Grandma Knew Best, After All

The more I delve into this “natural” world — where we try to find natural solutions to life’s various challenges, I am amazed to find the same few products cropping up over and over. It just goes to show how far our industrialized society has gone to unnecessarily complicated matters. There is seemingly no end to the multitude of products aimed to treat every possible ailment, but when you look for natural solutions, virtually everything can be cured with either coconut oil or apple cider vinegar.

For example…


A few months ago, we use apple cider vinegar to rid my son of a pesky wart. This was no ordinary wart, either. It was tenacious. We went to the doctor four times, taking hours away from work and school and spending a total of $50 in copays, to freeze that nasty wart. Each time it only came back bigger and badder. It was about the grossest thing I’ve ever seen — next to the time I found a ginormous tic on the back of his neck, swollen with my son’s blood. *shudder*

Finally, in a fit of desperation, my husband googled “natural wart remedies” and came up with the Apple Cider Vinegar solution. He consistently applied the ACV to my son’s finger every night for a couple weeks, and it dried up and went away. It is gone completely. This simple product did what two doctors and four medical treatments could not — and it was painless.


Fast forward a few weeks, and I had a horrid cystic zit on my face that would. not. go. away. For weeks this huge thing sat on my chin. I finally went online to look up natural zit remedies, and ACV turned up. I soaked that thing for 20 minutes one night, and it immediately began to shrink. A few more applications and it totally went away.

Since then I’ve had a couple zits pop up, and I immediately applied the ACV. They dried right up and went away within a day or two. (I water it down 50/50.) Some actually use ACV daily as a toner and say it lightens acne scars. I’m going to try it and see.

Acid Reflux

ACV also is well documented as a natural cure for acid reflux, and yet people spend thousands of dollars on medications to “treat” this all-too-common problem. (NOTE: 2 TBSP in an 8oz glass of water 2 or 3 times a day is recommended. Don’t take it straight – it can damage tooth enamel.)

Please read How I got off Nexium for Good for more information on curing acid reflux naturally. (I really should update that post. Add that to my to-do list.)

NOTE: I always buy raw apple cider vinegar. Braggs makes a good one.

Makeup Remover

An then there is the wonder that is coconut oil. I ran out of eye make-up remover one night, and I quickly googled “natural eye makeup remover” to see if I could come up with a good substitution. Coconut oil came up in my search, so I gave it a try. Lo and behold, it worked beautifully. Now I keep a container of it in my bathroom and use it every night.


A month or so after that, I ran out of facial moisturizer. I remembered reading that Stephanie uses coconut oil so I gave it a try, and I’ve been using it ever since. It’s fabulous. My skin feels soft and smooth, and as long as I am consistent with exfoliating, it is not flaky at all. (You can also make a great exfoliant with sugar and olive oil.)


Today I’ve been looking high and low for a fluoride-free toothpaste without other junk in it. (More on the flouride-free thing in another post.) I was disappointed at Whole Foods when many of the “natural” toothpastes still contained sodium lauryl sulfate so I came home and googled “natural toothpaste recipe” and what turned up? Coconut oil. What a riot. (NOTE: They suggest to mix it 50/50 with baking soda.)

It makes sense, if you think about it. Coconut oil is a natural antibacterial and anti-fungal. I also put it in my coffee every morning and use it to bake with as much as possible.

Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

I am hugely grateful for the medical profession, but sometimes I just don’t understand why doctors turn to medicine FIRST. Shouldn’t medicine be the LAST resort? Heck, half the time it doesn’t even WORK as well as the natural remedies.

I’ve begun taking a different approach to just about everything that crops up in our lives. I first go online and research natural remedies. Usually there is no harm in trying. If all else fails, I’ll consult a doctor.

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39 Responses

  1. I just made granola with coconut oil! BTW, do you use the sugar/olive oil exfoliant exclusively? I’m trying to find one I like that doesn’t make me break out. Do you mix up a bunch and keep it in a jar or something? Will you share your recipe? 🙂

    1. True confessions, I use a Laura Mercier one that I got free in a product sample. I love it. But I’m sure it has junk in it I don’t want to be using on my skin. I also love and swear by my Clarisonic. When I stop using it, breakouts get worse.

      Try googling around, I’m sure you’ll find a good recipe. When I run out of my stuff, I will experiment with something more natural.

    2. I just used sugar and no olive oil. But if you already have pimples, you shouldn’t exfoliate. My sister, who just went to school for this stuff, said that exfoliation will break the skin on those pimples and spread the bacteria to other parts of your face which then means…more pimples. I’ve been following her advice and she’s right. I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do in the winter though when I NEED to exfoliate to keep my skin from turning into scales ugh.

  2. I use a mixture of ACV and honey the minute I feel any sort of cold, sore throat thing going on. It usually keeps it away.

    Another incredible oil is Oregano Oil. Some seriously nasty tasting stuff (like eeeew) BUT, big but, it really does work wonders for health. Rarely do I get sick (I take a few drops per day) and if I do get sick it seems to soften the symptoms. I buy mine online from Won with Nature, as it’s cheaper than versions that I’ve found in health food stores.

  3. Thanks for sharing! I use Vitamin E oil straight from a soft gel for warts, but it takes forever to clear up. I will definitely try the ACV next time, and for sure for my cystic acne that occasionally pops up. Gotta love those fun pimples in my forties……………seriously acne and gray hair don’t jibe! lol

  4. I recently weaned myself from Prilosec, and I have been squeezing 1/4 lemon into 8 oz of warm water and drinking it 15 minutes before a meal. It works amazingly well. For me, it’s easier to take than the ACV.

    Thanks so much for sharing these tips. I trying to transition to natural solutions, and these sound great!

  5. My husband has hypo-thyroidism and is not supposed to use flouride toothpaste. I have not ventured into non-flouride myself, but he has been using the toms of maine. I am going to tell him about the coconut oil/baking soda as the toms of maine is sometimes difficult to find around here.

    1. I’ve been using Toms but then I discovered it has sodium lauryl sulfate. Now, they defend the use of it on their site, which is interesting. But I have seen so many respected sources warn against it that it makes me nervous.

  6. ACV is awesome! I got rid of my son’s wart with it too. I just dipped a cotton ball in it, put it on the wart and covered it with a band-aid. We changed it every day and it was gone in 3 days. Amazing. I also used it (mixed with water and used as steam inhalation) for a sinus infection that would not go away with antibiotics. Not kidding you my fever and congestion went away the next day!!

    I had no idea you could use Coconut oil as an eye makeup remover! Great tip!!!

  7. I have been reading your blog for months and this is the post that made me stand and applaud. I love learning more about natural remedies. I live by my Coconut oil for my moisturizer. I just recently switched to a natural toothpaste and am beginning to use essential oils with my children in place of traditional medicine. I eat this stuff up and appreciate you sharing.
    Keep the tips coming!

  8. Great post! I do wonder how you use the coconut oil for eye makeup remover when it is usually in a solid state? I am currently using the OCM (oil cleansing method), using olive oil for my moisturizer and then coconut oil facial moisturizer through Tropical traditions. I also tried the coconut oil toothpaste, but struggled with it when I got pregnant due to my hyper sensitive gagging reflex so I switched back to bad toothpaste.

    1. When it’s in its solid state, I just hold it between my fingers for a couple seconds. It softens right up. 🙂

      I’ve heard that coconut oil also makes for a great hair conditioner. I’m going to read up on how to apply it and try it out. My hair is so very dry and thin.

      1. I know I’m late to the party here, but I just wanted to add that AVC is great for hair too It’s great for dandruff (for me that is any time the heat is on) and it is great as a rinse, it makes my brown hair super shiny. ! I do use the coconut oil as a conditioner now and then, I just warm it up in the microwave for a few seconds and I use a paint brush to put it in my hair (I find that the easiest and cleanest way of doing it). For conditioners though, I prefer olive oil with a bit of honey to the coconut oil, I find it makes my hair much softer and shinier than the coconut oil.

  9. We tried the Cider vinegar on warts too. My 13 year old found the solution herself and gave it a try. I was all for it because over the counter solutions were messy smelled and did nothing. She had one really large wart-deep too. The cider vinegar did the job. A solution that cost mere pennies.

    On another note i can’t wait to read your posting on getting of Nexium I am on the purple pill and I have noticed that when I go off it(I have been on it now for a year) I have consequences. I prefer not to take prescription medication at all.

    1. You have consequences because it creates problems that weren’t there before. It’s a travesty, really.

  10. My grandpa drinks ACV and honey every morning for YEARS. He’s in his 70’s and healthier than me I think LOL But my Mom and I both tried to drink it and gagged, so that’s out hehe.

    I’m definitely trying the ACV for zits and warts though! I’ve never seen those as solutions when I searched natural remedies!

  11. I put coconut oil on my hair as an overnight treatment (I have been having a problem with hair loss) – it makes my hair really shiny and healthy looking after I rinse it out — but it isn’t easy to get it all washed out. I usually have to shampoo a couple times to get all the oil out. I don’t know if it helps with breakage or hair loss, but I am getting a lot of new hair growth (I put the oil on about once a week).

    I have read that you can use a mixture of baking soda and water to wash your hair, and then use apple cider vinegar mixed in water as a conditioner — but I haven’t tried that yet.

    Can you tell me what hand soap you use? I was looking into some of the “green” products but it is disturbing that they all contain SLS!!

    Great post!!

    1. I read that about the baking soda and ACV but I wonder what it will do to my color. And yes, I realize how many chemicals hair color has in it. But some things I can’t give up, which is why I’m trying to lighten the load in the areas where I can. 🙂

      I haven’t been too uptight about handsoap- I’m more concerned with my hair loss. That said, I generally buy hand soap at Trader Joe’s and hope it’s better than most. I also NEVER buy antibacterial hand soap. Right now I have some Mrs. Meyers that I picked up on sale, but I just looked at the label and it appears to have a lot of junk in it.

      Who knows, sometimes it’s so overwhelming I just want to give up. But my family is SO MUCH HEALTHIER than we were two years ago when I got on this bandwagon, I just keep plugging along, doing the best I can, hoping to stay healthy and strong.

  12. I love this post, it is very true that you can cure so many ailments with things we have in our own pantry. I keep ACV and Coconut Oil in my house. And yes my jar of Coconut Oil is in my bathroom. I use it as a conditioner in my hair and it also helps with dandruff. Put some in your hair an hour or so before you wash it. I will definitely bookmark this post for reference.

  13. I’ve recently written a blog post about how our family is using coconut oil for various purposes. Sometimes I feel like the father with the bottle of Windex from “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” because my answer for every ailment is “Get the coconut oil”.

    Good discussion in the comments about use of ACV. I drink a spoonful of it in water whenever I feel stomach trouble coming. I agree that Braggs is a good brand.

  14. Ooo, love this post! I had this really annoying totally gross neck zit the other week, wish I’d known then what I know now!

    I’m curious about the coconut oil in your coffee. Do you add it for the nutrient aspect or flavor or sweetener or ? Does it make the coffee look like a mini oil spill?

    1. Both. I add it for the health benefits, but it also takes the edge off the bitterness of the coffee (I started using it when I stopped using sugar in my coffee).

      I don’t use much – 1 tsp maybe, at the most, per cup. It is a bit oily, lol, but I’m used to it now and miss it when I don’t have it.

  15. I have suffered from horrible colds and allergies for years and years. I finally gave in and tried the sinus rinse (neti pot) and let me tell you, it works. I have definitely noticed a major difference ove the last year. I don’t get as many colds and they don’t last long if I do. I use it every day. Flushing my nose with salt water. Why, yes, I think grandma probably told me that:)

    One of the best things that worked for heartburn for me when I was pregnant was milk. Plain old fashioned whole milk.

    Neat list–thanks for the tips!

  16. I love that these things have been so effective for you! I have been tryign these things for a few yeras now and I have had great luck with them. I am a true coconut oil believer, only I have never used it as a supplement. I have been doing some research on that, but as a topical cream/lotion it is fantastic! The ACV is somthing that I am trying to incorporate more.

  17. I never knew about ACV and warts. My daughter had a go with a stubborn toe wart a year ago and, like you, we did the painful dr visits. I’m not wishing another wart on any of us, but, if one appears, I’ll use ACV first.

    I’ll admit, I mainly use ACV in my salad dressings…. I’ll have to branch out.

  18. Thanks for this post (I’m a new reader)

    Just wanted to add that Coconut Oil is used by many cloth-diaperers as a diaper rash remedy. It doesn’t affect the absorbency of your diapers like Desitin or Buttpaste does, and it works wonders for healing/preventing skin breakdown! Plus it’s cheap!

  19. Coconut oil as a toothpaste? Whoa! I didn’t know about that until now that I came across your blog. Although I use coconut oil mostly for cooking, I have never use it for anything else. I bought mine from https://products.mercola.com/coconut-oil/ Anyway, I might as well try it with my ever-loved coconut oil. Thanks for sharing it!

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