Natural Home Remedies for 5 Common Ailments: Part 1

HappyCommon ailments are often so trivial that we rarely bother going to a doctor,  most eventually clear up on their own. Still, they can be annoying, embarrassing or temporarily debilitating, so we usually look for ways to speed up the healing process by using home remedies.

For alleviating symptoms, traditional folk remedies are often as effective as modern pharmaceutical preparations — if not more so — and generally, they cause fewer side effects as they are chemical free.

Here I have gathered many home remedies for common ailments as told to me by my wise grandmother and older people in my community, they are a wealth of elder wisdom and I love these tips are passed down through the generations. Sometimes  old fashioned home treatments for common ailments  beats the pants of a modern day drug or preparation! Naturally, for serious conditions I recommend you should consult a medical specialist.

Useful Home Remedies for Common Ailments : Arthritis

There is no recognized cure for arthritis, but much can be done to relieve pain, reduce swelling and maintain mobility and strength in the joints. If arthritis has been diagnosed, you may like to try some of these home remedies.

Massage: In times past, painful joints were often rubbed with a warming embrocation such as camphorated oil or a mixture of one part cayenne to four parts olive oil and eight parts spirit of camphor. A mixture of lemon juice and olive oil was also thought to be an effective massage oil, as was aloe vera juice.
penetrexA great chemical free treat for anyone who is suffering from arthritic pain is to gently massage the troublesome joints with an aromatic ointment such as Penetrex.

You can also try 10 drops each of rosemary, lavender, marjoram and peppermint essential oils in 30 ml of almond oil and gently rub into sore joints for pain relief.

Poultices: A hot mustard poultice was popular for relieving painful joints because mustard draws the blood to the skin’s surface and creates a warming effect. Test the preparation first on a small area to make sure it does not burn the skin. Mix mustard powder with the white of an egg rather than water, as this will take the sting out of the mustard.

Another widely used poultice was made from crushed fresh peppermint leaves, which contain menthol — an ingredient in many modern pain-relieving liniments.

Detoxification: Many older people still swear by a teaspoon each of apple cider vinegar and honey in a glass of warm water taken both in the morning and evening. Other popular detoxifying treatments were dandelion leaf tea and sage tea, which may well help to relieve the symptoms of arthritis, as their diuretic action improves the elimination of uric acid from the body.

An interesting aside here, my grandmother was diagnosed with high blood pressure and  being a non believer in drugs, she takes a desert spoonful of apple cider vinegar, honey, crushed garlic (raw) and water. This was a concoction she kept in the fridge and took every day. Yes, tastes disgusting indeed, I can feel you squirming from here. Her blood pressure returned to normal levels and a few little health niggles also disappeared. Food for thought. Garlic is well known as a super curative for many health conditions….

A Thermophore Heating Pad Delivers Pain Relieving Heat

Thermophore StandardThe other thing she absolutely loves is her Thermophore heating pad which we found on Amaon for her. Despite being 86, she is an extremely active gardener and I will often find her gently tending to some part of her garden and there is always a supply of vegetables to take home for our family. After a day in the garden and in in the colder months, her arthritis tends to be uncomfortable and to ease the pain she loves this pad.

The heat it delivers is intense and moist and it can be felt pushing deep into our sore joints and muscles. Its actually very good for sore backs as it completely relaxes stiff, sore or locked muscles, making them a great investment in pain relief. They have a self timer to set if you want to use it for a set time.

What is the secret behind the unique Thermophore Therapy System to provide real relief from chronic pain?

Thermophore Deep-Heat Therapy System  hand-crafted design delivers a unique combination of heat moisture and weight that contours to your body and delivers intense moist heat that pushes deep into painful tissues and joints.

In just minutes muscles begin to relax, circulation increases even chronic arthritis pain subsides and the relief lasts for hours.

Key features:

  • Thermophore Deep-Heat Therapy packs are capable of reaching the most intense heat levels allowed.
  • One-Touch 20 minute timer switch is hands free is easy to use includes the innovative Pause feature and gives you greater control of your therapy.
  • Self-contouring design combines the flexibility of rugged fabric with evenly distributed weights to maximize heat transfer for soothing all-over comfort.
  • Moist-Sure technology in our plush fleece cover absorbs atmospheric moisture to enhance the penetrating heat of the Thermophore pack for more effective therapy.

Use as often as needed to ease pain, whether it be arthritic pain, sore muscles from running marathons, gardening or long walks or you just need comfort. I like using hers

The standard Thermophore Deep-Heat  pad measures  14 inchs x 27 inchs in size I like  as it covers  my entire back, tummy or hip and thigh.

They have a nice flexible weighted  feel which  drapes to body contours to keep on those painful areas.

Most back pain will get better with rest, preferably lying on a firm mattress. There are many old recipes for relieving the pain; try these before you reach for modern over the counter meds.
Caution: If back pain is severe or is associated with weakness in a leg or loss of bladder control, there may be a serious underlying cause; consult a doctor without delay.

Poultices and compresses: A hot poultice will provide relief from most back pain. Linseed or flaxseed is well known and a great home remedy as a pain reliever. Boil 500 grams of ground seed in water until it forms a paste, which you then pack between two layers of gauze and apply to the painful area. Hot moist bran was also recommended as a poultice.

A compress made from a piece of flannel wrung out in hot water brings relief. You could add a few drops of an essential oil such as ginger, rosemary or wintergreen to the water to encourage blood flow to the sore area.

Take a Warm Bath: Raise your spirits and lower your pain levels by taking a warm bath containing 5 drops of lavender oil mixed with a little olive or almond oil. Then ask a loved one to massage you with a mixture of essential oils — 4 drops of ginger, 6 drops of lavender and 5 drops of marjoram in 3 teaspoons of almond oil.

Exercise: Modern medical science has proved the efficacy of starting gentle exercise as soon as possible after the onset of back pain, but the idea is not new a sour elders know!!  More than 60 years ago, family health advisers were recommending sufferers to begin gentle stretching exercises as soon as possible and to start walking within two days, even in the severest cases. They also recommended regular, gentle exercise as prevention against further attacks.

Bad Breath

Bad breath is usually caused by something you consumed — such as spicy food, garlic or onions — or by smoking cigarettes or drinking alcoholic drinks. In times past poor dental hygiene was often the cause of bad breath, but this is less likely today. However, sometimes an abscess in an otherwise healthy mouth can cause bad breath or simply failing to brush correctly.

At times bad breath can result from a mouth infection, such as thrush, or a respiratory infection such as bronchitis or sinusitis.
While you treat the underlying problem, try one of these recipes for sweetening the breath: chew parsley, wintergreen, mint or peppermint leaves; drink peppermint or fenugreek tea; add a few drops of vinegar to water and gargle each morning; add 30 drops of tincture of myrrh to a glass of warm water and use as a mouthwash; or chew dill, cardamom or caraway seeds, or a couple of coffee beans.

Boils and Carbuncles

A boil is an inflamed, pus-filled area of skin, usually an infected hair follicle. Boils are most common on the neck and in warm moist areas such as the armpits and the groin. A carbuncle is a cluster of interconnected boils.
Sometimes the body absorbs the boil before it comes to a head and there is no need to do anything. If this does not happen, bringing the boil swiftly to a head so that it will burst and drain is still the best treatment. Do not lance the boil, as some old remedies suggest, as this can easily result in a worse infection.

The pus is highly infectious, so make sure that you wash your hands well after touching it and keep your towels and other personal items separate from those of other people. If a boil is more than 1.5 cm across or you develop a carbuncle, it is best to seek medical advice.

Hot poultices are the best way of bringing a boil to a head. A popular poultice in the old days was a stiff paste of Epsom salts and glycerine — exactly the same ingredients found in many modern proprietary treatments for drawing boils.

Cold poultices were made with mashed garlic, lemon slices, grated carrot or honey; all these ingredients also have antiseptic properties, so they will help to prevent reinfection. Leave the poultice on a boil for 10 to 15 minutes at a time.

Chemical Free Home Treatment for Bruises

The traditional practice of putting a steak over a black eye may have helped — as long as the steak was cold enough! A better and more modern remedy is to apply a cold compress or an icebag — five minutes on, five minutes off. Applied immediately, it will help to stop internal bleeding and reduce swelling. Add a few drops of lavender oil to a cold compress to help soothe the pain.

arnicaEvery household medicine cupboard used to contain a jar of arnica ointment, which has an amazing ability to reduce pain and swelling. It is still available in health food shops, but do not apply it too often, and never to broken skin.

Ointment containing St John’s wort, or hypericum, is as effective as arnica.
Once the bruise has darkened, you can soothe the pain and remove discoloration with one of a number of old remedies.

Chemical free home remedies for bruises include  frequent hot poultices of hyssop or comfrey leaves, or a mixture of chamomile and yarrow, or apply calendula ointment, aloe vera gel or tea-tree oil. A massage with rosemary oil in a vegetable oil carrier stimulates local circulation and speeds up the healing process.

Cold Sores : Home Remedies for Common Ailments

Cold sores are caused by a virus that tends to be activated if your lips are exposed to strong sunshine or cold winds, or if you are run down or have a cold. Women are more likely to develop cold sores around the time of menstruation.
Act when you feel the first tingling: if you are quick enough, one of the following treatments may stop it in its tracks.

Dab the spot with lemon juice, or hold ice wrapped in gauze on it. Dab on an essential oil such as eucalyptus, lavender, lemon or tea tree, or apply calendula or hypericum ointment. Tinctures will help dry out a full blown cold sore. Try tinctures of lavender, calendula, witch hazel or hypericum.

This is the First of My 3 Part Series on Chemical Free Useful Home Remedies

This is is the first part of my 3 part series on natural remedies for common ailments which will bring you old fashioned home remedies for illnesses that have been successfully used for years and years. I like the old fashioned remedies especially as they are chemical free which is increasingly important as we find out how toxic many modern mods are!