Some of those old home remedies work
My husband Jason and I were riding to work last week when I noticed our son James had a persistent cough coming from the back seat.
“I had better give him some honey tonight,” I said, looking out the car window.
“Honey,” Jason asked with a puzzled look on his face.
I immediately went into defense mode and began explaining the many honey cures known to man.
I may not know how to defuse a bomb, build an airplane or change the oil in my car, but I know some old time remedies that I believe work better than most over the counter medicine.
I may have sold Jason on the whole honey idea because our conversation soon went into the different home remedies we were treated to as children. Most of them were performed by our grandparents so it must be an older generation thing.
But I have a strict policy that honey combined with an assortment of common household items can tackle any ailment from a burn to a cough.
A couple of spoons full of honey with a squirt of lemon cured my coughs.
There was also a jug of some drink mixture under the sink at Maw Maw and Paw Paw’s house that cured coughs too. I suspect it was whiskey, but it had peppermint sticks in it. A spoon or two of that concoction wiped out a cough and cleared your nose up too.
I don’t think I’m ready to mix up that peppermint mixture for little James, but I do see a spoon of honey and lemon in his future.
My Paw Paw also used to tell me that if you couldn’t sleep at night, a spoon of honey would help calm your nerves. There were many nights I overheard him tell Maw Maw she needed a little honey in her diet.
To this day, if I can’t go to sleep, I will make some hot tea and pour a little honey it. I think the honey really does help because I usually fall asleep shortly after finishing it.
We also had a cousin in our family who stayed up a little too late with his friends one night doing what Maw Maw called “carrying on.” The next morning he stopped for a visit complaining about his head hurting like someone banging a hammer on it. Paw Paw told him crackers lathered up with honey would do the trick. He said it would work even better if you wash it down with a jar of pickle juice. It must work because our cousin was back to “carrying on” that evening as well.
I also learned a new cure from Jason during our discussion in the car. He said local honey helps with allergies for some reason. With a couple of local honey producers in Yazoo County, I might be stocking up for the spring season.
Talking with Jason this week also got me thinking about all those home remedies outside of honey mixtures that sound ridiculous that actually seem to work.
A chewed up wad of tobacco or dip soothed any bug sting. To this day, if I get popped by a wasp, I started searching for a someone with a can of dip.
Paw Paw said rubbing a potato on any sunburn was the trick, especially if it was a potato full of sap.
Got the hiccups? A spoon of vinegar and honey would work.
I know that some of these remedies may sound crazy, but I am a firm believer in a few of them.
There was one the old timers used to tell me that I most certainly won’t give a chance. Applying spider webs to cuts apparently stops bleeding. I will stick to Band Aids for now.
And I might as well take a spoon of honey just for good measure. It’s bound to help somehow.
Jamie Patterson is a reporter for The Yazoo Herald.