Uncommon Uses of Common Kitchen Herbs
That is the title of a segment I used in my TV show, The Healing Power of Herbs. The therapeutic benefits of familiar foods may be right at your fingertips.
REMOVAL OF SPLINTERS, THORNS, SLIVERS OF GLASS, REMAINING TICK PARTS:
Rather than reaching for the tweezers or sterilized needle, here’s a much gentler way to remove something that has embedded itself in the skin. Cover affected area with a piece of ripened banana peel (pulp side to skin); affix with surgical tape and leave on overnight. In the morning, the foreign material will have been drawn to the surface of the skin by the enzymes in the banana. Deeply embedded material may need up to 3 nights treatment.
The drawing enzymes in banana come to the rescue again! When my son was an adolescent he spread the pulp of a ripened mashed banana on his face overnight to clear his broken out skin.
BRUISES, BUMPS, SPRAINS AND STRAINS
The smelly yellow onion reduces inflammation, swelling and pain. Simply slice and apply to unbroken skin. Bind in place with surgical tape, a lightly applied elastic bandage or gauze.
I’ve never seen a more dramatic healing than the effect of powdered cayenne pepper on a cut that won’t stop bleeding. Cover the affected area with the hot powdered cayenne (it does not burn!) and the bleeding will stop in 10 seconds!
HEADACHES, SINUS CONGESTION, NAUSEA, INDIGESTION
Peppermint is an extremely versatile healer. It can be used fresh or dried, prepared as a tea infusion (steep 1-2 teaspoons of the herb for 15-30 minutes). Alternatively, a single drop of the natural oil of peppermint in a cup of warm water produces a faster therapy. Either way, close your eyes while sipping and inhaling the aromatic properties of the herb because when peppermint is of good quality, it can sting the eyes.
MUSCLE ACHES FROM SPORTS OR GARDENING
Adding a handful of powdered ginger to the bath water helps muscles to relax. Ginger is a powerful stimulator of circulation therefore those with heart stress or high blood pressure should not use it in the hot bath.
If PMS or salty food has left you feeling bloated, simmer a handful of flat-leafed parsley in a pint of water for 20 minutes or until reduced to one cup.
Drink a cup 3-4 times throughout the day to help the body rid itself of the excess fluid.
BUG BITES AND STINGS
The lowly onion strikes again! To reduce the itch, inflammation and swelling of bug bites or stinging insects, apply a slice of yellow onion to the area. The itch from mosquito bites is relieved by rubbing the juicy, freshly cut surface of the onion on the area. Reapply as necessary.
Stayed too long in the sun? Apply the inner gel of the aloe plant you should be keeping in your kitchen for kitchen burns.
Or, soak in a cool bath to which you’ve added 2 cups apple cider vinegar.