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What is a home remedy?

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A home remedy is a treatment that is made from items that you would typically find at home; things such as parts of plants, vegetables, household chemicals, herbs and spices.

These "home remedies" normally have some point of origin in the past, and are past down either orally or in writing from generation to generation. In earlier history when access to medicines and proper medical care was limited people would have to make do with the items that they had at hand.

Some of the home remedy have a sound medical/ scientific basis for working, others were probably only successful only through happenstance. Some followed treatments advocated through herbalism, or tribal medicine.

Some more familiar home remedies include:

Using a clove in the mouth to deaden the pain of a toothache.
Using a poultice of bread and milk to draw out a boil.

Some early publications would publish lists of these remedies for people at home to try and follow.

Early examples of this are Culpeper's Complete Herbal circa 1650, which is actually still in print today , the Gardeners Almanac and the Farmers Almanac.

A note of caution:

Whilst some home remedies do work, some have no scientific basis at all and others border on lethal.

Never, use a home remedy unless you have researched it in full, what works for one person may not work for another and may have serious medical consequences.

Many old home remedies used items which were considered pretty innocuous in the past, but which have subsequently been found to be extremely toxic, such as Lead.
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