The Healers in Your Kitchen

Most people do not realize that common items in their kitchen have a variety of healing properties. Here's a look at some of these items and the healthy ways in which they can be used.

Apple Cider Vinegar
Many practitioners of natural health tout apple cider vinegar for a number of health reasons. For example, adding one or two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to four ounces of filtered water and drinking it before meals can help increase your body's production of hycrochloric acid (HCl), a naturally-occurring stomach acid that is essential for proper digestion of protein foods. HCl production tends to diminish as we age, so the drinking water/apple cider vinegar tonic can improve digestion of protein-rich meals for many people. In addition, starting your day with a glass of this tonic can help reduce overall acidity in the body, creating a healhier, more alkaline state.

Another interesting use for apple cider vinegar is as a protection against dandruff. If you suffer from dandruff, after shampooing your hair, rinse and massage your scalp with a quarter-cup of apple cider vinegar added to a pint of warm water. Doing so on a regular basis will help to prevent dandruff flaking.

Baking Soda
In addition to protecting against food odors in your refrigerator, a teaspoon of baking soda added to eight ounces of filtered water can help to quickly soothe feelings of indigestion and over-acidity. Some health practitioners also suggest drinking this combination throughout the day at the first sign of cold symptoms. Doing so is said to neutralize cold germs by making it more difficult to take hold in the body.

A paste of baking soda and water can also be applied on skin rashes, including those caused by poison ivy and poison soak, to relieve painful itching and speed healing.

Black Tea
Not only has black tea in recent years been shown to contain high amounts of healthy anti-oxidant nutrients, certain ingredients in black tea, known as tannins, as as natural astringents, making black tea very helpful for healing minor skin scrapes and cuts. Simple apply a warm black tea back over the affect area as a quickly soothing balm.

Cayenne Pepper
This common kitchen spice is one of the most versatile healing herbs around. Cayenne pepper liberally sprinkled on food can help improve circulation, ease arthritic pains, and protect against food allergies and sensitivities. Because of its ability to desensitize nerve endings, cayenne pepper paste can also be used to soothe away back and other types of physical pain. Simply mix cayenne with water to make a paste, then apply it over the areas of pain. Then cover the area with a bandage. In most cases, you will experience pain relief within 30 minutes to an hour.

Ginger
Ginger is another versatile healing herb with many uses. Drinking tea made from ginger root added to boiling water that is then allowed to steep, can quickly put an end to feelings of nausea and other stomach upsets. Ginger tea can also help to soothe congestion, and is widely known as a natural aid for protecting against motion sickness.

Honey
Natural, organic honey possesses powerful immune boosting properties, which is why many health practitioners recommend eating a spoonful of honey at the first sign of colds and flu. Honey can also help soothe sore throats and is also useful for relieving the pain and itching caused by insect bites and stings. Simply dab a bit of honey or stings and bites for quick relief.

Oatmeal
A bowl of oatmeal has long been known for being part of a healthy breakfast. But did you know that a paste of oatmealk and water also makes an excellent balm for eczema, hives, and other types of skin rashes? That's because oatmeal is rich in a type of fatty acid that can reduce the swelling and irritation caused by such conditions. Similarly, adding a few cups of oatmeal to a warm bath can help to ease away the itching and pain caused by chicken pox.

Tomato
Tomatoes in recent years have gained popularity as a health food because they contain high amounts of a nutrient known as lycopene. Lycopene has been shown to help men protect against an enelarged prostate (BPH), as well as prostate cancer. (For best results, heated tomato products such as tomato sauce, have been shown to be more effective than eating tomatoes raw.) Another interesting use tomatoes have is as an balm for sunburn. That's because tomatoes are also rich in vitamin C and other nutrients that can counteract skin damage caused by sunburn. If you need relief from sunburn, simply cut a few slices of tomato and rub them over the affected area for a few minutes.

Yogurt
Regularly eating plain, unsweetened yogurt can help improve gastrointestinal health because yogurt is one of the richest food sources of healthy bacteria known as probiotics, which are essential for the overall health and functioning of the lower gastrointestinal tract. Yogurt can also be used to minimize the depletion of healthy intestinal bacteria that normally occurs when antibiotic drugs are used. In addition, yogurt is an excellent natural remedy for healing and protecting against canker sores on the gums and tongue because of the same healthy bacteria yogurt contains.

Based on the above information, I hope you start to realize what a haven for healing your kitchen can be!

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