Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy – Natural Health TipsPat Young December 1, 2002
You’ve spent the day shopping and your feet are feeling the effort! To give them profound relief, prepare two large pans of water: one hot, one cold. Soak your feet in the pan of hot water to which you’ve added six drops of eucalyptus and rosemary oil. Then shift to the cold water pan, and back to the hot. Soak them for five to 10 minutes, alternating between temperatures to improve circulation. Your feet will say a-a-a-h!
ZAPPING SORE THROATS
Colds, ‘flu, and sore throats are all part of the winter health scene. Here are several ways to produce quick relief:
• Salt: Gargle with salt water. One-half teaspoon of salt mixed with eight ounces of water helps clear mucus.
• Water: Double your fluid intake to keep mucus thin and easy to clear.
• Humidifier: A humidifier or vaporizer will add extra moisture to the air, helping to keep throat and nasal passages moist.
• Silence: Rest your voice box; talking could lead to laryngitis.
• Rosehips: Rosehip tea not only makes your throat feel better, its vitamin C content is absorbed quickly to help fight off invading bacteria and viruses.
• Maple syrup: Our forebearers used a couple of teaspoons of maple syrup to coat the sore throat and ease the pain. Naturally, kids love it!
You need, however, to make an appointment to see your health care practitioner if the sore throat lasts longer than three days. He or she will want to check you for strep throat, a serious bacterial infection; epiglottitis, a potentially fatal bacterial infection; and diphtheria, a bacterial infection which could damage the heart.
A daily cup of yarrow tea protects against winter colds and flu. It’s the sesquiterpene lactone in this common garden plant which stimulates the immune system, while another, achillein, blocks invading bacteria and viruses.
PMS & SORE BREASTS
A handful of flax seeds added to a salad or cereal is reported to relieve sore breasts. Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and block the hormones which cause PMS breast discomfort.
If cramps are part of your monthly calendar, then just prior to menstruation take 3-5 mgs of the common dandelion root. It acts as a diuretic to reduce bloating and swelling. Take 3-5 mg three times a day.
Both of these remedies are available at your favourite health food store.
Winter cold and over-heated offices and homes make their contribution to chapped lips. Then it’s vitamin E to the rescue! Its therapeutic properties promote cellular oxygenation and renewal, both of which help slough off dry, flaking skin and soothe irritated lips. Vitamin E will also work well on facial skin, but if you find it a bit heavy, switch over to olive oil, as it’s a great skin soother.
ALLERGY FAST FIX
Here’s a wonderful tip from Ayurvedic medicine to lubricate nasal passages and cleanse away pollutants you may have inhaled. Massage one or two drops of sesame oil into each nostril daily, and your sinuses will say “thank you!”
Our home and office environments are frequently overheated, leading to dry nasal passages. The usual recommendation is a saline spray or solution to relieve this dryness. However, pure sesame oil may be a better solution. Swedish researchers found it soothes itching, burning and pain better, reducing dryness and stuffiness better than saline products.
And we’re not talking the fuel you put into your car’s engine! Stomach gas can be relieved by drinking a cup of peppermint tea. However, prevention is better — do not gulp your food, or chew gum, as both cause excess air to collect in the stomach. Also, avoid eating those vegetables that you know will stir up your digestive system.
RECIPE OF THE MONTH
Is there anything nicer than a hot bowl of soup on a cold winter day? From Too Many Tomatoes, Squash and Beans, and Other Good Things by Lois M. Landau and Laura G. Myers (Harper Perennial) comes a richly nutritious recipe for winter squash and tart green apples. Serve it with crusty bread, perhaps a salad, and you’ve got an easy lunch. This is also a great book to give to an avid gardener, for it’s “the cookbook for when your garden explodes!”
SQUASH & APPLE SOUP
1 medium winter squash
3 tart green apples, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
4 cups chicken broth*
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp curry
Bake the squash at 425ºF until done — 45 minutes to an hour. Halve, remove pulp and seeds. Set aside.
Combine the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes. Add squash pulp. Blend well in blender, reheat before serving.
* Go for organic chicken broth, and you’ll get a better tasting soup base.