Editor’s Note: Today’s post is from Jeanne and Abby, the co-creators of OMamas.com. They are two transplanted Montana mamas who became fast friends when their kids collided on the playground. Committed to building happy, healthy, wholesome lives for their families and the world they live in, they’re passionate about real food and simple living. You can often find them in their kitchens experimenting with new ways to use food for health, healing, and enjoyment. You can find them on their blog, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
It’s easy to go broke buying over-the-counter meds for simple summer maladies, and in our opinion, home remedies can often work better, taste better, smell better, and are safer for us and the world. And considering we are here at Modern Alternative Kitchen, all these things can be found there!
Here’s what we use to beat the nagging summer ailments that we have faced this year:
There are few summer ailments as maddening as the cloggy-fuzzy-hearing-impairing that comes from swimmer’s ear. And when jumping up and down in the shower doesn’t work (admit it, you’ve jumped in the shower hoping for that flood of relief), we approach swimmer’s ear the same way our Naturopath Doctor suggests we approach mild ear infections … with a little garlic olive oil.
How to: Rough chop two cloves of garlic (skin removed) and gently sauté them in 2-3 tablespoons of high quality oil. Do this on a LOW HEAT so you don’t burn the olive oil. Let the garlic infuse the oil for about 3-5 minutes until the garlic is translucent. Remove from the heat and cool completely before putting one or two drops into the affected ear. Repeat every 3-4 hours until the clog dissolves and you’re back to clear-ears.
If it persists beyond 2-3 days, we’d probably call our healthcare professional.
Bug bites stink. They can be itchy and red and raised and explaining to a 4-year-old that an insect injected poison into her body because he was interested in her blood … not fun. But on the flip side, they can be a great natural science lesson. Especially when the bug bite itch goes away almost immediately after applying a simple concoction of coconut oil, bee propolis and lavender essential oil.
How to: Put 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (melted), 10 drops of bee propolis, 3-4 drops of lavender essential oil into a small non-reactive glass jar. Shake to combine. Apply liberally every few hours as needed.
We try our best to prevent sunburn by using safe sunscreen, wearing hats, and avoiding midday sun exposure. But it happens. So what do you do if it happens to you? Aloe or coconut oil? Aloe works great. But it can be tedious, messy and time-consuming to harvest the “goo” from the aloe leaves. Both of us buy coconut oil in bulk, so it’s always on hand. We’re always cooking with it. Jeanne’s used it on a frying pan burn with great result. So we decided to give it a try on sunburn. Quite by accident we’ve discovered that coconut oil might actually work better than aloe. And it smells so good.
Ugh. The dreaded summer cold. It’s steaming outside and you’re knocked out with a fever and shivering and coughing and have a runny nose to end all. The worst! But there is relief. And it’s in your cupboard already, in the form of lemon, ginger and raw honey.
Lemon has been used for centuries as a blood purifier and and to strengthen your immune system, detox the digestive system and is a power-packed antioxidant. Mix that with a little ginger, which is known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties and for it’s ability to boost the effectiveness of other herbs and spices. And then add a dab of raw local honey, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. It strengthens the immune system and is a great natural expectorant. And it tastes amazing.
How to: Thinly slice half a lemon into bite size wedges, do the same with about an inch of peeled ginger and put them in a small glass jar. Cover the lemon and ginger with enough raw honey to smother the lemon and ginger completely and put it in your fridge overnight. The lemon and ginger will liquify the honey into a syrup. Administer the syrup as needed. Or, you can take a few pieces of the ginger and lemon, a teaspoon of the syrup and make a “tea” with it by simply adding them to a mug, pouring boiling water over them and letting it steep for 3-4 minutes.
Not that you ever suffer from indigestion. I mean … it doesn’t happen often because we’re all perfect eaters and we never overeat or eat foods that aren’t perfectly prepared, right? Because I don’t think I’ve ever had too much brisket at a BBQ. Or eaten too much spicy slaw. Or even had too many raw veggies … Whatever the cause, nobody likes a bloated belly. But thankfully, there are a slew of home remedies that actually work.
Fennel Seeds - Raid the spice rack for some fennel seeds (a teaspoon) and brew a cup of tea with it. Let it steep and then cool. Sip on it through the day.
Cinnamon & Honey – Add a teaspoon of cinnamon with a teaspoon of honey to a quarter cup of yogurt with active cultures.
Chamomile Flowers - Chamomile tea also works.
Lemon & Ginger - But our favorite home remedy for the BBQ bloat has to be lemon juice infused ginger. Peel the ginger and julienne into very thin strips and soak in lemon juice for at least an hour. Eat the lemon-infused ginger strips one or two at a time until the bloat dissipates.
Admittedly, this homemade “Gatorade” doesn’t look quite as exciting the “real” stuff, but at least it’s not full of white sugar and artificial flavors. Dehydration is a very serious ailment that can be easily avoided with proper hydration. I follow Wellness Mama’s recipe, and love changing up the flavors using different teas and fruit.
What’s in YOUR natural remedy kit?