Foods with Medicinal Properties
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
~HippocratesAllergy season is in full swing and so is bronchitis, sinus infections and sore throats. If you are starting to feel ill, try a natural healing technique. Modern science may not endorse the following foods as medicinal, but many of the following items have been used for hundreds or thousands of years to cure various ailments. Salt Salt can cure food, helping it last throughout the winter, and it is the foremost enhancer of flavoring food. But this versatile seasoning has endless uses outside of the kitchen. Salt has been used by Egyptians, Greeks and Ancient Arabs. Gargle with warm water for a sore throat or make a paste of salt and water for painful bee stings. Irrigating the nostrils with salt water helps clear up any allergy symptoms. Alcohol Aside from the stress relieving qualities that drinking alcohol gives us, it has also been used for 5,0o00 years as an antiseptic. Gin was originally created as a diuretic as Juniper was believed to cleanse fever and disease. Just use on minor cuts and scrapes to clean the wound and kill the bacteria. Honey It is fairly common knowledge that a little honey in warm tea will help coat a sore throat. In fact, in numerous studies, honey has beat out dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) and diphenhydramine (an antihistamine) in treating nighttime cough in children. Also, honey as a wound dressing goes back to the Ancient Egyptians. It has antibacterial properties and helps soothe minor cuts and abrasions. Heads up: Honey will cause pain if applied to burns. Garlic Garlic has hundreds of therapeutic properties, and there is scientific evidence to prove it. It has been used for ulcers, cancer, diarrhea and blood pressure. Many people apply a garlic paste or oil directly on their skin to treat fungal infections like athlete’s foot or ringworm. Garlic produces a chemical called allicin which gives garlic its distinctive smell, but the more allicin, the more effective the garlic will be. Ginger Ginger is a spice well known in Asian cuisine but it also has numerous medicinal properties. Best enjoyed in warm tea, Ginger is known for anti-nausea, anti-viral and anti-parasitic properties. Just cut off a few inches of ginger and let it steep in warm water for 10 minutes. Add sugar or honey to reap all of the benefits.