My 3 Favourite Foods that Heal

a post by Lori-Ann Victoria of The Gypsy Garden

Garlic, Ginger and Capsicum... These are three of my favourite stand by home remedy staples. 

I swear if you eat these three every day, you will never get sick!  Ever! Ask the Chinese, they are some of the healthiest and longest living peoples on this planet and they consume large amounts of each.  Daily.

When your Mom used to give you Ginger Ale for an upset tummy, you may not have known that she was actually giving you a long prescribed herbal remedy.

In China, ginger has been used to aid digestion and treat stomach upset, diarrhea, and nausea for more than 2,000 years. Since ancient times, ginger has also been used to help treat arthritis, colic, diarrhea, and heart conditions.

In ancient India, ginger was called "the universal medicine."  Ginger is an anodyne, an antidote for scorpions, an antiseptic, a digestive, a stimulant, and a tonic.

Ginger contains a  substance called gingerol, a strong free-radical that acts as an antioxidant. This works in nausea by decreasing oxidative products made in the digestive tract that cause nausea to occur.

You should also know that  ginger causes the blood vessels to dilate, explaining its warming effect.

Fresh ginger root has the strongest medicinal benefits, but other types are also useful.  You can get ginger ground which is nice to use in baking and cooking and can also be added to teas.  Or it can be found pickled or canned, both are equally as good for you, though you may need more of this type than of the fresh.

Fresh ginger root can be peeled and grated or sliced finely to add to any recipe, tea or soup.  It can be used in baking, cookies, too.  I like to add a tablespoon of fresh grated ginger to freshly made fruit juices or fruit shakes or smoothies.  The flavour really kicks it up a notch!

Ginger has other uses including relieving arthritis pain, ulcerative colitis, menstrual discomfort, headaches, fevers from flu and colds, and sore throats. Gastrointestinal problems including heartburn and gas can also be treated with ginger.  It is also used to treat asthma, backache, bronchitis, breast cancer, congestion, diarrhea, dog bites, fever, flu, headache, malaria, poor circulation,  suppressed menstruation, swelling, syphilis, tetanus, and indigestion.

If you feel a cold coming on, a good idea is to start eating raw ginger right away at the first sign of symptoms.  Eat as much as you like in tea or added to your favourite dish, or just eat raw if you like the taste.  You may warm up and begin to sweat a bit, but you will wake up the next day with little or no cold symptoms left.

A side note -- Pregnant women should not use ginger for a prolonged amount of time, but can take as much as 1 gram daily to treat nausea.


Caspicum is found in things like cayenne peppers and hot chilli peppers, so also things like hot sauce, but also is abundant in sweet red peppers such as bells.  Capsicum, nature's greatest stimulant, is extracted from the hot red chile pepper and then transformed from concentrate into 100% pure juice which will not upset the stomach or digestive system when used internally.

Capsicum kills harmful bacteria inside the body and is used to heal and prevent infection from sores, burns and injuries as well!

It increases the power of all other agents, helps the digestion when taken with meals, and arouses all the secreting organs, and may be given with the utmost safety. Fear of capsicum is unfounded. We've used it freely over a quarter century.

It is a wonderful liniment when used alone as cold pressed extract or mixed with 2 ounces gum myrrh, 1 ounce golden seal and ½ ounce ground red pepper. Mix into a quart of rubbing alcohol. Let stand 7 to 10 days, shake every day. Heals wounds, bruises, sprains, scalds, burns, sunburns, and pyorrhea of the gums.   Apply freely.

It's known to stop a heart attack, lower blood sugar in diabetics, normalize blood pressure, stop bleeding in seconds, improve circulation, prevent motion sickness - even halt the common cold.

Cayenne pepper
 – One of the most popular cultivars of capsicum, has been prized for thousands of years for its healing power.

Evidence indicates that cayenne pepper can be effective in treating allergies, indigestion, abscesses, tonsillitis, kidney problems, sore muscles, nose bleeds, bursitis, psoriasis, shingles, night blindness and much more.  Wow! 

It's life-giving action is simple. Cayenne pepper stimulates blood circulation. In disease, there is a lack of circulation or a lack of fresh blood, especially to the area that is sick or diseased. In other words, accelerating blood flow speeds healing.
To keep kitties out of your garden, Cayenne is great for that, too.  Just sprinkle a good amount on top of the dirt and kitties will get a little whiff.  They won't like it and they wont dig in your flowers and they will not come back!   But don't worry, it won't hurt the kitties.
Cayenne really is a bit of a cure-all.  It has so many uses and applications.  Here are some of the things we can treat with Cayenne:

My next favourite, if I had to choose, naturally occurring and readily available food that can be used as medicine is garlic!   Garlic was actually worshipped by the ancient Egyptians, chewed by Greek Olympian athletes and thought to be essential for keeping vampires at bay!

But it is also good for zapping bacteria, keeping your heart healthy, warding off coughs and colds - and don't worry it needn't give you bad breath!  If you are worried about that, try garlic pills, which are odourless or, swallowing small pieces of raw garlic like a  pill rather than chewing it up.  This keeps your breath relatively fresh and you won't be garlicky -- until you begin to belch.  However, if you enjoy the taste of raw garlic, adding modest portions to your food is preferable.  Try to remember that raw garlic is more effective than cooked so add garlic toward the end of the cooking process to get the full benefits.

If you like the benefits of garlic, but not the strong pungent taste, why not roast it first before using it as your medicine?  This process is simple.  Oil a full head of garlic, and put it in the oven on a low steady heat until the garlic has turned brown and softened.  I like to do this while I am already using my oven, say making a roast or some muffins!  When roasted, you cut off the root end of the garlic head and then just squish each clove right out of its skin!  From there, it's easy to use as you like.

Some of the wonders of this magical  bulb are that it is Antibacterial, has antifungal properties, lowers blood pressure, and cholesterol, aids in circulation,  lowers blood sugar and acts as a cardioprotective.  It is a powerful anti-oxidant, and is great for the immune system for preventing coughs and colds.   Garlic contains phosphorus, potassium, calcium, protein and significant amounts of vitamins B & C which makes it an almost essential part of any diet.  It is good for digestion and stomach conditions, and has been shown to fight cancer.

Garlic can be obtained in many forms though none is as good and as effective as the fresh form. You can buy garlic juice, garlic oil , garlic paste, garlic puree, pre-peeled garlic cloves and dehydrated granules of garlic.  A word of caution, though Organic is always best, if you can't find that, try, at least not to buy garlic imported from China.  It has been tested to find contaminants and pesticides.  And there's not much point in trying to eat healthy and supply your body with good powerful foods, if the foods you buy are contaminated!

Garlic is an all round and very versatile plant,  yet because of its strong odour, it may not to everyone's liking! Perhaps when folks learn that this smelly little bulb can lower cholesterol levels, give relief from rheumatism, prevent blood clots and boost the immune system and protect against heart disease and strokes, more people will begin to use it for health!
These three are definitely some of my favourite foods that heal, but remember Mother Nature didn't do anything by accident.  Healing plants and herbs are all around us!  "Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it"
I should mention that some people are sensitive to capsicum and can become irritated by it, so check with a practitioner before using or do a spot test to be sure.  As well, certain people are  allergic to garlic.  You should know if you are ok with it or not, though. 
Are you a Vampire?