natural remedies

5 Natural Headache Helpers

Next time you have a headache and want to reach for pain killers, try out some of these natural remedies instead:

1. REMOVE ANY “HEADGEAR” – Take off your hat, headband, helmet, ponytail holder, goggles, glasses, or anything else you might have on your head. These items can cause external compression headaches and often the headache will go away shortly after removing the offending item. I find this to be true quite often when I have my hair up too tightly.

2.  TRY ACUPRESSURE – Apply pressure to the acupressure point in the webbing between your thumb and index finger to help ease the pain of a headache (*this is not an acupressure point that pregnant women should press*). Also, gently pressing the back of your neck with three fingers on each side can also help relieve muscle tension in your neck that might be causing the headache (it’s very common for neck tension to cause headaches). I also love using an acupressure mat as both a preventative and treatment tool for headaches

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3.  APPLY A COLD COMPRESS – to your forehead and/or the back of your neck. Any cold compress will be helpful, but if you add 3-5 drops of peppermint oil to a damp washcloth and put it in the freezer for a few minutes, you’ll get the benefits of the cold plus the relaxing and uplifting aromatherapy benefits of the peppermint. The scent of peppermint is well known for providing headache relief. Leave the compress on for about ten minutes while lying down. At $6-$8 per bottle, peppermint oil is a non expensive natural remedy to keep on hand.

{Aura Cacia Peppermint Essential Oil}

4.  DRINK SOME H20 – A very common cause of headaches is dehydration. Drink water throughout the day and make sure to go to bed well hydrated so you don’t wake up with a headache. Also, I have found it very helpful to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning to start the day off in a good hydrated state.

5.  RELAX – We often hold a lot of tension in our jaws so unclench your jaw and relax your face… Now relax the rest of your body while you’re at it and take some nice deep breaths. Let the tension melt away.

Nature’s Medicine Cabinet

Here are several items that I strongly recommend stocking up on and upping your intake of, especially during cold and flu season:

  1. Garlic (a natural antibiotic & antibacterial)
  2. Honey (no germ can live in honey!)
  3. Lemon (See use for #2 & 3 here – Nature’s Cough Syrup)
  4. Ginger (great for inflammation & circulation)
  5. Spices (like Turmeric and Cayenne Pepper, which are both believed to kill cancer calls among other benefits so clearly they’re excellent for you in general!)
  6. Herbs (like Thyme)
  7. Sea Salt (great for gargling)
  8. Veggies (lots & lots of all kinds, especially the deeply/brightly colored ones to keep your immune system in tip top shape!)
  9. Fish high in omega-3s (such as 2 of my favs – wild salmon & sardines)
  10. Tea (White, Green, Black – in the order of their antioxidant levels from highest to lowest – and herbal teas. Hot liquids are where it’s at this time of year)

Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” ~Hippocrates

Be well my fabulous readers!

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Another Reason to Soak Your Feet

I’m so excited to tell you all that I have yet another reason to keep up one of my favorite daily habits – soaking my feet. I just read in this month’s Natural Health Magazine that according to Chinese medicine, the meridians (or channels of energy) that run through the ovaries and uterus begin in the feet.  By soaking your feet in warm water, you dilate the blood vessels hence shifting the blood flow to that area.  Good blood flow to the ovaries is crucial to ovarian health and follicular growth. If there is a lack of blood flow then there is usually a corresponding lack of egg health. The same goes for the uterus. This means that soaking your feet can be added to the list of natural things that have a positive effect on fertility!

So what are you waiting for? Whether it’s filling up the bath tub just enough to cover your feet, using an actual foot bath (like this one) or any other container that can fit your feet, foot baths are so easy to do, so relaxing and so good for your overall health! Very warm water alone is great, but I also love to add Epsom salt, sea salt, baking soda, essential oils (especially lavender, peppermint and eucalyptus) and even some flower petals or dried lavender.  It makes the foot bath even more fun and therapeutic!

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My dad started me on this habit when I was a kid and I’ve loved it ever since. When I was little, it was followed by slathering our feet with Vaseline and putting on cozy socks right before heading to bed. Now it’s still followed by cozy socks and usually before bed, but these days it’s usually an all natural shea butter (like Organic Essence) instead. It’s especially great to do when you’re feeling stressed or run down. I just love how much better it ALWAYS makes me feel.

I already have Nikki and Dylan on board (did you both smile at this post?) and maybe you next!

Black Tea & Your Feet

You or someone you know (or maybe even a four-legged friend) have issues with foot odor? You really don’t have to answer that, but here is a quick, natural remedy:

  • How to: Soak your feet in a bowl of very black tea* (like Lipton or Red Rose, etc) for about 5 minutes. *Make sure you really let the tea steep (get dark)

Why does this work? The tannins in the tea change the pH of your skin and should eliminate the odor!

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Take Your Garlic!

People may debate whether or not garlic fights a cold or the flu, but I have seen over and over again how it keeps my immune system strong and stops a cold in its sneaky little tracks. There is science behind my claim and experience – allicin, the main biologically active component of garlic, blocks enzymes that play a role in bacterial and viral infections.

Without a doubt, you will only do right by yourself to include more garlic (cooked and raw) in your diet, especially during this time of year! My cold medicine of choice is always one finely chopped clove of garlic and a tall glass of water. You always have the option of chewing it (which is definitely the way to go if you want to keep people, as well as germs away).  Otherwise, just chop it up finely and swallow it like you would any other vitamin/pill. *I would recommend taking raw garlic after you’ve eaten, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.

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Natural Relief for Hay Fever/Allergies

I haven’t tried this one yet, but I recently came across this possible natural remedy for hay fever/allergies.  It definitely sounds like a great natural immune booster! 

 

Combine:

  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Honey (preferably raw)
  • 8 oz water

Take 2 -3 times per day.

 

**Honey should not be consumed by infants up to one year old.