You have a first aid kit in your kitchen – you just don’t know it yet. Open up your kitchen cabinet and what do you find? Not just herbs, spices, oils and foods, but also various time-tested kitchen remedies. And there’s nothing I love more than sharing what these kitchen remedies are and how to use them.
Whether you’ve got a cold or accidentally cut yourself chopping carrots, these home kitchen remedies can step in and help you.
- Honey has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. 1
- It can soothe a sore throat and help fight the common cold. It’s even been studied as a possible adjunct to cancer treatment due to its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. 2
- In one study, mortality was lower in the group of men who consumed honey compared to those who didn’t eat it. 3
- Use honey topically for burns to help with healing and to reduce the risk of infection. 4, 5
- Adding honey to your green tea can reduce your risk of H. pylori, a bacteria that attacks the stomach lining and can lead to ulcers. 6
- New and very interesting research concluded that organic honey can help reverse DNA damage caused by pesticide exposure. 7
How to use it: Use honey topically for burns, add it to teas and elixirs, mix it with water, lemon, garlic and cayenne for a cold-fighter, incorporate it into baked goods, spread it on toast with coconut oil and nut/seed butter. We love this honey!
- Ginger is highly anti-inflammatory and can help soothe stomach upset, especially nausea from morning sickness 8, motion sickness, 9and chemotherapy. 10
- Ginger helps speed up gastric emptying (the speed at which food leaves the stomach), which leads to functional digestion further down the line. 11
- Can help reduce pain, particularly in the joints. 12
- Ginger boosts the immune system and reduces our risk of viral infections. 13
- It may help boost cognition in middle-aged women – and can’t we all use a brain boost? 14
- Ginger improves insulin sensitivity and can be helpful for patients with Type 2 diabetes. 15
- Ginger can significantly lower cholesterol and triglycerides, making it a great herb for heart health. 16
- It can lower DNA fragmentation in sperm, so it has the potential to help male infertility. 17
How to use it: Grate it into soups and stews, steep it in hot water for tea, add it to smoothies and elixirs, make a ginger tincture you can have before meals to stimulate digestion.
Health Benefits: Turmeric is an extremely potent anti-inflammatory. One of its most active constituents is called curcumin and it has a multitude of therapeutic benefits, including:
- Kills cancer cells and can benefit the treatment and prevention of cancer. 18
- Reduces pain of acute and chronic conditions 19 and can be equally as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. 20
- Turmeric improves the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. 21“
- Can be used to induce remission in patients with ulcerative colitis 22 and Crohn’s disease. 23
- Turmeric reduces symptoms in patients with major depression. 24
- Curcumin gel can help treat gingivitis. 25
How to use it: Check out these 19 different culinary ways to use turmeric. For a more concentrated therapeutic dose, take curcumin capsules. You can also use turmeric topically by mixing with coconut oil to make paste then apply to the skin.
- Coconut oil is anti-microbial, anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. 26
- Coconut oil is a great natural moisturizer. 27
- It reduces our risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. 28
- Can boost brain health and benefit patients with Alzheimer’s disease. 29
- Can help heal burns. 30
- Helps to reduce abdominal obesity. 31
- It’s anti-microbial properties can make it an effective fat to incorporate into a candida protocol. 32
- Coconut oil keeps our blood sugar levels balanced, which means we won’t become “hangry”, 33 and it helps with weight loss. 34
How to use it: Use coconut oil as a fat for cooking, baking or sauteeing, add it to smoothies and elixirs, apply it topically as a moisturizer, eat it off the spoon for a quick burst of energy.
- Cayenne has anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce pain, including neuropathic pain, 35low back pain, 36headaches 37 and muscle pain. 38
- Cayenne pepper can stop bleeding. (I’ve tested this one out more times than I’d like.)
- Increases circulation and metabolism. 39
- Aids in weight loss. 40, 41
How to Use It: Use cayenne on cuts and scrapes, and add as much as you can tolerate to your food.
- Garlic is nature’s antibiotic! It boosts the immune system and helps to prevent the common cold, 42and reduces the severity and duration of colds if you catch one. 43
- Garlic’s sulfur compounds help to prevent cancer. 44
- Garlic lowers blood pressure. 45
How to Use It: If you feel a cold coming on, crush up a garlic clove and eat it (you can also do this daily for prevention). You can also make a batch of immune-boosting fire cider, and of course add garlic to your cooked dishes.
Let garlic sit after chopping for 5-10 minutes before cooking it. This ensures the beneficial compound allicin, which is released during chopping, isn’t destroyed.
- Alleviates irritable bowel syndrome 46 and can reduce spasms in the colon. 47
- Peppermint essential oils relax muscles when used topically. 48
- It’s great for tension migraines if applied to the neck.
- When inhaled, peppermint can address respiratory infections, 49 as well as improve cognition and mood. 50
- Can suppress colon cancer cell growth. 51
How to Use It: Steep peppermint leaves, covered, for 10 minutes then sip. You can add food-grade peppermint oil to elixirs, homemade chocolate and other desserts, or you can drop it into an essential oil diffuser.
- Improves digestion and decreases acid reflux.
- Lemons are rich in Vitamin C, an antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and immune-boosting properties. 52
- The Vitamin C in lemons prevents the common cold. 53
- Lemons may inhibit cancer cell growth. 54, 55
- Lemons can reduce crystal formation in the urinary tract, improving urinary health and reducing kidney stones. 56
- Citrus flavonoids may aid weight loss and can improve cardiovascular health. 57
How to Use It: Squeeze half a lemon into 1 cup of water and drink 15-20 minutes before eating. Add lemon to smoothies, salad dressings, squeeze over salads, soups or roasted vegetables.
- Cinnamon is the best spice for diabetics. It helps to normalize blood sugar. 58
- One of its active compounds, cinnamaldehyde, is highly anti-inflammatory 59 and inhibits the flu. 60
- Cinnamon hinders cancer cell growth and shows promise as an anti-cancer therapy. 61
- Cinnamon may prevent Alzheimer’s disease by averting the production of senile plaques. 62
How to Use It: Take 1 tsp daily in a smoothie, elixir or oatmeal.
- Thyme breaks up mucous from cough. 63
- Thyme is naturally anti-microbial 64 and antibacterial. 65
- Thyme can destroy cancer cells 66and when used in combination with other herbs, it can inhibit colon cancer. 67
- When combined with olive oil, thyme can improve blood lipid profiles. 68
How to Use It: Steep 1 tbsp of thyme for 10 minutes, covered, then sip. Add it to tomato sauce, home baked breads or infused olive oil.
- Corn silk is a potent diuretic and can be used to address urinary issues. 69
- Corn silk inhibits tumor necrosis factor alpha, a protein that causes inflammation. 70
- Animal studies indicate that corn silk may improve hyperglycemia 71 and reduce weight. 72
How to Use It: Make sure to use dried corn silk. Use as a tea.
For the visual and auditory learners among you, I appeared on Breakfast Television to discuss many of these easy kitchen remedies. You can watch the video below:
These basic home kitchen remedies are easy to incorporate into your everyday diet and you probably already have most of these ingredients on hand. Turn your kitchen into a health lab and start concocting!
Gain a deep level of understanding of the digestive process and how to apply targeted evidence-based interventions for common conditions.
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