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Did you know that your kitchen is full of natural cures for many common health problems? Here, we explore kitchen cabinet cures, and why they work.

If you have a sniffle, a verruca or cystitis, your first step will probably be towards the pharmacy rather than your kitchen cabinet. However, your kitchen holds some powerful remedies that could help to treat a range of health problems.

Cranberries

Cystitis

If you have cystitis unsweetened cranberry juice could be all the cure you need. In the 1980s, it was found that cranberry juice may prevent bacteria sticking to the walls of the bladder, making it an ideal choice for cystitis infection. Drink 300-500ml daily.

Making your own solution by boiling down fresh cranberries is a good way to ensure the sugar levels are low.

However, it you have pain in your back, a fever, nausea, blood in your urine, have been ill for 48 hours, are unsure if it is cystitis, or think a child has cystitis, always see a doctor.

Garlic

Colds and cuts

Garlic has an antibacterial chemical called Allicin. Allicin works to kill bacteria and viruses, including the superbug MRSA. A 2014 study also found that adults who have a daily garlic supplement have fewer colds.

Dr. Ron Cutler of Queen Mary, University of London, recommends that garlic be crushed, as only crushed garlic releases the Allicin to kill the bacteria. The garlic can then be eaten in the case of a cold, or applied directly to the skin around a cut. However, you might want to keep away from people, even with all the bacteria-fighting force of garlic on your side, as it takes approximately five crushed garlic cloves to get a good concentrated dose of Allicin.

Alternatively, you might prefer to take a garlic supplement.

Bananas

Verruca

This won't work on long-term verrucae that are resistant to treatment, but may be helpful in the beginning stages of a new verruca. Simply use Micropore tape to tape a square of the peel (yellow-side up) to the verruca. Some people swear by this as their only verruca solution, other people say it has never worked for them. Whether you wish to try it is a matter of preference.

The science is that the sticky inside of the peel produces an antiviral substance. The riper the banana gets, the more of this substance is produced. Therefore, overripe bananas are best to fight verrucae.

Dr. Michael O'Neill, a consultant podiatrist,, recommends that you apply new banana peel every day.

Oatmeal

Eczema

You probably don't want to bathe in oatmeal, but if you have eczema, it could really help. Oatmeal protects the skin against irritants and contains substances that hold moisture. It also contains fats that can help to improve the itching, and anti-inflammatory compounds that may be soothing over time.

You should use colloidal oatmeal, ground oatmeal, which more readily absorbs water. You can make it yourself with a blender, or it is commercially available. The oatmeal can be then used in a bath or as a face-mask. If you bathe in oatmeal, you may find lukewarm water more soothing than the conventional "hot bath".

The amount of oatmeal you need will vary according to the size of your bath.

Be careful with oatmeal if you are a coeliac, and avoid if you suffer the related condition dermatitis herpetiformis.

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