Home Remedies

Home Remedies

Home Remedies for Grandparents' TimeFor What Ails You: Home Remedies From Your Grandparents' Day


Back when our grandparents were growing up, many times they had to fend for themselves when they got sick. As they grew up and had children of their own, they used the natural remedies that seemed to have worked "back when," whether they were grounded in myth or fact. As you know, sometimes just believing in something will make it work. Why not try one or two for what ails you?


You wished grandma kept butterscotch in her purse instead of boring old peppermints, but it wasn't necessarily for your benefit. It was for hers. Peppermint helps bad breath, yes; also, the University of Maryland Medical Center found that it could help lower blood pressure. 


Back in the day, when a kid had a fever, a common remedy was to put them in an ice cold bath (I vividly remember one in third grade). Pair that with a yummy popsicle (a red, white and blue Turbo Rocket Pop, perhaps), and the child was thought to be cooled down from the inside out. Today, though, parents are advised to skip the cold bath because shivering can increase the body's core temperature... and that would defeat the purpose. 

Boric Acid

In powdered form, boric acid is still used as a termite treatment. While it's the leading ingredient in many of today's pesticides, back then, they weren't available. So, just like everything else, the raw form was the best method. Treat wood with this termite terminating powder and bury the wood in the soil the colony has inhabited. Surrounds them with several pieces of wood and bye bye little buggers. Boric acid prevents their nervous system from functioning. 

Garlic and Olive Oil

Have an earache and don't want to go to the doctor? Grandpa used to steep garlic and olive oil until it was warm (not too hot). Then a few drops in the affected ear and the wax softens, clearing the blockage.

A Potato and Vinegar

Cut a potato in half, soak it in vinegar and put it on your temples. Goodbye, headache.


Clumsy? Use that shaker of normal old salt for something. If you run into something or fall and get a good lump or bump, rub some salt on it to reduce the swelling. Grandma used to do this and it actually worked back then. I imagine it still does.


When Grandpa's knees hurt, he'd spray a little WD-40 on them so they'd stop squeaking (thanks to the editor of HuffPost OWN for this gem).

Castor Oil

A spoonful a day was a common practice children had to endure. It was thought to clear the bowel system and reduce constipation. It was also thought to help with contractions and induce labor. 

Baking Soda and Water

Drink a glass of water with a teaspoon of baking soda to relieve indigestion and heartburn.

Horseradish and Olive Oil

Nana would soothe achy muscles with this natural home remedy still used today. Mix a tablespoon of horseradish and a cup of olive oil. Let marinate together for 30 minutes then, apply it to achy muscles like you would massage oil. 

White Vinegar

Used as a remedy for many ailments and a DIY cleaner, my grandma would treat bruises by soaking a cotton ball in white vinegar. In an hour, the blueness should be reduced as the healing processes was sped up by the vinegar.


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