Good Old Cures


Most people have medicine cabinets in their house, where they keep anything from eye drops to skin creams and bandages to cotton swabs. Interestingly enough, this was not always the case. Back in the day, medicine cabinets had an entirely different look to them, and amazingly, some of those remedies still work today.


If you have an ear ache and you want to relieve the pain quickly, as well as disinfect the ears from the various pollutants that have accumulated inside it, squeeze a lemon, dip some cotton in it, and use it to gently clean the ear canal. This works well because of citric acid in lemons, also used in many industrial drugs, which inhibits the development of bacterial infections.


I have travelled a great deal and have encountered many people who suffer from travel sickness. Usually this is caused by uneven movement, and may happen in a car, bus, cruise or flight. This can cause us to suffer from nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. Next time, before you travel, eat a few olives before you set out. Olives are rich in tannins, which help dry out excess saliva produced by the body when we suffer from nausea, that stimulates the vomiting reflex.


We do not have many spider bites in this area, but when they happen, they can take a long time to heal. Grandma’s remedy, perfect for relieving the nasty itch which has been scientifically proven, is placing a piece of raw potato on the inflamed area, and bandaging it for about half an hour.

Chewing gum is a great way to get rid of bad breath, but did you know that celery works much better? This is because, in addition to its health benefits, celery is rich in fibre, which helps to remove the accumulated plaque on the teeth, which causes bad breath.


Do you remember those times when, as kids, we would avoid nettles, because they sting and cause our skin to be irritated. Who knew that nettle leaves are also a great medicinal plant that contains a variety of health properties, including the ability to prevent hair loss? All you have to do is brew six nettle leaves in a cup of boiling water, wait until they cool, put the brew through a sieve, and rinse the scalp with the remaining liquid once or twice a week. The benefits of nettle leaves are derived from its vitamins A, C and D content, and part of the vitamin B group that strengthens the hair and act as anti-inflammatory agents that relieve scalp irritations, which weaken their roots. I’m not sure if it grows hair back, but I’m game to give it a try.


If you suffer from arthritis, place a handful of raisins in a bowl of gin overnight and eat them the next morning. Raisins are rich in powerful antioxidants and gin, which is also rich in antioxidants, breaks up the various chemicals found in raisins, and helps them absorb more easily. Just don’t go crazy with the gin.


I should mention to check with your doctor or medical professionals before trying any home remedies. Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, award winning photographer, published author, columnist and keynote speaker. Watch his show, ‘Jonathan van Bilsen’s photosNtravel’, on Rogers TV, the Standard Website or YouTube.