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Natural Home Remedies

Updated on November 3, 2010

Herbs--Such a vast topic. While putting this hub together, I found myself getting sidetracked, often. My title changed a minimum of three times!

In the US, we say, "erb", dropping the sound of the h , in Britain, the h is pronounced, saying herb.

Herbs are defined as a flowering plant whose above ground stem does not become woody. They have a variety of uses, making them valuable. No part of the plant is wasted.

Cooks use the leafy and green parts in their culinary arts. Isn't that a funny word, " culinary"?

It is defined as : of or relating to the kitchen or cooking. Can you imagine hearing the pioneer woman say, " unload the wagon, I need my culinary book " ?

The roots, bark, seeds and flowers are used in spiritual and medicinal applications.

There are a handful of herbs that have psychoactive or recreational uses. Cannabis is probably the most recognized of these today.


Pioneer women and our Grandmothers also used herbs. None of those ladies hopped in the car and drove down to the massive grocery store or farmer's market. They grew their own markets, and were expected to produce a variety of herbs and vegetables.

Cooking was work in their day. Often having only wild game to eat, there was no " hunting season", they had only what the menfolks were able to bring home, then: they had to butcher it, tenderize it, preserve it, and above all, they had to make it taste good.

The pioneer wife , if she were fortunate enough to have an early cookbook, had one that was divided into two parts, one being filled with recipes and cooking tips, and the other section devoted to practical herbal remedies. She was expected to be well versed and knowledgeable in this area. In her garden, she grew both culinary and medicinal herbs. Failing to do so, or having limited knowledge, would label her as a poorly prepared wife.


Whether she was a farm wife or a pioneer , a woman nursed her family back to health by her own cunning. She had no aspirin, it did not become available without a prescription until 1915. But she did use, willow bark, the basis for the aspirin. Band aids were not available until the 1920's.   She should have something clean, and white available, and she should be ready to rip it into strips for bandages.

Women, as the family doctor, have been treating all conceivable ailments with the tools of her trade for centuries.

Angelica was used for arthritis, asthma and other respiratory problems

Basil is a known anti-bacterial fighter and used for acne and minor wounds. It was also used for treating upset stomachs and morning sickness.

Bayberry was used to treat diarrhea.

Calendula was called upon to fight diaper rash, the pioneer trail was not littered with Pampers!

Cayenne and eucalyptus were used in compresses to relieve joint pain.

Cat-mint and willow bark was used to bring fevers down. If she had neither of these, she would call upon rosemary, either making a tea to drink, or to be washed with. If you were really sick, or she was worried, she did both.

Chickweed combatted  itchy skin.

Cinnamon was used in conjunction with cloves for treating sore throats

Cloves were used in dental problems. Cloves contain eugenol, which modern dentists use as a local anesthetic.

Comfrey mended the sprains and bruises.

Colts-foot was a bronchial aid, it also served to lessen the cough.

Cranberry tea, very similar to Black Haw, was the answer for menstrual cramps. It was even used in treating mumps.

Hysop was used in purification, both of the internal system and in wound cleaning.


Through the years, women have prepared us "onion tea" to dry our watering eyes. If you are restless and can't sleep, someone knows to  give you chamomile tea. In the chance that you have been bitten by a spider or snake, they will wash your puncture with salty water and wrap your wound with bacon in order to "draw" out the venom.

Many of these remedies of old, have stood the test of time, and have led to modern medicines.

How did they know?

As herbal knowledge developed into modern medicine, two major theories began to materialize.

1) The Doctrine of Signatures , suggests that God has given us clues into the shapes of leaves, roots, the colors of flowers telling us how to use them. Did you ever notice how the round slice of a boiled carrot resembles the inner eye, or the shape of a kidney bean is similar to the human kidney?

This theory has been around since the 16th century.

2) The second theory is astrology based, and was a bit harder to track down. While there is plenty of information on astrology, healing arts, folk remedies etc, I wanted to isolate the required information as it relates to this topic.

There is a modern society that is returning to the simple life. We are concerned about food additives, we are tuned in to recycling, reducing waste, smaller and more energy efficient homes. We know enough to be worried about the effects of chemicals in our bodies. We are embracing a return to frugality. We are right smack in the middle of a changing society.

Some of us are remembering how our Grandparents did things, some of us are discovering the skills of yesterday for the first time. However, we make the return, it is welcomed here.


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    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from A small southern town


      You are in good company, it has

      made great strides in recent years.

      I am not a big fan of OTC meds, either.

      thanks for coming by.....hope to see you

      on another page ~

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm a huge fan of homeopathic medicines. Why dose yourself with synthetics when the "organic" variety has been providing healing properties for years. Great Hub; great info; rating it up. Thanks!

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from A small southern town

      Hello Moons,

      That's an interesting blog you have going on!

      Thanks for visiting me here. New readers are

      always welcome.....and I appreciate the comments.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      GREAT! saving and artistic in one. It is a gift.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from A small southern town

      M.A. Hook,

      My Grandmother, ( who reared me) came from a line of Cherokee medicine healers. How, I wished I had spent more time with her, and less in competition with my brothers!

      There is a series in the works, but it is in a condensed form for this outlet.

      Thanks for coming by...I have been reading your hubs as well. I must say, you have an indepth grasp on history. That is not among my talents, making it one that I appreciate.

    • profile image

      M. A. Hook 

      8 years ago

      Concerning herbs, those paintings you see of the little cottage nearly buried in flowers weren't for "looking at," they were the herbalist growing foxglove for heart problems, and anything else that the local climate would support. A gallon of peppermint oil was a requirement on each prairie schooner that headed west, and every year there was the family hunt for wild herbs that were dried to be used during the year.

      You could do a whole series on each herb, how it was gathered, who used it for what, and the local folklore about it. Just be careful to steer clear of the medical professionals who will watch for "practicing medicine without a license."

      Since I'll be busy researching my own topics I'll be watching your hubs to glean from your research on the others I won't have time for.

      Thanks for sharing your work with me and the others. It's very much appreciated.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from A small southern town

      Granny's House,

      I am glad that you found something of use. There is a great deal of satisfaction in growing our own food and ERBS......

      Thanks for coming by!

    • Granny's House profile image

      Granny's House 

      8 years ago from Older and Hopefully Wiser Time

      I found a lot to use. I grow my own ERBS every year. Thank you for the tips. Will vote up

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from A small southern town

      Well, thank you very much, Shygirl 2....

      I am glad it is usefull to you.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      great tips of knowlege. :) bookmarked it!

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from A small southern town


      Hello to you as well, thanks for reading...and your lovely commentary.

      Weight loss, is not a topic that I am well versed in. There are probably good articles here on HubPages, written by the many talented and knowlegeable people on the board.

    • Electlady7777 profile image


      8 years ago from South Carolina

      Hi there

      I enjoy planting and expermenting with herbs. I applaud your boldness in posting this site, keep up the good work. By the way, do you know of any good herbs for weight loss?

      Divine Healing + Divine Health = A Divine Life

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from A small southern town


      So glad you dropped in. Sometimes we do need those things....the OTC medications are hard to pick from. I figured out years ago, by the time you buy 3 or 4 "cold" meds that do not work, you could have gone to the Doctor!

      Prevention is a good thing and I am a fan of eating healthy to be healthy, and of trying the simple things first.

    • trimar7 profile image


      8 years ago from New York

      How interesting - I've often believed that a good deal of medicine should belong to the home environment. We have been conditioned to believe that we need the local drug store and need to spend money.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from A small southern town


      Thanks for stopping by and I will be doing other hubs on Herbs.

      While, I won't rule out modern medicine......I do prefer the simple things.

    • eventsyoudesign profile image


      8 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      Main stream medicine has their nose so far up the pharmaceutical companies' rears that they cannot see the benefits of natural remedies for the kick backs they are receiving. Natural remedies are my first choice. Thanks again for a great article.

    • eventsyoudesign profile image


      8 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

      Good article. I like reading about natural healing. The body has the ability to heal itself and strives for homeostasis(the balancing of the body), on a daily basis. You have put a lot of good information into this article. I will read more. Teresa

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from A small southern town

      Thanks Marie Alice.......

      I strayed a long way from my roots, searching for "newer" ways, and have spent a long time trying to get back to them!

    • MarieAlice profile image

      Maria Alicia Cardenas 

      8 years ago from Spain

      great tips,,, nothing better that natural remedies!!

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from A small southern town

      Hello Dallas93444,

      It is a fascinating field. Chances are good, that I will be doing more on them.

      I know that the arthritic rubs get their heating quality from a residue derived from cayenne pepper.

      Thanks for reading!

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      8 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Many of our medicines come from herbs. There is constant world-wide research for herbs and their uses...

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from A small southern town

      Thanks Karanda, good to see you!

      This is an enjoyable topic, with a lot of potential. Perhaps, I will.

    • Karanda profile image

      Karen Wilton 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Ah, the wonderful treasures passing through generations. This hub brings us a snippet of the pioneer days and the magical healing powers that come from nature. I think you'll have to write another.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from A small southern town


      Thank you for reading and again for your kind words.

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr. Carlotta Boles 

      8 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

      Very informational Hub onegoodwoman, I like! Voted useful!!!! Blessings!!!

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from A small southern town


      thanks for dropping in, as you know, I am no stranger to debate :)

      Some things are so useful and beneficial, that how they got here, simply, no longer matters.

    • Jason R. Manning profile image

      Jason R. Manning 

      8 years ago from Sacramento, California

      Hi Y,

      Great little service you provided here, I am sure you are going to receive a comment or two from the politically correct about the “Original” use of herbs.

      We still like to use coral calcium in place of Rolaids when we can afford it. I use GABA to calm me down when my mind is in espresso mode. 5-HTP works wonders for the nerves as well. Nice job.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from A small southern town

      You are SO right vrajavala........

      and I had a handwritten note on that, but as I mentioned, it was hard to stay focused on this Hub. There is so very much material to be condensed!

      Even when I look at it now, I ask myself is this about herbs, pioneer women, Grandmothers or healing :)

      and let's not forget honey.....

    • vrajavala profile image


      8 years ago from Port St. Lucie

      So many people don't realize that there are these easy remedies. the best antibiotic is minced fresh garlic.

    • onegoodwoman profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from A small southern town

      Thanks Jenny,

      You will certainly find a lot of material here that is worthy of sharing.

    • Jenny Calender profile image

      Jenny Calender 

      8 years ago

      A prison volunteer, I'd love info like this to share with inmates. Many of them need so much and have so little, their families, too.


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