5 ways to use aspirin that aren't just to treat your headache

The benefits of aspirin far exceed temporary relief from fever, aches, and pains. Most people know that it can protect you from a heart attack or stroke, if taken properly. Research suggests that it can reduce the risk of some cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. But aspirin has many other potential health, beauty, and personal benefits.

Here are some of the great things you can do with that simple bottle in your medicine cabinet:

1. Remove stains: The salicylic acid in aspirin helps to neutralise stains by attacking the compounds found in sweat and breaking them down. Mix three crushed aspirins and half a cup of warm water in a bowl to make a paste that covers the sweat stain. Let it sit for several minutes, then rinse. Launder as usual. This treatment is good for any protein-based stain, so it will work on blood stains from cuts, scrapes and nosebleeds, or food stains. You can use any of the leftover mixture to remove nicotine or grass stains from hands by applying the solution and letting it sit for 15 minutes before washing hands thoroughly.

2. Treat skin conditions: The salicylic acid found in aspirin helps remove excess oil and exfoliate dead cells on the skin’s surface.By dissolving dead skin and helping to shed the skin’s top layer, salicylic acid reduces the possibility of clogged pores. Make your own skin mask by crushing five uncoated aspirin pills and stir them into a quarter-cup of warm, distilled water, until there is a paste-like consistency. Once the mixture is about the same temperature as your skin, apply to any parts of the body affected by acne or other kinds of inflammation, and leave on for about 10 minutes. Wash off with warm water.

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3. Treat bug bites and stings: Aspirin, with its anti-inflammatory properties, may help reduce the redness, swelling, and pain from bug bites. Make an aspirin paste similar to the one above, or just dampen an uncoated aspirin and apply it to the affected area for a few minutes.

4. Look after your plants: Aspirin works just as well outside as it does on your skin by activating the natural defenses of plants and preventing the formation of fungus. It also increases growth rate. Dissolve an uncoated aspirin in 4 litres of water and spray onto any indoor and outdoor plants. It can also help prolong the life of fresh cut flowers.

5. Revive dead car batteries: If your car battery suddenly dies and you have no way of giving it a jump (or no one to help), you may be able to get your vehicle started by dropping two aspirin tablets into the battery itself. The aspirin’s salicylic acid will combine with the battery’s sulphuric acid to produce one last charge, enough to drive to the nearest service station.

Share with us any other uses you might know of aspirin in everyday life.