12 June 2011

The Healing Kitchen

When an emergency has come up, how many times haven’t you had just the right treatment in your medicine cupboard? Well, forget the quick trip to the all night chemist. Look in your fridge. It’s full of medicine and first aid treatments. Foods have been used as medicines for thousands of years. They are safe to use and readily available. 

Honey has a long history of healing.  It relieves coughs and helps fight off colds and fevers.  Take it with lemon as a cough reliever or as a hot lemon drink for colds.  Its antiseptic properties make it perfect for external healing as well.  Placed on wounds and ulcers it can help speed up the healing process, while fighting off any infection.  Pus and poisons can be drawn out with honey, making it idea for pimples, boils and infected wounds.  Just dab on some honey.

Cucumbers are great in summer not just for salads, but also for sunburn relief.  Their cooling and soothing properties make them ideal for use on all sorts of minor burns.  Burning inflamed skin conditions, such as hives, eczema and insects' bites, can all so find relief with a slice of cucumber skin.  Tired puffy eyes will be cooled and refreshed with a slice of cucumber.  Cucumber is a great internal cleanser used for fluid retention and removal of toxins, making it ideal for conditions such as arthritis and gout.  

Potatoes are a traditional heart and circulation remedy, but can be used to soothe inflammations and encourage the healing of skin infections, dermatitis, wounds and ulcers.  They can be used as a juice, grated or sliced.  As a juice it can be used to relief indigestion, and constipation.  Grated potatoes mixed with olive oil, is useful for sunburn, cracked skin and swollen eyelids.  Slices of potatoes are great for sores, chilblains, headaches and migraines.

Cabbages are highly nutritious, having many healing properties and can be used for many different conditions.  Cabbage juice is great for relief of all sorts of ulcers, from peptic ulcers to skin ulcers.  The juice can also be used on burns, bites, cold sores and acne.  The cabbage leaf is both soothing and antiseptic, also having the ability to draw out toxins from the skin.  A poultice can be made from cabbage leafs and used on such conditions as: wounds, burns, boils, bruises, ulcers, blisters, stings, cold sores, shingles, and headaches. Cabbage leaves have a good reputation for relieving sore and inflamed breast during breastfeeding.  Its anti-inflammatory properties make it idea for relief of swollen joints.  The poultice can also be used to help soothe harsh coughs.  To make a cabbage poultice: remove the ribs from the greenest leaves, Soak in warm to hot water to soften the leaves.  Crush with a rolling pin, then wrap the area using a bandage or cling wrap to hold the cabbage in place. This can be left for a few hours. 

Egg whites can also be used to soothe the skin.  Beaten egg whites can be spread on minor burns, sunburn or nappy rash.  It is an old remedy used not just for burn relieve but also sprains and whitlows.  Egg whites can also be used to soothe the mucous membranes of the stomach or bowel, for heartburn, indigestion, constipation or diarrhoea. 

Carrots are a highly nutritious vegetable with great restorative properties.  Carrots can bring relieve to both constipation and diarrhoea.  It can be used to expel mucus from the chest.  A raw carrot poultice can be used to help the speed healing of wounds, varicose ulcers, burns, whitlows, boils,  and abscesses.  A broth made with half a kilogram of carrots to a litre of water, blended is good for chilblains, chapped skin, cold-sores and soothing itching from eczema. 

Olive oil has long been considered the healthy oil.  But its use can go further than salad dressing.  Olive oil has a soothing effect so it can be used for wind, indigestion, heartburn, gastritis, peptic ulcers and constipation.  It can help relieve harsh dry coughs, laryngitis and croup.  Skin irritations can also be soothed with olive oil, being useful for conditions such as eczema, chapped skin, cold sores and cradle-cap.  A few drops of warmed oil dropped into the ear can help soften wax of a blocked ear.  A liniment can be made with garlic and olive oil by putting crushed garlic cloves in some oil.  The liniment then can be used for joint pains, neuralgia and sprains. 

Garlic, which has antibiotic properties, has always been considered a great cold and flu remedy.  Crushing 4-6 cloves and mixing into a jar of honey can make up a cough mixture.  The garlic can later be filtered off.  This can be used to help ward of colds, when you feel one coming on.  The mixture can then be used to sooth sore throats and other respiratory infections.  Crushed garlic in oil  can also be used for cuts, inflamed joints, rheumatism, sprains, ringworm, stings and bites.  Also, the garlic oil can be rubbed into the chest to relieve coughs and chest infections.   Garlic helps to purify the body and improves the general immune system.   Parsley will help rid your breath of garlic! 

Onions have been used for centuries for their healing properties, and were considered by the ancient Egyptians to be a “cure-all”.  Onion was used as an antiseptic for wounds during the war. Onions have a powerful ability to fight many bacteria, making it ideal for use in colds, flues and other respiratory problems.   A mixture can be made using a chopped raw onion drizzled with honey and left over night, and then a dessertspoon can be taken every 2 hours.  This mixture can be used for sore throats, colds, sinusitis, and catarrh, breaking up of mucous and as a cough mixture for coughs.    Onions are a great tonic for those suffering from tiredness, exhaustion and anaemia.  For those with water retention, arthritis, gout, urinary gravel, and diabetes, onions are a great addition to the diet. 

Not only are these foods great to have on hand for first aid treatment, they’re even better to eat.  A regular diet of fresh fruit and vegetable will help maintain a healthy life and speed up recovery when illness and accidents occur.  While the foods listed here will bring relief and treat minor conditions, it is important to seek professional advice for more serious complaints or where no relief is found.