MOTHER NATURE KNOWS BEST

For every human illness, there exists a plant which is the cure ~ Rudolph Steiner

How often have you visited a doctor when you were a kid?  I’m not referring to something serious like a broken bone or a contagious disease – I’m talking about the common cold, a headache, a scrape or a burn wound.  More and more people are revisiting natural remedies as an alternative to the skyrocketing prices of doctors and prescription medicine.  More people are turning to herbalists or homoeopaths to cure illnesses.  Most people don’t take the time to read the enclosed pamphlet of medication and I don’t blame them; the ingredients and possible side-effects of the medication are enough for you to not take it.

Natural medicine has been around since the beginning of time.  The next time someone in your family complains about an upset tummy, nausea or heartburn, why not give a natural remedy a try first?  You will be surprised at the outcome and perhaps you too will lend towards herbalistic and homoeopathic remedies. 

Here are some tried and trusted remedies with ingredients from your garden and grocery cupboard.

LEMON / LEMON JUICE

For an upset tummy or mild nausea, mix half a glass of boiling water, juice from one small lemon (or 3 tablespoons of the bottled juice) and half a teaspoon of fresh or dried ginger and a teaspoon of honey.  Stir until well mixed and drink as hot as possible. 

GINGER

Known for its warm and fragrant smell, ginger is also a wonderful ingredient to use when you have a cold or are experiencing a sore throat.  Ginger is also a natural anti-inflammatory.  Grate fresh ginger into a glass of boiling water, add a few drops of lemon juice and a spoonful of honey.  Leave to infuse for 5-10 minutes. 

LAVENDER

Do you suffer from frequent headaches, anxiety, restlessness or stress?  Drinking lavender tea or keeping a satchel around for times of high stress is one way to reduce anxiety and relax the mind and body.  When you experience body aches due to flu, add a few drops of pure lavender essence to your hot bathwater.  While lavender is a powerful plant, it can come with side effects.  Applying concentrated lavender essential oil to your skin may cause skin irritation.  Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil (sweet oil) before use.

BANANAS

The humble banana is not just a healthy snack or used in smoothies or baking. They are rich in sleep-promoting carbohydrates. It can be eaten on its own or with a glass of low-fat milk to calm the body.  Bananas also contain potassium and magnesium, which can help promote muscle relaxation, an essential part of a good night’s rest.  Be aware that banana also causes phlegm so if you have chest ailments, then bananas should be eaten in moderation.

HONEY

The nectar of the bees is not only great tasting in hot or cold drinks, but it also helps a nagging cough.  If you do not want to give your kids over the counter coughing syrup, a teaspoon of honey before bedtime will soothe the chest and help children sleep better.

CRANBERRY JUICE

Most women have suffered from a nasty UTI (urinary tract infection) and it is one of the most uncomfortable sensations.  Drinking unsweetened cranberry juice is one of the most well-known natural remedies for urinary tract infections.  Cranberries work by preventing bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, thus preventing further infection.  The cranberry juice can be taken undiluted or mixed with some water.  Drink often.

TURMERIC

Turmeric is a core ingredient in Indian cuisine and is used to flavour and colour curries and mustard.  It is also a natural anti-inflammatory, improves indigestion and reduces pain.  For a natural antibiotic, mix a ¼ cup of raw honey, 2 drops of lemon essential oil and 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric.  Mix well and keep in a glass container and store at room temperature.  Take ½ teaspoon 3x a day to get rid of colds, flu and allergies.

SALT

Put salt on a cut wound to coagulate the blood and it also acts as an anti-bacterial.

Tea began as a medicine and grew into a beverage ~ Okakura Kakuza