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Kitchen Remedies


Today's snack: since you're already bringing honey for the learning activity,

why not bake some biscuits with an easy, refrigerated dough,

and dribble golden honey on some nice, warm, oven-fresh biscuits? Mmmmm!







Chicken broth, heated in the microwave or stove, and small Styrofoam cups

Honey and teaspoons

Water, salt and drinking cups


Altoids peppermints

Ginger root or powdered ginger

Lemon rind

Bottled seltzer water

Chamomile tea

Prunes or prune juice

Flaxseed or psyllium seed


Colgate toothpaste


There's a time and a place for doctors and medications. But when it comes to everyday sicknesses like colds and constipation, and mild aches and pains, tried-and true natural treatments often work just as well as over-the-counter drugs. Try a taste test of each of these home remedies now, before you need them, and be ready to put them to use should symptoms of a minor illness arise.





Medical research has not shown that medications are any better than your grandmother's favorite home remedy, chicken soup, for breaking up chest congestion and making people with colds feel better. Take a taste or drink a whole can of chicken broth, and see if you agree.



Take the honey taste test: imagine you have a sore throat and see if you think honey would make it feel better. In a recent cough-and-cold study by Ian Paul, M.D., of Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine, this was rated as the best cough remedy. Honey was praised for being thick and syrupy, able to coat the throat to protect it from irritations. Because it's sweet, it also causes salivation, which prevents dry coughs. And it's rich in antioxidants! Dosages: kids 2 to 5 years old, 1/2 teaspoon; kids 6 to 11, one teaspoon, and kids 12 and older, two teaspoons. Note: don't give honey to babies under age 2; it could cause botulism, a serious illness, because their digestive tracts aren't developed enough.



Have older kids gargle with it. The salt draws water out of the inflammations caused by bacteria and other germs and kills anything that may be thriving in the warm, wet environment.



For a sore throat: mix 1/4 cup of vinegar with 1/4 cup of honey. Take 1 tablespoon full, six times a day. The vinegar kills the bacteria that makes your throat sore.



Chew a couple of these peppermints. They clear up stuffy noses.






For achy muscles, stir 1 tablespoon of horseradish in 1 cup of olive oil. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes, then rub it on your droopy, achy places.





Real Ginger Ale

Oddly enough, store-bought ginger ale doesn't contain ginger. But the plant can help with nausea. Make your own ginger ale by combining a teaspoon or two of powdered ginger, lemon rind, honey, boiling water, and seltzer to taste. Or you could just steep ginger root slices in hot water to make tea.


Chamomile TEA

You should be able to find this tea in your grocery store's coffee and tea aisle.





Laxative Fruit

Let each student eat a fresh prune or drink prune juice. Be sure to warn them about the pits! Prunes are just about the healthiest fruits of all, chock full of good nutrition. Also good as laxatives fresh pears, apricots, peaches, and dried fruit.


Flaxseed or Psyllium Seed

You can get a small container of this in most grocery stores or health-food stores. Sprinkle it on food or mix it into easy-to-eat items like yogurt for kids older than two years. Be careful about how much you give each child, for the lower the body weight, the more dramatic the "results" may be.







Drinking two glasses of Gatorade can relieve headache pain almost immediately, without any unpleasant side effects. Read the ingredients listed on the label; the answer is in the minerals present in the Gatorade.







Good for your teeth, but also for your skin: Colgate brand toothpaste makes an excellent salve for minor burns.






At bedtime, cover the blemish with a dab of honey and put a Band-Aid over it. Honey kills the bacteria, keeps the skin sterile, and speeds healing.






Sometimes you can make a splinter worse by pulling it out and having it break in two, than if you just left it alone. But when it hurts, that's tough to do, too. Here's another solution: pour a drop of Elmer's Glue-All over the splinter, let dry, and peel the dried glue off the skin. The splinter should come off with the glue.





A mouthwash? For a broken blister? You've got that right. After all, Listerine is a disinfectant. So it'll work as an antiseptic and keep an infection from developing.






Soak a cotton ball in white vinegar and apply it to the bruise for 1 hour. The vinegar reduces the blueness and speeds healing.


By Susan Darst Williams Health 02 2008


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