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Showing posts with label herbal remedies.
Showing posts with label herbal remedies.

08 December 2014

Pregnancy is a wonderful time in a woman's life, isn't it. It gives us the time to recollect, plan ahead, simplify and focus our lives on a something higher than our well-being, that of another person. During that time of preparation women grow – mentally, spiritually and physically.

Today I want to address the physical growth of pregnancy; although beautiful, natural and glowing, it often has a negative effect on our self-esteem later in life. The growth of our bellies, breasts and thighs sometimes leads to the appearance of stretch marks.

Based on a my detailed research, I created the most effective natural salve that will prevent and treat stretch marks. As with all things I share on this blog, the stretch mark salve is rather simple and will take no more than 15 minutes to prepare.

Before I let you know the full recipe, let me remind you that each type of skin is different but no matter how susceptible yours is to stretch marks it is very important that you keep yourself hydrated and eat a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as fish high in Omega-3.


No to Coconut Oil

For this stretch marks salve I am not using coconut oil, regardless of the number of praises I've heard and read about it, the reason being that for people with very dry skin coconut oil is not moisturizing enough. Actually, I experienced this effect on my lips last winter when I used my which included coconut oil and wondered why the hydration wasn't as expected.

As discussed in Skin Care Talk, coconut oil is made up of glycerol esters of shorter-chain fatty acids, mostly lauric acid (about 47%). Lauric acid has 12 carbon atoms compared to 18 carbons in stearic acid, a common component of most fats and oils. Other major components are 8, 10, and 14 carbon fatty acids. This makes coconut oil a lot different than most other oils.

Coconut oil obtains some very special benefits for your skin from these shorter-chain fatty acids, very nourishing and healing, in part because they penetrate skin very well. What they don't do well is stay on top to form a moisture seal on your skin. Some folks would interpret this as "drying."

Also, coconut oil is considered to be fairly comodogenic, so if you have a tendency to get clogged pores (blackheads, etc), coconut oil might exacerbate that problem. To stay away from any possible harm, I left out the coconut oil this time.

Yes to Aloe Vera and Wheat Germ Oil
Aloe Vera gel is effective in the treatment of many skin problems. It has various essential nutrients and active compounds that can be used in the treatment of minor burns and acne scars. Basically if there is a skin disease chances are that Aloe Vera can help with it. Its healing and soothing properties can be used to get rid of stretch marks as well.

Wheat germ oil aids the regeneration of the natural processes of the skin. It nourishes the skin and heals and preserves it. Its antioxidant properties prevent all sorts of tissue damage and builds collagen.

Wheat germ is a "true carrier" oil, as it has the ability to travel through the epidermis into the dermis where the actual stretching occurs. It carries the regenerating oils or Aloe Vera it is combined with into the dermis feeding new skin cells as they travel up to the epidermis.

According to a study published in Pharmacognosy Research titled the combination between wheat germ oil and Aloe Vera extract produces the highest hydration effect on the skin, due to their synergistic effect. Wheat germ oil or Aloe extract, when present separately produces skin hydration to lesser extent.

Yes to Calendula Infused Olive Oil
According to the same study in Pharmacognosy Research, second in rank in terms of skin hydration is the combination of Aloe Vera extract and olive oil.

It is worth noting that when oil is added to a hydrating salve, the effect is increased as it forms an occlusive layer on the skin and prevents loss of moisturizer. In general, when applied to skin, the vegetable oils are easily absorbed and show great spreadability.

In my stretch mark salve recipe I use calendula infused olive oil because calendula is known to have gentle, cooling, and soothing properties. Calendula oil is the most successful oil for assisting with dry and damaged skin, skin inflammations, rashes, diaper irritations, and other skin disorders. It makes a wonderful baby’s oil and is exceptional for those with sensitive skin.

An easy and quick way to infuse olive oil with calendula is to fill a clean, dry glass jar with dried calendula flower heads, then cover with olive oil. Put in a double boiler on the stove top and warm over low heat at approximately 100 degrees F (40 degrees Celsius) for at least 4-6 hours. Once the oil has infused, strain out the herbs using cheesecloth and pour the infused oil into glass bottles, date and store in a cool, dark cupboard. Add a few drops of liquid vitamin E which will act as a preservative and will be an added bonus for all skin recipes you'll use it in. Use it up within a year.

* * *

Pregnancy Stretch Marks Salve


Ingredients
Equal amounts of:
  • cocoa butter 
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  • wheat germ oil
  • calendula infused olive oil
I use 100 g / 3.50 oz of each, which is usually enough for 2 months.

Method
Melt the cocoa butter in a double boiler.

In the meantime combine the other ingredients and stir well. Add the warm cocoa butter, stir.

If you dislike the calendula smell you can add a few drops of essential oil of your choice.

Pour in a clean glass jar and let cool. The stretch mark salve will harden at lower temperatures but it will quickly soften by the heat of your fingers and palms before applying.

* * *

And that's it. A pregnancy stretch mark salve cannot get any easier but that doesn't make it unreliable. Backed with serious scientific research, this is the most moisturizing natural homemade salve you can use to prevent or treat stretch marks.

Start applying the stretch marks salve as soon as possible, i.e. once you start seeing your belly grow. Apply on your belly, breasts, and thighs – these are the areas most prone to stretch marks.

Massage the salve gently into the skin and allow about 20 minutes before
getting dressed. It is best to make this a daily ritual after taking a
shower to lock even more moisture in your skin.

Sources:
  • Blichmann CW, Serup J, Winther A. Effects of single application of a moisturizer: Evaporation of emulsion water, skin surface temperature, electrical conductance, electrical capacitance and skin surface (emulsion) lipids. Acta Derm Venereol. 1989;69:327–30. [] 

24 April 2014

In the three years that I've been no-pooing it was a habit of mine to replace hair conditioner with apple cider vinegar. I knew that some people used lemon juice instead of vinegar but because vinegar gave me great results I never tried lemon.


A few days ago Kanelstrand reader  asked me to test the pH of lemon juice and see if it can safely be used instead of vinegar.



Which reminds me, if you still haven't read my post about , please do so.

And if you are doing the same to your hair, you are killing it slowly. Stop immediately.

Why pH matters?

Hair and skin are covered by a very thin fluid layer comprised of oil, salt and water, called the mantle, which is slightly acidic and has a pH balance of between 4.5 - 5.0.

This natural acidity of the hair and scalp prevents fungi and bacteria, and keeps the cuticle closed and healthy. If your haircare routine is too alkali your hair cuticles will stay open and your hair will be dry and brittle. But if you use pH balanced products, i.e. ones that are close to the natural pH of the hair (4.5 - 5.0) your hair cuticles will close properly which will result in healthy shiny hair.


But what's the case with vinegar/lemon juice? 

After an extensive research I am positive that vinegar and lemon juice are used interchangeably, and mostly depending on personal preference.

Both vinegar and lemon have long been used to make hair silky and lustrous. They work to restore luster by removing build up from other hair products. The acidity of vinegar and lemon juice leaves hair smooth and silky and detangles your hair. They fight dandruff and improve scalp health. They also stimulate the scalp and promote hair growth. Depending on your hair type, you may want to use a vinegar/lemon rinse once a week, or as often as three times a week.

Before I continue with the actual measuring of the pH let me explain that vinegar (as well as lemon juice) is a dilute acid that can be made more dilute using water, it can be neutralized using a base, but it cannot be made into a base. The term "pH" stands for "potential hydrogen" -- which means that the more free-floating hydrogen ions in a solution, the more acidic the solution is. Vinegar's pH will always remain at a number lower than neutral, no matter how dilute it is, because vinegar is an acid ().

Pure apple cider vinegar has a pH 2.


Here is the pH of 2 tbsp vinegar diluted in a cup (250ml) tap water.


Pure lemon juice:


2 tbsp lemon juice diluted in a cup (250ml) tap water is slightly more acidic than 2 tbsp of vinegar diluted in a cup of water.


But when you dilute 2 tbsp of lemon juice in 2 cups of water you get a pH of about 3.5 - 4.


Edit: If you insist on getting the pH of your lemon juice rinse to 4.0 you can dilute 1 tsp lemon juice in 450ml tap water, which is roughly 1 3/4 cup.



In conclusion

The reason for using an acidic hair rinse is that it helps our cuticle scales to lie as flat as they can so they won't be torn off or won't allow stuff to pass into our hair shaft. In that sense, a vinegar or lemon juice rinse works toxic-free magic for a considerably less amount of money than the conditioner you can buy.

As you can see from the pH tests, lemon juice is a tiny bit more acidic than vinegar,  but it has the same qualities. There is no documented danger of using it as a hair rinse.

One thing worth noting is that lemon juice will lighten your hair in direct sunlight.

If you dislike the smell of vinegar, I have a solution for you!

Add some dried rosemary or rosemary essential oil to the bottle of vinegar that you're using and the smell will be gone. (thanks to for this tip)

Have you tried rinsing your hair with lemon juice or vinegar? What's your experience?

21 March 2014

Last month I posted and one of them was turmeric. I must admit I raised my brow the first time I heard that turmeric can whiten teeth because I knew that it stained anything irreversibly.

On the other hand, any article I read claimed how beneficial turmeric was for teeth and oral hygiene. According to research compounds in turmeric have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties and is famous for being a great non-abrasive whitener.


So, instead of wondering if it really worked or not I decided to try turmeric. I anticipated a yellow mess around the sink but actually it wasn't that bad.

I put a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a small glass bowl (the original recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon and actually that is quite enough).


Then I mixed the turmeric with a few drops of water to form a thick paste and put some on my toothbrush, which I knew would get stained.


And I started brushing as usual. I was expecting a weird taste but it was quite acceptable. I tried to brush thoroughly for about 2 minutes.

After I rinsed my mouth though, I was unpleasantly surprised with the yellow tint on my teeth and gums. I quickly put some baking soda on my toothbrush and continued to brush for a minute more but the yellow was still there.

Then I got some toothpaste on but the yellow persisted. It didn't look like my teeth were very much whiter than before, so I felt disappointed. Anyway, I took the "after" picture and looking at it later I saw that my teeth actually looked cleaner!

Before: 

After:

You can see the overall yellow teeth on the gums and teeth but if you look closer at the bases of the teeth, they're much cleaner and whiter than before.

In about 30 minutes the yellow tint had gone away and I could see a difference between "before" and "after". Although the result is not as dramatic as I expected I can see that there is some whitening.

So overall:

Yes, turmeric can whiten teeth though not dramatically.

Have you tried whitening your teeth with natural remedies? Let us know how it went for you in the comments.

21 February 2014

Unpleasant as it is, as the years progress, our teeth tend to lose their pearly white color for a yellowish tint that is not as attractive and is a sign that something is wrong.

Luckily, there are a number of things we can do to prevent our teeth from discoloring. There are not only ways to prevent it,but  there are also many ways to bring back the white and get that perfect smile everyone wants.

Teeth are made up of 4 tissues:
  • enamel -- the strong white covering that protects the tooth
  • dentin -- a hard yellow material that carries nerves; supports the enamel
  • pulp -- at the center of the tooth and contains blood and lymph vessels
  • cementum -- covers the root of the tooth.
According to , when it’s at its thickest, tooth enamel is naturally white. As it is worn down it becomes translucent and starts to show through to the next layer of the tooth called dentin.

The dentin layer has a naturally yellower tone than that of the enamel that covers it, so the thinner the enamel layer becomes the more yellow the teeth will appear. This is why many elderly people have relatively yellow teeth. The longer you’ve had your teeth, the more chance you have to wear down their white protective coatings.


Why do teeth get yellow? 

There are many reasons for your teeth to get yellow. Apart from genetics, the color of your teeth depends on diet, smoking, medications, dental cleaning routine, trauma, etc.

Some times, the reason for discoloring teeth enamel are the acids in certain foods and drinks that wear away your teeth’s white enamel coating. Soda for instance is highly acidic and regularly leaving it sitting on your teeth can start to wear down their protective outer layer.

Other times, the reason is in the foods and drinks that stain the teeth directly when consumed. Some of the most staining foods are:
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  • Red and white wine,
  • Soda and sports drinks,
  • Fruit juices,
  • Sweets,
  • Certain fruits and vegetables.

Before I continue with the top 5 natural ways to whiten your teeth, here is the most important thing you should do to prevent your teeth from discoloring:
After each meal, have a big sip of water and swirl it around your mouth to clear away any acids or staining compounds.

The following natural remedies focus on whitening teeth, but keep in mind that actively strengthening enamel is just as important so you can keep it from breaking down further.

5 natural remedies for teeth whitening

Coconut oil
In a recipe found on I learned that coconut oil can be used to whiten teeth. The lauric acid in coconut oil can rid your teeth of bacteria found in plaque that can make them yellow. It also promotes gum health, and help keep your breath fresh. Coconut oil is not only great for whitening your teeth but it also effectively inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria that can cause cavities and mouth infections, without causing any harmful side-effects.

Photo:

How to apply:
suggests that before you brush your teeth, you should scoop out a tablespoon of coconut oil. You can either soften it, or just put it in your mouth. Push, swish, and “pull” the oil through and around your teeth for 10-15 minutes, then spit it out, rinse with water, and brush your teeth.

Baking soda
Baking soda () is a mild abrasive which effectively removes stains caused by tea, coffee, cigarettes, etc. You can use the following mixture up to 3 - 4 times a week.

NB! Although there are some suggestions to mix the baking soda with lemon juice, don't do this. The acidity of the lemon might permanently damage the enamel of your teeth.

Photo:

How to apply:
In a small cup, mix half a teaspoon of baking soda with half a teaspoon of water. Mix to form a paste. Dip your toothbrush into the cup, to cover the bristles with the baking soda paste.

Brush your teeth as you normally would for no longer than two minutes, as baking soda is a mild abrasive and may begin to erode the enamel on your teeth.

Turmeric
Ever since I started dyeing my Easter eggs with turmeric I've known how irreversibly it can stain anything. But apart from being a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent fighting against cancer, people swear their teeth got visibly whiter after a single use.

Photo:
How to apply:
Mix a teaspoon of dry organic turmeric powder with water just enough to form a thick paste. Then brush your teeth thoroughly.

Just remember that anything outside of your mouth that comes in contact with turmeric will be dyed bright yellow including the toothbrush. As suggested on :
Turmeric would also be great for oral hygiene, not just tooth whitening, because it is such a strong anti-inflammatory, which is good for the gums -- since 90% of people over the age of 30 have gum disease, and is also a strong antimicrobial, so it kill all those bag germs causing tooth decay and gum disease.

Charcoal
Activated charcoal (activated carbon) is made by processing charcoal with oxygen and either calcium chloride or zinc chloride. It was used medicinally by both Hippocrates and the ancient Egyptians, and it is still the poison remedy of choice in modern day emergency rooms because it attracts substances to its surface like a magnet. Like absorptive substances which work like a sponge, adsorptive materials bind with certain compounds and prevent our bodies from using them.

As stated on , activated charcoal locks onto tannins – the compounds found in coffee, tea (even herbal tea), blueberries, wine and spices like cinnamon that stain our teeth. It also balances the mouth’s pH and is even considered beneficial enough to be used in some tooth re-mineralization formulas.
Photo:

How to apply:
Dip your toothbrush in a small amount powdered charcoal, wet and brush for two minutes. After brushing, hold it in your mouth for 2-3 minutes to allow it to continue to work. Spit and rinse thoroughly, then follow with a second brushing using your regular tooth powder/paste.
After brushing, hold it in your mouth for 2-3 minutes to allow it to continue to work. Spit and rinse thoroughly, then follow with a second brushing using your regular tooth powder/paste.

Banana peel
Banana peels are not only doing a great job in and removing the scars from your skin but using the exact same chemicals (potassium, magnesium and manganese) they can whiten your teeth as well.

Photo:

How to apply: 
Rub your teeth with the inside of a banana peel for about 5 minutes. Don't brush off, leave it like this for another round of 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and brush your teeth as you normally would.

These remedies might not get you ridiculously white teeth within a week but you will start to see a difference in the long run, and what is more, you will not be questioning the ingredients because you will know that they are absolutely safe and natural.

Real, toxic-free beauty takes time. There's no such thing as a healthy overnight transformation, so don't worry and take your time. Your teeth WILL get whiter.

Sources:









15 January 2014

I haven't used medicines for sore throat for years. I make sure to take my Omega-3 in the wintertime, and to eat fresh vegetables and fruits as often as possible, I also drink to prevent colds and flu.

But whatever I do sometimes sore throat happens and to stop the development of a cough I use Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis).

Actually, it has been used to treat sore throat and cough since antiquity.

This image is in .
Marshmallow can soothe an inflamed sore throat. It also has immune stimulating properties and it is even used to moisten the lungs in cases of dry hot conditions, such as hot coughs with little to no expectoration. According to , recent scientific research has shown it to be a powerful anti-tussive herb as well.  

The best way to enjoy the medicinal qualities of Marshmallow root is by preparing tea. But wait, this tea will be a bit more special.

When we think of tea, we envision a warm, aromatic cup. Not with Marshmallow root. It is best prepared with cold water.

The root of Marshmallow is rich in mucilaginous polysaccharides and starches which can be best extracted with a cold infusion.

Here is how to prepare Marshmallow root tea to treat sore throat.

1. Boil 2 pt (1 l) water. Let cool until lukewarm.

2. Place 1,5 tablespoon dry marshmallow root in a glass bowl. Add the lukewarm water.

3. Let stay for 2 hours. Strain. The resulting liquid should be thick and viscous.

4. Divide in three equal parts and drink three times during the day. You may add a teaspoon of honey if you prefer a sweeter taste.

You will feel relief before the day is gone.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that this information is only meant as a guideline and in no way replaces the advice or treatment provided by your medical practitioner. It is always good to seek the advice of your physician, homeopath, naturopath, or herbalist for professional advice in any matter related to your health. This article is for information purposes only.

09 December 2013

Although a very common condition, dandruff is by no means pleasant. You can choose to live with it or you may look into its causes and try to prevent them.

Dandruff can be dry or oily.

Dry dandruff often results from incorrect brushing/combing, reveals bad skin circulation, or is the effect of the use of alkaline hair products that disrupt the natural pH of the hair and scalp.

Ivory white flakes of dandruff can signify high activity of the sebaceous glands or lack of nutrients due to poor diet. This type of dandruff could also be a sign of a fungal infection.

There are plenty of anti-dandruff shampoos on the market but what they do is load your hair and scalp with an array of chemicals and rarely if ever actually treat dandruff. On the contrary, they will damage your hair and strip the protective oils that prevent dandruff.

If, like me, you want to keep your hair as chemical-free as possible and are willing to try nature's way, here are several natural remedies that will help you effectively treat dandruff.

Photo: stockimages on

But before that, a few steps you can take to prevent dandruff.

How to prevent dandruff
  • Brush your hair thoroughly each day. Make sure you use a hairbrush with natural bristles.
  • Massage your scalp with the tip of your fingers thoroughly, as if you are washing your hair, pull your hair gently to increase blood circulation.
  • Avoid using strong hair dyes and perfumes.
  • Increase the intake of Vitamin A, which can be found in fish oil, milk, cream, egg yolk, liver.
  • Increase the intake of zink, which is naturally found fish, lamb, chicken, spinach, beans, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, nuts, cocoa, 
  • Dandruff can be a symptom of food allergies, so check if you have any.
  • Replace your daily dose of citrus fruits and juices with bananas, avocado, raw and steamed vegetables.
  • Reduce sugary foods.
  • Wash your hair with lukewarm water, as hot water can strip the hair of the natural oils that prevent dandruff.
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Natural remedies against dandruff

Tip: Before starting any anti-dandruff procedure make sure that your comb/ hair brush is disinfected, your towel is clean and your hair is washed and dried.

To disinfect your comb or brush make a one-to-one mixture of water and lemon juice, and soak them overnight.

Rosemary
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) relieves dryness and nourishes the skin. It is especially good for treating dandruff because of its anti-fungal properties. Rosemary is also known to strengthen your hair, promote hair growth and deter gray hair.
  • Add 1.06 oz (30 g) of fresh or dry rosemary to 1.06 pt (500 ml) boiling water and let stay for 24 hours. Sift and rinse your hair. Repeat daily for 2 weeks or until dandruff is gone.
  • Boil 0.7 oz (20 g) rosemary leaves in 2.11 pt (1 l) water. Sift and cool. Wash your hair with the rosemary water. Make sure you massage it well into the scalp.

Stinging nettle
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica, Urtica urens) is used for fortifying hair, boosting hair growth and preventing hair loss. It is known as one of the most effective treatments for oily hair and dandruff.
  • Cut 7 oz (200 g) fresh nettle leaves and boil for 15 minutes in 2.11 pt (1 l) water. Set aside for 2 hours. Sift. Massage your scalp gently twice a day. Store in a fridge for no more than 3 days and warm up before use.

Burdock root
The roots of Burdock (Arctium) are often used as a scalp treatment to combat hair loss, improve hair strength, shine and body. It is also used  against dandruff and scalp itching, promote healing of skin and scalp conditions. It is rich in phytosterols and essential fatty acid, nutrients required for healthy scalp and natural hair growth.
  • Soak 0.53 oz (15 g) burdock root and 0.53 oz (15 g) rosemary with 1.06 pt (500 ml) boiling water. Sift after half an hour and massage the roots of the hair.
  • Mix 0.7 oz (20 g) burdock roots, 0.7 oz (20 g) camomile, 0.7 oz (20 g) walnut leaves, 0.35 oz (10 g) nettle leaves, 0.7 oz (20 g) nettle root. Soak 3 tablespoons of the mixture in  2.11 pt (1 l) lukewarm water and warm up for 30 minutes. Massage into the scalp. The mixture is also very effective against hair loss.

Wine vinegar
Vinegar works well in treating dandruff because it is high in potassium and natural enzymes that help protect the scalp. It is also know to fight fungi and helps reduce fatty acids in the organism.
  • Mix 2 teacups wine vinegar with 2 teacups water and 1 teacup fresh or dry nettle leaves. Boil for 10 minutes. Sift and cool. Massage your scalp twice a day.

Tip: Make sure you use white wine vinegar if your hair is blond because red wine vinegar will darken it.

Now it's your turn: What kind of natural home remedies have you found useful for treating dandruff?

26 August 2013

Sad truth: blackheads happen to everyone, regardless of skin type and age. I have found out that washing my face with plain soap and lukewarm water helps me keep my face clean in a healthy and cheap way. I also still make a once a week.

But if you've tried these options and they are not suitable for your skin type, here is a quick and efficient solution for your blackheads with ingredients you already have in your kitchen.

photo:

Natural Blackhead Remover Mask
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoons corn flour (or oat flour)

1. Beat the egg white lightly and add 2 tablespoons of corn flour.

2. Spread evenly on your face.

3. Let the mask dry out and take it off gently with a wet towel.

4. Rinse your face with cold water.

If you want to treat just a few blackheads on your face you can rub the area energetically with some lemon juice. The lemon treatment will be even more efficient after a steam bath, when your pores have opened by the heat.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that this treatment is only meant as a guideline and in no way replaces the advice or treatment provided by your medical practitioner. It is always good to seek the advice of your physician, homeopath, naturopath, or herbalist for professional advice in any matter related to your health. This article is for information purposes only.

21 August 2013

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Oats are one of nature's best kept beauty secrets. Apart from making a healthy low-calorie breakfast, they are the perfect treatment for your skin. Oats soothe and heal the skin, while reducing inflammation. They soften rough skin and help it heal if it is dry and itchy. Combined with other natural ingredients oats turn into the perfect agent for treating all types of skin.

The hypoallergenic qualities of oats make them a suitable ingredient in cleansing baths. Here are three homemade oat masks that will help soothe and replenish normal, dry and oily skin.


Photo:

Normal skin
  • 1/4 tea cup natural, unsweetened yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon oats
Place the mixture evenly between two pieces of gauze. Keep on the face for 15 to 20 minutes. This mask is also very efficient in reducing the pigmentation of freckles and blemishes.

Dry skin
  • 2 tablespoons tomato juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons oats
Mix well and spread evenly on the face. Leave to work for 20 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.

Oily skin
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons oats
Beat the egg white until stiff. Gradually add 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest followed by 2 teaspoons of oats. Mix well and cover your face. Let it work for 10 minutes. The mask will harden so make sure you take it off gently with warm water. Finally, rinse your face with cold water. This mask is great for reducing large pores.



What other beauty treatments do you use oats for?

19 August 2013

Last winter I suffered an acute sinus infection that might have become chronic. I knew sinusitis was painful and hard to treat and that is why several months ago I started looking for natural treatments for sinus infection. I tried several of them but the one that had the best effect was a prolonged treatment with drops of St john's wort oil. Here is how you can make your own drops and get rid of sinusitis.
Illustration:


1. Place St John's wort flowers in a clean and dry mason jar, lightly pressing in order to get more of the herb in. Pour olive oil until the top layer of flowers is covered.

2. Cap with a lid with holes or a piece of kitchen roll held in place with a rubber band. This will allow moisture to escape.

3. Leave in direct sunlight for 40 days. Make sure you protect the jar in cold or rainy days by moving it to a warm and dry place.

4. Stir every day for the first two weeks then leave to infuse for another two.

5. Strain through a sieve covered in cheesecloth. Pour the infused oil into a clean dark bottle, label and date. Store the St. John's wort oil in a dry, cool place but not in the fridge.

Drop 2 drops of the oil in each nostril 3 times a day for adults, and 1 drop 3 times a day for children.

St John's wort is a natural antidepressant, so you might want to dry some of its flowers and drink as an herbal tea.

Here is more information on .

DISCLAIMER: Please note that these treatments are only meant as guidelines and in no way replace the advice or treatment provided by your medical practitioner. It is always good to seek the advice of your physician, homeopath, naturopath, or herbalist for professional advice in any matter related to your health. This article is for information purposes only.

16 August 2013

Did you know that flowers are not only beautiful but also beneficial for your health? When properly applied they can even treat your acne. You can eat them fresh or dried, the easiest way to incorporate them in your diet being as a decoration for desserts or cocktails.

Here are a few ideas to get you started on healing your acne, inflammations and respiratory tract infections. 



Rose
The rose flower has an active anti-inflammatory ingredient and boosts the immune system. You can use the flowers of the white rose as a laxative. Or you can treat hard-to-heal wounds with them and stimulate the healing process.

The petals of the red rose contain high amounts of tannin, which is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. You can treat gum inflammation by preparing a rose gargle following this quick gargle recipe: Pour 1 teacup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of rose petals. Leave for 20 minutes and gargle after it has cooled.

Primula
Everything about this flower can be used for healing purposes. The root is an effective expectorant and diuretic. The leaves calm the nervous system, and the flowers treat headache.

Viola
The wild Viola flower is a powerful antioxidant, it also contains cyclotides which have a diverse range of in vitro biological activities, including uterotonic, anti-HIV, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and insecticidal activities. Drink herbal viola tea for coughing.

For treatment of acne and skin irritations, pour 2 teacups of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of dry violas. Strain after 2 hours and apply on the affected areas.

Nasturtium (Tropaeolum)
Nasturtium is rich in vitamin C, and is known as an herbal antibiotic. It has been used in herbal medicine for its antiseptic and expectorant qualities. It is effective in fighting chest colds and in promoting the formation of new blood cells, as well as in treating respiratory and urinary tract infections. It is best if you eat the fresh flowers in a salad, vegetable meals, or in soups but don't overdo it because it is spicy.

English daisy (Bellis perennis)
This flower has been used in herbal medicine since ancient Rome when bandages were soaked in English daisy juice to bind sword and spear cuts. Bellis perennis is rich in vitamins and minerals and stimulates the metabolism. It is an anti-inflammatory and expectorant agent and is known to purify the blood.

To treat respiratory infections, pour 2 teacups of boiling water over 2-3 teaspoons of chopped flowers. Strain after 1 hour and drink 75 ml (0,16 pt) three times a day before meals.

Important!
Please note that eating flowers might be dangerous as well. As suggests, to avoid unpleasant surprises always consult a reference book on edible flowers and plants.
    
Eat flowers you have grown yourself, or know to be safe for consumption. Flowers from the florist or nursery have probably been treated with pesticides or other chemicals.

Do not eat roadside flowers or those picked in public parks. Both may have been treated with pesticide or herbicide, and roadside flowers may be polluted by car exhaust.

Eat only the petals, and remove pistils and stamens before eating.

If you suffer from allergies, introduce edible flowers gradually, as they may exacerbate allergies.

To keep flowers fresh, place them on moist paper towels and refrigerate in an airtight container. Some will last up to 10 days this way. Ice water can revitalize limp flowers.

Now is your turn, have you tasted the flowers in your garden?

14 August 2013

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Foot fungus (Athlete's foot) is a common skin condition that affects the sole of the foot and the skin between the toes. It causes scaling, flaking, and itch of affected areas and occasionally may be weepy and oozing. It affects the feet of athletes and non-athletes alike.

Foot fungus is most commonly transmitted in moist areas such as public showers, swimming pools and bathhouses, where people walk barefoot, and requires a warm moist environment, such as the inside of a shoe, in order to incubate and develop.

It is extremely difficult and time-consuming to treat foot fungus. It usually takes about 45 days to cure foot fungus with the help of proper medication. But there are also herbal treatments that are equally effective but cheaper.

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Tea tree oil is a common suggestion in treating foot fungus but you might feel disappointed after using it because it only improves the symptoms without curing the underlying fungal infection.

A tried and tested herbal treatment for foot fungus is using Smoke tree also known as Smoke bush, which is a common garden shrub and grows in dry, infertile soils.

The smoke tree has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties. It is a powerful agent against festers. It is mostly applied for external use because drinking great amounts of herbal smoke tree tea might induce vomiting.

Smoke tree against foot fungus
To successfully treat foot fungus, prepare a highly concentrated infusion of smoke tree by boiling 40 g (1,41 oz) dry Smoke tree leaves, flowers and stems in 400 ml (0, 42 qt) water for about 20 minutes. Strain the leaves and dilute with warm water. Wait until the temperature of the infusion becomes bearable and soak your feet. Keep them in the mixture until the water cools down. Repeat once a day for 40 days.

The health benefits of the Smoke tree will help you treat foot fungus effectively but you should take care to prevent reinfection. This can easily be achieved by  not sharing shoes, towels, and bath mats. Don’t walk barefoot in public areas like locker rooms, swimming pools, communal showers, etc. Keeping your feet dry and practice good hygiene.

What other herbal treatments do you know about getting rid of foot fungus?

DISCLAIMER: Please note that this treatment is only meant as a guideline and in no way replaces the advice or treatment provided by your medical practitioner. It is always good to seek the advice of your physician, homeopath, naturopath, or herbalist for professional advice in any matter related to your health. This article is for information purposes only.

08 August 2013

St John’s wort is native to Europe but is also commonly found in the US and Canada on roadsides, meadows, and woods.

The use of St John’s wort dates back to the ancient Greeks. Hippocrates recorded the medical use of St. John’s wort flowers. St John’s wort was given its name because it blooms about June 24th, the birthday of John the Baptist. “Wort” is an old English word for plant.

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Uses of St John's wort oil
  • sunburn
  • first degree burn
  • acne
  • bruises and scrapes
  • inflammation and muscle pain
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  • scalp conditions
  • insect bites
  • hemorrhoids
  • nerve/back pain
  • arthritis
  • sciatica
  • fibromyalgia
  • gastritis/ulcer
  • rashes
  • varicose veins
  • gout.
How to grow St John's wort
St John's wort is a sun loving, shrubby perennial whose yellow flowers bloom in the summer. You can grow direct from seed or transplant. The plant reaches a height of 1 to 2 feet and needs about a foot a space around it. St John's wort is considered an invasive weed that can cause trouble to livestock, so while a few garden plants are easy enough to keep contained, be careful of trying to grow it in situations where it could escape cultivation.

How to harvest St John's wort
Harvest St John's wort on a dry day after the sun has dried the morning dew. Make sure you pick clean herbs from an area you can be sure has not been sprayed with chemical fertilisers. This is particularly important as you are not going to wash the plant material, you want it to be as dry as possible to prevent spoilage, though you can bush off any dirt with a soft bristled brush.

St John's wort infused oil
Ingredients:
40 g (1,41 oz) fresh St John's wort flowers
400 ml (0, 42 qt) olive oil

Put St John's wort buds and flowers in a clean and dry mason jar. Cover the herbs with the olive oil.

Stir carefully with a wooden spoon or chopstick until all the bubbles have dispersed and cap with a lid with holes or a piece of kitchen roll held in place with a rubber band. This will allow moisture to escape.

Leave in direct sunlight for 30 days.

Stir every day for the first two weeks then leave to infuse for another two.

Strain through a sieve covered in cheesecloth. The active ingredients in St John’s wort can be deactivated by light that is why you have to pour the infused oil into a clean dark bottle.

Put a label and date. Store the St. John's wort oil in a cool place but not in the fridge.

Note that applying St. John’s wort directly to the skin may cause serious sensitivity to sunlight.

St John's wort is a natural antidepressant, so you might want to dry some of its flowers and drink as an herbal tea.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that these treatments are only meant as guidelines and in no way replace the advice or treatment provided by your medical practitioner. It is always good to seek the advice of your physician, homeopath, naturopath, or herbalist for professional advice in any matter related to your health. This article is for information purposes only.


07 August 2013

Summer days in my childhood were filled with the scent of elder coming from the elder bushes along roads, paths, in the fields and gardens. There was hardly a home without a jug of cool elderflower cordial on the counter to refresh the guests in the summer heat.

Nowadays elderflower cordial marks a powerful comeback and is offered in most trendy cafes around Europe not only because of its sweet taste but also because of its health benefits. You can make elderflower cordial yourself fairly easy at home and store up to a year.

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Health benefits of elderflower
Elderflower has been used medicinally for hundreds of years. It is rich in antioxidants and its healing properties have for centuries been used as a remedy for coughs, colds, hay fever and even rheumatism, so much so that it has acquired the nickname of Nature's Medicine Chest.

Some of the nutrients found in Elderflower include Bioflavonoids, Choline, Omega-3 fatty acids, Omega-6 fatty acids, Pectin and Tannins. Together with the vitamins A, B-1, B-2, B-3 complex, and Vitamin they give the elderflower its anti-inflammatory, anticancer and antiviral properties.
  • boosts immune system,
  • purifies the blood,
  • treats asthma, bronchitis, coughs and colds,
  • relieves symptoms of respiratory allergies,
  • diuretic (increases urine production),
  • iaphoretic (increases sweating),
  • laxative,
  • insect-repellent,
  • relieves intestinal problems including diarrhea or constipation, helps to stabilize
  • bowel function,
  • corrects kidney function.

How to harvest elderflowers
Elderflowers are in season from the end of May to the beginning of June which is also the best time for picking. They grow in a variety of conditions including both wet and dry fertile soils, though they prefer sunny locations.

The flowerheads are best collected fresh and new when the tiny buds have just opened and come to bloom before the fragrance is tainted with bitterness. Harvest in dry and sunny weather. Instead of picking, cut the cluster of flowers and put in a basket without pressing.

How to make elderflower cordial
Start preparing your elderflower cordial on the day of harvesting while the flowers are still fresh.

Ingredients:
40 fresh elderflower heads, stalks trimmed
1 kg (2,2 lb) sugar
1 l (1 qt) water
85 g (3 oz) citric acid

Method:
Make sure that your elderflower heads are clean. Don't wash to prevent them from losing the aroma. Arrange them in a clean glass bowl and cover with sugar. Mix the citric acid in the water and pour in the glass bowl. Cover and keep in a cool place, away from direct sunlight for 2 weeks. Mix gently with a wooden spoon every day. The longer you let the mixture infuse, the stronger the scent of the cordial will be.

In 2 weeks strain the syrup in a clean, dry glass bottle. You can preserve it for up to a year in a cool dark place or a fridge.

For drinking dilute with cold water.

For medicinal use, take 1 tablespoon of concentrate each morning.

Have you tried Elderflower cordial?

DISCLAIMER: Please note that these treatments are only meant as guidelines and in no way replace the advice or treatment provided by your medical practitioner. It is always good to seek the advice of your physician, homeopath, naturopath, or herbalist for professional advice in any matter related to your health. This article is for information purposes only.


06 August 2013

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is best known as a culinary herb but it also has many health benefits. Its highly fragrant, round and often pointed leaves are used as a seasoning herb in Mediterranean cuisine and have become popular as the main ingredient in pesto.

Basil is an excellent source of vitamin A, C, K, iron, and calcium. It is also a good source of antioxidants, dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, and potassium. Here is a list of some of its most common uses for health.



13 uses and health benefits of basil

Antibacterial properties
Fresh basil leaves and basil oil have antibacterial properties. They can be used to disinfect surfaces. Basil leaves, applied to wounds, may eliminate infections. A basil gargle can treat mouth infections.

Sore throat
Water boiled with basil leaves can be taken as a tonic or used as a gargle when you have a sore throat.

Respiratory disorders
Basil used in your cooking or taken as a nutritional supplement can assist in combating common viruses like colds, flu, and herpes. Boiling basil leaves with honey and ginger is useful for treating asthma, bronchitis, cough, cold, and influenza. Boiling the leaves, cloves, and sea salt in some water will give rapid relief of flu. These combinations should be boiled in about two quarts of water until only half the water remains before they are taken.

Mouth infections
Chewing a few leaves twice daily can cure infections and ulcerations of the mouth.

Ear infections
Basil essential oil is antibacterial, and drops of basil oil may relieve ear infections.

Blood sugar
There is some evidence that basil can help level out blood sugar if consumed regularly and drank as a juice or tea.

Calming of stomach
Basil has a calming effect on the stomach and 1/2 teaspoon of dried or fresh basil leaf in water can often help sooth indigestion and alleviate feelings of fullness.

Loss of appetite
Add 1 tablespoon of dry basil leaves to 300 ml (10 oz) boiling water. After 1 minute remove from the heat and let  stay for half an hour. Strain and drink 80 ml (2,70 oz) 15 minutes before meals 3 times a day.

Chronic gastritis and colitis
Use the recipe for treating loss of appetite but drink after meals. Or pour 1 l (1 quart) boiling water over a handful of chopped dry basil leaves. Let cool and strain. Drink half a cup 3 times a day.

Insect stings and bites
Chewing up a basil leaf and applying to the bite will help relieve the pain and draw out the venom. Rubbing the bites with juice can relieve the itching and swelling. Also a paste of the root is effective for treating the bites of insects and leeches.

Dental hygiene
Grind dry basil leaves into powder for a tooth cleansing powder. You can also mix with mustard oil to make herbal toothpaste. Both of these methods work against bad breath and can be used to massage the gums, and treat dental health problems.

Headache
Basil is a good headache remedy. Boil leaves in half a quart of water, cooking until half the liquid remains. Take a couple of teaspoons an hour with water to relieve your pain and swelling.

Eye Disorders
Basil juice relieves night-blindness and sore eyes. Two drops of black basil juice in each eye at bedtime each day is soothing.

How to harvest and store

It is best if you can grow your own basil and harvest it yourself. Here are some tips for harvesting and storing.

Cut basil for drying is just before it flowers. This is when the leaves have the most oil, which is what gives it aroma and flavor.

Harvest basil as late in the day as possible. Studies have shown that this is less stressful for the plants.

Cutting the plant back by about half or two thirds. Always cut each stem just above a healthy leaf cluster. This gives you plenty of leaves to cook with or store, leaving the remainder to regenerate for further harvesting a few weeks later.

Tie the basil in bouquets right after harvesting and let it dry hanging in an airy room. After drying out completely, store in a dry place, away from other herbs, so that the aromas don't mix.

Cooking with basil

Since the oils in basil are highly volatile, it is best to add the herb near the end of the cooking process, so it will retain its maximum essence and flavor.

How often do you use basil and what for?

DISCLAIMER: Please note that these treatments are only meant as guidelines and in no way replace the advice or treatment provided by your medical practitioner. It is always good to seek the advice of your physician, homeopath, naturopath, or herbalist for professional advice in any matter related to your health. This article is for information purposes only.

Sources:
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=85
http://www.botanical-online.com/remediesgastritis.htm
http://www.offthegridnews.com/2011/04/21/medicinal-uses-and-health-benefits-of-basil/#
http://www.findhomeremedy.com/herbal-remedies-for-gastritis/
http://wellnessmama.com/5505/10-uses-for-basil-leaf/


24 July 2013

Did you know that Apple Cider Vinegar that we all have in our kitchens has the ability to detoxify and cleanse our bodies? It also improves blood circulation, and supplies the organism with minerals and vitamins. Apple Cider Vinegar is particularly valuable when combined with honey.

Here are some easy to follow recipes including Apple Cider Vinegar that will help detoxify your body.
  • Half an hour before each meal (three times a day) drink 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon natural Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 tbsp honey.
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  • Detoxify your body by drinking 1 cup of water with 1 tablespoon vinegar every morning.
It would be best, of course if you prepare your Apple Cider Vinegar at home. Here is the recipe my grandma has been following for years.

Photo:

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar

Ingredients:
11 lb (5 kg) ripe apples
0.55 lb (250 g) boiled water
0.44 lb (200 g) honey

Method:
Finely grate 5 kg ripe apples with the peels. Fill 1/4 of a 10-liter bottle with boiled and cooled water. Add the grated apples and 200 grams of honey. Close the bottle and shake well, then loosen the cap to allow air inside. Don't fill the bottle to the top and leave some space to prevent the content from overflowing during the fermentation process, which should take about 40 days. When the fruit settles at the bottom, strain through a fine gauze. Leave the vinegar for another 40 days to rest and settle. Finish the process by straining one last time and pour your homemade Apple Cider Vinegar into bottles.

Do you know any other recipes to make your own homemade Apple Cider Vinegar? Share with us in the comments.


29 April 2013

From the perspective of Chinese medicine tension, stress and irritability are said to be due to stagnant Liver Qi (energy). This can be due to problems with work, dysfunctional relationships, lack of exercise, withdrawal from Qi-moving herbs or drugs like tobacco, alcohol or marijuana, or genetic predisposition.

For women during premenstrual time Liver Qi often stagnates with hormonal fluctuation. The treatment is always to move stagnant Liver Qi. This can be done with exercise, practicing breathing exercises, acupuncture treatment or herbs. In extreme situations a change of job or end to a problem relationship may be required to restore the flow of healthy Liver Qi.

My favorite herb for moving stagnant Liver Qi and mental energy and calming irritability and anger is Motherwort, Leonurus cardiaca.

Motherwort is exceptionally helpful for balancing emotional issues in women such as anxiety or irritability, whether related to PMS or menopause. It also helps smooth the menstrual flow for uterine cramping. For heavy bleeding or pregnancy this herb should be avoided.


Men can also benefit from Motherwort. I have had good results when giving this herb to both men and women under acute emotional stress. Above is a picture of one of my Motherwort plants from this winter season.

Motherwort needs partial shade. In hot climates such as Central Florida, it needs to be grown as a Winter annual. Harvest the leaves and flowers when the plant is in full bloom. Motherwort is a very bitter herb and it is easiest to take in tincture form.

You can grow Motherwort and easily make your own from fresh or dry herb.

Simpler's Method for Tincturing with fresh herbs:

Chop fresh herbs coarsely and pack into a clean glass jar.

Add 80-100 proof plain Vodka or Brandy to cover the herbs completely.

Screw on the lid, label, and shake once a day.

Strain after 2-6 weeks, allow to settle, decant through filter paper.

Store in a dark glass dropper bottle. The dosage for adults is 1-2 dropperful.


Cory Trusty is a soap maker, community herbalist, organic gardener, and homeschooling mom to two girls. Cory and her family live in Daytona Beach, Florida. Cory's background is in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Biology.  She is sharing tried and true natural home remedies and mini lessons from herbal classes that she teaches. Cory works full time making soaps, shampoo bars, herbal salves, flaxseed heat packs and more for her website . Read more from Cory at the . Cory is also a Food and Gardening writer for EcoEtsy and has published in The Essential Herbal Magazine and on the Herb Companion Blog. Connect with Cory on , ,  and .

15 December 2012

This post is written by Cory Trusty.

Strained and sprained ankles can seem to take forever to heal.  Mugwort is one herb that can be used externally to help speed recovery. Mugwort or Artemesia vulgaris is an easy to grow garden herb which has many uses in Traditional Westen and Chinese Herbal Medicine. The Chinese name for dried Artemesia vulgaris is . 

Photo from one of my visits to the Bastyr University Herb Garden.


Mugwort is used to make moxa which is used in warming external moxabustion treatments by Chinese medicine practitioners for various injuries. In order to  from mugwort the herbs must be dried, ground and allowed to age for 2 to 3 years.

photo by
I prefer to dry my Mugwort and save it for making or , or I keep some stashed for in case of ankle sprains or strains. 

I collect my mugwort in March in Central Florida, but the time of year will vary from region to region. You should harvest Mugwort when it is in full flower. Cut back the stalk and hang it to dry in a well ventilated dry place. 

The mugwort I use is a variagated  variety that I got a start of from the  in Seattle, Washington.  Here it is up close under our digital microscope.

Once you have your Mugwort dried to a crisp you can store it in a glass jar away from the sunlight. 

If you need it later for yourself or a friend, you can simply take up a few large handfuls and add it to a big stock pot with lots of boiling water. Let the water boil and then simmer for about 45 minutes. 

The next step is to let the water cool just to the point that the hot water will not burn the skin. Then dip a towel into the hot water.  Wring out the towel and wrap it around the sprained ankle.  Let the towel sit on the ankle until it starts to cool, then dip it again in the hot brew and wrap again one or more times.  When the brew cools it can be stored in the refrigerator and used again the following day by reheating on the stove top. 

Don't have mugwort?  You can also try this with Comfrey root or Comfrey leaf. Frankincense and Myrrh resin can also be used, but it needs to be ground a bit and boiled for a full hour.   

What are your favorite remedies for strain or sprained ankle?

Cory's Kanelstrand blog posts are licensed under Creative Commons. You are free to copy, distribute and adapt Cory's Kanelstrand content provided you attribute it to her by linking back to the original post as well as Cory's  website.

Cory Trusty is a soap maker, community herbalist, organic gardener, and homeschooling mom to two girls. Cory and her family live in Daytona Beach, Florida. Cory's background is in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Biology.  She is sharing tried and true natural home remedies and mini lessons from herbal classes that she teaches. Cory works full time making soaps, shampoo bars, herbal salves, flaxseed heat packs and more for her website . Read more from Cory at the . Cory is also a Food and Gardening writer for EcoEtsy and has published in The Essential Herbal Magazine and on the Herb Companion Blog. Connect with Cory on , ,  and .




29 November 2012


This post is written by Cory Trusty.


There are many sore throat cold  that can be made up in the kitchen. The easiest and most accessible is a simple salt water gargle.  A salt water gargle helps reduce painful swelling and may fight infection as well.  It is a great option especially if you are home bound, and not feeling able or up to going out to the store for cough drops or other remedies and ingredients. Just two ingredients are needed, fine salt and water.
Photo by
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Salt Water Gargle

  • 8-10 oz very warm water 
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Notice there is some flexibility with the recipe.  You can dissolve the salt in water and taste it to make sure it doesn't taste overly strong to you.  Swish and gargle with the solution about 4-5 times in a row.  For best results, repeat this every few hours as needed. Older children as well as adults can benefit from a salt water gargle, but it cannot done safely by smaller children. It is dangerous for a salt water solution like this to be swallowed, so make sure your children know how to gargle plain unsalted water before you offer them a salt water solution to gargle.


Photo by
If you are desperate for a remedy for a young child who can't gargle, here are a few ideas you can try and they are great for adults too in case you have any of these ingredients, or remedies to work with:
  • Hot water together with Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
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  • Green Tea with Honey
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If I have an ear ache together with a sore throat I like to use the salt water gargle together with this .  

Be well,
Cory Trusty

Cory's Kanelstrand blog posts are licensed under Creative Commons.  You are free to copy, distribute and adapt Cory's Kanelstrand content provided you attribute it to her by linking back to the original post as well as Cory's  website.

Cory Trusty is a soap maker, community herbalist, organic gardener, and homeschooling mom to two girls. Cory and her family live in Daytona Beach, Florida. Cory's background is in Traditional Chinese Medicine and Biology.  She is sharing tried and true natural home remedies and mini lessons from herbal classes that she teaches. Cory works full time making soaps, shampoo bars, herbal salves, flaxseed heat packs and more for her website . Read more from Cory at the . Cory is also a Food and Gardening writer for EcoEtsy and has published in The Essential Herbal Magazine and on the Herb Companion Blog. Connect with Cory on , ,  and .


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