If you read our self-care post, you know how important taking care of oneself is.
I wanted to collect our favourite home remedies to share. The rituals that make us feel comforted, safer and healthier. Recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation with great love and care. The wisdom within these remedies is invaluable.
On top of that, (mostly) womxn’s hours, labour, ingenuity, not to mention research and development have been essential to concoct these elixirs. In the 20th century, these home remedies have been severely and wrongly undervalued despite their effectiveness. The collection of recipes you’ll find in this post are all easy to follow and you may already have many of the ingredients on hand!
Read on for Her Collective’s compilation of our tried-and-true secrets to get rid of bad breath, stop a cold in its tracks (or get rid of it once it’s settled in), heal physical injuries, adjust pH balance in your nether regions and of course, get your glow up.
My grandmother’s cloves from Kat
I always associate the smell of cloves with my γιαγιά (grandmother) on my dad’s side. She always keeps whole cloves in her purse as emergency breath savers. Like most herbs, these small flower buds put in work. They can also help alleviate pain – to this day clove oil is charged with diminishing pain from dental surgery. I put a dash of ground cloves into my breakfast to prevent menstrual cramps. Other benefits include improved digestion, and its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties may help kill a cold in its tracks. So you know, get you a home remedy that can do … a lot of things.
Ginger Tea (The Ghana Mom Way) from Yaayaa
My mom cuts up ginger and boils it in a pot. After that she would put a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and like 3 droplets of oil of oregano. This concoction is absolutely atrocious but when I have a cold I am good in about 3 days.
Saltwater Rinse from Lydia
My home remedy comes from my Dad. Whenever he would have the beginnings of itchy or scratchy throat, he would bowl about a cup of hot water, dissolve a tablespoon of salt into the water, and gargle it over the sink for about a minute or so. It weirdly works… but only if you catch it at the very beginning of itchiness!
Ginger Bits from Yaayaa
When the household is sick my mom peels ginger, cuts it up into pieces, coats it in organic sugar and then we chew it. Another surefire way to heal from a cold quickly.
Tal’s Get Well Soon Soup
I will warn you – this soup is not delicious but it’s aromatic and spicy and will knock out an oncoming cold and help you sweat your fever out. I throw it together when I start to feel the sniffles and drowsiness combined with a sore throat coming on and drink tons of water afterwards before laying down to sweat it all out.
You will need:
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
- 1 generous piece of ginger (about the length of a crayon) peeled and cut into chunks
- 2-3 green chillies, split in half (dial this down to 1 OR a more mild pepper if you know you can’t take the heat. If you decide not to heed this warning don’t @ me.)
- 1.5 cup(s) Chicken or Vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- 1 egg
Melt the teaspoon of coconut oil down and throw the garlic, ginger and green chili pepper in to fry until the garlic browns and you can smell the ginger. Pour your broth in and add the turmeric. Let it start to boil and then crack a raw egg into it while whisking it to break up the egg. Once the egg is cooked, remove it from the heat and consume it. Try to eat the garlic, it has incredible anti-bacterial properties and if you can chew on the ginger chunks you’ll help kill even more of the bad stuff. Drink at least half a litre of water afterwards. Having that much fluid helps flush everything out. If you find this too intense, feel free to add in some noodles or cooked rice. It works every time though, I swear! Get well soon. xo
Turmeric Paste from Shemeena
A figure skating injury when I was 12 left me with a chronic sprain, which meant that every few weeks during the soccer or long jump season I would have a sprained ankle. My mom made this turmeric paste (turmeric, water, few drops lime juice) that she used to apply under a tensor bandage overnight. Turmeric is a great anti-inflammatory so even though you will wake up with a very very yellow ankle, the swelling and pain should be reduced.
Adjusting pH Levels
Vagina Steaming (I don’t know what else to call it) [editor’s note: before there were Goop’s vagina facials….] from Yaayaa
I guess this was my mother’s way of making sure her pH is on point but I think it works. I haven’t done it in a while so I am maybe due for one. So here is how it works:
Boil water in a big pot, once it is piping hot you pour it into a bucket.
Mix with a little bit of cold water but make sure that it is not lukewarm it still has to be hot
Put in about 2-3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and a drop or two of lavender essential oil (let it sit for 3-5 mins)
Then either take a big loose skirt or a take a towel and tie it around your waist and then sit on the bucket
Sit on the bucket for about 20 to 30 mins and let your vagina steam and your pH balance.
Coconut Oil on Everything from Talya
I have become religious about handling my skin and hair at home as much as possible. My hair is curly, fine and dry so rubbing coconut oil into it and leaving it in for 2-3 hours before shampooing on hair washing day is truly essential. I also rub it into dry patches, cuticles and use it under tired eyes to massage away fluids/under eye bags when I haven’t had as much sleep as I’d like. I know I’m not alone in my devotion to coconut oil. I just wanted a chance to talk about it.
DIY Face Masks from Janu
I grew up watching Biore pore strip ads and couldn’t wait to use them…in hindsight, this is probably where my obsession to keep blackheads and clogged pores at bay started. My skin can be combination in terms of its sebum production levels, but can get dehydrated pretty quickly. As a result, I love detoxifying my pores and not doing that at the cost of the dehydrating my skin.
My fave DIY mask to use lately has been a blend of 1/4 tsp of spirulina and a few drops of honey. Honey is incredibly antiseptic but also soothing & softening. Spirulina is an antioxidant rich, chlorophyll packed superfood that will aid in moisture retention (improving fine lines and elasticity), strengthen tissues, & eliminate bacteria. I am quite literally a glowing goddess the moment I wash this off after having it on for about 10-15 minutes.
Unfortunately and fortunately, I’m a real girl who isn’t living in a photoshop world…I’m a pretty cool cat who breaks out at times. When I feel a breakout beginning I mix a little bit of baking soda with a few drops of water to form a paste and use that as a spot treatment. Once the paste dries up, I rub it into a powder onto the spot and THEN wash it off. It helps bring all that gunk to the surface to make extractions easier and painless. Better yet, it even dries out pesky breakouts at times!
2017 is the year of the glow up my friends, shine on.
That concludes our team’s home remedies. Share yours with us, we’d love to read them and try them out for ourselves.