Home remedies help to cure what ails you

By: 

Lorna Marquardt, Leader Columnist

I grew up in the late 1940s and 50s. In those days, you had to be mighty sick to go to the doctor’s office or hospital. There was one time when I was very sick with the chicken pox, and the doctor came to our house. Other than that, I don’t ever remember seeing a doctor during my childhood.

Nurses came to school to give us our shots. Remember those pills that were supposed to prevent a goiter? I always thought a goiter couldn’t be as bad as those pills were.

While growing up, my parents took care of me if I was under the weather or hurt. When I had a cold/congestion, my mother filled a teakettle with water and added some Vicks. She would wrap me in a warm blanket and I would sit next to our kerosene stove. She told me to inhale the fumes to help me breathe better. She also rubbed Vicks on my feet and put my dad’s wool deer hunting socks on me.

When I had an upset stomach, my dad would give me a small glass of Mogen David grape wine. He told me it would “fix what ailed me.” I don’t know if it was the wine that helped or my dad telling me it would, but I always felt better.

My mother doctored my cuts with iodine or mercurochrome. Grandpa Robenhagen always had a jar of pine pitch for cuts.

Old home remedies have been passed down through the ages and have served us well for centuries. Many of these remedies are effective and still used today.

Ginger has been used for hundreds of years. Research has found ginger is an effective aid to alleviate nausea from morning sickness, motion sickness and also nausea from chemotherapy.

Parsley was used to freshen bad breath.

Witch hazel was used to cool the burn of hemorrhoids by calming the blood vessels and reducing swelling.

Duct tape was taped on warts to remove them.

For constipation, figs were used as an alternative for people who dislike prunes. They contain soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which flush out your intestines.

A pinch of cayenne spice placed into a glass of warm water was used for dizziness. It is said it causes one’s body to pump more blood and oxygen into the brain which makes the dizziness subside.

Cod liver oil was used to reduce pain from arthritis.

A few drops of peppermint oil rubbed onto the temples was used to relieve headaches.

Here are a few home remedies some of my social media friends have shared:

Lois Flaig commented, “When we had a sore throat, we gargled with warm salt water. When we had an ear ache, mom would warm oil and put a few drops in our ear and then she plugged it with a cotton ball.”

Kathy Klose said, “My dad used to slowly blow cigarette smoke into our ears. Worked! Maybe it was just the moist heat, but who knows? Maybe it was the nicotine!”

Scott Gerbig remembered, “When we got stung by a bee, my mother would put a slice of raw potato or onion on the affected area to draw out the stinger.”

Sue McConley Moede added, “A dab of mayo tightens the skin around the head of a wood tic and it can then be pulled out.” Moede joked, “2 ounces of 100 percent grape juice every day should fend off pretty much any cold or flu bug. I am experimenting using this theory with wine.”

Tina Holmes Gouine said, “One time I cut my finger pretty bad and my aunt had me put my hand in a bowl of flour. It clotted the blood so it could be bandaged.”

Pat Tyloch Hackbarth commented, “For aches and pains, we warmed some Kosher salt and put it in an old sock, wrapped the sock in a towel and put it where we ached.”

Diane Selle said, “For an upset tummy, we were given baking soda in water or ginger tea. When a baby had diaper rash, we used corn starch. For a sliver, we soaked a piece of bread in milk and taped it onto the infected area. In the morning it had drawn the sliver out.”

Sharon Hodkiewicz added, “For a cold: 1 teaspoon of honey, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Mix together and take. It literally sweats out the cold.”

“We have finally started to notice there is a real curative value in local herbs and old remedies. In fact, we are also becoming aware there are little or no side effects to most natural home remedies, and that they are often more effective than modern day Western medicine.” — Anne Wilson Schaef

Thank you, veterans.

Trivia question: Who was the president of Retail Lumber and Supply Company in 1991?

Clothesline Conversation Answer: Anita Hartman

Lorna Marquardt is a former mayor of Shawano.