By Steve Graham, Hometalk.com
At a recent morning bike event, a company was handing out sample packets of savory oatmeal concoctions — oats combined with dehydrated vegetables, cheese, sausage and such. “Scrambled Oats” is one of those easy-to-pack foods that might taste great on a cold morning while backpacking, but seems a lot less appealing at home.
However, it got me thinking. Instead of just using oatmeal for a mediocre breakfast (or even a great breakfast for that matter), how about using oatmeal to solve (or at least lessen) the impact of health and household problems? Here are 15 problems that can be tackled with oatmeal.
1. Acne: If you are a acne-addled teenager and you’d rather eat a Pop-Tart, don’t toss out the oatmeal mom tries to make you eat for breakfast. Instead, let it cool, then spread it over your problem skin. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then rinse. This folk remedy has some sound logic, according to the Livestrong Foundation. Oatmeal can absorb and remove oil and bacteria from skin, and exfoliates dead skin cells, all of which can combat acne. Honey and tea tree oil are also helpful additives.
2. Poison ivy or chicken pox: If poison ivy, chicken pox or even a sunburn has you itching like crazy, try an oatmeal bath. The Old Farmer’s Almanac has these directions: Grind oats or oat flour into a fine powder, then pour it into cheesecloth or an old (clean) piece of pantyhose. Knot it around the bathtub faucet and draw a tepid bath, periodically squeezing the water into the tub. You can also rub the pouch straight on the itchy skin.
3. General skin problems: You can also make oatmeal soap or an oatmeal scrub (and, of course, pricey commercial oatmeal skin products are also available) for tackling other skin problems. One option is to grind two tablespoons of oatmeal into a powder in a blender. Then add one teaspoon of baking soda and enough water to make a thick paste. Spread on a clean, dry face and rinse off after 10 minutes. We recommend doing a patch test first, as your skin could be sensitive to the baking soda.
4. Exhaustion: Oatmeal isn’t just good for ailing skin. You can make a soothing and rejuvenating facial mask right in your own kitchen. The Reader’s Digest book “Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things” offers the following recipe: Mix 1/2 cup hot water with 1/3 cup oatmeal for two or three minutes, then add two tablespoons each plain yogurt and honey, plus one egg white. Spread thinly on the face, then relax for 10 minutes and rinse with warm water.
5. Stress: You don’t need to get chicken pox to have an excuse for an oatmeal bath. The Daily Green suggests adding a cup of milk, two cups of oats and a tablespoon of honey to the bath to moisturize the skin and relax the body. You could also use scented oils in a ground oatmeal pouch, as described in the chicken pox remedy above.