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Cradle cap, known medically as the much less forgiving term seborrheic dermatitis, is a condition that’s fairly similar to dandruff that usually strikes babies who are currently in their first year. That said, it can still affect babies who are older and even young children.

The condition isn’t painful, but it can be unsightly and uncomfortable for the baby. The skin will peel off in scaly yellow or brown flakes.

Since the condition isn’t harmful, it’s not actually necessary to get rid of it. However, many parents choose to try and overcome the problem simply because the appearance is unpleasant. Research hasn’t identified the exact cause of cradle cap, and thus treatments vary.

photo license: CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

For those who are wary of using over-the-counter meds or products with dangerous chemicals in them, worry not – there are tons of natural home remedies that you can use to help your baby manage cradle cap. In this article we’re going to discuss the most popular home remedies for this purpose.


The author and thehomesteadinghippy.com are providing this article and its contents on an “as is” basis, and make no representations or warranties of any kind with respect to this article or its contents. The author and thehomesteadinghippy.com disclaim all such warranties, including for example healthcare for a particular purpose.

In addition, the author and thehomesteadinghippy.com do not represent or warrant that the information accessible via this article is accurate, complete or current. Neither the author or publisher, nor the author shall be liable for damages arising out of or in connection with the use of the advice given in this article.

1. Brush Daily

One of the best things that you can do for a baby with cradle cap is to make sure that you brush their head every day. You’ll find that this will reduce the amount of flakes that are produced as a result of the condition.

Prior to brushing their hair, you might want to give them a little head massage. This will prepare them for the sensation of brushing and will also help to loosen up the scales before you brush them out.

Make sure you use a soft brush because your baby’s head won’t be as strong as ours are! You can find soft baby brushes at baby stores or pharmacies.

2. Use a Humidifier

One of the common threads that runs among babies suffering from cradle cap is the fact that they generally have quite dry skin. This leads to flaking and skin falling off. One of the best ways to combat this is to ensure that the air in your home is moist.

The easiest way to go about doing this is to get a humidifier and stick it in your baby’s bedroom. Make sure not to make the room too moist, because this can cause other problems. However, for people who are using heat (especially during the winter months, when the moisture in the air is already dry) or air conditioning, humidifiers can be a god-send.

3. Avocado Oil

Avocado oil is one of the best oils for helping to moisturize and replenish the skin. It can be found in many grocery stores and natural health food stores, and has been shown to be useful for managing all sorts of skin conditions.

Avocado oil contains vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant nutrients and one of the most important for the health of the skin. Feeding your baby foods with vitamin E (like avocados and nuts) can help improve the health of their skin, but using an oil like this allows you to directly affect the skin.

The easiest way to apply the oil is to simply rub it on to your baby’s head. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then you’ll be able to brush off any flakes that have absorbed the oil.

4. Baking Soda

Another novel way to help manage the flakes produced by cradle cap is to use baking soda. The best time to do this is when you are giving your baby a bath.

After your baby is in the bath, make sure that their head is wet. If they don’t feel like getting dunked, you can moisten their scalp by using a cloth. After wetting their scalp, sprinkle a bit of baking soda on the affected areas and let it sit for a couple of minutes.

Try to make sure that they don’t splash too much so the baking soda doesn’t get washed away. After it’s sat for a couple of minutes you can use a gentle brush to get the flakes off. This is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to manage cradle cap because baking soda can be found all over the place for cheap. Even dollar stores have baking soda!

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is known for being one of the best oils for using on the skin and the hair, so it makes sense that this is one of the best things to use on your baby’s head when you are helping them manage cradle cap.

Coconut oil has a number of interesting properties in addition to being a powerful moisturizer. It is an antifungal and an antibacterial, and can help protect your baby from any infections that might arise.

Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so you have a couple of choices. You can heat it up before applying it to the scalp, so it is liquidy. Or, you can just take a chunk of the solid oil and rub it all over your baby’s scalp. The heat from their skin will melt the oil. Just make sure you put it back in a separate container so you don’t end up eating the half-used chunk of oil!

Coconut oil can be found in grocery stores and natural health food stores.

6. Shea Butter

Shea butter is another powerful remedy for cradle cap. Shea butter is a fatty substance that’s made from shea nuts, and its main uses are in cosmetics. Shea butter has a fantastic smell and can improve skin in a number of ways.

People have reported that using shea butter is one of the best ways to manage cradle cap without actually affecting the growth and development of the baby’s skin. Shea butter can be found anywhere that cosmetics are sold or in natural food stores.

7. Almond Oil

Almond oil is another oil that’s very popular for enhancing the health of the skin. Many of its benefits come from the fact that, like avocado oil, almond oil is rich in vitamin E  This means that it can be directly applied to the skin and the benefits of this powerful vitamin will directly improve the health of the area that it’s used.

You don’t need a lot of. Put about a quarter’s worth of oil in the palm of your hand and rub this onto your baby’s head. Make sure not to let any of the oil drip into their eyes – unlike coconut oil, avocado oil is liquid at room temperature and can be a bit more difficult to work with.

After you have let the oil sit for at least 15 minutes, comb out the flakes which should be loose and moist. You should wash their head after this – leftover oil can clog pores and result in things like acne.

Like the other oils on this list, almond oil can be found in grocery stores or in natural health stores.

8. Pick the Right Shampoo

There is a lot of emerging evidence that shampoo is not always as great as we’re led to believe it is. Many anti-dandruff shampoos (for both babies and adults) have been shown to actually cause dandruff, so when we stop using the shampoo or dandruff worsens. This leads us to think that the shampoo is keeping us safe from dandruff so we continue using it in the long-term.

Getting a shampoo that doesn’t contain any long-winded toxic ingredients is important for anyone, but especially babies because their skin is still developing. This is why it’s important to get a pure, natural, organic shampoo for your baby, or even to make your own.

Sometimes the simple act of switching to a non-toxic shampoo is enough to reverse cradle cap. Unfortunately, it’s hard to identify which products are toxic and which are not. Here’s a tip – if you recognize all the ingredients in a product as being natural and safe, then it usually is. Look for products made with vegetable oils, natural scents, and organic foods or flora.

9. Don’t Overwash

Most people wash their hair far more than is necessary.

Unfortunately, these habits tend to fall onto the children that we are raising as well. Since so many of us overwash our hair, we end up sapping the natural oils that keep our hair looking sleek and shiny.

The body responds by over-producing oil, which leads to a vicious cycle of washing to get the ‘grease’ out of your hair that’s only there because it’s being overwashed. Babies respond the same way, and producing too much oil can actually make their cradle cap worse.

A good idea is to only wash your baby’s hair every couple of days. If they are very messy, it’s acceptable to bathe them once every day or two.

10. Moisturize

After you’re done using your natural, healthy shampoo, then it’s important to use a good moisturizer. Again, follow the same formula for choosing your shampoo: look for natural ingredients that are healthy and wholesome, and avoid long complicated chemicals.

Moisturizing your baby’s head after a bath will help to make sure that the scalp doesn’t dry out. By trapping moisture in the scalp, the skin will absorb it and become healthier.

11. Check Their Diet

There is some evidence that suggests that the cause of cradle cap could be related to diet. It can be caused by allergies, as well. Some babies have developed cradle cap as a result of consuming baby formula instead of breast milk. Switching back to breast milk can help to improve symptoms.

12. Use Tea Tree Oil

Using tea tree oil is a great way to help enhance the health of a baby’s scalp. It’s important not to use the pure oil, however. Tea tree oil is incredibly powerful and can actually be irritating if it’s used without first diluting it.

That’s why it’s a good idea to get some sort of soap or shampoo made with tea tree oil. If you get a soap, you can wet the soap and then massage the baby’s scalp with it. Leave it for an hour or so.

Some people have reported incredible results, saying that the cradle cap disappeared within a couple of days. Considering the other impressive health benefits of tea tree oil, this is no surprise.

13. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most versatile home remedies. It can be used for treating anything from digestive issues to infections to skin problems like cradle cap. The one downside is that it doesn’t smell quite as nice as some of the other remedies on this list.

The first thing to do is dilute the apple cider vinegar. Not only will this make it smell a little bit less intense, but it will reduce the risk of hurting your baby’s eyes if it drips down. Mix a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in about a cup of water and massage this into the scalp.

If this doesn’t work, you can make stronger mixes. Some people report success using a mixture of one part vinegar and two parts water.

You can find apple cider vinegar in grocery stores, but be wary – many companies sell apple cider vinegar without the ‘mother.’ This is the part that’s responsible for the fermentation and the nutritional benefits. If you need to, go find a natural health food store to find a bottle with the mother.

14. Breast Milk

We have already mentioned that switching your baby’s diet to breast milk might help to manage the symptoms of cradle cap. But what if you’re already feeding them breast milk and they still got the problem?

There’s another way that breast milk can be useful for helping to manage cradle cap. This milk, which is loaded with all of the nutrients needed to support life (thanks Nature!) can also work as a topical remedy for cradle cap and other problems.

Try to collect a bit of breast milk in a little container. This, you can rub into your baby’s head at least once a day. This works well in the evening, so you can leave it overnight. In the morning, you can rinse it off – bonus points if you do so using a tea tree oil soap.

15. Oatmeal Bath

Oatmeal is well-known for its ability to help manage skin problems.

Some people simply throw oats in their bath and jump in, but this can be a bit tricky to deal with afterwards. An easier way to go about this is to put a bunch of oats in a thin cloth and tie it up. Hang this under the spout of your bath and crank up the hot water.

As the water pours through the oats, it will take many of the nutritional compounds switch it into the tub. Soak your baby in the tub, making sure to massage their scalp with the bath water and some other products found on this list.

Afterwards, moisturize their scalp and dry them off. This will surely help to fight cradle cap.

16. Chamomile

Chamomile tea might seem like something that you’d want to give your baby if they’re keeping you up at night. But there are more uses for chamomile than simply helping us fall asleep.

Make a cup of chamomile tea by steeping some of the flower in hot water. You can find chamomile tea bags in most grocery stores and can get the loose flower from some health food stores.

Once it cools a little bit, massage the tea into the baby’s scalp. Doing this once a day in conjunction with some of these other methods is a great way to help fight cradle cap.

17. Geranium Essential Oil

Geranium essential oil is a highly concentrated herbal remedy that’s made from the geranium plant. Essential oils are intense because they contain the essence, or the main active ingredients of certain plants.

Geranium is a useful essential oil because it can help to soothe and relax the skin on the scalp and enhance its health. The best way to go about this is to dilute 2 drops of the oil in a tablespoon of the carrier oil. Good carrier oils include jojoba oil or coconut oil.

Apply this mixture to the baby’s scalp and leave it there for at least 10 minutes. Brush any flakes off, then wash the oils off with a natural shampoo. Geranium oil can often be found at natural health food stores.

18. Red Clover

Red clover is known for being a very drying plant. The red in many plants indicates the presence of tannins, compounds that are drying. Remember the last time you took a sip of red wine and your mouth dried out a bit?

Using an oil or a poultice made from red clover can help to dry out the over-productive oil glands on your baby’s scalp. The best place to get red clover is probably your back yard, given that you don’t over-prune and weed the plants that grow there. If you do, you might have to look online.

19. Plantain

Plantain – the herb, not the banana-like fruit – is another home remedy that grows all over the place in North America. It was so popular as a medicine in the Native cultures that some people referred to it as the Indian band-aid.

The easiest and most traditional way to do this is to simply chew up some plantain leaves into a poultice and then apply that to your baby’s scalp. There is nothing unsanitary about this and it is an effective method of making medicine for your family members. The enzymes in your saliva can help to extract the active ingredients in the plantain.

People who are weirded out about this can try to mash some up in a mortar and pestle and make a poultice out of that. If you can’t find any in your backyard or your local area, check the health food store.

In Conclusion

Cradle cap isn’t necessarily a very serious condition, but it’s certainly an unsightly one that can leave people wondering. Fortunately, it’s also pretty easy to manage.

Hopefully this article has given you some insight into how to treat cradle cap. Good luck, and enjoy these natural remedies.

The post 19 Home Remedies for Cradle Cap appeared first on The Homesteading Hippy.

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City dwellers, rejoice – just because you live in a crowded area, it doesn’t mean that you can’t begin to homestead. Many suburban and city neighborhoods have voted to allow residents to keep just a few chickens as backyard livestock. While this opens you up to a whole new world of opportunities, these allowances often come with some restrictions.

Generally, most cities and suburbs will allow you to keep a handful of chickens, but only if you have quiet hens – no roosters allowed. Hens tend to be quieter than most other pets, letting out only the occasional cackle or chirp as she goes about her daily work. That being said, there are some varieties of chickens that tend to be naturally louder than others. Therefore, you may find yourself searching for the quietest chicken breeds to keep in your backyard.

What Are the Loudest Chicken Breeds?

While any kind of poultry can be loud at times, there are some chicken breeds which are known for being some of noisiest regardless of the circumstances.

Easter Eggers, for example, are a breed that tend to be incredibly broody. These are sweet, non-aggressive chickens, but tend to make a lot of noise at all times (particularly when they are getting ready to lay eggs).

Polish hens make unique noises and they tend to be noisy at all times but particularly if they are angry. These birds are known for their bouffant crest of feathers, and while this is a gorgeous feature, the birds can act erratically since their line of vision is obstructed.

Finally, Cornish hens, renowned for their meat production, tend to be quite noisy as well. This is because they have more finicky needs that always need attending, with poor cold weather tolerance and a number of health problems. They are active birds and tend to make more noise than other varieties, too.

What are the Quietest Chicken Breeds?

Each chicken will vary in noisiness depending on its personality, but generally, these are the quietest breeds of chickens you can keep.

1) Buff Orpingtons

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Easygoing

These golden-colored birds offer a nice personality and winter hardiness. Originating in the United Kingdom in the late 1800s, there are several varieties of Orpingtons, with the Black, White, Blue, and Buff Orpingtons all available. They tend to be larger in size and have extremely soft feathers.

The Buff is most recommended for backyard chicken keepers seeking a quieter breed – these varieties offer a calm temperament. They are one of the few breeds of chickens who will allow you to pick them up and pet them. Buff Orpingtons tend to keep to themselves, but are not aggressive or nervous around others (including humans) making them a good choice if you are seeking a calm, quiet breed.

2) Australorps

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Peaceful

This breed originated in Australia and usually comes in a coal-black color, although blue and white varieties also exist in Australia. The breed is most notable for its egg-laying abilities, having set the record for most eggs laid in a year. Australorps have very quiet, peaceful personalities and can lay up to 250 eggs per year.

3) Wyandottes

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Friendly

If you live in the suburbs, the Wyandotte may be your best all-around-bet for a quiet, productive chicken breed. These chickens offer vibrant coloring, including those that come in shades of blue, silver, and gold. With striking plumage and a docile personality, these chickens are some of the most popular at 4H shows. They are dependable layers, providing a good supply of eggs even during the colder months. They are friendly and hardy, holding up well to more challenging conditions. They lay large tan eggs and are a great choice for any flock, but particularly one in a suburb or city.

Royale Photography [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], from Wikimedia Commons

4) Ameraucana

Purpose: Eggs

Temperament: Cautious

A goofy-looking breed, the Ameraucana chicken has a beard and muffs instead of normal ear tufts. These birds are docile and easily handled, but will be cautious if they feel they are being threatened. These chickens are large, weighing up to seven pounds on average (and that’s in hens!) and laying medium-sized blue eggs. They have multiple different colorations, including wheaten, blue wheaten, brown red, buff, silver, black, blue, and white.

5) Cochins

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Relaxed

The Cochin is a large, high-quality heritage breed that is quiet as well as affable. These birds are often kept as pets, and while they aren’t phenomenal egg layers, they have great maternal skills and a quiet, easy going nature that make them ideal for backyard farms. These birds are beautiful to look at it, with fluffy feathers and a rounded appearance. They come in a number of colors, including blue/black and light golden brown, with all varieties exhibiting gorgeous plumage.

While these birds are typically raised for exhibition, they are also great egg layers. They lay large, tinted eggs, even in the winter months, and are such good sitters that they can even hatch the eggs of other species, like turkeys and ducks. You can also raise cochins for meat, with the final product being rather coarse and dark in color.

6) Bantams

Purpose: Eggs and show

Temperament: Docile

Bantams are one of the smaller chicken breeds, coming in a variety of dark colors and offering dependable egg production without all the noise. One of the most popular show breeds, these chickens lay small white eggs (usually half the size of a standard chicken egg) and have phenomenal flocking and mothering instincts. This means that it is easier to keep a larger number of these birds in a smaller space. It should be noted that even if you aren’t planning on keeping a rooster (which isn’t allowed in most areas that place noise restrictions on backyard chickens), these birds are phenomenal sitters, hatching their own eggs in most cases.

7) Barred Rock Plymouths

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Outgoing

Laying large brown eggs even when raised on a small amount of property, these quiet chickens are outgoing and friendly at the same time. They interact well with humans and other animals, and hold up well to cold conditions. These birds are easy to find at your local farm and garden store, and they lay large, frequent eggs. One of the benefits of raising Barred Rock Plymouths is that you can sex them at birth by looking for single white dots at the tops of their heads – this is a nice characteristic if you are trying to remove any roosters from your backyard flock.

8) Rhode Island Reds

Purpose: Dual (meat and eggs)

Temperament: Evasive

These chickens aren’t quite as friendly as other types, like Buff Orpingtons, but if you’re looking for a low-maintenance breed, the Rhode Island is the way to go. While this dual breed is most well-known for its ability to provide delicious meat as well as eggs, many modern strains have been bred specifically for their egg-laying abilities. Hens tend to be about six pounds, and can lay two to three hundred eggs per year.


9) Mottled Javas

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Shy

There are several types of Java chickens. This heritage chicken breed is one of the oldest in the world, raised for both meat and for eggs. They are dependable layers and were used in the establishment of other popular breeds, like the Barred Rock Plymouth. They like to keep to themselves, preferring a smaller flock size, but also offer minimal noise making.

10) Speckled Sussex

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Introverted

This English breed is gaining rapid popularity around the world. While the Sussex comes in many colors (including white, silver, red, light, lavender, brown, and buff) the Speckled is one of the most popular as well as one of the quietest.

11) Brahmas

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Quirky and friendly

If you decide to raise Bantam chickens, you will likely be the popular new attraction among your neighbors, who will no doubt wonder what the funky-looking birds you have in your backyard are. With a range of colorations and fuzzy ankles, these birds are fun to look at as well as to raise. Brahmas are available in light, partridge, dark, and buff varieties. These large chickens grow to massive sizes – it is not uncommon for them to weigh over eighteen pounds, with hens weighing in at over fourteen pounds.

Known colloquially by many chicken keepers as the “Kings of Poultry,” these birds are incredibly hardy and can also lay a reliable supply of white eggs. Probably due to their size and their ability to hold on to extra weight throughout the year, these chickens are recognized as some of the best winter layers.

12) Delaware

Purpose: Dual (meat and eggs)

Temperament: Docile

This American breed is valued for its ability to produce both meat and eggs. They tend to be inquisitive, always curious about what the other chickens (or other animals…. or humans!) are getting themselves into. They are friendly, yet also quiet, with a vibrant white and black coloration.

photo by stephen jones from uk – [1], CC BY 2.0, Link

13) Faverolles

Purpose: Dual (eggs and meat)

Temperament: Gentle

These friendly birds have one of the most bizarre appearances, with fluffy beard and muffs as well as feathered legs. They come in a salmon color (a unique feature of the breed) as well as others, like black and gold, and have five toes instead of four. They are very quiet and gentle, making them a good choice for a larger flock.

What Kind of Noisemaking is Normal in Even Quiet Chicken Breeds?

All chickens will make noise – they are animals, after all. In a flock that is devoid of a rooster, one of the hens will usually take over leadership of the flock. She will call out to the other chickens when necessary, such as when treats are being given, food is near, or when danger is afoot. She won’t be as alert and as noisy as a rooster, but her altering clucking will normally be louder than her go-about-the-day clucking.

Hens will also start to make noise when they are preparing to lay their eggs. It’s not just the laying hen that will make noise – usually, once the first hen starts, the others will join her in their egg-preparation serenades. Luckily, the quieter breeds we included on our list tend to be less enthusiastic about their “egg-singing” than others, so this is less likely to be a problem. Providing plenty of room for your chickens to lay their eggs, as well as clean, well-ventilated nest boxes, can help reduce some of this noise as well.

How to Keep Even Loud Chicken Breeds Quiet

You might not have been lucky enough to select your own chicken breeds, for example, if you were given the birds as a gift or got them on sale as chicks. You might find that even your “quiet breed” is noisy, too. Fortunately, you are not entirely out of luck. You can influence the noisiness of your chickens in a few simple steps.

The environment your hens live in plays a huge role in how loud they are. If you allow your birds to free-range, they will not be bored as they are mentally and physically stimulated. This will reduce their desire to squawk and carry on at all hours. This will also help to reduce your feed bill.

If you have noisy chickens living in a run, they may need more space. The same goes for if your coop is too small or too short. Allow for at least five feet of space per bird – ten feet whenever possible.

Every flock will have its fair share of quieter and more boisterous hens, but it’s important to notice that you can add some boredom busters to keep them contained. A free-ranged flock is always ideal, but if this is not ideal, you can add features to your run or coop to keep them entertained. Consider hanging a couple of swings or add a dust bath to the ground. You can easily make “toys” out of cinder blocks, saw horses, balls of baling twine, or other DIY methods.

The most important thing to keep in mind? Each chicken will have a unique personality that will determine its noisiness more accurately than its breed. While each breed will have its chatty members, the breeds we listed – particularly when kept under the ideal conditions – will be the quietest overall and the most well-suited for noise-restricted areas. Consider adding one (or all!) of these breeds to your flock to try your hand at backyard chicken-rearing.

The post 12 Quiet Chicken Breeds to Consider Raising appeared first on The Homesteading Hippy.

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If you’re looking to get into gardening, you may have found yourself overwhelmed with the endeavor. Sure, there’s a lot to learn, but people rarely stop to consider the immense cost that can be associated with gardening.

You don’t want to skimp on any aspect of our garden for fear of ruining your chances of a good harvest. However, there are several easy ways to save some significant money without having to cut any corners or sacrifice the quality of your crops.

  1. Grow plants from seeds

An easy way to save money on gardening is to grow your plants from seeds, instead of started seedlings. A six pack of seedlings can cost anywhere from three to six dollars, while a packet of 500 seeds costs less than two dollars in most cases. While it can be more work to start plants from seeds – especially if this requires starting them in flats indoors long before spring has arrived – you will save a ton of money in doing so.


  1. Save your seeds

If starting your plants from seed saves money, then saving your seeds to reuse year after year is a real groundbreaker. While shopping for seeds can be fun and exciting, the costs add up. If you are able to save your seeds from the year before, you can plant the ones you want and then organize a seed swap with your friends and neighbors. This will allow you to obtain a wide variety of seeds at no further cost to you.

Be careful about saving seeds that are patented by companies like Monsanto – if you are gardening or farming on a large scale, this can get you into some trouble.

  1. Start plants from cuttings

If you’re growing trees, berries, or things like shrubs, you will need to start your plants by cuttings. To do this, all you need to do is find someone with the plant you are interested in growing, and then cut a few tiny sticks from it. When you put them in moist soil, you should have roots and leaves within a few months.

  1. Recycle materials

You don’t need fancy planters, containers, and building materials to create an attractive, functional garden. Planters can be made out of everything from old bathtubs to wooden pallets to upcycled tires. You can paint the surface of these found “treasures” to help them blend into your garden – just remember to wash them first to remove any potential contaminants or lingering plant diseases.

  1. Do it all yourself

Some people pay professional landscapers to come design their lawn and garden. This is absolutely unnecessary. With a bit of effort and research, you can create your own attractive, functional garden. There are thousands of books written about gardening and landscaping, so if you are patient and give yourself time to learn the ins and outs of the discipline, you can have a garden that is just as attractive as one that costs thousands of dollars in labor and design costs.

  1. Make your own fertilizer

Compost, anyone? Buying bags of compost or other fertilizers – even the natural, non-synthetic ones – can really add up. Compost is only animal byproduct, like bone meal or manure, as well las natural materials like shredded bark.

It’s crazy to pay for compost that you could make yourself! If you have chickens, or live near a farmer who raises livestock, ask to clean out their barn or coop. Chances are, they won’t say no, and you’ll have access to free manure. Place the manure in a pile with things like wood shavings and leaves, and stir every week for a few months. Let it sit for at least six months, and you will be left with a nutrient-dense compost – for absolutely no cost to you.

You can also add other natural materials like crushed eggshells, Epsom salts, and banana peels to your garden. This will add necessary nutrients like calcium and phosphorus. Consider doing a quick home soil test to make sure your soil is actually deficient in those nutrients before adding them, however.


  1. Become a scrounger

You don’t need to start going door to door to beggar supplies. However, you should become an expert at hunting down a bargain. Tree-cutting companies often have large piles of mulch on hand for free or low cost, while grocery stores may give away cardboard that you can alternatively use as mulch or in your compost. You might be able to make your own gardening tools out of broken or discarded “junk” you find at the landfill or at a thrift store.

Craigslist is another great place to score free gardening supplies. You can find everything from plants, planters, seedlings, piles of compost, tools, and even machinery for free or low prices. Check the free and farm and garden sections regularly for the best deals.

  1. Go totally organic

Avoid adding things like herbicides and fertilizers to your garden. You can manually remove weeds or smother them with mulch. You can use woodchips or straw, black plastic, or even goats to do your wedding for you. Cover crops can also help to retain soil moisture and keep the soil fertile and weed-free. There is no need to pay for expensive chemicals which, frankly, aren’t good for you anyway!

  1. Make your own worm tea

Liquid compost, or compost tea, is another great way to fertilize your garden on the cheap. This is essentially compost steeped in water to create an extra-potent brew. You can spread this directly on your garden without harming your plants, and is a great, free way to fertilize long after the seedlings have emerged.

  1. Invest in manpower

You can choose to buy tons of gardening equipment, like tillers, tractors, and handheld tools. However, working on a budget makes this a bit more challenging. Instead, consider where you can replace machinery with a bit of muscle.

Things like hoes, spades, and rakes can help make light work of tedious garden chores, and will save you tons of money on fuel, repairs, and other costs associated with machinery. Your arms will be tired at the end of the day, but you will get in a good workout and leave your wallet intact instead.

  1. Splurge where it counts

There are some places where it’s easy to cut gardening costs. However, in others it may be worth to pay a little bit extra for quality, high-functioning products. Grow lights, for example, can be expensive, but really make all the difference when you’re trying to start your seeds inside. When possible, find inexpensive options like shop lights to substitute for more expensive varieties.

  1. Container garden in style

Container gardening is a great way to save money on your garden, because you can move these containers around when the weather changes or they have simply started to be constantly in the way. Containers can be repurposed from items you have around the home, or you can purchase inexpensive varieties at the dollar store. As long as you don’t plan on moving these a ton, these are a great way to save some space, time, and money.

  1. Harvest rainwater

Especially if you live in an arid climate, water for your garden alone can be a significant expense. Times this expense by ten if the summer is a particularly harsh, dry one. While many gardeners use well water, an alternative to this already-inexpensive source is harvested rainwater.

Put a barrel under a roof and attach a gutter so that all the water flows directly into the barrel. You can then scoop water out with a bucket to water your garden, or you can plumb the barrel to a hose to soak the garden with minimal effort.

  1. Don’t pay for dirt

Dirt should be…well, dirt cheap! Don’t spend a ton of money on soil. Garden supply stores will charge you an arm and a leg. Dig your dirt in an area where you have permission, or ask your nursery about buying soil in bulk. It’s also worth paying a visit to your local cooperative extension or research organizations. These places often grow vegetables for research purposes, and while they can’t reuse the dirt when they’re done with it, they’re often willing to give it away for free.

Worst case scenario, you can store your compost throughout the year or buy actual manure to fill your beds. These will work just fine for planting your crops.

  1. Befriend fellow gardeners

Gardening can be a lot of work, but your friends can be your saving grace. If you or your friends have minimal space or resources, you can band together to make a cooperative garden and to take turns tending the space. You can also have events like plant exchanges or team up to buy seeds in bulk.

  1. Whenever possible, plan to the point of over planning

You can’t be too prepared when it comes to growing a successful garden. Make a list of all the plants you must have for each season, and be sure to detail the plants you care about most along with specific varieties. Be sure to keep your preferences and habits in mind when you’re doing this. If nobody in your family eats green peppers, for example, you really shouldn’t be planting an entire row of peppers. Don’t bank on the fact that you’ll figure out what to do with them later.

You should also plan out where you want to plant your vegetables. All too often, we get carried away with ordering seeds and seedlings with nary a thought to where we will place these plants. Unfortunately, this can cause you to crowd your plants or to have a haphazard layout of your garden, when the easier alterative would have been just to map this out in advance.

  1. Rotate your crops

Rotating your crops is a good rule of thumb in general, but is especially important if you’re looking to save a buck. Crop rotation -which should be done at least every other year, if not every year – helps cut back on the diseases your plants are exposed to, since many of these are stored in the soil and can las throughout the winter.

Furthermore, pests that tend to infest one type of plant will also lay their eggs in the soil to survive the cold months ahead. Rotating your crops is the best way to ensure that diseases and pests don’t affect your plants.

  1. Use every last inch of your harvest

Don’t let any piece of your hard-earned harvest go to waste. If you have livestock, like chickens or pigs, you can feed some of your extra bounty to them.

Learn how to can, freeze, and dehydrate so that you can preserve a good crop between the seasons, or donate excess produce to the food pantry or family and friends. A tasty tomato never goes to waste – regardless of whether you are feeding it to a hungry hog, a grateful mother, or your own best friend.

  1. Get creative with your plant markers

You can use items you have lying around the house to create your own plant markers for in the garden. Consider using Popsicle sticks, wine corks, or stones to designate specific spots for your plants.

  1. Store seeds wisely

When you’re storing seeds between growing seasons, you need to make sure you are keeping them in optimal conditions. Ideally, you should keep them in a breathable box, like a cardboard container or a ventilated crate. You can also upcycle things like old Tic-Tac containers to store your seeds – just make sure they are breathable. Store your seeds in a cool, dark location (the refrigerator works just fine) and check them regularly for signs of spoilage.

If you’re looking to grow a healthy, productive garden this year, but want to stick to a tight budget, consider these tips. They will not only help you make the most of your garden without breaking the bank this year, but will be a lifesaver in the years to come.

The post How to Garden When You’re on a Budget appeared first on The Homesteading Hippy.

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Allergies can come from a number of sources. These can include:

  • Seasonal allergies
  • Food allergies
  • Bug stings
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Dust mites
  • Medications.

Regardless of the source of your allergies, the symptoms are usually pretty similar. Symptoms can include any or all of the following:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Running nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes,
  • Itching
  • Rashes
  • Asthma

These symptoms can be quite irritating, and can make it hard to be comfortable at work or school.

The reason that these symptoms are all so similar is because allergies are usually caused by the same thing – at least on a biological level. When you are allergic to something, regardless of what it is, your body causes a release of histamine. Excessive amounts of histamine in the blood are what causes these symptoms.

That’s why the most popular drugs available over-the-counter are known as antihistamines. They prevent the body from producing histamine and thus prevent the symptoms from emerging.

Unfortunately, antihistamines are known for causing a number of unpleasant side effects. Not only do the majority of over-the-counter antihistamines tend to knock you out, but they can be quite dangerous for your mental health in the long-term.

Fortunately, there are a number of natural remedies that you can use to help yourself manage your allergies – seasonal or otherwise. Check out this list of the best and most effective home remedies for allergies.

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar keeps popping up in all of our lists because it’s truly one of the most versatile medicinal ingredients you can find. Apple cider vinegar is great for healing everything from warts to infections to allergies.

It’s great for helping to manage symptoms of allergies because it helps to reduce the amount of mucous that your body produces. It also helps to clean the lymph nodes and the entire lymphatic system, which is important for reducing the symptoms of allergies.

The easiest way to do it is to just take a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar by mouth. However, not everyone can stomach the flavor. Adding it to hot water with honey will help dilute the flavor and the honey will provide some antibacterial benefits.

Apple cider vinegar can be found at the grocery store or any natural food store. It’s best to get the kind with the live mother in it – if the mother is removed, then so are many of the nutritional benefits.

2. Exercise

Exercise is about as natural as it gets, and you can certainly do exercise at home, which makes it one of the best natural home remedies. But how does exercise help with allergies?

Well, studies have been done that have revealed that moderate to intense exercise for about half an hour actually causes the body to release anti-inflammatory compounds. These can reduce inflammation in the sinuses and the respiratory tract which can make it easier to breathe during an allergic reaction.

It might be hard to get up the gusto to go exercise when you’re having an allergic reaction, but it’ll be worth it. It’s best to do your exercise away from the source of allergies. If you’re allergic to pollen, exercise indoors, if you’re allergic to pet hair, exercise outside.

3. Honey

Honey can help to manage allergies in a very interesting way, if you’re allergic to pollen.

Because bees make honey from pollen then you can gradually expose yourself to the substance of your allergy by taking small amounts of honey. This won’t necessarily cure your allergies, but overtime you can build up a resistance to the pollen that will make you more-or-less immune to the allergies. See more natural uses for honey here.

For this to work you’ll want to get local honey that’s made from  the pollen in your local area.

4. Neti Pot + Salt Water

One of the best ways to clear out your nasal passageways is to use a neti pot, a special pot that’s designed to provide an easy way to pour water into your nostrils.

The best substance to put in a neti pot is a saline rinse, which can be bought from the pharmacy. The neti pot itself can likely be purchased there as well, or from a natural health food & supplement store.

If you don’t have access to a saline rinse, then you can make your own saline rinse by mixing some Himalayan salt into some warm water. Try to use distilled water whenever possible.

5. Bee Pollen

Bee pollen can help you manage your allergies in a similar way as honey. Because bee pollen contains some of the same compounds that are responsible for your allergic reaction, it can be useful in helping you build up a tolerance to these compounds. That allows your immune system to build its strength up.

Bee pollen can be added to salads or mixed into smoothies, or taken straight. You can find it at many health food stores or online. Some organic bee farms will sell some of the pollen as well.

6. Nasal Sprays

If you don’t want to be sticking a neti pot up your nose, then there are other ways that you can directly clear out your sinuses and nasal passageways. Nasal sprays containing saline solution can be made by simply filling a spray bottle (one of the small ones, the size of a perfume spritzer – not a Windex bottle!) with a saline solution.

You can also make your own saline solution with other antibacterial ingredients in them. Including a bit of basil or another herb can help to calm your sinuses.

7. Probiotics

Probiotics are great for a number of things. They’re instrumental in helping maintain your digestion, and they’re also important for helping you restore balance to your immune system. Studies have also proven that they’re useful for relieving allergic symptoms.

In certain situations, allergic reactions can be more severe in people who don’t have healthy immune systems. This is because the immune system is in charge of regulating the way that your body responds to external things like dust or pollen.

By helping your body regulate the levels of its internal bacteria, probiotics can help to nourish your immune system and ensure that it functions properly. Probiotics can be found at pharmacies and at health food stores.

8. Nettle Leaf

Nettle can be found all over the place, particularly in the pacific Northwest, where it can be found growing wild pretty much everywhere. Nettle can also be found at grocery stores in the form of teas, and it can be bought in loose form at many health food stores.

Nettle leaf is one of nature’s best antihistamines. This means that it prevents your body from making the compounds that are responsible for most of the allergic symptoms that we feel.

You can also find capsules of powdered nettle leaf. Taking a few of these will ensure that your body has a minimal histamine reaction, and it won’t likely knock you out as hard as an over-the-counter antihistamine would.

9. Quercetin

Quercetin is the name of a compound that’s known to have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. It’s a component of many natural foods, but you can also find the stuff available in supplement form at many health food stores or in certain pharmacies.

Quercetin is useful for fighting allergies because it also helps to fight the release of histamine. Studies have been done on rats that showed that quercetin is useful for helping to fight respiratory problems related to histamine release in rats.

10. Onions

Onions are a very powerful medicinal food that can be useful for treating all sorts of problems.

One of the reasons that they are useful for helping to treat allergies is because they contain a significant amount of quercetin. Onions are also great for helping to clear out the nasal passageways.

You can find onions in any grocery store, but the best varieties will be organic and they will come from natural food stores.

11. Apples

Apples contain a number of nutrients that can be beneficial for helping people manage the symptoms of their allergies.

First off, they contain quercetin. As we have mentioned above, quercetin is a powerful antioxidant and an antihistamine that can be immensely useful in helping people fight off the symptoms of allergies.

Furthermore, apples contain vitamin C and several other nutrients that are known to boost the immune system. Having a strong immune system can be useful in preventing allergic reactions because your body will be better primed to deal with the perceived invaders, such as pollen.

12. Pineapples

Pineapples are a great fruit for helping to manage symptoms of allergies because they contain a compound known as bromelain. Bromelain can also be purchased in supplement form from lots of health food stores.

Bromelain has been studied and is proven to be useful for helping to fight off symptoms of respiratory distress. It can also be useful for helping to ward off the inflammatory aspects of inflammation.

13. Vitamin C

Vitamin C, one of the most well-rounded and important nutrients that we consume on a regular basis, is actually an antihistamine. It might not be as potent as some over-the-counter varieties, but it’s certainly a lot better for you and can be found in a huge number of sources.

Vitamin C has been known to help treat symptoms like a stuffy nose or itchy eyes without causing any side effects. It’s recommended to take it in supplement form to help you treat allergies because you’ll need to take at least 2 grams of it to experience any noticeable effect.

14. Oranges

As far as fruits go, oranges are one of the best for helping to fight allergies. There are two reasons for this.

First off, oranges are high in vitamin C. As we’ve mentioned, vitamin C is important for maintaining your immune system and it can also function as an antihistamine on its own.

Second, oranges are filled with water. They can be a good source of hydration. Many people with allergies can find relief from their stuffy nose or other respiratory symptoms just by making staying hydrated.

15. Butterbur

Butterbur is a powerful plant extract. It’s made from a shrub that’s found in parts of Asia and Europe, as well as some smaller parts of the United States.  The most common uses of this extract are to treat hay fever and migraines.

A bit of research into the topic reveals that butterbur has been linked to having antihistamine effects. It has tested better than placebo in regards to helping manage symptoms of allergies, and actually tested better than some over-the-counter meds that are used to treat allergies.

Butterbur can be a bit tricky to find but many health food stores carry some. If you can’t find it here you can order some to your door thanks to the Internet.

16. Watercress

Watercress is a cruciferous vegetable. It’s also regarded for being one of the healthiest foods on the planet. As far as foods that are readily available go, watercress will pack more of a nutritional punch than many alternatives.

More than that, studies have shown the watercress is actually quite effective as an antihistamine. Eating watercress can prevent your cells from releasing the substance and thereby help you manage symptoms of your allergies.

17. Pea Sprouts

All sprouts are generally good for you, but pea sprouts can be particularly useful for anyone who is hoping to manage symptoms of an allergy. This is because they contain a significant amount of a compound known as diamines oxidase

This substance is helpful for getting rid of histamine. Without this substance, your body would have histamine reactions that are significantly longer and more powerful than they already are!

You can make pea sprouts yourself by simply soaking some peas in water, draining the water, and letting them sit for a few days. Some health food stores and grocery stores also stock fresh pea sprouts.

18. Moringa

Moringa has become popular since it gained the reputation for being one of the world’s best superfoods, and this is justified. Moringa provides you with a huge number of nutrients and amino acids. In fact, it’s one of the foods that used to be prescribed to help treat general malnutrition.

Studies have also revealed that moringa functions very well as an antihistamine. It actually helps to prevent the body from releasing more than 70% of its histamines, and this makes it ideal for people suffering from allergies.

Loose leaf moringa can be found at health food stores. Moringa tea is available in many natural health food stores and can be found at some grocery stores.

19. Holy Basil (Tulsi)

Holy basil, also known as tulsi, is one of the most popular herbs in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s used for treating a wide range of ailments that can affect a person both physically and mentally.  It functions as an adaptogen and can help people adapt to the stress of daily life.

It also function as an antihistamine and can be useful for helping people manage symptoms of an allergy. You can find holy basil tea at the grocery store or at a health food store.

20. Thyme

Thyme is one of the best remedies for allergies simply because it’s easy to grow and can be found, at least dried, at pretty much any grocery store. It’s filled with nutrients that can be useful for helping to boost your immune system, and it has also been shown to help stabilize the body’s mast cells which are known to release histamine.

21. Chamomile

Many of us have used chamomile in sleepy time tea, whether or not we were aware of it. But the herb chamomile has a lot of other benefits aside from just helping us relax in the evening.

Studies have revealed that chamomile can be useful for helping to prevent the release of histamine. It works in a dose-dependent manner, so if your allergies are very severe you can take a larger dose of chamomile.

Chamomile tea can be found at pretty much any grocery store but if you want the loose leaf stuff to make your own tea, you’ll have to search at local health food stores.

22. Peppermint

Peppermint is most traditionally associated with helping people manage digestive issues, but it can also be incredibly useful for helping people manage their allergies.

This is because some of the active compounds in peppermint, known as flavonoids, have also been shown to prevent the release of histamine from the body’s mast cells. It is known to be very useful for helping people manage symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

Peppermint can be found in many places, from grocery stores to health food stores. Naturally, organic peppermint will be better for you and will provide stronger benefits.

23. Black Cumin

Nigella sativa, also known as black cumin and kalonji, is one of the most impressive natural medicines on the face of the planet. It’s a great source of antioxidants and has a number of studies that back up its ability to help fight cancer and improve the health of our skin and organs.

Furthermore, it helps to act as an antihistamine. This can help to prevent you from experiencing symptoms of allergies.

If you’re using the fresh seeds, you’ll need to grind them up before using them. Just like flax seeds, they won’t be digested unless they are processed first, whether that’s by chewing them or by putting them in a spice grinder. You can also get the oil of black cumin seeds from organic stores, but it’s often quite expensive.

24. Turmeric

Turmeric, and the main active compound found inside it known as curcumin, is known to be a highly effective anti-inflammatory agent. You can find turmeric in health food stores, and organic food stores often sell the fresh root. Curcumin extracts are also available at pharmacies and natural health food stores.

You can experience some of the benefit of turmeric by cooking with it on a regular basis. However, if you need acute results, you might want to try taking it on its own by mixing a teaspoon of it with a short of water and chugging it back.

Turmeric has been proven to be as effective as some popular over-the-counter medication in terms of fighting inflammation and symptoms of allergies.

25. Reishi Mushrooms

Reishi mushrooms, which grow in warmer regions like parts of Asia and the southern Pacific regions, is known for being one of the best medicinal fungi on the planet. There are a number of useful applications for this fungus, including helping to reduce symptoms of allergies.

Reishi mushroom supplements can be purchased from natural health food stores and from pharmacies. Make sure to do so me background research into the supplement that you’re choosing because reishi mushroom supplements are notorious for being faked.

26. Flavonoids

There are a ton of different fruits that contain flavonoids, which are active nutritional compounds that often act as anti-inflammatories. Foods like blueberries, raspberries, cauliflower, oranges, beans and onions are all rich in flavonoids.

Flavonoids can also help the body improve the function of vitamin C, which serves to further boost the immune system and prevent the excessive release of histamine in the body. Some flavonoids, like quercetin, can be purchased in isolated form.

27. Cinnamon & Licorice

Cinnamon and licorice are not only delicious, but they’re known for helping to enhance a person’s breathing. This can make it easier to manage a seasonal allergy.

Both cinnamon and licorice can be found in whole form (pieces of bark for cinnamon, and sticks of licorice root) or you can get them pre-made into tea. If you want to make your own tea you can simply add a bit of each into a pot of boiling water and let it simmer for a few minutes. Look at your grocery store for pre-made tea bags.

28. Chili Peppers

Chili peppers are known for improving respiratory function, and you can certainly notice this after eating something spicy: it’s incredibly easy to take a big, deep, satisfying breath.

However, chili peppers are likely best to use when you have a stuffy nose because they’ll clear out your sinuses. If your nose is already running, then eating chili peppers might make it run more (however they will still help to clear up your nasal passageways so you can breathe easier).

There are tons of different kinds of chili peppers, ranging from the somewhat spicy jalapenos to the incredibly hot ghost chilis. Peppers like jalapenos, ,habaneros and Thai chili peppers can often be found at grocery stores. Hot sauce will also help to clear up the sinuses, but try to avoid mass-produced hot sauces like Frank’s.

29. Fish

Fish, like sardines and salmon, are particularly rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven to act as anti-inflammatory compounds and can be useful for helping to fight off symptoms of an allergy.

You’ll be able to find fish at any grocery store. The best kind will not be farmed fish and will be wild-caught. Sometimes fish is best purchased from a local fish market.

30. Horseradish

Horseradish is known for being extremely pungent and hot in a different way than chili peppers. Horseradish, which is used to make most of the wasabi that we eat here in the West, is notorious for clearing out the sinuses incredibly quickly and incredibly effectively.

Horseradish can sometimes be found in its root form in grocery stores, and it can be eaten raw or cooked with.

31. Wasabi

Wasabi root is different than horseradish, though most wasabi in the west is actually made from horseradish. This is all a bit confusing, but nonetheless know that they are different roots.

Wasabi functions in a very similar way to horseradish, and many people would have a hard time telling the difference from flavor alone. The main difference is that wasabi is quite a bit stronger. Wasabi root isn’t as easy to find but some grocery stores carry it.

32. Lavender Oil

There are several essential oils which are most valuable in regards to treating sinus infections and symptoms that affect the respiratory tract. One of the most important is lavender oil, which is quite common and can sometimes be found in pharmacies. If not there, look in health food stores or stores where aromatherapy products are sold.

You can mix lavender oil into a carrier oil and apply it directly to your face, below your nose. Breathing it in will help to relax your airways and provide relief from your symptoms.

33. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is another popular essential oil that has a number of medicinal benefits. Just like lavender oil, it can be mixed with a carrier oil and applied directly to the face to relieve symptoms of allergies. You can sometimes find peppermint oil in pharmacies, but it’s usually easier to get at health food stores.

34. Eucalyptus Oil

The third most powerful essential oil for helping to manage symptoms of allergies is eucalyptus oil. If you’ve ever taken a whiff of an open bottle of the stuff, then you’ve probably felt an immediate cleansing of your sinuses – even if you’re not sick!

Eucalyptus oil can be used in much the same way as the previous essential oils. It also works very well in an essential oil diffuser, which distributes the oil in the air of your house. Eucalyptus oil can be found at pharmacies and health food stores.

35. Water

You’d be surprised how many people are chronically dehydrated. Dehydration can cause a number of symptoms on its own, like confusion, lethargy and mood swings. But it can also have a negative influence on your allergic reactions.

Make sure that you drink at least 8 cups of water on a daily basis, and drink much more if it’s hot out or if you’re exercising. Staying hydrated is of utmost importance if you want to stay healthy.

36. Acupuncture

Acupuncture might be difficult to get done in the home, but it’s certainly one of the best natural remedies for healing a huge number of ailments. Acupuncture has been used to treat anything from clinical depression to chronic illness.

Recent studies have also revealed that acupuncture can be useful for helping to manage symptoms of allergies. Acupuncture involves interacting with the body’s energy meridians and stimulating, preventing, or redirecting energy. This can have a positive influence on our hormones and our histamine production.

Acupuncture can often be found at natural or holistic health centers. It can be expensive but many places offer community acupuncture a few times a month for a fraction of the price.

37. Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy is another method of treating allergies that works in the same way that taking local honey does. It allows your body to slowly become accustomed to the allergens in the environment so you can build up a natural resistance to them. Immunotherapy is offered at many natural health clinics.

36. HEPA Filtration Systems

The HEPA systems themselves are man-made, but they can certainlyl have a positive impact on the natural environment in your house. It’s particularly important to get a HEPA filter for your vacuum, because it will help to filter out any allergens that might be in your carpets instead of circulating them back into the air.

In Conclusion

Seasonal allergies and hay fever can both be stressful and uncomfortable experiences if you don’t have the proper know-how on how to deal with them. Fortunately, there are healthier alternatives than using over-the-counter medication, and many of these remedies you probably already have at home.

Hopefully this list has been helpful for you, and we wish you luck in managing your allergic symptoms!

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If you own a home or like to cook, you likely already know the benefits of having just a few trusty pieces of high-end cookware. They offer exceptional culinary use, and are lovely to look at. An old-fashioned cast iron pan is one such tool. They are versatile, offering a number of uses in the kitchen, and last for generations.

That said, there are significant challenges in caring for cast iron cookware that you simply don’t encounter with other kinds of materials. You need to pay special attention the needs of your cast iron cookware to ensure that it will last a lifetime (or more!).

Benefits of Cast Iron Cookware

Cast iron pans have been around for over 2,000 years, used in China as early as 3rd century B.C. Since these pans have been around for so long, they have demonstrated that they are relatively safe to use. Modern cookware, in sharp contrast, cannot say the same. Aluminum can react with food and be absorbed in large amounts, and there is a sharp and unsettling correlation shown between too much accumulated aluminum and the occurrence of diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Furthermore, other types of cookware, like non-stick pans, cannot be used on high heat and are easily scratched. Pans with damaged Teflon coating are unsafe to use. Stainless steel cookware is safe to use, but if your pans develop hot spots, your food will burn. The same goes for copper bases on stainless steels pans, which aren’t suitable for high heat cooking like searing.

Cast iron pans, however, can be used for cooking on high heat. While the iron in the pans can react with acidic food, the seasoning on the pan will serve as a barrier. If any iron leaches into your food, it does not pose a health risk, as iron is a necessary mineral.

Furthermore, cast iron pans are both tough and durable. Yes, they might be heavy, but they have the potential to offer hundreds of years of service. These pans won’t break, and they won’t stick. Even if a pan looks old, it is easy to clean it up and re-season it.

If you use a cast-iron pan, you can also cut down on the amount of cooking oil you need to use. When seasoned well, they act just like nonstick pans. You can cook on high heat without having to worry about burning the food or making it too mushy. They prevent food from burning, as they cook evenly and can cook several inches of food above its service.

Finally, cast iron pans are easy to maintain. You can rinse them while they are still hot, and use metal spatulas or ladles without having to worry about scratching the pans.

Disadvantages of Cast Iron Cookware

Despite their myriad advantages, some folks still shy away from using cast iron cookware. They do have some limitations, as they are heavy and need to be handled carefully in cleaning and seasoning. You need to clean them thoroughly after cooking – they can’t sit around like other types of cookware. They also require re-seasoning after every use, which can be time consuming. They also require frequent use, with infrequent use causing problems with the pan’s seasoning.

What Kind of Cast Iron Pan Should I Get?

A good cast-iron skillet will quickly become your favorite piece of kitchen equipment, meaning that you should consider spending a little bit more money on this product than you might on others. Consider a cast-iron pan with user-friendly features, like a silicone handle cover, as well as those that are pre-seasoned so that you can use it right away.

Many people swear by antique cast iron pans, and for good reason. A quality cast iron pan can last for many years, and it’s a pretty cool experience to be able to cook with a pan from another century.

Whichever type you chose, consider investing in additional equipment to help make taking care of your cast iron a little bit easier. For example, a chainmail scrubber will help clear away food and rust more easily, without having to worry about scratching the seasoning of your pan. There are also good cleaning liquids that you can use to clean your pan between seasonings without causing rust.


One of the most critical pieces of caring for your cast iron pan is in how you cook with it. Let the heat build slowly no a low setting before adding food, rather than allowing the heat to start on full blast. This will allow heat to be distributed more evenly, and you won’t have to worry about food sticking to the pan or burning.

Make sure you exercise caution when picking up the pan, as the whole unit, including the handle, will become hot. Another tip when cooking with cast iron pans is to consider the type of food you are cooking with it. Some foods, like citrus and tomatoes, contain high levels of acid. These can wear away at the pan’s seasoning. While you can always re-season your pan, this can be a bit of a drag.


Many people shy away from using cast iron pans because they are nervous about how they should go about cleaning them. However, the basics are pretty easy to remember. Don’t use soap, and don’t put it in the dishwasher (or much water at all, really). You should also avoid using abrasive textures like steel wool, which can strip the pan of its natural coating.

The easiest way to clean your cast iron pan is to do so while it is still warm. Fill it with hot water (don’t submerge it, though) and use a plain sponge or nylon brush to scrub the pan. It’s good to use the hottest water possible and to clean immediately after using your pan. This is largely for sanitation reasons. Since you can’t use soap, it’s a good idea to use the hottest settings possible, and right away, too, to avoid bacterial buildup.

While you’re cleaning, be careful. Don’t get too excited about scrubbing – be gentle! If the pan is still too hot for you to clean, use a pair of insulated gloves or a set of tongs to scrub the pan. Once all food residue is rinsed off, rinse it again in warm water.

If you have particularly stubborn foods (crusty cheese, anyone?) combine a quarter cup of salt and a bit of warm water in the pan. Use a wooden spatula to scrape the bits of food from the pan. You can also reheat the pan when it’s filled with water. Bring it to a full boil, and then scrape the particles of food off as they loosen up.

Once the pan is clean, wipe off any excess moisture with a clean, non-abrasive dish towel. You can also dry the pan off on a low temperature over the stove. You have to make sure your pan gets thoroughly dry, as it is particularly susceptible to rust. Just a little bit of water can spell disaster for a cast-iron pan, which is also why you should never put your cast iron pan in water to soak. A bit of heat on the stove will allow any remaining liquid to evaporate before you need to store your pan.

Another tip in extending the lifespan of your cast iron pan is to lightly coat it with oil and reheat it for just a minute or two to help restore any seasoning that might have been lost during the cooking and washing process. You should also store your pan with the lid off to protect against rusting. Some people even place paper towels inside the cookware, which helps to absorb any moisture that still might be present.


Seasoning is the process of developing a permanent coating on your pan to protect against sticking and burning. New cast iron pans often come pre-seasoned, but in most cases you will need to season again or re-season if a pan was mistreated in a previous life.

To season a pan, you should use vegetable oil, butter, olive oil, or any other kind of fat. Oils that are higher in omega-3 fatty acids work best at this job, as they tend to be more drying. They will, as a result, produce a durable, hardier coating. The oil highest in omega-3s is, ostensibly, flaxseed oil, so consider using this type of oil for the longest lasting results.

Whatever type of oil you use, the process of seasoning is the same. All you need to do is pour a few tablespoons of oil into a dry pan and then spread it around the inside and outside of the skillet. Use your hands or a cloth to scrub the oil into every angle and divot in the pan. Wipe off the excess oil, leaving a thin film over the entire pan. Then, bake the skillet upside down for an hour at 375 degrees. To keep your oven clean, it’s not a bad idea to put a pan on the rack below your cast iron pan to help collect some of the drippings.

For best results, repeat this process a few more times. Let the skillet cool completely before repeating. You want the surface of your pan to look glossy when it’s dried. This indicates successful seasoning.

When Do I Need to Re-Season My Pans?

Your cast iron pan will need to be reseasoned if food starts to stick to the pan too easily during cooking. Another sign that it has passed its prime is that the surface might appear dull or rusted. You want the skillet to always appear shiny and smooth.

Rust indicates that a pan has not been properly seasoned, which can happen when a pan is new and has not been broken in. If the pan is scrubbed too hard or not dried adequately, this problem might also arise. To remedy this, simply sand off any of the rust and then reseason the pan.

The bottom line? Cooking with cast iron is a fantastic way to improve the flavor and nutrition of your food, and to streamline all of your kitchen equipment into one single (albeit heavy!) and handy tool. Consider investing in a cast-iron pan today, and following these essentials to make sure your new equipment lasts long into the future.

The post Cast Iron Care Essentials appeared first on The Homesteading Hippy.

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Back pain is something that will affect all of us at some point during our lives. Whether we pulled a muscle from lifting something, exerted ourselves by exercising too much, or simply slept wrong, back pain can be an issue that prevents us from enjoying our lives to the fullest.

Unfortunately, back pain only tends to get more severe as we get older. This means that we have to be more and more cautious about how we treat our backs so we don’t end up hurting ourselves more than we have to.

Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to manage back pain that don’t involve running to the doctor to get pharmaceuticals. Not only are these drugs extremely powerful, but a lot of the time they’re quite addictive and can cause serious withdrawal issues.

In this article we’re going to talk about some of the best natural remedies to help you manage your back pain. The combination of lifestyle choices, exercises, and herbal remedies and supplements will help you ensure that you only experience the minimum amount of back pain.

1. CBD Oil

CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of the most promising and powerful medicines that has emerged in recent years. CBD comes from the cannabis flower, and many people were at first worried that this substance might be intoxicating. This isn’t the case.

THC is the compound in cannabis that leads to intoxication. CBD, on the other hand, provides all of the medicinal benefits that THC is known to provide without causing any of the intense psychoactive effects.

One of the things that CBD is most commonly used for is treating chronic pain. Interestingly, it’s not just able to treat physical pain – it can help to treat neurological pain, which is often difficult to treat with traditional medicine.

Whatever the case, CBD will certainly help you manage your back pain. It can be found legally in many head shops and hemp shops, and in areas where medicinal marijuana is legal, it’s possible to get a doctor’s prescription for CBD.

2. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper, and other chili peppers, contain an active ingredient known as capsaicin. There are a couple ways by which capsaicin can help people manage chronic back pain.

First off, capsaicin is a powerful anti inflammatory compound. When used topically, it can help to reduce the pain and discomfort associated with inflammation and arthritis. Just make sure not to get it in your eyes!

The second interesting thing that capsaicin can do is help to reduce your pain tolerance. When you eat spicy food, there is a chemical reaction on the tongue that causes the brain to release something known as substance P. Substance P is the compound released when you experience pain.

Hot chili peppers aren’t actually hot. That is, they don’t burn you. They just trick your body into thinking that you’re being burned. However, the more hot chili peppers you eat, the more of a tolerance you develop to substance P, and that can help you improve your overall pain tolerance.

Cayenne peppers and other chili peppers can be found at grocery stores. Extracts and supplements with chili powders can be found in pharmacies and health food stores.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is another one of the herbs that is widely renowned for its powerful medicinal benefits. This is because of an incredible compound found within turmeric, which is known as curcumin (not to be confused with the other Indian spice, cumin!)

Curcumin is known to be a potent anti-inflammatory, and there’s no doubt that many cases of back pain are caused by inflammation. Turmeric can help to improve the symptoms of back pain by fighting this.

Curcumin is much more powerful when taken together with black pepper. This is because pepper contains a compound known as piperine, which helps to amplify the effects of the curcumin.

Both of these herbs can be found at grocery stores, but many pharmacies and natural food stores sell supplements that contain both curcumin, in its extracted from, and black pepper to enhance its potency.

4. Stretching

If you have hurt your back, it’s possible that stretching might help you loosen up and regain some of your mobility. However, it’s also important to be extra careful if you’re going to try stretching it out, because you might make it worse. In some cases, stretching too hard can pull out your back in the first place.

Make sure that you start with light, gentle stretching to test out your range of motion. If you experience anything painful, make sure that you stop and try some of the other methods on this list.

5. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of medicine that has been used in China for many thousands of years. It involves interacting with the body’s energy meridians – subtle channels of energy that flow throughout our body. These energy channels can become blocked, and this can lead to conditions like chronic inflammation and pain.

By telling an acupuncturist where you hurt and what else is going on in your life medically, they can help identify the source of the blockage and free up the energy that might be constricted. This can help you get rid of your back pain.

Many naturopathic clinics have acupuncture available. Some places offer community acupuncture which is a much more affordable method of acupuncture.

6. Exercise

If you are experiencing back pain, exercise might be the last thing on your mind. However, there are some forms of exercise that might not aggravate the strain on your back, like yoga or light walking.

But why would you want to do exercise to help your back pain? Well, one of the reasons is because exercise helps the body release endorphins. Endorphins – a word which literally means endogenous morphine – are compounds that the body produces to help combat stress and pain.

By producing endorphins, you can help manage your own pain and reduce the discomfort associated with painful conditions.

7. Get a Massage

Massage therapy is one of the oldest methods of physical therapy around. By massaging the deep tissue of the body, as well as the bones, massage therapists are able to correct physical problems simply by applying pressure to the body.

Make sure that you get a registered massage therapist, though. Anyone can give a massage, but if they’re not given properly, they can actually exacerbate the problem instead of healing it. Check your local naturopathic clinic.

8. Do Some Meditation

Meditation is an incredibly powerful practice that many people undervalue because it’s often perceived as simply sitting in silence. It is much more than that.

By shutting out the noise of the external world, meditation allows you to become more in tune with yourself and your body. Aligning your mind and body is absolutely crucial for anyone who hopes to be in good health, and people with back pain are no exception.

Not only is this good for strengthening the mind-body link, but meditation can actually help the body produce endorphins. As we have mentioned, endorphins are the body’s natural painkillers.

A simple meditation is simply counting your breaths. Inhaling slowly for a count of one, pausing for a second after the inhale, and then exhaling for a count of one will be considered one breath. Pause after the exhale as well, and continue to do this for at least ten breaths. You’ll feel more relaxed and will likely have a better handle on your pain.

9. Get Restorative Sleep

Research has shown that there is a link between lack of sleep and back pain. This means that it’s important to get enough healthy, restful sleep to ensure that you’re not getting cramps in your spine because of sleep deprivation.

If you suffer from insomnia, there are a number of herbal remedies that can help you manage the problem. Things like CBD oil, relaxing herbs like passion flower and gotu kola, and meditation can all help to ensure that you get a good night’s sleep.

10. Keep Your Core in Shape

We have already mentioned that it’s important to get exercise to release endorphins, but it’s even more important to help make sure that you keep your core in shape. This is the best way to prevent back pain from occurring, but it can also serve to help fight existing back pain.

If you have an exercise ball, then there are tons of core-shaping exercises that you can do that won’t be too strenuous on your back. If you are able to do sit ups comfortably, these can also be immensely useful for helping to remedy back pain.

11. Use Cold Treatments

Cold treatments are useful for treating all sorts of pain, ranging from arthritis to inflamed muscles in the back. Cold treatments work because they help reduce blood flow to an area, thereby reducing inflammation and sensitivity in the areas.

Common methods of cold treatment include using an ice pack or a cold cloth. You can also just put ice in a bag if you don’t have an ice pack, but this might melt and make for a wet seating area. Ice packs can be found at most pharmacies.

12. Use Hot Treatments

Hot treatments are just as easy to apply as cold treatments, but they work in a different way. They generally increase blood flow to an area and help the muscles relax, which can be intensely relieving to anyone who is suffering from lower back pain.

Common ways of applying heat to an area include using a heating pad, a hot water bottle, or a hot rag. The first two can be found at most pharmacies.

13. Stretch Your Hamstrings

Many people don’t stop to consider the influence of other joints, muscles or tendons and their impact on the lower back. However, the hamstrings are one of the most important areas of the body to keep in shape if you want to ensure a healthy and pain-free lower back.

Tight hamstrings can cause your back to become stressed. Chronic stress in the muscles can lead to pain that can be quite debilitating.  There are tons of exercises that can help to stretch your hamstrings.

A simple stretch that’s easy for people who are suffering from back pain si to lie on your back with your legs on a 90 degree angle up against a couch or a chair.

14. Ginger

Ginger is a very powerful medicinal compound that’s not just used for soothing digestive upset. It can be very useful for relieving pain, both internally and externally.

Mixing ginger into a hot compress and applying it to the affected area can be very useful for helping you reduce pain and inflammation. It can be found at any grocery stores, however, organic ginger from health food stores is undoubtedly a better choice.

15. Gotu Kola

Gotu kola is one of the most important Ayurvedic remedies, period. There are so many different ailments that gotu kola can treat that it’s a little bit ridiculous.

Anyway, gotu kola can also be useful for helping to treat pain by reducing inflammation. For people with back pain and arthritis, this can be immensely useful. Many people like to take gotu kola supplements, which can be found at health food stores and pharmacies. However, I much prefer to make my own tea with loose-leaf gotu kola purchased in bulk from natural food stores.

16. Feverfew

Feverfew is a powerful herb that’s most well-known for its ability to reduce headaches and fight fevers. However, the mechanisms by which it does this also make it useful for helping people overcome back pain.

That’s because feverfew helps people fight inflammation and muscle tension, two problems that are quite common among people who suffer from chronic back pain. Feverfew can be found in some pharmacies and health food stores.

17. Boswellia

Boswellia is an extract taken from the plant resin, also known as frankincense resin. Boswellia is widely used in India because it’s known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory compound that can help reduce pain from arthritis.

Any compound that’s good at reducing pain from arthritis is also likely to be useful for helping people manage their back pain. That’s why we have included boswellia on the list. Supplements can be found in many health food stores, and some health food stores carry the resin itself if you care to try your own hand at making an extract.

18. White Willow Bark

White willow bark is another herb that has been used since ancient time. It was one of the main medicines in the system of Hippocrates, which essentially founded modern medicine. Doctors still have to take the Hippocratic oath before being initiated into medical professions.

White willow bark, which is frequently taken as a tea or ground up into capsules, has powerful anti-inflammatory and pain killing effects. However, it should be noted that it’s important to recognize your doses. If you take too much, white willow can actually increase the amount of pain and inflammation that you’re experiencing.

19. Valerian Root

If your back pain is so severe that you’re experiencing muscle spasms, valerian root might be one of the best things for you. Even if you’re not having spasms, the powerful muscle relaxing effects of valerian can be useful for helping to manage tension and pain everywhere in the body, including the back.

Valerian is known to make people sleepy, so it’s best used at night or during a day where you don’t have a whole lot to do. It can be found in supplement form in pharmacies and health food stores, and many health food stores carry the loose root. You can recognize it from a dozen feet away by it’s distinct foot-like smell.

20. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus – in the form of an essential oil or the herb – is known for being quite an effective pain killer. It has an immediate, minty cooling effect that can be incredibly useful for numbing the skin and the muscles underneath the skin.

Eucalyptus oil should be mixed with a carrier oil before being applied so it doesn’t irritate the skin in the long run. It can be found at many health food stores and in most pharmacies.

21. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil is known to contain a number of powerful pain-fighting properties, namely the fact that it is both an anti-inflammatory and an analgesic. Applying some directly to the area of your back pain can be very useful for helping to reduce any inflammation.

Peppermint oil can be found in many natural health food stores and can be found in many pharmacies as well.

22. Menthol

Menthol, one of the main ingredients found in peppermint oil that is largely responsible for its medicinal benefits, is also available in many products, like salves and creams, that are made to help people overcome their pain.

One of the most effective salves that I have ever found for helping manage pain topically is made with menthol and eucalyptus. I can’t remember the name, but I know it can be found at some pharmacies and natural health stores.

23. Cat’s Claw

Cat’s claw is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory herbs on the planet. It’s known for helping gall manner of different back-related problems, ranging from simple back pain to herniated discs and spinal arthritis.

If you get loose leaf cat’s claw from a health food store then you can make your own teas and tinctures with it, deciding on a dose that’s strong enough for you. Otherwise, supplements are your best bet, and these can be found in many pharmacies and natural health food stores.

23. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is a double whammy when it comes to managing pain. Not only does it provide most of the properties that the other oils on this list provide – analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects – but it’s also useful as a form of aromatherapy.

When inhaled or used in an essential oil diffuser, lavender promotes feelings of relaxation and helps to fight stress. Many folks, particularly those who are missing work due to their back injuries, may find added relief from these mental health benefits of lavender oil.

Lavender oil should be diluted in a carry oil before being applied to a skin. Lavender oil, and diffuser oils as well, can all be found in pharmacies and health food stores.

24. Marjoram

Marjoram, and its essential oils, are known for being quite effective pain-relievers. The plant and its oils also provide anti-spasmodic benefits and can be incredibly useful for anyone who is suffering from back spasms.

Marjoram can be made into a tea, and many places offer supplements containing marjoram. Marjoram essential oil can be found at natural health stores and anywhere that aromatherapy products can be found, like metaphysical shops.

25. Devil’s Claw

A more sinister sounding herb than cat’s claw, these two herbs actually share some similar benefits. Devil’s claw, which grows in South Africa, has been shown to be useful for helping to fight arthritis and inflammation.

Devil’s claw is not as popular as cat’s claw yet, and therefore it can be a bit more challenging to find. Check the normal spots – pharmacies, in the supplement aisle, and natural health food stores – and if nowhere has it available, you can get it online.

26. Glucosamine / Chondroitin

This powerful supplement has been shown to be quite useful for helping to enhance the strength of bones and joints. This can be immensely useful for someone who is suffering from back pain, especially if it’s caused by spinal arthritis.

Most pharmacies will have some glucosamine / chondroitin supplements available. It’s important to avoid taking glucosamine with any medications that thin the blood like aspirin, or side effects might emerge.

27. Bromelain

Bromelain, a compound that is found in abundance in pineapple, is known to have a number of great medicinal benefits. Of particular interest to people suffering from back pain, bromelain can help to reduce inflammation.

Bromelain can be found in supplement form at some pharmacies. However, you can also get significant amounts of bromelain by eating pineapple or drinking pineapple juice. Fresh fruits generally have more nutritional value than preserved or juiced ones, so try finding a fresh pineapple at a local health food shop.

28. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a wonderful nutrient for a number of things. Unfortunately, since it’s involved in so many processes in the body, vitamin D deficiency can actually cause a huge number of problems.

One of the biggest problems associated with vitamin D is pain, or increased sensitivity to pain that is already present. People with back pain may find some benefit from taking vitamin D. People with lumbar spinal stenosis experienced impressive benefit in their pain levels simply by taking a vitamin D supplement.

Talk to your doctor about taking vitamin D supplements, because even though it’s an important daily nutrient, it’s very possible to overdo it. Vitamin D overdose can lead to serious side effects and illness. The supplement can be found in pharmacies.

  29. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are involved in a number of bodily functions. They can help to improve cognitive function, enhance heart health, and – most important for this article – help to reduce inflammation.

If you do decide to take an omega-3 fatty acid, make sure you get one that includes the proper balance of omega-3s, omega-6s, and omega-9s. You should be taking a ratio of about 2:1, or twice as much omega-3s as the other two fats.

Imbalances of omega-3 fats in the body can cause just as many problems as a deficiency. Make sure you get a high-quality supplement from a natural health food shop or a quality pharmacy to prevent an imbalance.

30. Kratom

Kratom is a herb that has been subject to much controversy lately, and should only be used as a last resort when the other medicines listed in this article haven’t been effective. Kratom can be highly effective as a remedy for moderate-to-severe pain.

The reason that kratom has been subject to controversy is because it is as effective as, and functions in a similar way to prescribed opiate drugs. Big pharma has actually been losing a lot of money by people switching off expensive painkillers and on to kratom, so they have lobbied against it.

Regardless, if used safely, kratom is a much healthier alternative than prescribed opioids like morphine and oxycontin. It can be purchased online, and found in many head shops. Make sure that you confirm its legality in your state or country, because a few places have attempted to make it illegal.

In Conclusion

Back pain can be seriously debilitating, but fortunately it’s not necessary to run straight to the doctor to get medicated. You can make your own powerful medicines right at home, with a little bit of knowledge about herbs, supplements, and natural remedies.

Hopefully this article has given you some awesome information about natural medicine, and good luck managing your back pain!

The post 30 Home Remedies for Back Pain appeared first on The Homesteading Hippy.

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Many of us have had warts at some time during our lives. Warts like to strike on our fingers, the bottoms of our feet, and sometimes in more unpleasant places. The most common types of warts are plantar warts, which generally target the feet and the hands.

Many people rush to the pharmacy when they get warts to find some lotions or creams to get rid of them. While these products are undoubtedly effective, they carry with them the risk of not just killing the wart but all the skin in the surrounding area. The compounds used in these products are quite abrasive to the skin.

Before you try that, you might want to look you might want to try out some of these natural remedies for healing warts. These remedies will not only help your skin heal, but they will protect you from any of the dangerous effects that you might experience from using pharmaceutical wart removal products.

Make sure that you use a pumice stone or a file to scrape off the top layer of skin on your wart. The wart lives beneath the surface, and if you don’t do this first then your treatment will take much longer to work.

1. Potatoes

Potatoes are one of the most simple and effective home remedies for warts, and they can be purchased almost everywhere. For the best results, you will probably want to use and natural, organic potato from a health food store or from the organic section at your local grocery store.

All you need to do is cut a potato and a half, or cut it up into small slices. Rub the exposed side of the potato skin on to your wart, and make sure that your skin actually absorb some of the raw potato juice. Do this twice a day for a couple of weeks, and he will probably experience your warts decreasing in size.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of the most reliable and effective ways to help people get rid of warts. The easiest way to make use of apple cider vinegar is to apply some to a cotton ball. Apply this directly to the wart and adhere it there with the use of a bandaid or a piece of tape.

Change the fixing once every few hours. It should only take a couple of days for results to become apparent. You can find apple cider vinegar in most grocery stores. You will want to get the stuff that includes the mother, the organic compound that is responsible for the fermentation.

3. Duct Tape

Duct tape is one of the most reliable folk methods of helping people cure warts. All you need to do is put a little bit of duct tape over the area where the warts are. You should replace the tape every few hours.

Doing this for a few days will begin to show you immediate results. First, the skin in the area will begin to turn white. Then, the warts will turn black and fall off. This is because the skin won’t be able to breathe and it will die.

You can find duct tape in many different stores, namely hardware stores or the hardware section of your local supermarket.

Keep in mind some argue that duct tape may not work, and that it most likely has a placebo effect.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar + Duct Tape

If you want to see results very quickly, you can combine the above two methods. Apply a little bit of apple cider vinegar to a cotton ball, and then fix that to your wart with a piece of duct tape.

The apple cider vinegar will act as a disinfectant and help you kill the wart on its own. The duct tape will starve the area of oxygen, which will further help to eliminate the wart. Try not to cover too much skin with duct tape or you will end up with extra dead skin. This might not cause any serious problems but some people find it to be unsightly.

5. Echinacea

Echinacea isn’t something that’s often associated with removing warts, but it can be very useful in treating them over the long-term. This is because echinacea is one of the most powerful herbs for helping enhance the immune system.

Since warts are actually a virus, it makes sense that many people experience breakouts when they are sick or exhausted. This is because there is not enough energy in the immune system for it to target the warts because it’s dealing with other, more serious issues.

Echinacea can be found in grocery stores and health food stores. There are many brands that make prepackaged echinacea tea bags and you can also find the loose stuff in the bulk aisle at some health food stores.

6. Pineapple

Pineapple can be useful for treating warts in several ways. You can apply fresh pineapple right to your wart and some of the natural acidity of the fruit, as well as some of the nutritive enzymes, will help to kill the wart.

Pineapple is also rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C which can help to give your immune system a boost. You might not initially think that including pineapple in your diet will help you prevent warts, but they can if they’re a part of a regular, healthy diet.

7. Olive Leaf

Olive leaf, and olive leaf extracts, have been used for many years in folk medicine because of its powerful ability to help enhance the immune system. In the same way that echinacea can be useful for helping to prevent a breakout of warts, olive leaf extracts can be as well.

Look at your nearest health food or supplement store to see if you can find any olive leaf extracts. If you live in the Mediterranean or somewhere that olives grow naturally you can probably just pick your own leaves and drink them as tea or make a poultice out of them by mashing them up.

8. Garlic

Garlic is known to be one of the best foods for helping to fight off viruses and infections. It has been known to stop illnesses like the common cold and bronchitis and can even be useful for fighting off the flu.

Garlic can be immensely useful when taken internally or topically. Internally, it will help your immune system kick out any viruses or infections. Topically, you can mix some garlic into water or oil and apply it to your wart.

You can also apply a piece of garlic directly to your wart and fasten it there with tape. However, if the garlic is strong or organic, this might burn your skin (although it will be highly effective). Try to get healthy, organic garlic from a natural food store.

9. Orange Peels

Orange peels are another way that you can get rid of oranges naturally and relatively quickly. You can simply save the peels from any oranges that you eat and rub them directly on to your wart.

If you do this several times a day for a couple weeks then the orange peels and the nutrients inside will soak into your skin, turning it orange. After that, the wart should turn black and fall off.

Furthermore, if you’re eating lots of oranges in an effort to get the peels, then you’ll be able to get a lot of vitamin C into your body. Vitamin C is one of the most important nutrients for ensuring a healthy immune system and this will help make sure that you can fight off any further outbreaks.

10. Nail Polish

Nail polish might not be entirely natural, but it’s certainly a viable home remedy that many people have kicking around the house. You can simply apply the nail polish directly to the wart and let it sit for a day or two. Make sure you freshen up the nail polish after that.

This is a testament to the nature of the chemicals in nail polish. The good thing about this particular treatment, however, is that you can easily apply the nail polish to only a small area and avoid touching any other part of the skin besides the wart. This will prevent you from damaging healthy skin.

11. Aloe Vera

Another great way to help yourself get rid of warts is to use aloe vera. Aloe vera has become a popular treatment for all sorts of ailments, from burns to infected cuts to – you got it – warts!

You can simply soak a cotton ball in aloe vera and put this on to your wart. You’ll want to make sure that you do this a couple times a day to ensure maximum contact with the aloe vera.

Aloe can be purchased in many places, like pharmacies, grocery stores, and natural health food store. Naturally sourced, organic aloe vera will provide you with more health benefits than any other kind.

12. Nail Polish + Duct Tape

If you really want to do a number on your wart, you can try the deadly combination of nail polish and duct tape. This is a treatment best reserved for the more stubborn warts that just don’t seem to want to go away.

The treatment is simple – just apply some nail polish to the wart and wait for it to settle. Then, apply a piece of duct tape overtop of the nail polish. This will ensure that the compounds in the nail polish are attacking the wart and that the virus won’t be able to breathe. This will probably get rid of any warts, even big ones, in no time.

13. Banana Peels

This is a folk remedy that might sound kind of weird, but that has been proven to be effective time and time again. Just apply a part of the inside of a banana peel (with the white stuff on it) directly to your wart.

You’ll need to make sure that the banana peel stays in direct contact with the wart, and the best way to do this is to tape it on. You can use a small section of banana peel and a slightly bigger piece of duct tape to adhere it to your feet. You’ll probably see results in a few days with this technique.

14. Dandelion Milk

Dandelion milk can be purchased from many natural food stores, but it can also be harvested on your own during the summer months. Just pick some dandelions and make a small cut in the stems. White goop will leak out – this is the good stuff that can be useful for killing warts in addition to improving other areas of your health.

You can apply the dandelion milk right to the wart. Dandelion milk tends to dry up quite quickly, so there’s no need to use any adhesives or anything to make sure that it sticks, though you might still want to use a band-aid to prevent the virus from being able to breathe.

15. Castor Oil

Castor oil is another impressive treatment for warts. All you need to do is rub some of the oil into the wart a couple times a day. There’s no need to use adhesive or anything, though after the oil is absorbed you will probably want to put socks on.

Castor oil can be found in pharmacies, at grocery stores, and in natural food and supplement stores. It’s quite cheap and can be used for numerous other applications in regards to health and beauty.

16. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is one of the most powerful antioxidant nutrients. It can be useful for fighting warts both internally and externally.

Internally, vitamin E supplements can help you keep your immune system functioning so viruses won’t have a chance of surviving in your body. Externally, you can use vitamin E and apply it directly to the wart itself.

Vitamin E can be purchased in multiple forms. Vitamin E oil can be bought, which can be easily applied to the skin. Sometimes vitamin E is sold in capsules which contain oil – these can be pricked open or separated and then applied directly to the skin.

16. Papaya

If you have papaya kicking around, you might want to save a little bit of it – just the fleshy part on the inside of the skin – for something aside from eating. That’s because papaya can actually be useful for helping to get rid of warts.

Papaya contains a unique enzyme, papain, which is great for helping to keep the skin healthy. Applying a piece of papaya over a wart can work in much the same way that applying a banana peel can. It will starve the area of oxygen while also revitalizing the skin surrounding the wart.

Furthermore, papaya is also full of vitamin A which can help to boost your immune system and prevent warts from breaking out again.

17. Baking Powder

Baking powder is another treatment for warts. It can be mixed with water into a sort of paste and then applied to the wart in the evening before you go to bed. Cover the mixture with a band-aid or a sock before going to bed and you’ll probably notice an improvement in a couple days.

18. Baking Powder + Castor Oil

Another way to make use of the impressive benefits of baking powder is to mix it with castor oil. You can mix the two together to make a paste that’s very easy to use. The castor oil will make it so the baking powder can be absorbed easily into the skin.

Applying this mixture to the affected area before going to bed and you’ll notice results in a week or two.

19. Aspirin

Aspirin can be used topically to help kill viruses and other parasites that like to live in the skin. All you have to do is crush up an aspirin tablet and mix it with a bit of water, then apply it directly to the wart. This will effectively kill the virus after doing so for a few weeks.

20. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is one of the best oils for disinfecting the body and fighting off viruses and bacteria. You can apply some tea tree oil to a cotton ball and then swap it directly onto the wart. Doing this will help to ensure that the wart dies off.

After a week or two of treating the wart this way, it will turn black and fall off. Make sure that you do this several times a day to ensure that the wart is constantly absorbing tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil is becoming increasingly popular and can be found in many places. Products with tea tree oil can be found in cosmetics shops and pharmacies. The oil itself can be found at the pharmacy, the grocery store or a natural health shop.

21. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is another potent essential oil that can be useful for helping to fight off infections, warts, and other skin problems. It can be applied in much the same way as tea tree oil soak a cotton ball in the oil and then swab it on to the area that’s affected.

You can also does a band-aid with eucalyptus oil (only on the soft, white part) and then apply that to your wart. That will ensure that the oil absorbs into the wart for a longer period of time. Eucalyptus oil can often be found in pharmacies or health food shops.

22. Lavender Oil

Lavender essential oil is yet another powerful antibacterial and antiviral. It should not be consumed internally, but you can apply it in the same way as the other two oils listed here. Again, applying it to a band-aid can be a great way to ensure that you get it to absorb in your skin over a long period of time.

Lavender oil can be found in many places, such as natural food stores and shops where they deal with aromatherapy, such as metaphysical shops.

23. Essential Oils + Duct Tape

If you really want to do a number on your wart, one of the most effective ways that you can get rid of it is to use essential oils with duct tape. Any of the above oils will be great.

To do this, simply soak a cotton ball with the essential oil and put it on to the wart. Then, apply enough duct tape to ensure that the cotton ball stays fastened to your skin. This will ensure that the oil stays to absorb into your skin, and the duct tape will further help to kill the wart.

This method works great for very stubborn warts, like some of the plantar warts that appear on the soles of the feet. These warts are often resilient to other methods of treatment.

24. Bee Propolis

Some people have had success using bee propolis to help treat warts. Bee propolis is a resin-like material that’s made by bees, and it has a number of health applications.

You can apply the stuff directly to the wart and let it sit for awhile. Covering it up afterwards is a good idea because it will ensure that the maximum amount is absorbed into the skin.

Bee propolis can be found in many natural and health food shops, and online.

25. Milkweed

Milkweed is a perennial plant that has a number of interesting medical applications. It can be found growing on the side of roads or near pastures, and it has small pink flowers and green leaves. Some people find that it grows in their gardens whether or not they want it to.

Milkweed shouldn’t be consumed because it can be poisonous in large amounts. However, it can be safely used topically for treating warts anywhere on your body. File down the wart before using milkweed.

You can slice the weed and it will leak out a sap-like substance. This will look very similar to dandelion milk. Get enough of this sap to cover the wart or warts, and try to apply it several times a day for a couple weeks.

If you develop a rash then you may be having an allergic reaction and should switch to a different treatment method. However, some discomfort might be expected as the milkweed will begin to dissolve the wart.

26. Vitamin C

Vitamin C tablets can be useful for helping to topically destroy warts. You can crush them up and mix them with water until you get a paste. You can mix them with lemon juice for an extra dose of vitamin C.

Apply this directly to your wart and then cover it with a band-aid or with duct tape to ensure that the wart can’t breathe. This will give you results quite quickly if you change the band-aid and apply the paste at least once a day. The acidity of the lemon juice will further enhance the speed of the treatment.

Vitamin C also works internally by helping to enhance your immune function and can prevent you from developing warts in the future. You can get vitamin C tablets from any pharmacy and from most grocery stores.

27. Basil

Basil is one of the best antiviral herbs around and it grows in many places. Fresh basil is best used for treating warts because you can crush up the leaves into a potent antiviral paste.

This, you can apply directly to the wart. It’s best to cover it up afterwards with a bandage or some duct tape so the antiviral compounds absorb into the skin and target the wart.

Dried basil can also be used, but you will have to use much more and boil it first or use alcohol to make an extraction of the antiviral compounds. An alcohol extraction will be best because it will help to kill the virus on its own.

Dried basil can be found at most grocery stores in the spice aisle. Fresh basil can be found in some produce sections during its peak season.

28. Honey

Honey is another common food that’s actually quite a powerful antiviral substance. Regular, processed honey is not as effective as raw honey. Manuka honey is the most powerful of the honeys that you will be able to find easily.

Honey is easily applied to the skin because it’s so sticky. However, if you don’t cover it up with something afterwards, it will probably stick to whatever your foot first comes into contact with. For that reason you should use a band-aid or some duct tape afterwards.

Manuka honey can be found in health food stores, as can raw honey. Regular, processed honey can be found at any grocery store.

29. Baking Soda + Vinegar

Mixing these two compounds together creates the amusing reaction that many of us first experienced during a grade school science project. This can also be a great reaction for helping to get rid of warts.

Mixing baking soda and vinegar together into a paste and then applying it to the area of the wart can help you be rid of the virus quite quickly. Apply a bandage or duct tape afterwards and make sure that you apply several times a day.

Baking soda and vinegar can both be found in the grocery store. Use apple cider vinegar for even more benefit

In Conclusion

Warts are annoying, and they can be very persistent if you don’t treat them as soon as you notice them. Fortunately, there are a ton of home remedies that you can use to help rid yourself of these unsightly viruses before they spread too far.

Make sure that you use a pumice stone or a file to rub the top layer of skin off of the wart before trying to get rid of it, otherwise you’ll just end up disinfecting the skin that’s already dead. Other than that, good luck treating your wart and hopefully this information helped!


The advice in this article is for information purposes only, and is not to be considered medical advice. Before employing any of the advice in this article, please consult your physician. Neither the author nor www.homesteadinghippy.com shall be held liable for any damage, injury, death or any side effects as a direct or indirect advice of applying the advice given in this article.

The post 29 All-Natural Home Remedies for Warts appeared first on The Homesteading Hippy.

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