Thursday, October 1, 2009

Home remedies

Have you ever had a toothache or an earache only to have an elder in your family suggest a wild sounding home remedy? Most of us just go to the medicine cabinet and take something, be it Tylenol, Ibuprofen or Anbesol. This usually gets us through the evening until we can be seen by the doctor the following day. So what do we do when we go to the cabinet and find it bare and the E.R. too much of a hassle? We can relatives (mothers, grandmothers, etc.) and resort to using their home remedies.

I had an earache that was literally dealing me fits, so I did what I usually do. I posted a tweet about it. My tweet was as follows: "I know I'm a whiny butt at times but I think I have an ear infection. Hurts deep inside like there is something there (other than my brain)." The response I got was not "go to the doctor" or "take a pill and quit whining". Nope, my Twitter buddies love me and this is the advice they gave:

cbahm @Blissfully_Me Dunno if it helps, but my older daughter's dad swears by a 50/50 mix of vinegar/rubbing alcohol in ear. Good luck!

and ...

BooksByTara @Blissfully_Me Do you have any hydrogen peroxide?  I've read that dropping it in your ears can clear an infection -but it crackles loudly...

Of course I tried them ... BOTH. I am not sure which one was the miracle cure but my earache is gone. I do plan on stopping by and letting the doctor take a look at it but for the time being my pain has subsided.

The advice offered by my friends reminded me of a story told by my grandmother. She stated that if any of her children happened to get an earache or an ear infection she made them pee in a cup. She then proceeded to pour a few drops into the affected ear resulting in quick pain relief.  Of course I wasn't going to try it but I got a kick out of mentally picturing my Granny pouring my mother's own urine in her throbbing ear.

Needless to say, home remedies and cures have been a big part of family life, handed down from generation to generation. Some remedies are medically sound ... some are not, but every family swears by the effectiveness of their own traditional concoction. These days, more of us are turning to home remedies because they are conveniently available (on the net, your friend, your family...), are said to be tried and tested, and let's face it, we all need some help in this economy. Before you subscribe to a home remedy, do research and above all, trust your common sense.

Here are a few interesting home remedies:
  1. For smoke or paint fumes, leave a bowl of vinegar in the room and it will absorb the paint and tobacco fumes leaving the room smelling fresh.
  2. For toenail fungus, soak your feet in a bowl of Listerine mouthwash.
  3. To cure a cold sore, one home remedy explains that digging out your own ear wax and dabbing it on your cold sore, that this will prevent the cold sore from progressing.
  4. Rubbing a bar of soap on an insect bite will immediately relieve itching.
  5. Inserting 1 tablespoon of plain unflavored yogurt before bed cures yeast infection and the coolness relieves itching.
  6. Duct tape "cures" plantar warts: soak the foot good to soften, scrape away as much of the callous (that forms around it) with the edge of a paring knife. Cover with a 1"x1" piece of duct tape. Repeat every 3 days.
  7. Rub toothpaste on minor burns to prevent blister formation and relieve pain.
  8. Painting clear nail polish over mosquito bites relieves the itching.
  9. Rub a cat's tail on a sty to remove it.
  10. Place a spider web on a cut to stop bleeding.


  1. Heh-heh -- if only you'd had a sore throat, you'd have gotten to try whiskey with peppermint or honey. That's way more fun to recommend. ;oD

    I'm glad you're feeling better!

  2. That is pretty interesting. It provided me some ideas and I'll be placing them on my website shortly. I'm bookmarking your website and I'll be back again. Thanks again!