5. Coughs And Colds
Thyme: Gargle cooled thyme tea (made by pouring boiling water over a handful of the herb and allow to cool). The heat helps release an active substance called thymol which is a powerful antiseptic. Gargle as necessary.
Coconut Oil: Massage into the scalp and leave overnight, then rinse. Repeat as necessary. Many cases of dandruff are caused by fungal infection and coconut oil contains auric and caprylic acids, which have been found to have anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.
Apple: Grate an unpeeled apple to the core, leave the grated bits on a plate for 15 to 20 minutes until it turns brown then eat. The pectin in apples firms the stool and reduces inflammation. The fruit also contains malic and tartaric acids, which regulate stomach acidity. Allowing the fruit to go brown means more of these compounds are available.
Brown Sugar: Drink a solution of one to two teaspoons of brown sugar in warm water. The molasses in brown sugar appears to have disinfectant properties that help kill infecting organisms.
Turmeric: Mix together coconut oil with turmeric powder and gently apply to the affected area for up to five minutes at a time. This can be repeated two to three times a day. Turmeric contains a chemical called curcumin, which is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The auric and caprylic acids in coconut oil may help tackle any bacteria which enter through the cracked skin.
Tea: Steep four tea bags in boiling water for ten minutes. Allow to cool, and then apply liquid to affected area using a cloth. The tannin in tea works as an astringent to reduce inflammation.
9. Painful Joints
Basil: Drink an infusion (a tea made by pouring boiling water on a handful of basil leaves) twice a day. The eugenol oil in the plant appears to block the effects of an enzyme called cyclooxygenase; this enzyme triggers inflammation and pain.
Tonic Water: Drink up to a glass a day. The quinine in tonic water is thought to have anti-inflammatory and painkilling effects. Some people report a reduction in their symptoms of arthritis when drinking tonic water during flare-ups, and find that daily consumption helps keep symptoms at bay.
Turmeric: Make a paste with boiling water and, when cool enough to handle, apply to the affected area, fixing in place with cling film, or a dressing and leave for 20-30 minutes twice a day. The spice has been used for centuries to treat minor skin injuries and the active ingredient, cucumin has anti-inflammatory effects.
10. PreMenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Cabbage: Relieve breast tenderness by placing chilled cabbage leaves straight from the fridge in your bra, or reduce lower abdominal pain by placing the leaves on the tummy. They will have the same effect as a cold compress. Alternatively, warm up the leaves by blanching in boiling water, running a hot iron over them, or putting them in a microwave, and apply.
Onion: Eat half an onion daily on the days leading up to your period. Hormones fluctuate during this time and chromium in onions is believed to have a balancing effect. Raw onion is best, as chromium content is reduced with cooking. The more pungent the onion flavour and smell, the greater its nutritional benefit.
Ginger And Brown Sugar: Add fresh ginger and brown sugar to warm water and drink twice daily. Ginger is a natural painkiller and nutrients in brown sugar are said to tranquillise the nervous system and so also relieve pain.