Friday, December 10, 2010

Clove Oil for Toothache


Today is Friday, so of course a problem crops up that can't be seen by my dentist until Monday. It's not severe enough to be an emergency, but I don't want to just let it wait three days until I can get medical attention if warranted.

Actually, I don't have a toothache, but a small area of gum inflammation. Still, I don't like it being that way, so I started applying some clove oil directly (via my freshly-washed finger) to the area. I have done this 3 times today, being careful each time to expectorate for a minute or so rather than swallow any.

Clove oil is supposed to have strong germ-killing power, and the inflammation does seem to be reducing a little. It also kills pain - at least for a while - if you have that also.

Of course, if you know you are sensitive to clove oil, don't use this remedy. Same goes if irritation develops. And be smart: get checked by a qualified professional as soon as possible! Don't let not being able to afford medical care keep you from getting the attention you need. An unresolved tooth or gum infection can result in much more serious medical needs at a much higher cost.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Truth in Advertising


This is a remedy for the biased legislation which prevents manufacturers of vitamins and other nutritional suppliments from speaking the truth about sound scientific studies which have shown health benefit(s) for the suppliment(s) being studied.

I've long known this was the case, and was excited to read an excellent article The Free Speech About Science Act at care2.com.

This and other proposed legislation would release the stanglehold the highly profitable pharmaceutical industry has perpetrated on non-patentable nutritional suppliments. Well-crafted laws would allow the truth to be told without allowing outrageous claims to be made. Health benefits would have to be based on sound science to be spoken of, and that is as it should be. Other speculation and anecdotal evicence would still be allowed by free speach on the internet and elsewhere, as long as it isn't diagnosing or prescribing.

Please read the article linked above, and take action (on p.2 of the article) to help make this balanced and fair legislation a reality.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Trouble Sleeping? Here's a Remedy!


I have an exciting tip to share, something I read about today in For Women First magazine, Feb. 8, 2010 issue.

If you have trouble falling asleep because of anxious brain activity that just won't quit, try this: look to one side for 5 seconds, then the other for 5 seconds, alternating the direction of your eyes for 5 minutes. According to the magazine, it not only helps reduce anxious thoughts, it also helps promote REM sleep.

I'll be giving it a try real soon, as I frequently have this problem. Will let you know how it works for me. Feel free to add how it works for you by posting a comment!

This technique which is a form of EMDR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Read more about this fascinating concept at EMDR Institute's website.

Oh, and speaking of magazines, be sure to catch my input about ashwagandha on the bottom of page 12 in the March 1st, 2010 edition of Woman's World magazine (on newsstands now!) The author found me through this blog!

Follow-up: After using this technique for several days, and sharing it with a friend who has also started using it, I am happy to report that we have both found this simple technique very effective. On some occasions I have had to put a little effort into it: as I wander off into worrying again, bringing myself back to it. Even so, it has taken me less than 10 minutes at the most to get to sleep, or return to sleep, and often it takes only a minute or two. This is in stark contrast to what has often been hours of anxious thought preceeding eventually falling asleep, or giving up on the elusive quest! My friend also told me about a fitful night during which she repeatedly got to sleep only to wake up again shortly after. Finally, she remembered to use the technique, after which she slept for several hours. So give this a try, it has been very helpful for us, and hopefully will be for you too. Comments on your experience are welcome!
(updated on 3-1-10)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cold Remedies - Herbs


Most of us get colds sometimes, some more than others, and this is certainly a popular time of year for entertaining them. They wear out their welcome quickly. That thought reminds me of an old Snuffy Smith comic in which Weezy tells Snuffy her mother is coming for a visit and asks him to throw out the welcome mat. The next scene shows Snuffy throwing out the welcome mat - way out, over the mountain side! That's the warm reception most people would give a cold. So let's "throw out" our welcome mat...with herbs to let the colds know they aren't welcome.

At the top of my herbal cold prevention list is ecchinacea. It boosts the immune system, but should not be used all the time, which diminises its effectiveness. An on again, off again approach is best; take it for 5 days, skip two. Or take it when you know you'll be exposed to others with colds. As soon as someone in your circle gets one, start taking echinnacea. It's readily available in tablets, capsules, and teas.

Next on my list is ginger. It relieves congestion and is antiinflammatory, so it may help open sinus passageways, which may both help prevent and help relieve the symptoms of a cold. It's also helpful for sore throats and flu, and helps relieve nausea. Probably best used fresh, but also available as capsules, tablets, teas, as a spice powder, and candied. (I know from personal experience that candied ginger is very helpful for nausea and dizziness/vertigo, and it's very easy to keep on hand. Buy it by the bag at a health food store, where a pound will cost about the same as a tiny jar found in spice sections of grocery stores!)

Horseradish helps prevent colds by thinning muscous secretions so your sinuses can self-clean more easily, and its hot zing may give some temporary relief by opening your sinuses. Fresh grated is best, but if all you have is prepared horseradish, it's worth a try. Grate it in a food processor or blender as it will really make your eyes water! Follow directions for preparation and heed the dosage warnings at How Stuff Works.

Golden seal, garlic and ginseng are also useful for preventing and relieving colds. Not all together - just pick one and use it as a tea, or in the case of garlic as garlic bread, roasted garlic, or added to another food you enjoy. Raw garlic is best, but very pungent, and of course even smellier than cooked! GinsengUp is a lovely ginseng based soda. My favorite is the original flavor; my kids preferred grape flavor when they were young. Ginseng has the added feature of perking you up a bit; it gives you a natural boost. Note: Siberean Ginseng is not true ginseng. Get Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) or American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius).

Whatever remedy you choose to prevent a cold or to diminish its symptoms, I hope you're feeling better soon!


Herbal Cold Remedy Information:

How to Treats Colds With Ginger Tea - Recipe and tips at eHow

Ginger Tea for Colds - Recipe and user tips at The People's Pharmacy

Horseradish: Herbal Remedies - article at How Stuff Works includes info on how horseradish helps prevent and treat colds.

Horseradish - article with properties of horseradish and instructions on use.

How to Avoid the Flu or Common Cold
- eHow recipe with horseradish and other ingredients.


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Friday, January 1, 2010

Hangover Remedies


Starting the new year with a hangover is no fun. Not that hangovers are fun any time. So here are some hangover remedies you may find helpful.

Let's start with an ounce of prevention.

You probably already know that drinking on an empty stomach affects you more, and, it would be assumed, leads to more and/or worse hangovers. What you may not know is that drinking a glass of water between alcoholic beverages - alternating between the two - can also help. Alcohol tends to dehydrate you, and some of your drinking may be because you're thirsty! Of course, it's also likely to slow down the pace of your alcohol consumption, so it may be helpful in two ways. A squeeze of lemon in your water may also help by adding a touch of vitamin C to help detoxify chemical additives/toxins in the alcohol.

Speaking of vitamin C, you may find it helpful to take 1,000 mg. of vitamin C before going to bed to reduce toxicity. Another way to diminish toxic substances in alcohol is to buy organic alcohol, especially wine and beer. If organic is not available, buying pricier brands are generally more pure.

Here's my concoction:

Morning After Lemonade
Juice of 1/2 lemon, seeds removed
2 teaspoons honey (omit if diabetic)
1,000 mg powdered vitamin C (optional)
8 oz ginger ale (use fresh ginger as described below if diabetic*)
(or 8 oz water with juice of 1/2 inch grated fresh ginger)

* I simply can't recomend diet sodas, which use aspartame.

The lemon and vitamin C, as already mentioned, reduce toxicity; honey helps normalize your blood sugar; ginger soothes your stomach.

For hangovers already in progress, avoid coffee and other forms of caffeine, which can make matters worse. Instead, drink a sports drink with electrolytes to replace what you have lost.

Sleep helps. Make sure you get enough, which may be a bit more than you usually need.

Aromatherapy offers some relief. Essential oils (for external use) of fennel, lavender, sandalwood, and lemon are relaxing, and can be added to bath water or an aromatherapy diffuser. Stimulating essential oils (external use) such as grapefruit, rosemary, fennel, and juniper can also be used for a pick-me-up effect. Valerie Ann Worwood gives specific formulas and additional uses in The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy.


Additional Resources:

Hangover - at health911.com - tips for prevention and remedies for the morning after.

How To Cure a Hangover - by Colleen Graham at About.com


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