Science has shown that many common ills today are caused, or made worse, by our choices of food. Consequently, many conditions should improve if we decrease or increase certain nutrients. My grandmother used food to treat and cure many maladies. Many were effective, proven by recent science. Some, of course, were not.
Food Remedies for Upset Stomach
For an upset stomach, a simple chicken broth is nourishing and might be tolerated, when nothing else is. When able to tolerate more, a more hearty soup, with meat and vegetables, provides more complete nutrition and is easy to digest. To prevent carsickness, Grandmother made ginger tea by grating fresh ginger, and steeping it in boiling water. Grandmother recommended raw almonds for heartburn and nausea when pregnant.
Food Remedies for Colds and Flu
Grandmother gave us oranges or grapefruit during cold and flu season and whenever we were just “under the weather.” Citrus is a good source of vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and helps the body absorb iron. She also fed us chicken soup whenever we were sick.
Food Remedies for Hangovers
Lemon or orange juice, mixed with a little water and a teaspoon of sugar will relieve a hangover within just a few minutes. This combination raises blood sugar and relieves dehydration, both effects of hangovers.
Food Remedies for Bronchitis and Coughs
Garlic and onions thin mucus, thus relieving symptoms of asthma, bronchitis and coughs. When a child suffered from asthma, my grandmother fed him fish. For a stuffy nose, Grandmother offered freshly-grated horseradish root. A small piece of chocolate, allowed to melt on your tongue, will sooth a cough as well as commercial cough syrups and taste much better.
Food Remedies for Circulation
Cleveland Clinic mentions that wine reduces your risk for heart disease. For varicose veins or poor circulation, my grandmother advised wine. She personally drank a full glass of wine (or two) with lunch each day. Grandmother did not drive and she had great circulation.
Food Remedies to Relieve Arthritis or Gout
She also recommended her ginger tea to relieve the pain and swollen joints of arthritis. Ginger has been proven to contain anti-inflammatory properties. Grandmother urged cherries to prevent or cure an attack of gout. They have been proven effective in lowering uric acid levels. The amount will depend on your condition but ranges between a handful to two cups.
Food Remedies to Prevent Cramps
Grandmother encouraged us to eat bananas and green leafy vegetables to discourage muscle cramps. Kale, swiss chard, spinach, beets and okra are rich in magnesium. Magnesium sooths and relaxes muscles and effectively prevents muscle spasms and cramping. Bananas, high potassium, are also effective in preventing leg cramps.
Food cures may not work quickly, but usually the results are long lasting. Many of the vitamins and supplements today only replace nutrients that we should have obtained from the food we eat. Eat the right foods for your condition and you may not need supplements and drugs.