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10 Natural Remedies That You Most Likely Have in Your Kitchen

For many minor issues we face, a natural remedy is usually the best option. Sometimes we avoid natural options, thinking that they will be more expensive or more difficult to find than what we would pick up in the pharmaceutical aisle of the grocery store. That doesn’t have to be the case, however. Many natural remedies can be found in the items you may already have in your kitchen pantry. Here are 10 of them to get you started:

  1. Turmeric. Inflammation is a big source of many of our problems, often due to poor diet choices. Dealing with the inflammation is a must. Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits because of the curcumin in it. One caveat about turmeric is that it is not absorbed well by the body when taken by itself, however combining turmeric with other foods improves this. The piperine in black pepper increases the half-life of turmeric and also helps to improve the absorption of the curcumin. Since curcumin is fat soluble, taking turmeric with an oil will also increase its availability. Good oils to use are olive oil, coconut oil, butter, or ghee.
  2. Fermented Foods. Along with inflammation, gut issues are another big source of health problems. Getting enough good bacteria in our digestive system is the answer. We can increase the gut flora by supplementation, but we can repopulate the digestive tract much more quickly by eating foods high is good bacteria. Several beneficial foods include kimche, sauerkraut, miso, yogurt, and kombucha. By eating some each day and rotating the fermented foods that you eat, you will vary the strains of good bacteria for maximum benefit.
  3. Ginger. Ginger helps in many ways. It is an anti-inflammatory as well as an anti-oxidant. It can be consumed by chewing on a small piece of it, drinking it as a tea, or as an ingredient in foods in powdered form, fresh, as an oil, or as a juice. Ginger is most often used to boost the digestive system or to help with nausea. An easy way to use ginger for any nausea, whether from pregnancy, motion sickness, or other causes, is to grate about an inch of fresh ginger and boil it in a saucepan filled with clean water for 10-20 minutes, strain, then drink as a tea.
  4. Honey. This food, when consumed raw, contains anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties, making it useful for a wide array of ailments. You can take it both internally and topically. When taken internally, it is an immune system booster and is used to treat Helicobacter pylori bacterial infections. Honey is a great throat soother. Researchers conducted a study comparing the efficacy of the drug dextromethorphan (an over-the-counter cough suppressant) to honey. The result was that the honey was more effective in relieving coughs than the drug. You can use it topically on scrapes or burns to soothe the injured area as well as protect it from infection.
  5. Oats. Another staple that is helpful for skin irritations is oats. They have properties that soothe and soften the skin; they can also help dry skin by hydrating it and preventing itchiness. Oats can be used for exfoliation due to saponins, a natural cleanser. An excellent way to reap the benefits of oats is by bathing in them. Take a cup of oats and place them in muslin or cheesecloth, tie it up, and place it in your bathwater as you are bathing.
  6. Tart Cherry Juice. Tart cherries naturally contain a high amount of melatonin, which promotes sleep. In one study, participants drank 8 oz. of this juice in the morning and another in the evening 1-2 hours before sleep. The results found that participants extended their sleep by an average of 84 minutes. Not all cherries contain this high level of melatonin. The helpful cherries are called “sour” or “dwarf” or Montmorency.
  7. Apples/Apple Cider Vinegar. Both of these help to neutralize heartburn. Although scientists are still not positive of the reason, they are suggesting that the pectin in apples helps to reduce the pH in the esophagus. Often heartburn is caused by low acid in the stomach. This replaces that acid. Apple cider vinegar is also helpful with digestion because of its acidic nature. A beneficial practice is to put 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 8 oz. of water and drink it daily.
  8. Peppermint Tea. Peppermint contains properties that aid digestion. It can relieve gas and bloating as well as reduce symptoms of IBS and heartburn. The oil of peppermint can also be used. As a tea, peppermint is safe to use multiple times per day. It contains no caffeine. If you don’t have commercially bagged tea, you can simmer 5 dried peppermint leaves in a pot of water for 10 minutes.
  9. Black Tea. This tea contains tannic acids which are great at soothing burned skin after too much sun. To make a natural sunburn reliever, boil 3 bags of black tea in a pan full of water. Once the water reaches a boil, remove the pan from the heat and allow the tea to steep for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags and allow the tea to cool. Once it is cool, transfer the tea to a spray bottle and stick it in the refrigerator to chill. Keep it there to have it ready whenever you may need it. By keeping it cold, you will avoid adding any more heat to already “overheated” skin. This preparation will stain surroundings, however, so the best way to use it is to spray it on at the end of a shower without rinsing it off. If it can stay on overnight, all the better.
  10. Coffee Grounds. This one is more for pampering! The grounds can be used as a scrubbing agent to exfoliate the skin and to give a deep invigorating clean. (They can be used anywhere except the face.) Get a quart jar, keep adding grounds to it as you have them until the jar is half full. Then pour in a ¼ cup of olive oil and shake well. The oil hydrates your skin and locks in the moisture. Using this blend in a circular motion will reap the greatest benefit.

Serious issues need the help of a qualified medical professional, however relief from many of our everyday ailments can be found right in our kitchens—no need to reach for harmful drugs and introduce unnatural products into our system. Sometimes the answer is hiding right in our kitchens!

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Foods to Help Protect Ourselves from Viruses

In these days of our concern over COVID-19, we all want to do everything we can to protect ourselves and our families. But it is easy to feel out of control and helpless. One big thing that you can control is what you put into your mouth. Eating immune-boosting foods will increase your chances of avoiding any illness. No food will cure any virus or guarantee that you won’t get it, but having a strong immune system will lessen the likelihood of illness coming your way. Seventy percent of our immune system resides in our gut, so keeping our gut running properly is an excellent way to keep our immune system strong.

Immune-Boosting Foods

These are some foods that have shown immune-boosting properties:

  1. Fruits. Especially those high in Vitamin C such as oranges, strawberries, grapefruit, apples, sweet cherries, berries, and plums.
  2. Vegetables. Some of the best are the cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli or raw mustard greens. Other excellent veggies are spinach, bell peppers beets, and artichokes. Yellow vegetables also pack a lot of Vitamin A. Sweet potatoes and carrots top the list
  3. Omega-3 Rich Meats. Salmon and oysters are your best bet here due to their high zinc levels.
  4. Good Fats. Some of the best fats come from fish oils, avocado, olive oil and nuts.
  5. Herbs and Spices. At the top of the list are garlic and turmeric. Other good ones are rosemary and anise. Rosemary improves our gut health, and anise has antiviral properties to boost immunity.
  6. Seeds and Nuts. These are high in Vitamin E, which supports our body’s ability to fend off invading bacteria and viruses. Some of the highest in Vitamin E are sunflower seeds, almonds, Brazil nuts, and walnuts.
  7. Liquids. Good hydration helps to prevent infections and deliver nutrients to our cells. The very best liquid is, of course, plain water. Other good ones are green tea or herbal teas such as ginger or ginseng. Avoid liquids high in sugar or caffeine.
  8. Chocolate. Everyone’s favorite! This food lowers your response to stress, which is especially helpful during times like these when many of us are feeling more stress. 40 g. per day is enough.

Other Thins You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Your Family

  1. Eat less salt and sugar. These do more to deplete your body’s resources than to help.
  2. Get physical exercise. Exercise expels toxins from your body and strengthens your immune system. Regular exercise also lowers your body’s stress hormones.
  3. Avoid processed foods. These are usually lacking in nutrients and contain many toxins.
  4. Get plenty of sleep. A sleep-deprived body is a lot quicker to pick up viruses or bugs that you don’t want.

We hope you all are staying healthy and safe during this time. Please give us a call if you need more counseling about your health.

Photo courtesy of Dennis Klein on Unsplash

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

functional health

Functional Medicine: What Is It?

A 49-year-old man was experiencing cramps, high blood pressure, fatigue, anxiety, and had trouble sleeping. He went to the doctor and had the routine blood work done. Everything came back normal. Since he was not able to find a good solution to the symptoms he was experiencing, he chose to try the principles of Functional Medicine. The practitioner had lab work done. This showed his unique biomarkers which revealed the deficiencies in the major systems of his body.

His Functional Medicine report showed that his body needed more magnesium than the average person. After seeing the results, he increased his magnesium intake. Within just a few days, his fatigue had vanished. The dark circles under his eyes were gone. His blood pressure readings were lower. He began to see his blood sugar stabilizing. With these changes, he felt much better in just a short time.

Each one of us is as different as our fingerprints. We each have unique biochemical characteristics. Two people can experience the same symptoms, but it may be different imbalances in their bodies which are contributing to those symptoms. Using Functional Medicine is like listening to your body talk directly to you. It helps you to find the deficiencies in your body that you need to bring it back to full health.

5 Basic Principles of Functional Medicine

  • Each one of us is a unique individual.  This includes our genetic makeup as well as biochemical makeup. Functional Medicine treats the individual, not the disease.
  • FM is science based.  Science is learning that each system of the body is interconnected with every other system. By viewing the various systems as an integrated whole, FM recognizes that a symptom in one part of the body may be a manifestation of an underlying issue in another part.
  • Your body has an innate intelligence. Once any interference is eliminated, your body has the ability to regulate and balance all of its systems.
  • Your body has the ability to heal and prevent most of the diseases of aging.
  • Health is more than absence of disease; it is a state of immense vitality.

Mainstream medicine is trained to diagnose and then find medications to match the disease. The goal of Functional Medicine is to help patients with chronic illnesses find the most effective options with the fewest side effects. We work to find the root cause of your symptoms or disease and use holistic or alternative medicine approaches to help you reach optimal functioning.

Call us at 864-963-9304 for a free consultation today.

Photo courtesy of Pineapple Supply Company on Unsplash

Refined-sugar

Refined Sugar: What to Use in Its Place

Refined sugar is everywhere around us these days. In 2001 the Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter reported that Americans spent $21 billion on candy—more than the gross national products of Lithuania, Costa Rica, and Mozambique combined! There has been a rise in Type 2 diabetes that experts are now calling an “emerging epidemic.” The FDA estimates that approximately 2/3 of the sugars we eat come from those added to processed foods.

Refined Sugar Alternatives

Overuse of refined sugar is obviously an issue. And we all crave sweets, but we do not have to give them up completely. Several sweeteners available today, eaten in moderation, can quench our sweet tooth without ruining our health.

 

  • Barley Malt: Can be purchased as a powder or as a syrup. Very concentrated—1/8 tsp. replaces 2 tsp. of refined table sugar. Good for those on a weight-loss regimen or with diabetes or hypoglycemia.
  • Honey: Contains anti-oxidants. Has antimicrobial, antifungal, and antibacterial properties. Rich source of vitamins and minerals.
  • Blackstrap Molasses: Rich in iron and minerals. Is a byproduct of sugar refining. It is the “good stuff” left over after all the nutrients are refined out of regular sugar. This is one of the best sugar substitutes.
  • Brown Rice Syrup: Similar in texture to honey. Good for people with diabetes. Made by fermenting and boiling brown rice.
  • Stevia: Also known as honeyleaf. Completely safe. Calorie-free. Available in liquid or powdered form. Does not affect blood sugar metabolism. In powdered form, ¼ – ½ tsp. equals a cup of refined sugar.
  • Unsulfured dried fruit: Can be used on top of cereals instead of sugar, or the dried fruit can be cooked, pureed, and mashed to use in baking as a sugar replacement. (This can be done ahead and then when ready to use, soak in boiling water to soften and rehydrate.)

 

Sugars, in any form, should be kept to a minimum in our diet.  Some other foods that help to reduce cravings for sugar include whole grains, sweet potatoes, squash, apples, and bananas.

 

What are you doing to reduce your refined sugar consumption? We’d love to hear your comments!

 

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/13-tips-help-keep-healthier-eating-new-years-resolutions/

http://maronewellness.com/21-days-to-a-clearer-mind-and-increased-energy/

http://maronewellness.com/inflammation-a-leading-cause-of-weight-gain/

dog-sleeping

Restorative Sleep: Getting Your Forty Winks

When we think of a healthy lifestyle, we immediately think of diet and exercise. But there is a third component to health that is often overlooked: restorative sleep. With our busy lifestyles, it is easy to stay up too late and get up too early, burning the candle from both ends. However, if we are to gain the maximum benefit from the foods we eat and the exercise we get, we must allow our bodies to get restorative rest.

Everyone is different, however most people find that they need a minimum of 7 hours sleep per night to function at their best. Less sleep than this on a regular basis may affect the functioning of our bodies. The purpose of restorative sleep is to repair tissues and cells that have been damaged and allows us to recover from the stressors of the day. Without this time for repair, our bodies begin to hold more muscle and joint stiffness. We will notice aches and pains that weren’t there before. We may become more irritable. Our cognitive function decreases. We become more easily confused or forgetful. It becomes more difficult for us to make decisions. And small problems begin to appear huge and insurmountable.

How Do We Get the Restorative Sleep We Need?

There is no magic time to get to bed or wake up. You need to find the hours that work best for you. Some of us are night owls, and some are morning people. After that, self disciple has to come into play. Here is how several highly-successful people get their sleep:

  • Bill Gates—midnight to 7:00 a.m.
  • Jeff Bezos—10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.
  • Tim Cook (CEO of Apple)—9:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m.
  • Jack Dorsey (co-founder of Twitter)—10:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.
  • Benjamin Franklin—10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. (Remember “Early to bed, early to rise…”)

The important thing is to find what works for you, and be consistent in getting yourself to sleep early enough to be able to get the hours your body needs.

How Sleep Can Be Improved with Chiropractic Care

While we are asleep, a lot of activities take place in our bodies that are not under our conscious control. The function of our heart, breathing, and our digestive system happen without our managing them in the least. If we are not controlling them, what is? It is our nervous system. Whether we are awake or asleep, our nervous system is always “online.” But it needs regular maintenance, just as the rest of our bodies. The best way to keep the nervous system running optimally is to get regular chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractic care will help to remove any sources of nerve interference which reduce communication between the brain and body systems. The benefit is more efficient functioning and better overall health, as well as better, more restorative sleep.

Reference:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2015/11/13/the-sleep-habits-of-highly-successful-people-infographic/#65050ea26d7f

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/6-tips-to-help-you-sleep-without-pain-tip-1/

http://maronewellness.com/keep-your-spine-straight/

http://maronewellness.com/keep-your-body-long-and-symmetrical-as-you-sleep/

http://maronewellness.com/pay-attention-to-how-you-get-in-and-out-of-bed/

http://maronewellness.com/prepare-yourself-before-going-to-bed/

http://maronewellness.com/check-your-mattress-to-be-sure-it-is-supporting-you-properly/

Vegetables-for-Good-Health

What is Nutrition Response Testing?

One of the primary ways we assist patients in achieving better health is through Nutrition Response Testing (NRT). It is a precise, non-invasive method using the body’s natural reflexes to analyze organs and systems of the body. Reflex analysis techniques, such as NRT, rely on two of the body’s communication systems: the nervous system and the ancient Chinese acupuncture meridian system.

 

The nervous system provides a reflex. (A reflex is a weak or strong muscle response to a stimulus). If the practitioner puts pressure on a muscle and it remains strong, this indicates that the point is functioning properly. If the muscle is weak, this shows that there is an issue that needs to be addressed.

 

The Chinese meridian system provides non-invasive access to organs, tissues, glands, and all systems of the body. This works because of the electromagnetic fields that run through and around our bodies. These fields have either a positive or negative influence on each other. This electromagnetic influence is what the testing uses.

 

What is Involved in a Nutrition Response Testing Visit

NRT begins with an analysis using muscle testing. Each point tested relates to a specific organ or function within the body. In the testing, the practitioner is looking for weakened organs or systems; he is also looking for specific stressors such as food sensitivities, immune challenges, scars, metals, and chemicals in the body which may prevent the body from healing. These reflexes are able to show a weakness in the body before there is actual manifestation of disease through symptoms.

 

Based on the results of the testing, the NRT practitioner will make recommendations for dietary/lifestyle modifications. These can include whole food supplements, herbs, or homeopathic remedies to bring the body back to balance. By using reflex testing, each issue is dealt with as the body reveals it is ready to tackle the issue.

 

If you are suffering from allergies, headaches, fatigue or even a chronic health complication such as diabetes or heart disease, chances are you could benefit from Nutrition Response Testing (NRT). Call us for a free consultation at 864-963-9304.

 

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/services/nutrition-response-testing/

 

 

blue-for-weight-loss

7 Tips for Success in Your Weight Loss This Year

We’ve begun a new year! Have you set weight loss as a part of your new goals? Follow these tips to help you in your new endeavor.

 

  • Write down all of the reasons why you want to lose weight—all of the things that will keep you motivated and focused. Read the list every day. Post it on the fridge and other places where you will see it throughout the day.
  • All diets come to an end. Prepare for the end of the diet as well as you prepare for the beginning. Be sure you have plans in place to adopt a healthy lifestyle after the diet is completed.
  • Develop habits that can help, not hinder, you in your goals. If your goal is to exercise first thing in the morning, lay out your exercise clothes the night before. If you want to eat healthier, be sure that you have healthy foods at arm’s reach. Put a bowl of fruit on the counter at home or healthy snacks in your top desk drawer at work.
  • Keep tabs on your hunger level. Rate it on a scale of 1-10. When you are about a 5, eat a snack. The goal is to keep you from getting overly hungry where you will be more tempted to binge.
  • Studies show that when we are sleep deprived, hormonal changes take place that make us feel hungrier. Be sure to get enough sleep. Seven to nine hours is ideal.
  • Eat at home as much as possible. Restaurants design their food to taste good, not to help you lose weight!
  • Serve your food in courses. Rather than piling all your food on a plate at the same time, serve them one at a time. Begin with a soup and filling vegetables, such as a salad. By the time you have finished with these and are ready for the more calorie-dense foods (meat and dessert), you will already be near full or already full.

 

And, here is a bonus tip: Use a lot of blue—on tablecloths, dishes, the walls, etc. Blue acts as an appetite suppressant. (How many fast-food restaurants do you see using blue? They’re going to use yellow, red, and orange to encourage you to eat, so these are the colors you should avoid in your own eating areas.)

 

If you are looking for a plan to shed those extra holiday pounds or more, please give our office a call to see if our ChiroThin Weight Loss Program would be right for you. Our patients average 20-35 pound weight loss in just 42 days! We would love to have you join the ranks of successful newly-thin people.

See also:

http://maronewellness.com/15-tips-for-lowering-the-fat-in-your-diet-without-losing-the-flavor/

http://maronewellness.com/services/chirothin-weight-loss-program/

 

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

Garlic: A Healer for Centuries

Garlic comes with a lot of emotion. Some love it; others are repulsed by the smell—or at least don’t like “wearing” the smell if they eat too much! However, garlic was used for centuries as a natural healer and preventative. The ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, and Chinese all used this herb as a medicine. Before Olympic events, the ancient Greeks gave garlic to their athletes to help reduce fatigue and improve athletic performance.

 

The offensive odor of garlic comes from a sulphur compound called allicin. That compound, however, is loaded with potential health benefits. Garlic contains at least a little bit of almost any nutrient we need. Most nutritionists recommend taking 900 – 1500 mg./day.

 

Health Benefits of Garlic

  • Lowers LDL cholesterol levels
  • Lowers blood pressure (High doses are needed, but sometimes they have been found to be as effective as blood pressure medications.)
  • Improves circulation
  • Strengthens the heart
  • Thins the blood
  • Antibiotic
  • Stimulates the immune system
  • Relieves symptoms of arthritis
  • Helps with  blood sugar disorders, allergies, bronchitis, asthma, and yeast infections
  • May prevent viral infections
  • Protects against microbes such as herpes and candida
  • Can detoxify heavy metals in the body (In one study, garlic reduced lead levels in employees in a car battery plant by 19%)
  • Shown to decrease incidence of colon cancer by 35% (in a study of 41,000 women taking 1 or more servings daily)
  • May reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia

 

Incorporating Garlic Into Your Nutritional Plan

When you read a recipe, it may talk about “bulbs” or “cloves” of garlic. An entire head of garlic is called a bulb. Within a bulb, there are sections called “cloves.” (Each bulb may contain 10-20 cloves.) These cloves need to be crushed to release their full health benefits. The best way to prepare garlic for a recipe is to crush it and then let it stand for 10 minutes. This keeps the maximum nutritional value intact. Cooking garlic, as with most foods, does reduce its benefits.

If you would like to add more garlic into the foods you prepare, these are some delicious ideas: Rosemary Garlic Hasselback Potatoes, Oven Roasted Garlic, Roasted Garlic Soup with Olive Oil Croutons, Linguini with Arugula, Garlic, and Parmesan, or Thai Style Green Beans. Another good way to get more garlic in your diet is to add in a high-quality capsule as a supplement.

 

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.