Home remedies, beauty treatments, and house care tricks are becoming ever more popular. They are generally more eco-friendly and often less expensive then their over the counter counterparts. I’m a big fan of using natural products in unconventional ways – or perhaps ultra conventional ways, since it goes back to the roots of how our ancestors used them. Oils, in particular, have many more properties than they are given credit for. Castor oil is commonly thought of as a laxative – even unfortunately used in that capacity as a weapon by the government in fascist Italy – and olive oil is the golden child of many cooks, containing all sorts of “good” fats and an appealing flavor. They are popular in their traditional capacities, but can be applied in many less well-known ways as well. Sunflower oil, while not as widely known, also has some amazing healing properties.
Olive Oil, for instance, can help prevent snoring. It only takes a teaspoon and can be an easy, natural way to treat an annoying and potentially unhealthy problem. Olive oil can also be used as a hair treatment. Warm some up and rub it through your hair, let it sit and then rise it out – instant healthy shine. Why spend in the double digits for a pharmacy acquired treatment when for a fraction of the cost olive oil serves the same purpose. This and many other uses can be found here.
Castor Oil is less common as a standard household staple, as it is not used in cooking and in its most common use as a laxative it often takes a back seat to more modern remedies. Nevertheless it is making a comeback as a great skin treatment. Castor oil can easily replace facial soap and leave skin soft and blemish free. Rub some oil on your face then let it sit for a few minutes with a hot wet towel draped over it to open your pores, then wipe it off with hot water and your face will be clean and shine free, no soap needed. If you are not acne prone or have drier skin you can mix some olive oil or sunflower oil into the castor oil for your own personalized skin treatment. It’s also beneficial on pimples and minor cuts and scrapes. Another use is to relieve sore muscles, by rubbing some into the desired area then placing a warm towel over – it is absorbed through the skin into the muscle and has a much milder odor than Icy Hot or many other muscle treatments.
Another amazing oil is Sunflower Oil which, like many of these other oils, is great as a skin treatment. In fact, when massaged into preterm infants it reduced the occurrence of hospital-acquired infection by 41%, showing it helps to strengthen the skin’s infection blocking powers significantly – and it is cheap and natural, and therefore an ideal treatment for many people.
Nature can provide everything we need if we take the time to discover all its possibilities. One day the cure to cancer will be found growing innocently out of the ground or hanging off an unprepossessing tree. In the meantime it is important to conserve and use the knowledge we do have of natural remedies and not put all our faith – and salaries – into pharmacies and drug companies. Home beauty treatments and remedies are a wonderful way of preserving this ancient knowledge and truly benefiting from it.