Folk Medicine That Works


Country MoonCoughing, sneezing, wheezing ... It is the season for cold and flu viruses to interrupt our daily routines. Even worse, doctors can’t usually make you feel better because viruses just have to run their course. Yuck!

Even though doctors don’t have medicines that will help, some commonsense folk medicine might just be the cure that the doctor didn’t order. Many folks are going back to “folk medicine” because it works and is all-natural. Essential oils and tinctures are powerful remedies, but, unless you are experienced in these, you may want to use caution.

Essential oils are exactly what their name implies; they are the pure oil extracts from plants and are very potent because of their concentration. Tinctures are liquid extracts made by soaking herbs in alcohol to extract the active ingredients from the herbs.

The safest way to use herbs and other natural remedies is to make a poultice, because poultices provide the benefits of herbs but are not as concentrated as essential oils or tinctures. A poultice is made by mashing herbs, plant material, or other substances with warm water or natural oils to make a paste. They can be used to draw out infection, ease spider bite pain, eliminate warts, and treat a multitude of other ailments.

My favorite poultice is one that our family has used throughout the years to treat congestion in the lungs from colds or bronchitis. It has kept us out of doctors’ offices and even the hospital more than a few times. You simply take paper towels, old cotton T-shirts, or other material, spread lard or Crisco on it, and cover that with a generous helping of ginger. Fold the material in half with the goodies inside and apply to the chest area over night. This will draw the congestion out.

The following poultice ingredients have properties to draw out infections, reduce inflammation, treat chest congestion, hemorrhoid and earaches, and many more ailments. Don’t forget that they can be used on pets and livestock, also!

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