Your guide to natural and organic living

Urawaza, Tips and Tricks From Japan

March 19, 2010

I’ve had this book on my book shelf for quite a while but forgot about until today. I’m really happy I found it because it encourages you to fix everyday problems with items you already have around the house – everyone has mayonnaise in their fridge right? I haven’t tried any of the tips and tricks yet – and am slightly amused by the name (urawaza, secret trick or unmapped shortcut in Japanese) because it breaks down to your-a-waza, and to call someone a waza means they’re an idiot. So lets hope that the author of this book isn’t chuckling away at the thought of someone stuffing onions up their nose!

Urawaza, Secret Everyday Tips and Tricks from Japan

Some of my favourite fixes

Cure a stuffy nose

We spend lots of money on nasal sprays, fragranced tissues and balms, but apparently the best cure for a stuffy none is an onion up each nostril.

“Simply cut the top fronds off two green onions, stick the remaining thick white root sections into your nostrils, and let your new nose plugs do their thing. Your sinuses will magically clear up.”

Prevent athlete’s foot

Garlic for athletes foot because it has hundreds of chemically active compounds that kill fungus.

“When you get home from a hot and humid day, put some hot water in a giant bowl of pan. Crush a clove or two of garlic, put it into the hot water, and soak your feet in it for 10 minutes.”

Prevent body odour

Using baking soda and lemon juice to create a deodorant that stops body odour developing. Baking soda abosrbs moisture and kills odour causing bacteria and the acidity in the lemon juice changes the pH of the skin to be more acidic – and bacteria find it harder to grow in acidic conditions.

“Just dust some baking soda on your pits, rub some lemon juice on top, and pat dry for natural, stink free crevices.”

Get pen marks off your hands

Biro marks can be especially difficult to remove without taking a brillo pad to your skin, and you’re often left with a pale outline of what you’ve removed. Urawaza suggest removing pen marks with tea!

“Brew yourself a cup of tea. Lightly rub the used tea bag on the part of your hand with the pen marks and watch them disappear effortlessly.”

Make the grass green again

Using the fermented sugars in beer to act as a natural fertiliser to feed your wilting grass. The dying grass feeds on these sugars and detrimental funghi will die.

“Pour some beer on the problems areas, making sure the foams covering all the naked spots. The grass will be greener in no time. “

So there you have it, a few fixes to common problems using items you already have in the house. Other fixes include how to use your washing machine as a sheader, how to get rid of tupperware stink (ironically, using cabbage) and how to make sour mangos ripe and sweet in 10 minutes.


  • Nic in Tokyo on July 18, 2012

    Hi, I love your blog! I am Japanese but had never heard of this book, it looks interesting! Thanks for your post :)

  • Gemma Garner on July 22, 2012

    Glad it was helpful, hope you love the book! :)

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