A collection of folk medicine and remedies for common problems
Prickling in the legs
Prickling in the legs can drive you crazy when you're trying to go to sleep. One remedy is to eat banana - there's a lot of potassium in bananas and the prickling sensation can come from a potassium deficiency.
When you've gotten a chafe, you can crack a couple of eggs and pick off the membranes closest to the shells. Put these on the chafe and you'll se that it heals over night.
Egg white is a good thing when you've gotten a burn. Smear a layer over the spot and you'll see that it eases the pain rapidly. It also prevents blistering.
Put a thin layer of cooling and soothing natural yogurt on the part of your skin that's burnt Let it sit for a couple of hours and then rinse it off with water.
Grate a carrot, put it in the middle of a big handkerchief and fold it. Dip a piece of cloth in ice cold water and wring it out. Put the pack on your neck and put the cold piece of cloth on top of it, then a wool scarf on top of that again. Let it work for 45 minutes or until it feels warm.
Onion wrap for ear infection
Chop a heaped teaspoon of onion, put it in a handkerchief and warm it on a saucepan lid. Place the warm onion pack on the ear and put a small corner behind it. To hold the pack in place, you put on a cap that you can tie under the chin. The child should lie with the infected ear against the pillow to keep the wrap warm.
If you have an earache, you can take a piece of fresh ginger and put it against the ear. Squeeze it a bit, and the juice will ease the pain.
Is there really anything worse than having a bad headache? To lie there in bed just wanting to chop your head off. That's not what I would recommend, although it surely would cure the migraine it self. Here are some more or less useful tips against mild pain and real migraine.
- Headaches may come from dehydration, drink a couple of glasses of water.
- Chamomile tea made from the flowers is antiseptic but also analgesic.
- Acupressure: massage the small pit between the ears, in the middle of the thumb grip or the point an inch out from the corner of the eye.
- Massage does, even if it doesn't help, at least feel good. Concentrate on shoulders and neck.
- Migraine tea: Pour 1.5 - 2 dl (~5.1 - 6.8 fl oz) of hot (not boiled) water over 2 tsp of grated horse radish, strain and drink immediately.
- Keep a small bottle with 3 drops of essential lavender oil in Almond oil. Rub it on your temples.
- Migraine: Store some fresh Featherfoil leaves in aluminum foil in the freezer. Chew on some as soon as you notice the first symptoms. If you can't stand the taste, there are capsules and pills with Featherfoil.
You could have many different stomach problems. Aches, pains, constipation and diarrhea are just some examples.
- Ginger: When you have indigestion and bellyaches fresh ginger might help. Grate or chop it finely and mix it in your food, or chew some thin slices after the meal. Ginger is good for most stomach problems, f. ex motion sickness, constipation and summer diarrhea.
- Fennel seeds: Chew them or make tea from them against gas. To make tea you let 2 tsp of seeds steep 15-20 minutes in hot water.
A sore bottom is very common for children who are in diapers. A very good advice: Stop using all ointments! Wet naps and ointments and other things with artificial fragrance and strange declarations of contents as long as a bad year is something you should keep far away from the skin of babies. Use potato flour. The only thing that works! Potato flour has a stabilizing effect on many skin conditions, you can dry the flour in the oven first then it gets easier to use. Powder the baby's bottom and avoid using ointments during the treatment period. Many find that the soreness has gone already when it's time to change the next diaper. Marigold ointment is also good. You can also rub the sore behind with breast milk. Breast milk contains substances that make it very useful for treating soreness and other things.
If you've burnt your self on a nettle
- Try to rub some pure lavender oil on it and presto, it doesn't hurt anymore.
- Rub the yellow part of a dandelion on the skin where you got burnt. It often grows near the nettle.
- Cut a tomato in half and rub the cut side on it.
- Use Aloe Vera gel.
- Rub Cucumber on it, it helps.
- Squeeze the juice out of the stalk of Plantain and pull the leaf in the direction of the stalk over the stinging area.
- Rub the juice of a cabbage leaf on it.
- Onion juice soothes many kinds of irritation.
- Rub a Dandelion leaf over it.
- Pour milk on it.
Lemon wrap for a sore throat
A lemon wrap for the throat can reduce swelling when it's sore. You slice a lemon and put the slices in a row on a cloth, fold it and put it around your neck and then a wool scarf around it.
I've never had one myself, but I know many are tormented by them. Take two tsp of Thyme for one cup of water, boil for 10 minutes and drink the day after. The best advice though is probably to eat properly before and after drinking, and to drink enough water.
Mix a few drops of Eucalyptus oil with clean water in a small spray bottle, spray it on your sweater or your scarf. Sniff it in. It opens the nose. For small children; put a few drops of undiluted Eucalyptus oil on the pillow, by the next day a lot of it has come out.
Clogged milk channels
If you're weaning your baby and you've got clogged milk channels, and you wish to drive the milk back, this might help:
- Rub your breasts and armpits with white camphor oil.
- Put a poultice with warm green soap water on and change it as soon as it cools.
If you want the lactation to decrease, it might help to drink sage tea. Pour 1⁄4 l (~8.5 fl oz) of cold water over 1-2 tsp of sage. Slowly bring it to boil and let it steep for a few minutes before you strain it. Drink a cup three times a day.
Pour 1⁄4 l (~8.5 fl oz) of boiling water over a mixture of 1 tsp of anise, 1 tsp of fennel and 1 tsp of caraway. Let this steep for about 10 minutes, and drink a cup.
Poultices of cabbage leaves have been used for a long time on nursing women with infected breasts. It's said that the cabbage can pull the infection out, and besides it's known for its analgesic properties. Remove the thick nerve and roll the leaves soft before use. Change poultices two times a day and rub the skin with oil first, so it doesn't get irritated by the cabbage juice.
Honey is said to prevent hay-fever. A tablespoon for each meal all through winter is a supplement full of vitamins and minerals and might help reduce the allergic reactions.
Boil 1 1⁄2 liter (~0.4 gallons) of water with 1 tsp of salt, let it cool and sniff it into your nose.
Not all types of ginger ale are made with artificial taste. Some contain real ginger and this spice is said to increase the blood count. Drink a bottle every day for one to two months.
Garlic has a beneficial effect on the blood circulation and some say a daily intake of garlic can reduce sclerosis in the veins. Cold feet, varicose veins and leg pains can be improved by a daily intake of 3-6 garlic capsules. (Make sure you get a good brand, there are a few on the market with minimal amounts of garlic). 1-2 pieces of garlic a day would be a suitable dose for those who prefer the natural flavor.
Lay down on your stomach with your feet stretched out against the surface. Mix 1 tsp of salt and 1 cork of green soap in a container of hot water. Use it as a footbath until the water is tepid (30 minutes) It's said that the mixture stimulates the blood circulation. Changing between hot and cold baths increases circulation. So does all forms of activity.
High blood pressure
Note! What ever you try of remedies, never stop using blood pressure medication without asking your doctor first. Make sure you go on regular check-ups, whether you take medication or not. Other general advice is; reduce your salt intake, loose weight if you're overweight, stop smoking and don't eat food with saturated fat.
An extract of mistletoe has been used against headaches, high pulse and heart conditions. You can try a cold water extract of the plant (you shouldn't make tea from mistletoe). Use 1 heaped tsp for 1⁄4 liter (~8.5 fl oz) of cold water and let it sit in a pot over night (not aluminum). Strain it the next morning and warm it until it's tepid. The extract is split into three cups during the day (not all at once!) Warning: mistletoe is a poisonous plant and must be used carefully!
Garlic is known for its stimulating effect on the circulatory system and some say it also stabilizes blood pressure. Take 1 tbsp of cod-liver oil and 4 capsules of garlic every day. (Warning: never stop taking blood pressure medication without consulting your physician and get your blood pressure checked regularly)
Warm chamomile tea, lemon balm tea and lavender tea is soothing. You can buy these as pure herbs at a health food store of a drug store and mix your own tea, either with all three or the one you prefer. Use one tsp of each with hot water in a cup or teapot.
You get the best chance that this advice will work if you start at the moment the symptoms are noticed. If the problem continues, contact your physician. Cystorrhea is an infection and can develop into serious conditions if it isn't stopped in time.
- Drink a decoction of bird cherry bark. The 'tea' is diuretic and can be used several times a day.
- Remember to drink a lot of water.
- Dissolve 1 tsp ground fenugreek seeds (trigonella foenum- graecum) in some water and drink several times a day. It may have a favorable effect on different infections in the body.
- Excessive vitamin C in the body is secreted into the urine and makes it sourer. This restricts the bacterial growth and because of this it might be a good idea to take a strong dose of vitamin C morning and evening. Especially in the evening because the urine lies still in the bladder at night.
- 1⁄2 dl (~1.7 fl oz) of 7 % white vinegar
1⁄2 dl (~1.7 fl oz) of water
3 tbsp of sugar
Drink it morning and evening. If the mixture is too strong, soften it with more water. Warning; if you have a weak stomach, the mixture should be made weaker and 1-2 tbsp morning and evening.
- 1-2 tsp of golden rod (solidago virgaurea) is mixed with 1 cup of cold water and brought to boil. Let the tea steep for a couple of minutes before you strain it. Drink a cup of warm golden rod tea three times a day if you have problems with cystorrhea, kidney infection or painful urination.
- Horsetail tea (equisetum arvense) is a highly valued agent in folk medicine against urethral problems and is mildly diuretic. Drink it as soon as the symptoms set in and you may avoid them developing further. 1- 2 tsp of horsetail in a cup of cold water is brought to boil and let steep for 15 - 30 minutes. Strain it and drink a cup three times a day.
- Sage can have a healing effect on cystorrhea. 4 tbsp of sage leaves to a large cup of cold water is brought to boil. Let it steep for 3-5 minutes and strain it. You can mix it with some honey if you want. Drink it in sips during the day.
- Massage the rump-bone, the one at the bottom of your spine. It's shaped as a triangular bone plate. This stimulates blood circulation and accelerates the healing process according to a physiotherapist.
- Avoid sweets, citrus fruits, matured cheese, caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.
- Take cranberry capsules with buchu extract (Agathosma betulina).
- Drink cranberry tea and hip tea (makes the urine sour).
- Eat blueberries.
- Don't sit on cold surfaces and keep your feet and hands warm.
- Urinate immediately after intercourse.
- Use a skirt or loose fitting pants, this way you avoid dampness. (Dampness makes bacteria happy).
- See a physician if you have any of the following symptoms: Nausea, blood in the urine, shivers, vomiting, lower back pain.
Cellulite is fat tissue on the thighs, bottom and upper arms, and it's a problem many women have. Many say that it helps to massage the skin daily with a hemp cloth. You can do it in the shower, and keep it up until the skin gets warm. After a while the skin gets smoother and firmer (it increases blood circulation) Alternating baths; Massage with a coarse cloth combined with alternating hot and cold showers is extra effective. Rub the skin with salicylic Vaseline after the bath. Since this is a rather stick ointment, it might be a good idea to go without clothes for a while, until it's fully absorbed.
Against bad breath it's recommended to chew fresh leaves of mint or parsley. It also helps to chew on fresh or dried seeds from cumin, caraway, fennel, lovage or fenugreek. Try chewing 2-3 fresh or dried peppermint leaves or 2-3 fresh or dried lemon balm leaves. Parsley is also a good thing when you've eaten garlic; it's best if you chew it raw.
- Boil Carrots to a mush (can be given to young and old).
- Eat 1 tsp dry cinnamon, it may ease nausea and diarrhea (take it with a glass of water).
- Eat dried blueberries or drink a concentrated decoction (can also be given to children and infants).
- Barley soup: Barley is boiled in water for about 1h, strain and drink in sips during the day.
- 1tsp ground nutmeg flower is washed down with a glass of water, you should get better after a few hours.
- Stir 2-3 tsp of Potato flour into water.
- Chop Dandelion leaves and flowers and make a poultice which is put on the skin. You can also use the decoction and rub it directly on the skin. Repeat the treatment every other day.
- Fill a bottle with marigold petals and pour brandy over them. Let the mixture sit for 3-4 weeks (or even longer). The mixture is rubbed directly on the skin.
- Honey helps the soars and softens the skin (If you warm it, it's easier to handle.)
- Boil 1⁄2 pack of bran in 2 liters (~0.53 gallons) of water, strain and pour in the bath water (can also be used for infants).
- Boil 1⁄2 pack of bran, 2 liters (~0.53 gallons) of water, 1 tsp pure liquid green soap for 20 minutes and strain, the fluid can be rubbed directly on the skin.
- Zink cream is good for eczema on the hands. You can get the pharmacy to make this ointment for you; zinki oxidum 20 %, camphora 5.5 %, Acid Salicyl 1.5 %, vaselinum 73 %.
- Cod-liver oil is good for eczema on the hands. Use medical cod-liver oil 3-4 times a day. It should get better after a couple of days.
Colds - Misc tips
- Keep your throat moist. Drink at least 10 glasses of water and do 4 steam baths a day if you can.
- Heather is good to breathe in when you have a cold. It's also good for coughing and diarrhea. It's mildly sedative and soporific. There is some superstition around heather. They say that if you bring heather into the home, someone in the same house will go to sleep for ever.
- Elder is good against fever and colds and is causes sweating. Drink 2 tsp of flower/bud hot. Note! Larger amounts can cause nausea, diarrhea and vomiting.
- Vitamin C is good against colds (prevention). There's a lot of it in citrus fruit, black currant, carrots etc.
- Against a sore throat you can use curry dissolved in tepid water. Use 1 tsp for 1 cup of water and gurle with it.
- To get rid of mucus, you can squeeze the juice out of a lemon into a cup and drink it.
- Swallow 20 whole pepper corns with a glass of water.
- Grind white or black pepper and mix it with as much full milk as you can drink. Boil and drink it, add honey if you want.
- Add a few drops of Japanese peppermint oil in some water and drink. You can also gurgle with pure peppermint oil.
- Bergamot tea was used by Native Americans to ward off colds and a soar throat. Six leaves are allowed to steep in a cup of boiled water for 15 minutes to make an antiseptic tea. The leaves, stems and flowers can be brewed to soothe a sore throat.
- Take 1 cup of boiling milk, add 1 tbsp of honey to soothe a sore throat.
- Some say it pays to avoid meat and eggs until you feel better.
- When you've had enough of drinking this and that for a sore throat, try taking a teaspoon of crem now and then.
- Warm some water and add a couple of drops of Eucalypt oil. Place the bowl at the side of the child's bed, it will ease breathing and loosen a stuffed nose.
- Small children can get rid of a cold easier if you rub their feet with sheep's tallow.
Colds - bronchitis
If you have mucus in your chest or bronchitis, two cups of Hyssop tea (hyssopus officinalis) a day may be beneficial. 3 tsp of Hyssop (dried) is left to sit in 1⁄4 l (~8.5 fl oz) of water for 10 minutes.
- Echinacea is good as a preventative and when you start to get sick. To prevent a cold you can take 30 drops a day for week, stop for a week and then repeat it. If you notice thay you're getting sick, you can take 20 drops five times a day for a week.
- Mix a large, finely chopped onion with four tbsp of honey. Leave it foir three hours and then strain. Take 1 tbsp of the juice three times a day.
- Chew Angelica root when you feel a cold coming on.
- Some take a large dose of vitamin C (vitamin chock) and mean they've avoided an oncoming cold. (Be careful, large doses of vitamin C can be hard on the mucus membranes of the stomach.
- Chew garlic until all the juice is gone.
- Put garlic in your nose and sniff the fumes. One clove in each nostril and breathe in a couple of times.
- Garlic sandwich; 3 cloves, a piece of bread and some other form of spread.
- Garlic salad; 1⁄2 finely chopped apple, 1 tbsp of parsley, 2 large pressed garlic cloves, 1 tbsp of sour cream. (Eat it 3 times a day, the apple and the sour cream makes it taste milder and the parsley takes away some of the smell.)
- Garlic and milk: bring 2-3 cloves to boil with milk, add honey if you like, nice to give to children who can't eat raw garlic.
- When you feel a cold coming on, chew on shoots from fur tree, larch or pine. It's supposed to kill it. It's disinfecting for the mouth and the throat, increases blood circulation and is said to be blood purifying. For those afraid of bad smell, there are remedies for that to, see bad breath.
- Put 2 drops of iodine in 1 glass of water drink it every day. (Iodine is poisonous in larger amounts so be thorough with the dose, some may be allergic to iodine and shouldn't drink it.)
- Put Champhor 20 drops on a piece of sugar and suck on it or take 1 cup of warm milk with 1 tsp of camphor (this is strong, not recommended for small children), go to bed and sweat it out. Dry camphor- put it on a wool cloth and put it on your chest, loosens nose and chest and is said to protect against infection (can also be used on children).
- Chamomile tea and linden flower tea also prevent infection. 2-3 tsp is made into a large cup of tea.
- 2 Peppermint drops in half a glass of tepid water or on some honey.
- Sage gurgle water and tea.
- Apple geranium - plant which smells like lemon when you touch it, just to have it in the living room can be preventative.
- Zone therapy - press on and massage the skin between your thumb and your index finger on both hands for about 5 minutes, then put your index finger nails against the top of the inside of the thumb nails and press for 15 minutes. Repeat several times a day for a couple of days.
- Take a warm foot bath with a handful of sea salt and go to bed immediately after, you'll probably feel better the next day.
- Cold wraps around the neck.
- Small Burnet drops- put some drops on a piece of sugar and suck it. Repeat 3 times a day.
- Carrots and honey- boil 4 carrots until they're soft and mash them with 1 dl (~3.4 fl oz) of honey. 1 tsp 5- 6 times a day (also works for smoker's cough).
- 1-2 cups of Fenugreek tea a day. 2 tbsp of Fenugreek powder to 1⁄4 l (~8.5 fl oz) of boiling water, drink it after it's cooled (you should avoid hot drinks when you have a throat infection).
- Put 1 tbsp of Apple vinegar in a glass of tepid water. Gurgle with it several times a day. Small sips every 5 minutes if the soreness is further down.
- Gurgle with salt water for 5 minutes straight several times a day.
- Gurgle with sage several times a day (2 tsp of sage in 1⁄4 l (~8.5 fl oz) of water which is heated up towards the boiling point). Nursing women should avoid sage, it hampers lactation.
- Essential oils, especially pine needle, sage and eucalyptus oil may help. Drip a couple of drops on a cloth and sniff.
- Take the lid off a jar of honey and breathe inn the gas from the honey. You can also rub some under your nose.
- If you move your jaw muscles from side to side, it may loosen a stuffed nose.
- Boil some Pine and Spruce twigs in water and hold your head over the steam with a towel over your head. Breathe deeply until the stuffiness goes away.
- Chamomile steam baths also works dissolving.
- 2 tbsp of Horsetail is steeped in 1⁄2 l (~0.4 gallons) of boiling water for 30 minutes, and then you breathe in the steam for 2 minutes, pause then continue for as long as you can.
- Do the same with Thyme as with the Horsetail but only let it steep for 10-15 minutes.
Cut an onion into segments and put it in a bowl of water - almost cover it with water. Place the bowl in the bedroom.
- Hyssop oil or lotion
- Lavender oil
- Marigold ointment
- Bandage with plantain
- Put fresh leaves of lemon balm or sage on the bite
- Try a slice of onion.
- Rub the bite with parsley
Eat a teaspoon of raspberry jam.
Mix 1⁄4 tsp of ground Ginger in 1 glass of water and drink it. The nausea usually subsides after 10-15 minutes.
Itching in and around the vagina
Wet a cotton swab with water and a smidge of 7 % vinegar. Wash inside and outside the vagina and rinse well afterward.
- 1 drop of Peppermint essential oil is mixed with 1 tsp of Honey in a cup. Add some hot water and stir well. Drink slowly half an hour before going on a trip. This should prevent motion sickness.
- Place a newspaper on your belly and the motion sickness will be reduced.
- Chew on some Parsley.
- But a band-aid on your belly button.
- Suck on a slice of Lemon.
- Eat salty food before going on a trip.
A small bag of Hops under the pillow is said to help against insomnia.
If you have a toothache, you can lessen the pain by rubbing Clove essential oil on your gums.
- Add tea tree-olje to the warts every day and they will soon go away.
- The juice of a Houseleek is said to remove warts.
Heartburn and reflux
A handful of Almonds may help against heartburn and reflux.
Tips to Boost your Immune System
- Eat Garlic (preferably in food, not raw)
- Get your 5 fruits and vegetables a day
- Eat Bell Peppers
- Use Turmeric, Echinacea, Elderberry or Ginseng
- Drink Green Tea
- Avoid toxins
- Avoid refined sugar and reduce your overall sugar intake
- Exercise, but not too much
- Reduce stress
- Get enough sleep
- Get enough fluids
- Keep your gut happy with Yoghurt