7. Neti pot
Why: Rinsing your nasal passages with saline solution can help relieve congestion from allergies, says Cheryl Iglesia, M.D., an associate professor at Georgetown University’s School of Medicine. One caveat: The pots have been linked to a rare, deadly brain infection caused by contaminated tap water. So use yours only with a saline rinse, distilled water,
or tap water that’s been boiled and cooled. Rinse the pot with the same type of water after use and dry it thoroughly.
Price: About $15 for a starter kit.
8. Plain petroleum jelly
Why: Dab it on minor cuts instead of an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin, says Jessica Krant, M.D., a dermatologist in New York and member of our medical advisory board. It forms a barrier against infection without the risk of allergic reactions associated with topical antibiotics such as bacitracin zinc, neomycin sulfate, and polymyxin B.
Price: About $4.
9. Shea butter
Why: It’s a great natural remedy for rashes and dry skin, says Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., a toxicologist and director of consumer safety for Consumer Reports, and it’s less likely to irritate sensitive skin than moisturizers that have multiple ingredients. Check the ingredient list and make sure it doesn’t contain fragrance or any items other than shea butter.
Price: $10 to $40.
10. Witch hazel
Why: It can relieve discomfort from hemorrhoids (and in fact is the active ingredient in drugstore remedies such as Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads), says Amy Newburger, M.D., director of Dermatology Consultants of Westchester in Scarsdale, N.Y. For the price of 40 Tucks pads, you can buy a big bottle of witch hazel, which can also be used to relieve stinging and swelling from bug bites.
Price: About $5 for a 16-ounce bottle.