Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Tuesday, July 12: Birthday of Henry David Thoreau

That's today's headline on my "Forgotten English" desk calendar (leftover by Frema!). For every day of the year, it features a different long-forgotten English word. Today's, you ask?

"Earthworm oil: A greenish oil obtained from earthworms, used as a rememdy for earache."


But back to Thoreau. "Nothing more strikingly betrays the credulity of mankind than medicine." And, reading on, I totally get his point:

"At one time, the fact of their (insects) being prescribed as remedies by village quacks and wise men made people familiar with the idea of swallowing them. Wood-lice, which conveniently roll themsevles up into the semblance of black pills, were taken as a aperient; centipedes were an invaluable specific for jaundice; ladybirds for colic and measles." -- an excerpt from Why Not Eat Insects? by Vincent Holt.

Pretty sick, huh? Kinda like how doctors used to use leeches on their patients. It got me thinking, though, about other weird, unconventional medicinal treatments. In my search, I came across this webpage full of home remedies... some weirder than others.

Here are some of my favorites:

  • Stomach Pain
    Take a ½ gram of Asafetida (Hing Powder - Indian Spice) and mix it with a little water. Make a paste of it, fill up your belly button, and lie down for 15-30 minutes. You will release some gas a few times and after that you will be fine.
    (Huh? Your belly button? This doesn't seem to be an equal-opportunity remedy... are Outies destined to suffer a fate plagued by stomach pains and intestinal gas?)

  • High Blood Pressure
    Mix 1/2 onion juice and 1/2 honey. Take 2 tbls once a day for 1-2 weeks.
    Eat one papaya on an empty stomach daily for a month. Do not eat anything afterwards for about 2 hours.
    (Or you could diet and watch your temper. Either way.)

  • Bladder Infection
    One teaspoon of olive oil and one teaspoon of garlic juice mixed in a glass of warm water. Drink three times a day before meals.
    A teaspoon of pure garlic juice is effective in killing off the bacteria responsible for many bladder infections. This treatment can be repeated as often as needed.
    (Make sure you bring along your garlic juice potion when you head to the emergency room when your bladder infection turns into a kidney infection and you WANT TO DIE.)

  • Sinus Headache
    Mix 1 teaspoon finely ground cinnamon in 1 teaspoon water and apply on the forehead. It is very effective in headache due to exposure to cold air.

  • Vertigo
    Mix 7 to 8 almonds with 7 to 8 kernels of pumpkin seeds, 1 teaspoon poppy seeds and 3 tablespoon wheat. Soak in water overnight. The next morning, remove the outer skin of the almonds and grind everything together into a fine paste. Heat separately 2 teaspoon ghee and fry ½ teaspoon cloves. Add the paste to it along with some milk and boil the whole mixture. Sweeten with sugar and drink every day for a few days for vertigo relief.
    (This one is mostly for the SJC crowd. You know what I'm talking about.)

    Does anyone have any interesting home remedies to share? I'd love to make fun of them! ;)

    Phil said...

    ...wouldn't it be the outies that couldn't use that stomach pain remedy? Seems like that's tailor-made for innies. Sucka.

    Becky said...

    huh? what are you talking about, phil????

    from my seat, it definitely says "outies" as opposed to "innies."

    you're craaaaaaazy.

    Roger Stevens said...

    Well, garlic actually does that. It's very good for all sorts of ailments.

    Anyway, have to go. My earwig broth is boiling over and the stag beetle casserole is nearly done.

    Luke said...

    I have an innie, but I think I'll stick to things like Tums for my stomach aches. But if none are handy, a little ginger ale and some saltine crackerscan work pretty well, too.