A home remedy is a treatment to cure a disease or ailment that employs certain spices, vegetables, or other common items. Home remedies may or may not have medicinal properties that treat or cure the disease or ailment in question, as they are typically passed along by laypersons (which has been facilitated in recent years by the Internet). Many are merely used as a result of tradition or habit or because they are effective in inducing the placebo effect. A significant number, however, have been demonstrated to effectively treat ailments such as sprains, minor lacerations, headaches, fevers, and even the common cold.
One of the more popular examples of a home remedy is the use of chicken soup to treat respiratory infections such as a cold or mild flu, and according to one in vitro study, there may be benefit from this use. Other examples of medically successful home remedies include willow bark tea to cure headaches and fevers (willow bark contains salicylic acid, which is chemically similar to acetylsalicylic acid, also known as aspirin); duct tape to help with setting broken bones; and duct tape or superglue to treat plantar warts; and Kogel mogel to treat sore throat.
In earlier times, mothers were entrusted with all but serious remedies. Historic cookbooks are frequently full of remedies for dyspepsia, fevers, and female complaints.
Many European liqueurs or digestifs were originally medicinal remedies. In Chinese folk medicine, medicinal congees (long cooked rice soups with herbs), foods, and soups are part of the healing repertoire.
A common error is to confuse home remedies with homeopathic remedies. In fact, the two concepts are unrelated.