When you're feeling run down or ill, especially during these hoidays forget spending a fortune on over-the-counter drugs: healthy food is the safest medicine money can buy. Good quality foods have countless benefits and none of the side-effects of synthetic drugs. This is because foods are broken down by the body's metabolism, and their special components are used in different ways to maintain health.
Long term, we know that adding the right ingredients to our diet (such as garlic, which is rich in antioxidants) helps prevent chronic illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. And some foods, like potatoes, honey and oats, even have healing properties that can bring instant relief to ailments.
Ancient kitchen cures
The earliest records of kitchen pharmacy go back 5,000 years. The ancient Egyptians used herbs, nuts, spices and other foods as remedies for health and aids to beauty - the most celebrated being Cleopatra, who famously bathed in milk and honey.
Plant medicine was virtually the only medicine available until the sixteenth century, when chemicals began to replace herbal cures. Today, we've gone full circle, and modern scientific research tends to confirm what ancient civilisations already knew: food has powerful medicinal properties.
You can transform food into first aid with common supermarket ingredients. Teas, soups, tinctures, gargles, baths, compresses, juices, steam treatments, massage oils, medicinal honeys and syrups can all be easily made at the kitchen table.
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