Country Traditions

March 15, 2011

Flower power: Herbalist Christopher Robbins gathers together an essential flora medicine chest – Gardening, House & Home – The Independent

Filed under: herbs, home remedies — Tags: , , , — dmacc502 @ 7:29 am
Stinging Nettle Urtica dioica

Image by brewbooks via Flickr

Flower power: Herbalist Christopher Robbins gathers together an essential flora medicine chest – Gardening, House & Home – The Independent.

Dandelion The French name (pis-en-lit) is the best clue to its usefulness in the home-grown medicine chest: the leaves are a strong, safe and very effective diuretic, for anyone suffering from water retention. The bitterness aids digestion and acts also as a liver tonic. In some country areas, the milky sap that oozes out when you pick a leaf is still used to banish warts. The easiest way to use dandelion leaf is raw, in a salad. The common weedy ones are fine to eat, now, while they are young. But if you are in the extraordinary position of having no dandelions pushing up in your flower beds, you can grow the fancy French variety ‘Pissenlit a Coeur plein’ (Suffolk Herbs £1).

Nettle Stinging nettle is packed with vitamin A and vitamin C, and has almost twice as much iron in it as spinach, so it’s not surprising that it makes a brilliant spring tonic. We perhaps are not so keen now on flailing around in nettle beds to ease rheumatism. The sting inflames and warms and that process eases the ache in rheumaticky joints.

The simplest way to prepare nettle is in a soup and now is a great time to make it, before the leaves get dark and tough. The recipe I use is from Cooking Weeds by Vivien Weise. You need 500g potatoes peeled and cubed, 2 chopped onions, some butter, 1 litre good stock, 100g stinging nettle leaves stripped from the stems, 2tsp lemon juice, salt, pepper, 200ml double cream, 50g roasted, flaked almonds, 1 grated carrot. Fry the potatoes and onions until translucent. Add the stock and simmer for 10 mins. Add the nettle leaves and simmer for another 10 mins. Liquidise and add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Reheat and stir in half the cream. Serve with the rest of the cream, the almonds and the carrot ready to garnish the soup.

Chickweed This is a very common annual weed, sprouting now on disturbed ground with pale green leaves. The starry white flowers come later. It’s the best of all plants, says Robbins, for treating itchy or inflamed skin. The simplest way to use it is as a poultice. You can pick a bunch of the stuff, wring it slightly to release the sap, then bind the poultice to whatever part of the skin needs it. If you suffer from mild eczema or dermatitis, try it. It won’t be hard to find, as each plant carries about 15,000 seeds and they germinate in almost every month of the year.

 

Spring Tonics Dandelions Greens Nettles

Filed under: gardening, herbs, home remedies — Tags: , , , — dmacc502 @ 6:34 am
Comparison of the yellow flower and parachute ...

Image via Wikipedia

Dandelions Tonic

Dandelions were so valued that they were cultivated in gardens.

Try using the tender young leaves in salads, either fresh or blanched, as the French and Dutch settlers favored.

Or, use the leaves as one would spinach or make them into soup.�(Those who boiled dandelion greens in water often made a point of drinking the “pot likker” or cooking water, which was, in fact, loaded with water-soluble vitamins.)

Did you know? Dandelions can also be used as a relaxing body rub. See our Natural Remedies for Stress and Anxiety.

Rhubarb Tonic

Rhubarb, or pieplant, was widely regarded as a fine spring tonic to aid the blood and the digestive system.�Cooked and stewed rhubarb was called “spring fruit” in early cookbooks.

Boil rhubarb and enjoy it as a soup (with some sweetener). Rhubarb is also delicious in preserves, puddings, and pies.

via Spring Tonics Dandelions Greens Nettles.

October 18, 2010

Natural Remedies: Hair and Skin

Hair Style.

Image by Magdalene Sun via Flickr

Remedies

  • Use lemon juice as a rinse over freshly washed hair to induce natural highlights, especially if you’re a blond. It’s instant sunshine for your hair, in a fruit.
  • Beer has long been used—even by professionals—as a setting lotion and conditioner. Pour straight from the can or bottle, comb through and rinse.
  • Mayonnaise, straight from the jar, will make hair soft and shiny. The egg nourishes brittle hair with protein, while the vinegar gives it body and bounce.
  • Try this mixture to regain supple hair: Mix one teaspoon powdered brewers’ yeast with four ounces of apple cider vinegar to create an after wash rinse. Pour it over wet hair and let stand at least a minute before rinsing.

Problem: Oily hair and skin

Remedies

  • Add one teaspoon baking soda to two ounces of your shampoo. This works as an alkali to absorb excess oil.
  • Baking soda works the same way with skin, it will absorb oil and also neutralize excess acid in your skin. Make a paste with baking soda and water.
  • Try lemon juice as an astringent facial cleanser.

Problem: Dry skin

Remedies

  • For a homemade scrub, mix ground oats and honey. Rub all over your face—especially your nose. The abrasive will remove dry, scaly skin while the honey seeps in as a moisturizer. Rinse completely off and pat dry, and your skin will be glowing and baby soft. Only use this remedy once a week.
  • Plain honey is an excellent remedy for chapped lips. Leave on overnight—it makes for sweet dreams!
  • For superdry skin, use olive oil. Rub it in prior to a bath or shower. You may substitute peanut, sesame or sunflower oil.
  • A quart of milk in a hot bath is a luxury as well as a skin toner. It’s a trick nearly as old as time.

Problem: Puffy, tired-looking eyes

Remedy

  • Used teabags make excellent eye cosmetics. After dunked, drain it and place it over your closed eye (one for each) and hold it there for a few minutes. Redness, soreness, swelling and irritation will disappear like magic.

http://www.almanac.com/content/natural-remedies-hair-and-skin

October 11, 2010

Predicting Weather Using a Persimmon Seed!

Filed under: animals, farming, gardening, home remedies, weather, wisdom — Tags: , , , — dmacc502 @ 11:21 am
A fuyu persimmon fruit

Image via Wikipedia

According to folklore, you can predict the weather with apersimmon seed. Here’s how to do it:

Cut open a persimmon seed. (Find persimmon fruit in your local supermarket.)

Look at the shape of the kernel inside.

  • If the kernel is spoon-shaped, lots of heavy, wet snow will fall. Spoon = shovel!
  • If it is fork-shaped, you can expect powdery, light snow and a mild winter.
  • If the kernel is knife-shaped, expect to be “cut” by icy, cutting winds.

It’s best to use ripe seeds.

That’s it! Now, what did you see?                http://www.almanac.com/content/predicting-weather-using-persimmon-seed

 

Cricket Chirps: Nature's Thermometer

Filed under: animals, farming, gardening, home remedies, weather, wisdom — Tags: , , — dmacc502 @ 11:16 am
Thermometer with Fahrenheit units on the outer...

Image via Wikipedia

Did you know that you can tell the temperature by counting the chirps of a cricket? It’s true! Here’s the formula:

To convert cricket chirps to degrees Fahrenheit, count number of chirps in 14 seconds then add 40 to get temperature.

Example: 30 chirps + 40 = 70° F

To convert cricket chirps to degrees Celsius, count number of chirps in 25 seconds, divide by 3, then add 4 to get temperature.

Example: 48 chirps /(divided by) 3 + 4 = 20° C

http://www.almanac.com/cricket-chirps-temperature-thermometer

September 28, 2010

Home Remedies: Pets

Filed under: animals, home remedies, recipes, Vinegar, wisdom — Tags: , , , — dmacc502 @ 3:16 pm
Rolled oats

rolled oats

http://www.almanac.com/content/home-remedies-pets

Fleas

  • Shampoo your pet with flea shampoo and spray the animal between shampoos with flea spray.
  • Place a flea collar in the bag of your vacuum cleaner. Any fleas you sweep up will stay put in there.
  • If you don’t want to use a flea collar with insecticides, active ingredients such as eucalyptus, cedar, lemongrass, rosemary and marigold won’t exterminate, but will deter fleas.
  • Feed your pet a combination of brewer’s yeast and garlic once a day during flea season. The mixture will make your pet taste bad to fleas when they bite, while also conditioning your pet’s skin.
  • Placing an open jar or two of eucalyptus stems and leaves around the house can deter fleas. Place them in rooms where your pet spends the most time (especially those with carpets- fleas love to hide in them.)
  • Give your dog a flea bath with limonene shampoo, and flea-comb him down thoroughly while he’s in the water so the fleas drown.

Itchiness

  • Oatmeal Bath- Put uncooked oatmeal or rolled oats into a sock or nylon stocking and run a tubful of warm water over it. Soak your dog (cats will rarely let you do this) in the water for 5 to 10 minutes. Oatmeal based shampoos are also available at pet stores.
  • Aloe Vera- Break off a piece of the plant and apply the thick juice directly to the raw area.
  • Aggravated skin sores, also known as hot spots, can make your pet miserable. If you see a hot spot developing, clip about one-half to one inch around the sore to prevent hair and other dirt from further aggravating it. Clean the sore with hydrogen peroxide on gauze or a cotton ball, and after it dries spray the area with cortisone cream. Do this twice a day until the sore starts to dry out or a scab begins to form.

Cuts, Scrapes, Abrasions

  • Mix together 1-pint water, 1/2-teaspoon salt, and 1/2-teaspoon calendula tincture.
  • Soak an injured paw in the solution. If the wound is on the body put the solution in a quirt bottle or large syringe and gently apply it to the injured area.
  • Repeat the soaking or application every 4 to 6 hours for the first 24 hours.

Bites and Scratches

  • Rinse out the fresh wounds and punctures with large amounts of this solution: 1-pint water, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon Echinacea/goldenseal tincture.
  • Hydrogen peroxide may also be used t clean wounds, but it can damage delicate tissues.
  • Cat wounds are notorious for forming abscesses. If the abscess is draining, clean it with withe Echinacea/goldenseal solution. Always wear latex gloves while handling an abscess.

Burrs in Fur

  • For dogs, comb the burrs in their fur with a metal comb immediately. If burrs are badly tangled rub vegetable oil on your fingers and work the lubrication slowly through the fur until you can pull the burrs out.
  • Cats typically will want to take care of their own grooming, but you can help by gently working through the mess with a wire brush. Most cats won’t let you cut the fur or lubricate it the way a dog will.

If a skunk sprays…

  • Bathe your dog in a mixture of 1-quart hydrogen peroxide, 1/4-cup baking soda, and 1 teaspoon liquid soap. Work the solution into the fur (avoiding eyes) then rinse.
  • To rid the stench from your pet douse him with tomato juice, leaving it on for several minutes before rinsing it off. For a large dog, a single washing can require several cans of tomato juice. You may have to repeat the procedure, but the odor will eventually work itself out of your pet’s coat.

REMEMBER…sometimes simple solutions aren’t enough. If problems persist or worsen, or when in doubt, always check with your vet.

September 17, 2010

Don't Forget Vinegar

Filed under: curing meat, dehydrating, freezing food, herbs, home remedies, laundry, poison ivy, recipes, Vinegar — Tags: , , — dmacc502 @ 3:22 pm
Vinegar is commonly infused with spices or her...

Image via Wikipedia

  • Bring a solution of one-cup vinegar and four tablespoons baking soda to a oil in teapots and coffeepots to rid them of mineral deposits.
  • A solution of vinegar and baking soda will easily remove cooking oil from your stovetop.
  • Clean the filter on your humidifier by removing it and soaking it in a pan of white vinegar until all the sediment is off.
  • Vinegar naturally breaks down uric acid and soapy residue, leaving baby clothes and diapers soft and fresh. Add a cup f vinegar to each load during the rinse cycle.
  • Saturate a cloth with vinegar and sprinkle with baking soda, and then use it to clean fiberglass tubs and showers. Rinse well and rub dry for a spotless shine.
  • To remove chewing gum, rub it with full-strength vinegar.
  • For a clean oven, combine vinegar and baking soda, then scrub.
  • Clean and deodorize your toilet bowl by pouring undiluted white vinegar into it. Let stand for five minutes, then flush. Spray stubborn stains with white vinegar, then scrub vigorously.
  • Clean windows with a cloth dipped in a solution of one part white vinegar and ten parts warm water. This works for dirty TV screens, too!
  • For brunettes, rinsing hair with vinegar after a shampoo makes hair shinier. Use one-tablespoon vinegar to one-cup warm water.
  • Soak paint stains in hot vinegar to remove them.
  • To clean drip coffeemakers, fill the reservoir with white vinegar and run it through a brewing cycle. Rinse thoroughly by brewing two cycles with water before using.
  • To remove bumper stickers from car chrome, paint on vinegar and let it soak in. Next, scrape off the stickers. Decals can be removed similarly.
  • Rid your refrigerator and freezer of bad odors by cleaning the insides with a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, then wiping dry.
  • Apply full strength vinegar to mosquito or other insect bites to relieve the itching. (Caution: Do not do this if the affected area is raw.)
  • White vinegar takes salt and water stains off leather boots and shoes. Wipe over the stained area only, and then polish.
  • To remove smoke odors on clothes, hang them above a steaming bathtub filled with hot water and a cup of white vinegar.
  • To prevent mildew, wipe down surfaces with vinegar.
  • Place a vinegar-soaked brown bag on sprains to ease pain and aid recovery.
  • Use a sponge dampened with vinegar to clean shower curtains.
  • To remove salt stains from winter boots, rub with a solution of 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 1 cup water.
  • To loosen a stuck jar lid, hold the jar upside down and pour warm vinegar around the neck at the joint between the glass and the top.
  • Rub cider vinegar on your skin to repel insects.
  • Clean windows with a mixture of 1 part white vinegar and 10 parts warm water.

Uses for Salt & Baking Soda

Filed under: curing meat, dehydrating, farming, freezing food, home remedies, poison ivy, recipes — Tags: , , , — dmacc502 @ 3:18 pm
Sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrogencarbonate, ...

Image via Wikipedia

  • Rub salt on fruit stains while still wet, then put them in the wash.
  • For mildew spots, rub in salt and some buttermilk, and then let dry in the sun.
  • If you spill wine or fruit juice on your tablecloth, pour salt on the spot immediately to absorb the stain.
  • Apply a paste of salt and olive oil to ugly heat rings on your table. Let sit for about an hour and then wipe off with a soft cloth.
  • To improve your iron, sprinkle salt on a piece of paper and run the sticky iron over it a few times while the iron is hot.
  • To restore some of the color to faded fabric, soak it in a strong solution of salt and water.
  • Mix a tablespoon of salt into the water of a vase of cut flowers to keep them fresh longer.
  • A mixture of salt and vinegar will clean brass.
  • Salt on the fingers when cleaning meat or fish will prevent your hands from slipping.
  • To kill unwanted weeds growing in your driveway or between bricks and stones, pour boiling salt water over them.
  • For perspiration stains, add enough water to salt to make a paste, then rub into the cloth. Wait for an hour, and then launder as usual.
  • Cover spilled eggs with salt, then wipe clean with a paper towel.
  • To freshen smelly sneakers (or any canvas shoe) sprinkle their insides with salt. Wait 24 hours for the salt to absorb the odor, and then shake them out.
  • Pour salt directly onto a grease spill and come back to it later.
  • A new broom will last longer if you soak the bristles in hot salt water before using it for the first time.
  • Stainless steel can be cleaned by rubbing it with a gritty paste of two tablespoons of salt mixed with lemon juice. Rinse well and pat dry with a soft cloth.
  • Rub two to three tablespoons of salt onto the stains inside your glass vases, and then scrub clean with a damp bristle brush.
  • Gargle with warm salt water (1/4 teaspoon salt to one cup water) to relieve a sore throat.
  • Sprinkle salt on carpets to dry out muddy footprints before vacuuming.
  • When silk flowers get dusty, put them in a paper bag with several tablespoons of salt and shake gently for two minutes to clean them.
  • Refresh household sponges by soaking them in cold salt water for ten minutes.
  • BAKING SODA
  • Add baking soda to your bath water to relieve sunburned or itchy skin.
  • Make a paste of baking soda and water, and apply to a burn or an insect bite for relief.
  • Clean your refrigerator with a solution of one-teaspoon baking soda to one quart of warm water.
  • Pour a cup of baking soda into the opening of your clogged drain and then add a cup of hot vinegar. After a few minutes, flush the drain with a quart of boiling water.
  • To remove perspiration stains, make a thick paste of baking soda and water. Rub paste into the stain, let it sit for an hour, and then launder as usual.
  • If you crave sweets, rinse your mouth with one-teaspoon baking soda dissolved in a glass of warm water. Don’t swallow the mixture; spit it out. Your craving should disappear instantly.
  • Add a pinch of baking soda to boiled syrup to prevent it from crystallizing.
  • To remove pesticides, dirt, and wax from fresh fruits and vegetables, wash them in a large bowl of cool water to which you’ve added two to three tablespoons of baking soda.
  • Soak toothbrushes in baking soda and warm water overnight to clean bristles.
  • Gasoline and oil odors can be removed by putting clothes in a trash bag with baking soda for a few days before washing them.
  • Lay down barrier of baking soda under sink-pipe openings and along basement windows to keep carpenter ants, silverfish, and roaches from invading. Roaches eat the baking soda, dehydrate, and die.
  • A light baking soda paste on a damp cloth will remove bugs and tar from cars without damaging the paint. Let paste sit for a few minutes before wiping and rinsing clean.
  • To remove stains from your coffee and tea cups, wipe them with a damp sponge dipped in baking soda paste.
  • Keep your rubber gloves dry and smelling good by sprinkling baking soda inside them. They’ll slip on more easily too!
  • Sprinkling baking soda on your front steps will provide traction and melt the ice. Unlike rock salt, kitty litter, or sand, it won’t damage outdoor or indoor surfaces or shoes.
  • Boil two inches of water in a pan with a burned bottom, turn off the heat, then add half a cup of baking soda. Let it sit overnight. In the morning it will be easy to clean.
  • Sprinkle a teaspoon of baking soda on the bottom of your toaster oven to eliminate the burned smell from drippings and crumbs.
  • A paste of baking soda removes red sauce stains from plastic.

Uses for Lemons

Filed under: farming, fish, freezing food, home remedies, laundry, recipes — Tags: , , , — dmacc502 @ 3:12 pm
Two lemons, one whole and one sliced in half

Image via Wikipedia

Home uses for lemons.

  • For a sore throat or bad breath, gargle with some lemon juice.
  • Clean discolored utensils with a cloth dipped in lemon juice. Rinse with warm water.
  • Toss used lemons into your garbage disposal to help keep it clean and smelling fresh.
  • Use one part lemon juice and two parts salt to scour chinaware to its original luster.
  • A few drops of lemon juice in outdoor house-paint will keep insects away while you are painting and until the paint dries.
  • Remove scratches on furniture by mixing equal parts of lemon juice and salad oil and rubbing it on the scratches with a soft cloth.
  • To make furniture polish, mix one part lemon juice and two parts olive oil.
  • To clean the surface of white marble or ivory (such as piano keys), rub with a half a lemon, or make a lemon juice and salt paste. Wipe with a clean, wet cloth.
  • To renew hardened paintbrushes, dip into boiling lemon juice. Lower the heat and leave the brush for 15 minutes, then wash it in soapy water.
  • To remove dried paint from glass, apply hot lemon juice with a soft cloth. Leave until nearly dry, and then wipe off.
  • Rub kitchen and bathroom faucets with lemon peel. Wash and dry with a soft cloth to shine and remove spots.
  • Fresh lemon juice in rinse water removes soap film from interiors of ovens and refrigerators.
  • Create your own air freshener: Slice some lemons, cover with water, and let simmer in a pot for about an hour. (This will also clean your aluminum pots!)
  • Fish or onion odor on your hands can be removed by rubbing them with fresh lemons.
  • To get odors out of wooden rolling pins, bowls, or cutting boards, rub with a piece of lemon. Don’t rinse: The wood will absorb the lemon juice.
  • Save lemon and orange rinds to deter squirrels and cats from digging in the garden. Store rinds in the freezer during the winter, and then bury them just under the surface of the garden periodically throughout the spring and summer.
  • After a shampoo, rinse your hair with lemon juice to make it shine. Mix the strained juice of a lemon in an eight-ounce glass of warm water.
  • Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with two tablespoons of salt to make a rust-removing scrub.
  • Before you start to vacuum, put a few drops of lemon juice in the dust bag. It will make the house smell fresh.
  • Get grimy white cotton socks white again by boiling them in water with a slice of lemon.
  • Clean copper pots by cutting a lemon in half and rubbing the cut side with alt until the salt sticks. Rub the lemon onto the metal, rinse with hot water, and polish dry.
  • Suck on a lemon to settle an upset stomach.

medicine chest

Filed under: home remedies, wisdom — Tags: , , , — dmacc502 @ 2:12 pm
Mortar and pestle

Mortar & Pestle

A few  medicines:   The Cures:
Dr. Rush’s Bilious Pills
A potent combination of chemicals
and herbs that quickly cleaned out
a person’s digestive system. Used
for many ills during the expedition,
Lewis brought 50 dozen.
Turkish opium — Obtained
from a poppy plant, it was used
to relieve pain and calm nervous
excitement. Mixed with alcohol,
it made a concentrated sedative
that had been used in medicine
since 1510.
Balsam copaiba — An oily
sap from a South American tree
that contains a germ-killing acid.
When swallowed, it could calm
the stomach and relieve gas. As
a lotion, it was used to treat swelling
of the skin.
Mercury ointment — A treatment
used to treat lesions. The
patient was often treated until he
showed signs of mercury poisoning
such as excessive saliva or
sore gums.
Peruvian bark —
People took more of this
than any other medicine, 15
pounds in the powdered form.
Obtained from a tree in Peru, it
was used as a pick-me-up drink
and for fever, snake bites, abdominal
pain and just about anything
else. It contained quinine, a malaria
treatment.
— They used containers
like these to carry medicinal
substances such as
mercury ointment, see
“cures” above.
1,5. Medicine containers.
2. Cupping glass — When
heated and placed on the
skin, it draws blood to the
surface.
3. Dr. Rush’s Bilious Pills,
see cures.
4. Turkish opium, see
cures.
6-7. Medicine bottles.
8. Bullet tongs — For removing
bullets.
9. Straightedge knife
10-11. Scalpels — For operating
and blood letting.
12. Cauterizer — When
heated, closes wounds.
13. Tenaculum — Pulls
arteries out of a wound.
14. Retractor — Draws
aside the lip of a wound.
For grinding chemicals and
herbs into a powder which
would dissolve more easily.
16. Bone saw — For amputating
limbs.
17. Medicine chest — For
storing medical supplies.
The Causes
Challenges the Corps faced:
l Frostbite
l Snow blindness
l Hail storms
l Gastrointestinal disease from
food and water
l Diseases from encounters with
natives
l Grizzly bears
l Rattlesnakes
l Hunger
l Poorly balanced diets
l Fatigue
l Skin and respiratory infections
l Dislocated joints
l Parasites
l Bullet wounds

http://www.greatfallstribune.com/communities/lewisandclark/20030622/medicine.pdf

Older Posts »

Blog at WordPress.com.