A whitlow? Grandma recommends a clay poultice! Tendonitis? Same solution. Dry skin? A clay face mask! Etc. etc.
Rich in minerals and trace-elements, as well as being antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, clay relieves insect bites, eases pain, and is great for your skin (1). And it feels so nice to put on a clay face-mask that it would be a shame not to benefit from it ...
If there’s one remedy that grandmothers would invariably add to their sauces, it’s garlic. A common ingredient in European cooking, this condiment was also used by grandma for medicinal purposes.
Once again, the traditional knowledge passed from one generation to the next bears the stamp of common sense: garlic is indeed highly beneficial. Amongst others, it supports respiratory health, and helps to combat stress and maintain normal function of the venous system, liver and heart. It also has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, and supports the immune system(2).
In short, consuming garlic in moderation is always good idea health-wise. And if you’re not keen on the smell, or don’t want to have ‘garlic breath’, you can instead take a completely odourless supplement, highly concentrated in extract of black garlic (such as ABG10+®).
Do you know about this simple way of avoiding getting blisters on your feet, especially when you’re breaking in new shoes?
To prevent these troublesome sores, spread a layer of Vaseline on the areas of your foot likely to be affected, especially where the shoe tends to rub. A simple little tip but a highly effective one!
Aloe vera gel has endured over time and is just as relevant today as it ever was. Used topically by our grandmothers to treat acne, mouth ulcers, burns, sunburn, corns and dry skin, the application of aloe vera gel constitutes a traditional remedy for all skin-related problems.
A number of recent studies have also highlighted aloe vera’s benefits when taken internally, concluding that it may help to support immunity and maintain healthy skin(3).
In terms of dietary supplements, opt for one containing organically-grown aloe vera, sourced from fresh leaves (such as Organic Aloe Vera).
Do you find your watch or jewellery makes your skin red? Once again, granny has the answer!
Apply a layer of nail varnish to the back of your watch or jewellery. This small measure will effectively prevent your skin from coming into contact with nickel and so prevent any irritation. Magic, eh?
When we were little, our grandmas would sometimes recommend eating liquorice to help soothe our tummies. The root of this plant does indeed support healthy digestion (4). If you’re not keen on its distinctive taste, you can still benefit from its properties by taking an extract of deglycyrrhizinated liquorice root (such as the product DGL).
Grandma’s cooking also included another beneficial compound: the aromatic herb oregano (and its close cousin, marjoram), which supports gut health (5). To benefit from its properties, you can take a supplement with a high content of carvacrol, one of its most active ingredients (for example, the product Oil Of Oregano).
The ‘morning after the night before’ can sometimes be pretty grim. To get over a hangover, your grandma would probably have told you to drink plenty of water in order to rehydrate yourself. More specifically, she may have recommended a good vegetable broth, rich in mineral salts.
No doubt she also advised you to avoid noise, to rest, to get some fresh air and to be a little more abstemious the next time you went out drinking!
Known for centuries, St John’s Wort, often referred to by its botanical name – Hypericum perforatum - is one of the most common ‘grandmother remedies’. A small hint as to its use: in the Middle Ages, it was called the ‘devil-chaser’...
It is in fact recognised for helping to maintain good mental health and emotional equilibrium, as well as good quality sleep. This is due to one of its active ingredients: hypericin(6).
Benefit from the properties of St John’s Wort with a supplement rich in hypericin (such as Saint-John’s Wort Extract).
Recent studies have shown that ginger (or more specifically, its active ingredients gingerols) supports normal immune system function, and helps maintain muscle tone and vitality in general, and well-being when travelling (7).
And indeed all these benefits were already known to our predecessors, who used ginger to prevent travel sickness and as a general tonic.
To get the most out of ginger’s benefits, choose a supplement with a high gingerol content (such as Super Gingerols).
And finally, what grandma didn’t keep some dried camomile flowers in her cupboard, ready to make into an infusion, decoction, or poultice, or any number of other remedies?
Yet again, granny was right, especially when she recommended drinking camomile tea to aid digestion and help a particularly rich meal to ‘go down’. In fact, studies have shown that camomile promotes good digestion, immune health and relaxation(8).
You can find the redoubtable camomile in various synergistic formulations, usually combined with other plant extracts (for example in Muscle Relaxing Formula).
In summary then, it makes sense to carry on listening to grandma given that science appears to be proving her right. And don’t forget that these plants, used quite intentionally by our grandmothers for their beneficial properties, are the very same plants that today feature in a great many dietary supplements.