Sunday, September 6, 2009

50 Home Remedies that work : Part I

These safe, fast, and effective fixes will relieve what ails you. 1 Bad Breath : - No other natural remedy freshens bad breath as well as parsley, says David Orlarsh, N.D., a naturopath in Plymouth, N.H. This herbal food garnish is rich in chlorophyll, a green plant compound that kills the bacteria that cause bad odor. Nibble on a sprig after eating raw onions or garlic or whenever your breath smells sour. 2 Blemishes : - To clear zits quickly, keep a small sealed jar of this natural topical remedy on hand (it keeps for a few months): Combine 2 tablespoons of green clay, 1 tablespoon of goldenseal powder (Hydratis canadensis), 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), and enough water to form a paste. Apply the paste to your blemish at bedtime and leave it on all night. The clay dries up pore-clogging oil, and the goldenseal and tea tree oil kill the bacteria that cause infection. 3 Blisters : - Don't pop your blister, no matter how tempting it is. Doing so increases the chance of infection. Instead, dab a cotton ball dipped in plain old drugstore witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) on the area at least four times a day, says Brad Bongiovanni, N.D., a naturopath in Atlanta, Ga. Witch hazel contains astringent tannins that dry up the fluid-filled skin and relieve pain by increasing circulation. It also contains alcohol, which is drying. 4 Body Odor : - If your body odor persists despite good hygiene, your problem may be clogged pores. When your skin can't properly eliminate body wastes, bad body odor can result. Gently dry-brushing your skin just before every shower exfoliates the dead skin that traps those odor-causing wastes. You'll find body brushes in most drugstores. If you brush with long, gentle strokes moving toward your heart, you'll also improve circulation, which will help your body detoxify more efficiently. (This won't eliminate your need for deodorant, but you may be able to use less of it.) 5 Bruises : - Experts say the popular muscle soreness remedy Arnica is also your best bet for minimizing bruises and healing them fast. As soon as you bump your knee or other body part or notice a swelling or discoloration, gently rub a dollop of this homeopathic cream on it. Arnica shrinks inflammation and increases circulation to flush away the stagnant blood that turns your skin black and blue. 6 Burns : - You may know lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia) best for its soothing scent, but you can also use it to take the sting out of a first-degree burn (the kind you might get by touching a hot pan). Not only does this oil speed the healing process and prevent scarring, Bongiovanni says, but it also fights bacteria on vulnerable new skin. Gently clean the burn with soap and water first. Then combine one part pure lavender essential oil and three parts carrier oil, like almond or olive oil, and apply the mixture liberally to the burn at least three times a day, leaving the wound uncovered. 7 Canker Sores : - You can once again eat spicy foods in comfort if you douse painful canker sores with raspberry leaf tea (Rubus idaeus). Steep 2 tablespoons of dried raspberry leaves in 1 cup boiling hot water until it cools. Strain the tea, and then swish a few mouthfuls for about one minute each three times a day. The tannins in this tea (which tastes a little like black tea) reduce the swelling and clean the sore so it can heal faster, explains Andrea Candee, a South Salem, N.Y.-based herbalist. 8 Chapped Lips : - First, chuck your Chapstick. Conventional lip balms contain petroleum and sometimes alcohol, both of which dry the sensitive skin on your lips. Instead, moisturize and protect your parched, peeling lips with castor oil. Carry a small squeeze bottle of the oil and apply it with your finger often throughout the day. If you plan to be out in the sun, use a natural petroleum- and alcohol-free balm with an SPF of 15 a few minutes after rubbing in the castor oil. 9 Chest Congestion : - The sweetness of your breath may suffer, but eating a plate of curried, sauteed onions on rice can really loosen congestion in your chest. Lightly saute two onions, sliced, and at least 1 teaspoon of curry powder in 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil until the onions are soft. Onions contain quercetin and sulfur, two plant compounds that break up mucus and increase circulation, explains Orlarsch. Curry also loosens phlegm. And for that breath? See remedy 1, page 48. 10 Constipation : - If you don't like prunes, you have another option for constipation relief. Dried figs work just as well as prunes. They contain soluble and insoluble fiber, both of which flush out your intestines. In fact, five figs supply at least 20 percent of your daily fiber requirement, more than almost any other fruit. Nibble on four or five at the first sign of constipation and drink at least one glass of water. If you don't get results within three hours, eat a couple more every three hours until you do. Source :

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