A Blast From the Past: Home Remedies that Grandma Used

There is no shortage of medication on the pharmacy isle at your local store. You can find a drug to take for almost any symptom you can think of. There was a time when the pharmacy was miles away, however. Most of us know someone that lived “back in the day” when country life was common. In those days, grandma often turned to the kitchen to treat a sick family member. While there are some wild remedies we might never feel safe using today, some are still pretty relevant. These simple home remedies are some of the most popular therapies then and now.

Salt Water

There is a reason why people from past cultures visited the seaside when they were sick or in need have rest. Salt water is healing in many ways. A trip to the beach can leave you breathing easy when you have a cold or allergies. The saline effects of the salty air are thought to clear the lining of your sinuses and reduce inflammation. Salt water is similar to your own bodily fluids, therefore the sea air is received well.

You can easily benefit from salt water even if you live hundreds of miles away from the ocean. Salt from your kitchen can be mixed with warm water and gargled for relief of a sore throat. Rinsing the mouth with salt water can also heal and ease the pain of common canker sores in the mouth. Teenagers with acne can put a little bit of salt water on the spots to dry them out. This compound is one of nature’s most versatile treatments.


The full health benefits of eating oatmeal may not have been known back in grandma’s day, but the skin benefits sure were. When you are purchasing oatmeal for health purposes you should buy natural, rolled oats. Health experts recommend that you eat oatmeal for heart health. When it comes to home remedies, your oats need to head to the bathroom. Grind up raw oats and add to warm bath water to soothe skin irritations. Eczema, psoriasis, and common dry skin issues can all benefit from an oatmeal soak. Young children with chicken pox were also given an oatmeal bath for relief from itching.


Lemon is something that many of us already have around. Lemon is a known car sickness remedy. Car sickness results in extra saliva production. For this remedy, cut up a lemon and suck it. The sour lemon taste should make you pucker up and decrease the amount of saliva. The excess saliva is what is thought to contribute to the nausea and vomiting. If you prefer, you can try squeezing lemon juice in water and drinking it as needed.

Duct Tape 

This home remedy came about during World War II. Duct tape was found to have many innovative uses. One unusual way that duct tape contributes to health is by removing warts. This remedy actually has the medical backing from the American Academy of Dermatology. The reason this works has not been discovered, but it is said to have a higher success rate than freezing a wart.


Honey is a good remedy for more than one thing. Some people use it on small wounds due to its antibacterial properties. It is most well-known use, however, is for a sore throat. It can be added to tea, but it is more effective by itself. Honey works by moisturizing and coating the throat. When used for a cough it can be more helpful than many popular cough medicines. Certain bacteria spores can be present in honey that can be dangerous to young children, therefore this remedy should not be used on children until they are about 1-year old.


The scent of lavender is known to induce sleep. Smelling lavender lowers blood pressure and decreases your heart rate. Essential oils or the actual plant can help you relax and fall into a deeper sleep. It can also help you fall asleep faster. Essential oils are often applied to the skin or dispersed in a diffuser. Grow lavender plants in pots around your home, or in your garden.

Cranberry Juice

Cranberry juice for urinary tract health has been a long-time remedy that is also popular today. There is a little bit of controversy about whether or not cranberry juice really works. A healthy fruit juice added to the diet, however, couldn’t hurt. Acidic foods are not usually recommended for irritated bladders. It is theorized, however, that cranberry juice keeps bacteria from sticking to the liner of the bladder. Drink cranberry juice for prevention, or add it to a treatment regimen. Be sure to use pure cranberry juice without sugar added.


Apples are good for more than just keeping you healthy. If you are in a pinch and need to brush your teeth you can reach for an apple instead. The rough skin and texture of the inside can be mildly abrasive to the surface of your teeth. Simply eat a few pieces of apple to reap the benefits of this remedy. Rinse your mouth out with water afterwards, to remove the sugars.

Licorice Root 

While you are using your apples to brush, you might as well add some licorice root to curb bad breath. Chewing on a little licorice root can help to lower the amount of bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria can be the cause of bad breath and tooth decay. Some natural toothpastes add licorice root to the recipe to encourage fresh breath. It has also been known to help with nausea and stress.

Home remedies were the original health care method. Nature has a myriad of remedies that are easy to find and may already be in your home. It is recommended to talk to your health care professional when you are ill to make sure you don’t need some other treatment.

Take a walk through your kitchen and see what you can find.

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