Folk Remedies from the USA

May 04, 2013

Even as a relatively young nation, the United States offers a rich tradition of folk remedies passed down through the generations. The immigrant history of the nation created a melting pot of cultures that certainly included the medicino-cultural traditions emigres brought from their homelands.

Likewise, the frontier tradition that shaped the nation forced an enormous level of self-reliance in caring for the sick and injured as in all aspects of life for farmers and adventurers at the edge of the country's expansion. Of course, those travelers were expanding against existing Native American nations with deep knowledge of alternative and holistic treatments specific to the regional herbs and other natural therapeutics as well.

In these days, grandparents especially seem to have a few clever home remedies to pass along when grandchildren are sick and in pain. Earth Clinic won't let that ancestral knowledge pass away. Won't you help us collect and share America's folk medicine tradition?




Cold and Flu  

5 star (2) 
  100%
Share your thoughts with our readers
Write a review


Posted by Linda (Eugene, Oregon) on 01/18/2013
5 out of 5 stars

My gradmother used this remedy for any cold or flu that settled in the lungs. I remember having to endure it myself.

Take two hankerchiefs or just two small light weight pieces of cloth and put them in a bowl of ice water. Wring them out and lay one on the victim's chest and one on the back. Next, put on a sweat shirt, and then put on a heavy WOOL, (and this must be pure wool) sweater or a wool blanket or anything that is pure wool on top. Both layers must be tightly fitting. In my case, because I was so small, they used safety pins to bind them.

Then the victim, er, patient was put to bed and after a few hours the fever and chest cold was gone. I used it on my daughter back in the 60's and it worked like a charm, but there was a lot of yelling about those ice cold handkerchiefs.

Replied by Anonymous
Pacific Palisades, Ca
01/27/2013
5 out of 5 stars

This method does work , My ND uses this method of alternating hot and cold towels. The person is placed on a bed and a warm to hot ( heat is based on your comfort level) towel placed on the chest then your wrapped in 100% cotton sheet tightly covered in wool blanket usually for 15-20 minutes the towel is removed and replaced with a cold towel for 15-20 minutes and it is alternated between the hot and cold towels for 60 to 90 minutes. They end with a cold towel and suggest in the evening putting on 100% cotton socks that have been soaked in cold water wringing the excess water out and then putting them on and then putting a pair of wool socks over the cotton ones and going to bed. This will decrease inflammation, increase blood circulation, balances digestive and detoxifies and purifies the organs liver, kidney, lungs, intestines and skin. This will increase the blood flow to the area. I had this done for sinus infection and it worked wonders.


Colitis  

5 star (1) 
  100%
Share your thoughts with our readers
Write a review


Posted by An (La, Ca) on 05/04/2013
5 out of 5 stars

I cured my friend's baby with colitis using 3 drops of Glyco-Thymoline 3 x day daily. I found Glyco thru Google search on "colitis Glyco-Thymoline". Looks like it's an old American medicine circa 1905. It cost $10 a bottle.


Slippery Elm  

5 star (1) 
  100%
Share your thoughts with our readers
Write a review


Posted by 1947hoppy (Winamac, Indiana) on 03/10/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Years ago I worked with a Native American who shared several natural cures with me. One that my family tried and had great success with is slippery elm tea. Our children are all grown and gone now, but when they were younger they would actually ask for it. We have used it for most any stomach related problem, and still use it today. Usually one or two cups is all this is needed for a bout with what people refer to as stomach flu. Occassionally I will fix a cup for my wife if she complains of diarrhea. It works well, has no unpleasant taste and most important, NO side effects. It can be purchased at most online herb stores in the bulk form, and a little bit goes a long way. We make it in a tea ball.


Sty  

5 star (1) 
  100%
Share your thoughts with our readers
Write a review


Posted by Linda (Eugene, Oregon) on 01/18/2013
5 out of 5 stars

My grandmother always had us use Purex straight from the bottle on a sty and it was gone in a day, and no side effects. Just a little Purex on a cloth or cue tip and wipe it on the sty.


Vinegar Wraps  

5 star (1) 
  100%
Share your thoughts with our readers
Write a review


Posted by Elizabeth (Seattle, WA) on 01/22/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Vinegar Wraps. This was my late husband's remedy which, I believe, was an old herbalist remedy dating back to the 1800s. We used vinegar wraps to break a fever or to help the body quickly heal from a muscle strain.

To break a fever, you try to stay in a very warm bath as long as you could stand it. Immediately following the bath, wring out a thin cotton sheet in warm water to which has been added apple cider vineger, to make it acid. Wrap the body in the sheet and and pin it. Then, the most important part, one should cover the wet cloth with dry blankets and also pin them, using several layers so that the damp from the sheet does not come through. Best to sleep like this, gives the body a chance to realign the charcras with the electricity from the water mixture.

For a muscle strain or sprain (excellent for bursitis or arthritic knees), follow the same instructions except use a dish towel or two which are thin. Pin and wrap the affected area with several dry towels.