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Home Remedies - History of Home Remedies

Home remedies have been around for thousands of years. Even these days about 30 per cent of prescription drugs are still synthesised from plants. In fact, the word 'drug' comes from an old Dutch word, drogge, which means 'to dry' - which is how many plant medications were prepared.

Honey is one of the oldest remedies known to man - in the days of the ancient Egyptians it was used as a remedy for high blood pressure. Honey contains a huge range of vitamins, enzymes, proteins and amino acids; it can actually be classified as a complete food. Honey not only lowers blood pressure but is also a key factor in transmitting nerve impulses.

Vinegar is another ancient remedy which has stood the test of time. Cider vinegar was used for treating ailments long before the expression 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away' came about. Apples contain pectin - a soluble fibre - as well as all sorts of vitamins and minerals. Cider vinegar is rich in potassium, which promotes cell growth, and for many years vinegar was believed to be the 'fountain of youth'. It can help high blood pressure and is excellent for curing cramp. Vinegar was also used by the ancient Assyrians to cure earache, and during the American Revolutionary and Civil Wars it was used as both an antiseptic and disinfectant.

The Chinese were big on home remedies and were one of the first civilisations to recognise ginger for its therapeutic properties. It was and still is used to combat nausea, boost he immune system and reduce inflammation.

For more than 2000 years celery was another remedy used by Oriental healers to treat high blood pressure. Recent research has shown that celery does contain compounds that reduce high blood pressure by relaxing the smooth muscle lining the blood vessels.

Some of the best home remedies were discovered on the battlefield. During the First World War, for example, garlic was pounded in water and applied to wounds on a bed of moss as an accepted field dressing, while during the eighteenth century sailors used to thrust a piece of shag tobacco into a wound to staunch the bleeding!

So you can see that home remedies are an excellent form of first-line treatment. And although this book is not in any way intended to replace the advice of your GP, by being more aware of the benefits of home remedies you can begin to understand how to heal yourself.

Naturally, if symptoms persist, or you are in any doubt whatsoever about a health problem, you should always consult a professional. But before you pick up the telephone, you should use this section as a reference point for everything from smelly feet to the common cold. You will be surprised at what may be lurking in your kitchen cabinet that might just do the trick!


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