These home remedies were taken from a survey with Upward Bound/Woodson Institute students and staff at Berea College in Kentucky during the summer of 2005. Students and staff were asked to share family folk or home remedies for various ailments. These are the results of that survey.
**And remember, the home remedies shared here are not "miracle" cures or risky alternative therapies that should necessarily be done over your doctor's objections. We hope to make you a little healthier and wiser but do not try every remedy listed for every condition you have. Be responsible.
**A table has been provided for your ease in navigating this site. If you are looking for a particular remedy, click on the following links to navigate to that section of the page. Once you read the remedy, you can click on index to navigate back to the remedy index:
|Acne||Chapped Hands||Earache||Kidney Problems||Sunburn|
|Asthma||Chicken Pox||Flu||Laryngitis||Teething Pain|
|Bad Breath||Cold Sores||Hair||Neck Pain||Warts|
|Black Eye||Corns||Hiccups||Pain in Back||Wrinkles|
|Body Odor||Dental Issues||Hives||Sore Throat|
|Bug Bites||Digestion Issues||Insomnia||Sprains|
|Burns||Dizziness||Jelly Fish Burn||Stuffy Nose|
To ease outbreaks, use a mixture created by mixing banana, honey, and cornmeal mix.
Bronx, New York
Put Neosporin on your acne and it will go away
really quick, like over night.
Whitley Co., Ky
For a slight case of acne, use a dab of baby urine on cotton on your face. Good luck finding a baby to get urine from. :0)
For a nasty zit, put a “dap” of toothpaste on it to make it go away.
The immediate cause of pimples is usually an excess of fatty matter in the skin and general hygenic measures are recommended. A warm face bath with a heaping teaspoon of borax mixed in will be helpful.
Or: Mix three teaspoons honey and eight ounces
of apple cider together and using a cotton ball, dab your pimples several times daily to rid your face of unsightly pimples.
Eat plenty of raw carrots if you
suffer from asthma.
Don't talk with your mouth full. If you do, you will get air into your mouth which is then swallowed with your food. This causes you to have to burp.
Eat slowly, chew your food well before swallowing so you won't get air mixed in and sent to your stomach.
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Put a bag of frozen veggies or a baggie of ice on the eye for about 30 minutes to reduce the swelling and redness.
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You can pop the blister, but do not remove the top skin from it. It will protect the new skin beneath until it starts to heal.
My Mom always told me never to go shoe shopping at anytime of the day but in the afternoon. By then, your feet have swollen slightly from standing on them all day. You might like to buy shoes according to your shoe size at that time, so they will fit.
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Bathing in tomato sauce or vinegar added into your bath water helps stop body odors.
Don't eat spicy foods such as garlic or hot peppers. The smell will come out in your body odor when you sweat.
New York, NY
Brush teeth with a mixture of squeezed lemon and salt.
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Bee sting:Put wet tobacco from an unburned cigarette on a bee sting.
Pine Knot, KY
Mosquito Bite:Put a small amount of bleach on a cotton ball and dab it on your mosquito bite to take out the itch.
Mosquito Bite: Use a bag of ice or ice cubes in a wash cloth for 20 minutes on the bite to help reduce the swelling.
Put lemon juice on bug bites.
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If burnt by something, rub
mustard on it. It will keep it from blistering.
If you get burned, you can soak the burned area in milk using a cotton ball.
Gently run cool water over the burned area, use cool compresses or place the area in a bowl of cold water, if possible.
Taking a bath in oatmeal can help
cure chicken pox.
Eat prunes and drink
lots of water.
Get lots of exercise. Moving around a lot is the best way to cure constipation.
Eat lots of green veggies.
Soda will whiten the teeth. Let
dentures stand overnight in a strong solution of soda water.
Salt is very good for cleaning the teeth. It preserves and whitens the teeth and hardens the gums. Either use salt water, or moisten the brush and dip in salt.
Eat a clove or garlic tablet
Or drink water with lemon while eating.
Burn a candle near your ear while
using something to keep the wax from melting into the ear. Only the smoke should drift into the ear. This will take
care of dizziness.
East Bernstandt, KY
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For earaches and/or dirty ears,
put cold cooking oil in your ear slowly. Put a piece of cotton into ear to
hold oil. Keep head tilted to side for awhile, or lie down with that ear
Blow cigarette smoke in the ear.
Mt. Vernon, KY
Mix up an old fashioned "Hot Toddy": (Whiskey,
tea, honey, cough syrup, multivitamins, cinnamon and brown sugar)
Use eggs (out of the shell and
mixed together) or a dab of mayonnaise, for your hair. It will make it look
healthy and shiny. Rub into hair, making sure roots are saturated.
Rosemary may be used as a hair
Warm vinegar applied to the scalp will help prevent dandruff.
Take one or two teaspoons of honey. Mix in a glass of apple cider. Drink each morning to encourage healthy hair growth.
Use mayonnaise in your hair as a moisturizer for dry hair. First shampoo your hair, then apply about a tablespoon of mayonnaise. Wrap the hair in a plastic bag for 20 to 40 minutes. Shampoo and rinse thoroughly.
Put a banana peel on forehead for headache. Lie down and rest for about an hour, with the peel on your head. Relax completely.
Rest in a darkened room. Sometimes it helps to be out of direct light.
New Haven, CT
Place a warm washcloth over your eyes and lie down for awhile.
Take a few drinks of water while leaning
your head over, like you’re
drinking upside down.
Put your fingers in your ears. That's what my little brother does. It works!
Have someone sneak up on you when you don't expect them and let them scare you. It has worked on me.
Eat a teaspoon of sugar. Make sure you put the sugar way back in your mouth before you swallow it.
Apply a cold metal spoon to the
hickey and hold in place for 5 minutes. You can also use a piece of ice,
applied to the hickey for 5 minutes.
Drink a glass of warm milk for insomnia.
Whitley County, KY
Don't drink alchol or pop before bedtime.
Take a hot bath and just relax with a good book. Maintain that good, relaxed feeling when you go to bed. Don't think about anything, just let your body drift off to sleep.
Jelly Fish Sting:
Pee on the wound, if stung by a jellyfish
or better yet, have someone you know (really well! :0)
to pee on the wound.
Drink a beer for kidney infections. Make
sure you are of age, though.
Get plenty of exercise if you get kidney stones. Moving seems to help loosen them up.
Suck on lemon drops.
Limit how much you talk. Whisper. Rest your voice box. Avoid smoking if you do smoke.
Gargle with salt water. Add one-half teaspoon salt to a cup of warm water. Don't make it too salty or that will cause more irritation to the throat.
Close your nose and open your mouth. Sit up, bend your head slightly forward and pinch the bridge of your nose. Keep your mouth open to breathe. Keed your head tilted down to avoid swallowing blood.
St. Augustine, FL
Suck on a piece of ice.
Quit picking your nose. That's what my grandma always told me. I used to get a lot of nose bleeds when I was little.
Put warm, cooked cabbage on your breasts if you decide
not to breastfeed and will give the baby a bottle instead. The warmth takes
the milk away.
Rub a small amount of liquor on a baby’s
gums while teething to take some pain away. Do not give the baby any to drink,
just rub it on the gums.
Ice your neck with a bag of frozen veggies or a bag of cubed ice.
If ice doesn't work, you can use a warm compress or hot water bottle.
My Mom always said if your knees hurt, check out the shoes you are wearing. If your shoes are not properly supporting your body, it can cause problems for your knees. I had to pay attention to my shoes when I played basketball. Or she tells me it's gas...99% of the time she is right. :0) The other 1% it was my shoes.
Smear on some old fashioned vasoline jelly before you go to bed. Wear a pair of cotton gloves over your hands to keep the jelly on your hands all night long. You wake up with soft hands.
For a cold sore or fever blister,
put a used tea bag on it for about 30 minutes. The sore/blister should be
gone within 24 hrs.
Soak your feet in a solution of Epsom salt and warm water. Afterwards, smooth on a moisturizing cream and wrap the foot in a plastic bag. Keep the bag on for a couple of hours.
Aloe vera plant can be used for
cuts and scrapes. Break open a leave and rub the oil onto the cut. The oil
from this plant can also be used to get rid of warts, if used daily for at
least a week.
Srugers Glen, Virginia
Wash the affected area and keep it clean. Remove the bandage frequently and wash the wound every day with soap and water. Recover it.
Put vinegar on open cuts, wounds or bad chemical burns to fight infection.
Put shoe polish on poison ivy.
(at point of irritation)
Floyd County, KY
If you think you have been exposed, use rubbing alchol rubbed on the infected area and then rinse well with water. Don't use a wash cloth to rub the area because the poisons may get into the cloth and you could get re-infected. Use a cotton swab or ball and then throw it away.
Wet a cloth with cold milk and lay it on the affected area for 10-15 minutes at a time. Don't let the skin get real cold. Do this 3 or 4 times a day. Don't scratch.
Santa Fe, NM
Putting pickle juice on sun burn
can help heal it.
Apply a cool rag to the burned area. Don't use ice, just cool water on a cloth. Rewet the rag often and apply several times a day. You can also add a touch of baking soda to the water for a soothing ingredient.
Use aloe vera to take the sting out of sunburn. Apply 4-5 times a day.
Grate fresh radish root very fine,
cover with buttermilk, and let stand over night. Strain through cheese cloth
and wash the face in the morning and at night with the resulting liquid.
Gargle with warm salt water. Use one-half teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water.
Drink plenty of hot liquids.
Suck on hard candy, like a mint.
Whitley City, KY
Gargle with salt water daily while sick, and drink 3 cups of chicken broth a day to soothe throat.
Drink hot tea and honey to heal horse throat.
Sprain: wrap ankle with strips of brown paper bag soaked with vinegar.
Take a hot shower,
standing in the steam for awhile, and it will go away.
Wrap a thread around the wart and tie it in a knot. Cut off the remaining string and bury it under the front porch, or in the backyard if you don't have a porch. When the threat has rotted, the wart should be gone. You can also use the Aloe Vera leave and its oil to take away warts, if applied daily. Cut off the end of a leave, squeeze out some juice, and rub it on your warts. Do this twice a day.
Take ten grains of camphor and
add two ounces of prepared lard. Add one dram of rectified sprirts of wine.
a little of this prepared ointment at night, after thoroughly washing the
face. Strengthen the body by means of exercise and a nourishing diet.
Bathe the body parts where the
wrinkles appear with alum and water. This will tighten the skin. Or use fresh
two drams, and mastic, mix into a paste, and rub onto the skin at night.
To restore natural acidity to
the skin, rub several times a day with vinegar. Apply baby oil and leave
on over night.