Our faith tends to lie in conventional medicine, with many of us making a quick dash to the pharmacy at the first sign of discomfort. However, this was not always the case.
People have relied on natural remedies to cure their ailments throughout history, and many still do today. The Amish provide an excellent example of how natural products, such as plants and herbs, can be used to heal ailments.
While not always opposed to conventional medicine, the Amish prefer natural medicine, and for generations, they have relied on natural products to treat health conditions.
We can learn many interesting and helpful home remedies from the Amish, some of which you may not have heard before.
Many of these treatments are still used and are even the foundation on which conventional medicine is built. Here are some Amish remedies that can help you heal without seeing a doctor or visiting a pharmacy, as there may come a time when this is impossible.
Potatoes Can Cure Headaches
A bad headache can ruin even the best of days. People everywhere suffer from headaches. While some headaches come on slowly, others attack without warning.
There is a strange old remedy that many people use to treat headaches, and all you need is a few potatoes.
From consuming potato juice to placing potato slices on your face, potatoes have been used for centuries to treat headaches and migraines in almost every culture.
This practice is still common among the Amish population today and is one of the remedies that many swear by.
The juice of potatoes will provide a substantial amount of potassium, which is thought to be effective in fighting headache pain. However, since drinking potato juice is not a pleasant experience, many will not be willing to try it.
Instead, you can eat a baked potato to quickly absorb much-needed potassium. Alternatively, you could place a few slices on your face and near your temples.
Homemade Cough Syrup
Horehound is a member of the mint family. It has many benefits, especially in respiratory support and cough relief. Horehound will also aid in good digestion, support immunity, and ease inflammation, among other things.
Horehound syrup has been used to treat coughs for hundreds of years.
- 1 oz. fresh or dried horehound leaves
- 1 pint of boiling water
- 3 cups of honey
Bring water to a boil. Add horehound leaves and reduce heat. Let the mixture steep for 10 minutes.
Strain the liquid and measure, adding twice the amount of honey, and mix well. Pour the mixture into a sterilized glass container. Cover and store it in a cool dark place.
Have a teaspoon of horehound syrup four times a day until the cough subsides.
There is nothing better than a decongestant to break up the guck in your chest and relieve sinus pain when you are sick. You can make a decongestant at home, saving money and avoiding dangerous additives.
- 2 tsp. dried or chopped peppermint leaves
- 1 tsp. rosemary
- 1 tsp. thyme
- 1-quart water
In a saucepan, combine rosemary, peppermint, and thyme with water, and bring to a boil.
Turn off the heat, and cover the pot. Let the mixture steep and simmer for 10 minutes.
Draping a towel over your head, lean over the pot. With your eyes closed and head covered, breathe in the vapors.
Breathe slowly and deeply for five minutes to loosen phlegm and decongest your chest. Repeat as needed.
White Willow Bark Amish Fever Fighting Tea
White willow bark tea is an old Amish recipe that has been used for centuries to fight fever, reduce inflammation, relieve headache and ease arthritis pain.
While people used to chew willow bark for relief, they soon discovered that using the willow bark to create a tea was equally effective and worked much faster.
White willow bark contains salicin, similar to aspirin, and helps treat pain associated with inflammation or reduce fever. Note that if you have been told to abstain from aspirin, this recipe is not for you.
- 1-2 tbsp white willow bark
- 1 cup water
- honey to taste
Place the willow bark and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
Once a rolling boil is achieved, cover the pot and allow it to simmer for 10 minutes.
Turn off the heat but leave the pot in place covered and allow it to steep for 30 minutes.
Remove the pot cover, strain the liquid, and add honey to taste. Willow bark is known to be bitter, and you may require a fair amount of honey to achieve the flavor you desire.
Consume up to 4 cups of willow bark tea daily and be patient as you wait for relief. The best part of willow bark tea is that the effects, while slow to start, will last a fair amount of time.
An Old Amish Sore Throat Secret
This old Amish life hack is more of a quaint tea concoction that has been passed down through generations.
All you need to create this old Amish recipe is some black currant jam or jelly. While black currants are very healthy, they are often difficult to find. The shrub of black currants is known to carry a fungus that kills pine trees, and because of this, they cannot be purchased in most garden stores.
Thankfully, you can find pre-made black currant jams and jellies that will work for this recipe. When purchasing the jam, ensure you buy black currant and not red.
- 1 tablespoon of black currant jam or jelly
- the juice of half a lemon
- 1 pint of water
- sugar or honey to taste.
Mix all ingredients together in a medium saucepan.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce the heat. Stirring occasionally, keep the mixture at a low simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Pour the mixture into a cup and drink it while it is hot.
This black currant tea can be consumed several times a day as needed until you feel better.
Amish All-Purpose Tonic
This old Amish recipe has been passed down through many generations and is still used by many to treat common colds and flu.
The recipe requires some work and planning, and many Amish people will create this mixture before the start of flu season to have on hand.
- a sterilized jar with a tight-fitting lid
- ½ cup fresh horseradish, peeled and chopped
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 white onion, diced
- ½ cup ginger root; fresh, peeled, and chopped
- 2 fresh jalapenos, sliced (use gloves when handling)
- 2 lemons, sliced thin (no need to peel, but wash well)
- 2 tablespoons of dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon of turmeric
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- apple cider vinegar
- honey to taste
Add all ingredients to the jar, except the vinegar and honey. Add enough apple cider vinegar to cover the mixture and tighten the lid.
Store the mixture in a cool, dark place.
Visiting the jar once or twice a day to shake the mixture, allow it to blend and steep for at least one month.
After a month, strain out the liquid. Ensure you press and squish the mix to extract all of the valuable liquid. Add as much honey as you wish to make the mixture palatable. Store the mix in a sealed container.
Common in Amish circles, plasters are quick and easy to prepare. They are mainly used to help recover from colds and flu or promote decongestion caused by a cold but may also ease other ailments.
Since plasters are so easy to make, they have been a long-time favorite among Amish people.
For example, to create a garlic plaster, you mince several garlic cloves and add olive oil to form a thick paste.
Wrap this paste on a square of flannel or cotton.
Make sure it is not oozing out the sides of the fabric, and place it on your chest.
Cover the wrapped material with hot water bottles or a warm blanket, and keep it on for 15-20 minutes.
Mustard plasters can be used when you suffer from stubborn chest congestion. To prepare, combine 1 tablespoon of mustard with ¼ cup of flour and add just enough warm water to create a thick paste.
Place the paste in the center of a large piece of fabric and wrap it tightly, making sure none of the plaster can contact the skin as it can cause burns. Place the tightly wrapped plaster on the chest and let it sit for 15 minutes. Repeat as needed.
More Amish Secrets
The Amish have so many fascinating and natural ways to treat ailments that it would be impossible to list them all. However, there are a few more that are worth mentioning.
Painkiller: To ease pain anywhere in the body, take powdered poke root and roast ¼ cup. Add enough water to create a thick paste from the material and apply it to the bottom of the feet.
Insomnia: Ease insomnia by mixing 1 teaspoon of gelatin in a cup of cold water. Let it sit for 5 minutes and add hot water, stirring until dissolved. Use 2 teaspoons in a glass of milk or water after dinner to help induce sleep.
Corns and bunions: Place onion slices on your feet and wrap them in bandages overnight to treat corns and bunions. There is also a remedy that says to use onions and old bread soaked in strong vinegar.
Vinegar is used for many things in Amish communities, including foot odors. According to some Amish folk, placing your feet in ½ cup of vinegar and water a few times a week will kill odor and bacteria. Some say to add a teabag as well.
Toothache: To ease the pain of a toothache, place a piece of cotton soaked in vanilla on the sore tooth.
Ease a stomach bug: Mix 2 tablespoons vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt in a quart of water. Drink as much of this liquid as possible in one day to ward off stomach bugs.
That is all the Amish remedies I can share this time, but there are many more to find and try. Knowing how to treat ailments naturally is a great practice and beneficial skill. I would love to hear some of the old remedies you have used or heard, even if they are not Amish.