Posts Tagged ‘lemon’

Natural Remedies for Insect Bites

Ah, summer is here at last and so are the mosquitoes.  After a very rainy spring, they are out in full force.

There are several precautions you can take to repel mosquitoes, like using a safe, non-toxic personal repellant, covering your arms and legs at dusk when the mosquitoes come out, avoid keeping standing water around in birdbaths or buckets, and placing certain aromatic plants like scented geraniums, marigolds or rosemary on your patio or deck or in your garden to help repel them.  But, even with these precautions, most of us will usually get bitten, and some people more than others.  I know I am a mosquito magnet – my husband says when he is with me, he never gets bitten!  So, what non-toxic relief can you get for those nasty, itchy, inflamed bites?  Lots!  Below is a list of common household products, which relieve itching and help to heal the bite.

  • Toothpaste (peppermint works best)
  • Mouthwash – soak a cotton ball and dab it on the bite.  An antiseptic mouthwash will prevent bites from becoming infected.
  • Salt – Moisten first then rub table salt on the area.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Witch Hazel - Make a paste out of witch hazel and baking soda. Or just  baking soda and water (works for bee stings too!)
  • Aloe relieves the itch and heals the wound.
  • Lemon is good when you just have to scratch.  Cut it in half and use the pulp side.  Helps reduce the chance of infection from scratching.
  • Deodorant – Rub on immediately after getting the bite to reduce inflammation.
  • Lavender, tea tree, peppermint, eucalyptus, basil, thyme or neem base essential oils (just a drop or two) reduce inflammation and prevent infection.  Apply to affected areas several times a day.  photo-3
  • Garlic salt and seasoning salt mixed with an equal amount of water.
  • An ice cube applied directly to the bite will numb the pain and reduce inflammation.
  • Mud – if you are outdoors without access to the above mentioned cures, a bit of dirt and water mixed together is effective at relieving irritation and reducing swelling.

Each remedy works better for some people than others.  When you get your next bite, try some and let me know which remedies work for you.  

Information compiled from www.home-remedy.org, Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles and www.care2.com/greenliving/7-ways-to-treat-bug-bites.

Fight a Cold Naturally and Win!

Ambersweet oranges, a new cold-resistant orang...

USDA photo. Image Number K3644-12. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Exposure to cold germs is inevitable and most people get at least one or two colds per year.  My husband and I recently felt the symptoms of the common cold coming on – scratchy throat, sneezing, slight headache, runny nose – and we stopped it dead in its tracks!   Besides following a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables to maintain a strong immune system, the key is to attack it with natural remedies the minute you feel those initial symptoms.  The first thing I do is take Coldcalm, a homeopathic medicine you can buy at CVS.  Follow the directions exactly.  I also take extra Vitamin C (from supplements and Vitamin C rich foods) and Echinacea to boost my immune system.  American Indians chewed Echinacea root for centuries to treat colds and flu.  I drink several cups of hot water with a couple of tablespoons of fresh ginger (or powdered), cinnamon, lemon, and honey, which helps wash the virus right out.  Ginger contains nearly a dozen anti-viral compounds and has several chemicals that are particularly effective against common cold viruses.  The lemon is rich in Vitamin C and the cinnamon and honey add healthy flavor.  Adequate rest is important too.

Sometimes however, your body just succumbs to a cold and the symptoms worsen.  To the above remedies, add the tried and true cure of chicken soup with lots of garlic and onion, which contain several helpful anti-viral compounds including allicin, a potent, broad-spectrum natural antibiotic.  If you don’t mind the taste and smell of garlic, a soup made only with garlic, broth and parsley  is especially effective in lessening the duration of a cold.  Elderberry contains compounds that are active against flu viruses and offers relief from fever and muscle aches.  You can find elderberry syrup in the wellness section at Whole Foods and natural food stores.  Slippery elm is a safe and effective throat soother and cough suppressant.  It has actually been used for over 150 years and the FDA has now declared it to be effective in fighting throat and respiratory symptoms related to colds.  I also take Coldeze, a zinc product sold at CVS, which seems to shorten the length of a cold.

The above remedies are only suggestions that have worked for my family and me.  If you take medication and/or have severe or persistent symptoms, always consult a doctor.

One of my readers sent me some information about Shaklee’s Defend & Resist Product. It contains Echinacea, Elderberry Extract and Elderberry juice concentrate, Zinc and Larch Tree and works best if you start it just when you feel that first tickle and continue for 7 days.  You can chew it, dissolve and sip like a tea, or swallow. Sounds like an effective cold fighter to me!

Some information compiled from The Green Pharmacy by James A. Duke, Ph.D.

 

 

Frozen Lemons

One of my readers sent me a write-up about the secret of frozen lemons.  Rather than just using the lemon juice and wasting the rest of this nutrient-rich fruit, freeze it.  Wash it first and once frozen, grate the unpeeled lemon and add it to salads, soups, stews, ice cream, cookie dough, chicken and fish dishes, rice, martinis, whatever, for much added nutrition and taste.  What a great idea!

This image shows a whole and a cut lemon.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all know that lemons are chock full of Vitamin C, which helps to neutralize free radicals linked to aging and most types of disease, as well as fight colds and flu.  But did you know that lemons contain more health benefitting nutrients than other citrus fruits like oranges or tangerines?  They contain citric acid, flavonoids, B-complex vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and fiber.   Surprisingly, the lemon peel contains as much as 5 to 10 times more vitamins than the lemon juice.  Below is a list of some of the many benefits of this powerful and flavorful little fruit:

  • Lemons contain more potassium than apples or grapes.
  • Lemons help restore balance to the body’s pH even though they are acidic.
  • Lemons help detoxify the liver and improve regularity.  A large glass of water with fresh lemon juice is an important way to start the day.
  • The citric acid in lemon juice helps to dissolve gallstones, calcium deposits, and kidney stones. 
  • The lemon peel contains the potent phytonutrient tangeretin, which has been proven to be effective for brain disorders like Parkinson’s disease.
  • Lemons have powerful antibacterial properties; experiments have found the juice of lemons destroy the bacteria of malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases.  They can also destroy intestinal worms
  • The Vitamin P (bioflavonoid) in lemons strengthens blood vessels and is useful in treating high blood pressure.
  • Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer compounds, including naturally occurring limonene, which studies have shown slows or halts the growth of cancer tumors in animals.

As we make our way through what is being reported as a severe cold and flu season, throw a couple of lemons into the freezer and “grate” your way to good health!

 

Information compiled from www.care2.com and http://www.nutrition-and-you.com.

 

 

 

 

THIEVES OIL

Image by secretofthieves.com

On Christmas Eve, my husband came down with a violent, highly contagious stomach bug, which of course ruined his holiday eating.  My daughter succumbed to it the next day and was even sicker. Fearing it would spread to the rest of us, I sprayed Thieves Oil around the house.  “What on earth is Thieves Oil and where did you find that?” my husband asked.  Having grown up with my “weird” remedies, my son piped up in his no nonsense way,  “She didn’t.  It just finds her.”  And I’m glad it did.

Thieves Oil is a powerful blend of germ-killing essential oils – clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus and rosemary – that help eliminate airborne bacteria and boost the immune system. Research conducted at Weber State University, as well as other documented research, shows that most viruses, fungi, and bacteria cannot live in the presence of many essential oils. When bacteria cultures were sprayed in an enclosed area, Thieves Oil had a 99.96% success rate against airborne bacteria.

The name comes from the legend of four thieves who were captured and charged with robbing dead and dying victims during the bubonic plague, which killed so many people in Europe for about 600 years, peaking around 1300.  In exchange for leniency, the magistrate wanted to know how the thieves escaped from contracting the plague.  They confessed to rubbing themselves with a special concoction of aromatic herbs, including garlic, cloves and rosemary.   Hence, the name Thieves Oil.

There are a variety of Thieves® antiseptic products such as household cleaners, soaps, hand sanitizers, toothpaste, and mouthwash, formulated from the essential oils mentioned in the legend, that help fight against bacteria, fungi and viruses and ward off disease.  With more virulent and antibiotic resistant germs around, consider adding Thieves® products to your natural, wellness medicine cabinet, especially during cold and flu season.

I can’t say for sure whether it was the Thieves Oil or not that kept my son and me from getting the bug, but whatever the reason, it certainly didn’t hurt to spray this sweet smelling, non-toxic antiseptic around the house.

Information compiled http://www.secretofthieves.com.

 


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