Jan 18, 2011

Home Remedies - Part Three

Whether it's grandpa's secret recipe for a hot toddy, or Uncle Bob's sure fire cure for the hiccups, home remedies have been around for a long time. Between the rising cost of medicine and the length of the lines in the waiting rooms, more and more people are turning to home remedies for their minor illnesses. This series is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to home remedies. It should go without saying that the remedies in this series are for entertainment purposes only.


Two ounces of rhubarb, sliced, one ounce of jesuit’s bark in powder, tow ounces of sugar candy, two drams of juniper berries, sinamon and nutmeg, of each a dram, a quart of wine infuse it in.
The Receipt Book of Mrs. Ann Blencowe, 1694

The juice of three or four slices of lemon should be squeezed in a cup of tea and taken by the patient for treating this condition. It gives immediate relief. The crust of lemon, which is generally thrown away, has been found useful in headaches caused by heat. Lemon crusts should be pounded into a fine paste in a mortar and applied as a plaster on the forehead. Applying the yellow, freshly pared-off rind of a lemon to each temple will also give relief.

Apples are valuable in all types of headaches. Alter removing the upper rind and the inner hard portion of a ripe apple, it should be taken with a little salt every morning on an empty stomach in such cases. This should be continued for about a week.

Take dry peacock’s dung (the white part) four ounces; millepedes, alive bruis’d, one ounce, black cherry water, white wine, each one pint and a half: Let them stand cold twenty-four hours; then having clarify’d it, by passing thro’ a flannel bag, add Langius’s antepileptick water, three ounces, spirits of lavender compound, on drachm and a half, oil of nutmeg, three drops, syrup of peony compound, six ounces, mix and give a pint nights and morning.
The Family Magazine, 1741

The flowers of henna have been found valuable in curing headaches caused by hot sun. The flowers should be rubbed in vinegar and applied over the forehead. This remedy will quickly provide relief.

Cinnamon is helpful in headaches caused by exposure to cold air. A fine paste of this spice should be prepared by mixing it with water and it should be applied over the temples and forehead to get relief.

The herb marjoram is beneficial in the treatment of a nervous headache. An infusion of the leaves is taken as a tea in the treatment of this disorder.

The herb rosemary has been found valuable in headaches resulting from cold. A handful of rosemary should be boiled in a litre of water and put in a mug. The head should be covered with a towel and the steam inhaled for as long as the patient can tolerate. This should be continued till the headache is relieved.

Chamomile has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, helps to ease emotional tension, and is especially helpful for tension headaches. Chamomile has a sweet, herbaceous and slightly tart fragrance. Peppermint helps to relieve pain, is antispasmodic, and stimulates circulation. The pungent menthol scent has an uplifting effect on the emotions and helps to clear the brain.

Take goat’s dung and mix it with vinegar of squils and anoint the head and temple therewith or this, frankinsence, mirrh and an egg beat them together and apply it to the head and temples.
A Book of Simples, 1750

Massage is a powerful technique for relaxing the tense muscles that contribute to headaches. By stimulating pressure points in the head and neck, you can release the blocked energy that causes tension and migraine headaches. You can easily massage your own temples, forehead, and neck, but you will have a more relaxing experience if someone else performs the massage on you. The two points located just under the base of the skull where the neck joins the head are among the most important acupressure points for the head. To find these points, place your fingers at the top vertebrae of your neck, and then move your fingers to the side approximately one inch along the base of your skull until you feel a small indentation on either side. These points may feel slightly tender. Apply firm pressure with your thumbs or the pads of your fingers, making a small rotating motion if you desire. In general, the more deeply you massage the points, the better the results. Continue massaging for one to three minutes, until you feel the tension release from your neck and head.

A hot foot bath is excellent for easing a tension headache. Fill a basin with water as hot as you can comfortably tolerate, and add ten drops of lavender essential oil. Soak your feet in the hot water, and at the same time, place a cold cloth on the back of your neck or your forehead or wherever the pain is concentrated. Relax for at least 15 minutes, replacing the cold cloth with a fresh cloth as needed to maintain a cold temperature.

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