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Feeling Ill? Put Salt in Your Sock

Dr. Lillian Beard, a practicing pediatrician in Silver Spring, Md., recently discussed her book "Salt in Your Sock and Other Tried-and-True Home Remedies" at the Library.

Young women modeling Poet Laureate Ted Kooser and singer-songwriter John Prine

Beard, an associate clinical professor at the George Washington University School of Medicine and the medical contributor on ABC-TV's "Good Morning Washington," compiled hundreds of family recipes for wellness from her patients and colleagues during a 30-year period of practicing medicine. According to Beard, as long as there have been grandmothers, tight budgets and sniffles, there have been home remedies. Beyond chicken soup, the kitchen can be a gold mine for products that alleviate many common ailments. Home remedies that have survived the test of time may have a biological basis for their effectiveness.

In the book, there is a description for each ailment and the conventional treatment for it, followed by a section called "Parent's Report" for what works, with a physician's take on why they work. Beard, however, carefully points out that "Salt in Your Sock" is not intended to replace a doctor's care. There are warnings throughout the book, advising when not to use certain therapies and when to seek immediate medical help.

Beard's presentation is one of more than 200 Webcasts from the Library of Congress. The subjects of these lectures, symposia, discussions and performances are as diverse as the collections of the Library itself.

You can browse these selections according to general area, such as "biography, history"; "culture, performing arts"; "education"; "government" or "science, technology." There is even a list of the "10 Most Popular Webcasts." Currently, the most popular is "A Literary Evening with John Prine and Ted Kooser," in which Poet Laureate Kooser engages legendary songwriter Prine in a lively discussion of poetry and song lyrics. Prine performs several numbers as well.

A. Fritz W. Guerin, photographer. [Young women modeling: pouring spoon of medicine], c1901. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction information: Reproduction No.: LC-USZ62-74370 (b&w film copy neg.); Call No.: LOT 7531 [item] [P&P]

B. Lowell McGiuuis, photographer. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser and singer-songwriter John Prine in the Coolidge Auditorium of the Library of Congress, March 9, 2005. Reproduction information: Not available for reproduction.