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6 Natural Ways To Heal Back Problems Through Massage, Food & Yoga

6 Natural Ways To Heal Back Problems Through Massage, Food & Yoga

6 Natural Ways To Heal Back Problems Through Massage, Food & Yoga

Back pain is extremely common ailment, currently affecting at least 8 out of 10 people.  As reported by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), nearly 31 million Americans experience lower back pain at certain point of their lives.

Inactivity, obesity, poor posture, osteoporosis, stress, and diseases like blood clots, infections, and kidney stones are considered the major causes of lower back pain. The structure of the back is quite complex. Being consisted of bones, muscles, joints, and ligaments, it is very likely to irritate or sprain the inner workings which keep it strong and supportive.

Neglecting and ignoring the pain, most people turn to painkillers in order to proceed with their day-to-day activities pain-free. However, this doesn’t address the root cause, and long term use can eventually lead to kidney damage, ulcers, liver damage, and even aggravate issues with blood clotting.

The good news is that it`s possible to prevent and even treat disease without the need of popping medications and pain-killers that offer temporary relief.  The right approach includes lifestyle changes and using time-tested and scientifically-proven remedies.

1. Yoga

Cobra pose, cat pose, triangle pose, and bridge pose are extremely useful when it comes to both preventing and curing back pain safely. It has been scientifically shown that practicing yoga helps reduce the severity of low back pain, improve mental health, increase serotonin levels, and promote better sleep.

2. Exercise Therapy

Contrary to popular belief, rest and inactivity aren’t the best cures for back pain. Quite the opposite, physical activity is basically far more beneficial for reducing back pain and strengthening the muscles of the spine.

“Why are we not prescribing an inexpensive, effective treatment? Some of it is, I think, we don’t think of exercise as being a treatment the way a tablet or a procedure or a physical therapy treatment might,” says Dr. Tim Carey, an internist at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. “We’re a fairly pill-oriented society. Pills are easy to take, and as a doctor, pills are easy to prescribe.”

According to Chris Maher, a physical therapist turned health researcher at the University of Sydney in Australia, “What we do understand about the back it that the more you use it, the more likely you are to keep it strong, fit and healthy.”

As found by a study in which back pain patients underwent a 10-week exercise treatment of the muscles of the spine,  physical activity does help improve posture and perform activities that once worsened the pain.

3. Salt Therapy

Epsom salt bath has therapeutic properties which are extremely beneficial in case of back pain.  The magnesium and sulfur content are readily absorbed in the body, and when combined with essential oils like ylang ylang or lavender oil, they have been found to improve circulation.  Epsom salt bath helps sooth nerves, relax muscle spasms, and alleviate pain.

4. Acupuncture

Acupuncture, a Chinese practice which involves inserting needles in specific points to improve blood flow, is widely used to treat back pain. According to one study, acupuncture applied to the most aching point of the back provided an instant relief.

5. Cold Therapy

Cold therapy has become all the rage over the past few years, and for a very good reason. This treatment, which involves ice packs, ice massage, or cold whirlpools, lowers the temperature of the skin and tissues to a depth of two to four centimeters.

Consequently, this leads to a reduction in the activation of nociceptors, pain receptors across the body, which send pain signals to the brain.  This therapy also reduces blood flow, inflammation, muscle spasms, and tissue metabolism.

6. Massage Therapy

Most people ask for pressure on their pain points, whether it`s a knot or some unusual, new pain. When using a device, tool, or the help of another person,  a massage therapy helps relieve painful areas. It has been scientifically shown that massage therapy works wonders for those suffering from back pain.

For instance, in one study of low back pain patients, the subjects underwent a 30-minute massage therapy two times a week for five weeks.  They reported less pain,  less anxiety and depression, and improved sleep.

You’re inhaling cancer-causing chemicals in your household dust! Here’s 3 ways to reduce exposure

You’re inhaling cancer-causing chemicals in your household dust! Here’s 3 ways to reduce exposure

Dust in your house is extremely annoying, yet so common that we tend to ignore it.  However, it turns out that household dust could be wreaking havoc to you and your children, even more than you think. Day-to-day items and products like pizza boxes, toys, and non-stick cookware emit chemicals in the air that potentially turn in dangerous dust particles.

When the Toxic Dust Settles

Recently, researchers at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University did a study on household dust, which is the first study of this kind. They found 45 detrimental chemicals in the dust, with 10 being found in 90 percent of the dust samples.

These include flame retardants like TPHP, TDCIPP, and TCEP, a carcinogen that is often used in baby products, building materials, and furniture.

Phthalates were the most prevalent chemical class found in the dust samples. These chemicals are commonly used in cosmetics and toys to soften the plastic. The problem with these chemicals is that they have been associated with respiratory problems, declines in IQ, hormonal imbalance, infertility, and obesity.

According to Ami Zota, lead author and assistant professor of environmental and occupational health, “The findings suggest that people, and especially children, are exposed on a daily basis to multiple chemicals in dust that is linked to serious health problems.”  She also adds that “exposure to even small amounts of chemicals in combination can lead to amplified health risk, especially for developing infants and young mothers”.

Even more disturbing is the fact that children were particularly prone to the adverse side effects of contaminated dust, since they often play on the floor and touch their mouths.  “They end up having a lot more exposure to chemicals in dust and they are more vulnerable to toxic effects because their brains and bodies are still developing,” said Singla, co-author of the study from the Natural Resources Defense Council in California.

How to Limit Exposure

Contrary to popular belief, cleaning the house on a regular basis is not enough to cut down the risks associated with household dust. Chemical concentration can accumulate rapidly, and the problem becomes worse they aren’t visible to the naked eye.

However, there are certain steps that can be taken to limit exposure to contaminated dust. Read on to learn what else can be done apart from vacuuming and mopping the floors, dusting with a damp cloth, and cleaning the house thoroughly on a regular basis.

1.     We, as consumers, should make careful choices regarding the products we buy. Products that contain detrimental chemicals like DIBP, DNBP, DEHP, DEP, HFCs, and phenols should be avoided at all cost.

2.     Washing the hands with plain soap and water before eating is a must!

3.     An app called Detox Me provides tips on how to limit exposure to chemicals, such as using fragrance-free cleaning products, swapping vinyl shower curtains for nylon, and many more.

Additional steps you can take to limit exposure to detrimental chemicals includes using castile soap as replacement for skin care products, laundry and dish detergent, and all-purpose cleaner as well as making your own, natural cleaning products using ingredients like baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils.

Press these pressure points on your wrist to fall asleep faster and make anxiety go away

Press these pressure points on your wrist to fall asleep faster and make anxiety go away

One of the sleep techniques that have been proven to be extremely effective for many people is acupuncture.  As a matter of fact, acupuncture steps in as the ideal way to treat insomnia without the adverse side effects associated with pharmaceutical drugs.

This technique has gained bad reputation for being unsupported by scientific evidence.  However, the truth is that  apart from working on the basis of Chinese medicine and self-experimentation,  acupuncture`s benefits, particularly when it comes to promoting better sleep,  are backed up by science.

The Evidence Behind Acupuncture for Insomnia

A 2004 report found that in anxiety patients, acupuncture increased the production of melatonin as well as the total sleep time.  The patients who underwent acupuncture also fell asleep much faster and were less stressed. As concluded by the researchers, “Acupuncture treatment may be of value for some categories of anxious patients with insomnia.”

Another, separate study found that acupuncture promotes better sleep in patients with HIV, among whom sleep problems are extremely common.  It was found that “Sleep activity and sleep quality significantly improved following 5 weeks of individualized acupuncture…”

Earlier studies have shown that this technique works for people who are completely healthy, too. A 1999 study discovered that acupuncture helped normal people with insomnia to get a better sleep.

With this being said, it becomes evident that acupuncture works as great way to treat insomnia naturally.  According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, each person has their own pattern that describes how the body is out of balance.  This is how using needles at certain points along the different meridians running through the body helps treat that imbalance.

Heart 7 and Pericardium 6 are the most effective points used to treat insomnia.  There is a strong relationship between the two, from the anatomical location to the close link between the “Shen” aka spirit and the calming effect.  The Traditional Chinese Medicine name for Heart 7 is Shenmen, meaning Spirit Gate while the name for Pericardium is Neiguan, meaning Inner Gate.  In some instances, both of them need to be open in order to release bad influences from the inside out and receive positive from the outside in.

Heart 7 is found on the anterior side of the transverse crease of the wrist. There is a tiny depression on the radial side of the ulnar tendon where the point can be located. Sometimes, it`s better to needle this point from the ulnar side under the ulnar tendon as it`s more comfortable.

Pericardium 6 is located on the anterior side of the wrist, about two finger widths from the transverse crease of the wrist.  It can be also found between the two tendons running up the arm.  Just like Heart 7, this point can also offer radiation sensation when activated.

Although there are many other acupuncture points used during a treatment, these two are a good place to start. Any healing process requires a full mind-body approach, but stimulating these points can be extremely helpful for those struggling with sleep.

Eat more mushrooms if you want to avoid dementia and Alzheimer’s, study suggests

Eat more mushrooms if you want to avoid dementia and Alzheimer’s, study suggests

Dementia is an umbrella term form a decline in mental ability that sometimes goes to the extent of interfering with day-to-day activities.  Alzheimer is the most prevalent type of dementia.

Dementia is an unspecific disease characterized with a wide plethora of symptoms linked to a decline in memory and other thinking skills. As mentioned above, Alzheimer`s is the most common type, accounting for 60-80 percent of cases.

Dementia is often improperly referred to as ‘senility’ and most people consider it as normal sign of aging.  However, the truth is that it isn’t always triggered by aging. For instance, vascular dementia, which is the second most prevalent type of dementia, occurs after a stroke.  There are many different conditions that cause symptoms of dementia, such as vitamin deficiencies and thyroid problems.

Although the symptoms of dementia can vary, at least two of the core mental functions below must be impaired to be considered dementia:

  • Visual perception
  • Communication and language
  • Reasoning and judgment
  • Memory
  • Ability to focus and pay attention

While many changes in the brain responsible for the onset of dementia are permanent and tend to worsen over time, memory and thinking issues caused by the following conditions may improve once the condition is properly addressed:

  • Thyroid problems
  • Vitamin deficiencies
  • Depression
  • Medication side effects
  • Excess use of alcohol

The treatment depends on the cause. While there is not cure for most progressive dementias, there are drug treatments capable of temporarily improving the symptoms.  As prevention is always better than the cure, this article focuses on non-drug therapy that has been scientifically shown to help protect against dementia and Alzheimer`s.

According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, certain edible mushrooms contain bioactive components that help prevent neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Alzheimer`s disease.  This study is the first of its kind to support the potential role of mushrooms as foods to reduce or delay the onset of this disease.

“The current study might stimulate the identification of more food materials that are neuroprotective,” stated Journal of Medicinal Food Editor-in-Chief Sampath Parthasarathy, Medical Xpress reported.

This study focuses on mushrooms` components and their cognitive and neuroprotective benefits. According to Parthasarathy, this is one of the first studies done on the brain benefits of certain foods.

Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years, both for their taste and the medicinal properties they offer. As reported by Dr. Joseph Mercola, edible fungi are loaded with vitamin D and are capable of boosting the immune system.  Their anti-inflammatory properties can be beneficial for individuals suffering from renal failure, stroke damage, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma.

Needless to say, not all mushrooms are safe and healthy to eat. It has been shown that eating psilocybin, a specific type of fungi, provides a temporary mind-bending perspective on reality.

Researchers have long studied the medical properties of ‘magic mushrooms.  As reported by Medical Daily, the psychedelic drug has the ability to treat those with depression or alleviate the psychological effects of cancer.

The rice you eat is worse than sugary drinks and junk food

The rice you eat is worse than sugary drinks and junk food

Have you heard of China`s Wuchang rice? You probably have, as this rice is the popular and the best known worldwide. Due to its unique taste and fragrant smell, it costs a lot more for its quality, according to Blue Ocean Network (BON) TV report, a popular English Channel in China.

As the demand for this rice is constantly on the rise, certain companies began to exploit the change and produce fake rice which is later sold for the same high price.

It is believed that China has been producing fake rice for at least 4 years, re-creating the popular brand using sweet potatoes, potatoes, and plastic.  It looks the same as the real “Wuchang rice in size and shape, with the added plastic which is extremely detrimental to your health.  Unfortunately, most consumers are still unaware of what they are getting.

Fake “Wuchang rice”

An undercover journalist discovered that Chinese companies tend to mix a small amount of the real deal with plastic rice when producing the fake rice. Then, they spray with a fragrance in order to “copy” the original. It was reported that 800,000 tons of real Wuchang rice is produced every year, yet 10 million tons of Wuchang rice is sold.  This means that over 9 million tons of the rice being sold is fake. As mentioned in the very beginning, companies are successfully selling this product for at least 4 years and they have started distributing it to other countries as well, including Singapore, Vietnam, and India.

Currently, the National Food Authority of the Republic of the Philippines is investigating the reports of plastic race and is using a spectroscopy device to detect the rice, that may cause serious health problems.

Dangers of Consuming Plastic

It is believed that eating only three bowls of this fake Wuchang rice is the same as eating an entire plastic bag. Naturally, this causes serious and sometimes even fatal digestive problems, particularly if consumed on a regular basis.

As a matter of fact, most people in China eat half a pound of rice daily. So, selling this rice turns out to be an extremely profitable business.

Mounting evidence shows serious health risks linked to bisphenol A and phthalates, both of which are found in plastics. Bisphenol A is known to disrupt hormones, especially estrogen. It has been associated with effects on reproductive development in a few animal studies.

On the other hand, phthalates are “plasticizers” which are often found in many different products, despite the fact that they have been banned in the European Countries a decade ago.  They can also disrupt hormones, especially testosterone.

Due to the contamination of food products packaged in plastic containers, most people have certain amount of both bisphenol A and phthalates in their bodies. But, eating plastic rice causes an enormous increase in the levels of these chemicals.

While there haven’t been any reports of plastic rice in the U.S, the fact that distributors started selling it outside China raises many eyebrows. So, countries need to be extremely careful regarding the foods they import.

36 Reasons Why You Should Always Have A Bottle Of Hydrogen Peroxide At Home

36 Reasons Why You Should Always Have A Bottle Of Hydrogen Peroxide At Home

Hydrogen peroxide is a germicidal agent made up of water and oxygen, which makes it the safest natural sanitizer. It`s a colorless liquid that is slightly more viscous than water.  It is most commonly used as disinfectant, bleaching agent, and oxidizer.  However, it turns out that this versatile liquid has countless uses.  This article focuses on 65 of them, so make sure you check them all out and get a bottle of hydrogen peroxide as soon as possible.

Note: Pure hydrogen peroxide can explode when heated to its boiling point.  This is the reason why most of household products contain a diluted solution, mostly having 3-5% of the active chemical.

THE COMPLETE LIST

1.     Eliminate Viruses

Experts claim that applying 3 drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide in the ear helps reduce the duration of cold or flu.  Allow the solution to work for about 10 minutes before letting it drain.

2.     Get Rid of Pesticides

Most fresh veggies are treated with pesticides, detrimental chemicals that shouldn’t be ingested. To get rid of these chemicals, add ¼ cup of hydrogen peroxide to a bowl with water and soak the veggies in the solution for half an hour. When done, rinse and leave them in the fridge.

3.     Get Rid of Airborne Germs

Combine a pint of 3% hydrogen peroxide with a gallon of water and add the solution to a humidifier.  Let it run until the mixture is completely used up.  The antibacterial and disinfectant properties of the solution will get rid of airborne germs.

4.     Whiten Your Teeth

Hydrogen peroxide is the active ingredient in most teeth whitening products, and it works by oxygenating the surface of the teeth.  Brush the teeth with toothpaste and then swish a mixture of two teaspoons of water and a teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide around the mouth. When done, rinse the mouth and repeat the procedure 3 times a week.

5.     Bleach Finger and Toe Nails

The nails often look discolored after removing nail polish. To bleach them and reverse the natural color, dip the nails in a bowl filled with 3% hydrogen peroxide for about 5 minutes.  Repeat the procedure for several days or until you get the desired effect.

6.     Bleach Hair

Hydrogen peroxide is much safer than other bleaching agents, so it can be safely used to bleach your hair naturally.

7.     Create Hair Highlights

To create sun-bleached hair highlights, simply spray some hydrogen peroxide on damp hair and let it work for about 15 minutes before rinsing it off.

8.     Rejuvenate and Detox

To rejuvenate and detox your body in an all-natural way, soak in a bath with hydrogen peroxide. Add a cup of 35% hydrogen peroxide in a tub of water and soak for about half an hour.

9.     Eliminate Stuffy Sinuses

To unclog your sinuses, try a homemade nasal solution with hydrogen peroxide. Mix a cup of water with a cap of hydrogen peroxide.  If they are too stuffed, get a more concentrated solution.

10.  Stop Toothache Pain

Oil pulling with a solution of hydrogen peroxide and coconut oil is extremely effective in alleviating a toothache, as the antibacterial properties of these two ingredients kill off bacteria that are causing the pain.

11.  Disinfect Wounds

Hydrogen peroxide is effective in disinfecting small wounds. Use a small cap of 3% solution, which works well in most cases.

12.  Make An Antiseptic Mouth Rinse

Mix a cup of water with two caps of hydrogen peroxide and use it as a mouthwash to reduce bad breath caused by bacteria.

13.  Eliminate Acne

Mix two tablespoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide and two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to create a face rinse.  Dip a cotton pad on the solution and apply onto the affected area.  Don’t use the same pad for the entire face in order to prevent transference of bacteria.

14.  Get Rid of Boils

Add a cup of 35% hydrogen peroxide in a bathtub and soak for a while to detoxify the body and eliminate boils.

15.  Soften Calluses and Corns

Soak the calluses and corns in a mixture made of equal parts apple cider vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.

16.  Get Wax Out Of Your Ear

Pour two drops of hydrogen peroxide in each ear, followed by a few drops of olive oil.  Wait for a few minutes before letting the solution drain.

17.  Prevent The Dreaded Swimmer’s Ear

This ear infection can be quite painful! To prevent it, apply a few drops of a solution made of apple cider vinegar and hydrogen peroxide, right after swimming.

18.  Get Relief From Ear Infections

To alleviate the symptoms and eliminate the infection, apply about eight drops of hydrogen peroxide to the infected ear.

19.  Eliminate Skin Mites

Spray 3% hydrogen peroxide onto the affected skin, repeating the procedure several times after a couple of minutes.

20.  Get Rid of Foot Fungus

Mix equal amounts of water and 3% hydrogen peroxide and apply the solution to foot fungus.

21.  Make A Marinade For Poultry, Fish Or Meat

Place meat inside a casserole containing equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water.  Don’t forget to rinse the meats prior cooking.

22.  Disinfect a Toothbrush

Soak the toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide to kill off bacteria that thrive in the bathroom.

23.  Remove Stubborn Stains From Clothing

Blood is one of the most difficult stains to remove. The good news is that pouring hydrogen peroxide onto the stain and letting it work for a few minutes before rinsing it off is extremely effective in getting rid of it.

24.  Control The Growth Of Fungus In Aquariums

If you have an aquarium, this is a great way to use hydrogen peroxide.  However, adhere to the instructions that can be found elsewhere so that you don’t harm your fish.

25.  Get Rid Of Algae

For every 66 gallons of water, add 60 ml of hydrogen peroxide. Add the solution using a dropper , over a span of about 5 minutes.

26.  Make An Emetic For Household Pets

Given that hydrogen peroxide can induce vomiting, it works well when your pet has swallowed something that needs to be thrown up or has simply eaten something they shouldn’t have.

27.  Use As A Dishwasher Detergent

Mixing some hydrogen peroxide with your dishwasher detergent helps make it last longer.

28.  Create An All-Purpose Cleaner

Fill a spray bottle with diluted hydrogen peroxide and use it as substitute to conventional cleaners that often cost a little fortune.

29.  Clean Your Contact Lenses

Soak the contacts in a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide overnight to clean them and remove the accumulated protein.

30.  Make Laundry Whiter

Add a cup of hydrogen peroxide to the wash and soak for about half an hour before wash to remove the yellowy stains and make your laundry whiter.

31.  Remove Organic Stains

Mix one part dish detergent with two parts hydrogen peroxide and apply the solution to organic stains like coffee, blood, and wine.  But, as hydrogen peroxide works as bleaching agent, don’t use it on darker fabrics.

32.  Eliminate Undesirable Odors

To remove unpleasant odors, soak the fabrics in a solution made of hydrogen peroxide and white vinegar.

33.  Clean Carpets And Rugs

Spray a diluted solution on the rug and clean as you normally do. It works best on light carpets as it can bleach darker-colored ones.

34.  Disinfect Your Lunchbox

To remove the accumulated bacteria in your lunchbox, simply spray it with a diluted solution of hydrogen peroxide and let it work for a few minutes before wiping it away.

35.  Keep Your Shopping Bags Fresh

Spraying the shipping bag with some hydrogen peroxide and letting it work for a couple of minutes helps disinfect the dirty bag and remove bad odors.

36.  Improve The Germination Of Seeds

Soak the seeds in hydrogen peroxide prior planting them in order to remove fungal spores that may impede their germination.

5 plants you can put in your house to clear your lungs with every breath

5 plants you can put in your house to clear your lungs with every breath

The lungs are cone-shaped organs located in the chest cavity, making up most of the lower respiratory tract.  The pass oxygen into the body, and are one of 5 elimination systems.  In brief, their major role is providing oxygen to capillaries, so that they can oxygenate the blood. It is also worth mentioning that the lungs are one of the largest organs in the human body, as their tissue is nearly 40 times greater compared to body`s outer surface.

Unfortunately, leaving in a modern world in which the air is filled with chemicals, dust, pollen, pollutants, and various bacteria, affects the lungs. Simply put, seasonal allergies and toxins take a toll on our lungs.

Deep breathing is one of the basic steps that should be taken to eliminate toxins and promote lung health.  With shallow breathing only 10 percent of the blood is cleansed, while with deep breathing 80-100 percent of the blood is cleansed.

Apart from deep breathing, there are many herbal remedies that also promote lung health.  The 5 lung-friendly herbs below are packed with medicinal properties for lung health, posses many healing properties, and are easy to grow. Check them out!

5 Herbs For Lung Health That Are Easy to Grow

1. Oregano

Oregano contains rosmarinic and carvacrol acid, both of which act as natural decongestant agents that help clear out the respiratory tract and the nasal passage.  It is also packed with antioxidants, which boost immunity and protect against cold and other illnesses.

Oregano is a perennial herb that grows back year after year.  It can be grown both indoors and outdoors, and is best grown in a container due to its invasive nature.  The best would be to use well-drained soil and keep it exposed to full sun.

This herb is highly versatile and it can be added in many different recipes.  When it comes to harvesting, remove the stems in the morning and store in cool area.  Cut the leaves after a month, and store in a container with tight lid.

2. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus contains cineole, a compound with powerful healing properties.  It can be used as an expectorant to alleviate a cough, soothe sinus passages, and fight off congestion.  Just like oregano, eucalyptus is also packed with antioxidants that strengthen the immune system.

To relieve a sinus infection, boil the eucalyptus leaves and inhale the steam. You can also mix eucalyptus oil with peppermint oil and use it as chest rub.

Eucalyptus tree can reach 60 feet height, so growing a smaller shrub size inside is a better idea.  Place the container near a south-facing window so that it gets a lot of direct sunlight.  When it outgrows the container, transfer it outdoors.

3. Peppermint

Peppermint is packed with menthol, a compound that works as natural decongestant.  It also provides antihistamine effect, promoting free breathing.  Just like oregano, peppermint is also quite invasive, so the best would be to grow it in a container, no matter whether indoors or outdoors.  It prefers well-drained soil and partial sun.

The peppermint leaves can be used as herb and added to tea or recipes, while the oil can be combined with eucalyptus and used as chest rub.

4. LungwortLungwort has been long used to clear congestion and promote lung and respiratory health. As a matter of fact, this plant has been used as early as the 1600s.

The flower itself is very beautiful while the plant is extremely resilient.  It prefers shade and is ideal to be grown under trees.  Its leaves can be cooked the same way as spinach.

5. Elder

Elder has the ability to improve circulation as well as to open the lungs, capillaries, and blood vessels.  The elderberry fruit is mouth-water and the elder flowers can be brewed into delicious tea.  As for the growing part, plant the elderberry shrubs outside in a soil with a pH between 6 and 8.

Other herbs that are good for lung health include Butterbur, Mullein, Lobelia, Osha Root, and Chaparral.

The Essential Oil that Tones your Stomach and Speeds Up Your Metabolism

The Essential Oil that Tones your Stomach and Speeds Up Your Metabolism

Have you ever heard of Patchouli? This less known herb is a bushy herb from the mint family which is known for its rich, sweet fragrance. It is typically used in products like perfumes, air fresheners, laundry detergents, and other scented products.  It also provides a wide plethora of benefits, from reducing the appearances of skin imperfections to boosting metabolism.

The health benefits of the oil obtained from the Patchouli herb can be attributed to its wide-ranging properties, from antiseptic, astringent, antidepressant, sedative, diuretic, and aphrodisiac to cytoplasmic, tonic, deodorant, insecticide, and fungicide.

Health Benefits Of Patchouli Essential Oil

1. Boosts Metabolism

Patchouli oil work as a potent tonic which has the ability to boost the metabolism while toning the intestines, the stomach, and the liver.

2. Reduces Inflammation

Patchouli oil is extremely effective reducing inflammation and soothing irritation. It is beneficial for inflammation-related conditions as well, such as arthritis and gout.

3. Antiseptic

Patchouli essential oil works as preventative measure against infections and protects ulcers and wounds from becoming septic.  This is one of the most outstanding benefits of this patchouli oil, given that many minor wounds increase the risk of serious infections like tetanus.

4. Astringent

This potent oil encourages contractions in the skin, nerves, and muscles. So, it`s no wonder that it prevents sagging of the skin, loosening of the muscle tissues, prevents hair loss, and strengthens the gum of the teeth.

5. Antidepressant

Patchouli oil is ideal for those suffering from depression, anger, sadness, and anxiety as it helps them get over these feelings and gives them hope. This is one of the reasons why this oil is often used in aromatherapy to boost mood and relax tension.

6. Sedative

This powerful oil reduces inflammation and sedates a cough, epileptic attacks, and coughs that stem from hyper-reactivity or hypersensitivity of the nerves.

7. Diuretic

Due to its diuretic properties, patchouli oil increases both the quantity and frequency of urination. Consequently, this helps improve appetite, lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure levels,  stimulate weight loss, and eliminate toxic waste from the body.

8. Aphrodisiac

Patchouli oil is ideal for treating sexual problems like loss of libido, frigidity, disinterest in sex, sexual anxiety, erectile dysfunctions, and impotence.

9. Cytophylactic

This property stimulates growth by encouraging the generation of new cells.  It stimulates the production of red blood cells too, which in turn increases energy.  Ultimately, by boosting oxygenation of organs and cells in the body, it increases the overall metabolism.

10. Tonic

As mentioned in the very beginning, patchouli oil acts as tonic which tones up the body, improves metabolic functions like absorption of nutrients, and tones the intestines, liver, and the stomach.

11. Deodorant

Due to its rich, sweet and musky fragrance of this oil, it is effective in eliminating body odor.  But, note that it can be quite strong to some people`s senses, so always use it in a diluted form.

12. Insecticide

Patchouli oil is effective at repelling insects like ants, mosquitoes, flies, moths, fleas, lice, and beg bugs. It is often used in vaporizers, fumigants, body lotions, sprays, and incense sticks.

13. Fungicide

Last but not least, patchouli oil stops fungal infections and growths at their tracks, meaning that it protects against infections like Athlete`s foot.

If You Want to Repel Mosquitoes, Start Growing These Plants in Your Backyard

If You Want to Repel Mosquitoes, Start Growing These Plants in Your Backyard

If you are living in a warm region, the chances are you are constantly being annoyed by insects like mosquitoes.  However, these pests are not only annoying and capable of producing itchy bumps, but they are also highly dangerous. They spread fatal diseases as well, which is the reason why they are often referred as one of the most dangerous animals worldwide.

Here are some of the reasons why mosquitoes are simply the worst!

Mosquitoes put 40% of the world at risk for dengue, which causes “the feeling of broken bones”: Also known as break bone fever, this is the most rapidly mosquito-borne disease worldwide.

Mosquitoes spread yellow fever, which the WHO calls “the original viral hemorrhagic fever”:  It affects more than 200,000 people annually and kills 30,000.

Mosquitoes infect us with nasty bird diseases, like West Nile Virus: About 20 percent of the infected individuals develop a fever accompanied with body aches, joint pain, rash, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Mosquitoes cause permanent disability around the world: Lymphatic filariasis, which is one of the most neglected tropical diseases, is the leading cause of permanent disability worldwide.

Mosquitoes spread malaria, which still causes hundreds of thousands of deaths every year: It is estimated that there has been a dramatic reduction in malaria between 2000 and 2012. Still, about 630,000 people died from malaria in 2012.

With this being said, it`s no wonder that mosquito repellents are one of the most widely used products worldwide. However, it is recommended to skip the chemicals and choose a healthier alternative. The good news is that growing these mosquito-repelling plants near your house is one of the most effective and safest ways to protect yourself from the annoying and dangerous mosquitoes.

HERBS / SPICES

1. Basil

Planting basil nearby helps repel mosquitoes thanks to the essential oils which are obtained from the mosquito repellent spray.

2. Catnip

According to one study, catnip contains an active ingredient which is ten times stronger than the well known DEET repellent.

3. Clove

For a personal repellent, extract oil from cloves and apply directly onto the skin.

4. Garlic

Grate the garlic and sprinkle around the area for protection or mix it with nice-smelling oils for a personal body spray.

5. Lemon balm

Crush the leaves and rub onto the skin for an optimal protection.

6. Lemon thyme

Mosquitoes cannot stand its smell so it repels them effectively and in an all-natural way.

7. Peppermint

You can either plant it in the backyard for protection or rub a leaf onto the skin to relieve the itch.

8. Rosemary

Its oils can be used as an ingredient in a spray, although the plant itself deters mosquitoes effectively.

9. Stone root

This easy-to-grow herb can be crushed and boiled to create a mosquito repellent.

PLANTS

1. Lavender

You can grow this pleasantly-smelling plant in a sunny windowsill.

2. Lemon scented geranium

Plant this plant nearby, crush its leaves, and sprinkle them around your area.

3. Lemon verbena

Both the plant and the oils can be used on the skin to repel mosquitoes.

4. Marigolds

Marigolds are easy to grow and moved to the desired area.

11 Surprising Ways A Pinch Of Baking Soda Can Change Your Life

11 Surprising Ways A Pinch Of Baking Soda Can Change Your Life

Baking soda is quite cheap; you can get a box of it for less than $1. Therefore, this simple ingredient is one of the cheapest home remedies to keep handy. Beyond its use for minor accidents and injuries, baking soda can be also used as an essential part of your hygiene routine. It is indeed extremely versatile and used for a wide-ranging purpose:

11 Ways to Use Baking Soda for Your Health

1. Natural deodorant

Try a pinch of baking soda with water in the place of store-bought deodorants containing aluminum and parabens. Alternatively, brush some dry baking soda under the arms.

2. Insect bites and poison ivy

Mix baking soda with water to create a paste that helps relieve itching caused by insect bites and poison ivy. Another option is to rub dry baking soda onto the skin to neutralize irritants on the skin and relieve itching and irritation.

3. Heartburn and indigestion

Baking soda neutralizes stomach acid, which in turn helps relieve heartburn and indigestion. The dosing is usually half a teaspoon fully dissolved in half a glass of water, taken every two hours.

4. Foot soak and exfoliator

Add three tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of water and soak for a while. Alternatively, mix three parts of baking soda with a part of baking soda to make your own face and body exfoliator. It is all-natural, cheap, and gentle to the skin.

5. Relaxing soak

Combine baking soda and apple cider vinegar to make your own spa-like bath for soaking.

6. Hand cleanser

By mixing three parts baking soda with a part of water you get an all-natural cleanser which will effectively neutralize odors and remove dirt from your hands.

7. Splinter removal

Put a tablespoon of baking soda into a glass of water and then soak the splinter two times daily. Most splinters will come out on their own after a few days.

8. Sunburn remedy

Put half a cup of baking soda to lukewarm water and soak in the tub to relieve the itching. When done, allow the skin to dry on its own instead of toweling off the excess powder.  Alternatively, add a baking soda paste to a compress and apply directly onto the sunburn.

9. Enhanced sports performance

Taking baking soda capsules, known as “soda doping,” has long been practiced by distance runners to help them improve performance. It also helps improve speed in swimmers!  As explained by the researchers,

“Essentially, sodium bicarbonate is an alkali substance that increases the pH of the blood. This seems to reduce and offset the acidity produced in the muscles during intense, anaerobic exercise that produces lactic acid most quickly, such as fast running or swimming.”

10. Tooth and gum paste

To make your own effective tooth and gum paste, mix six parts of baking soda with a part of sea salt. Blend for about thirty seconds and then put in a container to use.

11. Teeth whitener

Crush a strawberry and combine it with half a teaspoon of baki