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10 Best Natural Home Remedies for Arthritis & Joint Pain Relief

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arthritis natural remedies elderly seniors wrist hand joint pain

According to the CDC, arthritis affects approximately 23% of adults and 50% of those aged 65 and older.

Arthritis is the most common cause of disability in the United States. People with this disorder take more time off work due to illness or injury than those with any other medical condition.

Types of Arthritis

Arthritis is not a single disease, but a broad category of diseases that cause inflammation, pain and stiffness in the joints.

The Arthritis Foundation lists more than 60 conditions that fall under this term. The most common types are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that most often develops in middle age. Over time, stress on the joints can cause the smooth cartilage lining to break down and wear away. Without this cartilage cushion to protect it, bone rubs against bone resulting in pain, swelling, stiffness and reduced mobility.

The joints most commonly affected by osteoarthritis are the hands and weight-bearing joints including the hips, knees, feet and spine.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that tends to affect people aged 40 and over. It occurs when the body’s own immune system attacks the synovial tissue which lines the joint, causing it to become painfully inflamed. Over time, this inflammation can damage to your bone and cartilage.

Rheumatoid arthritis most commonly affects the wrists and hands, causing pain, stiffness and swelling.

Other Arthritic Diseases

  • Gout – a painful condition caused by an accumulation of uric acid in the joints
  • Enteropathic arthritis – a type of arthritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease
  • Psoriatic arthritis – an inflammatory joint condition affecting people with psoriasis.
  • Fibromyalgia – a rheumatic disease associated with chronic pain and fatigue
  • Cervical spondylosis – a degenerative condition that affects the joints in the neck
  • Ankylosing spondylitis – an inflammatory condition that can cause joints in the spine to fuse together

Treating Arthritis

Treatments for arthritis aim to slow the progress of the disease, minimize inflammation and reduce pain.

Medications such as analgesics, corticosteroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are often prescribed. In severe cases, joint replacement or bone realignment surgery may be recommended.

Arthritis sufferers have been treating their symptoms with natural home remedies for centuries. While Granny Clampett’s rheumatism moonshine may have had some strange side effects, the following home remedies are safe and effective.

1. Capsaicin

capsaicin cayenne chilli red hot spicy peppers arthritis natural remedies

Capsaicin is the substance that gives chili peppers their spicy heat. It works by depleting a neurotransmitter called Substance P. This protein transmits pain signals from nerve endings to the brain and helps to activate inflammation in the joints. Less Substance P results in less pain and inflammation.

Arthritis Research UK rated the effectiveness of 22 complementary medicines and found capsaicin the most effective for osteoarthritis, giving it a score of 5 out of 5. They also awarded it a green light for safety.

A meta-analysis published in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology looked at three trials testing capsaicin gel as a treatment for osteoarthritis. It was found to be four times more effective than a placebo gel in improving joint pain and tenderness.

Capsaicin topical creams are available over the counter, but you can easily make your own capsaicin massage oil to treat your affected joints.

Method: Gently heat ½ cup of olive oil in a sauce pan and add two tablespoons of cayenne powder. Whisk until the powder is dissolved, allow to cool, and transfer to a glass jar. Rub the oil onto affected joints whenever arthritis pain flares up.

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2. Eucalyptus Oil

eucalyptus oil leaves arthritis natural remedies

Eucalyptus oil can temporarily relieve joint pain and inflammation. The active ingredient in eucalyptus is menthol, which decreases pain by increasing skin temperature and blood flow. A commercial eucalyptus ointment is sold as a topical analgesic for arthritis.

Amazingly, arthritis sufferers can also experience the pain-relieving benefits of eucalyptus oil just by breathing it in. A Korean study investigated the effects of inhaling eucalyptus oil on patients who had undergone total knee replacement surgery due to severe osteoarthritis.

A total of 52 arthritic knee surgery patients were divided into two groups. A gauze pad coated with eucalyptus oil was positioned under the nose of patients in the experimental group for 30 minutes a day over a three-day period. The control group received the same treatment, but with a pad coated in almond oil.

Patients were asked to report their level of pain before and after the inhalation sessions using a ten-point scale. Pain scores decreased after inhalation in the eucalyptus group, whereas pain increased in the control group. Overall pain scores were also significantly lower in the eucalyptus oil group.

If you don’t want to balance a pad under your nose for 30 minutes, you can use eucalyptus oil in other ways to help reduce arthritic pain.

Method: Make an ointment by mixing ten drops of eucalyptus oil into about a tablespoon of petroleum jelly. Massage the mixture onto your painful joints as needed.

Or add a few drops to a hot bath to benefit from both the aroma and the topical effects.

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3. Ginger

ginger root powder arthritis natural remedies

Ginger extract reduces the production of chemicals such as leukotrienes that promote joint inflammation. It also contains salicylates, which the body transforms into salicylic acid, the same pain-relieving substance found in aspirin. Salicylic acid binds to enzymes in the cells and stops them from producing prostaglandins, chemicals which promote inflammation and send pain signals to the brain.

A study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatology evaluated the safety and efficacy of ginger extract in 247 patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Participants were given either ginger capsules or placebo capsules twice a day for six months. Both groups were also allowed to take paracetamol only as needed to control their pain.

The patients taking the ginger capsules had a 63% reduction in knee pain compared to a 50% reduction for those taking the placebos – a statistically significant improvement. The ginger group had less knee pain when standing and walking and lower scores on an index used to measure osteoarthritis symptoms. Patients taking the ginger capsules also showed a greater reduction in paracetamol usage.

Ginger supplement capsules are widely available, but you could try to simply including more fresh ginger root into your diet. You can also enjoy ginger in a spicy, warming tea.

Method: Bring three cups of water to the boil in a saucepan. Add a heaping tablespoon of freshly grated ginger root. Simmer for ten minutes and strain. Sweeten to taste with honey or stevia.

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4. Borage Seed Oil

borage seed oil flowers arthritis natural remedies

Borage is an herb native to the Mediterranean and used in a variety of European dishes. It also has a history of medicinal use.

Borage seed oil is the richest source of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), an essential fatty acid that helps to maintain the cell structure and function of joints and inhibits joint inflammation. A healthy young body can convert linolenic acid, found in many nuts, seeds and vegetable oils, to GLA. However, age, infection, disease and poor diet may interfere with this process.

Doctors at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center conducted a randomized controlled trial to assess the efficacy of GLA in treating rheumatoid arthritis. One group of 28 patients were given 2.8 g of GLA every day for six months. The 28 patients in the placebo group were given identical capsules containing sunflower oil.

After six months, the GLA group showed a significant reduction in symptoms including joint swelling, joint tenderness, joint pain and degree of disability. The placebo group did not show significant improvement in any symptom category.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, it may be worth conducting your own six-month test of borage oil capsules. GPA can also be found in evening primrose oil and black currant seed oil. Small amounts can be obtained from oats or spirulina.

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5. Indian Frankincense

indian frankincense gum resin boswellia tree arthritis natural remedies

Indian frankincense (Boswellia serrate) is gum resin from the bark of the Boswellia tree. It is a traditional remedy in Ayurvedic medicine. The Boswellic acids found in the resin inhibit enzymes and cytokines that trigger joint inflammation and the autoimmune response. They also help to prevent cartilage loss.

A trial published in the journal Phytomedicine investigated the efficacy of Indian Frankincense in treating patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Half of the 30 participants were given capsules containing Boswellia serrata extract and half were given placebo capsules. Compared to the control group, the Frankincense group had significant improvements in knee pain, knee flexibility, walking distance and frequency of swelling in the knee joint.

In another randomized controlled clinical trial, researchers compared the effects of Indian frankincense with the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, valdecoxib. Over a six-month period, 66 patients with knee osteoarthritis were randomly assigned to receive either valdecoxib or Boswellia serrata extract capsules. Both groups showed a significant improvement in pain, stiffness and function.

The patients in the valdecoxib group had a reduction in symptoms after one month, whereas it took two months for the frankincense to have a similar effect.

Interestingly, the beneficial effects of the herbal supplement continued for a month after patients had stopped taking it. The effects of valdecoxib persisted only as long as the drug was taken regularly. The researchers speculate that, unlike anti-inflammatory medications, Indian frankincense may have an effect on the underlying pathology of arthritis.

When purchasing Indian frankincense or boswellia extract capsules, look for products containing at least 60% boswellic acids.

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 6. Rosehip

rosehip red berries fruit tea arthritis natural remedies

Rosehips are rich in anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Anthocyanins may also help to slow the progress of arthritis by blocking protein-digesting enzymes that break down cartilage.

A randomized trial published in the journal Phytomedicine examined the effect of a rose hip herbal remedy on 112 patients with osteoarthritis. Participants received either 5 g of the rosehip supplement or a placebo every day for three months.

In the rosehip group, 66% reported a significant reduction in pain, compared to 36% in the placebo group. The rosehip group also showed improvement in symptoms such as morning stiffness and significantly reduced their use of pain medication.

Another placebo-controlled trial looked specifically at the effects of rosehip on osteoarthritis symptoms in the dominant hand. An incredible 90% of patients taking a rosehip supplement showed a reduction in hand pain compared to 36% in the placebo group. The rosehip group also showed a significant reduction in stiffness and discomfort. As in the previous trial, they significantly reduced their consumption of painkilling drugs.

A variety of different rosehip tablets and capsules are available. You can also pick rosehips in late summer and consult online recipes to make your own rosehip jam, chutney, cordials and even fruit roll-ups. Rosehip tea is one of the easiest ways to consume this fresh fruit.

Method: Wash, top and tail your rosehips. Chop them up in a food processor. Add about a tablespoon of the puree to 3 cups of boiling water. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Strain and sweeten to taste.

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7. Turmeric

turmeric curcumin root orange powder arthritis natural remedies

Turmeric is a vivid yellow spice used in Indian curries and other Asian dishes.

The active component in turmeric root is curcumin. This anti-inflammatory polyphenol works by inhibiting the activation of genes and production of proteins that trigger pain and swelling. A 2006 rodent study concluded that curcumin profoundly lessened joint inflammation and destruction.

A 2012 pilot study investigated the efficacy and safety of curcumin in 45 rheumatoid arthritis patients. The patients were randomized into three groups. One received curcumin supplements, another received the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug Voltaren (diclofenac sodium) and a third group took a combination of the two.

Patients in the curcumin group showed the highest percentage of improvement in scores measuring disease activity, joint tenderness and swelling. All of these scores were significantly better than those for patients taking Voltaren alone.

Curcumin was also found to be safe and not associated with any adverse effects. None of the curcumin patients dropped out of the study due to side-effects, whereas 14% of those in the Voltaren group did.

Eating turmeric on its own will not give you the full benefits of curcumin because it is poorly absorbed by the body. However, research has shown that combining curcumin with piperine, the active ingredient in black pepper, can increase its bioavailability by 2000%.

If you decide to use curcumin supplements, look for ones containing black pepper extract or other ingredients used to enhance bioavailability. If you use turmeric in your cooking, make your own spice mix to increase the absorbability of curcumin.

Method: Mix one teaspoon of ground black pepper into 1/4 cup of turmeric powder. Store in a labeled spice jar. Use whenever recipes call for turmeric.

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8. Fish Oil

fish oil pills omega 3 fatty acids arthritis natural remedies

Arthritis Research UK gives fish oil a score of 5 out of 5 for effectiveness in treating rheumatoid arthritis. The omega-3 essential fatty acids in fish oil have strong anti-inflammatory properties which help to counteract the many inflammatory elements in a typical Western diet. Fish oil also contains vitamin D, necessary for building and repairing cartilage within the joints.

A review on the role of omega-3 in inflammation and auto-immune diseases identified 13 randomized controlled clinical trials that showed benefit from fish oil supplements in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. It recommended that people with a genetic risk of developing the disease should include more omega-3 in their diets as a preventative measure.

A meta-analysis examining 10 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials concluded that there was a statistically significant improvement in joint tenderness and morning stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with fish oil supplements for three months.

Other trials have reported benefits including reduced joint pain, increased grip strength, reduced time to fatigue and decreased use of anti-inflammatory drugs.

You can increase your omega-3 intake simply by consuming more oily fish such as salmon, trout, herring, mackerel or sardines. If you’re not a fish-lover, you can choose one of the many fish oil supplements available online or in health food shops.

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9. Moderate Intensity Exercise

moderate intensity workouts aerobic resistance exercise jogging elderly arthritis natural remedies

Many arthritis sufferers believe that exercise will aggravate joint pain, but the opposite is true. A lack of exercise weakens the muscles that support your bones, putting more stress on the joints which increases pain and stiffness.

According to the American College of Rheumatology, people with arthritis who exercise regularly have less pain, better function, increased energy and improved sleep. Many arthritis symptoms can be made worse by inactivity, including stiff joints, decreased pain tolerance, weak muscles and poor balance. The ACR guidelines indicate that exercise should be a mainstay of treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee and hip.

The Fitness Arthritis and Seniors Trial examined the effects of exercise on 439 knee osteoarthritis patients over the age of 60. The patients were randomly allocated to an aerobic exercise group, a resistance exercise group or a health education group. Each group attended a 3-month supervised program, followed by a 15-month home-based program.

Compared to patients in the health education group, patients in both of the exercise groups had significantly fewer disabilities, less pain and greater flexion strength. Physical performance was increased in all measures in the aerobics group and in all except stair-climbing in the resistance exercise group.

Safe forms of aerobic exercise for people with arthritis include walking, bicycling, aquatic exercise, aerobic dance and exercising on treadmills or elliptical trainers. Resistance exercise can begin with simply lifting limbs against gravity and progressing to using hand-held weights or elastic resistance bands. Tai chi or yoga can help with balance and coordination, reducing the risk for falls.

10. Weight Loss

weight loss joint pain overweight stress arthritis natural remedies

Being overweight is an important risk factor for arthritis in the knees, hips and hands.

Carrying excess weight puts stress on the knee and hip joints, which can break down cartilage and cause or exacerbate arthritis symptoms. Being just ten pounds overweight increases the force on the knee by approximately 40 pounds with every step you take.

Stress on the joints isn’t the only link between weight and arthritis; otherwise it would be hard to explain why overweight people are at higher risk for arthritis of the hand.

Fat cells release inflammatory chemicals called cytokines which play a role in both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Concentrations of cytokines are elevated in obese individuals.

While gaining excess weight increases the risk of arthritis, losing it has the opposite effect. In a cohort study, researchers followed up 796 women to evaluate the effect of weight loss in preventing osteoarthritis of the knee. They found that a decrease in BMI of two units (approximately 11 pounds) over ten years lowered the odds of developing osteoarthritis by more than 50%.

Weight loss also improves symptoms in people who have already developed arthritis. A trial published in the journal Osteoarthritis and Cartilage assessed the effects of weight loss on 80 obese patients with knee osteoarthritis. The participants were divided into two groups. One group was put on a low-energy diet consisting of a nutrition powder mixed with water. The control group was put on an unsupervised diet with real food. After eight weeks, the low-energy dieters had lost significantly more weight.

Changes in arthritis symptoms were measured using an osteoarthritis assessment tool called WOMAC which gives scores for pain, stiffness and limitation of function. The WOMAC index significantly improved for those on the low energy diet, but not in the control group. There was an average of 9.4% improvement in symptoms for every 1% of body fat lost. Researchers calculated that a 10% weight reduction would result in a 28% decline in the symptoms of knee arthritis.

Method: There are many different weight loss diets to choose from, but arthritis sufferers probably have the most to gain (and lose) from an anti-inflammatory diet. By eliminating inflammatory foods like sugar, refined flour and omega-6 vegetable oils, you could simultaneously lose weight and improve your arthritic symptoms.

Final Word

Don’t let arthritis limit your lifestyle! You can try these arthritis remedies one at a time to find out which works best for you, or experiment with various combinations of foods or supplements.

If you are overweight or live a sedentary lifestyle, a healthy eating plan and exercise program could make a big difference towards your arthritic symptoms. Try to find a type of exercise you enjoy doing and a diet that includes foods you enjoy eating.

23 Natural Home Remedies to Lower High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

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high blood pressure hypertension natural remedies

So your doctor just told you that you have hypertension, a life long disease.

Now what?

What exactly is hypertension?

What caused this?

There are many ways you can naturally lower high blood pressure. It can be modified by consistent diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes.

According to the CDC, 29.1% of adults in the United States suffer from chronic high blood pressure (hypertension).

Hypertension is one of the “silent killer diseases.” A silent killer is a disease that produces minor or no obvious symptoms, but can cause death if not taken care of.

Other examples of silent killers are diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mesothelioma, obstructive sleep apnea, chronic viruses (Hepatitis B and C).

Hypertension, if not treated, can lead to heart disease. Heart disease is the number one silent killer disease. According to the American Hearth Association (AHA), cardiovascular disease is the leading global cause of death today, which accounts for 17.3 millions death per year.

What is High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)?

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Your blood pressure rises when your heart is forced to work extra hard. It can be raised temporarily and exasperated by anxiety and other stress factors. The medical term for chronic high blood pressure is hypertension.

Hypertension can lead to damage of the heart or to the vascular system. It is important to keep your pressure within a normal range so that your entire body can efficiently receive fresh oxygenated blood.

Every organ of the body needs oxygen in order to survive. Blood is pumped out of the heart and into the arteries. The blood then carries oxygen throughout the entire body. The deoxygenated blood returns to the heart to get re-oxygenated, and the cycle continues.

When the arteries of the heart become damaged, they are not as flexible. This could be caused by plaque blockage, cholesterol build-up, or scarring. Untreated, this damage can lead to heart attacks, strokes, cardiovascular disease, and other diseases.

What Causes High Blood Pressure?

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No one knows why one person is more susceptible to hypertension than other people, but it is important to know what common risk factors are. Some risk factors are modifiable, while others are not. The good news is that hypertension can be managed.

Risk factors that can put people at risk for hypertension:

  • Family history of hypertension
  • African Americans
  • Obesity
  • Sedentary lifestyles
  • Diet high in sodium (salt), trans fat, saturated fat, and sugars
  • High consumption of alcohol and cigarette smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Birth control pills
  • Comorbidities, such as diabetes, kidney disease, or gout
  • Age (the older you are, the higher your chances are of having hypertension)

Untreated hypertension can lead to permanent damage to your organs, heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, peripheral arterial disease (PAD), kidney failure, and other health problems.

How to Measure Blood Pressure

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Blood pressure measures the amount of force it takes your heart to pump blood (systolic) outwards, and then to fill up while at rest (diastolic). The systolic number is the top part of the blood pressure reading and the diastolic is the bottom number.

The recommended blood pressure is 120/80 mm Hg. Pre-hypertension is anything between 120/80 – 139/89 mm Hg. High blood pressure is anything equal to or above 140/90 mm Hg.

Along with lifestyle changes, there are many natural ways to lower high blood pressure. Try a few natural remedies to find the ones that best benefits your body.

23 Natural Remedies that Lower High Blood Pressure

1. Garlic

garlic cloves raw natural remedy to lower high blood pressure hypertension

Garlic is gaining more and more popularity for its use in lowering high blood pressure. This herb also has blood thinning properties which makes it great for improving overall cardiac health.

Garlic is also a natural diuretic — meaning it forces out excess sodium and water from the body, and into your urine. This effect takes pressure off of an overworked heart and decreases blood pressure.

Method: If the taste of garlic is too strong for you, popular odorless garlic supplements are also available.

  • If you cannot handle eating the entire clove raw, hold a slice of garlic in your mouth and try sucking on the juices for 15 minutes.
  • You can also finely mince 1-2 cloves of garlic, mix it into a glass of water, and drink it.
  • Another method is to take the finely minced pieces, put it on a piece of fruit, and cover it with honey.
  • Tip — try adding a few cloves to your smoothies.

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2. Carrots

carrots raw fresh natural remedy to lower high blood pressure hypertension

Carrots contain high levels of antioxidants beta-carotene, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. Antioxidants reduce the amount of cancer-causing free radicals in the body. They also protect against damage to blood vessels and cellular death.

Carrots are also high in the electrolyte, potassium. Potassium is great at keeping the fluid within the body balanced and normalizing blood pressure. Potassium positively counteracts the effects of sodium. Consumed in large amounts, sodium can negatively affect blood pressure.

Method: Drink 1-3 glasses of carrot juice a day. Make sure to buy organic and do not add any sugar.

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3. Tomatoes

tomatoes fresh natural remedy lowers blood pressure hypertension

Tomatoes contain beta-carotene, vitamin E, potassium, and antioxidants — which are all great at lowering high blood pressure.

Tomatoes also contain lycopene, a chemical that gives it its rich red color. Lycopene has antioxidant effects that lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and prevents the build-up of fatty deposits in arteries (atherosclerosis). These buildups can lead to cardiovascular disease.

Method: Eat a cup of fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce, or blended tomato juice, everyday. If you do not like the taste of tomatoes, try taking lycopene supplements. Avoid commercial tomato sauce, which contain high levels of sodium.

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4. Celery

celery fresh raw natural remedy to lower high blood pressure hypertension

Celery seeds are widely used in the Chinese culture for lowering blood pressure. Specifically, the Chinese use celery seeds to lower high blood pressure of the liver.

Celery is a fibrous vegetable that also acts as a diuretic. Diuretics flushes out excess water from the heart and the body. This causes a decrease in blood pressure.

Method: Mix celery seeds into your tea, your cooking, or drink fresh celery juice — 3 times a day.

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5. Pomegranate

pomegranate fresh fruit natural remedy to lower high blood pressure hypertension

Pomegranates not only are dense in nutrients, but are also high in antioxidants — specifically in tannins and anthocyanins. Pomegranates are fruits that have a hard shell and edible juicy red seeds.

Pomegranates contain phytochemicals, flavonoids, polyphenols, and punicalagin.

Phytochemicals naturally occur in plant foods that act as antioxidants and prevent damage to our cells. Antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols fight against heart disease and cancers.

Punicalagin is a compound that is mostly responsible for the health benefits in pomegranates. It improves the functions of the heart and blood vessels, lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol, raises good (HDL) cholesterol, lowers high blood pressure, and reverses the effects of arterial blockage (atherosclerosis).

Pomegranates contain more antioxidants than red wine, berries, or even green tea.

Method: Add pomegranate seeds to your salad, or juice the seeds into a tasty drink.

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6. Beets & Radishes

beets radishes fresh raw juice natural remedy to lower high blood pressure hypertension

Beets & radishes are under-appreciated and overlooked vegetables. Both beets and radishes are high in nitrates, which are great at lowering high blood pressure, by improving vasodilation.

Nitrates change into vasodilator nitric oxide after being ingested. Nitric acid dilates blood vessels, regulates blood pressure, decreases endothelial inflammation, and platelet aggregation.

Both the leaves and the roots of the radish lowers elevated blood pressures.

Method: Juice made out of beets or radishes are the best form of the vegetables, in lowering blood pressure. Drink a glass of blended beets or radishes juice, daily. Also, add fresh beets and radishes to any dish!

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7. Sesame

sesame seeds oil natural remedy lowers blood pressure hypertension

Sesame oil contains omega-6s, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), Vitamin E, and sesamin, which are great for lowering blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Sesamin is a lignan compound in sesame oil that has been shown to reduce blood pressure levels. Sesame lignans reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the body.

PUFA and sesamin work together to relax the arterial wall and reduce blood pressure.

Method: Incorporate 1 ounce of sesame seeds or oil into your daily cooking, for at least 2 months.

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8. Ginger

ginger fresh raw tea natural remedy to lower high blood pressure hypertension

Ginger has been used for centuries in Asian and Indian cultures, especially for its numerous health benefits. Ginger is great for preventing heart conditions, such as lowering blood pressure, decreasing cholesterol, and preventing blood clots.

Ginger decreases bad cholesterol (Low Density Lipoproteins), by preventing plaque build-up on arterial walls, that can lead to increased blood pressure.

Ginger also acts as a blood thinner, which prevents blood clots. Blood clots can prevent adequate blood flow throughout your body, leading to high blood pressure. Preventing blood clot formation can help reduce the prevalence of a heart attack or stroke.

Method: Add fresh ginger to your smoothies and juices, and try to incorporate ginger into your daily cooking.

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9. Coconut Water

coconut water fresh raw hydrating natural remedy to lower high blood pressure hypertension

Coconut water is filled with potassium and magnesium electrolytes, which are good for the heart muscle.

Coconut water lowers blood pressure by acting as a potassium sparing diuretic. This removes the excess water from the body, while retaining vital potassium.

Coconut water is best when it is organic and bottled in its raw form.

Method: Drink 8 ounces of organic coconut water, 1-3 times a day. The effects are weight based, so if you are on the heavier side, drink more coconut water (3 times a day).

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10. Cayenne Pepper (Capsaicin)

cayenne pepper capsaicin red powder natural remedy to lower high blood pressure hypertension

Cayenne pepper is a known vasodilator. It quickly expands blood vessels, which improves the flow of blood. Faster and more efficient flow takes pressure off of the arteries, thus decreasing your blood pressure.

Capsaicin is one of the major ingredients in red peppers. The spicier the pepper, the more capsaicin it contains.

Cayenne pepper helps to create new red blood cells, improves blood structure, and aids in detoxing the blood. During detoxification, cayenne pepper is thought to also remove some plaque build-up off of the arterial walls.

Cayenne pepper is also known to stop bleeding fast. If you have a cut, try sprinkling some cayenne pepper over it.

Method: Recommended dosage is 1 teaspoon of organic cayenne pepper a day, and slowly work your way up to one teaspoon, 3 times a day. If the taste is too spicy for you, try taking capsaicin supplements.

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11. Dark Chocolate (Caca0)

dark chocolate cacao natural remedy to lower high blood pressure hypertension

Dark chocolate is made from the seeds of the cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao) and is loaded with antioxidants (cancer fighting) — including polyphenols, flavonoids, catechins.

The cocoa tree seeds contain flavonoids, but more importantly, it is exceptionally high in its levels of flavanols.

Flavanols (Flavan-3-ol) are phytonutrients, which is known as plant-based nutrients. Not many other foods come close to the amount of flavanols that are found in cocoa seeds.

Flavanols are found in certain fruits, vegetables, teas, unprocessed grape juice, wine, and berries. Black teas and red wine in particular, are known to contain high levels of flavanols. Flavanols release a chemical known as nitric oxide (NO). This chemical is a free radical (cancer fighting) that is essential for intercellular health.

Activated nitric oxide dilates blood vessels, making it easier for the blood to circulate throughout the body. NO is absolutely necessary in maintaining a healthy body.

By keeping the blood vessels open, it allows the blood to efficiently carry vital oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body. Dilated blood vessels decrease stress in the body. This in turn, lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke or a heart attack.

Eaten in moderation, dark chocolate that is high in flavanols can actually reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, and maintains efficient blood circulation.

Other proven benefits of dark chocolate include: decreases bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol, protects again sun damage while smoothing the skin, boosts brain health, and provides essential vitamins and minerals.

Method: Make sure your dark chocolates or cocoa powders contain at least 50-80% of cocoa to reap the benefits of the flavanols. Just remember that the more cocoa content your chocolate contains, the more nutritious it is.

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12. Cardamom

cardamom seeds for high blood pressure hypertension natural remedies herb

Cardamom is a spice that has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda medicine. It is widely used for cardiac disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, renal problems, heart burn, and respiratory disorders.

Cardamom is also known for its antioxidant, gastro-protective, anti-spasmodic, antibacterial, anti-platelet aggregation, and anti-cancer properties.

Cardamom causes vasodilation (dilation of blood vessels) and allows blood to flow more easily, thus lowering blood pressure.

Method: Mix 1 teaspoon of cardamom powder with raw organic honey in a cup of warm filtered water. Drink twice a day.

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13. Hibiscus Tea

hibiscus tea flower natural herbal remedy high blood pressure hypertension

Hibiscus is widely used around the world to manage blood pressure.

Hibiscus acts as a diuretic and flushes out all the excess fluid that is in your heart and in your tissues. This decreases the pressure on the arterial walls. Vessel walls are relaxed and blood volume is decreased, thus lowering your blood pressure.

A study performed in 2008 shows that 3 cups of hibiscus tea daily lowers systolic blood pressure (SBP) by 7 mm Hg, after only 6 weeks.

Method: Seep dried hibiscus leaves into a cup of hot filtered water. Add raw organic honey and lemon for taste.

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14. Hawthorn

hawthorn red berries natural remedy lowers high blood pressure hypertension

For centuries, hawthorn has been used for cardiac, circulatory, and respiratory disorders. The berries of the plant has been specifically used to treat high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, chest pain, atherosclerosis, and heart failure.

Hawthorn also contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants that destroys free radicals. Flavonoids help dilate blood vessels, improve the flow of blood, and protect against blood vessel damage.

Method: Drink hawthorn tea 1-3 times a day.

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15. Cat’s Claw

cats claw herb yellow flowers natural herbal remedy high blood pressure hypertension

Cat’s claw (uncaria tomentosa) is a popular herb in China, South America, and Central America. It is widely used in China for the treatment of high blood pressure.

Cat’s claw lowers blood pressure by inducing vasodilation. Dilated blood vessels allows the blood to flow more easily. It also acts as a mild diuretic and rids the body of harmful excess fluid.

This herb contains tannins and flavanols. Flavanols release a chemical known as nitric oxide (NO). NO is a free radical (cancer fighting) that is essential for cellular health.

Activated NO dilates blood vessels, making it easier for the blood to circulate throughout the body.

By keeping the blood vessels open, blood is able to efficiently carry vital oxygen and nutrients all over the body. Dilated blood vessels decrease stress in the body, ultimately lowering blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke and heart attacks.

Method: A typical daily dose of cat’s claw is 350 milligrams. Cat’s claw tea is also a good alternative.

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16. Mistletoe

mistletoe herb red berries green leaves natural remedy lowers high blood pressure hypertension

Mistletoe is not the first thing that may come to one’s mind when thinking about lowering elevated blood pressures. There is a lot more to this plant than just being a beautiful holiday decoration.

Mistletoe boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, and helps treat cancer and hepatitis. Mistletoe extracts contains an active compound called alkaloids. Alkaloids lowers blood pressure by controlling nerve impulses along the heart and arterial walls.

The actions of mistletoe are gradual but have a long-lasting effect on blood pressure.

Method: Mistletoe can be harmful and poisonous if consumed raw and unprocessed. Always consult with a doctor before taking mistletoe extracts, to avoid hypotension (below normal blood pressure).

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17. Turmeric (Curcumin)

turmeric curcumin root orange powder natural remedy high blood pressure hypertension

Curcumin is the main component of turmeric. Turmeric is one of the most studied spice in the world. It is known to significantly decrease inflammation throughout the body. By reducing inflammation, turmeric improves blood flow and improves cardiovascular function.

Turmeric can help remove some of the plaque build-up off arterial walls. Turmeric is also a natural blood thinner, which improves blood flow and thus, lowers blood pressure.

Method: Add turmeric powder to your favorite tea, and flavor it with ginger and raw organic honey. Turmeric capsules or tinctures are also available.

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18. Omega-3 (Fatty Acids)

omega 3 fish oil fatty acids pills natural remedy high blood pressure hypertension

Omega-3 is great at lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.

Fish oil contains Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). EFAs are polyunsaturated fats derived from linolenic (Omega-3), linoleic (Omega-6), and oleic acids. These are essential fats, meaning that our bodies cannot produce them on its own. It is crucial that EFAs are obtained from our diet.

The balanced ratio that is needed by our bodies of Omega-6 and Omega-3 is between 2:1-4:1. Due to the American diet, our ratios have become 10:1-30:1. Unfortunately, a large chunk of the population is lacking in Omega-3.

Omega-3 is important for decreasing inflammation throughout the body. Decreasing inflammation helps prevent heart disease, autoimmune diseases, stroke, and mental illnesses (inflammation of the brain). It is also well-known that Omega-3s are effective at fighting depression and anger.

Method: Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, trout, krill, canned tuna, and sardines contain a good amount of Omega-3. The daily recommended dose of Omega-3 is 1,000 milligrams.

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19. Vitamin D

vitamin D sunlight sunshine absorbs natural remedy high blood pressure hypertension

Vitamin D is a “sun vitamin” that regulates over 200 genes. It is also responsible for proper cell growth and development. Usually 50-90% of vitamin D is absorbed by our bodies, directly from the sun. The remainder comes from our diet. Natural sources of Vitamin D can be found in eggs, fatty fish, fortified dairy and meats.

Since people are spending less and less time outdoors, vitamin D deficiency is on the rise and is affecting people worldwide. Over 1 billion people are deficient in vitamin D globally. Deficiency in this essential vitamin can lead to hypertension, as well as numerous other diseases — mental health illnesses, cancers, birth defects, autoimmune disorders.

A study published in 2014 shows that Vitamin D supplementation helps to lower high blood pressure. Vitamin D suppresses the hormone renin, which is similar to the effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. ACE inhibitors are popular prescribed antihypertensives.

Method: If you are going to take supplements, make sure to get D3 (cholecalciferol), and not D2 (ergocalciferol). Vitamin D3 is the active form that our bodies can use. The recommended daily dose of Vitamin D3 is 2,000 IU.

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20. CoQ10

coQ10 supplements natural heart remedy lowers high blood pressure hypertension

CoQ10 is a naturally occurring enzyme. It contains antioxidants that are good for maintaining cardiac health.

CoQ10 has been shown to decrease blood pressure and reduces the thickening of the heart muscle (hypertrophy).

There are no known side effects of CoQ10 since it naturally occurs in the body.

Method: According to Mayo Clinic, for the treatment of hypertension, take 60-360 milligrams daily for 8-12 weeks.

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21. French Lavender

french lavender purple flowers natural remedy lowers high blood pressure hypertension

Lavender is a popular fragrance that is widely used as a relaxer of the mind, body and soul.

This herb is also known to help decrease your blood pressure and heart rate.

One study shows that aromatherapy with certain essential oils can lower blood pressure. Effective oils include blends of lavender, ylanglang, and vergamot. The recommended usage is once daily, for 4-weeks.

Method: Use lavender essential oils, or incorporate lavender into your baked foods and daily cooking.

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22. Relax & Listen to (Classical) Music

relax listen classical music natural remedy lowers high blood pressure hypertension

Surprisingly, stress plays a huge role in cardiovascular disease.

Music has a calming effect and can be used as stress-relieving therapy. Music subconsciously affects our mood. The right type of music can have a positively calming effect and has been proven to lower blood pressure.

Listening to music for at least 30-minutes a day can lower blood pressure, slow down heart rate, and decrease anxiety.

One study shows that slower tempo classical music leads to a significant decrease in blood pressure, while rap, pop, jazz, and rock music have the opposite effect.

Method: Set aside some time everyday to just relax and listen to some Giuseppe Verdi or Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.

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23. Exercise – Get Walking

exercise walking lowers high blood pressure hypertension

Being overweight puts extra pressure on your arterial walls and forces your heart to work harder 24/7. It also puts you at risk for developing other diseases, such as atherosclerosis, which can lead to hypertension, cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and stroke.

A sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of having high blood pressure by 30 percent. Walking is the best exercise you can do for your entire body.

One study shows that light exercising (brisk walking or light jogging) aids in decreasing elevated blood pressure. Walking daily can also help you to go to sleep more easily, and stay asleep.

Method: The recommended amount of exercise is 30-minutes of aerobic activity, everyday.

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Final Note

It’s important to keep your blood pressure at a normal range. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for hypertension. Just keep in mind that these natural remedies cannot lower your blood pressure alone. You still have to alter lifestyle choices that may be the direct cause of your hypertension.

Good diet and quality exercise are also important in lowering blood pressure. There are many natural remedies that can help lower your pressure — the trick is finding the remedies that work best for you.

Is Dark Chocolate Good For You? – Health Benefits of Cocoa

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dark chocolate antioxidant health benefit flavonol cocoa anti-inflammatory

Chocolates is a perfect gift for everyone during the holiday season. Chocolates and other candies are the #1 gift given during Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day can be particularly difficult if you are trying to shed a few pounds, or are health conscious.

Do you love chocolate, but worried about packing on the pounds?

Are you health conscious and worried that chocolate is going to ruin your body?

Do you have an extreme sweet tooth and love chocolate?

If you’re someone who loves chocolate but does not want to compromise on health, try going dark!

Dark chocolate is proven to be beneficial towards health and is loaded with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Dark chocolate is made from the seeds of the cocoa tree (Theobroma cacao) and is loaded with antioxidants (cancer fighting), including polyphenols, flavonoids, catechins.

History of Dark Chocolate

Cocoa has been around for centuries and can be dated back as far as 1600 BC. It was considered a “drink of gods”, hence the name Theobroma cacao. In Greek, the word theo means god, and broma means drink.

Flavanols

dark chocolate cocoa tree seeds health benefits flavanols flavonols

The cocoa tree seeds contain flavonoids but more importantly, it is exceptionally high in its levels of flavanols.

Flavanols (Flavan-3-ol) are phytonutrients, which is known as plant-based nutrients. Not many other foods come close to the amount of flavanols that are found in cocoa seeds.

Flavonoids can be further distinguished as flavonols, flavanols, flavones, isoflavones, flavanones, and anthocyanidins.

Flavanols are found in certain fruits, vegetables, teas, unprocessed grape juice, wine, and berries. Black teas and red wine in particular, are known to contain high levels of flavanols.

How Does Flavanols Work?

dark chocolate high blood pressure dilates blood vessels nitric oxide cholesterol stroke health benefits

Flavanols release a chemical known as nitric oxide (NO). This chemical is a free radical (cancer fighting) that is essential for intercellular health.

Activated nitric oxide dilates blood vessels, making it easier for the blood to circulate throughout the body. NO is absolutely necessary in maintaining a healthy body.

By keeping the blood vessels open, it allows the blood to efficiently carry vital oxygen and nutrients to all parts of the body. Dilated blood vessels decrease stress in the body and in turn, lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke.

Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

dark chocolate health benefits antioxidants anti-inflammatory flavonoids

Eaten in moderation, dark chocolate that is high in flavanols can actually reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke, and maintain efficient blood circulation.

Other proven benefits of dark chocolate include: decreases bad cholesterol while increasing good cholesterol, protects again sun damage while smoothing the skin, boosts brain health, and provides essential vitamins and minerals.

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Kuna Indian Population and Cocoa

dark chocolate benefits blood pressure kidneys cholesterol health antioxidants

The effects of cocoa were studied in the Kuna Indians, a population living on the coast of Panama. They consume incredible amounts of cocoa from their daily cooking.

Studies on this indigenous population have shown that they are one of the few cultures who show no increase in age-related blood pressure or kidney function decline. These effects were not seen in their city neighbors who do not eat as much flavanol containing foods.

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Dark Chocolate is Beneficial for Athletes

dark chocolate health benefits working out athletes antioxidants stress cardio running

Due to the nitric oxide effects, cocoa flavanols are popular amongst athletes and other people who workout.

The decreased overall stress allows muscles to function better, endure extended physical stress during exercising, and increase the rate at which the body takes to repair damaged muscle tissue. This decreases the amount of soreness felt in between workouts.

Method:

  • Mix 1-2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder to your post-workout protein drink.

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Dark Chocolate as an Anti-Depressant & Libido Stimulator

dark chocolate anti-depressant increase mood happy libido

Dark chocolate with high contents of cocoa is nature’s anti-depressant. The flavanols increases mood by raising the level of the pleasure neurotransmitters: dopamine, serotonin, and phenylethylamine (PEA).

Phenylethylamine produces chemicals in the brain that is associated with falling in love. Cocoa also contains monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. MAO inhibitors cause an increase in dopamine and serotonin release.

Pharmaceutical companies who are well aware of these effects use MOA inhibitors in their anti-depressant medications. The neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin lifts mood, relaxes the body, and improves body stimulation. This in turn increases a person’s libido and promotes elevated moods.

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Dark Chocolate for Skin Health

dark chocolate skin health sun protects against uv rays damage wrinkles

Cocoa flavanol is considered beneficial for skin health as well. In particular, one 12-week study shows that a regular consumption of cocoa flavanols has positive effects on facial wrinkles and elasticity.

Another study shows that flavanols protects against sun damage by UV rays and improves blood flow to the skin. Flavanols slows the progression of aging.

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Choose Dark Over Milk Chocolate

dark chocolate over milk chocolate health benefits antioxidants flavonoids

Milk chocolate was found to contain the lowest amount of flavanols, while cocoa powder and dark chocolate contain the highest amount. So skip the milk chocolates this year and try dark chocolates and pure cocoa powders.

Final Word

Make sure your dark chocolates or cocoa powders contain at least 50-80% of cocoa to reap the numerous benefits of flavanols. Just remember that the more cocoa content a bar contains, the more nutritious it is.

Your significant other will be so touched that you thought of their health, as well as their palate.

6 Best Easy-to-Grow Plants for Your Indoor Herb Garden (Year-Round)

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herbs fresh organic green bunches

Are you tired of buying expensive herbs from the supermarket, only to have them all wilt away in a few days?  

Looking for a cheaper way to eating organic herbs?

To make sure you have herbs that are organic and pesticide free, try growing them yourself. Luckily, most herbs are not high maintenance and you can easily grow them indoors.

Picking herbs that you know you will end up using will make taking care of them feel less like a chore.

Easy to Grow Indoor Herbs

1. Chives

chives herb fresh organic green stalks

Chives are hardy herbs that last throughout the winter and can be used in any dish. They can withstand cooler temperatures (as low as 55 degrees during the day) and love sunlight.

Chives are one of the few herbs that like its stems and soil to be moistened. Once a week sprinkle some water on the stems with a spray bottle.

Once your chives grow to at least 6 inches tall, you can give your herb a haircut. Harvest it with a scissor to avoid dislodging the roots. Make sure to leave at least 2 inches for the plant to regrow.

Store extra chives in the freezer, in ziplock bags. The entire plant is edible, so enjoy!

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2. Oregano

oregano herb fresh green leaves

They also last well throughout the winter and can withstand cooler temperatures (as low as 55 degrees during the day).

Oregano prefers drier soil and lots of sunlight. Make sure the soil is completely dry between watering. Rotate your pot once a week to ensure adequate sunlight for your entire plant.

Do not pluck more than 1/2 the plant at a time. Try to avoid straining the stem while trimming its leaves – this could dislodge its roots.

Oregano grows faster the more frequently it gets haircuts. Your herb is ready for harvesting when it is at least 6 inches tall.

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3. Parsley

parsley herb fresh green leaves

Parsley grows all year long and can withstand cooler temperatures. This herb likes moist areas, so the kitchen is a good place to grow them.

Rotate the plant and water once a week. You can start harvesting parsley when it is at least 6 inches. Make sure to leave at least 2 inches for regrowth.

You can use both the leaves and stems of the plant in your cooking. Make sure to trim the herb often to avoid toughness.

If you prefer parsley dried, cut off the stems and tie them (pictured above). Hang them upside down in a cool, dark, and dry place.

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4. Lemongrass

lemongrass herb fresh green stalk and stems

Lemongrass is an easy herb to grow. You can buy some stalks from your local Asian supermarket. Make sure the stalks are long and the stems look healthy.

When you get home, place the stalks into a long glass or jar, filled with a few inches of water. The roots will start to grow on the bottom and green stems will grow from the top.

After about a week, you can plant the stalks in some soil–a few inches above the roots. After a few months, you should start to see blades of grass growing.

Make sure to rotate your plant once a week so that the entire plant receives sunlight.

You can harvest once the blades are at least 12 inches. Store extra lemongrass in ziplock bags, in the freezer.

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5. Basil

basil herb fresh organic green leaves bunch

Basil is a little harder to grow during winter months. This herb likes warm and sunny environments.

Don’t forget to water and rotate the pot to ensure adequate sunlight for the entire plant. This herb is easiest to grow from a “starter plant” and transporting it to a larger pot.

Basil is ready to be harvested when it is at least 6 inches tall. The more you prune the leaves, the happier your herb will be.

If you prefer dried basil, cut off the stems and tie them (pictured above). Hang them upside down in a cool, dark, and dry place.

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6. Aloe Vera

aloe vera whole plant fresh

Aloe vera is not an herb but it is so easy to grow and so useful for “first-aid” emergencies. It also purifies the air and can be used to soothe inflammation and burns.

Most aloe plants come potted already, so just make sure to upgrade to a larger pot size if they outgrow their starter ones. Aloe plants like sunlight and can easily be grown indoors.

Make sure that the soil is completely dry in between waterings – once a week at most. You can water them even less during the winter months.

If you need to use the stems, just break off a piece. Let the end of the stem dry up before cutting off another piece.

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Tips on Starting Your Indoor Herb Garden

  • The bigger and deeper the pot, the better.
  • Try to keep each herb separate. Some plants are invasive and do not grow well with others.
  • If you do not have a green thumb, buy “starter” baby plants from nurseries or local stores. Make sure they have never been grown outdoors because you do not want to drastically change the environment of the herbs.
  • Use all-purpose soil to grow your plants. Do not pack the soil too tightly and aerate slightly. You can grind up eggshells and mix them into the soil as a fertilizer.
  • Use breathable pot, such as a Terra Cotta pot. The most important feature is that they must have drainage holes.
  • Turn your plant once a week so each side gets adequate amounts of sunlight.
  • Herbs are meant to be eaten. They will grow back the more you pluck them. If the stems are growing faster than the leaves, give them more sunlight.
  • If the tips of the plants start yellowing, it could mean that they are being overwatered. Stick you finger into the soil, towards the roots. If the soil is still wet, aerate the soil a bit, and make sure the soil is not packed too tightly.
  • Don’t harvest more than 50% of your herb at a time during winter months.
  • When harvesting, avoid tugging at the leaves. This can strain the entire plant and dislodge its roots.
  • If you can’t keep your plants near a window, try investing in indoor fluorescent grow light or a happy light.
  • Home starter kits are available for those who do not have a green thumb or easily forget to water their plants.

How to Water Your Herbs

  • Don’t overwater them. Herbs only require water about once a week. Get on a schedule and try to water your plants on the same day of the week, every week.
  • Make sure that the soil is completely dry before watering them again. If the soil stays too moist, the roots can rot and destroy your plant. Never let water stand in the saucer for a long period of time, as this can also lead to rotten roots.
  • Bring the plant to the sink and run the water until the soil is completely wet. Let the water completely drain. Repeat, let it drain, and bring it back to its saucer to catch any remaining water.
  • If the pot is too heavy to carry back and forth, make sure the saucer is large enough to contain all of the draining water.

Final Word

Did you also know that plants can oxygenate and purify the air that you breathe? Growing herbs is practical and functional, and can aesthetically spruce up your place.

It is healthier and cheaper to grow your own fresh herbs. This way, you can be sure that you are not ingesting any harmful pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides.

You can also give your extra herbs away as presents to friends and family if you grow more than you can handle!

6 Best Homemade DIY Face Masks for Acne – Recipes on How to Make

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acne natural facial masks diy for problem prone skin

Did you know that the largest organ of the body is your skin?

Your epidermis (skin) your first line of protection against bacteria and viruses. Your skin keeps you cool in the heat and warm in the cold temperatures.

Your skin is also the first to let you know when something is not going right on the inside. The usual signs are acne, rashes, dry skin, eczema, psoriasis, sores, bruising, moles.

By using natural DIY facial masks at home, you can minimize daily pollutants, bacteria, and other infections that may settle on your delicate skin.

Homemade Face Mask Ingredients

  • Aloe Vera (plant or juice) is an anti-inflammatory agent that is full of anti-oxidants.
  • Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate) is an anti-microbial and anti-fungal agent. It dries up excess oil, while gently exfoliating.
  • Cinnamon is a natural anti-microbial agent.
  • Coconut Oil and Olive Oil have anti-microbial and moisturizing effects.
  • Green Tea Powder is an antioxidant powerhouse. It also acts as an anti-microbial agent and decreases inflammation.
  • Honey is nature’s powerful antibiotic.
  • Lemon Juice acts as an astringent and dries out excess oil.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar is alkalizing, which balances out the pH levels of the body.
  • Papaya removes dead skin cells and decreases inflammation.
  • Greek Yogurt (or Raw Milk — do not use skim products) contains acid and fat. The acid is antibacterial, while the fats are moisturizing.
  • Sugar is a gentle exfoliant that gets rid of dead skin cell buildup and unclogs pores.
  • Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant effects. Higher quality turmeric can stain clothes, but does not stain the face.

Before Applying Masks

steam water from bowl draped towel to open pores naturally

Before you apply a mask, make sure your skin is thoroughly clean and your pores are open. The best ways of doing this is to take a shower or use steam to clean and open pores.

  1. Boil a pot of filtered water.
  2. Transfer the water to a large bowl and let it cool down for 1-2 minutes.
  3. When the water is not too hot, place your face over the bowl and cover your head and the bowl with a towel for 5-10 minutes.

Naturally Clean Your Skin With Homemade Face Masks

Natural DIY facial masks for acne problem skin spa treatment

1. Green Tea, Honey, Lemon, Sugar

  • 1 tablespoon of green tea (tea bag or Matcha green tea)
  • 1 tablespoons of raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons of sugar (preferably brown)

Mix all the ingredients and apply the paste over your face — excluding the eyes, mouth, and eyebrows. Rub the paste over the face for 1-2 minutes in a slow and circular movement. Leave on for 10-15 minutes.

While rinsing off with warm water, use a washcloth for added exfoliating effects.

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2. Baking Soda, Honey, Coconut/Olive Oil

  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon of raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut/olive oil

Mix all the ingredients and apply the paste over your face — excluding the eyes, mouth, and eyebrows. Rub the paste over the face for 1-2 minutes in a slow and circular movement. Leave on for 10-15 minutes.

While rinsing off with warm water, use a washcloth for added exfoliating effects.

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3. Turmeric, Raw Milk/Greek Yogurt, Honey

  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 3 teaspoons of raw milk/greek yogurt (full fat, unflavored)
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey

Mix all the ingredients and apply the paste over your face — excluding the eyes, mouth, and eyebrows. Use a makeup brush or cotton balls to apply the paste and to avoid staining your fingers. Leave the mask on for 10-15 minutes.

Tip: Make sure to lay paper towels around the sink to catch any spills.

Remove with a cotton ball or washcloth. If there is a yellow tint remaining, you can remove with diluted apple cider vinegar mixed with water, or a gentle toner.

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4. Cinnamon, Honey, Aloe Vera

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (preferably ceylon)
  • 3 teaspoons of raw honey
  • 1 inch of fresh aloe vera plant (only the inside gel) or 2 teaspoon of aloe vera juice

Mix all the ingredients and apply the paste over your face — excluding the eyes, mouth, and eyebrows. Rub the paste over the face for 1 minute, in a slow and circular movement. Leave on for 10 minutes.

This mask is good for removing blackheads. Do not use this mask if you have sensitive skin. If you feel an intolerable burning sensation, wash it off right away.

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5. Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey, Baking Soda

  • 1 teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda

Mix all the ingredients and apply the paste over your face — excluding the eyes, mouth, and eyebrows. Leave this mask on for 10-15 minutes.

While rinsing off with warm water, use a washcloth for added exfoliating effects.

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6. Papaya, Honey, Lemon, Coconut/Olive Oil

  • 2 tablespoons of mashed up fresh papaya (no seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut/olive oil

Mix all the ingredients and apply the paste over your face — excluding the eyes, mouth, and eyebrows. Leave this mask on for 10-15 minutes.

While rinsing off with warm water, use a washcloth for added exfoliating effects.

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How to Clean Your Skin From the Inside

1. Drink Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

Apple Cider Vinegar has been used for centuries for various disinfectant and antimicrobial purposes.

Some of the uses of this vinegar are: anti-microbial, anti-fungal, increases immunity and fights cancer, stimulates weight loss, decreases the risk of heart disease and stroke, lowers cholesterol, maintains blood sugar, and clears up acne.

ACV also prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and fungus in the digestive tract. This is important because 80% of our immune system is in our GI system.

Method: Mix in 1 teaspoons of ACV into a cup of warm water. You can squeeze in a wedge of lemon (vitamin C). Add a dash of ceylon cinnamon powder (antiseptic) and raw organic honey (antimicrobial).

Drink up to 3 times a day for smoother and clearer skin.

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2. Take Probiotics

When we do not have enough “good bacteria” or probiotics, in our system, pathogens take over and leave us susceptible to disease, cancers, and illnesses.

Live beneficial microbes in the digestive tract makes up our immune system. These good bacterias prevent the invasion of pathogens that make us sick.

They also improve digestion, prevent constipation, synthesize Vitamin K, and keep a balanced pH level (a plus for acne sufferers).

A lot of times, our healthy bacterias are accidentally wiped out by procedures that are intended to get rid of bad bacteria. These include: antibiotics (pill form, in our milk, meat, poultry, fish), recent surgeries, diarrhea (flushes out good and bad bacteria altogether), colon cleanses, too much fiber (destroys bacterial membranes), protein deficiency (protein creates mucin which is needed to create intestinal mucous — where bacterial flora thrive).

Method: Make sure to take probiotic-containing foods all-year-round. Naturally occurring foods can be found in: water or milk Kefir, Kombucha drinks, non-commercial unflavored yogurt, fermented foods, sauerkraut.

Quality probiotic capsules can also be found at your local health food store or online.

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Other Things to Keep in Mind

  1. Watch What You Eat. What you put into your body is just as important as what you on your body. Try to stay away from foods that are processed, contain chemicals, toxins, GMO (genetically modified), MSG (monosodium glutamate) and gluten (if you have sensitivities). Whatever is put on your skin is absorbed directly into the body.
  2. Clean Your Pillowcase And Sheets. Daily pollutants, dead skin cells, and oils can gather on your bedding. Constant contact with dirty bedding can irritate your gentle skin and cause clogged pores.
  3. Don’t Pick At Your Face. Picking can spread the infections from your pimples to other parts of your face. It can also lead to scarring and dark spots.

Final Word

Find a mask that works best for you. For different effects, you can alternate between masks every couple of days. With continued use, you should start seeing improvements from acne, dry or oily skin, and dark spots.

Remember to treat your outsides as well as you would your insides, and you should be having naturally glowing skin in no time!

18 Best Natural Home Remedies for Heartburn & Acid Reflux Relief

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heartburn acid reflux gerd burning chest pain nausea

heartburn acid reflux gerd burning chest pain nausea

Have you ever felt a burning sensation in your chest or felt nauseous after eating a heavy meal?

Chronic heartburn is a diagnosis known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

Heartburn is indigestion that is caused by stomach acid that has flown back up into the esophagus. Other common symptoms include burping, flatulence, and hiccuping.

Acid reflux is actually caused by your stomach not having enough acid and an overload of the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria.

When your stomach doesn’t have enough acid, it churns violently to digest the food to compensate for the little acid that it does have. During this process, the stomach content spills upwards, towards the esophagus.

The stomach has two “doors”, or sphincter, that keeps the acid in their place. The one on top of the stomach is called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and the bottom one is called the pyloric valve.

What to Avoid During Acid Reflux

There are tons of medications available now without a prescription. Acid reflux medications are among the world’s top selling drugs, and accounts for billions of dollars in sales annually!

Overall, GERD affects 33% of the population in the United States, and 44% have symptoms at least once a month.

Before you pop an antacid, know that you are causing more harm to your body than good. The damage is not worth the quick fix of being able to eat whatever you want.

Antacids were never created to be given out like candy. Initially, they were prescribed for people who were greatly suffering from severe ulcers.

What kind of harm are these acid blockers doing to our bodies? These medications decrease the acid that is causing the reflux, but your stomach actually needs this acid to keep the rest of your body balanced.

The acid breaks down protein and food, activates digestive enzymes in the small intestine, prevents toxic overgrowth of bacteria, and aids in absorption of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B12.

Without proper acid production, your body can go through vitamin and mineral deficiencies. It can also cause acidic blood (cancer causing), leading to irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, dementia, anemia, fatigue, osteoporosis, fractures, and more.

Factors That Cause Heartburn (Acid Reflux)

Acid reflux can be caused by certain foods and lifestyle choices. Types of food to avoid are: fried, spicy, citrus, coffee, alcohol, processed, raw foods, excessive fiber, and hard to digest foods.

Lifestyles that contribute to heartburn are: smoking and drinking, obesity, sedentary lives, food sensitivities and allergies, and stress.

Find out what factors aggravate your heartburn and remove them to help alleviate your symptoms.

Below are some natural remedies to treat heartburn without having to pop another antacid.

Natural Remedies for Heartburn

1. Yellow Mustard

yellow mustard spoonful small seeds with green leaves

Vinegar, zinc, and turmeric (stimulates digestion) in mustard neutralizes the acid in the stomach.

Mustard is an alkalizing food (balances the body’s pH levels) that is slightly acidic. The exact reason on how yellow mustard works on acid reflux is unknown, but it works, and it works fast!

Method: Eat 1 teaspoon of yellow mustard. If the mustard taste is too strong, you can wash it down with some warm water or eat it with a saltine cracker.

The heartburn may initially feel worse, but after a few minutes the symptoms should subside.

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2. Probiotics

probiotics fresh white yogurt unflavored live good bacteria

The more probiotics you have throughout your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the better your digestive system will function.

Taking probiotics daily allows nutrients and food to be digested properly. It also decreases the amount of harmful H. pylori (heartburn causing) bacteria you have in your system.

Probiotics help replenish the bacteria that is lost, due to other medications that you may be taking. “Good bacteria” balances the natural beneficial flora in the small intestine. This prevents the bloating and gas build up that can cause food to back up into the stomach.

Probiotics not only works on symptoms of acid reflux, but it also deals with the root cause of it. It may take a few weeks to get your GI tract back in working order, so continue taking it consistently everyday for best results.

Method: Make sure to take probiotic-containing foods year round. Naturally occurring foods can be found in: water or milk Kefir, kombucha drinks, non-commercial unflavored yogurts, fermented foods, sauerkraut.

Quality probiotic capsules can also be found at your local health food store or online.

Recommended:

3. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

bragg organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar glass jar

Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) boosts our immune system and decreases the amount of acid reflux causing bacteria in our gut. The vinegar also stimulates acid production in the stomach, which causes efficient digestion of our food.

ACV is an alkalizing food, which balances the body’s pH level. 7.4 (slightly alkaline) is the ideal state you want your body to be  in, to be able to fight off microbes and cancerous cells. There are home kits that can easily test the pH level of your water, food, saliva, or urine.

Buy organic, raw, unfiltered vinegar, and make sure it comes in a glass bottle. Plastic bottles can cause toxins to leech into the vinegar. On a plus side, apple cider vinegar is safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Method: Drink 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar and wash it down with water. Try holding it in your mouth for a few seconds before swallowing. This stimulates the saliva production and initiates the stomach in producing digestive acid.

If 1 teaspoon is too much (the smell can be overwhelming at first), you can start off by placing 4 drops of vinegar directly onto your tongue for fast results.

Recommended

4. Baking Soda

baking soda spoonful into water

Baking soda (also known as Sodium Bicarbonate) is another quick fix for heartburn.

It’s good at quickly neutralizing the pH levels in your stomach and aids in faster digestion.

Method: Drink 1 teaspoon mixed with room temperature or warm water. Do this every other day, for a month.

Recommended:

5. Calcium

calcium milk cheese cottage cheese yogurt fresh dairy

Calcium is a popular and well known remedy for GERD. It is one of the main ingredient used in many of the over-the-counter antacids.

Calcium is needed to keep a good pH balance and to help aid in proper digestion.

Magnesium and Vitamin D is important when it comes to calcium because they are needed to properly absorb calcium into the body. So make sure you take these supplements daily, along with your calcium.

Method: Take 1,000 milligrams of calcium orotate (the most effective form of calcium) supplements per day, with at least 2000 IU’s of Vitamin D3.

Recommended:

6. Almonds

almonds whole brown bag raw

Almonds are an ancient Middle Eastern remedy for ulcers. Almonds are high in oil content which soothes the acid in the stomach. The high fiber content of the nut aids digestion.

Organic almond milk is also a good alternative to the raw nut. You can also mix oatmeal, almond milk, and bananas for a powerhouse effect. This meal is great for breakfast for adults and kids.

Method: Eat 4-5 raw almonds after each meal. If your heartburn is severe, eat a handful of almonds. The effects should take place in about 30 minutes.

Recommended:

7. Fennel Seeds

fennel seeds brown unmilled spoonful

Fennel is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. It has been used widely around the world to aid in digestion.

Fennel contains a compound called Anethole, which relaxes the stomach and prevents spasms and flatulence.

Fennel seed is safe for pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and children. The seed is known to increase breast milk in nursing mothers, while fennel water is often used to treat colicky newborn babies.

Method: After a meal, try some fennel tea–seeped from the seeds.

Or just chew 1 teaspoon of whole seeds slowly after your meal.

Recommended:

8. Aloe Vera Juice

aloe vera fresh plant stem and gel slices

Aloe Vera is a natural anti-inflammatory agent. Aloe is great for burns, wounds, wrinkles, canker sores, constipation, and maintaining blood sugars.

This miracle plant contains loads of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants. When ingested, aloe soothes the inflamed esophagus and stomach lining from damage caused by stomach acid.

Method: Drink 2-3 ounces of aloe vera juice 15-20 minutes before meals.

Mix aloe juice with 8 ounces of coconut water and any fresh fruit juice.

Recommended:

9. Pickles & Pickle Juice

pickles green fresh juice in bowl

Pickles and its juices act fast on heartburn. The vinegar content helps to neutralize stomach pH levels within minutes.

Pickles and are great at kicking aside acid reflux symptoms, especially for women who are pregnant and breast feeding.

Method: Eat a few pickles or drink pickle juice during active heartburn. Your heartburn should go away in 10-15 minutes.

Recommended:

Fruits & Vegetables

Vegetables and fruits (except for citrus fruits) are a great way to combat heartburn symptoms.

Who knew that our own refrigerators could also our medicine cabinets?

Celery, apples, papaya, banana, and cabbage are some of the known foods that soothe the stomach.

10. Celery

celery fresh green stalks with leaves

Celery has a naturally alkaline pH. It also has a mildly sedative property that soothes the stomach muscles.

11. Apples

apples red fresh juicy fresh fruit

Apples contain tartaric and malic acid, which balances the stomach’s pH level. It also contains pectic, a natural fiber source that promotes proper digestion.

The saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is true, especially when it comes to heartburn. When you feel an attack coming on, take 5 bites of an apple.

12. Papaya

papaya fresh sliced fruit orange with seedsPapaya contains papain, an effective protein and carbohydrate dissolving enzyme.

Papain is also used to speed up metabolism, decrease inflammation, and treat constipation.

13. Bananas

ripe yellow bananas batch teal background

Bananas coat the lining of the stomach, ease spasms, and have a natural antacid response. Bananas have a high content of fiber and vitamin B.

Vitamin B calms the stomach muscles and stops the stomach from churning acid violently.

On a side note, bananas are also useful at combating high blood pressure and preventing strokes due to its high potassium and low sodium content.

14. Cabbage

cabbage patch fresh green batches

Cabbage reduces inflammation and kills the H. pylori bacteria that causes heartburn and other GI problems.

Fermented cabbage (kimchee) and other fermented foods (non-store bought coleslaw or sauerkraut) are also recommended remedies for heartburn.

Method: Mix raw cabbage, banana, apple slices, purified water, and natural unflavored probiotic yogurt into a blender. Drink quickly.

15. Chewing Gum

chewing gum helps heartburn

Chewing gum produces saliva and activates the digestive process.

This is an unnatural digestion simulator and should only be used as a quick fix.

Recommended:

16. Gingerginger raw freshly sliced

Ginger has been used for over 5,000 years by the Indians and the Chinese to treat different ailments. Ginger has been used for helping numerous gastrointestinal disorders.

Gingerols is the main active ingredient found in ginger that give this root its many health benefits.

This ancient root is known to destroy the H. pylori bacteria, decrease inflammation, minimize nausea, and calm the stomach muscles.

Recommended:

Lifestyle Changes

17. Stay Upright & Sleep On Your Left Side

sleep upright and on your left side for better digestion and less heartburn

Try not to eat 2-3 hours before you go to sleep.

When you do lay down, turn onto your left side. This position does not allow stomach acid to empty back into the esophagus.

18. Eat Smaller Meals & Chew Longer

smaller meals more frequent meals less heartburn

It’s harder for your stomach to digest larger meals. It has to work that much harder to break everything down at once. If your stomach is full, there is more of a chance that acid can be tossed back up the esophagus.

Chew slowly and more frequently before swallowing. Digestion begins in the mouth. The more you help your body from the beginning, the easier it’ll be later on.

Final Word

Natural remedies have little to no known side effects. Most of these remedies can be found right in your own kitchen.

Different methods work better for different people, so if one method doesn’t work for you, don’t fret, and try another one. A lifetime free from heartburn pain is worth a few trial and errors.

21 Best Natural Home Remedies For the Cold, Cough & Flu

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cold flu cough natural remedies runny nose headaches fever chills

With winter coming up, it’s only right to talk about the inevitable fevers, runny noses, and just being miserably sick.

Do you always find yourself getting a cold or the flu a few time every year? 

Do you feel like your immune system is always on vacation?

The common cold that plagues us year after year is right around the corner. If you live in an urban area, you know that avoiding sick people in tight areas (subway, buses, apartment buildings, skyscrapers, department stores) is near to impossible.

The #1 defense system to staying germ-free is hand washing!

Plain ol’ soap and water is more than enough to wash off all those pesky germs. It also prevents transmission of germs from other people to yourself.

You touch so many things all throughout the day – your phone, the subway pole, ATM buttons, door handles, keyboards, money, pens. This allows for germs to be passed on from person to person every millisecond! Gross.

If your immune system is even the tiniest bit compromised, the cold virus will find you and take full advantage. Chronic stress, a poor diet, and other factors weaken the immune system.

Herbs, vitamins, and minerals from around the world have been used for centuries to alleviate the symptoms of the common cold, cough, and flu.

When you’re sick, you are probably used to reaching for the nearest OTC medications in weakness and desperation. But OTC meds all have nasty side effects and can harm your body in the long run.

They also don’t work that well. Why?

It’s because OTC meds are designed to mask the symptoms, and not deal with what is making you sick in the first place.

What if you gave mother nature a chance to let its natural vitamins and herbs alleviate your worst symptoms–with little to no known side effects?

You can find some examples below for natural remedies that really work. You can use more than one at a time, to find what best works for you. The good news is, you can use these remedies year round (even when you’re not sick) as a preventative measure!

Tip: Get a few of these remedies ahead of time. That way, if you do get sick, you don’t have to drag yourself outside in the cold, to the drugstore.

Remedies For the Cold, Cough & Flu

1. Probiotics

probiotics natural white plain yogurt jars
Your own immune system is your first line of defense in fighting a cold or the flu.

When we do not have enough “good bacteria” in our system, pathogens take over and leave us susceptible to disease, cancers, and disorders.

80% of our immune system is found in our digestive system, so it is vital to maintain appropriate levels of probiotics in our gastro-intestinal system.

Live beneficial microbes in the digestive tract makes up a health gut. These good bacterias prevent an invasion of pathogens that make us sick. They also improve digestion, prevent constipation, synthesize Vitamin K, and keep a balanced pH level.

A lot of times, our beneficial microbes are accidentally wiped out by procedures that are intended to get rid of bad bacteria. These include: antibiotics (pill form, in our milk, meat, poultry, fish), recent surgeries, diarrhea (flushes out good and bad bacteria altogether), colon cleanses, too much fiber (destroys bacterial membranes), protein deficiency (protein creates mucin which is needed to create intestinal mucous – where bacterial flora thrive).

Method: Make sure to take probiotic-containing foods year round. Naturally occurring foods can be found in: water or milk Kefir, kombucha drinks, non-commercial unflavored yogurts, fermented foods, sauerkraut.

Quality probiotic capsules can also be found at your local health food store or online.

Recommended:

2. Chlorella

chlorella blue green algae superfood immune system cold flu cough natural remedy phytonutrients chlorophyll

Chlorella is a nutrient dense superfood. It is a blue-green algae that is packed with phytonutrients, chlorophyll, beta-carotene, potassium, phosphorous, biotin, magnesium, Vitamins A, C, E, complete vitamin B-complex and several amino acids.

Chlorella also increases the levels of (Ig) A antibody levels in the body. A study published in 2010 by the Plant Foods for Human Nutrition shows a direct correlation between chlorella and increased levels of (Ig) A antibodies in the body.

In this study, women who consumed chlorella pyerenoidsa supplements had significantly higher amounts of (Ig) A antibody concentrations in their breast milk than women who were not taking chlorella. This indicates that the women producing more (Ig) A in their bodies.

When the influenza virus comes into contact with your (Ig) A antibodies, it contains the cold and influenza virus and immediately stops it from spreading and infection the surrounding cells.

Chlorella not only protects you, but it also makes your immune system stronger.

Recommended:

3. Echinacea

echinacea pink flowers dried loose leaves tea
Echinacea is a North American coneflower that is widely used in the United States and Germany.

Studies show that echinacea can reduce inflammation, relieve pain, boost the immune system, and prevent the cold and influenza virus from replicating itself in your body.

Echinacea also has known anti-viral, antibacterial, and blood cleansing properties. The way it fights off the cold and the flu is by increasing levels of properdin.

Properdin is one of the chemicals in the body responsible for fighting off bacteria and viruses. A study found that echinacea can reduce your chances of catching a cold by 60%, and shorten the length of a cold by 1-4 days.

Method: Echinacea comes in the form of tinctures, capsules, or teas.

I find that the pure tincture forms work the best. At the very first sign of a cold, mix 2 dropperfuls of the tincture into a cup of water to prevent further onset. Repeat up to three times a day.

Recommended:

4. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

bragg organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar glass jar
Organic apple cider vinegar’s (ACV) antibacterial and antiviral properties kill the microbes that cause sore throats. It also helps to loosen up and expel excess mucous from the chest that makes it hard to breathe.

ACV contains prebiotic inulin–which builds up the immune system and sends out fighting white blood cells.

ACV also helps to balance our body’s pH levels. The acidity and alkalinity of a food is measured using a pH scale.

The pH scale runs from 0-14 (zero being the most acidic and 14 being the most alkaline). The optimal blood pH level is closest to 7.4 (slightly more alkaline). There are home kits that can easily test the pH levels of your water, food, saliva, or urine.

A balanced body is less appealing for bacteria or cancer cells to thrive.

Method: Mix in 2 teaspoons of ACV into a cup of pure filtered warm water. You can squeeze in a wedge of lemon (vitamin C). Add a dash of ceylon cinnamon powder (antiseptic). Mix in raw organic honey (soothe sore throats). Drink up to 3 times a day.

Recommended:

5. Olive Leaf Extract (OLE)

olive leaf extract green leaves black olives
Olive leaf extract (OLE) is known for its ability to increase energy, fight cancer cells, lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugars, improve cardiac health, antiviral and antibacterial properties, antioxidant effects, and boost the immune system.

OLE was used as a medicinal herb by the ancient Egyptians. In the 1800s, the green olive leaves were used as a treatment for malaria.

Oleuropein is a polyphenol in olive leaf extract that protects against mental decline, maintains blood sugars, improves symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and prevents cancer.

Oleuropein can also encircle tumor cells and prevent it from replicating, growing, and moving. A study published in the Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications in 2005, showed spontaneous tumors that disappeared after 9-12 days in mice who were given oleuropein.

Method: The recommended dose is 500 milligrams, once a day. OLE comes in capsules or tea form.

Make sure the capsules contain Oleuropein.

Recommended:

6. Cayenne Pepper (Capsaicin)

cayenne spicy red peppers dried powder
Considered a miracle herb, cayenne pepper is used to alleviate intestinal ulcers and heartburn, relieve joint and muscle pain (capsaicin is an active ingredient in many OTC meds).

For a common cold, cayenne pepper can be used to break through congestion and warm your body, while decreasing inflammation. Cayenne pepper contains high levels of vitamin C, which is great for colds and the flu.

Cayenne pepper is also known to boost metabolism, open nasal passageways for congestion, maintain blood sugars, soothe psoriasis symptoms, increase blood circulation, lower blood pressure, quicken blood clotting (good for nose bleeds or any other internal bleeding), and decrease the effects of heart disease.

Capsaicin is one of the major ingredients in red peppers. The spicier the pepper, the more capsaicin it contains.

Capsaicin works by inhibiting substance P–a chemical in the body that is involved in inflammation. Substance P communicates pain, heart disease, and other disorders with the body.

Capsaicin cream is commonly used to soothe arthritic aches and pains and open wounds.

Capsaicin is also used to treat heart attacks, halt internal bleeding, and slow tumor growths (particularly in prostate cancers).

Dr. John Christopher, a herbal physician, has healed patients with heart attacks and internal hemorrhaging instantly with a tablespoon of cayenne pepper mixed with warm water.

A study published in the Journal, Cancer Research in 2006, showed that capsaicin has the ability to kill cancer cells by inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death). Cayenne pepper powder causes instant efficient blood flow and circulation.

Capsule form of this pepper is considered to be not as effective as the powdered form. Cayenne pepper is rated according to its heat index. Start of by taking 40,000 SCUs, and eventually up to 90,000 SCUs.

Method: Recommended dosage is one teaspoon of organic cayenne pepper a day, and slowly work your way up to one teaspoon, 3 times a day.

Recommended:

7. Turmeric

turmeric herb fresh roots orange powder
Turmeric is one of the most studied spices on this planet. The main ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin is treasured for its disease preventing and tumor fighting abilities.

Numerous studies have also shown turmeric to be great at improving heart health, expediting wound healing (while reducing scar tissue), relieving arthritis inflammation, reducing risks of Alzheimer’s Disease, decreasing symptoms of allergies, defending against depression, rebuilding muscle tissue, and treating gastric disorders. It is even a great and natural teeth whitener.

Due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, turmeric, in addition to honey, have been widely used to treat the common cold, coughs, headaches, sore throats, and congestion. There are a few ways to enjoy turmeric.

Method: (Drink) Add turmeric powder to your favorite tea, and flavor it with ginger and raw organic honey.
(Syrup) Sprinkle ground turmeric into a spoonful of raw organic honey. This method is good at soothing an infected throat.
(Paste) Add some filtered water to ground turmeric. Rub the ointment onto inflamed joints or insect bites. This paste is also useful for whitening teeth and to soothe eczema or dermatitis.

Recommended:

8. Green Tea

green tea matcha fresh powder drink
Green tea is one of the healthiest drinks on the planet. It is the staple drink of Japan, and the Japanese have some of the longest known life spans.

A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 2006, showed that green tea can actually prolong your life by decreasing the prevalence of heart disease and stroke.

Green tea has six different kinds of antioxidants that differ based on which part of the plant it comes from (stems, bud, leaf). The distinctive mix of antioxidants make this tea an effective antiviral drink.

Some compounds that make this tea great are chlorophyll (blood cleanser), and a super antioxidant mix – Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), flavonoids and catechins (reduces free radicals), theophylline (opens up the airway), and L-theanine (boosts energy and decreases anxiety and depression).

Overall, green tea is great for your health and immune system. Green tea is also great for improving brain function, increasing metabolism and physical performance, lowering risk of cancer and dementia, killing bacteria, improving dental health, and maintaining blood sugars.

Method: If you don’t already sip a cup everyday, you should consider adding it to your daily routine.

Mix 1 teaspoon of matcha green tea powder into warm filtered water. Enjoy!

Recommended:

9. Ginseng

ginseng fresh root and slices
Ginseng is an herb used in The Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 2,000 years.

It keeps the body tough by increasing the immune system against bacteria and viruses. It is also used to maintain blood sugars and diminishes the risk of certain cancers.

A study published by The Canadian Medical Association Journal in 2005, found that ginseng extracts increased the immune response and prompted the body to send out more natural killer (NK) cells during a microbial invasion.

Ginseng also improves the ability to persevere during stress. In 1950, a Russian scientist, I.I. Brekhman, reported that ginseng strengthens the body to endure physical tension, combat disease, and increase mental sharpness.

Panax ginseng (better known as Korean, Asian, or even Red Ginseng), is traditionally known as the true ginseng because of the types of ginsenosides (active ingredient in the herb) it contains.

The forms of ginsenocide best equipped for medicinal purposes is available in higher quantities in Asian ginseng.

American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) consists more of the ginsenocides that are better suited to handle and endure stress.

Method: If you are using ginseng to boost your immunity against a cold or flu, use 400 milligrams of Panax ginseng daily for up to four months.

If you are using this herb as a daily preventative measure, the recommended dose is 100 milligrams, twice a day.

Overdosing on ginseng can be harmful to your help and it also interferes with a lot of pharmaceutical drugs. Let your doctor know of any herbs or supplements you are taking.

Recommended:

10. Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra)

elderberry tree with fresh leaves and blackberries
Elderberry is used as an antioxidant, anti-microbial, and a heart disease and stroke fighter.

The flower is used for upper respiratory infections, allergies, relieving arthritic pain, as an antiseptic mouthwash, treating gram positive and gram negative infections, and as a diuretic and laxative.

A study published in the BioMed Central’s Journal in 2011, found that Elderberry was effective in defending against influenza, certain bacterial Gram Positive and Gram Negative infections, and MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus), the hospital acquired infections.

Elderberries has over twice the amount of Oxygen Radical Absorbency Capacity (cancer fighting compound) than blueberries or cranberries. This herb also improves circulation, and minimizes risk for heart disease and stroke.

A study published in 2004, showed that elderberry protects the inside layer of blood vessels from stress.

Anthocyanins (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that also gives food it’s rich coloring), from the berry is absorbed directly in the blood vessel, providing a stronger and healthier barrier. This chain reaction decreases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The Blackberry Elderberry is the only species of the Sambucus family that is not poisonous. Elderberry refers to the name of a shrub.

The berries and the flowers (Elder Flower) are the only portions used for medicinal purposes, and the berries must be cooked before use.  The leaves, bark, and roots are toxic and should be avoided.

Method: Edible elderberry is available in different forms: syrup, lozenges, and tea. The recommended dose differs depending on the form you are using.

If you are trying to combat a cold, cough, or flu, use elderberry within the first 48 hours of any symptoms.

Recommended:

11. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Globulus)

eucalyptus herb fresh green leaves
Eucalyptus is one of the world’s most important herbs. The leaves come from tall evergreen trees that originated in Australia and Tasmania.

The benefits from eucalyptus’s essential oils or tea leaves are endless. The oils are used to treat infections, pain, anxiety, cancer, diabetes, digestive problems, dermatitis, asthma, upper respiratory infections, mastitis, sore throat, colds, flus, spasms, leprosy, encephalitis.

A study was published in The Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical BioMedicine in 2012, showed that E. Globulus’s natural antibiotic effect was strong enough to combat the gram negative bacteria (E. coli), as well as gram positive bacteria (S. aureus).

E. coli and S. aureus are infections that can be life threatening for people with weakened immune systems, due to its resilience against antibiotics.

Method: You can use Eucalyptus’s essential oils for topical use, a humidifier additive, a spray, or aromatherapy use.

Recommended:

12. Goldenseal

goldenseal herb with fresh green leaves and white flowers
Goldenseal has antiseptic properties and boosts the immune system by activating the spleen. The spleen hosts many of your defense fighting cells.

Goldenseal contains Berberine, which activates macrophages–specialized white blood cells that attack bacteria, viruses, fungi, and cancer cells.

Method: Recommended dose is 10-15 drops, 2 to 3 times daily, for up to 10 days.

Recommended:

13. Garlic & Onion

garlic cloves white sliced onions scallions
Garlic and onions are packed with antioxidants. They are a powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal weapon against the common cold or the flu.

Garlic and onions contains allicin, a strong compound that appears shortly after it is sliced open, and before it is cooked.

Garlic – (Method): If you cannot handle eating the entire clove raw, you can hold a slice of garlic in your mouth and suck on the juices for 15 minutes.

You can also finely mince 1-2 cloves of garlic, mix it into a glass of water, and drink it.

Another method is to take the finely minced pieces and put it on a piece of fruit and cover it with honey. Honey is also soothing to the throat.

Onion – (Method): Try placing sliced onions around your house. It is believed to attract bacteria towards it while “cleansing the air”.

You can also steep raw sliced onions into honey and take spoonfuls the next day in intervals, like cough syrup.

Make sure to use more onions in your cooking when sick.

Recommended:

14. Vitamin D

vitamin d 3 coated pink pills packaged
Vitamin D is the only vitamin that is produced by our own bodies in sufficient amounts. The amount multiplies after exposure to sunlight.

The body can make all the Vitamin D it needs, following a 30-minute sunbathing session!

Vitamin D helps move calcium into the bones and also boosts our immune system. It does this by sending out neutrophils, monocytes, and natural killer (NK) cells to defend the body from intruding microbes.

Researchers have found a link to Vitamin D deficiency and influenza.

Multiple studies have found that Vitamin D blocks the replication of multiple strains of the flu and reduces the risk of the flu by 50%.

If you do not get at least 30 minutes of direct sunlight a day, it is best to eat a lot of foods rich in Vitamin D or take supplements.

Method: If you are going to take supplements, make sure to get D3 (cholecalciferol) and not D2 (ergocalciferol). The recommended daily dose is 2,000 IU.

Recommended:

15. Zinc

zinc zn green capsules
Zinc has been scientifically proven to decrease the symptoms of the common cold and flu.

Zinc is responsible for the proper functioning of over 3,000 proteins in the body. Zinc is also know to decrease blood pressure and maintain blood sugars.

Method: The recommended dose is at least 75 milligrams a day for the duration of the cold. Zinc is safe for pregnant and breast feeding women.

Recommended:

16. Ginger

ginger sliced roots and fresh tea
Ginger has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pain relieving properties.

Ginger has long been used by Ayurveda (originated from India 3,000 years ago) and Traditional Chinese Medicine (older than 2,000 years) – two of the oldest medical systems in the world.

According to Ayurvedic medicine, ginger has the power to boost the immune system, warm the body, and rid the lungs and sinuses of toxins.

Ginger has the ability to treat respiratory illnesses such as coughs, upper respiratory infections, and asthma. Western medicine has also recently shown links between ginger and asthma relief.

The aroma of ginger is also pleasant enough to soothe the body and aid in digestion. Because of this, ginger is also great to keep handy for anyone who easily gets nauseous.

Method: Slice up 1 cup of fresh ginger (peeled), 1 lemon (with some rind), and 1 pear.

Place it in a pot of filtered water. Boil the water for at least one hour. Mix with raw organic honey (great at soothing sore throats), and enjoy!

Supplements are a great option as well if the taste of ginger is too strong for you.

Recommended:

17. Cinnamon

cinnamon powder and sticks
Cinnamon comes from the bark of small trees found in Asia and the Middle East. Is it one of the oldest spices known today. It has been used by the ancient Egyptians as medicine and was considered more precious than gold.

Although most people only think of cinnamon as a sweet holiday spice, it is actually packed with nutrients – manganese, calcium, and fiber.

Some of the benefits of this spice include: antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, controls blood sugar, improves colon health, protects against heart disease, and boosts brain function.

Another benefit of this herb is that it is naturally sweet and low in calories!

There are two different kind of cinnamon: Cassia Cinnamon (cheap and can be toxic if taken in large amounts – found in most supermarkets) and Ceylon Cinnamon (pure, sweeter, more nutrient dense).

Method: Mix with 1 teaspoon of raw organic honey (great for cold, flu, and coughs) with 1/4 teaspoon of organic ceylon cinnamon.

Take twice a day for the duration of your cold. You can also make a tea consisting of cinnamon, honey, lemon, and ginger.

Recommended:

18. Oregano Oil

pure oregano essential oil dropper and plant
Oregano is one of nature’s most powerful antibiotic.

Oregano oil contains terpene and carvacrol. These are natural chemicals that actively fight off bacteria, fungus, yeasts, parasites, and viruses.

One study done by the United States Department of Agriculture found that oregano oil has such a robust reaction against germs that it could efficiently kill off Salmonella and E. coli infections.

Method: Take 2-3 drops, three time a day, during the duration of your cold or flu.

Make sure to have a glass of water handy to wash it down with – it is not the tastiest oil in the world.

Certain oregano oils do not come diluted (potent), so it is advised to place 5-6 drops into an empty vegetarian capsule and take it 3 times a day, for the duration of the cold or flu.

Recommended:

19. Coconut Oil

coconut oil solid white meat
Coconut oil is nature’s most powerful antiviral compound. Coconut oil contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which are digested differently and much quicker than other saturated fats.

MCTs go straight to the liver and is converted into energy or turned into ketones. They have positive effects on brain disorders such as seizures or Alzheimer’s Disease.

Coconut oil contains a large amount of lauric acid (also found in human breast milk) which is strong enough to kill harmful pathogens that cause life threatening infections.

The oil is effective in destroying viruses and bacteria that are found in the flu, measles, herpes, mononucleosis, liver disease, AIDS, lung infections, sinus infections, gonorrhea, gastric ulcers, ringworm, and toxic shock syndrome–just to name a few.

Coconut oil has the ability to kill off all the intruding pathogens, while doing no harm to our own healthy cells.

Saturated fats found in coconut oil can also maintain cholesterol. It lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol, while raising the HDL (good) cholesterol.

For weight watchers, coconut oil curbs the appetite, while increasing fat burning rates – especially around the abdomen area.

For external use, coconut oil is great for moisturizing the skin and hair, without clogging pores. It can also be used as a natural sunscreen (blocks 20% of harmful UV rays) and soothes sunburns.

Method: Take 1-2 tablespoons daily, year round to maintain a good immune system.

For best results, take two tablespoons daily at the first sign of a cold or flu.

Recommended:

20. Nasal Rinse

nasal rinse netty pot with saline salt water sinus irrigation

Nasal irrigation has been used for centuries and most likely originated from Indian Ayurveda medicine.

Nasal rinses are used to clear and unclog nasal passageways. Irrigation removes debris and irritants, while moisturizing and soothing inflamed mucous linings.

Methods: Mix 1 teaspoon of sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 cup of warm filtered water, 6-8 drops of betadine.

Use a neti pot or a bulb syringe to rinse out each nostril with your solution. Repeat 3 times daily.

Add 1 drop of diluted oregano oil to your mix for added antimicrobial effect.

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21. Foods to Avoid

fried unhealthy oily processed food
A high sugar diet can suppress the immune system, while causing even more inflammation throughout the body.

Fatty foods and processed/refined foods (hard to digest) and dairy products (produces excess mucous) should be avoided whenever you are feeling ill.

For optimal immune power you need to eat a diet that gives you lean proteins, broth based soups, teas, and bland or easy to digest foods.

Smokers are more susceptible at developing infections and are known to catch more colds than non-smokers. Smoking drags out the duration of a cold and causes harsher symptoms.

Final Word

There is no known cure for the common cold as of yet, but there are ways to battle the symptoms. If you want to avoid getting the cold, cough, or flu all together this season, you have to be proactive in caring for your immune system now.

It takes time and commitment to build up a strong immunity. If you do get sick, we wish you the speediest of recoveries, while using our natural home remedies.

Health Benefits & Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar (Organic With Mother)

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bragg organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar in glass jar with the

Vinegar has been used for centuries for various disinfectant and antimicrobial purposes. The most widely used vinegar in the natural health world is Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). ACV is one of the favorites and most universal when it comes to natural remedies.

Some of the uses of this vinegar are: anti-microbial, anti-fungal, increases immunity and fights cancer, stimulates weight loss, decreases the risk of heart disease and stroke, lowers cholesterol, and maintains blood sugar.

Apple cider vinegar is made in two steps. First, the apples are fermented with yeast. This process turns the natural sugars into alcohol. Then, the alcohol is fermented again, this time with bacteria. This process turns the apple alcohol into acetic acid.

Acetic acid is what gives vinegar its sour taste and pungent smell. ACV is made up of mostly acetic acid, and is where most of the health benefits come from. Small amounts of other acids found in vinegar are: malic acid and lactic acid.

If you’ve looked into organic apple cider at all, I’m sure you’ve heard of something called the “mother”.

What exactly is the “mother” in organic apple cider vinegar?

Well, the “mother” strands of protein in organic ACV consists of cellulose and acetic acid. These protein strands contain enzymes and beneficial bacteria that give the organic unfiltered vinegar its cloudy and cobweb-like appearance.

Some people believe the health benefits come from the “mother” strands, but there is no specific evidence to support this theory.

Apple cider vinegar is a very low caloric food (3 calories per tablespoon), but is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Some of the nutrients include potassium, magnesium, fiber, amino acids, and antioxidants (cancer fighting).

The taste of vinegar is very off putting for most people. If you keep consistently drinking a small amount everyday, you will most definitely get used to it and be able to reap the benefits of this wonderful vinegar.

Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)

apple cider vinegar detox bath remove toxins naturally for health

1. ACV Is a Good Anti-microbial and Anti-fungal Agent

Apple cider vinegar has been used to disinfect, preserve food, clear up acne, treat toe fungus, lice, warts, and inner ear infections. Vinegar has been shown to prevent E. Coli bacteria from growing and multiplying in food.

It also prevents the growth of harmful bacteria and fungus in our digestive tract. This is important because 80% of our immune system is in our GI system.

2. ACV Maintains Blood Sugar and Prevents Sugar Spikes

Apple cider vinegar increases the efficiency of insulin in breaking down sugar during a high-carb meal. High blood sugars, if untreated, will lead to serious health problems that effects every single organ of the body.

So pretty much, everyone can benefit from keeping their sugar levels in check.

3. ACV Intake Increases Weight Loss

A study done in Japan  in 2009 showed that subjects who took apple cider vinegar everyday for 12 weeks lost weight. After a daily intake
of 1 tablespoon and 2 tablespoons, subjects lost 2.6 lbs and 3.7 lbs (respectively). Vinegar also increases the sense of satiety after meals for longer periods of time.

4. ACV Lowers the Risk of Heart Disease and Stroke, While Lowering Cholesterol

Apple cider vinegar lowers triglycerides. Triglycerides causes fatty plaque along your arteries. This buildup can lead to a blockage of blood flow or a sudden rupture, causing a heart attacks or stroke.

Lowering of cholesterol is made possible by pectin, which is found in apples and its vinegar. Pectin is a complex carbohydrate, a soluble fiber.

Pectin has many beneficial health benefits. The way it works on cholesterol is that the LDL (bad cholesterol) binds itself to the pectin, and is then carried out of the body as waste.

5. ACV Fights Against Cancer and Builds Up Our Immune System

Apple cider vinegar is an alkalizing food that restores the alkaline/acid balance of our body. This is important because cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment.

A slightly more alkaline state is less inviting towards cancerous cells. A study done in 2004 showed evidence of vinegar killing cancerous cells and also shrinking the size of tumors.

Check out 20 Best Natural Home Remedies For the Cold, Cough & Flu.

Ways of Enjoying Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar ways to enjoy fresh apples drink

You can drink apple cider vinegar straight, mix it in teas, sprinkle it over food or salads, or apply it topically. For people who cannot stand the taste, there is a less effective pill form.

The recommended dose is 1-2 teaspoons a day. The more your body gets used to vinegar, you can drink up to 1-2 tablespoons a day.

After personally drinking ACV everyday for about 6 months, I’ve noticed less acne on my face, better bowel movements, less bloating, faster metabolism, soothes my sore throats, and decreases odors in my urine.

I drink about 2 teaspoons a day every night. I mix it with raw organic honey (to sweeten), ceylon cinnamon, and a dash of cayenne pepper cayenne pepper, and warm water.

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Other Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar

apples red fresh juicy fresh fruit

1. Helps Heartburn

Acid reflux is actually caused by your stomach not having enough acid. When your stomach doesn’t have enough acid, it churns violently to digest the food with the little acid that it does have.

During this process, the stomach spills content upwards towards the esophagus, causing heartburn.

Apple cider vinegar stimulates the saliva production and causes the stomach to produce adequate amounts of digestive acid. When your heartburn is acting up, drink 1 teaspoon of ACV.

If that’s too strong for you to stomach, try dropping 5-6 drops of ACV onto your tongue.

Check out 18 Best Natural Home Remedies for Heartburn & Acid Reflux Relief.

2. Gets Rid of Bad Breath

Apple cider vinegar gets rid of bad breath due to its anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. Mix 2 teaspoons of ACV to a cup of water, gargle.

3.Neutralizes the Smell of Stinky Urine

It can quickly decrease the odor of cat-smelling urine after drinking apple cider vinegar for a few days. You can also add it to your load of laundry to get rid of smells.

4. Gets Rid of Hiccups

Apple cider vinegar soothes the digestive tract by balancing the alkaline and acid properties of the body. Drink a teaspoon straight.

5. Use as a Natural Non-toxic Household Disinfectant

Mix 1:1 ratio of water and apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle. Then add 3-4 drops of your favorite essential oil to the mix.

6. Soothes a Sore Throat

Mix 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar, 1-2 teaspoon of raw organic honey (honey is also great at soothing sore throats), a dash of ceylon cinnamon (anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory), a dash of cayenne pepper (anti-microbial, regulates blood flow), hot water.

Let it cool down and drink the tea when it’s warm. It’s not good to drink hot liquids when your throat is already inflamed.

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7. Use as Salad Dressing

You can add olive oil and apple cider vinegar to your favorite salad.

Recipe for Organic Salad Dressing:

  • 1 teaspoons of organic olive oil
  • 3 teaspoon of raw ACV
  • Add a dash of freshly grounded peppercorns
  • Add a dash of sea salt or pink himalayan salt to taste

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8. Stops Pets From Biting Cords and Furniture

Rub some apple cider vinegar onto the tempting furniture. Repeat after a few days. ACV is not harmful to your pets. Some people even put ACV onto their pets skin to ward off pesky fleas.

9. Detoxes Your Body

First thing in the morning, drink an apple cider vinegar drink. Gulp down 2 teaspoons of ACV, mixed into some honey, and 1 tall glass of filtered water.

Afterwards, you should expect to have a bowel movement within 30 minutes. Drink once or twice a day, everyday for a healthier body.

Check out How to Detox & Cleanse Your Body Naturally – 4 Best Options.

10. Uses as a Facial Toner

Apple cider vinegar can be used as a facial toner or mixed into face masks. It improve the pH balance of your face and decreases acne.

Depending on how sensitive your skin is, add more or less ACV. Add 1 tablespoon of ACV to 1 cup of warm filtered water. Use this mix to lightly clean your face, with a cotton round.

Check out 6 Best Homemade DIY Face Masks for Acne – Recipes on How to Make.

11. Controls Hunger and Sugary Cravings, While Increasing Your Energy

Before lunch, mix 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into water and drink 10-15 minutes before your meal. This will improve digestion and keep you full for longer.

12. Use It in Your Bath

Add 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 cup of Epsom Salt, and a few drops of Lavender Essential Oil to your bath water.

Check out 4 Best Natural Detox Bath Recipes & Salts.

13. Gets Rid of Dandruff

Mix 1:1 ratio of apple cider vinegar and water into a spray bottle. After shampooing your hair, spray this mix onto your scalp and let it sit for about 15 minutes, rinse. Repeat everyday until your dandruff problem goes away.

14. Gets Rid of Foot Odor

Kill fungal infections of the feet with an apple cider vinegar foot bath. Mix 1 cup of ACV into warm water and soak feet for 15-20 minutes.

15. Washes Fruits and Vegetables

Apple cider vinegar removes pesticides and harmful chemicals from your fruits and veggies. Add 2 tablespoons to a bowel of water, then add your fruits and veggies. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes.

Final Word

If you’ve decided to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your daily remedies, congratulations. Make sure your ACV is raw, organic, unfiltered, contains the “mother”, and comes in a glass bottle.

The most reputable brand of ACV is Bragg Apple Cider vinegar, Unfiltered Raw, Organic. ACV will not cure you from all your diseases but it does have great health benefits, without nasty side effects.

8 Best Natural Home Remedies For Constipation That Work Fast

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constipation stomach pain bloated toilet

Most everyone will experience constipation in their lives. Constipation affects 63 million Americans, resulting in 6.3 million doctor visits each year. Although it’s not widely talked about, we all want better poop. According to the Bristol Stool Chart, an ideal poop is a type 4-6 (stool chart).

There are so many different medications, herbs, and gimmicks out there on the market today that claim to cure constipation. So how do we know which is the best method? Let me just first start off by saying, “stay away from laxatives.” Nowadays, everyone wants a quick fix with minimal work, which is why laxatives are so popular. But in reality, this 600 million dollar pharmaceutical industry is doing your body more harm than good.

What to Avoid During Constipation

So what do laxatives really do? Fat and calories are mostly all absorbed in the small intestine, so they are not affected as much. Laxatives cause the body to lose important water weight, essential vitamins, electrolytes and other minerals in the colon (large intestine).

Electrolytes are minerals that regulate every organ and roadmap of your body. Electrolytes include sodium, chloride, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Laxatives can cause dangerous imbalances that can activate threatening emergencies such as seizures, sudden confusion, irregular heartbeats, severe muscle weakness, or chest pain.

There are three main types of laxatives:

  1. Osmotic laxatives pull important fluid into the intestines over a period of a few days. This pulls fluid into hard stools and turns the contents into diarrhea. This can lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, painful cramping, and bloating.
  2. Stimulant laxatives are harsh chemicals that activate unnatural spasms and contractions of the lining of the colon. They work fast but they also cause diarrhea, dehydration, painful cramping, and bloating. Long term use can cause “lazy bowel syndrome”, which can lead to dependence on continual laxative use, just to have regular bowel movement.
  3. Bulk-Forming laxatives cause small hard stools to increase in mass. This might help the stool to move along more easily, but it can also cause more blockage. Adding more mass to an already clogged stool leads to painful passage, anal bleeding, and fecal impaction.

Another unusual culprit of constipation is fiber. Fiber is one of the main foods that people think of when trying to obtain a healthy digestive system. Against contrary belief, too much fiber can actually cause constipation, uncomfortable bloating, and painful gas pains.

Fiber is found in plant parts, fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Fiber causes stools to become tough and bulky. Too much functional fiber can cause straining, tears along the inside of the intestinal tract, hemorrhoids, and anal lacerations (bleeding).

There are two types of fiber: Dietary Fiber and Functional or Isolated Fiber. Dietary fibers are naturally found in foods. Functional or Isolated fibers are unnaturally extracted from plants. Of course some fiber in our diet is good, but just don’t overdue it. Too much of any one thing is never good – everything in moderation.

Constipation usually isn’t life threatening. So why deal with it? First off, it’s uncomfortable and it can ruin a perfectly good day. It can also prevent your body from properly ridding of toxins, which can overtime lead to colorectal cancer or other gastrointestinal disorders. There are many different ways that blockage can be dealt with. Everyone’s body works differently, but if you find a few remedies that work best for you, you’ll be having rock star poop (type 4-6) in no time.

Let’s move onto some remedies that naturally help with constipation. Keep in mind that some of these remedies should be only used for 2-4 days, and no longer than 2 weeks at a time.

Natural Remedies For Constipation

1. Oils

organic coconut meat with raw unfiltered oil

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Caster Oil, Almond Oil, or Coconut Oil can be used to treat constipation fairly quickly. Oils lubricate the digestive tract and create a smoother passage through the colon due to its texture and consistency. Oils contain essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants (cancer fighting), and Omega-3 (brain food). They also stimulate the gallbladder to release bile. Bile then helps to break down the fats in our food.

Always try to get organic products to eliminate GMO’s (“genetically modified organisms”), MSG (monosodium glutamate) and other chemicals from entering your body. Organic oils contain pure oils, while others have a mix of pesticides, chemicals, artificial agents, and fillers of other cheaper oils.

Methods: 1-2 teaspoons once or twice a day (start slow and increase the amount if a low dose isn’t working). You can drink the oil by itself on an empty stomach, mix it with water, coffee, smoothies, juice, or sprinkled over salads. You can also mix in flax seeds to the oil for extremely effective results. Make sure not to take flax seed oil because it does not have the high amounts of dietary fiber that the seeds do.

If you tend to have a more sensitive stomach, try not to take oils on an empty stomach. It can cause queasiness and slight stomach pains when taken by itself. For babies with constipation or gas pains, mix 2 teaspoons of coconut oil with homemade formula.

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2. Magnesium

magnesium capsule orange supplement vitamin

Magnesium is an important electrolyte. About half of our magnesium stores are in our bones, and the rest work on cell functions. It plays a huge role in regulating our muscles, heart rhythm, bowels, and immune system. Magnesium’s laxative effects are widely utilized by major drug companies. Magnesium supplements can relax the muscles in the intestines and attract water back into the colon.

As a daily bowel regulator, do not take more magnesium than what is recommended. An over abundance of electrolytes can cause serious disruptions to the body. It can also interfere with certain medications, such as diuretics, chemo drugs, and antibiotics. You should not take these supplements if you have kidney problems because like most drugs, magnesium is excreted through the kidneys. If sufficient excretion is not possible, you will be left with high levels of magnesium circulating in your body. Also, make sure the supplements are not mixed with calcium, which has constipating effects.

Method: Take a daily supplement of 300-400 milligrams at night with some water and expect to have a bowel movement by morning time.

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3. Organic Blackstrap Molasses

blackstrap molasses thick sweet syrup jar

Blackstrap molasses is an older remedy for constipation. Molasses is made from boiled pure cane sugar. It has the lowest sugar content and the highest nutritional value out of all sugars. Molasses contains high doses of magnesium and potassium, which are two strong contenders in the battle against constipation.

Molasses works fairly quickly on hardened poop by drawing fluid into the bowels and moistening hard stool. Blackstrap molasses is alkaline (balances the pH value in the stomach) which allows the intestines to form proper stools and regulates digestion.

Some other nutrients you will find in blackstrap molasses are: manganese (regulates the nervous system), iron (blackstrap molasses’s iron does not cause constipation), calcium (helps to remove waste and other toxins from the colon), copper (rids the body of cancer causing free radicals), and vitamin B6 (regulates blood sugars, nerves, and brain function).

Method: Take 1-2 tablespoons by itself, mixed with warm water, organic apple cider vinegar, juice, or used as a sweetener for food. Make sure to use organic molasses to avoid ingesting sulfate. Use this remedy for a few weeks at a time.
For babies who have constipation or gas pains: try giving them 1 teaspoon of molasses mixed with 1 ounce of cooled boiled water, 3 times a day, right before regular feedings.

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4. Probiotics

probiotics plain yogurt healthy

Probiotics are necessary for a healthy immune system. They are also a great and natural way to battle constipation. How does probiotics work on hard stool? Intestinal flora (good bacteria) is responsible for keeping stools loose and retaining moisture in the intestines. When your poop lacks healthy bacteria, it turns into rock hard pebbles.

A lot of times good bacterias are wiped out accidentally by things that are used to kill bad bacteria. These include: antibiotics (pill form, in our milk, meat, fish), surgeries, diarrhea (flushes out good and bad bacteria), colon cleanses, too much fiber (destroys bacterial membranes), protein deficiency (protein creates mucin which is needed to create intestinal mucous, where bacterial flora thrives).

Most commercial yogurts with advertised probiotics are usually not good substitutes. These yogurts go through a high-heat sterilization process during manufacturing, to create a longer shelf life. By the time they get to you, the active bacterias are usually “dead.” Probiotics are also a safe remedy for constipation for pregnant women.

Test your yogurt/pills to see if they contain live bacteria (probiotics): 
Supplies: 1 container (plastic or kitchenware) and milk (does not matter if it is whole milk or 1% milk).

  1. Testing Yogurt. Place your yogurt and milk (1:2 ratio) into one container. Wait 8-10 hours, or overnight. The live bacteria should have caused your yogurt to multiply and grow.
  2. Testing Probiotic Pills. Place 1/2 cup of milk into a container. Split open 2-3 pills and pour the contents into the milk. Mix well. Wait 8-10 hours, or overnight. The bacteria in the pills should have caused the milk to form curdles or clumps.

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5. Flush Your System

fresh bottled drinking water to flush your system

As soon as you wake up, drink 2 full glasses of water on an empty stomach. Leave about 20-30 minutes in between your water and breakfast. If your constipation isn’t too bad, you should be on the toilet in about 30-60 minutes.

Everything slows down while you’re asleep and the sudden water intake stirs up your sleepy bowels. This method works best in the morning. Although this method works nicely, do not drink gallons and gallons of water throughout the day.

Contrary to popular belief, too much water can actually cause dehydration and constipation. The more water you drink, the more essential vitamins and minerals, such as Calcium and Magnesium (in all your bones, teeth, joints, and heart) and Potassium (key mineral responsible for keeping your stools moist and fluffy) are flushed away with your urine.

The more you drink, the more you’ll pee – causing a decrease in important electrolytes that are responsible for keeping your digestive system regular. This electrolyte imbalance causes your body to dehydrate, and the more dehydrated you are, the more water you’ll need to “quench the thirst”.

A study done in Japan in 2006 of 3,835 subjects, showed that constipation was not associated with low fiber or low water intake, but rather, it was associated with low magnesium intake and low intake of water from foods.

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6. Massages/Acupuncture

acupuncture with back needles soothing massage therapy

Studies in The Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine have proven that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is highly effective in treating constipation. Blockage can be caused by a reduction in the flow of Qi (pronounced “chee”), excess cold, or excess heat in the body.

Qi (vital energy) is influenced by the two life forces – Ying and Yang. When these forces are interrupted or blocked, it effects the flow of one’s overall health. Go to a reputable acupuncturist or masseuse and ask them if they have a specialized therapy for digestion.

7. Go When Nature Calls

constipated go when nature calls don't hold it in blockage

If you have the urge to go, GO! Every time you wait and hold it in, your colon reabsorbs more and more fluid from your stool. This causes your poop to become hardened.

If you do not have access to a bathroom throughout the day, you can try to train your body to have a bowel movement around the same time everyday. For most people, this is usually at the beginning or end of the day.

8. Positions

squatty potty demonstration under the toilet white

The invention of the modern flush toilet is still fairly new. Most of the world still squats to poop. Some experts say that squatting reduces straining, anal fistulas, hemorrhoids, and constipation. Squatting helps the Puborectalis muscle to open, and allows for a more complete emptying.

Method: While sitting on the toilet, place stepping stools or large books under each foot. Prop your legs up on them as high as they will go, to mimic a squatting position. To achieve the most natural and most comfortable squatting position (while still having the comfort of sitting on the toilet seat), try using a Squatty Potty.

Squatty pottys comes in different heights, ranging from a beginner-level squatter to a more experienced squatter. When not in use, it slides neatly underneath the toilet seat and out of the way. Squatty pottys make a great gift – especially for people who would be too shy to buy one for themselves.

Final Word

Constipation may not seem like an urgent matter, but it is your body’s way of letting you know when something is not running right. It could also be an underlying warning to a bigger issue. Either way, don’t let constipation ruin your day by unconsciously slowing you down. Listen to your body, find a natural remedy that works for you, and let your system run its course. Constipation is not going to be fixed overnight, but with these remedies, you should be happily flushing in a few days.

16 Best Natural Home Remedies For Anxiety & Depression

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anxiety disorder stress headache pain

We have all had some sort of stress in our lives. Stress is not inherently bad – it helps us learn how to cope and deal with difficult problems through trial and error. This experience gives us wisdom on how to battle even harder dilemmas as we get older.

Anxiety

Chronic stressors in our lives can turn into anxiety. Anxiety becomes a problem when it gets in the way of our everyday life, by causing dysfunction and a lot of suffering.

Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in the United States. It affects over 40 million Americans at some point in their lives, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Most people develop symptoms before the age of 21, and 60% of sufferers are women.

Anxiety can come in many different forms. The most common types of anxiety are: Panic Disorder, Phobias, Social Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

Common symptoms that are associated with anxiety are: excessive worrying, sleep disturbances (staying awake, waking up with your mind racing, falling asleep), irrational fears, muscle tension, chronic indigestion, self-consciousness.

The most common types of anti-anxiety medications are called Benzodiazepines. Benzodiazepines are tranquilizers. Of this class of drugs, the most prevalent types are Xanax, Klonopin, Valium, and Ativan. The attractiveness about these medications are that they work fast — usually within 30 minutes. Benzodiazepines work fast and because of this, they are addicting. Never try to stop your medications suddenly, but slowly taper down the dosage while under the supervision of a licensed professional.

Tranquilizers and other anti-anxiety drugs are exactly like they sound — they replace your personality with a flat affect, emotional bluntness, and numbness. After long-term use, they can bring about extreme depression and suicidal thoughts and feelings.

More severe side effects are Mania, hostility and rage, aggressive or impulsive behavior, or hallucinations. They become additionally toxic to your body when mixed with other drugs, such as antihistamines. In patients over the age of 65, these medications can cause over-sedation, confusion, amnesia, loss of balance, and symptoms similar to dementia.

Depression

Depression occurs in 1 out of every 10 Americans at some point of their lives. According to the CDC, depression results in 41,149 suicides every year. Depression is one of the most common mental health disorders in the United States.

Common symptoms that are associated with depression are: feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, loss of interest in daily activities, appetite or weight changes, sleep changes, anger or irritability, loss of energy, self-loathing, reckless behavior.

The most common types of depression medications are SSRIs. In this group, the most frequently used are Prozac and Zoloft. Never stop taking your prescription medications suddenly, but rather, slowly taper down the dosage while under the supervision of a licensed professional.

There have also been numerous studies showing that more traffic accidents happen with people who are under the influence of prescription anti-anxiety and anti-depression medications. There are numerous pharmaceutical medications that can ease the mind, but it usually comes at a heavy price. The side effects from these prescriptions drugs are just nasty and harmful to the body.

Unfortunately, even with these available medications, there are no quick fixes to mental disorders. Instead of drowning your symptoms with tranquilizing drugs, it is much more important to take the time to get to know what the root cause of your illness is.

Natural Remedies for Anxiety & Depression

Below are some natural remedies that can help you (with or without the help of therapy and prescription medications) battle symptoms of mental disorders without any known adverse effects or addicting qualities.

Herbal Supplements

Natural herbs may take several weeks to take effect, so do not increase the dosage if results are not seen right away. If you have co-existing health problems, always consult with a physician before taking these supplements.

1. GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) Supplements

neurotransmitter gaba supplements mechanism nerve ends

GABA is a naturally occurring neurotransmitter (transporter of messages between nerve ends) that is found in the brain. It regulates brain activity and muscle tone. GABA slows down excessive neuron firing that can cause mental health disorders.

GABA supplements work similarly to benzodiazepines and SSRIs. They reduce anxiety and depression by positively interacting with GABA receptors.

Caffeine and alcohol inhibits GABA, so if you suffer from a mental illness, try to limit or cut them out altogether.

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2. Kava

kava root dried herb supplement

Kava is a natural supplement that is extracted from the herb Piper Methysticum. It is widely used by Pacific Islanders.

Kava activates GABA receptors in the brain, which calms neurological activity. It also causes deep muscle relaxation, aids in effective sleep, elevates mood, and regulates emotional activity.

Amazingly, Kava has no known adverse side effects. Some studies have noted rare cases of Kava impacting the liver, but it has yet to be fully proven.

Kava root can be boiled in water and used as a tea. It also comes in the forms of pills or liquid. The recommended daily dose is 60-120 milligrams, for no longer than 3 months at a time.

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3. Passion Flower

passion flower bloomed beautiful purple and white flower

Passion Flower has been used for centuries by the Native Americans, Aztecs, Spaniards, and Europeans. This flower has powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-depressive, and anti-anxiety properties.

Passion flower is also great at fighting against sleeplessness, nervousness, stress, neuralgia, and anxious tachycardia (racing heartbeat).

A plus side to this herb is that there are no known toxicity or negative medication interactions. Passion Flower comes in the form of teas, liquids, and pills.

Do not take this herb with other sedatives, and take it in moderation. Too much can cause a decrease in your heart rate and breathing. There is no standard recommended daily dose, but the quantity should be monitored carefully due to its sedative properties.

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4. L-theanine

l theanine tea with leaves and flowers

L-theanine is one of the main amino acids found in green and black tea leaves. It helps the body to stay calm, focused, and decreases stress. It also raises the level of dopamine (promotes feelings of happiness and pleasure) and GABA (relaxing neurotransmitter).

L-theanine also uplifts mood, helps with ADHD symptoms, boosts focus and concentration, assists in effective sleep, detoxes the body, and even reduces cravings for nicotine – all without making you feel drowsy or jittery.

The recommended dose is 100-200 milligrams a day.

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5. Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis)

lemon balm with fresh and dried leaves

Lemon balm is an herb that has been used for centuries by the Greeks. It has been used for improving mood and agitation, bacterial fighting properties, stopping muscle spasms, aiding in effective sleep, enhancing attention and cognition, and calming mental health disorders.

This herb is also an old remedy used by the Europeans for alleviating pains from gas and bloating, vomiting, cold sores, earaches, headaches, and toothaches.

Lemon balm comes in the form of oils, teas, whole leaves, and liquid. The recommended dose is 2-3 teaspoons of the dried herb, or 4-5 fresh leaves per cup of water. If using a tincture, take 3-6 milliliters, up to 3 times a day.

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6. Teas: Chamomile, Lavender, Catnip

chamomile tea with flowers and teabag

Chamomile is one of the oldest medicinal herbs. There have been many successful studies from around the world, proving the effects of Chamomile.

This herb is used to treat inflammation, cancer, cold and flu, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, eczema, hemorrhoids, osteoporosis, diabetes, sore throat, vaginitis, and wounds.

Inhalation of vaporized Chamomile essential oils are widely used to help ease anxiety, depression and insomnia.

The desired effects take place after a few weeks of daily use. Chamomile has no known adverse side effects and is non-habit forming. This herb can also be safely enjoyed as a tea or with aromatherapy.

For boosted effects, try adding lavender or Catnip to your teas or fragrances.

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Vitamins & Minerals

Remember to get your blood levels checked during your annual physical to make sure that you are taking optimal dosages for your body. It is important to let your doctor know of any supplements you are taking.

7. Vitamin B Complex

vitamin b sunflower seeds

The Vitamin B Complex converts food into energy, keeps the central nervous system running properly, and preserves brain health. It also helps to maintain healthy hair, nails, eyes, skin, and liver. There are 8 different kinds of vitamin B’s and each one has a unique function.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) – first discovered out of all the Vitamin B’s) builds up the immune system and helps us combat stress. It also forms adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which the cells use to make energy.

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) is responsible for the serotonin synthesis, which fights against depression. Niacin also improves circulation and decreases inflammation throughout the body.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) makes serotonin and norepinephrine, which affects mood and the production of melatonin (internal body clock). Serotonin and norepinephrine are neurotransmitters – chemicals that communicate signals from one nerve cell to another. Pyridoxine is also necessary for normal brain function and development.

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) works closely together with Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) to make S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe). SAMe builds up the immune system and improves mood and mental health. Cobalamin and Folic Acid keeps nerve cells healthy, utilizes iron to make red blood cells, and aids in the synthesis of DNA and RNA (your body’s genetic makeup).

Use the indicated dosage listed on the label or the prescribed amount by your doctor.

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8. Magnesium

magnesium supplement capsules purple pill

A study published in the Medical Hypothesis in 2006 by Eby and Eby, stated that serious and suicidal depression could be caused by a magnesium deficiency. It could further cause a decrease in IQ and negatively influence addictions.

Low levels of magnesium and T4 levels also cause hypothyroidism, a known cause of depression and anxiety. This type of stress can then account for a further magnesium reduction, causing an endless cycle.

Postpartum depression is another argument relating to magnesium deficiency. It is caused by the fetus and placenta depleting large amounts of magnesium from its mother. Lactation is also known to be draining of vital vitamins and nutrients.

The article by Eby and Eby showcase numerous studies that reveal drastic improvements of depression and anxiety, from the treatment of monitored magnesium supplements. According to the article, the recommended dose is at least 400-600 milligrams per day, to enable positive effects on stress and prevention of neuronal calcium ion injury.

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9. Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol)

vitamin d3 foods plate examples

Vitamin D3 increases immunity, bone and heart health, and helps the body fight off cancerous cells. It is naturally produced by our bodies when it comes into contact with the sun’s UV rays.

Vitamin D3 also battles against seasonal anxiety and depression. Many people who live in urban areas are deficient, so it is crucial to get adequate amounts of supplements during the winter months, when sun exposure is reduced.

If you are deficient, your doctor will prescribe you an appropriate dosage. For maintenance purposes, a healthy dose of 2,000 IU per day is sufficient.

Make sure to take Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), and not Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), which is the non-effective synthetic form.

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10. Omega-3 (Fish Oil)

fish oil omega 3 supplements capsules

Fish oil contains Essential Fatty Acids (EFA). EFA’s are polyunsaturated fats derived from linolenic (Omega-3), linoleic (Omega-6), and oleic acids. These are essential fats (our body cannot produce them on its own) so it is crucial that they are obtained from our diet.

The balanced ratio that is needed by our bodies of Omega-6 and Omega-3 is between 2:1-4:1. Due to the American diet, our ratios have become 10:1-30:1, meaning a large chunk of the population is lacking in Omega-3.

Omega-3 is important for decreasing inflammation throughout the body. Decreasing inflammation helps prevent heart disease, autoimmune diseases, stroke, and mental illnesses (inflammation of the brain). It is also well known that Omega-3’s are effective at fighting depression and anger.

Fatty fish such as salmon, herring, trout, krill, canned tuna, and sardines contain a good amount of Omega-3. The daily recommended dose is 1,000 milligrams.

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Alternative Therapies

11. Walks in Green Areas – “Forest Bathing”

greenery forest bathing nature walk dirt path

The effects of “Forest Bathing” have been widely researched in Japan and South Korea. These high stressed countries have the highest suicide rates in the world.

Other countries are adapting their therapies after they’ve seen successful declines in anxiety, depression, cortisol – stress hormone (by 12.4%), blood pressure (by 12 points), and increases in cancer fighting proteins and disease fighting Natural Killer (NK) immune cells (by 40%).

Qing Li, an immunologist in Japan also found that NK cells and anticancer proteins (granulysin, granzymes A and B, and perforin – cause tumor cells to self destruct) increased in the presence of Cypress tree oils and aromas, during a petri dish experiment.

This study also revealed that the effects of hiking a full day through natural woods or forests can last up to 7 days in our bodies.

When forest bathing, try not to bring your cellphones, headphones, or any other electronics. Anything that can distract you from taking in all of nature can decrease or negate the therapy effects.

Walking through greenery also helps increase in attention (great for children with ADHD), mood, short term memory, ability to sleep, and feeling less fatigued.

In urban settings where forests are hard to come by, hiking under trees, walking through parks or bodies of water, and gardening are also beneficial.

Check out these links to find a forest or park near you:

12. The 21-Minute Cure

exercise aerobics running in nature 21 minute cure

There have been many studies done on the effects of exercise, and its ability in reducing anxiety. Research has proven that exercising at least 21 minutes can release enough endorphins to decrease anxiety. The best type of cardio exercise to combat anxiety was found to be aerobics.

If you start working out and don’t feel any better from it right away, don’t give up! Effects from exercising usually takes place after an 8-week commitment. Exercise also helps with other symptoms – increasing alertness, concentration, and aiding against sleep disturbances.

Higher temperatures also relaxes the body, so if you can get away, take a vacation to somewhere tropical. But if you can’t take time off, spend a few hours at a local spa or sauna and unwind in a Jacuzzi or the steam rooms.

Pick any heart pumping exercise that interests you (e.g. running, swimming, speed walking, dancing) and work out at least 3-4 days a week.

If you don’t know where to start or can’t get to a gym, check out the links below for easy-to-follow 21 minute exercises:

13. Yoga

yoga exercise aerobics girl with pink mat

Research has shown that Yoga reduces levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in the brain.

This meditative exercise is also recommended for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, headaches, asthma, depression, arthritis, obesity, and back pain. People with anxiety usually have other co-morbidities, so yoga is a good option to help tackle a few ailments at once.

Yoga works to flush out toxins through the skin (detox), increase focus, build confidence, and boost concentration.

There are different levels and types of yoga, so pick a class that best matches you. If you don’t like being in groups, or are self-conscious about working out in front of other people, try playing a yoga video (while following along) in the comfort of your own home.

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14. Breathing Exercises

breathing exercise in nature meditation

The way you breathe may be contributing to your anxiety and panic attacks. Deep breathing exercises is also proven to improve your mood and stress level. There are two ways people breathe – chest breathing and abdominal breathing.

When people are anxious or have panic attacks, they tend to take shallow breaths that come from the chest, and not from the diaphragm (abdomen). This type of breathing prevents air from properly flowing through and oxygenating the body.

Try adapting these 3 breathing exercises to your daily routine to help decrease the frequency and severity of anxiety attacks. Note that these exercises may initially make your anxiety worse. If it does, stop, then try again the next day. Deep breathing exercises is also proven to improve your mood and stress level.

The goal is to get used to controlling your breathing so that if you do feel an attack coming on, you can use these exercises to de-escalate.

Breathing Exercises

  1. Deep breaths from the Abdomen (“4-7-7”). You can do this exercise laying down, sitting, or standing up. Go to a quiet area and place your hands on your abdomen. (This will help you focus on stomach-breathing and not chest-breathing). Inhale through your nose while keeping the shoulders relaxed. Your stomach should be expanding while your chest moves very little. Exhale slowly through pursed lips. While exhaling, you should hear a “whoosh” sound coming from your lips. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, then exhale slowly for 7 seconds. Repeat for several minutes.
  2. Accelerated Breathing (“Bellow Breaths”). Bellow Breaths is an exercise that incorporates fast and noisy breathing – at a rate of 30 breaths per minute. This causes a feeling of elation, followed by calmness. Do 3 inhale-and-exhale breath cycles per second. You should feel the abdomen moving quickly in and out. For the first time, only do up to 15 seconds. As you practice, slowly work your way up to a full minute.
  3. Counting Breaths. Counting breaths helps you focus on your breathing, while taking your focus away from whatever is making you anxious. Try to do 10 minutes of this type of breathing in a quiet place, as a form of meditation. Sit up with your spine straight and chin slightly tucked in. After one inhale-and-exhale, count one. After the next exhale, count 2, and so on, until 5. After 5 cycles, start a new round of 1-to-5.

15. Keep a Journal

journaling with leather journals

Keeping a journal is effective at relieving stress, improving emotional imbalances, and documenting your experiences and thoughts. There is no right or wrong way to journal.

Writing can help you to sort through thoughts and emotions you never even knew you had. Sometimes it’s hard to comprehend what you’re going through, and when you see it on paper, you can start to better understand them.

Writing down how you’re feeling provides an outlet for your emotions. Noting past traumas or hurt can help you release negative thoughts, and help you move onto a happier state. Journaling is also a good way to look back on your life’s journey.

The advantages of writing is that there are no rules – it just provides a creative way to express your thoughts and emotions.

Journals to help get you started when you just don’t know where to begin:

16. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol

too much coffee limit your caffeine and alcohol

If you’re prone to mental health disorders, it is best to stay away from caffeine and alcohol. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system.

Although it increases concentration and alertness, it can exasperate symptoms for people with anxiety — such as rapid heart rates and sweaty palms. While cutting out the caffeine, remember that it is also in teas, chocolate, coffee, and sodas.

Alcohol works the opposite way of caffeine. It slows things down and causes a state of excitability and a feeling of euphoria. When consumed in large amounts, alcohol can cause rapid heart rates, low blood sugars, and increased feeling of anxiety.

These types of self-medicating measures can cause dependence on alcohol, and possibility to other drugs, such as marijuana. It is important to let your doctor know how much caffeine and alcohol you are drinking, and how frequently.

Final Word

If you suffer from a serious mental illness, you may need to take pharmaceutical medications and participate in therapy sessions. But if your symptoms are moderate, these natural home remedies can help start you on your path to finding your inner peace.

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