Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it belongs in your vag!
Add these tips to your toolbox, and your next panic attack won’t stand a chance.
Got menstrual misery? Trade in the Advil for some willow bark and white peony, instead.
While superfoods are having their moment in the spotlight, we seem to have forgotten about the benefits of traditional herbs and spices. Used for centuries in medicinal remedies, not only do they help to fight disease and inflammation, surprisingly they’re also one of the best ways to ward off fine lines and wrinkles.
We chatted to nutritionist and herbalist Stephanie Berglin to find out what herbs and spices are best for anti-ageing and how to incorporate them into your diet every day.
Inflammation is said to be one of the main reasons our bodies experience increased rates of ageing. Ginger, with its strong anti-inflammatory properties, helps to combat this while also stimulating digestion and calming the intestines, says Stephanie.
“Grated ginger is great to add to soups and stir fries. You can also put a small chunk in a vegetable juice, or try ginger teas during the colder months to help support the immune system and assist in protecting against potential colds and flu,” she insists.
This smaller version of a blue berry is rich in antioxidants and is believed to prevent the early signs of ageing. What’s more, bilberries are also said to promote better eyesight including night vision.
“Bilberries can be had in tea, as an extract, or dried for a small snack,” recommends the herbalist.
This particular spice is believed to speed up your metabolism by increasing your body’s temperature, therefore experts say cayenne can be good for weight-loss because it can help to reduce your appetite.
“Try cayenne as an alternative to chilli when you’re cooking next,” Stephanie insists. “Add the spice to your green juice to give it an extra boost, or combine it with lemon juice to toss with salad.”
Often referred to by the Chinese as the “Fountain of Youth,’ this ancient spice has been used for thousands of years to treat internal ailments. Thought to improve digestion and appetite, Ginseng is considered a restorative spice that can assist with stress. Enjoy “stewed in water to make soups and teas.”
Turmeric has made quite the comeback in recent years with supermodel and health nut Miranda Kerr admitting to adding it into her morning smoothie. Said to contain loads of anti-inflammatory properties, including curcumin which is good for your joints, it’s possibly one of the more versatile spices to include in your diet.
“A sprinkle of turmeric can help bring to life the most basic of veggie stir fries and can also be used in a morning elixir to help kick start your day with an antioxidant boost,” Stephanie recommends.
This miracle spice is believed to have strong anti-ageing benefits, detoxing properties and has the ability to aid digestion and heal the gut. It’s also known to stabilise blood sugar levels! So how do you get your fix?
“Ground cumin is popularly combined with other spices for a tasty taco seasoning with a rich, earthy flavour,” says Stephanie. “Cumin seeds can also be used to create crispy toppings on baked dishes like atop salmon or chicken.”
This particular herb is high in iron, calcium and vitamin B6, and according to some researchers can help to prevent brain ageing. What’s more, rosemary is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Pair with “lamb or aged beef before roasting,” says the nutritionist. “Alternatively, try combining crushed rosemary with olive oil to spread over toast with brunch.”
A superfood in its own right, cinnamon has been shown to assist with balancing blood sugar in the body, reducing cholesterol and can help women with insulin resistance. With a delicious flavour, Stephanie says “a small amount can be sprinkled over muesli, yoghurt and desserts.
“Alternatively, ask the barista to swap chocolate for cinnamon when you order a cappuccino next.”
Perfect for the cooler months, oregano is considered an immune boosting herb that boasts antibiotic properties. Some research also suggests that it can be used to help fight yeast infections.
Combine “chopped oregano with lemon juice, olive oil and red-wine vinegar to make a delicious vinaigrette and drizzle over salad.”
Waking up with puffy eyes is hardly a crisis, but it can really decrease your self esteem, especially if that miracle concealer isn’t doing the trick. Try these amazing tips to eliminate puffy eyes in just seconds, and create an even, flawless base for your makeup – sans surgery!
Pour a cup of tea and allow the bag to cool down to room temperature. Apply directly over your closed eyes, then lie down and relax. The caffeine helps to constrict the blood vessels and actually reduces swelling and inflammation.
The best type to use are chamomile and green tea, but any caffeinated beverage will do the trick. If you’re ever in need of this without a moments notice, fill an ice cube tray with the mixture, and keep it in the fridge for easy access!
Carefully remove the skin from a small potato, then dice into little pieces. Using a fork, mash the inside until the consistency is smooth and soft. Apply onto your eyes and try to relax. The starch from the potato combats inflammation and will decrease the puffy appearance of your eyes.
Slice a cucumber and place directly over the entire eye area. The cool, astringent property helps to decrease swelling in a matter of seconds and will also help with any dark patches or discolouration of skin. Use on all aspects of your skin for a quick and natural pick-me-up.
Apply some coffee grounds onto the base of your eyelids, then sit back and relax for 10-15 minutes. The coffee is packed with antioxidants which helps to eliminate baggy eyelids and save skin which has been left swollen or distressed overnight.
Gently whip 1-2 egg whites and apply just below the eye. They actually help to tighten the skin, and will decrease those puffy eyes in no-time!
What are some of your tricks to de-puff your eyes?
Image via Henry Happened, Fitness A Way Of Life, Fitness Sugar, Urban E Woman and Healthcare A to Z
Inflammation is an important part of our body as it assists in the healing process, but too much inflammation can wreak havoc with our insides and lead to all sorts of problems such as acne, autoimmune disease, arthritis and even cancer, according to various studies.
Nutrition is an alternative way to combat this issue, so what are some the easiest anti-inflammatory foods to incorporate into your diet?
This yellow spice is a commonly used ingredient in Indian curries, but it’s also renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies suggest that Turmeric contains compounds that combat swelling and inflammation and contains curcumin, which has been reported to positively assist with arthritis symptoms.
With a relatively versatile flavour, turmeric can be incorporated into most dishes and can even be sprinkled over roast vegetables. It can also be included into a morning smoothie or enjoyed with milk.
A popular spice used in baked goods, cinnamon is said to be the go-to for relieving sugar cravings as it reduces the rise of blood sugar-levels when eating. What’s more, according to various studies, it also contains anti-inflammatory properties that can help to ease swelling.
So next time you order a latte or coffee, opt for a sprinkling of cinnamon on top. Alternatively you can add a dash to your morning muesli or cereal, or sprinkle it over baked sweet potato for an extra burst of flavour.
Not only are sweet potatoes high in antioxidants and lower in calories than regular potatoes, according to Live Science, due to the colour-pigmented vitamins, they’re high in anti-inflammatory benefits. One sweet potato is reported to contain roughly half of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
Opt for sweet potato next time your making mash, roasting vegetables, or making homemade fries – you can also incorporate it into your soups.
Ginger is available all year round and is regularly used in Asian dishes to a add flavour. The zesty spice contains a very potent anti-inflammatory compound called gingerols, which scientist claim reduces inflammation and pain levels of people with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis who frequently consume the spice.
While ginger is best enjoyed in stir-fry’s, you can also add it to a green juice or smoothie for an extra kick.
Packed full of omega-3, walnuts boast various health benefits. Research also indicates that foods high in omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and can help to lower the risk of heart disease and arthritis.
According to the Heart Foundation, foods such as oily fish, dark leafy green vegetables, flaxseeds and eggs are among some of the other foods high in omega-3.
Image via Shutterstock
While food poisoning is something that we have all experienced at one point in our lives, there are a few home remedies that could help to ease those common symptoms. Try these natural foods, which will help to nurse your body back to good health and flush those toxins out of your system.
Apple cider vinegar
Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into one cup of water and drink on an empty stomach. It will help to ease any abdominal pain and will also assist in flushing out those bad toxins.
Just one tablespoon of ginger mixed into your tea or water helps to decrease the effects of heartburn, nausea, and intense abdominal strain.
If you can manage to keep anything down, have a few tablespoons of unsweetened, full-fat yoghurt. It has natural antibacterial properties which help to fight active bacteria and decrease your discomfort.
Add a few drops of lemon juice into cold water and drink 2-3 times a day. The lemon also acts as an antibacterial property and gently cleanses out the entire system.
Another antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral vegetable which helps to decrease symptoms of nausea and even diarrhoea. Simply boil some white rice and chop half a clove of garlic into the mixture before serving.
Basil will help to soothe an upset stomach and boasts many antibacterial properties. Use 1-2 leaves in your cold water and drink slowly throughout the day.
Any type of herbal tea, including chamomile and peppermint, is best ingested during the early signs of food poisoning. Enjoy a cup of tea before bed to soothe the stomach and to curb any tightness in the abdominal area.
Image via Quick Healthy Tips
Who knew that there are so many benefits of a scalp massage? They help to relieve tension, de-stress the entire body, reduce shedding, increase energy levels, and even stimulate the follicle making your hair grow faster.
To do this yourself at home, all you need are a few basic techniques and some essential oils.
1. Take 1 tablespoon of coconut or essential oil and smooth it between your hands. This will make it much easier to manoeuvre around your hair, and is super relaxing.
2. Start by running your fingers from the top of your scalp to the very back, since it helps to wake up the hair follicles. Avoid using your nails (possibly trim or file them beforehand), since they can damage your scalp.
The aim is to distribute the oil all over your hair, so don’t forget to work from back to front as well.
3. Use a zig zag motion (locking in your fingers into each other), and work from the middle section of your scalp, all the way to the back of your neck. Not only does it feel very relaxing, but it helps to detoxifying your entire scalp.
4. Concentrate on massaging the back of your head, and you might want to flip your hair over. Rotate your fingers and use an outwards motion to penetrate the hair follicle. If you feel like it’s actually giving you a headache, then ease-up and relax your hands – they’re probably too rough!
5. Apply some pressure with your fingers to the main points of your scalp by pushing down gently. Stimulate blood flow by rotating your fingers in a circular motion.
Image via Zunair Sulman
Do ever feel that your hormones are getting the best of you? Sometimes that time of the month can send your entire body into overdrive, with skincare problems, hair loss, and even bloating which is uncomfortable to say the least.
Although there are a few ways to balance your hormones without resorting to medication such as the pill. Below are a just a few ways to settle down your body, before it has you feeling completely out of control.
Avoid omega-6 fats
Many vegetable oils and margarine spreads can cause your body more harm that good, especially if you’re already suffering from health issues. Whenever you can, try to avoid these polyunsaturated fats which are hazardous to your health if consumed for a prolonged period of time. Substitute them instead with coconut oil, olive oil and lots of healthy omega-3 fish such as salmon.
This ancient practice is designed to settle both the body and mind, which can keep you calm and centred through whatever you may be experiencing. Reserve just a few minutes a day and practice some traditional poses through the use of YouTube videos, which are effective and easy to follow.
If you do want to commit to a consistent yoga routine, seek a qualified practitioner who can teach you step-by-step.
Did you know that coconuts are good for almost any health issue? Fresh coconut meat is great for taming any unruly sex hormones such as DHEA which actually helps to fight against anti-ageing. Enjoy coconut in a smoothie, raw, or even in your favourite stir-fry.
Cut out white grains
By eliminating refined carbohydrates, the human body actually runs a lot more smoother and can really balance out your bad hormones. Substitute white flour, pasta, and other snack foods which whole grains, or even quit wheat completely and see how your body reacts to this change.
Omega-3 fatty acids
One of the easiest (and painless) ways to balance your hormones is by eating more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Salmon, avocado, chia seeds, and walnuts are all fantastic since they are packed with alpha-linolenic acid which cannot be produced within the human body, and needs to be derived externally.
Have you ever heard of leptin before? This hormone is directly associated to hunger and metabolism which can be compromised by eating too much sugar and fatty foods. The best way to bring your leptin back to good health is by eating whole grains, getting a good nights sleep, and significantly cutting down on sugar.
Image via Beyoga and Wellness
So it all begins with those mild tingly sensations in the throat. By the time you realise something is probably wrong in there, you have already been attacked by cold and flu.
You are already sneezing or coughing, have teary eyes and you are probably [helplessly] trying to gulp without any discomfort. No, please don’t look at those antibiotics in the kitchen cupboard. They shouldn’t have been there in the very first place.
Antibiotics come with their side-affects that can include diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, thrush and allergic reactions. The loss to the person’s immune system is irreparable. Cold and flus are viral and we know that antibiotics have no effect on a virus (those who didn’t know this, do now).
So what’s the way out? Natural remedies, for sure.
People have been using natural medicine over thousands of years. Having first emerged in India as Ayurveda (ayur meaning life and veda meaning knowledge) around, as some believe 3,000 years ago, it was translated into Chinese by 400 AD. The best way to go is the natural way, and the best part about it is that it is harmless and has no recorded side-affects.
Here’s my grandma’s five [miraculous] ways to beat the cold and shoo the flu.
- The vitamin dose. Contrary to what most people think about lemon and other citric fruit being bad for cough and flu, it turns out that vitamin-C actually helps in soothing sore throat. Combine a few drops of lemon juice and a tablespoon of honey and mix it in a glass of warm water. If you don’t like warm, mix the honey and lemon while the water is warm and drink it when it’s at room temperature.
- The ginger affect. Ginger is known for its decongestant qualities. It helps stimulate slow digestion and improves the taste buds too, that are worst affected in cold and flu. Boil a few slices of fresh ginger in water. You can add a cardamom seed and a few mint leaves for aroma and taste. Pour the ginger tea over a slice of lemon, already resting in the cup. Don’t like lemon, skip this part.
- When we say ginger, how can we forget its friend garlic? Garlic contains antiseptic properties. Use as much garlic in your food during cold and flu.
- This one’s my personal favourite. Chew five whole black peppercorns. Don’t swallow, I said chew. Wait for around 10 seconds before you lick a generously scooped one tablespoon of honey. Wait for another 10 seconds and drink a cup of warm water. Try to take it sip by sip for the dripping-effect. This works like magic. My grandma has cured blocked, painful throats with this in five minutes. Repeat once or twice a day depending on how bad your sore throat is.
- Mix half a tablespoon each of ginger with black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and turmeric (all spices ground). Add three teaspoons of raw sugar into it to form the base mixture. Now take half teaspoon of this mixture and mix with either honey or warm water. Take this twice a day for relief within two days.
Image via womansworld.in
By Ayesha Hasan
A parent can often feel helpless when a child is suffering from a fever, and seeing the pain they’re in only makes the entire ordeal more difficult to overcome. It is best to stay calm, and offer your kids lots cuddles to make them feel secure. Make sure to monitor the fever over the next few hours and take your child’s temperature at regular intervals. Here are just a few tips on how to relieve your child’s fever.
Whether you’re using an electric or glass thermometer, make sure to use them in the correct way. Electric thermometer’s usually work faster and are more precise. They don’t require you to keep the thermometer under a child’s arm for a long period of time (usually five minutes) to gain an accurate result. If you are using a glass thermometer, remember to shake it down each time you use it.
If ever your child’s temperature seems to be sky-rocketing, run a cool bath since this helps to temporarily bring down the fever. Remove the child if they start feeling cold or have goosebumps, this could mean the temperature is rising again. Sponge bath’s are also effective if you don’t have the time to draw a regular bath, or even simply a cold rag on the forehead will do the trick.
Offer your child plenty of drinks and cold foods to help bring the fever down. If you can feel them burning up, yoghurt is recommended to cool the body from the inside out. Although if your child is also suffering from a sore throat, water and fruit juices are ideal to keep the throat from getting dry and causing your child any additional pain.
You can imagine that suffering from a fever isn’t the best time to play outside or even go to school. Keep your child indoors so you can easily monitor their progress throughout the day and night. If the room is feeling stuffy, use a fan or open a window to bring in fresh air without making them even more sick.
A child’s normal body temperature can vary between 36.6°C and 37.6°C, so try to monitor their temperature every half an hour to see any big changes. Chills are also important to look out for since this could mean that the fever is increasing, so always keep a thermometer and a change of clothes at hand. If your child’s fever is increasing over a couple of days, be sure to visit your local doctor.
Image via A Nation of Moms
By Felicia Sapountzis