Use your kitchen cabinet for what ails you

DOWNEY - You feel a migraine headache coming on, what do you normally reach for?For a change, grab the cayenne pepper, sprinkle it on what's close at hand, and chances are you won't end up shuttered in your dark bedroom waiting for the throbbing to pass. More studies are being done proving what's in your kitchen cabinet is as effective as anything in your medicine cabinet. Even Harvard Medical School has embraced this trend of studying home remedies and offers it to their students. Some of the more common home remedies: Honey is an effective cough syrup, at times surpassing the commercial ones. Adding thyme to the honey increases its effectiveness. Are you prone to motion sickness? Ginger is the spice for you. Some candy shops sell ginger drops; get a handful before your next traveling. It is also good for morning sickness, and proven to kill intestinal parasites. So if you're coming back from out of country travels with intestinal problems, stop by the grocery store, scrub a fresh ginger root and much on a section about the size of a half-dollar, or shred to add to your next meal. Another tidbit: a cup of hot tea with honey, lemon and ginger will relieve nasal congestion. Chicken soup has been proven to kill off cold germs in a controlled laboratory setting. The scientist that did it used his grandmother's recipe to prove a point to her, and was surprised to learn her preaching was true. Rosemary, besides adding flavor to chicken and potatoes, can help lower your blood pressure and cure your headache. Peppermint can settle your stomach after a large meal and aid in digestion. Horseradish helps with external stiffness after over-exercising, a good tip for those weekend warriors who want to make up for sitting behind a desk most of the week. Internally in the body it has diuretic qualities. If arthritis is what ails you, increase your Indian food intake. Tumeric, commonly found in curry dishes, is very effective. Ginger is also a spice of choice for its anti-inflammatory effect. Switching from corn and soy to olive oil can also help. Cinnamon can help control blood sugar. Surprisingly, cooked tomatoes are more nutrient rich than raw. And a last word: sodas prevent calcium absorption, making those drinkers more prone to brittle bones. Be especially cautious if osteoporosis runs in your family. As always, do your own research, and don't discontinue anything prescribed by your doctor without his or her knowledge. Rita L. Shertick, RN, BSN, is a staff nurse at Downey Regional Medical Center's Family Birth Center. She is a Lamaze certified childbirth educator and a certified lactation educator.

********** Published: March 24, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 49