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Natural Remedies For The Most Nagging Everyday Ailments

Post-work headache, we will bear you no more.

Adaptation has its pros and cons. While we humans often benefit from melding into changing environments, we can also become accustomed to constant daily discomforts.
Whether it’s the after-work headache, a cough that you can’t seem to shake, eye strain, achy joints or chapped lips, it could be time to raise the bar of expectation, wave the kitchen spoon, and bear it no more.

For quick and easy remedies, here are some recipes and simple techniques that you can stir-up at home, to shake it all off.

Headaches

When it comes to headaches, we can investigate two major culprits: dehydration and elimination. If we are not properly hydrated or if we are constipated, we could be suffering from frequent headaches. A quick and easy solution is to drink room temperature water with a pinch of Himalayan salt to return trace minerals and hydration back into the body. If you are not eliminating properly, then you could place a warm castor oil pack on the stomach to help kick start excretion. Castor oil packs and Himalayan salt can be purchased at most natural health food stores.

Neck tension

Tension headaches can occur when we hold stress or strain in our shoulders, chest, neck or eyes. To relieve stress in the neck and shoulder areas, start by stretching open the arms and breathing deeply into the chest a few times. Release the arms to down. Open the jaw and stretch the chin down toward the chest. While holding this gesture, inhale and exhale through the mouth 3 times. Close the mouth and slowly and gently, begin to move the neck forward, then back to neutral. The motion should look as though you are a chicken, slowly pecking for food. The neck should not move backward, only forward to neutral. Repeat this action 15 to 20 times. This will release the tension in the neck.

Eye strain

Tired red eyes or eye strain can often accompany headaches at the end of a long day. Stretching your eyes can relieve stress and tension. Start by slowly looking up toward the forehead, then down towards your toes.  The eyes should feel like they are stretching up and down, as you move them. Then in a horizontal movement, slowly look all the way to the left and then all the way to the right. Remember not to move your neck or head. Move only the eyes. In a diagonal movement, look to the top right corner of the eyes, then look down to the bottom, left corner of the eyes. Finally, look up to the top left corner of the eyes, then down to the lower right corner of the eyes in a diagonal. Repeat very slowly, 8 times in each direction and then close the eyes for a moment.

Another exercise is ‘Blink 45’: Sitting down, blink rapidly 45 times in a row. This can also help to loosen tension and re-energize the eyes. To avoid dizziness, wait a few minutes before standing up.

Cold symptoms: Achy joints, runny nose and sore throat

Try these three remedies to relieve symptoms.

The gift of gold: Turmeric and honey

Turmeric is an immune modulator that acts as a natural anti-microbial with antibacterial and antiviral properties. It can also be used to reduce inflammation in the joints and increase immunity.

Mix a ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder with a spoon of organic honey until it becomes a smooth golden paste. Lick the honey and turmeric mixture throughout the day.

Fresh, energizing ginger tea

Warm liquids increase the body’s temperature, which can help to maintain immunity and reduce stagnation in the joints.  Honey is antimicrobial and is packed with nourishing minerals. Ginger fights infection, improves digestion and reduces nausea.

Cut and peel a few round slices of fresh ginger. Pound the cut ginger with a mortar and pestle to release the juices. Add the juice and the pounded ginger slices to about two cups of water and bring it to a boil for a few minutes. Take it off the heat, and let it cool for a few minutes. Pour the tea into a thermos and sip it throughout the day.

Himalayan salt and lime

Although a simple salt gargle could suffice, a shot of Himalayan salt and lime can be a potent antibacterial concoction. Squeeze half of a lime and combine the fresh lime juice with two or three pinches of Himalayan salt. Mix together and sip slowly.

Chapped lips

A fast and easy remedy can be found at the centre of your universe – the navel. Before bed, lie down and place a few drops of warm, natural oil into the navel. Allow the navel to retain the oil for about 1 minute before rubbing it in. *Natural options for oil are cold-pressed sesame, sunflower, almond or coconut oils.

Nicole Mahabir · CBC Life · November 15

Nicole Mahabir is the Founder and Director of JAI Wellness, a platform for health education, mindful living and wellbeing. For the past 10 years, Nicole has lead professional certified programs, teaching Nutrition, Meditation, Ayurveda, Yoga Therapy and Natural Anti-Ageing Beauty Regimes. When she isn’t teaching, Nicole creates integrated, sustainable health protocols for her busy clients. Follow Nicole on Instagram @jaiwellness or on her website, jaiwellness.com.

source: www.cbc.ca
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This Mineral May Be Key to Protecting Your Bones (It’s Not Calcium)

Calcium and vitamin D may get the spotlight when it comes to bone health, but there’s another mineral that plays a role in keeping your skeleton strong: It’s magnesium, and 67% of the body’s stores for this mineral are found in your bones. Now, research published in the European Journal of Epidemiology suggests magnesium could help prevent fractures.

While previous research had revealed that magnesium supports bone growth, no study had tied the mineral to risk of bone fractures. Tapping into over 20 years of data on 2,245 men, investigators in Britain and Finland compared the men’s magnesium blood levels to their risk of fracture. They discovered that the higher a man’s magnesium, the lower his risk of fracture.

Magnesium works with bone building cells (aka osteoblasts), and works in conjunction with vitamin D and parathyroid hormone to keep calcium levels normal, and fracture risk low. Medical factors affecting magnesium absorption include inflammatory bowel disease (or other chronic diarrhea problems), kidney insufficiency or certain medications.

So, how much magnesium should you eat? The recommended daily intake for adults over 31 years of age is 320 mg for females and 420 mg for males. Nuts and seeds, especially almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts and cashews are rich in magnesium. Other food sources include oatmeal, milk, peanut butter, spinach, broccoli, peas and beets.

However, the Finnish study couldn’t link dietary intake of magnesium to higher blood levels of magnesium, which is strange. Although the study authors aren’t sure why food couldn’t boost levels, previous research suggests an improvement in bone density among menopausal women who took supplements of magnesium hydroxide.

The bottom line is that eating foods high in magnesium still makes sense, since those foods tend to be healthy. If you’re at elevated risk for osteoporosis or fracture talk to your physician or a registered dietitian about taking magnesium supplements.

BY JENNIFER BOWERS, PHD, RD
source: www.rd.com


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10 Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Magnesium

Magnesium deficiency is one of the most underrated minerals, but it’s involved in literally hundreds of your body’s functions. Pay attention to it, and your body will thank you.

So what’s the deal with magnesium?

Magnesium is involved in numerous bodily functions, from relaxing sore muscles to relieving anxiety, though it isn’t as widely discussed as other vitamins and minerals. Holistic nutrition coach Andrea Moss of Moss Wellness in New York City says magnesium deficiencies are such a big focus in her practice because nutritionists see the effects so frequently. “So many clients of ours are surprised to hear about it, since it usually isn’t discussed by their physicians,” she says. Don’t let that happen to you—check out our tips for what magnesium deficiency signs you might be ignoring.

You kind of hate vegetables

The most common cause of magnesium deficiencies is a diet deprived of magnesium-rich foods. “Many of us are magnesium deficient because we aren’t necessarily eating enough magnesium-rich foods,” says Moss. Moss recommends veggies, brown rice, nuts and seeds to adjust this.

You’re so stressed out

If you’re under a lot of stress, your body will react chemically and magnesium levels can be affected. “Stress also can make us more prone to magnesium deficiency, as can excessive sweating from workouts,” says Moss. Try to take it easy, both mentally and physically, and your body will thank you.

Junk food is one of your food groups

Replacing fruit with Fruit Roll-Ups can wreak havoc on your magnesium levels. “Normal, healthy people should get enough magnesium as long as they eat enough fruit, vegetables, and complex starches/whole grains,” says Monica Auslander, MS, RD, LD/N, founder of Essence Nutrition in Florida. “You can see how a poor diet quality could result in these deficiencies!” These are good clues you’re eating too many preservatives.

The littlest things can give you a headache

If your head is pounding and you can’t seem to shake it, you might want to get tested for a magnesium deficiency. People often have headaches when their magnesium levels are low, says Auslander.

You’re constipated

You might not think about magnesium levels when you’re constipated, but you should. Auslander says people often experience constipation precisely when their magnesium levels are too low.

You’re more shaky or twitchy lately

A little shake here or there might not seem like a big deal, but take it seriously. Nutritionist Alyse Levine MS, RD of Nutritionbite in California warns that chronically low levels of magnesium can lead to more serious problems like an irregular heartbeat or even seizures. It’s also a good idea to be aware of these other symptoms of atrial fibrillation.

Your energy levels are MIA

Magnesium helps energize your body, so if you don’t have enough of it, you’ll feel weak. “Magnesium is involved in at least 300 different chemical reactions in our body, and a lot have to do with energy production,” says Alison Boden, MPH, RD, functional medicine nutritionist in California. “A sign of low magnesium can be low energy.”

You’re not sleeping well

While magnesium can be used to treat a number of medical issues, and Boden uses it the most for sleep problems. “If patients have a hard time winding down, we use magnesium therapeutically to help with that,” says Boden. “It’s a muscle relaxant that can slow things down bit and help with sleep.”

You’re dealing with bone loss problems

A lot of magnesium is stored in bones, so Boden says a deficiency in it can cause bone loss when there isn’t enough magnesium over a long period of time.

You have low levels of vitamin D

When low magnesium levels lead to low vitamin D levels, a whole cascade of problems develop. “We need magnesium to absorb vitamin D. Too much calcium can actually lower absorption as well, so we need to find a balance between all these vitamins and minerals,” says Manuel Villacorta MS, registered dietitian and founder of Whole Body Reboot in California. “This stuff can happen to everyone.”

BY ALEXANDRA WHITTAKER
source: www.rd.com


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Migraines Linked To Lack Of Specific Vitamins

Many young adults, teens and children with migraines are deficient in these three nutrients, study finds.

Mild deficiency of coenzyme Q10, riboflavin and vitamin D has been found in a high percentage of patients with migraines.

Researchers from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center found that supplementation of coenzyme Q10, riboflavin and vitamin D may benefit migraine patients.

The patients’ blood levels of vitamin D, coenzyme Q10 and riboflavin were checked.

Deficient patients were given vitamin supplementation.

Young women and girls were more likely to be deficient  in coenzyme Q10 compared to young men and boys.

However, young men and boys were more likely to be deficient in vitamin D.

migraine

Patients who suffered from chronic migraines compared to episodic migraines had higher coenzyme Q10 and riboflavin deficiency.

Coenzyme Q10 — a vitamin-like substance — is a key to energy production in the human body.

Organ meats such as liver, heart and kidney naturally contain high levels of coenzyme Q10.

It has also been found in beef, mackerel, sardines, nuts, shellfish, broccoli, dark leafy greens, pork and chicken.

Riboflavin is known as vitamin B2 and, like the other B vitamins, plays a role in energy production and is involved in many other functions such as eye, skin and digestive health.

Foods rich in riboflavin include organ meats, lean meats, eggs, milk, cheese, leafy vegetables, almonds, mushrooms, legumes and fortified grains and cereals.

Vitamin D can be obtained from sun exposure, oily fish such as salmon, and supplements.

In addition to being essential for bone and mental health, vitamin D is involved in the reduction of inflammation, neuromuscular and immune function and modulation of cell growth.

Dr Suzanne Hagler, the lead author of this study, said:

“Further studies are needed to elucidate whether vitamin supplementation is effective in migraine patients in general, and whether patients with mild deficiency are more likely to benefit from supplementation.”

The study was presented on June 10, 2016 at the 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Headache Society in San Diego.

23RD JUNE 2016     MINA DEAN


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The 10 Best Meals to Eat When You Feel Your Worst

Hippocrates had it right when he said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” When your body feels out of whack, certain foods can help set you back on the right track.
By Rachael Schultz

When you have a headache

Eat: Moroccan lentil soup made with spices like turmeric and cinnamon. “This meal is free of potential headache triggers like dairy, cured meat, nuts, and chocolate. Plus, it also doesn’t require chewing, which can aggravate a headache,” says Cynthia Sass, RD, author of Slim Down Now: Shed Pounds and Inches With Pulses — The New Superfood. The soup also delivers a good dose of protein, anti-inflammatory spices, and magnesium—which helps relax blood vessels to ease headaches. You can also try these other home remedies to soothe headaches.

When you have sinus pressure

Eat: anything spicy—the heat in chili peppers can help clear up types of sinus inflammation, according to research from the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center.

When you have a sore throat

Eat: soup made with a hot, thin broth (either vegetable- or chicken-stock base), with garlic, herbs, and vegetables; plus hot green tea with honey. For starters, both hot liquids will help drain congestion, Sass explains. “The garlic is anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting, the veggies provide nutrients for healing, and honey has been shown to help ease the pain from a sore throat,” she adds. These sore throat gargles are another trick to feel better.

When you have nausea

Eat: bananas, steamed brown rice, applesauce, and ginger tea, Sass suggests. Each of these foods is easy to keep down and tends to soothe the digestive system. Opt for tea bags with real ginger in it (like Yogi Ginger or Tazo Green Ginger) or better yet, steep some of the herb fresh in hot water. A University of Rochester study found that as little as a quarter of a teaspoon of ginger cut nausea by 40 percent in queasy chemotherapy patients.

When you have fatigue

Eat: There isn’t a one-size-fits-all remedy for this one, since the fix largely depends on the cause of fatigue. Your best bet? A leafy green salad topped with chopped vegetables and grilled salmon to give a boost of vitamins, minerals, and omega 3s, which will in turn increase your energy. Be sure to hydrate, since dehydration alone is enough to slow your energy down, says nutritionist and health coach Emily Littlefield, founder of Emily’s Powerfoods Living. If the fatigue is from a lack of sleep, avoid caffeine. “It may seem counterintuitive, but the temporary Band-Aid of coffee or an energy drink will only provide a brief false sense of energy, usually followed by even more intense fatigue, then trouble sleeping, which perpetuates the cycle,” Sass explains.

Black Tea Linked to Lower Diabetes Risk

When you have menstrual cramps

Drink: a pot of hot ginger tea with a little honey and lemon. “Ginger root is soothing and calming and has been used for healing stomach pain for centuries,” says Littlefield. A study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that ginger was just as effective in relieving menstrual cramp pain as ibuprofen (whoa!). Plus, proper hydration can help reduce tension in certain muscles that contribute to menstrual cramping. These unusual period cramp remedies are also worth a try.

When you have constipation

Eat: oatmeal topped with a fiber-rich fruit and a mug of hot water with lemon. The goal here is to get your stool moving. “The fiber from the oats and fruit helps to soften stool,” Sass explains. “The drink will help stimulate your digestive muscles to contract and move waste through.” Here are other natural cures for constipation.

When you have diarrhea

Drink: a sports drink or Pedialyte, to start, Sass suggests. “The top goal is replacing fluids and electrolytes while diarrhea is active,” she says. Once it stops, continue to rehydrate, but start eating foods that are easy to digest, like bananas and brown rice. If you eat your usual fare, it can overstimulate digestive muscles or trigger unwanted inflammation or irritation, she adds. You can also soothe your stomach with these diarrhea home remedies.

When you have brain fog

Eat: two eggs any style; a whole-grain, low-sugar waffle (like Vans); and cup of black coffee. Countless studies have found that caffeine improves both alertness and attention. Between eggs and the waffle, you’ll score the perfect balance of fat, protein, and healthy carbohydrates to help avoid blood sugar dips that make you feel foggy.

When you have stress

Drink: a combo of chamomile and mint herbal teas. Refill indefinitely until you feel the hot drink calm your nervous system, Littlefield suggests. Avoid anything high in trans fats or in sugar, which a study in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology found can exacerbate other health problems that accompany stress, such as oxidative damage and the accumulation of abdominal fat, which can make you feel even worse than you already do.

source: www.rd.com


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Should you take Tylenol, Advil, or aspirin for pain? Here’s what the evidence says.

by Julia Belluz     August 18, 2015   @juliaoftoronto    julia.belluz@voxmedia.com

What’s the difference between Tylenol, Advil, and aspirin? Which is the best to take for pain?

I used to take acetaminophen (usually referred to by its brand name, Tylenol) for the occasional headache or sore muscle, mostly because that’s what we used in my house growing up. I didn’t think much about whether it was more or less effective than any other type of over-the-counter pain reliever, and I suspect the same is true for many folks. Acetaminophen, after all, is the most popular over-the-counter painkiller worldwide.

So I was surprised when I found out there’s a huge gap between how pain researchers think about this drug and how the public does. More specifically, every researcher I contacted for this piece said some variation of what Andrew Moore, a pain researcher at Oxford University, told me: Tylenol doesn’t actually work that well for pain. To be more exact, “I can’t imagine why anybody would take acetaminophen,” he said.

Moore has done a number of systematic reviews on over-the-counter pain medications, looking at all the available evidence to figure out which ones work best for various problems. I asked him to describe the overall success rates for the most common three: acetaminophen (like Tylenol), ibuprofen (like Advil), and aspirin.

Like all good evidence-based medicine thinkers, he was able to provide a very practical answer: “If you’re talking about aspirin in doses of 500 to 1,000 mg or two tablets, 30 percent of people get relief from acute pain. For acetaminophen at doses of 500 to 1,000 mg, about 40 percent have a success. For ibuprofen, in its normal formulation at something around 400 mg or two tablets, about 50 percent have success.”

Now, Moore was referring here to acute pain that strikes after a specific event, like a surgery, a cut, or a burn, but his message was simple: Ibuprofen seems to work best, followed by acetaminophen, and then aspirin.

For ongoing (or chronic) pain — a sore lower back, say, or the kind of degenerative arthritis that typically develops with age — ibuprofen still outperforms acetaminophen. In fact, study after study has shown that acetaminophen on its own just doesn’t work that well for most people to treat this kind of pain, either.

“WE FOUND THAT [TYLENOL] IS INEFFECTIVE ON BOTH PAIN AND DISABILITY OUTCOMES FOR LOW BACK PAIN”

A 2015 systematic review of high-quality evidence, published in the BMJ, found that acetaminophen didn’t seem to help most sufferers of chronic low back pain, and that it barely alleviates pain in people with osteoarthritis. As the researchers wrote, “We found that [acetaminophen] is ineffective on both pain and disability outcomes for low back pain in the immediate and short term and is not clinically superior to placebo on both pain and disability outcomes for osteoarthritis.”

They also noted that patients on acetaminophen “are nearly four times more likely to have abnormal results on liver function tests compared with those taking oral placebo.”

Other studies, like this well-designed randomized control trial of people with knee pain, have similar conclusions: Acetaminophen doesn’t perform as well as ibuprofen, and it’s linked to higher rates of liver problems.

acetaminophen

So what about the occasional headache? What works best for that?

It turns out this is another fascinating problem area for pain researchers. Moore has looked at all the evidence for what he calls “infrequent tension headaches” and found “it is surprising how poor [the research] is and how little it tells us.” Either the outcomes in studies are badly defined, the studies have too few participants to say anything concrete, or many people in the studies actually seem to have chronic headaches as opposed to the ordinary ones they’re allegedly studying.

“Most people would say, if you look at the data, take an ibuprofen tablet,” Moore said. “Acetaminophen is just not a very good analgesic [pain reliever], yet it’s the go-to drug because it’s thought to be safe.”

And that’s where things get even more interesting: Acetaminophen isn’t actually that safe.

“We always thought [acetaminophen] was safe, but there are increasing signals of accidental overdose in people who are regularly using it for chronic pain, and some liver toxicity,” explained the University of Leeds’s Philip Conaghan, who has studied adverse events data related to this popular drug.

Between 1998 and 2003, acetaminophen was the leading cause of acute liver failure in the US. There are also hundreds of related deaths every year — though keep in mind that millions of people take drugs with acetaminophen, so these more extreme side effects are rare (especially if you’re only taking them in small doses occasionally). Still, for the drug’s minimal pain-killing benefits, the risks may not be worth it.

“Don’t believe that just because something is over-the-counter, it’s safe,” Conaghan added. (He advised people to see their doctor if they’re taking any of these painkillers for more than a few days — particularly if they’re on other drugs already.)

“[TYLENOL] IS AN OLD DRUG, OBSOLETE, AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED ALTOGETHER”

Kay Brune, a professor of pharmacology and toxicology at Germany’s Friedrich-Alexander University who has also studied the toxicity of painkillers, was even more direct in his thoughts on acetaminophen: “It’s an old drug, obsolete, and should be avoided altogether.”

Aspirin is safer than acetaminophen, he said, though to be used as a pain reliever it requires much higher doses — which can have side effects like stomach upset. Aspirin also interferes with blood coagulation for days after taking it. “If you take one gram of aspirin,” Brune explained, “you’re at risk of bleeding for another four days.” This is why aspirin has its place as a protective agent against strokes and heart attacks for people at a higher risk.

Ibuprofen doesn’t have these two problems — it’s less toxic than the others in the doses that give people pain relief. But it has other side effects. “Ibuprofen puts people at risk of bleeds in the gastrointestinal tract and kidney damage — so it’s not free of risk,” said Brune. Using it in high doses also seems to raise blood pressure, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke — one reason the Food and Drug Administration recently warned people should only use ibuprofen (and other “Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs” or “NSAIDS” like naproxen) for short periods of time and in small amounts.

I asked Brune about what he’d suggest for the occasional headache or sore muscle. “Taking 400 mg of ibuprofen won’t cause measurable harm,” he answered. “Of all drugs we have available, for most indications, it’s also the most effective one.”

If the research community seems to have sided with ibuprofen for pain, is acetaminophen good for anything?

Patients with kidney and cardiovascular problems may need to avoid NSAIDS like ibuprofen, so doctors could suggest Tylenol here even though it probably won’t provide as much pain relief. NSAIDS can also cause psychosis and cognitive impairment, so doctors may avoid prescribing them for elderly patients.

Fever is another area where acetaminophen can help, said Moore. According to one systematic review, acetaminophen seems to be safe for treating very young kids with fever, and you can give children as young as 3 months old acetaminophen, whereas you need to wait until kids are at least 6 months old to safely treat them with ibuprofen. (Aspirin is not recommended for anyone under 18 years old since it can cause a potentially fatal condition called Reye syndrome.) This may help to explain the popularity of drugs like Tylenol for kids.

But a final caveat here: If your child is older than 6 months, it’s not all that clear that acetaminophen outperforms ibuprofen for reducing fevers, and the same is true for adults. So keep that in mind when you’re rethinking your medicine cabinet.

source: www.vox.com