Health Tips

Sip Oolong Tea

Research suggests that people with mild eczema who drink oolong tea three times a day may show improvement in itching and other symptoms. Compounds in the tea called polyphenols appear to be responsible.

Rub Your Temples

Tame tension headaches by rubbing peppermint oil, Tiger Balm, or white flower oil into your temples. All three remedies contain menthol, which has analgesic properties.

Enjoy Ginger

The volatile oils in ginger have long made it a useful herbal remedy for nasal and chest congestion. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over a 1-inch piece of peeled, grated ginger; steep for 10 minutes; and strain. Add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper to the water and drink as needed.

Get a Good Pair of Sneakers

Is your energy lagging? Though it may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re tired, exercise — even a brisk walk — can be more effective than a nap or cup of coffee at fighting fatigue.

Go Fish

If you suffer from dry eyes, up your seafood intake. Salmon, sardines, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which the body uses to produce tears, among other things. Research suggests that people who consume higher amounts of these fats are less likely to have dry eyes.

Pop a Probiotic

To keep yeast infections at bay, head for the vitamin aisle. Supplementing with “good” bacteria (for example, Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium) may help restore the balance the of bacteria living in the female genital tract and inhibit the growth of yeast in women with recurrent infections. Foods such as naturally fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir, as well as yogurt with active cultures, also contain these bacteria.

Eat Bananas

People whose diets are rich in potassium may be less prone to high blood pressure. Besides reducing sodium and taking other heart-healthy steps, eat potassium-packed picks such as bananas, cantaloupe, and oranges. Go for Garlic
Adding raw or lightly cooked garlic and onions to your meals may help keep you healthy this winter. Both foods appear to possess antiviral and antibacterial properties and are believed to boost immunity.

Try Tea Tree Oil

For athlete’s foot, reach for tea tree oil, an extract of the leaves of an Australian tree. It appears to
have antiseptic properties and may work as well as or better than over-the-counter antifungal products. Apply a light coating of the oil to affected areas two to three times a day; continue for a week or two after symptoms disappear.

Take Tulsi

Research suggests that this Ayurvedic herb, also called holy basil, may help manage levels of the stress hormone cortisol, helping to boost your mood. Look for teas and supplements in health-food stores and follow package directions.

Eat Avocados

For dry skin, incorporate more avocados into your diet. They’re rich in monounsaturated fat and vitamin E, both of which promote healthy skin. Try them on salads and sandwiches, and even in smoothies.

Try Triphala

Avoid constipation and stay regular with Triphala, an Ayurvedic blend of three fruits that is believed to help tone the gastrointestinal tract. Look for capsules of Triphala and follow package directions.

Make Small Talk

Engaging in casual conversation with others may help keep you as sharp as doing a word puzzle, according to some studies. Just 10 minutes of daily chatter appears to improve mental function and preserve memory.

Befriend a Bottle

For heel and arch pain, try stretching your foot by rolling it over a rolling pin or a bottle.

Arm Yourself with Arnica

Homeopathic creams, gels, and ointments that contain arnica, a flower similar to the daisy, have long been used to relieve swelling and bruising. Rub into the affected area, but stop using if you develop skin irritation.

Eat Japanese Food

In addition to following good dental hygiene, you can help prevent cavities by adding more shiitake mushrooms and wasabi to your diet. Both foods contain compounds that help fight the bacteria that cause plaque and cavities.

Hydrate

To treat an acute migraine, drink a full glass of water — dehydration can trigger headaches. Even if you need to take a medication for the pain, try wrapping your head with an Ace bandage so that it covers your eyes, then lie down and breathe deeply. This often helps the pain pass more quickly.

Try Acupressure

Calm a queasy stomach with this quick acupressure trick: Use your index and middle fingers to press down on the groove between the tendons that run from the base of your palm to your wrist. Wristbands that apply pressure to this spot are available at drugstores and online.

Watch Your Carbs

Trying to reduce belly fat? Pay attention to your carbohydrate intake and avoid artificial sweeteners. Sugary snacks and other refined carbs spike blood sugar and cause pounds to settle in your midsection. Choose whole grains, beans, and vegetables instead.

Call a Friend

Keeping your social networks alive and well may help benefit your ticker over the long term. Social support has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, and people who do have heart attacks fare better if they are socially connected.

Drink Cranberry Juice

Cranberries contain a substance that appears to keep bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract and has been shown to help prevent UTIs. Because cranberry cocktail is high in sugar, drink unsweetened juice diluted with water or take capsules of powdered cranberry extract.

Swab Your Soles

Are you tired of having stinky feet? Kill odor-causing bacteria quickly by soaking a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and wiping your soles as needed.

Drink Mint Tea

Ease occasional indigestion by sipping a cup of peppermint tea after your meal. Peppermint improves the flow of bile, which moves food through the digestive tract more quickly. Use peppermint with caution if you have acid reflux; it can make that problem worse.

Get Your Daily D

Get your vitamin D level checked with a simple blood test. D is at least as important as calcium for strong bones, and most Americans don’t get enough. Get a minimum of 1,000 IU a day through supplements and food.

Try a Tongue Scraper

To combat bad breath, consider investing in this inexpensive plastic or metal device to remove bacteria from the back of your tongue. Some studies suggest that adding tongue scraping to your regimen may be slightly more effective at eliminating breath odor than just brushing your teeth.

Wash Up

To fend off colds, washing your hands well and often is the best step you can take. Use plain soap and water and scrub for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday to You” twice.

Chew Some Fennel Seeds

Fennel seeds are considered a carminative, a substance that helps relieve gas. Chew and then swallow about half a teaspoon of the seeds after meals.

Have Some Honey

Research suggests that honey may be more effective than over-the-counter cough syrup at quelling nighttime coughing. Use a medicinal-grade variety such as manuka honey and take up to 2 teaspoonfuls at bedtime.

Eat Broccoli

For healthy gums, put this green vegetable on your grocery list. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C and provides calcium as well, both of which have been linked to lower rates of periodontal disease.

Bone Up on Calcium

Studies have found that supplementing with 500 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium daily may ease premenstrual symptoms. Other research suggests that getting calcium from foods (low-fat dairy, whole grains, cruciferous vegetables, spinach, and beans) may also ease PMS.

Drink Green Tea

Hot or iced, green tea can help rev up your workout. Its catechins, antioxidants, and caffeine help increase the metabolic generation of heat. Drink a cup about 10 minutes before exercising.

Chest Pain

There are many possible causes for chest pain. Some are mildly inconvenient such as heartburn, reflux, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease ) while others are a lot more serious.Lack of exercise or obesity can lead to chest pain when you exert your body too much. But if you are generally fit and yet experience discomfort in the chest even after a little exertion, that’s when you need to worry. Of course, not all pains in the chest or arm are pointers to heart attacks, but it makes a lot of sense to consult a doctor to rule out heart attack if you have pain in the chest, arm or jaw. If you often feel tired or breathless even after walking for a short distance, do consult a doctor. Generally, discomfort associated with heart diseases affects the upper chest, left side of the chest, throat, jaw, left shoulder or arm, and might be accompanied by nausea and sweating. If you are a diabetic, there is an urgent need to be cautious. Diabetics are known to suffer from heart attacks without the classical symptoms mentioned above.

Mild, Frequent Headache

Headache is an often neglected problem. Most of us tend to take simple pain killers for headache and then forget about it. However, if the pattern of headache has changed considerably or the headache is new, then it needs to be evaluated. Headache which follows a fall or an injury (even momentary loss of consciousness), needs to be investigated. Constant headache that grossly disturbs your daily routine should not be ignored. Severe headache is generally associated with nausea and vomiting. Pins and needles sensation (tingling, numbness) along with some weakness in hands or fingers, herald the sign of an impending stroke and should be promptly evaluated. If the headache is accompanied by a cold, it might be a sign of a sinus headache.

Back Ache

It is probably the commonest and the most ignored of the lot. Most of the time, backache is a consequence of faulty sitting position. It usually resolves on its own. Common pain killers may make you feel fit and fine, but if the pain persists despite routine medication or disturbs your lifestyle, you need to be careful. Pain experienced while climbing up or down or passing blood in urine, are early signs of kidney stones. Repeated back pain may be a sign of a spine problem, problems with internal organs or a preliminary sign of slip disc. Similarly, if you feel a tingling sensation or numbness or a needle like sensation in your legs, accompanied by muscle weakness, don’t delay in going to an orthopaedician or back specialist. These symptoms, if treated on time, give much better results than when treated later.

Upper Neck Pain

We often ignore the slight tingling in fingers or muscle weakness. But when the pain becomes too much to bear, cervical spondylosis sets in. The early signs are ominous enough. You might be doing some regular activity, say making tea, when suddenly you feel weak and unable to hold the cup. By and by, the pain increases and you feel weakness in your hands accompanied by some pain in the neck.

Abdominal Pain

This is commonly felt among women during their menstrual cycle. Most people simply take a painkiller or anti-spasmodic tablets to quell the cramps, but in the long run, the habit can cause harm to the kidneys. It is best to consult a gynaecologist if the pain is persistent and take longterm medication than go for short cuts. Apart from this, pain in the abdomen can range from serious ailments such as acute appendicitis or less threatening conditions such as heartburn, reflux, gastroenteritis etc. Severe abdominal pain may also be a sign of intestinal blockages, stomach ulcers or pancreas and gall bladder problems.

Don’t sit cross-legged all the time

According to a study, sitting with legs crossed can increase blood pressure. Leg crossing, reportedly,
increased systolic blood pressure nearly 7% and diastolic by 2%. One should ideally avoid sitting cross-
legged (crossing the legs at the knee) for longer than quarter of an hour. Orthopedic surgeon Dr Phadke
says, “Do not keep sitting at one place for too long. After every 45 minutes take a little walk.”

Always stand with your knees bent a little

Avoid standing with your knees locked because it leads to increased pressure and stress on your joints.
Make sure your knees are relaxed and slightly bent. You should use the muscles that are surrounding your joints — if your knees are locked these muscles are not used and the joints have to bear the weight.

Do not sleep on your stomach all the time

If you thought that sleeping on your stomach will make your paunch go away, you are wrong. If you do not sleep on your back then the neck remains in an unnatural position and that may hamper circulation. Change your position when you are lying down.

Avoid wearing very tight belts

You want to look slim and a tight belt that is cinched at your waist can give you an hourglass look. However, this can hamper your digestion. Dr Nupur Krishnan, nutritionist says, “Tight belts worn for a long time tighten the stomach and create pressure inside your abdomen. Digestion can not happen properly and it may lead to acidity. It is best to avoid wearing belts that are too tight.” Ideally, belts should only be that tight so that one should be able to sit comfortably, bend down and breathe normally with it tightened.

Avoid stretching as soon as you are awake

The discs at your back can be harmed if you stretch as soon as you are awake states Dr Upasini. As soon as you wake up, you should get up and move around, get into some activity like brushing, walking and then stretch your back he advises. Stretching as soon as you are awake can lead to severe backache and neck pain sometimes.

Do not chew gum all the time

Most of us mindlessly keep chewing gum all day. If it is a sweet one, it harms your teeth and the unsweetened ones can harm your jaw muscles.

Carry your bag differently every time

Most of us unknowingly put a lot of stress on our shoulders. Orthopedic surgeon Dr Tejas Upasini says, “Doing asymmetrical repetitive activities often result in muscular imbalances and pain. If you make a habit of carrying your handbag or purse only on your right shoulder, it becomes a pattern and there are muscle imbalances that may cause pain.” Carrying lighter bags is a wise decision and also, when carrying a bag one must make sure to change the shoulder or the hand often.”

Stop wearing super-tight jeans

Wearing very tight jeans and pants can lead to many health problems. If your jeans restrict your movements in any way then it is not the right one for you. At the end of the day if you feel that you are desperate to take it off and slip into something comfortable, then you should discard your tight jeans.

Keep a check on your posture

Believe it or not, the correct posture can, not just make you look slimmer and younger; it can also avoid aches and pains on your back, and shoulder. Slouching can, in the long run, really affect your shoulder and back. The right way to stand is to hold your head high, pull your stomach in and square your shoulders. Try this: Stand straight against a wall and keep your shoulders squared — the back of your head should be touching the wall, there should be space between you and the wall, at small of your back and your buttocks and heels should be touching the wall.

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