• 31Mar

    I have allergic rhinitis almost all my life. Every morning on end, the first thing that welcomed me was blocked nose with sneezing. Environmental factors like cigarette smoke, dust, strong perfumes, air freshener and change of temperature made the symptoms worse.  The allergy miraculously went away when I was in my early twenties when I decided to try liquid cod liver oil. I’d consume a tablespoon of original flavor cod liver oil everyday and several months later, I saw remarkable improvements in my health.  Cod liver oil is the yuckiest thing that I had ever tasted and till this day, I am still very averse to the smell and taste of it.  Thankfully cod liver oil is available in capsule form which makes it so much easier to consume.  Recently I started on cod liver oil capsules again after a break of over a decade as the familiar symptoms of  allergic rhinitis are popping up again.

     

    Cod liver oil capsules arranged into the shape of a fish

    Common symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:

    • sneezing
    • a runny nose
    • a stuffy nose
    • an itchy nose
    • coughing
    • a sore or scratchy throat
    • itchy eyes
    • watery eyes
    • dark circles under the eyes
    • frequent headaches
    • eczema-type symptoms, such as having extremely dry, itchy skin that can blister and weep
      hives
    • excessive fatigue

    You’ll usually feel one or more of these symptoms immediately after coming into contact with an allergen. Some symptoms, such as recurrent headaches and fatigue, may only happen after long-term exposure to allergens. Fever isn’t a symptom of hay fever.

    Some external factors can trigger or worsen allergic rhinitis, including:

    • cigarette smoke
    • chemicals
    • cold temperatures
    • humidity
    • wind
    • air pollution
    • hairspray
    • perfumes
    • colognes
    • wood smoke
    • fumes

    For ages, parents have been forcing a spoonful of cod liver oil down the throats of little children. The nasty aftertaste that it leaves makes you wonder why go through the trouble. What does cod liver oil do anyway? In present day, the use of cod liver oil has decreased but there are still those faithful few that hold on to the notion that cod liver oil is a cure all especially in regards to allergies and asthma.

    Cod liver oil is renowned as a nutrient-dense source of vitamins and essential fatty acids. It is, as the name suggests, derived from cod liver and is available as a liquid or capsule supplement.

    According to a journal article from the US National Library Of Medicine, cod liver oil along with Vitamin A, C, E, D and a high dosage of Vitamin B Complex are very significant in the treatment of allergic rhinitis.  Cod Liver oil is high in Vitamins A & D which are natural anti-inflammatory to reduce inflammation of the mucus membranes. Vitamin C reduces inflammation and allergic responses. Fish oil may help to decrease the dryness of the lining of the respiratory tract and retain moisture in the the nasal passages.

    Nutritional benefits of cod liver oil
    The star ingredient in cod liver oil is omega-3, a polyunsaturated fat. Omega-3 is known as an essential fatty acid because the human body is unable to make it, so it is necessary to get it from food.

    Omega-3 from fish can be broken down into two different types: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which together and individually offer many health benefits. The World Health Organisation recommends eating 1-2 portions of oily fish a week, equivalent to 200-500 mg of EPA and DHA.

    Cod liver oil is also a good source of vitamin D, which helps us to absorb calcium and is important for strong bones and teeth.

    All the nutrients in cod liver oil help prevent cancer. Vitamin A has been a part of  successful alternative cancer therapy so far. In a study in China, use of cod liver oil was found to be protective against childhood leukemia. In a study of Norwegian men and women, consumption of cod liver oil was found to protect against lung cancer.

    Cod Liver Supplementation Hack: 
    Keep your cod liver oil bottle in the freezer, and take it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Why? Frozen cod liver oil is great at fighting worm infections, and can even be effective for amoeba parasites! When taken frozen on an empty stomach they will go right through the stomach, and when they get to the small intestine, they begin to dissolve and the cod liver oil is so thick that it coats the parasites like a blanket and suffocates them and kills them. Amazing!

    Conclusion
    In adults, cod liver oil may have its benefits of decreasing asthma and allergy symptoms. However it may increase allergic sensitization in children so caution should be taken. Even so, it may be better to increase children’s diet of fruits and vegetables to lower the risk of asthma and allergies. Also, one must remember that with taking cod liver oil, as any supplement, there are some risks. Over- consumption of cod liver oil means over- consumption of vitamin A which can cause toxicity in the body. Therefore, further research should be done on the matter as well as consulting a physician before adding a supplement to your diet.

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  • 29Mar

    Premenstrual Syndrome or PMS symptoms are not a normal part of life.  Symptoms are generally warning signs from our bodies that something is out of balance. More and more women are struggling with PMS because two major factors: diet and stress levels have changed in our modern lives.  Stress levels are at an all-time high for women and never before have there been so many pre-packaged, GMO and low-nutrient foods available.  All these, along with stress wreck havoc to a woman’s body.

    Stress can be one of the more debilitating symptoms of PMS. It doesn’t seem to care whether or not you’ve suffered from it in the past; it can just strike you down at random and make an ordinary day suddenly overwhelming.

    Women who say they feel stressed early in their menstrual cycle are more likely to report the cramping, bloating and mood swings of PMS — premenstrual syndrome — later in the month, a new study shows.

    Researchers from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, along with researchers from other institutions, quizzed 259 women of childbearing age about their stress levels. The women were asked how often they felt unable to control their lives, and how often they felt nervous, for example. Study participants who reported a lot of stress early in the menstrual cycle were subsequently more likely than relaxed women to report moderate or severe discomfort before and during menstruation. Furthermore, all of the women in the study were followed for more than one cycle; among women who reported stress in one month and not in the next month, the more stressful month was, on average, followed by worse symptoms of PMS. 

    PMS

    It is not totally clear why stress might affect a woman’s physical comfort and mood even weeks later, before and during her period. But stress is a hormonal process, and so, of course, is much of the work of the reproductive system. Writing in the Journal of Women’s Health, the researchers say that stress may have an impact on PMS through several channels: perhaps by altering levels of ovarian hormones, or perhaps because the stress hormone cortisol has an impact on PMS symptoms. “Stress-reduction programs,” the researchers write, “may be an effective, nonpharmaceutical treatment” for both physical and psychological symptoms of PMS.

    For some women, stress may play a role in causing irregular or missed periods. As stress levels rise, there’s a chance that your menstrual period will temporarily stop, a condition known as secondary amenorrhea.

    When I took on a new job with a much higher position and salary years ago, the job came with increased stress. I had irregular meals, did not have the time to exercise and worked very long hours. Less than a year into the new job, I was diagnosed with Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
    and infertility. It took me 2.5 years before I conceived my eldest daughter, via IUI.

    Stress early in the cycle is a risk factor for PMS and combating stress  with yoga, exercise, biofeedback, fun time, positive thinking or meditation may help prevent PMS symptoms or make them much more manageable. The symptoms may not go away completely, but stress-reduction techniques could make symptoms more manageable.

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  • 08Mar

    Some people are just prone to boils and I am one of them. I find that clean eating helps tremendously in preventing boils. But it isn’t always possible to eat 100% clean or even 99%, especially during festive seasons.  I have been indulging in quite a bit of unhealthy snacks during the recent Chinese New Year festival ~ butter and sugar laden cookies, fried snacks, jerkies, chocolates and the other culprit – lack of sleep. All these contributed to a huge and painful boil on my chin, OUCH!  Thankfully I managed to tame the boil in under a week with my tried and tested home remedies.

    A boil is a skin infection that starts in a hair follicle or oil gland. At first, the skin turns red in the area of the infection, and a tender lump develops. After four to seven days, the lump starts turning white as pus collects under the skin.

    Boils are usually pea-sized, but can grow as large as a golf ball. Symptoms can include:
    1. Swelling, redness, and pain
    2. A white or yellow center or tip
    3. Weeping, oozing, or crusting

    Causes of Boils
    Most boils are caused by a germ (staphylococcal bacteria). This germ enters the body through tiny nicks or cuts in the skin or can travel down the hair to the follicle.

    These health problems make people more susceptible to skin infections:

    • Diabetes
    • Problems with the immune system
    • Poor nutrition
    • Poor hygiene
    • Exposure to harsh chemicals that irritate the skin

     

    Symptoms of boils

    The most common places for boils to appear are on the face, neck, armpits, shoulders, and buttocks. When one forms on the eyelid, it is called a sty.  If several boils appear in a group, this is a more serious type of infection called a carbuncle.

    My tried and tested fast home remedies:

    White Toothpaste 
    Your everyday white toothpaste is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It is a well known home remedy for burns and allergies. I started using toothpaste for pimples and boils during my first pregnancy when I avoided commercial pimple creams known to contain harsh chemicals.  It works very well for me and my youngest daughter who is also quite prone to having boils. Simply, apply white toothpaste on boil area and leave it for 30 minutes.  Apply several times a day and by the second day, you’ll notice that the boil has shriveled and less painful.

    Lemon Essential Oil
    Lemon oil is a good remedy for restoring the luster of dull skin. It is an astringent and detoxifying in nature and rejuvenates sagging or tired-looking skin. Its antiseptic properties help in treating pimples, boils and various other skin disorders. Lemon is also recommended for reducing excessive oil on the skin. Just apply a drop of lemon essential oil neat on the boil 2-3 times a day.

    Tea Tree Oil / Melaleuca Oil
    Drop several drops of tea tree oil onto the boil, and gently rub the oil on the boil area with your fingers. Be sure to cover the entire head of the boil as well as a bit of the skin around the boil. Tea tree oil can be applied full strength. Wash your hands after touching the boil. Repeat this three times a day.

    Hot Compress
    Apply warm compresses and soak the boil in warm/hot water. Soak some cotton balls with warm/hot water and apply on the boils. This will decrease the pain gradually and help draw the pus to the surface. Once the boil comes to a head, it will burst with repeated soakings. This usually occurs within a few days of its appearance.
    When the boil starts draining, wash it with clean water until all the pus is gone and clean with an antiseptic solution. I normally apply tea tree oil.  Continue to wash the infected area two to three times a day and to use warm compresses until the wound heals.

    Preventing Boils

    Follow these guidelines to prevent boils:

    • Practice good personal hygiene.
    • Stay as healthy as possible ~ eat clean and right, exercise and get enough sleep
    • Drink lots of water to flush out toxins from the body.
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  • 08Mar

    Peppermint essential oil is the first line of defense against stomach pains, bloatedness and nausea in our household. When I was wheeled out of the OT after a laproscopy myomectomy surgery last year, I was bleeding profusely. The doctor gave me a jab to stop the bleeding but the jab had side effects and made me severely nauseous. I reached for my peppermint essential oil, which I had put on the table next to my bed before the surgery and lathered the oil on my neck, temples and bridge of my nose. I drifted to sleep and woke up with no more nauseous feeling.  Praise God!  I couldn’t even imagine what the effects of retching would have done to the fresh wounds on my abdomen had I vomited.  Whenever my youngest daughter has a tummy ache, she would apply peppermint essential oil on her tummy and bring a bottle to school.

    Yesterday my eldest daughter was down with a tummy flu with a temperature. She had a bad bout of diarrhea, vomited twice and had stomach cramps.  She applied peppermint essential oil on her tummy and the cramps slowly dissipated. So did the vomiting and nauseous feeling. She did not even need to take the medicine for vomiting and stomach cramps given to her by the doctor.  This morning, the fever subsided and she was well enough to go back to school.

    When it comes to the uses of peppermint for upset stomach, its most potent compound is menthol, a strong antispasmodic that helps to calm spasms in the stomach and intestines.

    This antispasmodic activity makes peppermint useful for vomiting, gas pains, colic, intestinal cramping, and even minor symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In addition to being anti-spasmodic, menthol reduces built-up gas, stimulates the production of bile, and relieves pain.

    Clinically speaking, peppermint oil is recommended for its anti-nausea benefits and soothing effects on the gastric lining and colon because of its ability to reduce muscle spasms.

    Effectiveness
    According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, or UMMC, a study shows that 75 percent of participants using peppermint oil had significantly reduced symptoms of bloating, gas, pain and diarrhea. However, UMMC reports that some studies have mixed results. Peppermint oil also increases production of digestive fluids while increasing circulation.

    Here are some top peppermint essential oil benefits:
    Alleviates stomach pain
    Relieves digestive issues
    Inhibits bad breath
    Suppresses headaches
    Natural antibacterial
    Excellent insecticidal
    Brings clarity and mental focus
    Soothes respiratory problems
    Energy booster
    Loosens sore muscles
    Stress reliever

    Warnings
    Peppermint oil is not recommended for small children or infants and should be avoided if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. In addition, peppermint tea should be avoided if you suffer from gastrointestinal reflux, also called GERD, or if you have a hiatal hernia. When consumed in large amounts, peppermint oil can be toxic. If you suffer from any type of adverse reaction, stop using this herb immediately and contact your medical provider for an evaluation.

     

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  • 07Mar

    It can be extremely frustrating when you hear about your family members, friends, and coworkers being able to lose weight on one particular diet and then seeing that it does not work for you. You may have watched as someone dropped a lot of weight extremely fast and then was able to keep the weight off for a long time. When you asked about the details of the diet and tried it, you barely saw the needle on the scale move. What is the problem?

    Everyone is different, and so a person needs to find a diet plan that is going to work for their body type. They need to find a diet plan that is going to work for their lifestyle. For this reason, it is important for a person to work with a professional who will be able to draw up a personalized nutrition plan and weight loss strategy. Many have found that they are able to finally lose the weight and reach their goals after working with a professional.

    matt-koontz2

    When you work with a nutritionist or the many professionals who work in weight loss clinics, you first will get the training and knowledge that is needed in order to lose weight. You will learn about nutrition and how your body processes food. Then you will get the support that is needed to actually make your weight loss a reality. Something that is often addressed in weight loss clinics is the emotional side of why a person may be overweight. At times, a person can develop an unhealthy attachment to food or even become a food addict because of other problems going on in their life. When these issues are addressed and a person learns more about nutrition, they are set on a road that will lead them to success.

    Can I really lose 10 pounds in a month?

    While you do feel happy for your friends or family members when they are able to lose weight and keep it off, you may not be able to help think why it hasn’t worked for you. When you have professionals helping you and you have a personalized plan drawn up for your body type and circumstances, you can have success.

     

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  • 06Mar

    Skin tags are small, soft, skin-coloured growths that hang off the skin and look a bit like warts.

    Picture of Skin Tag

    They’re very common, harmless, and can vary in colour and size – from a few millimetres up to 5cm (about 2 inches) wide.

    There was a tiny skin tag on the right side of my neck for over a year. It hadn’t grown any bigger nor was it very obvious but the feeling of a bump on the skin was annoying.  I tried applying tea tree oil neat on the skin tag but there wasn’t any effect on it.  Recently I read that lemon essential oil can do wonders in removing skin tags painlessly. I applied a few drops of lemon essential oil from Melaleuca on the skin tag NEAT for about 3 days straight and I was pleasantly surprised when the skin tag dropped off! And the lemon essential oil does not sting the skin on my neck like it would on my face. I am so happy and would like to share this simple natural remedy with you!

    What are skin tags?
    Skin tags are made of loose collagen fibres and blood vessels surrounded by skin. Collagen is a type of protein found throughout the body.

    Some people may have skin tags and never notice them. In some cases, they rub off or fall off painlessly. Very large skin tags may burst under pressure.

    The surface of skin tags may be smooth or irregular in appearance. They are often raised from the surface of the skin on fleshy peduncles, or stalks. They are usually flesh-colored or slightly brownish.

    Skin tags start small, flattened like a pinhead bump. Some stay small, and some grow bigger. They can range in diameter from 2 millimeters (mm) to 1 centimeter (cm), and some may reach 5cm.

    Fast facts on skin tags
    Skin tags are benign tumors of the skin.
    They commonly occur in creases or folds of the skin.
    They are not dangerous, but they can be removed for aesthetic and cosmetic reasons.

    Photo of skin tags on a woman's neck

     

    Skin tags usually appear on the:
    eyelids
    armpits
    under the breasts
    groin
    upper chest
    neck, in the case of papilloma colli

    Causes
    It is not clear exactly what causes skin tags, but it may happen when clusters of collagen and blood vessels become trapped inside thicker pieces of skin.

    As they are more common in skin creases or folds, they may be mainly caused by skin rubbing against skin.

    Some people appear to inherit an increased susceptibility to skin tags.

    Skin tags affect people both males and females, but they happen more often during pregnancy, in people who are obese, and in people with diabetes.  They have been associated with hyperinsulinemia, when there is too much insulin circulating in the blood.

    Lemon Essential Oil and Skin Tag
    Lemon essential oil is extracted from lemon and it functions as an astringent to remove the excess oils that contributed to the formation of tags. It also removes any excess water from your skin. Lemon essential oil cuts off blood supply to the skin tags, which causes the tags to fall off after a while. It requires consistent application to get the best result and uniform skin tone. After applications, be sure to stay away from direct sunlight as lemon is photosensitive. This can cause you irritation due to exposure. Preferably, blend the oil with carrier oils such as olive oil before you apply it to your skin tags.

    Application
    Apply it repeatedly every day and try to stay away from sunlight. Within a few days, your tags will start drying out and within no time, they’ll fall off.

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About Me

I am a WFHM with 3 beautiful girls - Alycia, Sherilyn and Cassandra. I quit the job that I love to stay home with my 3 angels as that's what I've always wanted to do. I am a health freak, fitness freak and a clean freak too. I love to eat and live healthily and I want my kids and hubby to do the same too. Apart from being obsessed with good health, I am obsessed with fashion! I own an online store that sells ladies and kids clothing. Check out my online store at Old & New Stuff For Sale

I always believe that your health is your wealth and if you have good health, that's the best gift you can ever ask for from God.

Do check out my other blogs Health Freak Mommy and Health Freak Mommy’s Journal too!

I have been writing product reviews, food reviews / restaurant reviews and product advertorials since 2007. Please email Shireen at shireenyong@gmail.com to inquire if you are interested to place an advertorial or review in this blog.

Thank you!

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