Tag Archives: yogurt

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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Giving you gut some extra help…

I am currently on industrial strength antibiotics to deal with an armpit cyst.  I know.  Glamorous, right?!  I am supposed to take 2000mg per day – but I can’t fit that in, so for the past week (and for the next week as well) I am taking 1500mg per day instead.  The cyst is responding to the antibiotics, though it isn’t completely gone, but my gut and I are not feeling very happy with all those bacteria killers flying about my system.

antibiotics

I decided to have a look around on line for some ideas to help my gut feel better during and after this course of treatment.  It appears I stumbled onto something, because there is a large amount of information out there for people who are troubled with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Disease, Colitis and all sorts of other stuff.  I have distilled the information into just four things we can use to give our gut some help.

dandelion

The first thing is dandelion.  Yes, the dandelion which throws gardeners into a froth and often brings out the homicidal tendencies in them… oh… just me then?  Actually, all parts of the dandelion are excellent digestive aids.  You can use the root, the leaves, the stalks (though be careful with them) and the flowers.  You can use them in teas, tinctures, vinegars, honey, oil or even just in a salad.  If you take some before meals you can stop heartburn.  If you take it after meals it can help with gall bladder pain and improve digestion.  Taking dandelion morning and night can alleviate gut pain and even tone your liver.

slippery elm

Next is something called Slippery Elm.  Sounds rather disgusting if you ask me, but apparently it is fabulous for assisting a digestive tract in crisis.  It is actually the bark from the slippery elm tree which is used to make the remedies (available in health food shops I understand) and it can help to restore balance to an irritated system (IBS/IBD) or a system under attack from Lupus or Crohn’s.  Even people undergoing chemotherapy with deeply distressed guts have found improvements with taking Slippery Elm.  Something to consider if you are in deep discomfort.  Apparently it acts as a counter to food poisoning, can quell acid refluxes and even helps with diarrhoea or constipation.

fennel seeds

Next are the aromatic seeds.  These are caraway, coriander, cumin, dill and fennel seeds – I have several of these hiding at the back of my pantry cupboard. Take 1 teaspoon of any of these seeds, put in a cup with boiling water and leave it to steep.  Drink it while it is still warm, sweetened or not, depending on your taste, and there you have it.  It is great for alleviating gas pains and for speeding up digestion.  It can also help to counteract the digestion effects of heavy painkillers.

yogurt

Finally, an ever present item in my house is yogurt.  Plain and unsweetened is best,  or you can make your own with real (unpasteurised) milk.  It is of great use to people with colitis and can also help gut pain, gas pain, stomach pain, nausea and even bad breath.  Also, if you have Bioactive yogurt, then you can help to recolonise the good bacteria in your gut once any antibiotics have done their stuff.  Yes… bioactive yogurt features high on my shopping list this week!

I hope, if you are in the same boat as me, with a distressed digestive tract, that these remedies might offer some relief to you.

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.