Old fashioned remedies best for healing

Published 12:29 pm Saturday, March 20, 2021

I was reading an article recently on the rising cost of healthcare. Anybody with health insurance knows that if you have a family, it doesn’t take long for your entire paycheck to be eaten up trying to pay the premiums.

Once I finished reading the article, I began to wonder how my parents made it through all eight children without going broke paying for healthcare. It was then that I remembered that those were simpler days and we did not run to the emergency room every time someone had an ailment.

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It seems that in addition to the many great talents that my mother had back then of being a cook, a seamstress, a maid and a host of other things, she was also pretty diverse in her home remedy skills that fixed me and my siblings right up anytime we had an injury or an ailment.

I found many games to play as a child. One that I enjoyed most was being a bee fighter.

Although it sounds rather dangerous now that I look back on it, at the time I considered it fun to stand by a beehive and wage war as I would swat the bees like Babe Ruth as they flew in and out of the hive.

One of the lessons I learned from this was that sometimes in life you only have one shot. If you miss, you can consider yourself stung.

In my family, anytime you were stung it meant rubbing bleach on it. To this day, when I smell bleach I instantly ask, “Who got stung?”

Whenever anyone had a chest cold, my mother would fry up some onions and place them in a towel in order to draw the fluid out of the lungs.

I don’t know how it works but we would be up and running around again in no time after our onion treatment. Since I was always ready for a tasty meal, the smell of the onions cooking would get my attention instantly. I would run into the kitchen to see what marvelous treat my mother was cooking only to find that it was just a sick sibling. How disappointing.

My family also had our own dental care system. Everyone knows about the old trick of tying a string to a doorknob and yanking out your tooth as someone opens the door. However, in my house we were better equipped than just a string.

We had the most effective dental tool known to man or as we referred to it; Daddy’s pliers. These were not just any old set of pliers. They were a set of needle nose pliers with red handles that were smaller than average and would fit right in your mouth to pull those baby teeth right out.

Whenever the tooth was just barely hanging on, my mother would give us an exam and then make her diagnosis; “It’s time for Daddy’s pliers”

Sometimes when we would get a splinter and my mother would bring out her surgery kit which was nothing more than a sewing needle and after sanitizing it with you guessed it, bleach, the surgery would commence.

Anytime I would ignore the advice to come in out of the sun and I ended up with a sunburn, my mother would soak paper grocery sacks in vinegar, and it would magically draw the heat right out of me.

While our medical procedures become more and more advanced, I can only hope that they work as good as our old home remedies did. I just hope they remember the bleach.