Mama’s home remedy

I have a report on the effect of soap on scale.

It does nothing, but your basil leaves sure smell good! (Ba-dum-CHING!)

After a couple of days, I determined that the suds had been completely ineffective, and I needed to go on to the next option. Trey of Golden Gecko Nursery had suggested rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab, and that got me to thinking that I might have an even better solution than that.

I swam for my college team, and on a Christmas break training trip to Florida, contracted a particularly nasty case of swimmer’s ear that required high doses of Basil sans scaleCipro and narcotic painkillers to manage. Not one to tempt fate again, I read up on possible preventative measures. The one I settled on, which has never failed me, is to mix up a noxious concoction of 50 percent rubbing alcohol and 50 percent white vinegar. It smells bad, sometimes feels quite odd in the ear, but delivers a one-two punch that kills bacteria and dries out the ear all at the same time.

I still swim, so I have a bottle of the mixture in our bathroom cabinet. If rubbing alcohol would work on scale, would this stuff work even better?

I went outside with some cotton balls (no swabs in the house) and my magic elixir. I swiped carefully at the stems, then went back inside.

A couple of days later, I pulled back the leaves again, and lo and behold, Mama’s home remedy works beautifully. The only places on the plant that featured scale were the places where I hadn’t tested out the mixture.

Rock on.

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7 Responses to “Mama’s home remedy”


  1. 1 Sugar Creek Farm August 31, 2006 at 8:19 am

    I’m going to have to remember that remedy for Olivia’s ears! She’s got her first ear infection since getting the new eardrum, and I’m sure it’s from end-of-the-summer swimming.

    And woohoo! on getting rid of the scale!

  2. 2 Trey August 31, 2006 at 10:24 am

    Buy Genie’s patented “noxious concoction of 50 percent rubbing alcohol and 50 percent white vinegar”. “It smells bad, sometimes feels quite odd in the ear, but delivers a one-two punch that kills bacteria and dries out the ear all at the same time.” “Kill’s plant scabies’ too!”

    I think we need to work on the marketing! What will we call this stuff?

  3. 3 inadvertentgardener September 1, 2006 at 7:04 am

    Kelli, it’s a winner of a solution. My ENT here in Iowa City swears that it’s an old wives’ tale, but he’s also never had to prescribe me Cipro for swimmers’ ear. So harumph to him.

    Trey, you know…all we need is one more secret ingredient from the Andes, and we actually could market this stuff. What about calling it Lucky 13 Ear Tonic? (For those missing the inside joke, Trey and I share a July 13 birthday…)

  4. 4 Tanna September 2, 2006 at 2:38 am

    Common sense, old wives tale – call it what you will, when it works, it works. Simple is always best. Smart thinking on your part.

  5. 5 inadvertentgardener September 3, 2006 at 8:02 am

    Tanna, thanks! (And thanks for stopping by.)

  6. 6 Your Mom! November 16, 2006 at 7:13 pm

    Ah,yes! I remember that swimmer’s ear potion now. Thanks for the reminder. Home remedies are often the best and the cheapest! Love, Mom

  7. 7 inadvertentgardener November 17, 2006 at 12:48 am

    They’re good stuff, Mom! Too bad we didn’t know about that stuff back when I was The Kid With All The Earaches. I wonder if it would have helped?


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