4 Healthy Ways to Use Oatmeal | Reader's Digest

4 Healthy Ways to Use Oatmeal

Oatmeal's good for for your heart, but it can help in some other unexpected ways!

from Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Treat itchy poison ivy or chicken pox
Take the itch out of a case of chicken pox or a poison ivy rash with a relaxing, warm oatmeal bath. Simply grind 1 cup oatmeal in your blender until it is a fine powder, then pour it into a piece of cheesecloth, the foot section of a clean nylon stocking, or the leg of an old pantyhose. Knot the material, and tie it around the faucet of your bathtub so the bag is suspended under the running water. Fill the tub with lukewarm water and soak in it for 30 minutes. You may find additional relief by applying the oatmeal pouch directly to the rash or pox.

Add luxury to a regular bath
You don’t have to have itchy skin to make a luxurious bath mix with oatmeal. And it beats buying expensive bath oils. All you need is 1 cup oatmeal and your favorite scented oil, such as rose or lavender. Grind the oatmeal in a blender, put it in a cheesecloth bag, add a few drops of the scented oil, and suspend the bag under the running water as you fill your bathtub. You’ll not only find it sweetly soothing, you can also use the oatmeal bag as a washcloth to exfoliate your skin.

Make a facial mask
If you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up that will leave you feeling and looking better, give yourself an oatmeal facial. Combine 1/2 cup hot — not boiling — water and 1/3 cup oatmeal. After the water and oatmeal have settled for two or three minutes, mix in 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, 2 table-spoons honey, and 1 small egg white. Apply a thin layer of the mixture to your face, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Then rinse with warm water. (Be sure to place a metal or plastic strainer in your sink to avoid clogging the drain with the granules.)

Make a dry shampoo
Do you sometimes need to skip washing your hair in order to get to work on time? Keep a batch of dry shampoo on hand in an airtight container specifically for those occasions when your alarm clock “malfunctions.” Put 1 cup oatmeal in the blender and grind it into a fine powder. Add 1 cup baking soda, and mix well. Rub a bit of the mixture into your hair. Give it a minute or two to soak up the oils, then brush or shake it out of your hair (preferably over a towel or bag to avoid getting it all over). This dry shampoo mixture is also ideal for cleaning the hair of bedridden people who are unable to get into a shower or bathtub. Plus, it’s equally effective for deodorizing that big ol’ bath-hating mutt of yours.