~A Wholistic Way To Life~™
|Jennifer Echert, Naturopath
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Foods that help ease certain conditions either internally or applied topically:
For millennia foods such as garlic, onions, ginger, peppers, honey, cider
vinegar and yogurt have been eaten and expounded upon as fountains of
health and wellbeing within healing paradigms such as Ayurveda and
Traditional Chinese Medicine as well as more recently within Naturopathic
European and American medicine. Their use extends beyond foods that give
and maintain health to medicinals for treatment of certain conditions, being
utilized both internally and topically on the skin.
Their effectiveness comes from the complex structure of plants including
amino acids, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and in the case of fermented foods,
specialized bacteria that have a symbiotic relationship with the human system.
Common foods found in modern kitchens and conditions they heal:
Aloe Vera: Gel or juice applied topically as a remedy for insect bites, rashes,
swellings, ringworm, burns, boils, blisters, cuts, scratches and sunburn
speeds healing and offers anesthetic relief. Wound areas should be cleaned
before application. Aloe is also used internally for gastrointestinal complaints
to sooth the mucous membranes.
Baking soda: Has an alkaline pH and when used in baths for itchy skin, is a
soothing soak for irritated skin conditions, dissolve 1# per bathtub of water.
Use internally, ½ tsp per 8oz H2O, for relief of upset stomach due to excess
acid production and gas.
Barley: Cook and use the broth in baths and compresses to sooth and soften
Cabbage: Cabbage leaf poultices have proven more beneficial than many
modern medicines for the remediation of cuts, scratches, grazes, abscesses
and infected wounds. Dip leaves in very hot water and apply to bruises,
swellings, abscess, and to draw pus from sores. Pulp the leaves before
application to small wounds. A poultice of pulped cabbage to the abdominal
area can relieve digestive upsets.
Carrots: A poultice made from cooked mashed carrots, still warm, will bring
down swelling and inflammation. They are strongly antiseptic and will draw out
pus and stop infection.
Garlic: When used internally, preferably fresh and raw, it protects from
disease. Topically it is an antiseptic and either the juice or a crushed clove
wrapped in cloth can be applied. It can sting. Fill a jar with raw peeled garlic
cloves and fill with honey, steep for two weeks at room temp, then strain off
honey. Use 1 teaspoon at a time to sooth sore throat and cough. Apply
topically to acne and small wounds.
Ginger: Is alleviates nausea, drink tea of 1 tsp fresh root in 8oz h20, or apply
compress of half strength tea to forehead. An antimicrobial, it is very effective
blended with garlic and honey to apply to infected wounds to disinfect and
draw out pus.
Honey: Apply externally to skin conditions to kill bacteria and for its drying
action. It is an anesthetic. Apply directly to little cuts and scrapes and open
Lemon: Juice used internally will help morning sickness when diluted 1tsp in
8oz water and taken first thing upon awakening. Add 1 tsp of honey if taste
dictates. It is cleansing to the body in this way too and helps the healing
process of wounds, etc, by providing needed vitamins and minerals. Externally
it acts a styptic to stop bleeding from cuts and to disinfect them, also eases
Oatmeal: Grind and use to make poultices for poison ivy and other skin
irritations. Add colloidal form of oatmeal (a very fine soluble form) to
bathwater for soaking the whole body.
Onion: Use in raw or roasted form topically in poultices for bruises, swelling
and to draw out pus from infected wounds.
Potato: Very effective at giving relief from itching and burning of the skin.
Apply raw grated, sliced or juiced as poultices or compresses. Taken internally
the juice of raw potatoes alleviates peptic ulcers.
Vinegar: Cider vinegar applied full strength topically in a compress will reduce
heat and inflammation of swellings, bruises and sprains. Used as a wash on
rashes it eases itching. 2 cups in bathwater is used for an allover soak.
Internally dilute in water and use for relieving indigestion, 1 tablespoon honey
+ 1 tablespoon cider vinegar in 8oz H2O daily can help rebalance the body
with its minerals.
Yogurt: Used internally for gastrointestinal complaints and to maintain a
healthy immune system. Applied topically it soothes skin irritations and
sunburn and is mixed with garlic or honey for a excellent soothing
Conditions and common kitchen foods that alleviate symptoms and
Abscesses: cabbage leaf-pulped, onion-roasted, or potato cooked and mashed-applied
topically to bring infection to surface(place onion in cloth first); eating fresh pineapple
supplies bromelain, an enzyme that fights inflammation and aids healing; applying honey
to external abscesses kills bacteria and helps dry them up. Eating seaweed in soup,
sushi or salad supplies minerals that heal.
Bruises: Bags of frozen veggies like corn or peas make great cold-packs.
Cabbage leaf poultices contain healing properties and ensure quick recovery.
Burns: aloe gel, yogurt or buttermilk, raw potato all applied directly. Internally
fresh fruits and vegetables to provide vitamins and minerals needed for
Cuts and scrapes: Require a styptic to stop bleeding. Cayenne powder or
lemon juice applied topically work as styptics and disinfects.
Insect bites/stings: a baking soda poultice neutralizes venom and relieves
swelling and itching; a wash with sea salt added to water, 1 tablespoon
added to 40z h20, will draw out and disperses venom. Follow with a cabbage
poultice. Use raw onion or garlic slices to relieve pain and draw out stinger,
oatmeal paste for itching and swelling.
Motion sickness: infusion of ginger root or peppermint leaf alleviates nausea
and cramping. 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice in 8oz H2O taken upon
awakening will also rebalance the body.
Poison ivy: Apply aloe juice topically. Apply paste made of oatmeal,
cornstarch, baking soda or Epsom salts.
Sunburn: aloe juice/gel, cider vinegar or yogurt topically. Bathing in cool bath
with 13 baking soda added will also bring relief.
Swellings: Eat fresh pineapple which supplies bromelain, an enzyme that fights
inflammation. Cabbage leaf poultices contain healing properties and draw out
toxins in infected swellings.
Toothache: chewing on clove buds which are anesthetic and antimicrobial.
Gargle with sea-salt solution, 1tsp per 8oz water, to disinfect and draw out
infection. Apply poultices of pulped cabbage externally.