The more I read about home remedies, herbal remedies, simple kitchen medicines, the more impressed I am by all the "old wives" who came up with this stuff. I've been trying them out all winter, and I've been very pleased with the results, i.e., they worked, they're effective. These remedies are inexpensive, use easy to come by items (for the most part), and can by done by anyone.
In the upcoming depression, when I am sure the Powers That Be will leave us all high and dry, except when they're desperately trying to get us to do silly, stupid, and dangerous things (like vaccinations and flu shots), we will have to learn to rely on simple and cheap methods of taking care of ourselves. We are learning more and more about nutrition and how the body works to heal itself. These simple treatments work with the body, not against it. That's a big selling point as far as I'm concerned.
Here are some of the treatments I've tried that worked for me. As the saying goes, your mileage may vary. Not every remedy will work for every person. So take what makes sense to you, try it out. Try not to be negative if it doesn't work--simply move on to something else.
For Colds and Flu
Slice up garlic and place the slices on the bottoms of your feet (not an easy thing to accomplish, btw). What I did was place some plastic wrap on the floor, put the garlic slices on the plastic wrap, put my foot down on top of the slices and wrapped the plastic around my foot. I left this on overnight and discarded the garlic in the morning. And yes, I felt much better the next day. Not completely healed, but much better.
Vicks VapoRub also worked and felt very calming and soothing. Felt better the next day and the skin on my feet was very soft.
Here's another one for cold/flu/respitory problems:
Cold Wet Socks Therapy
What's that you say? Cold, wet socks? For what?
This is the first time I've heard of it. I was reading around the herbal blogs (and there are a lot of excellent ones--for another post) and found this fascinating idea. I found it at Herbalist Liza Zahn's website. If you have a stubborn cold or flu, you put on a pair of cold, wet cotton socks. Over them you put on warm, dry wool socks and then hop into bed. When you wake in the morning, your body will have had to overcome the coldness and wetness by working overtime...
I'm not explaining it well. Read about it at Liza's page. It makes perfect sense to me, and it is using your body's own power to heal, which I like.
I'm not about to snafu myself again by saying I don't get colds or flu. Next time one jumps me though, I will try the cold, wet sock therapy.
Post-Nasal Drip/Sinus Infection
OK, I did do this one, and boy did it work! And kept working! It got rid of the problem completely for at least a week. Then the infection started in again, but a repeat of the treatment kicked its ass again. Here's my earlier post about it.
I put a dropper full of Hydrogen Peroxide in a 2 oz medicine bottle (the eye-dropper kind you get herb tinctures in), then added a pinch of sea salt, a pinch of baking soda and a pinch of powdered cayenne pepper. I put 2 droppers full into one nostril, then bent over and rolled my head around, trying to get the stuff to all areas of my sinuses. Ditto with the other nostril. By this time my eyes were watering and my nasal passages were exploding... I can't say it was fun. I did 2 more droppers full to each nostril, repeatedly blowing my nose (gently) throughout. I had to keep blowing my nose for about a half and hour. And yes, it stung. It was weird.
But it worked. The infection disappeared.
I could have gone to my doctor, paid about $75 for the doctor's visit, got a prescription for antibiotics maybe or maybe for some other drugs, paid more money for those, and after two weeks still have been miserable and miserably out-of-pocket, with the added disaster of having to rebuild my immune system and all the good bacteria in my system.
There's a website called the Skeptic Detective, which nicely points out logical fallacies and demands double-blind scientific studies for home remedies. It makes for interesting reading, but let's face it. Doing large double-blind studies for something that can't be patented (like garlic) and thus profited by just isn't going to happen. No one could or would spend the money to do those kinds of studies. The Skeptic Detective also pooh poohs anecdotal evidence, or demands "scientific" evidence. However, as one commentor says: she tried it, it worked, and that's all the evidence she requires. Or, one can always say "it's the placebo effect" and that may be true too. In which case, hurrah for the placebo effect. Our minds, our thoughts, have a big effect on the body (which is why the placebo effect works). We might as well use it for our benefit.
In my case, I'll try something even if I doubt it could possibly work. I've done that before and been pleasantly surprised when it did work. It is always good to question, and a dose of skepticism is not a bad thing at all.
However, in my opinion, allopathic medicine and so-called "objective science" is failing so abjectly when it comes to helping with chronic diseases, or the biases are so obviously towards pharmaceutical "medicines" that it makes me question their treatments. Giving patients poison for cancer isn't helpful. We've had years of chemotherapy and radiation now and it is ineffective for one, and it drastically harms the patient. Why? Why is it still used? Follow the money trail and you will find out why.
Ach, that's a whole other realm of discussion and posting. Suffice it to say that I think there is a lot of good in simple home remedies, most remedies are cheap, using simple things you already have in your kitchen, and they're easy to do for yourself.
I have always used home remedies, I think most people do. We don't always tell other people for fear of being called names, made fun of, put down as idiots. Well, I go by "prove all things." If it works for me, it works. I might like to know how and why it works, but if I don't, I'm still fine with it.
Anyway, these are a few that have worked for me. In my view, it's definitely worth looking into, researching a bit, finding what might work for you and your particular problem, and taking action. Be in charge of your own health care. That's progress, by damn.