antiviral herbsFlu season is upon us. Prevention is the key, but if a virus threatens your health, quick action with natural vitamins, supplements, and herbs can stop that virus in its tracks. How many of these herbs, vitamins, and anti-virals are on hand if you need them?

Vitamins
Vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin C are all vital nutrients for the immune system, and are all known to help prevent help fight viruses. In particular, vitamin C is well known for it’s virus fighting properties, but if you take high doses of vitamin C to fight a virus, you should not stop taking it abruptly-taper off.

Zinc and Selenium
Zinc has been proven to be effective against the common cold and to be effective as a topical treatment for herpes sores. It is believed to be effective due to preventing replication of the virus. The immune system needs selenium to work properly and to build up the white blood cell count.

CoQ10
CoQ10 supplementation has been shown to significantly enhance the immune system.

Probiotics
Probiotics are always helpful in maintaining gut health, especially when the body is under a viral attack that involves the digestive system. Probiotic foods and drinks without added sugar can help maintain a healthy balance of bacteria. Speaking of probiotics, a healthy intestinal tract is absolutely imperative for a strong immune system. See the first source below for more.

Garlic
Garlic is anti-viral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial. You can take garlic in a tonic or, if you can handle it, chew raw garlic. It not only will help fight the virus, it will help kill any secondary infections trying to take root.

Echinacea
Echinacea not only supports the immune system, it also has been proven to reduce the severity and duration of viral infections.

Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver is believed to interfere with the enzymes that allow viruses (bacteria and fungi as well) to utilize oxygen.

Elderberry
A double blind trial showed elderberry extract’s ability to reduce symptoms of influenza and speed recovery. It also showed elderberry’s ability to enhance immune response with higher levels of antibodies in the blood. It is believed to inhibit a virus’s ability to penetrate healthy cells and protect cells with powerful antioxidants. Elderberry has also been shown to inhibit replication in four strains of herpes viruses and reduce ineffectivity of HIV strains.

Green Tea
The flavanoids in green tea are believed to fight viral infections by preventing the virus from entering host cells and by inhibiting replication.

Olive Leaf Extract
Though double blind clinical trials are needed, olive leaf extract has been shown to inhibit replication of viruses. In one study, 115 of 119 patients had a full and rapid recovery from respiratory tract infections while 120 of 172 had a full and rapid recovery from viral skin infections such as herpes.

Pau d’Arco
Pau d’arco has been used in indigenous medicine for generations. One of its compounds, lapachol, has proven effective against various viruses, including influenza, herpes simplex types I and II, and polio virus. It is believed to inhibit replication.

Liquorice Root
Studies have shown that glycyrrhizin, a compound found in liquorice root was more effective in fighting samples of coronavirus from SARS patients than four antiviral drugs. It reduces viral replication, cell absorption, and the virus’s ability to penetrate cells. It is also being used to treat HIV.

St John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort has been proven effective against influenza, herpes simplex, and HIV.

Remember that the best defense is a good offense. A healthy diet based on nutrient dense foods, exercise to move your lymph (more on lymph), and aid your immune system, as well as good quality sleep will build a strong, healthy immune system. A strong immune system will fight off viruses without you even knowing the battle ever took place.

Article Source: Antiviral Herbs

Originally posted 2014-10-29 12:36:26.

medicinal mushroomsThe world’s greatest healing systems have long revered the medicinal power of edible mushrooms. In ancient Chinese and Indian medicine, for instance, mushrooms were often prescribed to individuals suffering from a wide range of conditions ranging from fatigue to serious degenerative diseases. In Europe, mushrooms were beloved for their significant healing properties, which were often attributed to their dense concentrations of essential nutrients.

As drug-based medicine continued to soar in popularity in the 20th century, however, many cultures began to forget about the healing plants that had safeguarded their ancestors’ health for centuries. This is unfortunate, since ongoing research continues to show that some mushrooms really are disease-fighting powerhouses. The three mushrooms listed below are proven to be especially effective at treating certain conditions.

Turkey tail: cancer
Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) is a bracket fungi whose beautiful colors and patterns resemble the tail feathers of a turkey. It grows worldwide, and — being a beneficial decomposer of dead wood — often forms in huge colonies on the wounds of living and dead trees.

Turkey tail is best-known for its cancer-fighting properties. One study published in ISRN Oncology in 2012, for instance, found that taking up to 9 grams of turkey tail extract per day could improve the immune status of patients with breast cancer. Another study, published one year later in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, discovered that turkey tail — when combined with reishi, another popular disease-fighting mushroom — could induce apoptosis in leukemia cells.

Lion’s mane: cognitive dysfunction
Lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) is a globular-shaped fungus that is easily identified by its cascading teeth-like spines, from which white spores emerge. In fact, the mushroom is also called the “pom-pom blanc” since it resembles the white poms-poms used by cheerleaders.

Lion’s mane’s positive effects on brain function are well-recorded. For example, a study published in Biomedical Research in August 2010 found that subjects who took a lion’s mane supplement for four weeks demonstrated reduced depression and anxiety compared to the placebo group. A review published in Critical Reviews in Biotechnology in March 2014 also listed lion’s mane as one of the mushrooms that can prevent age-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Chaga: metabolic disorders
Chaga (Inonotus obliquus) is a hard and woody fungus that thrives in the coldest parts of Europe, especially Russia. Despite looking like a cracked piece of charcoal, chaga is a mushroom of considerable medicinal value, and it enjoys a long and rich association with European folklore.

While extremely versatile as a disease fighter, chaga seems to specialize in treating metabolic disorders such as diabetes due to its high concentrations of secondary metabolites (intermediates and products of metabolism). One study published in Phytotherapy Research in February 2014, for instance, found that a melanin complex of chaga “exerts antihyperglycemic and beneficial lipid-metabolic effects, making it a candidate for promising antidiabetic agent.” Research featured in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in June 2008 also showed that chaga could lower glucose levels and prevent the oxidative degradation of lipids in diabetic mice. (6)

Article Source: Mushrooms

Originally posted 2014-10-18 16:01:47.

therapeutic bathsIf you feel that your health could use a boost, or you need a little extra care, a healing soak is one of the best ways to regain equilibrium, shed toxins and calm the mind. A perfect medium for children and adults alike, therapeutic baths not only help you relax but also gently balance the system.

View any health spa menu and you will usually find an array of different healing soaks. From weight loss to detoxification and anti-aging, the variety available is impressive. All the same, enjoying a spa treatment more than once every so often is usually too costly for the average person. This is where the beauty of creating a restorative bath at home comes in. For pennies on the dollar, we can detoxify and alleviate health complaints, while easing tension and stress. It’s easier than you may think, yet the benefits are vast.

Recipes for health
As luck would have it, we need not travel extravagant distances, or spend great amounts of money, to reap the benefits of a therapeutic bath — it’s simple enough to recreate a healing spa experience in the privacy of our own home. Have a look at the following five examples for inspiration.

Clay
Gently pulling heavy metals from the body, clay is one of the best detoxifying substances available. Eytons’ Earth recommends 5 pounds of green desert calcium bentonite, Pascalite, Inland Sea or Redmond clay per bath. Fill the tub halfway with very hot water and sprinkle the clay evenly over the surface to avoid clumping. Allow to settle for 10-20 minutes. Next, add enough hot water so that the temperature is comfortable and you are able to submerge your entire body from the neck down. In the beginning, soak for 10-15 minutes. Thereafter, gradually increase the time of each bath until you’re able to comfortably soak for up to two hours. As long as your plumbing is in good condition, and the clay is completely aqueous when drained, clogging shouldn’t be an issue.

Seaweed
Rich in minerals and helpful in supporting metabolism and hormonal balance, along with the adrenal glands and thyroid, seaweed is an excellent ingredient for a therapeutic bath. Add 4 ounces of dried seaweed (kelp and dulse are good options) to a large tea ball or muslin bag. Secure the container so seaweed doesn’t clog the drain and submerge in 8 cups of boiling water. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, remove from heat and pour entire contents into the bathtub. Add additional hot water and soak until the gelatinous film from the seaweed completely dissolves from your skin.

Additionally, sodium bicarbonate, sea salt and magnesium sulfate are also beneficial. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) softens the skin and buffers the effects of radiation — dissolve 4 cups in warm water for each soak.

Sea salt can be used by itself to detoxify and ground the body, or in combination with either clay or sodium bicarbonate. Celtic or Himalayan pink salt are two excellent choices. Use 1-2 cups per bath. Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt) is also detoxifying and has the added benefit of easing muscle and joint pain. Three cups dissolved in hot water is sufficient. As a general rule of thumb, soak for at least 20 minutes.

A few tips for keeping it safe
To neutralize chlorine in your bath water, add two teaspoons of vitamin C. Borax is helpful for eliminating fluoride — use 1-3 tablespoons per bath. Additionally, choose seaweed from sources that are free from contaminants and tested for heavy metals. Lastly, aim for a minimum of two detoxifying baths per week.

Article Source: Therapeutic_baths

Originally posted 2014-10-15 16:01:26.

gum diseaseGingivitis is the mildest form of periodontal disease. Untreated gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, to which there are many degrees. Aggressive periodontitis occurs with people who have gum disease but seem to be otherwise healthy or at least have no other disease that conventional medicine has deemed a cause of periodontitis. Chronic periodontitis includes inflammation within the supporting tissues of the teeth and bone loss. Necrotizing periodontal disease is a severe infection in the gingival tissues, periodontal ligament, and the bone. And then there’s Periodontitis as a manifestation of other disease(s). In all other cases of gum disease, the gums can be healed within a week, and usually within just a few days. With a case of another disease causing the periodontitis, the disease itself likely needs to be remedied to fix the gums, but the mouth can at least be brought to a much higher level of health with the following practices regardless of other chronic health conditions. For anyone with teeth that have suffered root canals or that have metal fillings, the following procedures should be followed indefinitely.

Teeth take longer, but the same rules apply. As long as they are there and aren’t completely full of filling material, there’s hope for teeth, even those with visible cavities and depleted enamel.

It starts with diet. Eat acidic, nutrient robbing junk, and your teeth and guns will rot. Get the right nutrition while you fix your gums, and ideally, you will keep your gums and the rest of your body healthy with nutrition from that point on.

Raw, organic, fresh vegetables are the most important part of our diet. Fruit is a close second. Every other type of food is a distant third. Eliminate refined, processed foods. Refined sugar, like soda for instance, is so acidic it literally leaches minerals and vitamins from your teeth and gums as it passes through. So does white rice and most breads.

Don’t smoke. Even smoking marijuana is terrible for the gums and teeth. It introduces a huge concentration of free radicals and carbon into the mouth that causes chemical reactions, rendering our cells damaged and depleting the mouth of vitamins and minerals.

Chew on garlic. It sucks, but it’s worth it. Chew on garlic regularly, and eat garlic with salads (eats lots of vegetables; make lots of very diverse salads). When you chew on garlic, chew with your mouth open, and breathe through your mouth.

Fix the intestines. Whatever infection is in your mouth, it’s in your intestines, too, and it’s seeping into your blood stream as well. Fix the intestines and typically, the whole body follows suit.

Take up oil pulling. Try coconut oil with a touch of Shillington’s formula (see below) or a microbe killing essential oil.

Floss. Even when it makes the gums bleed, it’s important to floss and floss properly; it speeds healing of the gums and prevents cavities at the gum line as well.

Wherever there is infection, there are almost always candida and bad bacteria (bad meaning it’s harming us, but all bacteria has its place). Often there are other parasites to be aware of, but not always, and that’s another article (see the further reading below).

Make your own toothpaste!

The mouthwash and toothpaste most people use is crap. This includes the most of the overpriced brands in the natural section at the local health food store. Chewing on garlic and brushing with baking soda and unrefined sea salt does more for teeth than any store bought toothpaste. Check out some of the sources below for homemade toothpaste recipes.

For very serious chronic periodontitis, or just to have a good all around mouth formula, I highly recommend doing Shillington’s Tooth and Gum Recipe (there’s also another toothpaste recipe on that page). It’s not necessary for healing gums in most cases, but it radically speeds up the process regardless of how seriously the gum health issues are, and it is truly an amazing formula with lots of benefits for your entire mouth.

Article Source: gum disease periodontitis

Originally posted 2014-10-14 10:58:16.

remove bedbugsYou can eliminate bedbugs from your home without chemicals, using traps that can be built for about a dollar’s worth of supplies, say scientists at the University of Florida.

“This concept of trapping works for places where people sleep and need to be protected at those locations,” entomologist Phil Koehler said.

In recent years, bedbugs have become a growing problem across the United States, with the blood-sucking insects turning up in cities nationwide. According to an April 2013 survey by the National Pest Management Association, 99.6 percent of all pest management professionals in the country had encountered at least one bedbug infestation in the previous year. Forty-nine percent of those surveyed said that most infestations occurred during summer.

The association said that summer might be a busy bedbug season because more people are traveling or relocating, and are either bringing bedbugs back into their homes or discovering them in their new location.

Although most famous for living in mattresses and bedding, bedbugs can live in nearly any furniture. Their bites are often confused for mosquito bites or rashes, allowing them to go undetected for long periods of time.

Traps are cheap, safe and effective

Because bedbugs have now become resistant to most pesticides, people often turn to extreme measures to deal with them. But Koehler warns that techniques such as mothballs, bug bombs or pesticide treatment of mattresses are either ineffective or dangerous.

In contrast, the traps are an easy way to both determine if your home has bedbugs, and to eliminate them if an infestation is confirmed. Koehler estimates that it would take about an afternoon to make the 50 traps needed to remove bedbugs from a three-bedroom apartment. Compared with the average $3,000 price tag for bedbug extermination in such a space however, the time investment may be well worth it. It can cost $1,200 to eliminate bedbugs even from a small apartment.

The traps, made with glue, masking tape and inexpensive plastic containers, present the bedbugs with a rough surface that makes it possible for them to get in, but with a smooth surface inside that makes it impossible for them to get out. They are designed to trap the insects as they move from their daytime hiding places in search of victims to feed on.

The simple nature of the traps makes them basically foolproof, Koehler said, and much safer than the alternatives.

“It’s really hard to mess this up to the point that you’d hurt anything,” he said.

Five easy steps
You can find instructions, photos and videos of how to construct the traps on the web site of the university’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. In essence, however, all that is required is:

1. Cut four pieces of rough-surfaced tape into lengths at least the height of a small plastic container.

2. Press the pieces of tape along the inside of the container, evenly spaced.

3. Wrap more tape around the outside of a larger plastic container, from its base to its upper edge.

4. Glue the smaller container inside the larger one, making sure to leave space between the walls of the containers.

5. (optional) Dust the space between the walls of the containers with baby powder.

The bedbugs will be able to climb into the larger container and perhaps even into the smaller one, but will be trapped in the “moat” between the two containers and unable to escape.

The traps should be placed underneath the legs of all furniture in the home, including beds, chairs and sofas. Trapping should continue until no more bedbugs are turning up inside the traps.

Article Source: Bedbugs, pest control & bug traps

Originally posted 2014-10-09 10:42:55.

internal parasitesInternal parasites are more common than most people realize. There are many different kinds. Internally, there’s a pretty good chance that you and a third of the people you know have them. If we consider the possibility that there are many common parasites that we are as of yet unaware of, most of us could be suffering from them. If you want to take it a step further and consider candida a parasite (most don’t group them together, but candida does fit the description), then it could be argued that most people in the world suffer from adverse health effects due to parasites.

We use the word herb loosely here, it should really read “Foods, herbs, other things you can eat to kill parasites.” But that’s not a very good title.

Garlic
Garlic is anti-bad-stuff. Viruses, fungi, bacteria, parasites, cancer, and vampires all hate garlic. It’s an absolutely amazing herb and the best in the business at killing bad stuff. It even chelates heavy metals (removes them from the body). Garlic is also a very powerful deterrent for blood sucking parasites like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas.

Black Walnut-Nuts & Hull
The nuts and green hulls of black walnut (Juglans nigra) are loved by herbalists for their ability to cleanse the blood and the intestines. Black walnut hull is used to cure fungal infections. The juice from the green hulls are used to kill parasites. Only green hulls should be used.

Wormwood
Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) is a perennial herb with tiny yellow-green flowers. Leaves and flowers are used to treat stomach problems and wormwood is a powerful remedy for intestinal worms. Wormwood should be avoided by women who or nursing. Wormwood has strong antimicrobial properties and is used for other infections as well.

Cloves
Clove essential oil is used to dissolve eggs found in the intestines that have been left behind by worms. It’s believed to be the only herb that actually does destroy almost all parasite eggs. When used in conjunction with black walnut and wormwood, the trio break the parasite’s life-cycles. Clove is also antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. Clove oil has powerful broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties.

Thyme
Thyme is one of the best herbs for stimulating the thymus, a major gland of the immune system. Thyme helps stimulate the body’s natural defenses and works very well with echinacea to boost the ability of our immune system. Oil of thyme can eliminate growth of many parasites, and it kills them in the intestinal tract.

Oil of Oregano
Oil of oregano is infused with extremely high levels of free-radical-crushing antioxidants, and it is antiparasitic, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. It is a powerful, indiscriminate killer that can reset the microbial environment in the intestines. Many studies show the effectiveness of oil of oregano with everything from parasitical infections to cancer.

Chinese Goldthread
Goldthread (Coptis chinensis) has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat all types of infections, including bacterial, parasitic, yeast, and protozoan. It contains a substance called berberine, which is responsible for the broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties.

Diatomaceous Earth
Food grade diatomaceous earth absorbs methyl mercury, E. coli, endotoxins, viruses, organophosphate pesticide residues, and drug residues. Its positive effects include killing intestinal parasites, balancing the intestinal flora, killing viruses, and absorbing toxins. It’s great for intestinal cleanses. The only side effect known is its ability to irritate the lungs if inhaled; it is a very fine powder.

Article Source: herbal remedies antiparasitic

Originally posted 2014-10-07 11:53:50.

natural homemade deodorantIf you’re like me, you have tried many natural deodorants. Many of them that claim to be natural are not natural and/or are not healthy. Most of them do not work. In fact, I’ve only come across a few that worked well, and they didn’t last very long.

These days I don’t need it. The healthier I eat, the less body order I have. In fact, if I do stink, I know exactly what I ate to cause it. A healthy body with a balanced inner eco-system (a healthy gut) doesn’t exude a foul body odor.

On the other hand, nobody’s perfect. It’s good to have deodorant for the day that follows a night on the town, one with a few drinks, a restaurant, etc.

The best deodorant I ever used, I made at home. It still doesn’t last too terribly long; for me, it works for about 4 hours. But it’s certainly my favorite, out of the many I’ve tried.

All Natural Homemade Deodorant Recipe DIY

  • 5 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
  • 5 tablespoons pure cocoa butter (no additives)
  • 3 tablespoons of aloe vera juice
  • ? cup baking soda
  • ? cup witch hazel extract
  • 4 drops essential peppermint oil or tea tree oil
  • 5 drops of lavender essential oil

Heat the coconut oil and the cocoa butter until they are liquid. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender or a food processor until well blended. Place into a container (preferably glass) and refrigerate overnight.

There are a lot of ways you can adjust this recipe. If you want a powder deodorant, you can decrease the amount of liquid ingredients and increase the baking soda. Some people use cornstarch, but cornstarch feeds yeast. I avoid it.

You can make a roll-on liquid, or even a spray deodorant, by using less coconut oil and less cocoa butter, leaving out the baking soda, and adding more aloe vera juice (up to ? a cup) and more witch hazel extract (as needed to reach the right consistency).

If you want to make a great stick deodorant, add more cocoa butter (the real, pure, super thick cocoa butter, not the creamy stuff with the additives) to the original recipe. You can press it into an old deodorant container.

Feel free to experiment with essential oils for fragrance. For a masculine woodsy scent, try oil of oregano, which also adds to the odor protection due to its anti-bacterial properties. Citrus oils, peppermint, or floral fragrances could be added.

Speaking of essential oils, if you ever find yourself smelling foul and don’t have deodorant lying around, essential oils are wonderful for killing the bacteria and fungi on our skin that causes odor. I tend to keep peppermint oil on hand at all times; it’s good for so much!

Remember that you can eliminate most of your body odor by eating a truly healthy diet. One other significant factor is your choice of soap. Get rid of conventional soap and change to organic. Once the bacteria on your skin are back in balance, you will notice your body odor will be considerably reduced. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still smell like a human, but I am often asked what fragrance I am wearing, when I am wearing nothing at all.

Originally posted 2014-09-09 09:02:17.

detox juice

detox juiceDetox juice is a great way to detox! These days heavy metals such as lead, aluminum, cadmium, and mercury enter our body through the polluted food we eat, air we breathe, or water we drink. Even our skin is able to absorb them into our bloodstream.

Heavy metals or toxins can trigger serious health issues such as heart diseases, thyroid issues, dementia, infertility, or birth defects. The good news is that there are a few foods that naturally bind or replace these heavy metals and remove them from your body.

A Closer Look At The Ingredients

Cilantro

Cilantro is extremely effective in removing heavy metals, such as aluminum, lead, and mercury, out of our blood. According to Robert C. Atkins MD taking 400 mg of cilantro a day can swipe out all heavy metals in just 2 weeks.

Parsley

Parsley is packed with calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, zinc, fibers, and chlorophyll. All these phytonutrients displace heavy metals, especially mercury and lead. Parsley also helps to support your natural detoxification systems and supports your liver to work more efficiently.

Chlorella

Chlorella is a strong binding agents which prevents your body from reabsorbing the heavy metals or toxins removed by cilantro or parsley. And next to its strong binding properties, it is also high in vitamin A, C, magnesium, and zinc to support your body’s natural detoxification systems.

Green Heavy Metal Detox Juice Recipe (serves 1)

  • 12 ounce filtered water
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • ½ teaspoon pure organic chlorella powder

Wash all your ingredients. Opt for organic as much as possible to avoid more toxins entering your body.

Add all ingredients to your blender and process until smooth. Drink this detox juice recipe once a day for 1 to 2 weeks to fully cleanse your body from heavy metals.

A Few Tips To Avoid Heavy Metals

  • Opt for safe & sustainable seafood. Fish can absorb mercury and other pollutants from the water they live in.
  • Ask your dentist to replace silver-colored fillings, over time they start to break down and release mercury.
  • Ask for thimerosal-free vaccines. This is a mercury based preservative.
  • Drink filtered water
  • Steer clear from industrial areas
  • Opt for lead-free paint
  • Opt for organic cosmetics or try and make your own

Article Source: www.naturalnews.com/heavy-metal-detox-juice

Originally posted 2014-09-03 12:39:34.

treat-depressionHow do we treat depression? – One of the most chronic conditions faced by teens, adults and even children. While many people take medications to deal with their mild, moderate or severe depression, others want to find all-natural alternatives for treatment. Below are 10 alternatives to popping pharmaceutical pills – which can lead to substance abuse – every day. Please be advised that those involving herbs or similar ingredients may interfere with other similar products you are taking. Just because a cure is all-natural doesn’t mean it can’t do harm if it is taken in the wrong dose or taken in conjunction with another substance.

Natural Alternatives to Treat Depression

#1: Exercise Consistently

Physical activity has been shown in studies to help alleviate some of the stressors that can trigger depression. If you cannot run mile after mile, don’t worry; you can still get the benefits of exercise even if you’re just walking. The key is to do it every day to keep your feel-good endorphins flowing.

#2: Stay Organized

Are you in a rut? Feel like your life has taken on a mind of its own? Start to schedule your daily activities and get more organized. Researchers say this take-charge kind of attitude can make you feel less like life is happening around you and more like you’re in control of what you do.

#3: Engage in Yoga

Yoga helps center the body and connect it to the mind. This link is critical to remaining focused and staying in touch with emotions. As you begin to feel depression coming on, you can use the techniques you’ve learned in your yoga classes to at least slow down the progression of the depressive state.

#4: Eat for Mental Health

Feel like grabbing some junk food? This may be a sign that depression is on the horizon. Instead of indulging in empty calories and foods filled with refined sugar, opt for fruits and vegetables. Items with heart-healthy fats, like avocados and olive oil, seem to have a positive effect on mental states. The cleaner your diet, the more power you will have over your depression triggers, which can have their roots in what you put into your body.

#5: Take St. John’s Wort

In Europe, St. John’s Wort has been successfully used to naturally treat depression, and many Americans have taken notice. This herb is said to be a wonder drug; however, it’s important to remember that it has side effects that may be severe in some individuals. Therefore, it is recommended that you always take the herb under the watchful eye of a physician or naturopath.

#6: Turn to Acupuncture

Many depression sufferers swear by the eastern practice of acupuncture to relieve their symptoms. How often you go to your acupuncturist is up to you and him or her. The general consensus is that the tiny needles that are placed into your skin help align your energies, thus destroying the backed-up energies that lead to depression.

#7: Go to Sleep at the Same Time Each Night

Sleep is essential to fighting off depression. When you’re lacking enough shut-eye, it is tough for you to mentally deal with tensions and stressful situations. If you have trouble getting to sleep or staying asleep, make sure you adopt regular sleeping routines that encourage you to stay on a schedule. Over time, this will help keep you from falling into periods of insomnia and can be one of the simplest natural alternatives to treat depression.

#8: Learn a New Activity

When you engage in learning something you’ve always wanted to know about, your mind is stimulated. It’s kind of like the rush you get when you first start dating someone. This boost in adrenaline keeps you eagerly awaiting what you’ll learn next and help ward off depression.

#9: Take Vacation Days

Are you a workaholic who prides him- or herself on never taking a day off? This may actually be self-defeating. If you have depression and haven’t gone on a vacation – or even a staycation – in years, it’s time to plan some down time.

#10: Discover How to Talk to Yourself

Those who have learned to talk their way through times of depression seem to do well and are often able to shorten the length of their depression. You may want to work with a therapist to find out techniques that can work for you rather than going at it alone.

No matter what method you choose to naturally overcome your depression, know that there is always help. Reaching out to people you love and trust when you’re feeling depressed is better than suffering in silence.

Originally posted 2014-08-31 12:26:19.

nappingOkay, so it’s the middle of the afternoon and you’re trying to find a good reason not to take a nap.

You’ve got a lot of work to still do. You don’t want to appear lazy. You’ll just go to bed a little earlier tonight. You think there must be something wrong with you because you always seem to want to doze off this time of day.

Well, what would you say if we told you that napping was not only a good idea, but actually a way to improve your health? It’s true. In fact, a mid-afternoon nap of just 10 minutes or so — some people like to call them “power naps,” but whatever — can help you remain alert for another two hours, which is generally more than enough to let you finish normal work days.

12 tips to help you get the best naps:

— Consider your regular sleep schedule. In Dr. Sara Mednick, Ph.D.’s book Take a Nap!, she notes that the best time to nap depends on when you wake up. Early risers, for instance, who get up around 5:00 a.m. should think about napping around 1:00 p.m.

— Time them for the afternoons. In the late 1980s, researchers began to hone in on the value of napping. One of their early observations about sleeping during the day was that mid-afternoon slumps are just part of the human condition.

— Think ahead. Staying up late (or worse, all night) is not the best thing for you; if you are going to do it, then consider it with the thought of taking a nap the next day.

— Be safe! Sleeping just six or so hours a night, rather than the requisite eight hours, doubles your risk of falling asleep at the wheel. A 30-minute nap has been shown to boost your awareness.

— Preempt that night shift. A study of night workers found that, though an evening nap plus caffeine was one way to stay awake, a nap alone improved alertness, and without the damaging caffeine side effects.

— Nap smarter! There have been a wide range of nap times examined, but for most people, one between 10 and 20 minutes is best.

— Nothing wrong with a wake-up call. “Setting an alarm is really helpful for napping,” said Janet Kennedy, Ph.D., clinical psychologist and founder of NYC Sleep Doctor.

— Nap-happy place. For the perfect nap, you will want to find a dark, quiet place to lie down.

— Meditate. You have been there: You are nearly asleep on your feet, with your eyes still open. But as soon as you get all hunkered down, your mind begins to race. Calm yourself first with meditation techniques such as breathing and visualizations.

— Trust your instincts. Kennedy told The Huffington Post, “Some people just aren’t good nappers.” You’ll just have to get enough sleep the regular way.

— Losing sleep at night? “If a person is having difficulty sleeping at night — either falling asleep or prolonged night waking — I advise against napping at all,” Kennedy said.

— Don’t risk it. Some places just aren’t nap-friendly; is your workplace one of them?

6 nap health benefits:

— Again, napping is a boon to your alertness: A study by NASA found that there were higher measures of alertness in pilots after just a 40-minute nap, when compared to pilots who did not get one. Even just 20 minutes will perk up a shift worker.

— Napping improves learning and retention: It is the deeper rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that has been linked to the cognitive process, so it is no surprise that a longer nap will get you these benefits.

— Napping can increase creativity: If you have ever awakened from a nap, only to solve a problem that has been bugging you, researchers have found that nappers who enter REM have a tendency to do that.

— Napping boosts creativity: Most bosses may not believe this, but science has proven that an afternoon nap is the opposite of laziness at work.

— Lift your spirits: Sleepiness leads to crankiness. Just think about a toddler who hasn’t had a nap.

— Stress reliever: Napping can be a luxury, sure, but just escaping for a short nap can have a wonderfully positive effect on your stress level, which also lowers your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Article Source: Naps are good

Originally posted 2014-08-24 12:03:39.

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