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Island Bites: Natural Home Remedies that could likely save your life

Updated on August 11, 2015


This article is not to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you’re sick, please consult your physician.

Can't sleep? Your stomach hurts? Ask grandma!

I grew up in Puerto Rico, where grandmas know best. They have all kinds of home remedies for any ache, sickness or health situation. I remember my grandma curing most of my childhood afflictions with herbs, plants and oils. As I grew up, I came to appreciate all the knowledge that older people have about nature.

These are some of Puerto Ricans grandmas’ natural home remedies that could likely save your life (or at least, make it easier!):

  • Ginger infused milk for upset stomach: When your belly aches, add a piece of ginger root and milk to a pot, and let it simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Let it cool a little. Drink warm.
  • Aloe Vera for your skin: Peel a piece of Aloe Vera (sabila in spanish) leaf and put it in the fridge. Rub it to your skin to alleviate itches, sunburns and skin burns. It also helps with skin spots and wrinkles.
  • Honey for insect bites and bee stings: Add honey to insect bites and stings. It’ll help with the swelling and pain.
  • Aloe, lemon and honey “syrup” for coughs and flu: Peel a piece of aloe. Add a small piece of peeled aloe to a blender with freshly squeezed lemon juice and honey. Blend well. Take a tablespoon of this syrup two or three times a day to cure your cough or flu.

  • Orange blossom water for insomnia, cramps and anxiety: Take a tablespoon of orange blossom water to help you sleep. It also helps to calm anxiety and cramps.
  • Chamomile and anise for indigestion: Drink chamomile and star anise tea to relieve your indigestion.
  • Cocoa butter for your skin: Use cocoa butter to treat your skin. It prevents dry and itchy skin. It is great for stretch marks.
  • Coconut oil for hair loss: Use coconut oil in your hair once a week to prevent and stop hair loss.
  • Tobacco for lice: Blend tobacco leaves with some water. Apply to hair and leave for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse and wash hair. This will kill lice.


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  • Chamomile for your nerves: Drink chamomile tea to calm your nerves and relieve your stress.
  • Cat’s Claw for arthritis: Boil this root (uncaria tomentosa) for ten minutes. Let it cool. Drink one cup of cat’s claw tea three times daily to alleviate arthritis symptoms.
  • Coffee for asthma: Smell and drink hot coffee to help with your asthma.
  • Bitter melon for diabetes: Prepare a tea with bitter melon leaves. Drink once a day to help control your diabetes.
  • Garlic for hypertension: Eat garlic will help you control high blood pressure.
  • Lavender for your baby: Add a couple drops of lavender oil to your baby bath water to help the baby sleep well.
  • Tea tree oil for ear infections: Add three drops of warm tea tree oil (or melaleuca oil) twice a day to the affected ear.

These are just a few Puerto Rican grandmas' natural home remedies to make you feel better. There are many more. We should take advantage of their knowledge. Nature has always been there.

So, next time you're feeling under the weather, ask your grandma for her advice and give it a try!


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