Ethnomedicine/Home Remedies/J - L

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Jellyfish Sting[edit | edit source]

Although most jellyfish stings are only a painful annoyance, the sting from a box jellyfish or an Irukandji can be fatal, and it is important to take all precautions if stung by a jellyfish. If the sting is serious you should seek professional aid as soon as you can. If not, it is still important to get out of the water quickly to avoid more stings and drowning in the case of a severe allergic reaction to the poison.

A home remedy for the relieving pain/itchiness from a jellyfish sting is to put vinegar on the infected area, except for if the wound is on the eye, where the vinegar can be lightly dabbed around the eye with a cloth but not in the eye. The vinegar will neutralize the venom releasing cells the jellyfish leaves behind. If vinegar is not available you can wash the wound with salt water. Fresh water should not be used to wash the wound. The change in pH can cause additional venom to be released. There is a myth that urine will help the wound. This is untrue and urine will probably end up causing more venom to be released. Many other substances can also aggravate the wound, so it’s important to make sure whatever you use on the sting wound is safe.

Anyone assisting in first aid should use gloves or some other available barrier device to prevent personal injury. After vinegar has been applied it is safe to remove any jellyfish parts from the wound. Then to remove any excess sting cells you may use shaving cream and a safety razor or credit card.

Jewelweed[edit | edit source]

You've just come back from camping and are very itchy and have rash spots all over your body, what are these symptoms of? The answer is poison ivy. If you find that you have a bad case of rashes from Poison Ivy, you can get a plant called Jewelweed. To get rid of the rash you can get a whole Jewelweed plant and crush it into a ball. This ball will then be used to be rubbed on the exposed area; this then should get rid of the rash. If this does not work, there is a more effective method in riding yourself of poison ivy. A person can crush some jewelweed stems in a container, and then use a cotton ball or sterile pad to soak up the juice. The juice should then be rubbed on the infect spot and this should also get rid of any rashes from poison ivy. The anti-inflammitory/fungicidal chemical in this plant is 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone and these are the chemicals that help heal the infected areas in which poison ivy has come into contact with.

A "Jigger" of Whiskey[edit | edit source]

This home remedy is a great way to relieve you of the sniffles, stuffy noses, soar throats, sinus decongestion/pressure, and coughs. All you need to do, is grab your favorite mug, start water boiling, and as it is boiling, cut up a fresh lemon. Once your water is good and hot, pour it into your mug, squeeze in 1/4 of the fresh lemon, add honey (as much as you feel necessary), and pour in a "jigger" of whiskey. BEFORE you consume this wonderful drink, inhale the steam coming from it, it will open up the congestion you are feeling in your head. Once it is cool, ENJOY as it soothes your throat all the way down! (and don't worry about getting "tipsy" (not that there is enough alcohol in a "jigger", but most of the alcohol will evaporate as the water is steaming!) This home remedy was passed down to me by my father, who learned it from his German Mechanic employer when he was a teenager. He calls it the "Germa-flue" remedy!

Kombucha[edit | edit source]


Kombucha is a culture of biotic organisms such as yeast and bacteria that thrive in a mixture of tea and sugar. The resulting mixture called "kombucha tea" which is slightly carbonated and effervescent and takes 7 to 10 days to prepare due to the fermentation process. This drink is rich in enzymes, amino acids and a general array of beneficial probiotics that mainly aid in metabolism and help detoxify the body as well as strengthen the immune system. The claims of the ailments that kombucha tea helps with are far and wide. Recent research shows that kombucha tea boosts the glandular system which is responsible for maintaining balance among all body systems. Some of the illness that kombucha helps prevent and treat are constipation, obesity, arthritis, arteriosclerosis, kidney stones, rheumatism, gout, impotence, and cancer especially in its early stages. Generally, commercial kombucha tea manufacturers recommend consuming at least one bottle a day which is about sixteen ounces. However, serving size varies according to how "strong" or fermented kombucha tea is so the daily allowance can vary from 4 to 16 ounces. When starting to drink kombucha tea for the first time it is recommended to start with 4 ounces daily and eventually work up to 16 ounces.

As a consideration or a warning some scientists have claimed that kombucha tea may lead to development of tumors and harm liver, kidney and intestinal tissues. Also people allergic to tea should not drink kombucha as it may trigger an allergy attack.

Kombucha tea started out in Russia or at least has its first recorded evidence there. In Russia it is called, "mushroom" or "tea kvass" in reference to its sourness and tea flavor. Kombucha tea is also popular in Germany and Asia and has been working its way into America through the cultural obsession with organic and natural products. Some notable American people that consume kombucha tea are Madonna, Oliver Stone and Linda Evans. Throughout the world kombucha tea is consumed as a refreshing drink with a pleasant taste to maintain overall wellness.

Laryngitis[edit | edit source]

This remedy is used when you have laryngitis or also can be used if you have a sore throat. First you take a fresh lemon and roll it between your hands until it becomes soft. Then you cut the lemon in half and put honey on the top. Next you put the lemon in the microwave and heat it until it becomes warm. Take the lemon out and suck on it for a while until you get most of the juice out. You could also replace the lemon with lemonade, depending on what you have at home, if using lemonade use about 8 ounces, one cup, to about a table spoon of honey, can add more if you need it to be sweeter.

This remedy can be repeated throughout the day and as long as you have a sore throat. There are not any immediate complications with this method unless you are allergic to citrus fruits, or the honey. This remedy has been used in many places throughout the world. Thought to have originated in the Philippines and later spread to Hawaii and other places in the US.

Laudanum[edit | edit source]

A traditional treatment that has fallen out of favor as the harmful aspects of opium came to light. Laudanum is typically a mixture of opium, sugar, and an alcoholic beverage. Taking it results in an obviously opiate state, and it was often used to calm crying babies. It became less common in the 20th century.

Lavender[edit | edit source]

Lavender has been used for centuries for many medicinal purposes. Included can be acne, headaches, warding off insects, and problems sleeping. Applying one part lavender to ten parts water can reduce the inflammation of acne. Lavender oil applied to the temples can help relieve headaches, as well as putting lavender flowerheads in an eye mask. Lavender seeds added to blankets or pillows can help induce relaxation and aid sleep. Hanging lavender around a central area can also ward off many insects. For any of these ailments, use as much and as often as needed; perhaps when the effects begin to wear off.

Lavender has been used in various countries, specifically native to the Mediterranean, Africa and India. Variations are now found worldwide, including Europe and North America.

Lavender Sleep-Aid[edit | edit source]

People tend to be somewhat unaware when it comes to the benefits of lavender despite the many claims in which aromatherapy has been said to help catalyze sleep. By using a lavender filled pillow, the distinct scent is able to linger in the air and relax your senses. When using a pillow of this sort, (usually no longer than the width of a person's head and just wide enough to cover one's eyes) place across face while laying in bed. This strong lavender aroma has a way of relaxing a person's mind, muscles and senses; thus resulting in an easier transition into your sleep cycle. May be used every night, or any other time that sleep is desired but difficult to come by.

Lavender pillows can be found at a multitude of stores. For example, Fred Meyer and Target. They are a relatively inexpensive method worth trying, although there is a risk that the lavender may cause irritation to someone who is allergic. This method is used throughout different nations, yet it tends to be quite popular within the community of frequent travelers.

Leeches[edit | edit source]

Leeches can be very effective in extracting snake venom from a snake bite. More recently in medical history the leech is used to prevent venous congestion (pooling of excess blood) when re-attaching fingers, toes, or ears. The most effective species of leech for medical use is called the hirudo medicinalis which has three jaws that look like little saws with about 100 sharp teeth used to puncture the skin of a host. It is recommended to leave the leech on the infected area for about 6–12 hours. By that time the leech will have extracted enough blood to digest and live off for about another year before needing another host while removing poisonous venom or excess blood. The hirudo medicinalis leech’s saliva contains anesthetic so the host or patient feels little pain while it is attached. Their saliva also contains an anticoagulant which keeps the host’s blood from clotting which may cause more bleeding after the leech has been removed but is not dramatic enough to affect a human. It is normal for a healing leech bite to itch and should be thoroughly cleaned to prevent any kind of infection. There is nothing that exists in modern medicine today as effective for snake venom or venous congestion used today which is why leeches are used around the world. The practice of using leeches to extract blood was first recorded to have been used in ancient Greece as a part of the humoral theory. In Turkish culture, leeches are known to be sold in animal markets in Istanbul and many other civilizations around the world.

Lemon Tea with Honey[edit | edit source]

Lemon tea with honey is commonly used by singers and those who are in a profession requiring consistent speech, teachers for example. The tea issued to sooth throat soreness, and help tense or strained vocal chords. The tea is best used while on vocal rest.

Typically the tea is very hot and sipped over a long period of time, reheating as necessary. It is believed that the honey coats the throat providing moisture to the effected area and helping retain the heat. A lemon tea treatment is used periodically until the soreness subsides. If the throat is very sore then a treatment of hot water and honey is sometimes used rather than lemon tea. Tea contains caffeine, which dehydrates the body, which defeats the purpose of the treatment when used in large quantities or in severe cases.

Lemon Juice[edit | edit source]

Lemon Juice

Many people of all ages tend to at one point or another experience oily hair. The reason could be anything from hereditary causes, to forgetting to wash your hair for the past few days. Several other causes for oily hair may be not rinsing out all the shampoo or conditioner, combing your hair too much or having to much hair. Everyone has sebaceous glands that produce sebum or better known as oil. Thus, the more hair you have the more oil build up you have in your scalp. Intense heat or humidity can also activate these glands, along with the hormone androgen. This hormone can active the glands due to stress in both men and women.

One of the most popular ways to get rid of oily hair is to use lemon juice. Squeeze the juice from one lemon into a mixture with one cup of water. Use this and rinse it through your hair while in the shower. Next rinse with warm water. This will help to block the release of oil from the hair, as well as control buildup from shampoo. Along with this is will add some extra shine to your hair. This method can be used as often as needed. This method is popular world wide, but especially in Western society and anywhere lemon juice is available.

A very effective way of getting rid of oily hair is a vinegar rinse. Take a teaspoon of vinegar and mix it with a pint of water. Apply this to your hair after you have shampooed. This acts as a finishing product to your hair. This strips your hair of the residue that is left over from your daily shampoo.

Another way to reduce oil in your hair is to choose a shampoo that has a clear effect to it. This usually means there is fewer products in the shampoo than others.

Lastly, learn to relax. If stress is something that can active the sebaceous glands than take some alone time and relax.

Lemon Tea[edit | edit source]

Lemon Tea is a home remedy for the flu or a cold. It consists of Lemons, honey, water, and cinnamon sticks. It is prepared by squeezing out the lemons into a pot, then also adding the squeezed lemon rinds into the pot as well. Add enough water to just cover the lemons (in a fairly big pot) and throw in a few cinnamon sticks. You may add honey before boiling the mixture for about 10 minutes, or until a significant amount of water has been boiled away. After boiling, add honey to taste, and drink!

The Vitamin C boosts the immune system, whiles the warm liquid sooths a soar throat and clogged sinuses. If it is a bad cold lasting more than a couple days, more tea can be prepared daily. However it is important not to drink too much of this tea, for two reasons. One reason is that honey contains a lot of sugar, which can inhibit your immune system if too much is consumed, so it is best to add a small amount of honey. Also the sourness of the lemon juice, depending on the concentration of the tea, can cause soars in you mouth, if too much is drank. This remedy comes from my mother’s family, and has been around longer than I have.

Lemon tea with honey is commonly used by singers and those who are in a profession requiring consistent speech, teachers for example. The tea issued to sooth throat soreness, and help tense or strained vocal chords. The tea is best used while on vocal rest.

Typically the tea is very hot and sipped over a long period of time, reheating as necessary. It is believed that the honey coats the throat providing moisture to the effected area and helping retain the heat. A lemon tea treatment is used periodically until the soreness subsides. If the throat is very sore then a treatment of hot water and honey is sometimes used rather than lemon tea. Tea contains caffeine, which dehydrates the body, which defeats the purpose of the treatment when used in large quantities or in severe cases.

Lemon juice is also an effective way to lighten one’s hair color. To do this, squeeze enough fresh lemon juice to saturate your hair. Leave it in for at least an hour, depending on the desired amount of lightening. For extra lightening, go outside in the sun after saturating your hair with lemon juice. Repeat this daily until you’ve reached your desired hair color.

Licorice Root[edit | edit source]

Licorice root (also known as blackroot, black sugar, liquorice, sweetroot or sweetwood) is an herbal remedy that comes from the dried roots of the glycyrrhiza plant. Licorice root can be used to neutralize toxins, reduce inflammation and aid in digestion.[1] It also helps cure a myriad of other ailments including bronchitis, colds, coughs, hyperacidity, laryngitis, flu and painful urination. In addition to its mucous-stimulating properties that make it useful for curing illnesses related to sore throats, studies have shown that licorice kills Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that causes most ulcers and stomach inflammation.[2] A remedy to cure stomach ulcers has been formulated in Europe using licorice. In China, it has traditionally been used for treatments as varied as hepatitis, sore throat and muscle spasms. Although licorice appears to be useful in many ways, side effects accompany prolonged use. These include hypertension, water retention, sodium retention and loss of potassium. These symptoms have caused health authorities to recommend that its usage not exceed four to six weeks, and that a diet high in potassium be consumed during the treatment period.[3] Dosage varies, depending on the ailment it is being used for, and it ranges from a few milligrams a day to 15 grams per day.[4] Licorice can be steeped in hot water and taken as tea, or can be consumed in powder or tablet form.

Lime[edit | edit source]

The primary cause of some forms of arthritis is uric acid, and because lime is a solvent of uric acid it can be helpful in preventing the aches and pains of arthritis. The juice of one lime mixed with water should be drank once a day. It is best to drink the solution in the morning. This remedy is used in Western culture.


Lime, Sugar, Salt and Water[edit | edit source]

In the Cambodian culture, a simple concoction is mixed in order to ease the pain of a sore throat. A whole lime is squeezed into a small bowl or cup. Water is then added, tripling the amount of liquid. A few spoonfuls of sugar and a pinch of salt is added to the drink. It is normally sipped, using a spoon, so that the liquid goes down the throat slowly. It can be taken as needed, as long as the sore throat is still present. It also doesn’t taste half bad.

Listerine[edit | edit source]

Other than being used for an after rinse for dental hygiene, Listerine can also help with Athlete's Foot. If you find that you have developed a case of Athlete's Foot, Listerine can be used to remove this stubborn foot fungus. Listerine can be purchased at any local grocery store and is less expensive than buying regular Athlete's Foot Foot Spray. To start the treatment, start by applying the Listerine to a sterile cotton pad. You then should rub it on to the infected part of the foot twice daily. Repeat the previous steps until symptoms subside. Listerine is not only safe for adult use but also for children. After curing Athlete's Foot you'll be up and running again for more fun activities!

My grandfather swears by listerine! Chronic toenail fungua runs in his family and he swears that soaking his toenails in Listerine for 15 minutes each evening for 3 weeks completely eliminated this embarrassing problem.

Liver Flush[edit | edit source]

This is done by drinking apple juice alone for 3 days, followed by drinking a cup of olive oil and a cup of lemon juice. This helps to cure Jaundice.

Local Honey][edit | edit source]

Eating honey is a cure for hay fever. If you eat a tablespoon of local honey for every day of the hay fever season you won't be affected by hay fever for the rest of that day. This is because honey made locally is made from all of pollen and nectar of the very plants that are affecting you. This is an English folklore remedy.


Losing a Tooth and saving it with Milk[edit | edit source]

If you happen to get a tooth knocked out, for whatever reason it may be, you still have a chance to get that tooth back where it belongs with the help of milk. When a tooth is knocked out, find the lost tooth and with minimal handling (don't even rinse the tooth off), and put the tooth in a glass of milk. Now it's just a mad rush for the dentist to hopefully get that tooth put back in. If I remember correctly you only have about 20 to 30 minutes before your chances of being able to replant the tooth starts to greatly decline, so don't waste time getting to the dentist. I'm not sure if the type of milk makes a difference, when a coworker got his tooth knocked out we only had 1% on hand and it worked fine and he got his tooth back! I'm not sure about the origins of using milk to save a lost tooth.

Love[edit | edit source]

Love is a euphoric feeling, of varying intensity, that can be felt towards almost anything in the right context. In most cultures love is a mysterious and abstract concept but it can have great affects on physical as well as mental health. This remedy is not ailment specific although it unfortunately excludes illnesses that are highly contagious or fatal. the general principle of this remedy is to care for and give affection to the person who is experiencing discomfort. This is hard to do in some situations for varying reasons (I'm sure you can imagine) but love and care are absolutely key for healing. a few ways to express/give love in a healing manor are to make sure the ailed-person is as comfortable as possible, snuggle and cuddle them whenever you can, help them with whatever medications or treatments they need for swift recovery, give positive reassurance and be kind and above all be patient.Love should be administered as frequently as possible with near constant care. Being overbearing or smothering the ailed-person will not help them! make sure your love is accepted but keep in mind it might not be apparent how much it is appreciated until they have recovered.

Love can also help greatly to those suffering from depression and other mental disorders. For many people feeling unloved or like no one cares about them is a great source of suffering and pain mentally, which may also have physical repercussions such as self-inflicted harm due to such feelings. Emotions, while perhaps not a source of any physical non-wellbeing, can have a severe impact on one's overall health. Love has been something which has gotten me through some of the toughest times in my life, being someone who suffers from Bipolar I (and ADD). I say suffering in that it has been the source of nearly ending my life several times since the age of 10, and has greatly impacted my ability to do well in school. It is the people who cared most about me and loved me that helped me the many times I tried to commit suicide. It is learning to love myself (and the help of very strong medications) that has made living with Bipolar I a lot more bearable than it used to be.

Lung Compress[edit | edit source]

A lung compress consists of cotton or an absorbent cloth soaked in a mixture of honey and alcohol that is applied to the rib area so it sits around the lungs. The lung compress should also be tightened by another cloth and have a few layers of clothes over it to lessen heat loss. This type of hot compress is generally applied during or after pneumonia or any ailment that severely affects the lungs such as a cold or flu. Once the lung compress is made it should snugly sit on the ribs so that honey and alcohol soak into the skin. It should be applied for 2 to 4 hours a day anywhere from one to five days.

This compress should not be used during fever as it may worsen it. It is generally used as the sickness winds down to help ensure full recovery and prevent a repeat infection.

This type of compress is used in Russia, Europe, Asia and other countries and regions with cold climates. The lung compress may have originated in Russia or Germany although no clear indication of its origin exist. This compress is used widely in Russia to help treat and prevent pneumonia.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Dharmananda, S. “Fifteen Commonly Used Chinese Herbs.” An Introduction to Chinese Herbs. 1996. Institute for Traditional Medicine. May 25, 2007.
  2. 7 Sept 2006. “Licorice”. May 25, 2007.
  3. Foster, S. “Licorice.” 2000. Steven Foster Group. May 25, 2007.
  4. Dharmananda, S. “Fifteen Commonly Used Chinese Herbs.” An Introduction to Chinese Herbs. 1996. Institute for Traditional Medicine. May 25, 2007.