January 20, 2007: 25 Important home remedies, health tips and tricks
From various sources, I've been able to gather some very interesting Home Remedies that may/may not work. It is always better to avoid counter top medication whenever possible. I have tried some of these remedies and they work. Although some are questionable. If you end up spotting any that work, please share your story and comment at the bottom of the article.
1. Heartburn: Heartburn can be caused by a number of factors. These include certain foods, and others are factors such as being overweight or lifestyle habits, such as smoking.
Certain foods can be associated with reflux events, including:
- Citrus fruits
- Drinks with caffeine
- Fatty and fried foods
- Garlic and onions
- Mint flavorings
- Spicy foods
- Tomato-based foods, like spaghetti sauce, chili, and pizza
Other factors that may contribute to heartburn include:
- Alcohol use
- Being overweight
If you have heartburn, you shouldn't lie flat. Elevate the head of your bed to about 4 to 6 inches. You can do this by putting blocks under the legs of the bed, or by slipping a wedge under the mattress at the head of the bed. If you try to use more pillows, it probably wont help any. Keeping the bed on a slant will help stop the heartburn from returning. Also, taking an over the counter antacid, such as Maalox or WinGel, will help relieve the burning. Some things to avoid when you have heartburn is : caffeine, tobacco smoke, fatty meats, dairy products, and especially chocolate. Here is a couple herbs that can help : gingerroot; take in capsule form just after you eat. Start with 2 capsules, then increase dosage as needed. You will know you had enough when you start to taste ginger in your throat. You can also take bitter herbs in liquid or capsule form just before you eat. Before you take these herbs, however, make sure you check with your doctor first.
2. Cold Sores: Cold sores, also called fever blisters, are a painful infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV 1). Cold sores most often occur on the lips, nose, and the surrounding areas. However, the cold sore virus can also be transmitted to the genitals through oral sex. Old toothbrushes can harbor the herpes virus for days, and re-infect you after current cold sores heal. To prevent the virus from reoccurring from an infectious toothbrush, get rid of it. Throw it away when you notice that you are beginning to get the virus. Also, you shouldn't keep your toothbrush in a wet area, like the bathroom. Moisture helps prolong the herpes virus on your toothbrush, therefore, should store your toothbrush in a dry area. Besides a toothbrush, the tube of toothpaste can transmit the virus as well. Your brush goes in your mouth, as well as on the opening of your tube, various times. If you use small tubes of toothpaste, you will be sure to replace it regularly and help prevent getting the disease. To help protect your cold sore, you can cover it with petroleum jelly, but use a cotton swab, so you wont accidentally put the same finger you put in your mouth, back into the jelly.
Water-based zinc solutions help speed healing time, as well. To help decrease inflammation, you might want to try ice on the sore. It could help, but be sure not to leave the ice on too long, or it could result in a touch of frostbite.
3. Sunburn: Sunburn is condition that occurs to skin that has been overexposed to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Too much time in the sun without protection can result in heightened sensitivity, redness, pain, and even blisters. Compressing something soothing to a sunburn can really help. Dip a towel into plain, cold water and place it over the burn. Repeat this every 15 minutes, or until the towel gets warm. Or you can mix 1 cup of skim milk with 4 cups water, then add a few ice cubes. Dip a towel into this mixture . Apply compresses for 15 to 20 minutes, then repeat every 2 to 4 hours. Also, cool baths for larger areas will work well, but don't rub your skin or it will irritate it further. You can make a cool bath with with 1 cup of white vinegar, or sprinkle baking soda into tepid bathwater; but instead of drying off with a towel, let the solution dry on your skin. Another thing you can do is put your moisturizer in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes before applying. This lotion could be Eucerin, Wibi, or aloe vera. Also, pain relievers, such as Tylenol, aspirin, or codeine, but as always, check with your doctor first.
4. Headaches: The most common cause of toothache, or pain in the region of the jaws and face, is pulpitis - inflammation of the pulp of the tooth. The short, sharp pains usually occur in response to hot, cold or sweet stimuli. When you get a headache and decide to take an Aspirin, take it right away, when it first starts, otherwise, it may not work very good. If you have a slight headache, you may want to try exercising. But if you have a severe headache, don't exercise, because it will make the headache worse, especially if you have a migraine. Something you can do is protect your eyes from any light, because it might lead to a headache. This includes : sun, fluorescent lighting, television, etc. They can start with squinting, eyestrain, and then a headache. Here are some things that you could avoid that trigger headaches : strong perfumes, a lot of caffeine, milk, chewing gum, high salt intakes, chocolate, nuts, and aged cheese. Also, if you eat ice cream too fast, you probably will feel an intense rush of pain in your head. Eat ice cream slowly so that your palate will cool gradually instead of receiving a shock of cold. Here is a few extra tricks to try : 1. Using your forefinger and thumb, apply pressure in a massaging motion to the bony ridges at the back of the neck. 2. You may want to try a cold compress on your forehead and/or neck. 3. Some people prefer hot showers by pointing the shower-head at the back of your neck.
5. Acne: Acne is a disease that affects the skin's oil glands. The small holes in your skin (pores) connect to oil glands under the skin. These glands make an oily substance called sebum. The pores connect to the glands by a canal called a follicle. Inside the follicles, oil carries dead skin cells to the surface of the skin. A thin hair also grows through the follicle and out to the skin. When the follicle of a skin gland clogs up, a pimple grows.
Most pimples are found on the face, neck, back, chest, and shoulders. Acne is not a serious health threat but, it can cause scars.
To prevent acne, you should wash your makeup[for men/ladies who use makeup] off thoroughly every night. Use a mild soap about twice a day. Be sure that you rinse the soap completely off. Also, use a non - oil - based makeup if you are prone to acne. Another thing is to beware of some acne medications, because of photo - sensitivity. You should also know when to squeeze and when not to squeeze. You shouldn't squeeze pimples, because it may cause an infection. You can, however, squeeze pimples when there is a little central yellow pus in it. You also shouldn't squeeze a whitehead. The core of whiteheads are much smaller than those of blackheads. If you squeeze whiteheads, the wall of the pore could break, and the contents could leak onto your skin and cause a pimple. You should pop blackheads, though. A blackhead is a very blocked pore. The black part of the blackhead is not dirt, but dermatologists aren't sure what it is, but it will not lead to a pimple. Most over the counter medications work good when they contain benzoyl peroxide in them. Be sure that you don't apply benzoyl peroxide to dry skin, because you may get a reddening of the skin, but it is a normal reaction.
6. Eye Redness: If you have red eyes, you probably aren't getting enough sleep. Your eyes are dry from not enough sleep. To rehydrate them, you should sleep for 7 to 8 hours.
However, the problem may not be in your eyes, but in you eyelids. This low-grade infection is called blepharitis. To treat this, wash your eyelids with warm water every night before you go to bed. Be sure to cleanse the lids so that no debris, oils, bacteria, makeup, etc., on the lashes are all removed.
To get rid of your red, dry eyes, you should try over-the-counter artificial tears. These can moisten the eyes, and unlike eye drops, they don't shrink blood vessels.
Something that can cool and constrict the blood vessels in your eyes is a cool, wet washcloth. Just lay it over your eyes, and the water will add moister to your eyes.
7. Oily Skin: Heredity plays a big part in oily skin, but so do hormones. There is no magic cure for oily skin, but here are some tips to help. Something worthwhile is clay or mud masks. However, the effects are only temporary, not long lasting. The darker brown the clay (mud), the more oil it can absorb. White or rose-colored clays are gentler and work best on sensitive skin.
Hot water on your oily skin is good too. Hot water and soap will dissolve the skin oil better than cold water and soap. Also, the kind of soap you may want to use, is soaps that dry the skin. Some of these soaps that can be used are: Safeguard, Dial, and Ivory. You should go heavy on the soap, and scrub the skin. You may also want to purchase specialized degreasing soaps, such as: Cuticura Mildly Medicated Soap, Clearasil soap, and Neutrogena Oily Skin Formula.
Something else to use is water-based cosmetics if you have oily skin. You wouldn't want to use oil-based ones, because it would add to your oiliness. Also, for additional shine-free protection, some women use simple products such as Johnson's Baby Powder. It makes a good face powder when fluffed lightly over makeup.
8. Dry Hair: If you have dry hair, you should probably use a conditioner. Pick one that works good for you and use it after you shampoo. You may also want to try mayonnaise as a conditioner also. Leave it in your hair for anywhere from 5 minuets to an hour ; then wash it out. Another thing you could do to make a conditioner is to take old, rotten, black bananas, and mash them together with a mushy, rotten avocado. Leave it in your hair for 15 minutes, then make sure you wash it out in the kitchen sink. Also, if your hair is most messed up at the ends, snip them off. You should do this once every 6 weeks or so. Something else you can do is to where a rubber cap when you go swimming, because the chlorine is very bad for your hair.
9. Body Odor: If you use commercial deodorants or antiperspirants and develop rashes, you may want to try a topical antibiotic cream. It does the same thing that deodorants do, except there is no irritating fumes, and they are sold in any drugstores. Another product that you can use if you can't stand regular antiperspirants and deodorants is to use a product from France called Le Crystal Natural. It is a chunk of mineral salts that are formed into a crystal, and helps keep bacteria under control, and doesn't irritate your skin. Le Crystal Natural can be found in many cosmetic departments and health food stores. Something else you should do if you have a problem with body odor is to watch what you eat. Extracts from proteins and oils from some foods and spices can remain in your body's excretions and secretions for hours after you have ate them, and can impart an odor. One more thing that you can try that works very well for humans to get rid of odor is to use tomato juice. Just pour a couple of cups of tomato juice in with your bath water and sit for about 15 minuets. This also works very well for dogs, too. It is used to get rid of skunk odor for dogs, and clothing. Also, if you have body odor, be sure that you wash your clothes too, and not just your body. Some people need to change their clothes more often that others. It is probably a good idea to change your shirt more than once a day if it is very hot.
10. Chapped Lips: Before you go out in dry, cold weather, you should coat your lips with lip balm, to prevent chapped lips. Be sure to reapply the lip balm several times while your out, because lips don't hold anything on them very well. However, not just cold weather results in chapped lips. The sun can fry your lips in any time of the year. Sun damage can cause dryness and scaliness, so you might want to get a lip balm that contains sunscreen, such as Chap Stick's Sunblock 15. In addition to sunscreen, creamy lipsticks help smooth chapped lips. Lipstick is opaque, and it filters out all light, so in other words, it is added protection against chapped lips, and very possibly, lip cancer.
Also, don't lick your lips too much, because it might become a habit, and eventually you will lick the area around your lips, which will result in red rings of dermatitis around your mouth. Now, some people have a tendency to drool in their sleep, and this can aggravate lips that are already chapped. If you have this problem, you can apply some zinc oxide ointment or petroleum jelly an your lips, every night before you go to bed. It will act as a barrier to protect your lips.
11. Hyperventilation: When people hyperventilate, they breath too fast, or they over breath, due to anxiety or being scared. Here are some ways to stop or prevent attacks from happening to you, if you tend to hyperventilate. First of all, if you start hyperventilating, sit down, relax, and be calm. You need to try to slow down your breathing, because if you are tense, you will breath faster. Also, practice breathing naturally. You may want to take normal breaths every 6 seconds or ten breaths a minute. You could do these sessions twice a day at 10 minutes. per session. Exercise helps as well; especially if you get your heart rate up. It decreases anxiety and helps you to cope better with things. In order to prevent hyperventilation from occurring, you should identify the problems and situations that trigger your hyperventilation, and try to avoid them or reduce them. Breathing into a paper bag helps to stop and prevent attacks. It helps replace carbon dioxide that is "blown off" while hyperventilating. You should also steer clear of stimulants, because they can trigger hyperventilation. This includes caffeine and nicotine. If you have uncommon attacks of hyperventilation, you should probably be seen by a doctor.
12. Depression: Something to do when you are depressed is to do something active. Don't just sit around the house moping or watching television, because it will make you more depressed. This remedy involves getting away from home. It really doesn't matter what you choose to do, as long as you stay active. Go for a walk, bike ride, visit a friend, exercise, etc. Also, talking or sharing your feeling with someone, like a friend, can really help. Find a friend that is caring and tell them what is on your mind. If talking your problem out leads to tears, let them flow. Crying is a great release, especially if you know what you are crying about. Another thing is to do something really boring. This may help you snap out of the blues, because it will distract and take your attention away from your woes. For instance, clean your bathroom tiles with a toothbrush, or study the same leaf over and over again. Something else to do is to close the refrigerator. Eating may help and make you feel good at the time, but it can add depressing inches to your waistline. If this is a problem, you might have to get out of the house for awhile to fight the urge to eat. If depression is a major problem for you, talk to your doctor about a Serotonin Uptake Inhibitor, like Prozac or Paxil. These medications can do wonders if your doctor says they are right for you.
13. Varicose Veins: Something to help prevent varicose veins is to raise your legs. Just use an ottoman, pillows, a chair, or even just a wall, and raise your legs above hip level. Do this after lots of activity, or when they ache, and the discomfort should go away. You may also want to raise the foot of your bed a few inches, so your legs will be lifted throughout the night. However, if you have heart trouble, or difficulty of breathing, you might want to consult your doctor before adjusting your bed. Also, sitting or standing for a long period of time can cause problems. That's why you should do a little exercise throughout the day, to work the blood in your legs, and help prevent pooling. Another thing to help prevent varicose veins is to wear support hose. They are available in pharmacies and department stores, and they resist the blood's tendency to pool in small blood vessels closest to the skin. Instead, the blood is pushed into the larger, deeper veins, where it is more easily pumped back up to the heart. You should also watch your weight, because the added body weight puts more pressure on your legs. So if possible, keep your weight down, and chances are you will have fewer problems with bulging veins.
14. Snoring: Don't drink and sleep. Alcohol before bed makes snoring worse. Also, you can sew a tennis ball onto the back of your pajamas, that way, when you roll over on your back, you hit this hard object and unconsciously you roll off your back. People who snore, usually snore more when they sleep on their backs. Another thing is to not use large pillows, for they will make you snore more. If you must sleep on your back, then remove the pillows from your bed, so your head will be flat on the mattress. Something else to try, is evaluating your bed. Raising your upper torso, not just your head, this can help minimize the noise. Put a couple of bricks under the legs at the head of the bed.
15. Foot Odor: Be careful what you eat. As weird as it may sound, when you eat spicy or pungent food, the essence of these odors can be excreted through the sweat glands on your feet. So your feet can end up smelling like your lunch! A neat trick that Europeans do is to sprinkle the fragrant herb sage into their shoes to control odor. Maybe this will do the trick for you. Another thing is to change socks as frequently as possible. Even three or four times a day. Also, you can use an antiperspirant. A pretty effective trick to use is using a deodorant on your feet. You can buy foot deodorants, or even use your underarm deodorant. But, be aware, that deodorants do not stop perspiration. Also, don't use an antiperspirant if you have athlete's foot, because it will sting.
16. Tooth Ache: Rinse your tooth ache away. Take a mouthful of water (at body temperature) and rinse vigorously, because if your tooth ache is caused by trapped food, a thorough rinse may dislodge the problem. Also, holding a swig of whiskey over the painful tooth could numb the pain. Another thing is to rinse with salty water. After each meal and at bedtime, stir 1 teaspoon of salt into an 8-ounce glass of water (again, at body temp). Hold each mouthful, roll it around your mouth, then spit. Something else to do, is keep your mouth shut. If cold air moving pass the tooth is a problem, just shut off the flow. Or, you can keep your mouth open. Some toothaches happen when one's bite isn't quite right. In that case, avoid shutting your mouth as much as possible until the doctor can take a look. Another thing is to swallow your aspirin. Don't believe that old time remedy that calls for placing an aspirin directly on the aching gum. This can cause an aspirin burn. For pain relief, take an aspirin every 4 to 6 hours as required. Also, for pain relief, you can use oil of cloves. Most drugstores carry tiny bottles of this oil. Drop a little directly on the tooth, or dab with a cotton ball and pack the elixir next to the ache.
17. Dandruff: Cap it. To improve the effectiveness of medicated shampoos, after you lather up, put a shower cap on over your wet hair. Leave it in for 1 hour, then rinse as usual. But, before doing this, check and read the directions, to make sure it will not be harmful. Also, massage it in. When shampooing, gently massage your scalp with your fingertips to help loosen scales and flakes. But don't scratch, because that can lead to sores that are worse than the dandruff. Another thing is to stay clear of beer. If you use beer as a rinse and styling lotion, it may be causing your dandruff. Beer can dry out your scalp and eventually lead to dandruff. Another good thing to do is to switch-hit. If you found a brand of shampoo that works well, keep using it, but be aware, however, that your skin can adapt to a shampoo's ingredients, so you would be wise to change your brand every few months to maintain its effectiveness. Also, a good trick is to use thyme. Make an effective rinse by boiling 4 heaping tablespoons of dried thyme in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Strain the brew and allow it to cool. Pour half the mixture over clean, damp hair, making sure the liquid covers the scalp. Massage it gently. Do not rinse. Save the remainder for another day. One more thing, is that a zinc shampoo could be very helpful.
18. Bad Breath: Rinse your mouth out. When you can't brush, you can rinse. Go to a restroom after meals and get a mouth fool of water. Swish it around, and wash the smell of food out of your mouth. Spit the water out, of course. Also, eat three meals a day. Bad breath can be caused by not eating too. One of the side effects of fasting or a poor diet is bad breath. You also should brush your tong. Your tong is covered with little hair-like projections, which, under a microscope, looks like a little forest of mushrooms. Under the caps of the mushrooms, there is room to harbor plaque and some of the things we eat. That causes bad breath. While brushing, gently sweep the top of your tongue, too. Don't leave food and bacteria behind to breed bad breath. Spice is also nice. Certain herbs and spices you keep in your kitchen are natural breath enhances. Carry a tiny plastic bag of cloves, fennel, or anise seeds and chew it thoroughly. Don't forget, watch what you eat and drink, for the contents of your stomach can cause bad breath too.
19. Bloody Nose: The first thing to do when a bloody nose strikes, is to pinch your nose and put your head between your knees. Placing your head back, only allows the blood to run down to your stomach. Try an ice pack. The cold encourages the blood vessels to narrow and reduces bleeding. Blow the clot out. Before you try to stop a nose bleed, give your nose one good vigorous blow. Blowing your nose causes the clot to come out, which in turn causes the blood vessels to snap back and close off. You may also use wet cotton or gauze to plug up the nostril for about 5 to 10 minutes, then when you remove it, the bleeding will hopefully have stopped. Also, don't pick at it, for it takes 7 to 10 days to heal. You may also apply an antibiotic / steroid ointment to help speed the healing process, and help eliminate infection.
20. Hiccups: Try one teaspoon of Sugar swallowed dry. The sugar acts on nervous impulses that cause the diaphragm to spasm and relaxes them. My favorite that has never let me down is taking a bag and re-breathing the air for a few minutes while taking a fresh breath when the carbon dioxide builds up to much. But this only works well if you catch the hiccups when they first start. (remember not to let a child see you do this without explaining to them what your doing and never use or leave a plastic bag lying around). Actually their are hundreds of cures and here are a few. Yank forcefully on the tongue, Lift the uvula with a spoon, Tickle the roof of your mouth with a cotton swab where the hard and soft palate meet, Chew and swallow dry bread, Suck a Lemon soaked with Angostura bitters, Hold your breath, Suck on crushed ice.
21. Earache: Ways To Stop Pain: Use the Hair Dryer. Hold it approximately 16 to 18 inches from the ear on low. The warm air helps with the inflammation that can cause the pain. Also try some warm Baby Oil : Place A few drops of tepid (or body temp) Baby Oil by warming it under the faucet in to the Ear cannel. You can use a Thermometer to test the temp. Also don't forget to sit upright to help the Eustachian tubes to be able to drain properly, and Swallowing will help ease the pain.
22. Bug Bites and Stings: After removing the stinger by scraping it off and not pulling it off, (Because of squeezing the stinger will pump more venom into the site) Apply a cut open Onion to the site. Onions contain a enzyme that breaks down the Prostaglandin's that are produced in response to the sting. Another good remedy is Meat Tenderizer (like Adolph's meat tenderizer). Moist some with water and make a kind of paste and apply to sting area. (MORE IMPORTANT) Watch out for the signs of Anaphylactic Shock, A Deadly Allergic Reaction.
If there is only redness and pain at the site of the bite, application of ice is adequate treatment. Clean the area with soap and water to remove contaminated particles left behind by some insects (such as mosquitoes). These particles may further contaminate the wound if not removed. Refrain from scratching because this may cause the skin to break down and an infection to form.
You may also treat itching at the site of the bite with an over-the-counter antihistamine such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) in cream or pill form. Calamine lotion also helps relieve the itching.
23. Earwax: Although all healthy ears produce some wax, a small percentage of the population suffers from build-up that can cause significant discomfort and sometimes temporary deafness. Remember stick nothing in your Ears : not even a cotton swab. All you will end up doing is pushing the ear wax deeper into the ear. Here's what you do if you don't have a ear irrigation and cleaning kit from the store. First never irrigate if a perforation or tear exists to the ear drum. Then proceed by placing a few drops of Hydrogen Peroxide or Mineral Oil into the ear cannel, This will help soften and loosen the wax Try this for a day or to. Once the wax is soft irrigate your Ear with tepid water using a bulb syringe. Be sure not to use to much pressure, then turn your head to the side to empty out the wax while still irrigating until your through. Next Blow Dry Your Ears and place a drop of Alcohol in each ear this will complete the drying. You should do this each time after you shower to help from wax build up. Doctors also say not to shake or wiggle your ear to try to get water out. (Ps my personal choice is H2O2 or Hydrogen peroxide it bubbles that wax out faster than anything I have tried yet).
After unplugging wax from the ear, it is important to address what caused the build-up in the first place. One of the most common causes is a deficiency in omega 3 fatty acids. Some excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids include:
- ground flax seeds
- cod liver oil
- cold-water fish such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, and herring
If you choose to use cod liver oil, be sure that your source has been tested for mercury and other common toxins.
24. Nausea: Age Old Cures Still In Use: Gingerroot works by absorbing acids and blocking nausea in your gastrointestinal tract. Olives and lemons. Early stages of motion sickness causes excess saliva, which you swallow back into your stomach and become nauseous. Olives produce chemicals called Tannins, which make your mouth dry. Hence you become less nauseous. So at the first sign o nausea, you can try eating a few olives, or sucking on a lemon. As far as gingerroot, two capsules have been proven to be more effective than Dramamine. Soda crackers. They work by helping absorb excess fluid in your stomach, and have sodium bicarbonate and cream of tarter in them. Coke syrup, or a simple can of cola will also help; this is what they prescribe for women who are pregnant. And last, but not least, Acupressure wrist bands are sold in many sport shops.
25. Pinkeye: Something you can do when you have pinkeye is to use a warm compress on your eyes for 5 to 10 minutes, and 3 or 4 times a day. This will make you feel better. It works pretty good for children, but adults needs a little something more. If you have a lot of discharge, you can make a solution of 1 part baby shampoo to 10 parts warm water. Dip a sterile cotton ball into the solution, and use it to clean your eyelashes. Another thing that is very important to do is to toss any washcloths, towels, or anything else that comes in contact with your eyes into the laundry. Pinkeye is very contagious and will spread easily. Another thing, is that germ - caused conjunctivitis intensifies when your eyes are closed. That is why it gets worse at night when you go to sleep. To help with that, you should put any prescribed antibiotic ointment in your eyes before you go to bed. That will prevent crusting. Also, if your conjunctivitis is caused by allergies, your eyes might feel itchy like a mosquito bite, and there may be a stringy pus in your eye. Taking an over the counter antihistamine will help, along with a cool compress to help the itching. One more thing is to make sure you wash your hands frequently, and make sure that whatever comes in contact with the infected eye, doesn't come in contact with the other eye.
Credits: allaboutvision.com | pamf.org/teen/health/skin | www.niams.nih.gov | www.otan.dni.us | www.greatlife.com | http://www.gusmorino.com/ |www.insomnia-connection.com | rxinsider.com | www.medicinenet.com