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Folk Health Remedies. Do They Actually Work?

Tara Lynn
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Folk Health Remedies. Do They Actually Work?

Post by Tara Lynn » Thu November 1st, 2012, 5:45 pm

I have always enjoyed reading about natural health. I like the idea of using natural products like herbs and vitamins. I was looking in the Vermont Country Store catalog and noticed their folk health remedies pages. I wondered about some of the health claims. Products like "Vim and Vigor" that brings relief from arthritis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sinus conditions to "Cinnabalance" that is clinically proven to make insulin work more effectively.

The website address: http://www.vermontcountrystore.com (Click on Health and Beauty Tab and Remedies on left side bar)

Has anyone used these type of products? Do they actually work? Any side effects? Or do you have your own home health remedies that work for you? Do you find in some cases a pharmaceutical drug works better for your health problem?

When I think of the "Family Medicine Chest" I was raised with, it was mostly pharmaceutical drugs. If anyone was sick we went to the doctor to get a prescription. The medicine cabinet had aspirin, iodine for cuts, and milk of magnesia for over-the-counter medicine. The only natural health remedies I remember with flus and colds were ginger ale for upset stomachs and chicken broth.

I like the idea of a natural remedy first. I was well stocked for a cruise in case of seasickness to try talking deep breaths, watching the horizon, crackers, ginger, wrist bands, etc. But the only relief for me was Bonnine the motion sickness pill. Ah, well.
Last edited by Tara Lynn on Thu November 1st, 2012, 5:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Thu November 1st, 2012, 8:45 pm

I can vouch for Arnica. I never go into the wilderness without it, both in pill and cream form. Cuts swelling and therefore further injury to an area -- bruises, sprains. But like any other very effective substance, you have to be careful with it. The chemical which does the job (Helenin, a type of molecule called a sesquiterpine lactone, which blocks the molecular transfer of fluids from inside the cell to outside after injury) can have side effects, one of which is raising blood pressure. On people with blood pressure problems, I only use the cream externally.

Aspirin gets its latin name, Salicylic Acid, from the Latin name for willow, Salix. Willow bark in many forms has been used as a painkiller for millennia.

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Margaret
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Post by Margaret » Fri November 2nd, 2012, 5:21 am

I use a lot of simple natural remedies. Witch hazel is a standby for me. If a minor cut gets a little bit infected, putting a witch hazel compress on it for 5-10 minutes once or twice a day usually clears the infection within a day or two. For a minor cut, yarrow leaves crushed between the fingers (so the juice comes out) and placed right over the cut will quickly stop the bleeding, discourage infection, and cause the cut to heal faster. (Yarrow's Latin name is Achillea, because Achilles is supposed to have used it to stanch his warriors' wounds.) Eating the right food is one of the best natural remedies, and I highly recommend the book Healing With Whole Foods by Paul Pitchford.
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Post by fljustice » Fri November 2nd, 2012, 9:22 pm

I swear by zinc to head off or shorten colds. I rarely get colds and if I do, they only last a couple of days. I don't know if it works for other folks, but the minute I feel cold symptoms (sneezy, achy) I start taking zinc tablets. DON'T use the nasal spray or swabs, that sometimes causes permanent loss of smell.

I like ginger for nausea, but also found the only relief for sea sickness to be Dramamine!
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Post by annis » Sat November 3rd, 2012, 12:29 am

There are a couple I swear by - calendula cream for healing surface wounds and abrasions with minimal scarring (though shouldn't be used for deep wounds) and arnica. When I regularly practised karate it was a well-known trick to take arnica tabs for a few days before any gradings or competitions, then although you inevitably got knocked around a bit, the bruising and swelling never came to much!

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Mythica
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Post by Mythica » Sat November 3rd, 2012, 11:32 am

Considering a lot of modern medication is derived from natural ingredients, I'd say many natural remedies do work. My mom has an aloe plant and she used to put some on my minor cuts and abrasions when I was a kid to help it heal faster. Also, apparently raw honey has antiseptic properties - my mom never used it but according to wikipedia, there are now some wound gels that have raw honey in them and are being used to treat MRSA.

My husband has Crohn's disease and for the longest time, he'd swear that pineapple helped with minor flare ups. I told him that was silly but then I decided to look it up. Apparently pineapple has a chemical in it called bromelain which is a natural anti-inflammatory! You can get extracts of it from health stores. Equally, peppermint is said to have natural antispasmodic properties.

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
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Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sat November 3rd, 2012, 2:31 pm

Oh, yes I forgot about Aloe. Most fire trucks carry an actual plant, it works very well against burns. I read somewhere that what it does is attract oxygen to the skin cells, but I'd have to look that up.

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Post by annis » Sat November 3rd, 2012, 7:43 pm

I forgot aloe vera, too. I know that quite a few ambulance officers also carry plants with them, and swear by the palliative effects. I't's also brilliant for alleviating sunburn.

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Post by LoveHistory » Sun November 4th, 2012, 3:30 am

A baking soda paste on a bee or wasp sting is quite helpful. And whole milk will help soothe a sunburn (something about the fat) but it smells bad when it dries.

I've used both of these.

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Post by Madeleine » Sun November 4th, 2012, 12:33 pm

Oh yes, aloe vera is great for sunburn, and when I had a bad reaction to something a few years ago on my legs, it was brilliant too.
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