Thursday, 17 February 2011

Folk Remedies

Common Marigold

Rural communities throughout the ages have always had their healers, herbalists,

water diviners, wise men and wise women, whose ordinary life was no different to

those of their neighbours.They may have been farmers, housewives, labourers or

had some type of trade or none at all.

Today these people still exist: the ones who have cures or easements for a wide variety ailments.

As an example there is an ointment which when applied to a severe burn will not only ease the pain but also virtually reduce the scarring to a minimum.

This ointment is usually made by a woman who has had it passed to her through the female line of her family. I know two women who make this as well as

a person who has the recipe for a herbal liniment that gives great easement and reduction to haemorrhoids.

Even today with the advancement of modern medicine and it's support from the pharmaceutical industry there are people who, given the choice, prefer folk medicine for a variety of reasons.

In my own case: Eczema with dry skin has been a problem since birth and although the effects can be lessened by avoiding certain foods, it still lingers and occasionally breaks out on my lower legs and hands.

The conventional treatment that doctors and skin specialists prescribe has a cortisone base either as a topical ointment or intravenously.

Either method is not a cure, for all it does is to temporarily hide the ailment, only to have it appear elsewhere at a later date.

There is also a good chance of cortisone thinning the skin and damaging the liver, because the liver itself actually produces a substance very close to that of cortisone in minute amounts.

From my own experience Calendula Officinalis (common marigold) is by far the best herbal treatment for my complaint. Obtainable as an oil extract and used in creams, it can be quite costly if you need to use it regularly and liberally thought the winter.

For a few years now I have been producing my own cream, by growing that sunny flower the Common Marigold, removing the heads when in full bloom and extracting their oil and mixing it with beeswax and avocado oil.

This year I added an extra ingredient of unrefined honey and by passing it through the warm oil, I think that the rapid healing properties of the honey have infused in to the mix. I am very pleased with the results after only a few days of use.

The Honeycomb

Why Honey ?

It is used as a folk cure for ulcers by packing honey into the wound and putting cold cream on the surrounding skin. This is a very successful treatment, but not recommended because of the extreme pain!

Honey has been used for thousands of years to heal various ailments and Calendula is the same.

So this Spring will see me busy in the garden planting this wonderful flower and later in the year visiting our local bee keeper for some honey & beeswax.

Finished Product ( behind our first Crocus)


  1. Ah!!Calendula what a wonderful plant,even the petals wrapped round a cut will heal and sooth .I used it with my children when they were little.I always have the homeopathic cream in.The burn ointment is a mix of calendula and hypericum and stinging nettles.I was badly burnt as a teenager but have no scars thanks to this.The only note of caution I would add is never apply calendular to dirty wound as it heals so fast it can heal over infection.
    Scince moving to Dorset I have had real trouble getting it to grow in my garden.A few did over winter last year so I am hoping for a better show this year.Appart from their healing properties they are such happy flowers

  2. What a blessing it is to be surrounded by a useful, and beautiful array of plants, flowers and trees. The first two primroses have peeked their little heads out on the wildflower bank at home, and the sight of them immediately transports me to my childhood. It is still such a moment of sheer joy to see them in springtime, they carry with them a year full of possibilities for me and all those around me:-) keep writing, you are a joy to read.

  3. Very interesting indeed! We need this type of medicine in the world, western medicine is a killer! Debs

  4. I shall pass this on to one or two people I know who will probably want to follow your example. I cured a big toe of a fungal infection that my gp had been prescribing for, for over a year, with neat Tea Tree oil. Probably not best applied neat but I was desperate. I have had a large Aloe Vera plant for years now that is a cure all in my family, human and animal. So many more, I wish all households would turn to the natural world.

  5. Brilliant blog, I have never used this, but it seems to be a wonderful remedy for the described ailments. Are you going to sell it? ;-)

  6. The whole point of Folk Medicine is that it is like the love that we have for ourselves and our neighbours. In that it is given freely for the betterment of people.

  7. Oh, wonderful! Another fascinating topic, Folk Medicine.


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