Home Remedies

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Some cities around the world are now so polluted that just breathing the air damages your lungs as badly as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. The fight for better urban air quality goes on, but in the meantime, try our smog-detox honey drink.

Instructions:

  1. Take a tablespoon of honey and add it to a mug.
  2. Fill said mug with boiling hot water.
  3. Allow your honey tea to cool before consumption.
  4. Take in the morning when you wake and again before bed.

Honey helps us with a number of things.

  • Honey helps normalize your digestive tract damaged from years of exposure to poor air quality. Honey also helps kill parasites.
  • Honey helps strengthen the immune system which is weakened by air pollution.
  • Honey can help kick-start the metabolism, helping you drop pounds too.
  • Honey helps clear up acne and blemishes and makes your skin softer and clearer.

Image credit: Metro Library and Archive, Flickr

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It’s happened to me countless times: I invite some friends over, we’re sitting on the patio, and the mosquitoes are just swarming! Some might suggest that I pick up some bug spray, but did you know that bug spray has some potentially harmful chemicals in them? They’re especially bad for kids. I’ve taken a more natural approach to repelling those pesky ‘skeeters, and one part of that is planting mosquito-repelling plants.

1. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

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For me, summer isn’t complete without a few big, beautiful basil bushes producing beautiful flowers the bees love as well as the perfect herb for a variety of dishes. It’s not just good in the kitchen though. When placed near doors, this aromatic herb deters both mosquitoes and flies.

2. Lemon thyme (Thymus X citriodorus)

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This is another summertime favorite of mine. This aromatic herb loves dry, sunny conditions and fits well as a ground cover along walkways. As you walk among it, you bruise the leaves causing it to release an aroma that mosquitoes just hate!

3. Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

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This one’s perfect if you have cats at home. This perennial herb blooms throughout the summer and deters mosquitoes quite well. It’s especially effective if your cats get into it. They’ll get the scent of the herb all over themselves and then probably all over you too. But it’s not a particularly potent smell, so don’t worry about that.

4. Citronella Grass (Cymbopogon nardus)

Ahmad-Fuad-Morad-citronella-grassImage credit: Ahmad Fuad Morad, Flickr

Citronella grass is a clumping grass native to Asia that blooms in full sun. The plant is used to make citronella oil, commonly used as a pest repellent and found in most mosquito candles. It is not edible. It can also cause dermatitis for people with sensitive skin.

5. Mint (Mentha spp.)

Grandmother's mint lives on...

Any type of mint will do, really. This herb is very easy to grow but should be planted in pots, not in the ground. When planted in the ground, the mint will spread and take over everything. You can rub the leaves on your skin for a fragrant mosquito repellent.

6. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

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Also a member of the mint family, lemon balm is said to naturally repel mosquitoes with its lemony aroma. This herb, however, doesn’t spread like mint does so it’s safer in the ground. it often re-seeds every year, which can be nice if you want it to come back, but can also cause it to become rather prolific.

There is something of a debate over whether or not plants are actually effective at repelling mosquitoes and other insects. Some experts think that these plants only release their mosquito repelling oils when they’re crushed. Other suggest that their presence is enough to keep mosquitoes away. In either case, I love all of these six plants and there’s no harm in keeping a few around, right?

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Preventative care is truly the best medicine out there. The only thing better than treating a diseases is not getting it in the first place. Good food, plenty of exercise and avoiding poor health choices are key to staying healthy. Fortunately, there’s also a miracle tea we’ve uncovered that works wonders in preventing and sometimes helping to treat diseases like dementia and cancer. This tea has been used for ages in India for fighting against nausea, vomiting and other afflictions. Let’s get down to it:

You will need:
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1/2 a tablespoon of ginger
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Just a pinch of cardamom
  • 1/2 a cup of milk or milk substitute (we recommend almond or rice)
  • 500 ml of water
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of honey

Boil the water and mix in all of the ingredients when it’s reached a boil. Add the milk slowly while you mix. Drink the tea as soon as it’s cool enough to tolerate so it doesn’t separate and go bad. Consume as often as you like. We recommend once in the morning when you rise.

We hope you enjoy a long, happy, healthy life!

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Sometimes when we don’t treat our bodies particularly well, our livers have to go into overdrive, and that leaves us with deep wrinkles and those black circles under your eyes. Fortunately, a 2 superfood combination can help detox that liver and keep you looking young. It’ll take a month to see results.

You will need:

  • Olive oil
  • Organic lemon juice

As we mentioned before, it takes about a month of taking this home remedy every morning before you see a large difference. The cocktail empowers your digestive system to effectively function, thus easing up the strain on your liver and skin. Simply take a tablespoon of olive oil and mix in lemon juice squeezed from half an organic lemon.

Your health will improve, you’ll feel more energized, and with any luck, that liver will be kicking butt before too long.

Image credit: Chris Blakeley, Flickr

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Acne is the bane of teenagers and simply annoying for adults. Sometimes acne lingers after our adolescent years, popping up on our faces, necks and backs. Fortunately we don’t need to turn to chemical scrubs or dangerous medications to combat it. This is an old Russian folk remedy that gets rid of acne forever in just 2 weeks.

In a jar, mix 3 tablespoons of raw, organic, natural, unfiltered honey and a teaspoon of organic ground cinnamon. Mix with a wooden spoon. Only use a wooden spoon! Mix well together and apply to the face before sleep. Wash off with warm water and gentle soap first thing in the morning.

You’ll need to apply this mix every night for 2 weeks. If you’re still having trouble, which isn’t likely but may end up being the case, check out these video resources for more ideas:

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Stuffy nose can accompany a variety of different ailments from allergies to the common cold to sinusitis. It’s generally not serious, though if it persists long term you may want to see a doctor. It is incredibly irritating though, and I know when my runny nose gets going, all I want to do is end it. How can we do it?

1. Hot soup.

People often swear by chicken soup specifically, but if you eat an exclusively plant-based diet, a nice, vegetable-dense veggie soup will do the trick. Soup helps moisturize the airways and thin phlegm, making it easier to expel. It also soothes sore throats. Having soup two or three times a day while stuffed up can help immensely.

2. Turmeric.

This one surprised me a bit! Turmeric has powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties and helps get rid of phlegm by killing the bacteria that causes excessive mucus. It also helps strengthen the immune system. Try these turmeric remedies:

  1. Add  teaspoon of turmeric to a glass of warm dairy/non-dairy milk. Drink it in the morning and eening.
  2. Take a half-teaspoon of turmeric with a glass of water three times daily.
  3. Add a teaspoon of turmeric and a teaspoon of salt to a glass of hot water and gargle with it every other hour or so.
3. Ginger.

Ginger is a decongestant and has been used as a home remedy to fight respiratory infections for thousands of years. It also helps ease an upset stomach if you’re feeling a little bit queasy. One way to take it is to add a tablespoon of ginger slices to one cup of boiled water. Steep it for a few minutes then add a teaspoon of honey. You can drink this as much as you want. You can also just chew raw ginger slices or add ginger to your food.

4. Lemon juice.

Lemon juice is one of my all time favorite ingredients. It helps your body digest food more effectively, it’s great for boosting your immune system and it’s loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants. Lemon juice helps fight off infection, which is where its mucous-containing powers come into play. What you definitely don’t want to do is buy lemon juice from concentrate. Buy a fresh, organic lemon and juice it by squeezing it. You can add it to a glass of cold water or in your tea. Another option is to simply suck on a slice of lemon. Add a little bit of salt and pepper to soothe a sore throat and clear your sinuses.

5. Salt water.

Warm salt water treats phlegm by destroying the bacteria that may be causing it. It also helps soothe sore throat. Simply add a quarter teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water and gargle periodically throughout the day.

6. Plain old steam.

Steam inhalation helps clear your sinuses by making your phlegm runnier and easier to eliminate from your body. A couple times a day, take a hot shower. Use water as hot as you can stand it. Make it nice and steamy. Additionally, you can pour boiling water into a bowl and hold a towel over your head over the bowl. Breathe in deeply through your nose for 5 to 10 minutes. This helps loosen up the mucous.

With any luck, this’ll help you beat the phlegm!

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I’m a lucky guy. I’ve rarely had any trouble with seasonal allergies. But everyone in my family has struggled with it year after year after year. Their runny nose, constant sneezing and itchy eyes – it stinks. Through them, I’ve been able to identify what works for them and share it with you. Here are my 10 tips for kicking the springtime allergies.

1. Check the daily pollen count.

This one’s easy. You can check the pollen count by clicking here. The pollen count describes the concentration of grains of pollen in a cubic meter of air. The count tends to be higher between 5:00am and 10:00am. If the pollen count if moderate or high, try to stay indoors. Wear a pollen mask when outdoors and sunglasses to protect your eyes. Or just sleep in.

2. Grab some antihistamines from the drug store.

A simple antihistamine tablet or nasal spray can help stop runny nose and itchy eyes. It’s best to use before you experience symptoms though. See #1. Decongestants can help cut down on the fluids that line your nose. You can also buy antihistamine eye drops if you have irritated eyes. If you’d like to skip the drug store, you can do things like sip apple cider vinegar, take lots of probiotics, flush your nose with a nasal irrigation, drink a nettle leaf tea, take a hot shower, breathe in eucalyptus oil, and even eat spicy food to help beat the allergies.

3. Don’t bring your shoes inside.

Your shoes could have tons of pollen on them, and you just track it right into your house if you don’t take your shoes off.

4. Change your ventilation filters regularly.

Your furnace filter should be changed every 6 weeks in winter. Make sure all filters in your home are changed often. Avoid use of fans if possible.

5. Keep windows closed and use your air conditioner.

Usually I recommend keeping windows open in the spring to let fresh air in, but if you suffer allergies, keep ’em closed and turn on the AC. The filter in your air conditioner will help filter out pollen.

6. Dehumidify your home.

Humidity levels should be below 60% to decrease the growth of mold, which is another common allergen. Consider a dehumidifier in damp places, like restrooms.

7. Get rid of your rugs.

Pull the carpet, get rid of rugs, and vacuum your floors and furniture daily. Take down your drapes once a week and wash them.

8. Wash your bedding often.

Dust mites can cause allergies. Washing your bedding in 131 degree water kills all dust mites.

9. Get allergen-proof pillow cases and mattress covers.

This helps significantly decrease contact with dust mites and helps reduce asthma and allergies.

10. Wash up.

Wash your hands often and make sure your hair and any facial hair is clean. This helps keep bedding clean and wipes away any potential allergens.

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Uncovered recently in an old manuscript in the British Library was a thousand year old remedy for eye infections that has been proven to kill the superbug MRSA, or Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureas, an antibiotic-resistant superbug.

Dr. Christina Lee of the School of English at Nottingham University and an expert on Anglo-Saxon culture recreated the 10th century potion to test its strengths as an antibacterial remedy. The “eyesalve” as it’s called, calls for two species of Allium, which includes garlic, onions and leek, wine, and oxgall, or the bile from a cow’s stomach.

The method of implementation is incredibly specific. It calls for making the topical solution in a brass vessel, straining it to purify, and strictly must be left to sit for nine days before used medicinally. No one expected it to work, but it actually did. When tested, microbiologists were amazed to find that the salve cleared up styes and, incredibly enough, was effective against MRSA.

“We were genuinely astonished at the results of our experiments in the lab,” Dr Lee said of their findings.  “We believe modern research into disease can benefit from past responses and knowledge, which is largely contained in non-scientific writings.

“But the potential of these texts to contribute to addressing the challenges cannot be understood without the combined expertise of both the arts and science.”

Dr. Lee translated the cow bile recpie from Bald’s Leechbook, which came in the form of a leatherbound Old English manuscript. The Leechbook is thought to be among the world’s first medical textbooks and contains numerous Anglo-Saxon recipes for medicines, salves, and other types of treatments.

“Medieval leech books and herbaria contain many remedies designed to treat what are clearly bacterial infections, weeping wounds/sores, eye and throat infections, skin conditions such as erysipelas, leprosy and chest infections,” Dr Lee added.

On a personal note, my father passed away in part due to an incurable MRSA infection. Hearing that this remedy actually works is encouraging. Hopefully many lives can be saved.

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It seems kind of weird, right? Why freeze your lemons? Well first, let’s talk about why you should incorporate lemons into your diet in the first place.

For starters, the true nutritional benefit of the lemon is in its peels. The peels contain 5-10 times more vitamins than simply the lemon juice, and the peel is the part we throw away! Lemon peels help rid our bodies of toxic junk, provide tons of vitamin C to keep your immune cells fighting fit, and some studies have shown lemons to prevent cancer.

Lemons also have anti-microbial effects against infections both fungal and bacterial. They may also be effective at removing internal parasites and worms. Lemons are like little scrubbers for your insides.

So, they detox the body, help prevent cancer, and keep the immune system strong. Why freeze them?

Well, by freezing them, it’s easier to incorporate them into your diet. A frozen lemon is easily grated and added to a smoothie without the normally bitter flavor of the peels. It can also help maintain the nutritional value of the lemon longer and prevent them from spoiling. Of course, be sure to wash your lemons before you put them in the freezer to scrub any pesticides or dirt from their surface.

Enjoy those frozen lemons!

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Did you know that the bottoms of your feet are a direct entryway into your body through what Chinese doctors call meridians? Meridians are pathways to each organ in the body. Some argue that meridians don’t actually exist, but those who understand Chinese medicine recognize that meridians are closely related to the nervous system. And you have one of those, right? It’s basically the same thing.

The bottoms of your feet have a variety of different nerve endings. 7,000 to be precise. Those nerves link to a variety of different organs in the body. The electrical signals sent across these meridians often become dormant when you wear shoes. Stimulating those meridians is important. You can do so by grounding yourself with the earth’s negative ion field (stand outside without shoes on) or using onions.

One of the coolest ways to stimulate these meridians is with cut up onion or garlic in your socks (at the bottoms of your feet) while you sleep. Both bulbs are known as air purifiers and when applied to the skin, they kill germs and bacteria. Phosphoric acid also enters the blood stream and helps purify the blood. We don’t recommend reusing onions as they collect the germs and bacteria. We also don’t encourage eating the foot onions.