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Archive for the ‘Medicinal Herbs & Plant’ Category


As we all know, there are great tips and information about gardening, propagating and harvesting food from your garden.  A master gardener I am not.  I feel like I learn something new every day about growing my family’s food.  Watching the TV program, Through The Wormhole, I saw a doctor who is famous for cloning animals use honey as a growth hormone to start new plants in a demonstration for his approach to animal cloning.  I was fascinated because I know there are many uses for honey, but I did not know it was used in this way in the garden.

Lavender with cinnamon Cinnamon growth hormoneI’m sure many of you have seen this post going around Pinterest and FaceBook in using cinnamon as a growth hormone in starting new plants.  Well, I was excited and tried using it to propagate a new, beautiful lavender plant I got this year for Mother’s Day.  More than two weeks into it, I see nothing more than what I started with.  Clearly, the cinnamon will not work with lavender, at least not mine.  But this plant is so beautiful that I want to ensure to have plenty of it for years to come and having several copies of the same plant should help me meet that goal.

So, because the cinnamon is not working, I am trying honey.  Local and organic as it should offer the best local pollination in my opinion.  The uses for honey is vast.  I’ve seen many articles related to beauty, health and medicinal uses for it.  But I’ve not run across this purpose before I specifically started researching it.  From my research, I’ve decided to use the following recipe.

  • images-61 cup honey
    – Pure, or raw, honey is said to be better than regular store-bought honey (which has been processed) and yields the greatest results.
  • 3 cups boiling water
    – Mix the honey with your boiling water and allow to cool. Place this mixture in an airtight container (such as a mason jar) until ready to use, storing it somewhere away from light.

It sounds simple enough.  If you are interested in trying this method, click this link to find a well written article all about it.  I will let you know if and how this method works in comparison to the cinnamon method.

 

 

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cayenne-salve-3

 

To make sure you and your loved ones are cared for when times go bad will require planning and preparation. This recipe for a pain salve will be a great addition to add to your herbal medicine cabinet.  Building your medicine cabinet with homemade remedies will save you money and allow for more confidence and self-reliance.  This recipe is amazing.

Using your cayenne salve

This cayenne salve can be used on aches and pains, from sore muscles and joints to bruises and even nerve pain.

It is best for closed wounds and may sting a bit on open wounds. Even on closed skin you may feel a bit of burning or heat in the area where it is used. It should be applied externally only and used within 6 months for the best results.

If using it for arthritic pain it may take up to a week or two to see results. In this case you want to use it daily to decrease chronic pain.

~ via ~

Click here —-> HerbMentor News

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Infused OilOne thing I strive to do in planning my home store, I try to make sure I either have or can make all the things my family and I enjoy in these “good” times.  I don’t want to be pulling out buckets of legumes and beans without having the flavors I’m accustom to going into them.  Simple things really do make life more comfortable.  And this technique to infusing oil is an example of planning to thrive while others struggle to survive.  Pay attention to the little things.  Those sometimes unnoticeable extra’s that you might take for granted.  This recipe was given to me to share by reader Tess Pavlin.  She has tried and tweaked this until she was sure it was wonderful and felt comfortable in making it public.  Win for us, right?

Infused oils will spice up your cooking and lend to wonderful healing and relaxing massages.

When you are ready to start making essential oil from your herbs, follow these four steps carefully:

  1. Put a handful of your herbs or flower heads into a clean glass jar. Choose either a single herb such Basil Infused Oilas basil or a mixture such as oregano, rosemary and thyme. Crush them to release the flavor into the carrier oil. Make absolutely sure your herbs are completely dry.  Water will likely make your oil go rancid.
  2. Pour 12 oz. of oil into the jar until the leaves or flowers are completely covered. Put a well-fitting top on the jar and let it stand in a warm (but not sunny) place shaking daily for two weeks.
  3. Straining Infused OilAfter the two weeks, strain off the herbs (use a cotton muslin cloth or an old open weave linen handkerchief) and then repeat the process of infusion with a fresh handful of your herbs (but using the same oil). Do this, as many times as necessary until you have a jar of strongly flavored aromatic oil.
  4. Store your aromatic oil in a small to medium-size sterilized bottle and label it. Clean the rim and tightly seal the cap to reduce the chances of air getting into the bottle. Make sure that you keep your stored oils out of sunlight.

Always remember:

Use a good-quality, mild-flavored oil such as sunflower oil or grapeseed oil. You don’t want the taste of the oil to compete with the flavor and smell of your herbs. For this reason you should avoid using extra virgin olive oil.Cover your herbs completely with oil during the infusing process. Any bits sticking out will oxidize and spoil the flavor of the oil.

Before storing the oil make sure you have removed all the plant material. (If you don’t the oil will become cloudy and sour)

WHAT OTHERs ARE DOING WITH THEIRs

Another way to speed up the process of infusing your oils is by using a small crock pot on its lowest setting.

  1. Gently bruise the herbs or flowers by crushing the in the palm of your hands before adding them to the pot. You can also press them with a wooden spoon or in a mortar and pestle but it is not necessary.
  2. Add 16 oz. of oil to the crock pot and turn heat on low. Add the herbs, leaves, or petals. Let simmer covered for 12 hours. Stir lightly and turn off overnight. Day 2 turn back on and simmer again for 12 hours. Day 3 repeat. Strain oils through cheesecloth to remove solids and bottle the oils. They will keep for a minimum of 3 years if tightly sealed.

Extra Tip:  Add 1/2 teaspoon of Vitamin E (per pint) to your beauty and medicinal oils to preserve them. You could also try using 15 drops of grapefruit seed extract.

Alternative methods.

1. OVEN INFUSED HOMEMADE OILS – Place your herbs in an oven safe dish and cover with the natural oil of your choice. Cover the dish and place in the oven at 200 degrees or the lowest possible setting your oven has. Cook for three hours. While it’s still warm, strain through cheese cloth and squeeze the oil from the herbs. Pour the oil into a sterile bottle or jar.

2. STOVE TOP INFUSED OILS – Using a double boiler, GENTLY simmer oil and herbs for 2 hours. Strain through cheese cloth. For a stronger infusion repeat using the same oil and fresh herbs.

Infused oild in crockpot3. CROCK POT INFUSED HOMEMADE OILS – This method can only be used if your crock pot has a “warm” or very low setting! This works great for infusing several oils at once. Fill your sterile pint jars with your herbs and oils. Place the jars in the crock pot and cook on low for eight hours. You can do up to 5 different oils at once with this method depending on the size of your crock pot!

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Woman with Migraine

I suffer with chronic migraines.  I have been in this battle for 23 years.  I know exactly because I remember my 1st one like it was yesterday.

I picked up my son who was in kindergarden at that time.  I walked to the school because it was such a pretty day.  He and I played all the way home.  Barely over the threshold, it hit.  I felt like I just had an aneurism burst in my brain.  I literally crawled to the bathroom and began throwing up uncontrollably.  My little boy was crying until the vomiting subsided a little.  The whole time, I was in a panic mode.  However, I was trying to reassure my son “I was fine” but barely able to speak because of the excruciating  pain and agony.  So in my dark bathroom, I laid down on the cool floor next to the toilet in case the vomiting started back up.  The next thing I know, my little 5 year old little boy came into the bathroom with a blanket and a doll pillow.  He lifted my head and put this little pillow under it to make it softer, draped my torso with this little baby quilt and curled up against my back and took his nap like he was so accustom to doing at that time.  It lasted for several hours, but while I was in the midst of it, I was scared that I would actually die.  After all, I really did think it was an aneurism.

Obviously, I survived this terrifying and painful event.  After I realized I wasn’t dying, I concluded it was in fact a migraine.  My father suffered terribly from them for a period in his life when I was little.  A subsequent visit to my doctor confirmed it.

At first, the migraines came about every year, then every six months, then every month then and on and on until I was faced with a life consumed and destroyed by this curse.  Through the year, I have seen more specialists than I even knew where out there.  Lot’s of test, surgeries, hospital stays and too much caustic narcotics later, not one specialist could determine the triggers.  Even with all the meds they tried on me, nothing got them under control.  I was so medicated that I feel I lost several years of my life from living in my bed.

Then one day, I guess it was my Irish temper and pride rose up from inside and I took control.  The first thing was to get myself off of all the medication.  And guess what?  As fearful as the doctors were that I would become dependent, I wasn’t!  Did I suffer?  You bet.  Just getting all these chemicals out of my system was horrible.  I had as many headaches and suffered, but I wasn’t intoxicated.  After a few weeks, I started coming out of my room more and eventually suffered less.  After months, it got better.  Now years later, I’m doing pretty good.  I still have headaches, just not as bad or often.  I have injections for Imitrex and a non-narcotic pain reliever as a rescue, but even this much progress is leading me to do more.  That’s why I’m transitioning to herbal remedies for many health issues my family experiences.  Now I’m ready to tackle natural remedies for these headaches.  In doing a lot of research,  I found this information that I want to share with you.

My self-reliant life can’t help but anticipate a future that may or may not include access to professional, medical intervention.  I want to get back to the ways my grandparents did it.  Natural.

Here are some things I have and/or will be trying until I find what will work for me.

 Remedies

Ginger 

Traditional Chinese herbal medicine recommends ginger for headaches. Eat a small piece of fresh ginger root or make ginger tea from the fresh root or tea bags.

Coriander Seeds

An Aryuvedic treatment for sinus-related headaches is the steam inhalation of coriander seeds. Put the coriander seeds into a small bowl. Pour on some boiling water, drape a towel over your head and the bowl, and inhale the steam.

Celery

Celery contains phthalide which helps you to relax and be less anxious, which helps with pain. It is also rich in potassium which many headache sufferers are deficient in. Celery seeds can be used in smoothies/juices or soups. Taking 2 oz of celery juice and then laying down for 30 minutes has proven to be a very effective remedy for headaches.

Herbal Tea

Sitting down with a relaxing cup of mild herbal tea is often good for a tension headache. Good choices are peppermint, spearmint, chamomile, rose hip, lemon balm, or valerian root (may induce sleep). Additionally, adding cayenne pepper to your tea can help.

Vitamins and Minerals

Frequent headaches could be a sign that you are low on some important vitamins and minerals. Low levels of niacin and vitamin B6 can cause headaches. For example, all the B vitamins are needed to help combat stress and avoid tension headaches. The minerals calcium and magnesium work together to help prevent headaches, especially those related to a woman’s menstrual cycle. Good sources of calcium are dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale or broccoli, and beans and peas. Magnesium is found in dark green leafy vegetables, cacao, nuts, bananas, wheat germ, full spectrum salts, beans and peas.

Aromatherapy

The relaxing qualities of lavender oil make it a good treatment for a tension headache. This essential oil is very gentle and can be massaged in your temples, the base of your neck, or the base of your nostrils. Taking a bath with relaxing oils such as chamomile or ylang ylang will also help to soothe and relieve pain.

Emotional Freedom Technology (EFT – a.k.a Meridian Tapping)

The EFT tapping points align with particular acupuncture points along the meridians. EFT tapping techniques can help to remove emotional blockage in our body’s electrical or subtle energy system. EFT is referred to as ‘acupuncture without the needles’. For more information on EFT and where to find your meridian points, please visit The Tapping Solution.

Breathing

In order to learn how to relax and cope with headaches, you need to become familiar with your own breathing patterns and change them in ways that will help you relax. We tend to hold our breath when we are anxious, stressed, or in pain. Below are a few relaxation exercises:

Rhythmic breathing

If your breathing is short and hurried, slow it down by taking long, slow breaths. Inhale slowly then exhale slowly. Count slowly to five as you inhale, and then count slowly to five as you exhale. As you exhale slowly, pay attention to how your body naturally relaxes. Recognizing this change will help you to relax even more.

Deep breathing

Imagine a spot just below your navel. Breathe into that spot, filling your abdomen with air. Let the air fill you from the abdomen up, then let it out, like deflating a balloon. With every long, slow exhalation, you should feel more relaxed.

Visualized breathing

Find a comfortable, quiet place where you can close your eyes, and combine slowed breathing with your imagination. Picture relaxation entering your body and tension leaving your body. Breathe deeply, but in a natural rhythm. Visualize your breath coming into your nostrils, going into your lungs and expanding your chest and abdomen. Then, visualize your breath going out the same way. Continue breathing, but each time you inhale, imagine that you are breathing in more relaxation. Each time you exhale imagine that you are getting rid of a little more tension.

These are just a few natural remedies. There are many more. However, prior to any of these recommendations, we should always ensure that we are getting enough pure water throughout the day. It seems simple, but dehydration is the leading cause of headaches. By simply drinking more water during the day, we may reduce the frequency of headaches and their debilitating effects.

Please note that some of the food items mentioned, such as bananas, cacao, and nuts can actually trigger headaches in some individuals. If this happens to you, don’t give up. With a little research, you will definitely be able to find the remedy that works best for you.

Trusting in our Natural Ability to Heal

Our bodies are an amazing design. If we allow ourselves to trust our bodies’ ability to heal itself, the results will be astounding. Let’s treat our body with the respect and loving care it deserves. If we do, symptoms such as headaches will occur much less frequently.

Via: Wake-Up World

Sources:

1. Prescription for Nutrional Healing; Phyllis A. Balch
2. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies; C. Norman Shealy

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pantryWhen MrPrepper and I built our home, we were both working professionals with successful career.  I wanted a home where I could entertain.  It was ~ and is ~ a lovely home that I am proud of.  That was 17 years ago.  To drive up to my home today, it presents itself much the same.  But cross the threshold and you will see the extreme change from that point back to the fence that surrounds a once picture-perfect landscaped backyard.  The room which once housed an antique dining room set now has no table.  The china hutch that use to display my beautiful ornate dishes, now is used for more practical purposes.  The antique cabinet beautifully displays a growing supply of my own canned and dehydrated food.  There is a set of industrial-style shelves that hold my canning supplies, bread machine and other food processing equipment.  There are two sets of Martha Stewart cabinets to hold the children’s toys and a computer which I use to teach my pre-schooler.

Walk further down the hall to the kitchen, and you will see an amazing set of even larger industrial shelves FULL of dehydrated and freeze-dried food that I use every day.  Things like powdered milk, eggs and sausage.  I won’t even go into all the things that are there, but it is one of the most impressive home stores you will ever see.  My once elegant kitchen is now filled with canning supplies, dehydrators, shelves and other supplies to support my new role.  You will notice the large antique crock fermenting cabbage or maybe a large batch of pickles I grew in the yard.White Pantry

Turn right and enter the family room where I took a very old TV cabinet and converted it into something cute and functional.  This cabinet has a strong sentimental value because it measures the growth of the children.  Inside, you see the valuable amount of storage it provides.  (Note the inside right door is where I keep inventory of these food supplies written in chalk)

Walk out to the patio to the once well-groomed flower-filled landscape and you realize you have just entered into another world.  My backyard chickens with their lovely coop and raised garden beds emphasize the seriousness and commitment I have to being as self-reliant as humanly possible.  There are containers that grow medicinal and culinary herbs dotting open spots on the large, covered patio.  Once in awhile, my little chaweenie, Gracie will be there romping with the chickens.  Here I stand in rubber boots, coveralls and a pair of leather gloves on.  I’m either working in the garden or cleaning the chicken coop.  I gather fresh, brown eggs and bring into the house.  I may be turning the compost heap I started last year or any number of other chores associated with a suburban home transitioning from a place where career professionals came home to unwind to a sanctuary filled with wonder and life.  My 3 year old girl and 5 year old boy play with toys on the patio or climb and play on the swing set.  Their playful giggles and sometimes spats are a joyous sound to my ears.  The BBQ or smoker will be fired up and cooking dinner that we will serve with fresh food from the garden and eat on the patio.

Go to the side of the house where MrPrepper erected a barn-style shed.  In there, you will find emergency supplies of equipment and food.  Things like fuel, generators and other equipment to

It is work.  More labor intensive than going to meetings and writing reports.  But this work is peaceful and rewarding.  Nothing like any job I have ever had.

This has become my life.  I’m so proud that I left my “career” in order to have this amazingly gratifying and rewarding life.  A life that is sure to keep my children balanced, regardless where life takes them.

Yes, MrPrepper still works.  I feel sorry for him that he misses much of these great days filled with serenity.  But we are a team.  He will retire in a couple of years and will slide right into his roll as my farm-hand.  I count my blessings every day having moved into this much better life.

Fruit-Package-lowres

Click to Visit My Online Store

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PrepperPenny:

This is an excellent article using peroxide for so many things. As a prepper, I have this stored. But having read how many practical uses it has and the cost effectiveness over other products, I guarantee you that I will be storing even more!

Originally posted on Dr Akilah El - Celestial Healing Wellness Center:

by Andrea Harper and Dr Akilah El

Hydrogen peroxide is the only germicidal agent composed only of water and oxygen. Like ozone, it kills disease organisms by oxidation! Hydrogen peroxide is considered the worlds safest all natural effective sanitizer. It kills microorganisms by oxidizing them, which can be best described as a controlled burning process. When hydrogen peroxide reacts with organic material it breaks down into oxygen and water. Review

Whiten Clothes – An Alternative to Beach
Add a cup of Peroxide to white clothes in your laundry to whiten them. Peroxide is great to get rid of blood stains on clothes and carpets. If there is blood on clothing, just pour directly on the spot, let it sit for about a minute, then rub and rinse with cold water. Repeat if necessary.

Health:
Your body makes hydrogen peroxide to fight infection which must be present for our immune system to…

View original 2,247 more words

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PrepperPenny:

This is an excellent article using peroxide for so many things. As a prepper, I have this stored. But having read how many practical uses it has and the cost effectiveness over other products, I guarantee you that I will be storing even more!

Originally posted on Dr Akilah El - Celestial Healing Wellness Center:

by Andrea Harper and Dr Akilah El

Hydrogen peroxide is the only germicidal agent composed only of water and oxygen. Like ozone, it kills disease organisms by oxidation! Hydrogen peroxide is considered the worlds safest all natural effective sanitizer. It kills microorganisms by oxidizing them, which can be best described as a controlled burning process. When hydrogen peroxide reacts with organic material it breaks down into oxygen and water. Review

Whiten Clothes – An Alternative to Beach
Add a cup of Peroxide to white clothes in your laundry to whiten them. Peroxide is great to get rid of blood stains on clothes and carpets. If there is blood on clothing, just pour directly on the spot, let it sit for about a minute, then rub and rinse with cold water. Repeat if necessary.

Health:
Your body makes hydrogen peroxide to fight infection which must be present for our immune system to…

View original 2,247 more words

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PrepperPenny:

Great article on the uses of a plant so easy to grow, I had to move it into a container because it tends to take over the garden! Enjoy.

Originally posted on Stealth Armoured:

PEPPERMINT – For a Prepper, its Mint!

Although this article is a bit lengthy, it’s worth it.  A thorough examination of the wonderfully aromatic herb – MINT, including medicinal uses to how to dry it properly.  Hope you enjoy!

Overview:

Peppermint (Mentha piperita), a popular flavoring for gum, toothpaste, and tea, is also used to soothe an upset stomach or to aid digestion. Because it has a calming and numbing effect, it has been used to treat headaches, skin irritations, anxiety associated with depression, nausea, diarrhea, menstrual cramps, and flatulence. It is also an ingredient in chest rubs, used to treat symptoms of the common cold. In test tubes, peppermint kills some types of bacteria, fungus, and viruses, suggesting it may have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Several studies support the use of peppermint for indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome.

Indigestion

Peppermint calms the muscles of the stomach…

View original 1,753 more words

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PrepperPenny:

Great article on the uses of a plant so easy to grow, I had to move it into a container because it tends to take over the garden! Enjoy.

Originally posted on Stealth Armoured:

PEPPERMINT – For a Prepper, its Mint!

Although this article is a bit lengthy, it’s worth it.  A thorough examination of the wonderfully aromatic herb – MINT, including medicinal uses to how to dry it properly.  Hope you enjoy!

Overview:

Peppermint (Mentha piperita), a popular flavoring for gum, toothpaste, and tea, is also used to soothe an upset stomach or to aid digestion. Because it has a calming and numbing effect, it has been used to treat headaches, skin irritations, anxiety associated with depression, nausea, diarrhea, menstrual cramps, and flatulence. It is also an ingredient in chest rubs, used to treat symptoms of the common cold. In test tubes, peppermint kills some types of bacteria, fungus, and viruses, suggesting it may have antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Several studies support the use of peppermint for indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome.

Indigestion

Peppermint calms the muscles of the stomach…

View original 1,753 more words

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There is a lot of buzz on You Tube about Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt and the wonderful mineral properties. It contains the full spectrum of 84 minerals and trace elements. I’ve ordered some from The Spice Labs, but have not received it. I will post about it when it comes.  Here are the things I have come across from The Salt Institute that I thought I would share.  Some of it is amazing!
 Pink Himalayan Crystal Salt
How many ways can you use salt?
According to the Salt Institute, about 14,000! The salt website has tons of handy tips for using salt around the house, and the best of the bunch — plus my additions — are listed below.
For thousands of years, salt (sodium chloride) has been used to preserve food and for cleaning, and people have continued to rely on it for all kinds of nifty tricks.  So with its nontoxic friendliness and status as an endlessly abundant resource, let’s swap out some toxic solutions for ample, innocuous, and inexpensive salt.
There are a number of forms of salt produced for consumption (and by default, housekeeping!): unrefined salt (such as sea salt), refined salt (table salt), and iodized salt. Kosher salt is sodium chloride processed to have flat crystals. And in case you’re wondering, Epsom salt is an entirely different stuff: magnesium sulfate to be exact (which is a salt that I consider to be, essentially, miraculous).

Here are just a few of the many ways you can put salt to good use in your home:

IN THE KITCHEN:  Aside from all of the alchemy that salt performs in terms of baking chemistry and food flavor, salt has a number of other great applications in the kitchen.

Test egg freshness. Put two teaspoons of salt in a cup of water and place an egg in it — a fresh egg will sink, an older egg will float. Because the air cell in an egg increases as it ages, an older egg is more buoyant. This doesn’t mean a floating egg is rotten, just more mature. Crack the egg into a bowl and examine it for any funky odor or appearance — if it’s rotten, your nose will tell you. (Bonus fact: if you have hard-boiled eggs that are difficult to peel, that means they are fresh!)

Set poached eggs. Because salt increases the temperature of boiling water, it helps to set the whites more quickly when eggs are dropped into the water for poaching.

Prevent fruits from browning.  Most of us use lemon or vinegar to stop peeled apples and pears from browning, but you can also drop them in lightly salted water to help them keep their color.

Shell nuts more easily.  Soak pecans and walnuts in salt water for several hours before shelling to make it easier to remove the meat.

Prevent cake icing crystals. A little salt added to cake icing prevents it from sugaring.

Remove odors from hands.  Oniony-garlicy fingers? I like soap and water, then rubbing them on anything made of stainless steel (it really works), but you can also rub your fingers with a salt and vinegar combo.

Reach high peaks. Add a tiny pinch of salt when beating egg whites or whipping cream for quicker, higher peaks.

Extend cheese life.  Prevent mold on cheese by wrapping it in a cloth moistened with saltwater before refrigerating.

Save the bottom of your oven.  If a pie or casserole bubbles over in the oven, put a handful of salt on top of the spill. It won’t smoke and smell, and it will bake into a crust that makes the baked-on mess much easier to clean when it has cooled.

PERSONAL CARE

Extend toothbrush life:  Soak toothbrushes in salt water before your first use; they’ll last longer.

Clean teethUse one part fine salt to two parts baking soda — dip your toothbrush in the mix and brush as usual. You can also use the same mix dissolved in water for orthodontic appliances.

Rinse your mouth:  Mix equal parts salt and baking soda in water for a fresh and deodorizing mouth rinse.

Ease mouth problems: For cankers, abscesses, and other mouth sores, rinse your mouth with a weak solution of warm saltwater several times a day.

Relieve bee-sting pain.Ouch? Immediately dampen area and pack on a small pile of salt to reduce pain and swelling. More bee-sting tips here.

Treat mosquito bites. A saltwater soak can do wonders for that special mosquito-bite itch — a poultice of salt mixed with olive oil can help, too.
Treat poison ivy. Same method as for treating mosquito bites. (Salt doesn’t seem to distinguish between itches.)
Have an exfoliating massage.  After bathing and while still wet give yourself a massage with dry salt. It freshens skin and boosts circulation.
Ease throat pain.  Mix salt and warm water, gargle to relieve a sore throat.
AROUND THE HOUSE
Deter ants.  Sprinkle salt at doorways, window sills, and anywhere else ants sneak into your house. Ants don’t like to walk on salt.
Extinguish grease fires.  Keep a box of salt near your stove and oven, and if a grease fire flares up, douse the flames with salt. (Never use water on grease fires; it will splatter the burning grease.) When salt is applied to fire, it acts like a heat sink and dissipates the heat from the fire — it also forms an oxygen-excluding crust to smother the fire.
Drip-proof candles.  If you soak new candles in a strong salt solution for a few hours, then dry them well, they will not drip as much when you burn them.
Keep cut flowers fresh. A dash of salt added to the water in a flower vase will keep cut flowers fresh longer. (You can also try an aspirin or a dash of sugar for the same effect.)
Arrange artificial flowers. Artificial flowers can be held in place by pouring salt into the vase, adding a little cold water and then arranging the flowers. The salt become solid as it dries and holds the flowers in place.
Make play dough. Use 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons oil, and 2 tablespoons cream of tartar. Stir together flour, cream of tartar, salt, and oil, and slowly add water. Cook over medium heat stirring frequently until dough becomes stiff. Spread onto wax paper and let cool. Knead the dough with your hands until it reaches a good dough consistency. (Read about juice dyes here.)
Repair walls. To fill nail holes, fix chips or other small dings in white Sheetrock or plaster walls, mix 2 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons cornstarch, then add enough water (about 5 teaspoons) to make a thick paste. Use the paste to fill the holes.
Deter patio weeds. If weeds or grass grow between bricks or blocks in your patio, sidewalk, or driveway, carefully spread salt between the cracks, then sprinkle with water or wait for rain to wet it down.
Kill poison ivy.  Mix three pounds of salt with a gallon of soapy water (use a gentle dish soap) and apply to leaves and stems with a sprayer, avoiding any plant life that you want to keep.
De-ice sidewalks and driveways. One of the oldest tricks in the book! Lightly sprinkle rock salt on walks and driveways to keep snow and ice from bonding to the pavement and allow for easier shoveling/scraping. But don’t overdo it; use the salt sensibly to avoid damage to plants and paws.
Tame a wild barbecue. Toss a bit of salt on flames from food dripping in barbecue grills to reduce the flames and calm the smoke without cooling the coals (like water does).
CLEANING
Salt works as an effective yet gentle scouring agent. Salt also serves as a catalyst for other ingredients, such as vinegar, to boost cleaning and deodorizing action. For a basic soft scrub, make a paste with lots of salt, baking soda and dish soap and use on appliances, enamel, porcelain, etc.
Clean sink drains. Pour salt mixed with hot water down the kitchen sink regularly to deodorize and keep grease from building up.
Remove water rings. Gently rub a thin paste of salt and vegetable oil on the white marks caused by beverage glasses and hot dishes on wooden tables.
Clean greasy pans. Cast-iron skillets can be cleaned with a good sprinkling of salt and paper towels.
Clean stained cups. Mix salt with a dab of dish soap to make a soft scrub for stubborn coffee and tea stains.
Clean refrigerators. A mix of salt and soda water can be used to wipe out and deodorize the inside of your refrigerator, a nice way to keep chemical-y cleaners away from your food.
Clean brass or copper. Mix equal parts of salt, flour, and vinegar to make a paste, and rub the paste on the metal. After letting it sit for an hour, clean with a soft cloth or brush and buff with a dry cloth.
Clean rust. Mix salt and cream of tartar with just enough water to make a paste. Rub on rust, let dry, brush off and buff with a dry, soft cloth. You can also use the same method with a mix of salt and lemon.
Clean a glass coffee pot.  Every diner waitress’ favorite tip: add salt and ice cubes to a coffee pot, swirl around vigorously, and rinse. The salt scours the bottom, and the ice helps to agitate it more for a better scrub.
LAUNDRY
Attack wine spills.  If a tipsy guest tips wine on your cotton or linen tablecloth, blot up as much as possible and immediately cover the wine with a pile of salt, which will help pull the remaining wine away form the fiber. After dinner, soak the tablecloth in cold water for 30 minutes before laundering. (Also works on clothing.)
Quell over-sudsing.  Since, of course, we are all very careful in how much detergent we use in our laundry, we never have too many suds. But if someone overfills … you can eliminate excess suds with a sprinkle of salt.
Dry clothes in the winter. Use salt in the final laundry rinse to prevent clothes from freezing if you use an outdoor clothes line in the winter.
Brighten colors. Wash colored curtains or washable fiber rugs in a saltwater solution to brighten the colors. Brighten faded rugs and carpets by rubbing them briskly with a cloth that has been dipped in a strong saltwater solution and wrung out.
Remove perspiration stains. Add four tablespoons of salt to one quart of hot water and sponge the fabric with the solution until stains fade.
Remove blood stains.  Soak the stained cloth in cold saltwater, then launder in warm, soapy water and boil after the wash. (Use only on cotton, linen, or other natural fibers that can take high heat.)
Tackle mildew or rust stains.  Moisten stained spots with a mixture of lemon juice and salt, then spread the item in the sun for bleaching — then rinse and dry.
Clean a gunky iron bottom.  Sprinkle a little salt on a piece of paper and run the hot iron over it to remove rough, sticky spots.
Set color.  Salt is used commonly in the textile industry, but works at home too. If a dye isn’t colorfast, soak the garment for an hour in 1/2 gallon of water to which you’ve added 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/2 cup salt, then rinse. If rinse water has any color in it, repeat. Use only on single-colored fabric or madras. If the item is multicolored, dry-clean it to avoid running all of the colors together.
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