Home remedy mishaps: learn from our painful mistakes!

Home Remedy Mishaps!

Home remedies are a great way to take care of your family with having to go to the doctor. A lot of home remedies find roots in folk knowledge, like eating chicken soup if you have a cold. However, home remedies can be more complex. A little access to the internet and before you know it you are making your own tinctures and poultices to treat common maladies. While most home remedies work well, we’ve had a few home remedy mishaps that are worth sharing.

Sinus congestion clean out.

Before we moved onto our homestead we lived in Utah. Air quality in the more populated parts of Utah is less than stellar. As a result I would get sinus infections once or twice a year. On the third year of our residency Sarah decided she had had enough of this and was going to cure my sinus infections! So she headed out to a local health store to find something that would do the job.

After consulting with the employees she found a plant based nasal spray that looked promising. Looking over the ingredient list she realized she had all the necessary components at home already! Excitedly she came home, put the concoction together, and gave it to me.

Since we didn’t have a method to spray it up my nose directly we decided to dilute it in water and apply it using a Neti Pot. As I poured the liquid into my nose I was greeted by a mild and slightly pleasant tingly sensation as my sinus cavities opened for the first time in days. It was working! Then things started to warm up a bit.

One of the ingredients in the medicine was oregano oil. Oregano, by itself, has a pleasant flavor and is at worst only considered mildly spicy. As an oil it is much more potent. The Neti Pot contained exactly one drop of oregano oil.

Oregano plant. Credit: Image by Hans Linde from Pixabay
Oregano plants make a wonderful herb for cooking. Photo credit: Image by Hans Linde from Pixabay

Once my sinus opened back up the oregano oil was free to spread, and spread it did. It started as a warmth that spread across my head. The warmth then turned to a burning that let me know where each pocket of my sinuses was located. There are no words to explain exactly how it felt, and sadly all we could do was wait for the pain to recede on its own.

Lesson learned, do not put oregano oil in any amount up your nose!

Unclogging the pipes.

Our daughter gets constipated somewhat frequently. We know that slipping her some extra fiber here and there really seems to help her out. Often we conceal the addition in a smoothy that the entire family shares.

Strawberry smoothie.
Smoothies are a great snack in our household. Photo credit: Image by 272447 from Pixabay.

Recently Sarah made just such a smoothie. Gratefully I took my cup and drank the yummy contents. About two hours later I could not help but notice that I was starting to feel a bit gassy and bloated. Over the next couple hours the feeling intensified and nausea joined the party. Oh no! I thought I’ve come down with the flu! To confirm my suspicion I checked my temperature but I had no sign of fever.

So I pondered on my situation a bit. Eventually I looked at Sarah and asked “How much flax seed did you put in that smoothy?” Flax seed is a great source of fiber and is our go to when adding fiber to a smoothy. It does not alter the taste and we have seen some great results using it. The recommended dosage is somewhere between 1 and 5 tablespoons. “About 1/4 cup.” Sarah answered….

For the next 24 hours my son and I both had diarrhea. At several points the gastrointestinal distress was enough that I had to lay down and rest for several hours. Why the girls were spared I will never know. But we do know that we do not need that much flax seed in our smoothies!


This post may appear to paint my beloved Sarah in a bad light at times. So let it be known that I bear her no ill will for the misfortunes I suffered in these tales. I am glad she does things to take care of our family using home remedies and support her in those efforts. Though, I do at times, wish we had a guinea pig to test things on…

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