Sunday, December 23, 2012

How to Cleanse the Home with Herbs, Lemons and Lime


Some people are not comfortable with using housecleaning products which are made from chemicals for fear of infecting their home and family with toxins emitted out of it. Instead they prefer to use herbs which are safe and do not leave a harsh smell lingering in the air.

Some herbs are also used since it has the power to cleanse and remove negative energy which has stagnated within a home

Listed below are herbs and flowers commonly used to cleanse different areas of one’s home. Keep in mind that home cleaning products made from herbs, spices and flowers should be used immediately for its effects wear off after sometime and therefore becomes ineffective if stored for more than a day or two.

For Kitchen Sinks

Rose-Scented Scouring Powder

Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup rose petals

Method:

Place all the ingredients into a blender or grinder and crush into a powder. Wet the kitchen sink and generously sprinkle the powder in it and scrub. Rinse off with warm water.

For Carpets

To absorb dirt and odor from carpets and leave it smelling clean and fresh try the following carpet fresheners.

Lavender Carpet Freshener

Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¾ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup lavender flowers

Method:

Place all ingredients in a grinder and ground to a powder. Sprinkle on the carpet and leave overnight. Vacuum the next morning. Do this treatment once a week to maintain clean and odor free carpets.
For Wooden Floors

Peppermint Wood Floor Cleanser

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup peppermint tea
  • ½ cup white vinegar

Method:

Mix together the peppermint tea and white vinegar and add to a bucket which has 7 ½ liters (2 gallons) of water in it. Wipe the wooden floors with the mixture.

For Counter Tops and Dirty Surfaces

Sage Cleanser

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup fresh sage
  • 1 ¼ cups water

Method:

Place the sage together with the water in a pan and cook on medium low heat till water has reduced to ¼ cup. Strain into a cup and discard the leaves.

Take the ¼ cup sage tea (make sure it has cooled) and pour into a bottle. Add 1 tablespoon baking soda and the juice of ½ lemon/lime into it and mix all the ingredients well by shaking the bottle. Use the liquid to cleanse kitchen tops, kitchen and bathroom wall tiles.

Citrus and Baking Soda

Cut a citrus fruit in half and sprinkle a ¼ teaspoon baking soda on it. Use it to scrub counter tops and bathtubs.

Glass Cleaner

Lemon and Vinegar Glass Cleaner

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon/lime juice or 10 drops lime essential oil

Method:

Pour all the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well. Then apply onto a clean cloth and wipe the glass clean with it.

Orange and Cloves for Closets and Drawers

To freshen drawers, closets and to keep moths away take an orange and stud it with cloves.

To Brighten Stainless Steel

Rub a slice of cucumber and leave for a few minutes. Then wipe dry with a clean cloth.

To Polish Stainless Steel, Aluminum and Brass

Take a tablespoon cream of tartar and mix enough lemon or lime juice into it to make a paste. Apply on the metal. Leave on for 10 seconds and wipe clean with a dry clean cloth.

To Brighten Brass

Rub half a lemon/lime mixed with salt on the brass for a few minutes. Then wipe clean with a dry clean cloth.

To disinfect and clean drains of kitchen and bathroom sinks mix half a cup lemon juice with 1 ½ liters (1 gallon) of hot water and pour it into the drain.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Home Remedies for Pimples


Try any one of the remedies listed below to get rid of pimples. Make sure to first wash the face with warm water and a mild baby soap before applying any of the remedies on the pimple.

Dead Sea Mud Clay for pimples

Mix one teaspoon of mud clay and water to make a paste. Apply on the pimple and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Cinnamon and honey for pimples

Mix ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder with enough honey to make a paste. Apply on the pimple and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Green tea for pimples

Make a cup of green tea and pour in ice trays and place in freezer. Remove the ice cubes and run on the pimple. This is also a good remedy for oily blemished skin. Allow to dry naturally on skin.

Orange peel for pimples

Take an orange and peel it. Take the peel and add a few drops of water to it and pound it. Then rub on the face for 3 minutes especially areas where there are pimples and blemishes. Rinse off with cold water and pat dry.

Egg White Mask for Pimples

Beat an egg white. Dip a cotton bud into the egg white and apply on the pimple. Leave overnight and rinse off with warm water in the morning.

Toothpaste for Pimples

Dab a little toothpaste on the pimple and leave overnight. Wash off with warm water in the morning.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Home Remedies for Hiccups


Sugar for Hiccups

Place a teaspoon of sugar on your tongue and suck on it while it has all dissolved.

Peanut Butter for Hiccups

Place a tablespoon of peanut butter on your tongue and close your mouth. Hold for 5 seconds and then immediately swallow. Do not chew.

Holding Breath and Drinking Water for Hiccups

Hold your breath and immediately take 5 sips of water. Then exhale slowly. Do this 5 times.

Massaging Ears to treat Hiccups

Massage gently the ear lobes for a few minutes.

Massaging Eyes to treat Hiccups

Close both eyes and gently massage for a few minutes. You can also place pressure on both eyelid using the fingers and hold for a few seconds. Do this a few times.

Cotton bud for Hiccups

Take a cotton bud/swap and tickle the top of your mouth with it for a few minutes.

Seek immediate medical help if the hiccups have gotten worse and has not stopped even after trying the above remedies.

Home Remedies to Remove a Fish Bone Stuck in Throat

Only try these remedies if you’re unable to use your fingers to carefully take the bone out from the throat.

Olive oil or Virgin oil

Take a tablespoon of olive oil or virgin oil and wash it down with a ½ a glass of water. The oil acts as a lubricant and the water will help dislodge the bone and sent it into the intestines where the stomach juices will digest it or send it out of the colon.

Banana

Eat a banana and wash it down with a ½ a glass of water. The bone will get stuck to the fruit and travel out of the throat and into the stomach where it will be removed from the body through waste or will be dissolved by the enzymes in the stomach.

Toast and peanut butter

Eat a slice of toast which has a thick layer of peanut butter spread on it and wash it down with a ½ a glass of water. The bread and peanut butter will help dislodge the bone from the throat.

Boiled Rice dipped in melted butter

Shape the boiled rice into a ball which is small enough to swallow. Dip it in the some melted butter and swallow and wash it down with ½ a glass of water.

Orange Juice or Lemon Juice

Drink ½ a glass of orange juice or lemon juice since the citric acid contained in the juices help to soften the bone and get it out from the throat.

Seek immediate medical help if you've tried the above remedies but the fish bone is still stuck in the throat.


Home Remedies for Wrinkles


Honey and Vitamin E Mask for Wrinkles

Ingredients:
  • 3 Vitamin E capsules
  • 2 tablespoons of plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of honey

Method:

Remove the oil from the Vitamin E capsules and mix together with the yoghurt, lemon juice and honey. Set aside.

Wash the face with a mild baby soap. Pat dry and apply the vitamin E mask on the face avoiding the eyes and lips. Leave for ten minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Pat dry. Do not apply any makeup or moisturizer on the face until 24 hours has passed. Do this treatment twice a week.

Olive oil and Orange Juice Mask for Wrinkles

Ingredients:
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • 1 egg yolk beaten
  • 2 tablespoons oatmeal

 Method:

Mix together the olive oil, orange juice, egg yolk and oatmeal in a bowl. Set aside.

Wash the face with a mild baby soap. Pat dry with a clean wash cloth and apply the olive oil mask on the face avoiding the eyes and lips. Leave for 20 minutes and then rinse off with warm water. Pat face dry with a clean wash cloth. Do not apply any makeup or moisturizer on the face until 24 hours has passed. Do this treatment twice a week.

Seedless Green Grapes for Wrinkles

Wash the face with a mild baby soap. Pat dry with a clean wash cloth.

Mash a few green grapes in a bowl. Apply on clean face and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry with face towel. Do this treatment three times a week.

Pineapple Juice for Wrinkles

Wash the face with a mild baby soap. Pat dry with a clean wash cloth.

Extract the juice of a slice of fresh pineapple. Apply on clean face and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry with a face towel. Do this treatment three times a week.

Include a cup of green grapes or a cup of fresh pineapple pieces in your diet twice a week to maintain healthy young looking skin.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Home Remedies for an Enlarged Prostrate Gland

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)  is a condition which causes a man’s prostrate gland to enlarge and get bigger. Men 40 years and over are the ones susceptible to an enlarged prostrate gland.

The prostrate gland shaped similar to a walnut is found around the urethra and is a vital organ for it produces a fluid that helps to nourish sperm. The urethra is like a tube through which urine from the bladder is sent to the penis. When the prostrate gland gets bigger it puts pressure on the urethra squeezing it and making it narrow. This in turn makes it difficult to pass urine effectively.

An enlarged prostrate gland can cause urinary tract infections leading to bladder and kidney damage.

Men over 40 are advised to have a prostrate examination done annually to detect if they may be suffering from an enlarged prostrate gland.

So how is a prostate examination done?

A digital rectal exam – also known as DRE is one type of prostrate examination where the doctor wears a rubber glove and inserts a finger into the rectum. Using the same finger he searches for the prostrate gland and checks it to verify if there are any abnormalities in the gland such as lumps etc.

Blood Test Examination – prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein secreted by the prostrate gland into the blood. Increase levels of PSA in the blood is a sign of an enlarged prostrate gland. By doing a PSA blood test the doctor can detect whether or not the prostrate gland is enlarged.

By doing a colonoscopy test – A colonoscopy test involves  inserting a colonoscope ( thin flexible tube with a tiny camera attached to it)  into the rectum to view the colon and intestines. It is also a method used to check the prostrate gland.

Listed below are some popular home remedies used for the treatment of an enlarged prostrate gland.

Pumpkin seeds for an enlarged prostate

Take 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds and partially crush it. Put the crushed seeds into a glass bowl. Pour 2 cups of boiling water into it. Allow to completely cool and then strain and drink. Drink the pumpkin tea once a day for 7 to 10 days.

Watermelon seeds for an enlarged prostrate gland

Take 2 tablespoons pf watermelon seeds and partially crush it. Put the crushed seeds into a glass bowl. Pour 2 cups of boiling water into it. Allow to completely cool and then strain and drink. Drink the watermelon tea once a day for ten days.

Corn silk for an enlarged prostrate

Take 6 ears of corn and remove the corn silk from it. Place the corn silk in a glass bowl with 4 cups of boiling water. Allow to completely cool and then strain and drink. Drink the corn silk tea three times a week for best results.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Home Remedies for Gas


A person can suffer from gas when consuming food rich in carbohydrates or eating a meal high in fat. Gas can also result from laying down to take a nap right after a meal.

You should always chew food before swallowing as this can greatly reduce your chances of getting gas. Avoid eating excess amounts of foods which cause gas: beans, onions, brussel sprouts, corn, prunes and potatoes to name a few.

Listed below are some home remedies which can be used for treating gas.

Ginger Tea for Gas

Drink a cup of ginger tea after your meal to prevent gas and bloating. To make ginger tea add a teaspoon of fresh ginger into a cup. Then fill the cup with boiling water. Cover with saucer and let stand for 3 to 5 minutes. Strain and drink.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Gas

Mix 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 1 (200 ml) glass of warm water. Allow to cool at room temperature and then drink.

Brandy for Gas

Mix 1 tablespoon brandy in 1 cup of warm water. Drink before going to bed.

Charcoal Tablets for Gas and Bloating

Take one charcoal tablet after meals or as prescribed.

Cinnamon and Honey for Gas

Mix ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder with 1 tablespoon honey and take after meals to treat gas and bloating.




Home Remedies for Clogged Drains


Hot Water and Salt for Clogged Drains

Ingredients:
  • 4 liters water
  • 2 cups salt

Method:

Heat the water with 2 cups salt and bring to a boil. Pour the hot water into the clogged drain. Boil more water with salt and pour it down the drain if the drain is still blocked. The hot salt water helps to loosen the grime and dirt.

Baking Soda and Salt for Clogged Drains

Ingredients:
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup salt

Method:

Boil 4 cups of water. Remove from fire and add 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup salt to it. Pour the hot liquid into the clogged drain and leave overnight. The next morning wash out the drain with more hot water until the blockage is completely gone.

Baking Soda and Vinegar for Clogged Drains

Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • Hot water

Method:

Take ¼ cup baking soda and pour into the drain. Next take ½ cup vinegar and pour down the drain. Leave overnight and the next morning wash out the drain with hot water until the blockage is completely gone.

To maintain clean and unclogged drains use any of the above remedies on drains once a month.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Home Remedies for Osteoarthritis


Our body is made of a large number of bones. When two of these bones meet it’s called a joint. Each bone is covered with a thick tissue called a cartilage at the point where they meet. The cartilage acts as a cushion by protecting the bones from damage when it rubs against each other during movement.

When the cartilage gets weak and damaged it causes the bones to rub against each other hence causing severe pain and swelling and in extreme cases difficulty in the movement  of the joint. Osteoarthritis is the name given to this form of joint disease.

Osteoarthritis is a form of arthritis which only affects the joint and movement unlike rheumatoid arthritis which causes damage to both the joints and certain internal organs.

Osteoarthritis occurs mainly in the elderly although those in their middle age and younger are also known to suffer from the disease if they are:
  • Overweight
  • Have a defect or injury in the joint
  • Have joints which are not properly developed are also at risk of suffering from Osteoarthritis
  • Straining the joints while playing sports or when doing certain jobs can also cause Osteoarthritis.
Listed below are some home remedies which can be used to treat Osteoarthritis.


Epsom Salt for Osteoarthritis

Add 1 cup Epsom Salt into a warm bath and soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes. The Epsom Salt will soothe the pain. Do this treatment 3 to 4 times a week.

Dead Sea Salt for Osteoarthritis

Add ½ cup of Dead Sea Salt into a warm bath. Soak in it for 15 to 20 minutes. Do this treatment 3 to 4 times a week for best results.

Dead Sea Mud for Osteoarthritis

Apply a later of Dead Sea Mud on the painful joint and allow to completely dry before rinsing off with warm water. The mud contains healing ingredients which help to reduce the pain and swelling.

Turmeric Paste for Osteoarthritis

First compress the joint area for 5 to 10 minutes with a bowl of warm water which has 1 teaspoon of Epsom Salt added to it. Then apply turmeric paste on the area. To make the turmeric paste mix 1 teaspoon turmeric powder with a little water. 


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Benefits of Dragon Fruit


The Dragon Fruit is a fiber rich fruit which has fragrant flowers that bloom at night. The Dragon Fruit plant also known as the Pitaya fruit cactus is a kind of cactus which bears red-skinned fruit with white flesh (Red Pitaya), red-skinned fruit with red flesh (Costa Rica Pitayas) and yellow-skinned fruit with white flesh (Yellow Pitaya). Many claim the red skinned dragon fruit is the tastiest out of the three. The red dragon fruit’s also said to have the ability to control glucose levels in blood which is good news for diabetic patients. The fruit was first discovered growing in Mexico and Central and South America.

Dragon Fruit plants play a major role in the environment for it has the ability to take in carbon dioxide when its flowers bloom at night and give out oxygen to clean the air.

The fiber in dragon fruit helps to improve the digestive system bringing relief to constipation and help in weight loss. 

Dragon fruit is high in Vitamin C which helps to strengthen the immune system and lower the risk of respiratory problems such as the common cold and cough and helps in the healing of wounds.

The phytoalbumins contained in dragon fruit are antioxidants and helps to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

The famous health specialist Dr. Oz says the Lycopene in dragon fruit is ‘known for helping to reduce damage to the skin when exposed to the sun.’

How to Make Dragon Fruit Smoothie

To make this recipe make sure all the ingredients except for the sugar has been chilled.

Ingredients:
  • Flesh from 1 red skinned dragon fruit
  • ¼ cup blackberries
  • ¼ cup raspberries
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Method:

Place all the ingredients in the blender and blend till smooth. Serve immediately.

© Suranee Perera 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Benefits of Gingko


In China an ancient tree can be found having leaves which hold therapeutic powers. The tree is known as Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) and is sometimes called the 'maidenhair tree' and 'yinhsing'. The seeds are toxic but the leaves are not. The leaves are packed with the chemicals flavonoids and terpenoids. Both are high performing antioxidants. Flavonoids safeguard the heart muscle, blood vessels, nerves and retina from damage. Terpenoids (ginkgolides) help in promoting blood flow ‘by dilating blood vessels and reducing the stickiness of platelets.’

Ginkgo has been used for centuries by the Chinese in their medicine and research done has showed it helps to increase blood flow to the brain and protect nerve cells in the brain from damage. This is why in Europe gingko is used in treating dementia. Alzheimer's disease is another sickness ginkgo is claimed to have the potential to treat.

Since gingko is termed as a brain herb and is claimed to improve concentration and memory some students are known to consume it in the hope it will help them with their studies.

Taking ginkgo is said to bring relief to intermittent claudication sufferers. Intermittent claudication is caused by block arteries and brings about cramps and pain in the legs since there is insufficient blood flow to the legs. Apart from the pain and cramps in the legs, ankles and feet are also known to swell up. By taking gingko it can improve blood flow hence reducing the pain and swelling. Other blood circulation problems the herb is taken for treating is peripheral vascular disease and Raynaud's syndrome.

People taking anti-depressant drugs should avoid taking gingko and so should those taking medication to treat blood clotting. Anti-depressant drugs work on the brain similar to gingko and by taking both it can increase the levels of activity in the areas of the brain these two medications are treating. 

People with blood clotting problems take blood thinner medications and ginkgo too is consumed in treating insufficient blood flow. Again by taking both it can increase the effects of blood flow in such a way it can be harmful to the body.

Gingko can be taken in the form of tea, tincture or capsules. Make sure to consult your doctor before using gingko. 

© Suranee Perera 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Home Remedies for Shingles

The virus ‘herpes varicella-zoste’ which is also responsible for chicken pox is what causes Shingles.

There are two main ways a person can get shingles:

1) People who have had chicken pox get shingles if the virus is triggered off in the body again. When a person is cured from chicken pox the virus is not destroyed but stays dormant in the body.  But when our immune system is weakened the virus can reappear again. The second time the virus attacks the body is called shingles.

2) Sometimes a person having shingles can pass it on to others who have never had or been vaccinated against chicken pox.

People over the age of 50 who've had chicken pox are at a greater risk of getting shingles since their immune system is not as active and strong because of old age. By getting the shingles vaccine when you reach 50+ you can reduce the chances of getting the disease.

Shingle symptoms include the appearance of a skin rash and blisters which can be extremely painful, itchiness, headache and flu like symptoms without fever.

If you suspect you have shingles immediately go to your doctor to get a confirmation. By doing so you can use the correct treatment to cure it.

Listed below are a few home remedies you can try to get relief from shingles.

Crisco Shortening for Shingles

To soothe the pain caused by shingles apply a layer of Crisco shortening on the area. You can also place an ice pack on the area.

Oatmeal for Shingles

Oatmeal is another remedy you can use to bring relief to pain. Cook some oatmeal with only water and place in the fridge. When fully cold apply a generous layer on the affected area and leave on for 15 minutes. Gently rinse off with cold water.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Shingles

Make a solution by mixing 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar  with 1 cup water. Apply on the area using cotton whenever the pain flares up. 

Home Remedies for Vertigo


Vertigo is a disorder which causes dizziness in a person resulting in them feeling as though they are moving or spinning when they are standing. Vertigo can be caused due to the ‘inflammation within the inner ear, decreased blood flow to the base of the brain, head trauma, neck injury or migraine.’

 Vertigo can last for a few days, weeks, months or go on for years.

Apart from finding it hard to keep one’s balance when standing and walking other symptoms of vertigo are nausea, sense of light headedness, ear ache and unclear vision.

Top shelf vertigo is another form of vertigo which has similar symptoms as the common type of vertigo. Top self vertigo usually occurs when the head is tilted back to look upward.  Patients who have to lean their head back when visiting the dentist while sitting on the dental chair or customers at hair salons who have to tip their head back when they need to get their hair shampooed are at risk of getting this type of vertigo.

Top shelf vertigo is also known as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). Some people have debris which collects in their inner ear. The debris is not dirt but tiny calcium carbonate crystals referred to as ‘ear rocks’ or "otoconia." Such people are the ones who get top self vertigo.

The following is an image of a popular exercise which can be done to treat vertigo. A more in depth explanation of how the exercise should be done can be found here. More on BENIGN PAROXYSMAL POSITIONAL VERTIGO can be read here.


© Suranee Perera 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Home remedies for Insomnia


Many of us have experienced insomnia at one point in our life. Insomnia or sleeplessness can be divided in two types: acute (short-term) or chronic (ongoing). Acute insomnia usually lasts a few days to a couple of weeks and is caused mainly due to stress at work or home. Chronic insomnia is continuous and can be due to certain illnesses, medication or a sleep disorder.

Insomnia can have drastic effects on our health causing us to feel irritable and depressed hence making it difficult to go about with our normal work and disrupting our life.

The following are some home remedies you can try to treat insomnia.

Soak in a warm bath for 15 minutes which has 1 cup Epsom salt added to it before going to bed. The warmth of the bath will help your body relax and prepare itself for a good night sleep.  

Avoid drinking caffeine based drinks like coffee and tea before going to bed. Caffeine tends to keep us awake. Instead have a warm glass of milk with a teaspoon of honey added to it.

Avoid taking alcohol before going to bed since the chemicals can affect our sleep patterns and cause dehydration in the body forcing us not to have a restful sleep but instead one which will leave us drained of our energy and irritable the next morning.

Sleep in a quite dark room for our body needs such an environment to produce the sleep hormone melatonin which helps us fall asleep.

Make a point to go to bed at around the same time every night since this will help to promote healthy sleep patterns.

© Suranee Perera 2012 

Home Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis


A thick tissue called plantar fascia can be found at the heel bone extending to the ball of the foot. This is an important tissue for it helps to keep the arch of the foot in good condition and acts a ‘major transmitter of weight across the foot as you walk or run.’ But sometimes the tissue can get inflamed and worn out. When this happens it can cause severe pain especially after you wake up in the morning and begin walking around. When your plantar fascia gets inflamed, worn out and causes pain it’s called ‘plantar fasciitis.’

Plantar Fasciitis is not a serious problem but if not treated during the early stages it can lead to heel spur. So what is a heel spur? Heel spur also known as calcaneal spur is a bony projection which forms at the point where the plantar fascia is connected to the heel bone. It’s only by getting an x-ray can a heel spur be detected.

To treat plantar fasciitis at home soak the affected foot in warm water for 15 minutes which has 1 tablespoon salt added to it. Then wipe dry. Next do any of the following exercises. Some experts claim plantar fasciitis sufferers should avoid adding heat to the foot since it can make it worse. So keep this in mind. You can pass the warm salt water soak and go straight to doing the exercises. Personally I have found the warm salt water soak and doing the exercises right after has brought much needed relief to my troubled heel.

1) Stand with your toes on the edge of a stair step. Make sure to support yourself by keeping one hand on the stair railing or wall to avoid falling. Lower your heels slowly to the ground to stretch it. Return back to the original position and repeat the exercise. Do 2 sets of 10 reps.

2) Place a tennis ball under the foot and begin rolling it back and forth for 30 seconds. Do this exercise for about 3 minutes every day.

It can take between 3 months to a year to treat plantar fasciitis. People who are overweight and those who wear the wrong kind of footwear are more likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis.


© Suranee Perera 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Home Remedies for Skunk Odor


Skunks sometimes called ‘polecats’ are well known for spraying a nasty smelling oily pale-yellow liquid through its anal glands as a means to defend itself or as a warning.

Skunk smell is made up of sulfurous chemicals that are called thiols which are stored in the skunk’s anal glands. These thiols contain a strong repellent odor which stays on the skin and fur for sometime making it difficult to get rid of.

Dogs and humans are easily prone to skunk smell attacks since skunks tend to frequent areas such as yards and gardens in homes where garbage is kept.

A skunk smell attack can leave the victim suffering from the following symptoms:
  • Watery eyes
  • Nasal irritation
  • Nausea
  • Severe eye inflammation

Skunk smell is not easy to remove. But there are some home remedies which people have turned to in order to get rid of the stench. Listed below is one such remedy.

Ingredients:

1 quart 3% hydrogen peroxide
1/4 cup of baking soda
2 teaspoons of liquid soap
1 quart of lukewarm water

Method:

Mix all the ingredients in a large bucket. Wash the skin with the mixture. Rinse the skin with warm water afterwards.

If it’s your dog that has suffered a skunk smell attack apply the mixture on its fur and leave on for 3 minutes. Then rinse off with warm water. You might have to repeat the treatment 2 times to fully get rid of the odor.

Use 3% hydrogen peroxide as its not strong.

© Suranee Perera 2012



Monday, August 20, 2012

Home Remedies for Weight Loss


The two golden rules for maintaining a fabulous slim trim figure is to exercise and eat right. But many of us end up doing the total opposite since we find ourselves too busy with taking care of the family or occupied with our career. 

Listed below are some foods and beverages you can include in your daily diet to help you lose weight.

Types of foods to eat for Weight Loss


Eat foods rice in fiber. Fiber foods help to increase your metabolism rate. Metabolism is a process which converts the food you consume into energy. The higher your metabolism rate the more number of calories your body will burn.

Eating foods rich in fiber will also make you feel full and reduce unnecessary hunger pangs to a great extent. You should include about 40 grams of fiber in your daily diet to help with weight loss. Listed below are some popular foods rich in fiber but remember you should eat a total of 40 grams of the foods for it to be effective in helping with weight loss.

  • Orange – 1 orange contains 3 grams fiber
  • Brown Rice – 1 cup of cooked brown rice has 4 grams fiber
  • Brown bread or whole grain bread – 1 slice has about 2 grams of fiber
  • Almonds – An ounce (2 tablespoons) of almonds contain about 4 grams of fiber
  • Cooked Oats – 1 cup of cooked oatmeal has about 4 grams of fiber
  • Pears – 1 pear contains about 4 grams fiber
  • Raisins – ½ cup of raisins have 4 grams of fiber
  • Blackberries - 1 cup of blackberries have about 7.5 grams of fiber
  • Raspberries - 1 cup of raspberries have about 8 grams of fiber
  • Blueberries – 1 cup of blueberries contain around 5 grams of fiber
  • Strawberries – 1 cup of Strawberries have about 4 grams of fiber 
  • Prunes – 6 prunes contain about 8 grams of fiber
  • Bran Cereal: 1/2 cup of bran cereal contains 10 grams of fiber
  • Lentils: 1/2 cup of lentils contain 6 grams of fiber
  • Broccoli – 1 cup contains about 5 grams of fiber
  • Kiwi Fruit – 1 Kiwi fruit contains 3 grams of fiber
  • Kidney Beans - ½ cup kinder beans has 7 grams of fiber
  • Carrots – 1 cup carrots has 3 grams of fiber
Eating 3 apples or 3 pears or eating 2 cups of chopped pawpaw a day are claimed to help with weight loss.

Types of Beverages to drink for Weight Loss

Green Tea

Green tea helps to increase metabolism hence helping your body to burn more calories.

Drink 3 cups of green tea a day. When purchasing green tea try and buy the ones produced in Japan or China since these green teas are more effective in burning calories and aiding in weight loss.

When making your green tea always remember to brew it for only 2 to 3 minutes. If you brew it for a longer period of time the tea will give a bitter taste.

Apart from helping with weight loss, green tea also promotes brain power and kills bacteria in the mouth which is responsible for bad breath.

© Suranee Perera 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Home Remedies for vulvovaginal candidiasis (Yeast Infections)


Yeast infections (also referred to as ‘candidiasis’) is caused by the yeast fungus ‘candida albicans.’

Only certain areas of the body are prone to yeast infections. Such places would be where the skin is always warm and moist such as the mouth, between skin folds and private parts.

The most common type of yeast infection a female gets is vulvovaginal candidiasis. This is a type of yeast infection which infects a woman’s or girl’s vulva causing it to swell up, redden and become itchy.

A person suffering from vulvovaginal candidiasis will also feel a burning sensation when passing urine or during sex.

Females are at risk of getting vulvovaginal candidiasis if they:
  • Wear tight underwear especially ones made of nylon.
  • Wear wet clothes for long periods of time such as a bathing suit.
  • Wear sanitary napkins which are perfumed.
  • Apply strong scented soaps and body washes to their private parts when bathing or showering.
  • Do not wash underwear properly.
  • Do not bathe or shower regularly.
  • Do not dry themselves properly after a shower or bathe.
  • Using birth control pills, antibiotics or steroids.
  • Wiping back to front after using the toilet.

Listed below are a few home remedies for treating vulvovaginal candidiasis.

Honey

Honey is rich in antiseptic properties and is an ideal treatment for vulvovaginal candidiasis.

Go to the bathroom and sit on the toilet. Take some honey and apply generously on the affected area. Leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water. Do this treatment in the morning and at night before going to bed.

Garlic

Some women peel a garlic clove and insert it into the vagina. If you feel uncomfortable doing this you can take a garlic clove and mince it. Then apply around the vulva. Leave on for an hour and rinse off with warm water. Do this treatment twice a day (morning and evening).

Apple Cider Vinegar

Pour 1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar into a warm bath. Soak in it for 15 minutes. Do this treatment daily.

© Suranee Perera 2012


Home Remedies for Polishing Silver

As time goes by silver loses its luster and shine if not taken care of properly. To prevent this from happening to your silver keep the following in mind.

When silver is exposed to air it tarnishes easily. Silver also tarnishes/corrodes when dust and grime is allowed to settle on it.


When putting away silver make sure it’s wrapped in clean cotton/polyester cloth or you can purchase specially made bags or cloth designed to keep silver in. This will protect the metal from tarnishing.

Make sure to pack each piece of the silver separately after every use. Silver will corrode and lose its glossy sheen appearance if packed together.

Moisture is one of the biggest enemies of silver since it causes it to tarnish or corrode. If you store your silver in a cupboard or drawer make sure you place a few silica gel packets along with it. This will help to keep humidity levels low. If you’re unable to find silica gel packets place a few camphor balls with the silver.

Materials you should not use to store your silver are:
  • Wool
  • Felt
  • Chamois leather
  • Newspaper


These materials tend to tarnish silver. Cotton felt, wool and velvet are three more types of cloth which should not be used since it contains sulfides that can damage the metal.

Rubber and Stainless Steel are two other materials silver should not be kept near.

Listed below are a few home remedies you can use to polish your silver.

If you plan to wear gloves when polishing silver make sure you wear ones made of nitrile. Nitrile gloves do not contain sulfur. Silver tends to tarnish when it comes into contact with sulfur.

Toothpaste

First rinse each piece of silver under running warm water from the tap. Then gently wipe dry with a soft clean cloth.

Choose white toothpaste (Clogard is a good brand) and apply some to a clean cloth or sponge. Then apply on the silver using back-and-forth motions.

When finished rinse off with warm water and dry with a soft cloth.

Baking Soda

Mix ½ cup baking soda with enough water to make a paste. Apply the paste onto a clean damp cloth or sponge. Then apply on the silver using back-and-forth motions. Leave for a few minutes for the paste soak the dirt and moisture from the silver. Using a damp cloth wipe off the residue and rinse each piece of silver under warm water. Wipe dry using a clean cloth.



© Suranee Perera 2012

Home Remedies for Headaches

Headaches cause pain in a variety of places inside the head. The pain can be mild to excruciating.

Headaches can be classified into three groups:
  • Primary headaches
  • Secondary headaches
  • Cranial neuralgia
Primary headaches

Primary headaches are the most common type of headaches people get.

Migraine, tension, and cluster headaches are examples of primary headaches. Those suffering from a primary headache will have pain at the back of the head and upper neck, the temples and forehead.

Physical and emotional stress caused to the body by doing physical work, working in front of a computer or concentrating for long periods of time (such as when driving) can cause a person to suffer from this type of headache.

Secondary headaches


Secondary headaches are caused by problems in the head or neck e.g injury caused to the head and neck, whiplash, concussion, bleeding in the brain, tumor, meningitis and encephalitis.

Cranial neuralgia

Cranial neuralgia is a type of headache which occurs when the nerves in the head and upper neck get inflamed.  

Listed below are a few popular home remedies to bring relief to primary headaches.

Ginger

Crush a fresh piece of ginger 1-inch long. Add to a cup of boiling water. Close with saucer and steep for 5 minutes. Strain into a new cup and drink.

Apples

Peel and chop an apple. Eat first thing in the morning. Use this treatment for 7 to 10 days if you suffer from frequent headaches. Apples contain
bioflavonoids which are effective in soothing headaches.

Lemonade/Lime Juice

Make a glass of lemonade or lime juice using 1 lemon/lime mixed in a glass of water (200ml) and drink.



Warm Foot-baths

Taking a warm footbath by soaking the feet in a warm bowl of water which has 1 teaspoon mustard powder mixed into it can bring relief to a headache.

Peppermint Oil

Dab some peppermint oil onto a piece of cotton and apply along the hairline.

Foods that can trigger headaches in some people are:

Eating too much chocolate

Research done by the International Headache Society found cocoa may protect nerve cells which are responsible for causing migraine headaches. But by eating too much chocolate it can have the opposite effect thereby causing a headache.

Drinking too much alcohol and red wine 

When cells in the brain dehydrate due to the lack of fluids in our body we can suffer from a headache. Red wines contain sulfites which can cause dehydration. Alcohol can cause an excess of blood to the brain which can also trigger dehydration. 

Cheese
Consuming certain varieties of cheese which has been left to age for a long time can cause headaches.

When cheese is left to age the proteins in it break down and produce a substance called tyramine.   Too much of this substance can trigger headaches. Blue cheese, Swiss, Cheddar, Gouda, and Parmesan are varieties of cheese that are left to age for awhile. It’s best to avoid eating too much of these types of cheese.

Chinese Food made with MSG

Eating Chinese food rich in MSG (Monosodium glutamate) can cause headaches. Too much MSG can cause blood vessels to expand hence agitating the nerve cells in the brain triggering a headache. 

© Suranee Perera 2012

Monday, August 13, 2012

Home Remedies for Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin disease which results in the appearance of red, itchy, scaly patches on the skin.

When new skin cells are formed the old ones die. Our body produces new skin cells once a month and the old cells are removed from the skin during bathing or showering.

Sometimes a person’s skin cells may grow rapidly (within a few days) and the excess dead skin cells will not be removed but instead collect on the surface of the skin. When this happens the skin becomes red and itchy and eventually forms lesions. These lesions are called ‘psoriasis.’

There are five types of psoriasis.
  • Plaque
  • Guttate
  • Pustular
  • Inverse
  • erythrodermic
Plaque, also known as ‘psoriasis vulgaris’ is the most common type of psoriasis people get.

A person suffering from plaque psoriasis will have thick silver or red colored scaly patches on the skin of the elbows, knees, lower back, scalp and even on the fingernails and toenails.



What causes Psoriasis?


Psoriasis is not contagious and can be caused by the abnormal functioning of a white blood cell called T lymphocytes. These cells are responsible for releasing chemicals which cause skin cells to increase rapidly.

Psoriasis can also be caused by certain genes. Certain people have genes which can trigger off psoriasis if he/she suffers from the following:
  • Strep throat
  • Skin injury/abrasions
  • Sunburn
  • Tooth abscesses
  • Impetigo


Listed below are a few home remedies used in treating psoriasis.

Aloe Vera

One of the ideal ways to prevent psoriasis is to keep your skin moisturized using an aloe Vera based lotion after every bath or shower.

Aloe Vera has antiseptic properties which is effective in treating dryness and soothes itchiness and inflammation.

Olive Oil

If you have scalp psoriasis massage some warm olive oil into the scalp. Leave on for 2 minutes. Then wash hair using a mild baby shampoo. Do this treatment thrice a week.

If you are suffering from psoriasis on certain areas of your body soak yourself in a warm bath which has ¼ cup olive oil added to it for 15 minutes.

Olive oil is ideal in soothing the damaged skin and loosening the scaly patches making it easier to be removed from the skin.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix ½ cup apple cider vinegar and ½ gallon water. Soak some cotton in the mixture and apply on the damaged skin. If the psoriasis is on your fingernails or toenails soak it in the mixture for 5 minutes. Use this treatment three times a week.

© Suranee Perera 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

Home Remedies for Freckles


The skin is made up of three layers: epidermis (outer layer), dermis (the layer beneath the epidermis which contains blood vessels) and the Subcutaneous Fat ( the bottom layer of the skin made up of fats)

Melanocytes are skin cells found inside the epidermis. Melanocytes produce a pigment called melanin. Melanin is a chemical substance which is brownish black in color. Melanin gives skin and hair its color.

When melanocytes produce high concentrations of melanin a person will have dark color skin. When only a little melanin is produced a person will have a fair complexion. 

Apart from giving hair and skin its color, melanin also protects the skin from damage caused by the sun. It does this by blocking out the harmful rays from the sun. 

Sometime melanin may bundle together instead of being evenly spread out throughout the skin. When this happens there will be tiny brown patches which will be darker than the rest of the skin. These patches are called freckles. The medical term for freckles is ‘ephelides.’

Freckles are mostly found on people with a fair complexion.

Although freckles are hereditary its formation can be prompted when skin is exposed to the sun. So always apply a quality sun screen (30 SPF) and wear a hat when going out in the sun.

Listed below are a few home remedies used for treating freckles.

Lemon Juice

Squeeze out the juice of a fresh lemon. Dip a cotton pad or cotton ball in the lemon juice and apply on the freckles. Lemon juice used in treating freckles is an age old remedy.

Dairy Products

Apply any one of the following dairy products on the freckles: yoghurt, sour cream or sour milk. Leave on for 15 minutes and wipe off with a wet washcloth. Do this every other day before going to bed.

Face Mask

Make a face mask by mixing 2 tablespoons wheat germ with enough warm honey to make a paste. Apply on clean face. Make sure you have washed your face with a mild baby soap and have dried it with a face towel before applying the paste. Leave on for 15 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.

You can also mix a tablespoon of yoghurt with a teaspoon of honey and apply on the face. Again make sure you have cleaned your face before applying the mask. Leave on for 30 minutes and then rinse off with warm water.  

Use the face mask three times a week for best results.

© Suranee Perera 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Home Remedies for Goiter


A goiter is a swollen thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is found near the base of the neck. The thyroid gland produces and stores thyroid hormones. 

Thyroxin is the main hormone the thyroid gland produces. Thyroid hormones play an important role since it regulates bone growth, sexual development and the proper functioning of the body organs.

In order for the thyroid gland to produce the hormones it needs iodine from the food we eat. Iodine is a chemical element found in seafood, iodized salt and certain vegetables and dairy foods

When the body does not get enough iodine the thyroid gland is unable to produce adequate amounts of thyroid hormones the body needs . This will result in an under-active thyroid gland causing the thyroid gland to swell up and form a 'goiter.'

Sometimes the body may get too much iodine from food and this too can cause the thyroid gland to swell up.  An excess amount of iodine will result in the thyroid gland producing too much hormones. This type of thyroid gland is known as an over-active thyroid gland. An  over-active thyroid gland is also referred to as hyperthyroidism.

Goiters can also form due to the following reasons.

Viral infections which causes inflammation of the thyroid gland. This is called ‘thyroiditis.’

Graves' disease – an autoimmune disease which results in the swelling of the thyroid gland due to the overproduction of thyroid hormones.

Side effects to medicines such as Lithium which causes the thyroid gland to swell up.

Hereditary

There are two types of goiters: diffuse smooth goiter and nodular goiters. The difference between the two is in its size and how it’s formed.

Diffuse Smooth Goiters

The size of a ‘diffuse smooth goiter’ is quite large and can be caused by:

Nodular Goiters

Nodular goiters are smaller than diffuse smooth goiters, more like tiny lumps.

Nodular goiters can be divided into two types: multinodular goiter and single nodule goiter.

Listed below are a few home remedies used to treat goiters.

Foods

Eat foods rich in iodine: watercress, yellow vegetables, eggs, carrots, dark green vegetables, fish, kelp, seaweed, apple, pineapple, grapes and papaya.

Supplements

Primrose Oil, vitamin B-complex, Zinc, calcium, copper, magnesium and silicon are supplements taken to maintain a healthy thyroid gland. Consult with your doctor and ask how you can benefit from taking these supplements if you’re suffering from a goiter. 

Exercise

Do the following neck exercise 8 to 10 times every night.

While sitting upright on the bed or chair look up at the ceiling while stretching your neck as far as possible. Stay in this position for 10 seconds. Bring your head back to its original position. Relax for a few seconds and repeat the process. 

Sea Salt

Gargling with sea salt or sea-bathing can bring relief to a goiter.

To make a sea salt gargle dissolve ½ teaspoon of sea salt into a glass of warm water. Use this gargle twice a day (morning and evening) every other day.

© Suranee Perera 2012