Home Remedies: What Grandma told you about getting well - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Home Remedies: What Grandma told you about getting well

Eula Mae Mitchell Eula Mae Mitchell
Barbara Gibson says home remedies work Barbara Gibson says home remedies work
Yolonda Jones wants to condense home remedies into a book. Yolonda Jones wants to condense home remedies into a book.

August 4, 2003

Albany- Coughing, wheezing, sneezing, blowing, sniffing, aching. Sound familiar? Sure, we've all had the symptoms and most of the time we end up at the doctor's office, but that wasn't always the case.

"We didn't have no doctors when I was coming up. See, I'm 81-years-old. We had a few doctors but they never carried us to them. They just used some home remedies," says Eula Mae Mitchell.

And, most people still do. Eula Mae Mitchell's cure for colds, a mixture she calls talon, has survived at least five generations. It's like a cream with a beef fat or lard base.

"This would be the talon, this would be the Vaseline and you mix it. This is my Vicks cold cream. Just mix it. And this would be the turpentine, don't use much of it and just stir it until it's soft. And that's the trick," says Mitchell as she mixes up a batch of the medicine.

So, just what do you do with the greasy, smelly stuff?

"Rub the chest and take an old baby blanket and tear it in the shape of the chest and you pin that to them and one in the back. And the next morning you can't tell they've ever been sick," she explains.

Just by adding a little snuff to the recipe you've got an instant hemorrhoid cream. Mitchell's even used meat soaked in turpentine and kerosene to heal her daughter's knee when she fell on a rusty nail.

"I thought that was horrible,but it worked. When you're a little kid you're thinking what are doing, why are they putting this stuff on me, but it worked. And my knee is nice and smooth. But , that scar is still there and it's like a memorable scar," remembers Barbara Gibson.

Traditionally home remedies were passed down from generation to generation, by word of mouth, but now people are beginning to share their secrets, and they're ending up in books.

Thanks to her grand-daughter that's where many of Mitchell's may soon end up.

"Basically what it was going to be was the remedies that she still has in her mind as an adult, and I was going to put all those together like a recipe book and try to see if I could get it published," admits Yolonda Jones.

How do doctors feel about so many people healing themselves and referring to books for treatments?

"I don't see anything wrong with home remedies. I sort of get amazed at some of the stories that I hear with some of the people," says retired Dr. Charles Gillespie.

He practiced medicine for more than 30 years, and has heard many stories of home remedies curing ailments. Some of which were used in him by his own grandmother.

"Some of the home remedies that she used were wax soaks for sore fingers. Melt the wax and then let it get around the joints and hands and feet, that was one," he says.

Some of the others included a spoon full of sugar for hiccups and gargling salt water for sore throats, both of which have been prescribed by Dr. Gillespie himself and are still widely used.

Most doctors agree treating minor ailments with home remedies is okay and thousands of people even swear by them. So, maybe grandma's stinky, smelly concoctions aren't so bad after all.

Dr. Gillespie says he can only remember one instance in all his years of practice when a home remedy actually hurt one of his patients. He says most are harmless unless the ailment is life-threatening or involves infection.

  • Home remedies we found on the Internet*-

Dr. Vijay Prakash's Guide to Home Remedies & First Aid

SAFE NATURAL CURES, More Than Home Remedies & Prevention

Siliconvalley Home Remedies for ailments, problems and diseases

 

*Note: WALB has not tested any of the remedies, and does not recommend their use. These links are for information only.

Posted at 4:35 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com