Feb 15, 2011

Home Remedies - Part Eight

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.


Put your hat on the table, drink well from a bottle of good whiskey until you see two hats. Then get into bed and stay there. – Canadian Prairies Remedy, 1821

One tablespoon molasses, two teaspoons castor oil, one teaspoon paregoric, one teaspoon spirits camphor. Mix them and take it often. Will cure any cold. – Canadian Pioneer’s Doctor Book

Drink plenty of fluids. Fluids may help thin the mucus, thus keeping it flowing freely and making it easier for the body to expel, along with the viral particles trapped within it. Water and other liquids also combat dehydration. So drink at least eight ounces of fluid every two hours.

Garlic soup is an old remedy to reduce the severity of a cold, and should be taken once daily. It can be prepared by boiling three or four cloves of chopped garlic in a cup of water. Garlic contains antiseptic and antispasmodic properties, besides several other medicinal virtues. The oil contained in this vegetable helps to open up the respiratory passages. In soup form, it flushes out all toxins from the system and thus helps bring down fever.

Sip chicken soup. A long-time folk remedy is now a proven fact. A cup of hot chicken soup can help unclog your nasal passages. Researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach found that hot chicken soup, either because of its aroma or its taste, "appears to possess an additional substance for increasing the flow of nasal mucus." These secretions—what comes out when you blow your nose or sneeze—serve a first line of defense in removing germs from your system.

Take a quarter of a pint of horehound water, a quarter of a pint of coltsfoot water, a pound of reasons (raisins) of the sun stoned, pound the reasons very well then mingle these together then set them on the fire boule them like marmolet then take it off and put it into two ounces of honey and one spoonful mustard then set in on the fire and let it simmer a while then put it into a pot and take as much as ye quantity of a walnut first in ye morning and last at night. – A Book of Simples, 1750

Lemon is the most important among the many home remedies for common cold. It is beneficial in all types of cold with fever. Vitamin C-rich lemon juice increases body resistance, decreases toxicity and reduces the duration of the illness. One lemon should be diluted in a glass of warm water, and a teaspoon of honey should be added to it. This should be taken once or twice daily.

Vitamin C is wonderful for the cure of common cold. It can make the symptoms less severe or can shorten the length of a cold from seven days to two or three days with less coughing, sneezing, and other symptoms. In fact, vitamin C works as a scavenger in our body throwing out all toxins. If you feel a cold coming on, you should start taking Vitamin C.

Zap it with zinc. Sucking on zinc lozenges can cut colds short, to an average of four days, researchers in Great Britain and the United States have discovered. Zinc can also dramatically reduce symptoms such as a dry, irritated throat. The down side is that zinc has an unpleasant taste. There are, however, lozenges on the market that contain honey and/or citrus that are a lot easier to swallow. But do not take more than the amount recommended by your doctor. Zinc can be toxic in large doses.

This must be strictly attended to every evening, that is, whenever you pull off your shoes or stockings, run your finger between all the toes and smell it. This will certainly effect a cure. – The Long Lost Friend, 1856

Pare very thin the yellow rind of an orange, roll it up inside out and thrust a roll into each nostril. – Primitive Physick, 1747

Some of your garden's aromatherapy plants can be infused into massage oil, then rubbed into your chest. Lavender, peppermint, and yarrow can all alleviate congestion. Lavender may also stimulate immune function and induce much-needed sleep. Yarrow and elder flowers can promote sweating and help break a fever.

A humidifier will add moisture to your immediate environment, which may make you feel more comfortable and will keep your nasal tissues moist. That's helpful because dry nasal membranes provide poor protection against viral invasion.

To reduce congestion and help clear sinuses, try a steam treatment:
Put lavender, eucalyptus, or mint in a medium-sized bowl; use 8 drops if you have essential oil. Pour 2 cups of steaming hot water over the herbs or oil. Cover your head with a towel, lean over the bowl, and slowly breath in the steam. Blow your nose gently as mucus is loosened. Continue to breathe steam for about five minutes.

Apply fresh cow dung to your chest in the form of a cross.
Wear the skin of a white weasel around your neck
Put some mequite leaves under your hat.
Catching leaves in your hand which fall from the trees in the Fall will cure a head cold.
Take dried frog skins and make a powder of them. Mix with fruit juice and drink.
- Texas Remedies

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