Folk medicine is a combination of healing practices passed down orally from generation to generation. It is the hundreds of years` worth of healing experience that is stored in folk tradition and has the following distinguishing characteristics:
- It aims not only to treat the afflicted organ but to have an overall beneficial effect on the entire organism. Some of the principles of folk medicine include taking an individual approach to each patient and treating not only the symptoms of the illness buttaking care of the whole organism at the same time;
- It relies primarily on a system of practices that do not have a negative effect on the body such as physiotherapy (the use of water, air, sun and physical exercise), herbs (phytotherapy), various diet plans and others;
- The means and methods of healing employed by folk medicine are not expensive, the ingredients required are affordable and the procedures can be carried out in the comfort of your own home.
Despite their beneficial effects, the methods of folk medicine are not universally applicable. Currently there are many other treatments and medicines that also have their advantages. This is only logical since folk medicine develops and advances much slower than and in a different direction from conventional medicine. Folk medicine recommends treatments that use primarily physical means and herbs while conventional medicine uses primarily chemical means.
Conventional medicine often uses elements of folk medicine and the progress it has made is great. Thanks to the breakthroughs in biology, anatomy, physiology, pathology, pathophysiology, biochemistry, biophysics, pharmacology, etc, conventional medicine has become one of the most advanced branches of science. This is why it is necessary to coordinate the use of folk medicine alongside conventional medicine in order to avoid mistakes and undesirable results.
Bulgarian folk medicine has been forged from people`s experience through the ages. There are grains of rationality in many of its practices which need to be developed further scientifically and substantiated theoretically.
Many scientific diagnostic methods and avast number of healing practices and ways to protect against illness are borrowed from folk medicine and have been perfected in accordance with contemporary knowledge. Phytotherapy, for example, started out as a very important branch of folk medicine and has been perfected into a science.Experience shows that the treasure chestand spring of wisdom and experience that is folk medicine still has plenty to offer. Doctors and scientists who delve into folk medicine continue to stumble upon interesting and useful pieces of information, materials and facts even today. Doctors shake off the dust that the centuries have covered this information with, studyit using the methods of conventional medicine, find scientific evidence to support itanduse it to expandthe contemporary art of healing.
The guiding principles of folk medicine can be formulatedas follows:
- Patients should be treated using primarily natural means;
- Lifestyle and diet changes should be made in addition to the treatment in order to strengthen the whole organism;
- Treatment (both the medication and the dosage) should be strictly individual;
- Treatment should be comprehensive, it should have a beneficial effect not only on the organ in question but on the whole organism as well;
- Generally treatment should never be rushed (with the exception of special and emergency cases) because the body should be given the opportunity to battle the illness;
- It is necessary to make patients believe in healing and to convince them that the illness can be overcome. This can be achieved through eliminating the fear and the psychological tension it causes.
Folk medicine puts these principles into practise through:
- Various procedures from naturopathy (physiotherapy):compresses,poultices, baths, rub downs, massages, use of air, sunlight, physical exercise, etc;
- Eliminating the psychological stress and nervous tensionrelated to the illness with the help oforal persuasion.
The use of natural healing therapies aims at restoring the health of the patient in a safe way. They work to restore the afflicted organ and its suppressed and altered functions and to reincorporate these functions into the complex and functionally interdependent structure of the organism as a whole. The natural healing therapies must be selected specifically for each patient and administered in the correct way and in the appropriate dosage in order for them to achieve their purpose and have the desiredhealing effects, namely: to improve the wellbeing of he organism as a whole, to strengthen the body`sdefenses,to restore its neuropsychological processes,to help it fight offinflammation and microbes, to regulate the excretoryfunctions of specific organs and glands, etc.During the treatment it is necessary to pay attention to the psychological state of the patient as well: they have to believe that they will get better, they have tostay optimistic and not lose willpower, to have trust in themselves and in those administering the treatment and to use auto-suggestion. All of these will help counteract the intrusivefears and thoughts that come with some illnesses. The desired effectis achieved through the spoken word alone.
Folk medicine uses the healing properties of nature: sunlight, air, water, food (a predominantly plant-based diet consisting mainly of fruit and different vegetable juices), sleep (which provides the necessary respite for all bodily functions), a cheerful mood, happiness, laughter,physical exercise, various massages and diets – raw foodism, healing through the use of milk, thermal waters, electricity, starvation, phytotherapy, etc, etc.Phytotherapy, for example, is one of the main methods used throughout the ages in Bulgarian folk medicine.
It is easy to see that the methods and ingredients used by folk medicine are readily available. They can be found in the environment surrounding the patient. They are an integral part of everyday life and help the bodycarry out its normal physiological functions. When there is an illness these same ingredients and methodsare used in an altered quality and quantity and with a different force and level of influence depending on the needs of the patient, the nature of the illness and the parts of the body that are afflicted.
Another group of procedures that have an effect similar to that of steam baths are sweat-inducing infusions.
The hot sea salt method
Lay out 2-3 kg of sea salt on a tray and heat it up over the fire to a temperature you can tolerate on your skin. Lay the salt evenly in a layer on the upper part of the bed and cover it quickly with a woolen blanket to stop it from cooling down. The patient should lie down so that the salt can warm up their entire back. Next, cover the patient well with 3-4 blankets and let them lie on the salt like this for an hour. After the patient has perspired enough, move them, well covered up, to another bed (which has been warmed up in advance) so that they canperspired a second time. After that the patient should be cooled down using the method described previously. This method is especially effectivefor treating colds and inflammatory lung diseases.
The hot soft-boiled barley method
Boil 3-4 kg of barleyfor15 minutesbut be careful not to over boil it. Strain and wait for it to cool down until it is tolerable to the touch. Cover the upper part of the bed with a sheet and spread the barley evenly or take a pillowcase as big as the patient`s back, put the barley inside and place it on the bed, again spreading the barley evenly. Cover the barley (or the pillowcase with the barley inside) with a thin blanket and have the patient lie on it – the barley should be warm but not hot and it should warm up the entire back: from the neck to the tailbone. After the patient has perspired enoughor has grown tired of the procedure, transfer them to another bed where they can perspire once more or carefully pull out the pillowcase with the barley and cover up the patient so that they can perspire again in the same bed. The patient should be cooled down afterwards. This method is particularly effective for treating colds.In order to make it easier for children to go through the treatment, warm up their back by massaging it with the palm of your hand before having them lie down on the barley.
The bachelor method
The patient should sit, fully clothed, by a blazing fire and sip hot water or camomile, lime tree or other herbal tea. After the patient has drunk 3-5 cups one after the other, they will have started sweating profusely. They should be wrapped up in a blanket or two in order for the process to continue and after that the whole body should be rubbed down with lukewarm water. Bulgarian people call it the bachelor method.
The steam method
Cover the troubled spot with a normal poultice soaked in water(25°С) and warm it up through the poultice with a hot brick, a hot water bottle in a wool cover or using something else.This moist heat has a beneficial effect on the troubled spot. If necessary, the procedure can be repeated in a day or two. After the procedure, wash the spot with lukewarm water (25 °С) and massage it. Then apply a poultice to the stomach.This method is vey suitable for patients with problemswith the central nervous system and patients suffering from exhaustion. The duration of the procedure is between 10 and 30 minutes.
Inducing sweating in patients with high temperature (39-40°С)
- For children: prepare a mixture of equal parts pure olive oil, wine vinegar and egg white or mix together a tablespoon of unsalted pork lard and half a tablet of aspirin or quinine and rub the patient`s body with the mixture. Next, follow the instructions in 2.
Method 1: Prepare a mixture of equal parts crushed garlic, wine vinegar and olive oil, rub the patient`s body with it and cover them with 2-3 blankets. After a little while the patient will start to feel unwell, they will start perspiring and the temperature will begin to drop down. After they have perspired profusely, remove all the blankets except the last one, carefully pat the patient dry with a dry towel and move them to another bed where they can perspire once again. Clean the patient with a towel and lukewarm water (25°С) afterwards, change their clothes, put a poultice soaked in lukewarm water (25°С) on their stomach and let them sleep.
Method 2: Crush some garlic or onion, squeeze out the juice and add vinegar and table salt or mix together 100 ml of water, 100 ml of vinegar and 100 grams of sodium bicarbonate and rub the patient`s body with the mixture. Next, follow the instructions in 2.
Method 3: Mix together two parts lemon juice and one part table salt and rub the patient`s body with the mixture. Next, follow the instructions in 2.
Method 4: Mix together three parts wine vinegar and one part water, soak a shirt in the liquid and put it on the patient. After they have perspired, wash their body with lukewarm water.
These teas are particularly helpful to treat colds, acute or chronic inflammation of the upper respiratory tract and the lungs. They can be taken both on their own and in combination with other remedies.
- Lime tree tea with the addition of the skin of one apple and sweetened with honey or sugar to taste. If the patient is able to, they should drink 3-5 cups of the tea quickly one after the other while it is still hot. They should then lie down in a bed that has been preheated with hot water bottles; make sure the patient is covered well with blankets. They should stay in bed until they have perspired profusely, then wipe down their body first with a damp cloth and then with a dry one.
- Mixed tea Mix together 30 grams of raspberries, 30 grams of lime tree flowers and 30 grams of mullein (Verbascum) flowers. Add 3 tablespoons of the mixture to 600 ml of boiling water and let it boil with the lid on for 10 minutes. Sweeten the tea to taste, drink 3-4 cups one after the other while it isstill hot and follow the instructions above.
- Honey tea with lemon. Add 2-3 tablespoons of pure honey and the juice of one lemon to one litre of boiling water, let it simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes and drink as much as you can while it is still hot. This tea is very beneficial for chest problems, colds, fluesand fevers. When drunk as alukewarm drink, it quenches thirst and refreshes the patient.
- Hops (Humulus lupulus)flowers and leaves tea. Cover a table spoon of hops flowers and leaves with 300 ml of boiling water, put a lid on your container and let the mixture sit for about an hour. Drink 2-3 cups of the tea a day. It relieves various kinds of pain, especially if the pain gives the patient trouble sleeping.
- Old folk recipe. Take 300 ml of old wine (red is better than white), add 300 ml of water, a full tablespoon of nebet (crystallized sugar) candy and 5 cloves. Let the mixture simmer over a low heat until only half of the liquid is left in the container. The tea should only be consumed by adults and drunk hot in one go. After the patient has perspired, follow the instructions above.
These poultices are used to treat boils, inflammation, swelling, bruises, etc, when it is necessary to warmup the area for a longer period of time in order to relieve painor to speed up suppuration and the healing process.
Warm Flax Seed Poultice
Add flax seed to some water, milk, olive oil or diluted vinegar and crush(or grind) it for 15-20 minutes. Put the thick paste on a towel or in a bag, place it on the troubled spot while it is still hot, cover it with a piece of woollen cloth and leave it for 15 to 30 minutes. It is a good idea to prepare two bags: one to put on the troubled spot and one to warm up in the meantime so that when the first poultice cools down it can immediately be replaced with the second one. You can use the same poultice two days in a row.
If the patient is in severe pain and they are an adult, boil 3-4 poppy heads in some water and add the water to the flax seed.
If the patient is suffering from a surface inflammation of the skin, it is better to apply a thin poultice made of boiled potatoes.
Warm Hemp Seed Poultice
Prepare and apply following the instructions for the Warm Flax Seed Poultice above.
Warm Hops Cone Poultice
This poultice lessens and relieves pain very well. Prepare and apply following the instructions for the Warm Flax Seed Poultice above.
Okra, Milk and Sugar Poultice
Take about 100 grams of fresh okra and boil it in 300 ml of milk with a tablespoon of sugar for about two hours until the mixture turns into a thick paste. Place the hot paste on the troubled spot and leave it there for about half an hour like you would normally do with a regular poultice.
The same poultice can be prepared with canned or dried okra. Use canned okra as you would use fresh one. If you use dried okra, take only half the amount, cover it with the same amount of boiling water in millilitres as the amount of okra in grams you use and leave it to soften. Then add two times the amount of milk and sugar.
The poultice is very good for treating headaches, heavy bruises, etc.
The moist heat of the hot poultice can be maintained by placing an electric pad, a hot brick, a hot water bottle, etc.ontop of it. The effect of the poultice is weaker when it is cold.
Mustard Poultices (Hardalov`s Poultices)
The mustard plant is one of the most popular ingredients used by the Bulgarian people to warm up the skinor parts of it.
- Quick-acting mustard poultice. You will need freshly crushed or ground mustard seed (white or red). Take 2 tablespoons of mustard flour and 2 tablespoons of plain flour, mix them together well, add some tap water and continue stirring until you get a runny dough-like paste. Spread the musard dough in a thin layer over a piece of gauze, a thin towel, etc using a knife or the handle of a spoon and fold it in two so that the dough is enveloped between the two layers of cloth. Place the poultice on the troubled spot and hold it there until the skin becomes very red – it usually takes 10, 15 or 20 minutes depending on how fast the patient`s skin responds. The condition of the skin can be easily monitored by lifting one of the ends of the poultice from time to time. Once the poultice is removed, it is recommended to clean the spot with a towel soaked in hot water and to apply olive oil.
Some pharmacies sell ready-made mustard poultices which you can buy without a prescription from a doctor. They are usually applied in the following way: moisten the side of the poultice with the herb on it and place it on the troubled spot. Leave it there for about 10 minutes. The same poultice can immediately be placed on another spot.
- Slow-acting mustard poultice. Crush the amount of black mustard seed you will need, add an equal amount of ground table salt, mix well and pour as much warm vinegar as you need to make a dough-like mixture. Spread it between two layers of thin cloth and place it on the troubled spot. When prepared in this way the poultice can be left on the skin overnight (even on the skin of children) without any negative consequences.
Hardalov`s poultices are used to stimulate the flow of blood to the skin which helps to treat a number of illnesses: chest problems (pneumonia, bronchopneumonia, trachea bronchitis, etc), headaches, leg pain, etc. After removing the poultice, it is recommended to apply pure vinegar or milk to the spot.
Sourdough Ferment Poultice
Homemade sourdough ferment is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent; its use was spread among the Bulgarian people more than 1 000 years ago by the Bogomils. The healing properties of sourdough ferment come, on the one hand, from the hidden rays that allyeasts emit and which make the skin turn dark just as it does when exposed to the sun and, on the other hand, from the heat emitted during the process of fermentation. This fermentation process lasts for at least six hours and the poultice should not be removed during this time.
Good homemade sourdough ferment is warm, has a very strong sour smell and is not runny but thick as bread dough. Here is how to prepare it: take a tablespoon of wholemeal flour (white flour makes the ferment slimy), a pinch of salt and some warm water (not hot). Using warm boza (a type of fermented beverage) that has gone sour would be even better. Mix the ingredients into dough and leave it in a container covered with a woollen tea towel in a warm place (near a burning stove) and leave it for about 48 hours. During this time the mixture will turn into sourdough ferment which you can recognize by the bubbles on top and the sour smell. Should you want to speed up the fermentation process, add 1/4 teaspoon of pure wine vinegar.
Store the sourdough ferment in two containers. Use a bigger container for the bit you want to use now, cover it with a piece of woollen cloth and keep it in a warm place so that the fermentation process can continue properly, Store the rest of the ferment in a smaller container and in a cold place in order to slow down the fermentation process.
Homemade sourdough ferment is twice as potent as the one used in bakeries which is why it should always be your first choice.
Sourdough ferment poultices are very good for treating headaches, bruises, boils, etc. Before placing the ferment on the skin, put it in a little bag of very thin cotton cloth and spread it in a layer that is half a centimetre thick. This is done in order to prevent it from sticking to the hairs on the skin. You can also massage the spot where you would like to place the poultice with some olive oil. The easiest way to remove the dry bit of ferment from the bag is by soaking it for half a minute in cold water.
You can use the same bit of ferment a second time and in order to do this, add some warm water and an equal amount of flour, mix it all together and let it ferment once again.
If the ferment is to be taken internally, a fresh batchof it should be prepared every time.
Horseradish, Flour, Salt and Vinegar Poultice
This poultice is very potent and especially helpful for treating bruises, chronic rheumatism, gout, low back pain (LBP), etc.
Method: depending on how big the area you need the poultice for is, take one or two medium-sizedhorseradish roots, grind them finely and immediately afterwards mix in equal parts wholemeal (or regular) flour and salt and as much vinegar as you need to make a thick paste. Spread the paste in a layer about 0.5/1 centimetres thickinside a thin bag that is large enough to cover the troubled spot. Keep the poultice in place for 1-2 hours if the patient is a child, for 2 to 5 hours if the patient is an adult and for 6 to 8 hours if the patient is willing to leave it on for so long. After removing the poultice, soothe the skin by placing a milk poultice with izvara (curds) or a simple poultice soaked in a lukewarm infusion of red clover (Trifolium pratense) on the spot. The horseradish poultice can be used once every 3-10 days (that is, only when the redness on the skin has disappeared).
Onion and Salt Poultice
Take three tablespoons of finely chopped onion, a tablespoon of table salt and some corn flour. Mix everything together with some warm water to make a thick paste and use as a lukewarm poultice.
HEATING PADS(DRY HEAT)
Dry heat is the most simple and readily available pain reliever. It can be applied in a number of ways. Special attention should be payed, however, with patients who are unconscious or who have paralysis in the part of the body which is to be treated because they cannot feel the heat, cannot communicate if it is too hot and can, as a result, sustain massive burns.
- 1. Hot brick. Wrap the brick in a piece of cloth and place it on the troubled spot. If moist heat is required, pour hot water over the brick when you take it out of the oven and wrap it in a moist towel to make steam.
- Hot water bottle. A glass bottle filled with hot water and wrapped in a moist towel to prevent it from burning the patient.
- Heating pad with sour cherry pits. This is a great alternative to hot bricks and hot water bottles and has the advantage of being much lighter than them. Remove all of the sour cherry pulp from the pits, wash them clean, dry them and put them in little cotton cloth bags (15 cm wide and about 30 cm long). When it is time to use them, heat them up in the oven or on the hob of a wood stove but be careful because they might catch fire.
- Bags with warm sand, wholemeal flour or sea salt. These bags can be warmed up and used like other heating pads with equally good results.
Heating pads are very helpful, especially for treating toothache, earache, renal and gallbladder crises, neuralgia, etc.
Enemas are widely performed both on healthy and on ill adults and children. They can be cleansing or medicinal. They are used to relieve constipation and to treat number of conditions among which acute and chronic inflammation of the small and large intestine. Enemas cleanse the bowels from old fecal matter build up. They are also used to administer medicine and even food and water to patients suffering from a serious illness. Depending on their purpose, enemas are performed using plain water or water with added substances.
Standard (Cleansing) Enema
You will need one litre of warm water (37°С). The irrigator and the hands of the person performing the procedure must be washed thoroughly beforehand. (Translator`s Note: some parts of the following description were out-of-date and have been modernized for the sake of clarity) Here is how you perform the enema:
1) Hang the irrigator about 1-1.5 metres above the bed.
2) Release any air that might be trapped in the hose.
3) The patient should lie on their left side and raise their backside slightly.
4) The person performing the enema or the patient themself takes the rectal tip (which has been coated in Vaseline, butter or soap), inserts it carefully into the colon about 8-10 centimetres deep and releases the clamp so that the water can start flowing. If the water will not flow, pull the rectal tip back a little.
5) If the patient starts feeling discomfort while the rectal tip is still inside and cannot hold the water in, place a towel under them and press together the sides of their back passage (anus) until the water stops flowing.
6) After all of the water in the irrigator (or as much of it as the patient can take in without experiencing discomfort) has gone in, close the clamp, pull out the rectal tip and let the patient lie down on their right side for 3-5 minutes so that the water can reach deeper inside the intestines.
The water you use can be warmer or cooler. When administering enemas to children it is recommended to use bulb syringes which are sold in pharmacies.
Press the hose with your fingers from time to time while the water is flowing to reduce the pressure of the water.
Once the water is inside, the patient should try to hold it in for several minutes. The bowels are then released naturally and the stomach should be pressed gently with both hands in order to ease the passage of the stool through the intestines.
For nursing babies the cleansing enema can be substituted with special suppositories which are sold in pharmacies or with a piece of soap shaped into a suppository and coated in Vaseline or oil.
For a cleansing enema you will need 100-200 ml of water for infants aged 1-3, 200-350 ml of water for children aged 3-6, 350-600 ml of water for children aged 6-10 and600-800 ml of water for children aged 10-14.
With camomile tea. Cover 4tablespoons of camomile flowers with one litre of boiling water and let it steep. An enema with this infusion soothes, for example, intestinal spasms. The temperature of the infusion should be 37°С.
With camomile tea, salt and soap. Add half a teaspoon of table salt and one tablespoon of liquid soap to one litre of camomile tea. You will also need about two litres of water. This enema is used to remove hardened stools.
With olive oil and soap. Mix one tablespoon of liquid soap with some warm water and stir to make foam. Add 1-2 spoons of olive oil or equal parts olive oil and glycerin. This enema is good for relieving chronic constipation.
With an infusion of flax seed and camomile. Boil a tablespoon of whole flax seed for 10 minutes in a litre of water. Remove it from the fire, add 2 tablespoons of camomile and let it steep. This enema is recommended for patients suffering from inflammation of the large intestine.
With white clay. Dissolve 250 grams of white clay (which you can buy from a pharmacy) into one litre of water.
With starch. Add 50 grams of starch to half a litre of water (42-45°С). This enema is effective in treating bowel irritations.
Half an hour after all of the water that has entered the body through the regular enema has come out, administer an additional 250 ml of warm water (37°С). The patient should hold it in through the night. This water will be absorbed by the mucous membrane.
Retention enemascan be administered on their own as well:
Enema with 200-300 ml of warm water (42-45°С).It is used to treat spastic constipation, colic, difficult urination and painful menstruation.
Enema with 200-300 ml of cold water (18-20°С) from 1 to 3 times a day. It is used to treat haemorrhoids, neurasthenia, sexual arousal, spasms in children, etc.
Enema with olive oil –administer 125-200 ml of olive oil at body temperature in the evening. The patient should be prostrated on their elbows and knees. It should be retained for 5-6 hours. This enema is used to soften hard stool, relieve constipation, etc.
In order for the water to reach deeper, gently massage the stomach upwards (toward the navel).
In patients with severe constipation the retention enema can be repeated over 5-6 consecutive days and a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate can be added to the water (but not to the olive oil). After that it is enough to administer an enema once or twice a week until the stomach has completely settled down and regulated itself.
Many people nowadays often suffer from constipation which is mainly due to their lifestyle, lack of physical activity and a reduced consumption of foods containing cellulose. This is why people often turn to enemas and other laxatives. But their systemic use – especially the use of laxatives –has not only the opposite effect but can also causedamage and lead to long-lasting diseases of the intestines. What people should do instead is strive to create and maintain regular bowel habitsand use other means as a last resort. In addition, attention should be paid to the organism as a whole with stomach compresses, stomach baths and stomach massages that will boost the digestive system. Drinking warm water, a plant-based diet with more raw fruits and young vegetables, rye bread, etc is also very helpful.
Warm water as a laxative
Water is the simplest of laxatives. Sip on 1-2 cups of warm water (38-39°С)for over at least half an hour on an empty stomach in the morning. Usually it will have the desired effect in a couple of hours.
Leek as a laxative
Boil a couple of leeks in 300 ml of milk, strain the milk and drink it in one go.Instead of leek you can use an infusion of blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) flowers – cover 30 grams of blackthorn flowers with 500 ml of boiling water, let it sit for 20-30 minutes and drink a wine glass of the infusion in the morning and in the evening before a meal. Yet another alternative is drinking grape juice (or sira) on an empty stomach.
Sweet almond as a laxative
Take some sweet almonds, crush them into a fine paste and dissolve it in water. Drink a coffee cup of the mixture. It can also be given to children.
Senna (Folia sennae) as a laxative
The senna (Folia sennae) should be bought from a herbal store and steeped like a tea (when it is boiled, it causes colic). Steep 2-3 senna leaves for children under the age of 5 in a coffee cup, steep 3-5 leaves for older children and 7-8 leaves for adults in a glass of water. Drink it sweetened with honey, ideally on an empty stomach in the morning because it will take effect after 4-6 hours. An infusion of peach blossoms is also recommended for children: cover 30 grams of peach blossoms with 500 ml of boiling water or boiling milk and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
Aloe (Aloe Vera, Aloe vulgaris)* as a laxative
There are several ways to use Aloe. Prepare your drink of choice and have it on an empty stomach in the morning.
- Stir a spoon of honey into a cup of warm water, take some Aloe powder on the tip of a knife, add it to the water and put it on the stove to boil.
- Add a teaspoon of flax seed (whole) to a glass of water and let it boil for 5 minutes. Strain the flax seed tea, take some Aloe powder on the tip of a knife, add it to the mixture and sweeten with a spoon of honey.
- Add 1tablespoon of elder flowers to 2 glasses of water, take some Aloe powder on the tip of a knife, add it to the mixture and add: 1 table soon of fenugreek(Trigonella foenum-graecum), 1 table soon of whole dill seed and 1 table soon of honey. Leave it on the stove to come to the boil, strain and drink 2 coffee cups of the mixture a day for two consecutive days – one on an empty stomach in the morning and the other in the evening before dinner.
*Pregnant women or women with a heavy menstrual flow or other uterine bleeding should never use Aloe because it increases the bleeding and can cause a miscarriage.
Aloe is a mild laxative and it takes effect after 12-13 hours.
If the patient cannot stand the bitter taste of the Aloe, they can put it in empty gelatine capsules bought from a pharmacy and swallow it with one of the teas listed above.
Flax seed as a laxative
Take 1 tea spoonof: flax seed (whole), knotgrass (Polygonum aviculare), coriander, liquorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), hemp seed (whole) and common polypody (Polypodium vulgare). Leave the ingredients to soak in 300 ml of lukewarm water the night before. In the morning leave the mixture on the stove to boil for 4-5 minutes and strain. Drink a coffee cup of the mixture 3 times a day 3-4 hours after a meal. Its laxative effect is the same as the Aloe`s.
Dried plums as a laxative
Plums are an excellent laxative. Soak the plums in water the night before and eat 5-6 of them every morning on an empty stomach.
Castor oil as a laxative
Castor oil is a thick yellowish liquid. Adults should take 2-3 tablespoons while children should be given 1-2 teaspoons of warmed castor oil which can be taken on its own or put in coffee or tea. Here is a good way to mask the taste: whip an egg yolk together with the castor oil, some sugar and lemon juice. You will get a tasty syrupy liquid.
Never abuse the laxatives because they do not move the intestines; the intestines move them so that they can be excreted as soon as possible.