Monday, January 2, 2012

Home Remedies That Work

Were you taken to the doctor very much? We only saw them for "have to" ailments and relied primarily on my Grandpa's prayers. We know prayer works.

Mama said I had a lot of earaches as a child. They may have occasionally taken me to the doctor with an earache, but I do not recall taking much medication. I remember Daddy and Mama blowing cigarette smoke into my ear when I complained of pain though. Although I think it may have contributed to my poor hearing today, the warmth from the smoke was soothing.

Sorry the picture is crooked

Here is a picture of me watching TV (my favorite pastime) and saying "huh" when Mama called my name. She took me to the doctor once because I said "huh" so often. He said all kids did.

I am not sure what Mama gave me baby aspirin for but because I threw them behind the sofa, they did not work.

I gargled with warm salt water anytime I had a sore throat. It also heals mouth ulcers. A simple remedy that still works today.

I remember Grandma cut her finger with a knife and while bleeding profusely asked me to get spider webs to stop the bleeding. I was too afraid so she had to do it herself. As the bleeding stopped right away, the cobwebs must have worked.

After nineteen years of biting my nails, I quit while I was expecting my first child. I am sure Mama employed many methods in an effort to break me of the habit. None of them worked. I once developed blood poisoning after tearing a cuticle off into the quick. The inflammation, fever, and swelling meant a trip to the doctor where a penicillin shot was administered. I was covered in a fine rash before I walked out the door. No more penicillin for me. It probably did work though.

Further treatment for the infection in my thumb included warm Epsom salt water soaks and dressing my thumb in clean rags that were ripped into strips. We barely had bandaids back then, much less rolled gauze. They then wrapped my whole hand in a plastic bag. It was hot and uncomfortable. Apparently it did work though.

Mama applied a golden seal herb salve to the impetigo sores I had around my mouth. It was a thick, yellowish, mud-like concoction that smelled dreadful. It continues to be one of the more popular roots or herbs used today. It must work for many complaints.

I got a really bad sunburn the summer I stayed with my OKC Grandma. She soaked brown paper sacks in vinegar and placed them on my blistered back. I would try this remedy on my own grandchildren because it works.

One of our neighbors told Mama sage tea should be administered routinely to prevent worms in children. We were dosed a few times with this terrible, dreadful, awful, horrible, disgusting, nasty, foul tasting potion. It is a good thing this was back in the days the only one to report abuse to was a Grandma or Mama would have been in big trouble. What you do (but please don't) is brew sage (the stuff you put in your cornbread stuffing) and water into a tea. Then you have to drink it in small sips. While I took forever to choke mine down, my brother would go ahead and drink it, eat the bread afterwards, and be done with it. I always made said younger brother get his immunizations first too. He was easily manipulated as a child. I knew how to work it.

I remember the whole county going to the high school to receive the life saving polio vaccine in sugar cubes. Daddy had me and brother go through to ask for five doses - enough for the whole family. Polio was a killer and crippler of many from my generation but the vaccine worked.

Did you all get your flu shots this year? I hope so because you know they do work.


  1. gargling with warm salt water was done in our household (my mother also brushed her teeth with baking soda).

    we used a plant called a healing onion (grew out of a big onion-like bulb but had flat leaves instead of tubulur). we crushed the leaves into a pulp, put it on sores and cuts and it would keep infection out. it would also draw out a stubborn sliver. i still wish i had one of those plants!


  2. Oh yes, we got our flu shots. I don't fool around with immunizations!

  3. remember more home remedies than I do. I might want to try a couple now that you have mentioned here. Salt water sucked into the nostril and used also as a gargle were definitely used in our household when I was a child. Now they make fancy teapot-looking contraptions to administer the salt water into your nose, but, hey, just breathing it in right off the palm of you hand works just fine! My grandad gave me honey and pepper for colds and also once I had to drink a small bit of red wine, which was AWFUL, it was so strong, and I just couldn't get it down! Ah, the good ole days! :-)

    Thanks for your comments on my blog!