The People's Perspective on Medicine

Show 1041: What Are Your Favorite Home Remedies for Summer?

Share your favorite home remedies for bug bites, bee stings, sunburn and other summertime problems. And let us know how you feel about butter!
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What Are Your Favorite Home Remedies for Summer?

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If you are hiking in the hinterlands this summer, what first aid should you take along? We talk with Dr. Jim Hubbard, author of The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook, about what to do when you can’t get to the doctor.

Home Remedies for Summertime Maladies:

Dr. Hubbard also shares some of his favorite home remedies. What home remedies do you use most often for hot weather problems?

Diet Controversies Heat Up:

Butter made headlines recently when nutrition scientists at Tufts University published a meta-analysis showing that butter doesn’t lead directly to diabetes, heart disease or death. Sweet corn in the summer tastes so much better with butter on it, so this is good news. Why have they gotten such push-back? What’s your take on butter?

The Tufts University research showing no connection between butter consumption and heart attack or stroke was published in PLOS One, June 29, 2016. The Harvard meta-analysis showing that saturated fat and especially trans-fatty acids contribute to premature death was published in JAMA Internal Medicine, July 5, 2016.

Are You Staying Hydrated?

That can be a challenge in hot weather. Water is always good, but coffee or tea also work. The British research demonstrating that tea and coffee are as good as water-and milk or oral rehydration solution is even better-for hydration was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March, 2016.

During the show, one listener emailed his home-made rehydration solution. Here’s the recipe:

“Mix one gallon of water, 1 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt, 4 tablespoons of honey, & 4 tablespoons of good apple cider vinegar (homemade or Braggs).

“We drink all we want in the hayfield, etc. We also drink one glass of water for one glass of the apple vinegar  drink.”

This Week’s Guest:

James Hubbard, MD, MPH, is a specialist in family medicine and author of The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook: What to Do When Help Is Not on the Way. His website is

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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With respect to muscle cramps today’s (7-12-16) Wall St. Journal has an article on treating cramps by drinking hot spices. Sounds a lot like the spoonful of mustard cure I read in People’s.

I love butter! I have eaten as much butter, cream, whole milk and full fat yogurt as I wanted my whole life. I have always been thin and fit. I agree that staying away from processed food and refined carbs is the way to go.

I enjoyed listening to your radio show for the first time on 7/10/16 in Jensen Beach Florida. I have some life long experience that explains the reason many home remedies work in a similar manor. One day about 6 months back I was bitten by fire ants on my legs and feet. I have a very severe reaction to the ants because of allergies. I would start scratching and not stop until long after the skin was bleeding.
One this day, I went direct to Google and searched for what people say will stop the reaction, or itch. One web site was from a person who collected a lot of remedies for this particular problem. The author eventually got around to telling what he found was the number one method to stop the itch. He explained about using a blow dryer to heat the sting to a temperature that was as hot as the person can tolerate for a few minutes.
It worked, it was amazing how well it worked. It is the only thing I do to stop the fire ant, and really any bug bite sting. One explanation is that the heat causes the toxins to dissipate and alleviate the sting.
What also should be well known is that the sting, or itch reacts to the oxygen hitting it, and putting any viscous liquid over the sting will cut off oxygen, and stop the itch. This is how many commercially available products actually work. One such product is called Tricalm, and it not only dries on the bite to cut off oxygen, it also contains sodium, otherwise known as salt.
The next cure that is well known with plastic surgeons is that keeping a wound covered and moist will prevent scaring, and allow quick healing. One such way is to cover the wound with petroleum jelly, then cover it with gauze. Change the dressing each day, and you will be amazed at how well wounds will heal, and not scare, or scare very little depending on the sound.
I learned this from my partner’s son who was in college to become an RN. He had to take many classes from medical professions, and plastic surgery was one.
This information did not surprise me after a lifetime of experience with cuts on my hands and arms. I had learned that if my bandaid had gotten wet, and stayed wet, the cuts would heal in a few days and be gone. The process slows down a little as we get older, but it still works. Keeping a would moist prevents scabing and scabbing is what causes scaring, and slows down the healing process.
One other thing that our RN shared with me was to clean a would with only water. Do not put peroxide, or anything else on the wound. He said that it does more harm and good. Maybe you can tell me why?

Hi, cramps is your body telling you’re low in minerals, ie, calcium magnesium, zinc, and 18 other trace elements. It means you have to take a Ca,Mg, and Zinc vitamin/minerals to get rid of the cramps! It takes about 90 seconds to work and they won’t come back for about a week or much longer period of time. Try it!

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