A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

There's a cure for that!

I recently had a discussion about old-school home remedies.  You know the type--alcohol rubs, steam from the sink, Vicks. God bless Vicks.  

Grandma's cure for everything was Mercurochrome.

She had this very same bottle, and I remember at the time thinking the bottle looked old even back then.  I know that my fingers or toes, or whatever cut I had was stained orange for at least a day from this stuff.

I don't know where Grandma ever came up with the concept of putting butter on burns. To me that seems like putting oil on a fire. But through all of these home remedies, I prevailed, so maybe there was something to them. In this era of health care woes, a towel over the head and a steaming sink seem like a more economical alternative.

When I was young I didn't like the color of my eyes. I wanted brown eyes. Well, through I learned that if you put lemon drops into blue eyes, they would turn brown. Yes, in my infinite wisdom, I tried this.  I didn't even have the pretty little bottle of stock lemon juice.  I cut a lemon and squeezed it into my eye (pulp and all).  For an hour I squinted through slits into the mirror to see if my eyes would change color.  They did not.

In my youth I spent every waking moment in the Florida sun.  I can remember calling my mother from Buccaneer Bay and crying, "Mom, I'm burned." To which she would calmly respond, "Well then get out of the sun dear."  I didn't listen. By the time I got home, she had a muumuu waiting for me because all clothes hurt. She would walk out on the back porch and chop yucca leaves and squeeze their guts out on my arms. Picture little Maureen in a muumuu with her sticky arms held out straight at her sides for about three hours. Noxzema was also great on sunburn...for about thirty seconds.

Have you ever thrown any crazy homemade remedies into your books? What are some of the treatments that you've personally attempted and will pass on to your children?


Wynter Daniels said...

That lemon must have felt really good in your eyes;-)
I smeared mayonnaise all over my brown hair to give it red highlights (which it didn't), but I smelled like a deli for a while!

Maureen A. Miller said...

Mayonnaise! I never heard of that one. Chances are I would have tried it. My eyes turned so red, I thought for sure they were about to become brown. :)

Anne Marie Becker said...

Ouch, Maureen! You've got me cringing this morning. :)

I've heard about lemon juice to give hair highlights, but not lemon juice in the eyes or mayonnaise in the hair.

I've tried the home remedies for earaches, which did help a little. (Drop of grape seed oil in the ear, warm washcloth, etc.) Amazing the things we'll try when we're in pain!

Rita said...

Yes! The ‘red medicine’. It was either Mercurochrome or iodine. And that stuff worked. What you see in the stores now is more than half the strength of what we had as kids. It worked too well and was too cheep no money to be made there. At the first sign of a cold or God forbid a cough we had to gargle with a concoction consisting of a spoonful of hydrogen peroxide in a half cup of warm water. Mayonnaise was used to make your hair shine. Before chlorine was regulated if you spent any time in a pool you came home coated with it. It built up on your hair unless you use a cider vinegar rinse. Talk about smelling like a salad. I'm impressed you got Noxzema seem to work for 30 seconds it never worked for me. I have used the hydrogen peroxide and warm water on my kids and I still use it when I start to get a raspy throat because it works. And you know if your mouth and throat foam up you really needed it.

Maureen A. Miller said...

Anne Marie, earaches are the worst. I would take accept any cure for them!

Rita, I still gargle with salt and water for sore throats. Grandpa said saltwater cured everything. If you broke a leg...go sit in the ocean for a few minutes. :)

Back in the 80's, with hair spray running rampant, they used to say you could use Pine Sol to get rid of that plastic buildup in your hair?

Wendy Soliman said...

Oh yeah, all sorts of age old remedies go into my historicals. witchhazel, herb mixtures. I have someone with exposure in the latest - no, not THAT sort of exposure. Warm water, not hot, blah, blah

Marcelle Dubé said...

Good grief, Maureen! It's a wonder you didn't scream when the lemon juice hit your eyeball!

I can't recall a single instance where I used home remedies in my books, but I do remember the salt water gargle when you have a sore throat (or have had a tooth pulled), and the head over a bowl of steaming water to clear your nasal passages. We laugh at some of these home remedies but quite a few of them worked very well.

Maureen A. Miller said...

Wendy, I need to read more of your books if they contain age remedies...oh, no, you said "age old remedies" LOL!

Marcelle...if you can't tell, I'm cheap. Steam from the sink is free.
Saltwater is pretty inexpensive. :)

Shirley Wells said...

Oh my, lemon juice in your eyes. That makes she cringe with imagined pain. (Made me laugh too ... sorry.)

I still use salt water for just about anything from sore throats to cuts. The dogs have to suffer it if they get a cut too. :)

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