By: Red Hot Mamas
Published: May 26, 2010
Sometimes the best remedies for our ailments are not found in the medicine cabinet. Quite often, I have to look beyond the common quick fixes promised by my pharmacy in the cold and flu aisle. No matter how many over-the-counter medicines I use over and over again to try to fight the common cold, I realize there is no substitute for Nonna’s (my grandmother’s) chicken noodle soup. There may not necessarily be a scientific explanation behind why it is so effective, but hey- it works! And that’s good enough for me.
The older and wiser I become, the less I cringe when I hear the phrase listen to your mother. I always thought it was different for me growing up because my mother is a tough, superstitious, Sicilian mamma. Of course, I had to worry about walking under ladders and opening umbrellas inside the house, but my rules growing up went far beyond the usual ones. Mine included never placing a new pair of shoes on the kitchen table because it is considered bad luck, and burying small plastic statuettes of St. Joseph upside down on the front lawn if you want to sell your house.
As I grow older, I can really begin to appreciate these superstitions as being more than just folklore. Being close to mamma isn’t necessarily a bad thing and (although I rarely like to admit it), she’s usually right. Baking soda on bee stings, lemon juice for the hiccups and hot water with honey for a cough. What about menopause?! Mamma mia, help me out! My hot flashes are making me feel like an arrabbiatta sauce with too many red pepper flakes. While the following remedies may not have gone through the most rigorous clinical trials or be the most scientific, they are mother nature-approved and may be worth your while to check out.
- Chill Out in a Bath – According to some naturopathic physicians, taking 20 minutes out of your day to dip in the tub may keep your hot flashes at bay. Make sure the water temperature is slightly cooler than body temperature and relax!
- Drown Your Hot Flashes- Drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day can reduce the onset of hot flashes. Reach for water instead of other carbonated soft-drinks. When you feel a hot flash coming on, keep your water bottle ready. Also, try sleeping with a jug of water near the bed in case of an emergency, night-time power surge.
- Soothe Yourself to Sleep- Say “see ya” to insomnia by using essential oils. Aromatherapy can really help relax you to sleep. A few drops of lavender, violet, linden blossom or sandalwood added to your bath water can help ease your body and mind before bedtime. Or, try adding a few drops of the lavender, chamomile or linden to your pillow.
- Breathe In, Breathe Out- Breathing exercises can help your body and mind relax and relieve depression. Focus on peaceful things. Inhale the positive energy and exhale the negative. Breathing helps increase the circulation of oxygen in the system, stretches muscles and restores neuro-chemicals.
- A Handful of Sesame Seeds- According to the traditional medicine of India , Ayurveda, a daily handful of sesame seeds every morning can promote bone strength.
- Sip Some Green Tea- There are so many useful benefits of green tea. It can be an antibacterial and antiviral agent and has been useful for helping the flu and diarrhea. The antioxidants found in green tea can improve cardiovascular conditions by reducing LDL cholesterol. Even people suffering from HIV and Parkinson’s disease have found relief from this miracle tea. Japanese women who drink a lot of green tea tend to have fewer menopausal symptoms than we do here in North America.