A treatment or cure for a disease or other ailment that employs certain foods or other common household items. Home remedies may or may not have actual medicinal properties that serve to treat or cure the disease or ailment in question; many are merely used as a result of tradition or habit or because they are quite 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 recent studies, this may actually be effective. Other examples of medically successful home remedies include: willow bark tea to cure headaches and fevers (willow bark contains a form of acetylsalicylic acid, also known as aspirin); duct tape to help with setting broken bones; and duct tape or super-glue to treat plantar warts.
A common error is to confuse home remedies with homeopathic remedies. In fact, the two concepts are unrelated. Home remedies are often extremely helpful, often handy and relatively inexpensive. They can also have side-effects. Use with caution.