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Traditional Folk Remedies

Traditional Folk Remedies in the Kitchen
by Tyler Woods

In the past, when someone had a slight ache or pain, a minor cold, or a stiff joint, mothers would use an old remedy to ease the discomfort; a remedy that had been handed down from generation to generation.

With today's technology and an ever-increasing dependence on modern medicine, many seem to have lost the art of simple home remedies. Many home remedies can work as fast as conventional drugs and are as close as your kitchen.

Asparagus helps promote elimination through urine. It is considered a liver tonic and contains amino acids.

* For arthritis and urinary problems, drink the water of asparagus after it has been steamed.

* Freshly cooked asparagus will help detoxify the liver, aid in digestion, and may help control breast tenderness and bloating during PMS.

* Eating fresh asparagus can help with symptoms of hepatitis.

Avocado -- although saturated in fatty oils -- is rich in vitamins A, C, E and B-complex. It is used for skin treatments and has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

* Avocado paste can be used to help treat dry skin, rashes, and other skin problems by applying the paste to the affected area. It also soothes sunburn, and the paste applied to the face can act as a facial for mild eczema.

* Eating avocados regularly can help with digestive problems.

* Avocado can help release toxins from the body.

Cabbage is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. As a regular part of the diet, cabbage acts as an anti-cancer agent. It is high in amino acids, potassium and magnesium.

* Dab a little white cabbage juice on mouth sores or gargle with white cabbage juice to help soothe a sore throat.

* Drink fresh cabbage juice daily to reduce the distress of gastric ulcers, asthma, headaches, bronchitis, psoriasis and cystitis, and to disinfect the colon.

* A warm cabbage leaf compress placed on the head can help reduce headaches.

* Cabbage leaves can relieve sore, infected eyes.

Onions can help the body "weep" by releasing toxins and increasing blood circulation. This bulb vegetable also strengthens the lungs and helps reduce cholesterol levels. Onions have vitamins A, B, C and E.

* If you have an abscessed tooth or a boil, apply a piece of onion to that area to draw out infection and encourage circulation for faster healing.

* For minor earaches, place a roasted onion on the ear.

* Ingesting onions can help with gastric infections and disorders.

* For sprains or bruises, apply a finely chopped, moistened onion.

* Onion -- whether cooked or raw -- is a natural antibiotic and draws out infection.

Celery can be used to calm the nerves, reduce high blood pressure, reduce spasms in the digestive tract and stimulate the thyroid. It is full of vitamins A, B and C.

* Celery seeds can be used as an anti-inflammatory, and when digested can reduce arthritis pain and relieve muscle spasms.

* Raw, grated celery can be used as a poultice and applied to swollen glands.

* Celery juice can act as a digestive aid.

* Eating raw celery can help stimulate the thyroid and pituitary glands.


"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is not too far from the truth. Apples can lower cholesterol levels, clean teeth, help gums, and prevent constipation, and are full of vitamins.

* Drinking apple juice three times a day can help prevent viruses from spreading.

* For heartburn and digestive problems, eat an apple with every meal.

* Two medium apples a day reduce cholesterol levels by 10 percent.

* Eating fresh apples daily can help with gout and rheumatism.

* Apples or apple juice are a wonderful treatment for infections, hoarseness and fatigue, and are a good source of energy.

* Fresh apples are good for the mouth, teeth and gums.

Lemons are rich in potassium and high in vitamins B and C. They have many therapeutic properties, including anti-fungal and antiseptic, and also aid in digestion.

* Lemon juice used on cuts can help stop bleeding.

* Lemons act as a natural insecticide, working well to keep away flies and mosquitoes.

* Drinking a combination of lemon juice and warm water each morning helps to detoxify the liver.

* Regular use of fresh lemon can be a good treatment for hemorrhoids, kidney stones and varicose veins.

* A few drops of fresh lemon can help cold sores and mouth ulcers, and can help freshen the tongue and breath.

* A slice of lemon on your favorite foods each day can help strengthen the circulatory and immune systems.

* Lemon, either squeezed or bottled, can help with colds and flu, and is a beneficial treatment for other infections.

All foods have properties and agents that aid the body in natural health and prevention.

A number of foods can help with minor ailments and health concerns; foods that are commonly found in most kitchens. (Remember, if you have a serious health condition, seek medical advice.)

Rice contains high levels of carbohydrates. It is rich in vitamin A, B, C and E. In addition, rice has high levels of potassium, iron, and is sodium-free. Rice is a good digestive aid. It helps lower and blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

* Eating rice each day can help reduce heartburn and edema, and it can lower blood pressure.

* Drinking rice water (the water after rice has been steamed) can calm an upset stomach.

* Ingested before a menstrual cycle, rice can help reduce bloating and symptoms of PMS.

* A rice flour poultice can help with acne, burns, and other skin disorders.

Potatoes are filled with potassium and vitamins A and C. They are extremely nutritional and are a wonderful source of fiber. In addition, potatoes have alkaline which helps detoxify the body.

* Eaten daily, potatoes can help prevent constipation, heart disease and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

* Eating a raw potato can help reduce heartburn.

* Potato juice helps relieve stomach ulcers and arthritis pain.

* A warm baked potato applied to the elbow can help ease discomfort of tennis elbow.

Oats are extremely rich in minerals and vitamin B. Oats help lower cholesterol levels, balance hormones, and they are considered an all-around therapeutic food.

* Eating raw oats can ease constipation.

* Cooked oats eaten daily can relieve fatigue, lower blood cholesterol, and can help reduce depression, stress, addictions and other nervous disorders.

* It is said that eating oatmeal on a regular basis can help prevent colon cancer.

Carrots were one of the first vegetables used for medicinal purposes. Carrots are rich in vitamins A, B, C and E, and are one of the best sources of beta-carotene. They also contain high levels of calcium. Many believe carrots are good for liver energy.

* Eaten daily, raw carrots can help relieve eye and skin disorders. They can also help with glandular problems, and they may help regulate menstrual cycles.

* Carrot soup is good for diarrhea. It slows the bowel while it regulates bacterial growth.

* Drinking carrot juice each day can energize and cleanse the body. It can help boost the immune system and may help relieve effects of fatigue and stress.

* Dried carrot powder can help with headaches and joint problems.

* Carrots are an antitoxin.

Honey has many medicinal purposes -- from treating allergies to soothing coughs and sore throats -- and it has vitamins and amino acids, too. It can help retain calcium in the body.

* Honey water can be used as an eye lotion if the eye is infected.

* Honey and lemon mixed together makes an excellent cough remedy.

* Honey is a wonderful moisturizer. It has soothing effects on raw tissue, and can be rubbed on the skin.

* A teaspoon of honey can help soothe a sore throat and help with respiratory infections.

* Honey rubbed on athlete's foot several times a day can helps reduce itching and may promote healing.

* Honey mixed with apple cider vinegar can help with arthritic deposits.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Vinegar helps retain calcium in the body. It encourages strong bones, hair and nails. Vinegar is considered an antibacterial and antiseptic.

* Apply vinegar to wasp stings to reduce swelling.

* Simmer vinegar in a pan with a little water, cover with a towel, and inhale to reduce spasms from bronchitis and lung infections.

* Drink vinegar daily to treat thrush.

* Drink a cup of hot water to which a tablespoon of vinegar and a spoonful of honey has been added to help with coughs, colds, respiratory infection. This mixture may also help ease the discomfort of arthritis pain.

* Sip vinegar first thing in the morning (before breakfast) to reduce appetite and encourage digestion.

There are a variety of breads on the market: whole wheat, seven-grain, 12-grain, white, potato, rye, oat. Each provides a variety of vitamins and important nutrients. Bread is an anti-inflammatory as well as a styptic (stops bleeding).

* Apply cold bread to closed eyes to reduce irritated eyes and swelling.

* Put a piece of fresh bread on a wound to stop bleeding.

* Apply warm bread to infected cuts to reduce pain and itching.

* Apply hot bread to a boil to ease the pain and bring the boil to a head.

All foods have properties and agents that aid the body in natural health and prevention.

Copyright 1998 Tyler Woods