Quick Fixes From Your Pantry

castor oil & cayenne pepper

Although temperatures are still plummeting with record-breaking cold, spring is right around the corner, according to the calendar.

Here are some easy fixes and home remedies that can prepare your body for spring and clear up any painful mysterious maladies along the way:

Start with Castor Oil…

Feeling blah? A castor oil pack is used to stimulate the liver and gallbladder as well as to draw toxins out of your body by triggering lymphatic drainage.

It is also used topically to remove brown spots, crow’s feet, as well as lessen the pain from neuralgia and myelin sheath degeneration. The use of castor oil packs often result in a remarkable sense of well-being, and decrease elevated cholesterol and liver enzyme levels in the process.

You will need: 100 percent pure, cold-pressed castor oil; wool (not cotton) flannel; and a heating pad.

To do the treatment, follow these easy steps:

  • Fold the wool flannel into three or four layers and soak it with castor oil.
  • Place the soaked flannel in a baking dish and heat it slowly in the oven until it’s hot to your touch.
  • Lie down, gently rub 3 tablespoons of castor oil on your abdomen, then place the soaked flannel across your abdomen.
  • Cover the soaked flannel with plastic wrap or a plastic garbage bag.
  • Finally, cover the soaked flannel and plastic with the heating pad for 1 hour, and keep it comfortably hot (but not too hot).

When you finish, wash the oil from your abdomen. You can keep the oil soaked flannel sealed in plastic wrap or place it in a plastic storage bag for further use, since castor oil does not become rancid as quickly as many other oils.

Dial Down Pain and Inflammation with Cayenne Pepper…

It does much more than create a tongue-tingling meal. Known as a thermogenic spice so helpful in kickstarting weight loss,  one of Cayenne’s most promising health benefits is its little-known role in managing pain and tamping down inflammation.

How does it work?

According to orthopedic dentist, Dr. Dwight Jennings, cayenne actually helps to eliminate Substance P, the body’s pain neurotransmitter that is a signal of system inflammation. Amazingly, improper jaw alignment and TMJ issues are a primary physiological cause of Substance P which can manifest as unresolved eczema, vitiligo, seizures, neuropathy, and brain dysfunction. (Interestingly, the other substance is vanilla).

Adding a sprinkle of cayenne to your hot water and lemon in the morning or a dash in your morning smoothie will help to eliminate Substance P and reduce the cascading inflammatory response.

In addition, cayenne helps keep the heart healthy and strong. As most of us can attest, cayenne is also a diaphoretic—a sweat-inducing  substance. Its hotness comes from a high concentration of capsicum—a substance that has been firing up the circulation for centuries. It gives cayenne the power to get the blood pumping efficiently, stimulate the body’s metabolic rate, and help clean fat out of the arteries.

Cayenne is also great to reduce blood pressure. You can experience fairly rapid blood pressure-lowering results by taking one-half to one teaspoon of cayenne mixed with a glass of warm water twice daily.

Here’s a potentially life-saving cayenne pepper tip:

If you or a loved one starts to feel pain in the chest, left arm, or shoulder that signals the beginning of a heart attack, besides calling 911 and/or administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), chew an aspirin and take a tablespoon of Tabasco or two cayenne pepper capsules. The latter can help stabilize heart function until help arrives!

Have a home remedy tip? I’d love to hear it, please share!


Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., C.N.S.

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, is a New York Times award-winning author of 30 books on detox, health, and healing, including the international bestselling Fat Flush Plan and Zapped! Visit her blog and join her online Fat Flush Community.