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Alternative Remedies
by Les Starr

Sometimes there's no option but to go to a Doctor or an Emergency Room.

But there are many minor things that are more distressful than dangerous. It is with those things in mind that I offer you these alternative remedies. There are no guarantees, but these things have been working in my family (and others) for generations.

If you know how to make someone feel a little better or hurt a little less why not share your method with the rest of us?

Always, Always, Always consult your medical practitioner if a problem persists or is severe. But for the minor problems of day to day living, let's take a stroll through our pantry and garden and see what we can find.

Bad Breath

There's a reason they put parsley on your dinner plate in restaurants. Chewing on it after you eat will help control bad breath. (The same works with clove, but since they don't put cloves on your plate it just isn't that practical!)


A really, really strong cup of tea made by steeping fresh sage and boiling water may help relieve toothache pain. Let the tea linger in your mouth a few moments before swallowing.


Applying honey directly to a burn may help lessen the pain. Honey (which is the world's oldest food and theoretically will last forever) does not allow bacterial growth on it. Therefore, you are not only easing the pain of the burn, you are effectively preventing an infection.

Nothing helps relieve the sting of a grease burn quite like vanilla extract applied directly to the affected area.


Grapes have been known to lower a fever. Try eating them periodically throughout the day.

Lemon balm leaves steeped in boiling water will help bring down a fever. Of course, adding lemon and honey will help.

If you need to break a high fever quickly place rubbing alcohol on your pulse points - feet, palms and wrists. Your skins evaporation will increase and create a cool-down for your whole body, not just the pulse points. This is the same theory behind putting a cold washcloth on your forehead, or taking a cool bath or shower.

Ear Infections

Often the best relief from an ear infection will come from heat. Some have had relief by using their blow dryer to direct heat into the ear, but keep the dryer far enough away to prevent burning.


Banana skins may cause their share of problems if you slip on one, but they are actually very helpful in relieving the intense throbbing of a headache. Make a poultice out of the skins (save the fruit to enjoy later, when you feel like eating again). Apply the poultice to the back of your neck and the forehead. Within about 30 minutes you should feel relief.

Have a home remedy that has worked for you? Please share it. E-mail your remedy to homerem@clevelandseniors.com

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