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We all have eaten oatmeal for breakfast at some point in our lives. It is inexpensive, easy to make, and if we believe the health claims, it is exceptionally good for us. Helping to lower cholesterol, fighting diabetes, and reducing the risk from certain cancers, to name a few of its benefits.

But did you know that oatmeal can do more than just make a tasty breakfast?

1) Chicken pox, poison ivy, dry itchy skin? Have an oatmeal bath. Grind a cup or so of plain oatmeal in your food processor. Put it into an old stocking or cheesecloth and tie the open end so it form a pouch. You can hang the pouch over the water faucet so that the warm water runs through the pouch as the tub fills, or you can use the pouch the way you would a washcloth and apply to the affected areas.

2) Make an oatmeal paste. Cook the oatmeal a little thicker than you would for normal eating. Allow it to cool slightly, so that it is warm and will not burn you. Apply the paste with a spatula to the areas of the skin that have poison ivy, shingles, or other type of itchy rash. If possible, wrap the area with some type of plastic wrap. This is not necessary, but will prevent the oatmeal from flaking off as it dries. As the oatmeal dries, it absorbs the oils that make the poison itch and spread.

3) Make a facial mask. 1/2 cup hot, not boiling water mixed with 1/3 cup of oatmeal. Allow it to sit for a few minutes. Then add 1 egg white. Mix well. Apply to your face. Leave on for about 15 minutes. Then rinse with cool water and pat dry. Your skin will look rejuvenated and refreshed.

4) Make a dry shampoo. No time for the shower? Grind 1 cup of plain oatmeal and mix well with 1 cup baking soda. Sprinkle the mixture sparingly on the roots of your hair. Give it a few minutes to absorb the excess oil, then brush out. You want to go easy on this lest you end up looking like you are wearing a powdered wig.

5) Dieting? Oatmeal can help you control your weight. Replace your regular flour with oatmeal flour. It has less calories and more soluble fiber making you feel fuller longer so you will be less tempted to reach for that second, or third, muffin.


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