Friday, June 7, 2013

Interview with Sandra Orchard, author of Deadly Devotion



Sandra Orchard is an award-winning Canadian author of inspirational romantic suspense, whose novels include Deep CoverShades of Truth, and Critical ConditionShe is an active member in American Christian Fiction Writers, The Word Guild, and Romance Writers of America, and lives in the Niagara area of Ontario, Canada. To find out more, and to read interesting bonus features for her novels, please visit www.sandraorchard.com or connect at www.Facebook.com/SandraOrchard


Interview with Sandra Orchard:
1.  What made you start writing?

I’ve always loved to write, but I never imagined myself as a fiction writer until I discovered inspirational romance and romantic suspense. The books started piling so high in our house that my husband suggested I write my own. I didn’t need to be told twice. J

2.  How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

I began my first novel in the fall of 2004, and signed my first contract six years, and six much-revised manuscripts, later. I currently have 10 novels contracted/published.

3.  What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

Spending more time with my grandchildren—very tempting!

4.  Tell us about the book you have out right now.

Deadly Devotion is the first book in my Port Aster Secrets series with Revell Publishing. It is a standalone mystery, however, the budding romance between the hero and heroine, and an underlying suspense will arc the three-book series.

Here’s the back cover blurb:

Kate knows the truth is out there—but if she’s right, that means a killer is out there too.

Research scientists Kate Adams and Daisy Leacock were on the brink of a breakthrough for treating depression with herbal medicine when Daisy was suddenly found dead. Kate knows that her mentor’s death wasn’t suicide or a careless accident—and she’s determined to do whatever it takes to unearth the truth about what happened to the woman who changed her life.

Former FBI agent Tom Parker is finding it hard to adjust to life back in his hometown of Port Aster. Though an old buddy gave him a job as a detective on the local police force, not everyone approves. Tom’s just trying to keep a low profile, so when Kate Adams demands he reopen the investigation into her friend’s death, he knows his job is at stake. But despite his attraction to her, Tom thinks Kate herself may have something to hide.

As evidence mounts, a web of intrigue is woven around the sleepy town of Port Aster. Can Kate uncover the truth? Or will Tom stand in her way?

5.  Did you do any special research for this book?

Yes, since the heroine is a researcher of herbal medicine, I spent a great deal of time researching herbal remedies, particularly those served as teas. The original title of the story was Murder by Marigolds, so you can imagine the unusual kinds of tea I explored. I also took a position on a sensory panel at our local research station. Through that I was able to get a feel for the variety of research projects that are undertaken, the kind of equipment to be found, the security and much more.

6.  What are you working on right now?

Line edits for the next book in the Port Aster Secrets series, and polishing an upcoming Love Inspired Suspense set on an Alaskan cruise, and beginning the final book in this series.

7. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

Shades of Truth, the second book in my Undercover Cops series with Love Inspired Suspense. The heroine was inspired by our former pastor’s daughter who worked at a Christian youth detention center. It was a fascinating book to research. The heroine’s Christ-like love toward the inmates challenged and inspired me, and the hero’s need to both accept God’s forgiveness and forgive himself is a theme very dear to my heart.

9.  Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t be in a rush. Enjoy the journey. There is much to savor along the way. 

Suspense Sisters, thank you very much for inviting me to visit today! I’d love to giveaway a copy of Deadly Devotion to one of your blog readers, but to have their name thrown into the hat (please let your email address--draw the winner on Sunday night), I’d like them to answer this three-part question:

What is the most unusual or most effective folk remedy that you or someone in your family has tried? For what ailment? And how well did it work?



62 comments:

  1. Thanks for inviting me, Margaret. It's great to be here. I thought I'd start off with my answer to the question, because if you came from a family like mine growing up, you're probably drawing a blank.

    I remember the occasional dose of cod liver oil...yuck. Never knew what we were given it for!

    My most effective and often used "remedy" is a plain old ice pack for my tight back muscles. :) It helps for as long as the coolness lasts!

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  2. Sandra, we are so glad to have you here. I can't think of a folk remedy at the moment that I've used.

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  3. Now that I think about the one thing I do for my allergy problems is a cold pack on my forehead--over my eyes. It really helps my itching eyes and sinus problems.

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    1. Yes, I love my cold packs for whatever ails you...numbs us anyway. :)

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  4. When my son was a couple months old, he had horrible diaper rash. As in, bleeding! Nothing seemed to help. I did a search on google and found a site that suggested to put him in tub with black tea bags. How strange is that? If it will help my babe, why not? It really worked. It was almost instant results! I said bye bye to diaper rash cream.
    campbellamyd at gmail dot com

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    1. Oh, wow, thanks for sharing that Amy! I've never heard of it, but with a new grandbaby due in two weeks, it's one I might need to try! :)

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  5. Hi Sandra,

    I remember you from Margie Lawson retreat at her house a few years back. It's great to see you have so many books contracted. Congrats!

    I'm struggling hard and can't remember a single folk remedy my parents--or I have used. Unless you count taking zinc and vitamin C at the first sign of a cold. I do tend to make chicken soup when one of my kids or my dh gets sick.

    My dad used to torture us by treating our cuts with merthiolate. Oh my! Did that stuff sting.

    My grandma was born in 1876. I sure wish I could pick her brain. I bet she'd have gobs of folk remedies to share.

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    1. Oh, yes, I wish you could pick her brain! Your mention of merthiolate brought shivers. I don't remember what my dad used, but oh, yeah, it stung! And chicken soup is a great remedy! Thanks for sharing. BTW, this was one of the books I was working on while at the ML retreat. :)

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  6. I love looking into herbal remedies. We're using castor oil right now to get rid of moles and it seems to be working. And my husband is getting ready to use bloodroot to remove skin cancer. I have a friend who is using it successfully. I guess it can be painful but it's much better than the alternative.

    Your book sounds very interesting, Sandra. I'll definitely have to pick this one up.

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    1. That's fascinating Christina. Do you rub the castor oil and bloodroot on the skin, or ingest? We had to give castor oil to our dog for constipation, so...I'm thinking it's rubbed on the skin. :) I'll be interested to hear how well it works for your hubby!

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  7. This book sounds very fascinating!! :)

    For nosebleeds, we have used a paper bag, folded, placed between the lip and the upper gum, holding it in place with the lip. I don't know if it's something in the bag or if it is something with the way you hold it using pressure from your lip, but it works!!

    My great grandmother was also what they called a "healer". I don't remember her, but from stories I was told, many people all around came to see her when they were ill, even for broken bones. I wish I could visit with her and learn from her!!

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    1. Oh, wow, we'll have to try your nosebleed remedy. My son had one just the other day! Of course, it's a lot harder to find a paper bag around the house these days. Your great grandmother sounds a lot like Grandma Brewster in my book--minus the broken bones part! thanks for sharing.

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  8. I'm the youngest of nine kids and my mom is ingenius (just wanted to put a plug in there for my mom--she taught me to think outside the box!) Back to the subject, one of my favorite home remedies is for infected things, i.e. toes. This subject is starting to sound gross to me so I'll hurry it up. The remedy is bread soaked in milk and applied to the 'applicable part'. (Reapply as needed.) Not always easy to keep the bandages on over the bread, but it definitely works! Draws out the infection. (When I was nine, I buggered up my toe trying to follow my two older brothers around on my 2-ton bike, wasn't sure if I'd get in trouble for following them and didn't want to admit I'd cut myself on an old rusty truck. It hurt! And quickly became infected. So I self-medicated, healed up nicely).

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    1. Cooool! I can just picture a pig-tailed girl doing this on the sly. LOL. Your story reminds me of one I tried a couple of years ago--putting a cut onion on a bee sting. It draws it out and takes away the sting, much like your milk works on infections. thanks for sharing!

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  9. We have a few comments that I've seen (because I subscribed to them), but they're not showing up here. But we're trying to find where blogger sent them! And we'll get them posted as soon as we can, because there are some more good remedies!!!

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  10. Well, I was having real bad stomach pains...gas pains! I could not sleep and it was hard to breathe. My mother in law told me, get a cup with a spoon of coffee grain (not instant), squeeze a half of lemon and about 1 TBSP or 2 of water, and drink it. I drunk it and threw up, but let me tell you...all stomach pain subsided and I was able to fall asleep. She even used this remedy for my nephew who had diarrhea/vomiting...after he drunk this remedy...He felt so much better. It worked :D

    Linda Ortiz
    strgth4yu(at)Hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Oh, wow, that sounds like a true old-fashioned remedy! One I might just try myself. I wonder if lemon juice from a bottle would work as well. I guess the trick is being able to swallow it!

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  11. my mom for EVERYTHING used penetin cream (a thick white paste for minor wounds or scratches) Everytime we would hurt ourselves or complain of an itch or a rash, she would always say "put some penetin cream on it. To this day I always have some in my purse for my boys. Comes in very handy!

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    1. kindergartenstoryteller(at)gmail(dot)com

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    2. We use that, too! For everything from diaper rash to acne. It's great! :)

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  12. I would say making a paste out of baking soda for the poison ivy I always get. It take's the itch right out. Would love to win this.
    Blessings
    joeym11@frontier.com

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    1. Oh, yeah, I forgot about baking soda! I remember bathing in that when I had the chicken pox!

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  13. Loved reading these posts!!! I'll need to try some of these :)

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  14. Love reading everyone's comments. Growing up my mom and grandma used herbs for everything. Flowers from outside or we would hike and pick things to drink tea with or heal. I know I used a plant to get rid of a wart on my hand, it worked but I have no idea what it's called. I can tell by the look of a plant but not the name.

    Bookwormgal2011(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Michelle, going on walks with your mom and grandma must have been fascinating!

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  15. Well, lets see. I've used Listerine for fire ant bites. Works fabulously, especially when you have two very active boys and live in the country where the fire ant hills sprout like weeds. We use dry grits on the hills when we find them and it works but they end up moving someplace else in the yard. Enough grits for our size yard would put us in the poor house so we generally just try to keep the ground covered around the house.

    I've used sugar to cure hiccups but was out at a restaurant one day when one of the boys started hiccuping so bad he couldn't eat. The server brought us a lime from the bar and had him suck on it. Within a few seconds the hiccups were gone and he was able to eat again.

    Finally, I love to sail but don't like the seasickness that comes with it. Instead of Dramamine, I take along a few lemon slices and suck on them at the first signs of queasiness. Works great and keeps the nausea at bay for hours.

    I've read Critical Condition from the Undercover Cops series (you really had me running in circles to figure that one out) but I ashamed to say that Shades of Truth is still sitting on my Kindle waiting to be read. :( I bought it and Deep Cover after reading Critical Condition but still haven't found time to read them. I guess that's one reason why hubby bought me the tablet. My TBR pile takes up a lot less physical space on it. Our spare bedroom has been dubbed the library with all th books in there...but I still love my paperbacks. Thanks for the post and giving us the opportunity to learn more about you.

    God bless!

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    1. You have so many awesome tips here! We don't have fire ants where I live...thankfully! But I'm intrigued by the lemon for queasiness...makes me wonder if it would work for morning sickness. :)

      I love hearing that Critical Condition kept you guessing. The size of my TBR pile is what prompted my hubby to tell me to write my own books. Hasn't stopped the TBR pile from growing though! I'm thrilled to hear that you liked CC so much that you bought the other two novels. Hopefully, you'll find time this summer to read them...before August when Fatal Inheritance releases

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  16. REPOSTS

    Since this is a blog for mystery writers, of course, blogger is going to throw one at the hosts. The Case of the Disappearing Blog Posts. Since Margaret is on deadline, I'm just going to paste them below, and we won't play blogger's hide n seek game. :)

    FROM ROSE
    Your book sounds exciting can't wait to read it! My favorite remedy is ginger. I use the root&the spice in teas & almost every dish I make. I use it to lower my blood pressure & it helps my stomach issues. Ginger can be used for several other things as well. rose blackard @ gmail . com

    FROM CAROLYN G
    This is not an old family remedy, but I recently discovered a sulfur and pine oil ointment (Nu-Stock) is great for clearing up acne rosacea.

    FROM SHIRLEY BLANCHARD
    The most unusual or most effective folk remedy that my family has tried? was my grand mother boiled pine tree needles and added honey for our coughs, and it really did work, also please enter me in the give away i would love to win.
    jcisforme@aol.com

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    1. Whew, after all these comments, I'm going to be an expert at the Captcha puzzles!!

      Thanks so much for sharing these Rose, Carolyn and Shirley! I'm learning so much!

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  17. Here's another post that Blogger is hiding on us...
    FROM JEN T
    We actually have a few. Our most recent is an antibiotic; make a paste of tumeric powder and honey; and you can add a few drops of peppermint extract to dilute the smell. Works wonders on small infections.

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    1. I feel kind of silly replying to myself...but I'm really replying to Jen whose post I pasted. :) This is soo cool. I take turmeric as a natural anti-inflammatory. Does it leave a red stain when you apply it to a cut?

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  18. I read that covering a wart with duct tape for several days would smother the wart and cause it to die and fall off. Yes, I did try it (why, oh why?); it did not work and I finally had it burned off at a doctor's office! Gross, but true, story!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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    1. Oh, yes, I've tried that! Didn't work for me either. Although...it did work for my daughter. Good one! Thanks for sharing.

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  19. Wow, love reading all these! I can't remember anything from when I grew up, I might have blocked that out of my memory. LOL When I got married my mother in law told me how she uses Carona salve for everything, including diaper rash on babies. She gave me a container of it and I have been using it, with great success, ever since! My shock was when I saw on the container that Carona salve is for use on horses and farm animals!! :) It's fixes everything.
    Susan P
    farmygirl at hotmail dot com

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    1. Interesting. I've never heard of Carona salve. Although...my neighbor, who was a dairy farmer, once gave me a container of udder balm saying the same sort of thing. :)

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  20. Hello Sandra, I like when a book in a series can be read as stand-alone too. a good suspense filled book would hit the spot on a rainy weekend.
    thanks for your comments and the giveaway.
    remedys I do remember using aloe vera from plants Mom had in house for burns and yes it is very cool and helps healing...
    Paula O(kyflo130@yahoo.com)

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    1. That's an excellent plant to have around. My daughter was just telling me about a woman who used aloe vera juice on the mission field to soak a badly burned foot(I think it was) and it healed beautifully.

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  21. Hi! I love the idea of this book... Very original, and sounds like it might have some educational aspects of it, not to mention the romance and suspense... Yay!

    We use Baking soda for some of my kids that have a hard time gargling salt water for a sore throat... Same idea, gargle in warm water. Can be swabbed in mouth with a q-tip or cotton ball... For sore throats and colds and trouble breathing, instead of vicks, we use a combination of herbal oils by a company called "Just" (said Yoost). The oil is a mix of 31 herbs, hence its name Oil 31. Mixed with herbal creams it serves different uses... Mixed with lavendar cream, it's good for muscle aches, with ginepro for joints, with thyme cream for sore throats and opening air ways to breath a little easier (like vicks)... It is recommended to rub the pea-sized mixture on back, chest and bottoms of feet. And, Yes they have worked for us.
    We also use Calendula cream for all cuts... Like a natural neosporin, in a way. It is good for super dry, cracking hands in winter. It works. I use it often for our whoe family, and always keep it available wherever we go. It has also soothed bee stings, calmed rashes...

    Baking soda is excellent for washing for diaper rashes, prickly heat, teething rashes, chicken pox, and so much more... I also keep that always in plentiful supply at home. (wash and rinse, pat dry)

    So many things.... :D

    Celita

    mrsdayseye at gmail dot com

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    1. Oh, wow, Celita, you sound like my go-to girl for all things natural! I'm especially intrigued by the Calendula cream. Calendula (Traditional Pot Marigold) tea is the victim's favorite tea in the book. But the police believe she drank Tagete (other marigolds) tea by mistake. :) I learned so much about the value of Calendula and included some info in the back of the book. I had no idea there was a Calendula cream! It would have been a great addition to the door prize for my book signing. :)

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    2. I forgot to mention a slice of garlic covered by duct tape every evening/bedtime for about two weeks will kill warts!!! I kid you not, it works... Then the dead wart kind of dislodges off within the a month or so... And... I am pretty sure there are other companies that sell Calendula cream. It is worth looking into, I think. It is one of my favorite products. :) Neat that it's in your book. I think I would love this book!!! :D best wishes!

      Celita

      mrsdayseye at gmail dot com

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    3. I've heard of the duct tape trick, but I find it's always shifting and I obviously never keep it on long enough. I like the idea of only doing it at bedtime...not so keen on smelling garlic all night though. :)

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  22. We cut up onions and put them on a plate next to us for when we have a cold/blocked nose and its stopping us from sleeping. The onions on the plate unblock our nose and we have a good nights sleep :)
    Tanya
    tanya_terpstra@hotmail.com

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    1. Oh, I'm going to try that! Thanks for sharing.

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  23. Baking soda is my favorite for all things mentioned above, but especially for fevers. Just fill up a bathtub with hot water and climb in. Rub baking soda under armpits and on chest. let it dissolve in waterand soak for 15 minutes. One morning I had two little girls who both threw up before 8 am. One went home with birth motherand other stayed gome with me. She had a fever of 100.1. Took this bath and within half hour fever was gone and she was eating and playing normally. Other little girl came back to me after supper and had afever of 101.9 and hadnt been able to keep food down all day. Put her in this bath and 30 min later she was fever free and kept down a banana. She was fine the next day.
    Many of us have vit. D deficiencies and mushrooms can fix it curing chronic fatigue,depression, and sickness quickly.
    cinnamon, flaxseed, molasses, yogurt or probiotics with fruit of choice, 1 leaf kale and 1 leaf swiss chard in blender greatly helps ADD/ADHD children settle and focus.

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    1. This is amazing, Heidi. I've already emailed the info to my daughter for when my granddaughter gets a fever! Adding mushrooms to my shopping list, too! Thanks for sharing!

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  24. Sandra, Wonderful to learn more about you here. I think it's so interesting you have a favorite book - it sounds very intriguing and heart-tugging and more. Thrilled you're at Revell. I've been sharing your debut on my Facebook page and it's been fun to share in the buzz. Readers are so excited about you and your books. Bless you and the Suspense Sisters for being here!

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    1. Thanks so much, Laura! One of my new visitors to my FB page mentioned that she heard about me from you. I appreciate you sharing in the buzz!

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  25. I'm from the mechurochrome generation. LOL But, I remember being amazed that in Gone With the Wind, when Melanie was going to have her baby, someone suggested putting a knife

    under the bed to cut the pain in half.

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  26. Grandma used to berate Grandpa if he even thought of putting whisky in a glass. But in a tablespoon, it was perfect as a cough and cold remedy! So funny. She was also sold on garlic and onions for what ailed you. She'd cook the onions until they were soft, then make a poultice of them and wrap the kids' necks the way my mother used Vicks salve. I was watching an old movie and heard one of the characters mention tincture of Arnica for bruising. I was already using it as a gel in a tube for bruises. It will make them fade much more quickly and is also supposed to help muscle aches.

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    1. That's so funny. I bet your Grandpa got lots of coughs!

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  27. Hi Sandra!

    I'm fascinated by the herbal tea element of your book. Did you end up learning anything that you've used to help your own health?

    This book looks great! Can't wait to get a copy.

    Hope

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    1. I tried lavender tea which is supposed to be calming. I wasn't fond of the flower taste, but I decided I quite like bathing with a titch in the bath water. :) I'm determined to try Calendula tea (the edible kind of marigolds), but haven't yet. It's supposed to be very good for women's troubles. The recipe for it is at the back of the book. For my second book, I learned about catnip hair rinse, which I also want to try. :)

      But the most health-improving thing I learned wasn't actually herbal. It was that the capsule coating on the various supplements I tried was what was giving me heartburn. I stopped taking any meds or supplements in the capsules and haven't had acid reflux since!

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  28. I use ginger for upset stomach. I buy the candied ginger. For a bee sting--scape across sting with dull knife edge to remove stinger. Next, make a poultice of meat tenderizer and water. Put on sting. When poultice dries, brush off and reapply 1 or 2 more times. The meat tenderizer draws out the poison. I just did this for my grandson a couple of weeks ago, when he was stung by a hornet. He was quite upset, so I waited until after the first application of the poultice to scrape across the sting. He was feeling much better by then. I've been using this method for years--first on my own children and now on my grandchildren. It works really well.
    may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Kay. I've never heard of that treatment for stings!

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  29. Wow! Amazing tips here! And the above comment about bee stings: we use the meat tenderizer and put a penny over it. :) The copper helps draw out the venom.

    Also, my husband is from Mexico and they have a lot of scorpions. When we were there last, someone was stung and his mother put in about 5 heads of garlic in a pot, boiled the water, and made the victim drink the pot of garlic water! The swelling went right down. Also, slabs of fresh papaya draw out the venom.

    I was glad I never got stung because I don't think I could drink that much garlic water.

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    1. Oh, my, I'd be in more pain from the gas from drinking garlic water! :)

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  30. I love to read about remedies! I firmly believe in vitamins and supplements. I drink roasted dandelion root tea every day....a good liver cleanser as well as other things!
    Can't wait to read your new book, Sandra.
    Jackie Smith
    jackie.smith[at]dishmail[dot]net

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    1. Oh, I've have dandelion root tea in my cupboard! I guess it doesn't help me there, though. ;) I'm not too fond of the taste.

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  31. I would love to win. Thanks for a super interview ladies so I could "meet" Sandra Orchard. Interesting ideas.

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  32. Looking forward to reading your book, Sandra! I like to brew lemon balm tea (also known as Melissa) for relaxing, and my favorite for hiccups is a spoonful of sugar - must be taken all at once, in one swallow!

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