Need a spa day but can't get to the spa? Look no further than your very own kitchen. Here are some simple remedies for common ailments that you can concoct from everyday ingredients. As always, if symptoms worsen or persist, see a medical professional.
For a simple dandruff remedy, soak 1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped fresh or crumbled dry rosemary leaves in 1 cup (250 mL) regular shampoo for 2 weeks. Strain shampoo and use as always.
For dry facial skin, try this moisturizing mask: Whisk together 1 egg yolk, 1 tsp (5 mL) liquid honey and 2 tbsp (25 mL) sour cream or yogurt until blended. Smooth over clean face, avoiding eye area; relax for 15 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with warm water. Wash hands well with soap.
If you have oily skin, give your face a treat with oats and honey. Mash 1/3 cup (75 mL) quick-cooking rolled oats with 2 tbsp (25 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2 tsp (10 mL) liquid honey; stir in enough water to make a paste. Spread over face, avoiding eye area; relax for 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.
If that late-night TV movie has left you with puffy, stinging eyes, try the age-old remedy of covering them with cucumber slices. You'll have bright, cheery peepers come morning.
Soothe dry, itchy skin (or get relief from chicken pox) in a warm oatmeal bath. Using a food processor, process 2 cups (500 mL) quick-cooking rolled oats until powdery. Sprinkle under warm running water when filling the bathtub.
Ease sore, creaky joints and minor sprains with an ointment made by combining 1/2 cup (125 mL) olive oil with 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne pepper. Place in jar and leave in sun for 2 weeks; shake daily. Massage into joints. Wash off. (Warning: Wash hands well after applying!)
Instead of an expensive paraffin treatment for dry, irritated hands, massage them with 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil and put on rubber gloves (avoid those with flock lining) before washing dishes. The heat from the dishwater will help hands absorb the oil, leaving them soft and smooth. Repeat often.
To eliminate running shoe or gym bag odours, sprinkle the insides liberally with baking soda, then discard the powder. A box of baking soda placed in your gym locker will deodorize it.
Keep a potted aloe vera plant on your kitchen windowsill. The gel inside makes a terrific first-aid ointment for minor burns, nicks, cuts, and fungal infections such as athlete's foot. Break off a 1- to 2-inch (2.5 to 5 cm) piece of the plant. Squeeze and roll it between thumb and forefinger to extract gel and apply liberally to affected area. Repeat often.
Tame insect stings by rubbing the spot with a fresh piece of raw onion, papaya or pineapple or with a crushed garlic clove. Or make a paste of meat tenderizer and water and rub into sting.
Black tea applied to minor wounds may help reduce bleeding and prevent infection. Simply soak a cotton ball with a dilute solution of the cooled brew, which is astringent, and dab onto wound.
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