Ethnomedicine/Home Remedies/P - R


Paracetamol (otherwise known as acetaminophen and APAP) has been a very common and safe pain reliever, fever reducer, cramp reliever and cold buster since it's initial release as Tylenol in the 1950's. A normal dosage of paracetamol is about 1000 mg every 4 to 6 hours which is equivalent to 2 extra strength Tylenol. Paracetamol should ideally be taken with a full glass of water and on a full stomach. Too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage and with very excessive dosage, death. Chances of liver damage drastically increase if the paracetamol is mixed with alcohol. The breaking point for a paracetamol overdose is around 4000 mg in a day, depending on bodyweight. Overdoses are uncommon, but they can happen. People that become addicted to opiates may not realize that opiate drugs such as hydrocodone (vicodin) contain 500 mg of paracetamol so an overdose could occur if too much hydrocodone is ingested. Paracetamol came about as a result of Europeans in the Middle Ages who discovered that white willow bark and cinchona bark could be used as a reliever of the systems that paracetamol relieves. This discovery led to the discovery of more specialized medicines that utilized the properties of these barks.

Ulcers are first and foremost caused by a bacterium called H. pylori, and in addition to that, the most common determinant is habitual use of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

Passion FlowerEdit

The passion flower has been used to treat insomnia, epilepsy, and has even been used as a painkiller. Dry or fresh (either way it does not matter) leaves from the plant are mixed with water to create a tea, which is then drank by the ailing person. Recovery time depends on severity of the ailment. This flower naturally contains anti-depressants in small amounts, and is not known to be harmful to humans. This method has been used by Native Americans in North, Central, and South America, and has been in use for hundreds if not thousands of years. No written records exist, but this form of medicine has been passed down orally.


Papaya: For fast relief of indigestion or heat burn, eating papaya will help. Papaya is a natural was to reduce the stomach acids. Papaya also comes in pill form for this very reason, where you can take one papaya tablet. Pregnant woman should not eat papaya because papaya has a natural source of estrogen that can cause a miscarriage. Papaya originated from central and South America but can be found anywhere now.


Peppermint in the form of canies, mints, or tea can be helpful in curing an upset stomach and also for helping aid in digestion. The peppermint is a good way to sooth the stomach after a big meal or when not feeling well. Peppermint leaves are easy to grow and the fresher they are the more relief they will provide. Making peppermint tea is easy as well just add a couple leaves to hot water and let steep for about 10 minutes. I my case I have felt relief almost instantly.


One of the causes of a hangover is the dehydrating effect of Ethanol, found in alcohol. A way to combat the dehydration and thereby the symptoms of a hangover is to drink a lot of fluids, preferably something like Gatorade with a lot of electrolytes. Even better than Gatorade and other sports drinks is Pedialyte, a drink meant for dehydrated children, like those suffering from diarrhea. Fluids like these should be taken during and after you drink alcohol, and the morning after if necessary. It’s never a bad idea to drink a lot of fluids anyway, so the only side effect to worry about it having to go to the bathroom a lot.

Peppermint TeaEdit

Peppermint tea is a simple and easy way to ease an upset stomach. Peppermint is a plant that has long been used for medicinal purposes, including curing upset stomachs. Drinking peppermint eases the muscles in the stomach that aid in digestion. If the upset stomach is caused by cramped muscles, the peppermint will ease the muscles and let the stomach bile and acids flow smoothly.

Peppermint tea is also known to stimulate and refresh the senses if used sparingly. After intaking one cup a day of peppermint tea one may notice that he or she has a sharper, and more responsive mind. Everyone is affected differently from peppermint tea and may not get the same results.

Peppermint tea is not right for everyone, however. Every person is different, and some people may not feel the benefits of it as much as others. Peppermint tea will not be as effective if the cause of the nausea is food poisoning. There is no harm in trying, however. Although, peppermint tea should not be used if the reason for the upset stomach is a disease called gastoesophageal reflux disease.


Pineapple is truly one of nature’s medicines. Pineapple can be considered a preventative, but it can also be considered a remedy. The reason why pineapple may have healing properties can be attributed to its high levels of an enzyme called bromelain, and the antioxidant vitamin C. While bromelain is found in drugs used for arthritis, it is also good for treating bruises, swelling, and tenderness. The vitamin C helps to boost the immune system, prevent infection, and fuel collagen which a building block for skin tissue.


Potassium, an essential nutrient in the diet, is an electrolyte, that prevents muscle cramping in Western societies. Low levels of potassium in one body can cause muscle cramps. One must include plenty of potassium in there diet. It will keep the level of the required nutrients at optimum levels preventing muscle cramping. Bananas, oranges, prunes and potatoes are good sources. The recommended daily amount of potassium is 2,000 milligrams for anyone 10 years or older.


Bee stings happen frequently to people all over the world. There are bees on every continent with the exception of Antarctica. Therefore; it is not uncommon that one will eventually be stung. Once someone realizes they have been stung, remove the bee's stinger from the body. Wash around it with soap and water to prevent any bacteria from entering the body, and try not to touch the area of the sting, this will prevent any infections. One remedy that can be used to remove the sting is potatoes. If a peeled and sliced potato is placed directly on the sting, it will ‘suck’ out the venom. Potatoes contain allantoin, which is a white powder that is created by oxidation. Allantoin will soothe the inflammation caused by the sting. This remedy is common among the Hispanic society

Potato JuiceEdit

Arthritis is a group of conditions where there is damage caused to the joints of the body. Raw potato juice therapy has had much success in treating rheumatic and arthritic conditions. The traditional method of preparing potato juice is to cut a medium-sized potato into thin slices, without peeling the skin, and place the slices overnight in a large glass filled with cold water. The water should be drunk in the morning on an empty stomach. It has been used in folk medicine for centuries. This method is used commonly with people in Italy, but can be seen throughout European society.

Pressure PointsEdit

Pressure points are based on the traditional Chinese medical model and have to do with the flow and blockage of energy(chi). There are thousands of points all over your body that can be used to relieve practically any symptom, but this can be very complicated. In fact there is a whole system of treatment based around this principle called Acupressure. The most common ways that these pressure points are used in daily life are for nausea and headache relief. Both of these problems are caused by energy blockage.

To relieve nausea, press firmly on your breastbone with three fingers. Breathe slowly and deeply; in through your nose, and out through your mouth. Nausea will begin to lessen in about 2 minutes, as the energy in your body begins to flow again. This remedy is particularly effective when paired with eating Saltine crackers.

For immediate relief of a headache there is a sequence of points that need to be massaged to get the energy moving. First, using your thumbs or index and middle fingers massage your temples in a clockwise motion. Do this for 30–60 seconds and remember to be gentle. Second, using the tips of your middle fingers, massage the points at the inside ends of your eyebrows. The pressure for this point needs to be almost more than you can stand. Do this for 10–40 seconds. Third, draw and imaginary line from the ends of your eyebrows up to the top of your forehead and massage the points there. These points will be more sensitive so be gentle. Do this for 10–40 seconds. Fourth and lastly, massage the last point which is on the same level as the previous two, but in the center of your forehead. Massage this point for 10–40 seconds, and kiss your headache goodbye.

Prune JuiceEdit

Prunes are dried plums which are specially grown for this purpose. Prunes are rich in iron and potassium. They are high in fiber and contain modest amounts of vitamin A, vitamin B3 and vitamin B6. Prunes are a valuable food for anyone suffering from high blood pressure and make an ideal laxative. Constipation is a condition of the digestive system where one can not release feces, and can cause massive stomach pain. If you are constipated, prune juice has been recommended by most doctors to clear a constipated bowel. All you need is just 2 or 3 cups of prune juice, and the effect will take place in about an hour or so. It is that easy, and maybe the in between part might not be that enjoyable but the ending result will be. It is actually a good thing to include prune juice in your diet to prevent constipation from occurring again. This method was discovered in Serbia by the town folk, which is where a lot of plums are grown.

Red WineEdit

Considered one of the most favored drinks around the world, red wine is also known to have healing properties. Taken in moderation (recommended one glass per day) red wine is believed to help reduce your risk of heart disease and other heart-related ailments. It is a stress reliever, and also contains many antioxidants. The best red wines are organic, sulfite free, which are usually more expensive. However, a decent bottle of red wine full of rich antibodies can be around only ten dollars, and of course it is always good to drink it with friends! (see Laughter...)

Ulcers caused by the bacterium called H. pylori, can be remedied by drinking red wine with meals.This custom is associated with European culture.


R.I.C.E. is a method of curing minor injuries such as sprained ankle or strained muscle. By using this method, a person can limit swelling or blood pooling around the injury and will have less scar tissue when healed. The idea is that after receiving the injury, a person uses: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Rest is essential because the body needs time to heal itself. By resting the area, the body has the time it needs for healing to take place and the likelihood of the area being re-injured goes down. Ice is used to dull the pain and also as a way to limit the amount of blood pooling in the injured area. Ice should never be applied for more than 15–20 minutes and then the area should be left for 20 minutes. This will help the injury to heal faster and to limit scar tissue. Compression is used to limit blood flow, therefore helping to heal faster. A medical wrap, such as an ACE bandage, should be applied around the injury so that it is tight enough to limit blood flow but not too tight to create throbbing or to cut blood flow completely. If it is too tight, re-wrap it looser. Finally Elevation is used to limit swelling of an injury. It is used most effectively when the injured area is kept at a higher level than the heart making it harder for blood to travel there. This method should be used just after sustaining a minor injury. It is most effective the more the injured person uses this method. If the injury is more serious, or the swelling and pain do not subside in a couple of weeks, go see a physician.


A common method of relieving teething pains in babies is to soak a clean wash rag in Rum and let the child suck and gum the rag. It provides a numbing sensation in the mouth and calms the baby down. It has been used in many cultures for many years. This method should be used sparingly and with care since alcohol is used.