GRANNY DID KNOW BEST!
When it comes to those traditional cures for common ailments, some of the old remedies really did work…
CLOVE OIL FOR TOOTHACHE
This spice can temporarily ease toothache, thanks to eugenol – an ingredient with natural anaesthetic and antibacterial properties, explains Abbas Kanani, pharmacist at Chemist Click online pharmacy ( WWW.CHEMISTCLICK.CO.UK). Dilute a few drops in an edible carrier oil like olive oil – never use clove oil neat – then dab on with a cotton bud.
PEPPERMINT TEA FOR BLOATING
Peppermint has many properties which aid digestive function, says Dr Deborah Lee of Dr Fox Online Pharmacy ( WWW.DOCTORFOX.CO.UK). “It relaxes the smooth muscle in the stomach and intestines, helping relieve muscular spasms. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties so is often recommended for those suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.” Buy ready-made teabags or steep fresh leaves in hot water water.
GINGER FOR NAUSEA EA
Medical studies have shown that ginger can be effective in relieving nausea and vomiting,” says Dr Lee. “Natural components act on specific cell receptor sites in the stomach. These stimulate stomach contractions and speed up gastric emptying – the rate at which food in the stomach passes out into the duodenum.” As food doesn’t linger in the stomach for so long, nausea eases.
For ginger tea you can either buy ready-made teabags from health food shops or simply steep a few slices of fresh ginger in hot water. Don’t like the taste? Then try supplements like Healthspan’s ginger extract
HONEY AND LEMON FOR A SORE THROAT
This concoction packs a double d healing whammy. “Honey has natural aantibacterial, antinflammatory i properties that ccan offer immediate pain relief r while fighting off i nfection and inflammation,” explains e Abbas. “The citric aacid in lemons helps break up mmucus while the fruit itself bboosts the immune system w with vitamin C.” Combine two t teaspoons of honey and the j uice from half a freshly ssqueezed lemon in hot (not bboiling) water.
OATMEAL FOR DRY SKIN
Not just for breakfast! This supergrain contains anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds (avenenathramides) making it an effective soother for dry or irritated skin.
“In fact, colloidal – ground oatmeal – is a common addition to moisturisers because it helps preserve the barrier function of the skin and improves hydration,” says Dr Lee. “Make your own oatmeal bath by popping a cup of oats inside an old pair of tights, then tie a knot in them and hang from the taps. That way the oats diffuse in the running water without blocking up your bath with bits!”
Dabbing a paste of equal parts of water and oatmeal onto a spot, sting or insect bite for 10 minutes can also offer relief, adds Abbas.
PRUNES FOR CONSTIPATION
Prunes are an excellent natural remedy for improving bowel function and relieving constipation, says Dr Lee. “As well as being high in dietary fibre they contain sorbitol which stimulates bowel contractions. They are also prebiotics, meaning bacteria present in the bowel feeds off them, improving gut microbiome.”
CHICKEN SOUP FOR COLDS
“Chicken soup increases mucus flow thereby helping the t body rid itself of the cold virus v – while chicken itself is rich in an amino acid called cysteine c which helps loosen secretions,” s says Abbas. “Added ingredients like garlic, onions o and leeks boost this effect e while also providing antibiotic, antifungal and health protective properties.”
EUCALYPTUS OIL FOR A BLOCKED NOSE
“This works in a similar way to menthol – acting on receptors in the nasal mucous membranes to reduce nasal stuffiness,” says Abbas. “Pop a few drops into a bowl of warm water and breathe in the steam for a few minutes or use in an oil diffuser.”
SALT WATER RINSE FOR A MOUTH ULCER
Warm salt water’s natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties make it a great natural soother for everything from mouth ulcers to tooth abscess and post extraction pain, says Abbas. Rinse then spit out up to three times daily to help inflammation and promote healing.
DISCLAIMER: Always seek medical advice from your GP, pharmacist or NHS 111, for health concerns.