Tag Archives: indigestion

Natural Home Remedies – Part 2: Colds, coughs, flu, indigestion and thrush

In which I discuss digestive, throat problems, phlegm, colds, coughs and thrush in both men and women.

Plants on windowsil 08.09.09Natural medicines seem  to be very much in demand, judging by your visits to the Wartime Housewife recently, so I will tell you about a few more. But before I do, I want to have a little chat about alternative and complementary treatments. 

I am a qualified Massage Therapist and Aromatherapist (oh how I loathe that term) and I have a special interest in nutrition.  I tend to see people with chronic illnesses such as Parkinsons, arthritis, shingles, depression, but occasionally people come to me with acute conditions such as back pain, muscle spasms or because they feel run down.   I take a full medical history, listen to their heart rate, take their blood pressure and, most importantly, listen and observe very carefully while they tell me about their condition.  Sometimes alarm bells ring and I refer them straight to their GP.  If they have an acute condition such as a muscle strain I can generally make them better, providing they do as they’re told.   With chronic illness, I can support circulation, immune system, nervous system, muscle tone, digestion and promote relaxation.  This ‘me time’  helps people to feel better able to cope, so that although I can’t make them better, I can help them to feel better.

But what I always tell people with more long term health problems is this.  It has taken a long time for you to become unwell and if you really want to get better it will take a while for your body to right itself. And it will only do this if you change your behaviour, your diet and how much you move about.  This can be very hard these days as we put ourselves under enormous pressure at home and at work, but part of the ethos of The Wartime Housewife is to re-examine how we live our lives.  Food is our fuel and if we don’t nourish our bodies properly we will break down.  Exercise keeps us fit, speeds up our metabolism and releases endorphins which lift our spirits.  Our families and friends provide us with love, support, entertainment and physical and intellectual stimulus so we must nurture them and make time for them and for ourselves.  We must learn to understand how our bodies work and look after them appropriately.

I am not anti doctors, but we have to give them a fighting chance.  The NHS is massively burdened with people who become ill  because they eat rubbish, don’t move about enough, and generally abuse themselves.  GP’s are asked to work longer and longer hours in the interests of accessibility, when I can’t help feeling that if people genuinely need medical advice, they should make the time to visit the doctor during reasonable surgery hours. 

The whole issue of work, illness, trust and personal responsibility will have to wait for another article.  In the meantime, The Wartime Housewife says ‘Eat proper food and not too much of it, move about more, get regular fresh air and have a decent night’s sleep’.  In case of malfunction , here are a few remedies to help you out.  (Remember if symptoms persist, consult your GP – at a respectable time!)

Indigestion, acid reflux, bloating, wind

Get a large handful of fresh mint leaves or a flat tablespoon of dried mint and put into a jug or teapot.
Pour about ¾ pint of boiling water
Leave to infuse for about 10 minutes.
Strain and sip gently and slowly until it is all gone
Repeat when necessary.

You can also use peppermint essential oil if you have it.  2 drops to 1 pint of very hot water, stir well and pour out the required amount into a glass.  Sip gently until completely gone.

PHLEGM IN THE THROAT OR SINUSES

As above but use an equivalent amount of thyme instead of the mint.  Thyme is a very effective anti-mucolytic – if you really don’t like the taste add a tablespoon of honey which has the added advantage of being an anti-inflammatory.

COUGH MEDICINE

Chop 1 medium onion very finely and place in a small bowl
Pour 2 tablespoons of honey over the top
Cover and leave overnight.
Strain off the juice and take a dessertspoonful every hour or two until the cough is easing

BRINGING OUT THE FEVER OF COLDS AND ‘FLU

Obviously, I only recommend putting the whisky in for teenagers and adults.  And use your common sense and use a painkiller that suits you, don’t exceed the stated dose etc etc. 

Put into a tall glass:
1 bulging tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of whisky
Top up the glass with very hot water and stir well until the honey has dissolved
Drink it all before it goes cold.
Take 2 paracetamol or ibuprofen. 

If there is any fever lurking around, this will bring it out and usually guarantees a good night’s sleep at the end of it.

THRUSH TREATMENT FOR LADIES OR GENTLEMEN

Firstly, make sure that you keep your bits and pieces very clean indeed and wash with a non-fragranced soap.  Wear cotton underwear.  Then thoroughly mix:

1 tablespoon of zinc and castor oil cream with
1 drop tea tree oil

For women, apply gently to the external area.  Put some of the cream (1/4 teaspoon) onto the end of a tampon, pop it in as usual and leave for a couple of hours, then do it again.

For men, apply gently to the whole end of your willy, making sure you get it under your foreskin where micro-organisms roam free.

Both:  Keep treating until symptoms subside.  If it doesn’t clear up within about 48 hours, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Natural Home Remedies: Part 1

In which The Wartime Housewife Nurse Natural rememdies 1 - 24.08.09explains the medicinal
uses of essential oils, specifically Lavender, Eucalyptus,
Tea Tree and Peppermint.

I had been planning to include articles on the use of natural remedies sometime next month, but following a trip to Hardwick Hall, which had the most exquisite herb garden, I feel moved to start straight away.

ESSENTIAL OILS:
I would recommend keeping a few bottles of essential oil in the medicine box at all times.  These are the concentrated essences of plants obtained by predominantly by distillation, and these are available from all good health food shops and quite a lot of chemists these days.  Just make sure that they are 100% pure and if you are in any doubt as to their use, consult your chemist or a qualified practitioner. The Wartime Housewife is a qualified Massage Therapist but I am not teaching you to be professionals. These are home remedies so use your common sense.

Lavender:  This is the all round good egg of the natural pharmacy.  It is antiseptic, antifungal, antibiotic and antiviral.  It promotes healing particularly for burns and it also helps to reduce scarring, it’s calming, helps reduce headaches and promotes deep sleep.

Burns and scalds – put a drop or two directly onto the burn every day until it heals.  Remember, if the burn is over 2″, consult a doctor.

Cuts and grazes – clean the wound and the area round it with 5 drops in a small bowl of warm water.  Then put one drop neat onto the wound.

Sleep – 10 drops in the bath water will help to promote quiet sleep, also add one drop to the pillow or sheet.  For babies, put 1 drop in the bath water and 1 drop on the cot sheet.

Mild shock – if you’ve had an minor accident or injury, a drop or two of lavender oil either onto the skin or on to clothes near the head is very beneficial in alleviating distress and has a very calming effect in adults and children.

Tea Tree:  Another powerful  antiseptic and a very effective antifungal.  Use for any fungal infections such as athletes foot by putting 10 drops in the bath or a foot bath.  For an ointment use 5 drops mixed thoroughly with zinc and castor oil cream or put 2 drops on a cotton wool ball and smear it on the affected area.  An emergency treatment for vaginal thrush is to mix very thoroughly one drop of oil in 1 tablespoon of zinc and castor oil cream and apply ½ a teaspoon of the cream to the end of a tampon, use a little to rub gently on external areas.  This cream also works for the gentleman’s area.

Peppermint: This is excellent for the digestion, is also antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and very cooling.

Indigestion, flatulence, diarrhoea – 2 drops in a pint of hot water.  Sip this slowly until it is all gone.  If it is not relieved in an hour or so, do it again. (the vapour will initially make your eyes water a bit – keep them closed)

Tired feet – put 4 drops in a bowl of lukewarm water and soak your feet

Bad breath – mix 4 drops in a tablespoon of brandy, gin or vodka.  Add to a small tumbler of warm water and use as a mouthwash.

Eucalyptus:  this is well known for it’s usefulness with colds, coughs and sinus problems but is also a useful cradle cap remedy, insect repellent and deodorant.

Colds, stuffy noses:  Put 5 drops in a bowl of very hot water and inhale deeply for at least 10 minutes, making sure that you keep you eyes closed.  Put a drop on your handkerchief or tissues as well.

Cradle Cap:  mix 2 drops in a tablespoon of olive oil and rub very gently into the affected area, taking care to avoid the soft fontanelle at the front of the head.

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