Tag Archives: turmeric

A Friday facial? Yes… why not!

Unfortunately, it is not in a high end spa.  Today, I have done the glamorous task of defrosting the freezer.  It is one of the worst tasks of housework I think… next to oven cleaning.  And ironing.  Instead of whining about it and feeling miserable, I cracked on with the job, getting it done as quickly as I could.

domestic goddess

As an aside, can I totally recommend using a steam cleaner for the job?  Obviously it will work better if it can be detached from the mop bit… but luckily, mine can be.  45 minutes later, the glacier from the last ice age which had taken residence in my freezer is no more, and the freezer contents actually has some breathing room.

In addition, my face has been steamed, just like in a spa.  But, you know, with less glamour.  Sopping wet towels from the run off and kneeling on a concrete floor contorting yourself to get the icicle hanging at the back of the freezer is not really the scene I would like to have when opening my pores.  But I will take it!

spa steam

So, it got me thinking what sort of facials I could whip up at home, using natural ingredients and maybe herbs from the garden.  Off to my friend Google to see what I could find.  And of course it came up trumps!

mint 2

As it is summer (although the weather seems to have lost that memo entirely), I found several really good refreshing face masks.  The first one is made of fresh mint leaves (which are growing like crazy in my garden at the moment).  If you take a good handful of them, along with enough luke warm water for them to be blended to a paste, and then add a pinch of turmeric powder… you will have an antibiotic and refreshing face mask.  Leave it on the face, having avoided the eye area, for about 10 minutes and then wash it off with cool water.  Be careful only to use a pinch of turmeric as it is known for dying what it touches a nice shade of orange.  Just a warning there… though the antibiotic properties are more than worth it!

from bigoven.com

from bigoven.com

If you have a cucumber lying about in the fridge looking sorry for itself, you could peel it and mash up the flesh along with 1tbsp of sugar.  The flesh needs to be kept a bit chunky though as you don’t want a liquid.  Mix in the sugar well and then apply to the face and leave it for 10 minutes.  Wash it all off and pat dry and you will have brighter and refreshed skin.  It is really cooling for those hot, hot days, especially as you can make it ahead of time and keep it in the fridge.  It is also extremely good for sensitive skins.

lemon

Another really summery recipe requires strawberries and lemons.  I would be inclined to add the lemon to a cool drink of water and the strawberries straight into my mouth, but if you can bear not to eat them, mash them together into a spreadable paste.   You need about 2 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 tbsp of yogurt and 1 tbsp of honey.  Mix it all together, apply to the face and leave it to dry.  Then you can wash it off and pat it dry.  Strawberries have salicylic acid which is great for calming acne outbreaks and lemon juice tightens the skin to refresh it.

If you use any of these recipes, you will have to let me know how they turn out… I think I might whisk up some of the cucumber sugar scrub and add some mint, to see how that works out!  Watch this space!

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Slip sliding away…

How many of you now have that tune running around your head?  You are most welcome!!

Actually, here in the UK, the temperatures have plummeted and we are finally getting some wintry weather.  November was freakishly warm, so people have been taken by surprise that yesterday we got some snow flurries and this morning we have black ice and other icy patches.  But that is usual December weather.  Unfortunately, it appears the council and schools might have been caught on the hop as well, and there have been some incidents of children slipping over and hurting themselves.  Be careful out there.

So, if you do slip over and fall, here are some remedies you can use to help with your bump and scrape.  Obviously, be sensible.  If you have fallen over and cracked your head on the path, or if you can’t move a joint now you have greeted the pavement with some force, then go to the hospital.  You could have concussion or a broken limb, and with the best will in the world, Herbalism is not going to help you much.

rescue remedy

However, if your pride is dented more than your body, then there are some things that can help.  First of all, I am a HUGE fan of the Bach Flower Remedies, and the Rescue Remedy in particular.  It is a combination of flower essences which work together to calm you down and keep you stress free.  It seriously works.  I have seen a young boy who had taken a tumble from a trampoline go from screaming ab-dabs to total calm in under 5 seconds with 3 drops of the Rescue Remedy.  I also used A LOT of it when I was moving house.  It totally got me through the day – and those directly after!  You can usually pick this up at a health food store, and I would suggest having some in your handbag or your first aid kit.

arnica

Then I am going to recommend some Arnica.  You can get it as a cream or in sugar pill form, and either is great.  I prefer the pills, but it is purely a matter of choice.  It is a homeopathic remedy rather than a herbal remedy per se, but it works by bringing out the bruising quickly.  It means the body can heal itself quicker.  Yes, it hurts more to start with, but believe me, it is worth getting it out and dealt with.  You might curse me to begin with, but it does aid healing.

turmeric and honey

If you feel stiff and sore, then take some turmeric and honey tea.  Turmeric is a very strong anti-inflammatory spice, and honey – well that just makes it taste nice!

Actually… that is a good point… hot sweet tea has been a good remedy for shock for generations.  If you are feeling shaky after falling over… then go make yourself a nice cuppa and relax.

I am now off to walk very carefully down the road.  Take care everyone!

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.

garlic

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!

pineapple

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.

horseradish

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.

blueberries

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.

turmeric

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.

cherries

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.

salmon

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!

 

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!

cloves

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.

garlic

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.

cherries

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.

turmeric

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.

salt

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

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.