More Chicken Soup & Other Folk Remedies

More Chicken Soup & Other Folk Remedies

by Joan Wilen, Lydia Wilen

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Is there a natural way to soothe dry eyes without eye drops?
Can you relieve stress by using clothespins on your fingers?
Is there a simple exercise to ease carpal tunnel pain?
Can raisins soaked in gin relieve arthritis pain?

The answer is yes! All those remedies--and more!--are at your fingertips, including an all-new chapter on the top ten foods…  See more details below


Is there a natural way to soothe dry eyes without eye drops?
Can you relieve stress by using clothespins on your fingers?
Is there a simple exercise to ease carpal tunnel pain?
Can raisins soaked in gin relieve arthritis pain?

The answer is yes! All those remedies--and more!--are at your fingertips, including an all-new chapter on the top ten foods most essential to your health and well-being. Everyone who loved the Wilen Sisters' first book will want to have this sequel in their home. That is, if you want a healthier heart; need to boost your immune system; care to lose weight, stop smoking, become more attractive, and improve your sex life!

Joan Wilen and Lydia Wilen will have you using the kitchen as your pharmacy; the fridge as your medicine cabinet; and the supermarket, greengrocer, and health food store as your dispensaries.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Picking up where they left off with Chicken Soup & Other Folk Remedies, the Wilens have included in this book some of the more esoteric healing substances to be found at health-food stores and herb farms, even furriers and sand pits. (They write, for example, that yucca is good for arthritis and flaxseed for constipation.) A wide range of common and not-so-common ailments are addressed, including asthma and back pain, body odor and gallbladder disorders, hair, weight and sleep problems. The authors' style is folksy, and they emphasize that they are merely reporting on practices, not endorsing them. All in all, this makes for an intriguing collectionand the worst thing the remedies will do is nothing. (November)

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Random House Publishing Group
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Preparation Guide

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, felt that everyone should drink barley water daily to maintain good health. Barley is rich in iron and vitamin B. It is said to help prevent tooth decay and hair loss, improve fingernails and toenails, and help heal ulcers, diarrhea, and bronchial spasms.

Pearl or pearled barley has been milled. During the mill-
ing process, the double outer husk is removed, along with its nutrients. A
less-refined version is pot or Scotch barley. Once it's gone through a less severe milling process,
part of the bran layer remains, along with some of the nutrients. Hulled barley, with only the outer, inedible hull removed, is rich in dietary fiber, and has more iron, trace minerals, and four times the thiamine (B1)
than pearled barley. It's available at some health food stores, as is
Scotch barley. If you can't get either, you will be able to get pearl barley at your supermarket.

BARLEY WATER: Boil 2 ounces of barley in 6 cups of water (distilled water if possible) until there's about half the water--3 cups--left in the pot.
Strain. If necessary, add honey and lemon to taste.

á coconut milk

To get the milk in the easiest way possible, you need an ice pick or a screwdriver (Phillips, if possible), and a hammer. The coconut has three little black eyelike bald spots on it. Place the ice pick or screwdriver in the middle of one black spot, then hammer the end of it so that it pierces the coconut. Repeat the procedure with the other two black spots and then pour out the coconut milk. The hammer alone should then do the trick on the rest of the coconut. Watch your fingers! (Also watch your figure. Coconut meat is high in saturated fat.)

á eyewash

reminder: Always remove contact lenses before doing an eyewash.

You'll need an eye cup (available at drugstores). Carefully pour just-boiled water over the cup to clean it. Then, without contaminating the rim or inside surfaces of the cup, fill it half full with whichever eyewash you've selected. Apply the cup tightly to the eye to prevent spillage, then tilt your head backward. Open your eyelid wide and rotate your eyeball to thoroughly wash the eye. Use the same procedure with the other eye.


When a remedy calls for garlic juice, peel a clove of garlic, mince it finely onto a piece of cheesecloth, then squeeze the juice out of it. A
garlic press will make the job easier.


Peel or scrub a nub of fresh ginger and cut it into 3 to 5 quarter-size pieces. Pour just-boiled water over it and let it steep for five to ten minutes. If you want strong ginger tea, grate a piece of ginger, then steep it, strain it, and drink it. TV personality and chef Ainsley
Harriott told us that he freezes ginger, making it easier to grate.


Besides offering a good relaxing time, the herbal bath can be extremely healing. The volatile oils of the herbs are activated by the heat of the water which also opens your pores, allowing for absorption of the herbs.
As you enjoy the bath, you're inhaling the herbs (aromatherapy), which pass through the nervous system to the brain, benefiting both mind and body.

HERBAL BATH DIRECTIONS: Simply take a handful of one or a combination of dried or fresh herbs and place them in the center of a white handkerchief.
Secure the herbs in the handkerchief by turning it into a little knapsack.
Toss the herb-filled knapsack into the tub and let the hot water fill the tub until it reaches the level you want. When the water cools enough for you to sit comfortably, do so.

After your bath, open the handkerchief and spread the herbs out to dry.
You can use them a couple times more.

Instead of using dried or fresh herbs, you can use herbal essential oils.
Oils cause the tub to be slippery. Be extra careful getting out of the tub, and be sure to clean the tub thoroughly after you've taken the bath.


Place a teaspoon of the herb, or the herbal tea bag, in a glass or ceramic cup and pour just-boiled water over it. (The average water-to-herb ratio is 6 to 8 ounces of water to 1 round teaspoon of herb. There are exceptions, so be sure to read the directions on the herbal tea package.)

According to the herbal tea company Lion Cross, never use water that has been boiled before. The first boiling releases oxygen and the second boiling results in "flat," lifeless tea.

Cover the cup and let the tea steep for the amount of time suggested on the package. The general rule-of-thumb is: steep about three minutes for flowers and soft leaves; about five minutes for seeds and leaves; about ten minutes for hard seeds, roots, and barks. Of course, the longer the tea steeps, the stronger it gets.

Strain the tea, or remove the tea bag. If you need to sweeten it, use raw honey (never use sugar because it is said to negate the value of most herbs), and when it's cool enough, drink it slowly.


The onion is in the same plant family as garlic and is almost as versatile. The ancient Egyptians looked at the onion as the symbol of the universe. It has been regarded as a universal healing food, used to treat earaches, colds, fever, wounds, diarrhea, insomnia, warts, and the list goes on. It is believed that a cut onion in a sickroom disinfects the air,
as it absorbs the germs in that room. Half an onion will help absorb the smell of a just-painted room. With that in mind, you may not want to use a cut piece of onion that has been in the kitchen for more than a day,
unless you wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate it.

ONION JUICE: When a remedy calls for onion juice, grate an onion, put the gratings in a piece of cheesecloth, and squeeze out the juice.


Raw, peeled, boiled, grated, and mashed potatoes; potato water; and potato poultices all help heal, according to American, English, and Irish folk medicine. In fact, a popular nineteenth-century Irish saying was, "Only two things in this world are too serious to be jested on: potatoes and matrimony."

The skin or peel of the potato is richer in fiber, iron, potassium,
calcium, phosphorus, zinc, and C and B vitamins than the inside of the potato. Always leave the skin on when preparing potato water, but scrub it well.

Do not use potatoes that have a green tinge. The greenish coloring is a warning that there may be a high concentration of solanine, a toxic alkaloid that can affect nerve impulses and cause vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea. The same goes for potatoes that have started to sprout. They're a no-no.

POTATO WATER: Scrub 2 medium-size potatoes (use organic whenever possible)
and cut them in half. Put the
4 halves in a pot with 4 cups of water (filtered, spring, or distilled, if possible) and bring to a boil. Lower the flame a little and let it cook for thirty minutes. Take out the potatoes (eating them is optional) and save the water. Most remedies say to drink 2 cups of potato water.
Refrigerate the leftover water for next time.

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