By Wilma Bedford
The holidays are here, it’s the season for all sorts of sicknesses and it’s a long way to the pharmacy, especially when you’re camping.
Not only can your spice bottles and a few other necessities give a nice twist to food preparation, but they could also stop a few sicknesses when you go on holiday. So, take all your spices along, even if dad complains about all the unnecessary things that have to be carted along – he may need some of them himself.
What is nicer than cinnamon on a hot pancake or with a nice oven-baked dessert? A sprinkle of cinnamon on ice cream makes it a special holiday spoil. But what to do if big brother complains about stomach ache? Dry cinnamon swallowed with a bit of water will put an end to flatulence, stomach ache and bacteria in food. Cinnamon also stabilises blood-sugar levels.
Nutmeg brings precious Christmas memories – balm for the soul. Grated nutmeg infused on boiled water helps for muscle aches and helps you sleep.
Another unmistakeable Christmas flavour is ginger. A ginger infusion will help for poor indigestion, an upset stomach, colds and coughing. Chew a piece of caramelised ginger – it helps for the nausea that goes with motion sickness.
Cloves isn’t meant for chicken dishes only, but has antibacterial properties, relieves toothache and freshens the breath.
Perhaps, in between the barbeques, you do feel like a nice curry. And don’t spare the turmeric. It is anti-inflammatory, it’s an antioxidant, helps for flatulence and cleanses the liver.
Black pepper is the king of spices and helps for flatulence and diarrhoea, while cayenne pepper helps with appetite control: 1 g cayenne pepper with a meal helps to burn away fat. Half a teaspoon each of ginger, cinnamon, turmeric and a teaspoonful of honey on hot water helps for sinusitis, joint and muscle aches and colds.
Salt, Epsom salts and bicarbonate of soda are the basis of your “alternative medicine chest. Gargle with salt for a sore throat, apply dry Epsom salts to an open wound or cut to prevent infection, and a bicarbonate of soda paste will help for burns and sunburn.