How to Treat Blocked Sinuses at Home

When the weather turns cool there seem to be more incidents of sinus problems. Blocked sinuses can be a pain to deal with, especially if you are a busy person. Before you drive to the nearest pharmacy, the answer to your situation may be in your kitchen.

We as a society have lost touch with the “old ways” of healing. Before there was modern medicine there were its precursors: herbs, plants and other medicinal tools. Many of them you have in your home right now.

Aren’t sure? Well here are some treatment options you can use at home to unblock those sinuses.

* Steam – When nasal passages become irritated they can swell, blocking the flow of air through them. Steam can shrink those passages, allowing for freer breathing. Traditionally, boiling water is placed in a bowl. You may add a few drops of essential oils like eucalyptus or peppermint, which are known to facilitate better breathing. Lean over the bowl and cover it and your head with a towel. Slowly breathe in the vapors for about twenty minutes. Repeat several times a day as needed.

* Neti pot – These have been around for a while but have only recently gained popularity. This small teapot-looking tool can be filled with salt water and flushed through the sinuses to reduce inflammation and swelling. It also helps to keep the passages from drying out and becoming even more irritated.

With warmed salt water inside, lean your head to one side. Slowly pour the water into one nostril. It will naturally flow through to and out the other side, flushing both sides of the nose and sinuses. If you lean back the fluid may flow down the back of your throat leading to coughing.

* Humidifier – Nasal passages that are already blocked and swollen don’t fare well when the air is dry. Turning on your heat when it gets cold will produce just that effect. Using a humidifier returns moisture to the air to relieve the pain and discomfort in those blocked sinuses and hasten your recovery. Try a cool mist humidifier.

* Water – Drink lots of it. One sign of sinusitis is thickened mucous secretions. Besides the swelling of blocked sinuses, the mucus is unbearable too. Staying hydrated can thin these secretions out, allowing them to drain more readily.

* Apple cider vinegar – This vinegar has been used for centuries because of its medicinal properties which include antibiotic. Drink a spoonful several times a day or mix it in with a glass of water. It may reduce congestion from blocked sinuses and also help secretions thin and pass easier.

Are you dealing with a case of blocked sinuses due to sinusitis? The simplest way to combat your condition is to treat the symptoms when they first appear, using everyday items in your kitchen.

Healing Your Sore Throat Naturally

There are all types of reasons why you may have a sore throat. The one thing that you do know is that it is uncomfortable and irritating. Before you go out and spend money on over-the-counter medicines, think how you can help yourself at home.

A sore throat can have a lot of different causes. It can be a by-product of a sinus infection. It could be that your vocal cords are tired from singing or coughing. No matter what the cause, it hurts.

Here are some ways that you can go about healing your problem the old-fashioned way.

* Gargle – The throat may be irritated because it’s dry. Try gargling with salt water. As you gargle concentrate, on the back of your throat (without coughing). The mixture will soothe a rough dry mouth and throat. Repeat this process every hour as needed. Some gargle with water that has chili powder added. The spiciness in the gargle can numb the throat.

* Drink lots of fluids – When our throat gets sore, we don’t even want to open our mouths. It can be hard to eat and swallow with the pain. This can lead to dehydration. For someone with a sore throat, it can be dangerous. Drink lots of water, tea, coffee (if you like it) and other low calorie beverages. Try using a straw if you can’t manage to gulp it down. It may be easier on your sore throat pain.

* Honey – Honey comes from bees and is filled with their immunity. A tablespoon of honey each day can help alleviate irritation and pain by coating and soothing the throat. It also has antibiotic properties.

* Flush your sinuses – A sore throat could be caused from thick mucus secretions that are related to a cold, flu or a sinus infection. Flushing the sinuses help to thin these secretions so they can pass through and out.

* Tea – Something warm on the throat can help ease the pain. Try a cup of your favorite herbal tea with a bit of fresh lemon juice. It can also soothe irritated throats and help with the pain.

* Add moisture to the air – Using a warm air or cool mist humidifier can keep the air hydrated. Dry air can irritate a sore throat. Adding moisture perks things up.

* Change air filters – Sometimes, sore throats can develop when the air isn’t as clean inside your home as it could be. Change the air filter every three months to ensure that there is a lower incidence of dust mites, dander, lint and dirt in the air.

* Vitamin C – This can help increase your immunity to things like sore throats. The healthier you are, the lower your chances of getting sick in the winter.

Do you have a sore throat? Here are some ways to alleviate the pain naturally.

Dress to Keep Warm This Winter

Winter usually brings colder temperatures in most parts of the world. To fight the biting cold, learn how to dress warmly inside and when going out.

Kids especially have a hard time dressing properly when it is cold outside. They stay out too long because they want to play and then come in resembling tiny ice blocks that need to thaw by the fire. You can help them and yourself.

* Dress in layers – The purpose of layers is to be able to stay warm in the cold and when the temperature warms up a little. Here’s how to do it. Start with a wicking layer close to the body. Use clothing that is made up of polyester and other materials that are designed to pull moisture from your body so you don’t get cold in a strong wind.

Next, choose a fleece layer that will insulate you and hold in warmth. It can be a hoodie or a jacket. On top of that, wear a waterproof layer. It is helpful if you fall down or get into a snow bank. You can brush off the snow without wetting the other layers of clothing.

* Wear hats – About half of our heat is lost through the tops of our head. Wearing hats reduces the heat loss. Be sure that it is snug on your head and has a waterproof outer layer so that no snow or other moisture can get in and soak your head.

* Wear gloves – Hands are prone to getting cold and that could lead to frostbite. Choose gloves that are warm but allow you to use your fingers. Wearing glove liners can further protect your hands from the elements.

* Avoid cotton near the skin – This includes your inner top and your socks. When socks get wet, cotton holds the moisture near the skin. Choose thick wool to keep them warm but not wet.

* Wear boots – Boots are insulated to keep feet warm and from getting wet. They also have high sides so that snow doesn’t drop into them. Tuck your pant legs into your boots.

* Scarves – Hats don’t usually cover the neck and, unless you have long hair, it is routinely exposed. Scarves even under jackets with hoods keep the wind from chilling that area. They are also stylish for kids and adults.

* Choose clothing that is not bulky – You don’t want movement to be restricted. This can be a problem when trying to get out of the way quickly or getting up after a fall. Mobility still needs to be a priority. And, you don’t want to be overheated should the weather turn warmer. Sweat can turn to cold with a brisk wind and also reduce your heat from within.

How are you dressing this winter? Here are some tips to get you started.

Treating Depression – Naturally

Depression can be a serious illness that many people experience but few people want to talk about.  For many decades, depression carried a stigma along with the diagnosis. If you had depression, then it was thought that you couldn’t manage your life properly – or you were one of the “mentally ill” who belonged in an institution. That is not so.

What is depression?  Depression is a clinical illness and just like other illnesses, it needs a proper course of treatment to allow the sufferer to recover.  Imbalances of certain neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for helping to maintain your mental well-being contribute to the problem of depression.

To find out exactly what type and severity of depression you are suffering from, see a doctor. They can also discuss with you alternative treatments if prescription drugs are not the route you want to take right now.  There are many conventional treatments for this condition but sometimes the treatment can be almost as bad as suffering from the disease. If you’d like to try another route, here are some alternative therapies you might like to try.

Here are some of the alternative treatments available:

St. John’s Wort – This herb has been used for years by people who have mild depression or even seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The properties are said to help soothe the mind and create a feeling much like when endorphins are released in the brain. Before you use it, ask your doctor about dosage and if taking it will interfere with any of your current medications.

Massage therapy – The basis behind many massage techniques is that there is a blocked chi, or life force. This can occur because of stress, lack of sleep and other environmental factors. When the site of the blockage is discovered, the use of pressure and gentle movement can unblock the flow of life energy to help the body restore itself to health. A massage therapist can recommend the best type for you depending on your overall health and your depressive symptoms.

Physical activity – There are many benefits to exercise besides simply weight loss. When you get moving, you increase your intake of oxygen and also learn to utilize it more efficiently. Exercise doesn’t have to be hard or boring. There are many activities that you can do to increase the release of endorphins, the body’s “feel good” pill. More oxygen helps you to think clearly about your problems and come up with a useful solution.

Acupuncture – This operates on the same principle as massage therapy. Using a map of the body’s energy junctions, these sterile needles can be used at certain points to restore balance to the body.

Yoga – A mind-body connection is built and maintained when you start this spiritual practice of ancient India. You can exercise control over your feelings and how you respond to stress, which can decrease incidence of depression.

Are you trying to recover from depression but don’t want the side effects of some depressive medications? Try these alternative therapies first with your doctor’s okay.

Get Slim Without a Gym

Have you noticed that there are certain times of the year when gym memberships spike? At the start of the year, at the start of summer and going into fall gyms run ads. But, for some, owning a gym membership is a luxury that’s  just not affordable these days.

The body is the best tool for getting in shape. Even without equipment, you could lose weight if you just knew how to go about it. Here are some ways to get slimmer and keep more of your money instead of paying it out for a gym.

  • Walking – Walking is the best overall exercise, bar none. When you walk, you work every muscle group of your body and your heart and lungs. Pumping your arms gets the heart rate and breathing up so that you begin to move from an aerobic phase to a fat-burning phase. As you feel more confident, you can speed up your program for added benefit. Do it with a friend to keep you both accountable and working harder.
  • Running – This is a step up from walking. Running works the same muscle groups, only harder. Those who have run for a time say that they experience the “runner’s high.” It is the release of endorphins that spur you on to good feeling and a faster pace. Running clubs are everywhere and for a small fee, you can run in various places on different terrains with others and also enter races.
  • Dumbbells – These are free weights that can be used to build muscle in your home. Tons of exercise videos on the market can walk you through the proper form of different exercises such as military presses, squats, lunges and deltoid lifts. For women who want to get toned, higher repetitions and smaller weights will help you achieve your goal.
  • Exercise videos –  With exercise DVDs and videos you can learn to master everything from Pilates to yoga to kickboxing, all from your home. They pay for themselves in no time and can be used no matter what the weather. You don’t have to leave the house, so all you have to worry about is your self-motivation.

So if you’re looking for a way to get started in fitness but don’t want to join a gym to do it use these ideas to get you on the right track for little cost.