I love the fresh, clean scent of citrus. Something about any citrus oil, but especially lemon oil, perks me right up. So how is lemon oil extracted, why is it so beneficial, and how can you use it around your home? Keep reading! Continue reading
Depression affects an estimated 350 million people worldwide. In the United States alone, an estimated 16 million people suffer from depression. That is about 7% of the population. Depression comes in many forms-major depression, persistent depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder, post-partum depression, psychotic depression-the list goes on.
The purpose of this post isn’t to go into detail on each form of depression, but rather to give you a basic overview of depression and its symptoms. I would also like to share my personal experience with depression as well as how I was able to wean myself off of antidepressants and treat my depression naturally. Continue reading
You know the feeling of a sore throat coming on-it hurts to swallow or you have a slight tickle in the back of your throat. If you’re like me, you prefer to take care of that sore throat naturally. I’ve tried several remedies and came up with a concoction we affectionately refer to as foul tea. As the name suggests, it tastes terrible. But it kicks a sore throat fast. So let’s take a look at the benefits of each ingredient and then how to make the tea and get the most benefit out of it.
I am not a doctor, so this article is merely for informational purposes. Consult with a doctor before taking herbal remedies, especially if you have a preexisting condition, take any medications, or are pregnant.
I like to start with echinacea tea (though if you don’t have any, you can use warm water.) Echinacea is a member of the daisy family. Echinacea has been shown in some studies to boost the immune system, leading to faster recovery from illness. Brew a cup or heat a cup of water, then add the rest of the ingredients.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has many uses and benefits, but we’ll focus on what it can do for a sore throat. It is believed to be antibacterial and immune boosting. Apple cider vinegar is also an expectorant and breaks up mucus and sinus congestion. It is best to buy apple cider vinegar the is unprocessed so it still has the “mother.” It makes the vinegar look cloudy, but that’s where all the good stuff is. A word of caution, though-apple cider vinegar is acidic and too much may cause tooth enamel erosion, esophageal burns, or interactions with certain medications. So be careful and use in moderation. I usually add half a teaspoon to a teaspoon to my foul tea.
As we’ve established that this tea tastes very foul, honey takes the edge off and makes it go down a bit easier. But it also has helpful properties for a sore throat. Honey has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that fight against the infection causing virus or bacteria and thus speed up the healing process. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that lessen the swelling and inflammation. Add honey to taste to your tea.
Ginger flushes toxins from your body, has anti-inflammatory properties, and kills bad bacteria. I like to grate a bit of fresh ginger into my foul tea, but if I don’t have any on hand, I’ll throw in a pinch of organic ground ginger.
Cayenne pepper is also anti-inflammatory and a natural pain reliever. I usually add only a pinch of ground cayenne pepper to my foul tea. Too much and it makes the tea very spicy and harder to get down.
Garlic is believed to have anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties, as well as immune-boosting properties. It may help the body to heal the infections that cause a sore throat while fighting the germs that cause the pain and the irritation. Crush a clove and add to your tea, or if you prefer, you can add a quarter teaspoon of garlic powder. Fresh is best, though.
Lemon juice will help shrink swollen throat tissue and create a hostile environment for viruses and bacteria. Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into your tea. Or use a tablespoon of bottled lemon juice.
Sore Throat Tea
- 1 echinacea tea bag or 1 cup hot water
- honey, to taste
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 clove crushed garlic, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- grated ginger, or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- juice of one half lemon or 1 tablespoon bottled lemon juice
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Make echinacea tea according to package directions or heat 1 cup of water. Add all other ingredients and stir well.
Use fresh ingredients as much as possible. You may also use any combination of the ingredients. The tea seems to work best when drunk quickly rather than sipped. It may help to hold your nose while drinking, or you will learn why we nicknamed it foul tea!
What remedies do you use for a sore throat? Let me know in the comments!
As a kid, my mom did some things naturally for my brother and I. She had a homeopathic kit and would give us echinacea and vitamin c when we were sick. So I got a good foundation in using natural treatments as a kid.
The Natural Life
When I was around 15, I started experiencing fatigue and muscle pain issues. Over the next several years I had some blood tests and a sleep study done. One blood test showed that my bad cholesterol was a little high, and because of my age(I was 27), the doctor didn’t want to put me on medication. When I got home and did some research. I began an aggressive vitamin/herb regimen. After 3 months my bad cholesterol was down 58 points. My doctor couldn’t believe it, and I was amazed, too.
After my sleep study showed nothing was wrong, the same doctor told me to take more naps and I wouldn’t be so tired. I have gone through phases where I slept most of the day, so I clearly didn’t need more sleep. At that point I was tired of doctors, so I did more research. I learned that gluten could cause many of the symptoms I was experiencing. I also learned there were vitamins and herbs I could be taking to improve my energy levels. (I’ll expand on the various things I have taken and tried in later posts.) Once I made changes to my routine and diet, I had more energy and could get through a day without sleeping for half of it. This convinced me that natural was the way to go!
A few years later, I contracted MRSA. I had painful abscesses on my legs, two of which had to be surgically drained at the emergency room. So-you guessed it-I did more research. I learned about herbs and essential oils that would help. The doctors wanted me to go on long-term, low-dose antibiotics. (In the interest of being fully honest, I did take a course of antibiotics. But just one course really messed me up.) I was not thrilled with the idea of long-term antibiotics. I worked out a natural routine and as long as I stay on it, the MRSA doesn’t flare up. Thank goodness for that, the abscesses are incredibly painful and usually come with a high fever.
Learning to Be Frugal
As far as being frugal, I also learned a lot from my mom in that area. She was a single mom raising two kids on a very limited income. So I learned to shop sales, buy in bulk, go to thrift stores, appreciate hand-me-downs, use coupons, and make it myself if possible.
When I got married, my husbandd made good money. Right before our first anniversary, he needed neck surgery and couldn’t work for about 6 months. His company had a disability policy, but it was only about two thirds of his monthly income. So I had to put those skills to good use.
Later we moved to a very rural area (90 miles from the nearest WalMart) where there aren’t a lot of jobs and the ones that are available don’t pay well. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I love living here. But again, those frugal skills that my mom passed on to me came in handy. We don’t have credit cards and we limit how much debt we accumulate. Both the cars we own are paid for, eliminating another bill. Our monthly bills (not groceries, gas, pet supplies) are around $400. I know that sounds hard to believe, but there’s a certain freedom in being frugal. We can live in a place we love and aren’t slaves to making payments.
So in this blog, I want to share some of what I’ve learned about cutting back expenses, making it work on a small income, and living naturally to improve health. Hopefully I can help you in some small way.