Ethnomedicine/Home Remedies/M - O

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Marigold[edit | edit source]

The marigold is a scented herb of the genus Tagetes and the one's in our gardens have most likely originated from Mexico. While they are a beautiful aspect to the common household garden they are also a great remedy for toothaches. The juice of its petals mixed with vinegar and then rubbed on the gums and teeth is a quick relief to tooth pain. Marigolds contain an antibacterial agent and contain mucilage that when coats and soothes the infected area.

Massage[edit | edit source]

Massage is a type of therapy that is used by applying pressure with your hands to different muscles, tendons, joints, ligaments, tissues, and trigger points of the body. Massage is a natural way to reduce stress, help with injury rehabilitation, improve circulation, and promote a general feeling of wellness. Simple massages can last only a few minutes, while more intense types can last upwards of an hour with an experienced masseuse. Therapeutic massage can be administered in many different ways such as chair massage, deep tissue massage, hot stone massage, and many other types that vary by country. The practice of massage is widely popular and globally used.

Mayonnaise[edit | edit source]

In the Western society mayonnaise is a popular and effective way to treat headlice, and a common benefit is getting your hair shiny and smooth. Mayonnaise, along with butter, olive oil, and castor oil are used to smother the lice. People can leave the mayo in their hair from anywhere from a couple of hours to overnight while wearing a shower cap or some kind of head cover (on small children, if they chew their hair, a head covor is recommended due to the possibility of the mayo going rancid). A few additional washings are recommended to remove all of the mayo and lice out of the hair.

Mayonnaise for Dry Hair[edit | edit source]

Often, dry hair plagues females who dye or style their hair, and people who frequent swimming pools. Dry hair can become brittle and break, and may be the root or cause of a flakey scalp—and dandruff. However, instead of spending money on a fancy ‘deep conditioning masque’ at a spa or ritzy hair salon, a remedy for dry hair may be found in your refrigerator. Apply about one tablespoon of ‘old fashioned’ mayonnaise (not low-fat or low-carb) to your hair after shampooing. Wait twenty-thirty minutes, then rinse, adding dime-sized amount of shampoo if necessary to remove all mayonnaise. No special considerations need be taken, except to not leave the mayonnaise on for more than thirty minutes. Follow these steps no more than once a week accordingly for smoother, healthier hair.

Melatonin[edit | edit source]

Melatonin is a chemical secreted by the pineal gland in our brains at night. In our history, humans have been expsed for up to 18 hours of darkness. But in the modern age, we seldom see more than 8 hours of darkness. This decreases the production of melatonin, even because of artificial lighting. Reduced melatonin production has been proposed as a likely factor in the significantly higher cancer rates in night workers. The amount of melatonin secreted seems to decrease as we age, perhaps explaining why younger people have less problems sleeping than older people. The main use of taking melatonin supplements is to help regulate sleep/wake cycles. It is less aggressive than sleeping pills and can be taken on a daily basis with little to no dependency. It is because of its mild effect that it is commonly used by people with jetlag or sleeping problems.

Menthol Eucalyptus Cough Drops[edit | edit source]

This remedy is made for soothing sore throats and clearing nasal passageways, which will in turn prevent future coughing that would worsen the condition of one's throat. Menthol Eucalyptus cough drops should be taken about once an hour, slowly dissolved (not chewed) in the mouth. They can be found in most local grocery stores and do not cost much. After a day, the cough drops should have begun to improve the condition of one's throat and/or nasal congestion. However, one should not take the cough drops too liberally because moderation is good when one's body is ingesting something new to it.

Milk Compress[edit | edit source]

Milk is an excellent remedy for sunburns (and other skin irritations) because it contains vitamin A, vitamin D, fat, proteins, and lactic/amino acids all of which act as soothers for irritated skin. First you make a compress of whole milk by soaking a cloth or cotton wad in the cool milk. Next put the compress directly onto the burned area for 20 minutes then wash off with cold water. Make sure you wash it off because if you leave the milk on not only will the skin start to smell sour but there is possibility for infection. Repeat this process about every two hours. There are similar remedies that call for the compress to be dipped in a mixture of 1 cup of skim milk with 4 cups of water and ice cubes and then another with just plain old buttermilk. The skim milk works but not as well as the whole milk because the key ingredient in the whole milk is the fat, which is one of milks most soothing elements. On the same note it’s believed that the buttermilk works better because of it’s higher fat content. Milk has always been used as a skin soother particularly among the Romans but this method can be found in many parts all over now especially among Westerners.

Milk and Bread[edit | edit source]

Milk is a good treatment for infected hair follicles, skin infections, and boils. What you want to do is heat up a pot of milk, and then once the milk is heated, soak a piece of bread in the milk and make it as hot as is tolerable. Then you place the bread on the infection and leave it for ten or fifteen minutes at a time. Repeat as necessary until the infection is gone.

Milk and a Paper Towel[edit | edit source]

A common cure for the hiccups is covering a glass of milk with a paper towel and drinking the milk through the paper towel. This remedy requires a tall glass of cold 2% milk, a paper towel and a rubber band so that when you drink the milk, it doesn't spill all over you. Once you have covered the glass with the paper towel firmly with the rubber band, slowly begin to drink the milk. Make sure to finish your glass completely. This remedy should cure your hiccups within the next hour. The only risk of this treatment is the milk spilling all over your clothes. But, if you secure the rubber band tight enough, you should be okay. This remedy can be found throughout the United States, primarily on the East Coast.

Milk Thistle[edit | edit source]

Milk thistle or Silybum marianum is a plant native to the Mediterranean that is commonly used as a remedy for various ailments and is especially valued for its protective properties of the liver. It can be used to improve the function of the liver, treat liver cirrhosis, hepatitis, and gallbladder disorders. Through extraction of the herb, milk thistle can be consumed in the form of capsules, infused in teas, or liquid extracts. It's use generally has few side effects other than upset stomach, diarrhea, or allergic reactions. The active ingredient,thought to be concentrated in the seeds, is called silymarin. The compounds or flavonolignands help repair liver cells and prevent further damage from alcohol, and other toxic substances. The clinical efficacy of milk thistle is not conclusive. The recommended dosage is generally 12-15 grams of the dried herb per day or 100–200 mg in capsule form. It has been used in Western culture since Greco-Roman times and during the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States.

Miso Soup[edit | edit source]

The ingredients that make up miso soup vary, but the essential ingredients that are used to help clean open wounds would be seaweed,tofu and green onions. These key ingredients have been useful in many ways. Koreans normally use these to cleanse open scars. The most popular reason for this remedy are bee stings.In Korea it was not uncommon for villagers to work in the blazing sun. The heat and pollen attracted many bees. After weeks of hard work it was likely that they would have accumulated number of bee stings. Therefore they believed that the warm ingredients of Miso soup could be placed on a washcloth and then placed on the open abrasion. The washcloth is then left on the wound for at least thirty minutes. These ingredients are believed to be powerful components in healing and cleaning blood as well as skin. This method of therapy is only used at the time of injury and is used everday for thirty minutes until the wound has healed.

Morning Spit[edit | edit source]

Morning spit can cure the warts that grow on your body. A wart is a small, often hard, abnormal elevation on the skin, usually caused by a papomavirus. The morning spit is a key to the cure of warts because is has the fresh bacteria that is in your mouth when you wake up from your sleep. Brushing your teeth kills the bacteria. To make this effective, one must spit on the wart and let is dry before washing yourself every morning until the wart is gone. Within a week or so, one will see a big improvement on the cure to their wart. This is mainly apart of the Western culture because we come from a society that learns things from television and that is how I learned this culture practice. I saw this Western Practice to prevent warts on the discovery channel. No other medicines or practices worked for me, but the morning spit did.

Mugwort[edit | edit source]

The Aglo Saxons of the Middle Ages used the term "Mucgwrt" to refer to this plant belonging to the Artemisia family. Mugwort, as it is referred to now, has been known to treat abscesses, fungal infections, and can be used as an anti-inflammatory. This plant was originally considered one of the nine sacred herbs used to repel evils. In the Isle of Man, a crown made of mugwort was worn on the national day of July 5 (the Mid-Summer Day) every year in ritual and was said to ward off all evil. Mugwort is also known as the mother of herbs associated with witchcraft (in old goddess-religions) and fertility rights. Hipocrates himself once said that this plant could be used to cleanse the uterus after child birth and to stimulate the menses. In Russia, physicians used mugwort in hospital settings to fight against epilepsy, and the Romans often massaged mugwort into their calves to reduce cramps while walking long distances. Mugwort has also proven to be efficient in getting rid of parasites.

Multi-Vitamins[edit | edit source]

The use of a multivitamin is preventive and effective way to supplement one’s diet when it is not adequate in obtaining sufficient daily values of nutrients. Multivitamins aid those who cannot, or will not, eat a complete and nutritious diet, and those with dietary imbalances to prevent nutritional deficiencies which wreck havoc on the body. They should be used daily and for whatever duration desired by its user. Multivitamins typically should be taken once per day with a meal, to avoid over consumption of certain vitamins. Women who are pregnant should consult their doctors before usage. Postmenopausal women however should avoid multivitam Children need less iron than adults so it is suggested that they use children's vitamins. The U.S. does sell multivitamin tablets with more than 100% of the daily recommended intake, but there it is questionable whether or not we really need more than 100% of any vitamin or mineral per day.

Mustard Plaster[edit | edit source]

In the event of a common cold or other respiratory constraints (such as those that accompany hay fever), take a dampened bed sheet and place inside is a paste composed of roughly half a teaspoon of grounded mustard seed powder mixed in with a tablespoon of flour and lukewarm water. Warm it using a stove (not too much, so as not to harden the paste), and place it on chest area. This is meant to break the congestion in one's chest. Be careful to check the condition of the skin now and then so that it does not overheat or turn raw. Do not leave it on for more than thirty minutes, and make sure that the paste itself does not come in direct contact with the skin.

Neosporin[edit | edit source]

Neosporin is a home remedy that disinfects scrape, burns or cuts. Neosporin provides infection protection and kills the infectious bacteria. It may also help decrease the appearance of scaring and heal wounds faster than just a normal bandage. The steps for using Neosporin are 1. clean the affected area 2. apply a small amount on the area 1 to 3 times daily 3. cover it with a sterile bandage. Active ingredients in Neosporin are Neomycin Sulfate, Polymyxin B, Bacitracin Zinc, and Pramoxine. Neosporin is considered a common home remedy in the Western culture.

Neosporin is also really great when it comes to treating acne. Just a little bit on the pimple for a couple of days and voila! Goodbye acne.

Neti[edit | edit source]

Representation of a Neti pot

People practice Neti on a daily basis to keep their sinuses clean and to make their breathing easier and more free. Once they try it, most people find Neti to be a soothing and pleasant experience. While there exists advanced techniques using various herbal oils and herbs, the simplest Neti technique uses water for the irrigation process. A neti pot is filled with warm, slightly salted water and the spout of the pot is inserted into one nostril. The position of the head and pot are adjusted to allow the water to flow out of the other nostril. A soothing, gentle stream of salt water, the same concentration as tears, flows through your nose, washing away pollens, mucus, viruses and bacteria. Once learned, neti can be done in about 3 minutes and is easily integrated into a daily routine of body cleansing such as showering or brushing your teeth. The only side effect of Neti is an uncomfortable feeling throughout the process that can cause some people to not continually do the neti process.

Alternative health practitioners throughout the world recommend the regular practice of nasal cleansing using a saline solution as part of a regular regimen of health and wellness, a basic health-maintenance activity equal to flossing your teeth. Neti is a gentle, safe, efficient way to deliver a good cleansing dose of saline to the nose. The practice of nasal cleansing - known as Neti - has been used by practitioners of Ayurveda and Yoga in India for thousands of years. Neti is one of the 6 purification techniques performed prior to practicing yoga as a way of preparing the body for the yoga practice. Although the practice of nasal irrigation originated in India, today there are numerous people in Europe and the United States who use this simple technique as part of their daily routine.

Niquil[edit | edit source]

NyQuil Liquid is used to treat the common cold and is a decongestant, antihistamine, cough suppressant, and analgesic combination. The liquid constricts blood vessels and reduces swelling in the nose. The medicine works by blocking the action of histamine, and this reduces symptoms, such as watery eyes and sneezing. The cough suppressant works decrease pain in the brain and to reduce the amount of coughing that can occur.

Niquil reduces symptoms of pain, sinus congestion, runny nose, sneezing, and cough due to colds, upper respiratory infections, and allergies. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor. Niquil should be taken at night as it may cause drowsiness. It is not recommended to take Niquil if you have severe high blood pressure, severe heart blood vessel disease, rapid heartbeat, or severe heart problems.

Noni Plant[edit | edit source]

Noni , has been extensively used in folk medicine by Polynesians for over 2,000 years. Noni is a traditional food and medicine in many tropical areas including the Pacific Islands, Southeast Asia, India, and the Philippines. Ethnobotanical data is plentiful on the uses of the fruit, leaves, and root of the plant. Ancient Hawaiians used noni fruit for both internal and topical applications. Noni is still used by the local population in Hawaii for sugar control diseases, high vascular pressure, heart health maintenance, abnormal growths, and other chronic disorders, although no controlled clinical studies exist to support these uses.

Nose Bleed[edit | edit source]

While a nose bleed can be a frightening experience it is almost always an easily remedied situation. The first step toward stopping the bleeding is to try to calm down. This lowers the heart rate and slows the flow of the blood. The next step is to sit up straight and tilt the head forward slightly. For decades most people were taught to lie down or tilt their head back. While this does keep blood from coming out the nose it does not stop the nose form bleeding. This merely directs the blood down the back of the throat which can lead to nausea, vomiting, and possibly choking. The third step is to take the thumb and index finger and pinch the nostrils together usually using a tissue or paper towel. Continue to pinch the nostrils together for two minutes after the bleeding has stopped to lessen the chances of it starting again. If the bleeding is excessive nasal packing or cauterization by a physician may be used.

Other methods can be used to stop a nose bleed if you cannot access these means. It is a common myth that to stop a nosebleed (and maybe save your favorite shirt) you should lean backward and the blood flow will stop. This is not true. The blood simply flows down the throat and possibly the windpipe, causing both your lungs and stomach to become irritated and cause the victim to vomit. Once you have accomplished this, take two fingers and pinch your nose just below the bony ridge (higher up from he nostrils). You should not be able to breath out your nose, so breathing out of your mouth is advised. There should also be no visible bleeding if the nasal passage is properly blocked. After you have blocked the nose, it should be checked every 5–10 minutes to see if the bleeding has stopped.

Noxzema[edit | edit source]

The best over-counter lotion/crème to alleviate sunburn pains such as stinging/burning is to use Noxzema moisturizer that is found in the stores. It feels terrific especially if you store the Noxzema in a drawer because the crème naturally maintains a cool level which feels incredible on a sun burned skin. Apply enough Noxzema to cover the sunburn completely; and apply a minimum of 2-3 times a day. The sunburn should be gone within 2 days depending on the degree of the sunburn. NOTE: Some of the Noxzema moisturizer's come with Aloe-Vera; and use caution if your skin is sensitive to Aloe-Vera or try another type of Noxzema without Aloe-Vera.

Oatmeal Bath[edit | edit source]

One of the best ways to reduce itching during the Chickenpox is to take an oatmeal bath. There are many different ways to do this. The easiest option is to use oatmeal bath packets, they don’t clog the drain and you simply just have to add to warm, running bath water. The cheaper homemade options are to just grind up some dry oatmeal until it is in a powder form and add 2 cups of it to warm bath water, this will also prevent the drain from clogging. A third option is to take old nylons, cut off the then ends and fill with oatmeal and then tie back up and soak it in the warm bath water. You should stay in the bath for at least 15–20 minutes for at least two times a day. This will relieve any itchiness from chickenpox. This home remedy is frequently used among many mothers in the United States dealing with children infected with the Chickenpox.

Another way to utilize oatmeal to its utmost potential is to use it for mosquito bites and Eczema. It helps reduce the itching and dry skin, and acts as a natural cleanser, because skin oils cling the colloidal particles (a.k.a. a specific part of the oatmeal).

Oil[edit | edit source]

Oil has been known in Portuguese culture to help with children or adults who have symptoms of vomiting, diarrhea, or not being able to eat. Warm oil is poured on the person's stomach and the healer then uses his/her thumbs to massage the person from the chest, downward, and from the back ribs toward the stomach. Firm pressure is applied because it is believed that the stomach was turned upside down.

Olive Oil[edit | edit source]

Olive Oil Ear infections are very common among young children, and often seen in the winter months. An ear infection can take place in two different areas of the ear. Otitis media is when the middle ear is infected (usually the case with very young children) and otitis externa, or swimmers ear, located in the external ear. Both are non contagious infections, yet can be quite bothersome. Some common symptoms are pain or itch of the ear, fever, sickness, hearing difficulties, dizziness, fluid discharge from the ear, and inflammation of the ear. Ear infections are often caused by blockage of the Eustachian tube due to an allergies or a cold. Other reasons may be due to bacteria and or fungi and build up in the ear.

To treat an ear infection, place some olive oil onto a warm spoon, then put 2 or 3 drops into each ear. Continue to do this daily, until all symptoms are gone. This remedy is used in many households, and is quiet effective.

Washing the hair with olive oil can also be effective in getting rid of headlice. Also, dry hair can be returned to a more healthy and shiny state with olive oil. Apply olive oil liberally all over your head, making sure to reach from root to tip. You can cover your hair with plastic wrap to keep the oil off your clothes and to create a seal. Slightly warming the oil before applying or sitting in the sun with the plastic wrap will help the oil to penetrate the hair shaft. At least 15 minutes should be enough and after a good rinse and shampooing, you will see that your hair is much healthier.

Olive Oil can reduce dry skin. Applying olive oil to the skin before going out in the sun can help you tan, and it keeps your skin hydrated and silky smooth. Using a small amount of olive oil as a moisturizer before going out in the sun will keep your skin more hydrated than normal oil. Don't use too much or the oil will not soak into your skin and will get all over your clothes. This is a home remedy for dry flaky skin.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids[edit | edit source]

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are a natural supplement commonly found in fish. People are supposed to have anywhere from 0.5 to 1.8 grams per day either from fish or from a supplement, although it is better for one’s body to take Omega-3 through food. Omega-3’s can prevent sudden cardiovascular issues such as non-fatal heart attacks, non-fatal strokes, and death. It can also prevent health problems such as atherosclerosis, which is a hardening of arteries that can lead to serious health problems. Omega-3’s can slightly lower blood pressure, but they just generally prevent cardiovascular disease.--Rotter 00750682

Onion[edit | edit source]

Coughs that are due to a respiratory infection can be very irritating and painful. They can also last for long periods at a time. Luckily, there is a remedy to help treat coughs, which deals with onions, which most likely started in Asia. An onion is a rounded edible bulb which is composed of fleshy, tight, concentric leaf bases having a pungent odor and taste. By chopping an onion very finely chopped and the juices should be extracted from it. Then, one teaspoon of the extracted juice should be mixed with one teaspoon of honey. Let the mixture sit out for four to five hours. This will make a cough syrup that should be taken twice a day; reducing the cough and also phlegm.

Onion Juice[edit | edit source]

Another home remedy for cough that comes from Lima in Peru is the use of onions and sugar. First you cut an onion into quarter inch size pieces. Mix a strong mixture of sugar and water and spray the onions on a plate. Place the plate in the moonlight and tilt the plate so the onions may sweat in the moonlight and the juices may drip down into any container you wish to use. There are no risks for this remedy unless you are allergic to onions.

Another method for avoiding the stinging eyes is simply to rinse your hands, knife, cutting board and pealed onion in cold water without drying afterwards. The water will bind the fumes from the onion.

Orange Juice[edit | edit source]

Orange juice is the perfect fluid for when you are starting to feel any sickness at all. Fluids help to keep your body hydrated and running smoothly and vitamin C from the oranges helps to keep your immune system in top shape. A couple glasses of orange juice at every meal is a great way to help fight off whatever small sickness you feel coming on. Even as your sickness gets worse its important to consistently supply your immune system with the combination of vitamin C and fluids that it needs to get better.

The natural sugars in orange juice also makes for a great taste that lets you feel good even when snot is dripping all over your shoes.

Orange Peel[edit | edit source]

In the event of a cut, scrape, or any other scar leaving incident, it is common in the southern parts of the US to use an orange peel instead of a bandage. By covering the wound with the inside of the orange peel it is supposed to heal without scarring. In Western society it has recently become more popular to use herbal and home remedies rather than pharmaceuticals or store bought first aid.

Ouzo Tea[edit | edit source]

This is a remedy that is used to help with the healing with many illnesses, but mainly focuses on the common cold. This would include fevers, bellyaches, etc. The drink is most effective when consumed before it reaches room temperature. Ouzo Tea is usually taken anywhere from once to three times a day, morning, noon and night. It’s simple to make you just add a cap full of Ouzo to a cup of tea and call it a day. Ouzo is and alcoholic beverage that is relatively strong, so it’s to be used with discretion. Something to consider would be the age of whom you’d be allowing access to this beverage due to laws restricting minors from consuming alcohol. The remedy is commonly used in north eastern Africa (i.e. Ethiopia) by people of all ages.