Natural Alternatives: Cures for Common Ailments

Natural Alternatives: Cures for Common Ailments

Our forbearers have taught us many things and have created a base for us to build our knowledge upon. Some knowledge though can be considered suspect and more than a little wacky. This is especially true in some of the “cures” that they have prescribed to us over the years. Here are five of the more interesting prescriptions the elders here in South East Asia have suggested.

Cavities can be cured by stuffing it with a wood piece and putting a pinch of salt on it. The pain is considered as a sign that the cure is working. Logically, the match stick would do more harm than good but the salt is slightly beneficial. It would help close up broken skin near the cavity.

Bump on the head

Overactive children get a lot of bumps on their head and an interesting “cure” for it would be a lock of the mother’s hair. Usually the mother would grab a handful of her hair and rub it vigorously on the bump. This of course might just have been healing on an emotional rather than physical level. Sometimes after a head bump floatation therapy is recommended to calm the mind and promote healing.

Open wound

Ground some coffee beans, preferably fresh ones (though instant coffee is fine), and just slap as much on the wound as you possibly can. Then wrap the whole bleeding mess with a piece of cloth. In theory, the bleeding will stop and it’ll heal. An alternative to coffee would be charcoal. Maria, author of “Collecting and Exchange of Local Agricultural Content” , supports this alternative stating that charcoal has some antiseptic properties.

Bee sting

When stung by a bee, scrape off some of the plaque off your teeth and spread it onto the bite. Make sure the it enters the broken skin. This “cure” might not apply now, though, as we now have better oral hygiene. Upon further investigation, an article on Insect Stings has clarified a bit on this topic. Bee stings are acidic so would be neutralised by the alkaline saliva though this depends on the person’s diet as clarified by The Oral Environment which says that the person’s plaque would only be alkaline if they have a protein rich diet. On the whole, Insect Stings denies that plaque would help ease the pain of a bee sting.


During your shower, wash your face as usual. Then to end your shower, wet your underwear and wipe it all over the areas where acne is prominent.

Eye infection

If you have a red eye from an eye infection, fear not, a simple cure resides in you. Next time you feel like going to the toilet, cup some your your pee and wash your red eye with it. Many in SEA swear on its effectiveness. Interestingly this view is not only held here. Check out the comments on this page. This is related to the previous point on acne cure, it is believed that urine has curative, especially sterilizing properties.


Most of these cures have been handed down from generation to generation here in South East Asia. These cures are considered common knowledge here but only to the elderly. The quick modernization in the past few decades have made such knowledge redundant as more modern and conventional medicines appeared.

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