Kitchen Medicine: Mood Disorders, Digestive Problems, and Low Energy

This installment of a short series on kitchen medicine remedies provides recommendations for treating mood disorders, digestive problems, and low energy.

| November/December 1974

"After thirty," says the proverb, "you're either a fool or your own physician." Maybe before thirty, too. Especially if you live in an isolated spot and/or have a big bump of independence. Of course, you're a bigger fool still if you meddle with a serious or persistent condition, but even so, both you and your overworked doctor will be better off if you can prevent or cure your own minor ills. "The Home Medicine Cabinet: Remedies for Pain Relief," Marj Watkins began offering her own kitchen medicine health hints that work for her family. Here's another installment.

Mood Disorders 

The following natural tranquilizers can be taken as remedies for nervousness, in the form of delicious teas with honey and lemon: the flowers of linden or chamomile; anise or fennel seed; or dried savory leaves. Eat brown rice, bananas, fish, crunchy apples, carrots, celery, cottage cheese and yogurt. Drink milk. Shun brewed coffee, strong China tea, soft drinks, sugar and white flour products.

If one is depressed, bleak and/or crotchety, 100 milligrams of niacinamide—a B vitamin—taken with a glass of milk two to four times daily will lift the mood. Be sure it is niacinamide, not plain niacin, which makes you feel as if you're blushing all over, inside and out. The sensation is anything but calming.

Peppermint tea is cheering and stimulating. Drink it, or put two strong cupfuls into a tub of water for a long hot soak (a tepid soak in hot weather). Or try a soothing pine needle-scented bubble bath.

Raise your spirits by doing something vigorous: walk, swim, scrub floors, build, paint. Rub your hands together and crack your knuckles to spend tension.

Digestive Problems 

Try the suggestions under DEPRESSION AND NERVOUSNESS. In addition, eat only when you're really hungry. Then start with fruit (especially applesauce) or tomato juice or water, go on to rice, and finish with lean beef or poached fish with lemon.

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