Posts tagged #natural remedies

Take a Bath: 4 Natural Concoctions to Totally Relax You

Enjoy this piece I wrote for Naturally Savvy--it needed to be brought forth again. Anxiety is very prevalent right now:

You’re wound up like a top from work, or your best-friend-in-a-crisis shows up unexpectedly for the weekend. What do you do? Take a bath and let your troubles melt away. Don’t just pour some dish soap into the bathtub and pretend you’re at the spa, try these concoctions to really help you relax.

1. Essential Oils: Made through steam distillation of botanicals, essential oils capture the pure essence of the plant. They are potent, aromatic and highly therapeutic. Since one of the best ways to benefit from essential oils is vaporization, putting drops into a hot bath is an excellent way to use them. This is a form of aromatherapy. "Aromatherapy can be defined as the controlled use of essential oils to maintain and promote physical, psychological, and spiritual wellbeing."  ~ Gabriel Mojay

Here are some essential oils to use for relaxation

  • Chamomile 
  • Clary sage 
  • Frankincense 
  • Jasmine 
  • Lavender
  • Rose
  • Marjoram
  • Ylang ylang

How to use them
To help the oils dissolve better, add them to the bath with a tablespoon of whole milk or Epsom salts. Add the drops just before entering the bath and use your hands to stir them around the tub.

Try this relaxing recipe from Laurel Vukovic, author of Herbal Healing Secrets for Women:

5 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops sandalwood essential oil
2 drops clary sage essential oil

2. Epsom salts: These contain minerals, one of which is magnesium. Magnesium is used to relax muscles and help people sleep. Put 1-2 cups of Epsom salts into your bath for a deeply relaxing experience. This is a perfect bath to take just before you slide into bed.

3. Herbs: You can also use the dried herb version of some relaxing plants. One suggestion from the Crunchy Betty website is to make a very strong tea, let it steep at least seven minutes and then pour it into the bath. Take the remaining loose tea and wrap it into a wash cloth. Tie it up and let it float in the bathtub with you. You can also use this as a scrub to wash your body.

The following herbs are both relaxing and rejuvenating. You can combine whatever scents you like the most in combination or use one at a time. The fun thing to do is to experiment and take as many baths as you can. Dedicate an entire week to research!

Use Sage, Green tea, Chamomile, Peppermint, Rosemary and, of course the belle of the ball - Lavender.

4. Oatmeal: It isn’t just a cereal. As a grass it contains high amounts of minerals including calcium, which can relax the nervous system and muscles. An oat bath is an age-old remedy for anyone stressed out and sore.

Boil oatmeal in a large pot for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain the water into a bowl and leave the oats behind. Use the emollient water for the bath-pour it in when you’re ready. This is soothing as well as very moisturizing.

Posted on February 22, 2016 and filed under anxiety remedy.

Old and New Natural Tricks to Treat Hayfever

Nothing stops the romance of a beautiful spring day more than big, puffy eyes and a snotty nose. For seasonal hayfever allergy sufferers this is unfortunately a reality. An allergic reaction is the body’s response to a foreign invader. The body produces antibodies to ward off the substance that it deems to be a threat. In the case of environmental allergies, the body goes into overdrive when it comes across the substance—pet dander, pollen, dust—and releases chemicals that start the inflammatory response. The inflammatory response produces the red eyes, constricted or clogged sinuses and itchy skin.

There are several medications or over-the-counter drugs available to reduce symptoms of allergies, such as itchy, watery eyes and sneezing fits. However, there are also natural remedies available that may be just as effective. The following natural remedies for hayfever may offer alternatives to use in your arsenal against seasonal allergies. Always consult your health care practitioner if you have any concerns about medication interactions.
 

  1. Butterbur: A member of the Daisy family, this shrub is used as a natural antihistamine; a study showed improvement in 90 percent of the subjects for their seasonal allergy symptoms. Results were comparable to that of the medication Allegra, used for allergy relief. The raw herb contains a toxic compound known as pyrrolizidine alkaloids so it’s best to use butterbur in supplements where these compounds have been removed.
     
  2. Nettle: Freeze-dried nettle leaves taken in a capsule form can be used as a natural anti-inflammatory (one of the mechanisms in allergic reactions). The nettle inhibits the pro-inflammatory pathways in the body that leads to allergic reactions, such as a runny nose.

    Quercetin: This is a compound referred to as a flavonoid found in fruits and vegetables which acts as an antioxidant in the body (protects the cells from oxidative stress and damage). Also known for having anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic effects, this substance can be taken as a natural allergy supplement. An average dose would be 300 mg twice a day; it is not meant for long term use.
     
  3. Goldenseal: Adding goldenseal to a salt water spray is said to clean out pollen from the nostrils and encourage thinning of mucous.
     
  4. Eucalyptus essential oil: Eucalyptus will open up the nasal passages and encourage drainage. Use this in a steam treatment—put your face over a bowl of steaming water with a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil in it to relieve clogged sinuses.
     
  5. Saline solution: salt water flushed through the nasal passages with a Neti pot can be very effective in getting rid of a stuffy nose from environmental allergies. However, it does not stop or reduce the effects or reactions to pollens.

 

Prevention

Washing pollen off your hair when you return from being outdoors will reduce the risk of contamination on the face and eyes which may set into motion a slew of reactions.

Remember to keep the windows closed during heavy pollen times of year. You can also help the situation by avoiding outdoor activities when smog is thick (smog can exacerbate allergy symptoms).

Check food sensitivities—people with seasonal allergies are more likely to have food allergies as well. It’s a good idea to have a food allergy test by a local health care practitioner so that you can eliminate allergens from the diet. This will allow your immune system to recover from a constant assault of problem foods and substances. A strong immune system will help you cope more easily with the environment around you.

I wrote this article for: Naturally Savvy
 

Posted on June 14, 2015 .