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Unusual health uses for food

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Living green means many things, and to many people, eliminating chemical medicines is a priority. Although plant based or other non-prescription drugs cannot treat every ailment, many can be addressed using natural substances that are plant based. Results are not guaranteed but may work.

Here are a few that use common household food items you probably have already in the house, some courtesy of

1. Pickle juice. Drink roughly a shot of dill pickle juice either before or after strenuous physical activity. It’s been said that dill pickle juice relieves muscle stiffness and cramping. Some say it also cures hiccups.

2. Tabasco Sauce. Put a drop or two on an aching tooth. Users of this remedy say it works better than Orajel. Capsaicin in tabasco ingredients (chili peppers) interrupts the ability of the inflamed nerve to transmit a pain signal. Do not use this method on children.

3. Honey. Dab a little honey on the cut before applying the Band-aid. The honey will speed up the healing process and helps keep the Band-aid on.

4. Beer. Several uses are good for beer. It makes a great hair conditioner if hair is rinsed with at after shampooing. It can bring out the red highlights but be sure to rinse thoroughly after using.

Bees love the smell of beer. Hang a partially full can in a tree near a nest and bees will fly in and drown. Place some beer in shallow container on the ground in the veggie garden. It attracts slugs and other plant munchers. They crawl in and drown.

5. Bread. Cleaning up tiny shards from a broken glass is difficult. Use some bread to blot around where the glass shards remain. The glass pieces get stuck in the bread and that’s it; toss it out.

Bread also takes the heat out of a spicy bite of food. Middle Eastern food, Spanish food, Indian food, Mexican food, and other spicy cultural foods always have a bread component of some type to nibble on along with the spicy delicious flavors.

6. Garlic – In the old days, carpenters stashed a clove of garlic in their pockets just in case of a splinter. Research shows that gently rubbing garlic on a splinter will cause the splinter to come out almost completely on its own.

7. Mustard – Next time you have a chest cold or sinus infection, nix the Vicks and opt for some mustard instead. Spread a thin layer of mustard on your chest and cover with a hot towel, and then let the vapors do the rest. Horseradish aromatherapy also works. Add just a little (too much can cause a nosebleed) fresh grated horseradish root and feel the relief.

8. Onion – Though not necessarily a remedy for your health, its ability to remove toxins could be viewed as a way to maintain healthiness. Skin and cut an onion in half. Set it on a plate in the middle of a room. Over time, toxins in the air will be absorbed into the onion. Proper disposal (sealed up in plastic or tossed on the compost pile) eliminated lingering onion smell.

9. Chocolate syrup. If you’ve ever eaten anything hot and spicy, you might think to stampede toward a glass of water. This, however, is a mistake. Water and alcoholic beverages actually purify the heat of whatever you ate and make the sensation even hotter. Your best bet is something cool and creamy. Yogurt is pretty good for this, and so is cottage cheese. A teaspoon of chocolate syrup is potent enough to extinguish the hottest of mouth fires.

10. Vitamin E. Apply a thin layer of Vitamin E (puncture a capsule with a pin. It self-seals so no drips) to a burn before the band aid or gauze covering is applied. The natural oils help regenerate new skin quickly. It is a standard ingredient in pricey burn ointment and has no odor. For sunburn or larger area burns, mix with a little olive oil.

As with all natural remedies, quality ingredients made the difference. Be careful when using, too, as some people, especially children) have allergies or sensitivities to plant based materials.

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