Monday, 12 March 2012

Home Remedies for Hangovers

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, I have been getting requests for hangover remedies. Well, your wish is my command. We all know what it is like, to wake up in the morning and feel like you had too much to drink the night before. You partied from sundown to sunup and now you’re paying the price. You have a pounding headache, you feel queasy, dizzy and your muscles ache. You probably have a hangover.

Although we do not like to think of it as such, alcohol is actually a drug. Alcohol is a depressant, and when taken in excess, it fills your body with toxins. Your hangover the next morning is simply your body trying to get rid of those toxins. So, here are a few remedies to ease the suffering next time you experience a dreadful hangover.
Honey contains fructose and replenishes natural sugars that your body has lost. Honey on toast, honey in tea, a spoon full of honey or my personal favorite honey, lemon and hot water. Replenishing your bodies natural sugars will prevent you from getting a nasty headache.

While you were drinking and peeing like a racehorse, a great deal of potassium drained from your body. Bananas are bursting with potassium and will give your body a much-needed kick. You can try making a smoothie with bananas and an all-natural fruit juice. This combination will give your body both natural sugars and potassium, best of both worlds!

Hangovers are greatly caused by dehydration of the body. If you can remember one thing while intoxicated, remember to drink as much water as possible. Not only before bed but also during your night. This will nip dehydration in the bud, allowing you to feel much better in the morning.

Taking a multivitamin, before bed or when you wake up in the morning, is the most effective remedy that I have come across. This simply replaces all the vitamins your body has lost during your night of drinking and minimizes the potential for a hangover.

The next time you have had one drink too many, you can try any or all of these remedies. Just remember to drink and eat a good amount and avoid caffeine because it will only continue to dehydrate you, the opposite of what you want.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Green Tea

I’m sure everyone has tried a cup of green tea at one point or another. It has shown to be effective for aiding in weight loss, lowering cholesterol levels, and protecting skin from sun damage. But green tea is also used to prevent and treat a variety of cancers, including breast, stomach and skin cancers. There is some evidence that suggests green tea may even be useful in aiding diabetes and heart disease. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) is currently conducting research to learn more about the components in green tea and their effects.

Although I do not enjoy the taste of green tea, I must admit it has its benefits. A family tradition of mine combines green tea, a spoon full of honey and a splash of lemon juice. The combination is soothing for the stomach and throat; it tastes amazing and truly works. I have experienced times when Advil, Tylenol even Ibuprofen do not work for an extreme stomach ache or cramps. But, without a doubt I can always count on this tea combination to make me feel better.


So girls, next time you experience those extreme cramps you dread more than anything, mix up some green tea, honey and a splash of lemon juice. Sip and be patient, it works every time.  

Monday, 27 February 2012

Bottling my own Aloe Vera

Today, I took a trip to my grandparent’s house and couldn’t help but notice their extremely large aloe vera plant. As usual my grandmother sent me home with a handful of leaves and I decided to bottle them. I love to bottle aloe because it makes using it much more convenient.

First I had to cut the leaves off of the plant. We cut the oldest leaves meaning the biggest ones and closest to the ground. By slicing them off right at the intersection point you do the least harm to the plant and get the most out of each leaf. Later at home I used a very sharp knife and sliced the leaves in half long ways. I then took a spoon and shaved the inside of each leaf removing all the juices. I was unable to find an appropriately sized jar so I opted for a small plastic container. Now I have a container of aloe juice ready whenever I need to use it. I keep it in the fridge and it should stay good for a couple months.

I will use this aloe juice on my arms and hands for my eczema, on any cuts or scrapes, any zits, canker sores, skin infections, in a drink perhaps and so on and so forth. Try it; it’s worth the sticky mess. 

Monday, 20 February 2012

Under Eye Dark Circles

I used to think that those dark circles under my eyes were from staying up too late or being stressed. In reality people’s behavior is not at all linked to dark under-eye circles. Dark circles are not your fault, they do not mysteriously appear when you have done something wrong and they don’t vanish when you get more than 8 hours of sleep. They are however genetic, meaning if your parents suffer from them you more than likely do as well and so will your children.

These dark under-eye circles are nothing to worry about but never the less they are still annoying. Extremely annoyed with mine I decided to investigate. My first question was why? I found a general consensus from my readings, that dark under-eye circles are caused by weakened capillaries around the eyes, and just like eye color and skin tone this is a gene that we inherit from our parents. They can also be caused by: nasal congestion, allergies, lack of vitamins, poor adrenals, bad circulation, broken vessels and more.

Next I wondered what I could do to make mine less noticeable. I found the obvious cosmetic surgeries and injections that are not only pricey but also unnecessary. So how can you tame those dark under eye circles without getting surgery or needles in your face?

Cucumber Slices (its not just a movie thing)
Using cucumber slices over your eyes for 10-15 minutes a day can actually refresh the skin and give your eyes a little pick-me-up.

Cool Tea Bags
Using cool tea bags (wet them down and then put into fridge to cool) over your eyes for 10-15 minutes can reduce discoloration. Some people state that caffeinated tea bags work best; I personally prefer green or chamomile tea bags.

Frozen Spoons
You can also put frozen spoons over your eyes and hold them there until the spoons become warm. I personally do not think this method is most effective, but it works for some people.

If those dark circles are bothering you give one of these remedies a try before you consider any cosmetic surgery or injections. If you want something a littler stronger than a home remedy Dr. Oz recommends using Vitamin C or A creams.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Cranberries – The Magical Fruit

Cranberries are used to make many foods and drinks but they are much more than just a fruit.

Be sure to appreciate the ones
you love and have a Happy Valentine's Day <3
Cranberries contain flavonoids and polyphenolics, natural compounds that offer a wide range of health benefits. It is because of these compounds that cranberries have been used for hundreds of years to prevent and treat many health problems. Historically, the cranberry fruit and plant has been used to treat wounds, urinary disorders, diarrhea, diabetes, liver problems and more. More recently, cranberries are used as a preventative measure for urinary tract infections, stomach ulcers and dental plaque. This magical fruit has also been useful in maintaining healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels and preventing blockages in the major arteries leading to the heart.

You can get the benefits of cranberry by drinking the juice, diluting concentrate with water, taking capsules, or using a mixture. I personally take one capsule of UltraCran everyday. Each capsule contains 36 g of cranberries equals and 1 g of cranberry concentrate. You can find a variety of different doses at your drug store and determine what dose is best for you. Although I cannot say that I have experienced any cranberry miracles, I do find this supplement useful for preventing urinary tract infections. So one pill a day, or even every couple of days keeps my upper and lower urinary tract healthy.

So try it. But before you do, be sure to check out the potential side effects and cautions of overuse because anything in excess can be bad for you. 

Monday, 6 February 2012

Meditation – One of the Five Principles of Yoga

When our bodies are tired and worn out we let them rest. Generally people rest by watching a movie, reading a book or taking a nap, but when you think about it our bodies may be resting but our minds are not. All day long our minds are processing information even in our sleep. Just like the rest of our body, the mind can become worn out and tired. A tired mind can affect you just like a tired body only people don’t tend to look at it that way.

Meditation is the act of resting the mind, turning off all your senses, letting go of the million things going on in your life and truly letting your mind rest. Meditation has a spiritual stigma attached to it, but in reality it is simply a personal treatment of the mind for any purpose you need. Some people meditate to focus on one thing going on in their life. Others use meditation to exercise the brain by entering a complete state of restlessness. Regardless of the personal experience people meditate because of the advantages.

The following are only a few of the advantages of meditation:

- Lower anxiety and stress levels
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Improves headaches and migraines
- Enhances energy levels
- Increases blood flow
- Lower blood pressure
- Decreased insomnia 

A couple months ago, I went to my family doctor because I was experiencing harsh chest pains and trouble breathing. After multiple tests came back negative, my doctor sat down with me and recommended that I try meditating. He told me that I was too easily stressed out, and as a previous asthmatic I needed to relax and concentrate on deepening my breathing. Since then I have been experiencing the world of meditation. Anywhere from three minutes to a half hour a day, I take the time to relax my mind and focus on breathing. Within a couple of weeks I noticed my stress levels decrease, and over the previous months the number of chest pains I have experienced has significantly dropped. I have yet to find a constant form of meditation, but rather switch up my routine to suit my daily attitude and emotions. 

So why not try it? Give your brain a little rest and focus on whatever it is you personally need to focus on. Whether you listen to a song and let the meaning take you away or you silently let your mind become empty. Find the form of meditation that works for you and experience all the advantages that are just waiting for you. 

Monday, 30 January 2012

Aloe Vera – The Healing Plant

This cactus like plant has a countless amount of medical uses, making it one of the most respected medical plants found in many gels, creams and lotions. Aloe has antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral compounds that help prevent wound infections. It also has immune-stimulating and anti-inflammatory compounds, and it stimulates collagen synthesis and skin regeneration. Aloe gel contains vitamins C and E, plus the mineral zinc. Not only does an aloe plant provide quick relief from a burn or scald, the potted plants have been shown to remove formaldehyde from tainted indoor air.

For as long as I can remember, my grandparents have been growing and using aloe vera plants. From a scrape to a stomachache, my grandmother has always snapped me off some aloe leaves and sent me home with them (just like the Windex from My Big Fat Greek Wedding). Unlike Windex, aloe actually works for just about everything skin related. I have always had minor eczema on my hands/arms and aloe has always been a great form of relief. By simply applying a thin layer of aloe vera gel, a couple times a day I usually feel relief by the second day. Fresh aloe gel soothes pain, cools the skin and stimulates blood flow to burned skin. Aloe can be used for the treatment of acne, fleabites, rashes, sunburns and many other skin irritations. In addition to traditional uses, people take aloe orally to treat a variety of conditions including diabetes, asthma, epilepsy, and osteoarthritis.

Do you have minor eczema or any other skin irritations? Try swapping your prescription cream for fresh aloe gel and see which one you prefer.