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Folk Health Remedies. Do They Actually Work?

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Favourite HF book: Here Be Dragons by Sharon Kay Penman
Preferred HF: Any time period/location. Timeslip, usually prefer female POV. Also love Gothic melodrama.
Location: Northeast Scotland

Post by Lisa » Mon November 5th, 2012, 3:21 pm

A lot of my friends and colleagues swear by echinacea for getting rid of a cold faster. However, after being advised by about five people in one day to take it last time I had a cold, I looked it up and found that it can be dangerous for those suffering from autoimmune disorders (which I do). So, I just take a vitamin C and zinc tablet each morning, and I haven't had a cold in a while.

My point being – and everyone probably already knows this – do read up on herbal remedies before taking them, especially if you're taking other medicine or have any underlying illnesses.

Also, ginger doesn't help my car/sea sickness either. I wish it did though, every travel sickness medication I've tried makes me drowsy!

Tara Lynn
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Post by Tara Lynn » Mon November 12th, 2012, 9:59 pm

Thank you everyone for responding! I've learned quite a bit here and actually took some notes. (I'm such a research geek!) Anyway, I like reading about the different remedies and why they chemically work in the body too. I also agree about reading up on natural remedies before taking them. Body chemistry is so different for everyone.

Speaking of body chemistry, I was listening to a radio program where the nutritionist said that if everyone ate a nutritionally balanced diet of organic food, we wouldn't have to take vitamin and mineral supplements. Most of the food we buy at a regular grocery store are so depleted of nutrients we are not getting the full healthy benefit from the food.

I agree with many food products in my grocery store lacking full nutrients (fruits and vegetables) but I wondered if you still needed to take vitamin and mineral supplements even if you ate a nutritionally balanced organic diet that met your basic daily needs. For example, for older women needing more calcium, can you just increase more calcium based foods? I would think a vitamin would be easier to take in some cases.

Then an herbalist came on the program to talk about herbal supplements. She said just because something is from nature doesn't mean you can freely take anything. You can harm yourself by taking toxic levels of an herb and/or have a severe allergic reaction.

I thought it was interesting how she said she boils one fresh herb down to a liquid form. Then she puts a small drop of that herb liquid from an eyedropper on a band-aide pad . She tapes the band-aide to her inner wrist which is a very tender sensitive area of the skin. She goes to sleep and the next morning peels off the band-aide. If there is any sign of swelling and itching in that small area she knows she's allergic to that herb.

All this natural herb information just fascinates me to know end. It's probably more romantic too. I notice how in historical novels a heroine is often a "natural healer" who uses herbs to treat the hero. For some reason, having someone in 16th century England whipping out a sharp knife and saying: "Here, My Lord, give me your big manly forearm and lets have some bloodletting" has more of the "ewwwwww" factor for sure! :eek:

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Post by Telynor » Tue November 13th, 2012, 12:10 am

I know that I am coming very late to this one, but two herbal remedies that I swear by are: a thin slice of fresh ginger brewed into tea for an upset tummy or when I am feeling run down. The other is Korean red ginseng, processed into an 'instant' tea. I get imported, and my alertness and general mood tend to rise when I have it in the morning.

For the history geeks out there, it seems that the Chinese demanded that the Koreans send them 'red' ginseng as part of their tribute -- it seems that the plant that is grown there is the most effective as an overall tonic. And it is still drunk in Korea as a tonic today.

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Currently reading: "Murder before Evensong" by Rev Richard Coles
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Post by Madeleine » Tue November 13th, 2012, 9:58 am

Fascinating info - but it's true you can be allergic to anything, including anti-histamines!
Currently reading "Murder before Evensong" by Rev Richard Coles

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