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Natural remedies for a healthy body

Our homemade remedy guide to a better health.

by: Caro de Waal | 16 Jan 2014
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We’re all on our January health kick here at Food24 HQ (I am eating hateful dry cereal) and Cath is just back from the Cayman Islands, all brown as a berry, thin and very shiny.

‘What’s all this we ask? Why so bouncy and buff after a month of holidays and festive fun?’ It’s all rather unusual.

‘Pfft, easy guys, it’s sorrel... and garlic and honey... and the wine is uber expensive.’

It turns out that they have some pretty fabulous natural remedies on the islands and if you think about it, so do we here in SA.

There are also plenty of vintage remedies like the ones from Xaxa’s granny:

- Cayenne pepper for cleaning of arteries
- Apple vinegar for high blood pressure, pimples and sweat smells under arms
- For earache, put a piece of twisted tobacco in your ear
And my personal favourite...
- For hair loss, fry rosemary leaves with oil, strain oil and rub on the head once a week. Wrap head in plastic and rinse with rosemary boiled water.

Here is my list of natural, healthy remedies for your New Years health drive.

Garlic and honey:  This combination  in different forms, is an age old remedy from around the world, but the Caribbean’s recipe it is to grate garlic and mix it with honey. If you have any type of respiratory illness, take 1 teaspoon of the mixture 3 times a day and you’ll be better in a garlic-breathed jiffy. Cath is swearing her new skinny tush by it.

HIbiscus tea: Commonly called 'sorrel' over there and is a beautiful deep red version of the Hibiscus flower that is used in teas and drinks.
It has ridiculously high antioxidant qualities and is great for lowering high blood pressure.
A little research shows that our local Hibiscus flowers have these qualities too. So pluck them from your trees (they are in bloom everywhere at the moment) and make a hot water infusion.
Alternatively try this strawberry and hibiscus ice cream for a summer treat.

Rooibos and ginger, honey with lemon: Our special SA tea with magical healing qualities. Add ginger, honey and lemon for an even more healthy and delicious drink. I shall live forever as I drink this every day. Try this recipe for Rooibos iced tea.

Beetroot: Eat beetroot everyone! It detoxifies your liver, so absolutely on target after all the eating and drinking from the holiday season. Make this beetroot, apple and ginger juice for a refreshing kick-start to your day.

Buchu: Another magical plant that grows all over the place in SA. It has so many positive health benefits it’s almost unbelievable. Drink as a tea  - there are quite a few labels products out there – and many a chef is using this herbaceous plant in high end fine dining due to its unique flavour. Try this roast beef fillet with buchu stuffing.

Lavender: This beautiful herb calms the nerves and is a known sleep aid. Throw a bunch into your bath before bedtime and wallow for a while, you will float off to sleep on a soft purple cloud.
It also turns out that lavender oil is also brilliant for scalp conditions and helps to stop the itching from mozzie bites.
It’s also widely used in sweet and savoury dishes – try this lavender flatbread for a delicious lavender fix.

Tumeric: A hot new trend and tumeric is starting to get the attention it finally deserves. An ancient spice that looks just like ginger, but bright yellow. and is a common Indian remedy for fever, when steeped in milk. It's also used for stomach and liver ailments as well as having antiseptic and antiviral qualities.

I haven’t even tipped the iceberg of berries, tomatoes, honey, herbs and spices - there are so many wonderful healing ingredients out there!

I’m sure you’ve got some lovely natural remedies to share with me? Please do, I love hearing from you!

With love and garlic breath,

Read more on: healthy  |  recipes

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