps: Soak a wash cloth in Apple Cider Vinegar and apply it directly on the Joint. Reliefs the cramp almost instantly.

  17. Anonymous says

    Two Tbs. of Apple Cider Vinegar per day will bring blood pressure down to normal in about 3 or 4 days. Also works great for High Cholesterol & Diabetes. Vinegar is a great blood cleanser.

  18. says

    Diaper rash triple paste — cornstarch, vaseline (aquifor, etc, sorry it’s petrolum based, maybe bees wax would work too), mylanta liquid. Mix well until its a lumpy paste. Apply with every diaper change. Works crazy good. If it’s little spots — it’s not diaper rash, it’s yeast. Monistat or other anti fungal (e.g. athelets’ foot, jock itch) will solve.

  19. says

    My baby’s bum is red and its almost liked it scafed now its open,what do i use for it?

  20. Amanda Taylor says

    Mustard on a bee, hornet or wasp sting, will instantly relieve the pain.

  21. Anita Wisecup says

    For cramps from dehydration try dill pickle juice. My husband gets bad muscle cramps when he gets dehydrated, I read about dill pickle juice but all we had was relish. He ate 3-4 tbsp and the cramps stopped

  22. Brenda says

    Thank you for tip, do u have any tip for sore heell and back of heel and feet

  23. barb says


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