Research suggests that people with mild eczema who drink oolong tea three times a day may show improvement in itching and other symptoms. Compounds in the tea called polyphenols appear to be responsible.
The volatile oils in ginger have long made it a useful herbal remedy for nasal and chest congestion. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over a 1-inch piece of peeled, grated ginger; steep for 10 minutes; and strain. Add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper to the water and drink as needed.
To keep yeast infections at bay, head for the vitamin aisle. Supplementing with "good" bacteria (for example, Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium) may help restore the balance the of bacteria living in the female genital tract and inhibit the growth of yeast in women with recurrent infections. Foods such as naturally fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir, as well as yogurt with active cultures, also contain these bacteria.
Studies are mixed, but some have found that bilberry, a relative of the blueberry, may improve night vision. During World War II, fighter pilots reported better night vision after eating bilberry jam. Take 25 to 50 milligrams of bilberry extract; expect best results within the first few hours.
For athlete's foot, reach for tea tree oil, an extract of the leaves of an Australian tree. It appears to have antiseptic properties and may work as well as or better than over-the-counter antifungal products. Apply a light coating of the oil to affected areas two to three times a day; continue for a week or two after symptoms disappear.
Plagued with sinus problems? Rinse your nasal passages twice a day to flush out pollen and other irritants. Put saline solution (a 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 cup warm water) in a plastic squirt bottle or a nasal irrigator, a spouted container that allows you to pour water directly into your nose. The solution should fill your nasal cavity and spill out the other nostril. Gently blow your nose afterward.
If you've ruled out other causes of hair loss, such as stress, overuse of hair-care products, and certain medications and diseases such as hypothyroidism, consider supplementing with evening primrose oil. It's a good source of gamma-linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that's needed for hair growth and is hard to get from your diet. Experts recommend taking 500 milligrams twice a day; expect to wait eight weeks to see results.
To treat an acute migraine, drink a full glass of water -- dehydration can trigger headaches. Even if you need to take a medication for the pain, try wrapping your head with an Ace bandage so that it covers your eyes, then lie down and breathe deeply. This often helps the pain pass more quickly.
Calm a queasy stomach with this quick acupressure trick: Use your index and middle fingers to press down on the groove between the tendons that run from the base of your palm to your wrist. Wristbands that apply pressure to this spot are available at drugstores and online.
Cranberries contain a substance that appears to keep bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract and has been shown to help prevent UTIs. Because cranberry cocktail is high in sugar, drink unsweetened juice diluted with water or take capsules of powdered cranberry extract.
To combat bad breath, consider investing in this inexpensive plastic or metal device to remove bacteria from the back of your tongue. Some studies suggest that adding tongue scraping to your regimen may be slightly more effective at eliminating breath odor than just brushing your teeth.
Stick it to warts with this unusual remedy. Some research found that applying the tape over problem areas for about a week helped clear up warts as well as conventional treatment. Duct tape may work by irritating the skin, triggering an immune reaction that fights the infection typically responsible for warts.
For that most unpleasant of stomach upsets, diarrhea, blackberry root tincture can help. This herb contains tannins, substances that have astringent effects on the intestinal lining. Look for the tincture at health-food stores or online (try herb-pharm.com) and take 1 teaspoon of it in water every two to four hours until symptoms subside.