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Home Remedies

Ginger Compress and Homemade Cough Syrup:

We all have aches, pains and hopefully, only occasionally, injuries. Even our old injuries can create tension in our muscles that we are unaware of. Whether you deal with chronic pain or are suffering from something more acute, try a natural home remedy to ease and soothe your symptoms. My parents raised me on the macrobiotic diet and a big part of the lifestyle was prevention of disease and illness and treating pains and sickness at home with foods and herbs. Here are just a couple that were used the most in our household.

         My very favorite home remedy in our house was the “Ginger Compress”. One of the reasons I loved this treatment so much was because it was a display of my father nurturing and offering comfort to my mom when her back pain would really be bothering her. I also loved the smell of the ginger simmering on the stove in a deep pot of water.

         A ginger compress can be applied to any sore muscles, but we mostly used it for back pain. There isn’t any reason you couldn’t use it on your neck or tendonitis in your arms, to treat running injuries in your legs and hips or to soothe arthritis in your hands. It will relax the muscles and stimulate blood flow and circulation. The purpose of this treatment is to increase energy flow to any blockages, dissolve stagnation, mucus and tension, and stimulate circulation.

         To make the compress there is no need to be exact in following a recipe, just experiment with how much ginger you use. You just have to boil water, add grated ginger and let it simmer until you feel most of the ginger juice has been extracted. Then strain the ginger out of the water. When you have the hot ginger water in the pot, you may grab a dish towel to soak in the water and apply to your sore muscles. Once you have the pot of ginger water, use extreme caution not to burn yourself when putting in and taking out small bath towels or dish towels that you will use as the compress and especially making sure the towels aren’t too hot that it will burn you. So to begin, first boil water in a large pot, enough water to put a dish towel into. Then while the water is coming to a boil, grate the ginger, at least a cup (but feel free to use more, especially if applying to a large area like the back). Throw in the shredded ginger into the water and let it simmer. Once you feel like the ginger water is ready, (usually it will be a golden brown, apple juice color) strain the ginger pieces out of the water with a strainer or a cheese cloth. You are ready then to take the towels and dip them in the water. Apply to the sore muscles after wringing the towels out thoroughly, remembering to protect your hands with rubber gloves. You may need to shake out the towel before applying to the area to cool it off just a little bit. You want the hot towels to be hot enough to comfort and soothe but not so hot that it burns.

        Growing up (in Indiana), we seldom went to the doctor. We actually had a homeopathic doctor that lived across the country from us in Portland, Oregon. When we would get a sore throat or a cough that would keep us up at night, my dad would whip up some Daikon Radish Cough Syrup for us, often in the middle of the night. Grated daikon and rice syrup is all you need, though other recipes are out there with honey and lemon. He would throw in some grated daikon into a mortar and pestle, add some brown rice syrup and pound out the daikon juice until it was a milky white liquid.          Daikon radish has a combination of antibacterial, antiviral and expectorant properties which make it ideal for clearing up respiratory issues. When there is excess phlegm or mucus in the respiratory tract, it can attract bacteria and allow it to grow. The daikon juice not only clears up phlegm but also eliminates bacteria.

        Home remedies are wonderful because they are cost effective, nurturing and typically without any side effects. Usually, the worst that will happen when trying a home remedy is nothing. However, you may be pleasantly surprised and empowered by trying some of these remedies and researching others for promoting optimal health. You may find you can relieve some of your symptoms naturally.

For further information or to schedule a deep tissue, hot stone massage or a thai massage session, please contact Ambrosia Brown at Alison Palmer Physical Therapy and Wellness Center 435-260-1122. We are located in the Cimarron Lodge at the bottom of lift 7. Wellness is the full integration of mind, body and spirit. We look forward to helping you towards a healthier life.

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