glass_icarus: (mango cubed)
[personal profile] glass_icarus
I've been having various conversations with people about home remedies/mom-advice recently, so I figured it would be nice to consolidate and share. :D This post is in no way meant to be a universal prescriptive, as different things work for different people, so please feel free to jump in as well!

for relieving headaches:
+ Massage/pressure points: temples, eye-sockets, the spot right under the center of the lower lip, and (sometimes, for me) also the upper curve of the ear. The juncture of neck and shoulder is good for tension relief as well, whether or not my muscles are actually tight (which, let's face it, they generally are). I press hard enough to get me to the borderline of pain and discomfort while my mom presses hard enough to hurt, but either way works just fine.

+ Using wanjingyou/Tiger Balm on these points is extra helpful, although I would suggest not doing so if you are sensitive to strong smells.

+ Coffee/tea/caffeinated substances have been a solution for my mom in the past, though coffee is not a go-to for me after noon (I go to sleep late enough as it is).

for relieving menstrual cramps:
+ Ginger soup! Slice fresh ginger into a pot of boiling water & leave for ~30 minutes (this is approximately the amount of time my mom leaves it on, but longer/shorter periods should be fine as well, I think). Add sugar to taste & drink hot. Note: this can be made in large quantities & kept in the fridge to be reheated when necessary.

+ Lower back massage, if you are like me and get a horrible band of tightness around your midsection. This mostly helps me not to tense up and make the pain worse, although if I get to a certain point of relaxation the cramps will actually recede for a while.

+ Also, avoiding cold drinks/foodstuffs (such as ice cream) for the duration generally helps.

+ Also also, no swimming for the duration, if at all possible. (I have never been tempted to do this anyway, but I had a couple of friends on the swim team back in high school, so.)

for coughs/colds:
+ Lemon tea (actual tea not necessary): hot water, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, and honey to taste. I mostly use green tea if I'm in the mood for actual tea.

+ Tea with honeyed kumquats: Soak fresh kumquats in a jar of honey for extended periods of time (as in 2-3 weeks or longer); make sure they are completely covered with the honey. Over time the kumquats should sink from the top of the jar; you can then take dollops of the kumquat/honey and put it in your tea (mostly green tea for me- my family is in the habit of drinking green, basically- but we've also been known to use oolong). My mom swears by it for allergy-relief as well, as it works for her where actual allergy medications such as Claritin have failed miserably; she no longer sneezes or suffers itchy, watery eyes in the springtime. It is true that she is always making and drinking the stuff these days, but hey, it's a tasty (and healthy) preventative measure!

+ Breathing steam. I prefer to stay in the bathroom for a few minutes after a hot shower when I'm feeling congested, but you can also just boil some water and sit with your face over it & a towel draped over your head, if you like.

... why yes, you may have noticed that we use tea for, um, everything? TEA IS THE SUBSTANCE OF LIFE, OKAY. xD

eta because I have fallen off the bandwagon re: poetry month! five poems by Purvi Shah; I particularly love the last one.

Date: 2010-04-30 06:32 pm (UTC)
bossymarmalade: shack on maracas beach (shark and bake for all)
From: [personal profile] bossymarmalade
For coughs and colds:

- boil together sliced fresh ginger and the peel of an orange (as little of the white pith as possible); drink piping hot and sweetened with honey. Dilute with hot water if you can't handle the burn.

- mix a lot of salt and lime juice, then top with the strongest clear alcohol available (since we're West Indian, we use overproof rum); sip liberally to stimulate coughing up the mucus rattling in your chest. Or you'll get so drunk you won't care any more, either way. *g*

- nobody else will want to do this EVER, but my auntie used to make us swallow little dabs of Vicks if we had really bad coughs. I admit that I still, if I have one of those awful sore throats, will poke a little Vapo-rub into my throat for relief! Speaking of which:

- gargle with a diluted mixture of salt and Listerine to head off a sore throat. I also add some powdered myrrh, which for some reason is available at my local health food store. When I get sore throats they're BRUTAL, but this helps them pass really quickly.

This is my own remedy, discovered one summer: if you have warts, grab some dandelion leaves and mush them onto the wart to smear the juice onto it. Let the leaves dry on the wart if possible. Repeat until it the wart disappears. (Does not work for plantar or other subcutaneous warts!)

The honeyed kumquat tea sounds really good! As long as I'm not required to eat the kumquats, I'M THERE.

Date: 2010-04-30 08:28 pm (UTC)
inkstone: girl holding a bird over half her face (bird)
From: [personal profile] inkstone
My mom was a big fan of the salt & warm water remedy for sore throats. I still do it anytime my throat starts to feel scratchy.

Date: 2010-05-01 03:01 am (UTC)
crossedwires: toph punches katara to show her affection (Default)
From: [personal profile] crossedwires
One time I accidentally swallowed mouthwash and that completely cleared up my cough and sore throat. I've never been able to make myself do that again on purpose, though.

Date: 2010-04-30 06:40 pm (UTC)
eruthros: closeup on apples, text "fruit porn" (fruit porn - apples)
From: [personal profile] eruthros
I love lemon tea made that way! I sometimes grate some ginger and squeeze the ginger juice in if I had a really bad sore throat.

Date: 2010-04-30 08:27 pm (UTC)
inkstone: xxxHOLic's Yuuko hiding her face behind a fan (fan)
From: [personal profile] inkstone
my mom's cold/cough remedy:
boil some water. put it in a bowl. put a couple drops of whiteflower oil in it. breathe in the steam. I used to do this all the time when I was little and sick all the time.

my three-step headache remedy (learned from kundalini):
massage the fleshy part between my pointer finger and thumb with the pointer finger and thumb of my other hand for a couple minutes. switch hands. then form fists except for your pointer fingers which you hook together in front of you at heart level with elbows raised and out to the side. (parallel to the ground) turn your head to the left while your hooked hands move to the right. turn your head to the right while your hooked hands move to the left. repeat at a steady, controlled pace for a few minutes. then do slow, controlled neck rolls counterclockwise for a few minutes. switch to clockwise for a few minutes. by the time I'm done with this, my headache's usually gone.

Date: 2010-05-01 03:01 am (UTC)
inkstone: girl holding a bird over half her face (bird)
From: [personal profile] inkstone
Whiteflower oil was the cure-all in a small clear bottle when I was little. It still kind of is but I need to procure a bottle since I no longer have one after the move. There was the cold remedy. Now that I think about it, if I was having a bad bout of cough/cold (and I often did when I was little), my dad used to put a couple drops in warm water and make me drink it.

If I had terrible migraine, my mom used to dot it on my temples.

When I had the horrific menstrual cramps of my teenaged years (they're still bad but they were crippling when I was younger), I used to streak the oil on my abdomen.

Looking at the ingredients now, I'm kind of like NO WONDER. It's essentially everything concentrated in one tiny bottle: wintergreen, menthol, camphor, eucalyptus, peppermint & lavender.

Date: 2010-05-01 04:23 am (UTC)
crossedwires: toph punches katara to show her affection (Default)
From: [personal profile] crossedwires
It's great stuff! I have a bottle sitting next to me on my night stand. :D

I think it has some of the same ingredients as Tiger Balm, namely camphor and menthol.

Date: 2010-04-30 09:43 pm (UTC)
dhobikikutti: earthen diya (Default)
From: [personal profile] dhobikikutti
I love looking at these and then going, we do it a little differently because... and figuring out the geographical plant and temparature and climate etc factors.

Date: 2010-05-01 12:07 am (UTC)
crossedwires: toph punches katara to show her affection (Default)
From: [personal profile] crossedwires
If my mom isn't telling us to drink more water, she's telling us to drink more tea. Heh.

She also makes this rather noxious concoction to break fevers. I'm not entirely sure what goes in it, but there's definitely a lot of ginger and green onion and, I think, chicken stock. It must be the amounts of ginger and onion she uses because getting near it makes my eyes water. This is nothing compared to what my grandmother makes if we're sick.

Mushroom tea for colds! Boil mushroom stems - and keep the umbrella part of the mushroom to eat later! - and then add honey (or rock sugar?) to taste.

Arnica for bumps, bruises and basically any pain you might feel.

Date: 2010-05-01 02:57 am (UTC)
crossedwires: toph punches katara to show her affection (Default)
From: [personal profile] crossedwires
The dried Chinese mushrooms! Google says they're also called Shiitake mushrooms. You can probably use fresh mushrooms too, but we only ever seem to have the dried ones.

Date: 2010-05-01 01:43 am (UTC)
lady_ganesh: A Clue card featuring Miss Scarlett. (tea)
From: [personal profile] lady_ganesh
Sore throat/cough: Hot water with honey and lemon. The more honey and lemon vs. water, the better. (You can also add tea or brew tea and dump in a bunch of honey and lemon, but the pure honey and lemon is oddly satisfying.)

Menstrual cramps: HEAT. Hot water bottle, heating pad, or one of those lovely cloth bags filled with rice, corn or millet you can heat in the microwave.

I am making a note of the ginger, thank you!

Date: 2010-05-01 03:45 pm (UTC)
lady_ganesh: A pink lotus floating in a bowl (lotus)
From: [personal profile] lady_ganesh
I have been known to just huddle with a heating pad half the night, lolz.

Date: 2010-05-01 03:02 am (UTC)
inkstone: Alex Benedetto from the @Bunch issue containing Chapter 42 (Default)
From: [personal profile] inkstone
I used to do the heating pad method when I was in college for menstrual cramps.

Date: 2010-05-01 03:44 pm (UTC)
lady_ganesh: Mamoru looking lost and lonely (mamoru (WK))
From: [personal profile] lady_ganesh
Alas, mine have gotten worse since then.

Date: 2010-05-01 07:57 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] miss_haitch
Thank you so much for this! My annual allergies started recently and it's great to have some home remedies to perk me up.

Date: 2010-05-01 09:07 am (UTC)
verasteine: Steve (Default)
From: [personal profile] verasteine
Hey, thanks for these tips! Tea will one day be found to be the cure to the common cold, I swear it. In the meantime :), breathing steam to clear up congested noses works even better when you add a dash of eucalyptus oil to the boiling water.

Date: 2010-05-01 06:20 pm (UTC)
yasaman: picture of jasmine flower, with text yasaman (Default)
From: [personal profile] yasaman
Oooh, I hadn't thought of using tiger balm for headaches! That does seem like it would help.

Also, I am a firm believer in the throat-soothing and antibacterial properties of honey. My go to teas when I'm trying to ward off or help a sore throat are peppermint with honey, and lemon ginger tea with honey.

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just another fork-tongued dragon lady

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