25 September 2012

With Winter now on it's way (it's Autumn already!), here are some ideas for:

Home-made medicine

I didn't realise, but common problems such as colds and general aches and pains can be treated with ingenious ingredients from the store cupboard
At the first signs of sniffles and sneezes, take a mustard foot bath just before bedtime.  Put a teaspoon of ordinary mustard powder and the same amount of household soda into a bowl or bucket of water as hot as you can stand.  It should reach halfway up the calves.  Keep your feet in the water for at least 10 minutes, topping up with hot water at intervals.  Dry your feet, put on thick socks and hop straight into bed.
 A hot toddy of lemon (rich in vitamin C) and soothing honey is a time-honoured remedy.  Squeeze the juice of a lemon, add boiling water and sweeten with honey.  Hot ginger tea is another comforting drink which stimulates the circulation and helps fight respiratory complaints.  Add a teaspoon of freshly grated ginger root to the juice of half a lemon and a teaspoon of honey, topped up with boiling water.
The antiviral and antibacterial properties of garlic have been used for treating colds for over five thousand years.  Onions also have strong medicinal qualities and act as a nasal decongestant.  The taste of garlic can be disguised by cooking, for example in a nourishing vegetable broth with onions.  Parsley too.
Inhale steam to relieve a stuffed-up nose and blocked sinuses – half fill a bowl with hot water, put a towel over your head to trap the steam and inhale for a few minutes at a time.

Coughs and sore throats
Honey and lemon (see above) and ginger tea will soothe irritated tissues.  Try keeping a small flask of either drink by your bed if a cough is troublesome at night.  Sage is another tried and tested home remedy for throaty coughs.  Pour boiling water onto three or four fresh leaves or a teaspoon of dried sage, leave to infuse for a few minutes, then strain and use to gargle with when the liquid is cold enough.

Chilblains and chilly extremities
Many familiar kitchen herbs and spices pep up the circulation, among them are: cayenne pepper, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, marjoram and ginger.  Try to buy spices whole rather than pre-ground as they keep longer.

Digestive problems
For flatulence, take a teaspoon of cinnamon or a pinch of grated nutmeg and simmer in milk, with a little honey.  Or infuse a teaspoon of grated ginger root in a cup of boiling water to ten minutes.  Use herbs traditionally used in cooking to aid digestion, such as mint, fennel and tarragon.

Sore muscles
The pain of a one-off ache caused by a pulled muscle on the sports field or in the garden may be eased by a massage.  Put a large sprig of rosemary, lavender or thyme into a glass or enamel pan, add half a pint of olive or almond oil and heat gently until all colour has left the plant.  Let the oil cool until it is pleasantly warm before using.

Seek professional help if there’s any chance this might be a fracture.  Rest and elevate the affected joint and reduce pain and swelling with an ice pack (or a bag of frozen peas) wrapped in a cloth or towel.  Keep in place for 30 minutes and replace with a fresh pack. 

Insect stings and bites
Immerse the area in cold water with bicarb for a bee sting (after removing the sting), vinegar for a wasp sting.  Flying insects such as mosquitoes and midges seem to be repelled by garlic, so eating plenty of it might be a useful deterrent.
Rubbing the cut edge of a garlic clove on a mosquito bite can help reduce the swelling.

Sore or puffy eyes
Put slices of cucumber or raw potato over your closed eyes, lie back and rest for five minutes.  A used teabag also works well.

Eczema and dry or itchy skin
Oats are a traditional remedy for soothing sensitive or inflamed skin.  Put lb mixed oat flakes and oatmeal in a muslin bag or a thin cotton handkerchief and tie it to the hot tap while running a bath.  Then put the bag to soak in the bath.  Make sure you use a strainer over the plug-hole when emptying the bath!

Ginger tea might help.  For children, try a ginger biscuit.

If bearable, chew on a clove, which has anti-infective and anaesthetic properties.  A teaspoon of sage or thyme infused for ten minutes in a cup of boiling water then cooled and swilled repeatedly around the mouth can help to reduce inflammation.

It's almost worth having a problem in order to try out one of these remedies!!

And another idea, from http://nancyvienneau.com/blog/articles/home-remedy/ :

¼ teaspoon Cayenne
¼ teaspoon Ginger
1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar (preferably organic)
2 Tablespoon Water
1 Tablespoon Honey (local if possible)
  1. Dissolve cayenne and ginger in cider vinegar and water. Add honey and shake well. Take one tablespoon as needed for cough.
  2. Note: This is potent albeit watery syrup. It also doesn’t dissolve perfectly. Always shake well before using.
  3. If you make this in small batches as the recipe is written, there is no need to refrigerate.
  4. If you prefer, you may refrigerate this. It keeps as long as you need it. 

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: This remedy and dosage are for adults. I have no personal experience giving this to children, and cannot recommend it for children. Many have reported on this site (see comments) that they have had great success administering the remedy in smaller doses to their kids. This is those parents' personal choice; and
Honey should NEVER be given in any form to children under the age of one year, due to the risk of infant botulism–hence the remedy should never, under any circumstances , be given to an infant.

No comments:

Post a Comment