"Here's a Baker's Dozen of Old-Timey Home Remedies I think you'll find interesting," says Dario Shakespeare, Nature's Trust, Inc. founder and CEO.
"They come to us from our friend Sage Sowa, founder of Wren Song Farm, Inc., a healing sanctuary and organic herb company in North Central Florida.
"As you read, please, remember: If you are seriously ill or think you might be, use common sense - consult a health professional before you try to diagnose and treat yourself.
"Keep in mind, too, that the information on this page is presented for perspective and as a matter of historical interest.
"It's not intended to help you diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness. And the FDA has not evaluated statements on this page.
"So, if you like the looks of any of these traditional home-health strategies, ask your doctor if they are right for you."
With those commonsense advisories out of the way, read on:
1. Asthma. Traditionally, people cover thin onion slices with honey, pop in the refrigerator, and allow to stand overnight. When ready for use, they scrape honey from onion with a spoon. Traditional use, 1 tsp. three times a day.
2. Athlete's Foot. A common home remedy is to soak feet in apple cider vinegar for five minutes and then pat dry without rinsing. Also, people soak cotton balls in the vinegar and place between toes, pull on cotton sock and then leave overnight. This is repeat as necessary for relief and to help the body heal.
3. Bad Breath. Your grandmother might tell you to chew a sprig or two of parsley as needed, as that is a tried and true home remedy. Parsley contains more odor-stopping chlorophyll than any other herb. Cinnamon is said to work well, too. Get it fresh and chew or use to make a tea, or in gum that contains REAL cinnamon, not the artificially-flavored kind.
4. Very Mild "Oooo! Oooo! Ouch!" Burns. Traditional use, aloe vera salve. You can buy it in drug and department stores in gel form, or you can grow aloe and make your own. Here's how: Add six large stalks aloe to a pint of water. Heat. Simmer. Strain. Apply as needed. Friends, remember - serious burns require immediate medical attention. If you are unsure about the severity of your burn, don't be foolish. Call your doctor or drive to an emergency clinic or hospital.
5. Congestion from colds or flu. Ginger tea has been used to loosen sinus and lung congestion. Traditional use, grate two tbsp. fresh ginger, add to two cups boiling water and cover for 30 minutes. Drink one cup while warm. Repeat as desired.
6. Gas. Traditionally, people would seek relief by making a dill infusion using 2 tsp. bruised dill seeds per cup of boiling water. The strategy calls for steeping the seeds for 10 minutes, then strain. Suggested use, up to 3 cups a day.
7. Red, swollen gums, bad breath. A traditional remedy goes like this: Add enough water to 1 tsp. myrrh to make a paste. Apply to gums, just before bed is best. Advanced gum disease usually is impossible to treat without invasive periodontal scraping and cleaning, or tooth extraction.
See your dentist or periodontist for the longer-term help you need. If you gum disease is just starting, myrrh might indeed be very helpful - but, please, discuss it with your dentist. Caught early, gum disease can be easy and inexpensive to treat - and the money you spend and time you take could save your teeth. For simple, occasional bad breath, make a tea with myrrh and use as a mouthwash. And the tea can be swallowed.
8. Occasional Headache. Traditionally, it would be suggested that you make an invigorating peppermint tea at onset of headache. One recipe goes like this: Chop one cup fresh peppermint. Add two cups boiling water. Steep 5 minutes. Sweeten with honey or brown sugar. Add lemon if you like. Recurring, debilitating headaches can signal serious illness. Consult your doctor.
9. Nosebleed. Soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and gently stuff into bleeding nostril or nostrils. Nose bleeding that's profuse or happens more than "once in a blue moon"? Ask your health practitioner what's causing the problem.
10. Sore Throat. Add the juice of one lemon to a cup of hot water. Sweeten with two tsp. honey and drink. An old – and super – standby, apple cider vinegar, works wonders, too. Add two tsp. to glass of warm water and gargle until glass is empty. Don't swallow. Repeat as needed. A sore throat that persists more than a few days needs your doctor's attention.
11. Cold Sores. One traditional remedy says: Grind the dry rind of a pomegranate and add 2 tbsp. to 1-1/2 cups water. Boil, then reduce to a simmer until half the liquid has evaporated. Strain and refrigerate. Apply to cold sores as a wash, as needed.
12. Occasional Constipation. Before bedtime, stir 2 tbsp. black strap molasses into a glass of milk or juice. Drink. If you are chronically or often constipated, ask your doctor to weigh in with a diagnosis. Be sure to ask him for nutritional advice as a change in diet might be in order. He can tell you.
13. Arthritis Symptoms. It sounds crazy, but some people swear buy this old remedy, which says, "Soak golden raisins in gin overnight. Eat three as needed."
"I have to admit, I tried this out of curiosity, not because I have arthritis, but just to taste the raisins," says Dario.
"If I had arthritis, and the remedy worked for me, I probably wouldn't be such a crybaby, but - and I've got to be perfectly honest here - those golden raisins, delicious out of the box, tasted like balls of turpentine after their soak in the gin!"
Questions? Comments? Write to Dario Shakespeare and Staff . You'll get answers fast. Home remedy to share? Please do! Says Dario, "I'd love to hear from you."