Kitchen cupboard remedies

Bananas to banish veruccas, ginger to ease muscle pain and tea for mouth ulcers – before you visit the chemist, check out the many proven remedies in your own larder.

Garlic

Colds, cuts, thrush

If you can get past its pungent aroma, avoid the chemist and reach for a bulb of garlic. This wonder food is used around the world for treating a whole host of minor ailments.

Medically proven to have antibacterial and antiviral properties, garlic can cure thousands of illnesses so long as it's used raw. Garlic expert Dr Ron Cutler, the deputy director of biomedical science at Queen Mary, University of London, says: "In its raw form it can treat colds, cuts, even thrush and MRSA, the list is endless. It's a very potent compound and the last thing you want to say is that it's an old wives' tale."

Allicin, the active chemical in garlic which kills bacteria and viruses, is created when the enzymes in two bulbs are crushed together. Although you need to eat about five cloves of raw garlic to get the same amount of allium as a concentrated capsule, it'll fight off a cold in no time. Dr Cutler also suggests making a poultice of crushed garlic gloves for any cuts or grazes and, if you can really stomach it, you can use a clove of garlic as a pessary to treat thrush. "It's one of the most tremendous cures for thrush I've seen," he said.

Bananas

Veruccas, hangovers

To banish a verucca, tape the skin of a slightly overripe banana to the surface of the afflicted area. Michael O'Neil, Consultant Podiatrist and spokesman for the society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists says: "This idea has been around for about 20 years and although it won't work on very resistant veruccas because their viral structure is too complicated, some people swear that it gets rid of them."

Source - Independent

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