You, your partner or child wakes up sick in the night, what do you do? Perhaps you start with the medicine cabinet in your house, and if this does not suffice, you take a trip to the Emergency Room? But what did we do in the old days, when 24 hour pharmacies were not an option and pills for every headache or infection was not available?
People had no other choice but to address their suffering with what was cheap and available. And guess what? Your great-grandmother’s magic tricks was tested by her mother and her mother for decades, and with antibiotic resistance on the rise, these old healing methods are now growing in popularity.
So, let me introduce you to a few fabulous examples of these ancient treasures of curing. Tried and tested remedies, where you won’t have to look for old quant shops or travel far, as most of the goodies named here, are already in your own kitchen!
Let’s start off with some simple examples:
A tea made from a handful of basil leaves and honey can be used for light fevers.
A small spoon of fennel seeds works great for digestion and can ease bad breath. 2-3 cloves also do wonders against subtle headaches.
And who would have thought that crushed garlic cloves in olive oil fight the annoying fungus on your toenail quite well?
Another great home remedy with many functions , is the onion – it’s packed with multiple healing powers and one of its qualities is the ability to battle nasty bugs. Therefore this hot vegetable is a good companion when you are hit by a cold.
– Chopped, wrapped in a cotton cloth and placed on the ear, the pungent bulb is soothing against ear pain.
– An effective cough syrup can be prepared as such:
1. Peel and cut the onion and place the pieces in a mason jar.
2. Cover them with about 2 tablespoons of a good quality honey, stir well, close the container and let rest in the fridge for one night.
Alternatively you can add brown sugar, a must when you want to treat a baby younger than one year! The next day, drain the liquid and sip quite regularly throughout the day. You can store this medicine for 2-3 days in the fridge and to vary the taste, try adding a little bit of lemon juice. In case the onion taste doesn’t appeal, you can chew mint leaves or rinse the mouth after having taken the syrup.
FENNEL (Onion alternative)
If the onion is not for you at all, prepare fennel honey instead.
1. Grind 10 g of fennel seeds in a mortar to release the essential oils.
2. Fill the seeds in a mason jar and add 100 g honey. Make sure the semens are completely covered.
3. Close the jar and let the mixture rest in the fridge for 3 – 10 days.
4. Drain the honey and take 1 – 2 teaspoons per day of the sweet stuff.
When stung by a wasp or other nasty insects, the juice of an onion can be first aid. Cut the vegetable in half and place immediately on the site of the stich. It disinfects and avoids swelling.
Poultices are a so called provocation therapy. They stimulate certain areas of the body and increase the blood circulation. The goal is to kick off the body’s own healing processes.
Poultices packed with linseeds are a wonderful recipe against sinusitis or coughing which can be used for young and old.
1. Grind 1 1/2 cups of linseeds and boil them in 2 cups of water until you get a thick paste.
2. Put the paste in teabags and place them along the sinuses or on top of the chest.
Be mindful of the heat though – and only let them touch your skin when they have cooled down a bit.
A liver wrap is a very easy to make detox device. It increases the blood circulation in this powerful organ by up to 40 %. Best to apply in the evening before bedtime. This compress might even improve your sleep.
1. You soak a small towel in warm water, alternatively can use yarrow tea, fold it and place on the right site of your body directly underneath the rip cage.
2. On top of this place a hot water bottle and cover everything with a dry towel.
3. Keep there for about 15 – 20 min.
Cabbage is not only healthy to eat but can also ease arthritic knee pains.1. Use the second layer of leaves of a white cabbage and cut out the hard middle section.
2. However, before you place the soothing greenery on the painful joints you have to break the cells of the leaves by thoroughly rolling them out like a dough.
3. Once you see a colourless, aromatically smelling liquid dripping out of the leaves you can place them like roofing tiles on top of the knee.
4. Attach the green wrap loosely with an elastic bandage and leave for a minimum of 1 hour, better over night.
Have your tried calf warps when your baby’s fever starts to crawl up? For generations mothers have successfully been able to lower high temperatures by up to 1 degree. It is not advisable to use the wraps if the convalescent suffers from chills or feels extremely cold though.
1. You need a bowl of water. For older kids or adults you can add peppermint tea if wanted.
2. To treat young ones, make sure the temperature of the water is not less than 10 degrees below the fever.
3. You also need 2 small towels and 1 tea towel per leg. Ensure your baby has warm feet; if necessary make them wear woolly socks.
4. Soak the tea towel in the water, wring it until it stops dripping and wrap it around the calf. Be careful not to constrict the little legs.
5. Cover with the dry towels.
6. The wrap should be changed when it is warm or after 30 min.
Sporty people know how much a pulled muscle can hurt. A wrap with fenugreek seeds might ease the aches and pain quite quickly.
1. Boil 50 g fenugreek seeds in 250 ml water until you get a thick paste. 2. Spread the warm mucilage on the affected muscle and keep there for about 45 min.
Tried and tested remedies, that you can now be part of passing on to another generation. However, please note that home remedies cannot replace a health professional. Therefore in more serious cases, please seek the advise of a specialist.
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