Friday, December 28, 2012

How Do You Stop Being Depressed Without Medication

Most people experience depression at some point of time in their lives. But if the depression lasts for more than two weeks you may need treatment. If you are depressed, your behavior, appearance, communication and attitude towards others may change completely. You will be disinterested in everything around you, including your daily chores. You may feel like avoiding company and would like to be alone. You may lose your appetite, and become forgetful. You may also sleep more. Uncombed hair, unshaven beard and dirty clothes are all signs of depression. At times you may even feel like committing suicide. Depression may make you feel that it is the end of the world for you. First you have to realize that the depression is temporary. You have to analyze the causes of depression.

Source: Photograph by Fakelvis
  Creative Commons File
Major Causes of Depression

Most people feel depressed when someone close to them dies. But if you are emotionally attached to the dead person like son, daughter, wife or husband the grief will be very difficult to bear. The depression could last long.


Divorce or separation could be a major cause of depression. You may feel unwanted. The question crops up as to what to do next. You may feel insecure. If you have small children, getting separated from them could cause more agony.

Health Problem

Severe health problems could be another reason. A disease like cancer and unbearable pain due to the disease could be major cause of depression.

Environmental Factors

A hostile work environment with an unreasonable boss or coworkers may cause depression. Inability to meet the targets and likelihood of losing the job could cause anxiety and depression.


If you are an alcohol or drug addict trying to kick the habit, the sudden deprivation of the substance may cause depression.

For women the cause of depression could be hostile home environment, where they face violence.


Has your girl friend deserted you? Do you have a problem at the office and you have been overlooked for promotion?

Just think that no problem is insurmountable. Keep thinking of the solutions to the problem. You may get a more understanding girl friend. You can get a better job.

Spend as much time as possible with people with whom you feel comfortable. Socialize with positive people and put out the negative thoughts out off your mind. Avoid negative thinking people like plague.

Confide your thoughts and problems with your close friends and family. You can even go to a counselor or a clergyman.

Go to a concert or a movie with friends.  

Change your place of residence and move to a different place or town.

A good night’s sleep is essential to rejuvenate your mind and body. Your mind will rest and it can be said that you will be away from your problems as long as you sleep

Don’t always think about yourself and your problems.

Everyone faces difficulties at some point of time in their lives. You should understand that these problems are temporary and have confidence to overcome these problems.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Natural Expectorant Remedies for Phlegm

Several naturally available substances have properties of an expectorant. They help to push out phlegm.

An expectorant thins out the mucus and helps to expel it from the bronchial tubes and lungs. This helps to make breathing easier. It is very important for an affected patient to expel mucus. Coughing helps to clear the mucus buildup in the chest and the lungs. It makes breathing easier. If you have common colds, flu, bronchitis, sinus congestion or pneumonia, it is necessary to get the phlegm out of the system. 

  Source: Wikimedia Commons: Erin Silversmith

Licorice is a root which has been used for culinary and medicinal purposes for centuries. Licorice tastes sweeter than sugar. It has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antispasmodic properties. It is also a very good expectorant. Licorice helps to break down the thick phlegm and push it out. It can also help to soothe the irritation due to the inflammation in the respiratory tract and throat. It is advisable to drink licorice root tea twice a day to make the best use of its expectorant properties.


Garlic has several medicinal properties. Garlic can be used as a steam inhaler. Garlic based cough syrup can be prepared by grating a garlic and mixing it with a teaspoon of honey. It would help to thin and push out the phlegm. Garlic is a decongestant as well as an expectorant.


Onion is a natural decongestant and an expectorant. You can eat raw onion slices. It is very easy to do so if you develop a taste for it. Grated onion can be combined with grated garlic and honey to be more effective.

Eucalyptus Oil

Apply eucalyptus oil or Vicks to your chest and rub it vigorously so that some warmth is generated. This will be of great help thin out and loosen the phlegm.


Ginger is a natural expectorant. Drinking ginger tea 3 times a day can help to loosen the phlegm and expel it. Add grated ginger to water and boil it. Strain it after it cools and it is ready for drinking. Honey can also be added to ginger tea as it is also an expectorant. It will sweeten the tea and add to its taste.


One of the best methods to get rid of phlegm is to inhale steam from a vaporizer. Moist air helps to loosen the phlegm from the air tubes and expel it.

  • Elevate your pillow so that the phlegm does not get back to the lungs.

  • Drink lots of water as it thins out the mucus and helps its expulsion.

  • Hot spicy foods like chilli peppers help to loosen the mucus.

  • Hot tea will also help to loosen the mucus.

These are some of the natural expectorants which will help you to get rid of phlegm.


If you have phlegm in your air tubes and lungs it is essential to stop smoking. Smoke can irritate nasal passages and aggravate the problem. Certain over the counter expectorant syrups, suppress mucus are available. Don’t over use them. 

References  Coughs        :  Eucalyptus

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Natural Facial Scrub Recipes for Glowing Skin

Homemade facial scrub can help to get rid of acne and blackheads. It helps to keep your face clean and smooth. 

Facial scrub removes the dead skin cells and oil that clogs up the pores. It is well known that acne is the result of oils produced by the subcutaneous glands clogging up the pores. Facial scrub helps to remove acne and blackheads. It is necessary to use the right kind of scrub that suits your skin type. Use facial scrub once a week. Using it more frequently will make the skin dry and dull. It might even damage your skin, if it is sensitive.

Apply the scrub to your face and neck with a gentle massage. Don’t rub it too hard. Avoid it from getting into the eyes. Wash it off after 15-20 minutes. Remove all traces of the scrub from your face. Pat your face gently with a towel.

There are several recipes to make facial scrub at home. They can be made from natural ingredients and are safe. They will not cause any damage to the skin, like the scrubs available in the market which contain chemical ingredients.

Here are a few recipes for natural facial scrubs

Baking Soda Face Scrub

Mix a tbsp of baking soda with warm water to make a paste. Apply the paste to your face and neck. Rub the face gently with your fingers in a circular motion. Then wash your face with warm water to remove all traces of the paste and pat it dry with a towel. 

   Source: Wikimedia Commons: Emmanuel Boutet
Honey and Sugar Scrub

Honey is an excellent moisturizer. Take cup of sugar, in a bowl.  Add 4 tbsp of honey and ¼ cup of olive oil. Mix it well. Apply it to your face and neck gently. Wash it off after 15 minutes. It will not only exfoliate your skin, but will also nourish it. This scrub should not be used on sensitive skin.

Corn Meal Facial Scrub

Corn meal makes an excellent facial scrub. Take 5 tbsp of corn meal in a bowl. Squeeze some lemon juice and make a paste. Apply this to your face and neck area with a gentle massage. Wash your face with warm water after 15 minutes and pat it dry with a towel. This can also be used for sensitive skin.

Banana Facial Scrub

Take a ripe banana in a bowl. Mash it well with a fork. Add honey and lemon juice and mix it well to make a fine paste. Apply it your face and neck. Wash it off with warm water after 15 minutes and pat it dry with a towel. Banana facial scrub can be used for sensitive skin.

Regular facial scrub or exfoliation is essential to keep your facial skin clean and free from acne and blackheads. It will help to keep your skin young and healthy. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Natural Remedies for a Burn

Burns are very common. Certain natural remedies can help to heal a burn fast. You may burn your fingers when you’re cooking. First degree burns are generally superficial. They affect only the top layer of the skin (epidermis). This may cause blisters, swelling and redness of the skin. Second degree burns will penetrate to the dermis, the second layer of the skin. Third degree burns will destroy the skin completely and may damage the underlying muscles. It can result in scarring.

Aloe Vera Plant
Source: Wikimedia Commons: Erin Silversmith

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is an excellent remedy for burns. Just cut a aloe vera leaf with a knife and squeeze the gel to the affected skin. It will reduce the pain and the burning sensation. According to the New York Times, a group of surgeons studied the effects of Aloe Vera on burns. They concluded that aloe vera could make a difference when applied to first degree burns.  However second and third degree burns require medical attention.

How to Treat Burns

The burnt area should be washed with cold water. Don’t use ice, as it may aggravate the problem

Open a capsule of vitamin E and apply the oil on the affected area. Consuming vitamin A and vitamin E can also heal the burn quickly.

Potato Skin

Potato skin can replace bandages in treating burns. Dr. Narayana a plastic surgeon of Jubilee Medical College in Kerala (India) says that potato skin is not sticky and heals the wound fast. It helps to keep the wound moist and can be peeled of easily. Water evaporates from the burn wound quickly, making it dry. Potato peel helps to prevent this. The ability of the potato peel to keep the wound moist, helps to heal the burn wounds faster.


It is advisable to put burn wounds under cold water for about 5 minutes. Then the skin can be covered with sterile bandage. This can help to reduce the pain and irritation. You can also take pain killers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

It is necessary to keep the wound as clean as possible to prevent infection. Several OTC creams for burns are available. One of these can be applied to the affected area.

Alternately you can apply an antibiotic cream on the burn wound to prevent infection. You should use a non stick cotton bandage to cover the wound. It is necessary to change the bandage every day. Blisters should not be broken as they prevent infection.

Don’t apply butter, oil or Vaseline on the burn, as the burn requires moisture to heal.


Dilute vinegar can be applied on minor burns. As vinegar is acidic it helps prevent infection. After the application of vinegar, cover the wound with a sterile cloth.

To Treat Burn Scars

Aloe vera gel is quite useful in minimizing scarring due to burn. Apply aloe vera gel on the scar 3-4 times every day.

Papaya is also effective in minimizing the scars. Rub ripe papaya fruit chunk on the affected skin several times a day.

Paste made from Fuller’s earth helps to fade the scars. Add a tbsp of lemon juice and some rose water to make a paste. Apply the paste and wash it off after ten minutes. Repeat the process 3-4 times a day. 

If the burn is serious consult a doctor immediately. It is extremely important to prevent infection.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Benefits of Elderberry Tea

Benefits of elderberry tea include its ability to reduce chest congestion and LDL levels. It is also a very good antioxidant.

Elderberry tree grows several countries across the world. It is a shrub which at times grows to the height of a small tree. Its flowers are cream in color and fragrant. The flower gives way to a dark purple colored fruit.  Its scientific name is sambucus nigra. Native Americans used it to treat rheumatism. In Europe it is used in the preparation of food products like jams, wines, jellies and pies. Elderberry tree that grows in Europe is different from the one that grows in America.

  Elderberry Fruits
Source: Wikimedia Commons: Evelyn Simak

Nutritional Content

Elderberry fruits are a rich source of calcium and iron. They also contain vitamins A, C and B6. Over the years elderberry fruit has been used to treat stomach ache, common colds, rheumatism, sore throat, diarrhea, and constipation. Elderberry leaves and bark have been used as an expectorant, diuretic, laxative and for topical applications.


Elderberry fruits have excellent antioxidant properties. It is said to have higher antioxidant capacity than cranberry. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, elderberry may have antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti-toxic properties. It helps to fight against free radicals which can cause cell damage.

Preparation of Elderberry Tea

Add 2 tbsp of dried elderberry flowers to a cup of boiling water. After it cools down, strain the tea. It is now ready for drinking. Only dried elderberry flowers should be used to prepare tea. Unripe berries and leaves should not be used as they may cause vomiting.

For Chest Infection

Elderberry is very effective in treating chest and upper respiratory tract infection. It helps to control the formation of phlegm and is a good remedy for colds and cough. It is also a good remedy for chest congestion and sore throat

LDL Levels

It helps to reduce LDL levels. It also helps to increase the levels of HDL (good cholesterol). It is very good for the heart.


Elderberry tea can help to reduce the pain due to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Antiviral Properties

Antiviral properties of elderberry tea can help to recover quickly from chicken pox and measles. It would also promote quick recovery from influenza and fevers.

Side effects

“Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicines” says elderberry should not used by people suffering from kidney and liver diseases. Pregnant women and lactating mothers should also not use it. It may cause allergic reactions like itching, skin rashes, swelling, nausea and vomiting in some people.