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My Grandmother's First Aid Kit~ All you need for what ails you

My sweet Grandmother missed her calling. She should have been a nurse. Yet, I've been told, in the neighborhood, it was her door the kids would knock on when in need of healthcare. It may have been, that she was known as the local medicine woman. Her mind was filled with antidotes of medicinal interventions, many homemade. Scrapes, colds, broken bones- she was the lady of the farm, with healing hands. Being a mother and wife of a potato farmer, she took good care of many souls from farmhands to her family- Feeding them, providing a bed to rest, and helping nourish the sick. What were her secrets to taking care of ailments? What was in her healthcare kit, you might ask?

Listed below are the tried and true medicines that my Grandmother swore by, and was rarely without. I experienced many of these as a child, but also heard about these items from the rich stories of my Mother and her siblings. I miss watching my Grandma thumb through her dog eared, coffee-stained natural medicine books. She would devour the page's secrets! Her mind was so unique and her desire for knowledge was inspiring. I carry a piece of that inspiration with me, always. Perhaps this list will bring back some of your childhood memories:

  • Iodine- Whenever I would get a splinter, she made sure to dress if with iodine, after taking at the wood slice with a needle. Yikes! I recall the red-toned color of the liquid, which would startle me as she applied it to my boo-boo. You, of course, can take iodine internally. Its mineral power is super-supportive to the thyroid gland and its hormone functioning. * Try Natural Factors Liquid Kelp Iodine

  • Bag Balm- This may have been her favorite trick! She used this salve on everything, from cuts to aches and pains. I would always find tins of this green packaged goop placed throughout her house. The aroma will always bring back a flood of memories spent with my Grandmother.

  • Castor Oil- For internal or topical use. Internal was if you were due for a bathroom break and needed some encouragement. External for dry skin and hair care. Castor oil is often used to create a poultice or compress, applied topically. *Try NOW's Organic Castor Oil 8 oz.

  • Honey & Lemon- If we had a sore throat, this was on the menu. Honey with lemon juice would be added to a cup of hot water, and you drank it with a smile. *Try Dr. Mercola Pure Gold Raw Honey

  • Rubbing Alcohol- Not only did she use this as a general disinfectant, but for some reason, she was convinced if you rubbed it on an arthritic area, the vaporizing action would help take the pain away. An old wives' tale? I am not sure.

  • Hydrogen peroxide- This has many uses, from getting out blood stains, disinfecting scrapes, an ear cleaning solutions, as well as a mouth wash, helpful for eliminating the risk of cavities, gingivitis, thrush, and other teeth/gum concerns. *Try SunFood Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide 32 fl oz

  • Enemas/suppositories- You were not healthy unless you had a daily bowel movement. She believed in regular 'cleansing' and was not afraid to use a suppository or saline enema. This tactic, however, scared me immensely! * Try (if you dare) Carlson Key-E Natural Vitamin E Suppositories 24 Suppositories

  • Epsom Salts- I recall my Grandma soaking her feet after her factory workdays came to an end. She did evening shifts and would come home with tired, aching feet. She also cleaned at one of the local hotels for many years and I remember how she would rub her arthritic hands after a day's work and soak them at the kitchen table. *Try Zum Tub Bath Salts Lavender 12 oz

  • Apple Cider Vinegar- This one always makes me laugh because I recall my quirky Grammy saying she lost 10 pounds in one week with taking shots of apple cider vinegar. There is some merit to her testimony. Apple cider vinegar is a gentle detoxer and can assist in metabolic function, but 10 pounds in one week... Maybe if that was all she was consuming! *Try Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar Concentrate Miracle Cleanse 32 fl oz

  • Wintergreen oil or a Vix-like balm- Used for chest colds and other respiratory illnesses. She would take the oil or balm, rub it over our neck and chest area, then place either a hot towel or heating pad on top. It was like a menthol hug! *Try Nature's Alchemy 100% Pure Essential Oil Wintergreen 0.5 fl oz

  • The Blue Bomb (milk of magnesia mixed with plum juice)- A runner up to the enema/suppository experience... The Blue Bomb made me shudder every time she would warm up the concoction on the stove. She said it was most effective when warmed up. Yuck. The problem is, you have to get that brew down your throat before it can take any action (and quite honestly, the reaction to the taste of the Blue Bomb makes you NOT want to swallow it, but spit it out)! I will simply take a magnesium supplement in capsule form, thank you very much :) *Try Life Extension's Extend-Release Magnesium 60 Vegetarian Caps

What remedies did your Grandmother have in her medicine cupboard?

In Grace,









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