onsdag den 4. juni 2008

Burn Folk Remedies

Natural Burn Remedies
Early settlers cooked over open fires or at the fireplaces that also provided their heat. I’m sure with all these open flames there were lots of burns.

As painful as burns are, I can imagine people rubbing whatever they had on them to try to stop the pain. Here are a few natural remedies they came up with.

Aloe Vera natural burn remedyAloe Vera

One of the most common natural burn remedies is probably Aloe. Many of us still use it today and it does work rather well. The burned area is just simply covered with the juice from the Aloe Vera plant.


For a minor burn milk was used, either by soaking the burned area in a bowl of milk or applying a cloth soaked in milk. This method could be repeated until the pain ceased. I have used this method myself, it does work and the burn didn’t even blister.

Honey burn remedyHoney

Honey was another item used, the honey would be applied to the burn and then covered with a clean cloth. Honey is also known for it’s anti-bacterial properties, so it aided in faster healing of the burn.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar seems to almost be a cure all, it was often used on burns to. It will stop the pain and even help keep the burn from blistering and scarring.

Egg Whites

Egg whites were often used to treat burns. Remove the yellow and use only the whites. Apply to the burned area like a salve or you can put egg whites in a bowl and soak the burned area. This treatment will not only ease the pain, but it will also help speed the Witch Hazel burn remedyhealing and reduce the severity of scarring.

Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel is good for minor burns. Apply fresh Witch Hazel or Witch Hazel oil to the burn and it will give relief from the pain.


Plantain leaves have natural anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Crush fresh leaves and apply the juice to the burn to help relieve the pain and speed the healing process.

Diarrhea Folk Remedies

Diarrhea is actually a natural defense mechanism. It is a way for your body to release toxins or other harmful things from your system. In the past, before this was understood, doctors usually prescribed antidiarrheal medication, but today they would recommend that you let it run its course naturally.

Antidiarrheal medication will stop your body from performing it’s own natural defense mechanism and will often lead to a prolonged illness and a weakening of your body’s defenses.

With this in mind we will be looking at natural remedies for diarrhea that will help you to feel more comfortable and to speed up the process naturally. Going this route will make your natural system stronger.


Carrots naturally contain beneficial electrolytes and minerals which are lost during diarrhea. Adults and bigger children may nibble on fresh carrots while infants may be given strained carrots. Carrots will lessen the symptoms and speed up the recovery time.


For children over a year old chicken or beef broth will help them to feel better as well as to keep them hydrated and speed up the recovery time. NOTE: Most broth contains a high sodium content. Read the label and opt for the lowest sodium you can get.

Drink Fluids

Most everyone knows how important it is to drink fluids, but you have to drink the right ones. Fluids with moderate salt and sugar content are best because they will replace essential minerals and glucose that have been lost. Gatorade, or something similar works well.

You may also make your own rehydration solution by adding one teaspoon of sugar and a small pinch of table salt to a quart of water. If you want something that will taste better you may add about 1/2 teaspoon of honey and a small pinch of salt to your favorite fruit juice.

NOTE: Do not give plain water or fruit juices to an infant or small child with diarrhea. To stave off dehydration use a rehydration solution such as Pedialyte.


Believe it or not eating the proper foods is one of the best home remedies for diarrhea. If you do not eat the right types of food your condition may worsen and take longer to run its course.


Dried blueberries and blueberry root has been used as a folk remedy for diarrhea for a very long time. Blueberries contain anthocyanosides which has antioxidant as well as antibacterial properties.

Chamomile Tea

Chamomile is a great herb for treating intestinal problems. While you can get prepackaged chamomile it is recommended that you obtain fresh chamomile flowers. Steep one teaspoon in a cup of boiling water for 15 minutes. (Remove from heat before adding the herb).

Foods and Folk Remedies to Avoid

Some foods and remedies that have been recommended, or marketed, by some actually work to bind up the bowels. This will serve to prolong the condition and at the same time will cause whatever the root problem is to remain within your body for a longer period of time. This means that the so-called remedy is working against your own body.

Foods and remedies to avoid include: carob powder, pectin, bananas, acidophilus tablets, Swiss cheese, barley, and many exotic teas.


Infants, small children, and the elderly who suffer from prolonged diarrhea are at risk of dehydration and should be taken to a doctor. Anyone suffering from diarrhea accompanied with cramping, fever, or rashes should see a doctor.

Itching And Rash Folk Remedies

Itchy skin is definitely one of those things that can drive you mad! And, of course when you itch the first thing you do is scratch, but scratching just irritates the skin even more and too much scratching can lead to an infection.

One of the main causes of itching is dry skin, but it is sometimes caused by rashes, allergies and even some medications that you take. But, no matter what the cause one of these herbal remedies will keep you itch free!

You can help relieve itching and stress at the same time with a nice hot bath! Many things can be added to the water to soothe the skin such as peppermint, a cup of white vinegar or 2 Cinnamon folk remedycups of oatmeal.

Make a fine paste with equal amounts of cinnamon powder and honey and apply to the affected area.

Neem is a great herb for all kinds of skin problems. You can massage neem oil on the skin or boil some neem leaves in a small cooker and then pour it into your bath water.

Tea tree oil is another good solution, apply it with a cotton ball three times a day for quick itch relief.

Witch hazel relieves itching by acting as an astringent, just pour some on a cotton ball and apply.

St Johns Wort folk remediesSt John’s Wort is also a great way to refresh the skin, it’s astringent properties will moisturize a itchy area providing relief.

Aloe Vera skin remedyBy now most all of us know the wonderful affects that Aloe Vera has on the skin. It is best used from the plant leaf, but if you don’t have an Aloe Vera plant, the gel will work fine.

The anti inflammatory, anti-microbial properties found in chamomile essential oil will soothe and heal irritations and itching.

St Johns Wort Folk Remedies

The Many Wonders of St John’s Wort

St Johns Wort Folk RemdiesSt. John’s Wort was introduced to America and now grows wild in many fields and meadows. Indigenous to Europe, this plant produces yellow flowers that are used to make teas and capsules and it has become one of the most purchased herbs in the United States.

It’s first recorded use dates back to ancient Greece, it has since been used by people all over the world. The Native American’s used it as an astringent, anti-inflammatory and as an antiseptic.

In traditional use, St. John’s Wort was hung in baskets over pictures in the house to ward off evil and to rid the body of any evil spirits! In large dosages, this herb is toxic and care should be taken to only use the recommended amount. In some countries a doctor’s prescription is required to obtain this herbal remedy.

The plant was named after John the Baptist by early Christian mystics and was usually collected on St. John’s Day. The plant was soaked in olive oil for several days and used as a blood red anointing oil, called the “blood of Christ”.

St Johns Wort Folk RemdiesToday, the most common use of St. John’s Wort is for sleep disorder, anxiety and mental disorders such as depression.

St. John’s Wort contains excellent antibacterial properties.

The herb has been shown to decrease the craving for alcohol and may be a aide in alcoholism!

Herbalists of ancient times, wrote about it’s sedative effects and as a treatment for malaria.

Written records from 1633, that St. John’s Wort was without equal in the treatment of wounds, burns, bites and even ulcers.

The herbs anti-inflammatory properties,make it effective in treating sprains, strains and contusions.

In laboratory studies, it was found to fight some infections that are even resistant to modern anti-biotics.

Research has suggested that St. John’s Wort may inhibit or even kill the growth of the HIV virus, but it has very serious interactions with some of the other drugs used to treat HIV. According to an early study, this herb may be used to relieve both the emotional and physical symptoms of PMS.

Tests have proven that the use St. John’s Wort has merit in treating hemorrhoids, when applied topically.

A study conducted including over 100 children, showed that St. John’s Wort when combined with other herbs, relieved earache pain as effectively as standard ear drops. Mix these oils, St. John’s Wort, garlic, calendula and mullein flower for an effective earache remedy.

St. John’s Wort has been used to treat muscle problems and to ease the pain of muscle injuries, as well as muscle spasms and cramps.

The bioflavonoids found in St. John’s Wort, make it useful in the treatment of swollen veins.

St. John’s Wort oil can be used topically during pregnancy to help reduce and even prevent stretch marks.

It can help reduce those unsightly varicose veins by massaging the oil onto the affected area.

The ancient Greeks and Romans used St. John’s Wort in the treatment of poisonous reptile bites.

The Roman army surgeon, Dioscorides, gave St. John’s Wort tea as a remedy for cholera.

St. John’s Wort is excellent when used as a blood purifier and cleanser.

Bacterially based boils and tumors can be dissolved and removed with the use of St. John’s Wort.

It has been shown to be useful in the treatment of bladder problems, such as a suppressed flow of urine and urinary tract infections.

The oil can be applied directly to the chest and back to relieve phlegm and it’s even beneficial in the treatment of bronchitis.

The alkaloid properties of St. John’s Wort will stimulate the heart and arteries.

Taken internally in capsule or tablet form, St. John’s Wort may help to alleviate a variety of back pain, including lower back pain.

St. John’s Wort has also been used as an effective treatment for headaches and even migraines.

The burns caused from radiation treatments can be lessened by apply the oil or cream to the area.

Some of the compounds found in St. John’s Wort will inhibit the herpes simplex 1 virus, the virus that caused fever blister and cold sores. It’s use has also been effective in the treatment of other types of herpes viruses.

St. John’s Wort can soothe digestive systems, gastritis and it can even treat diarrhea.

When taken internally St. John’s Wort also has a sedative and pain reducing effect. It will aide in helping you drift off to sleep!

In the future this amazing herb may be used in cancer treatment. Several studies conducted by the National Cancer Institute, found that after one single dose of St. John’s Wort, mice that were infected with the leukemia virus were able to fight off the disease!

Suggested adult dosages:

For mood disorders and mild depression, 300 to 400 mg should be taken three times a day with meals.

If liquid extract is used, take 40 to 60 drops, twice daily.

The dried herb can be taken as a tea, add one or two teaspoons to boiling water, let steep for about ten minutes. Up to two cups can be taken each day for a period of four to six weeks.

St. John’s Wort when used in oil or cream form can be applied to relieve inflammation.

Cold Folk Remedies

In the early part of the 20th century when “modern medicine” was beginning to get into full swing the availability of doctors was still out of reach for many rural folks and they did the best they could with the old home remedies passed down from generation to generation.

The common cold was as big a problem then as it still seems to be today in the 21st century. Here are many of the old remedies that were used to treat the common cold, and many are still in use today.

Boneset plant
One remedy was to make a tea from the leaves of the boneset plant. One had to drink it cold because drinking this tea hot will upset your stomach and possibly cause vomiting.

Another remedy was to take powdered ginger root or freshly grated ginger root and add to hot water, but do not boil. Then one added honey and a little bit of whiskey. (Whiskey, particularly moonshine whiskey, was a common ingredient in many old-time remedies.)

Boiling pine needles to make a strong tea was another particular favorite remedy for colds, as was taking a hot pepper, such as cayenne, and making a tea of the pepper and adding honey and moonshine to it. Eating an onion roasted in ashes was a favored way to treat a child with a cold.

Tea Tree oil and Oregano oil can be rubbed on the chest and back to break up the phlegm and mucous from colds. Tea tree oil can be rubbed on the nose and forehead for head congestion.

Neem Tree tea will help ease the symptoms of cold when drank three times a day and will even help prevent colds when drank regularly and neem oil will dry up cold sores.

Three capsules of garlic taken three times per day will help allivieate cold symptoms. But, any form of this amazing herb will work.

As one can see, the methods were many, and there are far more than this article states. As with all self-treatments, be cautious and always consult a trained physician in serious health matters.

Herbal teas
Here are a few different herbal teas that will help reduce common cold symptoms like congestion, headaches, fever, sore throat and achiness and help you to recover more quickly.

Chrysanthemum and Peppermint Tea:

  • Chrysanthemum - 6 grams
  • Water - 400ml (about 13 1/2 ounces)
  • Peppermint - 3 grams
  • Crystal Sugar - 15 grams

Add the chrysanthemum to the water and bring it to a boil.

Stir in peppermint and sugar and let boil for an additional three minutes.

Drink this tea hot twice a day.


Ginger Tea:

  • Fresh Ginger - 15 grams
  • Water - 200ml (about 6 3/4 ounces)
  • Brown Sugar or Honey - about 2 to 3 teaspoons (to taste)

Shred the ginger and add it to boiling water. Sweeten with the brown sugar or honey to suit your taste. Drink this tea hot twice a day.


Royal Herbal Tea

One cup each (dried):

  • Pennyroyal
  • Catnip
  • Horehound
  • Spearmint
  • Sage
  • Verbena
  • White Yarrow
  • Honey (to taste)
  • Here is an herbal tea that is effective in treating severe cold and flu symptoms. Mix the herbs in boiling water. Remove from heat and cover. Allow the mixture to steep for about ten minutes then strain. Sweeten to taste with honey. Drink one cup of this tea every two or three hours.

    Oil Pulling Folk Remedies

    Oil pulling is a folk remedy that has been practiced in India for thousands of years, and is slowly making a rise amongst natural health enthusiasts in America.

    Little scientific evidence is available for the proof of it’s benefits, but there is user testimony of it’s miraculous abilities to cure or at least alleviate a wide range of ailments.

    Either sesame or sunflower oils should be used and oil pulling should be done in the morning on an empty stomach. One tablespoon is all that is needed, it should be swished around the mouth and pulled through the teeth.

    This process should be done for about twenty minutes, the oil should become thinner and be white as the process continues. This swishing activates enzymes that will draw toxins out of the blood.

    Once the oil has gathered the toxins from the body, the oil itself becomes toxic and should never be swallowed. Spit as much as you can of the oil out of your mouth and thoroughly rinse with water.

    Oil pulling will provide the best and quickest results if it is done on an empty stomach. It can be repeated three times each day to speed up the healing process, but should always be done before meals.

    Oil pulling intensifies the bodies metabolism which leads to a improvement in overall health.

    The oil pulling process will reverse the loosening of teeth, eliminate bleeding gums and provide a very noticeable difference in the whiteness of your teeth. It has also put a stop to sensitive teeth and has shown to even remove plaque and stains!

    Oil pulling will increase your energy levels and aide in healthy digestion of foods, but to get the full effects may take six to eight weeks.

    This process will greatly benefit the skin, it will help prevent acne and give the skin a soft healthy glow. It has even been known to produce a noticeable difference in fine lines and wrinkles!

    Oil pulling is also used in promoting better sleep through the night.

    With the use of oil pulling for around a two month period, arthritis has greatly improved and in some cases completely disappeared.

    Many people using oil pulling have reported as much as a 50% decrease in the amount of gray hair and their hair turning back to their normal youthful color!

    Oil pulling has helped in decreasing and even stopping chronic halitosis, in many instances the decrease in bad breath has been noticed within a few days of using this process.

    Some users have reported a remarkable decrease in sugar cravings, resulting in weight loss!

    Some people using this process have found that it will clear up congestion, coughing and unclog sinus passages.

    Users have also cited a large decrease in hot flashes from menopause, some users even stopped having them altogether after they started oil pulling.

    Oil pulling has even been cited for correcting a out of balance menstrual cycle and regulating them within just a few months of use.

    Varicose veins and the pain associated with them, have decreased for some users of oil pulling.

    Sinus headaches and even migraines have completely disappeared for some users.

    The effects of oil pulling seems to differ by individual as does the amount of time it takes to see noticeable results. The same effects aren’t accomplished in everyone, some have had an increased libido, vanished headaches, faded age spots and relief for many other ailments.

    Oil pulling could prove to be just the solution you need for whatever problems and ailments you’re experiencing. And, since oil pulling doesn’t involve the use of any drugs, it’s a natural remedy that may be worth a try for what ails you

    Insomnia Folk Remedies

    It’s been estimated that in the US alone approximately 32 million people suffer from insomnia. With the stress of today’s fast paced lifestyles, many of us are finding it harder and harder to get enough sleep. But, the problem doesn’t only exist in today’s world, herbal remedies for insomnia date back thousands of years.

    Insomnia may just be an occasional aggravation, but if not taken care of the effects can be detrimental to your health. Not getting enough sleep increases your risk of diabetes, it damages the immune system, your body will become more sensitive to pain, your reflexes become slower and it’s even been linked to memory impairment!

    Valerian Root

    One of the oldest known herbal remedies for insomnia is Valerian Root.
    Valerian Root was recommended by Galen in the second century A.D. Valerian can be used in a liquid or capsule form and even as a tea. Taken 30-60 minutes before going to bed, the recommended dosage is one cup of tea, one capsule of 150-600 milligrams, and if taking it in a liquid form, you should take 1/2 to one teaspoon. A little experimenting and you’ll quickly find the right dosage for your body.


    Proven to be very effective aid against sleeplessness, Chamomile has been used for centuries. A hot cup of Chamomile tea drank about thirty minutes before bedtime may be just what you need for a peaceful nights rest.


    Lavender may be one of the most known sleep aids today, it is commonly used in bath salts and oils for it’s calming effects. The benefits of lavender are aromatic, in oil form it can be applied to your neck or wrists.


    Known for it’s muscle relaxing abilities, kava can help you sleep better. Doses of 150 mg is recommended. However, there have been reports of liver failure from using this herb, consult your doctor before trying this method.

    Passion flower

    Passion flower contains properties that help relieve restlessness, it should be taken in 50 mg dosages. The dosage can be increased until relief is found.

    Grinding four nutmegs to a fine powder and taking before bedtime is said to be an effective aide against insomnia.

    Ginseng is claimed to counter and balance out the effects of stress allowing a peaceful nights sleep.

    Catnip is often used in products to promote sleep and can be taken as a tea before bedtime.

    Jasmine is a mild nerve sedative, a cup of Jasmine tea before bedtime can help you to relax and fall asleep easier.

    Another traditional cure for insomnia is hops, they are known for their sedative and muscle relaxing abilities.

    Lemon balm contains oils that provide a sedative effect and can be taken as a tea to promote sleep.

    Ylang-ylang oil has properties that calm excitability and restlessness making it easier for you to drift off to sleep.

    tirsdag den 20. maj 2008

    Facial Remedies

    Treat facial blemishes by washing you face
    daily with cool potato juice.

    Frost Bite Information

    Temporary Measures:

    Treat frostbite or sunburn by applying raw grated potato
    or potato juice to the affected area.
    Seek Medical Assistance!

    Milk Mask for Normal Skin

    Soak a cotton ball with warm milk
    and apply to your face three times a day.
    Rinse off with distilled, warm water.

    Recipe for Lettuce Mask for the Face

    You will need two large lettuce leaves which have been dipped in olive oil and sprinkled with lemon juice. Place a leaf
    on each cheek and cover the leaves with with a paper
    towel which has been dipped in mineral or distilled water.

    How to Recycle Eggshells

    In the same manner that we can recycle milk cartons, water bottles and soup cans, we can also recycle eggshells. Before you drop them into the trash bin, consider the many ways to reuse the natural packaging your sunny side ups and omelets came in.


    Difficulty: Easy

    Things You’ll Need:

    • Eggshells

    Improve your compost. Include the eggshells in your compost heap. They are all-natural with no oils or grease and will add valuable minerals to the resulting fertile soil.
    Deter slugs and snails. Crush the eggshells and spread them around the base of your delicate plants.
    Fertilize. Mix ground eggshells with your garden soil for added calcium, potassium, phosphorus and sulfur that help make plants strong and healthy.
    Feed the birds with calcium. Wash the eggshells and let them dry. Crush them into fine pieces and mix some with the seeds you feed the chickens and wild birds. Eggshells have calcium that is good for birds. Also, the shell pieces act as grit, much like the sand and pebbles that they swallow and keep in their gizzards to help grind their food.
    Make a mosaic. Crush or snap cleaned and dried eggshells into small pieces. Dip or soak them in food coloring, then arrange them into decorative designs to be glued onto picture frames, trinket boxes, centerpiece bowls and other craft items.
    Make chalk. Grind half a dozen cleaned and dried eggshells into a fine powder. Mix with a teaspoon of hot water and a teaspoon of flour. Roll the paste mixture into a stick shape and wrap in paper towel. Let it dry completely over a few days, then unwrap and you'll have homemade chalk that you can use on the sidewalk or driveway.
    Make textured paint. Crush or grind cleaned and dried eggshells and mix a small amount with paint to add texture and 3D effect to a piece of artwork.

    Beneficial plants and bugs

    A garden 'mini' insectary is a small garden plot of flowering plants designed to attract and harbor beneficial insects.

    These 'good' insects prey on many common garden insect pests, and offer the gardener a safer, natural alternative to pesticides.

    A garden insectary is a form of "companion planting", based on the positive effects plants can share as a method of deterring pests, acquiring nutrients or attracting natural predators. By becoming more diverse with your plantings, you are providing habitat, shelter and alternative food source, such as pollen and nectar, something many predators need as part of their diet.

    Aphid predators such as aphidius, need the pests to be present in order to reproduce. The idea of inviting the pests in may seem alarming, until you understand that you can encourage host specific pests. These pests will remain on the desired plant in your mini insectary yet provide an ideal breeding ground for the associated predators and parasites.

    The plot does not have to be large, just big enough to hold 6-7 varieties of plants which attract insects. Once the garden has matured you can watch your personal insect security force do the work for you.

    Statice Lupin Tansy Queen Anne’s Lace Sunflower

    Mini Insectary

    “Mini Insectary” Plants

    Achillea filipendulina
    Anethum graveolens
    Angelica gigas
    Convolvulus minor
    Cosmos bipinnatus
    Daucus Carota
    (Queen Anne's lace)
    Foeniculum vulgare
    Helianthus annulus
    Iberis umbellata
    Limonium latifolium
    Melissa officinalis
    (Lemon balm)
    Petroselinum crispum
    (Pincushion flower)
    Shasta Daisy
    Tanacetum vulgare
    Verbascum thaspus
    Beneficial Predators Attracted

    Lacewings, Aphidius, Ladybugs
    Hoverflies, Lacewings, Tachnid flies
    Ground beetles
    Ichneumon wasp, Ladybugs, Lacewings
    Ladybugs, Hoverflies
    Hoverflies, Lacewings, Parasitic wasps
    Hoverflies, Parasitic wasps, Lacewings
    Lacewings, Ladybugs, Hoverflies
    Damsel bugs, Ladybugs, Lacewings
    Pirate bugs, Beneficial mites
    Hoverflies, Parasitic wasps
    Aphidius, Aphidoletes, Hoverflies
    Parasitic wasps, tachinid flies
    Parasitic wasps, hoverflies, tachinid flies
    Hoverflies, Parasitic wasps
    Pirate bugs, Beneficial mites
    Pirate bugs, Aphidius, Parasitic wasps
    Ladybugs, Lacewings
    Hoverflies, Parasitic wasps, Ladybugs
    Beneficial Predators

    Beneficial mites
    Damsel Bugs
    Ground Beetles
    Pirate Bugs
    achinid flies

    Thrips, spidermite, fungus gnats
    Eggs of many pest insects
    Whiteflies, aphids, thrips, spider mites
    Slugs, small caterpillars and grubs
    Aphids, mealybugs and others
    Scale, aphids, mites, softbodied insects
    Aphids, mites
    Thrips, aphids, mites, scales, whiteflies
    Caterpillars, beetle and fly larvae
    Whiteflies, moth, beetle and fly larvae

    Choose Plants That Help Keep the Bugs Away

    How to Choose Plants That Help Keep the Bugs Away

    Pests can sometimes be a problem in the garden. One natural and organic way to help keep those nasty bugs away is to grow plants that those bugs dislike.


    For each kind of bug that can cause damage to your plants, there are certain plants you can grow next to your existing plants to help keep those bugs away. This is a great natural solution that can be effective at keeping pests under control.


    Aphids - Those tiny whitish bugs that love rose bushes and other flowers. Plant Chives, Nasturtium, Basil, or Catnip nearby to repel aphids.


    Japanese Beetles - Plant Geraniums or Garlic to keep them away.


    Mosquitoes - Plant Rosemary or Basil to keep mosquitoes away.


    Tomato Hornworm - Plant Borage near your tomato plants to keep them away.


    Flea Beetles and Potato Beetles - Plant Catnip nearby to keep them away.


    Ants - Plant Spearmint or Peppermint to keep ants away. It can be planted near your house to naturally deter ants from your house.


    There are also some plants that can be used to keep a variety of bugs away. Feverfew and Marigolds repel many different kinds of insects and are a useful addition to flower and vegetable gardens.

    • It’s a good idea to grow Chives and Marigolds throughout your gardens.
    • Growing plants to discourage certain pests can be effective but sometimes other treatments are necessary to keep the pests under control.

    Beneficial Insects

    Beneficial insects are insects which you can attract to your garden,
    or buy from catalogues, which prey on harmful insects or their larvae.
    There are many different species for specific problems, and more
    information is available at several of the links listed on this page.
    Brachonids,Chalcids and Ichneumon Wasps
    These small beneficial insects destroy leaf-eating caterpillars. You can attract them to your garden by planting carrots, celery, parsley, caraway and Queen Anne’s lace, all members of the Umbelliferae family. These plants are easy to grow, and some should be left to flower. It’s the flower that attracts the insects.

    These common insects consume aphids, mites, whiteflies and scale. They can be attracted to your garden by planting members of the daisy family (Compositae), tansy or yarrow. Ladybugs are also available from catalogues online.

    Lacewings are avid consumers of aphids, and their larva eat aphids and other varieties of other insect pests. They are attracted to “composite” flowers, such as yarrow, goldenrod, black-eyed susan’s and asters. Lacewings can also be purchased online at the sources listed below, and released directly into your garden.

    Hover-flies are avid consumers of aphids, and the larva of hover-flies eat aphids and other insect pests. Like the Lacewings, they are attracted to “composite” flowers, such as yarrow, goldenrod, black-eyed susan’s and asters. Seeds for these flowers are available online, or at most garden centers.

    Praying Mantis
    These large insects have an appetite for most garden pests. Praying mantis eggs are set out in the garden where they hatch and quickly grow to adult size. The eggs are available through mail-order catalogues, some of which are listed below.

    Effective against cutworms, a common pest which destroys sprouts before they can grow into seedlings. Nematodes are also effective against beetles and root weevil larvae.
    Nematode eggs are microscopic and come in a small sponge a million at a time. These are mixed with water and applied to the soil, where they hatch and go to work. If they get on foliage, wash them off to the ground.
    Nematodes are harmless to humans and pets. They are available in some garden centers and through mail-order catalogues

    onsdag den 30. april 2008

    Non-toxic and Homemade Remedies

    Homemade remedies are inexpensive and, best of all, you know what is going into your garden. Many homemade sprays have been used with good results to control harmful insects. They usually involve noxious (but non-toxic) ingredients such as garlic, cayenne, stinging nettles or horsetail which are diluted in water and blended to be sprayed on the plants. Here are a few simple formulas:

    • Soft-bodied insects (mites, aphids, mealybugs): Mix one tablespoon canola oil and a few drops of Ivory soap into a quart of water. Shake well and pour into a spray bottle. Spray plant from above down, and from below up to get the underside of the leaves. The oil smothers the insects.
    • Grubs: For lawn or garden grubs, there is a natural remedy called milky spore. The granules are spread on the soil and cause the grubs to contract a disease that kills them. This natural control affects only the grubs, leaving the beneficial organisms unharmed. Milky spore multiplies over time and will sit inactive, waiting for grubs to infect. One treatment is said to last 40 years. The grubs are actually the larvae of Japanese beetles. So, when you kill the grubs you kill the beetle.
    • Mites and other insects: Mix two tablespoons of hot pepper sauce or cayenne pepper with a few drops of Ivory soap into a quart of water. Let stand overnight, then stir and pour into a spray bottle and apply as above. Shake container frequently during application.
    • Earwigs, slugs, and other soft-bodied garden pests: Sprinkle diatomaceuos earth over plants and around edges of garden beds. The diatoms particles are very small and sharp – but only harmful to the small exoskeletons of insects, slugs and snails. Insects cannot become immune to its action, as it is a mechanical killer – not a chemical one.
    • Fungal diseases: Mix two tablespoons of baking soda into a quart of water. Pour into a spray container and spray affected areas. Repeat this process every few days until problem ceases.
    • Powdery mildew: Mix equal parts milk and water and spray on infected plants. Three treatments a week apart should control the disease.
    • Insects and fungal diseases: Combine one tablespoon of cooking oil, two tablespoons of baking soda and a few drops of Ivory soap into a quart of water. Pour into a spray container and apply as above.
    • Insects on fruit trees: Lime sulfur and dormant oil, available at nurseries and garden centers, can be sprayed on the trunk and branches of dormant fruit trees. This concoction will suffocate insect egg cases. Because the oily spray is heavy compared to the other water-based sprays, you'll need a pump sprayer. These are fairly inexpensive, and are available to rent from some nurseries. Only use this method while the tree is dormant, however, or it can kill the tree.
      Commercial dormant oils may contain petroleum oil or kerosene. A less toxic method is to make your own. Mix 1 cup vegetable oil and 2 tbsp liquid soap in one gallon (4 liters) water. Mix the soap and oil first, then add the water. Shake often during use.

    Natural Slug Control

    Here are a few alternative natural, non-toxic methods of slug control:

    • Watering Schedule
    Far and away the best course of action against slugs in your garden is a simple adjustment in the watering schedule. Slugs are most active at night and are most efficient in damp conditions. Avoid watering your garden in the evening if you have a slug problem. Water in the morning - the surface soil will be dry by evening. Studies show this can reduce slug damage by 80%.

    • Beer
    Slugs are attracted to beer. Set a small amount of beer in a shallow wide jar buried in the soil up to its neck. Slugs will crawl in and drown. Take the jar lid and prop it up with a small stick so rain won't dilute the beer. Leave space for slugs to enter the trap.

    • Seaweed

    If you have access to seaweed, it's well worth the effort to gather. Seaweed is not only a good soil amendment for the garden, it's a natural repellent for slugs. Mulch with seaweed around the base of plants or perimeter of bed. Pile it on 3" to 4" thick - when it dries it will shrink to just an inch or so deep. Seaweed is salty and slugs avoid salt. Push the seaweed away from plant stems so it's not in direct contact. During hot weather, seaweed will dry and become very rough which also deters the slugs.

    • Copper
    Small strips of copper can be placed around flower pots or raised beds as obstructions for slugs to crawl over. Cut 2" strips of thin copper and wrap around the lower part of flower pots, like a ribbon. Or set the strips in the soil on edge, making a "fence" for the slugs to climb. Check to make sure no vegetation hangs over the copper which might provide a 'bridge' for the slugs. Copper barriers also work well around wood barrels used as planters.

    • Diatomaceous Earth
    Diatomaceous earth is the sharp, jagged skeletal remains of microscopic creatures. It lacerates soft-bodied pests, causing them to dehydrate. A powdery granular material, it can be sprinkled around garden beds or individual plants, and can be mixed with water to make a foliar spray.
    Diatomaceous earth is less effective when wet, so use during dry weather. Wear protective gear when applying, as it can irritate eyes and lungs. Be sure to buy natural or agricultural grade diatomaceous earth, not pool grade which has smoother edges and is far less effective. Available in Eartheasy's
    online store.

    • Lava Rock
    Like diatomaceous earth, the abrasive surface of lava rock will be avoided by slugs. Lava rock can be used as a barrier around plantings, but should be left mostly above soil level, otherwise dirt or vegetation soon forms a bridge for slugs to cross.

    • Salt
    If all else fails, go out at night with the salt shaker and a flashlight. Look at the plants which have been getting the most damage and inspect the leaves, including the undersides. Sprinkle a bit of salt on the slug and it will kill it quickly. Not particularly pleasant, but use as a last resort.
    (Note: some sources caution the use of salt, as it adds a toxic element to the soil. This has not been our experience, especially as very little salt is used.)

    • Overturned Flowerpots, Grapefruit Halves, Board on Ground
    Overturned flowerpots, with a stone placed under the rim to tilt it up a bit, will attract slugs. Leave overnight, and you'll find the slugs inside in the morning. Grapefruit halves work the same way, with the added advantage of the scent of the fruit as bait.
    Another trap method, perhaps the simplest of all, is to set a wide board on the ground by the affected area. Slugs will hide under the board by day. Simply flip the board over during the day to reveal the culprits. Black plastic sheeting also works the same way.

    • Garlic-based slug repellents
    Laboratory tests at the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (UK) revealed that a highly refined garlic product (ECOguard produced by ECOspray Ltd, a British company that makes organic pesticides) was an effective slug killer. Look for garlic-based slug deterrents which will be emerging under various brand names, as well as ECOguard.

    • Coffee grounds; new caffeine-based slug/snail poisons

    Coffee grounds scattered on top of the soil will deter slugs. The horticultural side effects of using strong grounds such as espresso on the garden, however, are less certain. When using coffee grouds, moderation is advised.
    A study in June 2002 reported in the journal Nature found that slugs and snails are killed when sprayed with a caffeine solution, and that spraying plants with this solution prevents slugs from eating them. The percentage of caffeine required in a spray (1 - 2%) is greater than what is found in a cup of coffee (.05 - 07%), so homemade sprays are not as effective. Look for new commercial sprays which are caffeine-based.


    Removes the stinky stuff from dog and cat coats. ( Santa Cruz vet tech Chris)

    1 cup water
    1/2 cup baking soda
    1 tsp liquid dishwasher soap

    Mix well.

    When ready to use, mix in 1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide.

    Work the solution into dog's coat. Keep solution out of dog's face and eyes.

    Rinse well with clear water.

    This solution has no shelf life.

    Weed Killer Sprays

    From Rodale's "Great Gardening Formulas: The Ultimate Book of Mix-It-Yourself Concoctions for Gardeners", Joan Benjamin and Deborah Martin, editors: Mix one ounce of gin (or probably any other distilled alcohol, like vodka), one tablespoon of liquid soap, one ounce of vinegar, one quart of water. Mix 'em together and spray (or paint it) onto the plant you want to kill. Works best on a warm sunny day - spray in the midmorning for best effects. If the weed isn't dead by the next day, repeat spraying it with this mixture. (Judy Stouffer)

    Mix in a spray bottle: white vinegar, a couple of teaspoons of soap and a couple of teaspoons of regular table salt. I sprayed this on dandelions and other assorted weeds growing in the gravel near the house last week and they began to shrivel up and turn brown in a few days. I think you need to be careful not to use too much salt spray in areas where you want other plants to grow. Plain vinegar (with some liquid soap added to make it adhere well) might work and it is definitely biodegradable. (Angel)

    Get some 15% vinegar from an organic nursery and spraying it directly on the plant will kill just that plant. (JD Jackson)

    How to catch a mouse without a mousetrap

    I had a little friend visit my apartment the other week, and for a while there I was ready to make peace with him and co-exist. But after I cleaned up the place and ordered pizza one night, and it crawled up the side of my chair onto the sleeve of my shirt, I knew it was time to bid farewell.

    Here's how I caught the critter:

    1. Get a toilet paper tube and crease two lines to form a flat sided tunnel.

    2. Put a treat on one end of the tube: A cracker and dab of peanut butter works great.

    3. Get a tall (at least 20 inches) bucket. A trash can works well.

    4. Balance the tube precariously on the edge of a table or counter with the treat hanging directly over the tall sided receptacle.

    5. The mouse will scurry to the treat (they like tunnels) and fall into the trap.

    Set the fella loose at least a mile away from your abode.

    Postnote: It worked within the hour.

    Also, folks have asked how this could work if you don't have a counter or table. Simple: get a piece of cardboard and crease it to make a ramp up to a small trashcan.


    Beer and Bait Jar traps work well for fruit flies. (Melissa Kaplan)

    Take a small Glass - like a juice glass... and pour 1 inch of Dark CIDER (make sure it is real cider vinegar - not just the colored stuff) in the glass. Take some plastic wrap and cover the top of the glass - securing with a rubber band. Take a sharp object like a bamboo skewer and POKE holes - about 6 in the plastic wrap Put the glass near your fly problem.. they are stupid - can crawl down into the plastic wrap holes - but not out! EMPTY the glass outdoors far away from your house - or if mean... shake well until all flies are too wet to fly away - and flush down the drain... Change cider daily... oh - we also found out red wine works well too! (Cheryl)


    Make a water trap: Partially fill a shallow pan with water. Suspend light source securely above it. Fleas (and other bugs) are attracted to the light, jump or fall into the water and drown. (Catherine Rigby)

    Water's surface tension enables many small insects, such as fleas to be able to walk, or hop right across water. A few drops of liquid soap (earth friendly brands work fine, too), should be added to the water pan. This breaks the surface tension of the water, causing the insects to drown. (Siberia)



    Ladybugs: If they get into the house, vacuum them up and release them outside. For more information, check out the Penn State FAQ.


    Let some small geckos loose in the dwelling. Place standing water out for them to drink. They will feast upon the roaches at night in the late evening, sleeping on walls behind appliances, tall furniture or artwork during the day. (Tricia, Melissa Kaplan)

    My husband and I use a very old method of killing cockroaches which involves speed and quick reflexes. We use a long wooden dowel left from our closet remodeling job to reach and stab/crush cockroaches that climb along our walls and ceilings. The dowel (at around 4 feet in length and 1.5 inches \around) not only enables us to get the out of reach ones but it also puts some distance between us and them. A gruesome method but one hell of a lot better than using insecticides that make even me sick to my stomach and that are toxic to probably everything--not just the cockroach. We've also been known to use my husband's tennis shoe. (Christa Boroskin)

    Make a non-toxic roach bait and set it out in roach infested areas:

    1/2 cup sugar
    1/4 cup shortening or bacon drippings
    1/2 cup chopped onion
    1/2 cup flour
    8 ounces baking soda

    Combine sugar and shortening. Add onion, flour, and baking soda. Mix in just enough water to make a dough-like consistency. Put small balls in plastic sandwich bags (other alternatives: spread some on margarine tub lids, or put in a lidded plastic container with small roach-sized holes cut in the bottom of the sides for the roaches to use to get in and out but that will keep pets out) and place in roach-infested areas. The bait creates gas in the roach when eaten. Because roaches can't belch, their digestive tracts explode. You should probably keep them out of areas where children and pets play. (From first-hand experience -- when our neighbor's cat comes over she always wants to taste the bait; I believe it smells very appetizing to her. So this bait would only be useful if it was inaccessible to your animals IMO). This is from Rhonda Barfield of St. Charles, MO from the book the Tightwad Gazzette, by Amy Dacyczyn, NY, Villard Books, 1999; 912 pp. (Christa Boroskin)


    Start with a clean glass jar. To enable non-winged insects to easily climb up the glass, roughen the outsides with coarse sand paper or wrap wrap mildly sticky tape around the outsides of it. Coat inner lip of jar with petroleum jelly. Add the bait: a piece of fruit (banana is especially good), beer, etc. Place the jar in problem areas. Empty, clean and replace the bait and petroleum jelly as needed. You can also "install" these jars outside, burying them in the ground so that just the lip is sticking up above the surface. (Catherine Rigby)

    Another bait trick is to pour some beer into a shallow bowl or jar lid. The drowned insects can be poured out and the trap rebaited as necessary. Not as aesthetic as using a dark glass jar for bait, but it is effective. (Catherine Rigby

    A better approach, however, is to construct a trap by placing a paper funnel (rolled from a sheet of notebook paper) into a jar which is then baited with a few ounces of cider vinegar. Place the jar trap(s) wherever fruit flies are seen. This simple but effective trap will soon catch any remaining adult flies which can then be killed or released outdoors.

    Use 2 teaspoons of fresh herb, or 1 teaspoon of dried, per "serving." Add the herb to 1 cup of boiling water; remove from heat. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes. Pour the cooled infusion into a dark bottle and seal tightly or pour into a squirt bottle. The infusion can be squirted on problem areas (or the pests themselves) or daubed on with cotton balls. If you make several batches at ones, you can store the infusion in the dark bottles in the refrigerator. (Catherine Rigby)

    søndag den 27. april 2008

    Non-Violent, Wind-Powered Gopher Repeller

    The theory is that gophers like quiet, still gardens. Whirl-a-gigs send vibrations down into the ground as the blades turn. The rodents can't stand it and leave.

    I have two in my garden. I made them both out of scrap material. I cut coffee cans into propellers by using tin snips to cut three blades down the sides, bending them outwards, and punching a nail in the center of the can's bottom. I twisted the blades into about a 30 degree angle. Hammer the nail into the nose of a stick, leaving room for the blade to rotate. Hold it up and blow on it. It should turn freely. Attach a tail fin. I used another coffee can, cut open and smoothed out, to nail onto it. Balance the assembly on your finger tip to find the balance point. I use a power drill and a 3/16 bit to get a nice straight hole. Then put a nail through it to your post. It should track the wind easily and turn in a breeze. The more noises, squeeks, and rattles, the better. Feel the post to check the vibrations it sends down into the ground. Each whirl-a-gig is different, with it's own noises and personality.

    This simple design will work for a few months, but constant motion will eventually make it crack up. I improved it after every repair. First, I added washers to every axis. Then I used a bolt for the propeller shaft as the nails kept getting sawed through by the coffee can blade assembly. Then I used a steel vegetable can instead of an aluminum coffee can for the blades.

    No gophers have entered my garden since I installed these, although they have several mounds nearby.

    Get rid of killer slugs

    The homemade slug trap

    Take a plastic bottle and cut it in half, then put the top
    in the bottom as in the picture (I know it could be better).
     To use just pour beer in the bottom and put in the garden,
    where slugs are bound to find it.
    Instead of buying beer, you can use this recipe.

    A homemade yeast bait is a mix of 1 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of yeast. The snails and slugs fall over the container's edge and drown in the liquid. Empty the container daily into the compost pile to avoid the rank smell of dead snails and slugs.


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