Ginger, turmeric and aloe vera … your grandmother's tips still work on everyday emergencies

When you are looking after yourself and those dear to you, you have to expect the unexpected! You need help for small maladies and mishaps, which often require prompt action. Do keep in mind, though, that it is always best to consult your physician for guidance and medical advice.

Very often, minor ailments have ready solutions in your kitchen “medicine chest”. Spices, herbs, and other kitchen ingredients are very effective for some common problems. And, all you need to do is keep a cool head and follow the guidelines, to help smooth recovery.

Some typical problems that most people have are:

Indigestion, diarrhoea, nausea, prickly heat, sore throat, over-strained eyes and styes.

Indigestion

Over-eating and consuming unwholesome junk food can often led to indigestion. The stomach can find it difficult to handle the excess food, and a soothing home remedy can help to alleviate the symptoms.

Mix ginger and lemon juice, with a pinch of salt. Consume about one teaspoon at a time, at frequent intervals.

Diarrhoea

A common problem in children. Watery stools cause dehydration. Children with diarrhoea need foods and fluids even if they appear to have diminished appetites. Rice khichdi or rice kanji is very effective. For kanji, cook a handful of rice powder with water for 10 minutes, and add a little salt and water till you get the desired consistency.

A solution of salt, lemon juice, sugar and water can also be frequently consumed.

A glass of buttermilk, mixed with a pinch of salt, is beneficial. It helps fight germs and re-establishes the good bacteria.

Nausea

Nausea itself is not a disease, but an unpleasant side effect of indigestion or an upset stomach. Consumption of contaminated food can lead to nausea, followed by vomiting. The symptoms can usually be treated with home remedies found in the kitchen.

Ginger is a very effective anti-nausea treatment. The juice of ginger, mixed with honey, can help control nausea.

Chewing green cardamom helps too.

Dilute lime water with salt and sugar; drinking this ensure re-hydration.

Peppermint tea is helpful as well.

Prickly Heat

Sensitive skin is vulnerable to heat and humidity. During the hot summer months, prickly heat develops due to the hot weather and internal body heat. The skin needs soothing, cooling remedies to alleviate rashes and itchiness.

Place aloe vera gel on the affected areas and wash off after a few minutes.

Make a paste of sandalwood and rose water and apply on the prickly heat rashes for instant relief.

Make a paste of cornstarch and water and apply on the affected area. Once it dries, it can be washed off with cold water.

Consume ample fluids, particularly cooling drinks such as kokum sharbat and fresh lime juice, to cool the system from within.

Sore Throat

A sore throat can be a very persistent ailment. Anything from changes in the weather to too much shouting can trigger a sore throat. Treating it also requires persistence, and the remedies listed here, while not very tasty, are effective.

In a cup of water, mix some tulsi leaves and boil. Strain the leaves and sip this concoction.

Gargle with warm salt water.

Consume hot milk with haldi (turmeric), to soothe the lining of the throat.

Mix a spoon of honey with cinnamon powder and lime juice. Add a cup of hot water and consume it as a warm drink.

Over-Strained Eyes

In the age of television and computers, your eyes can often get red and strained. It is advisable to take it easy for a while and keep the eyes shut. Some simple home remedies can ease eye strain in no time at all.

Place used tea bags over the eyes for quick relief.

Cut a cool cucumber into round slices and place over your child's eyelids.

Apply a poultice with raw, grated apple in it.

Place cotton pads soaked in cold water over the eyes. This is an excellent way to refresh and relax the eyes and the surrounding tissues.

Styes

A stye could be a small painful boil, an inflamed hair follicle, or an infection of a sebaceous gland on the edge of the eyelid. When children have a stye, they tend to rub their eyes to relieve the itching, thereby spreading the infection from one hair shaft to another. This causes the stye to recur.

Styes are infectious, so make sure you use a separate soap and face towel for your child.

Use a warm water fomentation, two to three times a day; this provides relief to the affected eye.

Mix half a teaspoon of boric powder with quarter cup of water. Use this solution to bathe the eye.

The writer is a certified Clinical Exercise Specialist, Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist.

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