With school starting back, ’tis the season for them to start sneezin’. Don’t dread the dozens of doctor visits just yet, as you may have the cure right there in your cupboard. We asked around and gathered up wisdom from women of generations past who raised their children (somehow!) without having their pediatrician on speed dial. From urban legends that prove true to family folklore, read up on these simple solutions that have stood the test of time.


A breastfeeding buzzkill, many moms know not to mess around with mastitis. For the uninitiated, mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue that can involve swelling, redness, fever, flu-like symptoms and extreme pain. Untreated, mastitis can result in an agonizing abscess that might require surgery or put a stop to nursing. If you find yourself suffering, place a cold, green cabbage leaf in your bra. You might feel funny, but the cabbage will act as a cool compress, and help unclog the milk duct to flush the infection. Cabbage compresses date back to the 1800’s when they were commonly used to reduce swelling in sprains and broken bones. It is believed that cabbage improves tissue congestion by dilating local capillaries, improving blood flow and reducing trapped fluid. For this reason, cabbage has also been known to help with postpartum puffiness. Just be sure to consult your doctor to be sure the swelling is not a sign of some other condition.
Who Knew? Cabbage has also been heralded as a cure for a hangover, tied around the neck of children suffering from croup, and placed on little forehead’s suffering from fever. If you don’t have any cabbage on hand, try applying slices of cool cucumber to reduce swelling.

PLEASE NOTE: This information is gathered by a mom, not a MD, so you should always consult your child’s pediatrician before trying to treat something yourself—and especially seek medical attention if the issue seems serious or if there are any pre-existing conditions.

Do you have a home remedy that works? Share your secret and tell us below!

–Phebe Wahl

All photos courtesy of Amazon and Creative Commons via Flickr