The Home Medicine Cabinet: Remedies for Pain Relief

Marj Watkins passes on some health hints that work for her family. Here her health tip on aches and pains; and the measures the Watkins family used to cope with them.

| July/August 1974

"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. Over the next few issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Marj Watkins will be passing on some health hints that work for her family. - MOTHER 

"Kitchen medicine" is my family's system of natural healing: the right food for every physical condition, plus home remedies, plus exercises to exorcize aches, plus vitamin therapy.

We believe that by immediately eating, doing and taking the right simple things as soon as we first notice minor symptoms, we can avert or prevent major illnesses. Kitchen medicine saves us money we might have had to spend on doctors' and dentists' bills and prescriptions, and the time we might have wasted in physicians' offices and drugstores goes into happy living and creative work.

Another point in favor of our natural remedies is that - sensibly applied - they can do us nothing but good. On the other hand, even such a seemingly innocent pharmaceutical as aspirin can cause an upset stomach or internal bleeding, and stronger drugstore or prescription medicines have more severe potential side effects.

Part of our kitchen medicine is family lore, handed down from the proven store of a quick-witted, innovative grandmother except that we've replaced some of her cures with others that are as effective and more pleasant. We no longer paint sore throats with iodine or blow boric acid powder into them, for instance, and the dread enema is just an unpleasant memory.

For other herbal remedies and hints on what to eat when and what to do (or not do) in case of various ailments, we're indebted to Oregon and Washington Indians, Adelle Davis, Euell Gibbons and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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