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Tuesday, July 15 , 2014

How to Treat a Jellyfish Sting

Most jellyfish are not dangerously poisonous, but their sting can be painful. To be extra-safe when swimming at the beach, ask the lifeguards or other locals what to be aware of with regard to jellyfish and other critters in that locale. And remember—even detached jellyfish tentacles can sting if touched. Here's what not to do (and what helps ease the pain) if you get stung by a jellyfish.

Do not rub the stung area. It will spread the venom. If you—or someone helping you—need to touch the stung area, wear gloves, if possible. Jellyfish venom can be easily spread to exposed hands and then to other body parts. Don't put freshwater on the sting—it will release more venom.

What you should do: Pour saltwater or place ice or an ice pack on the stung area—this will neutralize the venom and cool the heat. Applying white vinegar will also help to deactivate the toxins. You can also use beer, vodka or wine. These beverages help dry out the stingers, which will relieve the pain from jellyfish venom.

Good news: Contrary to what you might have heard, urine is not an effective remedy for jellyfish stings (thank you, Scientific American!). In fact, if the pee comes from someone who is well-hydrated, it'll be like a freshwater treatment, which might actually spread the pain. Aren't you...relieved?

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Wednesday, April 30 , 2014

The Candy That Helps You Remember

Did you just forget the name of that movie with that actress...what's her name? Here's how to kick your brain into gear...

Alan R. Hirsch, MD, director of The Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago (SmellAndTaste.org), says that the distinctive smell and taste of butterscotch instantly switches the brain back to the moment it first absorbed new information, making it easier to recall facts.

So eat butterscotch candy when you're learning new information and when you need to get the data from the "tip of your tongue."

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Thursday, April 10 , 2014

Homemade Hair Revitalizer

Healthy hair does not have to be an expensive endeavor! This was our beautiful mother's favorite hair treatment (actually, it was her only hair treatment).

Slightly warm one-half cup of olive oil. Mom put it in a four-ounce eyedropper bottle and let it stand in very hot water for a few minutes. You may want to add a few drops of an extract like vanilla or almond to make it more fragrant. Then, using the eyedropper, she'd squirt the warm oil all over her hair and massage the oil into her scalp. Once her whole head was covered, she'd shampoo it out. No need to let it sit.

Do this once a week, or more often, for lustrous, healthy hair.

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Wednesday, February 26 , 2014

Sweet Fix for a Burnt Tongue

The tongue is such a vulnerable part of the body. It gets bit and burned...just the thought of a burnt tongue causes pain! Here’s what to do if you burn your tongue at home or at the coffee shop...

Rinse your mouth with ice-cold water. Put a few drops of pure vanilla extract on your tongue's burned spot. If you’re at a coffee shop or restaurant, sprinkle white sugar on the burn. Let the sugar sit until you feel relief. Rinse your mouth again with cold water.

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Wednesday, January 08 , 2014

Remove Stains from Your Fingernails

To get rid of fingernail stains (those pink hues that remain after you’ve removed your nail polish...or stains from food or art projects or any sticky situation), put tooth-whitening toothpaste on a toothbrush (not used for brushing your teeth) and gently distribute the paste on your nails. Let it sit on your nails for about 15 minutes...then brush as you rinse off the paste. Gently dry. Do this once a day. Note: Depending on the stain, it may take several tries before the discoloration completely disappears. Give it a rest after day one, and try again tomorrow. Soon your efforts will pay off.

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Tuesday, January 07 , 2014

A Little Help with Memory Loss

Are you feeling a little forgetful lately? It happens to everyone, especially as we get older. Life has a way of wearing down the brain waves...illness, stress, menopause, data overload. There’s just so much stuff you can stuff into your head! Here’s an herbal treatment to help kick your brain into gear...

Take a teaspoon of dried sage, and add it to a cup of just-boiled water. Add four cloves. Let this combo sit for five minutes, then drink the liquid. Do this every day.

We base our remedy on centuries of herbalists who have used sage to help memory loss, but modern-day scientists have discovered that sage inhibits the enzyme that breaks down the chemical messenger acetylcholine, which plays a role in maintaining focus and recall. Clove oil has also been shown to help with learning deficits.

And by the way—put your keys on the same hook near your door or in your kitchen every day when you get home. Simplify the small things, and that leaves more room in your brain for the big things.

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Monday, January 06 , 2014

A Fix for Frostnip

Frostbite occurs when the skin on a person's extremities (usually hands, feet and/or nose) has been exposed to cold temperatures for too long. If the skin is super cold, extremely pale and completely numb, sometimes with blisters, then there's a good chance that it's frostbite. A doctor's care is required immediately.

The chilling of the skin that occurs just before frostbite is frostnip. In this case, the skin might be paler than usual or red. It's not a serious condition, but you need to take care. Your extremities will feel tingly numb, like pins and needles, and sometimes you'll have a burning sensation. It's important that you warm up before the “nip” turns into a “bite”! Here's a remedy that will help speed along the warming process...

Warm up some olive oil (warm—not hot!), and gently dab it on the chilled, nipped skin, or apply the oil with a kitchen pastry brush. Note: Do not expose frostnipped extremities to hot water (or anything hot—don't stand in front of a fire or super-hot radiator). This can cause nerve damage. Be sure to warm up gently.

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Friday, November 15 , 2013

Nail-Polish-Remover Improver

Acetone nail-polish remover is harsh—it dissolves paint! That means it can dry out your nails. To help prevent this from happening, add about a half-dozen drops of castor oil to the bottle of nail-polish remover. It still will take off your unwanted nail polish but will be somewhat kinder to your nails and cuticles.





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Friday, August 23 , 2013

Vodka Facial Tonic

If you’re traveling and you want to perk up your face (and yourself), check to see if your hotel room has a minibar. If so, you may have an instant face bracer at your fingertips—it’s that cute little bottle of vodka in there. Wait a minute—we’re talking topical treatment here! If you don’t mind spending the bucks, open the bottle and splash the vodka on your face right after cleansing (women) or shaving (men). Vodka is a refreshing, odorless face toner/aftershave that helps tighten pores and even skin tone. It also can provide the jolt you need when jet lag and strange places throw off your sleep pattern.

If you’re at home and run out of face toner, you could, of course, use vodka—but perhaps you’d rather save that for cocktail hour. Instead, mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and witch hazel (both available at supermarkets and health-food stores). The concoction should do wonderful things for your complexion, and you may not want to go back to using a commercial toner/aftershave product.

More on better skin care...

 

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Tuesday, August 20 , 2013

Blister-Free Feet

You just bought the cutest pair of sling-back pumps and it's summer, which means no panty hose and a big chance of blisters. Before setting out in your brand-new footwear, swipe the inside of the shoes with clear underarm antiperspirant/deodorant. The waxy silicone-based ingredients in the deodorant reduce blister-causing friction. This not only keeps away the blisters, but also keeps your feet odor-free!

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