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Proven Home Remedies for Common Conditions

Look and feel better with these inexpensive natural treatments

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Equal parts of baking soda and lemon mixed together is a healthy mixture to rub on discolored nails. — Photo by Renee Comet

En español | Do you have trouble sleeping? Does your skin look tired and dry? Then it might just be time for a spa getaway. But don't despair if you're not flush with cash — we're not talking about a weekend at a desert ranch.

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All you'll need to look and feel refreshed are a few minutes to yourself and a handful of ingredients that may already be in your pantry or refrigerator. These easy home remedies will boost the health of your hair, nails and skin — and likely your mood, as well.

Remember that natural remedies are not cures, says Dr. Barbara Reed, Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Always check with your doctor to make sure your symptoms are not related to an underlying health condition.

Discolored Nails

As we age, nails grow at a slower rate and may become dull or yellowed. Consider stopping nail polish use or smoking if those practices could be contributing to changes in your nail color. In some cases, discolored nails could be a symptom of a serious condition, so it's important to talk to your doctor, especially if you see a dramatic change in nail color.

If you're healthy but your nails are discolored, try lightly scrubbing nails with equal parts lemon juice and baking soda, Dr. Reed says. The acidic and antimicrobial properties of the lemon combined with abrasion from baking soda will lighten discolorations.  

If a fungal infection is to blame, try "tea tree oil or medicated vapor rub, applied around and squished under the nail twice a day for at least 6 months," says Reed.

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