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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Common Cold Home Remedies - Part 2

This is a continuation of my previous post on Common Cold.

As promise here is Part 2 - Homemade All Natural Remedies for the Common Cold!

- Do not ignore a cold and drag on with your work. As soon it develops—go to bed, drink fresh lemon juice in water, and settle down to getting well!

- Avoid chills, get adequate bed rest, and take a little salt to replace that lost in sweat

- Take vitamin C as much as you can (up to 5,000 mg at a time) In acute cases, 1,000 mg of C every other hour. Also take bioflavonoids (200-600 mg), small amounts garlic. (along with vitamin C, it is an excellent germ fighter), vitamin A (50,000 units for not more than one month; then down to 25,000 units), calcium lactate or gluconate (6 tablets), brewer's yeast, B6 (100 mg; it is a natural antihistamine, as well as providing helpful protein), vitamin E (600 units), betaine hydrochloride, zinc gluconate lozenges, and vitamin F (unsaturated fatty acids) reduces the frequency and duration of colds.

- In acute stages when fever is present, the person should abstain from all solid foods and only drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices, diluted (50-50) with water, plus herb teas. (I usually sweetened my drinks with honey!) Herb teas can include rose hips, golden seal, chamomile, peppermint, slippery elm, and ginger.

- Drink potato peeling broth twice a day. The peelings should be one-half inch thick (throw away the centers). Boil it for about 20-30 minutes; strain, cool, and drink. Make it fresh every day.

- Eucalyptus oil is helpful. Put 5 drops in a hot bath or 6 drops in a cup of boiling water. Put a towel over your head and, without burning yourself, inhale it.

- Take a lot of liquids.

- Gargle three times a day with saltwater (1 glass of warm water with 1 teaspoon of salt mixed in).

- Take a hot shower.

- As soon as the crisis subsides, let the person have some protein and other food. A low calorie raw fruit and vegetable diet is ideal.

And remember...prevention is always better than the the best way is to lessen the chances of catching cold by boosting up the immune system. It can be done by proper diet, vitamin in take, exercise and rest!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Common Cold Home Remedies - Part 1

I'm taking a break from beauty tips this week as I'd love to talk about something which is getting rampant lately...

Yes I'm referring to the COMMON COLD.

The nephew had it weeks ago...then passed it on to IT Guy and now it's with Mom. I always tend to panic a bit every time Mom has it because hers ten to complicate into cough and then eventually leads to bronchial asthma.

I know we all know what a common cold is but just exactly what it is beyond the discomfort and inconvenience it gives us...

Colds are generally an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the respiratory passages. Its symptoms include nose and throat irritations, watery eyes. fever, headaches, chills, muscle aches , and temporary loss of smell and taste. A heavy cold may take the form of acute or chronic infection such as tonsillitis, grippe, sinusitis, bronchial catarrh, chronic cold, or other similar virus-type infection.

Note: Children who are a frequent recipient of colds and flues may have thyroid malfunctions and needs to have a thorough diagnosis.
Just how do we know if it's just a cold or a flu already? Here is the difference --
  • Headache - prominent in flu, but rare in cold.
  • Fever - frequent and sudden in flu, but rare in a cold.
  • Fatigue - extreme in flu and can last 2-3 weeks; there is only mild fatigue with cold.
  • Runny nose - occasionally in flu; common with a cold.
  • General aches - common and often severe in flu; slight in cold.
  • Cough - common with flu and can become severe; only mild to moderate in a cold.
  • Sore throat - sometimes with flu; common with a cold.

And now the perennial question -- What causes cold?
Well for one it is caused by a variety of viruses. Another and most common is a weak immune system, allowing the virus to take hold of the body. Factors which lower the body's resistance to virus infection are overexposure to cold, fatigue, recent or present infections, lack of rest, allergic reactions, inhalation of irritating dust or gas, overeating, sugar consumption, wrong eating and unhealthy lifestyle in general.
The common cold is not an infection that attacks just anyone. It is not even a disease, but rather cold is the cure of a pre-diseased condition and its symptoms are attempts by the body to reestablish normal conditions. It is the body's some sort of "spring cleaning". It's impossible to produce a suitable vaccine for cold as its virus can change size and shape and more than 100 different viruses which cause colds. And its symptoms can last for 7-14 days regardless of therapy though its incubation period is very short (1-3 days), while most viruses last for 10-21 days.
A cold is always in the upper respiratory tract (nose, mouth, throat and upper bronchial). If congestion develops in the chest, it means it is worsening into something more serious and if you do not know how to take care of yourself, you better see a physician especially if --
  • chills and shortness of breath occur
  • you have fever which goes above 101 F
  • you see yellow or white spots appearing in the throat
  • your lymph nodes under the jaw and neck area are swollen or enlarged
    you experience any hot, extreme pain, such as earache, swollen tonsils, sinus pains or aching lungs or chest pains
  • you have excessively large amount of sputum that is greenish or bloody
    there is extreme difficulty in swallowing
  • wheezing occurs
Note: For children with high fever should be consulted with a physician.
Colds come like a theft in the night. So the moment you get a tingling nose and throat, nasal mucus, or scratchy throat DO NOT wait for the coughing, weakness, and fever to begin. Go to bed!
Part 2 of this post will be tomorrow and I will be sharing with you all natural home remedies for common cold!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Facial Mask

Still on the topic of face treatments I'd like to share with you another cost-effective and all natural facial care tips!

As I've said in my previous post, exfoliation and a good moisturizer are keys to a healthy and beautifully glowing skin which we can achieve through facial scrubs and facial mask.

You may ask what is a facial mask and how different is it from a facial scrub. Well as I've explained in my previous post facial scrub exfoliates. By rubbing the formula against the skin it cleans the skin thoroughly by unclogging dirt from the pores and remove dead skin. Facial mask is applied differently. For one, the formula will just be put on the face and has to stay for a few minutes. Facial mask can tighten your pores, remove excess oil from the skin, or moisturize and replenish dry skin.

Though I love going to the spa, face treatments are something I love to do in my free time at home.

Here is a general procedure to do a facial scrub --
  1. Pull hair back into a ponytail, or just tie it anyway you want.
  2. Wash face thoroughly.
  3. Scrubs are most effective when the skin is soft and exfoliated.
  4. Apply the MASK you just prepared to face avoiding the eye area and let it stay for 20 minutes.
  5. Rinse off with warm water.
  6. Enjoy and be proud of the results!
MASK Preparation - Homemade Fruity Mask

I am one person who do not run out of fruit thus this recipe is quite convenient for me. I either use banana or avocado for this recipe. Just mash them and use them as mask. If the mashed fruit is too dry blend it with a little honey. Apply as step # 4 in the above described general procedure for facial mask.

Other options...

Since face treatments are self-pampering activities some of you may opt for ready to use yet cost-effective and all natural facial mask. I'm ALL for that too! In fact I alternate them with my fruity formula above.

As an alternative to my fruity facial mask you may get facial mask with Vit. A and E. You may also try the mud mask which is good for detoxifying. There are available formulas in the market and the nice thing is, most of them are just home fragrance! Meaning they're friendly to the nostrils and are soothing and refreshing. Awesome, isn't it?!

So what are you waiting for? Get the right facial mask for you! It can do you wonders!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Homemade Facial Scrub

In my post Treating Enlarged Pores I mentioned there that one key to help keep the pores clear and less apparent is a mild exfoliation. So to continue with our topic on face treatments I'd like to share with you homemade facial scrubs recipes. These are cost-effective and all natural. More than anything they are easy to prepare and are available in your kitchen!

Here is a general procedure to do a facial scrub --
  1. Pull hair back into a ponytail, or just tie it anyway you want.
  2. Wash face thoroughly.
  3. Scrubs are most effective when the skin is soft and its pores are open. To do this, steam face over hot water (if you do not have a face steamer) or simply press a warm cloth to skin for a few minutes.
  4. Apply the SCRUB you just prepared to face avoiding the eye area. (You may include the neck ares if you want.)
  5. Optional: Use a facial loofah, sponge, or brush to maximize exfoliation.
  6. Rinse off with warm water.
  7. Savor the results!
SCRUB Preparation - Sugar Honey Scrub

If you have tried a body sugar scrub, you know how amazing they are. Work the same magic on your face!

1 tsp. of honey (I use olive oil when I run out of honey!)
1/2 tsp. of brown sugar

Blend honey and sugar in a bowl. Apply as step # 4 in the above described general procedure for facial scrub. Rinse very thoroughly, as this recipe can be slightly sticky.

Another variation which I also love is using mashed papaya instead of honey.

Mash a piece of papaya, then add 1/2 tsp brown sugar and rub your face with it. Leave it on for 20 minutes and rinse well. It leaves skin fresh and glowing!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Treating Enlarged Pores

Tired of seeing those large pores around your nose area? Whether you are having those large pores concentrated on a limited area of your face...fact remains that larger pores in the skin most especially in the face are unsightly and gives an appearance of premature aging!

Most people try to remedy this by using a very good foundation and makeup primer and while it may address the issue by temporarily covering the enlarged pores it does not take them away. And it might get worst and get clogged giving in to more skin problems.

I personally don't believe that there are people born with it (though some people's skin type makes them inclined/ susceptible to having enlarged pores) as we all have beautiful skin when we're still babies. As we grow up however our lifestyle defines us and well our skin. More than anything our food plays a major role with it. As I keep saying here, we are what we eat.

One major cause of enlarged pores is using nicotine in any form. (So stop believing those ads which shows beautiful people smoking.)

Other factors could be any but not limited to the following --
  • Sun damage
  • Hormonal changes
  • Acne
  • Blackheads
  • Skin dehydration
  • Trapped dirt, oil, dead skin cells
  • Improper cleansing
  • Excessive oil production
  • Overuse of makeup
  • Improper diet
  • Puberty, menopause
So just exactly how can we treat enlarged pores you may ask. It will not be a short easy trip getting there. I'd say we first make sure those pores don't get any larger than they already are. Then we can slowly work our way to getting rid of them. And it takes a lot of patience and commitment to healthy living to achiever beautiful and healthy skin.

To start looking better --
  • Quit all tobacco products and stop breathing side stream (secondhand) smoke.
  • Avoid soft drinks, sugar. chocolates, potato chips and other junk foods.
  • Begin a nutritious program with exercise and rest.
  • Take vitamin-mineral supplements including Vitamins A, C and the entire B Complex.
  • Drink lots of water everyday to keep your body hydrated.
A good hygiene paired with a regular facial moisturizer is also necessary in maintaining a healthy beautiful skin. So make sure you wash your face before going to bed. A mild exfoliation will also help keep the pores clear and less apparent. And while astringent works with some people in shrinking enlarged pores these are still forms of chemicals which the skin my react to and if one would opt for this treatment I suggest you go see a dermatologist to check what formula is best for you.

One may also try to avoid any of the following factors enumerated above which cause enlarged pores. Stay away from harsh chemicals and don't apply just anything to you face as skin irritations can worsen enlarged pores.

Tomorrow I will share another homemade formula for facial scrub. Nothing beats the natural way!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Homemade Lip Balm

It's been raining here the past days and I need something to moisturize my lips other than occasionally wetting it with my tongue which just ends up drying it more!

Most people when exposed to cold temperature gets dry lips and at worst chappy lips. Now there are people also regardless of the weather or temperature they're exposed to do get these. Other common reasons could be nutritional deficiencies and sometimes allergic reaction to toothpaste, mouthwash (and to women sometimes from lip gloss and lipsticks!). A slight percentage can also be attributed to skin conditions which really requires serious medical attention.

For chappy lips which are just in need of moisturizer...I have a homemade lip balm recipe which I got from my grandmother!

Before I present my simple formula, let me share with you the following facts about lip balm, lip gloss, and chap stick! I know some people confuse the three as the same but the three means three different thing.

A lip gloss is used to add shine or a touch of color...

Chap Stick is used to well...heal chapped lips.

And a lip balm is used to keep lips moisturized!

And below is an easy step in making your own lip balm --
Warm 1 cup of almond oil (I sometimes use sunflower oil as I have it handy for my Oil Pulling!) in a double-boiler. Stir continually. Add 1 Tbsp. of beeswax. Then add 1 tsp. of the following: vanilla extract, honey, vitamins E oil, Aloe Vera gel. While hot, stir as you pour it into its container. (You can buy small containers with cover.) Close tightly.

The lip balm will soon harden and is ready for use.

I find this one very nourishing to the lips and I always carry this with me especially during summer!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Art of Aging Gracefully

I just did Fun Monday post in my main site and our topic for this week is about how do we project ourselves many years from now...when I am old!

Do we really need the fountain of youth to flow to age gracefully or that so called elixir of life?! Do these things really do exists?!

I doubt it. Whether we like it or not age sneaks up on us like a theft in the night. And that we are all growing one year older every three hundred and sixty-five days. However, we can learn from people who has lived through generations. My Grandma is one...she'd be turning 90 this December!

So just how do we give in to aging gracefully? Do we just surrender to it?

Well taking everything I have read about aging gracefully and senior health into consideration, I'd say yes and no.

Yes because it is a fact and is something we have to accept, understand, embrace and be ready for. No because it is not the end of world and that we have the choice not to deteriorate as we progress in years!

So whoever says aging gracefully is an art is damn accurate! It is an art because we can come up with different approaches to it and there is no exact XYZ approach to it.

In this book, Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Physical and Spiritual Well-Being, Dr. Weil notes that studies of people who live to be 100 years old or more have failed to find a single, specific formula for senior health and a long life. There is no evidence, he says, "that particular foods, supplements or other substances have anything to do with our living to extreme old age."

At the same time, however, he emphasizes that lifestyle does matter, especially concerning senior health. He contends that strong family ties, healthy food (but no one, specific food) and lifelong physical activity are probably what make residents of the island Okinawa the longest-lived population in the world, with an average life expectancy of 81.2 years.

Below are health can benefit from it if we want to age gracefully! These are common information which we all know about...we just need some reinforcements to get into the habit of following these simple health routines --

Healthy Eating!

Nothing beats a healthy and a balanced diet. They say we are what we eat and that what we take daily has a major impact on how well our body regenerates. We can opt for food which are fresh and unprocessed.

Vitamins and Minerals are good aid for aging skin too!

Below is a list which you might find handy --

Beta Carotene - antioxidant, increases cellular regeneration, and prevents pre-mature aging of the skin
Food source: carrots, apricots, & squash

Vitamin C - antioxidant, needed for production of elastin and collagen; promotes skin strength and elasticity in blood vessel walls and cell membranes
Food source: oranges, kiwi, & peppers

Vitamin E - antioxidant, helps maintain all tissues, believed to slow the aging of cells; may help prevent scar formation
Food source: cold-pressed vegetable oils, raw nuts & seeds

Selenium - antioxidant, protects against UV induced cell damage; helps preserve skin elasticity.
Food source: tuna, garlic, onions & broccoli

Zinc - antioxidant, essential for normal cell growth and repair
Food source: whole grains, most seafood, & onions

Essential Fatty Acids - to maintain proper function of all tissues and tissue repair, especially the skin
Food source: primrose oil, flax seed oil, & olive oil

You may also go see and nutritionist to find out what's the best diet for you. I do that once in awhile as I know with my daily activities and lifestyle my body needs differ from time to time.

Healthy eating is not just eating...but also it is about water intake! Yes, healthy diet is about eating and drinking right. They say the human body is made up of 50% to 70% water and it loses about three quarts of water each day through perspiration, urine, and respiration. To wait when we are thirsty isn't always the best barometer as thirst is a response to severe dehydration. The recommended liquid intake that the average person should drink is at least two to three pints of clean, pure water each day. Water is involved with nearly every bodily process most especially with flushing out waste materials. It also benefits our skin by acting as an internal moisturizer, keeping the skin moist, supple, and clear and well prevents pre-mature aging.

Healthy Lifestyle!

This is quite a broad topic which I'd rather sum up into two main categories...the TO DO's and the DON'Ts!

One key to healthy lifestyle is exercise! Everyone can benefit from it...people from all ages! We need not go to the gym for this...just a regular walk will do. Some morning stretching will never do harm!

My Grandma is approaching 90 and can still walk without any help of anyone, not even a stick! She has not gone to the gym...but she has most spend most of her time in the farm! Her daily routine afforded her good exercise.

Another key to healthy lifestyle is getting enough sleep. Body repairs take place when our body is at rest...or at sleep. Sleeping also gives us a good disposition which is a great factor in our overall wellness! It's hard to wake at the wrong side of bed if we have enough sleep. ;)

Beware of UV rays!

There has been many researches performed over the past years on the sun and it's effect on the human body. Though we have found that a certain amount of sunlight is needed to manufacture Vitamin D within our bodies, which is a definite necessity, after a certain time, those powerful rays can also be very harmful to our body, most especially to our skin.

So to add to my skin tips more specifically on Sunburn Remedies, here are more skin care tips.

- Try to avoid the sun between the hours of 10AM and 3PM, even with sun protector.
Watch the reflected light from sand, water, cement, and snow -- it is still damaging to the skin.
- Most dermatologist recommends an SPF 15 sunscreen or greater at anytime of the year.
- A SPF of 15 is only good for about 150 minutes (2.5 hours) protection. Thus, one application daily may not be enough to protect the skin all day.
- Wear something which protects you from the sun!

And you can probably add more to my list of to do's. Feel free to leave them in the comments sections if you please...

And now for the dreaded DON'Ts!

I will try to make this as simple as I can. Avoid anything that will cause you to put in unnecessary toxin into your body.

We may need to lower alcohol intake. At some point it give some benefits to the body but too much of anything is never good.

Quit smoking! Do I need to say more?!

Say no to substance abuse.

So there! Are we now ready to live 100 years and beyond?! Of course we are!

Cheer's never too late to start a healthy life...and remember...

Aging gracefully is a matter of self-esteem!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Health Facts About Watermelon...

I love watermelon! So much!

My Wordless Wednesday entry at Mariposa's Tales features my nephew and his love for watermelon...which I believe he got from me. I also mentioned some basic facts about watermelon in that post.

So I went further and investigated just how healthy watermelon is...this vegetable (take note it is not a fruit but a vegetable!) just offers several nourishments for the body.

Below are top refreshing and nourishing health facts about watermelon -

Stay Cool and Lovely

Watermelon is an amazing fruit, which can work wonders for your skin. It acts as a natural moisturizer as well as a toner and keeps the skin cool, glowing and fresh.

The Smartest Pick for Losing Weight

Packed with vitamins and minerals the watermelon is labeled as one of the healthiest fruit. Low in calories and fat free, watermelon is prescribed as an ideal diet food.

The battle of the bulge could be won with the sweet and juicy melons that can be served as a lip smacking dessert or a snack without adding to the bulge. Hence the watermelon diet is the perfect choice of an ideal weight loss program.

Fight Fatigue and Keep Your Metabolism in High Gear with Water Melons

On a typical summer day watermelons are extremely refreshing as they have very high water content, 92% water and 8% sugar.

Rich in electrolytes (sodium and potassium) this wonder fruit amazingly nourishes your body. It not only replaces the electrolytes lost through sweat but also hydrates your cells and maintains the water balance in the cells. Metabolism is boosted as the functionality of the cells is increased, ultimately energizing your body.

The 4 great fatigue fighters - Potassium, Vitamin C, lycopene and iron found in watermelon drives away any feeling of fatigue you may experience.

Naturally, watermelons are 'The Pick Of The Season’.

Are You Stressed Out? Relax And Chill Out With Water Melon Juice Or Cubes

Watermelon is a ‘sensational’ stress buster says a research. Watermelon is high in vitamin B6- and is used by the body to produce brain chemicals, which may relieve stress, anxiety and panic attacks. It naturally relaxes the blood vessels without any drug side effects.

Add Spice To Your Marital Life With Water Melons:

The popular summer fruit may be a natural Viagra say research scientists. The luscious summer fruit is rich in an amino acid called citrulline. Citrulline relaxes and dilates blood vessels very much like Viagra and other drugs that are used to treat erectile dysfunction (ED).

Source: MedIndia

Visit Watermelon Nutrition for a detailed nutritional facts about watermelon.

For stunning looks and winning knocks, go for watermelons!