SOME of the fruit and vegetables we use almost daily in the kitchen have natural curative properties.
This is no doubt the reason they have been used continually over the centuries as both a food source and natural medicine, although today their benefits are not very widely known.
Without doubt there is no better remedy than grated raw apple for general stomach upset and gastric disturbances. It is especially good when taken after diarrhoea, as it will quickly restore the bowel function to normal.
And when you're feeling tired and in need of a quick energy fix, try a banana. Mashed and mixed with a little honey and avocado, and served on oat biscuits, it makes a powerful energy-packed snack.
Barley has long been known to have an anti-inflammatory action on the genitourinary tract. To help reduce the discomfort of cystitis try some old-fashioned barley water.
To make your own barley water, simmer 50 grams of an unrefined barley, available from health-food stores, in one litre of water for 40 minutes. Cool, strain and drink over 24 hours. If the problem persists, consult your health practitioner.
Bran taken internally is an excellent remedy when recovering from an illness where there are signs of mineral deficiency, such as from skin diseases.
Add two tablespoons of bran to a pan and pour two cups (500ml) of boiling water over it. Bring to the boil and simmer over a low heat for about 15 minutes, cook and strain. Drink one cup of the bran water three to five times daily, as required.
Carrot juice is rich in carotene and numerous other beneficial substances. It helps to regulate the digestive process and rectify constipation and diarrhoea.
However, it must be taken in moderation as an excess of carotene will kill vitamin D in the body. One glassful each morning on rising is sufficient for your daily needs.
Celery is rich in vitamins A, B and C, and is helpful in easing laryngitis.
Make a beneficial tea by steeping the leaves, not stalks, in boiling water for 10 minutes. Strain, cool, and mix half and half with milk and gargle as required, then swallow.
Cucumber is rich in vitamin C, chlorophyll and mineral salts. It is reputed to cure migraines caused by menopause. Drink one small glass of cucumber juice daily.
Common green garden peas are rich in chlorophyll, which sweetens the blood and improves circulation, making the blood flow easier. Eaten daily in meals, peas are reputed to aid sufferers of varicose veins and haemorrhoids.
So the next time you're feeling a little out of sorts, check out your refrigerator and pantry – a remedy may be closer than you think.
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