Do household remedies really work? Whether it’s superstitions, family remedies passed down through the generations, or simply little tricks that you swear on, almost everyone has some unusual methods for fighting off common illnesses.
Indeed, many of us have anecdotes of strange things our parents made us do because they promised it would rid us of our ailments. Others resolutely believe there are items in their kitchen cupboards better at fighting off the common cold than anything you can buy from a pharmacy.
A mouthful of salty water
One of the standout findings was that over half of Britons – 56%, to be exact – have tried gargling salty water to get rid of a sore throat. And of this sizeable group, 68% say it does the trick. But does it work? Well, gargling warm salty water can actually help people with a sore throat; it provides symptomatic relief as well as having preventative benefits by pulling fluids out of the infected tissues in the throat.
Buttering up a burn
Turning to the more bizarre health remedies people rely upon, PharmacyOutlet.co.uk’s research showed that 19% of the UK public have applied butter to the burnt skin to ease the pain. However, this is not advisable – rubbing butter onto a burn could make the injury worse as it will slow the release of heat from the skin.
Read more at The Hippocratic Post
Is a cough making your life miserable? Don’t blame your body; coughing is the only way your lungs can expel an irritant. The key is to figure what’s causing it and then to get your lungs the help they need.
“A majority of coughs actually resolve with just rest and home remedies,” said Dr. Sharon Horesh Bergquist, an internist at the Emory Clinic in Atlanta. “So that’s the place to start unless there are warning signs of something more serious.”
Home Remedies For a Cough
Staying hydrated is the best thing you can do for a cough. Liquids thin out the mucus, making it less irritating to the throat and easier for the lungs to expel. Steam from a hot shower can do the same. Saline or salt water drops or spray are another option to moisten the nasal passages and thin mucus.
“Chicken soup has a lot of value if you’re sick in general,” Bergquist said. “The warmth and spices open up the sinuses. For coughs, hot liquids ease the throat, and honey is quite effective. Studies have compared honey with some of the over-the-counter cough medicines and found it works just as well.”
Continue Reading at CNN
This is the time of year we tend to consider a change in diet. There has been a lot of confusion in recent years about what constitutes a healthy diet, with many people advocating and espousing a ketogenic diet, similar to the Atkins diet: a low-carbohydrate, high-fat/high-cholesterol diet (HF/HC). Since most North Americans will die of a heart attack or stroke if they don’t die young from another cause, this is a big mistake.
In 2016, there were large headlines trumpeting that “we can eat cholesterol now; the new U.S. guideline says so.” But that’s not what the guideline said. It said that there were insufficient data on which to base a specific limit to daily cholesterol intake, as in the past, but the intake of cholesterol should be as low as possible within the recommended eating pattern.
A study that clarifies what is the best diet for weight loss and diabetes was done among overweight residents of a nuclear facility in Israel, who were randomized to a low-fat versus a low-carb HF/HC (Atkins) diet, versus the Mediterranean diet. Weight loss was identical on the Mediterranean diet and the low-carb HF/HC diet, and both were better than the low-fat diet. The key finding, though, was that the Mediterranean diet was clearly the best for lowering blood sugar, fasting insulin levels and something called insulin resistance (a pre-diabetic state).
So the healthiest diet is the Mediterranean diet – a high-fat/low-glycemic index diet. This is why recent guidelines – the 2016 U.S. guideline, and the Canadian guideline now in development – are moving toward a more plant-based pattern of eating. We should limit red meat, avoid egg yolks and have three vegetarian days a week.
Read the full article at The Globe and Mail
Evaluation of GMO crops that emphasizes independent science — rather than nonpublic research by pesticide companies — reflects that in 2015, the research arm of the World Health Organization analyzed all published glyphosate studies and determined the pesticide was a probable carcinogen. That finding prompted California to add glyphosate to its list of cancer-causing chemicals.
Escalating use of GMO crops and glyphosate has triggered the growth of glyphosate-resistant superweeds across nearly 100 million acres in 36 states. To combat that, pesticide companies are now pushing the use of the highly toxic, drift-prone pesticide dicamba on a new generation of GMO crops that tolerate both dicamba and glyphosate.
I have long been perplexed that so many people continue to condemn foods made from genetically modified organisms that have been consumed by Americans and others for decades with no deleterious effects.
Mitch Daniels rightly framed as “immoral” the scientifically baseless yet “concerted, deep-pockets campaign” to persuade “a high percentage of Americans and Europeans to avoid GMO products” and “inflict their superstitions” on the world’s poor and hungry.
Apparently, winning market share and lawsuits is more important to some people than feeding a hungry planet.
Read the full article in The Washington Post
Cold weather doesn’t literally make you sick, but the winter season does indeed make you more prone to catching a bad cold. Chilly conditions mean you spend more time indoors, where bacteria and viruses are more likely to linger in the air and on surfaces you touch, and the drop in temperature leaves your mucous membranes dry, irritated, and more vulnerable to infection.
The holiday season can be particularly rough on the ol’ immune system, what with all the traveling and hanging out with far-flung relatives and their exotic germs. And let’s be honest, you’re probably not taking the best care of yourself either—drinking, eating lots of unhealthy food, staying up late.
Actually, take a break!
The simplest remedy is also the most effective, and probably the most disappointing. If you had time to rest, dammit, you wouldn’t be Googling around for quick cold remedies.
But listen, friends: you’ve got to get some rest. Really.
If you absolutely must go into the workplace (or to a family gathering for the holidays) bring some hand sanitizer with you. You usually want to avoid killing off the microbes that live on your skin. But if you’re exposing innocent bystanders to your cold or flu, the least you can do is give yourself a good Purell rubdown after any contact between your hands and your mucus-y bits.
More of this at Popular Science
For parents, it can be hard to tell whether your child’s illness requires antibiotics or if there are other ways to effectively treat his or her symptoms. To prevent overuse of these drugs, it’s important to know when home remedies can be used instead of antibiotics.
“If your child has an ear infection, consider using over-the-counter pain relievers in place of antibiotics,” says Tiffany Casper, D.O., a Mayo Clinic Health System family physician. “Children’s ear infections usually improve within two to three days, especially for kids who are 2 years or older. If your child’s health does not improve within a few days, it would be wise to take them in to see their provider.”
“Instead, Dr. Casper suggests offering your child warm liquids, such as tea or soup. These can have a soothing effect and loosen mucus. Over-the-counter saline nasal drops or saline spray also can loosen nasal mucus. Try running a cool-mist humidifier in your child’s room or using steam from a hot shower for additional relief.
Strep throat is caused by bacteria. However, most children with the symptoms of strep throat have a virus, explains Dr. Casper. “You should ask for a strep throat test before turning to antibiotics to cure your child’s symptoms,” she says.
Read more at Medical Express
During cold or humid months, our skin doesn’t get the amount of hydration and moisturization it needs to stay healthy and supple.
They say your lips give away the hydration levels of your body. Dry, damaged and chapped lips usually mean that the body needs more fluids.
Warm water, soups, and green tea are your best friends for healthy hydration in cold months. In addition, here are some natural fixes to get smooth lips in winters.
1. Almond Oil
5. Beetroot Juice
6. Tomato Juice
Read the full article at Smart Cooky
New Delhi: As expected, the national capital recorded high pollution levels on Friday morning, just a day after Diwali celebration, amid a ban on the sale of firecrackers ordered by the Supreme Court.
According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), by 11 am, the overall PM 2.5 in Delhi hit ‘severe’ levels, with a reading of 574 ug/m3, and PM 10 also touched ‘critical levels’ of 517 ug/m3, posing health risks to residents, especially those living with chronic conditions, such as asthma, heart disease, etc.
Asthma cannot be cured, but its symptoms can be managed. Asthma is a condition in which a person’s airways become inflamed, narrow and swell and produce extra mucus, making it difficult to breathe. Here are some home remedies that may help prevent an asthma attack and provide relief from symptoms:
Ginger can be taken in various forms – just cut one inch of ginger, peel and grate it. Add grated ginger to a cup of boiling water and let it steep for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool and drink it.
Garlic is packed with a number of compounds that provide relief from the asthma symptoms.
Continue Reading at Times Now News
Dry, brittle, and damaged nails can be not only unsightly – even if you’re the only one who notices them – but they can indicate low levels or deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals.
Give these remedies a try for strong and shiny nails that your friends will envy!
1. Make sure you’re getting enough essential vitamins
2. Drink lots of water
3. But avoid water on your nails
4. Get plenty of protein in your diet
5. Keep your nails cut short and moisturize
Read the full article at New Idea
More than 2,000 years ago, “Hippocrates described gout as a disease of kings primarily because it was the wealthy who could afford the ‘rich’ foods, which seemed to precipitate gouty attacks.” Today, however, we can all eat like kings and acquire some diseases of royalty ourselves.
Gout is caused by needle-sharp crystals of uric acid in our joints. Uric acid comes from the breakdown of purines, which are the breakdown product of genetic material—DNA, the foundation of all life. So, “there is no such thing as a purine-free diet, but foods do vary in their purine content.”
The Harvard Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which followed about 50,000 men for a dozen years, found that alcohol intake was “strongly associated with an increased risk of gout.” In terms of food, they found “an increased risk of gout with higher meat consumption or seafood consumption,” but not with higher consumption of purine-rich plant foods.
Lack of association between purine-rich vegetables and the rate could be due to the co-packaging of these “beneficial plant components (such as vitamin C, dietary fiber or some phytochemicals), which may have masked an effect of purine on [uric acid].
Read the full article at Care2