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This article was originally published by Woman’s Day.  Visit their website here.

By Dana Gottesman

Photo (c) Comstock

Photo (c) Comstock

Feeling under the weather? If you’re sick of running to the drugstore and popping pills, these 10 inexpensive home remedies may be just the alternative you’re looking for. We reached out to the experts for non-pharmacological treatments that can help resolve your minor health ailments. From colds to insomnia, fatigue to indigestion, read on to learn their advice for solving your everyday health problems the all-natural way.

For indigestion…

Pour a glass of fennel tea. Fennel can help with gas, bloating or an upset stomach, says Teerawong Kasiolarn, ND, a naturopathic doctor and licensed acupuncturist, who recommends drinking the tea after meals to promote digestion. You should also take care to eat slowly, chew food thoroughly and avoid drinking very cold liquids or soda with your meals, since these factors can contribute to indigestion, acid reflex and heartburn.

For an itchy rash…

Turn to nature. Instead of using a steroid cream, why not try a plant-based cream or ointment like calendula? The cream works as a natural mild antiseptic and is ideal for treating burns, scrapes and irritated skin. Want to grow your own rash relief? Keep an aloe plant in your kitchen, says Michael Finkelstein, MD, a certified holistic physician. It’s a great remedy for itchy, inflamed skin, and is also more economical than purchasing a tube of aloe from the drugstore.

For asthma…

Strike a (yoga) pose. While you may still need an occasional puff on your inhaler, the cobra yoga posture has been found to aid ashtma sufferers by opening up breathing passages, according to Dana Ullman, MPH, founder of Homeopathic.com and author of The Homeopathic Revolution. Begin by lying on your stomach and placing the palms of your hands on the floor, under your shoulders. Inhale while you raise your head and chest by using your back muscles and hands to support you. Exhale while lowering your body. Repeat at least five times.

For a fever…

Slip on some wet socks. Before you reach for Tylenol, try this naturopathic treatment, which could lower a fever overnight, according to Dr. Kasiolarn. First, pour cool water onto cotton socks and place them on your feet. Then cover the wet layer with a pair of wool socks to draw your body heat down to your feet and reduce your overall temperature. It’s also wise to avoid sweets, dairy, and fatty or greasy foods while suffering a fever, as eating these types of foods has been found to raise body temperature. Instead, indulge in watermelon, a fruit that’s very cooling to the body.

For stress or anxiety…

Make your own recess. When stress becomes exceedingly difficult to manage, try carving out time during the day for a short break, says Dr. Finkelstein. An outdoor break is ideal, since natural light, fresh air and movement can be especially restorative for your mind frame. Can’t leave your desk? Take a five-minute time-out to do a simple stretching exercise to rev up your energy and boost circulation.

For a cold…

Concoct an herbal cure. Infuse a glass of water with natural antiviral vegetables and herbs, such as garlic, fresh ginger slices, basil, green onion and cinnamon, to ward away cold symptoms. A tincture of echinacea is also helpful for boosting immune health, says Dr. Kasiolarn. An effective tincture will numb the tongue and should be taken with early onset of cold symptoms.

For chapped lips…

Make your own salve. Mix equal parts beeswax and olive oil for a homemade balm that soothes and smooths cracked lips. If your lips are frequently chapped, you should also make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids, since dehydration could be the real culprit. Fish oil in liquid form can also be taken with meals to help with chapped lips and dry skin for additional relief, says Dr. Kasiolarn.

For a cold sore…

Tackle it with tea. Black tea contains tannic acid, which is thought to have antiviral properties, says Ullman. Pour hot water over a tea bag to moisten it slightly and then let it sit out to cool. Place the warm bag directly onto the sore for about five minutes to aid in its healing. For the best results, apply this remedy immediately after a cold sore surfaces.

For a cough or sore throat…

Chew a garlic clove. Raw garlic, which has both an antiviral and immune-stimulating effect on the body, may actually clear infection, says Finkelstein. If raw garlic is too strong for your taste, try popping it in the microwave briefly before ingesting. For a stubborn cough, also try sniffing eucalyptus essential oil, which naturally clears mucus.

For insomnia…

Slow down at nightfall. You can’t run around the block, put on your pajamas, hop into bed and then expect to fall asleep, says Finkelstein. Quiet the mind and body several hours before you go to bed by limiting your nighttime activities to relaxing pursuits like reading. To further ready yourself for bedtime, try dimming the lights and shutting off the TV and computer screen at least half an hour before hitting the pillows.

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1. Sometimes more mess can equal less stress.  Learn how to tolerate the natural chaos of your life and feel happier.

2. As you know, I am a big fan of Gretchen’s Happiness Project.  Today I want to direct you to her tips for dealing with criticism so that it is less stressful and more helpful.

3. An article after the early childhood educator in my heart- Scientific American Mind explains the seriousness of play.

4. Stressing about money?  Who isn’t?  The growing field of behavior economics is looking at the ways in which money drives us crazy.

road-to-happy

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We are always struggling to find balance in our lives. With the constant demands of work and family, often our mind, body and spirit pay the price for getting things done. What follows are several important strategies you can employ today that will help you achieve a terrific balance and give you the power to do more things that really matter.

  1. Don’t work yourself to death. Set some boundaries when it comes to your work life. Predetermine certain days of the weeks, or hours of the day when you only focus on yourself or your family. Instead of causing you to fall behind, this will actually help you work more efficiently during the rest of the week.
  2. Don’t let regret enter your life. The things in your past have already occurred. You have no power to change these things. Why then, do so many of us allow regret to throw us off of our balance? Living in the present, and enjoying each moment as it occurs, is one of the easiest ways to enjoy more spiritual and mental balance in your life.
  3. Don’t take on too much. It is hard for many of us to delegate responsibility to others. Whether it is at work or in the home, we become victims of the “I’ll just do it myself” mentality. The result is that we spend too much time focusing on certain aspects of our lives while neglecting others. We quickly forget that everything is a trade-off. Learn to delegate to co-workers, family members and your spouse. Return the favor for them to achieve an even greater balance.
  4. Treat yourself to something nice. Many times we don’t reward ourselves enough. While it is kind and decent to always try to put other people first, this should not come at the expense of our own well-being. If you work hard, reward is the proper balance to putting forth that effort.
  5. Be nice to others. In order to achieve real spiritual fulfillment, one must rise above the fray and…just be a nicer person. Acting with kindness to other human beings has a “pay it forward” effect that not only makes you feel good, but improves the world around you as well.
  6. Get organized and reduce clutter. Sometimes, we look back on a particularly busy day and ask ourselves, “what, exactly just happened here?” Lives filled with too much clutter and racing around from Point A to Point B are going to lead to stress and health issues. Take a day and get organized. Prioritize your life. Like a garage sale, it may be time to get rid of some things that are cluttering up the corners of your life.
  7. Get back to basics. For many people seeking balance, there’s nothing better than the traditional arts of meditation, yoga or acupuncture. All three can provide a pathway to spirituality and greater union of the mind, body and spirit. In a stressful, ever-changing world, constants such as these can be an ideal way to achieve balance.
  8. Be positive. Far too often, a negative attitude can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Or to put it another way, when we keep focusing on bad things, they often end up happening. Positive, upbeat people have a clearer point of view and generally speaking get more of what they want out of life…including proper balance.
  9. Exercise often and eat right. A healthy body is the quickest way to a healthy mind and spirit. Proper nutrition provides the fuel for exercise, which in turn enhances every aspect of your life.
  10. Have more fun. Many experts assert that consulting with your “inner child” as often as possible is the key to striking a harmonious balance in life. You remember your inner child, right? The little person who understood the simple pleasures of life and the importance of play? Get back to that child today and find out how you can inject some activities that aren’t so serious into your day to day existence.

This article was first published at EnlightenmentRing.com.

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