Nothing replaces a visit with a health care professional when you have a medical problem, but there are some issues that can be tamed with a simple visit to your pantry or fridge. Here’s how you can squelch some troublesome topics without going any further than your own kitchen.
10 Foods With Additional Health Benefits
Vinegar. In some cases, vinegar could prevent a simple burn from blistering; however, if your burn is deep or severe, be sure to seek attention from your physician.
Tea bags. The tannins and caffeine in tea could help to reduce the ache of swelling and inflammation. If you wake up with puffy eyes, steep some tea, allow the bags to cool and apply to shut eyes. A tea bag also helps blood clot, which could come in handy after getting a tooth extracted. In summer, steep some black tea bags to ease a sunburn.
Olive oil. Soothe chapped or chafed skin with the silky rich feel of olive oil. Add moisture to dry hair by applying some oil to the ends before bed. You can also smooth out those sand-paper-feeling heels by rubbing your feet with oil and slipping them into a pair of cotton socks before turning in.
Avocado.Vitamins C and E, plus carotenoids (a type of antioxidant), in this green fruit calm redness and inflammation while moisturizing your skin to relieve dryness and itchiness. If your face is in need of some TLC, try mashing half of an avocado and apply as a face mask for 30 minutes. Just remember to buy extra avocados as a snack so you’re not tempted to scrape your mask off with chips!
Ginger, anise, or peppermint tea. High-fiber, cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts may be kind to most of your body but may create painful rumbling in your gastrointestinal tract. To combat these unwelcome side effects, sip ginger or peppermint tea or make your own tea from anise seeds to help cut gas.
Papaya. If tea doesn’t help your upset stomach, try eating papaya for dessert. The enzyme, papain, has been show to beat bloat, gas, and gastrointestinal unrest by helping aid digestion and preventing constipation.
Lavender. Lavender’s light purple shade has been shown to ease anxiety, while its scent eases muscle aches and tension by reducing spasms. A squeeze of a lavender hand lotion before bed can help lull you to sleep.
Tart cherries. The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties of tart cherries could work wonders to help squelch the pain of gout. Studies show that it may pay to pucker up with tart cherries to relieve aches and pains resulting from an intense workout or a pulled muscle.
Oats. This fiber-filled breakfast favorite not only promotes heart health, but also soothes, cleanses, and exfoliates skin and clears acne. Prepare plain oats with hot water, let cool to apply it to your skin, and leave it on the affected area for a few minutes, or soak in an oatmeal bath to help lock in moisture and soothe irritated skin. Great news for summer skin maladies — sunburns, mosquito bites, eczema, and poison ivy: Oats are beneficial inside and out!
Garlic. As a natural anti-microbial, this pungent bulb can help you avoid getting the common cold — or at least ease its symptoms. The key component is allicin, which kills off bacteria and viruses. If you feel sniffles coming on and you can tolerate it, try eating raw garlic, which has been shown to be a potent infection-fighter!
Let your pantry items do double duty by helping cure minor irritations, bites, and swelling. These common household items may be able to mend common ailments — but remember, they’re not meant to replace a physician’s opinion or treatment.
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