Women have long been healing their families for generations using methods and ingredients that they can find right in their own kitchens. We have found ways to use Mother Nature’s medicine cabinet of organic fruits, vegetables, spices and extracts to treat both common and serious illnesses. And we are now lucky that scientific research has been able to confirm the healing properties of hundreds of common home remedies.
Here are a few ways to treat common ailments using organic ingredients you can find in your local grocery or farmers market.
Fighting a Cold
When winter season rolls around, you can expect to see a few sniffles and sneezes here and there. It’s important to fight off a cold early to prevent complications from developing in the upper respiratory tract. Taking vitamin C before the onset of a cold could help reduce the severity of the symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness.
Take half a Vitamin C-rich lemon and squeeze the juice, pulp and all, into a mug. Toss in the lemon half as well since the rind contains copious amounts of lemon oil. Pour enough warm water to fill the mug and let the lemon half steep for a minute to release the oil. Take out the lemon half and spoon in a teaspoon or two of organic honey, which has antibacterial and immunity boosting properties. Breathe in the warm lemony aroma to help clear up your sinuses. Sip the warm lemon-honey mix to soothe your throat and get a good punch of Vitamin C. Remember to drink two to three cupfuls a day for faster healing.
A warm cup of organic ginger tea helps ease the queasy symptoms of nausea. Whether triggered by motion sickness or pregnancy, sipping a cup of warm ginger tea (½ to 1 teaspoon of grated ginger root or ¼ teaspoon of powdered ginger) will do the trick.
Heal Dry Skin and Eczema
Itchy rashes and cracked dry skin are annoying to say the least. They are sometimes triggered by an allergic reaction or may be the result of an existing chronic health condition.
Ease your skin discomfort by using uncooked oatmeal or whole oats as part of a therapeutic bath soak. Oatmeal has long been recognized for its gentle exfoliating and skin soothing effects. Place a cup of raw oatmeal in a clean sock or stocking and tie off the open end. Drop it in a tub of warm bath water and soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure to keep the affected skin areas submerged in the oaty water.
Those tiny red spots on the face—the bane of every teenager—have met their match! This essential oil is Nature’s great antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal remedy: tea tree or Melaleuca oil. Aboriginal tribes in Australia used crushed tea tree leaves to make a poultice to heal wounds. Its strong microbial properties destroy harmful organisms by damaging their cell membranes, thus effectively killing them. Dab a drop of essential tea tree oil on the affected area at least twice a day after washing your face to help dry up the pimples. Then you can use a drop of essential lemon oil to help lighten the area of the dried pimples to prevent dark spots from developing.
Heal Minor Burns
Accidents in the kitchen are bound to happen, the most common of which are first-degree burns from touching hot surfaces.
Run some cool tap water over the burn area making sure that the skin isn’t broken and that it covers an area less than 3 inches. This will initially help by reducing the swelling and inflammation. Take the tip of an aloe vera stalk and split it to reveal the gel-like interior. Rub some of the gel on the burn. The aloe vera will soothe the burn and hasten the healing.
A diet low in fiber and water may cause the lower intestinal tract to quickly move out the body’s waste material on a regular basis. This could lead to painful bowel movements and possibly even the occurrence of hemorrhoids.
You can easily treat constipation by adding organic figs to your daily diet. Figs contain high amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber, especially in the skins. This fiber will add bulk, softness and weight to the stools, making it easier to slide down the intestines without any difficulty. Drinking plenty of water helps, too.
Prunes or prune juice also work as good natural laxatives. The sorbitol in the prunes triggers a laxative effect in the excretory system. The sorbitol helps draw in more water to the stools, softening it enough for easier passage. Again, a good amount of water intake will significantly help ease constipation.
Curing a Cough
Having a dry cough that irritates the throat lining creates that sore, burning feeling you’d want to ease right away. It is also very bothersome at night when you really need to rest and heal.
A traditional herbal cure made with organic buckwheat honey and ginger is an easy remedy to quiet a barking cough. The natural anti-inflammatory and antibiotic qualities of honey and the antibacterial properties of ginger work together to create a warm and soothing effect on the throat. Extract the juice from a half inch piece of ginger, and combine it with a teaspoon of buckwheat honey. Take this homemade cough syrup twice a day to heal the cough. Be sure not to ingest anything afterwards.
Another option is to use turmeric and honey to help soothe the inflamed throat tissues. Turmeric is a spice more commonly used in curry recipes, but not too many people know that it also has natural antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Mix together ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1 teaspoon of organic honey. Take this half an hour after meals to help relieve the cough.
Finding ways to treat everyday common ailments shouldn’t have you reaching for over-the-counter medication right away. A lot of times, the solution to your health problem is inside the fridge or sitting in a fruit basket on the kitchen counter. Nature has provided us with so many healing ingredients that don’t have unwanted side effects or artificial chemicals.
Many cultures all over the world turn to natural healing by eating organically produced fruits, vegetables, spices and proteins as a part of their everyday diet. Make it a habit to have a few of these ingredients on hand, so you can whip up an all-natural remedy in no time.