12 Remedies for Fighting Fatigue and When You Always Feel Tired

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Our existences are anything but simple, and most of us will find ourselves overworked and exhausted from time to time-or all the time. Fatigue, true fatigue, is much more than feeling overworked and just being sleepy, although it can make you want to curl up in bed and forget the rest of the world.

 

Fatigue creeps into everyday life and effects your physical and mental well-being making it very difficult, if not impossible, to get things done.

 

My own personal struggles with fatigue at point strained relationships – it is hard for people to understand that horrible exhaustion unless they experience it themselves. To the outside world, you just look lazy when all you want to do is lie in bed.

 

Fatigue is a difficult thing to manage, as it is such a vague symptom or condition. There’s physical fatigue, emotional fatigue, fatigue as a symptom or as a disease in and of itself.

 

There is a good chance there’s an underlying medical condition causing fatigue, for example depression or low blood sugar, and this must be addressed before you can hope to get rid of the exhaustion.

 

But if you haven’t been able to pinpoint the cause of your fatigue (and of course you’ve had it checked out by a doctor) it can often times be traced back to a number of habits and lifestyles that seem to have a tendency to develop in the modern world.

 

If you find it dogging your footsteps and dragging you down, don’t sink into despair, there are plenty of changes you can make and natural remedies you can utilize to fight the feeling effectively.

 

Remedies for Fighting Fatigue #1 – Get active

 

We’re awfully quick to assume that if we feel exhausted, we should take a nap. But have you ever noticed that if you lie in bed all day, barring recovery or illness, you feel more sluggish?

 

Your head may feel a bit fuzzy and achy, and you feel like energy was sucked out of your body, instead of replenished. This is because over-resting or sleeping has the exact opposite effect we want it to have, while exercise boosts our energy long-term.

 

If you are feeling fatigued and not moving around much, you may just need a good regular dose of fresh air to rejuvenate your body and mind. As a bonus, when you do rest, it will feel that much better and be that much more refreshing than if you’d sat around all day and done nothing.

 

Getting active also improves mood, thanks to the endorphins being released, and feeling gloomy is a major contributor to fatigue.

 

Note: Excessive or extreme activity can sometimes create feelings of fatigue, however you generally feel refreshed in the long term.

 

You will need…

 

-A good pair of shoes (optional, unless you plan on walking into a store.)

 

Directions/Advice

 

It is of the utmost importance that you keep your exercise regular to boost your energy, particularly long-term. Don’t set the bar too high in the beginning if you think you’ll easily get discouraged attempting a 4 mile run. Just lace up, slip on, or leave off your shoes and get outside.

 

Take your dog for a walk, go for a casual stroll-anything-even a little exercise is better than none. If the weather isn’t cooperating, turn on some tunes and come up with an indoor workout routine. As you get into the habit, slowly increase your level of activity.

 

Remedies for Fighting Fatigue #2 – Sip Some Potato Water

 

While a brimming glass of fresh potato water may not sound like the first thing you’d want to relax on a hot summer day with, it’s actually a great home remedy for fatigue.

 

Soaking slices of potato in water makes a potassium rich drink that can help you feel less tired and sluggish, as it replenishes a mineral many people have trouble getting enough of.

 

Like magnesium, the body does not produce potassium – we have to consume it from outside sources. Because our diets these days tend to lean towards being nutrient deficient, it’s no wonder we find ourselves lacking in the potassium department.

 

Potassium doesn’t give you a direct jolt of energy, per say, but along with magnesium (as well as chloride and calcium) it is an electrolyte that is vital for the proper functioning of our cells and the release of energy and the conduction of electricity.

 

Without enough of potassium, our muscles wouldn’t move properly and our nerve impulses wouldn’t fire right. By ensuring you have healthy levels of potassium, you can get an edge on feeling dull and tired all the time.

 

You will need…

 

-1 unpeeled potato
-8 ounces of fresh water

 

Directions

 

Slice up the potato (there’s no need to peel it- I realize I show them peeled in the photo but I went on auto pilot) and add to a glass of water. Allow it to steep overnight in the fridge, and drink first thing in the morning.

 

Remedies for Fighting Fatigue #3 – Boost Red-Blood Cells

 

Iron is important. Without it, our bodies cannot produce enough red blood cells. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, the iron rich protein that carries oxygen throughout our body.

 

Many people think of oxygen’s use ending when it enters our lungs, but it must travel throughout our bodies and get delivered to all of our cells and organs for them to function.

 

As you can imagine, a lack of oxygen would lead to a decrease in the bodies functioning, which will result in fatigue. This is called iron-deficiency anaemia.

 

To combat this, make a tea with nettle leaf (fresh is preferred but dry works as well.) Nettle is rich in iron, as well as vitamin C.

 

Vitamin C is relevant because it has been shown to help increase the absorption of non-heme iron (iron found in plants vs. fish, meat, etc.) which isn’t always absorbed as easily as heme iron.

 

Adding in some dandelion boosts the iron content of this tea even more but beware-it is bitter, so I recommend plenty of honey!

 

You will need…

 

-1 cup each fresh dandelion & nettle OR 2 teaspoons each dried dandelion and nettle
-1 cup of freshly boiled water
-Your favorite mug
-Honey!

 

Directions

 

Bring water to a boil and place your herbs in a mug. Pour the boiling water over them and cover, steeping for 10 minutes. Remove the herbs, add plenty of honey to taste, and drink 2 times daily.

 

Remedies for Fighting Fatigue #4 – Get Some Ginseng

 

Possibly the “most famous of all Chinese herbs” – that’s a hefty title, considering Chinese herbal medicine dates back hundreds of thousands of years and is full of staple herbs and natural ingredients.

 

But Ginseng has a special place in history, although it’s many varieties can make utilizing it a little confusing. Ginseng refers to any one of 11 species of slow-growing perennials in the genus Panax.

 

Ginseng is found in North America as well as in Eastern Asia. It is often referred to as an “adaptogenic” herb, which means it helps the body adjust to stress-whether that stress is caused by being in an extreme heat or cold, hunger, or exhaustion/fatigue (just think adaptogens = adapt to stress.)

 

Ginseng is thought to help the body in coping with stress by improving the health of the adrenal system, which is the body’s command center when it comes to your hormonal response to stress.

 

Cortisol, the “stress” hormone, can effect if you sleep through the night, and dictate if you can fall back asleep, as it suppresses melatonin, which we need to have a regular sleep/awake cycle.

 

Too much cortisol, and you could be left feeling fatigued and exhausted because your sleep is disrupted. In the morning our cortisol levels are at their peak, and then gradually fall throughout the day, but if they remain too high, this diurnal rhythm will get thrown off, as will the precious sleep that you need to rejuvenate.

 

Having a bit of ginseng may help regulate your cortisol, and help you get the rest you need to function properly.

 

You will need…

 

-1 tablespoon of dried ginseng root OR 1 inch of fresh ginseng root
-1 cup of fresh water
-Honey/lemon to taste

Directions

 

Slice up 1 inch of ginseng root into small pieces, or place 1 tablespoon of dried ginseng in a tea ball. Cover with hot water and steep, covered, for 10 minutes.

 

Stir in honey and or lemon to taste and replace your morning coffee. Ginseng must be drank daily to have any effect.

 

Remedies for Fighting Fatigue #5 – Perk-Up With Citrus

 

I adore citrus in pretty much all its forms. From lemon juice to orange juice and everything in between, it never ceases to come in handy for home remedies, and it’s refreshing as all get up.

 

In the case of fatigue, start off your day with a glass of lemon water. The smell of a freshly sliced lemon alone will perk you up instantly, and the hydration will set your day up for success.

 

Lemon water helps a number of conditions – such as preventing constipation – but there’s something about it that just revitalizes a tired body.

 

If you find yourself dragging in the middle of the day, treat yourself to another glass. I couldn’t list off the chemical and molecular components of lemon water that fight fatigue, I can just say anecdotally that I (among many others) find it almost wondrous in regards to keeping up on energy.

 

Directions

 

Squeeze the half of a freshly sliced lemon/lime into a full glass of water. If it’s winter, make it warm water-if it’s summer, enjoy it chilled! Drink the whole thing, and repeat twice daily (with a mid-day boost if needed.)

 

Remedies for Fighting Fatigue #6 – Make Your Own Energy Drink

 

Don’t turn to store-bought “energy drinks.” They are, I think, one of the most ridiculous marketing schemes to take over in recent years. You’re paying an absurd amount for something that is doing you more harm than good – and it’s really not going to wake you up in the long run.

 

It will, in all reality, probably make things worse. So make your own instead –  they’re delicious, satisfying, good for you, and will give you the wonderful long lasting energy you’re looking for.

 

You will need…

-1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lime juice
-1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
-1 ½ to 2 cups fresh water, depending on how strong you want the flavor
-1/8 teaspoon of sea salt
-2 tablespoons natural sugar or honey, to taste

 

Directions

 

Toss everything into a food blender and blend until the honey is dissolved, or just use some elbow grease and blend it by hand. Pour yourself a tall glass, drop in a few ice cubes, and enjoy.

 

Remedies for Fighting Fatigue #7 – Hello, Yoga

 

Like so many things that become trendy, yoga’s image has been somewhat distorted. If you avoid it because you think of it as a craze that attracts flocks of young folks hanging out before hopping over to the juice bar, just erase that thought.

 

Sure that might be part of it now, but yoga dates back to roughly 5th and 6th centuries B.C., well before stretchy pants became a staple of closets across western society.

 

Yoga isn’t just a form of physical exercise, but a spiritual one as well. It helps you calm your mind, focus your breathing, and tame inner turbulence (which can become very draining day after day.)

 

The actual physical part of yoga, like many forms of exercise, will actually boost your energy. The combination of mind and body work out can make you feel like a brand-new person, and is indeed even recognized as a form of alternative medicine to fight chronic fatigue by the Mayo Clinic.

 

There’s no need to even join a class (although I love having an instructor) – you can do yoga right at home.

 

You will need…

 

-A bit of self-discipline

 

Directions

 

Forget the trendy part and just try it. There are specific poses that help energize you, such as tree pose, downward dog, and cobra. Some require focus and attentiveness, others are more to strengthen muscles and increase flexibility, but all can help fight fatigue.

 

Remedies for Fighting Fatigue #8 – Love Your Licorice

 

Licorice root is an herb that I tend to go to when it comes to something like a sore throat, but one of its main constituents (glycyrrhizin) can actually help with fatigue as well, especially fatigue that is associated with less-than-optimal adrenal functioning.

 

Like ginseng, licorice root can help regulate cortisol levels. It actually helps boost cortisol, which may seem counter intuitive (read the ginseng remedy for a briefing on what cortisol does).

 

However if you aren’t producing enough of cortisol, your body can sometimes over-produce in an attempt to compensate. This can leave you feeling tired during the day, but laying wide awake and frustrated at night.

 

Cortisol requires a balance – too much and you’ll be unable to sleep, too little and your rest will also be disrupted.

 

You will need…

 

-1 tablespoon of dried licorice root
-1 cup of water
-Honey/lemon to taste

 

Directions

 

Steep 1 tablespoon of dried licorice root in boiling water, and covered, for 10 minutes. Strain, add honey/lemon to taste, and drink first thing in the morning.

 

Remedies for Fighting Fatigue #9 – More Magnesium

 

I mention magnesium a lot, but it is an important mineral that we really truly suffer a lack of these days. The body does not produce magnesium on its own – it is up to us (and our diets) to provide this essential nutrient.

 

The problem is that many diets these days suffer from a lack of good wholesome food. It is a cofactor in 300 plus enzyme systems that regulate a wide variety of biochemical reactions.

 

Everything from muscle and nerve function, protein synthesis, and energy production require magnesium. The best way to get the proper amount is to eat the right foods rather than take a supplement. Dark leafy greens, nuts, fish, whole grains, and bananas are all rich in magnesium.

 

You will need…

 

-Magnesium rich foods OR a high quality supplement

 

Directions

 

Include a healthy dosage of magnesium rich foods to your everyday diet, or take a high quality supplement. Adults should take no more than 350 mg/day in the form of supplements – while getting more in terms of diet isn’t necessarily harmful, it’s easier to take too much in the form of concentrated supplements.

 

Remedies for Fighting Fatigue #10 – Eat (and drink) good stuff

 

What is food to us? Why does it matter? It is literally our energy, it’s our fuel. We tend to overlook its importance in today’s society. It’s right at our fingertips all the time, and the old adage “you are what you eat” has faded into the background.

 

But if we skimp on meals or stuff our diets with sugary drinks and greasy, fatty, food, we won’t run right, or at all. You’ll find yourself feeling worn out and fatigued.

 

When we eat, our bodies break down the carbohydrates (sugars and starches) which are then broken down again into glucose (blood sugar) and absorbed into the blood stream.

 

Put simply, glucose is the energy needed for all systems to go, from our brains to our leg muscles to our heart, and everything in between. Now all carbs aren’t good for you – they must be complex carbohydrates.

 

Complex carbohydrates are made of long, complex (hence the name), chains of sugar molecules. This is turned into glucose, and gives us energy.

 

Simple carbohydrates, such as sugar from cakes and cookies, artificial syrup, candy, etc. provide essentially zero value to your body, contribute to weight gain (among other things) and will make you feel not so hot.

 

These simple carbs have only 1 or 2 sugars and are burned up quickly. You might get a temporary boost in energy as your glucose spikes, but you’ll crash pretty fast. Complex carbs will give you a steady, even, release of energy.

 

If you’re eating an unhealthy diet, chances are you’re eating bad carbs, and that means you aren’t turning a whole lot of your food into energy-which is likely why you’re fatigued.

 

Keep in mind the following tips and questions:

 

Content ratio: The higher the sugar and the lower the fiber the worse the carbohydrate. Use that as a general guideline to indicate which carbs are good or bad.

 

Know the good from the bad: The word “carbohydrate” has been tossed around a lot, first we hear they are good, then all of a sudden they’re bad for you.

 

The answer is they are both, but we can easily separate the good from the bad. You need the good, so educate yourself and don’t steer clear of carbs altogether or you’ll get drained.

 

Fiber, fiber, fiber and more fiber: Foods high in fiber are digested slower than foods with very little fiber, avoiding spikes in blood sugar levels. Examples are whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans.

 

Is it refined? Is it processed?: Foods like white bread and white rice are stripped of fiber and full of simple carbs. Avoid along with the obvious things like fast food, sugary goodies, soda, etc.

 

Remedies for Fighting Fatigue #11- Nip the Naps (kind of)

 

Naps are beautiful. There’s nothing like having the luxury of being able to snooze in the middle of the day and wake up feeling refreshed and brand new. It is, actually, healthy to take time for naps to an extent.

 

They reduce exhaustion, sharpen your working mind, improve your mood, and make you more alert. But they’re also a double edged sword when it comes to being one of your home remedies for or tiredness – have you ever taken a long cat nap and woken up feeling groggy, disoriented, and more exhausted than before?

 

I know sometimes I get so sucked into a nap I can barely wake myself up and when I do, I probably wouldn’t pass a sobriety test because I am so out of it. It’s the classic “too much of a good thing” scenario.

 

Your biological clock gets thrown off when you sleep too much, and it messes with your cells energy cycles. This makes you feel tired, groggy, and “sleep drunk.” That drunken feeling is called sleep inertia, and it happens when you wake up abruptly from slow-wave sleep.

 

Because a nap doesn’t take you through a full sleep cycle, you often times get woken up out of slow wave sleep. This can seriously impact how you function-sleep inertia can take anywhere from 2-4 hours to dissipate. But, there is a proper way to take a nap-you just need a smidgen of self-control.

 

You will need…

 

-A cozy place to nap

 

Directions

 

The brain enters slow wave sleep after roughly 20-30 minutes, so limit your time to a “power nap.” Unless you’re extremely sleep deprived, a 20 minute or so nap should leave you feeling refreshed and awake, not groggy, fatigued, and tempted to go back to sleep. Set aside a time not too close to bed time to treat yourself to an energy boost.

 

Remedies for Fighting Fatigue #12 – Special Spinach

 

As cliché as it may sound, Popeye really was onto something with spinach and the energy/strength it gives you. Rich in iron, it can help boost red blood cell count, therefore providing you with more energy and fighting anaemia.

 

Spinach is also full of magnesium-1 cup of spinach contains 39% of the recommended daily intake for magnesium. Early research shows that it may even improve muscle function during a workout.

 

You will need…

 

-At least 1 cup of spinach

 

Directions

 

Enjoy at least 1 cup of spinach daily, raw or cooked.

 

You can also watch this Video HERE to learn about other remedies for fighting fatigue from Dr. Holly Phillips

 

Fatigue is a tricky thing because you have to not only figure out what’s causing it, but also be dedicated to overcoming it. This is, of course, made all the more difficult by the fact that you’re exhausted all the time.

 

One of my favorite sayings is “seeing the obstacle is one thing, getting around it is another.” Remember there are two halves to the battle, and the latter – actually getting around said obstacle-is usually the hardest. Stick with it!

 

By Claire Goodall (a bee-obsessed natural-convert from Minnesota) who is a holistic health lover. She is the author of Everyday Roots Book.

 

It’s a Book that she creates to help you replace the toxic products and medications in your home with healthier, all-natural alternatives.

 

It contains 215+ effective home remedies and covers everything you will need to protect your family and save money every month.

 

For more details about her book, take a look at the Everyday Roots Book.

16 Remedies for Treating a Common Cold

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The common cold is a virus, or rather, lots of viruses – over 200, to be more specific. As a virus it is not curable, and since there are so many strains there’s not a way to make a vaccine like there is with the flu.

 

When you catch a cold the virus attaches itself to the mucous membranes of the nose and throat and essentially hijacks the cells that live there, forcing them to replicate more virus cells. It’s all quite sinister really.

 

When your body tries to fight off the virus the symptoms pop up, like coughing, sneezing, a sore throat, general congestion and mild fatigue. Remedies are aimed at easing these symptoms to help keep you comfortable while your stalwart immune system battles the virus away.

 

Many of the home remedies for colds listed below can be altered to fit your preferences (e.g. a different essential oil, more or less spiciness in the decongestant, etc. etc.)

 

There may be some overlap with remedies for a sore throat or a cough, but I try and offer some variety here. Eventually you’ll have your own go-to remedies and recipes.
Treating a Common Cold #1- Hot Ginger Tea

 

This is one of the best teas to sip when you’re feeling stuffed up and yucky. The ginger is delicious, warming, a just a little spicy.

 

Aromatic constituents such as capsaicin (found in chilies) or piperine (found in black pepper) are part of a family of compounds that provide numerous healing benefits.

 

In ginger the compound of that family is called gingerol (original, right?), and it helps relieve congestion in a couple of ways.

 

First, it lessens inflammation of mucous membranes that line the nasal passages and the sinus cavity, and this inflammation contributes greatly to the build-up of pressure and congestion.

 

When the swelling goes down, mucous can flow out instead of getting all jammed up. Although slightly less scientific, there’s also the fact that its spiciness has enough of a kick that it can just perfectly loosen up built up phlegm.

 

The tea itself is wonderful for you because you’re getting extra fluids, which your body needs desperately when fighting off an illness, and breathing in the steam vapors can also help loosen up any congestion you may be expecting.

 

The below recipe is for an infusion, rather than a decoction (which is when you actively steep the herb in simmering water), but you can do either or.

 

You will need…

 

-6-8 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger root
-A pinch of cinnamon (optional)
-A squirt of lemon juice (optional)
-A dash of honey (optional)
-4 cups of freshly boiled water
-A glass jar (at least 1 quart)

 

Directions

 

Place the ginger in a 1 quart glass and sprinkle in some cinnamon if you are using it. Bring the water to a rolling boil, and then carefully pour it into the jar to cover the ginger.

 

Steep for 30-40 minutes, and be sure to cover your jar-this is important because it keeps all that evaporating essential oil goodness right where it belongs – in your cup!

 

Strain (use hot mitts or a towel as the jar may still be quite warm) and then pour yourself a piping fresh mug. You may find that you want to reheat the tea slightly.

 

Add honey and lemon if you are using them, sip and savor, and be sure to breathe in the steam. Store the rest of the tea in the fridge for up to 24 hours, reheating and drinking 3 times throughout the day.

 

Treating a Common Cold #2 – Essential Steam

 

One beautiful almost instant fix for a stuffy nose is to steam it out. This is a favorite remedy of mine and worth repeating in numerous remedy lists. You can glean the benefits of steam by breathing it in from a mug of hot tea, taking a hot shower, or filling a bowl with a hot water and adding an essential oil.

 

The best essential oils to use for this are the strong ones like tea tree, peppermint, or eucalyptus (tea tree and eucalyptus being the best in my opinion.)

 

The anti-bacterial/anti-viral properties of tea tree oil can be carried via the steam, which will help fight off any bug that you’re battling. Both tea tree and eucalyptus are, of course, rather strong smelling, which also helps dislodge congestion.

 

You will need…

 

-5-10 drops of eucalyptus, tea tree oil, or a combination
-A heatproof bowl
-Boiling water
-A towel

 

Directions

 

Put the essential oils in the bottom of the bowl and then pour in several cups of boiling water. Start by putting your face over the bowl at a comfortable distance – steam can do some damage if you aren’t careful. Eventually have your face directly about the bowl as close as comfortably possible.

 

Drape the towel over your head to trap all that healing steam, and take deep breaths. Resurface as needed if you become too warm. Have some tissues handy to blow your nose after!

 

Repeat 2-3 times daily, adjusting the amount of essential oil to your preferences. Some people find that too much will make their eyes water, so start with less.

 

Treating a Common Cold #3 – Go with a Classic Cure

 

I love old time home remedies – the ones that we don’t need to question on chemical level, picking apart why they work or why they don’t work. They simply are, just as they have been for generations, and just as they will be for years to come.

 

One of these classic home remedies for colds is comprised of three familiar ingredients – garlic, lemon and honey.

 

You can combine them in more involved ways if you wish, but this recipe is about as simple as it gets. It’s particularly useful for a cold that is accompanied by a sore throat and a dry cough.

 

You will need…

 

-1 medium clove of garlic
-1 lemon
-1 teaspoon of honey
-Warm water

 

Directions

 

Crush up the garlic clove and place it in a glass along with the juice from the lemon. Top it off with the honey (you can add more to taste if you like) and then top it off with warm water. Give it a stir, and then drink entirely. Repeat 2-3 times a day for the duration of your symptoms.

 

Treating a Common Cold #4 – Make a Honey-Onion Syrup

 

This recipe is great for cold that come with a nasty cough. The honey is wonderful for healing a sore throat while the onion works its wonders through antibacterial and anti-inflammatories actions. It can also help loosen up phlegm deep in the chest.

 

You will need…

 

-1 red or yellow onion OR 1 head to ½ head of garlic

-Roughly a cup of organic raw honey or roughly a cup OR roughly a half of granulated white sugar or brown sugar*

-A jar or something similar with a tight fitting lid that will comfortably but snugly hold your onion.

 

*the amounts may vary slightly with the size of container you use*

 

Why red/yellow onion or garlic: Onion is contains a milder form of some of the active components in garlic, but both strengthen the immune system, work as natural anti-biotics, anti-inflammatories, and expectorants (they loosen up mucous so you can cough it up.)

 

Why honey: If you have a dry cough, honey is great for soothing itchy and irritated throats. It’s also a natural anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal wonder ingredient (although hopefully if you have a cough you won’t need the anti-fungal part.)

 

Why brown sugar/white sugar: A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down right? Besides making this syrup a little easier to swallow, it can help thicken the syrup up a bit.

 

Directions

 

Slice the onion evenly. Place the base of the onion in your jar, and then pour honey in a layer over it (or cover in a layer of sugar, if that’s your sweetener of choice.) Continue to alternate layering the onion and sweetener.

 

When you’re finished, cover tightly and let it sit overnight out on the counter, or for 8-12 hours. After it has sat out, there will now be liquid in the jar. Use a spoonful as needed to control your cough (3 spoonful’s an hour, if needed.)

 

You can use both the honey and brown sugar if you like, just adjust the layering accordingly, and remember that it will be sweeter!

 

If you choose to use garlic, unlike onion, there is no exact amount to put in. Start with 9-12 cloves or so roughly chopped and find your flavor balance from there. Just remember you shouldn’t use too little; otherwise it won’t work as well.

 

Directions for kids

 

If you have a child too young to have honey, don’t despair because every single home cough remedy seems to have honey in it! The above recipe can be safely made for youngsters-just omit the honey and use only the sugar.

 

Note: This syrup should be used fresh. After you make it, you can store it in the fridge for up to 2 days. After that, just whip up another batch.

 

Flavor tips

 

– Red onion lends itself to a slightly milder tasting syrup, and generally goes better with brown sugar (in my opinion) while a regular yellow onion tends to taste a bit stronger, and blends a little more with white sugar.

– Feel free to leave out the sugar and just use honey, or vice versa.

– If onion or garlic sounds scary to you, I promise, it’s so, so, so much better than over-the-counter stuff!

 

Onion Tip

 

I get so bleary and teary eyed when I chop onions, I can barely see where I am putting the knife. If already have a bad cough, I really don’t need the stinging eyes, or a missing finger.

 

To avoid this problem, you can put the onions in the refrigerator before cutting them or you dip the onions in the water while cutting them.

 

Treating a Common Cold #5 – Mullein

 

This might be a home remedy that you’re tempted to pass over because you don’t recognize the name of the herb. It’s too much of a bother to try and figure out what the heck mullein is and you’d much rather just go for the apple cider vinegar or something you can pull off the spice rack, right?

While that is nice, the beauty of the internet is that you can get these herbs and other ingredients without having to hunt down an obscure natural health store somewhere across the state border.

 

Mullein is a biennial (grows every other year) plant that can be found alongside roads in temperate climates, or zones 5-9 in the United States. It is tall, with small yellow flowers and leaves that start out soft and downy.

 

It is an EXCELLENT expectorant, which means it thins out and loosens up phlegm so you can cough it out. This is very helpful if you have a lot of congestion, particularly in the chest. It works very well when combined with other expectorants, such as thyme, which is added here as well.

 

You will need…

 

-1-2 tablespoons of dried mullein OR 4-6 tablespoons fresh (flowers or flowers/leaves)
-2 1/2 teaspoons of dried thyme OR 5 teaspoons fresh
-1-1 ½ cups of fresh water
-Honey/lemon to taste

 

Directions

 

Place your herbs in a large mug and bring water to a rolling boil. Pour over the herbs and cover, steeping for 15-20 minutes. Strain, stir in honey or lemon if you’re using it, and savor each healing sip. Drink 2-3 times daily to help clear up congestion.

 

Treating a Common Cold #6 – Make a Simple Syrup

 

No…not the kind that’s just sugar and water, but truly medicinal healing syrup that is wonderful and tasty and oh-so satisfying to make. Syrups are great for kids as they are much more inclined to take them rather than trying to get them to drink a bitter tea.

 

Syrups are, actually, just a boiled down extra strong medicinal tea with some honey. They are one of my all-time favorite things to make and are easy to take, even when your throat is aching and you have no appetite.

 

This particular syrup includes marshmallow root, licorice root, cinnamon, and ginger. Ok so this syrup isn’t the sweetest of examples, but it is effective!

 

Marshmallow root and licorice root are infamous for helping soothe racking coughs and sore throats, as they are rich in mucilage which provides a soothing coating for the mucous membranes. Cinnamon and ginger help with congestion, flavor, and pain-relief.

 

You will need…

 

-1 tablespoon licorice root
-1 tablespoon marshmallow root
-1 tablespoon ground cinnamon OR 6 cinnamon sticks
-1 tablespoon chopped ginger
-4 cups of water
-1 cup of organic raw honey
-Strainer
-Glass jar with a tightly sealing lid

 

Directions

 

Mix together the herbs, cinnamon, and ginger and then add it to a saucepan along with 4 cups of cold water. Over low heat simmer the mixture until it has been reduced by half.

 

Strain the herbs and then pour the liquid back into the pot. Over the lowest level of heat stir in the honey and let it sit, bubbling gently, for 10 minutes.

 

Remove from the heat and bottle, being sure to label the date you made the batch on. Take a maximum of 1-2 tablespoons 3 times daily for relief from coughing, sore throat, and congestion. In the refrigerator this will last for 3-4 weeks.

 

Treating a Common Cold #7 – Make Your Own Healing Inhaler

 

DIY inhalers may sound a little…sketchy, but I love them. They’ve saved my tush on more than one occasion when I got bogged down with a bad cold, and they are a fabulous way to utilize essential oils.

 

They also allow you to bring the benefits of your essential oils pretty much everywhere you go. This cold and flu inhaler is perfect when traveling or for use at home.

 

For Adults

 

You will need…

 

-1 blank inhaler
-5-7 drops of Eucalyptus
-4 drops of Black Spruce
-5 drops of Tea Tree
-2 drops of Lavender
-1 drop of Lime

 

For Children (Over 5 Years of Age)

 

You will need…

 

-1 drop of eucalyptus
-2 drops of black spruce
-4 drops of tea tree
-2 drops of lavender
-1 drop of lemon or lime

 

Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus does an incredible job at really opening up your sinuses and clearing out any congestion. It’s a lifesaver with anything “stuffy.”

 

Black Spruce: The wonderful aroma of black spruce will also open up your sinuses, and is one of the best antispasmodic essential oils out there (meaning it will really calm down a cough.) if you have a cough in which you are coughing up mucous or phlegm, do not suppress it.

 

Tea Tree: The antimicrobial master of essential oils (well maybe not there is no “master” oil, but it’s still pretty incredible.) When you inhale the tea tree oil you inhale the airborne particles that will help actively wipe out the germs that are making your sick.

 

Lavender (add at night): Use the soothing lavender if you want to use this inhaler to help you sleep, and it’s wonderful, soothing aroma will help you drift off and make it through the night.

 

Lime: Lime essential oil helps boost your immune system by increasing white blood cell production.

 

Substitutes: Pine needle or fir for black spruce, mandarin or lemon for lime. You can use these substitutes if you happen to be missing one of the other and have these on hand.

 

Directions

 

There are 2 ways to go about setting up your inhaler. The first is to pre-mix your oils in a small, narrow, glass bottle. You can then insert the cotton and allow it to soak up the oils. The problem with this method is that you will leave some oil behind.

 

The other method is to drop the oils directly onto the cotton after you place it inside the inhaler. They come out fast, so go slowly and carefully-an extra drop or two isn’t a big deal! After you cap the inhaler swirl it around to pick up any oil that may have stuck to the sides.

 

To use, hold the inhaler up to one nostril, plugging the other with your finger. Take 1 deep breath in and remove the inhaler before breathing out. Repeat with the other nostril.

 

Use every 4 hours as needed for acute flue and cold symptoms. If you use your inhaler once a day it will last anywhere from 3-6 months. The shelf life is up to 1 year, but if left out in heat, uncapped, or in direct light, you may notice the potency goes downs.

 

Treating a Common Cold #8 – Chest Salve

 

There’s a good recipe for making your own vapor rub here, but this simple blend can be whipped up in a hurry if you’re running short on time, ingredients, or just feel to crummy to do anything else.

 

While I prefer the former recipe, this works well if you just want a little something to use in conjunction with a hot water bottle.

 

The menthol in the essential oil is what creates the cooling sensation that makes you feel like you can breathe easier, even when you’re all stuffed up.

 

You will need…

 

-1/2 cup of coconut oil
-15 drops of peppermint essential oil
-An airtight container

 

Directions

 

Over a double boiler, melt down the coconut oil. Remove from the heat and pour it into a heat safe airtight container. Add the essential oils, stir, and seal off while it cools.

 

Once it has completely cooled, simply rub a little on your chest or under your nose (be careful not touch your eyes-I have rubbed peppermint essential oil in my eye before and it is not pleasant!) This will keep in a cool dark place out of direct sunlight up to 3 years.

 

Treating a Common Cold #9 – Loosen Up With Heat

 

A good old fashioned hot water bottle can help loosen phlegm and really deep congestion in the chest. The gentle steady warmth will loosen up your muscles, and soften up the phlegm to help it come up.

 

It’s a very simple, non-invasive home remedy that is very soothing. If you like, you can rub a little of the above salve on your chest to increase effectiveness.

 

You will need…

 

-A hot water bottle
-A piece of soft flannel or similar fabric

 

Directions

 

I am very particular about how I fill my hot water bottles – you don’t have to be as meticulous, but I’ll share my favorite method anyways.

 

Start with hot water (it doesn’t have to be steaming hot – whatever your comfort level is really) and fill the bottle half-way. “Burp” it to get the air out, and then continue filling almost to the top, leaving 1-2 inches of space at the top. It shouldn’t be a hot hard lump; it should be a little squishy.

 

This way it rests easily across whatever surface you’re laying it on, and I find it more comfortable. Wrap it in a thin piece of flannel or something similar (I often find towels much too thick) and lay it on your back between your shoulder blades.

 

You can also rest it on your chest if you prefer. Try keeping your head a little propped up if you have a really stuffed up nose. Who knew hot water bottles could be so involved?

 

Treating a Common Cold #10 – Sinus Clearing Bath Salt

 

No, I am not referring to an illicit drug. Making up a blend of scented bath salt is a wonderful way to ease a tired, sick, body and clear up congestion.

 

It’s the perfect thing you need when you’re trying to get over a nasty cold, especially if you happen to be stricken during the frigid winter months. The aromatherapy combined with the relaxing warmth of the bath just can’t be beat!

 

This recipe calls for a simple combination of classic cold-curing essential oils, but you can mix and match and come up with your own personal favorite blend.

 

You will need…

 

-1 cup of Epsom salt
-3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
-3 drop of peppermint essential oil
-3 drops of lavender essential oil
-A small dish for blending
-A glass airtight container, or a PET plastic one

 

Directions

 

Pour the salt into your container and, in a different dish, blend the essential oils. Add the oils to the salt and stir thoroughly with a spoon. When taking a bath fill the tub half way, add 2-3 tablespoons of salt, and fill it up the rest of the way. Breathe deeply and relax!

 

Treating a Common Cold #11 – Make It Hot

 

If you’re someone who can take the heat of hot peppers, munching on one is a temporary way to take out congestion fast. The constituent in peppers that makes them spicy is called capsaicin and, in addition to numerous other benefits, it can help loosen up mucous so you can expel it.

 

Of course there’s also the fact that something about the spiciness just seems to knock it out, natural expectorant abilities or not.

 

You will need…

 

-1 hot pepper

 

Directions

 

Fairly straightforward-take a bite of the pepper, or just eat some spicy foods. Consuming a spicy broth is also wonderful, as you get the fluids, the heat and steam, AND the expectorant actions.

 

Treating a Common Cold #12 – Sore Throat Gargle

 

To help clear up a sore throat, gargle with a mixture of sage, apple cider vinegar, and salt.

 

The salt, through that magical force we call osmosis, will draw excess fluid out of the tissues in your throat that has been causing uncomfortable swelling.

 

The apple cider vinegar may help to kill off the bug, but even if it doesn’t, it still seems to help with the pain.

Sage is a wonderful herb when it comes to colds. It is astringent, which means it will also help draw excess fluid out of tissues, and anti-bacterial. The amount of sage used results in a very concentrated tea-it isn’t the tastiest infusion, but it is good at its job.

 

You will need…

 

-1 cup of apple cider vinegar
-4 tablespoons of dried sage or 8 tablespoons fresh
-1 teaspoon of salt
-1 cup of water
-A glass jar with a tightly fitting lid (should hold 2 cups of liquid.)

 

Directions

 

Place sage leaves at the bottom of a mug and cover with 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 15 minutes, covered. While the sage steeps, pour 1 cup of apple cider vinegar into your jar and sprinkle in the salt.

 

When fully infused, strain the sage tea and add into the apple cider vinegar. Gargle a mouthful at least 3 times daily for pain relief. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

 

Treating a Common Cold #13 – Rock on With Radish

 

Just a plain ‘ol spicy radish will do the trick here. This delightfully crisp, spicy vegetable is both anti-septic and full of vitamins and minerals.

 

While horseradish is the more powerful decongestant, regular garden radish works just as well for some people-especially those who are sensitive to spice.

 

If you find yourself feeling stuffed up, eat a couple of these little gems and you may be pleasantly surprised to find yourself clearing up in no time.

 

You will need…

 

-2-3 radishes

 

Directions

 

Eat 2-3 radishes twice daily to help with congestion. I like to keep mine in the refrigerator at all times so they are extra cool and crispy and go down easily.

 

Treating a Common Cold #14 – Less-Involved Elderberry Syrup

 

There is a more involved version of elderberry syrup in the Everyday Roots Book that I absolutely love, but sometimes you just need a simple version.

 

Sometimes the list of ingredients and the process can deter people, but it really is a lovely remedy-and delicious to boot.

 

Elderberry is great for anything cold related, as it lessens inflammation of the mucous membranes, allowing you to breathe better and relieving congestion.

 

It can shorten the duration of the cold, and potentially keep your immune system in better shape should another bug try to strike while you’re down.

 

The mucilage constituent may also help with a sore throat that’s been ravaged by coughs or one that’s just downright painful.

 

Be sure to only use what is commonly called black elderberry (Sambucus nigra), as other members of the family can be toxic. Do not eat raw elderberries in any form.

 

You will need…

 

-a generous 1/2 cup of dried elderberries
-3 cups of water
-A generous 1 cup of honey
-Mason jar
-Saucepan
-Strainer

 

Directions

 

Put your berries and water in the saucepan and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for 50 minutes. Strain the liquid through a strainer, making sure to use the back of a spoon the push any extra liquid out of the berries.

 

Add one heaping cup of raw honey to the liquid once it has cooled to roughly room temperature and stir until it is combined thoroughly. Bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

 

Take 1 tablespoon daily to prevent illness for adults and 1 teaspoon daily to children old enough to safely have honey. If you have a cold, take the dosing every 3-4 hours until recovery.

 

Treating a Common Cold #15 – You’re Golden

 

Goldenseal grows wild in the damp mountainous regions of North America, where the ground is covered in dead leaves that feed the rich soil it plants its roots in.

 

Native American’s prized goldenseal, and would mix it with bear fat to use as insect repellant, or make it into a lotion of sorts for wounds or even sore eyes.

 

An astringent and antibacterial herb, it is also wonderful at working on the mucous membranes, which are obviously adversely affected when it comes to the common cold.

 

It’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties are most likely contributed by its isoqinoline alkaloids (berbine*, canadine, and hydrastine.)

 

In a very broad sense, the isoqinoline simply refers to the structural backbone of the alkaloids, which are nitrogen-based organic compounds found in the plant.

 

Sadly, goldenseal has been extremely over-harvested, so do get yours from a sustainable reputable source.

 

*Berbine can stimulate contractions, so do not take goldenseal in any form if you are pregnant.

 

You will need…

 

-1 cup of fresh water
-2 teaspoons of dried goldenseal
-Honey or lemon to taste

 

Directions

 

Place the goldenseal in a mug and cover with fresh boiling water. Steep, and then covered, for about 10 to15 minutes. Stir in honey and lemon to taste, and drink 2-3 times daily.

 

Treating a Common Cold #16 – Rub it Out

 

Acupressure is a wonderful way to relieve discomfort for a number of ailments, and colds are no exceptions.

 

If you are experiencing sinus pressure or discomfort with your cold, there are three main pressure points that you can utilize to relieve the pressure and release congestion.

 

Your sinus cavities are mucosa lined air filled pockets located within the bones of the face and skull. Each one opens into a corresponding nasal meatus (aka, nasal passage.) There is the superior meatus, middle meatus, and inferior meatus.

 

When your sinuses fill up with mucous and become inflamed, not only is breathing obstructed, you will also have a face full of pressure and pain.

 

By triggering the right pressure points, you can open up the blocked sinus cavities and open up your nasal passages, relieving pressure and releasing blocked congestion.

 

B2: B2 is on the bladder meridian, and will affect your frontal sinuses, which are located behind the brow ridges. This point itself is located in the indents of your upper eye sockets, on either side of the bridge of your nose where it meets the ridge of your eyebrows.

 

Rest your index fingers alongside your nose with the tips in the indents, and gradually apply pressure, holding the points for 2-3 minutes. Towards the end, gradually lighten the pressure. Breathe deeply.

 

LI20: LI20, or large intestine 20, will open up and relieve the maxillary sinuses. The maxillary sinuses are the largest, and are typically what you think of when you think of sinus pressure.

 

The point is located underneath your eyes, just beneath the cheekbones. You will find if you press up there will be a little indent that may or may not feel a little tender.

 

A gentle pressure is all that is needed here. Hold the points for 2-3 minutes, gradually increasing the pressure, and lightning it at the end. Breathe deeply.

 

St3: St3, or stomach 3, also relieves the maxillary sinuses. The points are located just a little bit further out and a tad below LI20.

 

You can apply pressure to St3 at the same time as LI20, which can sometimes have a greater effect. Also hold the points for 2-3 minutes, gradually increasing pressure and then decreasing it at the end. Breathe deeply.

 

You can also watch this Video HERE to learn about other home remedies for treating a common cold

By Claire Goodall (a bee-obsessed natural-convert from Minnesota) who is a holistic health lover. She is the author of Everyday Roots Book.

 

It’s a Book that she creates to help you replace the toxic products and medications in your home with healthier, all-natural alternatives.

 

It contains 215+ effective home remedies and covers everything you will need to protect your family and save money every month.

 

For more details about her book, take a look at the Everyday Roots Book.

11 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Canker Sores

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Apthous stomatitis, more commonly known as canker sores, are mysterious mouth ulcers that have plagued most people at some point in their lives.

 

I say “mysterious” because it’s not totally known what causes these pesky painful spots on the inside of the mouth, although biting your cheek/inside of your lip, braces rubbing, stress, genetics, and a malfunctioning immune response are all possible contributors.

 

Starting as a red patch of oval skin, they’ll typically become increasingly inflamed and develop a white or yellow-ish spot in the middle.

Now, how to get rid of canker sores?

 

With a handful of natural ingredients, it’s not difficult to find ways to soothe the pain they cause (and make it so you can chew your food normally and talk without a lisp, which are also important things to consider.)

 

 

Get Rid of Canker Sores #1 – DIY Numbing Spray

 

Peppermint and eucalyptus essential oil both have anti-inflammatory properties, while also possibly working as anti-microbial agents (thus reducing chance of infection.)

 

They also act as astringents to help tighten the tissues around the wound, relieving further discomfort caused by swelling or potential fluid build-up. The cooling properties of both of these oils can also numb the nerve endings that are firing off.

 

You will need…

 

-2 tablespoons of olive or grapeseed oil
-10 drops of peppermint essential oil
-8 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
-A glass mister bottle

 

Directions

 

Pour the olive or grapeseed oil into a glass mister bottle, and add the essential oils. Cap, shake well, and spray some directly onto the canker sore as needed for pain relief. Shake before each use.

 

Get Rid of Canker Sores #2 – Chamomile Tea Bag

 

Chamomile consists of several daisy-like plants that are most commonly used to induce sleep, promote relaxation, and help with digestion – it works a treat with cramping since it can help relax painful spasms in the digestive track.

 

A chemical compound called bisabolol, or levomenol, is found naturally in German chamomile, and has been shown to reduce inflammation and also have antiseptic properties. Both of these properties will help reduce the pain of canker sores and potentially help speed the healing process.

 

You will need…

 

-1 bag of chamomile tea, or a tablespoon of dried flowers wrapped in cheesecloth
-Fresh water

 

Directions

 

Soak the chamomile in water for 1 minute or so if using a teabag, and 3-4 if using dried flowers. After soaking place it directly against the sore for 5-10 minutes twice daily to help relieve discomfort and promote speedy healing.

 

Get Rid of Canker Sores #3 – Swish Sage

 

Sage is an herb from the evergreen shrub, Salvia officinalis, in the mint family. It used widely in the culinary world, and has also been prevalent in homeopathic medicine and home remedies for years.

 

Native Americans used sage long before modern medicine to help cleanse the mouth, and to heal the painful ulcers that we now know as canker sores.

 

You will need…

 

-A handful of fresh sage OR 2 teaspoons dried sage
-4-8 ounces of fresh water

 

Directions

 

If you are using dried sage, boil your water and allow the herb to infuse for 10 minutes. Swish the water, and the herb, in your mouth for 1 minute before spitting it out and rinsing with plain cold water.

 

You can also make a tea-type rinse with fresh leaves, but I prefer the following method.

 

Place your sage leaves in an airtight glass jar in a cool dark place and allow them to infuse for 24 hours. Swish the liquid (sans the sage) in your mouth for 1 minute. Lightly pound the soft, moist leaves to a pulp and then place the pulp directly over the sore for 5 minutes. Rinse with plain cold water.

 

Get Rid of Canker Sores #4 – Coconut Oil

 

When in doubt, use coconut oil! Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and also incredibly tasty, coconut oil is almost fail-safe when it comes to getting rid of canker sores.

 

You will need…

 

-Coconut oil

 

Directions

 

Using clean hands or a cotton swab, dab a liberal amount of coconut oil onto the sore. Try to get a somewhat thick layer or clump on there-coconut oil melts rapidly and a thin layer just seems to slide right off.

 

If you feel like you really can’t get it to stick, melt 1 tablespoon down with ½ teaspoon or so of beeswax to thicken it.

 

Get Rid of Canker Sores #5 – Clove Oil Cotton Ball

 

Clove oil contains eugenol, a potent painkiller, and has been used by dentists throughout decades to bring relief to patients.

 

All those old-time depictions you see of dentists with giant pliers and their patients appearing to be in agony? They clearly forgot the clove oil.

 

Eugenol is still used today, although in a pure extracted form, but clove oil remains useful for oral pain ranging from toothaches to canker sores.

 

You will need…

 

-1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
-4-5 drops of clove essential oil
-Cotton balls
-Warm water/salt water

 

Directions

 

Swish your mouth with warm water or salt water to get the area clean, allowing the clove oil to really sink in and do its job. Mix the clove oil with the olive oil and then soak a cotton ball in it. Apply the cotton ball directly to the sore for 5-8 minutes for numbing relief.

 

Get Rid of Canker Sores #6 – Honey Rub

 

With its antibacterial, and potentially anti-inflammatory, properties, raw organic honey makes a wonderfully soothing coating for a painful canker sore.

 

You will need…

 

-A wee dab of organic raw honey
-Warm water

 

Directions

 

Swish some warm water in your mouth, and then apply a thick dab of organic raw honey directly to the sore. Reapply 2-3 times daily (at least one of those times should be before night, as it seems to do best when you aren’t bothering it by talking or eating.)

 

Get Rid of Canker Sores #7 – Wax Cap

 

If you have a sore that keeps rubbing against your tooth, or if you have braces and or dentures that are irritating the sore, putting a little wax “capping” over the surface can help reduce irritating friction against the sore and help speed up the healing time.

 

If you are placing this over braces, it’s important to make it thick enough that it doesn’t just get ground into the brace and stuck.

 

You will need…

 

-1 tablespoon of beeswax
-2 teaspoons of coconut oil

 

Directions

 

Melt down the beeswax and coconut oil and allow the mixture to cool slightly. When it has cooled, gently press a dollop over the edge of your tooth/braces/dentures to protect the canker sore from rubbing.

 

Get Rid of Canker Sores #8 – Cayenne “Cream”

 

Cayenne contains a substance called capsaicin, which is the same chemical constituent that makes it “hot.”

 

Capsaicin can inhibit something called Substance P, which is responsible for mediating pain responses in the body. Because of this, cayenne makes a great home remedy for canker sores, even though it sounds like the opposite thing you’d want to use!

 

You will need…

 

-Cayenne pepper
-Warm water
-Cotton swabs

 

Directions

 

Mix just enough warm water with ground cayenne pepper to form a thick paste. Use a cotton swab to apply directly to the canker sore. Reapply 2-3 times daily for pain relief.

 

Get Rid of Canker Sores #9 – Aloe Rinse

 

The king (or queen) of soothing plants-aloe! The gel from this magnificent plant wields mighty powers when it comes to soothing not just sunburn, but canker sores as well. Make sure you use natural gel-not the green kind.

 

You will need…

 

-1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel
-1 tablespoon of water

 

Directions

 

Stir the gel into the water and swish it gently over the sore 3 time’s day to ease the pain and facilitate healing.

 

Get Rid of Canker Sores #10 – Eat Yogurt

 

Yogurt is made from fermented milk- delicious, yes? It is produced by bacterial fermentation, that is, using bacteria or yeast to convert carbohydrates into organic acids. The result is a tangy bacteria rich substance that is enjoyed worldwide.

 

You most often hear of it restoring a healthy balance to gut flora, but eaten daily yogurt may one of the home remedies for canker sores you find yourself going to frequently.

 

It’s a simple healthy remedy that may help because it balances out bacteria in your mouth which, if it was out of balance, may contribute to or cause a canker sore.

 

You will need…

 

-Plain yogurt with live cultures

 

Directions

 

Make sure the label on the yogurt confirms that it contains live cultures, and make sure you get plain-not vanilla! Eat at the very minimum 1 tablespoon 3 times daily. I usually eat around a cup and add a little bit of raw honey for taste and an extra healing boost!

 

Get Rid of Canker Sores #11 – Warm Salt Water

 

When the salt content around cells is greater on the outside than the inside osmosis takes place, with water being drawn from in the cells to help balance out the concentration. When water is drawn out, the painful puffiness that excess fluid can cause is diminished.

 

If you have a canker sore that is really puffed up that keeps rubbing or that you keep biting, gargling with salt water can help greatly.

 

This is also why salt water gargle help with a sore throat – reducing the painful swelling of the cells in the mucous membrane at the back of the throat. The warm water also produces a general sense of soothing relief, while the salt may help keep the area clean.

 

You will need…

 

-1/4 cup of warm salt water
-1/2 teaspoon of salt

 

Directions

Stir the salt into the warm water and swish it around in your mouth 3 times daily until the canker sore is gone.

 

You can also watch this Video HERE to for more ideas to get rid of canker sores.

 

Tips

 

– Try to avoid acidic foods when you have a canker sore, as they can prolong healing. Some people find that acidic foods may trigger their sores. Oddly, on the flip side, some anecdotal evidence suggests that a bit of very acidic juice (e.g. lemon juice) can sometimes help.

 

– Experiment with different home remedies for canker sores. Mix and match the ones on the list-for example, rinse with aloe and then follow up with the cayenne cream.

 

– Pay attention to your body – if you find yourself with canker sores breaking out every time you have a project deadline to meet, take time to yourself to relax. You deserve it.

 

By Claire Goodall (a bee-obsessed natural-convert from Minnesota) who is a holistic health lover. She is the author of Everyday Roots Book.

 

It’s a Book that she creates to help you replace the toxic products and medications in your home with healthier, all-natural alternatives.

 

It contains 215+ effective home remedies and covers everything you will need to protect your family and save money every month.

 

For more details about her book, take a look at the Everyday Roots Book.

 

How to Make a Love Potion that Really Works in Getting the Spark Back in Sex?

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Shrouded in mystery and steeped in legend, love potions have been scattered throughout human history for centuries. But in modern times, just as many remedies have been disproved and tossed aside, we’ve learned that there is merit to some.

 

It turns there are odors that can work wonders upon the human mind and body when it comes to getting the spark back in sex, and certain herbs that can help things like blood flow, therefore helping arousal.

 

Sadly with our busy, stressful, lives it can be more than difficult to engage in passionate activities, but keeping up a healthy sex life should always be on the docket.

 

Getting the spark back in sex can not only improve your relationship and lift your mood, it’s been shown to lower blood pressure, boost immunity, improve heart health, and lead you to a longer life.

 

So the next time you find yourself lacking in the passion department, brew up this “love potion” and get ready for a merry time.

 

Why Jasmine: It’s distinct, sweet, odor induces euphoria in both men and women, and has been used to spark passion for, quite literally, centuries.

 

Why Rose: We all know women tend to think too much – we’re just not as straightforward as guys when it comes to this stuff. The sensual smell of rose can lower arousal blocking anxiety, which can spike when it comes to sex.

 

Why Vanilla: There is an old Mexican legend about a fertility goddess who could not marry the mortal man she loved. Instead of becoming bitter, she transformed herself into the vanilla plant to give happiness and pleasure to all lovers.

 

Its warm scent (and taste) is welcoming, subtly sensual, and relaxing-and we all know that relaxation is a must when it comes to truly enjoying sex.

 

Why Cinnamon: The cinnamon creates a fine balance with the more soothing scents of rose, jasmine, and vanilla. While those help relax you, the cinnamon ensures that you still get a burst of fiery passion and energy.

 

If you indulge in cinnamon regularly, it can increase sex drive over time. It works so well because it can lower high blood sugar, which restricts blood flow down south for both men and women.

 

You will need…

 

-2 teaspoons of dried jasmine flowers
-1 tablespoon of dried rose petals
-Vanilla pod split, or ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
-1-2 cinnamon sticks
-1 cup of fresh water
-A pot or sauce pan
-A strainer

 

Directions

 

Pour 1 cup of fresh water into a saucepan. You can add more or less, with the former resulting in a stronger ‘potion’ and the latter a weaker tasting one.

 

Add to the water 2 teaspoons of dried jasmine flowers, 1 tablespoon of dried rose petals, a vanilla pod split lengthwise or ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1-2 cinnamon sticks. Give the mixture a little stir to incorporate everything, and then simmer for 3-5 minutes.

 

Remove from heat and strain immediately. Allow this to cool and then bottle it. Add sparkling water and serve chilled on a hot day, or pour into mugs and reheat, sipping slowly. You can also use it fresh. In the fridge it will keep for a week in tightly lidded container.

 

Passion makes the world go round, but even the best of lovers can find themselves needing something for getting the spark back in sex. If you find yourself a bit “stuck”, the arousing, sensual smells and the little kick of cinnamon spice in this love potion will have the passion brewing in no time.

 

If you want to get more ideas on how to make a love potion for getting the spark back in sex, click and watch Video 1, Video 2 and Video 3

 

By Claire Goodall (a bee-obsessed natural-convert from Minnesota) who is a holistic health lover. She is the author of Everyday Roots Book.

 

It’s a Book that she creates to help you replace the toxic products and medications in your home with healthier, all-natural alternatives.

 

It contains 215+ effective home remedies and covers everything you will need to protect your family and save money every month.

 

For more details about her book, take a look at the Everyday Roots Book.

 

4 Simple Remedies for Toothache Relief

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Toothache can be caused by a number of problems, such as gum disease, a cracked tooth, an abnormal bite, or if you grind your teeth.

 

For all intents and purposes, we’re going to be focused on tooth pain caused by tooth decay, as that is the most common root cause (pun very much intended), although these remedies will help with pain from a variety of causes.

 

The tooth is made up of four layers – enamel, dentin, cementum, and the pulp.

 

Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, and is highly mineralized and brittle. It makes up the outside of the tooth.

 

Beneath the enamel is dentin, a more flexible supportive tissue that is softer than enamel.

 

Under the dentin is cementum, which is a bone-like substance that is highly specialized and covers the root of a tooth. It is softer than dentin and enamel, and its primary function is to serve as a medium that the periodontal ligaments (essentially specialized tissue that connects the tooth to the jaw bone) can attach to the tooth for stability.

 

Finally we have the pulp, the central part of the tooth filled with soft connective tissue rich in blood vessels and nerves.

 

A cavity is the result of bacteria in the mouth, and its reaction to sugars and starches. As bacteria break down the sugars and starches, sticky plaque filled with acids form over the tooth.

 

If left unchecked, plaque can form tartar, which cannot easily be brushed away. These acids eat away at the tooth enamel, and unless they are reversed, will continue to eat away at the tooth until the pulp becomes infected.

 

It is when the pulp is infected that a root canal becomes necessary to prevent the spread of infection and an abscess.

 

It’s important to get to a dentist ASAP to identify the cause before it progresses, but these remedies will help ease the ache until you can.

 

Toothache Relief #1 – Use Cloves

 

Cloves contain a substance called eugenol, which is a powerful antiseptic and painkiller. Cloves were used by dentists well before modern dentistry developed, and eugenol, in an extracted purified form, is still used today. In fact, it is a main constituent of the stuff a dentist will swab on your gums to numb the area because administering Novocain or lidocaine.

 

While it’s mechanism of action has yet to be totally understood, despite its prevalence in the dentist’s office, it is thought to act on certain pain receptors, blocking them and thus blocking the sensation of pain.

 

You will need…

 

-Clove essential oil

-Cotton balls
-1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
-Cotton swabs (optional)

 

Directions

 

Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to get it nicely flushed out. By doing this beforehand, you’re allowing the oil to do its job the very best it can since there’s nothing to block it or make it hard to sink down into the sore spot.

 

Mix a few drops of clove essential oil with ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Thoroughly soak a cotton ball in this mixture and then hold it gently but firmly against the sore tooth or gum.

 

If you wanted to take a shortcut, you could try putting some of the oil on a cotton swab and dabbing it directly where it hurts, however, jabbing a cotton swab onto a hurting tooth or gum may not be too comfortable.

 

Toothache Relief #2 – Alcohol

 

Normally I avoid alcohol in my remedies if at all possible, but you know what? Sometimes, it’s a great remedy. Especially when it comes to surviving excruciating pain until the dentist is open.

 

You’ll read a number of conflicting view points on whether or not it actually numbs pain, but I for one think it does. I can’t trump the American Dental Association, which claims there is no basis to the remedy, but I can attest to personal experience.

 

Ingesting alcohol doesn’t numb pain in a direct sense, but it can slow down the responses of the central nervous system-including the transmission of pain.

 

When applied topically (this remedy does not call for drinking) it probably doesn’t affect the CNS, but it does seem to do something to numb the area. It’s long been old wives remedy, but it’s a good one.

 

You will need…

 

-Whiskey or Bourbon
-A cotton ball

 

Directions

 

Soak the cotton ball in the alcohol, and squeeze out the excess so it isn’t dripping all over the place. Pack it in by the sore tooth and let it sit. Repeat as necessary.

 

If you’d rather not put a whole cotton ball in there, then you should soak a cotton swab in the alcohol and swab it over the gum around the sore tooth.

 

Toothache Relief #3 – Peppermint oil

 

A good dose of peppermint essential oil can do the trick when it comes to numbing tooth pain. A whopping 3,000 tons of menthol, the naturally occurring constituent in peppermint, are manufactured annually to be used in over the counter pain relieving, gels, creams, rubs, and sprays.

 

It’s one of nature’s most effective pain killers. A type of molecule known as a ligand, present in the menthol, attaches itself to a protein known as the k-opioid receptor (KOR.)

 

KORs are one of four receptors that bind opiate-like compounds in the brain, and control the effects of those compounds. Among the effects is the perception of pain-basically, KOR agonists are analgesic.

 

Menthol is a KOR agonist, naturally occurring in mint, which is what makes it such an effective pain blocker. In addition to this, it can desensitize a region through TRPM8, also known as the cold menthol receptor.

 

If you’d like the full name for that, it’s transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily M member 8. You can whip that out next time someone brings up anything minty.
Menthol does not actually change temperature – the activation of the TRPM8 simply “tricks” the brain into registering a cold sensation.

 

You will need…

 

-Pure peppermint essential oil
-Cotton balls or cotton swabs

 

Directions

 

Mix 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil into 2 tablespoons of neutral oil (grapeseed, olive oil, etc.) It’s important to dilute the oil first so as to avoid any irritation.

 

Soak a cotton ball in the oil and pack it around the sore tooth, or soak a cotton swab and swab the gum surrounding the sore tooth. Repeat as needed.

 

Toothache Relief #4 – Saltwater Rinse

 

This is a repeat of a remedy in the Everyday Roots book, and it is one worth repeating, as it can really help a sore tooth heal after a procedure, or ease pain before you can get the tooth checked out.

 

To understand it, here’s a very simplified version of what goes down as decay is eating away at your tooth. Bacteria in the mouth feeds off of sugars in the diet-namely sucrose.

 

When it breaks down the sugar, it produces lactic acid. This lactic acid eats away at the enamel, into the dentin, and so on until the pulp becomes infected. The infection can then spread and turn into an abscess or what have you.

 

The salt, however, helps to neutralize the lactic acid. This can slow the process of decay significantly, and also relieve pain. The warm salt water will also help contract inflamed tissues as it draws excess fluid out of them, further easing discomfort.

 

You will need…

 

-1 cup of warm salt water
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt

 

Directions

 

Mix the salt into a glass of warm water. Swish the water around for 1 minute, then spit it out. Repeat until the glass is gone. You can do this as many times a day as needed until you can get to the dentist.

 

I cannot stress enough how important it is to get to the bottom of the problem before it gets worse. While going to the dentist may seem like a not so great (and expensive) experience you’d rather avoid, you will only end up suffering, and paying, way more in the long run when you let the problem go. These remedies are only to help get you through until you can get professional help.

 

Keep in mind that these remedies are for the purpose of getting rid of the pain, not something that will cure whatever is making your tooth hurt. Brushing and flossing regularly and eating less processed sugary/salty foods can help prevent toothaches in the long run as well.

 

You can also watch this Video HERE for more toothache relief ideas.

 

By Claire Goodall (a bee-obsessed natural-convert from Minnesota) who is a holistic health lover. She is the author of Everyday Roots Book.

 

It’s a Book that she creates to help you replace the toxic products and medications in your home with healthier, all-natural alternatives.

 

It contains 215+ effective home remedies and covers everything you will need to protect your family and save money every month.

 

For more details about her book, take a look at the Everyday Roots Book.

 

The Benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf for Women Health

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Like blueberries, red raspberries grow wild up the north woods. I have many fond memories seeking out berry patches and eagerly plucking the little red gems off the plant.

 

Unlike blueberries, I would never collect the raspberries, but pop them in my mouth right then and there. It wasn’t until I was much older that I would learn that there was more to the plant than just the delicious fruit!

 

What are the benefits of Red Raspberry Leaf?

 

Red raspberry leaf is known for easing the pain of menstrual cramps, but it can also help digestive woes as well as support heart health.

 

Red raspberry leaf has also traditionally been used by pregnant women, as well as post-partum, the thought process being that it can ease labour by helping with pain as well as quickening the process, and “toning” the uterus.

 

There’s quite a bit of mixed research on this, however, anecdotal evidence is extremely strong when it comes to its efficacy and I know of quite a few women who swear by it.

 

Red raspberry leaves are rich in magnesium, calcium, potassium, and iron, as well as zinc and phosphorus. The leaves also contain a plethora of b-vitamins (B1-thiamine, B2-riboflavin, B3-niacin, B5-pantothenic acid, B6-pyridoxine, and B9-folate) as well as vitamin C.

 

Magnesium and potassium are both macro-minerals, which the body needs in larger amounts to support proper functioning. Iron is a trace mineral – still important, of course, but we don’t need as much of it as macro-minerals.

 

Below the recipe is a simplified and brief explanation for some of the most important constituents of red raspberry leaf, and the benefits of red raspberry leaf for women health.

 

*If you decide to consume red raspberry leaf during pregnancy, it is recommended that you wait until your third trimester. Start with 1 cup daily and over the course of several weeks move up to 3 cups daily.

 

Should you wish to start consuming it sooner, check with a holistic health care provider or your doctor for details.*

 

You will need…

 

-2-3 teaspoons of dried red raspberry leaf OR 2-3 tablespoons fresh
-Water
-Your favourite mug
-Honey or lemon (optional)

 

Directions

 

Bring water to a boil and place your leaves in a strainer or tea ball in your mug. Fill the mug with fresh, boiling water and cover, letting it steep, for 6-8 minutes. Remove the leaves, add honey or lemon to taste, and enjoy!

 

The Nitty-Gritty on Red Raspberry Leaf & Why It is Good for You

 

Magnesium: Magnesium is a co-factor over 300 enzyme reactions in the body. Needless to say-it’s kind of important.

 

It regulates

 

– Protein synthesis, which is one of the most fundamental biological processes,

– Muscle and nerve function which includes nerve impulse, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm,

– Blood glucose,

– Blood pressure, and

– Energy production

 

It aids structural development of bone, and plays a role in the synthesis (basically, production) of DNA and RNA.

 

If you need a little reminder, DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a self-replicating material present in just about every living thing. It is the carrier of genetic information.

 

RNA (ribonucleic acid) is present in all living cells, and essentially carries instructions for DNA regarding the synthesis of proteins. There’s really no simple way to sum up that process…but it’s important!

 

Potassium: Potassium plays a large role in smooth muscle function. Smooth muscle is the kind in your intestines, heart, etc. as opposed to skeletal muscle.

 

Skeletal muscle you think about contracting- like when you flex your bicep. Smooth muscle is subconscious – you don’t think about making your heart beat, or your intestines contract to push food through.

 

Potassium conducts electricity, along with calcium and magnesium, which regulates the impulses to move these muscles.

 

Calcium: Much like the other vital minerals, the body cannot produce calcium on its own – which is why it is so important to consume enough of it from healthy outside sources

 

Roughly 99% of the calcium in our bodies is concentrated in our bones and teeth, but it also helps nerves fire, blood to clot, and works with potassium and magnesium to contract muscles.

 

It is, in fact, so vital to muscle function that your body will draw it from your very bones if you do not ingest enough.

 

 

Iron: Iron is a mineral that has several roles in the body, the biggest one being the creation of healthy oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

 

Roughly two-thirds of the bodies iron is found in the protein haemoglobin, which is responsible for carrying oxygen from our lungs to other parts of the body.

 

Anaemia is when you don’t have enough haemoglobin, and is usually when people start taking iron supplements. Exhaustion, a racing heart, restless legs, shortness of breath – all of these are common signs of anaemia. Women are at the highest risk.

 

Zinc/Phosphorus: Zinc is a vital part of the immune system, and also ties into the creation of proteins and DNA.

 

Phosphorus, after calcium, is the most abundant mineral in the human body, with 85% of it being located in the bones and teeth. It works closely with calcium to build strong bones and teeth.

 

B/C Vitamins: In short, B complex vitamins do a variety of jobs, often times working together. They convert nutrients to energy, maintain skin and hair health, regulate stress hormones, and boost HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol.)

 

Vitamin C helps the body form and maintains some of its vital components, including blood vessels, skin, connective tissue, and bones.

 

When you take a look at the breakdown of the leaves, it’s not hard to see why they would be helpful for heart health, muscles, or even strengthening the uterus.

 

There is no magic “super herb” out there, but red raspberry leaf tea is a great herbal tea to add to your daily routine to keep everything running smoothly.

 

You can also watch this Video HERE to learn about the benefits of red raspberry leaf tea for women health.

 

By Claire Goodall (a bee-obsessed natural-convert from Minnesota) who is a holistic health lover. She is the author of Everyday Roots Book.

 

It’s a Book that she creates to help you replace the toxic products and medications in your home with healthier, all-natural alternatives.

 

It contains 215+ effective home remedies and covers everything you will need to protect your family and save money every month.

 

For more details about her book, take a look at the Everyday Roots Book.

 

Here are 3 Simple Remedies to Relieve Nose Congestion

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As I type these words I am sniffling and snuffling thanks to a very stuffy nose. It’s the frustrating kind, where you can’t even get some relief by blowing it.

 

This is because the worst kind of stuffiness comes not from an excess of mucous, but from inflamed and irritated tissue in the sinuses and nasal passages. The mucous, well, that’s just the cherry on the sundae.

 

When fighting off a cold or the flu, these tissues and the blood vessels inside them become swollen from excess fluid. Other things, such as allergies or irritants like smoke, can also cause that dreadful stuffy feeling.

 

Luckily, home remedies for a stuffy nose are some of the easiest and least involved as they come. These do overlap with some remedies for the cold, as is to be expected since a stuffy nose is the trademark symptom of those pesky viruses.
Remedies to Relieve Nose Congestion #1- Take a Hot Shower

 

Yes, I have used this on the cold and flu remedy posts, and no, it’s not cheating, because it really is one of the best ways to relieve stuffiness.

 

The steam from the shower is almost guaranteed to relieve the irritation and inflammation (temporarily, unfortunately, but still) and, if your stuffy nose comes with an excess of mucous, the steam will thin the secretions and help them drain.

 

You can also do a bowl of steaming water with some essential oils added for an extra kick, and a towel over your head, but a shower is a little less involved.

 

You will need…

 

-A shower with hot water
-A towel

 

Directions

 

Get the water as hot as you can stand it and stay in there for at least fifteen minutes. Make sure the bathroom door is closed, and shove a towel under the door to keep that precious steam in.

 

Remedies to Relieve Nose Congestion #2 – Make Your Own Saline Drops

 

Saline drops (just water with salt added) are a tried and true remedy for a stuffy nose. Remember how the worst kind of stuffiness (that doesn’t improve when you blow your nose) is, in large part, excess fluids in the tissue that lines the sinuses and nasal passages that causes the tissue to swell, which makes it uncomfortable and hard to breathe.

 

A saline solution is a powerful remedy because it uses the power of osmosis. Put very simply, when there is a higher concentration of salt outside the cells in the tissue, water will pass out of the tissue to balance things out again.

 

When you draw fluid out of the tissue the swelling decreases, and your breathing opens up. In addition to this, the fluid can loosen up trapped mucous and help flush irritants and germs out of your body.

 

This solution is hypertonic-it has a higher concentration of salt than the body, which draws the water out-as opposed to isotonic, which is balanced to match the bodies levels.

 

Do not use a hypertonic solution on children under the age of 5.

 

There is also baking soda added (optional) to help lessen the potential for the drops to sting if you have a sore nose.

 

You will need…

 

-1 teaspoon of sea salt (not table salt, or any kind with iodine!)
-1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (optional)
-8 ounce (1 cup) of water that is either purified or has been boiled
-A sterile glass jar
-A dropper

 

Directions

 

If you are using tap water, boil it first to get rid of any impurities. If you are using purified/distilled bottled water, heat it in the microwave until it is fairly warm – it needs to be a higher temperature to dissolve the salt.

 

Add the salt and the baking soda to your jar, and then add the water (if you boiled it, make sure it’s cooled some! Put the lid on and give it a good shake. Shake before every use.

 

To use, make sure your dropper is clean and sterile, and blow as much mucous out of your nose as possible just beforehand. Lie on your back with your head hanging off the side of the bed (to prevent it from running out or straight down your throat) and put the tip of the dropper just past the inside of the nostril, taking care not to smear it all around inside your nose.

 

Use 1-3 drops per nostril. It may sting the first few times. Stay in the same position for 5-10 minutes to allow the solution to flow into the nasal passages. Wait a few minutes and then blow your nose.

 

You can repeat this process up to 3 times a day during the duration of your cold. It is not for extended use for allergy season or to help with (an isotonic solution should be made for that.)

 

I think it is more pleasant-and effective – to warm the solution slightly before using it. Store at room temperature up to a week, and then make a new batch.

 

If you prefer a spray to drops, get a container made specifically for administering a nasal spray, and follow the instructions on how to use it.

 

Remedies to Relieve Nose Congestion #3 – Make a Spicy Decongestant

 

Last but not least, few things beat the power of a good homemade spicy decongestant. This recipe is one that I cherish, made with the faithful ingredients of cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and ginger.

 

Some people like the taste (I personally do) and some don’t, but whichever camp you’re in you’ll love it for the relief that it brings you when it feels like nothing else can!

 

You will need the following ingredients

 

– ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
– ½ teaspoon of powdered ginger
– 3 tablespoons of all natural organic honey
– 1/4 cup of lemon juice
– 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar

 

Why the ingredients?

 

Cayenne pepper, honey, and ginger are all natural expectorants, meaning they help loosen phlegm or mucous from the lungs, making it easier to rid yourself of it and therefore relieving pressure and making you more comfortable.

 

Cayenne also works as a decongestant, thanks to the natural chemical capsaicin, which helps relieve swelling and inflammation that is narrowing nasal passages.

 

Apple cider vinegar is thought to help thin out mucous being secreted, making it easier to drain the congestion.

 

Lemon juice is also thought to help with congestion, although the exact scientific reason isn’t known, and makes the whole thing go down a little easier.

 

Directions

 

Pour ¼ cup of lemon juice and ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar in pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir in 2-3 tablespoons of raw organic honey and ¼-½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper and powdered ginger each (the latter amount makes it quite strong.)

 

Next, you store it in a jar in a cool, dark, place indefinitely. Adults take 1-2 tablespoons daily as needed. Shake well before using, as the powder doesn’t dissolve in the most pristine way. I find it pleasant sometimes to warm the mixture before taking it.

 

You can also watch this Video HERE to learn about other remedies to relieve nose congestion.

 

By Claire Goodall (a bee-obsessed natural-convert from Minnesota) who is a holistic health lover. She is the author of Everyday Roots Book.

 

It’s a Book that she creates to help you replace the toxic products and medications in your home with healthier, all-natural alternatives.

 

It contains 215+ effective home remedies and covers everything you will need to protect your family and save money every month.

 

For more details about her book, take a look at the Everyday Roots Book.

 

5 Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites Revealed Here

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Female mosquitos are attracted to us, and other animals, for our blood. They take about 3 milligrams per bite, and use the iron and proteins in it to develop their eggs.

 

The mosquito doesn’t actually “bite” of course. She pokes around with her proboscis (a long, needle like mouth part) and finds a blood vessel close to the skin. She then punctures the skin with her proboscis, and sucks out the blood.
The irritation that comes after the mosquito bite is the result of the mosquito’s saliva, which acts as an anti-coagulant that keeps the blood flowing while she’s feeding.

 

The human body reacts to the foreign saliva by releasing histamines, organic compounds that (put very simply) regulate inflammation.  The itchy swollen red bump (called a wheal) that raises up becomes a bullseye target for your itching and scratching.

 

Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites #1 – Apple Cider Vinegar

 

A dab of apple cider vinegar may help with inflammation and itching-especially the itching. I couldn’t tell you exactly why it works, but it does. It’s just one of those things.

 

If you’ve scratched at the bite and it’s open, this will sting. Sometimes even that is preferable to the infuriating itch you’re feeling though! **

 

You will need…

 

-Apple cider vinegar
-Cotton balls

 

Directions

 

Soak a cotton ball in the ACV and squeeze out the excess so it’s not dripping all over the place. Press over the bug bite for 5 seconds or so. Repeat if needed (which it probably will be.)

 

Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites #2 – Ice It

 

When it starts to really drive you nuts, break out the ice. The coolness reduces the hot, uncomfortable inflammation, and numbs the area enough to drive away the sensation of itching for the time being.

 

It can get a little messy, but I prefer to place an ice cube directly on the bite, versus putting some in a plastic bag and holding it on.

 

You will need…

 

-Ice

 

Directions

 

Hold the ice on the bite until the ice cube melts-or at least until it’s halfway melted. It’s really not an exact science.

 

Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites #3 – Cucumber It

 

The same as icing it – only with a cucumber instead of ice! And with less mess. It’s not *as* effective, in my personal experience, but other people experience the opposite-where the cucumber is more effective than the ice. It’s a matter of trial and error, as everybody is going to respond differently.

 

Cucumbers do have an anti-inflammatory constituent known as fisetin, which has been shown to inhibit several inflammatory causing cytokines. Cytokines are basically a broad and generalized group of proteins that signal cells to act a certain way.

 

I would think you’d have to ingest the cucumber to get these benefits, but if your bites are terrible and you’re desperate for relief, feel free to see if it helps with the itching.

 

You will need…
-Cucumber

 

Directions

 

Slice up a cucumber and store the slices in the refrigerator. When you need it, hold the slice over the bite until the itching stops. It’s cool, soothing, and unlike the ice the cucumber won’t melt against your skin (and if it does you have bigger worries than a mosquito bite) so simply hold it there until you get relief.

 

Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites #4 – Peppermint Toothpaste

 

This one is good if you’re REALLY in a pinch. Apply some (organic) peppermint toothpaste to the affected area. It can help take the bite (pun totally intended) out of the itchiness.

 

The menthol in the peppermint will create a cooling sensation that can bring you some measure of relief until a more formal (for lack of a better word) remedy becomes available.

 

You will need…

 

-Organic peppermint toothpaste

 

Directions

 

Dab a small amount of toothpaste over the bite and spread it in a thin layer. Before reapplying, rinse the old stuff off first.

 

Home Remedies for Mosquito Bites #5 – Got Lemons?

 

You should. I am NEVER with lemons on hand- especially if I know I am going to be getting eaten alive by mosquitos. Honestly, I think the sting, or potential to sting, is what takes away some of the discomfort, as odd as that sounds. It may also help prevent bacteria from entering or irritating the area if you’ve scratched it open.

 

You will need…

 

-A lemon OR lemon juice, if you don’t have the fresh fruit on hand.

 

Directions

 

Cut a slice of lemon, then wrap the rest of the fruit and stick it in the fridge for a later use. Rinse the bite with cool water, pat dry, and then squeeze a few drop of lemon juice out directly onto the bite. Alternatively squeeze it into a bowl, then use a cotton ball (or your clean fingers) and dab it on.

 

You can also watch this Video HERE to learn about other home remedies for mosquito bites.

 

Do They Love You More?

 

Ever get the feeling that you’re getting singled out when you go camping? Like all of your friends are untouched by mosquitos, and you must have sweet blood because you’re getting eaten alive? It turns out, it may not all be in your head.

 

Studies have shown that mosquitos will land on folks with blood type O nearly twice as often as people with blood type A. Based on other genes, about 85% of people secrete a chemical signal through their skin that tells what blood type you have. Mosquitos seem to favor them, versus the 15% who kept their blood type “secret.”

 

So, the world is a wildly unfair place, and mosquitos might just like you more than everyone else on your camping trip.

 

By Claire Goodall (a bee-obsessed natural-convert from Minnesota) who is a holistic health lover. She is the author of Everyday Roots Book.

 

It’s a Book that she creates to help you replace the toxic products and medications in your home with healthier, all-natural alternatives.

 

It contains 215+ effective home remedies and covers everything you will need to protect your family and save money every month.

 

For more details about her book, take a look at the Everyday Roots Book.

 

12 Ways to Stop Snoring and Treat Sleep Apnea

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Snoring is often depicted in a comedic way when in reality it is anything but, particularly when its regular, which results in poor sleep for the snorer, and poor sleep for whoever shares the bed, room, or in extreme cases, the people next door.

 

Snoring is caused by the relaxation of the muscles in your soft palate (roof of your mouth,) tongue, and throat. The tissues in your throat can get so relaxed that they partially block your airway and vibrate as air rushes past. The narrower it is for your airway, the more intense vibration, and the louder the snore.

 

A number of factors contribute to who snores and why, from your mouth anatomy to alcohol consumption, but home remedies can help without getting a pressurized mask or mouthpiece involved.

 

Stop Snoring #1 – Utilize a tennis ball

 

If you happen to be someone who sleeps mostly on their back, try putting a tennis ball in a shirt pocket of an old shirt and sewing it to the mid-back of your pyjama top (the top should be one that fits snuggly.)

 

When you roll over, the discomfort from the tennis ball forces you to roll back on your side, without waking you up. It sounds bizarre but if you can sleep through your partner elbowing you, a tennis ball shouldn’t be a problem.

 

You could also try strapping one on somehow-but that isn’t as practical, and won’t be terribly comfortable either.

 

You will need…
-1 tennis ball
-Shirt pocket of an old shirt
-Scissors
-Needle and thread

 

Directions
Cut the shirt pocket out of an old shirt, and thread your needle. Sew the pocket into the mid back region of your pyjama top. The top should be snug, so that the material doesn’t just shift the ball out of the way as you roll over.

 

Don’t worry if it’s not pretty-nobody is judging your seamstress skills here. Tuck the tennis ball in the pocket before you crawl in bed, and proceed to sleep per usual.

 

Note: If you have a dog that really, really, likes tennis balls…you’ve been warned.

 

Stop Snoring #2- Humidify, humidify, humidify

 

If you sleep in a room with dry air it is possible that it is contributing or causing you to snore. Dry air dries out our throat and nasal membranes and contributes to congestion. This makes its air movement restricted, and will set your tissues vibrating.

 

There are two ways to going about treating your snoring if this is the case – you can buy a humidifier, or move to an exceptionally exotic tropical location.

 

Stop Snoring #3 – If you’re overweight, lose weight

 

If you’re overweight it’s possible that it is causing your snoring, or making it worse. When you’re overweight you may have extra tissues in the throat contributing to the noise.

 

The more tissues that block your throat the more air is interrupted as it flows over, creating the vibrations that result in the sound of snoring.

 

Stop Snoring #4 – Raise the head of your bed

 

You can raise the head of your bed about 4 inches or so, which may help keep your tongue from falling back and blocking your throat, and may help open up your airways a little bit.

 

You will need…
-Sturdy blocks of wood, about 1-2 inches thick OR books

 

Directions
If you don’t have wood lying around that you can use, you can pick up some scrap lumber easily at some hardware stores. It should be flat, square, and about 1-2 inches thick.

 

Make sure it is wide enough to thoroughly cover the base of the foot you will be resting on it. Add these blocks 1 by 1 until you’ve reached about 4 inches.

 

If you’d prefer to use books instead, just pop some under the feet at the head of the bed. In both cases, but particularly with books because of their uneven size, make sure the bed it steady and doesn’t wobble.

 

Stop Snoring #5 – Keep up on housecleaning

 

As much fun as cleaning is, keeping up on making sure your living quarters are spick and span can pay off in the end. Allergens like pollen, dust, animal dander, and other unseen irritants can cause congestion and irritate your airways, both of which can contribute to snoring. Also make sure you’re changing your air filters on a regular basis.

 

Stop Snoring #6 – Try to pinpoint why you snore

 

Figuring out what’s making you snore means you can treat it with much more success than if you’re trying remedies in the dark (even though you will try them in the dark.)

 

Examine your lifestyle and diet-are you overweight? Do you drink alcohol before bedtime? Have your physician check – is the structure of your mouth the culprit? How you sleep when snoring may also indicate the problem. It has been speculated that-

 

Closed mouth snoring: If your mouth stays shut but you snore on, it may indicate a problem with your tongue/nasal passageways.

 

Snoring with your mouth wide open: It is probably the tissues in your throat that are causing you to snore with your mouth open. If your throat is partially obstructed, you’re apt to try to force in more air when you sleep-aka, snore.

 

Snoring on your back: Often at times on our back we breathe through our mouths, which can exacerbate snoring.

 

Snoring regardless of position: Possibly the sign of a more serious problem, such as sleep apnea – see your doctor if your snoring is loud enough to keep your partner awake or if you wake yourself up.

 

Stop Snoring #7 – Anti-snoring pills

 

Herbal pills are available that are aimed at reducing snoring. They’re made up of natural enzymes that target nasal congestion and work to reduce it, which in turn may reduce your snoring.

 

There isn’t a whole lot to back the claims, but it is something to look into if you’re feeling up to trying out some different treatment methods.

 

Stop Snoring #8 – Freshen up the humidifier

 

If dry air and congestion are making you snore, try adding various oils to the vaporizer or humidifier. Some, such as peppermint, can help open up airways and clear out your sinuses while you sleep.

 

You will need…
-a humidifier or vaporizer
-Several drops of peppermint OR eucalyptus oil

 

Directions
About 30 minutes before you crawl into bed, add 3-5 drops of peppermint or eucalyptus oil into your humidifier or vaporizer. If you wish to add more, do so after you try starting with less. You don’t want to create a scent that’s too overwhelming.

 

Stop Snoring #9 – Adjust your pillows

 

Elevating your head can help open up airways and make breathing easier-but if your head is too high, your airways can get constricted and that may cause you to snore.

 

If you have a pillow that is too thick, or you sleep on multiple pillows, try adjusting the height. Not too fluffy and not too flat is important when it comes to what you rest your head on.

 

Finding a pillow that keeps your head and neck in a proper position is worth taking the time to do to help you breathe right.

 

Stop Snoring #10 – Practice Pranayama

 

Pranayama is a type of yoga exercise dedicated to learning how to control your breathing. You master taking deep, slow, breaths and get the most out of the oxygen around you.

 

Pranayama aids in the delivery of blood to the brain and overall increases circulation. It is also an incredible technique for relaxation. It has been used to relieve various sleep disorders, including sleep apnea.

 

Look into some classes or practice at home to possibly reduce or eliminate your snoring. You will feel rested, rejuvenated, and energized as a result.

 

Stop Snoring #11 – Exercise your tongue and throat

 

Making the muscles in your tongue and throat stronger can help reduce snoring because it decreases the chance of them slipping limply backwards when you rest.

 

As we age we tend to snore more as well, because our tissues are losing strength and elasticity, which means they Fill up your airways more than they once did.

 

There are a number of different exercises you can try, many being adopted from speech pathologists or doctors who use them to help patients who have trouble swallowing.

 

You can watch this Video HERE  to learn about the face exercise to stop snoring

 

Ideas for exercises
-Try to protrude the lower jaw over the upper jaw with your teeth showing while you count slowly to ten. Repeat 5-10 times a day.

 

-Give your tongue a work out by saying this phrase at least 10-20 times before going to sleep “The lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue.”

 

-Put your tongue out perfectly straight as far as you can. Move it left, then right, touching the corner of your lips but making sure it stays straight. Do this in front of a mirror twice a day.

 

Stop Snoring #12 – Avoid alcohol and sedatives

 

Don’t drink alcoholic beverages or use sedatives at least two hours before bedtime. Both alcohol and sedatives can relax your tissue in your throat, making it expand and block off the airways, which then results in snoring.

 

You can also watch this Video HERE  to learn how to stop snoring in 3 steps.

 

Snoring is a tricky condition because there really isn’t a “cure.” To naturally stop or lessen your snoring, lifestyle changes are the key.

 

Exercise, weight loss, managing allergies, and changing sleeping positions are the types of things that seem to really work for some people but, like any remedy, may not do anything for another person.

 

Try to figure out what’s causing your snoring so you can treat your snoring as effectively as possible.

 

By Claire Goodall (a bee-obsessed natural-convert from Minnesota) who is a holistic health lover. She is the author of Everyday Roots Book.

 

It’s a Book that she creates to help you replace the toxic products and medications in your home with healthier, all-natural alternatives.

 

It contains 215+ effective home remedies and covers everything you will need to protect your family and save money every month.

 

For more details about her book, take a look at the Everyday Roots Book.

 

18 Natural Sleep Aids to Get Better Sleep

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If there is one condition that has plagued me every day-or rather, every night-for years on end, it’s sleep. I was prescribed sleeping medication long-term (not a good idea) and suffered greatly for it.

 

If I was having trouble sleeping before, it was now impossible to achieve, unless I took my medication. The truth is, we lose touch with sleep more and more every day.

 

Technology, stress, energy drinks, stress, readily prescribed medications, and did I mention stress? All of those things contribute to sleeplessness, and I can almost guarantee everyone who reads this list will struggle with at least one of the above.

 

The science of sleep…

 

When you hear about serotonin, melatonin, 5-hydroxy L-Tryptophan (5-HTP), and tryptophan, they usually sound like they are totally different things you can try to utilize to help sleep. Really, they’re all quite related to one another. If it was a perfect world, this is what would happen when you go to sleep-

 

You need to consume tryptophan, and essential amino acid, to start the process, and you need to get it from an outside source. In a two- step process that tryptophan is converted to 5-HTP, which is then converted into serotonin.

 

The serotonin then converts to melatonin, which makes our body’s biological clock run smoothly and tell us when it is time to go to sleep and when it’s time to haul yourself out of your cozy bed.

 

It is the master clock, if you will, making us sleepy-or alert-at the proper times, because melatonin produced is released in higher amounts the darker it is, while the amount lessens with more light.

 

Since tryptophan is the only amino acid that can convert to serotonin, it is also the only one that can ultimately up your melatonin.

 

Get Better Sleep #1 – Drink Tart Cherry Juice

 

A ½ cup to a 1 cup of tart cherry juice is a tasty way to drift off to sleep, and is a natural sleep aid that I personally think really helps.

 

Tart cherry juice is a natural sleep aid because it’s full of tryptophan. Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that coverts to serotonin, which then coverts to melatonin.

 

Melatonin helps maintain our sleep and wake cycle by causing drowsiness and lowers body temperature, working with the central nervous system to sync our biological clock. Its production is inhibited by light, but released in low light/darkness.

 

Get Better Sleep #2 – Improve the Feng Shui

 

Feng shui is more than just decorating your space in a visually appealing way; it’s a full philosophy that instructs on how to arrange your room, furniture, office, etc. to maximize good energy flow throughout living spaces.

 

Here are a few tips for improving the Feng shui of your bedroom to help you get the most of a good night’s rest:

 

-Keep your bed easily accessible and approachable from all sides.

-Make the energy in the room fresh and help it flow by keeping the air pure, preferably with open windows. Also try to have several windows to allow in natural light.

-Have the bed positioned in such a way that you can see the door. Not being able to see the entrance to your bedroom can create a feeling of anxiety.

-Keep the room neat and clean with a balanced look and feel. Clutter and trash stresses you out and represents unfinished business, which can prevent you from really resting well in your room. On that note, it can also affect your sex life.

 

Get Better Sleep #3 – Valerian

 

Valerian is a hardy plant whose roots are used in a number of ways as a sedative and sleep aid. It is thought to work by increasing the amount of GABA (gamma aminobutryic acid) which helps regulate the action of nerve cells and has a calming effect.

 

Because of its calming effect, it is also extremely popular as a natural anxiety remedy – prescription anxiety medication also increase GABA, albeit much more than valerian. It’s easy to brew up a cup of tea, but if you find the odor too strong, it is also available in capsule form.

 

You will need…

 

-1 tsp of dried valerian root
-strainer or infusion device, such as a tea ball
-8 oz. fresh water to boil
-8 oz. fresh water, hot from the tap

 

Directions

 

Fill either the mug you wish to steep your tea in with the hot tap water to get it warmed up (warming it up like this can help keep your tea toasty for longer.)

 

Put 1 tsp of valerian root in your infusion device – if you are steeping the root loose, wait to do anything with it. Boil 8 oz. of water in your kettle, remove from heat, and empty your mug of the hot tap water.

 

Place your infusion device or the loose root in your mug, and pour the hot water over it. Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Uncover, remove device or strain, and get ready to enjoy a peaceful night. Add milk or honey if you’d like for flavor.

 

Get Better Sleep #4 – Get Acupuncture

 

Acupuncture is one of the main components in traditional Chinese medicine (TMC), and one of the oldest healing practices in the world.

 

It is thought that stimulating specific points corrects the balance of energy or the life force by opening up channels called meridians, which close off when stress inflames and contracts vessels.

 

The thin needles, upon insertion, open up these blocked channels and allow your brain to better understand that it’s time to go to sleep. It also signals the release of neuro-endocrine chemicals (like tryptophan/melatonin) to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

 

Get Better Sleep #5 – Make Your Bedroom

 

Your bedroom is a place of rest. It is your retreat to restore your mind and body by sleeping. It is not a place to watch T.V., or a second office.

 

If you have them, the computer and T.V. have to go. They not only keep you awake, but they don’t give a sense of relaxation. They carry stress into your room, and stress does not help you sleep.

 

Get Better Sleep #6 – Stick to a Schedule, Establish a Ritual, and Keep a Diary

 

Humans are funny creatures of habit, and our bodies usually work quite well when something is done ritualistically. For example, exercising randomly every few days won’t do much, but exercising every day for 30 minutes will over time make a huge difference. The same thing goes for sleep.

 

Establish a calming ritual that you do every night before crawling in bed, and you will probably find it easier to transition from being awake to being sleep. The ritual is also a time to relax and let go of stress and thoughts that crowd your head and keep you up.

 

Some ideas include…

 

– Drinking a cup of warm tea a half an hour before bed
– Doing a series of gentle stretches
– Reading 1 chapter exactly of a book every night

 

Take a warm bath: There’s nothing quite like sinking into a warm tub to wash the stress of everyday life away and it also feels great to crawl into bed nice and clean. Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil (lavender is great) to get the soothing benefits of aromatherapy as well.

 

Sip something: Making up a nightly drink to help you fall asleep has the double benefits of the drink itself lulling you off to dreamland, and the ritual of drinking it which tells your brain and body “ok, it’s time to relax.” Doing something like reading while you drink your night time beverage adds a nice dimension to this habit.

 

Meditate: Take some time before you crawl in bed to meditate and clear your mind of cluttering thoughts. Thinking too much, as we all know, can keep you awake for hours as you churn over the same thoughts again and again.

 

Getting a good night’s rest is not just about your body – with how complex our thinking process is, our minds need just as much help (if not more) to get ready for bed.

 

Get Better Sleep #7 – Get More Melatonin

 

This chemical is oh-so-important to sleep, but our body needs outside sources to get it. While it can be taken as a natural supplement in pill form, here are some foods that will help boost production.

 

Cherries: Not too hard to guess since cherry juice was one of the first things listed, but they also contain tryptophan which is metabolized into serotonin and finally melatonin

 

Bananas: I remember before a solo I had to do in band class, my teacher told me to eat a banana 30 minutes beforehand, because they helped calm you down. I think it must have done something because my solo got an honorable mention, and I never do well performing under pressure.

 

Bananas contain tryptophan, and potassium and magnesium as well, which are muscle relaxants. Have one a half-an-hour before bed every night and up your magnesium levels while simultaneously relaxing your muscles.

 

Get Better Sleep #8 – Exercise

 

Exercise on a regular basis, and you will sleep better. Not only will you sleep better, but you’ll have more energy when you’re awake-and not just because you slept better, but because exercise has a weird way of helping us go to sleep and giving us more energy.

 

For this reason, don’t work out right before bed, or you’ll likely end up more awake.

 

Get Better Sleep #9 – Drink a Cup of Chamomile

 

Chamomile has long been a reliable remedy for helping people doze off. It relaxes your muscles, and is thought that, potentially, a substance called apigenin can bind to GABA receptors which affect the central nervous system and sleepiness.

 

Other studies have disagreed with apegign theory, and think other constituents in the chamomile are what act as a sedative. Either way, it’s tasty and it makes you tired. You can, of course, buy chamomile tea from the store, but I personally love it fresh as well.

 

You will need…

 

-A rounded ¼ cup of fresh chamomile flowers OR 2 rounded tablespoons of dry flowers
-Honey (optional)
-Milk (optional)
-Freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)

 

Directions

 

There’s nothing quite as delightful as a cup of freshly brewed chamomile on a chilly night as you settle in for bed. If possible, try to use fresh flowers (German variety, preferably) but you can use dried as well if you cannot harvest fresh.

 

If you’re using fresh flowers, use only the flower heads and compost the stems. Place the flowers in a teapot, and in a separate pot bring 4 cups of cold water to a rolling boil. Pour the water in the pot over the flower in the tea pot. Let steep for 5-6 minutes and serve hot.

 

Do the same process for dried as for fresh, but use 2 rounded tablespoons of dried flowers. Add a little bit of honey and milk to taste. Squeeze in the juice of a freshly sliced lemon to taste as well.

 

Get Better Sleep #10 – Make a Lavender Sleep Sachet

 

Aromatherapy has a number of different uses, but is perhaps used most often for relaxing or creating a sense of drowsiness. Numerous studies have resulted in science giving a nod to the validity of aromatherapy.

 

People who were exposed to the scent of lavender in the trials experienced better moods, and one study followed brain activity with an EEG machine, which showed the subjects undergoing lavender aromatherapy did in fact show brainwaves suggesting drowsiness, while other scents increased alertness.

 

If you find yourself having a hard time drifting off at night, try making a lavender sleep sachet to stash under your pillow or on a bedside table to help you relax and drift off.

 

Get Better Sleep #11- Get Your Carbs

 

This may sound like a negative thing, but it’s not really. Tryptophan, in order to have any effect on sleepiness, needs to cross the blood-brain barrier.

 

The blood-brain barrier is a filtering mechanism of the capillaries that carry blood to our brain and spinal cord tissue, and blocks the passage of certain substances. This was proven by a study done more than 100 years ago, in which scientist’s injected blue dye into animal’s bloodstreams.

 

It was discovered that the tissues of the entire body except the brain and spinal cord turned blue, thus confirming the theory of the blood-brain barrier.

 

It is theorized that eating carbohydrates makes it easier for tryptophan to cross the barrier, since it has to compete with other amino acids to make it through.

 

The release of insulin in response to the carbs directs the other amino acids to muscle, leaving tryptophan a clearer passage into the cerebrospinal fluid.

 

You will need…

 

-A relatively small amount of carbs e.g. some cereal or a piece of bread

 

Directions

 

About 15 minutes before bedtime, have your snack to divert those large chain amino acids to the muscles and help tryptophan do its thing.

 

Get Better Sleep #12 – Magnificent Magnesium

 

Magnesium is one of the most vital minerals, and yet most of us are lacking it. You can thank increasingly poor diets for this one.

 

Magnesium plays a huge role in the functioning of GABA receptors, which is the primary neurotransmitter that calms your central nervous system, relaxes you, and can help prepare you for sleep.

 

GABA won’t necessarily make you drift off to sleep magically, but you can be pretty sure you’re going to have a hard time sleeping without it. While the best way to up magnesium is to eat a balanced diet, taking supplements can greatly help.

 

You will need…

 

-Magnesium supplement

 

Directions

 

Follow the

Directions

for dosing.

 

Get Better Sleep #13 – Utilize Lemon Balm

 

Lemon balm is one of those ancient herbs that people have turned to for centuries. Once thought to be an “herbal-cure all”, it was used to treat anything from asthma to snake bites. These days, it’s used primarily to lift mood and promote calmness and relaxation.

 

Since depression is often related to insomnia, probably because of a lack of serotonin, lemon balm can help you achieve sleep by promoting mental and physical health.

 

Several studies have confirmed its sedative effects, however it should be noted that too high of a dosage (1800 milligrams) actually increased anxiety. Here, it is made into a mild, uplifting, and relaxing tea.

 

You will need…

 

-2 tablespoons of dried lemon balm, or 8-10 tablespoons of fresh lemon balm
-2 teaspoons dried chamomile
-Honey to taste (optional)
-8 ounces of fresh water

 

Directions

 

Place the loose herbs in a mug and cover with 8 ounces of boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes, strain, and drink 30-45 minutes before bed.

 

Get Better Sleep #14 – Saint John’s Wort

 

Like lemon balm, Saint John’s Wort is used frequently to help with depression, and in turn helps with disrupted sleep.

 

Its main constituent-hypercine- is thought to work by reuptake inhibition, which raises the overall level of serotonin in the brain.

 

More serotonin = more melatonin= better sleep. You can take it in capsule form, or prepare a strong tea to use as a sleep aid.

 

You will need…

 

-2 teaspoons of dried Saint John’s Wort (herb top/flowers)
-8 ounces of freshly boiled water
-honey or lemon to taste (optional)

 

Directions

 

Place the herb in a mug and cover with boiling water. Steep for 5-10 minutes, strain, and drink once daily (either morning or 30-45 minutes before bed.)

 

  1. Hops Into Bed

 

The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word hops is probably beer, but this quick growing vine is also an excellent remedy for calming nerves and promoting relaxation (not in the form of beer, sorry!)

 

Rather, it can be made into a strong tea and drank right before bed, or made into a sleep sachet and placed under your pillow at night (just replace or add it to the lavender).

 

You will need…

-2 tablespoons of dried hops
-4 cups of boiling water
-A quart glass jar with a tightly fitting lid

 

Directions

 

Place the hops into a glass jar with a tightly fitting lid and cover with boiling water. Allow it to steep for at least 5 hours, or overnight, and then strain. Reheat or chill and drink a cup 30-45 minutes before bedtime for an easy and restful slumber. This will keep in the refrigerator for 2 days.

 

Get Better Sleep #16 – Make Some Noise

 

Some people need to sleep in complete silence; while on the other hand, some need a little background noise.

 

For many (myself included), the dripping of the faucet, the hum of electricity, the sound of themselves breathing, or the blankets rustling as they toss and turn stresses them out and keeps them awake. So what’s the deal?

 

Technically speaking, white noise is a consistent noise that comes out evenly across all hearable frequencies. When you get jarred awake or bothered by a noise at night, it’s not really the noise itself, but the abrupt inconsistency in the noise that you hear.

 

The fact of the matter is you still hear when you sleep, and white noise can mask those inconsistences. The scientific aspect set aside it is just plain soothing, filling out the silence that makes you feel trapped with racing thoughts or excess energy.

 

You will need…

 

-Something that creates white noise

 

Directions

 

When you go to sleep, turn on the white noise. My personal favorite is a fan, but there are even white noise machines tuned specifically for the purpose of drowning out sound.

 

Get Better Sleep #17 – Sip a Glass of Warm Milk

 

Does milk actually make you sleepy? In short, probably not on a chemical level! While there is the sleep inducing amino acid tryptophan in milk, studies are debatable that it actually does do anything.

 

Much like turkey, the levels aren’t such that they would have much of an impact. But all of that doesn’t mean it won’t make you sleepy at all, and there is still reasoning behind a glass of warm milk, mostly in terms of psychology.

 

Many people find the warmth soothing and relaxing, helping them unwind both physically and mentally. The routine of a glass of warm milk is like any other routine that you need to complete before bed, getting you one step closer to falling asleep.

 

You will need…

 

-1 glass of warm milk

 

Directions

 

Roughly 30 minutes before bed, start winding down. Turn off electronics, read a book, and heat up a glass of milk to a toasty warm, but still comfortable, temperature.

 

Get Better Sleep #18 – Cozy Up with Catnip

 

Catnip, a plant that is a member of the mint family, isn’t just for cats – it works a treat when it comes to having a sedative effect on humans. The compound responsible for catnip’s effects across both species is called nepetalactone.

 

While it can make cats frisky and wild, it can make people relaxed, drowsy, and ready for bed. Enjoy it in the form of a warm tea before bed with a little bit of honey.

 

You will need…

 

-1-2 teaspoons of dried catnip OR 3-4 teaspoons of fresh catnip
-8 ounces of boiling water
-Honey to taste (optional)

 

Directions

 

Place catnip in a mug and cover with boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes, covered, and then add honey to taste if you like. Drink 30 minutes before bedtime.

 

My experience with insomnia…

 

I’ve faced a battle with insomnia for almost 4 ½ years, and I know when bedtime rolls around all you want is magic sleeping aid to make you fall asleep without having to do anything.

 

The (painful) truth is that if you want to be healthy and get a good night’s rest, you may have to re-learn how to put yourself to sleep. The things that knock you out cold are nothing more than scary medications that only cause suffering-they don’t solve your sleepless nights.

 

We need our rest, perhaps now more than ever in our crazy world, and taking the time and dedication to find natural ways to drift off is vital in making sure you get to sleep, stay asleep and wake up refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to lead a life filled with good energy.

 

Tips from Personal Experience:

 

  • Practice meditation if racing thoughts keep you up at night. Meditation takes patience, but it is invaluable. Among so many other things it can teach you to simply let go of a thought and leave it powerless, which leaves you undisturbed and able to rest.

 

  • Really do try the cherry juice, it’s darn tasty and makes for a sounder sleep in my experience. Make sure to drink it about 30 minutes before bed so you don’t have to go the bathroom in the middle of the night.

 

  • Chamomile tea with milk and honey has put me to sleep more effectively then sleeping medications at times.

 

  • Habit. Habit. Habit. Form a relaxing habit that tells your body “time for bed now” and it will, at some point, start to listen. This includes setting a bedtime, and wake-time, and sticking to them.

 

  • Get any form of a screen out of sight after a certain hour. It has been proven many times over that this will disrupt your sleep.

 

  • I bow down to a sleep mask. It’s gentle weight over my eyes and the ensuing darkness is the only reason I am able to fall back asleep when I wake up too early in the morning-remember, levels of light determine how much melatonin you make.

 

  • Never reach for sleeping pills, especially prescription. They will cause anguish and strife and many, many, more sleepless nights.

 

You can watch this Video HERE  to learn about other tips to get better sleep.

 

By Claire Goodall (a bee-obsessed natural-convert from Minnesota) who is a holistic health lover. She is the author of Everyday Roots Book.

 

It’s a Book that she creates to help you replace the toxic products and medications in your home with healthier, all-natural alternatives.

 

It contains 215+ effective home remedies and covers everything you will need to protect your family and save money every month.

 

For more details about her book, take a look at the Everyday Roots Book.