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Duct Tape, Crisco, Vodka: Bizarre Home Remedies For What Ails You

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Duct tape supplies. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Duct tape supplies. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Kris Gutierrez (CBS) Kris Gutierrez
Kris Gutierrez is anchor of the CBS 2 Chicago morning news from 4:30...
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(CBS) — Wouldn’t it be nice if you could find the pain reliever you needed in the comfort of your own home without a prescription from your doctor?

CBS 2’s Kris Gutierrez asks the experts which home remedies really work.

For smoother skin, Prevention Magazine Executive Director Robbie Caploe says to try a papaya paste for smoother skin. The secret is to take 2 to 4 tablespoons and mix it with a tablespoon of dry oatmeal until it becomes a paste.

“Papaya actually has some protein-eating enzymes that are very good at slothing off dead skin cells,” Caploe says.

Dermatologist Jessie Cheung from Rush University Medical Hospital agrees with many of the home remedies Prevention Magazine lists as effective.

“There is some truth to these home remedies, usually,” Cheung says.

And Cheung herself says rubbing olive oil, or something similar, on an eczema flare-up can be effective. If you want to avoid the smell, she says Crisco is an alternative.

For whiter teeth, Dr. Cheung recommends people bite into apples.

“The mild food acids do help to clear off some of the plaque on your teeth,” she says.

Apparently, duct tape has healing powers, too. If you have warts, just cover them with the all-purpose product.

“It gets the wart inflamed, it causes your immune system to go and hone in on that wart and kill off that virus,” Cheung says. “Studies show it may even work better than the freezing.”

Here are a few other bizarre home remedies:

–A pencil can alleviate tension headaches.  Put one between your teeth, but don’t bite down. It relaxes the muscle connecting your jaw and your temple and eases your head pain.

–Vodka can wash away smelly feet.  The alcohol destroys odor-causing fungus and bacteria.

–Need a foot massage?  Try a tennis ball.  It helps stretch and soothe your arch.

–And to relieve stress built up in all those long hours spent battling rush-hour traffic, chew on some peppermint or cinnamon gum.

–To dry up blisters, try dabbing on a little Listerine.

–Eat a teaspoon of dry sugar to halt hiccups and suck on an olive or a lemon to help ease motion sickness.

“I’m a believer in some of these things, so I’m happy to tell my patients, ‘If you want to try this first, great,'” Cheung says.

As for the most bizarre home remedy out there, Dr. Cheung admits it’s an odd one.

“In Japan they’re using humming bird poop, actually on their faces, as a mask to help clarify the skin,” Cheung says. “I don’t know about that.”

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