• 21Dec


    (NaturalNews) When you start to become healthy, one of the easiest things to incorporate into your routine is increased water consumption. It doesn’t cost much, involves no real preparation, and doesn’t offend the taste buds. However, due to the pollution of the public water system and our waterways, finding clean and nourishing water has become quite a task

    So where do you begin? Start by understanding the main routes people get their drinking water and their(NaturalNews) Unfortunately, acute or chronic pain is something that everyone in their life experiences at one time or another. Even though this is a powerful reminder from the body that something is either healing or going terribly wrong, a way to manage the pain is often required in order to live a functional lifestyle.

    The first resort to manage this type of pain has typically been prescriptions or over the counter drugs. These medications do have side effects, however, and people are beginning to realize there are more natural solutions that can be as effective or more powerful than drugs. Here are 3 of them.

    BoswelliaOften called Indian Frankincense, boswellia originates in the dry areas of India, Africa, and the Mediterranean. It is a remarkable plant and is becoming better known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is the root of chronic pain. The unique acids (boswellic acids) block the overproduction of cytokinetic activity in damaged tissues while enhancing blood flow to the joints. This combination has also been shown to increase joint mobility and loosen stiff joints.

    Boswellia has shown great success at reducing inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ulcerative colitis, and other painful conditions. Many studies have shown that it is as effective as NSAID’s, which are the most commonly prescribed drug for issues related to inflammation and chronic pain

    TurmericAnother powerful anti-inflammatory food with exceptional pain relief properties, turmeric is an ancient spice commonly used in Indian and Asian cuisine. Turmeric has shown to work better than many other pain-killing drugs at relieving arthritis, joint pain, stiffness, muscle spasms, and other chronic pain conditions.

    A natural painkiller and COX-2 inhibitor, turmeric has been shown to be a safe and effective remedy due to its ability to not only stop inflammation, but to suppress nerve related pain as well. This makes it exceptional for those who suffer from fibromyalgia.

    AstaxanthinAstaxanthin (asta-zan-thin) is a deep red coloured phytonutrient synthesized by microalgae called Haematococcus, and is also known as the “King of Carotenoids”. It’s grown in fresh water using sophisticated techniques that encourage the algae to grow its own powerful medicines protecting it from oxidation, UV radiation, and other environmental stressors.

    Even though astaxanthin may not be as powerful as leading pharmaceutical anti-inflammatories, it is found to be one of the strongest ones in nature. Several double blind, placebo controlled animal and clinical trials shows that astaxanthin naturally inhibits many of the known inflammation mediators, which eases inflammation and pain without side effects.

    It has been used effectively for joint pain, muscle recovery, and other painful conditions. Since astaxanthin is fat soluble (unlike most antioxidants) it gets carried by fat molecules directly to your muscles, tissues, and organs where it is needed most, like your brain, breast tissue, prostate tissue, skeletal muscles, and retina.

    Of course, the effectiveness of these remedies relies on several factors, including the individual’s current lifestyle and dietary habits. To learn from someone who has recovered from debilitating pain naturally with a completely holistic approach (who now enjoys radiant health on a daily basis), check out Advice from a Survivor – How To Live A Healthy Life.

  • 01Jun


    1. DIY All-Natural Powdered Detergent

    This great DIY All-Natural Laundry Detergent uses only five ingredients and makes clean, fresh smelling laundry!  For this mix, you need some washing soda, Borax, soap (castile soap works well), a spot remover, and baking soda. It does contain Borax, so if you are sensitive to it, try one of the Super Basic recipes below.

    2. Super Basic Powdered Detergent

    This is bare bones powdered detergent at it’s best! Clean, fresh smelling clothes and simple ingredients. This recipe cleans 15 to 20 loads, but can easily be increased. You’ll need 1 bars of castile soap, grated and 3 cups washing soda (if you can’t find it, don’t fret —  you can make your own washing soda out of plain old baking soda!). Combine ingredients in a food processor until grainy. Store in an airtight container and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of detergent per wash load.

    3. Super Basic Liquid Detergent

    If you’re not a fan of powdered detergent, you don’t have to be left out of the DIY laundry loop! Here’s how to swap powdered for liquid: 3/4 cup liquid castile soap plus 1 cup washing soda Pour the washing soda into a bucket and cover with hot water. Stir until the soda is dissolved and then slowly add in the liquid castile soap. Using a funnel, pour the liquid detergent into recycled bottles or mason jars. This recipe also cleans between 15 to 20 loads, using 2 to 3 tablespoons per wash. Gently slosh the mixture around before using to combine if it has separated.

    Both the “Super Basic” recipes can be easily modified to suit your laundry needs: add a few drops of essential oil with each load for fragrance (lemon is nice smelling and can also work to remove stains and grease).

    Some other tips for your new DIY laundry regime include pouring a 1/2 cup of vinegar into the fabric softener dispenser to further disinfect and soften clothes. For whites, try adding 1/2 cup of peroxide to the bleach dispenser to brighten whites and remove protein stains.

  • 01Jun


    1. Rosehip & Carrot Seed Facial Serum

    You’ve likely heard the term Retinol tossed around in skincare advertisements. That’s because retinol is a form of Vitamin A, which is highly antioxidant, great at repairing damaged tissue, and reducing scars and wrinkles. Rosehip seed oil is especially high in retinol, as well as omega fatty acids, and the potent antioxidants lycopene and beta-carotene.

    Carrot seed oil is packed with vitamins and nutrients, most important of which are carotenoids. Carotenoids can boost the body’s immune response to UV rays, which makes it excellent at preventing sun damage. Carrot seed oil also detoxifies and stimulates the rejuvenation of cells.

    This great recipe combines both these amazing oils to create a fantastic moisturizing serum for mature, dry, or damaged skin.

    2. Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream

    This Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream recipe is thickened with beeswax, so if you choose not to use bee products, you can substitute with any of these natural waxes.  In addition to rosehip and carrot seed oils, this cream uses apricot kernel oil. Apricot kernel oil is high in gamma linoleum acid, which helps balance moisture levels in the skin. It’s also full of vitamins A & E; both super skin rejuvenating. It’s easily absorbed and non-greasy.

    3. Eczema Cream

    Worse than wrinkles are dry scaly patches caused by eczema! If you suffer from this common skin condition (or even if you don’t) you’ll love the hydrating and repairing power of this great DIY cream. It contains only four ingredients, one of which is geranium oil. Geranium oil is astringent, which means it tightens the skin, reducing sagging. In addition to stimulating cell regeneration, it’s antibacterial — great for those prone to acne!

    4. Coconut Whipped Body Butter

    Coconut oil is readily available and very popular right now because of its ample benefits to skin and body. It’s a natural, easily absorbed moisturizer that is solid at room temperature. Coconut oil can protect from free radicals and delays wrinkles and sagging skin. When whipped in a stand mixer, this delicious body butter is silky smooth, and can be used on the face as well as the body.

    Homemade Whipped Body Butter


    • 1 c. Pure Unrefined Shea Butter
    • 1 c. Organic Cold Pressed Coconut Oil
    • 1 tbsp. Jojoba Oil (optional)
    • 2 tbsp. Vegetable Glycerin (optional)


    1. Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. (Important to break up the chunks of shea butter to create smooth finished product).
    2. Pour mixture into a mixing bowl and place in the refrigerator to cool until it solidifies.
    3. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk cooled mixture until it takes on a whipped consistency similar to whipped cream.
    4. Resist licking your fingers, it may look delicious, but I can promise it doesn’t taste so great.
    5. Spoon whipped butter into tubs or jars with a lid and store in a cool place. *This will become liquid again if it gets too warm.

    Feel free to try other oils or your favorite essential oils to create a scented body butter!

    5. Olive Oil Cleanser and Moisturizer

    Many natural oils can be used to clean skin as well as moisturize, as is the case with this simple Olive Oil Cleanser and Moisturizer recipe. And olive oil is highly anti-inflammatory, making it ideal for sensitive or acne riddled skin. It protects against free radicals, as well as having antimicrobial properties.

    All you need is:

    • cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
    • cold-pressed castor oil
    • small soft washcloth
    • some sort of small container (for storage)
    • I recommend only doing this once* per day and before bed so the oil can nurture your skin overnight and all the dirt and bacteria from your daily routine can be set free.
    • Pour some oil into your palms, rub together, and gently spread all over face.
    • Gently massage the oil soothingly into your face and pores for about a minute or so
    • Take the washcloth and drench it with warm, steamy water and place over your face. Not too hot! Comfortably hot, so that when you put it to your face you can feel the steam entering your pores. (Cold water will not open your pores, thus fail to let out impurities.)
    • Leave the washcloth on until it becomes cool again.
    • Gently wipe off the oils on your face with the washcloth and rinse the cloth in hot water.
    • Repeat if you’d wish, if not simply pat your face with a clean, soft, and dry towel.
    • If your skin is a bit dry, massage a few drops of olive oil into your skin. This is what I do. Note: olive oil can stay and be absorbed on your skin, castor should not.
    • Adding some essential oils beneficial to the skin, such as lavender or tea tree, would add some benefits as well! A little goes a long way…
    • Store your oil container in a cool, dry, and dark place, such as a cabinet.

    *Take note: doing this more than once per day or even daily may cause dryness for those with sensitive skin. No worries! Just make sure to skip a day or so (whatever works for you) in between cleansing if this happens. Massage a bit of olive oil into your skin if dryness occurs. I’ve found that doing this cleansing every few days is what works for me. I use solely olive oil to wash my face on the other days. Works great.

    You can use olive oil to moisturize your face, but also your body! The olive oil worked so well that it’s the only moisturizer I use now for all areas of my skin. My skin is so soft all the time. Even my feet!!!…

  • 21May


    Natural Antihistamines Send Hay Fever Packing

    Sneezing, sniffling, swollen, itchy-eyes got you down this month? If so, you’re far from alone. Mid-august marks the beginning of ragweed season, which lasts through October, and causes a whopping 36 million Americans to suffer the symptoms of “hay fever”, or allergic rhinitis.

    Technically, this site is devoted to food allergy sufferers, but with seasonal allergies (not to mention mold!) in full swing, we’ve got a total of 50 million people suffering some kind of torment, four of them in my very own household. So instead of writing about foods to avoid this week, I’ve focussed on foods to include in your diet that can help reduce allergies. Food allergy sufferers, take note: I have not forsaken you! As seasonal allergies are said to exacerbate existing food allergies, this information should be helpful to you as well.

    Both my sons are in hyper-allergic mode this summer, both to foods and to pollen. Consequently, there’s been a lot of unnatural drugging going on — of the Claritin, Alavert, Benadryl type. I’m not alone in this. Americans spend billions of dollars annually on antihistamines to treat symptoms of allergies. The problem with these over-the-counter antihistamines — aside from their obvious side effects of drowsiness, cloudy thinking, dry mouth, and for some, accelerated heart rate — is that they don’t stop the problem from happening in the first place, they just mask the symptoms for several hours.  But I need more than just a few hours reprieve, and as a desperate parent, sick of doping my children, I have turned for help to a natural alternative: foods that fight allergies. What a novel concept. EATING YOUR ANTIHISTAMINES.

    So what are these super-foods? Well, lucky for you, most of them are available in abundance at your local green market or grocer.  For a change, East meets West on this topic, with both traditional western medicine and alternative health practitioners agreeing that nature’s top edible antihistamines are found in foods containing Vitamin C, and Quercetin (a powerful flavonoid, sometimes called bioflavonoid). Additionally, there is much evidence that eating foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids reduces allergic symptoms.

    1. Vitamin C

    Vitamin C is one of nature’s great wonders. In addition to being a natural antihistamine, this water soluble vitamin has a multitude of other functions in the body. From being a powerful antioxidant fighting free radicals, to its role in the synthesis of collagen, it’s the vitamin we truly can’t live without.  Foods rich in Vitamin C should be eaten as soon as possible when fresh, as they lose their strength after being exposed to air, or being processed, boiled, or stored for long periods of time. Good food sources of Vitamin C are guavas, blackcurrants, red bell peppers, kale, parsley, green sweet peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, mustard greens, mango, watercress, cauliflower, red cabbage, strawberries, papayas, green and white cabbage, spinach, citrus fruits, elderberries, calf liver, turnips, peaches, asparagus, cantaloupe, cayenne pepper, green onions, new lima beans, black-eyed peas, green peas, radishes, raspberries, yellow summer squash, sweet potatoes, loganberries, tomatoes, new potatoes, lettuce, bananas, kiwi, honeydew, pineapple, cranberry juice, vegetable juice, tomato juice, rutabaga, and kohlrabi. That’s a whole lot of options to keep you eating your C!

    2. Flavonoids

    Flavonoids, such as Quercetin are a group of plant pigments that are largely responsible for the colors of many fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Quercetin is a natural antihistamine that helps stabilize mast cells to prevent both the manufacture and release of histamine, as well as other allergic and inflammatory compounds. Good sources of Quercetin are citrus fruits, onions, garlic, apples, parsley, tea, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, legumes, berries, and wine (no bummer there!).

    3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Omega-3 Fatty Acids are thought to reduce allergic reactions through their anti-inflammatory properties. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are found in such foods as cold-water fish (think salmon), and walnuts, but since this is a blog devoted to food allergy sufferers, I prefer to recommend you get your Omega-3s from less allergenic sources, such as hemp seeds, flax seed oil, canola oil, and grass-fed meat.

    Many articles advise you to start loading up on your natural antihistamines six weeks prior to peak allergy season, but since many of us don’t know exactly what pollen or mold spores we’re allergic to, I advise trying to eat as much of these foods as possible, all year round.  Eating a diet rich in natural antihistamines can help prevent the allergic reactions from happening in the first place, thus reducing the need for the drugs, and making us all a little healthier and happier, not to mention less congested!

  • 07May

    Natural Remedies for Gray Hair Grey Hair By Beth Asaff

    There are plenty of chemical hair dyes on the market that can cover up gray hair, but many people prefer natural solutions. If your hair is turning prematurely gray or you have a few gray strands that you wish to cover up, natural remedies may offer some ability to turn back the clock and turn your hair back to its natural color. If you’re already sporting a glorious mane of silver or gray hair, you may be able to use natural hair dyes to color it.

    From changing your diet to rinsing your hair with potato peels, one of these solutions may just work for you.

    Some natural health experts recommend a diet higher in protein than what is typically consumed for those who wish to reverse gray hair. That does not necessarily need to be animal protein. Many raw food diet followers find they reverse graying hair to its natural color once they begin to eat fresh, raw and uncooked fruits and vegetables. Some cases are outlined in the book The Live Food Factor by Susan Schenck.

    Melancor This patented product, which is sold without a prescription, claims to reduce graying hair naturally without gluten, artificial colorings, preservatives or stearic acids. It does contain bromelain, collagen, biotin, pantothenic acid, choline and methionine. The recommended dose is one capsule twice daily and the company urges you give it a chance to work. Some people don’t see results for 12 months.

    The Fat Free Kitchen The Fat Free Kitchen feels some premature graying of hair is due to diet. They suggest changing your diet to foods rich in proteins, soy, whole grain cereals, foods that contain high levels of vitamins A and B, zinc, iron and copper. Foods like bananas, carrots and fish that are high in iodine are also natural ways to stop gray hair.

    Homemade Topical Remedies There are many topical solutions you can make right at home to help hide the effects of graying hair. You probably already have many of the ingredients right in your kitchen. Potato Peel Rinse One old fashioned remedy to tint gray hair darker is a potato peel rinse. To make such a rinse: Peel about five potatoes and gather one cup of peels. You won’t need the potatoes themselves so feel free to use them for a meal or recipe. Pour two cups of cold water into a saucepan and add the potato peels. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for five minutes. Take the saucepan off the stove and let it cool completely. Strain the liquid out and save the liquid. Add a few drops of rosemary or lavender oil to scent it and pour the cool mixture into a glass container with tight fitting lid. Use this as a hair rinse after shampooing your hair. Shampoo as normal, rinse out the shampoo, then massage the potato peel water into the hair. Do not rinse it out. Dry and style as normal.  While this recipe won’t transform an entirely white head of hair, it can darken individual gray hairs that may be in darker locks.

    Other Natural Remedies Rub coconut oil and lemon juice on your scalp twice daily. Mix a tablespoon of salt and black tea, apply it to your hair and rinse after one hour. Boil curry leaves in coconut oil and apply to roots. Mix two teaspoons of wheat germ and two teaspoons of yeast into buttermilk and apply to the hair. Natural Hair Dyes If dying your hair seems like the best option, be sure to choose all natural, herbal hair dyes. Most conventional dyes contain very harsh chemicals. Choose natural dyes to avoid harsh chemicals that may be absorbed through the skin. Light Mountain Naturals is a line of natural hair colors that offers eight shades to cover gray hair.

    Treat Your Gray Hair Well Whichever method you use to try to combat your gray hair, make sure to treat your hair well overall. Avoid harsh chemicals that could irritate the scalp or damage your hair, and use herbal products whenever possible. You may find that treating your hair well results in a healthier color – whatever that may be. Related Topics Remove Yellow from Gray Hair Herbs to Darken Gray Hair for Natural Color How to Prevent Silver and White Hair from Turning Yellow Homemade Hair Straightener Using Herbs Best Hair Color to Cover Gray

  • 01Nov



    A Natural Approach to Migraines

    Research has shown surprising links between migraines and food. Certain foods can cause migraines, while others can prevent or even treat them. Coffee, for example, can sometimes knock out a migraine and foods rich in magnesium, calcium, complex carbohydrates, and fiber have been used to cure migraines. Some reports suggest that ginger—the ordinary kitchen spice—may help prevent and treat migraines with none of the side-effects of drugs. The herb feverfew also effectively prevented migraines in placebo-controlled research studies.

    A migraine is not just a bad headache. It has a characteristic pattern, usually involving just one side of your head. It is a throbbing pain rather than a dull, constant ache, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sounds.

    See your doctor to evaluate your headache, especially if headaches are new for you, are unusually severe or persistent, or are accompanied by any of these characteristics:

    • fever
    • a change in your strength, coordination, or senses
    • neck or back pain
    • a chronic run-down feeling with pain in your muscles or joints
    • drowsiness
    • difficulty thinking or concentrating
    • progressive worsening over time
    • the headache awakens you from sleep
    • the headache follows head trauma

    Find Your Migraine Triggers

    In 1983, researchers at the Hospital for Sick Children in London reported their results for 88 children with severe, frequent migraines who began an elimination diet. In this group, 78 recovered completely, and 4 improved greatly. In addition, some children who also had seizures found that their seizures stopped. The researchers then reintroduced various foods and found that they sparked migraine recurrences in all but eight. In subsequent tests using disguised foods, the vast majority of children again became symptom-free when trigger foods were avoided. Migraines returned when trigger foods were added to the diet.1

    Since that time, additional research has confirmed that dietary factors can trigger migraines in children and adolescents.2

    Anywhere between 20 and 50 percent of adults experience a reduction or elimination of their headaches when common trigger foods are avoided.

    Pain-Safe Foods

    Pain-safe foods virtually never contribute to headaches or other painful conditions. These include:

    • Rice, especially brown rice
    • Cooked green vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, Swiss chard, or collards
    • Cooked orange vegetables, such as carrots or sweet potatoes
    • Cooked yellow vegetables, such as summer squash
    • Cooked or dried non-citrus fruits: cherries, cranberries, pears, prunes (but not citrus fruits, apples, bananas, peaches, or tomatoes)
    • Water: Plain water or carbonated forms, such as Perrier, are fine. Other beverages—even herbal teas—can be triggers.
    • Condiments: Modest amounts of salt, maple syrup, and vanilla extract are usually well-tolerated.

    Common Triggers

    Common triggers often cause headaches in susceptible people. Just as some food sensitivities manifest as a rash on your skin, migraine sufferers have a reaction in the blood vessels and nerves. Here are the common food triggers, also known as the “Dirty Dozen,” in order of importance:

    • dairy products*
    • chocolate
    • eggs
    • citrus fruits
    • meat**
    • wheat (bread, pasta, etc.)
    • nuts and peanuts
    • tomatoes
    • onions
    • corn
    • apples
    • bananas

    * Includes skim or whole cow’s milk, goat’s milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.
    ** Includes beef, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, etc.

    Certain beverages and additives are also among the worst triggers, including alcoholic beverages (especially red wine), caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, and colas), monosodium glutamate, aspartame (NutraSweet), and nitrites.

    Foods that are neither on the pain-safe list nor the common trigger list should be considered possible, but unlikely, triggers. Almost any common food, other than the pain-safe list, has triggered migraines in an isolated individual in a research study, so they cannot be considered completely above suspicion, but they are far from the most likely culprits.

    The Two-Week Test

    The first step in tackling your migraines is to check whether any of the common triggers are causing them. To do this, you simply avoid these foods. At the same time, include generous amounts of pain-safe foods in your routine and see whether migraines occur, and, if so, how often.

    Here is how to start with anti-migraine foods. For two weeks:

    • Have an abundance of foods from the pain-safe list.
    • Avoid the common triggers completely.
    • Foods that are not on either list can be eaten freely.

    The key is to be very careful in avoiding the common triggers. See Foods That Fight Pain by PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D., for trigger-free recipes.

    Confirm Your Food Triggers

    If your diet change makes your headaches disappear or become much less frequent, the next step is to confirm which foods are your triggers. To do this, simply reintroduce the eliminated foods one at a time, every two days, to see whether any symptoms result. Start at the bottom of the list (bananas), and work your way up to the riskier foods, skipping any that you do not care for. If you wish, you can then check the beverages and additives on the common triggers list.

    As you do this, have a generous amount of each new food, so you will know whether or not it causes symptoms. If it causes no problem, you can keep it in your diet. Anything that causes a headache should be eliminated again. Then, after a week or two, try the suspect food once again for confirmation. Keep your diet simple so you can detect the effect of each newly added food.

    Meats, dairy products, and eggs are best left off your plate permanently. Aside from being among the worst migraine triggers, they also tend to disturb your natural hormone balance, which contributes to migraines, as we will see shortly.

    Their cholesterol, fat, and animal proteins are linked to serious health concerns including heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and cancers of the breast, prostate, and colon, so there is no need to welcome these problem foods back onto your plate.

    Looking for Other Food Triggers

    If two weeks on the basic anti-migraine diet does not reduce your headaches, the next step is to check whether a food that is not on the list of common migraine triggers may be causing your symptoms. This occasionally happens and, in fact, some people are sensitive to several different foods. An elimination diet will help you sort this out.

    A Simple Elimination Diet

    The elimination diet is designed to track down any unusual pain triggers. It is used for many other conditions, as well, particularly arthritis and digestive problems. Start by building your menu entirely from the pain-safe foods, avoiding all others for the moment.

    Once your symptoms have gone or diminished, which may take a week or so, you can add other foods one at a time, every other day, to see which ones cause symptoms. Again, have a generous amount of each new food so you can see whether it causes symptoms. If not, you can keep it in your diet. Hold off adding any foods on the “Dirty Dozen” list and any of the beverage and additive triggers until last.

    Here are some tips to help you identify triggers:

    • Foods that have caused headaches were usually eaten within three to six hours of the attack.
    • The offending foods can be ones you are very fond of, perhaps even foods for which you have cravings. They may be the ones you might least suspect.
    • Sometimes the headache will not show up until a large amount of the culprit is eaten, perhaps over a few days.
    • If you are affected by several foods, eliminating only one may make no difference at all. This sometimes leads people to believe that foods are not the problem.
    • You might find that you can have a small amount of a trigger food without getting a headache, while a larger amount brings on the headache.
    • Your tolerance might be different at different times. For example, a woman might normally be able to eat half a box of chocolates with no problem, but as she approaches her period a single piece might trigger the migraine. The reason, presumably, is that the natural changes in hormones that occur over the month affect her sensitivity.
    • Your triggers can change over time.
    • Your doctor can arrange special blood tests to detect food sensitivities. They can be rather expensive, but are faster than elimination diets. Information is available from SerammunePhysicians Lab, 1890 Preston White Dr., Reston, VA 22091, 800-553-5472. Typical skin-patch tests are of little use for migraine triggers, since they detect only certain kinds of allergies.

    Feverfew: The Anti-Migraine Herb

    Feverfew is an herb whose name comes from the fact that the ancient Greeks and many later societies used it as a treatment for fever. Researchers at the City of London Migraine Clinic found that feverfew eliminated about two-thirds of migraines in a selected group of headache patients, which is similar to the effectiveness of most migraine drugs.4 However, while some people get a pronounced effect, others get none at all. Averaging everyone together, it eliminates about one-fourth of all headaches.5 This does not mean that it will eliminate precisely one-fourth of your headaches. It will more likely either have a much more noticeable effect or no effect at all.

    Feverfew is sold at all health food stores. The amount that has been shown to prevent migraines in research studies ranges from 50 to 114 milligrams per day. However, most practitioners use capsules containing about 250 milligrams of a standardized-potency feverfew, recommending one capsule per day taken on an empty stomach. If you find fresh leaves, the usual dose is two to three leaves per day.

    Thousands of people have used feverfew over long periods with no apparent ill effects, and research studies have shown no serious risks. However, there has been little effort to systematically look for side-effects over prolonged periods. I would encourage you to avoid it if you are (or might be) pregnant; there is no indication that it causes birth defects, but not enough data are in to be sure. Also, people with clotting disorders or who are taking anticoagulant medicines should consult with their doctors about taking feverfew. Otherwise, our best information suggests that you can stay on it indefinitely.

    Using Foods to Fight Migraines

    • Emphasize pain-safe foods: brown rice; cooked vegetables, such as broccoli, collards, spinach, and chard; and cooked or dried non-citrus fruits.
    • Avoid the common trigger foods completely. If your migraines have diminished or ceased, you can reintroduce the trigger foods one at a time to assess their effect.
    • If steps one and two did not diminish your migraines, an elimination diet can help you identify whether an unusual trigger is causing your problem.
    • Minimize hormone shifts by avoiding animal products, keeping vegetable oils minimal, and having plenty of high-fiber whole grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits.
    • Try these supplements, in consultation with your doctor:
      • Feverfew: 250 milligrams per day or two to three fresh leaves.
      • Ginger: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (1 to 2 grams) of fresh powdered ginger per day.
      • Magnesium: 400 to 700 milligrams per day total (foods plus supplements, if used) or 200 milligrams per day as elemental supplement alone.
      • Calcium: Reduce calcium losses by avoiding animal protein, caffeine, tobacco, and excess sodium and sugar. If you wish, you can take 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams per day of elemental calcium, with 200 IU (5 micrograms) of vitamin D. Regular physical activity will keep calcium in your bones where it belongs.

    If a Migraine Hits

    If a migraine occurs, try the following:

    • Although caffeine can be a migraine trigger for some people, for others it works as a treatment. The dose is one to two cups of strong coffee at the first sign of an attack.
    • Have a starchy food, such as rice, potatoes, crackers, or bread. Yes, wheat products are migraine triggers for some people, but if you can tolerate them, they might actually help. Some people find that they actually crave starchy foods during migraines and that digging into toast, crackers, pasta, potatoes, or other starchy foods reduces the headache or nausea, and can even shorten the attack. Experience will tell you whether these foods help.
    • Fresh powdered ginger, 500 to 600 milligrams (about 1/4 teaspoon), in a glass of water has been helpful in anecdotal reports. It can be repeated every few hours, up to about 2 grams per day.
    • Calcium might be able to treat migraines as well as prevent them. Researchers reported a case of a woman who was able to stop an early migraine by chewing 1,200 to 1,600 milligrams of elemental calcium.4,5 Again, avoid the temptation to get calcium from milk, yogurt, or any other animal source. They cause much more trouble than they are worth.
    • Lie down in a quiet, dark room, and sleep if you can. Use hot or cold compresses, and massage the blood vessels at the temples.
    • Biofeedback and acupuncture have been helpful for many people as well.

    1. Egger J, Carter CM, Wilson J, Turner MW. Is migraine a food allergy? A double-blind controlled trial of oligoantigenic diet treatment.Lancet. 1983;2:865-289.
    2. Millichap JG, Yee MM. The diet factor in pediatric and adolescent migraine. Pediatr Neurol. 2003;28(1):9-15.
    3. Ernst E, Pittler MH. The efficacy and safety of feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium L.): an update of a systematic review. Public HealthNutr. 2000;3(4A):509-514.
    4. Johnson ES, Kadam NP, Hylands DM, Hylands PJ. Efficacy of feverfew as prophylactic treatment of migraine. Br Med J. 1985;291:569-573.
    5. Murphy JJ, Heptinstall S, Mitchell JRA. Randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial of feverfew in migraine prevention. Lancet. 1988;2:189-192.
    6. Thys-Jacobs S. Vitamin D and calcium in menstrual migraine. Headache. 1994;34:544-546.
    7. Thys-Jacobs S. Alleviation of migraines with therapeutic vitamin D and calcium. Headache. 1994;34:590-592.

  • 11Jul

    Natural Insect Repellent Recipe
    How to Make Natural Insect Repellent


    By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D., About.com Guide
    See More About:

    * insect repellents
    * insecticides
    * insects
    * mosquito repellents
    * oils

    “In addition to preventing itchy bites, insect repellents can keep you safe from diseases.”

    In addition to preventing itchy bites, insect repellents can help keep you safe from insect-borne diseases.
    Mario Villafuerte / Getty Images
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    You can make natural insect repellent yourself. The insect repellent is safe and effective, plus it costs much less to make it than to buy it.

    There are a few different formulations you can make for your natural insect repellent. These repellents involve diluting essential oils that the insects find distasteful or which confuses them. The oils don’t mix with water, so you’ll need to add them to other oils or to alcohol. It’s important to use an oil or alcohol that is safe for your skin. Also, don’t go overboard with the essential oils. The oils are potent and could cause skin irritation or another reaction if you use too much. If you are pregnant or nursing, do not apply an insect repellent, natural or otherwise, until after you’ve gotten it cleared by your physician.
    Natural Insect Repellent Ingredients
    Different insects are repelled by different chemicals, so you’ll get a more effective repellent if you combine a few different insect-repelling natural oils. If you are making large amounts of insect repellent, a good rule of thumb is to mix the repellent so it’s 5-10% essential oil, so mix 1 part essential oil with 10-20 parts carrier oil or alcohol. For a smaller batch use:

    * 10-25 drops (total) of essential oils
    * 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil or alcohol

    The essential oils that work well against biting insects (mosquitoes, flies, ticks, fleas) are:

    * cinnamon oil (mosquitoes)
    * lemon eucalyptus or regular eucalyptus oil (mosquitoes, ticks, and lice)
    * citronella oil (mosquitoes and biting flies)
    * castor oil (mosquitoes)
    * orange oil (fleas)
    * rose geranium (ticks and lice)

    Safe carrier oils and alcohols include:

    * olive oil
    * sunflower oil
    * any other cooking oil
    * witch hazel
    * vodka

    Natural Insect Repellent Recipe
    Mix the essential oil with the carrier oil or alcohol. Rub or spray the natural insect repellent onto skin or clothing, using care to avoid the sensitive eye area. You’ll need to re-apply the natural product after about an hour or after swimming or exercise. Unused natural insect repellent may be stored in a dark bottle, away from heat or sunlight. If you wish, you may combine the oil with aloe vera gel to change the consistency of the product.
    More About Natural Insect Repellents

    * Natural Mosquito Repellents
    * Natural Mosquito Repellent Recipe

  • 06Mar

    Here are some fabulous homemade lipstick and lip gloss recipes

    You can find a wonderful and detailed recipe for making natural lipstick at home at soapqueen.com. It is a recipe for sheer lipstick that includes ingredients like beeswax, grapeseed oil, wheatgerm oil, lip safe mica, and zinc oxide (optional).

    Besides, there are two more posts on the site: Lipstick making – ingredients & melting, and Lipstick Making – Mixing Colors and Testing giving a complete description of the procedure.

    If you want an easier recipe then try homemade lip stain/balm recipe from www.howdoesshe.com.

    It uses a combination of natural ingredients such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, vitamin E oil, cocoa butter, peppermint extract, and semi-sweet chocolate chips.

    These ingredients keep your lips soft and moisturized. Moreover, pure vitamin E works as a natural preservative. Thus, this organic lip gloss can last for about two months.

    You shall find another simple yet inexpensive lip gloss recipe at www.cheekykitchen.com.

    The procedure involves melting grated beeswax and adding coconut oil, jojoba oil, and cranberry juice. The resultant lipstick is a beautiful glossy translucent pink in color.

    If you are fond of natural tinted lip balms rather than lipsticks, you can try the recipe provided at Wellness Mama.

    It can be made from natural ingredients such as organic coconut oil, beeswax pastiles, and shea butter/cocoa butter.

    You can add natural red food coloring or beet root powder, too. The site also includes a detailed procedure for preparing natural lipstick (with color variants).

    At wikiHow, there is a step by step guide to help you make your own lipstick at home using healthy substances like castor oil, jojoba oil, beeswax, candelilla wax, and shea butter.

    The recipe can be used to get the lipstick in two popular colors- Cinnamon Girl and Bella Rosa. You can also find recipe for homemade lip gloss, here.

    You can get more tips and information about making your own organic lipstick at Skin Care Recipes and Remedies website. Plus, if you want to experiment with more ingredients, you can get a basic recipe from www.pvsoap.com.

    Furthermore, those of you who are interested in homemade lipsticks in different shades but are not particularly intent on organic recipes may include chunks of lipstick and shimmery eye shadows in the recipes. For instance, you can find one such recipe at www.deliacreates.com.

    Read more about 7 Fabulous Homemade Natural Lipsticks at Speedyremedies.com


  • 28Feb


    Dr. Weil – “What are the causes of gout?
    Gout has a strong genetic component. The hallmark of gout is elevated blood levels of uric acid, a breakdown product of protein metabolism (a distinction should be made by a physician between true gout and pseudogout, a similarly painful, arthritic condition that occurs when calcium pyrophosphate dehydrate crystals are deposited in a joint). Uric acid comes from the metabolism of purines, a subclass of proteins that are abundant in human tissues and such foods as organ meats, sardines, anchovies, mushrooms, asparagus and lentils. Also, a number of drugs and supplements can increase uric acid levels in the blood and its tendency to form irritating crystals in joints. These include salicylates (the active component of aspirin), vitamin B3 (niacin), excess vitamin C and diuretics that may be prescribed for high blood pressure, edema or, cardiovascular disease. Others are Cyclosporine (used to prevent rejection of transplanted organs) and Levodopa for Parkinson’s disease. Excess alcohol consumption, being overweight, and exposure to lead in the environment also increase the risk of gout in genetically susceptible individuals. Other risk factors include dehydration and acid conditions of the blood that can result from serious infections, surgery or ketogenic weight loss diets (such as the Atkins diet). The genetic component should not be underestimated, however. It is possible to have high levels of uric acid and never develop gout.

    D- the accumulation of crystals makes me think massage would be wonderful, then, huge amounts of water to wash them out

    -since its an inflammed condition, in Chinese health its a warmth, so to cool it with, again, lots of water,

    -alkaline foods,  particularly anti-inflammatories

    perhaps the product, “Zhen Gu Shei” to rub on – a cooling mixture of EXCELLENT healing herbs, woody tree barks, that works from the bone marrow out – so many stories associated with healing from this product!

    Dr. Weil recommends: (I love him!)

    Like so many diseases, gout is likely an artifact of inflammation and habits of lifestyle, which means following an anti-inflammatory dietand making changes in lifestyle should be the first line of defense. The following should be emphasized:

    • Avoid meats that are particularly rich sources of uric acid such as organ meats, sardines and anchovies. Physicians used to advise cutting back on purine-rich plant foods such as lentils, peas, beans, mushrooms, cauliflower and spinach; however, recent research has shown no correlation between eating such foods and incidence of gout attacks.
    • Eliminate coffee and all other caffeine sources from the diet.
    • Minimize alcohol consumption. Alcohol promotes dehydration and irritates the urinary tract.
    • Drink the full complement of eight eight-ounce glasses of water daily to flush uric acid from the system and prevent urate crystal deposition.
    • If you are overweight, lose the excess pounds.
    • Eat tart cherries in all forms – fresh, or as cherry juice, or in the form of tart cherry extract. Laboratory findings at Michigan State University suggest that ingesting the equivalent of 20 tart cherries inhibits enzymes called cyclooxygenase-1 and -2, which are the targets of anti-inflammatory drugs.
    • Take bromelain, a compound of digestive enzymes and other compounds extracted from pineapple stems.


    Dr. Mercola says:http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/01/19/five-steps-to-overcoming-gout-naturally.aspx

    Good Video here

    Avoid  Drug Solutions for Gout Unless Absolutely Necessary

    Over the years, medical science has used a number of pharmaceuticals in an attempt to treat gout. That list includes, among others, NSAIDs, Colchicine, corticosteroids, Corticotropin (adrenocorticotropic hormone),35 Febuxostat, Aloprim, and Zyloprim.36 But even if drugs like these could cure gout, and there is little, if any, evidence they can, you still would have to deal with some very nasty side effects.37

    NSAIDS alone, for example, are known to have the following side effects38:

    • Gastrointestinal upsets including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, decreased appetite
    • Rash, dizziness, headaches, drowsiness
    • Fluid retention
    • Shortness of breath
    • Kidney failure, liver failure, ulcers, prolonged bleeding after an injury.

    Additionally, NSAIDs may increase your risk of potentially fatal stomach and intestinal adverse reactions (for example, bleeding, ulcers, and perforation of the stomach or intestines). These events can occur at any time during treatment and without warning symptoms.

    NSAIDs (except low-dose aspirin) may also increase your risk of potentially fatal heart attacks, stroke, and related conditions.

    Drugs such as Allopurinol and Colchicine, which work by either lowering your uric acid levels and decreasing crystal formation, or by simply blocking your body’s natural inflammatory response, are also very commonly prescribed for gout.

    But these drugs also have very dangerous, long-term side effects, and gout is frequently regarded as a lifelong condition, so you may end up staying on these drugs for very long periods of time, which can wreak havoc with your health.

    On the other hand, natural remedies will end up helping not only the problem they were meant for, but also other body issues as well, because they work holistically within your entire system.

    That said, because of the intense pain of a gout attack, you may still need some type of pain medication initially, typically an anti-inflammatory, until you can get the symptoms under control.39

    If you’re looking for immediate relief in a natural form, try cayenne cream. Also called capsaicin cream, this spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting your body”s supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmits pain signals to your brain.

    Exercise Can Dramatically Help

    While exercise is not recommended while your joints are in pain or when it might cause further injury, once your gout is under control, exercise is needed as a necessary adjunct to a healthier lifestyle.

    Exercise will even help prevent further attacks by increasing circulation and normalizing your uric acids levels, which it does primarily by normalizing your insulin levels.40

    Anexercise routine has other advantages as well. Studies have shown that it works as an effective antidepressant,41strengthens your immune system so it can fight off diseases like cancer,42 and it can even improve insulin resistance and reverse pre-diabetic conditions.43

     Fight Inflammation with Cherries and Strawberries

    Tart cherries contain two powerful compounds, anthocyanins and bioflavonoids. Both of these compounds slow down the enzymes Cyclo-oxyygenase-1 and -2, which helps to relieve and prevent arthritis and gout in your body.44

    Cherries, along with strawberries and other berries, are also a rich source of antioxidants. This means they help prevent or repair damage done to your body’s cells by free radicals. The antioxidants replace the free radicals in your body before they can cause any damage.

    Dr. Wei, a nationally known, board-certified rheumatologist, recalled this story about the powerful effect of cherries on gout:

    “Dr. Ludwig W. Blau, relating how eating a bowl of cherries one day led to complete relief from pain, sparked off the interest in cherries in the treatment of gout. Dr. Blau”s gout had been so severe that he had been confined to a wheelchair. One day, quite by accident, he polished off a large bowl of cherries, and the following day the pain in his foot was gone.

    “(Dr. Blau) continued eating a minimum of six cherries every day, and he was free from pain and able to get out of his wheelchair. Dr. Blau”s research led to many other people suffering from gout who reported being helped by cherries.” 

    Dr. Wei said that good results have also been reported with strawberries, which may be due to the fact that this food helps your body eliminate uric acid.45

    There are a number of ways you can enjoy your berries while they go to work benefiting your gout. If fresh cherries are out of season, or if you just want more variety, try concentrated cherry juice.46

    Cherry juice concentrate can contain about 55 to 60 tart cherries in every ounce. That’s a single recommended serving, so in other words, you’d have to eat 55 to 60 cherries to get the same health benefit (and I don’t recommend eating 55 to 60 cherries, as that is too much sugar … But with a concentrate, you can get the health benefit of the cherries without all the sugar).

    While it may not be as easy to find organic, un-pasteurized tart cherry or strawberry juice, you can find it if you search on the Web, and local health food stores should be able to order it for you also. Just make sure any juice you buy is, ideally, organic, un-pasteurized, and has no added HFCS or other sugars.

    Another option is to purchase frozen or canned tart cherries or strawberries. Organic is best, but if you can’t locate any, you can use regular varieties in a pinch. Normally it’s best to avoid non-organic canned or frozen goods, since they often have residual pesticides and additives, along with HFCS and other sweeteners and preservatives.

    A Recap: The Top Steps to Prevent and Treat Gout

    If left untreated gout can become increasingly painful and lead to joint damage. So if you experience sudden, intense pain in your joints, especially your big toe, it’s important to seek help.

    Here is a recap of the essential steps to addressing gout:

    1. Find out your nutritional type. This will tell you what foods your body needs to thrive, including whether you should be eating more fats and protein, or less.
    2. Avoid drinking soda, fruit juice and other sweet beverages. Instead, drink plenty of pure water, as the fluids will help to remove uric acid from your body. Cutting back on all forms of sugar and grain in your diet is also important.
    3. Limit the alcohol you drink (or eliminate it altogether). Alcohol may raise the levels of uric acid in your blood.
    4. Exercise. Being overweight increases your risk of gout, and regular exercise will help you to maintain a healthy weight and improve your overall health.
    5. Try tart cherries or concentrated tart cherry juice. Tart cherries contain two powerful compounds, anthocyanins and bioflavonoids. Both of these compounds slow down the enzymes Cyclo-oxyygenase-1 and -2, which helps to relieve and prevent arthritis and gout in your body.

    Interestingly, we have had many readers state that alfalfa tablets have provided a fair measure of relief and improvement from gout as well. I have no experience with this but it would certainly seem another avenue to explore since it is a natural product with virtually no downside or side effects. Nutmeg has also shown promise for relieving gout symptoms, so if you enjoy this spice feel free to add it liberally to your diet.

  • 23Aug


    “…Fortunately, new evidence shows that some natural solutions actually do work at helping to reduce migraines, giving patients more options.

    Enter Butterbur
    According to a recent release by the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society, based on a review of studies from the past decade, of all the alternative therapies evaluated, the herb butterbur (Petasites hybridus) was the only one “established as effective” in reducing the frequency and severity of migraines.

    Butterbur has been used traditionally as an herbal remedy for pain, fever, and spasms. It comes from the root of the butterbur shrub, and grows to about three feet, commonly found in wet, marshy ground. Today it’s commonly used to treat coughs, asthma, hay fever, and stomach ulcers. In its natural state, however, it contains chemicals called “pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs),” which can damage the liver and cause other serious harm, so it’s important to always seek out PA-free extract products.

    Scientists aren’t sure how butterbur helps reduce migraines, but human studies have shown that it does. Researchers theorize that “petasin,” the main component in butterbur, may inhibit inflammation and reduce spasms in smooth muscle tissues, relaxing swollen blood vessels and membranes. Human studies have also shown butterbur to act as an antihistamine, making it an exciting natural alternative for treating allergies.

    With this recent recommendation by two prominent agencies, it certainly seems worth a try. The typical recommended dosage is from 50-100 mg of butterbur extract twice daily with meals. In one study, researchers found that taking 75 mg daily over 4 months cut the incidence of migraines nearly in half. TV’s Dr. Oz recommends 75 mg twice daily, upping to 100 mg twice daily if needed.

    Other Possible Natural Solutions
    Though butterbur extract was the only natural solution deemed as an established treatment for migraines, three others were mentioned as “probably effective.” These included the herb feverfew, as well as magnesium and riboflavin. The evidence for omega-3 fatty acids and other herbal or nutrient supplements was inadequate or conflicting. In other words, there may be other natural solutions, but so far we don’t have sufficient evidence behind any of them.

    • Feverfew: a member of the sunflower family, feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) has been used for centuries as a remedy for headaches, arthritis and fevers. Similar to butterbur, feverfew has a phythochemical called “parthenolide” that helps relieve spasms in smooth muscle tissue. Studies have also found it contains aspirin-like chemicals. Human studies have shown it to be effective in reducing the number of migraine attacks per month. In one study, participants took feverfew, magnesium, and vitamin B2 and experienced a 50 percent decrease in migraines. Those used in studies were standardized to contain at least 0.2% parthenolide. Take 100-300 mg, up to 4 times daily, standardized to contain 0.2-0.4% parthenolides.
    • Magnesium: According to the University of Maryland, people with migraines often have lower levels of magnesium than those who don’t have migraines. Studies suggest that magnesium may reduce frequency by over 40 percent, compared to 15 percent in those who took a placebo. Other studies suggest that magnesium may be particularly helpful in women whose migraines are triggered by menstrual periods. Try 200-600 mg per day.
    • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): Some studies show that this vitamin may also be helpful in reducing the frequency of migraines. Some studies show no effect, however, so more research needs to be done. Check with your doctor, as riboflavin can interfere with some medications like antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs, and medications for gout. Try 400 mg per day for migraines.

    As noted, some studies combined fevervew with magnesium and riboflavin and had good results. More is not always better, however, so check with your doctor, then consider trying one at a time, and if that doesn’t work, try some combinations. Some health stores may have migraine combination supplements already prepared. As always, make sure you trust the source.

    Don’t forget to try lifestyle changes as well. These include avoiding your triggers, creating a standard waking and sleeping routine, eating healthy foods (and not skipping meals), engaging in regular exercise, and limiting caffeine and alcohol intake. In addition, try removing processed foods, diet soda, and anything with MSG from your diet for two weeks to see if you notice any benefits. …”


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