Monday, November 26, 2012

Natural Healing Gestures

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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. 

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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.