Remedies from the kitchen

Is your skin dry? Is your skin breaking out? Does your tummy ache? Consider heading to the kitchen to cure what ails you or to give yourself a beauty treatment.

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For instance, cucumbers are known for their healing attributes. Think of the cliché spa advertisement: woman lying on a table with cucumber slices on her eyes. Cucumbers have been used to reduce puffiness and bags under the eyes, but did you know that the cucumber offers a bunch of other benefits? Silica, a mineral in cucumber, makes your hair and nails stronger and shinier. The cooling cucumber helps keep the body hydrated, reduces body heat and offers relief from heartburn. It aids in digestion and reduces inflammation.

“Consider heading to the kitchen to cure what ails you or to give yourself a beauty treatment.”

Avocados | Avocados are a source of vitamins C and E and monounsaturated fats, which help skin lock in moisture. Use as a facemask or in your hair to give it more shine.

Bananas | Bananas are highly beneficial for faster hair growth and are also a natural moisturizer. They can be used mashed by themselves or mixed with sour cream and honey to make a soothing facial mask. If you have dry hair, mix the banana with an avocado and apply to damp hair for half an hour for a home hair treatment.

Oranges | Do you need to whiten your teeth? Grab the nearest organic orange. Gently scrub your teeth with the orange peel to whiten your teeth. The citric acid helps breakdown plaque and stains. Rinse well and don’t brush your teeth for an hour. The acids can breakdown enamel.

Yogurt | Greek yogurt is purported to help alleviate blemishes, reduce redness, balance bacteria and loosen clogged pores. The lactic acid gently sloughs off dead skin and the full fat yogurt hydrates skin cells.

Apple cider vinegar | In the pantry and cupboards, there are magical items stashed away. Apple cider vinegar offers a plethora of health and beauty benefits. Rinse your hair with it after shampooing and before conditioning to add shine and body to your hair. It can be used as a facial toner and can heal acne and toe fungus. Gargle with it to heal a sore throat. It can also help clear sinuses, ease digestive issues, reduce itchiness, alleviate the effects of sunburn and remove warts. Some folks use it as a natural deodorant and to fade bruises. It also whitens teeth.

Apple cider vinegar can also help reduce heartburn and acid reflux, promote healthy cholesterol and aid in weight loss. Plus, it’s a natural, non-toxic cleaner and weed killer.

Coconut oil | Coconut oil has been touted for numerous healing benefits. Not only does it taste good, it moisturizes, removes makeup and promotes oral health. Use it as a salve for cracked heels. It helps clear up cold sores and eases itchy skin. Ingesting coconut oil daily can help with allergy symptoms, increase mental alertness and may help urinary tract infections.

Honey | Raw honey can be used to help dry skin pull moisture deeper within your skin’s cells. It’s a natural antimicrobial, which means it helps cleanse the skin on a deep level, getting rid of excess bacteria that can easily clog pores. Honey is also loaded with antioxidants, which can help keep the skin healthy and protected from free radicals.

Coffee | Coffee grounds have been known to help reduce cellulite. It not only wakes us up when consumed, but due to its caffeine content it also stimulates the skin. Coffee grounds stimulate circulation and increase blood flow and act as a natural exfoliate.

Tea | Black tea has been used for healing, as well. If you get something in your eye, place a teabag in warm water and rest on your eyelids for relief. Tea reduces dark circles and puffiness.

Oatmeal | Oatmeal makes a great facial scrub. Add oatmeal to your bath with lavender oil for a relaxing soak.

Sugar & salt | Brown sugar and/or salt scrubs with olive oil and essentials oils are great for a home spa treatment. The granules of brown sugar or salts work great as an exfoliate. Used as a body scrub with other kitchen products, such as coconut, sesame or olive oil, it leaves skin feeling soft.

Turmeric | Keep turmeric, the miracle root, on hand. A simple paste made of turmeric and water can make an excellent spot treatment for blemishes on the face.

These are just a few of the household items that are on the list to heal and beautify.

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Priya Hutner
Priya Hutner is a writer, personal chef and meditation teacher. She writes feature articles about music, art, food and recreation. Priya loves to immerse in story. Whether jumping from a plane, eating obscure foods or hitting the Tahoe-Reno music scene, she is always up for adventure and experience. Having moved to the mountains from Sebastian, Fla., she embraces the Tahoe lifestyle and loves to ski, hike, paddle and swim. Priya is the owner of the Seasoned Sage, a business that prepares organic meals and facilitates workshops that promote a health-conscious lifestyle. She is currently writing a memoir about her experience living on an ashram and working on a series of cookbooks. | priya@tahoethisweek.com