Herbs for medicine and home remedies. What are your favorites?

Just something that came up tonight with SO with an ear ache. And have been using hot wet towels, and a bit of vapor rub

  • Posted by: Sam1148
  • October 6, 2012


mensaque October 13, 2012
How are you doing,Sam?I have ear aches when I'm "PMS'ed".Any moisture will trigger it,even from a face wash!The hot hairdryer works sometimes,like SexyLambchopX mentioned.Sometimes a painkiller works better!Then I get a heartburn.And so starts my list:

For heartburns: leave a chunk of raw potato in water glass for a few minutes and drink the water.Or just eat a smal piece of raw potato.Or have some letuce or kale,no vinegar.Or have some ice cream...best medicine ever!

For high blood preassure always eat lots of garlic and oregano.And drink at least 3 liters of water a day.Also vegetables that have lots of water in it are great,like our brazilian "chuchu"(shoo-shoo).You might know it as chayote.

For lower cholesterol levels,raw eggplant blended with orange juice in the morning.Or oatmeal.

For lowering glucose levels,dry the shells from passion fruits in the oven.Don't let them burn.Grind like a fine meal and use it like a suplement.You can even mix it in the food or drinks,it's almost tasteless.

For respiratory problems watercress.Honey is great too.And lime juice,especially if you blend the hole thing and strain.

Gases...fennel seeds tea.

Hate to leave you with my gases,but I have some beans on the stove.Oh,and if the symptoms do not disappear,go see a doctor!
beyondcelery October 11, 2012
@Sam1148: Ya, tea tree oil is great! I think the idea behind using Vick's as well is that the herbs in Vick's help the healing process and the vaseline keeps everything on the nail a lot longer than just the oil. Together, they're more effective.
Sam1148 October 11, 2012
I use vicks in the winter when my nose dries out..or when I use sprays to clear up 'dips'...which dries up the nose. Just a bit on the pinky finger and 'up the nose'.
beyondcelery October 11, 2012
I love these tips! @Panfusine: I'm totally going to be on the lookout for dried turmeric now. Any chance of making that at home?

These are a couple things I use that I didn't see listed yet:
- Rub Vick's Vapor Rub on a toenail that's afflicted with a fungus. Do it at night and sleep with it on. You can also add tea tree oil to this. It'll take a few months to kill the fungus, but it doesn't have the nasty side affects that taking an oral fungicide will.

- Make your own bug-repellent. Soak 2-3 whole vanilla beans and 6 sprigs peppermint in a bottle of vodka for at least 2 weeks. (You can keep this mixture on the counter for 3-4 months, so long as it isn't exposed to sunlight and the herbs remain under alcohol.) Decant 1 cup vodka from the bottle and whiz in your blender with 1 stalk fresh lemongrass. Lemongrass is a natural source of citronella. Strain out and spray or rub on yourself to keep the bugs away. Once you've added the lemongrass, the mixture will only be potent for about 1 week, then it won't work as well. This stuff actually smells nice, plus it's super effective at keeping away the bugs. I usually get eaten alive during the summer the moment I go camping, but they all leave me alone when I use this.
Panfusine October 11, 2012
LOVE the bug repellent idea, THanks!..

Drying turmeric involves some kind of processing that includes boiling etc.. never seen it being done at home. Most indian grocery stores should have it though.
Sam1148 October 11, 2012
I second the tea-tree oil for toenail fungus. My SO had that he picked up after a stint the Marines in Panama. The doctors said only the oral stuff would take care of it--he used 100 percent tee-tree oil on it for a couple of months and it went away and never came back--So, I think the tea-tree oil is the active stuff there.
It's very power as a fungicide and surface anti-biotic. IMHO I think it's overused in products now...which might lower it's effectiveness if you use it in stuff without need, just like any other anti-biotic or fungicide. It's also now used on burn dressings in Hospitals against staph resistant infections.
Panfusine October 11, 2012
Hope you're feeling better Sam1148.. Spotted this rather late, but as far as home remedies.. here's my go to list.
for sore throats & dry cough: a cup of warm milk with turmeric and honey and a pinch of fresh crushed pepper

Colds: Toast cumin until almost black, toss into a pot of boiling water and extract a dark colored tea. tear up some basl (holy basil preferably) leaves into the mix, Strain, add a spoon of honey.

Blocked sinuses: Get a stick of dried turmeric ( the rock hard type, not thesoft ones) Heat one tip in a gas flame until it glows. Inhale the smoke.

For ear aches. Tie up a tbsp bishops weed (ajwain) in a piece of cloth. Heat up a cast iron skillet and press the bundled up ajwain on the heated surface gently to absorb some of the heat. Gently press the cloth against the ear.

Powder up some dried ginger and (about a tablespoon) and add it to a gallon of water boil the h2O & cool it. Sip it warm in lieu of regular water to hydrate yourself.
Tashipluto October 11, 2012
Diluted lavender spray on hair for repelling lice, rosemary oil for ridding lice
Tree tea oil for foot and toenail fungus
Arnica (topical) for bruises and sprains
Ginger for nausea
Eyebright for styes
Garlic for nasal congestion
For vegetarians, miso soup works pretty much the same as chicken soup

Can you tell I have been child-rearing for the past 15 years?
HalfPint October 10, 2012
Ginger, asically for any time you feel like hurling the entire content of your stomach.

Fennel seeds to aid digestion and freshen breath.

Mint for calming nerves.

Citrus oil to help wake in the mornings.

Lavender oil and isopropyl alcohol as a deodorant. I keep a spray bottle in my bathroom and at work.

Tea Tree oil and rubbing alcohol as a foot deodorizer.

Salt for pimples, bruises, and burns

Vitamin C powder as an facial exfoliant.

Cornstarch as a dry shampoo, because sometimes you don't have time to wet your hair.

luvcookbooks October 10, 2012
Laurel's Kitchen has a nice cookbook about cooking for sick people and their caregivers... can't remember the title but it has a great tomato soup with ginger recipe, also a great rice and yogurt recipe.
sexyLAMBCHOPx October 7, 2012
I've read for an earache, hot hairdryer on low in ear provides relief (BottomLine Personal)
luvcookbooks October 7, 2012
oh, garlic is well studied for hypertension
lavender for soothing the spirit (tea)
Nina Simonds, A Spoonful of Ginger, for the Eastern approach to medicinal nutrition
luvcookbooks October 7, 2012
Ginger for morning sickness (the little ginger chewcandies are very portable), lemon for morning sickness (the hard lemon candies are very portable)
Turmeric and lime juice for lupus and in general for anti inflammatory (haven't tried this)
honey pollen asa sort of vitamin (haven't tried this)
mint tea for upset stomach (unfortunately makes me nauseous)
great book for this is Pat Willard, A Soothing Broth, also wrote great books about pie, Pie Every Day, and saffron
pierino October 6, 2012
Benny October 6, 2012
As many have mentioned already, nothing nurses someone back to health better than a rich chicken stock. For added flavor and nutrients, I'll simmer shredded beets in my stock and give it a splash of vinegar or citrus.

Also, I was recently ill and had a soar throat as one of my many symptoms. My wife simmered crushed, fresh garlic cloves in milk for about 5 minutes and had me drink the milk like a hot tea. On top of tasting nice, it worked quite well for my throat.
beetrixkiddo October 6, 2012
Fresh squeezed lemon in water cures a ton by resetting most body parts, even a slight headache. Camomile to relax( not just for bed, it helps as a cortisol manager. Ginger is huge too as a healer. I could go on & on..
Kristen W. October 6, 2012
One I've wanted to try but haven't yet is rubbing a hot pepper on a bug bite -- supposedly the capsaicin in the pepper will stop or reduce the itch.

Other than that, peppermint tea for upset stomach, ginger tea and chicken soup for colds,, garlic for boosting the immune system. I've also heard that turmeric and possibly cumin have anti inflammatory properties, but I don't think I use enough of these to notice a difference.
sexyLAMBCHOPx October 6, 2012
For me, its chicken broth for cold, congestion and flu like systems. I often crave wonton soup when I'm sick.
SeaJambon October 6, 2012
I swear by old fashioned "kitchen sink" (everything but...) chicken soup whenever anyone is ill for any reason. A fully developed chicken stock is the foundation, and then heaping amounts of colorful veggies, cut up chicken, and random herbs round it out. It is rarely exactly the same twice, but it is always made with love. I honestly believe the combo of heat and chicken fat helps loosen stuff and clear things out quicker. Plus, it is honest nutrition at a time your body needs it the most. I've had friends tell me that, post-surgery, it was the only thing they could eat/hold down for several days.

Oh, and with regard to colds, garlic is also helpful (got that one from my GP). So, the garlic level in everything gets amped up whenever someone has a cold. Upset stomach? Chew on some candied ginger (also good for bad breath). I love candied ginger, so always have some around... it is also very tasty dropped into your morning coffee (a variation on the ginger tea concept), providing light ginger flavor to the coffee and a small little chewy gift at the bottom of the cup.
Reiney October 6, 2012
Great list, luvcookbooks! I have some Ayurvedic practitioner friends that will add a pinch of turmeric to a sweetened warm milk at night too. (I think Turmeric & ginger are both thought to have antibiotic properties?) And they start every morning with a ginger, honey and lemon tea as you describe - it's my go-to cold/flu drink as well.

Voted the Best Reply!

luvcookbooks October 6, 2012
Ginger tea for colds (chopped fresh ginger root, pour over boiling water, let cool and sip-- it's strong and can hurt your stomach) for any upper respiratory infection
Vietnamese chicken soup with ginger for upper respiratory infection.
Honey for cough.
Saline nasal irrigation for upper respiratory congestion
Chamomile tea for sleep
Warm milk with honey and nutmeg for sleep
Cheese for sleep
Dr. McKee's Medicinal Hot Drink for upper resp infection http://food52.com/recipes/8409_dr_charles_mckees_medicinal_hot_drink
Honey Bear Hot Cider for children with colds http://food52.com/recipes/15076_honey_bear_hot_cider
Full disclosure, I am a doctor and now recommend pretty much only the above for colds, since they work better and have fewer side effects than over the coounbter cough and cold preparations. Caution with diabetics because many of them contain sugar.
Reiney October 6, 2012
Peppermint tea for overeating or indigestion - does that count? :)
Sam1148 October 6, 2012
oh yes...just wanted to open a topic for kitchen stuff for remedies, comfort, etc. That can be used as first line solutions until you see a doctor.

One thing for indigestion I use..and it sounds counter productive. Is a tsp of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water. It works for over easting, indigestion. What the spiel is why it works, is that it's PH shuts off the stomach acid stuff..telling them to "Hey!, Knock it off, we're good here" helps with the digestion..and helps things move along, instead of being backed up in the stomach. Well, it works for me sometimes. instead of alkaselzer acid neutralizers. Which I still use in some cases.
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