I Can’t Help Myself, I Love The Old Farmer’s Almanac (SALT FOR PREVENTIVE HEALTH AND NATURAL REMEDIES)

 

 

SALT FOR PREVENTIVE HEALTH AND NATURAL REMEDIES

Try these preventive health measures for salt, a historically important food that can act as a great natural remedy. Salt is inexpensive, but it has many uses for your frugal household.

The human requirement for dietary salt and the relative difficulty of producing it built and destroyed empires, determined trade routes and the location of cities, occasioned wars, and inspired revolutions.

Before the advent of pressure canning and freezing, salting/brining and drying were the only means of preserving food and eliminating total dependence on seasonal food production.

Aside from its use in seasoning food, ordinary table salt has dozens of uses in the frugal household. It will extinguish flames; kill weeds; extend the life of brooms, toothbrushes, and cut flowers; preserve colors in your wash; remove stains from coffee cups; help clean your oven; and more.

 

But this common household staple really shines in the domains of preventive health and hygiene. I use non-iodized sea salt for these and other health practices.

NATURAL HEALTH REMEDIES USING SALT

Flushing Sinuses

Although this use of salt is ancient, modern medical research has shown that flushing the sinus passages with a saline solution can help prevent/relieve sinus infections,relieve postnasal drip.

One caveat: Boil your tap water for a 3 to 5 minutes and then cool until lukewarm before using. I’d sterilize my water for any solution I planned to use in my sinuses, throat, or eyes.

 

As an Eyewash

Dissolve ¼ teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and used it as a wash for tired, irritated eyes.Be sure to boil your tap water for 3 to 5 minutes and then cool before using.

Reducing Under-Eye Puffiness

Dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt in a cup of hot water; soak a washcloth or cotton balls in the solution, and apply to the puffy areas.

Cleaning Teeth

Try a mixture of salt and baking soda for your “toothpaste.“ Pulverize sea salt in a blender or crush it with a rolling pin, mix with an equal amount of baking soda, shake, and store in a small glass jar. Mix with a bit of water, and brush as usual. Both salt and baking soda have antimicrobial properties that kill many of the pathogenic bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.

 

 

As a Gargle, Mouthwash, or Breath Sweetener

Mix a teaspoon of the tooth-cleaning mixture in a cup of warm water. (Boil your tap water for 3 to 5 minutes and then cool before using.)

Reducing Fatigue

Soak your tired feet or entire body in a warm, salt-infused bath for a restorative effect.

As an Exfoliant

Mix equal parts of sea salt and olive oil and rub gently over the body for an exfoliating, moisturizing scrub. Rinse with warm water. For the face, mix equal parts of salt and honey.

 

Relieving the Pain of Insect Stings

Mix salt with a bit of water and apply to the sting immediately.

For Poison Ivy

Soak the affected areas in hot salt water to help relieve the itch and dry up blisters.

 

ABOUT THIS BLOG

“Living Naturally” is all about living a naturally healthy lifestyle. Margaret Boyles covers health tips, ways to avoid illness, natural remedies, food that’s good for body and soul, recipes for homemade beauty products, ideas to make your home a healthy and safe haven, and the latest news on health. Our goal is also to encourage self-sufficiency, whether it’s relearning some age-old skills or getting informed on modern improvements that help us live better, healthier lives.

Published on The Old Farmer’s Almanac

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And Finally, Herbal Folklore & Old-Fashioned Tips

 

HERBAL FOLKLORE AND OLD-FASHIONED TIPS

NATURAL REMEDIES WITH HERBS

We all know that herbs make great companions in the garden and kitchen. Herbs also have a long history as a natural remedy—and many other more unusual uses, too! Read on…

Anise
Romans paid taxes with anise, and it was used in cough drops.

Anise seed steeped in milk is said to be a sleep-producing drink, but it is also quite likely that the warm milk alone would do the trick.

Basil
Precious to lovers in Italy and considered sacred in India. Many years ago, Italian men wore a sprig of basil to indicate their intended marriage. A cup of basil tea after dinner helps digestion. Ease a headache by drinking tomato juice blended with fresh basil.

Borage
The Romans believed the herb to be an antidepressant, and ancient Celtic warriors took it for courage.

Caraway
Caraway was used to scent perfumes and soaps. The Greeks used it for upset stomachs.

Chervil
Eating a whole plant would cure hiccups; chervil was said to warm old and cold stomachs.

Chives
Bunches of chives hung in your home were used to drive away diseases and evil.

Dill
Romans made wreaths and garlands out of dill. Dill keeps witches away.

Fennel
Bunches of fennel were used to drive off witches. It was used in love potions and as an appetite suppressant.

Garlic
It was thought to give strength and courage. Aristotle noted garlic’s use as a guard against the fear of water. It’s also been widely used against evil powers.

Lovage
Chewing on a piece of the dried root will keep you awake. Lovage warms a cold stomach and help digestion. Added to bathwater, it was believed to relieve skin problems.

Marjoram
The Greeks believed it could revive the spirits of anyone who inhaled it. At weddings wreaths and garlands were made of marjoram.

Mint
It was believed to cure hiccups and counteract sea-serpent stings. The Romans wore peppermint wreaths on their heads. It was added to bathwater for its fragrance.

Oregano
Used for “sour humours” that plagued old farmers. Also used for scorpion and spider bites.

Parsley
Used for wreaths and in funeral ceremonies. Believed to repel head lice and attract rabbits.

Rosemary
Rosemary in your hair will improve your memory. It will protect you from evil spirits if you put a sprig under your pillow.

Sage
Thought to promote strength and longevity and believed to cure warts. American Indians used it as a toothbrush.

Summer Savory
It was believed to be an aphrodisiac. Some thought it was a cure for deafness.

Tarragon
Put in shoes before long walking trips to give strength. It has been used to relieve toothache and as an antifungal.

Thyme
Burning thyme gets rid of insects in your house. A bed of thyme was thought to be a home for fairies.

Anyone who has sage planted in the garden is reputed to do well in business.

 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Mar. 28:

 

FLOWERS YOU CAN EAT

But did you know that the flowers of hundreds of common wild and cultivated plants are edible? Yes, there are many flowers that you can eat!

But did you know that the flowers of hundreds of common wild and cultivated plants are edible? Dressing up your soups, salads, drinks, and desserts with buds and flowers will add color, diversity, and new flavor to your meals. Adventurous folks might also want to explore some of the traditional medicinal uses of common flowers.

When preparing most flowers (exceptions: squash, violets, and nasturtiums) for food or beverage, use only the petals for best flavor. Remove the sepals, as well as the pistils and stamens.

FAVORITE EDIBLE FLOWERS

  • Nasturtium sits at the top of my list. It’s easy to grow from seed, indoors or out, and every above-ground part is edible. Its buds and delicate, voluptuous blossoms spice up a bland salad or cooked vegetable platter. Nasturtium leaves and flowers are rich in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, and have a long history of medicinal use in indigenous cultures for urinary-tract, cardiovascular, and respiratory disorders. Extracts of this cabbage-family relative are currently under investigation as possible treatments for many diseases, including antibiotic-resistant infections.
  • Daylily  Harvested fresh, the plump buds and meaty flowers of this common garden plant are delicious sauteed in a little oil or butter, then seasoned with salt and pepper. Some people stuff the just-opened blossom with a favorite stuffing mix, then saute the stuffed flowers in a little oil or poach them in broth. Use only freshly harvested buds/flowers.
  • Violets I’ve already written about my love of the irrepressible wild violets that pop up all over my lawns and gardens. Give it a read, and tend your lawn violets with care!
  • Roses The darker-colored, more aromatic the variety the more flavor it will have. Strew rose petals across a fresh salad, brew them into tea, or use the entire blossoms to decorate a cake.
  • Sunflowers Carefully separate the petals and sprinkle them into salads. For a real treat, harvest the unopened buds, remove the sepals, and steam the buds until tender. Meaty and filling, they taste like artichoke. Mmm!
  • Chamomile Dried or fresh, chamomile tea is renowned as a safe and gentle calming and sleep-promoting agent. It’s readily available in stores (buy flowers in bulk), and easy to grow in the home garden.
  • Calendula A lovely and easy-to-grow annual flower, calendula petals will add color and spice to just about any cooked or fresh dish. Carefully remove the petals and toss them into salad, stir-fries, or your favorite rice dishes.

Calendula flowers are renowned for skin care and healing. You’ll find calendula listed as an ingredient in many high-end skincare products and healing creams.

Here’s a nice recipe for homemade calendula oil or cream: Pull the petals from enough dried or fresh calendula blossoms to give you a cup. Add petals to a cup of olive oil in a large glass jar with a lid; seal and leave in a sunny window or outside for a week or two. After straining out the petals, you can use the oil as is, or heat it in a double boiler with ¼ cup of melted beeswax to make a spreadable cream.

 

Some caveats

  • Never eat a flower you can’t identify with absolute certainty and know to be safe.
  • Don’t eat commercially grown flowers or flowers that came from a florist; they could have been sprayed.
  • Don’t forage wild flowers on treated lawns or along well-traveled roadways (possibility of chemical contamination).
  • Introduce a new edible flower or floral tea slowly and gradually, especially if you have a serious ragweed or other pollen allergy. On your first try, take a few deep sniffs, then only a bite or two.
  • Because flowers may contain powerful phytocompounds (which confer their healing virtues, as well as their flavors and colors), check with your healthcare professional before eating edible flowers if you’re pregnant or taking prescription drugs.

ABOUT THIS BLOG

“Living Naturally” is all about living a naturally healthy lifestyle. Margaret Boyles covers health tips, ways to avoid illness, natural remedies, food that’s good for body and soul, recipes for homemade beauty products, ideas to make your home a healthy and safe haven, and the latest news on health. Our goal is also to encourage self-sufficiency, whether it’s relearning some age-old skills or getting informed on modern improvements that help us live better, healthier lives.

 

Source

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Mar. 28: CALENDULA: BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS THAT HEAL

 

CALENDULA: BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS THAT HEAL

If you have a garden, I hope you grow the beautiful annual flower calendula.

Calendula self-sows readily in the garden if you allow a few flower heads to fall to the ground (or you can harvest and dry the mature flowers, save the seeds, and plant them where you want them next spring). Its flowers are edible, and its long use as a cooking herb gives the flower its common name pot marigold. Adding calendula flowers to cooked foods (grains, casseroles, breads, even desserts) gives them a lovely yellow color.

The flowers also have a long history of use for healing, especially for wounds, inflammations of the skin, mouth, and mucous membranes, and sunburns. You’ll find extracts of calendula in many cosmetics, hair-care, and baby-care products, too.

When you harvest the blooms or handle the plants, a sticky, resinous substance with a distinctive, fruity fragrance clings to your fingers. Herbalists say these plant resins are partly responsible for the plant’s healing power.

HOW TO MAKE CALENDULA TEA/WASH, OIL, OR SALVE

Most calendula medicinals begin with a supply of fresh or dried flowers. If you’re not growing your own, buy dried flowers intended for human use.

  • To make a tea that soothes internal mucous membranes, add calendula flowers to water in a ratio of a tablespoon of fresh or two teaspoons of dried flowers to a cup of water. Bring to a boil and simmer or allow to steep for 10 minutes. You can either drink the tea or use it as a soothing wash for sunburns, rashes, or sores. Refrigerate for up to a week any tea you don’t use right away.
  • To make calendula oil/lotion, fill a sterilized glass jar (of any size) with dried calendula flowers and cover the flowers with a high quality oil: olive, almond, or grapeseed work well. Cover the jar and let it sit in a cool, dark place for four to six weeks, shaking or stirring occasionally. Strain the plant material from the oil using two or three layers of cheesecloth, and refrigerate the oil until ready for use. You can rub the oily cheesecloth bag holding the spent flowers onto face or hands as a moisturizer. To help prevent the oil from going rancid, add two or three drops of benzoin essential oil or half a teaspoon of tincture of benzoin per half cup of oil, along with a few drops of rosemary or lavender oil.
  • To make a healing salve, add three or four teaspoons of melted beeswax per half cup of warmed oil in a double boiler, and stir well until the mixture begins to cool. Pour it into a suitable glass or metal container and seal. If the salve is too hard, reheat it and add a bit more oil; if it’s too runny, add a bit more beeswax.

ABOUT THIS BLOG

“Living Naturally” is all about living a naturally healthy lifestyle. Margaret Boyles covers health tips, ways to avoid illness, natural remedies, food that’s good for body and soul, recipes for homemade beauty products, ideas to make your home a healthy and safe haven, and the latest news on health. Our goal is also to encourage self-sufficiency, whether it’s relearning some age-old skills or getting informed on modern improvements that help us live better, healthier lives.

 

Source

The Old Farmer’s Almanac