If you spend a little too much time in the sun without properly shielding your delicate skin, there are a variety of all natural remedies to help heal and soothe the damaged areas.
* A compress dipped in a homemade cooling mix will help calm the sting. Try a mixture of 1 part skim milk or 1 part baking soda with 4 parts cold water.
* Make a mixture of equal parts cornstarch and water and apply directly to the skin.
* Use raw vegetable slices to cool and soothe. Apply thin slices of cold cucumbers, potatoes or apples to the affected area.
* Boil lettuce in water. Strain and refrigerate the water for several hours. Later, use cotton balls to blot the cooled water onto the burned skin.
* Apply plain, cold yogurt to the skin and then rinse it off with a cool shower.
* Apply calamine or calendula oil to calm the burning sensation, reduce inflammation and promote skin healing.
* Natural aloe vera has soothing properties that cool on contact and aids in the healing process.
* Comfrey contains allantoin, an active ingredient that stimulates cell regeneration. It is available as a juice and a lotion.
* Green tea bags can be applied to the eyelids to reduce swelling and inflammation associated with overexposure to the sun.
Now in a combined study from China and the US, researchers say that regular consumption of green tea may reduce a woman’s risk of breast cancer by about 12 per cent. Tea has been used as an alternative medicine in China for thousands of years. In China, tea has been hailed as a miracle elixir with the power to do almost everything from lowering stress hormones and soothing the symptoms of PMS to protecting against disease.
Tea has been used as an alternative medicine in China for thousands of years. In China, tea has been hailed as a miracle elixir with the power to do almost everything from lowering stress hormones and soothing the symptoms of PMS to protecting against disease.
Now it seems that the Western hemisphere is starting to take notice of this beverage’s potential health benefits. In particular, research on the health benefits of green tea progressed in leaps and pounds over the last few years.
At the end of the study, the researchers concluded that regular
consumption of green tea was associated with a ‘slightly decreased risk
for breast cancer’ of 12 per cent, compared to those who didn’t drink green tea.
It may be a modest risk reduction; however, it still is a risk reduction. Sounds good to me.
In addition to the potential anti-cancer benefits, other studies
have reported a range of health benefits for green tea and its
extracts, including the potential to promote weight loss, and
protection against Alzheimer’s.
Here is some advice that could very well have come from my grandma… “If you have the flu, go to bed”, is one of them – common sense, people, use common sense !
For years, common wisdom for a cold was to take a pill. But scan pharmacy shelves these days – not to mention bookstores – and the message is changing.
While over-the-counter cold and flu medications have lost favour in light of studies that show the only worthwhile ingredient is the painkiller, natural remedies are gaining ground.
In fact, around 20 per cent of Canadians – about 5.4 million – use alternative remedies and treatments, according to a recent Statistics Canada report.
“Consumers are becoming more wary and are thinking more cautiously about everything we put into our mouths,” says Toronto-area pharmacist Sherry Torkos, author of The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine (Wiley).
“With over-the-counter medications, for example, they might mitigate symptoms, but there are side-effects for people with asthma, diabetes and heart disease, all of which are on the rise,” says Torkos. “Overall, along with an increase in people turning to natural alternatives, there are more questions being asked: Are there side-effects? Are there benefits? What are the risks?”
It’s a state of affairs that doesn’t surprise Michele Boisvert, a Montreal pharmacist and Canada’s first female homeopath who recently launched her book Healthy…Naturally: A Guide to Homeopathy. Boisvert says interest in natural therapies is increasing, particularly during the cold and flu season. “There are other ways to deal with those ailments that are safe and gentle,” she says.
For a cold
Wash your hands frequently.
A recent survey by the Health and Hygiene Council Canada found that 90 per cent of Canadians know hand-washing helps avoid contracting the flu or colds, but only 37 per cent of children and 44 per cent of adults soap up before eating. “Wash your hands, especially during winter when we spend more time inside with each other,” advises Boisvert. “Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth unless you have just washed. And think about the tissue you used to blow your nose. Put it in your pocket and you’ve stored 1,500 germs right there.”
Increase your allicin.
You might call it garlic- or onion-breath, but the active compound in those vegetables is both antibacterial and antifungal. Animal studies published since 1995 show that allicin does more than ward off the sniffles. It can reduce atherosclerosis, balance lipoprotein, lower blood pressure and act as an anti-inflammatory. Torkos recommends taking products like Kyolic regularly to support immune function.
Get lots of sleep.
“It seems simple, but when we’re tired, exhaustion impairs immune system function and makes us more vulnerable,” says Torkos, who suggests relaxing activities and avoiding caffeine or rigorous exercise before bedtime. If sleep still evades you, try melatonin, a hormone naturally secreted by the brain that affects diurnal rhythms. Otherwise, she recommends Bach Flower Rescue Sleep, a mild distillation of relaxant flower essences like Star of Bethlehem, rock rose, cherry plum and impatiens.
Echinacea or not?
Is echinacea good for treating a cold or not? Torkos says studies have shown mixed results in its impact on cold severity, but not all research examined the same strain.
“I would say the majority of evidence has shown that one type, echinacea purpura, is good, not for prevention, but to shorten the duration of the cold.” As with all natural remedies, however, she advises talking to your doctor first. Echinacea should not be taken by anyone with an autoimmune disorder.
Drink green tea.
Best known for its weight-busting ingredient, epigallocatechin galeate, green tea also offers an immune function boost and L-theanine, a relaxing amino acid that has been shown to reduce the severity and duration of colds and flu. According to a 2007 peer-reviewed study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers from the University of Florida and Harvard Medical School administered a form of L-theanine called Immune Guard to 120 participants. After three months, cold and flu incidence dropped by 32 per cent and the need for medical attention decreased by 58 per cent.
For the flu:
Go to bed.
The bad news is that if you have the flu, it can lead to more serious illnesses like bronchitis and pneumonia. The good news is that it won’t last more than 48 hours. “The flu comes and goes in a short period of time,” says Torkos. “Really, the best thing is to get rest. If you have a high fever, aches and pains, take Tylenol or ibuprofen.”
“You may not feel like eating, but you must stay hydrated,” says Torkos. However, avoid alcohol, coffee and colas since they can make dehydration worse.
Take Homeocoksinum (9doses) Brand: Homeocan
or Oscillococcinum Bonus Pack (12 doses total) – 12 – Dose
As with many homeopathic remedies, the medical fraternity sees little value in taking a dilution of a Barbary duck’s liver and heart (otherwise known as Anas Barbariae Hepatis et Cordis Extractum) to fight a flu. Nevertheless, Oscillococcinum sells briskly in 50 countries during flu season and has been produced in France for 65 years. “If you catch it in the first eight hours, there’s an 80 to 90 per cent chance you won’t get the flu,” Boisvert says. “If you’ve passed that stage, you’ll still get it, but it’ll reduce the duration of the flu by half.”
banana, basil, black or green tea
- a poultice of ripe banana peel, applied to the back of the neck and to the forehead, will relieve even severe headaches or migraines.
- incredible relief from headaches can be achieved with a solution of dried basil and Witch Hazel Tincture 2 fl. Oz., used as a compress and applied to forehead and temples: Refrigerate the Witch Hazel Tincture. Heat 1 cup of water, add a level tsp of ground dried basil and let steep for about 10 minutes. Strain, and let cool. When cool, add 2 tbsp of the cold Witch Hazel Tincture, and use this solution for your compresses.
- Since both black and green teas contain caffeine, a very strong cup of tea – 2 teabags of black tea added to 1 cup of boiling water and let steep for 20 minutes, then drunk while still warm – will help you recover from severe headaches and migraines quickly because the caffeine calms the pain by restricting the blood vessels in you head.
- For a caffeine free alternative, an intensive chamomile tea treatment also helps you to get rid of migraines and severe headaches, but it will take longer. For about 2 weeks, drink a lot of this relaxing tea: Steep 2 tbsps of flowers ( fresh or dried) in 1 pint of boiling water for about 40 minutes, then strain. You can sweeten is with maple syrup. Drink 1-2 cups at a time.