Herbal Remedies Tips

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What are a few healing elements of Aloe Vera?

Healing Elements of Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has long been regarded as a wonderful healing botanical. When made into a cream or salve, aloe is often used to treat dry skin, sun burns, heat burns, cuts, scrapes, skin cracking, and more. It has also been said to help with skin rejuvenation and has been added to many skin creams and lotions.

Aloe Vera can also be made into a drink, which studies have shown can help upset stomach and digestive disorders. Those suffering from ulcers have also said to benefit from drinking Aloe Vera juice, as it is claimed that the plant can help increase production of stomach lining.

Of course, it is important to speak with your doctor prior to starting an Aloe Vera treatment at home.


Energizer Bunny

Quickly increasing your energy with sugar, caffeine, “miracle” drugs isn’t healthy. These quick fixes put stress on your heart and usually cause you to crash later. Then you’re left feeling exhausted and run down. Herbs offer a safer yet effective way to keep your energy going strong.

Siberian Gingseng has a reputation for fighting stress, fatigue and disease. So if you want to boost your energy and immunity, this is the complete package. Plus, it can be conveniently taken in tea, capsule or tablet form. Another option is olive leaf extract, which is an antioxidant that takes care of those free radicals. Not only does this protect you from colds, it also increases cardiovascular circulation. For days when you feel like you can’t keep your eyes open, try centella asiatica.

When you have a busy lifestyle, maintaining your energy level is important, but you also have to incorporate the basics such as adequate sleep and a balanced diet.


Natural Pain Relievers

Muscle pain can prevent you from getting around, and it’s not an enjoyable experience when you have to rough it out around your home or office with a strained muscle. Time off of your feet is sometimes the best medicine, but what do you do when the pain starts getting to you?

Instead of using prescription drugs to manage the pain, which you can become addicted to, you can opt for natural pain relievers as an alternative. For example, capsaicin is effective if you want to temporarily desensitize the area, and it can be applied like lotion to your skin. Also, supplements that include ginger, turmeric and holy basic can give you some relief. Other anti-inflammatory alternatives include SAM-e (S adenosylmethionine) and fish oil. SAM-e works in a different way, because it increases serotonin and dopamine levels, which make you happy.


Wheatgrass Juice

Wheatgrass is a common plant sold at pet stores, and although it’s an excellent snack for cats, it can be an even better addition to your morning juice. Making fresh fruit juice in the morning can help give your body to the boost it needs to start your day. Even though it’s high in natural sugars, your metabolism should be able to burn it off quickly, especially if you drink it at the beginning of your day. Wheatgrass juice is a natural detox, and it can increase your energy too. However, some people have become lightheaded after drinking small amounts of it, so it’s best to start by adding one ounce of wheatgrass juice to your drink.


Bathtime Detox

Detox drinks and systems can make you a prisoner to your bathroom, but you can have a more pleasant detox simply by taking a hot bath. The hot water helps draw out the toxins from your skin’s surface, which is what happens when you sweat. By adding salt to your bath, you help out the process.

If you prefer to make your own bath salts, it’s not too difficult, but you do need the following ingredients: sea salt (1 cup), baking soda (2 cups), Epsom salt (1 cup) and glycerin (1 to 2 tablespoons per bath). These ingredients can be combined and stored in a jar.

*People with heart problems, high blood pressure diabetes, etc., should avoid Epsom salt and hot baths unless they have discussed this with their doctors.


Relieve Sun Burns

Enjoying 15 to 20 minutes in direct sunlight between 10 am and 2 pm can be enough to give you sunburn. Did you know that you’re also more likely to experience severe sunburns when it’s cloudy? So in the general scheme of things, no time of day is safe from sunburns. However, if you do end up with red, peeling shoulders, you can treat it naturally.

Aloe vera gel is commonly used, and it’s convenient to have these plants growing in your house. You can also use comfrey (anti-inflammatory and skin cell regenerative)…the juice or lotion is extracted from the plant’s leaves. Another option is to take a lukewarm bath with chamomile, lavender, eucalyptus, Rose hips or Buckthorn essential oil. If you prefer not to use essential oils, you can add a cup of baking soda or apple cider vinegar to the bath, which will create a cooling effect too.


Essential Oils for Sinus Infections

During the first few days of a sinus infection, it can be difficult to breathe. However, diffusing anise or eucalyptus essential oil in your home or office can help you get through the day. Or even drinking tea with these herbs can open your nasal passages. Also, lavender essential oil can be applied to your chest, nose and any swollen lymph nodes. Lavender can relax you, but it also has antiseptic qualities.


Trouble Sleeping?

Tylenol PM commercials can persuade you to start using their product to help you get adequate sleep. However, there is always a risk of dependency with these drugs, and it’s not healthy for your body to constantly be exposed to them either. An alternative is to start an evening ritual where you prepare for bedtime. After you have your pajamas on and your face and teeth brushed, drink a hot cup of tea in bed. There are a variety of bedtime teas that promote sleep with valerian, chamomile and other calming herbs. Instead of experiencing that morning “hangover” from the sleeping pills, you can wake up well rested.

Can Food Affect Energy Levels and Mood?

At Home Stress Relievers

Face it…stress is a part of our daily lives. It might hide out for awhile, but you can be sure that it will creep up on you at the most inconvenient times. Some days you might even feel like you can’t escape, but these simple remedies outlined below can give you some relief even if you can’t leave your home.

Cup of Tea – Chamomile tea with honey or lemon is healthier for you than grabbing a beer from the fridge. If you don’t have chamomile, any tea will do. While certain teas can make you sleepy, energized or calm, a warm cup of fruit-infused tea can give you a chance to take a moment for yourself.

Aromatherapy – Essential oils or incense can help you create a peaceful environment. A few drops of lavender essential oil can be added to a hot bath, you can apply a drop to your temples. Smelling lemongrass or lavender incense can help you drift off to sleep.

Herbal Supplements – Valerian and passion flower can be taken two to three times a day to relieve anxiety and depression caused by stress.

What are a few benefits of apple cider vinegar?

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is one of the best multipurpose items to keep around your home. It can be ingested to help with yeast infections, cold symptoms, kidney stones, weight loss, and allergies. Simply add to water and drink it up! It can also be used in steam form to help with sinus congestion.

For shiny hair, rinse with apple cider vinegar. For brighter and whiter teeth, rinse with 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar. It can even be used as an aftershave! Apple cider vinegar also helps remove flea and ticks from pets when used as a rinse.

Around the home, use apple cider vinegar mixed with water as a disinfectant. ACV also works well for softening laundry when added to a washing machine load.

What are a few holistic uses for Epsom salt?

Holistic Uses for Epsom Salt

Epsom Salt has been used holistically for a long time. The most common use is for sprains, strains, and sore muscles. To ease them, pour one cup to one and a half cups of Epsom Salt into a warm bath. Soak in the bath to help ease the aches and pain associated with this type of injury.

In addition, Epsom Salt is also good for helping with sore throats. Add a few tablespoons of the salt to a bit of warm water. Gargle the water and spit it out.

For beauty, add Epsom Salts to your favorite conditioner. Use them as a exfoliating scrub on dry skin.

Of course, it is important to first speak with your physician before utilizing any type of holistic or herbal routine.

What are a few holistic uses for Green Tea?

Holistic Uses for Green Tea

Green tea has long been thought of as a beneficial beverage for the body. But, did you know that it can also be used to treat a variety of different health ailments?

Derived from the Camellia Sinensis plant, Green Tea is effective in helping treat mental fog and increase clarity. This is often why a cup of Green Tea is recommended first thing in the morning for optimum health.

Green Tea is also a terrific antioxidant and can help lower bad cholesterol levels when taken as part of a daily regiment. It is also said that green tea can help increase metabolic fat burning in those trying to lose weight.

Green Tea can also be used for skin care. It can be applied directly to the skin as part of a cleanser ritual to help eliminate oils.

What are a few holistic uses for sage oil?

Holistic Uses for Sage Oil

Sage oil has been used for hundreds of years to help with a wide variety of different ailments. Topically, this essential oil can be used to help disinfect cuts and heal abrasions. Sage oil can also be used to help relieve the sting of insect bites.

When ingested, Sage oil is also said to help with poor digestion. It is also sometimes used to treat menstrual and menopausal problems in women.

From an aromatherapy standpoint, Sage oil is often used to help with depression.

Sage oil does have a few side effects if ingested, including stomach discomfort in some people. Thus, many people opt for using Sage oil topically and for aromatherapy only. The related Clary Sage is often used for the same positive effects.

What does honey treat medically?

Holistic Uses for Honey

Dating back as far as Ancient Greece and Rome, honey has been used for a variety of different holistic reasons. In fact, the use of honey was even used up to WWII as a wound treatment!

In modern times, honey has been used holistically for sore throats and colds. Honey has also been used to help increase the immune system, ease insomnia, and help calm nerves. (This is why your grandmother probably always prescribed hot herbal tea with honey to help you get to sleep!)

Honey also has an amazing antibacterial property. Some holistic doctors have used honey as part of a treatment plan for staph infections, cuts, abrasions, and more.

Next time you reach for honey in your kitchen cabinet, consider all the healing properties this natural product possesses!

What does licorice root cure?

Holistic Uses for Licorice Root

Licorice root has been used for hundreds of years to cure a variety of different ailments. Available in both a tea and a capsuled form, licorice root is not to be confused with licorice candy. The root has been used in reducing the symptoms of colds, the flu, athlete's foot, canker sores, chronic fatigue, ulcers, liver problems, yeast infections, bursitis, sore throat, and more. Those familiar with herbal medicine refer to licorice root as the "ultimate cure" due to its hormonal balancing properties. It has also been said that a standard daily regiment of licorice root tea or capsules can help with weight loss due to the cortisol inhibiting properties of the herb. Of course, before you being any licorice root supplementation, check with your doctor or a licensed herbal therapist.

What are a few natural or holistic uses for cinnamon?

Holistic Uses for Cinnamon

Cinnamon has been used for centuries as a medicinal property, including in Chinese medicine. The spice, available in both powdered and oil form, has been said to aid with digestion, lower flu symptoms, and cure athlete's foot. Cinnamon has also been used orally to help with vaginal yeast infections. A few holistic practitioners have even suggested that cinnamon help diabetics control their blood sugar.

While it is important to contact a licensed natural medicine provider before starting a cinnamon regiment, it can be taken a few ways. First, try incorporating cinnamon into your everyday cooking. Next, it can be made or added to a general tonic or tea and taken orally. Essential oils may also be used topically for relief in certain instances. However, be aware that some people have an intense skin allergy to the spice which can cause inflammation and/or discomfort upon topical use.


Menopause: Herbal Solutions

Are you experiencing hot flashes, night sweats or insomnia during menopause? If you so, you’re not alone, because these are some of the most common symptoms of menopause. However, instead of accepting these symptoms, you can look to herbal remedies for a solution.

Soy is an iffy solution. While it contains phytoestrogens, it can also react with the estrogen that your body is still producing. However, on a short-term basis, it can help with those overheating moments during the day and night. Another remedy for sweating is cohosh, but it should only be taken for a maximum of 6 months.

If mild to moderate depression is one of your challenges during this biological change, consider taking 1.2 milligrams or less of St. John’s Wort per day. Chasteberry and evening primrose are effective for tender breasts, and Valerian root can soot you to sleep.


Sweeten It Up

Are you looking for a healthier sweetener than sugar? Try Agave nectar because it’s natural and contains no artificial sweeteners. The nectar is similar to honey in consistency, and it’s derived from the Agave plant. You can use the nectar in drinks (tea, coffee, etc.) and food (bread, muffins, etc.). Because it’s low in calories and has no chemicals this is a healthy option for children and adults. Another natural sweetener called Stevia is also a safer option for those with diabetes.


Weight Loss Tips That Make All the Difference

If you have a goal to lose weight, you definitely need to be disciplined. To help you shed some pounds, here are a few tips to make you go “hmmm:”

1. Think realistically about the weight you want to lose, because if your hopes are too high, you run the risk of personal disappointment. This disappointment can easily lead to giving up.

2. Begin everyday with a healthy breakfast. Try Kashi’s Go Lean oatmeal, because it contains 9 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber, 7 whole grains and only 6 grams of sugar. Eating in the morning helps propel your metabolism, which will help you burn fat throughout the day. If you hate eating breakfast, start with something small like fruit and work your way up to oatmeal or cereal.

3. Do not starve yourself! If you’re trying to lose weight, this is one of the worst things you can do, because you’re body will go into panic mode and start storing fat.

4. If you feel your blood sugar dropping, do not eat candy. At this point the first thing you feed your body will be stored as fat, so try eating nuts like walnuts, almonds or soy nuts to tide you over while you prepare a healthy meal.

5. Stop drinking carbonated drinks like soda, because they contain too much sugar and may cause bloating.

6. Drink water throughout the day to hydrate your body and also flush out toxins.

7. Start slow with your exercise habits. For example, use 5-pound weights first and gradually work up to 10 pounds or exercise for 20 minutes a day and then increase your time. There’s no sense in over working your body, because then you’ll have to take time out to heal your muscles.

8. When drinking fruit juice, make sure you buy 100% fruit juice. Also decrease your sugar intake by filling glasses with half juice and half water.

9. Lastly, make your meals smaller in portion. The amount of protein you consume should be about the size of your fist.

Keep these tips in mind and remember that all of your hard work will amount to a slimmer, leaner, stronger and more confident you!


Wake Without Coffee

Coffee is fine in moderation, but you can cause acid wear on the lining of your stomach and severely disrupt your digestive system by drinking it all day. A healthier alternative is drinking black tea. These teas are invigorating, and depending on what fruits or herbs enhance its flavor, they can give you the kick you need to start your day. Malty black teas are perfect with whole grain muffins or dippy eggs and toast. Plus, teas are a natural diuretic and will help your body flush out any toxins. This will definitely enable your body to start each day with a clean slate.


Treating UTIs

Urinary tract infections (UTI) are common and easily cured, but you need to treat them so they don’t develop into a more severe infection. Any of the following herbs can be used to treat your UTI: Goldenseal Root (antimicrobial), Uva Ursi (antiseptic), Cleavers, Marshmallow Root and Usnea Lichen, Buchu and Corn Silk (helps increase urine flow), or Horsetail (astringent and heals tissues). After you have chosen which herb you would like to try, find it in tea or capsule form. Since Cleavers is specifically known to treat UTIs, you should try this one or the Marshmallow Root and Usnea Lichen first.


Combat Altitude Sickness with Gingko Biloba

Altitude sickness or acute mountain sickness is caused when you are in a higher elevation where the amount of oxygen is lower in the air than what you’re body is used to. When the air pressure is reduced and the oxygen is lower, you can experience symptoms similar to the flu such as dizziness, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, shortness of breath, loss of appetite. Most of the time, people experience mild symptoms. However, the most severe symptoms can be pulmonary edema, cerebral edema, confusion, coma even death if untreated.

To prevent these symptoms when you’re traveling to the mountains, it’s best to prepare your body at least five days ahead of time. Gingko biloba is an herbal supplement that affects your memory and circulation. By taking 60 mg of ginkgo biloba daily five days before your trip, your body’s circulation will improve and enable you to handle the ascent better. Gingko biloba can be taken as a supplement or as a liquid extract.


Essential Oil Precautions

Essential oils have powerful properties, and each one can be used in a variety of ways. However, in order to use them properly, you have to follow some safety and health precautions.

The oils are distilled liquids from plants, so they are concentrated. Some essential oils like peppermint and cinnamon can easily burn your skin if not applied with another product such as vitamin E cream or a massage lotion. The cream or lotion dilutes the oil and serves as a barrier to protect your skin.

Some gentle essential oils like lavender can burn your skin if you don’t purchase 100% therapeutic grade. The manufacturer’s distillation process can have an effect on the oil’s quality.

The bottles should always be stored in a cool, dry place. The amber colors of the bottles protect and preserve the oil from sunlight. When you turn the bottles over to apply the oil, it sometimes takes a moment for the oil to come out. Always avoid touching the bottle’s dispenser, because you can contaminate the oil.

If you are on any medication, it’s always important to consult with your doctor before using essential oils.

Can Food Affect Energy Levels and Mood?

How Does Food Affect You?

Keeping a food journal can make you more aware of your mental and physical reactions to food. For example, you might notice that you are either energized or sluggish immediately after eating breakfast, lunch or dinner. This can help you determine if you need to adjust certain elements of your meals such as your protein or vitamin/mineral intake. Writing your reactions or non-reactions to food in a journal increases your self-awareness, which is the key to good health.


Tea Tree Oil Zaps Zits

Tea tree oil is an essential oil can be used as an antiseptic, germicide, antibacterial or fungicide. Because of its drying properties, it can effectively shrink blemishes and prevent you from breaking out.

First, wash and dry your face thoroughly before you go to bed. Then apply a drop or two of 100% therapeutic grade tea tree oil onto a cotton swab. Gently rub the medicated swab over your pimple. Try not to get the oil onto the clear, healthy areas of your skin, because it can quickly dehydrate your skin and make it flaky. Let the oil dry and wash your hands thoroughly.

Can Food Affect Energy Levels and Mood?

Bach Flower Essences

When your emotions are out of control, it can be hard to find a balance. Bach flower essences can be used on children, pets, pregnant women, elderly and plants, so they are safe and natural. The Rescue Remedy line relieves emotions such as anxiety, irritability and impatience. The active ingredients include Star of Bethlehem, Clematis, Cherry Plum, Impatiens and Rock Rose. Flower essences are a holistic alternative to mood enhancing drugs like Valium.


Lower Blood Pressure

Many factors can affect your blood pressure. Some include weight, activity level, tobacco use, sodium and potassium intake, stress, alcohol consumption, age and genetics. You might eat well and be slim, but you can still have high blood pressure due to one of the factors above.

One of the first ways to help lower your blood pressure is to cut back on certain things such as food, alcohol and tobacco or start exercising more. However, if these factors are not your issues, then you can consider herbal remedies. Some effective herbs include Coenzyme Q 10 (CoQ10), garlic supplements, hawthorn, fish oil and folic acid.

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Guru Spotlight
Barbara Gibson