Monday, November 26, 2012

Natural Healing Gestures

Kleenex Share Pack
Feeling sick is the pits; I hate it! There are hundreds of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that you can buy during the cold and flu season, but some of the best are ones that nature already created or are simple to make using ingredients in your pantry. But, to make the remedies more effective, you have to pair them with good, old-fashioned TLC. When you lovingly take care of someone when they’re sick, the act fills the heart (rather, brain) with feel-good chemicals that help promote healing and strengthen the immune system.
The next time that you or a loved one feels under the weather, try some of these natural remedies:

Natural Cold and Flu Remedies

Nasal rinse 

Don’t fear the Neti Pot. Using one when you’re congested can help prevent sinus infections as well as congestion, stuffiness, sore throats and coughs. Plus, according to the Mayo Clinic, unlike OTC medicines, you don’t experience a rebound effect that makes your symptoms worse. I prefer my Neti Pot over OTC medicated nasal sprays because the medicated stuff makes me lose my sense of smell for a good part of the day and it also makes my teeth feel like they’re going to fall out (see the FDA warning about this stuff). 


 Known for boosting your energy and immunity, take ginseng too help reduce the amount of time a cold or flu lasts and their symptoms. 


The cold and flu viruses love dry conditions, so beat them with a humidifier. Humidifiers can also help sooth scratchy throats and dried sinuses. 

Vitamin C 

Drink a lot of orange juice, lemon tea or grapefruit juice. Or, take a Vitamin C supplement to help reduce the duration of a cold or flu and the severity of your symptoms. 

Hot Soups and Tea 

Hot soups and teas help when you have the cold or flu because they can act as an anti-inflammatory and speed up the movement of mucus, which will help relieve congestion and shorten the duration of a virus.  Here are some recipes to try:
  • Negi-miso-yu: This is a hot, green onion drink that the Japanese use as a natural cold and flu remedy. To make it, add 1 tablespoon of chopped green onion and 2 teaspoons of miso into a mug of boiling-hot water. Let the ingredients steep until they’re cool enough to drink.
  • Hot ginger drink: In China, people make a spicy citrus drink by adding a thumb-sized chunk of ginger that’s mashed to at least 1 cup of water. Bring the water and ginger to a boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Then add the rind from one organic orange to the water and let the mix simmer for 10 more minutes. Strain the drink and add honey to sweeten it.
  • Sweet and spicy drink: In India, the people help balance out their “kapha” energy by grinding 1 teaspoon of the following ingredients with 4 teaspoons of sugar: black pepper, cinnamon, ginger powder and cardamom. Add a ½ teaspoon of the mixture to a glass of water and drink the concoction twice daily after a meal. (These ingredients would make a wonderful spicy tea: steep in boiling water, then add milk and honey!)
  • Gogol-Mogol: This drink comes from Russia and is a simple eggnog that’s great for coughs. Melt 1 tablespoon (unsalted) butter with a ½ cup milk and let the milk mix get hot. In a separate bowl, beat 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of honey until the mix is frothy. S-l-o-w-l-y pour the milk mixture into the egg mixture while beating the eggs at the same time. (If you do this too fast, you’ll end up with scrambled eggs in milk.) Strain the nog and sip it slowly. (I’d probably use more honey and add cinnamon and nutmeg.)


Pelargonium sidoides 

Coming from the South African geranium, Pelargonium sidoides helps relieve and shorten the duration of sinus and throat irritations, as well as coughs. 

Kleenex Tissues

A staple for every home, Kleenex tissues are a must when you’re sick. Check out the new Share Pack

What natural and practical remedies do you use during cold and flu season?

This is a paid post that’s brought to you in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and Kleenex. All opinions are 100 percent mine.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Reasons to Quit Smoking

Beating smoking is tough. With Thanksgiving a couple of weeks away and Christmas just around the corner, it's time to start thinking of those New Year resolutions. Smoking cessation is always one of the top three resolutions, and now is the perfect time to start making a plan. A good way to find motivation to quit smoking is to think of reasons to stop. 

Reasons to quit smoking include:
  • Reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease
  • Reduce your risk of autoimmune disease
  • Smoking makes babies cranky
  • Reduce your risk of becoming blind from macular degeneration
  • Stop snoring so much
  • Stop acid reflux problems
  • Reduce your risk of various cancers
  • Feel more clear-minded
  • Enhance your body's ability to fight infections
  • Reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Smoking causes premature wrinkles
  • Smoking can weaken your bones
  • Sleep better
  • Lengthen your life
  • Save money
  • Prevent hearing loss
  • Enjoy more restaurants...or enjoy restaurants more
  • Improve the health of your heart and lungs
  • Preserve your sense of smell
  • You won't have to tell your boss that you need another smoke break
  • Spend less time at the dentist's
  • You'll get rid of that hacking cough
The most important reason (or excuse) to stop smoking...GAIN CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTH.

This post is sponsored by www.beatingsmoking.comAll the opinions expressed are mind. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Can Vitamins Help Alcoholics?

The spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak. 
Matthew 26:41  

One of my favorite sites to visit is DoctorYourself.comSM by Andrew Saul, PhD. Dr. Saul is the editor-in-chief of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service. While working for the State University of New York, he taught health science, nutrition and cell biology. Dr. Saul has won honors and accolades for his knowledge of clinical nutrition, is featured in the movie Food Matters and was named one of the seven natural health pioneers in Psychology Today. So, what I’m trying to say is that Dr. Saul knows his stuff; no quacking here.

In Food Matters and DoctorYourself.comSM , Dr. Saul discusses Abram Hoffer, M.D.’s work with Bill W., the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). Bill W. told Dr. Hoffer that there are three components to alcohol treatment:spiritual,mental and medical.

AA helps with the spiritual aspects of treatment, but it sometimes isn’t enough for everyone who battles the addiction. Atlanta drug abuse rehab centers and others around the nation can help with the medical and mental aspects of treatment. At the suggestion of Dr. Hoffer, Bill W. found that niacin (Vitamin B-3) was helpful with his journey.  

According to Dr. Saul, Roger Williams, PhD, the former president of the American Chemical Society and chemistry professor at the University of Texas, proved that mega doses of Vitamin C and a B-vitamin complex were an effective natural treatment for alcoholism when combined with L-glutamine, an amino acid.  Alcohol causes a thiamin (Vitamin B-1) deficiency, especially if you don’t have a well-balanced diet. Because alcohol damages the liver and brain, the need for nutrients increases to help repair the organs. See Dr. Saul’s vitamin-related recommendations for the treatment of alcoholism here and here.
As with anything related to your health, talk to a physician before treating yourself with vitamins for any ailment. If you’re in an Atlanta alcohol rehab or Atlanta Drug Rehab and natural remedies interest you, show your doctor the pages about alcoholism on DoctorYourself.comSM to see if this would be a good option for you. 

This sponsored post is brought to you by All opinions are 100% my own.

Friday, September 21, 2012

What to Do After Finishing a Workout Video Series

After completing the Jillian Michaels Body Revolution workout program, I was left with a common question: What do I do now? There are countless online forums that pose the same question. With the help of Gaiam TV, I found a great solution.

Gaiam TV offers exclusive streaming videos to your computer, mobile device (using the mobile browser) and on your television using a Roku streaming player. The different "channels"/geners offered include:
  • Yoga Studio
  • Fitness Studio
  • Wellness Center
  • Film & TV
  • Spirituality
  • Metaphysics
  • Explorations
  • Conscious Media Network
  • Vintage Library
When I was offered the opportunity to try Gaiam TV for an extended period, the first thing I did was checkout the workout videos. The selection is great, and I was able to try workouts like the Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 series, Jillian Michaels Extreme Shed & Shred, Energy Chi for Beginners and dance-related workouts. I also watched videos like Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead; The Truth About Gluten and Dairy and Gaiam Inspirations: Green Smoothie Revolution. The only issue that I had with the streaming videos was the occasional lag, even with my FiOS Internet.

In addition to offering several videos that you can't stream elsewhere, I like that I can try different workout videos without having to purchase them first. I highly recommend Gaiam TV if you have an interest in nutrition, wellness and fitness. 

You can checkout some of the programs free on the 24/7 channel.

This post is brought to you by Gaiam. The opinions expressed are 100% mine.


Thursday, September 20, 2012

How to Gain the Benefits that Herbal Remedies Provide (Guest Post)

Herbal remedies have been used by humans for thousands of years, before recorded history. The modern human population has revitalized the use of herbs as medicine as many people seek alternative, safer and more natural treatment for a wide variety of heath disorders.

What are Herbal Remedies?

Using a plant’s berries, seeds, bark, flower, leaves, or roots for medicinal purposes is considered herbal medicine. Herbal therapies were used by indigenous cultures and were also developed into medical systems such as Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. Advancements in clinical research concerning herbal medicine have resulted in this form of medicine becoming more widely accepted by people in the modern world.

Safely Using Herbal Remedies

While clinical research has created much greater quality control and analysis of herbal remedies, it’s important to understand how to correctly use herbal medicine in order to avoid any potential side effects. In general, herbal medications result in far fewer and less harmful side effects than conventional pharmaceutical drugs. However, the effects of herbal remedies should not be disregarded. It’s the powerful nature of many herbal medications that allows them to provide so many healing benefits. At the same time, some herbs can cause side effects when ingested. Be sure to do your research to thoroughly understand how a particular herb should be used. 

There are herbs—such as peppermint, ginger, and chamomile—that do not produce any side effects at all. Peppermint is an effective remedy for alleviating nausea and for soothing an upset stomach. Ginger also works to soothe stomach upset, and can be beneficial in reducing car sickness or morning sickness (in pregnant women). Chamomile is an ideal remedy for anxiety and for relaxing the digestive system.

Other herbs—such as comfrey, sassafras, and senna—must be used with a greater amount of caution since these herbs can cause serious side effects if used incorrectly. It is important to consult with your doctor before taking herbs that are known to cause severe adverse side effects if taken with certain medications or if taken improperly.

What Can Herbal Medicine Be Used to Treat?

The list of health disorders that herbal medicine can treat is extensive. Herbal remedies can be used to treat chronic fatigue, asthma, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and much more. If you have a particular health disorder that you’d like to address, chances are that you will find a number of herbs that will help you treat the disorder. 

The following herbs are just a few examples of common herbs used to treat health disorders. You’ll notice that most herbs can be used to treat more than one problem.
  • Ginkgo Biloba offers numerous benefits, which is why it is among the most popularly used herbal medicines used in the United States. Ginkgo Biloba is believed to improve memory and overall brain function. The herb is also an antioxidant that assists in the fight against free radicals in the body. 
  • Valerian root is useful for treating sleep disorders and mild forms of anxiety. It has also been used to ease physical tension and pain.
  • Echinacea enhances the body’s natural autoimmune response. By using this herb on a regular basis during cold and flu season, many people are able to avoid cold and flu symptoms all season long.
  • Goldenseal works to ward off bacteria, and, therefore, helps in the fight against respiratory infections, colds, and sinusitis. This herbal remedy has also been used to treat ulcers, sore throats, sore gums, and some types of vaginal infections. It is recommended that goldenseal only be used short term, since side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, may occur with extended use.
  • Ginseng is used as a popular herbal remedy that is believed to assist the immune system response. There are herbal remedies that combine ginseng and Gingko Biloba, and this combination is thought to improve brain function.
There are many benefits to using herbal remedies as long as you learn to use herbs correctly. Herbal medicine is much less expensive that conventional medication, tends to produce less adverse side effects, and does not require a doctor’s prescription. When used correctly, herbal remedies can resolve a number of medical disorders and improve your overall health.

Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon and writing for ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.