Home Remedies

Island Epicure


My Grandmother, Fanny Wey Brunson, who raised eleven Children on a farm eight miles by horse-drawn wagon from a doctor, and no telephone, always had a home remedy for any illness or accident.  I learned a lot from her, and from Rodale’s Encyclopedia of Natural Home Remedies by Mark Bricklin.  Here are a bunch of them, some of grandma’s, some of Rodale’s, and some of my own.

Cherries, dried or canned or fresh in season, 20 per day.
Pectin dissolved in cold water, then stirred into hot tea. Sip several times a day.
“Switchel” – 1 teaspoon each of vinegar and honey stirred into a teacup of hot water.

Burns:  First, run cold water over the burned  part of anatomy to take out the heat. Clap a package of frozen peas for several minutes. Remove for a little while. When the burn starts hurting again, put the package of frozen peas back on. When the pain, or most of it, is gone, apply aloe vera lotion.  Or pierce a Vitamin E capsule and squeeze the contents onto the burned place.

Bruising tendency:  Eat a California orange or tangerine for breakfast every day.  Or two Mandarin oranges or clementines. These give you live Vitamin C. It’s more active than Vitamin C pills.

Colds:  At the first sniffle or clogged sinuses swig about ¼ cp of Magic Potion: a cinnamon stick and a generous Tablespoon of whole cloves simmered in 1 1/2 cups of water until the water turns brown.  The cloves combat viruses. The cinnamon nixes bacteria. Another remedy, or prevention when colds are going around, is garlic.  Look for garlic capsules  that say they don’t affect the smell of your breath for when you will be among other people, (Of course you should stay home if you have a cold, not share it with innocent other people.) Another antiviral is astragalus root. I keep a bottle of astragalus root capsules on hand. Source: Swanson.com. Enjoy fresh squeezed orange juice.  Have a bowl of chicken soup.

Scalding: Someone meant to refresh your coffee but the very hot stream went onto your hand instead of into the cup.  Apply cold yogurt. Each time it dries, apply more yogurt.

Stove burns: You’re taking something out of your oven and your hand brushes against one of the racks.  In a trice the burned skin turns white and kind of crinkled. Ouch!
Grab an ice cube with a hot pad and gently apply it to the burn to take the heat and hurt away without disturbing the skin.  Apply Vitamin E from a pierced capsule. Or soak the burned hand in 1 quart of water into which you, or a helper has dissolved 1000 milligrams of Vitamin C.

Sunburn:  Apply aloe vera gel or lotion, or paint the sunburned area with a damp tea bag. If you  happen to have a teapot full of cold black tea, dip a small cloth in it and paint the sunburned areas of your body. Get somebody to paint your back with cold tea. This should spare you blisters and give you a good night’s sleep.