Friday, February 15, 2013

10 Home Remedies (Part 2)

Dr. Abe V Rotor

1. Mosquito repellant from bottle brush (Salix sp) 
If there is a way to rid mosquitoes from attacking us without net or special paraphernalia, it is that advertised “Off” mosquito repellant. But the commercial products are synthetic compounds and reports claim that they are carcinogenic affecting not only the skin but internal organs as well since poison can be absorbed by the skin and into the blood stream and other tissue of the body. The researchers collected the volatile oil of the weeping willow which is also known as bottle brush for the formation and shape of the leaves. With ethyl alcohol as solvent, the preparation was tested against house mosquitoes (Culex pipens) in the same manner as the advertised commercial product is used. The result of the study validates the old practice of using weeping willow to ward mosquitoes by rubbing crush leaves on the skin. (Clemente R, Landan RP Luquinario MI and P Padua, UST 202)                                                                                             Bottle brush (Salix sp) 

2. Here are simple remedies for sore eye.
Breast milk as eye drops is effective.  Another effective remedy is to apply with first urine in 
the morning. Be careful not to rub it.  Stay indoor.  Keep away from people – it is 
contagious. Avoid heat and dust. 

3. Postnatal care at home
“Lola Ayang is a partera or midwife. I listened intently to her story on how she attended to  
childbirths, and how she gained the confidence and trust of a whole village.  I came up with
 this observation.    
  • ·         Girdle made of man’s sando cut at the sleeves
  • ·         Cover head, feet socks
  • ·         Vaporub on kasukasuhan, joints, neck to stem cold and keep body warm
  • ·         12 days of daily hilot
  • ·         Hot stone simmering in a concoction of herbs
  • ·         Herbs – lagundi, banaba, sampaloc leaves
  • ·         Guava leaves concoction as feminine wash
4. Succulent pod of radish is a local remedy for ulcer.
It is in a public market of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) I found young pods of radish (Raphanus sativus) sold in bundles. We also relish young radish pods as salad or mixed in chopsuey. How true is it that it can cure of stomach ulcer?

Lourdes Jorge tested radish seeds for anti-ulcer properties on albino rats as her masteral thesis in medical technology at UST.  Result: Radish seed extract is effective and is comparable to commercial Cimetidine or Tagamet in the treatment of gastric ulcer.

5. Sukang Iloko (Ilocos Vinegar) is a home remedy for sore throat and fever.
By the way, “vin- egar” means wine that has gone sour. It is oxidized ethanol or ethyl alcohol. Nowadays the vinegar we commonly find in the market is glacial acetic acid, an industrial acetic acid. Sukang Iloko on the other hand, is natural vinegar, a product of fermentation of sugar from sugarcane. Doctors may be adamant in prescribing it, but they recognize is effectiveness as home remedy, especially in the Ilocos, its origin.  Vinegar cure is included in herbal medicine books, and was used by the Egyptians, Greeks, and Chinese and other early civilizations.
Old folks use sukang Iloko as gurgle to relieve sore throat.  To lower fever, they add equal amount of tap water and wipe it with cloth all over the body of the patient. 

6. Are you a victim of Monday morning blahs and blues?
That feeling of tiredness you experience on Mondays after a particular active weekend is directly related to your sleep/wake cycle. It is because any disruption of your regular sleeping habit, which consists of the ideal number of hours of sleep, the ideal bedtime and wake-up time, disturbs your biological clock.

By staying up late or sleeping in, or snoozing on a Sunday afternoon in a hammock can turn the circadian (weekly) cycle inside out. Take the case of my good friend Inciong who has the habit rushing up to finish his article for a weekly column deep into the night of Sunday. By Monday morning he feels out of sync and short of sleep, resulting into the blahs and blues. Often this feeling continues into Tuesday and Wednesday, as the body tries to reset to the weekday schedule. Thus, the ideal way to avoid the Monday morning tiredness is to stick to your regular sleep habits. But many of us, like Dell et al can’t resist staying up on weekends, working or socializing, or going out to a concert.

We are all candidates to this syndrome, but I have noticed that old folks are less affected by it. At one time I wondered how Tinong Viernes, a farmer whom I have known for many years, manages to wake up early and attend to his chores with little sleep the Sunday before. “Don’t you feel sleepy?” I asked.

“Babawi ako mamayang gabi. (I’ll make up for it tonight),” he replied.

Indeed there is a scientific basis this practice, practice as it may sound. Try this. To avoid the Monday morning tiredness, stay up as late as the need arises or as you wish, but make sure you get up at your regular wake-up time. Don’t sleep in, and don’t take naps during the day. When night comes you will not find it difficult to fall asleep at your regular bedtime. In this way you reset your body clock back to its regular time.

This formula applies as well on any day of week, so that if you want to stay late, say on Wednesday, be sure to wake up on your regular wake-up time on Thursday. Then just what Tinong said, make up for it come night time at your regular sleep-time. You will feel refreshed on Friday and in the days ahead, until your sleep pattern is again disrupted. This is one way to avoid or overcome insomnia. 


7. Pollen Allergy is often the cause of sneezing fit and asthmatic symptoms.

It is true. It is called allergy rhinitis There are people who are highly sensitive to pollen grains. And their allergy is specific to certain plants, and at certain seasons these plants are in bloom. Plants belonging to Family Poaceae or Graminae which include rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, talahib, cogon, and the like generally bloom in the last quarter beginning October when dry season the habagat season is about to end and dry season starts.

Here are tips to prevent or minimize pollen allergy.
· Keep away from flowers and flowering plants 

  • · Stay home to prevent exposure to pollen 
  • · Avoid touching eyes and skin to prevent spread of allergy. 
  • · Don’t bring in flowers and plants inside the house. 
  • · Use mask and proper clothing. 
There is a pollen calendar developed by the late Dr. Lolita Bulalacao of the National Museum, a pioneer in palynology (the study of pollen grains) in the Philippines. The calendar warns us people who are susceptible to allergy to keep away from pollen coming from certain flowering plants in season and from specific areas that may cause allergy. The symptoms of allergy rhynitis are generally relieved by antihistamine, which comes in different preparations and brands, as tablet or ointment.

8. 
Simplest remedy for diarrhea.
Diarrhea claims the lives of 3 million people, with nearly 2 million oif them children under five
years old. Yet a simple and inexpensive treatment can prevent many of those deaths. Here
 is a simple formula for oral rehydration:  fistful of sugar + a pinch of salt + a jug of water. 
 This old home remedy is now recognized by the World Health Organization which claims 
that it has saved some 40 million lives, and hopes to demote diarrhea as the second 
leading cause of death among children. 

9. . When you cut your hand, raise it above the level of your heart to minimize bleeding.
Following the law of gravity that “water seeks its own level,” elevate your wounded hand higher than your heart to reduce flow of blood, keep calm and focus on how to get first aid. You may lower your arm as blood clots and seal your wound. 

10.  Pansit-pansitan is effective cure of arthritis, lowers uric acid.
Pansit-pansitan or olasiman-inhalas (linlinna-aw Ilk) (Piperomia pellucida. It is a succulent weed growing in moist and shady places. Pellucidus means waxy or translucent which is characteristic of this common annual plant. I can vouch for the effectiveness of this herbal 
remedy. This is how it is used. 
  • Gather the fresh plants from around the house, usually among potted plants. Leave the main stem and roots to grow new shoots for the next harvest. 
  • Wash the stems and leaves with running water. You may remove the elongated floral part which bears plenty of tiny black seeds. 
  • Boil two cups of water for three minutes. Three to four stems make a decoction. Allow it to cool.                                         
  • You may add honey or sugar while decoction is still hot. 
  • Add hot water for a second or third serving. It may be taken liberally at anytime or until ailment subsides. 
There are other ways pansit-pansitan is prepared. In Vietnam’s Ho ChiMinh public market it is sold in bundles as salad vegetable. It reaches a length up to two feet. It is usually served fresh or blanched. I found out that pansit-pansitan can be taken with coffee by simply adding to it while it is very hot. Or simply dip into a cup of to piping hot water, and allow it to cool. 

Pandan mabango (Pandanus odoratissimus) may be added to flavor the drink. Patients may find relief in a day or two. If there is any allergic reaction such as diarrhea or palpitation, discontinue the treatment and see your doctor. 

Pansit-pansitan, Pandan mabango

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