7 surprising summer remedies sitting in your refrigerator

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1. Bananas

I may sound, well, bananas, but the fruit (Musa acuminata) has a surprising number of uses besides pancake filling and ice cream topping. For example, in Jamaica the peel is pounded into a paste and then used to reduce swelling or extract splinters.

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2. Tomatoes

You say to-may-to, I say sunburn relief… While many swear that the summer fruit helps to heal sunburns, science thinks it’s better to use tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) preventatively, by lathering a thick paste onto the skin. Plus, it’s sure to give you a rosy tan.

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3. Mayonnaise

Summer typically means exposure to swimming pool chemicals or salty water, both of which notoriously lead to hair breakage. Well, mayonnaise (a stable emulsion of oil, egg yolk and either vinegar or lemon juice), typically found in the picnic sandwiches we snack on after a swim, is also a key ingredient for a treatment that battles damaged hair.

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4. Honey

The sweet stuff can be used to help heal small cuts and scrapes. “Honey (monosaccharides fructose and glucose) dehydrates the bacteria in a wound, making it clean and free from infection.” Wow! And as a bonus, your little one gets to lick the sticky spoon.

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5. Peaches

Nausea. The unwanted, icky feeling that sometimes accompanies sun-induced migraines. While there isn’t a home remedy that effectively does away with the pain, many have found that drinking peach (Prunus persica) or apricot nectar may help alleviate the nausea that comes along with the headache.

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6. Potatoes

Rest at the end of a long summer day is very important. And potatoes (Solanum brevicaule) might help kids get a sound sleep after a day of endless activity. The potato reduces the action of acids in the stomach which threaten to interrupt sleep.

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7. Onions

So we’ve all heard about the family that placed onions (Allium cepa) around the house to ward off the flu (still unfounded). While we don’t condone this act (your neighbors definitely will not appreciate the smell) there is some science behind the idea the onions may ward off summer cold symptoms. And don’t even think about vampires … that’s garlic.

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