I like spending a lot of time in my kitchen. Sometimes, it’s to cook a delicious dinner for a few friends, sharing wine and stories as Gwyneth Paltrow’s spirit gently hovers over us. Sometimes, it’s to eat spoonfuls of mac and cheese directly out of the pot, over the sink at 2 am. And sometimes, it’s to channel my inner witch. I’m very interested in the idea of solving random ailments with things that I already have in the kitchen, like a gentle old lady who does good with her powers and doesn’t eat children or anything like that. Not in the “eat Cheetos when you’re drunk and you’ll automatically feel great” way, but in the “my mom has been talking about the natural health benefits of various herbs for years and it’s finally rubbing off.” I still go to the doctor for things, because I’m obviously in no way a medical professional and disclaimer: don’t read this like I am! But it’s not like I need to go to the doctor for a prescription every time I have a head cold, either. So it’s nice to have some handy potions ready for when the occasion calls for some kitchen magic. And after some practice and trial and error, here are the ones that have worked for me:
1. . Cinnamon To Balance Blood Sugar
I’ve been into making smoothies lately, because everybody freaking is! Nothing is new about this! My favorite? Frozen Mango with Coconut Yogurt and Banana and Almond Milk. Like Deena from Jersey Shore, it is a complete blast in a glass. But it makes me crash pretty hard, on account of the pretending-to-be-healthy-even-though-it-is-all-sugar thing. However, when I add a pinch of cinnamon to my smoothie, which is said to help balance blood sugar, I don’t crash as hard. That’s because it supposedly doesn’t let your blood sugar spike as much, which is why you crash in the first place. So I add pinches of cinnamon to anything I eat with a lot of sugar in it, like coffee and yogurt and fro-yo and smoothies, and I find that it really helps to prevent that major energy crash you can experience from caffeine and sugar. Cool! I eat a lot of those things!
2. . Lemon Juice and Baking Soda For Yellow Nails
Whenever I remember to paint my nails, they occasionally turn yellow, like I am slowly turning into Big Bird. Who is yellow! Get it? But I have a solution for the nails, not for the bad jokes. Squeeze a lemon into a shallow dish, and then add a few teaspoons of baking soda until it turns into a paste. Rub the paste on your nails and watch trash television for five-ten minutes, then rub it off. Your nails should look much, much better, and you can do it as often as you need to!
3. . Turmeric For Cramps
I get pretty bad menstrual cramps from time to time, and they make me feel like a worthless little baby. I just lie around in the fetal position all day, asking people to make me tea. Now, I also ask people to put a pinch of turmeric in my tea! Turmeric has been used for home remedies since the beginning of time, and has a million supposed benefits. But! I’ve only used it for this! It’s mostly tasteless and I find it does improve slight cramps if they aren’t full-on bad enough to warrant taking Midol for it, as long as I remember to drink it a few days before leading up to my period. Which I never do!
4. . Apple Cider Vinegar For Better Skin And Hair
Apple Cider Vinegar tastes like bad lemonade, but I still put a few tablespoons in a large glass of water 3 times a week and chug the whole thing. It’s gross! But I’ve noticed that when I do it, I have less hormonal acne, and my skin feels slightly glowier. I have seen a significant difference in my skin, and while this may not work for everyone, apple cider vinegar is super good for you and it can’t hurt to try it! Furthermore, when I put a tablespoon of ACV in a large cup of water and dump it over my head once a month (in place of conditioner), leave it on for a few minutes, and rinse it out, it works as a clarifying shampoo and removes product buildup. And leaves my hair looking better!
5. . Garlic and Honey For Colds
Whenever I feel a cold coming on, or I feel like I might be getting sick, I chop up a clove of garlic, put it on a spoon, cover the spoon in honey, and eat it. It makes you burp like a madman, and you feel so weird afterwards, it makes you forget you are sick! But! It has prevented a number of colds, and because of this, I have turned quite a few people onto its disgusting powers. I read about it somewhere, so I’m not making it up, and I seriously think it works.
6. . Ginger For Stomach Problems
Ginger is delicious and will soothe any stomach, whether or not your stomach is sick from gas, too much booze, or a bad dinner. I cut up a few large pieces of ginger, put it in my teapot, heat up the water, and voila! An instant and delicious ginger tea that will make your stomach feel less like a garbage disposal.
7. . Lemon Balm Tea and Kava Tea For Anxiety
I have anxiety a lot of the time, and I always try to find ways to curb it that are all-natural when it isn’t full-blown panic attack anxiety. Which usually means wine. Which doesn’t always help, and isn’t a great habit for me. So I try to look for non-addictive alternatives to the two that keep me balanced. And that is when I found both Lemon Balm Tea and Kava Tea. They are both all-natural teas that have been quite a helper in calming me down, and many people with anxiety swear by them, although read up on it before you try it out! But you should!