Monthly Archives: March 2009

Heal your sore throat naturally


According to health911.com, sore throats are an acute inflammation of the mucous membrane of the lower pharynx. Tonsils and the soft palate may also be inflamed. The main indication of a sore throat is pain when swallowing and sometimes a burning sensation and a tightness in the throat. Secretions may be discharged from the mucous membrane or the throat may be very dry.

Causes

Catching a cold is the most prevalent cause for sore throats, but they may also be the manifestation of other diseases.
Breathing through the mouth, allergies and/or pollen in the air are other possibilities.

Remedies

Folk

Aloe vera juice Gargle with aloe vera juice two times daily.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) According to Dr. Jarvis in his classic Folk Medicine, the remedy to use to get rid of a sore throat is to gargle with ACV. The acidity should kill the bacteria on contact. Mix one teaspoon to 2 tablespoons in a glass of water. You can mix it as strong as you can stand it. Gargle one mouthful every hour, swallowing afterward. Repeat twice each time. This treatment can cure a streptococcic sore throat in 24 hours. The acid in the ACV is very helpful in soothing and minimizing the sore throat, and, if you swallow it, the extra potassium is also beneficial. Note: After using this remedy be sure to rinse your mouth with water to prevent the acid from eroding the enamel on your teeth.
  • Combine one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, one teaspoon of cayenne pepper and three tablespoons of clover honey in a glass of warm water. Gargle as often as necessary.
Betony is a useful astringent which reduces inflammation. Make a tea and use as a gargle.
Cayenne pepper Add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to 1 cup of boiling water; stir well and gargle while mixture is very warm. This brings more circulation to the area and helps draw away the infection. To this formula you can add 4 parts echinacea, 1 part garlic bulb, and 2 parts peppermint leaves to 1 part cayenne.
  • Or another remedy is to add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to 1 cup of boiling water; stir well and sip slowly.
Chamomile tea Make a tea adding 1 or 2 teaspoons of dried chamomile blossoms to a pint of boiling water; steep and drink a cup every few hours.
Chlorophyll Use ½ teaspoon to ½ cup of water and gargle three times a day.
Echinacea/goldenseal Add 30 drops of echinacea/goldenseal combination to one cup of warm water; drink every two hours.
Ginger Peel the skin from a small ginger root. Slice the root into thin coins and place the pieces into a small pot of water. Boil the pieces to make tea. The tea should turn a yellowish (straw) or tan color. Add three tablespoons of your favorite honey to sweeten the tea. Sip the hot tea slowly. The tea gives a sharp tingle to the throat after swallowing it. After you sip it, gently clear your throat.This tea also works for trying to get your voice back after a cold. This remedy compliments of Cathy Ekaitis.
Goldenseal Boil a pint of water and add ½ teaspoon of powdered goldenseal root. Drink hot. Goldenseal is well known for its antibiotic properties.
Grapefruit seed extract This extract is a powerful all-around antimicrobial product and is an excellent disinfectant and antiseptic. Add five drops to a glass of water for a soothing gargle.
Honey/apple cider vinegar Mix ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar and ¼ cup of honey. Take one tablespoon every four hours or as needed for pain relief.
Honey/lemon juice Take several tablespoons of this mixture several times a day. Let it sit in your throat a little while. This remedy will also help alleviate that irritating throat “tickle.”
Hyssop Steep two teaspoons of dried hyssop in one cup of boiling water, covered for ten minutes; strain and drink cool for an expectorant or hot to relieve coughs, congestion, and sore throat. The oils in hyssop are good for mild respiratory problems. Hyssop contains marrubiin, the same compound that makes horehound an excellent expectorant.
Lemon Add the juice of one lemon and one teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water. Gargle three times a day for one minute.
Licorice Either suck licorice candy or drink licorice tea made by steeping one teaspoon of licorice root in a cup of hot water for three minutes. Drinking the tea will help clear mucus.
Marshmallow root bark Make a tea by putting one or two teaspoons in a cup of hot water. Drink several cups a day or as needed. This tea will coat the throat and relieve soreness and coughs.
Mustard Grind one tablespoon of mustard seed and combine with the juice of half a lemon, one tablespoon of salt, one tablespoon of clear honey, and 1 1/4 cups of boiling water. Leave this mixture, covered, for 15 minutes and use as a gargle.
Myrrh It can be made into a tea. To make the tea add 2 sprigs of coarsely chopped parsley, 3 whole spice cloves, 1 teaspoon of powdered myrrh, and 1/4 teaspoon powdered goldenseal to 1 pint of boiling water. Steep. Stir occasionally while cooling, then strain and use as a gargle or mouthwash.
Pomegranate Boil some pomegranate rinds and drink as a tea. The pomegranate contains astringents.
Slippery elm bark Make a tea by putting one or two teaspoons in a cup of hot water. Drink several cups a day or as needed. This tea will coat the throat and relieve soreness and coughs. Slippery elm lozenges may also be used and are much more convenient if you are going to be away from home.
Thyme Make a tea by lightly crushing five fresh or dried leaves; place in a cup and fill with water cooled to just below boiling; cover and leave to infuse for five minutes; remove leaves and drink. May also be used as a gargle. Thyme has antiseptic properties.
Water/salt Mix a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of quite warm water. Gargle the whole mixture several times a day. This will increase the blood supply to the area by washing away mucus and dilating capillaries, thereby enabling better circulation of infection-fighting antibodies.

Lose an hour, gain… A LOT!

Just in case you forgot… it’s here. It’s time. It’s super dynamic daylight savings time! You know that little phrase Spring forward Fall back; well, at 2am this evening (tomorrow morning- I know) your atomic clock will jump ahead an hour which means we’re losing an hour of that all too precious commodity – sleep.  


So what’s the trade off? Well for starters we are losing an hour of sleep but gaining an hour of daylight. Yes!!!! Summer is on it’s way baby! More daylight means more people will be driving home while it’s still light out which means LESS accidents. More daylight means more visibility which means LESS crime will be taking place. More daylight means more time to go for a neighborhood jog which means LESS calories will be stored as fat on your body. More daylight means LESS use of electricity, which means LESS bad stuff is happening to the earth (ok don’t get me started on how more daylight might actually mean more driving which means more less good things are happening to the earth) Let’s try to stay positive shall we? ::wink wink::  

Sacrifice and Gain Daylight savings time. What a wonderful time to reflect upon sacrifice and gain. How easy it is to focus on what we are losing. How easy it is to blame the loss of an hour for missed meetings, missed calls, missed appointments… missed opportunities. But you and I both know leaders don’t take the easy way out. Leaders lead. Leaders take one for the team. Leaders suck it up. Leaders adapt.  

Adapt, Adopt, Adhere Whether it’s sacrificing an hour of your sleep to gain a few more hours of sunshine or sacrificing 500 calories a day to gain a leaner physique – we must adapt. Adapt to your circumstances. To be successful we must also adopt. Adopt a positive attitude of gratitude. Have you ever heard that saying, “I’m too blessed to be stressed,” well, it’s true. When you count your blessings instead of your stressors something physiological happens in your body. A shift occurs that will push you forward. It’s hard to stay positive when you feel oppressed by fate, debt, weight, chance, pressure, etc. but adopting an attitude of gratitude works. People don’t heal themselves of cancer by thinking about how much their life sucks. They adopt a positive attitude. They can’t afford the luxury of a negative thought. They adhere to a game plan. When you start to think of how much you are missing that hour of sleep in the coming weeks, remember to adapt, adopt, and adhere. Whether it’s monthly budget you need to stick to, tracking your calories in a journal, or writing down your leadership goals for the coming months- adhere to your plan. Adapt to your circumstances. Adopt a positive attitude.  

Lose an hour and gain…. A LOT It’s easy to see how losing an hour of sleep is a hassle and a pain in the neck. But losing an hour of sleep means you gain more time to spend awake with the ones you love. It means you gain more time to play, to dream, to create, and to work on your goals. It means you gain more productive time in the day to live, to learn, to lead. Lead in that extra hour of daylight you are gaining… as my hardworking Grampa G. used to say, “You can sleep when you’re dead.”

Women’s History Month

It’s March and that means its Women’s History Month! In this month we reflect upon the great women of our past and present and hope to inspire those emerging female leaders who are among us in our families and neighborhoods. 

Yes this is a blog post about Women’s History, but that doesn’t mean that I feel obliged to comment on the top ten, twenty, 100 list of spectacular women who have made history and have changed history. If you want a list like that, well- that’s why Al Gore “invented the internet.” Google it. What women’s history month means to me is this: One person can make a difference. One person does make a difference. 
Whether you want to start an organization within your university, or fight to end homelessness within your city, or invent an innovative way to do something, or stand up for yourself against an oppressing force… YOU CAN DO IT! 
Yes, “We’ve come a long way baby,” but there is sill a long way to go with regards to gender equality. The women whom we have come to know as the history changers are proof of this. Each and every one of them has demonstrated to us that women have, and will, continue to do great things! 
The greatest of women leaders have sprung forth from the farthest reaching locations across our globe at assorted times in history. Each of them embraced, struggled against, and endured through dissimilar circumstances while triumphantly pursuing their cause; and in so doing, have aroused and empowered generations of other women to do the same. But dissimilar and assorted as they were, all of these women had one thing in common. They were true to themselves. 

“This above all: to thine ownself be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” -Shakespeare’s Hamlet 
Remember the story, the Emperor’s New Clothes? It was a parable about a vain monarch whose only concern in life was to wear the best garments constructed by the most popular designers. He hired two rascals posing as tailors who then made him clothes using “invisible magic fabric.” When the royal leader parades down the street in all of his stark-naked glory, nobody can see his clothes… because there aren’t any
But the townspeople didn’t want to look “stupid” and didn’t want to embarrass the emperor or themselves, so they all pretended they could see his fabulous new wardrobe. Finally a young girl, who wasn’t concerned about fitting in with the crowd, cried out, “But the emperor has no clothes!” At times we too have pretend to go against our own beliefs to avoid being labeled as a weirdo, a freak, a prude… or the biggey- ::whispers:: a bitch
When we do this, we find ourselves following along instinctively with the crowd, not noticing that what we are saying and doing is in fact stupid, or wrong, or disingenuous to our beliefs. To our values. To our self. 
The townspeople in the Emperor’s New Clothes were afraid to go against the crowd, afraid to buck the system; but by pretending to see clothes that weren’t even there, they only robbed themselves of true power. The majority is not always right. Rosa Parks would tell you that. Susan B. Anthony would tell you that. Joan of Arc would tell you that. Erin Brockovich will tell you that. 
What did all of these women who changed history have in common? What can we learn from these magnificent creatures? They were true to themselves. They stayed true to SELF. 
True to self in the face of danger. 
True to self in the face of ostracism. 
True to self in the face of exile. 
True to self in the face of obscurity. 
True to self even in the face of DEATH. 
Each of these women was true to HERSELF. Are you the next woman to make history? To change history? Be courageous today and follow your heart! Let yourself be guided by what you know to be deep and true.