Rural remedies you can use to keep your body tuned in Summit County
Special to the Daily
By now, most of us have heard of the farm-to-table movement, but how about the farm-to-medicine-cabinet movement? No? While it might not be an actual movement, maybe it’s time we learn a bit from farmers about their favorite remedies. These tried-and-true products have been proven over decades to be strong enough to hold up to the farming life, soothing and gentle enough to be used on animals and humans alike and affordable enough to be purchased in bulk for you and your whole brood.
Some of the fixtures down on the farm might be perfectly suited for our dry mountain climate and the rough wear and tear that our outdoor adventure bodies are subject to.
This salve was originally created in Vermont in 1899 to help comfort milking cows and is intended to soften their udders, sooth small injuries and prevent rash chapping. The product proved to have such a restorative effect that outdoor adventurists started using the salve on their hands and feet for relief on long journeys. According to the Bag Balm website, “In 1937, Admiral Byrd’s provisions for the trip to the North Pole included Bag Balm, which helped to protect against the harsh climate.” Over the years, the distinctive green tin has become a beloved staple in many homes, proving to be the perfect balm for cows, humans and even the family farm dog — offering relief to dry, cracked paw pads and soothing minor cuts and abrasions. Mountain-town dwellers can reap the benefits after a day of hiking, biking or gardening, or Bag Balm can help to prevent chafing for runners.
Mane ’n Tail
Forty-three years ago on a small rural farm in New Jersey, Mane ’n Tail conditioner was developed by Straight Arrow Products for use on the long manes and tails of show horses to achieve fuller, thicker, healthier hair. The micro-enriched, protein-based formulas proved to be so effective on horsehair that the human equine caregivers starting using the shampoos and conditioners on their own hair. While continuing to grow their horse-intended line, the company has now expanded to a full line of products for human use. The Original Mane ’n Tail has gained increasing mainstream popularity over the years, becoming available in the shampoo section at most large retailers. Popularity reached new heights when, according to the Straight Arrow website, it became “the shampoo and conditioner of the ‘Ellen DeGeneres Show’ greenrooms.” Not surprising, since Ellen and her wife, Portia de Rossi, are avid animal lovers and animal rights activists. The next time your tresses are wind whipped and dried out from a spin over Vail Pass, try out this equestrian remedy and see if you can get your mane looking luxurious.
Ohio-based company Redex Industries has been family owned and operated for more than 30 years. Initially intended for use on dairy cows under harsh conditions, Udderly Smooth is now commonly used to treat dry and chapped human hands and feet. Its wide variety of applications may allow you to replace several of those jars crammed into your toiletry drawer with one slender tube with its easily recognizable black-and-white cow-patterned label. It’s effective as a shaving lotion, general facial moisturizer, foundation primer or makeup remover. Now popular among outdoor adventurists, as well, it can be used to soothe sunburned skin, prevent blisters while hiking and as a chamois cream for bicyclists to prevent saddle sores.
Corn Husker Lotion
Corn Husker Lotion was originally developed for use by corn huskers. No, not the rowdy collegiate neighbors to the east, but those who actually do the husking and de-hulling of the corn by hand. A day’s work left hands chapped, dry and covered in tiny cuts. The heavy-duty hand treatment was designed to soothe hands, without the burn that lotions containing alcohol can often inflict. The thick, nongreasy, dry-skin reliever soon became popular among others outside the farming industry who worked with their hands or were subject to repetitive hand washing, which can quickly dry out the skin. The fast-penetrating lotion is perfect for paddlers who battle all season long with dry, cracked hands that take a beating from the constant wet-to-dry conditions while on the river.
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