Herbal DIY: nature’s remedies

Some of Nature’s Remedies

What follows are over 40 simple ‘first-aid’ recipes for using your natural first-aid and health kit. Stay flexible to the needs around you; there are many uses for the foodstuffs described here, but there may be even better herbs or foodstuffs specific to your personal needs or those you encounter as a healer. Seek to grow your knowledge of the uses of plants for health and healing every day.


Honey is an excellent, natural, cooling and antiseptic treatment. Apply it gently thinned with a little clean water and lemon juice.  Witch Hazel is also a cleansing and soothing agent on small injuries but not where the skin is broken open.


Firstly, don’t be tempted to squeeze the spots, this will spread them and may well damage the glands. Acne is often the result of hormonal changes hence its link with adolescence. It happens when the glands which keep your skin lubricated become blocked and infection occurs.

A careful diet will help, as will a course of blood cleansing herbs. It is important to maintain the delicate acid balance of the skin around the spots and keep the whole area scrupulously clean. A lot of treatment has a tendency to dry out the skin so use only mild gentle and natural products to moisturise. Take one teaspoon of chamomile, which is both soothing and cleansing, leave it to infuse for 10 mins in boiling water, strain, cool and apply. Yarrow tea, made the same way will also help if applied externally.

A gentle herbal steam can also help the skin to throw out impurities. Put 2 tsp of chamomile and 2 tsp of red sage into a pint of water in a pan and heat to boiling. Put a clean towel over your head and position your face best for being steamed. Please remember to turn the heat off and not to let your face touch the pan. Reheat occasionally for more steam.

Afterwards gently apply witch hazel to cool the skin and close the pores. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is cooling and stimulating to the blood in addition to being bactericidal. It is well worth painting this gently onto inflamed areas.


Raw foods such as nuts, fruits and vegetables, seeds and sprouted grains are valuable in helping the body cope with allergy. Plenty of exercise is also important to boost the immune system generally.

Herbs, garlic, nuts and seeds
Herbs, garlic, nuts and seeds

The most common allergens are milk (dairy produce), wheat or oranges but the range is vast. If you suspect an allergy might be causing illness, experiment with your diet, eliminating various things over a week.

If your symptoms begin to clear up be extremely careful about reintroducing the allergen as it might have a stronger reaction.  A pint of water with a heaped teaspoon of Bicarbonate of Soda may well turn off the reaction temporarily by balancing the body acidity.


Bad breath can stem from tooth and gum problems or from problems in digestion, which must be dealt with to solve the problem. Here are several natural remedies to sweeten the breath:

Drop a good sprig of either fresh Thyme or Rosemary into boiling water, turn off the heat and let it steep for 10 mins. Drink half of it and use the rest as a mouthwash.

Make a cup of peppermint tea by putting a teaspoon of herb into boiling water and leaving for 10 minutes. Add a little freshly squeezed lemonjuice and drink. Make fresh parsley a regular part of your meals. If you use garlic in cooking, use it with parsley so that it doesn’t return later on.

Thyme, Yarrow, Parsley and Mint
Mint, Thyme, Yarrow and Parsley


Boils and abscesses suggest that constipation may be present, so eat accordingly and take gentle exercise. Lemon juice will bring a boil to a head, so either bind on a slice or apply the juice to a plaster. If the boil is at the tip of a finger (a whitlow) make a hole in the side of a lemon and leave your finger in for a while. Another way to bring a boil to a head is to bake an onion till soft and apply it as hot as you can stand.

You can also take a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds, crush them (pestle and mortar or rolling pin), cover and simmer them for 10 mins, strain and apply the crushed seeds on a piece of lint, lightly bandaged on. Then drink the fenugreek tea that’s left. This is a great tonic drink and will help break down the mucous in your body which is part of the problem.

Lemons, Fenugreek, Fennel and Onion
Lemons, Fenugreek, Fennel and Onion


If the problem is not enough milk, fennel tea can be of great help. Bruise 1 tsp of fennel seeds by running over them with a rolling pin, this helps the fragrance out. Put them in a cup, pour on boiling water and infuse the herbs for 10 mins. Strain and sweeten with a little honey to taste. Fenugreek can be used in the same way, as can other kitchen herbs like anise, caraway, cumin and dill.


People who bruise easily and badly are often short of Vitamin C, or have bad circulation. If you have a microwave cooker place a wet, wrung out, clean cloth in it, heat for 1 minute and lay it over the bruised area when it has cooled sufficiently.

If not, wring out a cloth in hot water. Applying this hot compress to the bruise will stimulate circulation and relieve the pain. A strong comfrey tea may also be used as a hot compress. After the compress, swab the area with witch hazel.


Bad burns are without doubt an emergency case. Seek professional help at once. Swift action is essential in handling burns. Firstly the area of the burn must be cooled to stop further tissue damage and to relieve the pain.

If possible immerse the burn in cool water and keep it there. If this is not possible (chest, stomach or complete body burns) find a piece of clean linen, wring out in cool water and wrap it very gently around the burned area. Shock is a big danger with serious burns so be aware of this and keep the patient reassured. When you have dealt with heat and shock cover the burn with a sterile lint and keep the patient warm until help arrives. For minor burns and scalds follow the same actions.

Aloe Vera is particularly good for taking the sting out of small burns but if you don’t have any on hand, cutting a potato or onion in half and laying it over the burn will take the pain out and reduce damage initially. When the burn has cooled a compress of cold chamomile tea will help soothe it, and honey painted on to the sore will help it heal – as will more Aloe.

Drink some chamomile tea too, its very relaxing!


Soothe the agony of chilblains or stop their development by painting them with lemon juice and letting it dry. A finely grated onion can be used as a compress. Alternatively oil of lavender is very soothing, but use this diluted with almond oil.

Poor circulation is at the root of this problem, so if you suffer, dress up warm when you go out into the cold. Plenty of exercise and a healthy diet with green leafy vegetables will help the circulation. Commonly used kitchen herbs such as Thyme, Marjoram, Garlic, Black pepper, Cumin, Cloves, Cayenne, Ginger or Coriander are all a help to the blood circulation, so use them regularly in winter cooking.


During the winter it is often hard to escape that shivery feeling which happens when you get too cold. A good immediate remedy for this is to wrap up in a duvet and stick a hairdryer up it, making sure the airflow is not restricted until you feel warm.

Colds are often the body’s escape mechanism. When the whole system is overloaded it crashes. The body stresses out and the immune system drops its threshold. The nose releases toxic wastes in the form of mucous and the body feels exhausted. Pay attention to what your body is saying because an unchecked cold can become far more serious

If you are one of those people who can tell the day before a cold happens, then it can be stopped, or at least minimised, in several ways. Firstly, rest is essential. There is no way your body will self-heal in a stressful situation. If you have to work, take it easy or delegate a bit more. Lemon juice, rose hips, parsley (not if you’re pregnant) and fresh orange all contain vitamin C, so take them. A course of Echinacea is also highly recommended as this can shorten recovery time and boost the immune system.

A potential cold can actually be completely stopped dead by gently sniffing a mixture of lemon juice and warm water up your nose, if you are ‘hard’ enough!

Pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds contain zinc which is important in cold prevention as it boosts the effect of vitamin C, so eat some of those. Otherwise its time to sweat those built up toxins right out through the skin.

Start with a peppermint tea and take some garlic or garlic capsules. Then boil a large onion in milk for an hour, eat it, and drink the milk.  Follow on with a steaming cup of lemon juice, honey, cinnamon and grated ginger which will stimulate circulation and sweating. Enjoy it in a mustard footbath which will also warm up the blood.

Mustard Footbath:

Take 1 tsp. yellow powder mustard and one of household soda (if you have hard water) and put them in a deep basin with some water as hot as you can stand.

Keep your feet in (to halfway up your leg) for about ten minutes, topping the bath up with fresh hot water. Dry off, put on thick socks and climb into a freshly warmed bed, the earlier the better.


This is the result of inefficient elimination. Modern life and food habits can often conjoin to clag up the inner works. It has been estimated that 50% of people in the western world suffer from it. The reintroduction of toxins leaving the body into the bloodstream through constipation is a root cause of many other illnesses and disorders. The best cure is a complete change of diet to one with lots of fruit, fibrous vegetables and whole grains. There are a number of excellent herbal mixtures available from your health food shop for more immediate relief. Remember there is a danger in using these over a period of time in that your bowels are being artificially stimulated which can lead to a lazy colon.

Pumpkin and Coriander seeds, Fresh Veg. and Rosehips
Pumpkin and Coriander seeds, Fresh Veg. and Rosehips


Corns are areas of dead, horny tissue caused by the rubbing in ill-fitting shoes. Minor cases can be dealt with by using those kitchen standbys, lemon and garlic. Tape on a slice of lemon or garlic overnight for relief.


A cough is the result of the lining in your throat or bronchial passages becoming inflamed or irritated. As a result it produces extra mucous which the cough attempts to dislodge.

What is needed to heal the cough is something which will soothe the inflamed membrane, stop it producing too much mucous and help loosen the excess mucous produced. Garlic finely sliced into runny honey and left for two hours at least is good initial remedy when the liquid is drunk. It is not as unpleasant as it sounds.

A warm water, lemon juice and honey mixture is also soothing to the membranes. Blackcurrant jelly (without additives) also makes a good base for children’s cough mixtures.

If you can pick blackberries in the autumn, make them into preservative syrups or jams or even freeze concentrate into ice cube trays. They make a great healing addition to hot toddies!


Self-treatment is not recommended for this serious and painful condition if it endures, although there are several remedies that can help. An acid body condition helps the formation of cystitis, so neutralise your PH with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in a pint of water.

Stop eating and drinking any acid forming foods and this includes taking vitamin C. Bathe yourself in a bath of warm water. Cornsilk taken from fresh corn on the cob is soothing to the vaginal area. Save the silk from your cobs and steep one teaspoonful in half a cup of boiling hot water for a few minutes and drink it every few hours, warm or lukewarm.

Your visit to the doctor may well result in a course of antibiotics being prescribed. As these indiscriminately kill all bacteria it is a good idea to replenish your intestinal flora by eating plenty of live yogurt.

Honey, Cornsilk, Oats and Yogurt
Honey, Cornsilk, Oats and Yogurt


This can be caused by a course of antibiotics destroying the intestinal flora in the gut, so plenty of live yogurt is advised. Generally it is caused by the body wanting to unload toxins as quickly as it can. Always drink plenty of water, preferably bottled spring water to replace lost fluids.

Kitchen remedies include cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Simmer a teaspoon of cinnamon in water for twenty minutes and add a little honey to taste. Add a teaspoonful of cayenne pepper to a wineglass of warm water, again add honey to taste. A few drops of peppermint essence in a cupful of warm water taken every three hours as hot as you can stand will also help, as will a grated apple.  You can simmer some oats for about half an hour to make a thin gruel which sits easy on the stomach. Flavour it with a little cinnamon and a small amount of honey to taste.

If you have a prolonged case of the runs you need to see a doctor, and don’t forget to replace the body fluids, salts and essential minerals you are losing. Ask your doctor for advice on this.


The faster you can deal with a mild earache the better as this sensitive area can inflame quickly. When dealing with any body orifice or abrasion it is important to keep your hands and any utensils you might use spotlessly clean and sterile.

Heat a teaspoon in boiling water and dry it. Pierce a garlic oil capsule (with a sterile pin or needle) and squeeze the liquid onto the spoon to warm it. Drip a few drops into the ear from above making sure it is not too hot. Plug the ear with a small piece of cotton wool dampened with lemon juice.

Warmth can be very soothing to an earache so try a warm hot water bottle next to the ear and see if it helps. Do not put liquid into the ear if a perforated drum is suspected, consult your doctor immediately.


The best remedy for eyestrain is complete eye rest. You can aid this by ‘palming’, a Doctor Bates method. While sitting down place the base of the palms of your hands gently into your eye sockets, without pushing on the eyeballs themselves. Rest your elbows on your legs just above the knees and concentrate on relaxing your eye muscles for at least five minutes.

A used tea bag, chilled in the fridge for a while is a fast and effective relief when applied as a compress on each eye. Even better use Fennel or Chamomile tea bags. Cold Raspberry leaf tea will also make an excellent compress. Eyebright is worth tracking down if you can find it. The flowers and leaves are easy to make into a useful tincture. It is also commercially available and herbal capsules along with Lutein can effect a quick cure.  As someone who suffers with computer eyestrain, a few day’s eye rest along with some relaxing eyewash is highly recommended.

My eyes are quite weak and long hours at the computer sometimes make the muscles around my lens quite tired – even to the extent of muscle tremors. A doctor prescribed me Valium for this condition which gave me a very relaxed Christmas one year. I found though that a homemade Valerian tincture is much more effective for immediate muscle relaxation, along with some occasional home-made Eyebright tincture to build strength.

Cinnamon, Lemon Balm, Chamomile and Eyebright
Cinnamon, Lemon Balm, Chamomile and Eyebright


The bonfire of a fever raging through your body is a sign that the body’s defense mechanisms are hard at work evicting toxins. Normally wastes are processed through the rectum, bladder, lungs and skin but in a fever the body temperature is raised to increase sweating and speed toxin elimination. Although a high fever needs to be controlled, treatment should assist the elimination process rather than suppress the fever. Sudden high fevers in children need a doctor as soon as possible. If the patient is particularly hot put them in a well-aired room and sponge them down with warm water, covering them immediately. A bath will also act to cool them down, but be careful it is not too cold as this can cause shock.

Yarrow Tea, Dandelion Coffee, Elderflower and Mint
Yarrow Tea, Dandelion Coffee, Elderflower and Mint

Your patient will also need plenty of liquids, such as fresh lemon juice or hot water with honey. For milder fevers, hot peppermint tea is recommended, made with fresh leaves if you have them. A tea made with the fresh leaves of lemon balm is also delicious and beneficial. For the onset of colds or flu, hot yarrow tea can be sweetened with honey to great effect.

The classic fever remedy can be made by mixing a teaspoon of each of elderflower, peppermint and yarrow together and making it into a piping hot tea. This is most effective and the herbs can be gathered in the summer and dried for the winter when fevers are more prevalent

To boost yourself after an illness make a tea by simmering crushed fenugreek seeds for ten minutes, or sprout them to put in your salads as soon as the fever comes on as they take several days to grow.


See your dentist for advice about bleeding gums. Perhaps your toothbrush is too hard or old, you may even be deficient in vitamin C or the B vitamins.

Hot red sage tea (1 tsp per cup for ten minutes) is a fantastic mouthwash, although don’t use it if you are pregnant. Use Thyme tea instead, made in the same way.

For an occasional change the juice of a whole lemon in half a cup of hot water can also be used as a mouth rinse. Complete it by washing out your mouth with pure water as it is possible for the fruit acid to damage tooth enamel.


A headache is one of the most well-known, common complaints and has a huge list of possible reasons ranging from stress to ill fitting dentures, from wrong food combinations to eyestrain. The best way to stop a regularly occurring headache is to find out why it is happening and remove the cause. Continually treating the effect by taking the pain away with painkillers can only make matters worse, as it makes the original cause harder to find.

Rest in a darkened room is a good initial step. If you know anyone capable (and preferably qualified) in massage this can often bring the quickest relief from tension headaches which grow from the shoulders and back of the neck.

Three drops of essential oil of lavender can be rubbed into the temples, or put on a sugar lump and eaten. A footbath as hot as you can stand accompanied by an icy cloth around the back of the neck can also work.

Essential oils of a stimulating kind (Rosemary, Peppermint, Wintergreen, Tiger Balm) rubbed into the temple are also useful in tension related headaches.

If you regularly wake up with a headache you could be suffering from low blood sugar or fatigue. Dandelion root coffee is an excellent early morning substitute to caffeine laden stimulant drinks, and will tone up the liver and kidneys.

If you wake with a hangover, sip a mixture of lemon juice and hot water, or a hot cup of peppermint tea and then lie down. Remember that you are likely to be extremely dehydrated so nourishing liquids are a must as soon as you can keep them down.


There are several remedies for this strange affliction, the two best known being: drink water from the wrong side of a cup in sips and a good scare to make you jump. It is possible to cure hiccoughs by holding your breath in for short intervals. The cause of this spasm of the diaphragm is not known for certain, although it can be caused by bolting dry food too quickly, nerves, alcohol or local irritation. Try a teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice or the juice of half an orange.

A teaspoon of fresh onion juice or a fresh leaf of either tarragon or mint will also help. If you have a baby in the house don’t feel too bad about swiping a spoonful of their gripe water which often contains dill.


As with colds, when your immune system drops low enough for you to catch flu, your body is telling you to stop, rest and pay attention to your general health. For mild cases of flu, treat the same as FEVERS. Many of the remedies described in COLDS are equally applicable here.


Some people have an allergic reaction to the bite or sting of insects so treat them for SHOCK and get them to a doctor as quickly as possible if this is the case.

It is worth remembering that wasp stings are alkali so can be treated with an acid such as vinegar or lemon juice. Bee and ant stings are acid and can be treated with baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) mixed with ice-cold water. Mix up a paste and leave it on the bite until it’s dry.

Remember to remove the actual sting if a bee gets you. As with mild burns where the skin is unbroken a slice of onion can take the pain out, as will a grated onion compress. Ice-cold witch hazel on cotton wool or tissue is also strongly recommended, as is a drop of essential oil of lavender on the sting or bite. Both are essential for foreign travel. If you are abroad and plagued by biting insects the smell of garlic or onion keeps them away, as does lavender.

It is worth eating pungent local herbs such as thyme, marjoram and basil to make your skin smell the same as the local people. Rubbing yourself down with an onion can also keep the critters at bay. If you do this don’t go overboard on the garlic or you won’t make any friends on holiday.


If you suffer from this tiresome lack of sleep, examine your thoughts as you lie there in restless anxiety. It could be that your busy brain needs to learn to stop thinking so that your body can rest. Meditation in these cases just cannot be topped as a way of slowing down so that sleep can be achieved. By going deeper than the conscious brain levels meditation also gives you the chance to resolve or accept the conflicts which can cause sleepless worry. We are also blessed with many herbs that can help. Consult with your local herbalist, chemist or pharmacy to find gentle solutions to aid sleep.

Orange, Baking Soda, Witch Hazel & Valerian
Orange, Baking Soda, Witch Hazel & Valerian

A warm, rather than hot bath (over stimulates the blood), with a few drops of essential oil of lavender is relaxing to both body and mind. Stop drinking tea and coffee, especially from lunchtime onwards. An infusion of chamomile tea half an hour before bedtime works a treat. A small bag of dried hops inside your pillow is an age-old remedy for sleeplessness.

There are some very effective and delicious herbal tea blends available in your health food shop. Many of them have sampler packs so that you can find one to taste. I sometimes use preparations containing Valerian as this is a most efficacious relaxant. If you have insomnia that seemingly nothing will help, seek the help of a qualified naturopath.


This nauseous feeling can strike at any time of the day during the period of pregnancy. If you have cut out tea, coffee and alcohol, avoided cigarettes (not just your own), cut down on sugar or stopped taking it along with white flour and fried food you should be alright, if you are eating properly.

A healthy whole grain diet with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables is recommended. If you still get sick, supplement your diet with Vitamin E or B complex in the form of brewers yeast and wheat germ. If you still suffer, an occasional peppermint (in the morning) or chamomile (evening) tea with a sprinkle of dried ginger or thin slice of raw ginger will help.

Cinnamon is also a good thing to stop nausea. If it continues seek your herbalist for a safe remedy.


These little perishers can be the result of a food allergy, or an indication of a lack of C or B complex vitamins. Salt in warm water rinsed around the mouth can help, but best of all is a mouthwash made from a good strong sage tea, a large teaspoonful to a cup.


Serious muscle strains and aches should be treated by a qualified osteopath. Muscle pain caused by overdoing it in sport or work, gardening or housework can be eased by massage especially if a good essential oil is used. A hot bath is often a good precursor to this.

Make your own aromatic oils from fresh or dried lavender, rosemary or thyme. Put the plant of your choice in a glass or enamel saucepan with half a pint of almond oil and heat gently until the plant loses its colour. Then strain out the herbs and your oil is ready as soon as it is cool enough to use. Use it warm; you can also use olive oil or a good quality vegetable oil will do at a pinch.

Essential oils are usually available at your health food shop. It helps to warm the affected area first, a quick way is to heat up a damp flannel in a microwave for one minute and lay it over the area when it has cooled sufficiently. You can also use a hot water bottle to warm the area.


If your baby has a very sore bottom make an infusion from elderflowers and chamomile. Apply it cool with a soft cloth. A soothing and healing ointment can be made from marigold flowers. Ask for calendula ointment from your health shop. Exposure to the air is the best remedy, although this can be messy if you are not prepared or alert to the rhythms of your child.

A few essential oils are useful for your herbal first aid kit


Too often, bad nerves are treated by addictive tranquillizers. In removing the effect (bad nerves) they often hide the cause completely making a proper cure impossible. As dependence on herbal tranquillizers is just as bad it is best to use them as a temporary measure.

A first step is to eradicate tea and coffee completely from your diet and find a relaxing substitute such as chamomile tea, or lime tea which both come in tea bags. Look carefully at your lifestyle and see where you can decrease personal stress. Meditation is a fantastic aid to releasing nervous tension.

Your health food shop carries a range of excellent herbal nervine mixtures, if you are not sure which is best for you, consult a herbalist. If you can finish your day in a relaxing warm bath with a few drops of the essential oil of lavender, blot yourself with a warm towel and get to bed early you will be well on the way to relaxation.

Healthy diet, Ginger, Marigold & Meditation
Healthy diet, Ginger, Marigold & Meditation


Frequent nose bleeds should be taken to your doctor, they may indicate a lack of vitamin C in your diet or high blood pressure.

To take a cure further than Grandma’s remedy of a cold key down the back, wrap some ice cubes in a tea towel and press onto the back of the neck while gently pinching the nostrils together. Soak some cotton wool in lemon juice or witch hazel and plug your nostrils with it after the bleeding stops.


Herbal medicine should be avoided during pregnancy, as should other forms except in the mildest sense. Even then be informed about anything you take. Sage tea, usually an innocuous herb, can be dangerous in pregnancy in medicinal amounts.

A wonderful addition to a woman’s herb kit is raspberry leaf, which can be made into a tea that strengthens the whole reproductive system and its associated muscles. Use it a teaspoon to a cup a couple of times a day, unless you are already particularly muscular, during and after pregnancy. As with other herbs give it a rest for one week out of four.


An essential ingredient of any first aid kit is a bottle of Dr. Bach’s Rescue Remedy. Homeopathy is still derided by the medical profession and its ‘science’ because they can’t see beyond double-blind placebo testing. There is enough anecdotal evidence to show that homeopathy and Dr. Bach’s remedies work for people. For minor cases put a few drops on the tongue or in a glass of water. For unconscious patients, moisten their lips with a few drops or apply it to the temples.

Although shock causes a stressful situation it is extremely important to keep calm and in command of the situation yourself, and always call for help if you need it. Keep the patient warm, comfortable and reassured above all. Call for help if you need it.


Nearly all of the herbs mentioned at the beginning of this book have a beneficial effect on uneasy stomachs. Warm up your stomach with a cup of fennel, anise or peppermint tea, which may do the trick in itself. My Moroccan collection of spices; Cinnamon, Cumin, Paprika, Turmeric, Ginger, Anise and Ras el Hanout seem particularly beneficial in this respect when used in cooking.

If you have an acid stomach, stay off acid forming foods, tea, coffee, alcohol and cigarettes. Bicarbonate of Soda will help to balance your PH, as will lemon juice in water.

If you are on holiday abroad you are at risk of germs such as ‘Spanish tummy’ or ‘Delhi belly’. Be careful, and eat as much garlic with your food as you can stand. This is effective preventative medicine and will boost your immune system.  The bad breath can be minimised by eating parsley at the same time. If you can’t do it then take a garlic pearl every day.

Drink lots of boiled or preferably bottled water and squeeze fresh lemon juice into any other you may drink. Use lemon juice on any food you can especially fish or meat if you eat them because it is a natural bacteriacide. Avoid infection if you are very far afield by taking preventative measures, boosting your immunity before you leave.


Treat for SHOCK initially. A flannel warmed up in a microwave or under hot water laid gently on the area will reduce swelling or pain by boosting the circulation. If there is any suspicion of a fracture seek professional help immediately. Soak the bandage you use to wrap the injury in with witch hazel.


Put a teaspoon of red sage into a cup of boiling water and leave covered for ten minutes. Add a splash of vinegar and use the tea as a gargle, drink it in small amounts if you also have flu or a cold  (not if you are pregnant). You can also use the tea as a warm compress for the throat. If you do not have red sage then ordinary kitchen thyme works nearly as well. A lemon juice and hot water drink can stand a touch of honey to help the throat. A few drops of neat lemon juice on the back of the throat also helps.


Keep the affected area as cool as possible until you are able to bathe it in cold chamomile tea. Bad sunburn can bring on dehydration so take plenty of nourishing liquids. In serious cases treat for SHOCK and find professional help. A tea made from nettles and then cooled brings relief to sunburn.


For mild cases treat as for FEVERS and SORE THROAT. Remember that garlic is a natural antibiotic and can be used in food. If a doctor prescribes antibiotics then introduce live yogurt into the diet in a big way as this will repopulate the intestinal flora.


Red sage or thyme tea can be used a mouth rinse, use it warm as this will help the pain. To counter the infection which causes the throbbing pain chew gently on a piece of garlic. Then find a clove and place it carefully as near to the cavity or pain as you can. This acts as a natural local anaesthetic. If you have oil of cloves then put some of this on a piece of cotton wool near the spot. For a stronger effect in combating the infection use tiny amounts of Tea Tree essential oil. Get along to a dentist as soon as you can but don’t let them fill you with mercury.


Forewarned is forearmed with this one. If you are traveling by boat or ship take along a thermos of hot chamomile tea, drink it in small amounts with a little powdered or fresh grated ginger. If your sickness is related to stress look under NERVES for an aid to relaxation before you depart.

Many health food shops stock herbal mixtures for travel sickness and nerves which are well worth exploring – but you cant beat ginger – researchers have shown it to be more effective than Dramamine for controlling symptoms of motion sickness.


Gastric and duodenal ulcers are serious news and medical advice should be found for them. Quitting smoking and stopping tea, coffee, alcohol and stressful situations may well work on their own. It is possible that a milk allergy could also be one of the causes. It is also important to avoid aspirin and fatty foods. A herbalist will prescribe a restrictive diet to cut down on gastric acid and antacids, and prescribe herbs to cut down tension and balance the digestive system. Try using more of the gentler herbs described in the first section of this book

Eat very sensibly, avoiding acid extremes of food and fast food situations. Drink raw vegetable juices as these help in ulcer treatment. An infusion of lemon balm or chamomile tea is soothing.

Fenugreek seeds can be used as a tonic for the digestive system. Crush an ounce with a rolling pin or pestle and mortar, cover and simmer them for ten minutes in a pint of water. Drink a cupful three times a day before meals. These seeds can also be sprouted and used in your diet.

Get along to a naturopath if the symptoms continue as they can help you to reach a unique understanding of your dietary needs.


There are many causes for these unsightly blotches on the legs; pregnancy, constipation, smoking, constant hot baths, standing for long times, or sitting with your legs crossed. To lessen the aching pain of bulging veins use a compress of witch hazel bandaged to your leg for as long as you can.

I get these sometimes, I suspect from sitting too long at a computer. One of the most immediate (summer) treatments is to sit with your affected leg dangling in a cool swimming pool just by a jet of water. The resulting aqueous massage can make them vanish completely for a period.

One remedy for varicose veins is a substance called Rutin, which can be bought in tablet form. It occurs naturally in buckwheat, rosehips, grapes and blackcurrants. If they hurt a great deal, find an expert.


These horrid little pustules are caused by a virus that seems to leap into action once the immune system drops its threshold a little. An old travellers’ remedy is to put the milk from a dandelion stem onto the wart and let it dry to a dark brown. With repeated applications the wart dries out and drops off. Grin and bear the stinging sensation, it is removing the wart.

There are other applications such as garlic protect surrounding skin), onion and lemon juice. The rinds of two lemons can be soaked in strong vinegar for seven days and the solution painted on twice a day. One excellent plant-based remedy is oil of Thuja, either painted on as a tincture or taken in pill form.