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Home remedies

GAYS MILLS - Home remedies. It’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? It conjures up the ability to take care of things on our own, to be independent and self-sufficient. Of course we need doctors and nurses at times, but we need to be able to take care of minor medical things ourselves. Here are a few home remedies I’ve found useful.

Lavender oil. Sure, it smells good, but it’s a handy thing to have around for other reasons. I used to keep a bottle of this in my desk at school. Once in a while, a student would get burned in the welding shop. If the burn wasn’t bad enough to go to see the school nurse or beyond (fortunately it never was) I would put a drop or two of this oil on the burn and the pain would virtually and instantly disappear. It’s also amazing at eliminating the itch of mosquito bites. Plus, it’s an antiseptic and should be in every home.

Pepper. Pepper!? Yes. I read about this in an outdoor magazine and have used it several times. Pepper is effective as a blood stopper for minor cuts. Use finely ground pepper and sprinkle it on the cut after it’s been cleaned. There is no pain from applying the pepper. It helps the blood clot and the bleeding stop. I keep a few paper pepper packets from restaurants in my toolbox to use this way.

New Skin. This brand named product needs to be store-bought, but is oh so handy. It comes in a small bottle with a brush applicator in the cap. It’s a fast drying liquid bandage and I use it mainly on my hands for minor cuts and those dastardly fingertip cracks in the winter. Warning: it smarts a bit when applied, but completely seals off the problem area where a band aid would be hard to fit and difficult to keep on.

Honey. Honey is an antiseptic and is soothing and effective for applying to minor cuts before bandaging. Plain honey works, although they sell a medicated honey which is quite a bit more expensive.

Epsom Salts. Epsom salts are the common name for magnesium sulfate. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath or soaking your feet in Epsom salts are soothing and a good way to get magnesium into your system without ingesting it. There are many reasons that experts say we don’t get enough magnesium in our systems. Taking it in through the skin is a safe and reliable way. But for a remedy, Epsom salts are useful for making splinter removal easier. Baking soda works for this as well. Simply soaking the splintered area in a strong solution of either material in warm water should help “raise” the splinter.

Aloe Vero Plant. You may be aware of the many benefits of the Aloe Vera plant. I wasn’t until I looked it up for this column. Aloe is a member of the lily family along with onions and garlic. Many of the benefits of aloe plant are nutritional in nature. It truly sounds like a miracle plant from that standpoint. For a home remedy, though, I was interested in its use as a help with burns, abrasions and skin problems. Breaking a piece of the plant off and applying the clear liquid that oozes out from it is a tried and true treatment for cuts and burns. If you’re only going to have one houseplant, make it an aloe plant.

I’d be curious to know of other home remedies you know of if you’d care to share them.