How to Boost Your Energy Easily and Naturally

download (13)Despite all these healthy options, it is almost too easy to rely on sugar and caffeine to boost us when we are feeling down or lethargic. Instead, here are some healthier energy booster ways which will sustain better energy levels over the long term as well as in the short term. Furthermore, these will improve overall health rather than providing a quick fix which can be instead detrimental to health.

The first recommended natural energy booster is getting more sleep. This can seem a very difficult thing to do when we are excessively busy, but this does not stop it from being one of the healthiest habits that you can get into that will not only give you greater mental and physical energy, but will also help heal your tired body.

The body repairs and restores itself at night, and sleep is also necessary for our minds to process what we have been doing throughout the day. Therefore, a good, long sleep every night will leave us brighter, less stressed, and with our body performing at its best.

Of course, this can be difficult to achieve if we have very busy, demanding lives. For this reason, it is necessary to put in place several small practices which can boost the quality and length of your sleep. This can include setting a strict curfew every night, using essential oils such as lavender on your pillow, or having a warm, relaxing shower every night before bed.

These steps you take to relax, wind down and be in bed by the right time every night will help you sleep better, even if initially these will take some getting used to. It is said that, it takes twenty-one days to form a habit, so commit to a better sleep routine for this length of time and see how your energy levels and life quality can change.

Our next recommendation is using herbal and mineral drinks as a regular energy booster on a daily basis. There are several excellent herbal remedies on the market nowadays in drink form, all of which contain unique ingredient lists of herbs and minerals that have been used for centuries to improve health.

Some of these ingredients – such as iron and magnesium – actively will boost your energy levels, and with other herbs will work to boost your overall health. As mentioned above, better overall health can make you feel a million dollars and generally have much higher energy levels.

If you want to do something good for your health and have more energy, try a herbal supplement drink, preferably with added minerals such as iron or magnesium, which humans can tend to become deficient in. Replace one of your daily coffees or colas with this and your body will reap the health benefits.

Lastly, cut down on unhealthy energy boosters which will give you energy in the short term but will cause you to crash afterwards and put you in an unhealthy cycle of ups and downs. These include endless teas, coffees and sugary and high carb snacks to keep you going.

It is often impossible to give these up completely, and many enjoy one or two of these as a treat every day. However, ensure that you do not rely on them, instead replacing most of them with healthy options such as a herbal energy booster and fresh fruit, and put in place a healthier sleep routine to make you feel brighter and in better health overall.

 

Top 2 Home Remedies For Ringworm

download (12)Ringworm can be stubborn to treat especially when it affects the toenails, fingernails and scalp. Ringworm is caused by fungi (microorganism) known as dermatophytes. They flourish in warm, moist environments. Ringworm can be very itchy and can even affect one’s self-esteem especially in severe cases. I really dislike ringworm. I had it a couple of times on my scalp when I was younger. It is common among children and adolescents but it can also been seen in adults. Ringworm is contagious. It can be transferred through direct contact from person to person, pet to person. One can get it indirectly from clothes of infected persons, combs, brushes and infected moist surfaces like locker room floors. The soil also harbor the spores of dermatophytes.

Ringworm is medically known as Tinea. Another word is added after ‘Tinea’ depending on the affected area. On the scalp ringworm is called tinea capitis (characterized by hair loss in patches and itching), on the hands it is known as tinea manuum (raised round shaped itchy rashes or tiny blisters which can be seen on the palms, back of the hand or on the fingers), on feet it’s called tinea pedis or athlete’s foot (peeling of the skin between the toes, scaling on the heels), on the nails it’s called tinea unguium (loss of nails, nails become yellow, thick and crumbly), on the groin it is known as tinea cruris or jock itch (symptoms include redness and persistent itching at the groin area), on the body it’s called tinea corporis (round shaped rashes with raised edges on the skin), on the face it is known as tinea faciei (red scaly patches on the face).

Symptoms of ringworm appear within a few days of infection. In severe cases, it is best to seek medical help. Home remedies work best in minor cases.

Home Remedies:

Garlic:

Garlic is used as a food spice and medicine in different parts of the world. This wonderful spice has antimicrobial effects against many strains of bacteria, fungi and virus. It was also used by ancient Egyptians for food flavoring and traditional medicine. The amino acid Alliin is one of the main active constituents of garlic. This Alliin and its derivatives like allicin, ajoene are responsible for its strong smell and antimicrobial benefits.

A study published in 2007 tested the antifungal property of garlic. In the clinical test, an aqueous extract of garlic was used against 88 clinical isolates of dermatophytes. It was confirmed that garlic inhibited the growth of these organisms. The downside is that people who are allergic to sulfur compounds can be allergic to garlic. This is because sulfur compounds are also present in garlic. So first try in small quantity over a small uninfected area to know if you are allergic.

How to apply: Mash a few cloves of garlic. And apply on the affected areas. Apply two or three times daily. You can wash off with warm water after some hours. Another method is to slice a few cloves of garlic into tiny pieces and place on affected area. Then tie with a bandage. If someone is helping you to apply, make sure the person puts on disposable gloves to avoid getting infected.

Apple Cider Vinegar:

Vinegar has been used for many years as disinfectants and preservatives. Apple cider vinegar is a vinegar derived from apple and is an effective remedy for ringworm. Apple cider vinegar is made up of antimicrobial constituents like acetic acid which inhibits the growth of microorganisms. A lot people have attested to the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar for treating ringworm. This is as a result of its anti-fungal property.

How to apply: When first applied, it can have stinging effects but it will help in treating ringworm. It should be used in small quantity first in an unaffected area to ascertain if you are sensitive to it. If there are no reactions, you can apply on affected areas. Apple cider vinegar should be dabbed on the affected area with a cotton ball 3-5 times daily. For the toes or nails, mix a cup of apple cider vinegar with warm water. Soak affected area for 15 to 25 minutes. Dry with a clean towel. Use organic apple cider vinegar because its nutrients and enzymes are still intact unlike the non-organic that has gone through pasteurization.

Warning: Do not apply apple cider vinegar on broken skin because it will give you a severe burn.

Important Tips

  • Maintaining a good hygiene is very important for preventing and treating ringworm.
  • Ringworm is highly contagious so you should avoid sharing personal items like combs or towels or even clothes when you or someone close to you is infected.
  • Another alternative is to mix vinegar and salt until it forms a paste. Apply on the affected area for 5 minutes then wash off and dry the area. Do at least twice or thrice daily.
  • For your pet, you can apply garlic on affected area. Or you can mix apple cider vinegar with warm water and rinse affected area after bathing your pet.
  • Make sure you wash clothings that have come in contact with the infection.
  • Try to keep affected areas clean and dry.

 

3 Reasons You Should Love Your Gut

download (11)You probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your gut, unless it is causing you discomfort. I certainly wasn’t thinking about my gut when I was eating fast food and drinking sugary pop. But when it started causing me problems, I started to notice.

We often focus on the things we see on the outside, or think about heart health, or cancer prevention; the poor gastrointestinal tract doesn’t get much attention. The gastrointestinal tract, or the gut, is tied to every aspect of your health. I hope with that in mind, you will start giving it some more love. Here are some reasons why.

Your gut…

  • is the initial contact between the outside world and your internal environment. It is the gate keeper for what enters your body.
  • health is necessary for the health of all other areas of your body.
  • provides a home for a multitude of organisms that help maintain immune balance and make nutrients available to the rest of your body.
  • keeps microorganisms in balance, so you don’t get sick.
  • breaks down and assimilates carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals so your body can use them to function optimally.
  • disposes of toxins and other nonessential elements to keep your body running in tip-top shape.
  • regulates body composition to help you maintain a healthy weight.

Let me give you a brief explanation of some gut functions to help you better understand its importance.

1. The Gut Is The Gate Keeper

The gut runs the entire length of your body from your mouth to your anus. It functions to digest, break down and absorb food. It is actually considered to be outside of the body because it is open to the external environment at each end. This is, of course, different from other systems in your body. Two areas where this gate keeper is keeping you healthy include the mucus layer and the tight junctions of the intestine. The mucus layer in the intestine contains immune cells and proteins with antimicrobial activity against bacteria, viruses and fungi. These both provide a protective layer against bacterial invasion. In addition, there are tight junctions in the intestine that allow for nutrients to pass but prevent larger molecules into the bloodstream preventing inflammation that could occur in any area of the body from your gut to your joints to your brain.

2. Healthy Gut = Healthy Body

Just one way to think about how a healthy gut equals a healthy body is to address the importance of nutrients for cellular function. It is crucial for your body to digest and assimilate the food you eat. This is the process of absorbing vitamins and minerals and other components from your food within the gut. Just two examples of nutrients for important cellular function include B vitamins needed for energy production, and antioxidant vitamins (vitamins E or C among many others) to protect against damage to your DNA. Every whole food you consume contains a multitude of nutrients that allow your body to function optimally. Without not only intake, but absorption of those nutrients, dysfunction will arise.

3. The Function of The Gut Microbiome

There are anywhere from 500 to 1,000 different species of bacteria in the gut. The gut microbiome plays a role in several functions including carbohydrate digestion, development of the immune system, synthesis of vitamins, storage of fat, and defense against infections. Though the human genome remains stable throughout life, the human microbiome is affected by your diet and lifestyle. Research published in the journal Nutrition in Clinical Practice in 2012 supports that a high-fat, high-sugar diet will significantly alter the composition of the gut microbiome within 1-3 days. Sorry to say that reverting to the Standard American Diet on vacation or on the weekends may actually be impacting your healthy gut you nourish so well the rest of your days. And ultimately may be impacting the important functions that are associated with a healthy gut microbiome.

 

The Therapeutic Value of Tears

download (10)Human beings are the only creatures able to shed tears in response to emotional stress. This is what makes us different from animals. But because of social, cultural or parental influence, crying makes us feel embarrassed and uncomfortable. How often have we heard the admonition “Big boys don’t cry.” It is dinned into the minds of children, that crying signifies weakness. An advertisement on TV showed how a boy who throughout his growing years was reminded that ‘boys don’t cry.’ He grew into an emotionally repressed adult and became moody, glum and short tempered. Later in life he turned into a tyrant and wife batterer and was convicted for domestic violence.

In ancient literature we read about great heroes who were not afraid to cry. Achilles cried at the death of his friend Petroclus. Aneas wept for the loss of his friends and companions in war. In Egyptian mythology Isis wept for the dead Osiris. In the Bible, we read that Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus. In recent times Presidents like Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Regan, Clinton and Bush (Sr) have been known to shed tears in public. So crying is not just the prerogative of women. Males also shed tears in public, disputing the belief that ‘boys don’t cry.’ Of course women cry more readily than men. But girls who break into sobs at the slightest provocation are called ‘cry babies’ and even suspected of emotional instability. Neurotics cry easily and alexithymics don’t cry at all.

God has endowed human beings with a gamut of emotions – to feel, to cry, to be happy or sad or angry. Crying is a healthy response to some of life’s problems. We shed tears of joy when we are happy. People who receive unexpected awards or recognition are overwhelmed with tears of joy. Some people cry out of frustration. Children, who cannot have their way or cannot retaliate against elders, exhibit their frustration through tantrums. But usually crying is associated with grief. The loss of a loved one or a job or a business or even a pet are hurtful psychological experiences which create a great deal of stress. Tears are one way to relieve tension and initiate the process of healing.

Crying is a normal response to bereavement. When sadness reaches a peak of intensity, tears bring therapeutic release. Once the crying stops the body relaxes, heart rate slows, breathing becomes regular and blood pressure is back to normal. So crying is actually a transitional point between tension and feeling better. It will not make problems disappear but will help put them in perspective so that one can deal with them in a level headed way.

Even 2000 years ago the Greeks and Romans were aware that shedding of tears relieved tension. “It is a relief to weep. Grief is satisfied and carried off by tears,” said the poet Ovid. Aristotle was of the opinion that crying “cleanses the mind” of suppressed emotions. Freud and Breuer considered crying “an involuntary reflex to relieve tension and allow blocked negative emotions to be released.”

Professor William Frey of the University of Minnesota in his study said that chemicals which build up during emotional stress are removed through tears. Tears associated with emotions have a higher level of certain proteins and chemicals such as magnesium and potassium. Manganese which affects moods was found to be thirty times of greater concentration in tears than in blood serum. So unalleviated stress was likely to cause heart attacks or even damage certain areas of the brain.

The presence of the hormone Prolactin in tears explains why women cry more easily than men.

Alexander Fleming (discoverer of Penicillin) did a chemical analysis of tears and found that they contain an enzyme Lysozyme which dissolves the outer coat of many bacteria. Through suppression of tears we may suffer both physical and emotional consequences.

Weeping is not weakness. Those who put on a brave front and bottle up their emotions are merely internalizing their pain and suffer symptoms like headache, peptic ulcers, high blood pressure, irritability or depression. Inability to cry can make a person dysfunctional. Men giving vent to tears is now acceptable in society. In Japan they call it the ‘crying boom’ encouraging people to express their emotions.

God has placed in our bodies a natural provision for relief of tension and grief. Everyone grieves differently depending on one’s personality, coping skills, faith, nature of loss and tradition. In some cultures it is okay to cry loudly without inhibitions and make a show of their grief. I witnessed a death in a Khurdish community in Iran. It was frightening to see women tearing their hair, clawing at their cheeks to draw blood and rolling on the ground, and screaming. They believed that the departed soul would rest in peace knowing how dearly he or she was loved.

Therapeutic Value of tears:

• Crying is something personal. It is not an exhibition of grief but a physical manifestation of internal emotions.

• It is the beginning of a process of dealing with sadness. “We are healed of suffering only when we experience it the full,” said Marcel Proust.

• Crying helps to visualize a new scenario for our lives. It helps accept that our loss is real and even while we continue to grieve, we begin to envisage a life without the person we have lost.

• Crying is cathartic. It releases toxins and pent up emotions, helping us to handle our loss instead of being afraid of it.

• Crying is effective in starting the process of healing. “It is not only a human response to sorrow and frustration but a healthy one,” says William Frey. According to his study 85% of women and 75% of men felt less angry or sad after crying. In Ancient Middle East mourners would collect their tears in wineskins and place them on the tomb of their loved ones.

• Crying may also be a call for support from relatives and friends. “Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted,” says the Bible. Friends and relatives should allow the griever to vent his pain and help validate his grief.