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Natural Home Remedies: Pros and Cons

  Both natural home remedies and prescription medications can produce excellent results. They can also both be very dangerous if they are not followed by their specific guidelines. These guidelines can involve both lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise, etc. We need to keep in mind that making sure to follow the exact guidelines when taking prescription medications or natural home remedies is very critical in the treatment of various illnesses or health conditions.
  There are however pro’s and con’s to both natural home remedies and prescription medications. 

Pros

  • Very convenient, no more refills or renewal prescriptions needed
  • Very cost effective
  • Heals the body more naturally and produces healthy attributes
  • Safer to use with little to no side effects
  • Effectiveness - Some find natural home remedies more effective than your leading prescription medications


Cons

  • Has more of a potential to overdose or have a drug interference
  • Can also negatively impact underlying other health conditions
  • The perception that natural home remedies don’t work as well as prescription medications
  • Has potential to take longer to see results
  • Can have an inconsistency in the dosing or strength

Most Popular Common Cold Home Remedies

Many of the top home remedy ingredients can be found in your pantries, refrigerators, or in a linen closet. Not only are these ingredients readily available to you… but you also save yourself a copay on a doctor’s visit as well as a copay on the medication prescribed for your cold. Most people don’t know that the more you take a medication the more susceptible your body becomes to the medications the less effective the drug will be. This is why many people have turned to old fashioned home remedies to cure their common cold symptoms. Here are a few home remedies that you use to cure a common cold:

Honey, Lemon Juice, & Other Herbal Teas

Many common colds can also be cured by many different herbal teas as well as lemon juice and honey.  There are various reasons why each help with the symptoms of a common cold.  Lemon juice contains vitamin C, which is very important for the function of your immune system.  Using herbal teas that contain mullein work very good when sweetened with honey and lemon juice.  All of these ingredients incorporated together can sooth the throat as well as temporarily unclog breathing airways. 

 People also pour and mix honey and lemon juice together and take tablespoons periodically during the course of a cold and this can ease cold symptoms such as throat and breathing.  Preparing tea and replacing the sugar with honey can also help with these symptoms. You can also boil two cups of water with a half of a lemon. Small children however, should not use or be given honey. To help relieve coughing you can also use a tea called horehound tea. Green tea can also increase energy as well as metabolism.

Useful Treatment Tips

Eating ginger can help encourage sweating and can also help sooth aching throat, by simply taking 2 teaspoons of ginger powder and boiling it in a cup of water, then adding about a ½ teaspoon of sugar. This mixture should be consumed very warm in temperature. Ginger can also be add to herbal teas and it can act as a fever reducer. It is advised to do these procedures up to two times a day.
Adding ginseng  to our tea helps supporting our immune system as well as helping our body to fight off infections at a faster rate.
Garlic can act as an antiseptic as well as carries antispasmodic properties. The oil from the garlic opens up airway passages.       Garlic has also been proven to reduce a fever dramatically! You can try this by making a garlic soup which consists of 3-4 cloves of chopped garlic placed into a cup of boiling water. Garlic soup flushes out all of the toxins from airway passages, which helps dropping our temperature.
Turmeric can also help with throat irritation. Taking half of a teaspoon of turmeric powder and mixing it in 1/8 cup of warm milk at least one to two times a day eases throat irritation.
Dry or stuffy nose can be eased with saline or salt water nasal drops. We can do this by adding ¼ of a teaspoon of table salt and a teaspoon of lukewarm water and drop 1-2 drops in each nostril anywhere from 3-4 times a day. This mixture should be kept in the fridge. Every couple of days the mixture should be renewed.

Humidifiers and Steam Baths

Humidifiers are commonly used with common colds that involve congestion, as well as steam baths. Inhaling steam can not only open our airways but also help in a speedy recovery from cold. Placing a humidifier in a small concealed room can trap the steam and help dry out nasal cavities. Aromatherapy can also be added in the mix of things. Using scents such as cinnamon, peppermint, and Vicks Vapor Solution can not only open airways but also promote an easier and more comfortable rest. We can also add these scents to hot bath water giving the shower steam the same effect as a humidifier. Adding lavender oil to baths will help with decongestion as well as getting a smoother more relaxed sleep.  Same relief is provided when using tea tree oil as well as lemon oils. 

It is also advised taking a foot bath with mustard in it. I know it sounds crazy, but it really does help in nasal decongestion, as well as those clogged up breathing passages. Some experts believe that using a humidifier or a steam shower is not good for getting rid of the infection and doesn’t relieve common cold symptoms. They believe that a dry nose only leads to making us more susceptible to viral infections. Researchers have found that the rhinovirus and other viruses are more active in lower humidity, which is why people are more common to getting a cold in the winter months rather than the warmer months. However, viruses thrive on more moist and hot conditions that are most commonly always present in our nose. In my opinion and my own experiences, I do however believe that humidifiers as well as steam baths help greatly in clearing up congestion and improve our sleep

Orange Juice, Gatorade, Sprite, & Pedialyte

 There's no secret that orange juice provides you with a great source of vitamin C, which is a leading vitamin to getting us back on our feet again. Whenever feeling sick, doctors always recommend keeping fluids in our bodies. What better fluid then one that allow us to absorb vitamin C as well. Vitamin C, as studies have shown, is also used to improve immune system functions, which is the number one thing we want to keep in tip top shape when are more prone to catching colds. However, orange juice shouldn't be used in case of an upset stomach.  The acid from the orange juice will only make it worse.

  In case of an upset stomach we are not able to consume anything acidic, so using Gatorade, Sprite, and Pedialyte can be handy and useful. Gatorade, as well as Pedialyte, helps in the restoration of electrolytes in our bodies. Often, diarrhea and vomiting occurs with upset stomachs, and the consumption of foods is just not an option. In this case, Gatorade and Pedialyte can still give our body the nutrients it needs to fight viruses as well as keep our body hydrated. Keeping fluids in our body is one of the top things to keep in mind if we are not able to consume anything solid. Dehydration will only make matters worse.


Home Remedies for Arthritis

  Many people suffer with arthritis pain day in and day out. Unfortunately arthritis is something that cannot be cured and as a person gets older in their age, the arthritis pains only get worse. Arthritis affects mainly joints and can make it very hard to be mobile at times. Arthritis mainly affects the elderly, athletes, or people that have been through years of strenuous physical work. Although there are many prescription medications out on the market that can help with arthritis pain, many people are turning to home remedies for a more natural and healthy way to help their aches and pains due to arthritis. Here are a few of the most commonly used home remedies that could make a difference with arthritis pain.

Pineapple Juice

 Pineapple juice is a great source to go to when you are having bouts with arthritis pain. Simply grab a fresh pineapple from your local grocery store or fruit vendor and then extract the juice from the pineapple. Pineapple juice is a great home remedy to use to get rid of the unwanted swelling in  joints, which causes aching pain and discomfort. Drinking pineapple juice on a regular basis can significantly improve pain associated with arthritis. Purchasing pineapple juice that is already processed at local grocery stores is also an option. However, keep in mind that fresh pineapple juice that is extracted directly from the fruit itself is a more effective and beneficial method for arthritis pain.

Bananas

  Bananas are also a very good home remedy that should be tested for alleviating symptoms associated with arthritis. This is because bananas contain vitamin B6 which is commonly used for the treatment of arthritis. Consuming at least 3-4 bananas in a 3-4 day time period, could significantly help with arthritis pain. Some folks go on an “all bananas” diet. This is where they limit themselves to only eating bananas for the whole 3-4 day time period. They consume up to 8 or 9 bananas per day in this period and some find that their arthritis pain is dramatically reduced.

Epsom Salt

 Epsom Salt can also help in finding relief to unwanted arthritis pain. Epsom salt baths are very effective in reducing the pain in joints, increasing your blood flow as well as circulation, and also helps reduce in swelling in your joints that are associated with arthritis. Epsom salt is so effective in arthritis pain relief because it contains high levels of magnesium which helps release lactic acid from your muscle tissue. Giving your joints an Epsom salt bath at least 2 times a day, preferably in the morning and in the evening before bed.

Alfalfa

  Alfalfa can be consumed in a tea form and has been tested and proven to greatly decrease pain associated with arthritis. This home remedy can be made by simply taking one teaspoon full of alfalfa seeds and added to a full cup of water. Boil the mixture for 10-15 minutes and then allow the mixture to cool to a lukewarm temperature. Consuming at least 3-4 glasses of alfalfa tea per day in a period of 2 weeks should relieve most of the unwanted arthritis pain.


Four Supplements That Can Impair our Brain

  It is hardly news that supplements—just like drugs—can often cause physical side effects and reactions with prescribed medicines. Researchers are now learning more and more about unwanted mental changes that can occur when taking popular supplements (such as herbs and hormones).

  These supplements can be a hidden cause of depression, anxiety, mania, and other mental changes because patients—and their doctors—often don’t realize how these products can affect the brain.

MELATONIN

  Melatonin is among the most popular supplements for treating insomnia, jet lag, and other sleep disorders. Melatonin is a natural hormone that’s released by the pineal gland at night and readily enters the brain. Unlike many sleep aids, it doesn’t render you unconscious or put you to sleep. It causes subtle brain changes that make you ready for sleep.
  Studies have shown that people who take melatonin in the late afternoon or early evening tend to fall asleep more quickly when they go to bed. The amount of melatonin used in scientific studies ranges from 0.1 to 0.5 mg. However, the products in health-food stores typically contain much higher doses—usually 1 to 5 mg. Supplemental melatonin also may become less effective over time, which encourages people to increase the doses even more.
  Effects on the brain: In people with depression, melatonin may improve sleep, but it may worsen their depression symptoms, according to the National Institutes of Health.
  Melatonin can help when used short term for such problems as jet lag. It is not particularly effective as a long-term solution for other causes of insomnia.

WEIGHT-LOSS SUPPLEMENTS

  Two ingredients that are commonly used in weight-loss supplements, beta-phenylethylamine (β-PEA) and p-synephrine, are said to increase energy and metabolism and burn extra calories.
  Effects on the brain: Both β-PEA and p-synephrine (a compound made from bitter orange) can make you feel jittery and anxious, particularly when they are combined with stimulants such as caffeine.
  Many weight-loss and energy products are complicated cocktails of active ingredients that haven’t been adequately studied, nor have they been approved by the FDA. They’re risky because they’ve been linked to dangerous increases in blood pressure.
  There is little evidence that any of these products is particularly effective as a weight-loss aid.
   Don’t rely on weight-loss supplements. To lose weight, you need to decrease your food intake and increase your exercise levels. No supplement can accomplish that!

TESTOSTERONE

  Older men whose testosterone levels are declining (as is normal with aging) are often tempted to get a prescription for supplemental “T,” which is advertised (but not proven) to improve their ability to get erections.     Some women also use testosterone patches or gels (in much lower doses than men) to increase sexual desire and arousal.
 Effects on the brain: If your testosterone is low, taking supplemental doses may cause a pleasant—but slight—increase in energy. However, with very high doses, such as those taken by bodybuilders, side effects may include aggression and mood swings. Men and women may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as depression and loss of appetite, when they stop taking it.

  Testosterone replacement for men is FDA approved only for those with a clinical deficiency, defined as blood levels under 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).
  Testosterone has been shown to increase sexual desire in women. It is not FDA approved for women but may be prescribed “off-label.” The evidence supporting testosterone’s ability to improve sexual function and well-being in normally aging men is weaker, unless they have been proven on more than one occasion to have low testosterone and related symptoms. Both men and women should take testosterone only under the supervision of a doctor.

ST. JOHN’S WORT

  St. John’s wort is probably the most studied herb for treating depression. Researchers who analyzed data from twenty-nine international studies concluded that St. John’s wort was as effective as prescription antidepressants for treating minor to moderate depression.
  St. John’s wort appears to be safe, particularly when it’s used under the supervision of a physician. However, it can cause unwanted changes.

  Effects on the brain: St. John’s wort may increase brain levels of “feel good” neurotransmitters, including serotonin and dopamine. But unwanted mental changes that may occur in anyone taking St. John’s wort include anxiety, irritability, and vivid dreams. It may also lead to mania (a condition characterized by periods of overactivity, excessive excitement, and lack of inhibitions), especially in individuals who are also using antipsychotic drugs.
   This supplement should never be combined with a prescription selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressant, such as sertraline or paroxetine. Taking St. John’s wort with an SSRI can cause serotonin syndrome, excessive brain levels of serotonin that can increase body temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure—conditions that are all potentially fatal. It also can interact with certain drugs such as oral contraceptives and immunosuppressant medications.
   If you have depression, do not self-medicate with St. John’s wort. Always talk to your doctor first if you are interested in trying this supplement.

4 Deficiencies That Make Nerve Pain Worse

 Like every living thing – your nerves need certain vitamins and minerals to stay strong and healthy. Certain B vitamins. Vitamin D. Magnesium…and more.
But there’s a good chance you’re not getting enough of at least one – if not more – of these.And that’s a problem. Especially if you’re already suffering from nerve damage.
Not only does it make it easier for your neuropathy to spread – but it can also cause your existing symptoms to intensify. So what are the most important vitamins and nutrients for your nerves – and how can you make sure you’re getting enough of them?
Read on to learn about the most common deficiencies affecting neuropathy patients – and then download your free eBook “The Ultimate Neuropathy Food & Diet Guide: Proven Secrets for Eating to Ease Nerve Pain” to learn how to easily boost your intake of these essential vitamins.

Vitamin B12

Not getting enough B12 can puts your nerves at risk.
In fact, vitamin B12 deficiency is one potential cause of neuropathy and many other nerve related problems .
That’s because our nerves depend on B12 to survive. It fortifies the protective coating around nerves (known as the myelin sheath).
It also rebuilds and repairs weakened or damaged nerve pathways.

Vitamin D

According to recent estimates, vitamin D deficiency among Americans has tripled from 1980 to now, with nearly 13% of Americans suffering from it and another 30% on the verge of deficiency. Some of its symptoms include pain, muscle weakness, depression and cognitive impairment.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “adults with severe vitamin D deficiency may experience bone pain and softness, as well as muscle weakness.” Vitamin D is critical in promoting the absorption of calcium for strong and healthy bones.
Besides promoting calcium absorption and keeping bones healthy, Vitamin D has other less known but equally important benefits. These benefits include reducing the risk of insulin resistance and elevated blood sugar, lowering blood pressure, regulating the immune system, and improving or maintaining mental clarity.

Riboflavin (B2)

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) is the “performance enhancer” vitamin.
By that, I mean it helps convert other important vitamins (including B6 & B9) into forms that our body can use. It also converts fuels like carbohydrates and protein into energy.
Not getting enough vitamin B2 will reduce the ability of other nerve-boosting vitamins to do their jobs.

Magnesium

Recent estimates say nearly 80% of Americans suffer from magnesium deficiency.

Symptoms of deficiency can include fatigue, weakness, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms.

Getting enough magnesium is especially important for anyone with neuropathy. It alleviates pain by relaxing the nervous system and relaxing your muscles. By relaxing the nervous system, magnesium prevents overactive nerves from misfiring – which is what causes the pain or tingling many neuropathy sufferers feel.

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