Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Powerful Sodium Bicarbonate Powder

As we all know, sodium bicarbonate (or bicarbonate of soda) is all time favourite ingredients in raising our cakes. But there are in fact alot of other things you can do with this powder, in particular for some health benefits as well. It is probably due to the anti-inflammatory and neutralizing properties that makes it so useful.


The paste of sodium bicarbonate with water can be used on nappy rash to reduce inflammation on babies. This also shows how effective it can be applied onto sensitive skin. Even for chapped lips, you can use sodium bicarbonate in place of toothpaste to brush your teeth as most commercial toothpaste is dry and irritable on the chapped lips. In addition, it can also help to whiten the teeth when the paste is used for brushing them. Do note that it whitens the teeth via abrasion method so try to be gentle to your teeth when brushing.


Indigestion and flatulence is quite common for most of us. To relieve such discomfort, you can mix sodium bicarbonate (1 tsp) in hot water (250ml). It is alkaline in nature and can help to neutralise the acids. Note: As the sodium content in sodium bicarbonate is rather high, it is not suitable for people with high blood pressure and we should only use this method when necessary. Another thing to note is to prepare for diarrhoea after use.

Bee Stings

Due to its neutralizing effect on acid, it is also useful on Bee stings. Simply apply the paste of sodium bicarbonate over to neutralise the sting that is acidic. Besides bee stings, it can also be used for other bug sting that is acidic or poison ivy.

Other Related Articles

1) Alkaline Salt - Bicarbonate of soda

2) Wikipedia -Sodium Bicarbonate

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dry Skin Help From Food

Dry skin is not very desirable. It flakes, wrinkles and makes the skin age. There are some causes of dry skin, that includes the dry weather, warm air-condition, hot bath and showers and harsh shampoo and soaps. Just like lower backache, dry skin can also be caused by conditions such as thyroid disorders, dehydration, eczema and deficiency or overdose of Vitamin A.

The good news is that there are some natural ways to relief your most uncomfortable dry skin.

1) Yoghurt

Yoghurt is quite useful for different types of skin. For dry skin, use the regular yoghurt. Apply the cold yoghurt cream on your dry skin not only can provide a natural moisturizer, but also gives a cooling effect that can help relief the discomfort you have all this time. Leave it on for ten minutes to dry, wipe off the excess yoghurt before washing with warm water. Pat dry and use a little olive oil.

2) Honey

Honey itself is well-known for healing wounds and raw skin due to its anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties. In fact, honey is a great natural moisturizer and can be rubbed into the skin or apply as mask. Do make that the honey you used is cold pressed and not heat treated as it may contain additives and its healing properties may not be as effective.

3) Oatmeal/Milk

Wild oats are useful as bath or lotions to soothe eczema. For convenience, you can tie some oatmeal into wet wash cloth. Use it on your body or the areas that is dry like your soap and rinse off with warm water, then cold water to close the pores. As for the milk, you can wet the wash cloth with milk and gently go over the areas before final rinse off with warm water, then cold water to close the pores.

Other Related Reference

1) Natural Home Remedies for Dry Skin

2) Mask Tips

3) Ezine articles - Dry Skin Remedy

Monday, March 5, 2007

Relieve for Mild Gastric Problem

Life can be quite stressful and if it is not coped properly, the next thing you know is the reccurence of the gastric problems. Gastric should never be taken lightly and where irregular meals exists in your diet, special care needs to be taken to protect your stomach walls from ulcers and even bleeding. Here, I have some home remedy for relieving my gastric, but for conditions that is more severe or if you are unsure, I think it is best to see your specialist.

Thick and cloudy beverage

To soothe my gastric pain, I often look for fluids that is thick, such as the water from the porridge, cloudy barley or cloudy almond drink. I find that these fluids are thick enough to protect or at least relieve the painful effect on the stomach walls. The disadvantage using this method is that you might still feel the pain, but the pain should subside once you have a good round of diarrhoea. This diarrhoea should smell somewhat acidic and quite a dreadful process for me though it is more effective than taking the gastric pills.

Rice Vinegar or other Natural Vinegar

This may sound a little crazy, but I have found that this method somehow works for me. Still I would suggest you should take it only after your meals. Though, there are research studies that indicates the vinegar might not significantly help in gastric problem, I have found that for the first time, I didn't have the acidic diarrhoea when I take vinegar after the porridge. It is quite phenomenal for me because I was anticipating that diarrhoea but the stool is more solid and not does not smell acidic. Do give me your thoughts if you tried this method as well.

Diet to observe

There are food you should avoid and abstain when you are having your gastric pain. Typical food to avoid are oily and deep fried food. These food irritate and stresses the stomach walls, especially when you are having the gastric conditions. The best healing food to me is still the porridge. When all the pain is gone and recovered, you can still take these favourite food gain.

Related articles

1) Vinegar for longer and Happier Life

2) Protective effects of barley and its hydrolysates on Gastric Stress Ulcer in rats

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Hot Cold Neutral Hydrotherapy

Hydrotherapy is a useful way to heal and ease a range of ailments and it has been used in different ways. Previously, I have written one particular post on cold shower. Today, I will be expanding on the 3 types of baths to help you understand how hot, cold and neutral baths works in hydrotherapy.

Hot baths
Hot baths is an indulgence type of hydrotherapy. You know it and experience its benefits in your bathroom. Hot baths or showers can help to ease muscles, joint pains and inflammation. Typically, a bath with the temperature between 36.5 Deg C and 40 Deg C is very useful to relax your muscles, dilate the blood vessels, open the skin pores and stimulate perspiration. In fact, hot bath is sedative, acts on the surface nerves as well as the autonomic nervous system and will reduce the activity of the hormonal glands, especially the adrenal. Some of us might not be aware that ten minutes of hot bath is good enough; beyond that, it can result in the opposite effect. So remember to time your hot baths time to reap its benefits.

Cold baths
If you are seeking to improve blood flow to internal parts of your body, cold bath may be the answer. It can constrict the blood vessel and divert the blood to internal tissues and organs to maintain the normal body temperature to function. The cold can also reduce swellings from bruises as well. You can splash or immerse in water, particularly on the inflammed or sore area to reduce the swelling. However, just as the principles of tepid sponging (to reduce fever) in nursing, it is essential to dry yourself quickly to prevent chilling. From my personal experience as a cold shower convert, I have mild breathless after a cold shower. Now, I didn't feel the breathlessness anymore and I also felt my body more resistant to common colds as well.

Neutral baths
It is said that the water used that has the same temperature (33.5 Deg C to 35.6 Deg C) with the body can also provide a sedative and relaxing effect on your body. The use of cold and hot baths targets at our stimuli that can affect our hormonal system. Thus, with neutral bath, it can calm a person in a state of stress. While hot and cold baths can provide two extreme effects on your body, the neutral bath does not strain too hard on the blood circulation, particularly the heart. A reccomended time for immersion in neutral bath requires at least 30 min and can be longer than that.

My previous related blog post

1) Cold Shower is good for health

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Desk vs Toilet Seat

For every career, there are some degree of work hazards you will be exposed to. As a blogger or sedentary jobs, it is no exception. The most obvious hazards are backache and tired eyes. As for the least obvious, nevertheless important to take note, is the cleanlinest of desk. YES, your desk!

Do you have any idea how much germs and bacteria is residing at your desk? From your food you eat at the desk, to the oily fingers from touching food and the accumulated dust where certain portion is mostly 'cleaned' away while you punched your keyboard furiously. In addition, you might sneeze and cough droptlets might fall onto your desks. To gross the facts further, microbiologists claim that most desks are many times more bacteria than your toilet seat! So what can you do to ensure the cleanliness of your desk?

Do not to eat at your Desk
Try not to eat while you are working at your desk. It is already unhealthy enough to eat while you work and eating at your desk could add undesirable 'flavours' into your food. If you cannot help eating while you work at your desk, I would reccomend that you at least clean the desk before and after the meal. With all the inconvenience, I still feel that you should eat somewhere else besides your desk.

Wash and clean your hands and wrist
Wash or clean your hands and wrist before you start working at your desk. This is to ensure that you do not transport the bacterias' relatives and cousins into the residence of your desk where you work and sometimes unavoidably eat and nap for a while.

Clean your desk weekly
This method requires you to make a religious habit to at least weekly clean your desk up using a moist cloth. Personally, I prefer to use moist tissue or a clean cloth sprayed with anti-bacterial liquid to wipe the desk. I cleaned it systematically from my phone receiver, to screen monitor, mouse, keyboard and then the whole table. Try not to use dripping wet a cloth when wiping your electical devices as they might get short-circuited and spoil. Semi-wet cloth should be fine.

Having a clean desk can make you feel psychologically good and well. It is also a good chance to sort your messy notes which you may procrastinate to organise. I do not like the idea of my desk equivalent to the toilet seat so I do strongly reccommend you to clean your desk regularly for health's sake.

Other related articles

1) How gross is your desk?

2) Spring clean your desk

Monday, February 12, 2007

Food Size Does Matters

Overeating can be a serious matter as it can harm your body. Research has shown that young children who were used to overeating has a higher chance of overweight in their adult lives. Many food restaurants or fast food would sell large portions of food to their customers to satisfy their customers' so-called common portion size, otherwise they might be misunderstood by their customers as a stingy businessman. But most people do not know that they have over-eaten, or do they?

According to a study from New Cornell University, food serve in large portions can induce appetite, including those food that may not be as appetizing. They prove this by serving large and medium portions of stale and fresh popcorns to the movie goers. They also conclude that those with larger portion of popcorns generally took more popcorns (stale or fresh) than those with the medium portion size.

What does this means? It simply means that there is a need to be mindful of the portions your restaurants, fast food or even your home is serving. Are you really eating the right portion? Personally, I think one great way to avoid overeating is to serve your food in smaller portions size. If it is not sufficient, you will then help yourself to a second serving, and a third.

In addition, if your plates and bowls are too big (since you typically use it for your regular meals), then, it may be a good idea to change it to a smaller size. This will psychologically make you more conscious of the number of servings you take for the meal and further assist in controlling your food portion. Some also suggest that you should weigh the food portion or transfer the food into the same bowl for evey meal you eat so you can estimate the food portion better. Whatever ways you choose at the end, I wish you success in healthy portion eating.

Other Related Articles

1) People eat more Stale Popcorn if served in a Big Bucket

2) Do increased portion sizes affect How much we eat?

3) How to avoid portion sizes pitfalls to help Manage your Weight

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

More than Back Pain

If you think that it is only a back ache, you may like to re-evaluate the reasons why your back is aching for you. There are quite a number of reasons why we have back ache and you might be surprised:-

1) Carrying heavy loads with a poor posture

2) Poor posture and prolong sitting

3) Wearing high heel shoes

4) Indication of poor cholesterol control

5) Indication of kidney infections

I believe most of us know the first three causes of back ache. If you are a lady, you know how uncomfortable and dangerous it can be to your back to wear high heels, no matter how glamourous it is. But not many people might be aware of the third and fourth causes. If you think these lists above are too many, there are actually more, but I've narrowed it down on these two for today's post.

Back pain due to kidney infections

To differentiate back pain due to kidney infections, you may find bleeding and pain in urine. The pain may worsen if you press directly at the back where you kidney is (Kidney is located at the back of abdomen). Slight fever may also occur. The pain starts when the urine crystallise at the kidney as a stone that grows as it accumulates more crystals. To see some reccomendations, you can refer to my previous post on 'Urinary Tract Infection'.

Back pain due to poor cholesterol control

This is something that I've found quite interesting to know. As we grow older, our risks of higher cholesterol increase starting from the age of 30 onward, especially at the age of 40. Typically, the ratio between the High density Lipoprotein (HDL) and Low Density Lipoprotein(LDL) is determined using your blood sample. If your LDL is higher than HDL, it means that your diet contains alot of bad or unhealthy cholesterol. Having a higher HDL indicates a healthy cholesterol but if your total blood cholesterol is over 200, you should start to plan a diet program with your dietician or doctor to control your overloaded cholesterol.

[ Note: More HDL can help to remove excess cholesterol from the blood while more LDL can lead to build-up of cholesterol in the artery walls.]

Most people who has high cholesterol level usually are not very active individuals and are usually obese. Though the research study to link between obesity and back pain, it is logical enough that when one becomes obese, it increases the weight on the spine and on the discs, especially the lower back. If it is left unattened, your knees may be the next joint you'll feel the pain from. Take your fibre To cope with your cholesterol, you can start with taking more fibre; soluble and insoluble. Fiber is a carbohydrate that is not digested, but its function is to help to "wash out" the cholesterol. The best nutritious source of fibre are oats, legumes, fruits like apples and vegetables.

Garlic and Capsicum

Besides fibre, you should consider more garlic in your diet. Research done on 20 healthy volunteers and 62 patients with coronary heart disease shows that garlic can help to lower blood cholesterol, particularly the harmful LDL. It was concluded from the research that the essential oil of garlic possessed a distinct hypolipidemic, or fat reducing for everyone, including the healthy individuals. Taking Capsicum or the red and green peppers can also help in your back pain that is due to high cholesterol. It has been shown that capsicum can help to stimulate blood circulation, and lower your cholesterol level. Its benefits is due to the phenolic compound found in cayenne pepper and hot red peppers.


You might wonder just how good can exercise be when my body is already in pain. I was surprised as well that it was only when I stopped exercising and began a sedentary job that started the pain on my back. When I went back to trekking on the mountains, I carried 8 to 9kg of my trekking bag and I didn't feel the pain on my back. Maybe because my focus of pain was more than that. Ha Ha! Anyway, for a moment, I thought it seems to have cured my back but when I head back to work on my desk and my sedentary life style, the pain just hits back. I am definitely not the only persons who experience this but if you have existing heart or lungs problem, a regular stroll at the park can benefit your health as well. Do consult your doctor just to be sure.

Other related links

1) Urinary Tract Infections in Adult

2) Tips on back pain relief and prevention

3) Lower back pain

4) Capsicum as a herbal remedy

5) Back Pain