Check out these five homemade recipes for aches and pains.
Castor Oil Packs
Topical use of castor oil has a long history among alternative medical treatments. Castor oil packs help relieve symptoms of a variety of ailments, including menstrual pain, uterine fibroids, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and muscle aches.
Soft, clean cloth such as flannel, wool or cotton
Pan or bowl
Plastic wrap or plastic bag
Heating pad or hot water bottle
Cut your cloth so that it will cover the area you want to treat. Make it slightly larger than your heating pad so the heat source won't touch your skin. The cloth should be thick; be sure you have two or three layers of it. Natural fabric is best. Thick cotton, wool or flannel can be used.
Place the cloth in a pan or bowl. Pour castor oil over the cloth. Saturate the cloth, but be sure it's not dripping with oil. Put the saturated cloth over the desired spot on your body. The abdomen is the most common area recommended.
Cover the castor oil pack with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. This should be a bit larger than the pack itself. Adjust your heating pad to a warm---not hot---setting and put it on top of the plastic. You can put a towel between the plastic and the heating pad if you like.
A hot water bottle is a good alternative to the heating pad. Use whichever one you prefer. Relax for at least 20-30 minutes up to 45 minutes. Put the saturated cloth in a plastic bag after you're done so you can use it again. Store it in a cool place or in the refrigerator. Add a tablespoon of castor oil to the prepared pack each time you reuse it.
A carrot poultice is great for soothing sore throats and swollen lymph glands.
2 large organic carrots
bandana or scarf (one that you don't mind staining orange)
Wash carrots and shred using a grater or food processor. Place the juicy shredded carrot along the center third of a 12x12 piece of cheese cloth. Fold the bottom and top of the cheese cloth toward the center. Place the poultice around the throat and secure gently with a bandana, scarf or other cloth.
Leave in place for a minimum of 30 minutes. May add a hot water bottle for a warming treatment. Note: carrot juice will stain, wear old clothes and place a towel under them so as not to stain bedding or furniture.
Warming Socks/Magic Socks
Stimulates drainage and circulation. Great for upper respiratory infections such as cold/flu, sinusitis, sore throats, ear infections/aches and chest congestion.
thin cotton socks
thick wool socks
Take a pair of thin cotton socks and wet with cold water. Wring out the socks so they are wet but not dripping. Place the cold wet socks on the feet then cover with thick wool socks. Go to bed right away with plenty of blankets, avoid a chill. May be repeated for three consecutive nights.
Important: Start with warm feet, if your feet are cold, place in warm water 5-10 minutes. For children we call this treatment "Magic Socks."
Garlic Oxymel Cold/Cough Remedy*
This is a fantastic recipe to keep handy especially when the weather changes during cold/flu season. It helps relieve symptoms of upper respiratory infections such as cold/flu and boosts the immune system.
1 bulb garlic
½ cup raw/local honey*
½ cup apple cider vinegar
4 cups filtered water
Peel garlic cloves and cut in half. Boil garlic in 4 cups of water until translucent. Remove water from stove, add honey and apple cider vinegar and combine well.
To thicken, place back on heat and simmer gently into a syrupy consistency. Cool and strain into a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.
Take 2 tablespoons every few hours to boost the immune system and relieve symptoms. If you like garlic you may opt to leave the garlic in the finished oxymel, eat a piece of the cooked garlic when taking the liquid. Oxymel may be kept covered in the refrigerator for 4 weeks.
*do not give honey to children under 1 year old
Alternate Preparation: omit the water, crush the garlic and add to glass jar with plastic lid, add 1 cup apple cider vinegar, shake and store in refrigerator. Let garlic soak in vinegar for up to 2 weeks shaking a few times a day. When ready to use, strain the liquid and discard garlic, mix with 1/3 cup of honey, store in glass container with lid up to 4 weeks. Take 2 tablespoons every few hours for immune boost or cold/flu. You can add other herbs such as fresh ginger, fennel, etc.
Spirulina Energy Balls
Adapted from the book "Raw Energy" These small balls pack a mighty punch of energy and the bee pollen and honey are great for seasonal allergies.
1 cup raw sesame seeds
1/2 cup raw carob/cacao powder
1/2 cup raw honey
3 tablespoons spirulina powder
2 tablespoons bee pollen (local is preferable, check your local health food store. Ingesting local pollen is sometimes reported to help with seasonal allergies!)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Grind the sesame seeds to