Tried and tested old wives tales
Tomato sauce, eggs, avocados, oats, milk and cucumber – sounds like the beginning of a shopping list. Rather it is a flashback from a twenty-something girls pamper evening, where the ingredients never quite made it onto plates, but instead were lathered into hair and smoothed across faces in an attempt at a D.I.Y. makeover – au naturel. Layered between giggles and goo, some remnants of the initial purposeful mission remained this wasnt a random act of food wastage. There was method in the madness, or so it was believed. The vitamin C in the tomato sauce and protein in the eggs were believed to be an enriching antioxidant hair paste, while the blend of avocado, oats and milk were deemed to be a nourishing face mask, topped with cucumber slices for tired eyes.
There are some food items that carry benefits and uses other than their basic provision of nutrients. Depending on your shopping habits, you may just have a vanity bag or first aid kit lurking in your pantry. Mashed banana makes a smoothing shaving cream while olive oil functions as an eye-makeup remover. Adding sugar to regular face wash turns it into an effective exfoliator and coconut oil is an excellent treatment for split ends and dull hair, also repairing dry skin.1 Avocado is a versatile moisturising mask for both face and hair.
While it is always best to seek medical attention, some minor incidents require minimal treatment and interim measures may be closer at hand than a late night trip to a pharmacy and many an old wives tale has found its way down through the generations. For example, soaking a cotton wool ball in apple cider vinegar and then rubbing on bruises helps the healing process while a glass of warm milk before bedtime really is effective against anxiety1. Sweet almond oil has a number of uses, including the treatment of babies cradle cap, and also to soften ear wax.
For toothache, cloves are a soothing relief until a dentist appointment can be made, and fresh ginger brewed as a tea is comforting for stomach pains and other gastro-intestinal complaints, such as nausea and morning sickness. Seeping peeled ginger in boiling water and sweetening with honey, if necessary, makes a pleasantly soothing and warming hot drink. Rubbing raw onion slices on insect bites helps to alleviate the itch. Honey is well-known for its healing properties and has a variety of uses for wound treatment, cough relief and sore throats. Epsom salts added to bath water is a good way to ease sore muscles.
So we see, it is not always necessary to rush out and spend a fortune on last minute beauty preparations or minor mishaps, though each of us may have our own tried and tested family remedies that have been passed down the family line, or disregard it all simply as outdated old wives tales.