Health trends and fad diets hawked by fitness gurus offer you endless ways to get fitter and be better than you were yesterday, but how much of their advice will actually “stick” and become multi-generational wisdom?

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Neti Pot for Allergies:

A neti pot is a traditional remedy used to cleanse the sinus passages of mucus, dust and irritants, in much the same way that we bathe our bodies.  However, natural health enthusiasts have kept the tradition alive to aid with seasonal allergies and most drug stores and pharmacies have them in stock.

A warm saline solution is prepared in the neti pot using distilled water. The spout is placed against each nostril, and with your head slightly tilted, the water is poured into each nostril while breathing through your mouth.

The water flows out the opposite nostril, carrying debris and pollen that lodge in your sinus cavities and cause irritation. The warm water soothes and relaxes the delicate sinus tissues and breathing can return to normal. Like bathing, neti pots must be used regularly to adjust to the routine and keep pollens at bay during allergy season. Some important neti pot tips:

  • Use distilled water only
  • Warm the water to 98.6 degrees F
  • Use saline packets or make your own using 16 ounces of distilled water to 1 teaspoon mineral (not iodized) salt

Turmeric for Joint Pain:

One of the most therapeutic substances on Earth is a flowering plant known as curcuma longa. You may not recognize the plant’s name, but its use is unmistakable — a bright orange culinary spice that is a key ingredient in many popular Asian dishes. Turmeric, the exotic spice produced by grinding the curcuma longa plant’s roots into a fine powder, has been studied in thousands of scientific trials, not for the enticing flavor, but for the herb’s near-limitless healing properties.

For millennia, scientists and herbalists have been exploring the therapeutic properties in this magical herb. Widely used by athletes and active adults, turmeric and its isolated active ingredient, curcumin, have been shown to reduce joint pain and inflammation in ways that outperform many modern drugs.

In fact, a 2012 study showed that curcumin outperformed diclofenac, a standard arthritis treatment, and ibuprofen on arthritis pain and quality-of-life indicators with no negative side effects.

Like most herbs, consistent supplementation is key to effectiveness. That’s not hard to do with turmeric. You can add it to your diet in delicious curries and exotic dishes or take it in supplement form. Golden milk tea, also called the turmeric latte, is another delicious way to benefit from the anti-inflammatory properties — and delicious taste — of this priceless plant.

Hydrotherapy for Muscle Strain:

Spa bathing has been used to soothe the body and spirit for thousands of years. Ancient Romans used intricate plumbing systems to pipe and heat the healing mineral waters of places like Bath, England, so they could physically rejuvenate and relax from the stressors of life.

Whether it’s occasional body pain from strain or overwork, or a chronic condition such as back pain or fibromyalgia, soaking, steaming and showering can be the remedy to set you on your feet again. The best part? You don’t need to travel to a health spa to enjoy the benefits of hydrotherapy. Turn your bathroom into a healing oasis with three simple things: hot water, cold water and magnesium chloride, also known as Epsom salts.

The next time you’re feeling strained, draw a warm bath and add at least 2 cups of Epsom salts. Thermal mineral water contains important minerals, including calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium, and a 20-minute soak soothes inflammatory pathways that are linked to pain response. A 2019 study found that daily mineral soaks provided clear therapeutic benefit for several musculoskeletal diseases.

For an extra therapeutic boost, try finishing off your hot bath with a cold shower. It may seem like an abrupt way to finish, but just two minutes under a cold stream of water increases blood flow and lymphatic circulation and boosts your immunity, among other health benefits.

Ice Packs for Swelling:

Some minor injuries, such as a pulled muscle or a mild impact that causes swelling, can be effectively treated at home by applying an ice pack to the affected area. But how do you know if your injury should be treated by soaking in a hot bath or applying a cold pack?

Cold and heat are the most commonly applied at-home pain remedies. Heat therapies, such as a thermal mineral bath, are for relaxing stiff, aching muscles and increasing blood flow to the area. Ice is generally used for recent acute injuries where swelling is present. Ice packs can help reduce swelling and pain from twisted ankles and strained elbows and slow any bleeding into the tissues that causes bruising.

The key to this remedy’s effectiveness lies in elevating and resting the swollen area and applying the ice pack right away. Do not place ice directly on the skin; use a towel or cloth as a barrier. You can use a bag of frozen vegetables or place ice into a tea towel, just watch the area for signs of ice burn (when the skin turns pink) and do not ice for more than 30 minutes at a time.

Black Seed for Stomachache:

You may already know about the therapeutic properties of black seed, aka nigella sativa. A traditional remedy that is said to cure “everything but death,” black seed is taken as a dietary supplement by natural health advocates the world-over. One of the ailments that black seed has proven useful for is gastritis, or inflammation of the stomach lining, a problem that affects everyone on occasion.

The use of oral medications, consuming too much alcohol or rich food, or simply experiencing a stress-filled day wherein proper nutrition is neglected can all ignite a bout of gastritis or upset stomach, symptoms of which include stomach pain, cramps, nausea and sometimes vomiting. Another common trigger for gastritis is Helicobacter pylori, also known as H. pylori, a bacterium found in half the world’s population that can lead to the development of stomach ulcers if left untreated.

To combat gastritis and calm inflamed stomach tissues, research has shown that a spoonful of ground black seed and honey paste, taken three times a day after meals, can significantly reduce symptoms and even eradicate the presence of H. pylori bacteria.

Pomegranate Juice for Fatigue:

Pomegranate may be without equal when it comes to healthy foods. Eating the fruiting ovary of the pomegranate bush is so beneficial, it just might save your life. And on those low-energy days, a shot of pomegranate juice may also save your to-do list.

For a quick pick-me-up, 4 to 6 ounces of pomegranate juice is a great way to ward off fatigue by supplying vital nutrients, a mega-dose of antioxidants and helping maintain stable blood sugar levels. Pomegranate juice has demonstrated in multiple trials to contribute to blood sugar homeostasis, making it useful in managing energy throughout the day.

Pomegranate juice can help regulate blood pressure, another factor that can contribute to fatigue. Pomegranate’s remarkable astringency can be felt in your mouth after eating the fruit or drinking its juice, and it may be key to pomegranate’s energizing superpowers.

When blood flow is impeded to the heart, energy levels dip, such as in cases of atherosclerosis, when arterial plaque builds up in the arteries. In a three-year trial of patients with atherosclerosis who supplemented their diet with pomegranate juice, artery-clogging plaque was reduced by up to 30%, effectively reversing the disease process by up to 39% within one year.

Additional benefits included a 130% increase in patients’ antioxidant status. So, raise a glass of pomegranate juice and drink to your health and high energy.

Healthy Habits for Under-Eye Circles:

Dark circles under your eyes can be the result of many causes, including genetics, dietary deficiencies, stress, sleep deprivation and smoking, among other factors. No single remedy will work for everyone; however, you can take a multi-pronged approach to reduce dark circles and restore a fresh-faced appearance.

Make sure you are well hydrated by consuming around 2 liters of purified water each day. Next, eliminate nutrient deficiencies by eating a diverse diet of whole, organic foods. Sleep is crucial to reducing dark circles, so do your best to get a full seven to nine hours of sleep each night, preferably in a cool room with fresh, circulating air.

If you’re currently using cigarettes, consider a smoking cessation program. Radiation exposure from cigarettes is 36 times worse for your health than working at a nuclear reactor,so you can bet it contributes to dark under-eye circles.

Finally, sunlight deficiency may be as deadly as smoking,so be sure to get at least 15 minutes of unfiltered sunlight through your irises daily to boost important vitamin D levels.

While some stress is unavoidable, don’t let life’s pressures deter you from adhering to these basic healthy habits. By prioritizing self-care, you will remain stronger, healthier and more capable of managing life’s stressors in a balanced way.

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