Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food- Hippocrates
Food plays an important role in our daily lives. We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and weddings by bringing out the ‘finest’ food available. When the body takes too much strain due to consuming rich, unhealthy foods as well as other factors such as stress, we become ill. In actual fact the body prefers the simplest diet possible, as this type of diet has the highest health benefits. The concept of health is very simple, it is NOT in obtaining an expensive medical aid or visiting the doctor often. The secret in maintaining good health is in the food you eat. Mother nature, ever so caring, has provided natural remedies for most illnesses, without the side effects associated with medication. Here are the top 10 remedies.
#1 Garlic Garlic is a natural antibiotic that strengthens your immune system. It is known to keep your blood pressure in check and is rich in allium which has anti-cancer properties. For the best results it is better to eat your garlic raw, as it enhances the flavours of most food.
#2 Rooibos TeaCold sore? Dab the area with a warm rooibos teabag. Rooibos has anti-inflammatory properties that help to heal a sore heal faster. It is rich in anti-oxidants which fight cancer-causing free radicals in the body.
#3 Citrus Fruits Lemon, Oranges, Kiwis and Nectarines are all good for you. They are rich in vitamin C, and lemon and grapefruit are also alkalising when they reach the stomach, balancing the acid content in your body. An acidic body is a breeding ground for illnesses and disease. The high water content in these fruits makes them a good source for body hydration.
Onion has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antiviral properties. The richest dietary source in onions is quercitin, an anti-oxidant found near the skin of onion. Tests have shown that quercitin assists in thinning blood, fighting asthma and helps decrease hay fever symptoms. Onion assists in fighting clots in the blood caused by cholesterol build up, which is the major cause of coronary heart disease. The cheapest and the best cough syrup can be made by finely chopping up onion and sprinkling it with some brown sugar and leaving it to soak for about an hour. The resultant syrup can be sipped as required. Most cough syrups sold in supermarkets and pharmacies have alcohol – alcohol increases congestion in the mucous membrane and is dehydrating. Remember never to use a half onion unless it has been stored in an airtight container as it naturally absorbs bacteria.
This natural medicine is often overlooked and has been substituted by soda drinks, juice and hot beverages. A dehydrated body can be fatal as metabolic processes are affected. Water flushes out toxins in your kidney, it hydrates your body’s cells, giving you more energy and replaces all the liquid that you lose through urine, sweating and exercise. Tap water should be purified to remove the chlorine, heavy metals and trihalomethanes. See the selection of water purifiers at http://healthmakers.co.za/store/water-purification/
Spinach leaves are rich in vitamins C,E,A and B12 as well as calcium, iron, niacin and zinc. Eating raw spinach can help fight anaemia and prevent osteoporosis. Spinach is also good for the heart as it is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. The fibre content in spinach aids with digestion and alleviates discomfort associated with constipation. Vitamin K in spinach assists with the nervous system and brain function. Note: Spinach should be swapped for other leafy greans so as not to build up oxalic acid from the spinach
Ginger is one of the revered natural medicines in India. Ginger improves the absorption and assimilation of nutrients and assists in keeping the sinuses healthier. Chewing on raw ginger helps fight nausea. It has anti-inflammatory properties that bring relief of joint pain. Another way of ingesting ginger is by soaking it in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes and drinking the water. Ginger stimulates an increase in body heat, which assists in fighting the common cold and flu.
#8 Red Chilli Pepper
Red hot chilli peppers have been used since ancient times to cure the common cold. Research shows that red chilli peppers have a compound called capsicum which is known to relieve pain as it releases endorphins in the brain, which has a pain relieving effect similar to morphine. Red Chillies are also very rich in Vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and carotene (Vitamin A).
#9 Unrefined Salt
For an itchy, irritated, sore throat, gargle with half a teaspoon unrefined salt in 150 ml of water. Salt is an astringent which helps with diarrhoea and peptic ulcers. Salt also assists with the absorption of nutrients in the intestinal tract. Unrefined salt like Himalayan Crystal Salt and unrefined sea salt is found in most health shops and supermarkets.
Due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties, honey can be used to dress a wound as it reduces pain and has minimal scarring. It is also used for conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, insect bites and allergies.