Before the dawning of science and modern medicine our ancestors used to rely on what we call in this day and age Old Wives Tales. And while maybe most have been plain superstitious notions, some are now deemed as natural alternatives, holistic cures or herbal medicine.
Although you should always see the doctor if symptoms persist, these humble kitchen ingredients may either completely treat your ache or it will at least soothe it for the time being.
Tonic Water - For leg cramps or pins and needles
Quinine, an effective muscle relaxant and malaria cure since the 17th century, is also found in tonic water. A 6 ounce glass before bed will calm the muscles repeated contractions and relieve irritating pins and needles and painful cramps.
Salt - For athletes foot and scratchy throat
Salts anti-bacterial properties provides a hostile environment for fungus and irritation causing bacteria. For athletes foot: Soak feet in two teaspoons of salt mixed in a pint of warm water. The solution decreases perspiration as well, enabling anti-fungal creams to penetrate deeper. For scratchy throat: Mix in 1 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water. Gargle for 30 seconds.
Lemon - For dark spots on the skin
Lemon juices high citric acid content lightens age spots and dark spots that usually occur on the elbows and knees. Cut a few wedges and place them directly onto the dark spots and keep them there for 10 to 15 minutes a day. Lightening wont happen overnight. Apply regularly for six to 12 weeks. Be careful not to overuse; doing so may cause the upper layer of the skin to peel.
Honey - For cuts and scrapes
Mother Natures sweetener contains three components that have powerful wound-healing properties: a nectar-based compound called propolis, which effectively kills bacteria, sugars which absorb moisture so bacteria cant survive and hydrogen peroxide which disinfects the wound. Additionally, when honey dries up it leaves a natural bandage that protects and soothes the cut.
Olive Oil - For eczema
Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, this aromatic oil has long been used as a base for most skin lotions and conditioners. Use it pure and chemical free to keep skin from drying out. Pat and massage onto affected area. For severe cases, cover oiled part with plastic wrap and leave on overnight.
Ginger - For stomach aches
A well-known stomach soother, steep a tablespoon of minced fresh ginger in hot water for 10 minutes and then drain. This miracle root is effective in stabilizing stomach acids, relieving gastrointestinal disturbances and even motion sickness.
Baking Soda - For urinary tract infection
High in alkaline, baking soda wards off bacteria that causes these infections from multiplying. At the first sign of symptoms, drink a solution of one-fourth teaspoon of baking soda mixed in eight ounces of water. Drink once a day. If symptoms persist, see your doctor, get a culture and start taking the antibiotics prescribed.
Garlic - For swollen gums
Garlics potent antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties are highly effective in killing bacteria caused by poor oral hygiene and excessive sugar intake. Slice a tiny part of the peeled garlic clove, place directly on the swollen gum, and chew slightly to release its healing oils. Leave it in your mouth for at least two minutes or as long as you can handle its strong potent taste.
Samantha Samonte is a writer for Culinary One, a website about culinary careers, cuisines and food that helps aspiring chefs to find the best cooking schools. She spends the rest of her time living life to the fullest in the company of her laptop and creative writing prowess.