This article, entitled "6 kitchen cures for winter ailments," comes from partner site 719woman.com.
Dry eyes, congestion, achy joints, itchy skin, headaches, and feeling a bit "down" can all be part of winter ailments a lot of us suffer. Over-the-counter remedies are of course available but they can be costly and have side effects. Instead, why not try a more natural way to help ease those seasonal symptoms, which can easily be found in your kitchen at a fraction of the cost?
ROSEMARY FOR HEADACHES
For centuries the herb rosemary has been used for health and beauty purposes. From improving memory to relieving pain, to stimulating hair growth, increasing circulation and easing gout, it has quite a history of being a natural remedy for many ailments. It can be applied topically, inhaled through aromatherapy methods, made into a tea or of course added to food. It was even burned at one time to purify the air.
Relaxing in a bath, scented with rosemary, can actually help ease a headache in as little as 20 minutes. According to Dr. Alan Hirsch, a neurologist at Chicago’s Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, LTD, hot water relaxes spasming muscles, and rosemary’s aromatic oils boost the production of pain-soothing serotonin.
Gervase Markham (1568-1637) an English writer and poet wrote in his most famous work, “The English Housewife,” about English cookery and remedies, first published in 1615…regarding a rosemary bath, “When one maketh a bath of this decoction, it is called the bath of life, the same drunk comforteth the heart, the brain, and the whole body, and cleanseth away the spots of the face, it maketh a man look young…”
Rosemary Soak – You can use fresh or dried rosemary to make a rosemary bath in several different ways. Either wrap 1/2 cup dried rosemary or 2 cups fresh in a muslin bag or cheesecloth, tie or knot, and let steep in a hot tub for 15 minutes. Once the water has cooled comfortably enough, then soak for about 30 minutes. OR pour 2 cups boiling water over 1/2 cup dried rosemary and let sit for 15 minutes, then strain and add to your bathwater.
HONEY FOR DRY SKIN
Between the indoor heat, the cold outdoor air, and all the wind we’ve had recently, my skin is super parched and itchy. One of my very favorite homemade soothing masks is simply using raw, or unpasteurized honey. Sometimes I apply a thin layer to slightly damp skin and occasionally I like to heat it just slightly, which just feels good. Either way, once you apply the honey to your face, let sit for about 20 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
Naturally antibacterial and full of healing compounds and antioxidants, honey can help moisturize, slow aging, help treat and prevent acne and more. Here are 11 ways honey can also help with your hair and nails, and more skin tips.
CARDAMOM FOR BOOSTING MOOD
Up to 65% of us can suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder due to a lack of sunlight) during this time of year. The spice cardamom, which is naturally calming and soothing, when mixed with boiling water and inhaled, can actually help lift your mood in minutes. It is not cheap so the initial cost can be shocking to some but you don’t have to use much to get a boost.
To do – Mix 1/2 teaspoon in 2 cups boiling water and remove from heat. Lean over the pot and inhale. I personally like to loosely tent a towel over my head as I inhale the steam.
MUSTARD SEED & CONGESTION
I always have mustard seeds on hand because I love to pickle and use them on deviled eggs and salads. When I was sick recently I was super congested and couldn’t breathe. I can’t use a lot of over-the-counter medicines with prescription meds I’m on so I do tend to look for natural remedies and I loved this one.
Mustard seed tea. Now first of all, when I say I loved it, I mean the results, not the tea itself. I’m not a “tea” drinker, whether it’s tea or teas made of herbs or spices. And I just don’t like drinking warm water so that’s probably one of the reasons I didn’t enjoy sipping on it. But I did like the results of being able to breathe after drinking it.
To Make A Simple Mustard Seed Tea – Steep 1 teaspoon of ground mustard seeds in 8 ounces of boiling water for 15 minutes and then strain. If you want, add your favorite sweetener or a bit of milk.
Besides helping with congestion and stuffiness, mustard seed can help with arthritis, constipation, menopause symptoms, lowering cholesterol, diabetes, and aches and pains. Just to name a few. Here are some amazing ways mustard seed can help you…
CHAMOMILE TEA FOR DRY EYES
Dry, itchy, burning, aching, even blurred vision can be signs of dry eye. And for some, ironically, dry eyes mean watery eyes too. My eyes get so dry in the winter that it looks like I’m crying half the time because of the tears running down my face. Which also wreaks havoc with my makeup. I personally use prescription drops because of some underlying eye issues but when I want a quick, soothing, and natural fix, I reach for chamomile tea bags.
Chamomile, an anti-inflammatory and cooling herb can help restore moisture and soothe dry eyes. To do, steep a chamomile tea bag in 1 cup freshly boiled water for 10 minutes. Strain and place the tea mixture in the fridge until cold. Soak cotton pads in chilled tea and apply to closed eyes for about 15 minutes. (If you’re sensitive to cold, let tea cool on the counter and then use.)
SESAME OIL CAN SOOTHE SORE JOINTS
Stiff, sore, achy joints can be a problem in the winter. You can buy ointments and creams at the store but seriously, most of them stink. And they can be expensive. Instead, reach for sesame oil. Simply pour about 1/4 teaspoon of sesame oil in your palm and warm by rubbing your hands together. Using firm, circular motions, massage into joints.
Why is sesame oil so good for you? Besides helping reduce painful joints, there are a multitude of other ways sesame oil can help in your everyday health and well-being.