By Essie Bester
Long before the discovery of all the wonderful antiageing chemicals and top-class products that guarantee youth and health, people used much simpler and cost-efficient ingredients. You will find many of these ingredients in your kitchen.
This spice, which is mostly associated with aromatic Indian food, is nowadays also used as an ingredient in smoothies, tea, supplements and beauty products. It is a wonderful immune booster. However, it can do much more than fighting off winter germs because it contains a powerful bioactive compound called curcumine. It is thought that curcumine, because of its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties is able to help maintain brain, heart and lung functions. It also offers protection against cancer and age-related diseases.
The curcumine in turmeric also makes it a good choice when it comes to beauty benefits and antiageing strategies. And it does not have to be taken to be active – it can also be applied as a face mask. Mix two tablespoons of flour or ground oats, one teaspoon of turmeric, three tablespoons of milk and a few drops of honey. Apply the mask and wait twenty minutes before rinsing your face.
Apart from being able to help make your face less red, tone down blemishes and pigmentation, rejuvenate your skin and give it a healthy glow, many people also attest that it relieves dermatological conditions such as psoriasis and acne. It can also reduce the growth of bothersome facial hair within a month. Make a paste of ¼ teaspoon of turmeric, 1 tablespoon of flour and a few drops of water and apply it to your face every day.
Only half a teaspoon of cinnamon in your tea or breakfast can help you regulate your blood sugar. This anti-inflammatory and antibacterial spice can help to protect the brain against learning problems and can help to alleviate flatulence while offering protection against stroke. Cinnamon also promotes collagen formation, which is necessary for a youthful skin. For pimples you can make a face mask with cinnamon, honey and olive oil. This will open up your pores and make your skin appear fuller.
This spice is a natural pain reliever and it contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that relieves sore muscles and arthritic joints. Not only can ginger make you feel younger – it can also make you look younger because it rejuvenates your skin and helps for blemishes. Leave it on for a while and then rinse it off.
We know pepper as flavouring. But when it is used in scrubs and massage oils, it also helps with exfoliation. It can help to keep your skin smooth, soft and supple and it is also used to treat acne. Mix yoghurt and pepper and apply it twice a week to the affected areas for the best results.
Bicarbonate of soda is another product that makes short work of pimples because it works like a desiccant. It also helps to relieve inflammation and discomfort. Mix it with water to form a paste that you can apply to the affected parts. You can also use it as an exfoliant for your face by mixing three parts of bicarbonate with one part water. Apply the paste with your fingers in circular movements. Wash your face and dry it.
For whiter teeth and fresher breath you can mix a bit of bicarbonate with salt. Put the mixture on your toothbrush and use it to clean your teeth. Remember to rinse well afterwards. You can also liven up your hair with bicarbonate. Use it as a dry shampoo between washes by sprinkling a bit of bicarbonate and talcum powder on your brush and combing it through your hair.
Perhaps vinegar reminds you of fish and chips, but it is also a fantastic cure for dandruff and for removing hair products that accumulate on your scalp. For extra clean, shiny hair you can rinse your hair with vinegar during every shower before you use ordinary shampoo and conditioner.
This multipurpose ingredient is not only a healthy option for cooking, but can also be used to moisturise your skin and hair and to treat sunburn. It can even help you get a smooth shave and to remove make-up.
Cold teabags have been used for years as a cure for puffiness under the eyes. It sooths the skin under the eyes so that you have to use less concealer.
Castor oil is better known as an immune booster and detoxifier. It also has numerous external uses to supplement your beauty routine. Not only does it do wonders when applied to rough areas such as heels and elbows – it also promotes healthier, more beautiful eyebrows and eyelashes. Apply some to your eyebrows and eyelashes at night to make them grow thicker and healthier.
A bit of castor oil on an itchy scalp has a smoothing effect and gets rid of dandruff. And more – it is also sold as an efficient hair-growing serum because it contains proteins, vitamins, fatty acids and antioxidants that help to strengthen the hair and to let them grow. When it comes to pregnancy, castor oil is a very cost-efficient remedy that helps for those unsightly stretch marks. Castor oil seems to have endless uses. Even your nails can benefit. Massage your cuticles and nail folds with a few drops of castor oil every day for thicker and stronger nails while at the same time it protects your nail folds.