Lettuce is a live food with its rich vitamin content, especially the antiscorbutic vitamin C. It is bulky, low in food value but high in health value. It is rich in mineral salts with the alkaline elements greatly predominating. So it helps to keep the blood clean, the mind alert and body in good health.
The loose-leaf lettuce is considered a better food. It has the advantage of being more exposed to sunlight, thus providing it with a richer supply of vitamins than the head-luttuce in which the leaves are closed. Whatever quality of lettuce is selected for use, it should be ensured that it is fresh, crisp and green - leaved. The greener the leaves, the higher the vitamins.
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
Lettuce contains several health-building qualities and many medicinal virtues. It has many essential values to the human body. It is very good for brain, nervous system and lungs. The raw juice of lettuce is cool and refreshing. The high content of magnesium in the juice has exceptional power to vitalise the muscular tissues, the nerves and the brain.
When making juice from lettuce for definite therapeutic purposes, it is best to use the leaves that are of the darker shade of green. The leaves which are inside the head of lettuce and have remained white should be discarded. The former are much richer in chlorophyll and other vital elements than the latter.
As lettuce is rich in cellulose, it increases the bulk of the intestinal contents and encourages peristalsis. It is, therefore, highly beneficial in curing chronic constipation.
Half a teaspoon of fresh ginger juice, mixed with one teaspoonful of each of fresh lime juice and fresh mint juice and a tablespoonful of honey, constitutes an effective medicine for dyspepsia, nausea and vomiting due to a biliousness, indigestion caused by intake of heavy non-vegetarian and fried fatty food, morning sickness, jaundice and piles. This mixture should be sucked thrice daily in the treatment of these conditions.
Lettuce is beneficial in the treatment of insomnia as it contains a sleep inducing substance called 'lectucarium'. Lettuce juice has been likened in effect to the sedative action of opium without the accompanying excitement. The juice of lettuce mixed with oil of roses, applied to the forehead and temples, induces sleep and eases the head-ache. The seeds ' of lettuce in decoction are useful in insomnia and wakefulness due to mental overwork.
Lettuce belongs to that group of vegetables which contain three percent or less of carbohydrate. It is, therefore, among the important foods which can be prescribed for diabetes. It can be used freely by diabetics.
Lettuce contains considerable amount of iron and supplies a good form of vegetable haemoglobin. It can, therefore, be used as a good tonic food for anaemia. The iron obtained in this way is absorbed by the body to a much greater degree than the inorganic iron tonic.
Ginger is also useful in menstrual disorders. A piece of fresh giner should be pounded and boiled in a cupful of water for a few minutes. The infusion sweetened with sugar should be taken thrice daily after meals as a medicine for dysmenorrhoea, and amenorrhoea due to exposure to cold winds and taking cold bath.
Pregnancy and Lactation
Eating raw lettuce has a highly beneficial effect during pregnancy and lactation. A very important nutritional factor, folic acid, contained in lettuce prevents megaloblastic anaemia during pregnancy. One particular benefit of lettuce eating is that it prevents habitual abortions. It is believed to have a great influence over the secretion of progesterone hormone. Eating lettuce with spinach, peas, asparagus and cauliflower increases the folic acid or vitamin B content of the food. It is estimated that about 300-500 mcg. of this vitamin is daily required during the last trimester of pregnancy. The deficiency of which causes magaloblastic anaemia.
Garlic preparations, including extracts and juices, have been used successfully against cancer in both animal and human studies.
Garlic has also been used successfully for a variety of skin disorders. Pimples disappear without scar when rubbed with raw garlic several times a day. Even very persistent form of acne, suffered by some adults, has also been healed with garlic. The external use of garlic helps to clear the skin of spots and pimples and boils. The process is further helped by taking the garlic orally also, to purify the blood-steam so as to secure a long-term clearance of the skin. A regular course of the three garlic capsules per day should help to clear minor skin infections quickly.
Wounds and Ulcers
Garlic has been used as an antiseptic in wounds and ulcerations with beneficial results. Garlic juice with three parts of distilled water has been employed as a lotion for celansing infected wounds. Definite improvement is noticed within 24 hours and substantial improvement within 48 hours. Application of dressing containing 15% garlic juice once a day over an ulcer removes pus in a few days. It also relieves pain within a short time.
Garlic is considered an excellent remedy for diphtheria. Its constant application by chewing a clove of garlic removes the membranes, reduces temperature and relieves the patient. About 30 or 60 gms. of garlic can be used in this way in three or four hours for a week. After the membrane disappears, the same quantity of garlic should be chewed daily. The diphtheric patient has no taste or smell and merely finds the garlic hot.
Garlic is an excellent remedy for whooping cough. Syrup of garlic should be given in doses of five drops to a teaspoonful two or three times a day in this condition. It should be given more often if the coughing spells are frequent and violent