Grandma Knew Best - 100 Home Remedies
When It Comes to Home Remedies - Grandma Knows Best
I have lots of children(6), by today's standards, which has translated into lots of grandchildren (10.)
When my children were growing up, I had some home remedies for most ailments; peroxide for cuts and slivers, chicken soup and popsicles for colds and flu, cornstarch for heat rashes and babies bottoms.
Now that my children have children, I usually get a phone call or a visit whenever they need a 'remedy' or two.
I'm A Grandma...
...but I don't know everything!
I have used MANY of the natural home remedies I have written about in this lens.
A number of them were 'passed down' from another generation, when my grandparents resorted to home remedies to keep their families healthy.
Given the choice between natural home remedies or more expensive over the counter relief, I elect to try the natural cures first.
I haven't had all the ailments that I included home 'remedies' for...so a lot of the material in this lens, is the product of hours and hours and then a few more hours of research.
Feeling "Under the Weather"
Colds and Allergies
Bronchitis: For mild bronchitis symptoms, use a vaporizer, take a steamy shower or turn the hot water on in the sink and cover your head and the sink with a towel (kind of a quick and easy sauna) to ease your discomfort and open up your chest.
Congestion: Red pepper, jalapenos and hot salsa will temporarily open up your nasal passages and break up congestion.
Echinacea: I drink echinacea tea at the very first sign of a cold. A favorite...Echinacea and Elderberry..mmmm!
Green tea: Green tea is a natural antihistamine, which helps both allergies and colds
Saline nose drops: Make your own nose drops by sprinking some salt in boiled water (about 1/4 cup) to break up congestion and help you breathe. (Or you can get it already bottled and ready to use at the local drug store.)
Salt water Gargle: To help a sore throat, gargle salt water several times daily.
Thyme: Make a tea with thyme or add a little to your recipes when you cook to break up congestion and relieve stuffy noses.
Vicks Up: Rub a little Vick's Vapor Rub or another menthol salve on the upper chest, then rub what is left on your fingers under your nose, this can break up congestion and help you breathe more easily.
Vitamin C and Colds: Taking Vitamin C, even if you're already sick can shorten the average cycle of your cold.
Vitamin C and Allergies: Taking Vitamin C also helps allergies, because of its ability to counteract the inflammation responses that are part of hay fever and asthma.
For Fevers and Flu
Fever and the Flu
Getting the flu can make you feel absolutely miserable and it usually puts most of us out of commission for days. Here are some things to help you feel a little better.
Aspirin: Advised by doctors, to reduce fever and muscle aches. I use an enteric coated aspirin, to avoid stomach distress.
Flu and cold symptoms: Mix some real lemon juice, one spoonful of honey and one spoonful of brandy and drink it all.
Give children a sponge bath: Using lukewarm water, give your child a sponge bath when he or she has a fever.
Liquid Diet: Water, Chicken Broth, Herb Teas, Jello, Popsicles....at least until your fever, and the nausea have passed.
Steam: Create your own make shift steam room by turning on the hot water in the sink and adding a couple of teaspoons of ginger or eucalyptus oil. Get up close and breathe in the steam for some relief.
Sleep: It's important and besides, you probably won't feel like doing anything else anyway. If you can't sleep, then lay down and watch a little TV.
Saffron Tea: Drink saffron tea made of half a teaspoon of saffron and boiling water.
Take a bath: Take a bath in tepid (lukewarm) water to bring down body temperatures.
Water: Drink lots of water is crucial when you have a fever. It's very important to stay hydrated and bring your body temperature down
Remedies for Aches and Pains
Aches and Pains
Arthritis: A daily serving of fresh fish or fish oil capsules helps to give relief of arthritis and other joint pains. Also, 3-4 walnuts eaten daily, on an empty stomach, is said to help.
Arthritis: Staying warm helps ease the pain of arthritis. Grab a blanket and throw it over yourself or adjust the thermostat to keep it warm..but not hot.
Backache: Check your posture before you check your medicine cabinet. See what it is that you are doing that might be causing the backache, shoulder pain and the such. If you're constantly bent over a keyboard typing you could be hurting yourself. Be aware of how you are sitting and make sure you sit up straight and push your shoulders back.
Drink a cup of hot milk: Works especially well if you are experiencing cramping from diarrhea. Heat the milk to boiling, add some powdered chocolate drink mix, if you can't do the milk plain, and cool just enough that it doesn't burn your tongue when you drink it.
Earache: Put some warmed virgin olive oil on a cotton ball and insert into painful ear. Repeat a couple times daily until earache goes away.
A couple drops of vinegar in affected ear two or three times daily.
Eat bananas: Up your potassium levels by eating a banana especially good for leg cramps, growing pains and charlie horses.
Headache: If you've got a bad headache and are still waiting for the aspirin to kick in, apply some ice to your head and, I've some doctors say, 'if you can get the headache when it's just a dull throb, almost 80 percent will avoid the headache getting any worse."
Headache: Turn out the lights. Reducing the amount of light helps ease eye strain and can calm your throbbing head.
Magnesium and PMS : Supplement your vitamin regiment with magnesium, some sources recommend 1,000 mg a day.
St. John's wort for back pain: Use 15 to 20 drops in a glass of water every few hours, as needed for back pain. Be aware that it can cause sun sensitivity so stay out of the sun as much as possible if you are using this remedy
Toothache: Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with water and swish it in your mouth to create a soothing mouthwash. Or use warm salt water.
Other remedies include: A hot teabag pressed directly on the affected tooth, pure peppermint extract applied to the tooth and, (I've heard this works quite well,) to gently rub an ice cube in the 'v' area between the forefinger and thumb for several minutes.
Toothache: Another quick fix for a painful toothache is to chew fresh oregano leaves.
For Cuts, Bumps, Burns and Stings
Cuts, Bumps, Burns and Stings
Aloe and razor burn: Rub aloe gel on the irritated area to relieve the effects of razor burn.
Bee stings: Meat tenderizer neutralizes the poison from a bee sting in minutes. To soothe the sting, apply a paste of baking soda and water. Applying the baking soda paste and then a few drops of vinegar will neutralize the poison and bring the stinger to the surface so it can be pulled right out.
Black Eye: Eat some papaya and pineapple.
Bug Bites: Reduce itching with a dab of apple cider vinegar applied directly to bug bites.
Bruises and Arnica: A small amount of the muscle soreness product Arnica helps minimize the appearance of bruises.
Minor burns: Soak the burn in cool water for 10 to 15 minutes. Whole milk on a minor burn soothes the burn and promotes healing.
Preparation H and minor burns: Preparation H helps minor burns heal more quickly.
Sunburn: Very gently cleanse with antibacterial soap then apply aloe gel to moisten and heal.
Yogurt and cold sores: Shorten the duration of cold sores by eating yogurt.
These tried and true home remedies can calm an upset stomach.
Close your eyes: If you're feeling dizzy shut your eyes for a few moments to regain your equilibrium.
Coconut water and gastritis: It calms the stomach and provides vitamins and minerals.
Ginger: Ginger cookies and ginger tea helps calm upset stomaches.
Ginger ale: Ginger ale is better than Sprite or 7-Up for an upset stomach. The bubbles relieve gas and the ginger has a natural soothing effect.
High-protein drink for motion sickness: A high-protein liquid drink is better for an upset stomach than one high in carbs.
Lemon tea and honey: Can keep a stomach ache at bay.
Peppermint: Peppermint has a soothing effect that helps alleviate stomach aches.
Rice water: Try half a cup of rice in one cup of water. Boil the mixture for 10-20 minutes, and then drink the water after draining the rice.
Sage tea: Can calm a nervous stomach and reduce stress.
Soda Water and Bitters: Stir about a third of a teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of water and add a couple drops of Bitters...if you don't have Bitters, then the soda water itself will help a stomach upset..it usually promotes a belch or two.
Walk away (from the computer): Too much eye strain can cause you to be nauseous. Take a break from the computer, walk around and get some fresh air.
The morning after the night before --- Hangovers
Don't bother with a strong cup of hot black coffee or the cold shower. To cope with the 'morning after the night before' try the following...
Alka-Seltzer: Relieves mild headaches and stomach upset after a night of too much drinking.
Banana: It helps to eat a banana the morning after..
Emergen-C: Taking this after you drink but, before you go to bed, helps boost your immune system and gives your body the electrolytes to fight off dehydration.
Olive Oil or Pizza: It is true, eating pizza or taking a teaspoon of olive oil helps to "grease the lining of the intestines," so that it takes longer for alcohol to be absorbed into the body. (This isn't so much 'the morning after...but rather 'the night before')
Pedialyte: Marketed for kids, but adults can also re-hydrate quickly and make a stomach ache feel better, after consuming too much alcohol..
Tums: Relieve heartburn and stomach acid by taking antacid the morning after.
When your skin is in Distress
Skin in Distress
Cost-effective home treatments for all sorts of skin distress.
Acne: Increase your daily vitamin intake of zinc, niacin and Vitamin A as they are all helpful in treating acne. Another cost effective and simple remedy is to apply either lemon juice or toothpaste to blemishes and leave overnight.
Chickenpox: A vinegar bath to eases itching and keeps you from scratching too much. Oatmeal baths can sometimes help.
Eczema: For temporary relief use lotion that contains oatmeal or take an 'oatmeal bath'. You can also temporarily stop itching by rubbing ice over the area that is irritated.
(I've also heard that Vicks Vapor Rub applied to eczema patches, will help heal it over time.)
Face mask: To moisturize extra dry skin you can make a face mask using 2-5 tablespoons of mashed raw peanuts mixed with milk. The paste needs to completely dry on your face before you rinse it off with cold water.
Lavender oil and skin abrasions: A couple of drops of lavender oil will heal the abrasion.
Lemon for corns: Secure a small slice of fresh lemon to affected toe(s) and leave it on overnight (one night is all it should take).
Poison Ivy: Rub wet salt onto the rash to calm itching and stop the poison ivy oil from spreading.
Varicose veins: Eating blackberries and cherries can clear up many symptoms of varicose veins.
I wished I'd had these tips during my --- Pregnancy
Tips, hints and suggestions.
Breast milk: Eating almonds is said to improve the quality of the breast milk.
Eat frequently: Eating six smaller meals everyday will help you avoid an empty stomach.
Fighting nausea: Low blood sugar aggravates nausea, have a milk shake or fruit shake, real ginger tea, a non caffeinated soft drink between meals will help alleviate the nausea. Use real ginger tea, rather than flavored ginger, as this works almost immediately.
Butter mints: were my 'best friends' for heartburn during my pregnancies. They almost always worked.
For your -- Mental Health
Mental Health Tips
Amend your diet: Add almonds and orange juice into your diet to beat depression.
Chamomile Tea: Relaxes the body and the mind.
Exercise: According to some doctors, exercise is the 'natural cure' for depression. It really Is!
Kava Kava: reduces anxiety and stress, and helps overcome insomnia.
Licorice: Licorice or licorice tea reduce stress and the effects of depression.
Tobacco free: eating cayenne pepper reduces cravings and drinking ginger tea curbs nausea. Take a little salt on the tip of your tongue when you feel the urge to smoke. This is reported to break the habit within 1 month.
Eyes and Ears
Eyes and Ears
Earache: A drop garlic juice into your ear helps to relieve the pain of an ear infection.
Clean out earwax: A drop or two of peroxide helps soften and clean out earwax.
Dark circles: A cold compress over eyes helps banish dark circles. A cold moist washcloth helps constrict blood vessels, which makes them less visible.
Moisturize eyes: A warm moist compress over your eyes helps alleviate dryness.
Note=I recently had a bout with seasonal allergies/ cold/ sinuses that clogged my ears to the point that none of my usual home remedies did the job, so I sought out the assistance of a local spa and had my ears 'candled'.
This was my first experience with candling, and I confess I was a bit...'apprehensive'...but it ended up being quite painless. (And I got a face massage as an added bonus!)
I do want to CAUTION folks from doing this on their own, without someone else to help. I didn't really have anyone to assist me, so the spa was the answer for me, but we are dealing with fire...actual flames...and it was something I would never try or recommend anyone else to try on one's own.
More home remedies for assorted ailments..
Anemia boosters: Incorporating leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, bran and whole grains are all great anemia boosters..
Barley water and measles: Drinking some barley water a few times a day is said to 'cure' the measles.
Bloody nose: Put a couple drops of lemon juice into your nostrils to stop a bloody nose.
Chapped lips: Aloe gel or a balm rich in aloe, helps moisturize and soothe chapped lips.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Chronic sufferers of CFS should eat magnesium-rich foods like peas, nuts, leafy vegetables and brown rice to help beat some of the symptoms.
Dry skin: Super moisturize hands and feet by applying a heavy concentrate of lotion to the dry areas and then put on mittens or heavy duty socks and wear them overnight. This aids to lock in moisture.
Hair loss: Gingko Biloba, tea tree oil, rosemary oil can stop hair loss.
Hiccups: Sucking on a spoonful of sugar, tickling your throat with a cotton ball and eating a bowl of yogurt are all said to cure the hiccups.
Migraine: Eat foods rich in niacin to prevent or stop a migraine headache. These foods include tomatoes, fish and nuts.
Reduce cholesterol: Drinking coriander water and eating oat bran are reported to reduce cholesterol. Eating sunflower seeds also helps reduce cholesterol.
Strengthen nails: Eat cauliflower! Cauliflower is rich in biotin, which helps strengthen brittle nails.
Vaseline..your new BFF: You can rub Vaseline on your toes and heels and prevent blisters while breaking in new shoes.
For the 'Non-Speakable' Ailments
Most of us want to deal with these ailments 'on our own'.
Bad breath: Brush your teeth with baking soda and rinse with salt water. Eat some fresh parsley (it's more than a plate garnish). Drink green tea, it kills the bacteria in your mouth. Throw a slice of lemon or lime into your mouth rinse water and let it set while you brush your teeth. After brushing, swish with the lemon/ lime water.
Body odor: A mixture of baking soda and lemon juice applied under your arms will reduce body odor.
Carrot soup and diarrhea: Mix up some carrot sooup. It helps calm diarrhea, because it is rich in calcium, magnesium, sulphur and potassium.
Constipation: Eating plums, dates and apples help cure constipation. Black licorce and ginger tea are also good to use for constipation.
Diarrhea: Mint juice mixed with lime juice and honey helps keep you from getting diarrhea.
Flatulence and ginger: Mix some ginger into a drink can help settle flatulence
Lime juice and dandruff: Use one teaspoon of lime juice after rinsing the shampoo, to reduce stickiness and help prevent dandruff.
Tea tree oil and toenail fungus: Rub tea tree oil on the affected toenails and use until the fungus is gone.
UTI: Drink loads of green tea and real cranberry juice (not concentrate) to get rid of a urinary tract infection. Also drink a lot of water.
Vitamin E: Taking lots of vitamin E helps to reduce the frequency and the intensity of hot flashes.
Yogurt and yeast infections: Fill a tampon inserter with yogurt and insert it (like a tampon), to rid the body of fungus and decrease itching
Clean Remedies --- Especially good for the Environment!
Clogged Drain Remedy
1 cup salt
1 cup baking soda
1 cup vinegar
Mix, then pour down the drain. Follow with 2 quarts boiling water.
2 cups baking soda
2 cups white vinegar
4 cups water
Mix ingredients and store in a plastic or glass container in your laundry area. Label the container and keep it out of the reach of children.
To use: Shake the mixture and add 1/4 cup to the final rinse in the washing machine. If you have hard water, use 1/3 cup.
1/2 cup salt
1/8 cup cream of tartar
1/2 cup baking soda
6 cups boiling water
Mix salt, baking soda, and cream of tartar and pour directly into the drain. Follow with boiling water. Allow to set for several hours - overnight if possible. Flush with cool water.
Use once a month, and your plants will be greener and healthier.
1 envelope unflavored gelatine
3 cups cold water
1 cup hot water
Mix gelatine with hot water until gelatine is dissolved. Add 3 cups cold water.
1 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon allspice
Combine all ingredients in a microwave-safe dish and heat until almost boiling. Set out in the room, and soon the room will be odor-free. This will reduce both food and cigarette smoke odors.
Sick Houseplant Treatment
4 or 5 empty eggshells
4 cups water
Put eggshells in water and let stand for 24 hours. Water the plants
with this mixture
Tough Toilet Stain Cleaner
Pour a box of borax into the toilet bowl; let sit overnight. In the morning the stains will be gone.
Just mix a few tablespoons of cider vinegar with the 8 oz water, put in a clean spray bottle and spray your fresh produce from the grocers, it doesn't leave a smell on your produce, and it works great!
Wild Life Repellent
1 whole Spanish onion
1 jalapeno pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Chop up the onion and the pepper. Mix together and boil in 2 quarts of water for about 20 min. Let cool, and strain the water through a cheesecloth. Using a garden sprayer, spray any area outside where wild animals or even neighborhood pets are being a nuisance. This probably will not work for birds (birds do not have a sense of smell.) Use for 2 weeks to insure success.
This mixture is non-toxic and it will not harm any animal.
Window Cleaner (for cold weather)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 quart warm water
Window Cleaner (for warm weather)
2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
2 quarts water
My list of always-have-on-hand cleaning products is much like I remember my grandma's used to be. They're low cost, effective, and green:
Vinegar and baking soda- mix either with warm water and clean just about anything:
o Baking Soda - cleans chrome, keeps the refrigerator and freezer smelling good, polishes silver without scratching, washes fruits and vegetables in a pot of cold water with 2-3 tablespoons baking soda; 2 tablespoons boosts the grease-cutting power of dishwashing liquid and more!
o Vinegar - gets the grime off the top of the fridge, the grease off the stove; a removes soap build-up (even on your hair); removes mineral deposits from coffee makers and stains from coffee cups, I could go on and on about vinegar!
**NEW find! -- Pet Urine Odor Eliminator!
A while back my sweet little dog, that I love very much, peed on my bed. Not sure why..I .think she might have been jealous that I'd been carrying for my youngest grandbaby. Anyway...I was so distressed at what to do and I searched high and low for a natural solution.
This solution REALLY worked!!
1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup vinegar
pour over stain and let set for a few minutes then...
soak up as much as possible with some paper towels
Handful of baking soda
Rub all over area and leave for about 30 minutes
1 cup Peroxide (or other kind of 'Oxy' stain remover)....I used peroxide.
Blot the excess moisture and then let air dry or use a wet vac. (I set a fan up in front of my mattress for several hours.)
It really worked like a charm and there is no stain and no odor. Really beats the high priced solutions I bought at the Pet Store that never did work very well.
Keeping flies, gnats and other insects off our Pets
Are flies, gnats, mosquitoes and other pesky insects tormenting your pets? Try using Food Grade Diatomaceous earth added to the food. You want to get this natural insect repellent into the animals as well as on them. But be sure to use only the FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous earth.
Diatomaceous Earth kills pesky insects naturally. It is a mineral dust that is mined from quarries and it kills the insects when they come in contact with it. You can use two cups of 'earth' in a detachable hose sprayer to spray over yards. It really works to kill fleas!
Other natural solutions include, apple cidar vinegar and Avon Skin So Soft applied to the coat of your pet.
Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade
For those Pesky Pesks
Ant Repellant: To keep ants out of the house, locate where the ants are coming into the house and sprinkle a barrier of cinnamon or any type of ground pepper to block their way. The spices are too hot for the ants to cross. I've also heard that periodic dustings of baby powder is a deterrent.
Gnat, Fly and Mosquito Repellent:
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
1 cup water
Mix well and then apply to faces, arms and legs. Also apply it around eyes and ears and it will keep flies away.
Using Helpful Herbs as Insect Repellents
For a really quick and easy insect repellent, rub some crushed basil leaves on your skin.
Researchers at Iowa State University found nepetalactone, the essential oil in catnip that gives the plant its characteristic odor, is ten times more effective at repelling mosquitoes than DEET.
Crushed garlic is a good addition to any homemade insecticide spray. Garlic cloves, placed in the ground around plants will deter slugs. Garlic is also a natural pesticide against mosquito larva.
Use lavender to protect clothes against moths. Flies and mosquitoes also seem to dislike the fragrance, so go ahead and use the oil in insect sprays.
Add 1 to 2 drops (depending on your pets size), of lemongrass or citronella essential oil to your pets' shampoo. It smells good and discourages fleas.
Also a good mosquito repellent.
Ants dislike peppermint, you can prevent them from entering by scenting cotton balls, spraying along shelves,and entryways...or plant some around the outside of the house.
Red cedarwood is very good insect repellent, effective against mosquitoes, moths, woodworms, leeches and rats.
Place sprigs of thyme among clothes or linens to dispel musty odors and deter insect pests. Both the leaves and flowers can be used to stuff sachets
Keep the flies out of the house
Take a few pennies and put them in a baggie about half filled with water. Hang it outside the door....for some reason it keeps the flies away.
Borax (the laundry booster) and sugar...mix equal amounts and sprinkle under sink, along baseboards, in the back of cupboards. Be careful though, while this does kill roaches (it does take up to 2-3 weeks) you don't want to let your pets or children get into this.
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I've had problems with squirrels eating my mums and other delicate plants shortly after planting. Since I also have a small dog, who tends to sniff and lick all sorts of outdoor places...plus, I don't like using chemicals anyway...I had to find some simple pet and earth friendly solutions.
The one that has worked wonders for me...sprinkling some crushed red pepper around the plants. You have to do this after a rain, or watering, or it loses it effectiveness. I found this out when they got one of my plants after a rain.
I've also heard that cayenne pepper, black pepper, and ground red pepper work too.
Other suggestions include: various sized rocks placed in potted plants or around the plants in a flower bed.
I'm going to get one or two feeders and put them nearby to see if this might help as well.
Got a home remedy you want to share...tell us about it! I'd love to add it to the remedies listed in this lens.
I just found a new site that I wanted to share with you, Grandmas Home Remedies.
Thanks so much for reading...and go ahead and sign my guestbook...even if you don't have a remedy to share:)