Kitchen Medicine: Treating Allergies, Relieving Burns, Preventing Colds

Modern medicine has it's place to be sure, but when you're on your own kitchen medicine lets you take charge of your health care.

| September/October 1974

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No doubt you have most of what you need close at hand to practice kitchen medicine.


"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 even so, both you and your overworked doctor will be better off if you can prevent or cure your own minor ills. In "The Home Medicine Cabinet: Remedies for Pain Relief," Marj Watkins began offering her own kitchen medicine health hints that work for her family. Here's the next installment.

Treating Allergies

If anybody in your family has a "cold" that goes on forever, you might do well to suspect an unrecognized allergy to house dust, pets, feather pillows or wheat (the most common problem food). At any rate, it's worthwhile to kick the known allergens out of the house.

Dust can be kept down by proper cleaning methods: Dust with a damp sponge and damp-mop—don't sweep—uncarpeted floors. (Incidentally, Kay Holly, author of the book No More Colds, recommends that the inside of the nostrils be coated with pure olive oil to protect against airborne allergens.)

You can also try dusting household animals with a damp cloth ... or vacuuming them if they don't mind the noise. Although most pillows now have synthetic foam fillings, any that do contain feathers can be restuffed with clean rags. Sifted oat flour is a good substitute for wheat flour in most recipes, and a very little potato flour will thicken gravies and sauces.

An allergic person benefits greatly from eating more fresh fruits and vegetables and high-protein foods, and less or no starches or sugar. His only starchy dishes should be whole-grain cereals and flour other than wheat, potatoes cooked with the skins on, soybeans, brown rice, and millet. Sweets can consist of dried fruits and honey, which supply natural sugars and much else: minerals, vitamins and enzymes.

Tomato juice is anti-toxic and seems to counteract allergens (besides calming a queasy stomach and cooling a feverish mouth and throat).

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