The following are a few remedies that I grew up with (plus some additions) as the son of a nurse & in a culture that avoided the expense of "going to the doctor" at the drop of a hat. In those days, we had little or no health insurance. I am NOT in ANY WAY recommending these remedies to anyone. I am simply revealing some things which have been of value in my extended family.
- Skin cuts & scrapes & animal and bug bites: from scary, long cuts (lacerations), to barbed wire scratches, to abrasions such as skinned knees, to animal bites, the first principle is to stop any bleeding. If it appears that a blood vessel was cut & the bleeding won't stop, keep pressure on the injury and got to an Urgent Care or ER where stitches can sew you up. If bleeding is easily stopped, then one must quickly clean the injury at least with water to wash any dirt out. Then, the wound must be disinfected (especially bites) without delay!!! This could include large fire ant pustules after you open them. We use easily prepared Lysol soaks. After the soaking, dry the area. If there is ANY doubt that the soak got down to the deepest area, do NOT completely tape it shut (see Duct-tape taping). If it is cut & now clean & seems able to be easily kept closed, put the thinnest amount possible of Vaseline on the edges of the cut & then tape it with clean masking tape. Scratches & scrapes are extremely thinly coated with Vaseline & any excess wiped delicately off and a bandage of some type put on the wound if the wound needs protecting. The Vaseline helps keep the wound able to leak out any microscopic dirt without a scab sealing the dirt in. Punctures: from animal bites, stingers or spider bites (especially such as brown recluse) type spider bites, or a nail or needle likely also inject germs with them and require more prolonged & frequent soaking so as to get the germ killer in the Lysol down deeper; and, they need the vaseline to keep a scab from sealing the stuff in.
- Sores & infected skin and nail areas: An ingrown hair or skin pimple-like area may rapidly heal if you simply carefully open JUST the pus-head with a needle, blot/wipe off the pus with alcohol on a piece of toilet paper & then MAYBE apply a very thin coat of Vaseline to keep it from immediately sealing off. If the sore is around a fingernail or toenail (medical term, paronychia), you may be able to cure it with a series of Lysol soaks.
- Swimmer's ear or external ear canal infection ("sore ear"): This begins as an ear canal surface fungus growth (due to retained moisture from swimming frequently) that begins to ache when an added bacterial infection starts. Using storebought alcohol (50%-70% isopropyl alcohol) and Borax (boric acid...can find it at most stores near cleaning products) and a glass or plastic container, fill the container about one-forth full of the dry Borax & fill nearly full with the alcohol. Shake the cotents gently and set it aside so that the excess powder settles back to the bottom. Then, using a dropper, take the liquid (which now is a "saturated alcoholic solution of boric acid") & fill up the sore ear canal. Let it sit about 10 minutes. Then turn your head over onto a towel or washcloth & let the lquid drain out. DO NOT use anything to go down in the ear canal & clean or dry it out. Swimmer's ear can be prevented by the above preventive ear treatment of each ear canal for about a minute each after a day of swimming (alcohol dries & boric acid acidifies [fungus hates "dry" & "acid"]).
- Splinter removal: The huge deal on splinter removal has to do with splinters which are entirely under the skin surface & without anything sticking out for a tweezer to grab hold of (a buried splinter). First, look closely for the deep tip end. The opposite end will be toward the surface and located in a tiny, hidden tunnel. Use a sharp pin/needle to gently enter that tunnel partly. Then tilt the needle to lift or tent the skin upward and punch the needle upward and through that skin roof and tear the hole wider. Keep doing this a little bit at the time until you get the butt end of the splinter where you can tilt it up (with the needle) enough to grip it with tweezers and extract the splinter.
- Remove tiny thorns: use pieces of tape (masking tape is the best) & apply it firmly over the thorn area & then snatch the tape off & it yanks the tiny bristles or thorns out.
- Super Glue clean, short skin cuts: after cleansing, as detailed above, use a very clean cloth or paper to blot all moisture from the cut skin edges. Quickly apply just a little bit of Super Glue to the edges & quickly tape the cut closed with masking tape or narrow strips of duct tape & very thinly apply Vaseline to any exposed surface of the glued cut which is not covered by tape.
- Stinky feet cure: with Lysol soak.
- Stinky shoes & socks cure: with Lysol soak.
- Dizzy spell correction: a short video of the Epley maneuver for common BPPV verigo (prolonged dizzy spell), HERE.
- Under-arm deoderant: this is especially good for people who develope an arm-pit itching reaction to common deoderants. Make mix of about two tablespoons of your favorite baby lotion (or creamy body lotion) in a pint of Wintergreen-type (contains methyl salicylate) green alcohol (50-70% isopropyl alcohol and use a splash under each arm immediately after bath or shower (also works as an after-shave liquid). An application will last a day. I have used this since 1973.
- Poison Oak (bushes) or Ivy (vines) exposure: It is said that Octagon soap by Palmolive is a soap that is able to wash off the sap that comes onto the skin from a brush with poison Ivy. It will only work as a quick prentative step when you realize that your skin got brushed with poison oak or ivy branches or vines & QUICKLY wash the areas thoroughly of with the Octagon Soap.
- Toe nail fungus: Use the Lysol soak technique with time of soaking being about 30-60 minutes each day for several days.
- Periodontal "deep pockets" cleaning: My wife's dentist recently showed us the way to use a common plastic syringe plus an easily attached, thin, curved metal tip to gently scrape against the tooth within the gum pocket and then flush with ordinary, store-bought 3% hydrogen peroxide in order to keep the biofilm broken down that protects colonies of damaging periodontal bacteria germs safely protected to do their damage. Via Google, I notice a ViaJet Deep Pocket Irrigation Kit with tips somewhat similar to the ones we were given. Recommendation was to clean the pockets about 3 times per week.
- Social-security/retiree-age nosebleeds: as we become "seniors", the lining inside the center part (septum) of the internal nose gets thinner. Kiesselbach's plexus is a complex of small blood vessels toward the front of the septum on both sides of the septum and reached with fingertip through each nostril. With very low humidity, that area can dry and begin to bleed seemingly spontaneously. In the South of the USA, this tends to happen in wintertime with low humidity. Using steroid nose spray for nasal allegies increases the liability to bleed. To help prevent this, try to sleep either with a humidifier or some wet towels hanging in the bedroom at night PLUS put a small amount of Vaseline on the fingertip and apply on the septum area, both right & left nostril.
- Allergy itchy eye corners: those with runny noses and watery eyes due to allergies...especially when the pollen is in the air in springtime...will often get "itchy corners" where the eyelids join toward the nose. Wash the closed eyes with the following & rinse with water. In one hand, put a very small dab of Vaseline. On the Vaseline dab, drop one drop of Johnson's Baby Shampoo. Mix it with the finger and then apply to each corner with the eyes closed & rub it in. Then rinse and dry.
- MORE: go to YouTube and use the search term, "home remedies".
- Poison Ivy: My new friend (May 2017), Blaine, has often used the inside surface of a bananna peel to rub on poison Ivy or Oak when you first notice the rash so as to blunt the seriousness of the rash.
- Open your sinuses: My new friend (May 2017), Blaine & his wife both agree that they have many times used smoldering dried rabbit tobacco & sniffing the smoke will open stuffed nasal area and sinuses.
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(posted 3 March 2017; update 1 Sept. 2017)