Sun | Feb 25, 2018

Essential herbal home remedies

Published:Wednesday | May 24, 2017 | 12:00 AMTracey-Ann Brown

Ever wondered about easy ways to treat everyday health upsets. Here are a few remedies used in both Jamaican and Chinese traditional medicine.


Ginger tea

Ginger can be used to ease nausea and bloating. Cut the fresh ginger root into several pieces and boil in water to make a tea.



Orange peel tea

Boil half the peel of one orange in water to make a cup of tea.

Steam inhalation

Simply fill a small basin with four to six cups warm water. Add two to three drops eucalyptus, rosemary, tea tree, thyme or marjoram essential oil (or the fresh herb). Hold the face over the basin about an arm's length away with a towel over the head to prevent the escape of the aromatic vapours. Close your eyes and inhale deeply for five to 10 minutes. This can be done daily.

Caution, eucalyptus steam inhalations should be avoided by persons with heart conditions, central nervous system disorders and pregnant women. Children and elderly people should exercise caution.

Salt water nasal/sinus cleansing


1/2-1 tsp salt (sea or kosher salt, not commercial salt), work up to two tsp. salt per cup of water.

One cup lukewarm spring water that is not chlorinated (or boil tap water to destroy the chlorine. Let water sit in a glass bottle in sunshine with a loosely fitted lid for a day to break down and clear chlorine).

1/4tsp baking soda (bacteria cannot thrive in highly alkaline environments).


Fill a small spray or dropper bottle with your solution. Tilt head back and sniff several squirts/drops in each nostril while holding the opposite nostril closed. Let the solution run down the throat and spit it out the mouth. Repeat three to five times on each side. You may experience a sharp sensation initially, but that will subside as the therapy continues.

This regime can be done daily.


Turmeric tea (yellow ginger)

Cut the fresh turmeric root into several pieces and boil in enough water to make a cup of tea.



Rosemary tea

Rosemary tea is very good choice to aid sleep and relieve anxiety and is easily grown in your garden.

Dream pillow sleep aid

Fill a small cloth sachet (five inches x five inches) with the following ingredients and insert inside your pillowcase: two parts lemon grass, one part lavender flowers, one part rose petals, one part chamomile and a small amount of rosemary.


Scallion soup or tea

Vegetables may be added to make this into a tasty soup. Be sure to use LOTS of scallion.


Wound-cleansing spray

In a small spray bottle, combine one ounce water, two-ounce liquid castile soap, five drops tea tree oil, 10 drops rosemary essential oil, and 10 drops lemon grass oil. Use to clean cuts, scrapes and abrasions.

Aloe vera burn gel

Peel a leaf from the aloe plant, rub the clear gel on the burn area and allow to dry.

n Dr Tracey-Ann Brown is an Oriental medicine practitioner of acupuncture and herbal medicine at Revamp Comprehensive and adjunct lecturer at the University of Technology in Oriental/Chinese medicine. Email: