Kitchen Medicine Part V: Conception, High Blood Pressure and Skin Problems

Marj Watkins shares her home remedies used by her family. Kitchen Medicine Part V includes natural medicines for conception, high blood pressure and skin problems.

| March/April 1975

"After thirty," says the proverb, "you're either a fool or your own physician." Maybe before thirty, too … especially if you live in an isolated spot and/or have a big bump of independence. Of course, you're a bigger fool still if you meddle with a serious or persistent condition … but both you and your overworked doctor will be better off if you can prevent or cure your own minor ills … as Marj Watkins began pointing out in MOTHER EARTH NEWS NO. 28. Here's another installment of the health hints that work for her family.  

Kitchen Medicine: Pregnancy Problems

TO INHIBIT CONCEPTION: Raspberry leaf and borage teas are recommended by tradition. Also, it's known that primitive mothers — northern Eskimos, for example — who breast feed babies for two or more years have a lower fertility rate or are sterile during the nursing period. Don't count on such protection for yourself, however, unless you're an Eskimo or Hunzakit!. The most modern birth control method — the pill — is far more certain but does have its drawbacks. In particular, it's reported to rob women's bodies of vitamin B6, causing various minor symptoms: halitosis, burning feet, vaginal irritation, headaches, hair loss, insomnia, nervous disorders, visual disturbances, and constipation. Some really serious conditions are also connected with lack of B6: anemia, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, cystic fibrosis, pancreatitis, cataracts, and gallstones. Anyone who suffers from such problems might do well to increase consumption of natural sources of B6: liver, eggs, wheat germ, food yeast (one teaspoonful daily sprinkled on cereal, in soup, or in fruit or vegetable juice), rice polish, brown rice, and yogurt. If you prefer to avoid the pill, consult your doctor or public health service about the many other forms of contraceptives that are available.

TO PROMOTE CONCEPTION: Eat whole-grain breads and cereals, slow cooked. Use corn germ oil and soy oil on salads and in cooking (keep the temperature below 375° Fahrenheit). Take vitamin E d-alpha-tocopherol, 100 units daily. Use the rhythm system backwards: Copulate during the most fertile period. During pregnancy, get plenty of exercise in fresh air. Think happy thoughts. Hear gentle music, but avoid hard rock even plants turn away from it and cease to grow.

NAUSEA: This problem usually strikes in the morning. Keep a few crackers and/or dried apricots by the bed to chew before rising. Take vitamins, including at least 5 milligrams of vitamin B6 daily. Don't overeat during pregnancy, but don't let your stomach get entirely empty. Carry a packet of sunflower seeds to nibble on. Share them around. Nobody will snicker … you might even start a style.

CONSTIPATION: Fast a day or two on fruit juices, herb teas, and an occasional dried fruit. One or two mornings a week have a fruit breakfast of apples, oranges, pears, grapefruit, pineapple, or any combination you enjoy, with berries in season. Drizzle a little honey over the diced goodies … delicious! A mild, wholesome laxative: one quarter teaspoon magnesium oxide in a glass of fruit juice.

TO PREVENT OR COMBAT HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE: Eat greens — raw in salads and as cooked vegetables — for their potassium. Eat liver two or three times weekly, and whole grains and nuts every day. Use rice polish, whole wheat, rye, oat, and millet flours in baking. Take a papaya enzyme tablet (available at health food stores) with each meal for efficient digestion.

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