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Foods That Cure

foods that cure

Can’t get to the pharmacy, or just trying to save some cash? No problem. Take a trip to the kitchen and throw open the cupboards, says Crista Lain.

Honey

It’s a super power when it comes to healing scrapes, burns and cuts. A burn that’s treated with a little honey will heal much more quickly and is less likely to scar, says Professor Peter Molan from New Zealand’s University of Waikato. “Recent research has revealed that honey stimulates white blood cells to release cytokines that activate the growth of cells which repair wounds,” says Molan. Any honey will work, but manuka honey is the most powerful.

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Run the burn under cold water, then apply the honey as soon as possible and cover with a gauze dressing. You will need about 20ml of honey for a 10cm by 10cm dressing. Daily dressing changes are usual, but you can change it up to three times a day. If the dressing sticks to the wound it’s an indicator that more frequent changes are needed.

Red Wine

We know about the benefits of having a drop of red, but in Italy red wine is used as a cure-all without needing to be swallowed. On the website LifeinItaly.com, author Cookie Curci writes about her grandmother offering red wine as a gargle to protect against whooping cough and using it topically to treat cold sores. And it looks like granny knew what she was doing. According to US researchers, a substance called resveratrol in red wine actually stops the cold sore virus from replicating.

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You can’t just dab it straight on from the bottle. Instead, pour a tiny amount into a saucer. Cover it and leave it overnight. It’ll get all thick and goopy, which is when you can dab it on with a cotton bud.

Parsley

The chlorophyll that parsley contains acts as a good deodoriser, making it a powerful breath freshener. And herbalist Dipaunka Macrides says munching on the sprigs helps fight period pains, while blending a few handfuls with a little water then freezing the mix is said to be a powerful bruise fighter.

Parsley has also been used by the North American Indians as well as in Asian cultures to fight urinary tract infections like cystitis. It helps increase urine output, “and urinating regularly keeps bacteria that are constantly reproducing moving out of the system before they take hold,” says naturopath Eric Yarnell who reviewed the herb for the World Journal of Urology.

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Ancient lore saw you making tea from a handful of parsley, a cup of water and an ounce of your own urine, but we’ll skip the last bit. Instead, Yarnell suggests preventing any health issues with a basic tea drunk two to three times a day. To make yourself a basic tea, take a few handfuls of chopped leaves and some hot water. Leave to brew for a few minutes then strain.

If you already have an infection, “drink the tea every two to three hours”. But since it’s not a strong enough solution on its own, Yarnell suggests that you also drink cranberry juice, which stops bacteria adhering to the bladder, and take immune stimulants like echinacea.