Tag Archives: apple cider vinegar

Oh Crumbs… something I ate does not agree with me…

Everyone has been in this situation.  It is Christmas (or Thanksgiving, or a Wedding Reception, or a Birthday dinner out).  You get a feeling that something you have eaten does not agree with you.  It might be nausea you feel, or a highly flavoured something repeats on you, or you get the delightful acid reflux.  It usually happens at a very important point.  Like in an important business meeting.  Or in a quiet bit when you are at Church.  Or when you are on a date.  It is horrible.  But it doesn’t have to happen regularly.

Indigestion is no joke.  Not funny at all.  I know people who have had to severely curtail their life because their indigestion is a little out of control.  It is a catch all title for any discomfort experienced in the upper abdomen and whatever causes it, I know it is miserable for the person on the sharp end.  If the indigestion is chronic, then you should definitely see a medical professional.  If it comes on when you exercise, then it is even more important to see someone.  It could be heart and not stomach trouble.

So what can you do to stop it?  You need to cut out the stimulants.  Say goodbye to coffee, tea, nicotine, chocolate.  All of these have a chemical that relaxes the lower oesophageal sphincter which contributes to indigestion.  It is a good job that I don’t get indigestion very often, because I would find it very hard to give up coffee and tea.  The other two, no problem, but you will have to prise the caffienated beverages from my cold, dead hands.

The second piece of advice from the Country Doctor book is not to be a hog at a trough come feeding time.  Overeating will send the stomach into a tailspin.  Basically, if you eat a huge meal, then your stomach produces too much acid to help digest that meal and then it keeps on going  producing a lot of acid, even if you only eat what you normally would.  You end up in a hyperacidity vicious circle.  Cut down on the portion sizes might help, if you think it could be overindulgence causing the problem.

What about trying a calmative tea?  Catnip and Chamomile make good digestive additions, although I might have to battle with the cats for the catnip.  Liquorice and mint is a really tasty and fabulous mixture for calming the digestive system, and so is Fennel Tea.  You can pick up tea bags of these flavours (except the catnip!) in most supermarkets these days.

Also, if you find that your indigestion happens after you have eaten rich, fatty foods, or after you have eaten highly spiced foods, then perhaps your eating patterns needs a bit of an overhaul.  Taking away fat and cream does not mean that you lose taste or flavour and if it calms your digestion, then it has to be worth a try.

From my research, one of the thing that many people are unaware of is that sometimes indigestion is caused by too little stomach acid as well as too much.  If you try all of the above remedies and you are still feeling horrible, then try drinking a little apple cider vinegar in a glass of water before you eat.  If you don’t get indigestion, then bingo – you had hypoacidity issues.


Staying with the hairy theme…

My favourite book “Home Remedies from a Country Doctor” is a mine full of interesting information, especially about all kinds of hair problems, not just the departure of it like I wrote about yesterday.

apple cider vinegar

One interesting little titbit was that if your hair is looking dull and lifeless you could use an apple cider vinegar rinse.  Especially if you live in a hard water area, you can get mineral build up on your hair.  You can also get build up from some commercial shampooing products, so it can help to shine up the hair a little as well.  It is important to remember that you need to rinse your hair really, really well after using the rinse at the end of your shampooing routine, or else you might go around for the whole day smelling like a salad dressing!  Also, some people’s hair can be made lighter using the acidic vinegar, so if it is turning a colour you are not happy with, then cease using the vinegar.


Another chemical that can cause problems with hair is chlorine.  If you love swimming in the local pool, or if your local water is quite heavily chlorinated, it can really build up on your hair.  Apparently making a paste with some bicarbonate of soda and using between your shampoo and your conditioner will completely remove the build up.  A tablespoon on bicarb and a cup of water ought to do the trick.

tangled hair

When I wore my hair long, the worst thing was waking up in the morning to a terrible tangle.  Last week I got my hair cut really nice and short.  Now I wake up looking like a startled hedgehog.  I know which look I prefer!  There are lots of causes of tangles, and knots and not just restless sleeping.  My trusty book has lots of advice though, so never fear.


When trying to get tangles out work from the bottom up, rather than the top down.  Be patient, and be gentle.  You don’t want to rip the hair out from the root just to get the knot out, no matter how effective that might be.  Always untangle the hair before washing.  Getting the tangles wet will not help matters at all.


Other advice includes using wide tooth combs and then moving to a fine tooth comb when tangles are out, and using soft bristles on hair brushes.

beer as a hair conditioner

Old wives tales to help with hair problems include using beer as a conditioner.  Apparently the Queen Mother used to do this for her hair… but in this house beer is used as a beverage, not a hair wash!  Also you can use eggs or mayonnaise as a conditioner (but be careful about scrambled eggs happening if the water is a bit hot).  Lemon juice can work like Apple Cider vinegar and lighten your hair colour, there is chamomile tea which can help to lighten blond hair and peppermint tea can encourage scalp stimulation for thicker, fuller looking hair.


If you do try any of these, let me know how they work out!


Ouch… herbal pain relievers…

The idea for this morning’s blog has come out of yesterdays topic.  It is all well and good trying to prevent inflammation, but sometimes, the pain is there and although it isn’t bad enough to reach for the painkillers (remember what I said… if you need them, use them!) you wish there was something you could take naturally for it.


The good news is that yes, there are several different things you can try.  Of course, there are also lots of different sorts of pain.  I was going to give you the top ten natural painkillers… but I have actually found 11 of them.  So here comes the top 11 natural painkillers.


Number one is Garlic.  I loooove garlic, and it is absolutely awesome as an antibiotic.  I remember it being referred to as Russian Penicillin.  It is also good for earache.  That is one of the worst forms of pain you can have to my mind.   If you infuse some oil with crushed garlic and then drop the warmed oil into the ear (by the drop rather than the gallon) it works a treat apparently.  Thankfully, earache is not something I usually suffer with, for which I am very, very grateful!

cloves 2

Second on the list is cloves.  Cloves are fabulous for toothache and gum inflammation (plus they taste fabulous with Ham.  Sorry… I digress!)   I think toothache is almost as miserable as earache.  You do have to be careful with clove oil, the essential oil, though.  It can be very, very powerful.  I would actually put one clove in the mouth and crunch it.  That should do it.  Your breath will smell spicy, though you might need a gallon or so of water to wash the woody bit of the clove out of your mouth!


Three is Apple Cider Vinegar again.  Apparently it is great for heartburn, which is another good reason for taking it before you eat in some water.

ginger root

Four is ginger.  Ginger is great for muscle pain and is actually a constituent of several of the popular muscle balms you can get.  It also smells fabulous and tastes even better.


Cherries and Tumeric come in at five and six on this list.  I wrote about them yesterday, so please refer back if you are interested!

peppermint oil

Peppermint comes in at number 7.  It says in my research that Peppermint is good for sore muscles, but I also know it is EXCELLENT for headaches.  It is actually the menthol in the essential oil which is the force at work.  I also love the smell.  It is fresh and vibrant and green.  Yes, smells can be green.  Don’t look at me like that!  I know what I mean!


A strange entry at number 8 is pineapple.  It is great for stomach bloating and gas.  Actually, this makes sense because pineapple is packed with important enzymes, and as your stomach is a veritable maelstrom of enzymes, pineapple is likely to even things out.  Lets face it, a bloaty and gassy tummy is all about imbalance somewhere in the system, so anything to even the scales is a good thing.

water drop

Good old water is number 9.  If you have a lot of pain, keep up the water intake.  Dehydration plus pain is not a pleasant mixture, and should be avoided.  Apparently water is good for general injury and pain.  I take that to mean, if in doubt, drink water.


Number 10 is Horseradish.  This is great for sinus pain.  Of course, while it is clearing the blockages, it causes significant sinus pain, but boy oh boy does it work a treat on a blocked sinus cavity.


And… drum roll please… number 11 is for the pain and discomfort caused by bladder and urinary tract infections.  Blueberries.  Interesting… I knew about cranberries but apparently blueberries have the same chemical in them and so both are good for helping to clear them up.


That was an interesting bit of research for me to do, and I hope it helps you too.

Some things to help with inflammation…

Well, the weekend didn’t kill me, but it did rather feel a close run thing on a couple of occasions.  Unfortunately, after 4 months of pretty much constant work, my back did decide to do more than niggle at me.  After judicious use of painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs (I might be a herbalist in training, but I am not insane… if you need it… USE them!!) and slathering my back in glucosamine gel regularly… I am pleased to report that the back is no longer niggling.  Thank goodness.


Pain and inflammation would make the cheeriest soul a total grump.  And I am not the cheeriest soul.  (My poor husband!).  After doing some research for a friend, I have found out quite a lot about the sorts of herbs and foods you should eat to avoid inflammation, so thought I would share them with you.


One of the best herbs for preventing inflammation in the first place is turmeric.  There are loads of recipes online about making a milky drink with turmeric to have before you go to bed which apparently will help take your inflammation down.  I am not sure about that… but I am quite keen on the idea of using turmeric in food.  A little touch of it when boiling rice means you get the coolest yellow colour in it (got to be better than boring white or slightly less boring brown-ish!).  Mind you, I am a fan of curries… and when I make one, it usually has turmeric in it!

apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is another drink addition which is good for inflammation.  It is actually a wonder ingredient in and of itself, and does more than just attack inflammation (I did a blog about it a while back, but can’t find it just at the moment..!).  Drinking a pint of water with a table spoon of cider vinegar in it, three times a day (just before you eat) will really help apparently.  Hmmm…. Might try that actually.


Life may not be a bowl of cherries, but I am pretty sure happiness is!  I do love cherries… and luckily, my husband is not that keen, so they are mine, all mine!  They also have anti-inflammatory properties, something to do with their antioxidant properties.  Come to that, tomatoes are the same… though with tomatoes, it is Lycopene which is the star.  Anything with colour is great to have when you are fighting inflammation.  The more colour, the more antioxidants.  The more antioxidants, the more good is done.


And finally, something our Grandmothers all knew and we lost somewhere.  Omega 3’s are very, very important.  So, those fatty fishes are the ones we are after, particularly salmon.  Did your grandmother make you take cod liver oil from a spoon?  Yes?  Well, it was Omega 3’s she was shoving down your neck.  It worked too I bet… you ran off like a whippet from a trap after your dosage too… yes indeed, the magic of Omega 3’s.  I think I will continue to take mine in the form of Salmon!


What do Apples do for us?

After beating the writer’s block yesterday morning, I decided to start a bit of theme for this week’s posts.

Everyone has heard “An Apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but I was wondering how true that actually was.  Turns out, from my research, it is more than true!  Apples really are great for you!

apple doctor

First some rather interesting facts (you can thank me when you win the next Pub Quiz you happen to take part in!).  Did you know there are 7,500 varieties of apples and that the apple is part of the rose family?  25% of their make up is air and 5% is protein (and that not due to any random wormy things you might munch unexpectedly – oh dear.  Was that an appetite supressant?)  and apparently it takes the energy from 50 leaves for them to produce 1 apple. I worry for my little dwarf apple trees outside in my garden.  They are nowhere near getting 50 leaves!

Apples are filled with 5 grams of soluble fibre, and as we know fibre is a good thing.  Apples control insulin levels by releasing sugar slowly into the blood stream.  It cleans and detoxifies which helps to eliminate heavy metals from the body.  Apple pectin, a chemical in the fruit, also helps to reduce cholesterol by lowering the insulin secretion as well.


Apparently, studies have shown that if you eat up to 5 apples per week, it can help reduce asthma.  It can help the discomfort of skin diseases.  In Chinese medicine apples are considered to strengthen the heart, quench the thirst, lubricate the lungs, decrease mucus and increase body fluids.

Apples are also fabulous for those of us watching what we eat.  They have between 50 and 80 calories, and no fat or sodium but they are absolutely packed with vitamins A and C, flavanoids and phosphorus, iron and calcium with some potassium thrown in.  A Brazilian study also found that eating an apple BEFORE a meal helped woman lose 33% more weight than those who didn’t have one.  Goodness.  Apples really are a super food.  Probably one of the first superfoods we ever ate.

apple heart

Finally, Apples are really great for making cider.  Cider is one of my favourite alchoholic beverages, but obviously, you must drink it responsibly.  In addition, from apple cider, comes apple cider vinegar, and this is quite the miracle herbal remedy of the moment.

apple cider

But I think I will save that for another blog (though not necessarily for this week, because it looks like the old brain and writing inspiration is back to firing on all cylinders!)

Now… I am off to see what different sorts of apple I can try!

What to do if you have a sinus infection

Round at our house, sinus infections are a common problem.  Unfortunately, my husband has cavernous sinuses and he gets blocked and infected ones all the time.  We have found that using the drugs and treatments available at the pharmacy have caused a problem with creating nose bleeds and other “lovely” things.  So, that got me thinking about some possible natural remedies for the pain and misery of sinus infections.

apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar is a good remedy apparently.  It helps to thin congested mucus.  A tablespoon in a glass of water, twice a day should do the trick.  It also seems to be a super remedy for all kinds of things.


A new remedy on me is Grapefruit seed extract.  Apparently it is a natural antibiotic.  It is very sour in taste though, and everybody has a different tolerance to it as a remedy.  You should be able to find it as a supplement in the health food store, and you should begin with a small dose and gradually increase it.

water drop

Also, keep drinking water regularly.  If you are hydrated, and the mucus tissues in the nose are also hydrated, then the irritation to the sinus lining will be kept to a minimum and you should be able to shift the mucus out of the nose as well.  (Sorry, that is kind of disgusting)


And an old traditional remedy.  Have a very hot curry.  If you imbibe Cayenne Pepper, Garlic, Onion and Horseradish, not only will you have a very firey curry on your hands, but your sinuses will feel very relieved.  Garlic was always known as “Russian Penicillin” in our house, and it certainly helps relieve the discomfort of sinus infections.


If you are suffering, then try and avoid mucus forming foods.  These include flour products, eggs, chocolate, fried and processed foods, sugar and dairy products.


I hope this helps you and you get some relief.  Have a lovely weekend.

How to nix pain naturally…

There is nothing worse than being in pain.  Some people have a high tolerance for it, and some people don’t, but one thing is for sure, if you have it, you are suffering.  I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like reaching for the bottle of aspirin or ibuprofen or paracetamol all the time.  I would prefer to treat as much pain as possible as naturally as I can.  So… I started digging around on the internet and found a wealth of natural pain remedies we can use to make ourselves feel better.

ginger tea

Remember our blog on Monday?  All about Ginger and it is one of remedies for muscle pain.  Ginger contains potent compounds called gingerols which prevent the production of pain triggering hormones.  I think, after a couple of days of painting walls and going to the gym for the first time in a couple of months, I am going to need some!


There is very little worse for the temper than having a toothache.  How about chewing on some cloves?  They can ease tooth pain and gum inflammation for up to 2 hours if you chew one slowly.  Cloves have a natural compound in them called eugenol which is a powerful and natural anaesthetic so that accounts for it.

apple cider vinegar

If you don’t think Heartburn is painful, then you are either very brave, or you have never had it.  But if you take 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water, before every meal, it will reduce the risk of you getting it in the first place.  Apple Cider Vinegar is rich in malic and tartaric acids which speeds the breakdown of fats and proteins in order for your stomach to empty quickly and hopefully stop the reflux which causes the heartburn.


Do you suffer with earaches?  Using 2 drops of warmed garlic oil twice daily for 5 days will definitely help.  Garlic has germanium, selenium and sulphur compounds which are naturally toxic to bacteria.  5 days, bye bye infection.  And Vampires.  And possibly friends, because lets face it, garlic can really whiff sometimes.  But, anything is better than the throbbing of earaches, so I would risk it.


Apparently cherries are amazing for their painkilling properties!  A daily bowl of 20 cherries, be they fresh, dried or frozen can help with arthritis, gout or chronic headaches.  Anthocyanins, which give the cherries their red colour, are 10 times stronger anti-inflammatories than ibuprofen or aspirin.  They work by shutting down the enzymes which kick start tissue inflammation.  This means they can prevent as well as treat pain.  Amazing.  And they taste fabulous too!

oily fish

Suffering with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Indigestion or Inflammatory Bowel Diseases?  Eat 18 ounces of oily fish a week.  Again, it is those amazing fish oils which are doing their stuff again.  And if you are a lady who suffers with Pre Menstrual problems (or someone who lives with one who does!  It is not much fun on either side of that equation!) try snacking on 2 cups of yogurt a day.  The Calcium in it helps the body deal with the ups and downs of estrogen and progesterone which cause the issues.


Cases of chronic pain can be tamed with Turmeric.  The active ingredient within it is called Curcumin and it naturally shuts down cyclo-oxygenase2, and enzyme which churns out pain producing hormones.  If you sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon on any rice, poultry, meat or veg dish daily, it should have the required effect.


Do you have foot pain from ingrown toenails?  I do, and it is miserable.  So, I am going to use this tip, and take 1 teaspoon of salt into a cup of water heated as hot as I can bear it and then soak the affected area for 20 minutes, twice daily.  The salt kills the  bacteria causing the infection and therefore the pain, stone dead.


Pineapple is great for solving the pain from digestive upsets.  1 cup of fresh pineapple is packed with proteolytic enzymes which speed the breakdown of pain causing proteins in the stomach and small intestine.  I know it used to work for my Father, who had myriad problems with food intolerances and before he died he had several intestinal issues.  He used to have pineapple for breakfast and it did seem to help.

peppermint oil

And finally, for our foray into natural pain relieving ingredients, how about soothing aching muscles using 10 drops of peppermint oil in a warm bath.  If you do this 3 times a week it can ease cramping up to 25% more effectively than using over the counter relaxants.  Also, peppermint oil can help headaches as well.


I hope this was an enjoyable post to read, and I hope it will help you find natural alternatives to processed chemical pain relievers.