By Natural Advocate | July 8, 2011 - 6:24 pm - Posted in Home Remedies

Ginger is a relatively cheap, herbal remedy that can be used to help calm an upset stomach, that much most people know. It’s the common knowledge of drinking ginger ale that made this herb-root famous for being able to soothe the stomach and the digestive passages.

Most ginger ales, however, don’t even contain any real ginger, so really it’s better to suck on a real ginger candy or to just take the root orally in a supplement, plain off the root, or in a tea.  The root itself is actually quite spicy, and can even feel like it’s burning  your mouth if you just take it straight, so be mindful of that.

Now, there is some research that is suggesting this popular upset stomach home remedy may also be useful when it comes to another common American problem. The migraine.

There aren’t even many conventional western medications that can touch those tough migraines, but there is some evidence that ginger,  combined with another popular herbal remedy called feverfew, may be helpful in reducing the pain and nausea associated with migraines.

Study participants were asked to put little cachets filled with the herbal migraine remedies of ginger and feverfew underneath their tongue, like homeopathic remedies are administered, when they felt a migraine coming on.

Those who had the dummy cachet with  placebo in it reported less relief than the group who had the real herbal remedy in it. While some placebo studies are criticized as being inconclusive, this one may have some potential as the amount of people claiming some sense of relief was substantial for the herbal remedy versus the dummy remedy.


By Natural Advocate | April 6, 2009 - 8:20 pm - Posted in Home Remedies

I became intrigued when I was checking out some comments that were made on an article that Dr. Mercola had written about acne prevention and treatment through diet, which lead me to a few other articles about sunblock and why it’s not the best thing to be a true vampire and just stay out of the sun all the time.  He says that the sun offers healing effects and supplies us with much needed Vitamin D, which he and several others are convinced helps to prevent different types of cancers.  However, he is also careful to add that too much sun exposure can also cause cancer.

I was reading some readers comments about natural sun  blocks, that don’t contain any chemicals or phycial barriers in them (like zinc oxide, which really protects your skin because it is a thick, chalky substance, not a thin chemical laced concoction like most sunblocks, nonetheless, it’s not very attractice admittedly), that may be plant based or almost a home remedy type of thing.  One of the readers said that she has been using cocounut oil for a while, and although she is fair skinned, she never burns using it.

However, she also admitted that she wasn’t in the sun for long periods of time either.  So, can coconut oil, or even sesame oil, another rumored sunblock that is natural, really block the sun’s dangerous UV rays and help protect your skin against sun damage and ultimately certain types of skin cancer that are typically caused by excessive sun exposure?  Well, I read a few other items on the internet after running across that, curious if my fair skin may be able to start using a natural sunblock, since I eschew the chemical variety.  They seem to always give me some sort of adverse reaction, whether it is breaking out, itching, or running into my eyes and burning.

So, apparently sesame oil may offer a tad better protection than coconut oil, which by the way has to be virgin coconut oil ot work as a sunblock, blocks around 20% of the sun’s harmful rays, and sesame oil is supposed to block about 30% of the sun’s harmful UV rays.  I’m not sure where these figures come from, or honestly if they are even accurate, but that is what I had found out about them.  Now, another person posted somewhere that they burned when they put coconut oil on, but they also admitted this was when they were purposefully baking themselves for long periods of time in the peak sun hours.

If anyone who has any experience with using either coconut oil as a sunscreen protectant, or sesame oil as a sunscreen, please do post here a comment and let other interested readers know your experience or your knowledge on the subject.  I’d really like to know as well, summer is upon us and I’d love to have a natural alternative to yucky traditional sunscreens.

By Natural Advocate | March 12, 2009 - 6:08 pm - Posted in Home Remedies

My dad and I frequent a local Indian restaurant close to where I work that serves a lighter, healthier menu geared toward the health conscious who also like to add a little spice and variety in to their diet. They serve vegetarian cuisine like falaffel, vegetarian chili, and bean salads and hummus, but they also serve some great fish, beef, lamb and chicken dishes as well. Everything is spicy and tastes good, and you also don’t feel like you just swallowed a cinder block when you’re done.

We usually order their natural mint tea, which is excellent, and found out today from our server that they actually only brew their mint tea from strictly peppermint leaves, nothing else. This means there are no other ingredients in the tea, which also means this tea is ideal for soothing the stomach.

I’ve written about mint as a stomach soother, but it’s really come to the forefront lately as a great post-digestion aid, and there are products like prepackaged natural, organic mint teas and mint liquids sold now that are great for not only the breath, but also to sooth the lining of the stomach as it pushes through the sometimes volatile digestion cycle.

My favorite natural mint tea is actually made by a brand that you can probably find in most grocery stores that carry a lot of teas. It’s by Traditional Medicinal, a brand that has branched out beyond it’s typical natural foods store markets. It’s organically grown and the only ingredient in it is all natural mint leaves, which is ideal to help soothe an upset or sour stomach and help aid the digestion process.

Mint also is a green leaf food, which means it contains chlorophyll, another excellent nutrient that helps feed and nourish the body’s cells, although since it is a tea and it’s heated the effects of the chlorophyll may be diminished.

By Natural Advocate | February 18, 2009 - 10:14 pm - Posted in Home Remedies

An unfortunate part of the winter season is an increase in the occurrence of the common cold.  Prevention through handwashing frequently, eating right and getting enough sleep is best.  However, when these measures sometimes fail, we may catch a cold anyway.

Besides prescription and over the counter medicines, there are lots of herbal soothers and remedies to shorten the duration and lessen the severity of a cold.  With a viral illness, you will increase your need for vitamin C.  You can get vitamin C in any nutritional supplement store or your regular drugstore or grocery store since it is such a popular vitamin.

Vitamin E is a good additional support for your immune system when you are down with a cold because of it’s antioxidant properties.  Vitamin A, taken in large doses, with the first sign of a cold, helps minimize symptoms.  Only take the vitamin A for several days as it is fat soluble and can build and become toxic at high doses far any extended period of time.

Zinc lozenges are an additional treatment help to combat cold symptoms.  Again, with zinc, use caution and take for no longer than 5 days as it may cause an imbalance with copper levels in your body.  Echinacea is also known as an immune booster and is helpful in times when a cold has taken over.  Echinacea is intended to be taken on and off when needed since steady use can possibly decrease immune function.

Goldenseal can effectively soothe a sore throat associated with a cold.  Use of goldenseal should begin with the first sign of a cold.  Like echinacea, it is not meant for everyday steady use.  Garlic is another natural solution for cold treatment because of it’s virus killing properties.  If you find the odor offensive, you can find garlic capsules wtih the natural medicinal value but none of the odor.

By Natural Advocate | January 23, 2009 - 11:45 am - Posted in Home Remedies

We all suffer from shortages on that vital part of our being called “energy” at times.  Even those of us that seem to have endless energy and boundless enthusiasm for life and activities can get down in the dumps once in a while and want to call it a day and bury our heads in our sheets. Wait, I’m not talking about depression, which is often linked with lack of energy, but actual lack of energy.  Sometimes they do go hand in hand, and some of these tips should help you with depression, anxiety and your energy levels as well since they are all invariably linked.

One of my suggestions runs somewhat counter to common idealogy today about sunlight.  Most people believe now that the sun’s UV rays are just plain dangerous, but they are mistaken if they think that staying indoors or wearing the highest SPF sunblock they can at all times if good for the health . While it is true that limiting our sun exposure should be done since overexposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays can be damaging and even cancer causing, so can absolutely no exposure.

Not only that, zero exposure to sunlight makes us sluggish, tired, and you bet – depressed and with less energy.  You may want to make sure that in the winter you get some sort of exposure (do not overexpose!), whether that is at a tanning salon, getting in for one minute or so (this is not for a tan, this is just to get a few precious minutes of that UV light that is so beneficial for your energy levels by the way, you should NEVER burn or even try to tan deeply at these salons), or you can even buy special at home devices that expose you to beneficial infrared and UV lights that help lift mood and increase energy levels, and regulate the hormone Melatonin in the body, which is crucial to your energy levels because it controls the sleep cycles.

Do quick stints of exercise.  For example, if you are an eight hour a day compoter/desk worker, then make sure you get up every hour or so and sneak off to do a few exercises in the bathroom, or take a brisk walk around the building.  Inactivity is one of the worst things we can practice for our energy levels.  It may seem counter to what you would think, but you must move and get exercise to increase your precious energy levels.

Take a B12 supplement or spray.  Vitamin B12 is a great non-stimulant and no-caffeine way to get quick energy boosts.  Many times those with B12 deficiencies say they feel tired all of the time.  Many people even go to the doctor’s to get B12 shots once a month if they are deficient, and they say it makes a huge difference not only in their energy levels, but also often in their moods.

Try doing a little muscle work.  If you’re sitting at your desk, clench muscles that are large, like your quadriceps on your legs, or your biceps.  These large muscles require oxygen and blood to rush to them to be able to work, so this rush of oxygen and blood will help wake you out of your fog.

Warning: include() [function.include]: URL file-access is disabled in the server configuration in /usr/www/virtual/djanine/ on line 9

Warning: include( [function.include]: failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /usr/www/virtual/djanine/ on line 9

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening '' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/lib/php') in /usr/www/virtual/djanine/ on line 9