Why I don’t knock home remedies

Because they work. Hubby just sent me this Medscape article, which reports the effectiveness of honey when used for cough associated with upper respiratory tract infections in children.

I grew up in a household that embraced many forms of medicine. The only proof of a medicine was in its effectiveness. My father doled out naturopathic pills for common cold and minor fevers, color therapy for sinus infections and breathing problems, homeopathic potions for hair loss and fungal infections. Oh, and fresh ginger juice mixed with warm honey for coughs. Dad was an engineer, not a doctor, but that didn't deter him.

My brother developed kidney stones in his teens. The doctors said these were small enough and would pass. Meanwhile, my poor brother was in horrible pain.  I recommended giving him several beers and driving over the pot-holed roads, but nobody listened. After consulting with a local herbalist, dad brought home a pattharchat (literally-lick stone) plant, and fed him a leaf. The next day, he passed two small stones. Problem solved.

Recently, hubby had a bad viral infection. He would get up at night, coughing painfully. We could not use any cough meds that would sedate him because he sees patients at 4 am. We tried the non-sedating cough syrups, hot tea. Nothing worked. Finally at midnight, I grated some fresh ginger, squeezed out a spoonful of juice, added a spoonful of warm honey, and fed it to him.

He slept like a baby.

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About purplesque

Psychiatrist, cook, bookworm, photographer. Not necessarily in that order.
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18 Responses to Why I don’t knock home remedies

  1. Emjay says:

    I totally agree that home remedies seem to work – though I LOL @ your suggestion of beers and a rough ride – now we will never know if that would've worked. My father was a great believer in the magic of herbs and grew an impressive selection in a large old claw foot bath. The one I remember in particular was cutting a lemon balm leaf and putting it onto a cut to make it heal faster – it had to be held on by a bandage. There was also something which involved Borage but I can't remember what it was (I think you can do something with the very pretty purple flowers) … and we all know the advantages of seeping herbs for teas.

  2. Purplesque says:

    Hmm..google says that borage flowers help with 'melancholy and a heavy heart'. Maybe I should start prescribing those along with the SSRIs. 🙂 An herbal garden a claw-foot bath..how picturesque!

  3. Karen Lynn says:

    I just read the article about color therapy, that was very interesting. I'm going to do a little experimenting. :))Our home remedy when I was a child was coke and pretzels for a sore belly, upper or lower tummy trouble, it doesn't matter. Now that I'm an adult, its DIET coke and pretzels. I think this originally came from my pediatrician when I was little, I'm going to ask my Mom, she'll remember. I believe he recommended coke syrup back in those days.

  4. Elaine says:

    i love home remedies as opposed to pills and such. my dad made me gargle warm salt water whenever i had a sore throat. it helped, but it was nasty.

  5. Wow, yes – heard about honey, etc, my entire childhood! Works!But the beer and kidney stone one- yikes- true. I had an uncle who was by himself on vacation in the mountains. He had some kidney probelms, but not bad, he thought. H didn't know he was building some kidney stones — h had a lot of pain, suddenly, etc, knew he had to get help -put a six pack of beer in his ruck and started driving and drinking (mountain roads, no other traffic, fortunatley) — got to a hospital feeling pretty happy and passed a clump of kidney stones the next morning. The doctors told him that the beer did the trick.

  6. Emjay says:

    Oh yeah – my father used to give that to us too – and I still do it now!! 🙂

  7. Purplesque says:

    You do know that coke syrup initially had some real 'coke' in it!! They changed the formula in 1903..:)My mom drinks carbonated drinks for tummy troubles too.

  8. Purplesque says:

    Really nasty..it made me feel puke-y, but it helps by drawing all the water out and lessening swelling and pain.

  9. Purplesque says:

    Yea…we have proof!! I never drink beer, but I Will use it to treat kidney stones and wash my hair!

  10. Lakshmi says:

    Grandmom used to give us soda (sparkling water) mixed with hot sugary milk to bring down a fever. And by God, it worked.

  11. julie says:

    Ginger, lemon, honey… that always works for me.

  12. Karen Lynn says:

    HEY…I'm not that old!!! :))

  13. Purplesque says:

    Fizzy milk..sounds better than plain hot milk to me!

  14. Purplesque says:

    LOL…just checkin!

  15. Karen Lynn says:

    Yeah, by the time I was born (53 years later!!!!) there was no coke in coke anymore. LOLya brat :))

  16. Nyght says:

    Since I'm nursing my toddler, I have learned that breastmilk in the ears clears up ear infections, and dabbed on baby's bottom it clears up diaper rash. I love home remedies! Also, I was told that my daughter has allergies and the ped wanted to put her on Zyrtec – I started giving her local honey and the allergy symptoms cleared right up.

  17. Purplesque says:

    Wow..I didn't know about the diaper rash. Thats quite impressive.

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