My family has watched our health insurance deductible go from $100 per person two years ago to $1500 per person this year. We pay more out-of -pocket each month and get less coverage than we used to. I know we’re not alone. Forty-six million Americans have no health insurance at all, and at least 25 million more are reportedly underinsured.
The reality is that for many of us in the U.S., going to the doctor is something we can increasingly do only when absolutely necessary. That makes having a knowledge of common illnesses and effective home remedies a necessity.
Of course, serious ailments are best left to the professionals – heart attacks, bone breaks, and strokes to name a few. But the good news is – for most minor ailments, home care is usually gentler, less toxic, and as effective as the treatments a doctor would prescribe. I’m continuously amazed at the body’s ability to stay healthy with the basics – clean water, healthy food, adequate rest, time outdoors, etc. – and to heal itself with the help of simple, inexpensive treatments.
I have stacks of books about diagnosing and treating common conditions and using medicinal herbs, which I flip through often. (Recently I’ve been using Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child by Janet Zand quite a bit.) But I have a secret resource that’s better than all of my books combined – my mom. She’s an almanac of everyday ailments and simple treatments, and I’ve learned so much from her, especially about being curious and resourceful.
Recently I had the opportunity to discover (or rediscover) these simple, effective remedies:
- Pink eye (infection of the membrane lining the eyelids) – Hold hot compress on eye for 15-20 minutes several times a day. Wipe contact lens solution on affected eyelid.
- Wasp stings – Apply a paste of baking soda and water.
- Joint pain or arthritis – Take Yucca root extract and/or fish oil.
- Wounds – Soak in salt water.
- Bruises – Treat with a witch hazel or caster oil compress
- Burns – Soak in ice cold water, then in soy sauce.
- Veterinary care – Animal Apawthecary tinctures. (I’ve given these to our cats for various ailments over the years and found them to be amazingly effective and safe. In many cases, they worked better than the drugs our vet prescribed, with none of the side effects.)
I hope health care becomes more accessible and affordable for all Americans soon. But even if it does, I’ll use home remedies – because they work.
Looking for more on do-it-yourself health care? Check out these posts:
- Simplify Your Medicine Cabinet
- Simplify Your Personal Care
- Stay Well: 5 Winter Immunity Boosters
- Winter Wellness Recipies
- Herbs Made Easy
- Simple Herbal Tonics
Have you discovered home remedies that are safe and effective? I’d love to hear about them.