Do You Use Old Wives Tale Remedies On Your Family?

You know the Greek father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding who believes that Windex is the cure all for any ailment? My Greek father was like that, except for him Chamomile tea was the magic elixir. If I had a stye on my eye, he just put hot tea bags on it and cured it. Stomach ache? He made me drink it. Even when I had a fever, he would soak a washcloth in hot Chamomile tea and put it on my forehead to bring the fever down.

There were many other “old wives tale” remedies he believed in. He would mash onions and make a poultice for a bad bruise and swelling, believed that urine would sterilize a cut (there’s a great family story that goes along with that one) and taught me to put honey was good for coughs, sore throats and even cuts.

My father is not alone. Lots of people believe in natural remedies or “old wives tales.” Just think of chicken soup, we all believe that it’s helpful when you’re sick. And science has found some truth in it.

I know a mom who believes that avoiding sugar when you’re sick will shorten the duration of a cold. She says sugar is an immune suppressant. So when one of children is sick, it’s no sugar for the entire family.

A recent Facebook status of a friend discussed a homeopathic enema she used on her child to break a fever that had been unresponsive.

My husband is convinced that eating lots of beef when you feel a cold coming on is the way to fight it. I think he just loves Ribeye steaks, but beef does contain lots of zinc and many believe zinc helps fight germs. So we eat lots of burgers and steaks when we’re feeling under the weather.

As for me, my magic elixir is yogurt. I stock my fridge with it in many forms: Greek yogurt, yogurt tubes for my kids, and about 6 packs of Stonyfield drinkable yogurts a week. I really believe that it’s healthy, boosts your immune systems, keeps everything shipshape (women, you know what I mean) and tastes great.

Do you have a natural remedy or believe in an “old wives tale” to cure ailments?

(This information is provided for your general information only. Barista Kids does not give medical advice or engage in the practice of medicine. Barista Kids under no circumstances recommends particular treatment for specific individuals and in all cases recommends that you consult your physician or local treatment center before pursuing any course of treatment.)

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  1. My grandmother on my father’s side, who grew up on a farm in eastern Europe, believed that if you drank milk straight from the cow, it would strengthen your immune system. Not sure if there’s science to back it up but she lived to be 88 and her mother was 100! Of course, back in those days, you didn’t have all the antibiotics and other additives in the milk. Grandma also drank a cup of hot water with lemon every morning and swore it was good remedy to keep you “regular.”

    I have also heard about another old wives’ tale for treating a sore throat: Take off your sock (it has to be a sock you’ve worn) and drape it over your throat before you go to bed. I cannot vouch for this as I haven’t tried it but there are several older relatives down south who swear by it.

  2. As a holistic healing practitioner using herbal and food medicines on a daily basis, I can attest to the fact that many of those “old wives’ tales” are supported by countless centuries (in some cases millenia) of traditional usage and have been employed to treat the same range of illnesses, in widely disparate and mutually isolated ethnic enclaves, and have repeatedly proven themselves therapeutically effective – at least as effective in most instances as pharmaceuticals and without the sometimes dangerous (or worse) side effects and interactions.

    Onions, garlic, basil, mint, lemons and limes, common culinary seasonings like cinnamon, nutmeg, cilantro, coriander and turmeric inter alia are a treasure of health-maintaining and health-restoring potential.

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