Nature’s Home Remedies
Simple Treatments you can fix at Home
Do you remember your mother giving you a glass of hot milk at bedtime to help you fall asleep? Do you sometimes gargle salt water in your mouth to help ease a sore throat? And how many of you have tried grandma’s home remedies at one point or another? Well, now you can put some of nature’s home remedies to the test. These self-help treatments are for the most common ailments and best of all, they won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
The natural home remedies featured here might actually have some medical credence and enable you to fix the menacing problem once and for all. In an over medicated world, these home remedies are definitely making a comeback. Here are some tried and tested ones. However, if you’re not quite getting the results you were looking for, seek additional medical advice from your local doctor.
Tomatoes, Yoghurt and Carrots for Halitosis
I’m sure you’ve come across someone who’s got this thing called halitosis or maybe you’re suffering from it yourself. The worst thing that can happen, is that you may not even notice it until someone points it out to you. Or maybe they don’t. Whatever the situation, it’s not pleasant having bad breath.
The problem with halitosis is that it’s caused by foul-smelling sulphur compounds produced by bacteria that thrive in environments lacking in oxygen, such as the back of the throat. A mouthwash can work, but it’s not nature’s solution and I’ve heard some nasty things about gargling mouthwash.
Eating a couple of tomatoes a day could help prevent this nasty thing from recurring. That’s because tomatoes contain compounds called Ionones, thought to make sulphur compounds odourless. You can also munch on a few raw carrots because bad breath is often caused by rotting food particles stuck between the teeth. Chewing stimulates your saliva production, which in turn helps get rid of these nasty little critters. Carrot fibres also act as nature’s toothbrush on your teeth and gums. Yoghurt can also do the trick because the active bacteria could inhibit the odour-causing bacteria. So now you know. Simply opt for a small tub of yoghurt, a few tomatoes or chew on a couple of carrots.
Radish and Bicarbonate of Soda for Body Odour
If you’ve ever had an embarrassing experience due to body odour from smelly armpits to stinky feet, you’re not alone. We’ve all encountered this at some point in our lives. Some of us have experienced skin irritation when using underarm deodorant due to its alcohol content. Help is on its way in the form of a couple of simple home remedies. Bicarbonate of soda and radishes will solve the problem.
Sprinkle a little bicarbonate of soda onto a powder puff and then dust it onto the part of the skin where your troublesome problem lies. Because bicarbonate of soda absorbs sweat, liquid and other nasty substances that contribute to embarrassing and pungent body odours, it should neutralise and remove the smell. Bicarbonate of soda works particularly well should you suffer from sweaty feet.
Radishes are another great way to remove foul-smelling odours from your armpits or feet. It may take a little labour on your part, but the reward more than makes up for the effort you put in. Firstly, you need to make a juice using the radishes. Pop a few radishes in a food blender. Thereafter place the pulp in a muslin cloth and strain. After showering, make sure the problem areas are patted dry. Then smear the radish juice where needed and allow to dry. Radish juice has both antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It’s great for armpits and feet and especially beneficial in between your toes.
Onions and Vinegar for Bruises
Bruises are something we’ve all experienced and they usually occur when we bump into or trip over things, causing injury. Bruising can also come from much harsher circumstances too. My friend had the misfortune of being kicked by a horse and his bruises were much more severe. For that, you might need to see your doctor immediately. The rest you can fix yourself with a few simple ingredients such as onions and or a little vinegar. Bruising cause blood vessels to break and when that happens, blood leaks under the skin, leading to swelling as well as discoloration and perhaps a little bit of pain. Ouch!
The first one you can try is a vinegar soaked dressing which you then apply wherever the bruising has occurred. You do this for 10 to 20 minutes. The reason you may want to give vinegar ago is that vinegar increases blood flow near the skin’s surface, which helps dissipate blood pooled in the area where the bruising has taken place. You can fix the problem with onions. Simply mix some grated onion with a little sea salt and then hold it against the bruise for up to ten minutes. Onions are a rich source of quercetin, a plant pigment thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. This, in turn, will help reduce the swelling around the bruise and hopefully reduce any pain you may have.
Aloe Vera, Cucumber and Liquorice for Constipation
If you suffer from constipation, you may want to try these simple solutions to relieve the problem. The juice of the Aloe Vera plant contains chemical compounds called anthraquinone glycosides, which help stimulate your bowels to relieve constipation. Drink the juice as directed on the product.
The rich source of liquid and fibre from cucumbers has a mild laxative effect that will help you overcome sluggish bowels. Eat a quarter of a cucumber a day until the complication is terminated. You can also chew liquorice or drink some liquorice tea as liquorice is known to be a mild laxative.
Apple and Molasses for Diarrhoea
We all know that diarrhoea can end up being a messy affair and we never want to go down that road. The best thing you can do diarrhoea is to grate an unpeeled apple to the core. Leave the grated bits on a plate for 20 minutes or so until they turn brown. This will allow the apple to oxidate. The pectin in the apple will firm the stool and reduce inflammation. See more Inflammation-Fighting Foods.
Apples also contain malic and tartaric acids which regulate stomach acidity. When you allow the apple to go brown, it simply means that more of these compounds are released. And you know what they say – An apple a day keeps the doctor away. You can also try dissolving one or two teaspoons of molasses in warm water and drinking the solution. Molasses appears to have disinfectant properties that help kill infecting organisms.
Coconut Oil for Dandruff
I’m a firm believer in coconut oil, but not just any old coconut oil. Cold-pressed, extra virgin organic coconut oil is the only way to go. Not only is coconut oil suitable for high-temperature cooking, frying and baking, it’s suitable for so many other things too. If you’re stressed out about dandruff issues, try massaging coconut oil into your scalp before retiring for the night. You may want to cover your scalp with a cap. In the morning, rinse in the shower. Dandruff is often caused by a fungal infection and coconut oil contains Auric and Caprylic acids which have antiviral and anti-fungal properties.
Coconut Oil, Turmeric and Tea for Eczema
Do you notice patches of your skin becoming rough and inflamed with blisters that cause you to itch and then start bleeding? Chances are you have Eczema. Eczema is an inflammation of the skin, which has the tendency to flare up every now and then. Help is on the way. Try these simple solutions.
Mix a little coconut oil with turmeric powder and apply to the affected areas for five minutes at a time. Repeat the procedure two or three times a day. Turmeric contains a bright yellow chemical compound called curcumin, believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. When you mix this with the Auric and Caprylic acids found in coconut oil, you have an antiviral and anti-fungal recipe that will help you fight the bacteria that’s entering through your cracked skin.
You can also try using tea because the tannin in tea works as an astringent to reduce inflammation. Steep four tea bags into boiling water and leave for ten minutes. Once cooled, apply the liquid to all the affected areas using a cloth.
Figs and Lavender for Gout
Gout is brought about by an abnormal metabolic disorder resulting in a build-up of uric acid in the joints. It’s very much like a type of arthritis that attacks the smaller bones of the feet and can be prone to acute episodes of extreme pain. People who eat too much meat products are more likely to experience gout at some stage. However, there are a couple of home remedies to deaden the pain.
Soak a few figs in warm water to soften them and then mash them. Thereafter apply the mashed up solution directly to the affected area and keep in place with a clean cloth. Leave for up to one hour. Figs are an alkaline food source and have a yellow chemical compound called Morin, which has been shown to help reduce the uric acid. This method should help solve both the problem and the pain.
You can also make a lavender compress by soaking a dressing into a hot lavender infusion. Leave until the temperature is at a level tolerable to your skin and apply to the affected area until the compress cools. Lavender has anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic properties to help deaden the pain.
Bananas and Onions for Headaches
Did you know that when you get a headache, it’s much like an alarm clock going off in your head? It’s also a signal telling you that something is not quite right inside your body. The trouble is that most people simply switch off the alarm clock with a painkiller. They then go about their day without a single clue as to the collateral damaged their headache has caused. The problem lies deeper than you can imagine. And a migraine headache is especially a pain in the neck (though it’s more about the head) that needs to be urgently addressed.
Headaches are directly attributed to the things you eat and how you conduct your lifestyle. If you experience any type of a headache, don’t just switch off the problem with a few over-the-counter pills. All the answers lie deep within yourself and can easily be eradicated with the right mindset and the right food. In the meantime, you can try a couple of home remedies to smoothen the journey ahead.
Some headaches are the direct result of changes in your blood vessels and because bananas are high in magnesium, they might help to relax those blood vessels. Besides eating bananas, you can also mash a ripe banana peel and place it against the throbbing area of your head for up to 15 minutes at a time and then repeat as needed. Onions have also known to help. Place a slice of raw onion on the back of your neck as a cold compress to relieve neck strain that could be the cause of a headache.
Horseradish for a Toothache
We’ve all had our fair share of toothaches and we’ve probably tried several different things to ease the pain before having to head off to the dentist for a more permanent outcome. (Pun intended) But here’s the thing you can do at home should you not be able to make it to the dentist in time. You may even think that this is one of nature’s home remedies that doesn’t quite fit into any textbook you know of. However, horseradish could be the answer you were always looking for, but couldn’t find it. Horseradish contains a compound called synthetic allyl isothiocyanate, used as a topical anaesthetic.
Arnica and Bay Leave for a Sore Throat
We’ve all experienced a sore throat from time to time and this is usually associated with the start of flu symptoms we all dread. If this happens, you’d probably want to address the issue immediately. You can eliminate the irritation with the help of Arnica, a plant belonging to the sunflower family. Arnica has anti-inflammatory properties and is available in pill or a liquid solution form from your health shop. Rinse your mouth with a few drops of Arnica extract in warm water, but don’t swallow.
A much older tried and tested method remedy that works well is bay leaves because of bay leaves has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. What you need to do is boil a handful of leaves and then mash them into a soft moist mass. When cool enough, apply the poultice material to the outside of your throat and leave for 30 minutes. This helps relieve the soreness and inflammation.
Basil, Turmeric and Tonic Water for Painful Joints
You can relieve painful joints by drinking an infusion of Basil leaves. Simply prepare a tea by pouring boiling water onto a handful of basil leaves twice a day. The eugenol oil in basil leaves appears to block the effects of an enzyme called Cyclo-Oxygenase, which triggers inflammation and pain.
Turmeric can also help. Prepare a paste with boiling water and when cool enough to handle, apply the paste using a dressing. Do this for 20-30 minutes twice daily. Turmeric has also been used for centuries to treat minor skin injuries because of its active anti-inflammatory ingredient, curcumin.
Studies have shown that people suffering from arthritis, find that by drinking tonic water during flare-ups, have had a reduction in their symptoms. A daily glass of tonic water helps keep symptoms at bay. The quinine in tonic water is thought to have pain killing and anti-inflammatory effects.
Cabbage, Onion and Ginger for PMS
It’s a known fact that a hot cabbage compress will help reduce lower abdominal pains when placed on your stomach. You can do this by warming cabbage leaves in boiling water and then applying them to the affected area. A cold cabbage compress will also relieve breast tenderness when you place the chilled cabbage leaves inside your bra.
For premenstrual symptoms, eating half an onion on the days leading up to your period will enable your hormones to fluctuate during this time because chromium in onions is said to have a balancing effect. Raw onions are best for this purpose as the chromium content is largely reduced by cooking. The more pungent the flavour and smell of a raw onion, the greater the nutritional benefit.
You can also opt for a hot cup of ginger with molasses because ginger is a great painkiller and the nutrients in molasses are said to tranquillise the nervous system, thus relieving the pain. Simply add fresh ginger and molasses to warm water and drink the liquid twice daily.
Cloves for Stress
We’ve all had moments of stress in our lives and how many of us think of cloves as a stress reliever. When you next take a bath, pop a few drops of clove oil. The oil has natural pain killing properties and by adding it to the bath water, will soak into your skin, increasing circulation to loosen muscles.