By Natural Advocate | August 14, 2007 - 10:01 am - Posted in Home Remedies

It’s summertime and wearing those new stylish summer fashions can be so much fun, and the physical activity that you get can really boost your natural metabolism and you may shed a few pounds too.

However, when the heat and humidity rise too much, that can lead to the problem of excessive perspiration.  Some individuals are naturally prone to perspire sooner and to a greater degree than others.
If excessive perspiration is a problem for you, there are some tips to keep this matter under control.  First of all, if an over the counter natural antiperspirant is ineffective for you, see a dermatologist.  I personally love the natural aluminum free deodorant that my boyfriend and I have begun using.

It has no aluminum in it or any other harmful chemicals, which is important because your lymphatic system has quite a few lymph nodes in your underarm area and putting a metallic substance there or other chemicals is not such a good idea.

Also, aluminum and other chemicals in deodorant have been linked to breast cancer as well as alzheimers, so if you can get away with using a natural deodorant, you really could be making an excellent choice when it comes to your health and longevity.

There are prescription antiperspirants that they can prescribe for you.  Another alternative for excessive perspiration is Botox injections for the underarm area.  If facial perspiration is excessive for you in hot weather, try applying a natural antiperspirant just along the hairline.

I like the spray mineral salt deodorant because it leaves no trace and is easily absorbed into the skin.  Test this out on a small inconspicuous area first to ensure it doesn’t irritate the facial area.  Make sure you take in a high fluid volume.  Lots of water helps to keep your fluid balance in check.

Choose all of your summer apparel, including your shoes, of a light, breathable nature.  For clothing, choose light colors and a looser fit.  Some companies, such as Adidas, Nike or Timberland, have high-tech fabrics that contain copper and silver to keep you cooler.  For shoe selections, choose sandals, or if you have to wear regular shoes, use absorbent foot powders or sweat absorbing inserts.

Keep your skin protected from sun damage since sunburned skin can not dissipate heat as well. Wear a wide brimmed hat and use a waterproof sunscreen gel that won’t wear off from perspiration.  Try to adhere to these solutions for perspiration problems so you can look and feel your best for the hot months of summer.

By Natural Advocate | August 11, 2007 - 7:55 am - Posted in Herbal Supplements

A family member introduced me to this coffee alternative. I say it’s a “coffee alternative” because it offers a pick me up that is not quite as strong as coffee and doesn’t seem to also let you down as hard as coffee does. I am not much of a coffee drinker, but I would turn to coffee many days when I was falling asleep at work, for an energy fix.

I found though that not only did coffee seem to increase my appetite for the remainder of the day after I was done drinking it, but it also gave me an energy crash a few hours after I would finish it. My sister introduced me to a good coffee substitute that also offers antioxidant benefit as well. If you don’t like tea, you may not like Yerba Mate, but if you give it a chance you really seem to aquire a taste for it, as I have pretty quickly over the past few weeks that I’ve been drinking it.

It has a slightly bitter taste at first, but I bought a brand now that has stevia, a natural sweetener added to it (the yerba mate is still organic though, I do think that is important, then you avoid the pesticides that tend to get sprayed on coffees and teas this way) and it is mush easier to drink and in fact I actually am enjoying it now.

Yerba Mate seems to give me a more steady energy, without throwing my blood sugar out of wack or giving me a big energy let down after I’ve drank it. Not only that, but it also seems to not be as prone to giving me an upset stomach as coffee does. This part is funny, because the first few times I drank the other brand, without the sweetener, I thought it might have made me a little queasy, but that subsided very quickly.

The brand I drink if you’re interested in trying it is called Wisdom of the Ancients Yerba Mate Royale (Mate is pronounced MAH-TEY). It contains the following ingredients : Organic Yerba Mate, Stevia by Sweetleaf, and licorice root (this may also add the pleasant flavor I’m talking about). If you’re trying to kick the coffee habit, yerba mate may be worth your while to look into. I’ve never seen it at the grocery store, it’s usually only found at organic goods stores.

By Natural Advocate | August 8, 2007 - 6:12 pm - Posted in Home Remedies

A cold sore may seem like a minor inconvenience but, when it is on your face, it is a big deal. Some people are more prone to break out with cold sores on a more frequent basis. There are a number of home remedies and preventative measures that are lessons in alternative complementary medicine that can be done to lessen the severity and duration of cold sores.

Cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex virus which can stay on and around your mouth without causing any problems and then you’ll feel that tingling sensation and you know it’s the start of another fever blister.   One of the easiest things you can do about it is to replace your toothbrush as it can harbor the causative virus and reinfect you.

Other ways to avoid the virus remaining in the environment is to use smaller tubes of toothpaste and store your toothbrush away from the bathroom in a dry area.   The herpes virus will thrive in a moist environment.  There are many different topical products that may be used to relieve a cold sore and shorten the duration of the outbreak.   A water based zinc solution applied as soon as you feel the tingling sensation helps to speed the healing process. 

Petroleum jelly applied over the cold sore helps to protect it from the elements.  Use a fresh cotton swab each time you apply the petroleum jelly to avoid reinfection to the area.  Witch hazel applied to a cold sore can help to dry it.  Over the counter remedies are plentiful for the treatment of cold sores.  Most of these products contain an emollient to protect and soften the cold sore and phenol or camphor to numb the area.
 Stress reduction can reduce the severity of cold sore symptoms.  Deep breathing, muscle relaxation, biofeedback and meditation can help speed healing time.  Exercise also helps bolster the immune system and will assist you in keeping viruses away.
 On a dietary basis, supplementing with the amino acid, lysine, has been found to be useful in people prone to more than three cold sores a year.  Foods to avoid are chocolate, cola, peas, peanuts, cashews and beer.  These foods are rich in the essential amino acid, arginine, which is necessary for the metabolism of the herpes virus.
Protect your mouth area from environmental trauma such as sunburn or wind exposure. 

 If you get a cold sore, don’t perceive yourself in a negative manner or stress over it.  Remember stress related to depression and anxiety will only make the cold sore worsen. Instead, try a couple of the home remedies and see how they work for you.

By Natural Advocate | August 5, 2007 - 1:02 pm - Posted in Herbal Supplements

What is the echinacea plant?  Echinacea is a beautiful purple coneflower, a perennial, that is lovely to look at.  Not only is echinacea  visually a treat to see, but it also may be useful in boosting our immune system and shortening the duration and severity of the common cold.

The herbal medicines derived from echinacea are prepared from the above ground parts of the plant and sometimes the root.  Echinacea is herbally thought of as nature’s antibiotic and is believed to increase resistance to not only colds but also flu and ather infections.  Scientific studies on echinacea vary widely on results of the infection fighting ability of this herb.  

The studies seem to lack consistency.  More clinical studies using the same species and dosage of echinacea at the first onset of symptoms consistently should be done to attain more clear cut conclusions.
Echinacea is commonly available at drugstores and health food stores.  Sales of echinacea remain brisk for treatment of upper respiratory infections.  As with any herbal product, there are warnings not to take this product if you are allergic to plants of the asteraceae or compasitae family such as ragweed, marigolds or daisies.   Use of echinacea is not recommended for people with immune system conditions such as HIV or multiple sclerosis.   Pregnant or breastfeeding women are also advised not to take echinacea.
 Echinacea is available for use in the form of capsules, juice, extract, tincture or tea.  As a topical treatment, echinacea is available in a semisolid preparaton for use to treat wounds or skin ulcers.  Besides also taking an excellent Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplement, echinacea is probably a good idea to help boost immunity, especially in the winter months when germs seem to spread and people are more susceptible to actually contracting bugs and flus. 

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