Ways to Get Over Tonsillitis Quickly

Ways to Get Over Tonsillitis QuicklyI woke up with a scratchy throat the other day, and after shining a flashlight down my throat and looking in the mirror, my suspicions were confirmed — I had come down with tonsillitis. It was time to employ the handful of tricks I usually turn to whenever I have to battle such throat infections or colds. These home remedies work so well I thought I might as well share them here as well.

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1. Get Plenty of Rest
 

Getting good sleep might be difficult because you're probably sniffling and coughing up a lung, but resting is the best thing that you can do for yourself whenever your body gets sick because that is when it does the most healing. Wrapping myself up in a warm sweater and socks and going to bed for a few hours has always been extremely benefcial in helping me getting over any illness. Every time I've done this I've always woken up feeling exponentially better, if not recovered completely.




2. Gargle Salt Water Whenever You Can
Ways to Get Over Tonsillitis Quickly 
If you're finding it hard to sleep or concentrate on anything else, spend that time gargling salt water instead. Simply put one teaspoon of salt and a glass of warm water and keep gargling mouth fulls of it until it's all gone, then rinse out your mouth with some clear water. The salt water will help reduce the swelling in your tonsils and throat, and helps clear out any mucus as well. This sounds like it would hurt more than it would help, but it really does reduce inflammation quite a bit.

3. Oil Pull

Ways to Get Over Tonsillitis QuicklyIf you're just spending your sick day at home hanging out in front of the television, multitask and spend that time oil pulling as well. If you're not already familiar with how to do this please see my post about oil pulling. Oil pulling is a fantastic way to keep your mouth clean and gums healthy, but it's especially useful during times when your sick with a lot of mucus blocked up in your sinuses. I found that while I'm battling a cough or cold, oil pulling really helps pull out all that mucus and clear my sinuses.

4. Drink Ginger-brewed Tea

For those who don't know how to make it, you can learn how to here. Ginger is a great way to get the circulation going in your body, and the better your body is functioning and circulating the faster your lymph nodes and immune system can fight whatever illness you're battling.

5. Drink Honey and Lemon Water
Ways to Get Over Tonsillitis Quickly 
If ginger-brewed tea isn't for you, try warm honey and lemon water instead. The combination of the two really help soothe the throat, and the tangy citrusy sweetness makes it go down a lot easier.

6. Eat raw garlic
Ways to Get Over Tonsillitis Quickly 
Sounds gross, but really works. The garlic is full of antioxidants that will help you combat whatever sickness that's ailing you. Moreover, it also contains allicin, which is the enzyme that not only gives garlic its wonderful smell, but is full of anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that will help fight your sickness even further. That's why some people even like to eat a clove or several cloves of garlic per day, even when they're not sick. The best way to consume raw garlic, in my opinion, it to mince it into pill-sized pieces, let it sit for 10 minutes, then swallow them down with a glass of juice. It's important that the cloves be cut or minced first and allowed to sit for a bit, as this is the only way to ensure the beneficial enzyme will be activated before you consume them.

7. Use a Neti pot

Attack your sinus issues from every angle you can. Besides salt-water gargling and oil pulling, learn how to use a Neti pot to directly flush the mucus out of your sinus cavity. It's uncomfortable when you first try it, but once you've mastered the art it's a great way to be on your way to breathing easy again.

8. Eat well

Preparing herself healthy meals seems like the last thing you might want to do while you're sick, but giving your body the energy to heal properly will help you get over your sickness a lot faster than if you don't. There's always the tried-and-true chicken soup, but other soft, warm foods will help too, such as congee, mashed potatoes, clear soups, etc. This will all help you on the way to recovery a lot faster.

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These are all the treatments that I use whenever I'm dealing with tonsillitis or similar mild coughs and colds. I've found that when I stick to these methods I usually manage to get better within two days tops. I hope this will help you as well. Good luck!

Are You Creating More Trash Even As You Take Out the Trash?

As much as some of us try to live in an eco-friendly manner, we're still going to generate some garbage, and that garbage has to go into something before we throw it out — a trash bag, which is often itself a piece of waste that doesn't break down in the environment.

So in the interest of spreading awareness of cutting down on garbage even as you're taking out the garbage, consider using eco-friendly bags to line your trash bin.

There are many greener alternatives to the traditional large, plastic trash bag currently on the market. Many brands of compostable or biodegradable trash bags are available for purchase, and a quick search online will tell you which brands carry it. Amazon online has a bunch that you can choose from.

On that note, think about using more eco-friendly cling wrap to seal up your food as well!

Fade Hyperpigmentation Using Natural Ingredients Found in Your Kitchen

My favorite brand of sunscreen.

I have fair skin that is prone to freckles and sun spots even when I take care to protect myself with sunscreen, hats and long sleeved shirts when out in the sun. These darkened spots are otherwise known as hyperpigmentation.

And although there are a lot of people out there who don't mind it, and even liking it. I don't. I find my freckles annoying. Can't help it.

During the course of trying to get rid of them using natural treatments, I've found some ways that are more effective than others while still remaining safe, so I thought I'd share them here.

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What is Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is caused by the excessive production of melanin in the skin, which can cause uneven skin tone and dark patches on a person's complexion. This isn't restricted to the face, although it is more often noticed there. Hyperpigmentation can pop up on any part of the body, including on the shoulders, arms, hands and legs.

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

There are several causes of hyperpigmentation. Most commonly it is associated with spending too much time under the sun. This is because the body produces more melanin when faced with ultraviolet radiation, which can burn the skin.

However, injury can also cause hyperpigmentation, for example from a wound that inflamed. Darkening of the skin can take place after the wound has healed, even if it doesn't leave an obvious scar, the skin in that area may be darker. Many might notice this after a bout of acne has healed, especially if the condition was aggravated due to picking. This could cause pimples to become even more inflamed and increase the chances of hyperpigmentation taking place.

One often overlooked cause of hyperpigmentation is changes that take place inside the body. Hormonal changes due to pregnancy or health issues could cause a darkening of the skin and a general discoloration in a person's complexion. Certain medications may also cause chemical imbalances within the body that could cause hyperpigmentation.


So How Can it be Treated Naturally? 

1. Drink lots of water

Make sure you're staying well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and taking in a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Keeping your body hydrated helps your skin cells stay healthy and turn over at a more regular rate. The more often your skin turns over, the more quickly you will shed dead skin cells to produce new layers of skin that will be free of cells affected by hyperpigmentation.

2. Exfoliate often

But not too often! You can help the turnover of your skin cells by remembering to frequently, but gently exfoliate your face and body.

There are many ingredients you can use on your face and body to help your skin remove dead skin cells and regenerate new ones.

Baking soda
This is my go-to exfoliant.

Coffee grounds
You don't always have to throw them away, use it as a body exfoliant.

Just use a towel
Seriously.

Fade Hyperpigmentation Using Natural Ingredients Found in Your Kitchen
For funsies, mix honey with yogurt for an extra decadant
exfoliating mask. Or just eat it as a snack, preferably
NOT after you've already used it as a mask.
Raw honey
Raw organic honey is fantastic for sloughing off dead skin cells and leaving your skin supple and smooth after you rinse it off. This is why I use it as a face wash! Slather some onto your skin and leave it on for 10 or 20 minutes, then rinse it off with water. It tends to drip, so be careful of moving around too much or you may get your furniture and floors sticky.

Or you can try this honey and corn starch recipe.

Milk and yogurt
Milk and yogurt both contain lactic acid that work wonders for gently lifting away dead skin cells and softening the skin. Apply plain yogurt (that is free of other additives and sugar) onto the affected area and leave it there for 10 to 20 minutes, then simply rinse off with water. This works so well that use milk when I do at-home manicures/pedicures. I also occasionally draw soothing milk baths for a relaxing, full-body exfoliating treatment.

Aloe vera
Aloe vera is a handy substance to use to help remove dead skin cells and promote the turnover of new cells. There is also the added bonus of it being naturally anti inflammatory, which means it soothes your sin as well. Simply slather a thin layer on the affected areas and leave it there for a few hours before rinsing it off, as it is mild enough that you can leave it on for that length of time without irritating your skin. Some people like to put it on as a mask before bed and rinse it off in the morning, but I find it rather uncomfortable to sleep that way. However, do whatever makes you happy.

3. Use a natural bleach

I'm sure many of already heard about how lemon makes a great skin-lightening agent due to its citric acid properties. Simply rub some fresh lemon juice onto the affected areas of your body and leave it on for at least 10 minutes, then simply rinse it off with water. Shorten the time if the acid of the juice begins to make you feel uncomfortable. I find this remedy is safe to do once a day, but lessen the frequency or dilute the lemon juice with some water if you find your skin becoming a little too sensitive.

Apple cider vinegar is also a great natural ingredient to use to lighten the skin. Simply dilute the vinegar with the same amount of water, and rub the solution on the affected area. Leave it on for about 10 minutes, but again, rinse it off sooner if you begin to feel uncomfortable.

4. DON'T TOUCH

Spending time analyzing the areas of your skin that are hyperpigmented and picking at it won't make it go away faster. If anything, you may just make it worse by irritating the area or introducing bacteria from your fingers to the site, causing an infection. Leave it alone. If it's meant to go away, it will.

What are the So-called Treatments I SHOULDN'T try?

There are many other sites and blogs out there that swear by the techniques below for getting rid of hyperpigmentation. However, I personally don't use them as I consider them too harsh or abrasive for the skin to be used safely.

I'm not saying they don't work, nor am I discouraging others out there to try it, but they are simply not for me.

Sugar
For example, sugar has long been touted as a great ingredient to use in home made exfoliants. I personally never use sugar in my bath recipes. I don't consider sugar a great thing to put on the skin, or even inside the body if you can help it. Sugar easily breeds bacteria and yeast infections, and if you have especially sensitive or acne-prone skin, you could be exacerbating the problem rather than helping it by using sugar. Whenever a scrub recipe calls for sugar, I prefer substituting it for salt or coffee grounds instead.

Tumeric
Tumeric has been touted as a great way to hyperpigmented skin due to its bleaching and natural antiseptic properties. However, it find it too abrasive for skin ... probably due to its strong natural antiseptic properties.

Cinnamon
Cinnamon is also commonly listed as an ingredient in recipes for home made scrubs as a great exfoliant and skin-lightening agent. However, it is an incredibly harsh spice that can easily irritate the skin, and cause pain if it accidentally gets into your eyes or up your nose. Moreover, if you accidentally spill it on your clothing, the stain is impossible to get rid of! I opt to simply stay away and save myself the hassle.

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There you go, a list of natural ways that I think can help lighten skin hyperpigmentation. I should note that these are surefire remedies to help you get rid of freckles and sun spots. Sometimes they're simply there to stay and there's nothing you can do about it, unless you go see a dermatologist to seek more aggressive medical treatment. However, these are natural treatments that I think are more effective than anything else.

At the end of day, it's always easier to prevent hyperpigmentation than trying to fix it later by protecting yourself when you're out under the skin, and trying to maintain the chemical and hormonal balance inside your body by trying stay as healthy as you can.

How to Make Pesto at Home

How to Make Pesto at HomeA basil plant that I have been growing in a pot in my tiny apartment for four months has finally gotten big enough for me to harvest. Being a fan of garlic and pasta, of course the first thing I thought to make with it was pesto sauce!

I was especially excited as this is the first plant I've ever grown that I've tried to incorporate into food before. So I thought I might as well document the process and share a simple pesto recipe with you all. It's so easy and takes less than a half hour to complete.

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How to Make Pesto at Home
Before and after the harvest
You'll Need:

- 1 cup of fresh basil leaves, packed (can substitute half with baby spinach, if you wish)
- 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (can use pine nuts instead)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

*makes about 1 cup of pesto


Directions:

How to Make Pesto at Home1. Slightly pulse the basil leaves and chopped walnuts in a food processor several times.
2. Mix in the garlic and cheese.
3. While running the food processor, slowly pour in the olive oil in a steady stream. This will help it emulsify and help keep the olive oil from separating from the ingredients.
4. Stir in some salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

How to Make Pesto at Home*Feel free to play with the ratios of ingredients! This is a recipe that can be easily freestyled, with the ingredients substituted with other things (I've once even made a batch without using any nuts at all, and simply went heavy on the cheese instead)

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Mix the pesto into some freshly cooked pasta, a grilled chicken, potatoes, or even eat with crackers or toasted bread. It's an extremely versatile sauce and is handy to keep in the fridge as it can go with pretty much anything!