THE KITCHEN PANTRY APOTHECARY Convenient source for home remedies

At this time while the world is still mostly on lockdown because of Covid-19 we may need to turn to a quick home remedy but don’t have an assortment of herbs on hand? Your kitchen is a great source for common staples that have many known uses to help maintain health and aid minor illnesses or injuries. As Hippocrates said: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”


Article first published in Yukon North of Ordinary

Have a sore throat? Gargle with sea salt in warm water. Have a sty? Apply a warm black-tea bag compress over your eye. Have a cough? Take a teaspoon of honey. Potatoes are good for clearing up warts. Cabbage can be used as a leaf compress for headaches and is promoted by midwives as an effective way to draw out infection and reduce clogged ducts from a nursing mother’s breast. Your morning oatmeal is always a great remedy to help dry, itchy skin and can also relieve the intense itchiness, and prevent infection, from chickenpox.

Here’s a guide to how many items in your kitchen pantry can be essential for health and wellness needs.


Sea salt is an antiseptic that contains many essential trace nutrients, including vital minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, bromide, chloride, iron, copper fluoride, and zinc.

A pinch of sea salt in a cup of warm water can heal mouth and throat infections and protect teeth from acid damage, cavities, mouth sores, and bleeding gums. Use saltwater as a gargle at the first sign of a sore throat.

A bath or foot soak with sea salt is beneficial because the many minerals in sea salt relax sore, tired feet and muscles and can also soothe infected or itchy, flaky skin conditions like psoriasis. Use one cup of sea salt for a full bath and
1/4 cup in hot water for a foot soak.

Sea salt is effective for skin care as it is a natural exfoliator and helps remove dead skin particles, tone skin tissue, and promote peripheral blood circulation when scrubbed lightly on the skin. Its sulphur compounds make it great for use in a facial steam to unclog pores and clear unwanted bacteria that causes acne. A sea-salt steam

is also beneficial for infected or stuffed-up sinuses and sore throats.

It is traditional in the Ayurvedic system of healing in India to treat sinus infections using a special clay pot with a spout, known as a neti pot. Add a pinch of sea salt to a cup of warm water to irrigate clogged sinuses due to allergies or a cold.

Replenish electrolytes after intense sweating by adding a pinch of sea salt to your water. The minerals in the salt can help with electrolyte balance in the body, which is necessary for maintaining ideal blood composition, circulation, and muscular strength.


Baking soda is good for oral hygiene, whether on its own or mixed with sea salt. It can act as an excellent natural antibacterial toothpaste that reduces plaque and whitens teeth.

Blend five parts baking soda to one-part sea salt. Store in a jar. Gently brush your teeth and gums; spit out excess and let the rest stay in your mouth for 10 minutes, then rinse. Baking soda has abrasive qualities, so over time it may wear
away tooth enamel. Brushing with this mixture a few times a week is sufficient.

Drinking water with a teaspoon of baking soda can neutralize stomach acid and relieve symptoms of ulcer pain and indigestion, as well as assist in restoring the body’s pH balance. This can also help at the first sign of a cold or flu.

If you have a splinter, soak the affected area in one tablespoon of baking soda and one cup of water a couple times a day. This concoction will help the splinter work its way out and prevent infection.

Add a cup of baking soda to a warm bath to soothe sunburns, insect
bites, and rashes. Or make a paste
by mixing baking soda with water, then directly apply it to the affected area or make a cool compress.

Baking soda also works as a deodorant. Mix a pinch of it with a dash of water to make a paste and then apply it to your armpits. Its antibacterial properties will help you stay fresh throughout the day.

For stinky, tired feet, put a half a cup of baking soda and warm water in a basin for a refreshing foot soak. You can also sprinkle baking soda inside your footwear, hockey skates, or ski boots to prevent odour.

To create a cleansing paste that is gentle enough to use daily, mix three parts baking soda with one part water. Use this mixture to exfoliate the face or body.


Made with fermented apples, this magical brew has a history of being used for common ailments and imbalances. When applied topically, it can take
the sting out of sunburns and reduce inflammation in pimples, or it can be added to a bath to aid dry skin and provide relaxation. Add a teaspoon to a cup of water and take either first thing
in the morning or in the evening before bed to alleviate bloating and indigestion.



Honey is rich in nutrients, including vitamins, trace enzymes, amino acids, and minerals like calcium, iron, sodium chlorine, magnesium, phosphate, and potassium. It is also rich with antioxidants, and its natural sugars feed the brain to aid with concentration.

Honey has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Researchers say the antibacterial properties can help treat wounds, sores, burns, and other skin infections.

It also can help speed the growth of new tissue to heal a cut or burn.

Local honey works well to build up a tolerance to regional plant pollens and prevent seasonal allergies. A spoonful of honey on its own can stop a cough. For an extra kick,
add a chopped clove of garlic.

Honey can also transform into a lovely facemask. Smear a dollop of it on your face and leave on for about 15 minutes for a deep-cleansing, moisturizing, and exfoliating treatment.



Olive oil is extracted from olives and rich in vitamins and minerals. It has exceptional disinfecting and wound-healing properties. Taken consistently, olive

oil can help prevent heart disease, high cholesterol, constipation, fatigue, hypertension, and rheumatism. It
can be used topically to soothe dry, irritated skin and ease joint pain.




Garlic is proven to
be antimicrobial, anti- bacterial, antifungal, anti-parasitic, antiviral, antihypertensive, and anti-inflammatory. It has a positive effect on the immune system. Garlic is effectively used raw or cooked for infections, colds, or flus and is excellent at keeping the heart healthy.


Ask most chefs what they keep in the kitchen for cuts and most likely their answer will be cayenne pepper. It is
a natural styptic and will work quickly to stop bleeding and start the healing process.


Ginger has been clinically shown to prevent and relieve nausea and vomiting. A fast and effective digestive aid, ginger-root tea helps with indigestion, lack of appetite, and flatulence. The tea is also effective as an expectorant to aid with congestion from bronchitis or common colds and flus.


Onions have many active compounds that are beneficial for a variety of health conditions. Half a raw onion a day keeps the illness away! Onions can regulate cholesterol

levels by promoting the production of good cholesterol, which in turn keeps you healthier and your heart happier.

A blend of onion juice and honey can be used to treat a common cold or flu. This mixture contains vitamin C and phytochemicals, which have antibacterial properties to boost the immune system. If juicing isn’t your thing, simply chop up a raw onion, cover it with honey, and leave it for a few hours to make a cough syrup that will soothe a sore throat.

When applied topically, onions can take away the sting from an insect bite. To relieve a head- ache, apply crushed onion to your forehead and temples. Its antibacterial effects can also treat a toothache; chew a small piece of raw onion with the effected tooth for a few minutes.

Onions also help clear up lung congestion. Create an onion fomentation by boiling a chopped onion in water then dipping a cloth in the cooled liquid and placing it over your chest.


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