Home Remedies for Acne

Sep 16, 2015

Home Remedies for Acne

Acne is one of the most common ailments that affect teenagers, but it also affects some adults as well. No matter what your age is, there are some home remedies that can be used to help.

One of the easiest things you can do is to take vitamins. You can use vitamin A, niacin, and vitamin E. Take 100 mg of niacin three times a day, 50,000 international units of vitamin A three times a day, and 400mg of vitamin E once a day. Try doing this for a month and see if your acne improves.

Normal garlic is actually a great home remedy that not many people know about. If you take fresh garlic and rub it on your skin, it can clear up your skin pretty quickly. Eating garlic will also make your skin clear and healthy because it keeps your blood stream clean.

Aloe vera is another thing you can use. It has some very soothing qualities to it which makes it great if you have sensitive skin. You should rub this on your skin each morning and night. It will improve your complexion and reduce the acne that is already there. An actual aloe vera plant is excellent if you have one.

Some other natural things that you can apply to your skin to reduce acne are orange peel, lemon juice, a mixture of mint juice and coriander, fenugreek paste, and grated cucumber. All of these have been found to be effective.

Hot Epsom salt baths will also help acne. Take a hot bath with normal Epsom salts in it twice a week and stay in the water for about a half hour until you are sweating freely. After the bath, just let yourself cool off gradually. Heat is actually a great source of relief.

If you have an acne problem, one of the most important things you can do is to get yourself on a well balanced diet. Try not to eat any junk foods, tea, coffee, soda, or processed foods. You should also eat as much fruit as possible. Apples, grapes, pineapples, pears, peaches, and grapefruit are great.

Even though most people treat acne with special ointments and creams, this is not always the best method. Those creams can be extremely expensive and often don't work as quickly as home remedies. When you have acne, you know that the quicker it goes away, the better.

Home Remedy for Head Lice

Home Remedy for Head Lice

There are lots of misconceptions about head lice, the biggest being that those who suffer from this condition are somehow unclean, or have poor personal hygiene. But, the truth is, personal hygiene has nothing to do with whether or not a person will get head lice. In fact, in certain conditions, head lice are as easy to "catch" as a cold.

  • So, how do you get head lice?
Lice are spread through close personal contact. If your head touches the head of someone who has head lice, some of these little critters will be more than happy to jump from them to you. You can also get head lice by using personal items--like combs, pillows, brushes, hats, or towels--that belong to someone who has this condition.
Head lice are easily spread among school children, who often play closely together. And, often, a child who has caught head lice at school ends up "bringing them home" to their families.

  • So, what do you do when head lice have invaded your home?
Here's a four-step home remedy for head louse infestation.
  1. Head for the Drugstore.
    The first step is to kill the lice that have taken up residence in the patient's hair. And you can buy shampoos and lotions over the counter that will do just that. When using such products, follow the directions on the package carefully. There are some people who probably shouldn't use an over-the-counter delousing treatment before checking with their doctor. These include:
    • Children under the age of two.
    • Women who are pregnant or nursing.
    • Those who suffer from asthma or allergies.

    If you're pregnant or nursing, you shouldn't even use a delousing treatment on someone else before you've checked with your doctor first.Treat everyone in your household who has head lice at the same time. If you don't, someone who's already been treated could end up picking head lice up again from someone who hasn't.
  2. Pick Out the Nits
    Unfortunately, the products that kill the head lice won't have any affect on the nits, or eggs, the lice have lain in the hair. And, if you don't get rid of the nits, they'll hatch in a week or so, and you'll be dealing with the head lice problem all over again. After washing the hair with the lice-killing shampoo, comb it out to remove any tangles. Then, use a fine-toothed comb, or nit removal comb, to remove nits from the hair. Go over the head thoroughly, making sure you don't miss any nits. When you're done, use an old, wet toothbrush to remove the nits from the comb. Then, take the towels you used, and the clothes the person was wearing before and during the treatment, and put them in the washing machine. Wash the items in hot, soapy water, and then dry them on a high, hot setting for at least twenty minutes.
  3. Keep Checking for Lice and Nits
    For at least two weeks after the treatment, give the head a thorough inspection every day. That way, you'll catch any nits that you missed the first time around. And, if there are signs that the lice problem has returned, you'll catch it early. And, since a single head louse can lay ten eggs a day, the sooner you catch it, the better. However, even if there are signs that the lice are back, read the label on the over-the-counter product you used. Some products advise that you wait for a week to ten days between treatments.
  4. Treat Your Home for Head Lice
    To get rid of lice completely, you must treat everything the person who had head lice might have come in contact with. This includes bedding, hats, clothes, coats, towels, combs, brushes, hair clips, and even plush towels. For items that are washable, wash them in hot, soapy water, then dry them on a high setting for twenty minutes. For items that aren't washable, vacuum them to remove lice and nits. You should also vacuum the carpets, mattresses, furniture, decorative pillows, and anything else you can thing of where lice and nits might be hiding. Once you're through, get rid of the bag. Put the vacuum cleaner bag in a plastic bag, tie it up tight, take it outside, and throw it away.
For items like stuffed animals, headphones, and pillows, put them in a plastic bag and seal it tight, and put it where no one will disturb it for at least to weeks. Any head lice that have infested those items will die within twenty four hours. And, once the eggs have hatched (which takes up to ten days), the lice they produced will have died by the end of the two-week period. Soak hair implements, like combs, brushes, and hair clips, in hot, soapy water for at least five minutes. As you can see, getting rid of head lice can be a challenge. But it's worth it to eliminate the itching and discomfort head lice can cause.

Home Canning Fruits and Vegetables

Home Canning Fruits

Whether you have a garden in your back yard and find yourself overloaded with tomatoes or your local farmer's market has a sale on veggies, home canning is the answer to preserving this delicious produce. Not only does it give you a supply of fruits and vegetables all year, but it is economical, as well.

When you can fruits and vegetables, you heat them hot enough and long enough to destroy the molds, yeasts, and bacteria that cause the food to spoil. The canning process is done in either a boiling-water-bath canner or a steam pressure-canner. Which type of process to use depends upon the type of food you want to can.
Fruits, tomatoes, and pickled vegetables need a boiling-water-bath canner. These acidic foods can be processed in boiling water.

Vegetables, other than tomatoes (considered a fruit), require a temperature higher than boiling water for safely canning. A pressure saucepan with a gauge for controlling the pressure at 10 pounds or 240 degrees F. can be used as a steam-pressure canner for vegetables in pint jars or tin cans.

  • Selecting Fruits and Vegetables
For the best results, choose fresh, young, and firm vegetables and fruits. Can them as soon as possible before they lose their fresh flavor. Sort the produce by size for even cooking.
  • Washing Fruits and Vegetables
Wash all the produce thoroughly. Wash small portions at a time under running water. Take the food out of the water after each portion, so dirt doesn't get back on the food. Don't allow the produce to soak in the water because this causes loss of flavor.

  • Filling the Containers
Fruits and vegetables can be packed raw into glass jars or tin cans, or preheated and packed hot. Tightly pack raw food into the jar because it shrinks as it processes. Hot food should be packed loosely and should be near the boiling point at the time of packing. Make sure there is enough juice or syrup to cover the food in the jar. It takes about ½ to 1 ½ cups of liquid for a quart Mason jar or No. 2 ½ tin can.

  • Sealing and Exhausting Tin Cans.
Tin cans are sealed before the food processing. The temperature of the food in the cans has to be 170 degrees F. or higher when sealing the cans. The reason the food is heated to this temperature is to drive out the air and make a good vacuum in the can.
Raw packed food must be heated in the cans before they are sealed. This is known as exhausting. Hot packed food does not need to be heated any more, just be sure the temperature does not drop below 170 degrees.
To exhaust the can, put the open, filled cans on a rack in a kettle that contains enough boiling water to come two inches below the tops of the cans. Cover the kettle and bring the water back to a boil.
Remove the cans from the kettle one at a time and add boiling packing liquid or water to fill the head space. Put a clean lid on the filled can and seal immediately.
  • Cooling Canned Food
  1. Glass Jars - Complete the seals immediately when taking jars from the canner. If any liquid boiled out during the processing, don't open the jar to add any more. Seal the jar just the way it is.
  2. Cool the jars top side up. Set the jars apart with enough room for air to get at all sides of the jar. Remember to never set a hot jar on a cold surface. It is best to place the jars on a folded cloth or towel.
  3. Tin Cans - Place the cans in cold water to cool them. Change the water a few times as they cool. Remove the cans from the water while they are warm and air dry.
  • Day after the Canning
Check all the Mason jars and can to be sure the seal is tight. Do this by turning the jar and watch for leakage. If the jar has a flat metal lid, you can tap the center of the lid with a spoon. You should hear a clear, ringing sound. Label the canned food with the date before storing them in a cool, dry place.

  • Specific Instructions for Canning Fruits, Tomatoes, and Pickled Vegetables.
  1. Packing Tips. Raw Packing - Put cold, raw fruit in the containers and cover with boiling water, juice, or syrup. Press tomatoes down in the containers so they are covered with their own juice - do not add water. Hot Packing- Heat fruits in syrup, in water or steam. Juicy fruits and tomatoes can be preheated without adding liquid and packed in the juice that cooks out.
  2. Processing in Boiling-Water Bath. Put filled glass Mason jars into the canner containing hot or boiling water. For raw packed food in glass jars, have the water in the canner hot but not boiling. All other packing requires boiling water. Add boiling water to about and an inch or two over the tops of the jars. Place the cover on the canner. Start timing the processing when the water reaches a rolling boil. Boil gently for the recommended processing time from the recipe.
  3. Immediately remove the jars from the canner when the time is up. There are many recipes to follow for home canning fruits and vegetables. Nothing is better than making homemade spaghetti sauce with the tomatoes you canned yourself and grew in your own garden. Have fun with the canning and use up all those fruits and vegetables.

Herbal Remedies for Acid Reflux

Sep 15, 2015

Acid Reflux

There are many herbal remedies for relieving heartburn and acid reflux. Although herbal remedies can provide relief without the unwanted side effects of antacids, herbal remedies are not a cure. If you do suffer from regular acid reflux you should, of course, see a doctor. Also, if you have a serious health problem or take medications, talk with your physician before you try out these natural herbal remedies.

An effective way to take many of these herbal remedies is in tea form. Taking herbs in tea form allows the body to absorb the herbal properties quickly. The more common herbs can often be purchased in tea bag form. For these, simply follow the directions on the package. You can also make the tea infusion yourself if you have the leaves, roots, or flowers of the plant that you want to use. To make the infusion, pour boiling water over the herbs and steep for ten minutes.

One effective herb for digestive ailments is chicory. The root is the most common part of this herb available and is sometimes used as a coffee substitute. The leaves and flowers also aid in digestion.

Chamomile is another common tea that can be a useful herbal remedy for acid reflux. Since chamomile helps you relax, it is an excellent choice if you suffer from nighttime heartburn. Do not take chamomile if you are allergic to ragweed.

Another good choice for evening acid reflux is lavender. Lavender is an excellent stomach aid because it reduces acid in the stomach. Peppermint is often recommended for digestive problems such as stomach distension, cramps, ulcers, and gas, but it is not a the best choice for heartburn. The muscle relaxant properties of peppermint can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax. So anyone with gastroesphageal reflux disease (GERD) needs to avoid peppermint.

Other herbs that can help relieve acid reflux include meadowsweet, slippery elm, fennel, catnip, angelica root, and ginger root. Meadowsweet is nature's aspirin and can help with an acid stomach without causing any of the side effects of synthesized aspirin. Although drinking a cup of catnip tea after your meals can help prevent or alleviate acid reflux, women who have pelvic inflammatory disease or who are pregnant should not take catnip. Ginger should be avoided by people with gallstones or anyone in danger of internal bleeding.

Although other factors such as diet must be looked at when hoping to gain long term relief from acid reflux, herbal remedies can help ease pain and provide other health benefits. Take the time to investigate and talk to your doctor about the best herbal remedies for you.

Herbal Medicine for Toothaches Relief On Your Front Yard

Toothaches Relief

There are several herbs that can be utilized to relieve toothache pain. Cloves or tarragon can make you more comfortable until there is a dentist available. Calendula or Yarrow can also provide relief. Cultures around the world have relied on herbs for years to provide relief from the pain of toothaches.

Inner bark from a tree, known as the butternut, provided relief from toothaches to Native Americans. This cousin to the black walnut is indigenous to North America. It can be found on the banks of rivers where the soil is rich and well drained or even in back yards. Fully grown trees can become quite tall, and their grey colored bark, and fruit and leaves similar to that of the black walnut make them easy to spot. As the Native Americans taught us, applying this inner bark directly to the gums can give you some temporary relief from pain.

The roots from the yarrow plant can also be utilized as a temporary anesthetic. Not only indigenous to North America, it can also be found growing wild in Asia or Europe. Look in fields or open woods, and apply this root to your gums or even the tooth. It should help bring some relief until you can see your dentist.

Clove is a tree that was once found only in tropical areas. Now this evergreen can be found throughout the world. The medicine of this plant is only found in the flower bud once it has dried. The oil from this bud can bring temporary relief from toothache when you apply it. Clove seems to be the most effective of the natural remedies, as the relief it brings is almost instantaneous.

For years, natural herbs were the only source of relief from toothache pain. Many years ago, the only relief that the local dentist could provide was a dose of alcohol to help kill the pain and a pair of pliers for extracting the tooth. Thankfully, the dentists of today have progressed beyond this, and can offer more relief. However, that doesn't mean that the natural ways have to be discarded.

Herbs have proven their effectiveness in pain control for centuries. If you have a genuine interest in learning more about their effectiveness, you should discuss it with your dentist. He should be able to point you in the direction of the herbs that offer the most effectiveness and would be safe for you to use. That way the next time a toothache strikes, relief may be as close as your front yard.

Hepatitis B 101 Simple Answers to Basic Questions

  1. What is hepatitis?
    Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver, liver disease. The term derives from hepat-(< hepar), the Greek root for "liver", and the ending -itis, which denotes "inflammation".
    What is Hepatitis B? Hepatitis B is a very common type of hepatitis (viral infection of the liver). Hepatitis B is caused by a virus called HBV (Hepatitis B Virus). HBV attacks the liver cells and may cause permanent damage to the liver (cirrhosis), liver cancer, and even death.
  2. Is Hepatitis B infectious?
    Yes, it is highly infectious.
  3. How is Hepatitis B transmitted?
    Hepatitis B is transmitted through direct contact with the body fluids or blood of an infected person. Unprotected sexual contact and injection of illegal drugs (intravenous drug use) are high-risk behaviors for the transmission of HBV. HBV is not transmitted through casual contact, sneezing, hugging, food and water.
  4. What are the chances of contracting HBV through a blood transfusion? Nowadays it is extremely rare to be infected with HBV through the transfusion of blood or blood products.
  5. What happens after exposure to HBV?
    The first stage after exposure to the hepatitis B virus is acute infection. Acute hepatitis will set in at about 1-9 weeks (at 4 weeks on average) after exposure to HBV. During the acute phase, the body mounts an intense immune response to clear the virus. In some cases, however, the immune system will not get rid of the virus. If HBV clearance has not happened within 6 months of infection, we have chronic hepatitis (i.e. a lifelong condition). The progression of hepatitis B can lead to permanent scarring of the liver tissue (cirrhosis) and liver cancer.
  6. What are the signs and symptoms of HBV infection?
    Many infected persons are asymptomatic, i.e. they show no signs or symptoms of HBV infection. In other cases, infected individuals have mild to moderate, flu-like symptoms, such as fever, muscle and joint pain, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and fatigue. Jaundice and abdominal pain are stronger indications of possible exposure to the hepatitis B virus.
  7. How is Hepatitis B diagnosed?
    If you experience any of the above symptoms or think that you may have been exposed to HBV, even if you are asymptomatic, seek medical assistance asap. There are several tests available for the diagnosis of hepatitis B. A positive HBsAg (Hepatitis B Surface Antigen) test is a fairly accurate indicator of infection. Other tests detect antibodies to HBV (the anti-HBs and anti-HBc tests), which indicate an immune response to a prior or more recent exposure to the virus. A liver ultrasound and/or biopsy will give the physician a more accurate picture of the extent of liver inflammation and the presence (or absence) of cirrhosis.
  8. Is there a vaccine for Hepatitis B?
    Yes. There is a vaccine that protects against HBV infection. It is administered to all babies born in the US at birth. The vaccine is also administered to individuals 18 years old or younger as well as adults at risk for contracting hepatitis B.
  9. What is the treatment for chronic HBV infection?
    Currently, there are four FDA approved drugs for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection: interferon, lamivudine, adefovir dipivoxil, and entecavir. At end-stage liver disease, liver transplantation is the only therapeutic option.
  10. Can lifestyle choices influence the progression of HBV infection?
    Absolutely. Healthy lifestyle choices can slow down the progression of HBV infection and make the condition more manageable. Such choices are: maintenance of healthy weight; a balanced nutrition, high in fiber and antioxidants and low in sugar and fat; no smoking; no alcohol; regular exercise; plenty of rest; a mutually monogamous sexual relationship.

How to Help Your Child Lose Weight

Sep 14, 2015

Child Lose Weight

Childhood obesity is becoming an epidemic. Overweight children are at significantly higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, thyroid dysfunction, illness, cancer, and many other health issues if they do not learn to manage their weight an an appropriate level. It falls to parents to re-teach their children good lifestyle habits to help them lose weight.

Crash and fad diets are not healthy, failing not only to keep the weight off of children but often causing additional health problems. Counting every calorie a child eats is very difficult, and not all parents can afford to take children to weight loss programs. The good news is that there are simple rules to helping your child lose weight.

Learn appropriate portion sizing, and teach your children. Our nation, as a whole, has a poor concept of appropriate portion size. "Super-sizing" and "Value Meals" have instilled in our young people that more is better. Teaching children, and ourselves, what a real portion looks like can be difficult and dissapointing; but, it is absolutely necessary to maintain good eating habits. Children are never going to regularly measure their food, but these simple guidelines can help you and them know how much a "portion" really is, according to BioEd Online:
  1. 1 Portion of Meat is the size of a fist.
  2. 1 portion of rice, fruit, pasta, or vegetables is the size of a tennis ball.
  3. 1 serving of grain fits into a cupped hand.
  4. 1 portion of cheese is two fingers
  5. Cut out fruit juice. Fruit juice, despite the AMA's protestations, do not count as fruit. They contain none of the dietary fiber whole fruit has, and often have added sugar. Dietary fiber in fruit is what fills a child up, taking the edge off of hunger. It also keeps the child's blood sugar from spiking, and causing other health concerns such as hyperactivity, ADD/ADHD symptoms, or sugar addiction. Since juice has little to no fiber, replace juice with water and whole fruits.