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Valecia Weeks is a Professional Licensed Massage Therapist through the state of Texas as well as a Birth Doula. She is a licensed ZUMBA instructor and a certified Personal Trainer with NESTA.

Do you remember waaaaay back when, when Castor Oil or “castroil” was a “cure-all” for everything—sore throat, broken finger, tummy ache, ingrown toe nail, labor pains—and the list goes on. Okay, yeah, I know I’ve exaggerated a little; but that ‘ol remedy worked for a lot of ailments. In the African American community, these home remedies are historically significant to our past. Before traditional medicine was available, these remedies were passed down from generation to generation. Well, somewhere along the way, our culture has gradually dropped the ball on passing this information to generations to come.

In 2011, with the economy being a little challenged, it may not be a bad idea to bring some of those remedies back into use. Since I was not there during the era when my grandma used these regimens, I can’t say if they will work or not; but, I find the information pretty interesting.

One of the best things about home remedies is that they usually can be stored very easily and can be very cost effective. I found it very interesting to learn that a handful of almonds have as much aspirin as 2 aspirin tablets. The next time you have a headache, grab the almond jar and take a stab at trying them. Garlic oil and clove oil are both packed with antibacterial properties. So, if you ever have a toothache over the weekend when your dental office is closed, try rubbing the area with one of these oils until you can get into your dental office. Itchy scalp can be very frustrating and annoying. It’s very true that expensive shampoos can be used to help combat the problem; but, why not just use a cup of lemon juice as the last rinse after shampooing. This will help reduce the appearance of flakes, thus making the head flake free.

I’ll bet you were taught that toothpaste is for brushing the teeth only…not true at all. You know those nights when you go to sleep with perfectly clear skin, then you wake up with the big pimple starring you in the mirror, try putting a dab of your favorite toothpaste on it before going to bed at night. When you wake up in the morning, that ugly pimple should be all dried up.

In the winter months, our skin can dry out very badly. A great remedy for that is to sprinkle powdered milk to your warm bath. Remember not to have the water too hot as this will dry the skin more. Can’t stop coughing? Another important old-fashioned cough remedy is the use raw onions. Extract the juice from a finely chopped onion. Mix one teaspoon of the onion juice with one teaspoon of honey and keep it for about 4-5 hours. Consume this excellent cough syrup twice a day. Another home remedy with onions is to crush a raw onion and add juice of one lemon. Add one glass of boiling water to this mixture. You can also add honey for better taste. Take this mixture 2-3 times a day. This preparation is helpful in treating mucus.

 

As with any ailment, always consult your medical practitioner if any of your symptoms persist and proceed with caution when using any “ol fashioned home remedies”

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