Summer and early Fall are a great time for kids to spend time in nature. But parents need to be careful that no one picks up the sap oil urushiol from plants like poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. The oil can cause an allergic reaction — in the form of a red, itchy, puffy, weepy, or blistering rash — and can easily be transferred from kid to kid easily, as well as via clothes, outdoor gear, and even pet fur, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Even after the initial exposure, the allergen can be persistent, and parents and children might find themselves desperate for relief. So to help soothe the aftereffects, we’ve rounded up nine remedies suggested by Circle of Moms members whose kids have previously come into contact with the poisonous plants.
Some ailments need the power of the medicine cabinet, but other times when you're not feeling that hot all you need to do is look toward the spice rack. Whether you're in a bad mood, can't stop coughing, nursing a hangover, or have post-workout soreness, here are four spices that can help you feel better — no medicine required!
When to use: When you're feeling down.
Why: The hot feeling you get in your mouth is from the compound capsaicin. It triggers pain receptors in your mouth, which causes your brain to release feel-good endorphins to compensate.
How to eat: Spice up a cold, dreary day with this spicy-sweet chili recipe, or this recipe for a healthy version of spicy eggplant.
When to use: When you're fighting a cold or feeling nauseous or achy.
Why: Remedy the sniffles, aches, and congestion of the season with ginger; ginger contains a chemical that helps reduce nausea and inflammation symptoms, and ginger tea has been a tried-and-true congestion remedy for years.
How to eat: Whip up this ginger tea recipe the next time you are feeling under the weather, or dress up your dinner with this ginger-garlic broccoli recipe.
Read on for more remedies you can make with what's already in your spice cabinet!
He woke up so we called the pediatrician and she told us an amazing thing. If his ear is hurting, fry up some onions in some olive oil and put it in a sock and hold it up to his ear and it will make his ear feel better. The warmth of the sock and the poultice and antioxidants in the onions — and it worked!
What type of home remedies do you use on your child?
My allergies are horrible this year, probably the worse they've ever been. I am not alone either. According to the Associated Press, experts are saying pollen is at an all-time high, and the words "allergy" and "pollen" are constantly trending on Twitter:
"It's wicked bad this year," said Dr. Mona Mangat, an allergy specialist in St. Petersburg, FL., who can't recall a worse year in the six she's worked there. "We're just overwhelmed with patients right now. We're double- and triple-booked with new patients, trying to work people in because we know how much people are suffering."
If you suffer from allergies then you know how bad it can be: sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, and constant headaches are just some of the symptoms. And for many, taking a Claritin or something of the like just doesn't cut it. If you're having an especially bad time this year, my first piece of advice is to visit an allergist and find out what your specific allergies are, and the best way to treat them. There are however, some home remedies you can also try.
- Local honey. Many folks I know take a tablespoon of honey a day to combat allergies. The belief is that ingesting the bit of local pollen from honey builds resistance to the surrounding fauna.
- Heat therapy. Warmer temperature is a great way to relieve congestion. Try exercising more or investing in a humidifier.
- Buy a neti pot. Neti pots are a natural way to get the same benefits as a Sudafed gives but without the side effects. It's a small container that you fill with warm salt water, and use to flush out your nasal passages. Caution: don't rely on a neti pot too much, it can cause problems if used for a prolonged period.
I have friends who are all about popping pills to ease their ills. Advil for sore knees, Tylenol for headaches, and Prilosec for heartburn. I'm not dissing these medications because they definitely serve their purpose in making you feel better, but if you're more into the natural route, here are some foods that are proven to have medicinal powers.Asparagus: As a natural diuretic, asparagus has been consumed for inflammation-related issues such as menstrual bloating and arthritis. It's in season now, so pick some up and enjoy it steamed or grilled.
Lemon balm: This lemon-scented member of the mint family is used to banish anxiety and stress, boost memory, and aid in sleep and digestion. To feel its calming effects, sip lemon balm tea.
Onion: Although they're known to cause bad breath, it's worth it when you find out this veggie reduces diabetes symptoms and protects against cardiovascular disease. Also prevents inflammation caused by allergies, protects against stomach ulcers, and colon, esophageal, and breast cancers. Add red or yellow onions to dishes, eating them raw or lightly cooked for the most benefit.
Grapes: If you're having issues with constipation, boil 10 grapes in six ounces of milk. Before bed, drink the milk separately and then eat the grapes.
Learn about three more medicinal foods when you read more
Lack of sleep can cause so many problems from puffy eyes, to headaches, from heart disease, to weight gain, not to mention plain old crankiness. Sometimes you can't help it if your cat was attacking your feet all night, but Prevention has come up with some home remedies for some common sleep issues. Here are its tips.
- Revive tired, puffy eyes: Even if you were up all night no one will know. Since black tea contains tannins — astringents that help tighten undereye puffiness — Prevention recommends: "activate the tannins in a tea bag by dipping in a cup of hot water for several minutes. Cool in the fridge, then apply the damp bag as a compress to the closed eye for 10 minutes."
- Stop snoring: All you back sleepers who snore, "put a tennis ball in a shirt pocket cut from an old t-shirt and sew it to the midback of your tight pajama top. The discomfort forces you to roll over and sleep on your side — without waking you up." Sounds medieval but it works.
- Conquer insomnia: "Before bedtime, eat a handful of cherries, which scientists discovered are jam-packed with melatonin, the same hormone created by your body to regulate sleep patterns." To add to the tranquility, "steep yourself in a hot bath to relax your muscles and your mind." Then when you slide into bed, "rest your head on a lavender-filled pillow — the fragrance induces sleepiness."
If the four days of feasting over Thanksgiving weekend have taken a toll on your tummy, you might be interested in trying some home remedies. Prevention has created a list of tummy tamers and here are the highlights.
Ease nausea: Give frozen ginger chips a try. Make your own by infusing slices of fresh ginger in hot water. Strain the ginger and place them in an ice cube tray. When you're feeling queasy, crush the cubes and suck on the frozen pieces.
Curb flatulence: Three times a day, take two enteric-coated peppermint capsules (500 mg each). They must be coated so the peppermint can make it to your intestines. This herb will kill the bacteria in your digestive system that's causing your bloated feeling. It also has relaxing effects on your gastrointestinal muscles.
Constipation: Boil 10 grapes in six ounces of milk. Before bed, drink the milk separately and then eat the grapes.
Diarrhea: Mash bananas in white rice and eat in small amounts. The two have binding effects.
The colors of Autumn might be lovely, but a few things about the season actually bring me down. I am talking about cold and flu season. If you're unlucky enough to have come down with some bug, you might be able to soothe some of your ailments with ingredients you have in your pantry. Prevention has listed some home remedies for common cold symptoms, and here are the highlights.
Soothe that sore throat: Mix six pressed garlic cloves with hot water, and gargle with this garlic tea twice a day, for three days. The warm liquid soothes inflamed tissues, while the garlic has antimicrobial properties that fight pain-causing bacteria.
Bring down a fever: Try drinking linden flower tea. It controls your body temperature by stimulating the hypothalamus, and also dilates your blood vessels and induces sweating. Pick up the dried herb at a health food store or herb shop. Steep one tablespoon of dried linden flower in a cup of hot water for 15 minutes. Stash makes a linden flower tea, too. Drink this tea three to four times a day. If your fever is over 102° F, take a tepid bath to cool off the body.
To see how you can dull your hacking cough with a few sweet things, just read more
So you went hiking last weekend and you accidentally tromped through a patch of poison ivy. You've got a nasty, blistery rash all over your feet and you want it to go away pronto. I've only tried a few of these home remedies, so I can't vouch for all of them, but anything's worth one try when you're itching like crazy.
- Jewelweed, a common weed found in damp areas, is often used to help treat the rash. Mash the weed and apply to your itchy skin.
- For 20 minutes, take a bath in salt water, or swim in a chlorinated pool to dry out the rash.
- Bathe in tomato juice.
- To relieve the itch, cut a mango in half and smear the juice over the rashy area for 10 minutes.
- Spray the rash with a deodorant containing aluminum.
- Apply tea tree oil to the affected area to help dry it out and clear up the rash faster.
Fit's Tip: Of course, if you have a really aggressive case, I'd talk to your doctor about what over-the-counter or prescription meds he would recommend.
If you have any other home remedies for poison ivy, please share them in the comment section below.