It is summertime and I needed a little break from heavy-duty research today. So, this time I picked an easy subject – folk remedies. I do not know if any of the cures I list here really work and don’t vouch for any of them, but I do find them interesting
- Warts? Rub them with a banana skin to make them go away. See this link.
- Feeling down with poor circulation or want to speed up your metabolism? You could try a Russian steam bath (Shvitz in Eastern European Jewish culture). See this link
- Curing a hangover. Don’t drink so much in the first place and eat while you are drinking. See this link.
- How to numb a toothache. Use oil of clove. See this link.
- Do you have night leg pains? You could try camphor, oil of mustard, steam baths, red flannel, walnuts, cod liver oil, fenugreek and saffron. Or, another approach is to sleep with a bar of soap. See this link.
- Suffering from body odor? “Just rub vinegar under the armpit instead of deodorant. The vinegar smell will disappear shortly. — Baking soda is one of the best alternatives to using commercial deodorants available. Just dust baking soda under the armpits on dry skin and it will absorb moisture as well as kill odor causing bacteria.” See this link
- Want to keep colds and flu away” A lot of interesting suggestions are on this site, including “ Put your toothbrush in a glass of hydrogen peroxide. This will keep you from reinfecting yourself.”
- Suffering from an unfaithful spouse? You could try XXX-Triple Strength Spiritual Candles. See this link. There are several other traditional folk treatments for this condition. According to the Qur’an An-Nur, for example(ref) “The woman and the man guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, flog each of them with a hundred stripes. Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by AllÃ¢h, if you believe in AllÃ¢h and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment. (This punishment is for unmarried persons guilty of the above crime but if married persons commit it, the punishment is to stone them to death, according to AllÃ¢h’s Law).”
- Suffering from arthritis? There are no end to ideas like “Blend 1-2 large Celery sticks with an Apple and a Carrot. Add a little water and take as a drink once or twice a day(ref).”
- Can’t stop vomiting? Here is a remedy based on onion juice and peppermint tea that “should stop vomiting within 15 minutes.”
- Skin problems? Several ideas can be found here, including this one: “Take fresh cucumbers wash, dry and cut into pieces, put the pieces in a bottle filled with vodka and keep in a warm place for two weeks. (if you haven’t guessed (vodka) this, and the others in this paragraph, are Russian recipes). After two weeks the solution is strained, the cucumbers are discarded and the liquid is used as a lotion to soften the skin, eliminate pimples and shrink enlarged pores.”
- Athlete’s foot? Several interesting folk remedies can be found here, including this one: “CHAPARRAL – Mix six tablespoons of dried chaparral to one quart of boiling cheap whiskey or wine; reduce and simmer for 20 minutes; remove and steep for 8 hours. DO NOT use aluminum cookware! Soak your feet in this solution.”
- You can, by the way, buy used copies of the Folk Remedy Encyclopedia: Olive Oil, Vinegar, Honey and 1,001 Other Home Remedies from Amazon.com for $5.38. (link)
Research studies sometimes suggest remedy approaches that seem just as weird as the folk ones. For example:
- Want to live a very long healthy life? Here is a link to an earlier blog post that points to research saying that if you are a man, polygamy might help.
Many traditional folk remedies have been researched using the tools of contemporary science and have been found to make excellent sense, for example drinking green tea and eating foods with turmeric to ward off cancers. Traditional remedies listed as part of the combined anti anti-aging firewall suggested in my anti-aging treatise include astragalus root, ashwagandha, boswellia seratta, curcumin, ginger, billberries, olive leaf extract, grape seed extract, blueberries, saw palmetto, ginko biloba, stinging nettle, garlic, chocolate, olive oil, coffee and green tea. While use of these substances can be found in Chinese, Indian, Mediterranean and other traditions, they have all been the subject of recent Western-style research and have been found to possess valuable properties. I have discussed many of these substances in my treatise and blog posts.