9 Unexpected Home Remedies... Using Food!
So many veggies, fruits, and spices are not only amazing to eat – but they can be used in home remedies that treat all kinds of common ailments! Here are some of my favourite home remedies:
(It is important to remember that as useful as these remedies can be, they do not take the place of a health care professional. If any injury or condition worsens, please seek the treatment of an MD or ND)
- Potato Poultice
The potato poultice is an old remedy that can be used to treat many skin ailments; from eczema to sunburns, even splinters. Blanched raw potato applied to the skin is cooling, soothing, and has a gentle drawing effect – it can also be used to treat boils or abscesses because of this property. To make a poultice, grate the flesh of a small potato, and wrap in some cheesecloth or an old nylon. Pour hot water over the wrapped potato, let cool until you can wring it out a bit. Apply the poultice to the affected area, and cover or wrap with another cloth/linen.
- Green Tea Face Mask
Green tea is rich in antioxidants; we continually hear about the role these compounds play in the prevention of many chronic illnesses, including cancer. We need antioxidants on a daily basis, and the best way to get these in plenty is by eating a veggie/fruit based diet. Here’s how to give some extra antioxidant love to your skin; this can help reduce puffiness, redness, and acne prone skin. Simply apply a light paste made by mixing powdered organic green tea (matcha) with a little water. Leave on the skin (avoid your eyes) for about 15-20 minutes, and rinse off with some warm water.
- Banana Peel Wart Treatment
The tannins contained on the inside surface of green banana peels are useful for drying up stubborn warts. Place a small slice of banana peel, the interior side on the wart, and secure with a bandage. Wear this overnight, remove in the morning, and then repeat with a fresh piece of peel nightly for about 1 week. Adding a few drops of tea tree oil to the banana can also help. With consistent use, the wart typically dries up and "dies".
- Coconut Oil Moisturizer
Coconut oil is a very healthful fat, and offers an excellent alternative to olive oil when frying or roasting (olive oil is not as heat stable as coconut oil and should be reserved for raw consumption). But keeping a jar of coconut oil around can also offer a wonderful moisturizer for dry hands and feet, even chapped lips!
Stocking cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon in your pantry offers a quick remedy for indigestion, diarrhea, sore throats and coughs. Simmering cinnamon sticks makes a lovely tea with honey and lemon, and ground cinnamon can be added to foods, smoothies, even your morning cup of coffee. Cinnamon also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, which can help keep your mood and energy stable throughout the work-day.
- Basil and Rosemary
Herbs are always nice to keep around, especially when they are fresh. Herbs all contain aromatic compounds called volatile oils, these are what make them smell and taste so distinct. They also have a lot of medicinal uses! Basil contains specific oils that seem to act similarly to medications like advil and Tylenol; so consider making a cup of fresh basil tea the next time you have a headache! Rosemary is a useful remedy for colds and flus, but it is also a circulatory stimulant to the brain - it offers an excellent mental boost if you are feeling foggy!
- Onion & Garlic
These veggies are some of the best natural "antimicrobials" out there – with the ability to fight off bacteria, fungi, and viral infections. One of my fave remedies for a sore throat (although it does not taste pleasant) is chopped onion or garlic soaked in honey overnight. Strain the honey the next day, plug your nose and down a teaspoon or two. It works!! Either that, or eat some homemade caeser salad with a few cloves of raw garlic!
Bronwyn Hill is a Naturopathic Doctor and Vegetable Lover who practices the art and science of natural medicine – a marriage of traditional healing methods to evidence-based health care practices. She treats people, not illnesses, and emphasizes a balanced nourishing diet, self-care practices, stress management, and environmental awareness as the foundations for vibrant health. Lastly, she considers herself a health-detective; she listens, observes and researches to get to the root of the problem. It is after all, the root that grounds the plant, and with the right ingredients…allows it to flourish!