Puttery Remedies For Healthy Housekeepers

By Alison February 28, 2012 3 Comments 4 Min Read

So everyone I know is suffering at the moment- suffering with general Winter malaise, aching limbs, stiff joints, coughs, colds, sickness bugs, sore throats and ear infections. You name it and one of my family, little or large is currently enduring it. Even the kitten is looking a little under the weather. And one could of course troop off to the Doctors and declare oneself unfit for purpose, then get down on our knees and beg for antibiotics or NHS sponsored cures , but we all know that only endurance and comfort will really do the job.
And so Dear housekeepers, here are a few Brocantefied alternatives. (Brocantefied is a good word isn’t it??). While I hesitate to call them treats, for there is little to be deemed joyful in the sniffly depths of February, they are in the best tradition of all my puttery recommendations resplendant with natural goodness, require a little bit of your heart to create and make life feel that little bit cosier. And more than that, from the plethora of alternative remedies to be found on the internet, these are the ones that require the least faff, and from my own experience, go some way to soothing the misery of poorly sick ailments…
* The main way to tackle a fever is to increase the heat in the body and we can do this comfortably by eating salads sprinkled with liberal doses of pepper and soups souped up with spices. Or if you are up to it, indulging in currys and the hottest chillies you can stand…
* Basil is well known to have antipyretic properties and so works wonders when your temperature is rising and you are feeling clammy. The best way to take it is in a tea infusion, so simply steep a few fresh basil leaves in hot water and sip slowly throughout the day. Better yet, get yourself an infusion teapot and keep a pot of basil tea warm at your bedside.
* Take a just warm chamomile bath and add a few drops of bergamot oil to increase the chances of lowering your body temperature.
* Two drops of lavender and two drops of chamomile oil dripped on to a cotton wool pad soaked in boiling water and applied to a boil will take the soreness out and draw it to a yukky old head.
* A tisane  made from thyme leaves soaked in boiling water for ten minutes will gently relieve an irritating cough.
* Mix three drops of eucalyptus oil and four drops of lavender oil into 25mls of sweet almond oil and use it to massage around your nostrils and across your cheekbones to relieve the misery of stuffy nosed catarrh.
* Soak a flannel in hot water and drip on four drops of chamomile and four drops of lavender, then use as a wet compress against a painful ear. Repeat as often as is necessary to keep the flannel warm.
*  Use four drops each of tea-tree, eucalyptus and pine-needle oil in a few bowls of warm water to purify the air in a sick-room and prevent germs from spreading.
* Gargle with warm water to which you have added two drops of tea-tree oil to banish a sore throat.
* Cure breathlessness by allowing cold water in a copper cup to steep overnight at your bedside, and then drinking it as soon as you open your eyes in the morning.
* Don’t plant that lavender outside, keep a pot growing on your bedside for the permanent heady, sleep-inducing scent of it:  just perfect for rubbing between your fingers and making a scented wish on nights when you are feeling a little yucky.
* Cut through a mucussy cough by sucking on half a lemon liberally sprinkled with black pepper. Eye-watering but it works!
* Banish a headache by drinking juiced watermelon every couple of hours until the symptoms ease… fresh, delicious and effective.
* Keep a small tube of aloe-vera gel in your first aid cabinet and dab on to cold-sores at the first sign of that horrible tingle.
* Soaking slices of orange in red wine overnight dramatically increases their vitamin C yield and if then gently stewed the following morning they provide an effective remedy for the kind of irritating throat phlegm left behind  after a cold. That and copious glasses of delicious pineapple juice.
* Carrot soup (to which you have added half a tablespoon of salt) taken every hour will gently halt Winter diarrhea.
* Stop a cold developing by adding two drops of Thieves Oil {Genius stuff!} to warm water and sipping every couple of hours. Or mix with almond oil and rub into your little one’s feet every day during the Winter.
* When nausea strikes press an ice pack to your head and sip slowly on a cup of Miso soup. Works everytime!
* Warm icy cold bones up with a cup of ginger tea to instantly boost your circulation and get that frozen blood pumping all over again.
* Taking a rosemary oil and epsom salt bath will ease aching muscles and eradicate twitchy, tired legs. Add two cups of epsom salts and ten drops of rosemary oil to a warm bath and relax until the water cools. I have insanely restless legs and this along with drinking tonic water and taking Kalms is the only way to sleep well at night.
* Un-block waxy ears the gentle way by popping a few drops of salt-water into them daily to break down the wax.
* Add a spoonful of apple-cider vinegar to every glass of water you drink to gently lift the Winter blues. I don’t know why it works, but it does.
* Slice a lemon in half and use one half to wipe across the skin on your calves and banish the dry skin central heating and months in wellies so frequently causes, rinse with warm water and massage with almond oil, et voila, happy pins!
Feel better soon Sweetie!


  1. Linda Albert says:

    The American West cure. Eat two bowls of five-alarm chili, soak in the hottest bath you can tolerate to which you have added a cup of epsom salts, while sipping a hot toddy of a double shot of whiskey and the juice of a half lemon to a mug of very hot water. Dry off from the tub without letting yourself get chilled. Rub a mild liniment (menthol rub) all over your chest and back (may need a friend to help) and sides of rib cage. Put on a set of thermal underwear (long johns) and thick wooly socks and crawl into bed heaped with quilts ( or turn up the electric blankets) with a hot water bottle hugged to your chest. Sleep till morning. The Fire in the Hole method will shift all but the most virulent of feverish aliments.

    1. BrocanteHome says:

      Good lord Linda that sounds both heavenly and ever so slightly terrifying: but yep I can see it working!
      Thank you…x
      My recent post Puttery Remedies For Healthy Housekeepers

  2. Heather B says:

    Thank you so much for these – I am in need of a bit of comfort at the moment.
    On the issue of restless leg syndrome, I suffered terribly with it but found that the thing that made the biggest difference was cutting out white flour. Now if I eat anything with it in, even by accident then I suffer at night but if I don't then the rls is hardly noticeable. Cutting out white bread made the biggest difference and I noticed it within two days of stopping eating it!
    Hope this helps, love your site as always

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