Saturday, March 10, 2012

Home remedies for Phlegm

Mucous (also known as phlegm) is produced in the nose and throat. The nose and throat produces about a liter of mucous a day. This mucous is necessary to keep the nasal passages clean and remove any bacteria, fungi, and viruses that may try to enter. The mucous also traps foreign particles which try to enter the lungs. 

Sometimes excess amounts of mucous settles in the nose and throat because of cigarette smoke, polluted air and chemical fumes. The nasal passages and throat gets infected and filled with phlegm causing colds, flu, sinuses, tonsillitis and strep throat. 

Natural Remedies for phlegm

Salt water

Mix 1 teaspoon of salt to ½ cup of hot water and use as a gargle in the morning and at night before going to bed.

Eucalyptus oil/ Vicks Vapor Rub

Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or 1 teaspoon Vicks Vapor Rub to a basin of hot water. Hover over the basin and inhale the steam rising from the water. Cover your head and the basin with a towel to prevent any steam from escaping as you inhale the vapors. Do this thrice a day (morning, noon and at night).

Ginger Tea

Make ½ teaspoon of ginger paste from fresh ginger. Steep the ginger paste in a cup of boiling water for 2- 3 minutes. Strain and drink. Drink this in the morning, afternoon and at night before going to bed.

Honey and Pear

Take a pear, cut it in half and remove the center. Fully cover the pear in honey and steam for 10 minutes. Remove from steamer and drizzle the pear with 1 teaspoon of honey. Allow to cool before eating. Eat twice a day.

*Use darker honeys since it contains more antioxidants than the light colored ones.

Foods to avoid when suffering from phlegm
  • Yogurt
  • Cheese
  • Butter

 These dairy products contain casein which is a protein present in milk that intensifies the build up of phlegm and mucous.

© 2012 Suranee Perera

Home Remedy For Toothaches

Toothaches occur due to a variety of reasons and some are:
  • Dental cavities and dental abscess 
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth root sensitivities
Dental Cavities and dental abscess

Enamel and Dentine are the two hard layers of the tooth. The enamel is the white part and dentine is the layer underneath it which is a yellowish color. Both layers protect the tissues inside the tooth which is referred to as the ‘pulp.’ The pulp contains the blood vessels and nerves of the tooth. Sugar left on teeth from food and drinks can turn to acid and dissolve the enamel and dentine causing tooth cavities. When hot, cold or even sweet drinks are consumed and touch areas where there are tooth cavities, it will cause a toothache. Severe tooth cavities such as when there is no more pulp or only a tiny amount left in the tooth can result in the gum around the tooth to swell and form abscesses.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is caused by plaque build up. Plaque is made from deposits of food, saliva and bacteria and will form on the tooth and around the gums. Plaque contains certain bacteria which ‘secrete toxins’ that damage the gums and the bone around the roots of the tooth. When this happens the gums become infected and swell up and may bleed and become extremely painful.

Tooth root sensitivities

Tooth root sensitivities are caused by the tooth root being exposed. The damaged tooth becomes sensitive to cold drinks, hot drinks and food resulting in toothaches.

Home Remedies for a toothache

Ice Cubes

Massage an ice cube to the area for 5 minutes to numb the pain. Use more ice cubes if necessary. 

Wheat grass

Make a glass of wheat germ juice and use as a mouthwash. Let the juice saturate the infected tooth for 1-2 minutes. Wheat grass has antiseptic properties which brings quick relief to toothaches.

Brandy or Whiskey

Place 2 tablespoons brandy or whiskey on the tooth which is giving you pain. Leave the alcohol soak into the tooth for 1-2 minutes.  

Clove oil or Oregano oil

Place some clove oil or oregano oil on the tooth.

Salt water

Mix 1 teaspoon salt with ¼ cup hot water. Use as a mouth wash. Make sure to soak the area of the tooth for 1 minute with the salt water.

* The above remedies are only to get quick relief from a toothache until you can get to the dentist.

For healthy teeth
  • Brush regularly
  • Floss before going to bed at night to help prevent plaque build up
  • Use a mouth wash every time you brush teeth at night
© 2012 Suranee Perera

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Home Remedies for Stretch Marks

When skin lacks elastin and collagen it causes stretch marks. Stretch marks are also known as striae.

Our skin can be divided into three parts: elastin, collagen and Glycosaminoglycans. Our skin is also made up of three layers, the epidermis (top layer), the dermis (second layer), and the hypodermis (third layer). The dermis is the layer where stretch marks occur since this is the layer which contains elastin and collagen.


Elastin helps our skin to ‘stretch and recoil’ back but when it gets damaged by over stretching the elastin fibers break and the skin loses its elasticity resulting in stretch marks.


Collagen is made of protein and is essential for providing support for the cells, tissues, organs including the bone structure. The skin is said to be made up of 70 to 80 percent of collagen. When the collagen fibers get damaged it can cause wrinkles or stretch marks.

Elastin and collagen gets damaged due to hormonal changes that take place in the skin during aging, during pregnancy, weight gain or weight loss, during puberty or as the skin gets exposed to the sun.

So how are hormones responsible for causing stretch marks during pregnancy? Certain hormones produced by the body during pregnancy weaken the elastin and collagen in the skin of the abdomen causing stretch marks to appear.


Toning the body through exercise helps to minimize stretch marks since it helps to both firm the skin and body. Strength training and aerobics are two commonly used exercises for toning the body.

Olive oil or Vitamin E oil

Moisturize the skin by massaging olive oil or vitamin E oil for 3-5 minutes 3 times a week to the areas which have stretch marks.

Creams rich in Vitamin C

After you shower apply a cream enriched with Vitamin C to the stretch marks. Do this on a daily basis.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter can also be applied instead of a cream rich in Vitamin C after a shower.


Exfoliate the skin twice a week with a scrub made from coffee or St. Ives Apricot scrub. Use a loofah when applying the scrub to the skin.Rinse off with warm water.

© 2012 Suranee Perera