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Ethnomedicine is a sub-field of medical anthropology and deals with the study of traditional medicines; Focus is not only those that have relevant written sources (e.g. Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda), but especially those, whose knowledge and practices have been orally transmitted over the centuries.

In the scientific arena, ethnomedical studies are generally characterized by a strong anthropological approach, more than a bio-medical one. The focus of these studies is then the perception and context of use of traditional medicines and not their bio-evaluation.

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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Home Remedies

The following sections contain an alphabetical list of "home remedies". Wikibooks is not a reliable source for medical information. If in doubt you should consult a qualified medical practitioner.

Disease Prevention Practices

Disease Prevention Practices[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Ethnomedicine by Culture Group

African Culture[edit | edit source]

Many tribes in Africa used dance to cure colds and ailments. The medicine men in the tribe would encourage dancing when someone was not acting as usual because it was believed to be an unknown ailment or spirit within them. These spirits or ailments could be sweat out or forced out by movement.

While western medicine is much more technically and analytically based, African medicine takes a much more holistic approach. Good health, disease, success or misfortune are not seen as random chance occurrences but rather arise as a result of the individuals actions and the balance or imbalance between the individual and the social environment. The majority of people in Africa rely on traditional medical practitioners for healthcare, which results in a reliance on traditional medicinal plants for health. African society

Chinese Culture[edit | edit source]

In China, licorice root is widely used in home remedies, found in one-third to one-half of all herbal remedies. It possesses properties as a demulcent and expectorant, as well as being a mucous stimulator. In addition it is used as a “guide drug” in herbal prescriptions, meaning it is taken in combination with other herbal drugs in order to enhance the effectiveness of the other ingredients of a prescription, neutralize toxins or to improve the taste.[1] Licorice is also used in China for treatments of hepatitis, sore throat and muscle spasms.


Acupuncture is a traditional healing method that originated in China. An acupuncturist places needles into the skin to balance out the flow of chi which is believed to be the energy that flows through the human body. In theory, Chi runs along 14 pathways called meridians and when a patient is injured, stressed, or ill, their chi is supposedly being blocked. By placing needles in the Meridians the patients chi is thought to be put back into balance.

Acupressure uses the same meridians as acupuncture, just instead for placing a needle in the meridians, the practitioner holds the point for a period of time. Many acupunctureists tell their patients various points which they can use acupressure on while at home to relieve their symptoms. Ethnomedicine/Home Remedies#Pressure Points

Ginger Root is another root used for many remedies in Chinese and Hindu cultures. This root is believed to do many things such as: aide digestion, restore appetite, regulate menstruation, and even stimulate sexual desire. These are some of the long term effects the root was supposed to have. It was also said to cure colds, liver ailments, nausea, anemia, rheumatism, piles, jaundice, tetanus, and leprosy. This root is very useful in Chinese/Hindu culture.

Ginseng is also commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine practices. According to Chinese religion, there needs to be a balance of Yin and Yang in oneself's spiritual being, and ginseng can help to achieve that. Asian ginseng is believed to promote positive Yang energy by strengthening the immune system and improving blood circulation, keeping the body strong in preventing disease and illness. American ginseng, on the other hand, promotes negative Yin energy, calms the body, and releases the excess Yang energy. This plant in general improves the skin and keeps it looking youthful. Ginseng also acts as a good remedy to curing sore throats.

Tai Chi[edit | edit source]

Tai Chi is a popular martial art that is very commonly practiced for exercise. Tai Chi is most popular in China, since it originated there and is deeply connected to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory. Many people can be seen early in the morning performing Tai Chi in unison in parks or special areas made for these kind of exercises. A variety of Tai Chi exercises exist today among the more popular being the Yang, Chen and Wu styles. The movements in Tai Chi allow for the circulation of chi (or energy) throughout the body combined with a calm concentration on the movements, which often produces effects similar to seated meditation. Tai Chi does not treat a specific disease or illness, but is helpful in increasing general health (especially as preventative medicine). Tai Chi is used for maintaining balance and overall wellness as well as coordination and muscle stamina. Tai Chi practitioners usually perform it daily, however a minimum of twice weekly is recommended by the majority of teachers. Tai Chi is be performed at a slow yet graceful pace that suits the individual.

In India ethno-medicine is followed in rural parts .It is religious activity though

Traditional Chinese Medicine[edit | edit source]

  1. Traditional Chinese Medicine
  2. Ethnomedicine by Culture Group/Traditional Chinese Medicine

Ethiopian Culture[edit | edit source]

In Ethiopian culture,particularly in the southwestern region, the use of plants to cure injuries and illnesses is very common. An example of this is the Alysicarpus,which is used to help heal and seal cuts and lesions after it has been ground into a form of lotion and spread over the injury.

Filipino Culture[edit | edit source]

Located in a tropical climate, the islands of the Philippines are rich with tropical vegetation. Many Filipino home remedies derive from the use of herbs as resources. Throughout the Philippines, in all of its many islands, the use and importance of local plants is evident. Because much of the Philippines is rainforest and there are still many areas which use the rainforest as a primary resource, there are several medicinal plants that can be found in the Philippines. One such plant is Alagau, which can only be found in the Philippines. Alagau serves as a means to treat several ailments, one in particular is the cough.

Picture of Alagau

Akapulko: This shrub is named for its flower buds which grow in a column of fat yellow buds. It is found on the slopes of Mt. Banahaw in the Philippines. Leaves or sap are used to treat fungal infections such as ringworm. They contain a fungicide, chrysophanic acid. Because of its anti-fungal properties, it is a common ingredient for at home skin infection remedies in the Philippines. - The juice from crushed leaves of akapulko is used for treatment of ringworm and other fungus infections of the skin. The powdered leaves are rubbed over the affected area 2-3 times a day until the infection is removed

[1] Ethnomedicine/Disease Prevention Practices#Akapulko

Bitter Melon: Momordica charantia[edit | edit source]

Bitter Melon helps strengthen the heart by lowering blood pressure. Usually eaten as a whole fruit or as a tea when blood pressure is high or other heart troubles occur. Taken 2-3 times daily for as long as the heart problems are occurring. This is traditionally used in the Filipino culture as a home remedy. [2]

Global Culture[edit | edit source]

Love is present across the globe. Although expressions and degrees of love or affection vary immensely from culture to culture it seems there is some form of what Western cultures know as love present in all societies where standard of living allows it. Love is not commonly thought of as a remedy but many forms of love not only ease pain or discomfort but also speed healing. Taking care of, giving plentiful affection (physical, verbal, emotional)to and support of the ill or injured can be crucial to their recovery.

Religious Practices[edit | edit source]

Catholicism[edit | edit source]

The Catholic Church teaches that through the Sacrament of Anointing the Sick the ill can not only have their body healed, but also their soul. This practice is performed through a liturgy and can only be conferred by a priest of the Catholic Church. The sacrament is believed to have five major effects: the uniting of the sick to the passion of Christ; to strengthen the sick so that they can endure their suffering; the forgiveness of sins; the restoration of health; and the preparation for passing over into the afterlife.

Hawaiian Culture[edit | edit source]

Hawaiian medicine can be complicated, because the Hawaiians mixed different plants together to create medicines for different conditions. It can be even more difficult because the Hawaiians also didn’t use measuring cups to create the mixtures, but instead they used shells or other measuring devices that were available to them.

One plant that the Hawaiians use is called the Olena plant, which is in the Ginger family. The bulb of the Olena plant is used to cure sinus and ear infections.

Noni juice, or the Indian mulberry, is part of the coffee family. is used to heal people. The Noni fruit is taken and fermented and turned into juice. Once its juice, you can drink it and it heals you. Some even say that their cancer was cured when drinking it. The main use of the Noni juice is to cure gastric ulcers, diabetes and high blood pressure. The Hawaiian Awa plant is part of the pepper family. The root of the Awa plant can be used to treat many minor illnesses. However, Awa should not be taken too often or in a high dosage, because side effects can include skin skaling and peeling and temporary muscle paralysis. Another healing technique is actually urinating on yourself if you get stung by a jellyfish. Urinating on the wound sterilizes it.

Another plant Hawaiians use is the kalo, or taro leaves, which is known to be the single most important plant in Hawaiian culture. It is mainly used to cure asthma. On the other hand, many Hawaiians use the raw sections of the plant to treat pain and swelling from different insect bites, stop bleeding, and cure indigestion.

Kava was once a sacred Polynesian ceremonial drink. It is believed to contain properties that enhance calming, soothing feelings. The people of Hawaii use it to treat headaches, muscle pains, and is also a way to prevent insomnia.

Hispanic culture[edit | edit source]

There is no specific name to this remedy. The remedy includes two tomatillos (green tomatoes) pan fried until the skin turns charcoaled green. One then slices two pieces of tomatillos and sets them on a plate. You then lye in bed with warm blankets next to you with the tomatillos set on one side. You take a slice of them and rub the hot warm tomatillo on you neck lymph nodes (whichever ones are swollen). This rubbing movement will create the hot warm juice to decrease the size of your lymph nodes. One will let the juice of the tomatillos dry on one’s neck through the night. Make sure to tuck yourself under warm blankets to keep the juices warm for them to be absorbed in your skin. One can do this three times a week or until you see effect from this remedy. The illness that treats this would be swollen lymph nodes on one’s neck due to throat infections or infections that your body is fighting. A special consideration would be to rub the hot tomatillos on the neck for about five minutes wherever the swollen lymph nodes are located or do it every night if the lymph nodes are not getting smaller. This remedy is well known in Mexico because it is known to work most of the time but not always. So this is most common in the Mexican culture. This does not treat an infection; it just makes it go away faster because the lymph nodes are being decreased. The tomatillos would usually be used to make hot Mexican sauce.

In the Mexican culture, bee stings are very common. In that part of the world, there are many species of bees, including killer bees, which we do not have many of in the US. Some have come up with the home remedy of placing sliced potatoes on the stings, in order to heal them faster.

Another Hispanic home remedy related to food is gargling cayenne pepper to aid a sore throat. Since cayenne pepper is a local resource, making use of it is common and practical in Latin America.

A Hispanic or Latino/a home remedy for getting rid of face acne is to apply a slice of fresh lemon on your face. You "transfer" the acne by then rubbing the piece of lemon on your arm or leg. This is believed to transfer unwanted acne to another less visible area on your body. Like other Hispanic remedies, it may seem outrageous and unbelievable, the fact that thousands still practice this anecdote, proves it to be quite effective, with positive outcomes.acne fighting

A Hispanic home remedy for curing a Sty is to use an Eye Cup which contains a mixture of warm water and sulphur. A sty is an infection or inflammation of the secretory glands of the eyelids. This common infection or inflammation results from blocked glands within the eyelid. When the gland is blocked, the oil produced by the gland occasionally gets backed up and forms a lump, which can be red and painful. The eye cup can be used to clean out the eye and wash out the glands. The idea is to use the cup 3-4 times daily with warm (NOT HOT) water mixed with a little bit of sulphur. Blink as many times as possible for about 45 seconds.

Many Native American tribes in the United States use herbal remedies to cure ailments. One of the herbal remedies used is the use of blackberry roots and leaves to treat stomach aches. The use of natural treatments to cure everyday ailments are cures that have been used for hundreds of years, and still remedies such as the blackberry syrup and tea are often used today.

Indian Culture[edit | edit source]

Throughout northern India, people believe that the tying on of strings provides protection from malevolent spirits and forces. Throughout India, they also use several herbs and plants to cure diseases.

Many Middle Eastern cultures and Indian culture have used ginger tea as a way of killing or staving off colds. It helps to boost the immune system due to its spice, curries are reported to have the same germ killing properties because of this.

Japanese Culture[edit | edit source]

In Japanese culture, Reiki is a systematic form of touch healing that originated in the country. There was a reclamation of tradition in Japan during the latter half of the twentieth century, when Tendai Buddhist monks initiated or rediscovered the health system. It has become increasingly popular in Japan and has taken up a strong following in the country. As well as being popular in Japanese culture, it has traveled to the United States, where it has found strength with other new age forms of health. Reiki is used for relaxation as well as promoting healing. Reiki deals with treating the body by universal energy. When people have low energy, they feel sickly, but when they are full of energy, they are able to obtain their very best. Another large part of Japanese ethnomedicine has its roots in Chinese culture. This is the practice called Kampo (漢方) sometimes referred to as kanpo. In the most basic sense kampo is the Japanese study and practice of traditional Chinese medicine. It oftentimes includes acupuncture but is most widely known for its usage of herbs to cure and treat illnesses and afflictions. Nowadays kampo has actually been integrated into the country’s National health system patients can have their kampo treatments covered by their insurance. Currently in Japan there are 148 different kampo medicines approved by the ministry of health, labor and welfare. Rather than modifying formulas like is the practice in Traditional Chinese medicine. The Japanese kampo tradition uses certain fixed combinations of herbs in standardized proportions which were derived from the classical literature of Chinese medicine. Kampo medicines are produced by various manufacturers, however because of strict regulations each medicine is composed of exactly the same ingredients. The medicines are therefore prepared under strict manufacturing conditions that rival pharmaceutical companies of America or anywhere else. The two leading companies making kampo medicines are Tsumura (ツムラ) and Kanebō (カネボウ). To find out more about this culture, you can visit the Wikipedia site:

Korean Culture[edit | edit source]

In Korean culture Miso Soup has been a long time remedy for curing scrapes on skin. This ancient practice has been passed down for hundreds of years and is still commonly used today.

Also, in the case of flus, the Koreans use a home remedy that includes Cinnamon and ginseng to help the afflicted person get over the flu. They commonly do this because cinnamon strengthens the immune system and is believed to have antibiotic properties, and ginseng is a tonic to help with the fatigue

Mayan Culture[edit | edit source]

The Mayan people are an indigenous group in Mexico and Central America. They are a very traditional society that has extensive contact with western and modern societies. Because of this their medical model is a blend of traditional beliefs along with western technology. because they live in pretty poor conditions they do not have access to the best medicines, but they use what they can along with traditional practices of herbs, magic, and spells passed on by the elders in the community. They are much more accepting of the mind and body as a single interacting unit, and work to cure mind body and spirit.

Middle Eastern Cultures[edit | edit source]

Many Middle Eastern cultures and Indian culture have used ginger tea as a way of killing or staving off colds. It helps to boost the immune system due to its spice, curries are reported to have the same germ killing properties because of this.

Some cultures in the Middle East have remedies based on principle of balancing warm and cold food in the body. One such remedy is Aab Nabaat, which is used to prevent or settle an upset stomach.

Native American Culture[edit | edit source]

Herbs and other medicinal plants have a predominant role in the healing practices of Native American cultures. Many of the modern medicines used today in western society's were derived from the traditional healing methods of Native Americans. Ironically, modern scientist, doctors, and lay people are quick to reject the practices of ancient herbalists. It is interesting to note that in Native American cultures it takes longer for an individual to become an effective herbalist and healer than it does for a person today to become a doctor. In Native American cultures individuals are usually selected by the tribal medicine person at a very young age. This selected individual serves as an apprentice until they are middle aged, then they take over as healer. One plant that Native American cultures often utilize is tobacco. It is primarily used as a topical anesthetic. It is chewed up and spit upon the part of the body that is intended to be numbed. Also it can be added to bath water in the form of a tea to reduce arthritic pain or cramps. The smoke is thought to be purifying and is blown on afflicted areas. [3] You can learn more about Tobacco here! [4] Dandelions are another genus of plant used by Native Americans for medicinal purposes. To learn more about the ways Native American cultures utilize dandelions click this link.[5] Like dandelions, stinging nettles are also used medicinally by Native Americans, and are quite prevalent in the Pacific Northwest. To learn more about the healing properties of stinging nettles follow this link. [6]

Another source of healing for Native American cultures is the use of the Sweat Lodge. The sweat lodge, also known as the "inipi " is used to purify and cleanse individuals by placing them in a tent-like room full of steam. It is mostly a religious event believing that the spirits expel diseases and purify the body.

Herbs are not the only solution to expelling these diseases and purifying the body. Movement of the body is quite common for many Native American Cultures. Dancing and exercise are a common practice among tribes.

Many Native American tribes in the United States use herbal remedies to cure ailments. One of the herbal remedies used is the use of blackberry roots and leaves to treat stomach aches. The use of natural treatments to cure every day ailments are cures that have been used for hundreds of years, and still remedies such as the blackberry syrup and tea are often used today.

Laguna Pueblo[edit | edit source]

Ceremonies were extremely important to the Laguna Pueblo culture and were often used for healing. It was thought that during these ceremonies the tribe could get closer to the sacred time of their gods and that this energy would aid with healing.

South American Culture[edit | edit source]

In contrast to people in North American or European societies, indigenous people in South America often use traditional medicinal plants found in the rainforest to cure illnesses, instead of chemically produced medicines. Several plants found in South America can be used to obtain results more that are usually obtained from more common products. These include plants such as cinchona, yerba mate, and stevia.

In the Andean region of South America, Coca Leafs are used as a remedy for overcoming altitude sickness, fatigue, as well as other illnesses. This practice has been used by many tribes indigenous to Peru and Bolivia, and is still a common practice today.

Turkish Culture[edit | edit source]

In Turkish culture and many other cultures around the world, Leeches are used to relieve victims of snake bites and many other ailments. Leeches are known to be sold in animal markets in Istanbul.

Vietnamese Culture[edit | edit source]

Thuoc Nam is also known as Vietnamese Southern Medicine. This medicine was also known as the poor mans medicine because it only uses ingredients native to Vietnam and involves little preparation.

Western Culture[edit | edit source]

The use of home remedies and Folk medicine has greatly decreased in the last few decades with Western culture adopting the bio-medical model, causing western culture to become more dependent on prescription and OTC drugs. Although there are still Home Remedies that have been passed down through generations, Western culture has begun to prefer a chemical solution to many medical problems because of its availability and proven affects. In recent years, however, people have started to become aware of the negative affects of many chemical drugs and have been turning back to W:Homeopathic medicines and natural solutions as an alternative to modern pharmaceutical drugs. There are many different Western treatments for illnesses out there.

A wart is a hard rough lump growing on the skin, caused by infection with certain viruses and occurring typically on the hands or feet. Many people in the Western culture cure warts in mainly two different ways. One is going to the doctor and getting them frozen off. The other is getting a prescription medication drug that will make the wart go away. The less known method of wart removal is the use of morning spit has been known to cure a wart in about a week. This has to do with the bacteria in the mouth that comes when people fall asleep.

In today's Western Culture, many households are exposed to harmful airborne contaminants that can cause numerous health problems. Luckily, there are Air Purifiers to filter out those dangerous indoor pollutants.

Over the Counter[edit | edit source]

Ibuprofen is an over-the-counter pain reliever that is commonly used to reduce or eliminate body aches and pains, headaches, and reduce fever symptoms. It acts quickly to relieve pain, which fits well with Western Society's demand for rapid relief in a busy world.

Airborne is a commonly sold immune system booster to help the body fight off colds. Commonly used among college students who never have a "good time" to be sick. It is mainly used in the prevention of colds but it can be taken during a cold with positive results. It fits well into western society as a quick fix or prevention method.

Emergen-C is one of the latest and most popular health food supplement being sold today. This product comes in single serving sized packets and is easily mixed with hot or cold water. The mix of vitamins and minerals makes it a great solution for a quick boost of energy as well as an important way to fight off sicknesses, such as the common cold.

Second Skin Spenco's Second Skin dressing is a product used to create a temporary layer of fake skin over a wound to the flesh that is exposing new and tender skin such as a blister or scraped knee. It can be purchased over the counter at pharmacies and other department stores. It is a quick and very simple way to relieve pain which is ideal in the Western Culture.

Baby Powder Along with its most common use for babies it is also a useful method for relieving pain caused by blisters and other open sores. The powder eases the pain by adding a slight layer of protection over the wound but still letting it breathe. It is commonly used in Western societies because it is an everyday product for people with infants and also a cheap and easy way to relieve pain.

The best over-counter lotion/crème to alleviate sunburn pains such as stinging 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 most likely 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 use a different kind of Noxzema without Aloe-Vera.

Herbal Remedies[edit | edit source]

In the Western Society Green Tea can be used to prevent dark circles and wrinkles under ones eyes. Using two brewed, cooled off tea bags as compressors on each eye will reduce the risk of dark circles and wrinkles forming.

In regards to the common cold, back in the early to mid 1900s, Garlic and Mustard Seed was worn around one's neck as a means of preventing colds. This stemmed from a German cultural belief and/or knowledge that garlic, along with some other herbs and spices, worked to prevent colds. However, instead of ingesting these items, they wore them around their necks, indicating an almost superstitious outlook on the matter. Now, it is known that those who include more garlic in their diets tend to be healthier and are less likely to contract common colds.

Flaxseed Oil[edit | edit source]

Flaxseed Oil a long and extensive history. Originating in Mesopotamia, the flax plant has been known since the Stone Ages. One of the first records of the culinary use of flaxseeds is from times of ancient Greece. In both that civilization and in ancient Rome, the health benefits of flaxseeds were widely praised. After the fall of Rome, the cultivation and popularity of flaxseeds declined. Ironically, it was Charlemagne, the emperor who would be famous for shaping European history, who also helped to shape the history of flaxseeds, restoring them to their noble position in the food culture of Europe. Charlemagne was impressed with how useful flax was in terms of its culinary, medicinal, and fiber usefulness (flaxseed fibers can be woven into linen) that he passed laws requiring not only its cultivation but its consumption as well. After Charlemange, flaxseeds became widely appreciated throughout Europe. It was not until the early colonists arrived in North America that flax was first planted in the United States. In the 17th century, flax was first introduced and planted in Canada, the country that is currently the major producer of this extremely beneficial seed.

Home Remedies[edit | edit source]

It is in the American culture where we see concern on our appearance. We are obsessed with how we smell and how we look and a lot of this obsession comes from marketing. We can see this in the vast amounts of perfumes, colognes, anti-aging and makeup products shown on television commercials telling us what we want. If you want to reduce unwanted red eye you can use acold washcloth to help rid the symptoms. This is related to this culture by their high standard of person appearance. Western culture cares very much about the way that they look. Since a washcloth (flannel) and cold water are very common household products, it also is connected to the do it yourself aspect. Instead of buying eye drops, Western culture has established their own method of reducing this problem. Another problem some people have about their general appearance is oily hair, many women as well as men spend a lot of money to get their hair cut the perfect way or to get it dyed a certain color but when it becomes oily they tend to want to fix the problem on their own. For some it may be embarrassing to go to the salon and tell them you have oily hair so western culture has figured out its own way to fix the problem at home with using lemon juice. Many of western cultures home remedies are used solely for appearance purposes which says a lot about western culture.

Within western cultures, a warm compress is the preferred home remedy for pink eye because it relieves pain while your eye naturally clears up on its own.

For centuries Western Cultures have used Aloe Vera which can relieve skin discomforts such as severe burns caused by the sun. It can also be used as a natural laxative if used internally.

The act of using wood ash to whiten teeth is not specific to Western culture – consequently appears in many other parts of the world such as Japan and parts of China.

In Western Society, methods such as using Hydrogen Peroxide as a bleaching agent are very popular due to high image standards. It can used orally to whiten teeth, but beware of swallowing too much for it can be damaging to your health. Hydrogen Peroxide is a an inexpensive and is easily obtainable. Many other cultures don’t put as much emphasis on physical appearance, leaving the usage of chemicals for beauty enhancement for Western culture.

Western Culture is all about "go go go!" It is a culture that strives on instant results, including everything from transportation, medicine effectiveness and how food is prepared. Because of western culture's fast paced lifestyle, many people will do anything they can to avoid being sick altogether. One way that people in western society do this is to take multivitamins to help boost the immune system. Our "go go go" mentality has also led to the widespread use of [[Ethnomedicine/Home_R

Cannabis is widely used by and legally prescribed to patients with glaucoma in Western Culture. The THC chemical found in cannabis has been proven to lower the intraocular pressures associated with glaucoma and also prevents optic nerve damage. Cannabis is most effective when smoked and the general requirement for glaucoma patients is about .5 grams every 3 hours or so. The plant is illegal in the United States, however, and a prescription must be obtained for legal use.

Caffeine has many uses in Western Culture. Most people use it to provide energy throughout the day. It does have alternate uses, though. When Caffeine is added to pain relieving medication, it helps the body absorb the drug faster. For more information, see Caffeine for migraines.

Yogurt can be an effective tool in combatting canker sores. When using the right type of yogurt, you can speed up the recovery process and reduce pain. More information can be found under Yogurt for Canker Sores.

The use of the Marigold flower is a common home remedy used by many Western cultures. The practical use of this household flower for the relief of tooth pain originated from early English countrymen. More information about the proper use of the Marigold can be found under Marigold.

One disease prevention practice pertaining to women in western society is refraining from eating fish with high levels of mercury such as tuna while pregnant. This is because high levels of mercury can cause damage to the developing nervous system of a fetus. Methylmercury has become a particular problem in aquatic food chains because the fish begin to accumulate high levels of methylmercury in their tissues; especially the fish in higher trophic levels. One fish higher up on the food chain is albacore (or white) tuna. U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that you eat no more than 6 ounces of tuna per week. In other words, do not eat more than 2 meals of low mercury fish per week. For more information visit Ethnomedicine/Disease Prevention Practices#Refraining from tuna while pregnant.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Foster, S. “Licorice.” 2000. Steven Foster Group. May 25, 2007.

Ethnomedicine by Illness

Ethnomedicine by Malady[edit | edit source]

List of Maladies[edit | edit source]

Anemia[edit | edit source]

Anemia is a deficiency of red blood cells. This results in a reduced ability of blood to transfer oxygen to the tissues, causing tissue hypoxia. Since all human cells depend on oxygen for survival, varying degrees of anemia can have a wide range of clinical consequences. Anemia is the most common disorder of the blood. There are several kinds of anemia, produced by a variety of underlying causes. Anemia can be classified in a variety of ways, based on the morphology of RBCs, underlying etiologic mechanisms, and discernible clinical spectra, to mention a few.

Acne[edit | edit source]

A treatment for facial acne is to apply Yellow Egg Yolk to the infected area. Or use Toothpaste and Honey with a bandaid for an overnight fix. Another home remedy is simply Toothpaste. Sometimes washing affected area with Tea Tree Oil can also be beneficial.

Alzheimer’s Disease[edit | edit source]

Alzheimer’s is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive cognitive deterioration together with declining activities of daily living and behavioral changes. It is the most common type of dementia. The first symptom is loss of memory which increases with illness progression, then intellectual impairment extends to the areas of language, skilled movements, and recognition. The main cause of the disease is unknown.

Asthma[edit | edit source]

Asthma is a chronic condition affecting populations around the world. Public attention has recently focused on this condition because its prevalence and the associated mortality rate have increased over the last several decades. While familial aggregation is observed, no clear pattern of segregation can be discerned. Most likely, there are multiple genetic, developmental, and environmental factors which interact to produce the overall condition.

Arthritis[edit | edit source]

A treatment for arthritis is glucosamine. Some easy and effective home remedies used to prevent or treat arthritis are the consumption of one of the following: Kombucha, Potato Juice, or Apple Cider Vinegar

Bad Breath[edit | edit source]

Hydrogen Peroxide is used to cure bad breath within many Western Societies. You are supposed to mix about a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with 8-10oz of water . Rinse your mouth with the solution and let it stand for 2–3 minutes. If you look into your mouth you will be able to see the peroxide solution working in between your teeth and under your gum line. Rinse your mouth well and brush your teeth as usual.

Baldness[edit | edit source]

A treatment for baldness is cod liver oil and apple cider vinegar

Bedwetting[edit | edit source]

Bedwetting has been attributed to a number of causes including deep sleep, urinary disorders, or even problems with the spinal cord. There are however a couple simple before bed solutions to this unfortunate common occurrence. Cranberry juice, if taken in the amount of about eight ounces before going sleeping each night can help. You can also eat two teaspoons of raisins and one teaspoon of walnut halves.

Bee Stings[edit | edit source]

One remedy for bee stings is the use of Broadleaf Plantain and Soybean Paste. Another is to apply the mixture of baking soda and water to the bee sting area. Mix a third of a cup of baking soda with two thirds of a cup of water, and put it on and around the sting. After a couple of minutes, you should start to feel relief. The paste will dry up and stop working after about 15 minutes, so apply more.

If stung by a bee one way to reduce pain and inflammation (if you are not allergic to bee stings) is to make a paste with a few drops of water to a teaspoon of meat tenderizer. In order for this to be affective however you must use a brand of meat tenderizer that has Papain in it. Papain breaks down the protein that is in insect bites which is why it is needed. Adolph's and McCormick are two brands that contain Papain.

If you'd like to safeguard yourself against future bee stings, you may want to start taking zinc or thiamine. These nutrients may affect your body odor, which in turn could keep the insects away. You can infuse your diet with foods such as red meats, oysters, and fortified cereals, which are high in zinc. If you decide to go that route, make sure to check with your doctor first, as high amounts of nutrients may be unhealthy.

Placing peeled and sliced potatoes on a bee sting can also help the sting become less painful and irritating faster.

Black Eye[edit | edit source]

A black eye occurs when blood begins to pool near the tender area of the eyeball in order to hasten the healing process. Asprin is not a good way decrease the pain of a black eye due to the fact that it's is a anticoagulant which will not allow the blood to clot as it should,slowing the healing process.Black Eye

Blisters[edit | edit source]

A treatment for healing blisters is with Tea Bags. One should use a non-flavored tea bag and soak it in a cup of hot water just as if making a drink. After 2–3 minutes, when the tea bag begins to soak up the water, remove it and place it directly on the open wound/blister. For 10 minutes, push slightly down on the tea bag, allowing the herb juice within to trickle out onto the wound. After 10 minutes, check the skin surrounding the blister for a discoloration of either tan, brown, yellow, or orange skin. If this is apparent, take the tea bag off. If not, soak the tea bag on the blister for 2 more minutes. For the next half hour leave the blister open to fresh air, no allowing it to touch any objects or clothing. One should continue this process twice a day until the blister is properly healed. This treatment with tea bags will allow the blister to heal quickly. This remedy is used in the Western Society.

Bloody Nose[edit | edit source]

Bloody noses can be helped with cold water applied to the forehead. Another, less common method is stuffing the nostril with ruptured yarrow. This with help the blood coagulate more quickly.

The most common type is called the Anterior nosebleed. This could be caused by a dry nose, smoking, or medicinal blood thinners. In the case of these, one should sit in a chair and lean forward without tilting the head. Pinch the nose lightly with a small, wet cloth for about 5 minutes. Some cayenne pepper can be mixed water and can be drunk. This will draw blood away from the head to the stomach.

The other common type of nosebleed is called a Posterior nosebleed,which is most common among the elderly. It is caused by high blood pressure,the bleeding begins at the rear of the nose a begins to flow down the throat.

In both Posterior and Anterior cases an increased intake of iron can make them less frequent.

Bruising[edit | edit source]

Dit Da Jow, “hit and fall wine”, commonly called “Jow”, is a liniment used by practitioners of the Chinese martial arts. More specifically used by practitioners of the iron body styles of kung fu; iron palm, vest, arm, leg, fist, and head. Jow is used to treat soft tissue damage such as bruising, strains, aches, increases blood flow.

There are two types of Jow, hot and cold. The “Hot Jow” is used for more heavily damaged areas, deep bruising and very tight muscles. “Cold Jow” is more generalized and used for typical daily training training. The differences between the two are 1) “Hot Jow” is heated before application and 2) the recipes are slightly different. The ingredients may differ to some degree but all Jows are fundamentally the same, they are a combination of a strong alcohol (Chinese rice wine or Vodka are common) and specific quantities of specific herbs such as Artemesia (Liu ji nu), Myrrh (Moyao), Borneol (Bingpian), Carthamus (Honghua), Cirsium (DaJi), Dragon's Blood (Xuejie), Musk (Shexiang), Pinellia (ShengBanXia), Cinnabar (Zhusha).

Jow is applied to the effected area right befor

Another way of clearing up bruises quickly is to massage the bruised area for a short period of time. This may seem painful, but if you can handle it, it is effective. The massaging breaks up the blood in the area and allows it to move, and thus the bruise will clear up faster.

Burns[edit | edit source]

A way to alleviate the pain of burns is Aloe Vera. Another way to alleviate the pain of burns is by applying Crest Original Toothpaste, see Toothpaste To prevent sunburns, use Daily Suncreen.

Canker Sores[edit | edit source]

Canker sores are painful reddish, sometimes white, sores on the inside of the mouth. The exact cause of canker sores is unknown, but is linked to stress, poor nutrition, menstrual cycles,changes in climate and food allergies.

The use of baking soda can help ease the pain and aid healing of canker sores. Using a mirror locate the sore, expose the canker sore by holding lips open with one hand. Dip the tip of one finger in baking soda and dab it onto the sore, covering it in baking soda. Continue to hold lips to expose the area, and avoid getting the area wet with saliva. Allow the baking soda to sit on the sore for a minute or two, then rinse with water. By the next day the canker sore should be less painful and begin shrinking. Hot fluids, such as green tea seem to aid healing. Repeat daily until the sore disappears.

This remedy has its origins in the great farm lands of Wisconsin, and likely many households across the country.

Also gargling a warm mixture of salt and water can help relieve canker sores. Mix a tea spoon of salt with a cup or so warm water (as hot as you can stand without burning yourself). Stir it until it dissolves. Gargle or rinse the solution in your mouth for 20–30 seconds, spit it out and repeat. Don't use the same solution over; rinse with it once and spit it out. Do this several times a day.

Using a tea tree oil mouth wash can also be a natural way of helping let your mouth heal itself of canker sores. Desert Essence is a company which produces such a product.

Rinsing your mouth out with sauerkraut juice has long been known to cure canker sores and prevent future ones from forming. Just swish a tablespoon of sauerkraut juice in your mouth for about thirty seconds one or two times each day.

There are also ways to prevent the occurrence of canker sores through your diet. Eating foods rich in vitamin b such as whole grain foods and a variety of vegetables. Some man need to avoid dairy products and acidic foods as these can irritate canker sores even further.

Although dairy products can be a cause of canker sores, yogurt consumed while experiencing one may help relieve symptoms. It is believed that the cultures in Acidophilus yogurt may help combat the bacteria present at the site of a canker sore. For more information, see Yogurt for Canker Sores.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome[edit | edit source]

Remedies include a wrist support pad.

Chapped Lips[edit | edit source]

Chapped lips is seen as a dehydration problem. Licking the lips has a temporary effect, but the evaporation that occurs afterwards only leads to further dehydration. Lip balm is the most effective way to lock in moisture and prevent the lips from dehydrating. Vaseline and suntan lotion also work.

Chickenpox[edit | edit source]

A home remedy for the chickenpox is an Oatmeal Bath Other home remedies for chicken pox are to take baths daily in baking soda or oatmeal. Using calamine lotion or benadryl liquid or capsules by mouth for the itching skin. Use Neosporin ointment about 4 times a day for infected sores. Use Vitamin E oil or honey over skin to help the healing process. Trim nails and do not scratch sores, let the scabs fall off by them selves. Take Tylenol of fever.

Cold Sore[edit | edit source]

Not sure if originating from but from Australia and china combined as a home remedy they would use nail polish and tea tree oil. On first notice of a cold sore coming on take a q-tip and dip it in nail polish remover. Place the q-tip on your cold sore until the q-tip is somewhat dry. Through out the rest of the day dab tea tree oil on the cold sore 3 times a day. If the cold sore is still a problem the next day repeat from step one starting from the nail polish remover. There are risks doing this, its not for someone with sensitive skin since 100% tea tree oil can be very irritating to the skin and so can nail polish remover, and first of when you read the back of nail polish remover it will say "do not inhale or put directly onto skin" so use at your own risk. If you are worried about the nail polish remover skip it and just try the tea tree oil.

Another remedy for cold sores involves vitamin E gel capsules. Pierce a hole in one of the capsules and smear the liquid on the cold sore 3-4 times per day. The sore tends to heal in a few days' time, as vitamin E is very beneficial to skin health and maintenance, and direct application is quicker than increased ingestion.

The Common Cold[edit | edit source]

A common cold can be prevented by taking Airborne, Humidifiers, Zinc or Emergen-C, Daily Multi-Vitamin. Exercise and proper diet can aid in prevention.

Cures for the common cold include Mustard Plaster. Symptom alleviation techniques for the common cold include Hot Food and Acetaminophen.

Constipation[edit | edit source]

Prevention and cure for constipation includes Prune Juice and also Honey and Salt Relief of constipation can also be helped by drinking a mild hot drink, such as a weak tea or even just a mug of hot water.

Cramps[edit | edit source]

A Prevention and cure for cramps, see Cramps Another cure for cramps is Acetaminophen

Cuts[edit | edit source]

A faster, more efficient way to cure cuts is Neosporin

A way to prevent cuts is Knee pads/elbow pads

Hydrogen Peroxide can also help to cure a cut if it is infected.

Dandruff[edit | edit source]

Prevention for dandruff includes using dandruff.

Another type of treatment is a vinegar and water mixture.

Decongestion[edit | edit source]

To help clear up decongestion, use Eucalyptus. Ear Candling can also be used to clear up congestion in the sinuses. A Vapor Bowl can be used to relieve congestion of the chest. A "Jigger" of Whiskey, which is an old German remedy will also help to clear up unwanted congestion.

Dehydration[edit | edit source]

Prevention for dehydration includes drinking water.

Diabetes[edit | edit source]

A remedy for diabetes is Neem

Diaper Rash[edit | edit source]

Diaper rash mostly affects babies and toddlers who are still in their diaper phase in the growth cycle. It happens when moisture gets trapped in the diaper of the child. There are Diaper Rash preventions as well as a home remedy with Shark Liver Oil that can be used to help with the rash.

Diarrhea[edit | edit source]

If you are having flow problem in the bathroom with Constipation and Diarrhea, You should consume the meat of an apple to loosen things up, or consume the skin of an apple to tighten things up.

Disinfectant[edit | edit source]

For a shallow wound or other minor cuts, Hydrogen Peroxide can be used to sterilize the injury. Take a small amount, about a cap full, and pour it over the infected area. If bacteria are present, the reaction will cause the hydrogen peroxide to bubble. This means that it is working and the area is being disinfected. Once you have poured the hydrogen peroxide over the wound anywhere from 1-5 times, rise off the wound with water. Repeat twice a day, until the reaction no longer bubbles. However, this method can be dangerous as the amount of hydrogen peroxide used is considered excessive, and can cause damage to the skin and flesh surrounding the wound.

Honey can be smeared on a minor cut or scrape to aid in healing, as it possessed antibacterial properties. Aloe vera gel or liquid can also be used for this purpose.

Eczema[edit | edit source]

One remedy for eczema is Cold Compress. Another good remedy is putting Coconut Oil directly on affected area.

If the eczema is in a place such as the underarms, baby powder is another effective remedy. It removes any moisture and soothes the redness and itchiness. Johnson's baby powder is a good product, as it is perfume free and will not irritate the skin.

Fever[edit | edit source]

Remedies for fever include Cold Compress, Acetaminophen, Distilled Spirits, Hot Food.

Fungal Infections[edit | edit source]

A remedy for fungal infections is mugwort.

A remedy for toenail fungal infections is vicks vaporub.

Glaucoma[edit | edit source]

Glaucoma is a group of diseases of the optic nerve involving loss of retinal ganglion cells in a characteristic pattern of optic neuropathy. Although raised intraocular pressure is a significant risk factor for developing glaucoma, there is no set threshold for intraocular pressure that causes glaucoma. One person may develop nerve damage at a relatively low pressure, while another person may have high eye pressure for years and yet never develop damage. Untreated glaucoma leads to permanent damage of the optic nerve and resultant visual field loss, which can progress to blindness. Cannabis is widely used by and legally prescribed to patients with glaucoma in Western Culture.

Halitosis[edit | edit source]

Halitosis can be prevented with Saliva or the process of salivation.

Hangover[edit | edit source]

A hangover is the result of drinking too much alcohol and not drinking water. The symptoms are nausea, headache, and sometimes dizziness There are simple food solutions to prevent hangovers. There are also a lot of different things you can do in the morning to alleviate your symptoms such as taking alka-seltzer and drinking a cup or two of water.

Headache[edit | edit source]

Headaches are a common complaint among many people, but oftentimes they can be treated fairly easily. Headaches are usually caused by stress, lack of sleep, eyestrain, loud noises etc. One of the most effective ways to treat a headache is to lie down in a cool, quite, dark room with a cold ice pack or wet washcloth over your eyes. This will mainly promote relaxation, which in most cases is the cause of the headache.

Another possible solution for temporarily treating a headache is pinching your hand as hard as possible. This creates another minimal pain, but will draw the attention away from the headache.

Another usually never thought of remedy for headaches is working out. Usually working out is probably the last thing that someone with a really bad headache would want to do, but it has been shown to help alleviate the pain. Try a light work out program, such as a brisk walk or join an actually fitness program. Too much exercise during a migraine could make it worse though. Working out releases natural endorphins, releases tense muscles, reduces anxiety, increased blood and lymph circulation, reduced fatigue, improves sleep which means more sleep, and improves digestion among many other things. All of these things that exercise helps can help to cause headaches, so exercising can help to reduce headaches.

One remedy for headaches is drinking Gatorade If at-home remedies do not help to alleviate the pain, acupuncture is an excellent next step to recovery.

Hiccups[edit | edit source]

An effective cure for hiccups is drinking water upside-down or Drinking water with nose and ears plugged. Some people think that being suddenly surprised or very scared can get rid of hiccups. Possibly because of this and general food preferences eating a spoon full of sugar with a little bit of vinegar on it can cure the hiccups. This remedy is not actually as disgusting as it sounds.

High Cholesterol[edit | edit source]

Prevention for high cholesterol includes exercise and a healthy diet.

Hives[edit | edit source]

Hives are raised, itchy, red, histamine filled welts that appear on the surface of the skin. Hives range in size form a quarter inch to 3 inches or more across. They may last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. A hive can be caused by an insect bite or in response to an allergic reaction. Hives can be treated with Benadryl

Influenza[edit | edit source]

Prevention for influenza can be Flu Vaccine.

Ingrown Toenails[edit | edit source]

Many of you have accumulated ingrown toenails and may have wondered how to get rid of them. Within the Western Societies a cure that may help get rid of ingrown toenails may be to soak your foot in warm water for 15 minutes to soften the skin around the nail. To do this, it is best to soak your foot in hotter water than you would usually use and massage the foot for the 15 minutes allowed. Daily foot soaks in warm water will help relieve the swelling or tenderness while the toenails grow out. Letting the toenails grow out and taking proper care of them will help prevent them from being ingrown again.

Insomnia[edit | edit source]

A remedy for insomnia is Passion Flower A remedy for insomnia is Warm Milk A remedy for insomnia is Chamomile Tea and Whole Wheat Snack.

Jaundice[edit | edit source]

Jaundice occurs when the liver can not handle the load it is given. Urine becomes darker, stools become lighter, and bilirubin (a yellow/brown substance that is the result of red blood cells breaking down) begins to collect in tissue all over the body. Jaundice is more of a symptom of a disease than a disease iself. It can be a sign of pernicious anemia, hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, and hemolysis.Some symptoms of Jaundice are yellowing of the eyes,the mucous membranes,and also the skin.

Lice[edit | edit source]

Lice are mites (prediculosis) that can be seen with the naked eye. They lay eggs on the shafts of hair on the scalp (nits, shells that contain eggs, are glued to the head). In about a week the immature louse hatches and hides in the scalp for two to three weeks until it matures enough to lay eggs of its own. They survive on human blood acquired through tiny bites in the skin of the scalp. These pesky parasites cause itching- just the thought of them can tickle! If one itches too often or too hard, the scalp can become inflamed or even infected, which can cause the glands in the neck to swell. Being socially shunned for a couple of days can also be a side effect of lice.

It is a common misconception that if one acquires lice, they don't practice good hygiene. Actually, lice come whether or not one bathes regularly. However, there are some preventive practices. Since lice are transmitted through direct contact with a contaminated person's hair and/or through the sharing of brushes, combs, hats, and other hair accessories, one should not share these objects. This is one time being selfish can actually help the greater good of everyone!

Lice can be treated with medication and other treatments. Medicated shampoos kills the live lice (regular shampoo doesn’t work, so cleanliness is not a prevention practice), and egg (nit) remover gets rid of the eggs and nits that are more firmly attached to the hair and scalp. Combing one’s hair after using the shampoo and remover should dislodge anything that is left over. There are also other sketchier ways of removing the lice, one of which is Malathion (or Ovide) which is a pesticide that should be used cautiously and on children no younger than six years of age. Malathion is not widely used because of its potential toxicity, and should be used as a last resort. A few alternative home remedies include olive oil, mayonnaise, and petroleum jelly (Vaseline), all of which prevent the lice from moving, thereby killing them. Some have found that Listerine mouthwash works as well. Saturate your hair, then cover with a shower cap for 15 minutes and shampoo as normal. You may want to repeat this process if it does not kill all the lice eggs immediately. A more drastic approach is to shave ones head compleatly. It may seem extreamly drastic, but this is an extreamly quick and effective way to remove not only the adult lice, but the eggs as well. However, many people feel that it's quick and effective results are not worth the cost of loosing all of ones hair.

Migraine[edit | edit source]

A remedy for Migraine headaches is butterbur. Another is feverfew, which can be taken in caplets both for preventative treatment and acute attacks.

Migraine headaches that lead to nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity encumber individual’s everyday. When you suspect you may have a migraine you should seek treatment immediately.A Cold Pack over your eyes is a remedy to help relieve a migraine.

Motion Sickness[edit | edit source]

Motion sickness is the disturbance of the inner ear which is caused by repeated motion such as that of a swell of the sea, car movement, turbulence on an airplane, etc. Symptoms of motion sickness include nausea, vomiting and dizziness. Other common signs are sweating, discomfort, and an overall feeling of not feeling well. An alternate practice to alleviate such symptoms is ginger root and African ginger.

Muscle Aches[edit | edit source]

A remedy for muscle aches is Bananas A preventative practice for muscle aches is Stretching.

Muscle Cramping][edit | edit source]

Muscle cramping is very common in Western Societies. It often occurs during exercise in hot weather and at night. It is often caused by low levels of potassium in ones body. Potassium and sodium work together across cell membranes to regulate muscle cramping.

Muscle Soreness[edit | edit source]

After working out, playing a sport, or working with heavy objects, it is possible to pull a muscle. When you pull a muscle, it hurts quite a bit, and will impact your ability to work out afterwards, or even go about daily tasks. When a sore muscle occurs, there are creams and other such things that you can apply. However, at the interest of time and money, there are simple treatments that can be taken. 1st, it is important to apply ice to the region that hurts for twenty minutes, once every hour until pain subsides. After pain subsides, and even in between icings, one should stretch to rid the area of lactic acid, which contributes to the pain. Stretching gently is important, since the area is already sore, and vigorous stretching will only cause the muscle to hurt more. It is important that you walk 15–30 minutes a day, not just because walking is good for your mind and body, but also because it will increase circulation through your body, and will deliver oxygen to the sore muscle. Drinking 8+ glass’ of water a day will help increase hydration to the muscle, which will also ease the pain. Most importantly, stay off the muscle. Do not curl weights if your biceps is sore, and do not run 4 miles if the sore muscle is in your leg.

Overall Wellness[edit | edit source]

Maintaining a balance of yin and yang, mind and body can be done by performing Tai Chi regularly. Drinking a glass of kombucha can also stimulate metabolism and other bodily functions in turn leading to overall wellness.

Pain[edit | edit source]

Pain can be alleviated by a lot of medications and practices. One popular medication used to treat minor aches and pains is Acetaminophen

Pneumonia[edit | edit source]

Pneumonia is a sickness of the lungs and the respiratory system that causes the lungs and the alveoli to become inflamed and produce fluids. This can result from a variety of causes including viruses, bacteria, and over cooling of the body. A remedy for this sickness is a Lung Compress.

Pink Eye[edit | edit source]

Pink Eye is also called conjunctivitis, it is an inflammation of the membrane (the conjunctiva) that lines the eyelid and covers the surface of the eye. Bacteria and viruses (which are very contagious) allergies, dry air, and irritants in the air such as smoke, fumes, or chemicals can cause pink eye. When bacteria or a virus is involved, the condition is more commonly called an infection.

The symptoms of pinkeye may include redness in the whites of the eyes, red and swollen eyelids, lots of tears, itching or burning, a sandy feeling in the yes, and sensitivity to light. Most cases of pinkeye will clear up on their own in 7 to 10 days. A warm compress applied directly to the eye several times a day will relive discomfort during this period.

Poison Ivy, Oak, Sumac[edit | edit source]

Itchy and occasionally painful skin irritations caused by poison ivy, oak and sumac are a result of physical contact with the poison secreted by these plants. The most effective preventative measures, know what these plants look like and which environments they grow, can reduce the chance of exposure. For those who regularly find themselves in the wilderness contact with these plants is inevitable. Thankfully the poisons are only frustrating and itchy not deadly.

The rash that is caused by the poison is typically reddish, bumpy, and itchy. The rash itself will secrete a toxin that causes it to spread to other areas or other people through direct or indirect contact. With this in mind the first step in treatment is containment. Areas effected should not be touched by any other part of the body, a simple ACE bandage wrapped around the area will suffice. Itching irritates the rash and prolongs the infection.

Over the counter rash ointments are available, ointments do reduce itching and help stimulate healing, but there are several home remedies that work just as well if not better. The first of which is the topical application of oatmeal, the heat and moisture from the oatmeal sooths the itching. Oatmeal’s thick viscous consistency conducts heat and insulates very well. An oatmeal treatment may be used as needed for the entire duration of the rash.

Secondly, a mixture of baking soda and vinegar is believed to extract the toxins from the rash, quickly reducing the size and reducing the duration of the infection. A large amount of baking soda is mixed with a relatively small amount of vinegar to create a thick paste. The vinegar is added in small increments to reduce the size of the resulting chemical reaction. Heating paste prior to it’s application will sooth the itching upon contact and open the pours of the skin allowing the toxins to flow out into the paste. When the paste has become dry and brittle it is washed off with cold water and reapplied as needed.

Or for an irritating plant induced rash you could try a Honey Wrap.

Psoriasis[edit | edit source]

Psoriasis is a non-contagious skin disease that creates lesions or sores on skin and is treatable by many methods. The use of moisturizers will help relieve some of the itch associated with the condition. Exposure to sunlight also seems to benefit persons with this condition. Vitamin D, Vitamin E, as well as Grape Root have been shown as treatments for the symptoms.

Red Eyes[edit | edit source]

The use of a Cold Washcloth over closed eyes helps to constrict blood flow within your eyes. This aids in reducing red eyes because the restricted blood vessels stop pumping blood into your eye. Also, the cold washcloth helps add moisture to your eyes which will help get rid of any unwanted material within your eyes. This is a typical medical practice of the Western Societies.

Rheumatoid Arthritis[edit | edit source]

A remedy for rheumatoid arthritis is Borage Oil.

Seasonal Affective Disorder[edit | edit source]

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a mood disorder experienced during the winter months. Between September and April, an estimated half-million people experience SAD every year. It is caused by a biochemical imbalance in the hypothalamus due to the shortened daylight hours and general lack of sunlight in the winter.

Symptoms include a general feeling of depression, not normally experienced throughout the rest of the year. SAD is more commonly found at latitudes north of 30°N and south of 30°S and rarely found in tropic regions.

SAD can be prevented and remedied by so-called SAD lamps, which emit full spectrum bright light. SAD lamps do not emit UV light, so the imbalance may be corrected without resulting in skin damage.

Sore Throat[edit | edit source]

Sore throats are most commonly cause by infection, about 90% of which are viral. Usually, cases are minor and can be cured through simple at home remedies. If serious, they may lead to strep throat or bronchitis. A home remedy to treat sore throats include Honey Tea. A remedy to treat sore throats includes Menthol Eucalyptus Cough Drops. Gargling salt water is an age old remedy that helps relieve pain associated with a sore throat. This remedy is best utilized if you catch the sore throat at an early stage. The reasoning behind using water with a high concentration of salt is to soak out the some of the inflaming agents that cause a sore throat. Additionally, salt water has a certain cleansing effect with regard to viral or bacterial infection. A normal salt to water ratio is 1/2 teaspoon per 8 ounces of water. This remedy provides only short term relief, and must be repeated often to continue to see results. But over/extended use may cause more harm than help. As a good rule of thumb don’t gargle more than 2 teaspoons an hour, this will allow for 4 gargles per hour, which should be plenty. This is a family practice, passed down generation by generation, and has no specific cultural ties. Another way to cure sore throats that has traditionally been used in many different cultures is consumption of licorice root, which increases mucous production in the throat. Ice cream has also commonly been used in Western Society to deal with and sooth sore throats. In Chinese culture, ginseng soup is commonly ingested for a simple cure of calming and relaxing the throat.

Snake Bite[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. Leeches are known to be sold in animal markets in Istanbul and many other civilizations around the world.

Spina Bifida[edit | edit source]

Spina bifida refers to a disorder involving the incomplete development of the brain, spinal cord and/or the protective coverings of a developing baby. A way to prevent spina bifida in a developing fetus is the regular consumption of folic acid among pregnant and sexually active women. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that every pregnant women incorporate 400 micrograms of folic acid into their diet.

Sprain[edit | edit source]

A sprain can be alleviated with ginger root. Alternating hot and cold packs on the affected area is also thought to be helpful, as it stimulates blood flow and helps damaged tissue to mend. Resting the sprain and wrapping it with a tension bandage to aid in support is also recommended.

Stinging Nettle[edit | edit source]

A natural remedy that can be used upon contact with a stinging nettle can be applied using specific Ferns to the infected area.

A home remedy used to treat the pain associated with stinging nettle skin contact is an application of cottage cheese to the affected area.

A natural remedy that is used to cure the affects caused by stinging nettles are Doc Leaves (Rumex obtusifolia), they are simply rubbed on the area affected.

Stomach Ache[edit | edit source]

A stomach ache is usually referred to when there is any discomfort in the abdominal area. One of the common diagnosis of a stomach ache is indigestion, which can be aided by uncooked rice

Other cures or treatments for a stomach ache are antacids, gatorade, ginger ale, and yogurt.

Also try Sprite and Crackers or Peppermint Tea.

Stress[edit | edit source]

A way to relieve stress is Playing Music/Singing, ingesting forms of St. John's wort, yoga, Massage, and #Incense.

Common Symptoms of excessive stress:

  • Regularly walking, eating, or working in a hurried way.
  • Thinking and worrying excessively about the past or future.
  • Frequent tension in the body (esp. neck, face, shoulders, back and chest, and stomach) which often goes unnoticed until one slows down, breaths deep and carefully surveys the body. Sometimes leads to tension headaches or migraines.
  • Feeling of the "weight of the world" on your shoulders.
  • Feeling emotionally on edge or uncharacteristically irritable.
  • Regular tiredness during the day.
  • Significant need for outside stimulation to feel good (coffee/caffeine, sweeteners, food, sex, TV, alcohol, money, accomplishments, etc.)

Strategies for Relieving Stress: The most common way to help reduce stress is to try to make life as stress-free as possible. This may include getting activities out of the way that are causing your stress or constantly reminding you that you shouldn't be stressed out, especially about small things. Exercise is a great long term reducer of stress. Enrolling in an exercise class such as yoga or dancing has been shown to significantly reduce stress over time. Another simple way of becoming stress free is cleaning around your environment. It clears the mind and is a light exercise. Cleaning allows for a cleaner more relaxing environment to work in. Working in a more relaxed environment lets the mind focus on what’s important. sleep is another terrific method of getting rid of stress.

Prayer and meditation also helps cope and manage stress.

Sty[edit | edit source]

To rid those painful bumps on your eyelid use the Tea Bags trick to sooth them away.

Another way to help rid of a sty would be to use an Eye Cup. A sty is an infection or inflammation of the secretory glands of the eyelids. This common infection or inflammation results from blocked glands within the eyelid. When the gland is blocked, the oil produced by the gland occasionally gets backed up and forms a lump, which can be red and painful. The eye cup can be used to clean out the eye and wash out the glands. The idea is to use the cup 3-4 times daily with warm (NOT HOT) water mixed with a little bit of sulphur. Blink as many times as possible for about 45 seconds. This remedy is very common within Hispanic culture.

Such diseases as Diabetes, Parkingson's Disease, Gallstones, and Obesity[edit | edit source]

For such diseases as these Caffeine can be used to reduce the risk of getting such disease.

Sunburn Skin[edit | edit source]

The best over-counter lotion/crème to alleviate sunburn pains such as stinging 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 most likely 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 use a different kind of Noxzema without Aloe-Vera.

Licorice root can also help heal inflammation of the stomach. When taken, it coats the stomach membrane with mucous to reduce the damage done to the membrane by stomach acids and kills "Helicobactor pylori", a bacteria associated with stomach inflammation.

Tooth Ache[edit | edit source]

Toothaches can be a pain, but a quick remedy is Vanilla Extract.

Tooth Discoloration[edit | edit source]

To eliminate plaque and gain whiteness and shine, use a mix of baking soda and salt as a paste.

Upset Stomach[edit | edit source]

A home remedy for curing an upset stomach is the use of Coca Cola/ Coke Syrup.

Also try sprite and crackers, peppermint tea, eating burnt toast, or Ethnomedicine/Home Remedies#Pressure Points.

Warts[edit | edit source]

A hard rough lump growing on the skin, caused by infection with certain viruses and occurring typically on the hands or feet. Morning Spit can also be used to treat warts. Many people in the Western culture cure warts in mainly two different ways. One is going to the doctor and getting them frozen off. The other is getting a prescription medication drug that will make the wart go away. The less known method of wart removal is the use of morning spit has been known to cure a wart in about a week. This has to do with the bacteria in the mouth that comes when people fall asleep.

Some people have been known to apply a paste of baby powder and aloe vera gel to the wart..