COLUMN: Open your cupboard for healthy remedies

This is the time of the year when we come closer to our families and look to old traditions to see us through. This is also the time of year when many succumb to the familiar sniffles, sneezes and sick days.

Since humans have been around, we have relied on what we now refer to as folk remedies for illness and inconveniences.

I propose a toast! Here's to going back in time and looking in your kitchen cupboard for at-home solutions. These suggestions are cheaper and healthier. Of course, consult your physician if you have issues, but other than that, a remedy could be hidden in your home.

The change in weather often has our throats froggy and gross in the mornings, so why not turn to an old stand-by? A squeeze of lemon, hot water, honey and chilli pepper will not only loosen you up but make you feel fresh and ready to go. Honey is often used in winter drinks, not just for its pleasant taste, but it also has anti-bacterial properties that help heal colds, or even on the face for a moisturizing acne removing face mask.

Apple cider vinegar is another wonderful tart concoction of fermented apples that has been known to help ailments like acne and even upset stomachs. It even helps with dandruff, as it puts your scalp's pH back in line. A huge bonus is that it makes your hair super soft. Drink it or apply it topically for your woes. Kidney stones or calcium residue in your coffee maker plaguing you? Vinegar dissolves those painful stones and cleans rust and residue from hard water in a jiffy.

Make sure to get the organic variety, as apples are one of the most heavily sprayed with pesticides, and that would kind of defeat the purpose of helping you become healthier.

Fall time spider invasions getting you down? How about a little bit of hot pepper to give them cold feet about visiting your place. Just put ground chilli pepper along cracks, or where the floor meets the wall along the edges and you could be saying goodbye to your eight-legged friends that overslept their Halloween welcome.

Grandparents, parents, friends or siblings with diabetes? Cinnamon naturally helps to lessen the impact of sugar as it goes into the body, making it easier for diabetics to maintain a normal blood sugar level.  Apple cider vinegar also helps to do the same.

Coconut oil helps with dry cracked body parts parched from these bitter winds. It makes a great lip balm; you can put it in your hair to help with dandruff; it helps with acne as it has on anti-bacterial; and has many anti-fungal properties.

Turmeric paste is often used in India in Band-Aids since it heals wounds faster. It also helps with acne and is great for digestion and with arthritis.

Thyme for coughing, mullein and sage tea to get over the flu faster; fennel and dill seed for gas; garlic for heart health and cholesterol ... see the trend?

The point is that these common kitchen spices and foods used to play a more integral role in our lives, and they still work. So if health insurance has you down, try turning to some older tried and true methods of whole living from your cupboard to do the trick this holiday season.


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