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Time-Tested Medical Cures Your Grandmother Used

Image source: mentalfloss.com

Image source: mentalfloss.com

You don’t have to spend a fortune on medicine — that often precipitates undesirable side effects — in order to keep you and your family well.

Many inexpensive remedies are readily available inside of your home. Stock your medicine cabinet with time-tested, simple inexpensive products — which work just as effectively as pricey medicines at the store. They’re the ones your grandmother may have used.

Let’s take a look at some of the best.

Natural Solutions for Oral Health

Dentists often recommend expensive dental rinses to reduce gingivitis, inflammation of the gums. The active ingredient in these rinses is often peroxide. You can make an inexpensive, effective alternative simply by combining peroxide with regular mouthwash. Mix it at a 50/50 ratio. Rinse your mouth twice each day.

If you have a toothache, rinse your mouth with undiluted apple cider vinegar. It takes the pain away almost instantly. You can apply cloves or nutmeg to the tooth and gums. They have a numbing action and kill bacteria. In fact, clove oil has been used by dentists for more than 100 years.

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Purchase some powdered myrrh from an herb shop to keep on hand for oral infections. Apply it to mouth sores, or make a strong tea and gargle with it a minimum of four times daily. It is bitter-tasting, but extremely effective for treating bacterial, viral and yeast infections of the mucus membranes.

First Aid for Wounds

Image source: grindd.com

Image source: grindd.com

Clean minor wounds with soap and water. If they are crusty or have drainage, rinse them with a salt-water solution. Many wound cleaning solutions on the market are no more than salt water mixed with preservatives. Simply irrigate wounds two to four times daily as needed.

Skin ulcers and minor infections may be healed by applying honey to them after cleansing. Honey has been employed for millennia as an antibacterial agent. It soothes inflamed tissues and reduces inflammation.

To stop bleeding and reduce swelling, apply a teabag to a wound. The tannins in tea cause blood vessels to constrict, limiting bleeding. Even dentists recommend applying tea bags to sockets when they extract teeth.

Bumps, Bruises and Sore Muscles

Ice and cold compresses are used by health care professionals to reduce pain and swelling. Bags of frozen vegetables make the best ice packs, as the vegetables conform to the contour of the injured body part. Wrap the bag of vegetables in a pillow case before using.

Keep arnica cream or gel on hand to reduce bruising. It works very well.

Add a couple of cupfuls of inexpensive Epsom salts to make a soothing bath which relaxes sore muscles. You can make a foot bath with Epsom salts, as well.

How to Relieve Itchy Skin

Apply fresh plantain, chickweed or jewelweed, also known as touch-me-not, directly to stings, insect bites or other minor skin irritations. They cool and moisten itchy skin.

Keep some cosmetic dried clay on hand. It is inexpensive and versatile. Purchase dried clay at pharmacies and from herb shops. Add a little water to some dried clay to make a paste which relieves inflammation. A plaster made from dried clay is excellent for drying up lesions caused by dermatitis, eczema or poison ivy. Simply mix the clay with water or herb tea. Apply to the affected area. Let the plaster dry completely before washing it off. Making the plaster with cooled peppermint tea makes the plaster feel cooling to hot, irritated skin.

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It is not necessary to purchase special products to make medicated baths which reduce itchiness. Simply add cosmetic clay to a bath. You also can place oatmeal in a blender and grind it up; add about two cups of oats to a tepid bath. If you do not have a blender, add the unground oats to a clean disposable cloth and suspend that in the tub. Adding black or peppermint tea to a bath is beneficial, as well.

Keep a bottle of witch hazel on hand. It is useful for relieving itchiness. Rather than purchasing creams, ointments or pads to relieve hemorrhoids, simply soak a cotton pad in witch hazel. Apply as needed. The medicated pads on the market which are sold to relieve itching, swelling and pain of hemorrhoids are no more than pads soaked in witch hazel. Make your own and save money.

Simple Solutions for Respiratory Problems

An old remedy which emergency medical workers often recommend for respiratory problems is black coffee. Drinking a strong cup of black coffee opens up air passages. This helps to relieve asthma and bronchitis. The chemical compounds in coffee are similar to the active ingredients in bronchodilators.

If a child suffers from croup, take the child into the bathroom. Turn a cold shower on (but do not put the child in the shower.) The cool mist produced by the shower is similar to the mist produced by medical equipment used to relieve constricted airways.

Use Home Remedies Wisely

Keep an array of simple remedies readily available and you will save money and have the tools at hand the next time someone in your household is ill or injured. Consult with a health care expert for specific advice or if the simple remedies are ineffective.

What are your favorite household products for first aid? Share your advice in the section below:

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8 comments

  1. Recent military stuff for battlefield wounds is a powder that encourages clotting. The product is also available now in drugstores. You can also do the much same thing with diatomaceous earth — which, if you or your neighbor has a pool, is probably available to you. Grab a a couple of pinches, or a small handful, from deeper in the bag and then sprinkle it or dump it on the wound, especially around the edges. If the wound is bleeding too fast to keep much of it in place then you probably need the ER anyway, not a simple home remedy. Other wise you can even bind it in place. It quickly provides a matrix for platelets to clump around.
    DIATOMACEOUS EARTH is composed of fossils — the “skeletons” of an ancient single-celled water-born plant that encased itself in a silicate shell — under a microscope you can see these “skeletons” are hollow and seemingly random shapes, often spiny. A pinch may contain several thousand.

    • Never use the diatomaceous earth (DE) on your body that is used for pool maintenance! Get food grade DE instead. If you can’t find it, try feed or hardware stores that carry chicken-raising supplies, or Tractor Supply, in the chicken section. Keep it around anyway – can use it in spot application as pesticide (not everywhere, because it cuts up insects, etc., and so it will kill good bugs, earthworms, etc., as well as the bad ones you are trying to kill in one spot). Can use it in hen house or hen yard as treatment for lice, and to prevent lice in hen bedding in hen house. It will not hurt pets or kids, either. If it gets wet or rained on, just let it dry out and it will be effective again. I haven’t tried it for clotting a wound, but it couldn’t hurt to try. Ground black pepper in quantity is supposed to be good for clotting a wound, and alum as well. For burns, no worse than VERY SMALL second-degree burns, after cooling skin with water completely, soak spot in regular soy sauce until the nerves aren’t sensitive. Just pry the little dripper insert out of the top of the bottle, quickly dump into a bowl, and soak. If can’t get the body part into a bowl, saturate a small cloth in the bowl and apply to burn, keep re-saturating and re-applying until nerves are no longer sensitive. Yellow mustard is also supposed to be good for burns, but I haven’t tried it. For larger burns where there is no help coming for some time, cool skin FIRST with water, then break and separate a dozen eggs quickly, and apply the egg white ONLY to the burn. Separate another dozen and apply that on top of the initial layer. This can mean the difference between smooth healing with minimum pain versus disfiguring scarring and prolonged or permanent pain. Get to help as soon as possible afterward. For burn balm, add yarrow to aloe gel for rapid healing. NEVER put lavender or tea tree oil on raw skin or cuts. For toothache, clove oil is more effective than cloves for immediate relief.

  2. Good article with lots of good ideas!

    I would like to add a few simple thoughts of my own. First of all, the idea of mixing peroxide with a mouthwash seems like a very bad idea. Too many chemicals for my thinking.

    I use a mix of peroxide and plain water about 50/50 and I’m very happy with the results. If I have a sore throat or swollen glands or an earache, I also add a rinse with plain old-style nasty-tasting Listerine but I do them separately. This usually nips any infections in the bud in one day. If not, I will do both a second day, but I’ve never had to do it three times in a row. It’s important to remember not to swallow any of this.

    I also do oil-pulling with a tsp of coconut oil once a week to keep my teeth and gums healthy. I’ve been doing this about 6 or 8 months and it really helps since seeing a dentist just isn’t an option in our budget. I had noticed my teeth feeling loose and shifting around a bit and I have had lots of fillings and a couple of root canals that are going bad. The oil pulling really helps to turn some of that around.

    Minor burns: This is our first winter trying to use our woodstove exclusively for heat and I knew that getting burned was going to happen no matter how careful we tried to be around it. The most typical burn happens when you’re trying to throw in wood and catch the edge of the opening over the top of your glove. Both of us have made this little mistake.

    In preparation for this injury, I made some simple skin balm. You can find many recipes for basic skin balm using Google. Then, I added several drops of tea tree and lavender essential oil to the balm. This works great at easing the pain quickly and healing the burn fast. The best part is that I have no scars or marks on my skin after the burns have healed.

    I just put a little dab on the burn immediately and then reapply it every day until the burn is clearly healed. Note: I’ve only used this on MINOR burns that barely blistered.

    Final note: adding oatmeal to your bath is a great idea, but letting it go down your pipes is a bad idea! Putting it in a cloth bag will definitely work better.

    Blessings and thanks for a great article!

    P.S. Never forget the many uses for baking soda!

  3. I really enjoyed his artical. I remeber my mother using some of these treatments you spoke about on me as a child. I also remeber my mother always kept a aloe-vera plant in the house for burns and cuts.

    I look forward to reading more articals on this website.

    Thank you

  4. Joyce Drena M.A., L.Ac.

    I remember my mother- in- law using regular “ole cornstarch” on our children’s very itchy chicken pox sores ! She put an old sheet on the bed – then a youngster and put the cornstarch very gently on to each itchy sore . Stopped the ” itch ” !!! Haven’t thought of this in 50 years ! ..No water was used. Hopes this helps somebody. Loved your old timey remedies…I know they work !!!!

  5. RE using Hydrogen Peroxide for mouthwash, I use 35% FOOD GRADE, DILUTED AS FOLLOWS: 1 part
    Hydrogen Peroxide FOOD GRADE 35% to 11 (ELEVEN) parts of filtered water. This mixture equals 3% hydrogen peroxide, but is better for you than the 3% Commercial HP you buy at the store, which is more for cleaning and commercial uses – NOT FOR HUMANS. WARNING: If you get 35% HP on your skin undiluted it will burn like heck for about 5 minutes, (even just a drop or two), and turn your skin white, BUT, after you wash it off with plain water and wait about 5 minutes, it stops burning and the whiteness goes away. NEVER GET THIS HP 35% FOOD GRADE IN YOUR EYES AND NEVER SWALLOW IT – ESPECIALLY UNDILUTED!!!!! It also works great as a cleaner and disinfectant. I use half HP 35% food grade and half water for cleaning sinks, etc, but this mixture is WAY too strong to use as a mouthwash. It can blister your tongue and the inside of your mouth if it is too strong.
    Personally, I would never use the “Walmart” or “Your local store bought” HP for anything to do with
    my body. I would ONLY use FOOD GRADE, and in the CORRECT PERCENTAGE for things such as mouthwash or anything else to do with the body. If you have 35% Food Grade HP, and DO NOT KNOW what the correct percentage is for what you want to use it for, PLEASE DO NOT GUESS! ASK SOMEONE WHO KNOWS. You could seriously injure yourself, or even die if you swallow it full strength or even if you swallow the 3%. Be very careful with HP, Food Grade or NON food grade. Also, mixing 1/2 HP, (even using 3%), with half mouth wash, I also, like the previous writer, consider to be a VERY BAD IDEA!
    I AM NOT AN AUTHORITY ON THIS. I READ A BOOK ABOUT HP 35% FOOD GRADE AND TOOK THE AFOREMENTIONED INFO RE USING 3% FOR MOUTH WASH AND AS I EXPLAINED ABOVE FOR CLEANING SINKS FROM THE BOOK, TRIED IT MYSELF, AND IT WORKED. Use at your own risk. I think that anyone who wants to use HP 35% Food Grade should get a RELIABLE book on the subject and read it before using the HP 35% Food Grade. I recommend The True Power of Hydrogen Peroxide by Mary
    Wright.

  6. Aloe plant for burns, never without a plant as I also heat with wood. One great find is a recipe I found on another website that saved me this summer from weeks of misery. I have few acres of property I have to keep under control. There is a spot that has some kind of poison I have run into. A year ago I itched with blisters oozing for 7 weeks, no matter what I applied. This past summer I mixed up a glass jar of peanut oil and a bottle of thrift store whole cloves, sat in sun for a few days. Wouldn’t you know I ran into that patch again, and same itching problem, so I gave the oil and clove mixture a try, it worked! I still can’t get over how fast I recovered, maybe a week- all gone. I applied many times a day to start, next day only had to apply, maybe 3 times, next day coupled of times- and than, I forgot about it, except every now and then a day here and there I would apply- Just amazing- also use for the mouth’ pulling’ Best thing I have ever had on my shelf

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