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Top 7 Multipurpose Items for Health & Healing

I often bring essential items for hiking and camping trips where there is lack of facilities. The essential items I bring is multipurpose so I do not have to carry heavier than necessary. I bought and used them during and after my hiking and camping for 5 years and this has gotten me into discovering the power of the little things. 

1) Salt
Salt is often quoted in the bible; and is placed its importance in our lifestyle. Matthew 5:13 quoted “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot."

Little did I know that salt has many useful purpose and has been the most important thing in my house. Besides for adding taste in cooking and cleaning vegetables, salt is used to kill any leech sucking on my skin. It is also my skin scrub to heal leech bites whenever the bites are itchy. 

Salt also gives energy. Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) and salty food is often a remedy for those experiencing hyperthermia and hypothermia. Salty solid food stays longer in the body than salty liquid.

Sea salt is another type that is organic. Sea salt is widely used for skin scrub for whitening. Talking about whitening, I have a friend with a nice set of teeth who uses salt to brush her teeth since young. Indeed it is true, organic salt can whiten our teeth.     

2) Lime / Lemon
Lime or lemon is used as dishwasher. Lime/ Lemon makes good drink for dehydration.   

I discovered from a website that lime/lemon can be used to make isotonic drink when mixed with salt.  Just add 4 limes and a pinch of salt into 1 Litre of water. Add more to taste, if you wish. I used this method to make an additional isotonic drink when my 1.5L 100 Plus is finished.

Lime is also used to soothe sore throat by gargling the mix of lime, salt and sugar in warm water.  

3) Banana
Banana is a high potassium food. Not only it gives substantive energy but also contains tumor necrosis factor (TNF) which has the ability to combat cancer cells, according to a Japanese scientific research. The more dark patches it has, the higher is its immunity enhancement quality.

Banana has amazing contents as follows:-
  • contains tryptophan that improves the mood for depression 
  • contains Vitamin B6 --> improves mood from PMS and calms nervous system
  • high in iron --> helps anemia
  • high in potassium yet low in salt --> reduces risk of blood pressure and stroke, boosts brain power, and relieves stress
  • high in fibre --> helps constipation
  • have a natural antacid --> relieves heartburn and intestinal disorders
  • high in sugar -->helps body to recover energy after workout
  • its inside banana skin serves as natural medicine to kill warts and relieves irritation and swelling from mosquito bites (not sure how true, yet to try)

4) Apple Cider Vinegar
I drinks apple cider vinegar on occasional basis to clean out toxins, and sometimes to give taste to pasta. I often bring it to make pasta for camping.

Once I had problem dealing with ticks in my house, and I got a tip from my dad to spray apple cider vinegar to rid of ticks. It works. 

As I was searching more about apple cider vinegar online, it indeed has more to this. It shines our hair and heals burns and wounds.

5) Aloe Vera
I had sunburn from an island trip in 2004, and I used rose hip oil and aloe vera gel to heal my sunburned skin. Although healed, my skin became more sensitive and the UV rays in the sun is getting stronger. Aloe vera has cooling properties. Since then I began to purchase aloe vera gel for hiking and camping trip.

There is one incident when my friend dropped a boiling water that scalded his skin to second degree.  Although he has washed his scalded skin with running water, it was painful. Then I came to learn that aloe vera has healing properties cos of its cooling agent.

Aloe vera is also used for recovering sand flies bite. It is natural and does not have side effects, apply it onto itchy bites as often you can especially during the day. However, for faster results on top on this, you need to apply alcohol and Bactroban on first application and then just Bactroban every night.   

6) Lemongrass
I use lemongrass (or known as "serai" in Malay language) to try a recipe, and then a friend told me to add it in the honey drink for a nice aroma. Eventually I use it to give crunchy taste for fried rice. Since I like its aromatic smell and its pungent taste, I use it as garnish for soups and vegetables.

Malays use lemongrass in cooking cockles. Not only for seeping out the seafood smell, but also cleans out the toxins in cockles.

Lemongrass is a herb from grass family. Lemongrass should be kept in an air tight container and placed in a dark, cool and dry place and can be kept for up to 2 years.

In my case, I kept them in the fridge. When it dries up, it turns crunchy but it can still be eaten. It releases an essential oil called citral that gives a distinct lemon flavor when cut or crushed. Citral is said to kill cancer cells according to a research.

A research about the benefits of lemongrass:-
  • contains citral that has strong anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties --> prevents acne outbreak and keeps skin healthy
  • high in folic acid, vitamin B5, B6 and B1 --> improves the mood, gives deep sleep and helps insomnia, stress and nervous disorder; reduces blood pressure
  • contains anti-oxidant minerals, vitamins, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc-->  reduces fever, relieves cough and colds; relieves symptoms of headaches and body-aches
  • flushes out toxins, uric acid, excess fats and cholesterol from the body --> improves liver, spleen, pancreas and kidney 
  • high in fibre --> improves digestion and helps constipation 
  • also known as citronella, used as mild insect repellent
  • A recent study by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the department of Science and technology ( DOST ) claims that every 100g of edible tanglad when boiled can contain up to 24.205 micrograms of beta-carotene the anti-oxidant that scientists believe can help prevent cancer. Another DOST study shows that lemon grass oil has the potential as a tropical eye medication against keratomycosis, an inflammation of cornea often associated with burning or blurring of vision.

7) Honey
I often get sore throat and cough.  A doctor recommended me to take honey+tea+lemon to relieve cough with phlegm, and it worked! Honey moisturizes throat and it helps to soothe sore throat.

Honey helps to boost energy and immune system. It also:-
  • contains antioxidant --> improves digestion
  • contains carcinogen preventing and anti-tumour properties
  • contains anti-bacterial properties --> as antiseptic; heals yeast infection, athlete's foot and arthritis pain
  • absorbs moisture from air --> heals wounds, cuts and burns
  • contains anti-microbial properties --> soothes sore throat and kills bacteria that causes the infection
  • contains mix of natural sugar such as fructose --> relieves hangover
8) I would like to add garlic and ginger into the list, its many benefits I have yet to test out other than to give taste, relieve stomach cramps and refresh bad breath.

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