Happy New Year from GCHS!
The New Year is about reflecting on the last year and making New Year’s resolutions we try to keep but fail miserably at within a month. Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Do you plan to lose weight, stop smoking, exercise, call your mother more, or clean your house every week? If you’ve made any of these resolutions we wish you luck.
A while ago we found some home remedies which we have put out as souvenirs in “Healing Geary County”. And looking through them we thought that maybe they could help you fulfill some of your resolutions this year, or at least make you smile when you fail at keeping your New Year’s resolution.
When we first found these some of them just made us laugh; like this one: Spider Bites: If bitten by a black widow spider, drink liquor heavily from 3 pm to 7 pm. You won’t get drunk, you’ll be healed. (We’re not so sure that works, we think you’ll for sure damage your liver not heal your spider bite, so please, if you get a spider bite go to the doctor, not the liquor cabinet.)
Others we just shook our heads at. There are several remedies based on spider webs. For Bleeding: place a spider web across the wound. (I’ve heard this one before, but I’m pretty sure it’s a terrible idea.) Asthma: Swallow a handful of spider webs rolled into a ball. (No idea how or why this would work. Definitely not recommended.)
There were some other ridiculous ones as well. For Pneumonia: give the person two teaspoonfuls of oil rendered from a skunk. (Not sure what that means but I know I am not going to chase down a skunk to render oil to cure pneumonia. I’ll go to the doctor, thanks.)
Even though some of the remedies will make you laugh out loud, scratch your head, or roll your eyes, not all these home remedies are bogus. We did see a few that might be safe, but we don’t recommend them without more research into the ingredients, but with further research they could give you a leg up this resolution season for cleaning, healing, or general wellbeing.
Furniture Polish: one tablespoonful sweet oil; one tablespoonful lemon juice; one tablespoonful cornstarch. (Sweet oil is a type of olive oil. This recipe would probably work very well.)
Three remedies for Arthritis: 1. Drink a mixture of honey, vinegar and whiskey (Honey, lemon juice, and whiskey mixed are supposed to be good for sore throats and colds.) 2. Make a tea from either the seeds or leaves of alfalfa (Sore joint relief is listed as a benefit of alfalfa on herbwisdom.com). 3. A magnet draws arthritis out of the body. (The NIH says they don’t work, but I know a lot of people who swear magnets actually are supposed to help arthritis pain.)
Fever: boil two roots of wild ginger in a cup of water; strain and drink. (Ginger root tea is actually supposed to be good for you and can relieve stomach ailments like morning sickness, gas, and colic according to WebMD, nothing about curing fever though.)
Nightmares: Place a bible under your pillow and you will never have nightmares. (Who knows? This really can’t hurt to try.)
To Help Hair Grow: break a section of a grape vine, set in a bottle and let the juice drain. Rub the juice in your hair. (Grape seed extract is supposed to be good for hair growth according to naturalwellbeing.com)
For Wrinkles in the Skin: I ounce white wax, 2 ounces honey, 2 ounces juice of two lily bulbs. The foregoing melted and stirred together will remove wrinkles. (According to a few herbal websites lilies can rejuvenate the skin. And if not, well your skin will probably smell pretty.)
Home Remedies can be better than the things we have available today. But most of the tips and hints in the pamphlets will just make you laugh and appreciate how far we’ve come in the world of medicine. We hope you all have a great year and wish you the best of luck with all your resolutions.
Photo Caption: These two ads taken from 1901 JC Republican show you what medicine was like in the early 1900s. Nervine contained bromide which was supposed to treat seizures but overdose causes various psychiatric, neurological, gastrointestinal, and dermatological problems. Many times the home remedies were safer and more effective than the medicine available.