Nobody is saying the wonders of modern medicine—what would we do without a medication like penicillin to treat infections? But, as it turns out, everyday items have secret curing powers, too. Next time you don’t want to fork over money to get a common wart removed, consider using duct tape. Already popped two aspirin but can’t get rid of the headache? A pencil could do the trick. Below, get medical explanations behind a few bizarre—albeit brilliant—MacGyver-esque home remedies.
DUCT TAPE TO REMOVE WARTS
In 2002, a group of doctors compared duct tape’s effectiveness with liquid nitrogen in removing warts. After two months of wearing duct tape on a daily basis and using a pumice stone about once a week to exfoliate the dead skin, 85 percent of patients’ warts were gone, whereas freezing only removed 60 percent. “The question is whether there is something in the chemical adhesive itself, or if the occlusion (suffocation) causes the destruction of the wart,” says New York City–based dermatologist, Robin Blum, MD. “The other thinking is that the duct tape causes irritation, which stimulates our body’s immune cells to attack the wart.”
VAPOR RUB TO CURE NAIL FUNGUS
While there are no studies to prove coating infected toenails with vapor rub once or twice a day is an effective treatment for nail fungus, a basic Internet search results in a number of personal testaments to the medicinal ointment’s fungus-killing powers. “I’ve heard many patients say that vapor rub does help, but I’m not exactly sure why,” Dr. Blum admits. While some argue it’s the menthol in the balm that kills the fungus and others say it’s the smothering effect of the thick gel, if used consistently, vapor rub has been shown to get rid of not just the fungus, but the infected toenail, too, which will turn black and eventually fall off. When the new nail grows in, it should be fungus-free.
OATMEAL TO SOOTHE ECZEMA
“This is absolutely true, as oats have anti-inflammatory properties,” Dr. Blum says. Whether it’s used as a paste or poured into a bath, most experts recommend choosing colloidal (finely ground) oatmeal and soaking the affected area for at least 15 minutes. In addition to reducing inflammation, oats are thought to have an antihistamine effect, Dr. Blum says. By lowering levels of histamine, which triggers inflammation as part of the immune system’s recovery response, she explains, oats prevent or reduce the redness.
YOGURT TO CURE BAD BREATH
Bad breath comes from a number of places, the two most common being the mouth and the stomach. The neutralizing powers of yogurt and other probiotics treat the latter cause. “Yogurt shouldn’t have any effect at all on the bacteria that live on the tongue because it’s not there long enough,” says Robert Meltzer, MD, a New York City–based gastroenterologist and attending physician at Lenox Hill Hospital. However, it likely has a neutralizing effect on the acid that resides anywhere between the mouth and the stomach, including the back of the throat and the esophagus, he explains. “I think almost any milk product or food that contains live cultures would have the same effect.” While yogurt can get rid of bad breath that results from gastrological conditions, like acid reflux, it won’t have any real effect on bad breath that is the product of gum, liver or lung disease, says Ohio-based dentist Matthew Messina, DDS.
A SPOONFUL OF SUGAR TO CURE HICCUPS
In 1971, Edgar Engelman, MD, conducted a study to find out if a spoonful of sugar really is an effective cure for hiccups. He assembled a group of 20 patients who had been experiencing intractable hiccups for more than six hours, eight of whom had had them anywhere from a full day to six weeks. Each of the test subjects was given one teaspoon of white granulated sugar to swallow dry, and for 19 of the 20 hiccup patients, the cure was immediate. André Dubois, MD, a gastroenterologist in Bethesda, Maryland, noted in The Doctors Book of Home Remedies that “the sugar is probably acting in the mouth to modify the nervous impulses that would otherwise tell the muscles in the diaphragm to contract spasmodically.”
BITE A PENCIL TO CURE A HEADACHE
While doctors aren’t sure why we do it, clenching our teeth is a common side effect of stress. According to Fred Sheftell, MD, director of the New England Center for Headache in Stamford, Connecticut, when we clench up, we strain the muscle that connects the jaw to the temples, which can trigger a tension headache. By placing a pencil between our teeth—but not biting down—we relax our jaw muscles, which eradicates tension and reduces pain. Just remember, the remedy really only applies to tension headaches—not migraines or headaches caused by sinus pressure, etc.
OLIVES FOR MOTION SICKNESS
According to the National Library of Medicine, there are a number of symptoms that present themselves as a result of motion sickness, including increased salivation, which is the body’s way of protecting the teeth from the high doses of acid accompanied by vomit. Enter olives, which contain tannins that, when released in the mouth, work to dry saliva—first eliminating the symptom and then the body’s instinct to follow suit. However, the treatment is only effective during the early stages of nausea, when the salivation changes first appear.
GARGLE SALT WATER FOR A SORE THROAT
When you were a kid and had a sore throat, your mom likely made you gargle warm water with salt in it…and she was definitely on to something. According to Douglas Hoffman MD, PhD, author of the website The Medical Consumer’s Advocate, a sore throat is an inflammatory response of the infected tissues, and the salt helps draw out the excess fluid to temporarily decrease swelling and the pain it causes. Most remedies call for a ratio of 1 tablespoon salt to 8 ounces of water, but it’s always better to opt for more salt rather than less. Just keep in mind that you are treating the symptoms—not the illness. As Dr. Hoffman notes on his website: “The relief is very real, but also tends to be short-lived, since the gargle has done nothing to remove the cause of the sore throat.”
Credit: Womans Day
Humans experience an array of emotions, anything from happiness, to sadness to extreme joy and depression. Each one of these emotions creates a different feeling within the body. After all, our body releases different chemicals when we experience various things that make us happy and each chemical works to create a different environment within the body. For example if your brain releases serotonin, dopamine or oxytocin, you will feel good and happy. Convexly, if your body releases cortisol while you are stressed, you will have an entirely different feeling associated more with the body kicking into survival mode.
What about when we are thinking negative thoughts all the time? Or how about when we are thinking positive thoughts? What about when we are not emotionally charged to neither positive nor negative? Let’s explore how these affect our body and life.
POSITIVE VS. NEGATIVE
Is there duality in our world? Sure, you could say there is to a degree, but mostly we spend a lot of time defining and judging what is to be considered as positive and what we consider to be as negative. The brainis a very powerful tool and as we define what something is or should be, we begin to have that result play out in our world. Have you ever noticed, for example that someone driving can get cut off and lose their lid, get angry and suddenly they are feeling negative, down and in bad mood? Whereas someone else can get cut off while driving and simply apply the break slightly and move on with their day as if nothing happened. In this case, the same experience yet one sees it as negative while the other doesn’t. So are things innately positive and negative? Or do we define things as positive and negative?
CUT THE PERCEPTIONS AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
After thinking about it for a moment you might realize that there are in fact no positive or negative experiences other than what we define as such. Therefore our very perception of an experience or situation has the ultimate power as to how we will feel when it’s happening and how our bodies will be affected. While we can always work to move beyond our definitions of each experience and move into a state of mind/awareness/consciousness where we simply accept each experience for what it is and use it as a learning grounds for us, we may not be there yet and so it’s important to understand how certain emotions can affect our health.
“If someone wishes for good health, one must first ask oneself if he is ready to do away with the reasons for his illness. Only then is it possible to help him.” ~Hippocrates
MIND BODY CONNECTION
The connection between your mind and body is very powerful and although it cannot be visually seen, the effects your mind can have on your physical body are profound. We can have an overall positive mental attitude and deal directly with our internal challenges and in turn create a healthy lifestyle or we can be in negative, have self destructive thoughts and not deal with our internal issues, possibly even cloak those issues with affirmations and positivity without finding the route and in turn we can create an unhealthy lifestyle. Why is this?
Our emotions and experiences are essentially energy and they can be stored in the cellular memory of our bodies. Have you ever experienced something in your life that left an emotional mark or pain in a certain area of your body? Almost as if you can still feel something that may have happened to you? It is likely because in that area of your body you still hold energy released from that experience that is remaining in that area. I came across an interesting chart that explores some possible areas that various emotions might affect the body.
When you have a pain, tightness or injuries in certain areas, it’s often related to something emotionally you are feeling within yourself. At first glance it may not seem this way because we are usually very out of touch with ourselves and our emotions in this fast paced world, but it’s often the truth. When I’ve had chronic pains in my back, knees, neck or shoulders, it wasn’t exercise, physio or anything in a physical sense that healed it, it was when I dealt with the emotions behind it. I know this because I spent the time and money going to physio and even though I wanted and believed I would get better, something wasn’t being addressed still. The more I addressed the unconscious thought pattern and emotions throughout my body, the more thins loosened up and pain went away.
When you get sick or are feeling a lot of tightness and pain, often times our body is asking us to observe yourself and find peace once again within yourself and your environment. It’s all a learning and growing process we don’t have to judge nor fear.
YOU HAVE THE POWER
Davis Suzuki wrote in ‘The Sacred Life’, ‘condensed molecules from breath exhaled from verbal expressions of anger, hatred, and jealousy, contain toxins. Accumulated over 1 hr, these toxins are enough to kill 80 guinea pigs!’ Can you now imagine the harm you are doing to your body when you stay within negative emotions or unprocessed emotional experience throughout the body?
Remember, you have all the power in you to get through anything life throws at you. Instead of labeling with perception the concepts of negative and positive as it relates to each experience you have in your life, try to see things from a big picture standpoint. Ask yourself, how can this help me to see or learn something? Can I use this to shift my perception? Clear some emotion within myself? Realize something within another and accept it? Whatever it may be, instead of simply reacting, slow things down and observe. You will find you have the tools to process emotions and illness quickly when you see them for what they are and explore why they came up. If you believe you will get sick all the time, and believe you have pain because it’s all out of your control, you will continue to have it all in an uncontrollable manner until you realize the control you have over much of what we attract within the body.
Credits: Joe Martino of Collective Evolution
A poem by H.W Longfellow, that has unknowingly inspired me since class 9th.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
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A few weeks ago I opened the glass slider that leads to our back yard to preheat the BBQ. I pulled the cover off, turned on the propane and turned the burners to get the fire going. I turned to go inside and grab the plate of chicken but decided I should make sure there was nothing on the grill.
I opened the grill and couldn’t believe my eyes…
When I opened the grill I found a hot and anxious rat ready to escape and escape it did. Fortunately, I checked before the BBQ got too hot and cooked the rat! It quickly jumped over the edge of the grill and down to the ground where it hid under the cover of the BBQ.
To make sure I wasn’t crazy, I lifted the BBQ cover and there he was again. This time, he ran toward the edge of the house and under some bushes, never to be seen again.
I went back to turn off the grill and when I looked inside the grill again, I noticed the rat had built a nest and had hijacked my BBQ, he was taking over. As a result of this experience, I haven’t grilled for over a month and I miss my steak and burgers.
Don’t Let Your Habits Be Hijacked
With habits or BBQs that we neglect to take care of and use, even for a for a week or two, we discover something else has taken the place of our healthy habits. The replacement habit may be laziness, entertainment, food, or in my case, a rat!
Sometimes a broken habit can set us back for a little while and it takes some effort to get back on track. Other times, we let bad habits creep in and stop us completely from doing the good habits we were doing before. When we allow this to happen in our lives, we are missing out on great opportunities for growth and learning.
What good habits have been hijacked in your life and slowed your growth? What are the “rats” that have hijacked habits in your life or even stopped you? What do you need to do to start again?
Check out other great articles from This Life Map
Sometimes I will write a post and not finish it for different reasons. I started this post last year and I do not remember why I did not finish it – but decided now was a good time.
The following words were written on May 17, 2015 –
On social media, I recently read about a person’s encounter with people who smoke. This person observed a smoker who had no teeth, was coughing and had a ‘smoker’s voice’. This person wrote that is was clear to them that this was cancer waiting to happen.
I remember a time when employees could smoke at their job in their cubicles. Many changes have occurred referring to smoking and smokers. I understand that smoking is bad and can cause illness and death. I understand smoking affects those people that do not smoke. I understand the laws that prevent smoking in public buildings and certain areas within a city. What I do not understand is why those that do not smoke think they can diagnose cancer. Why is this?
Ok, I get it – I am ranting some because as a smoker I do get a little irritated that nonsmokers seem to know more than I about the outcomes of smoking. I am a courteous smoker; I do not smoke in my own home, when somewhere else I go hide to smoke as to not bother anyone else and I do not like the smell of smoke – I hate the smell of smoke in clothes, in rooms, etc.
My point is I know smoking kills and I choose to smoke. I know smoking can kill others and I choose not to smoke around them. I know smoking can shorten my life span and I am ok with that.
The following words I am writing today –
I have smoked off and on since I was 15 years old – 40 years now! I have quit smoking on several occasions cold turkey with the longest non-smoking period of 4 years. Why do I quit then to go back to start again?
In my post ‘Addictions or Habits or Routines‘, I concluded with the following –
My point to this post is I have a habit of being drawn to addictions and routinely have quit addictions and started the same addictions again time after time. So are addictions an issue or is it the routinely stopping and starting the habits of addictions the issue, or is it the habits that cause the routines of addictions the issue?
On my recent visit to my urologist Dr. F., he told me I needed to quit smoking. He said the tumor on my bladder will have to be surgically removed, and continuing to smoke, the next time the whole bladder may need to be removed.
Today I am still smoking, and tomorrow I will smoke, but the next day is the day I will once again quit – hopefully for the last time.
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4 onion bagels
2 lb. shaved steak
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
8 slices of American cheese or cheese of your choice
Toast bagels. Optional step: wrap in aluminum foil for about 5 minutes to soften crust slightly.
Heat a large skillet on medium high. To put a good sear on the steak, you don’t want to crowd the pan. Add half of the shaved steak and half of the seasonings. Cook until steak is no longer pink. Divide steak into 2 piles. Add two pieces of cheese on each pile and loosely cover with a lid or foil, avoiding touching cheese. Remove skillet from heat and allow to sit for a couple minutes until cheese melts.
Transfer the steak and cheese piles onto 2 bagels and assemble the first two sandwiches. Loosely cover with foil to keep warm. Cook the remaining steak and assemble the remaining two sandwiches. Makes 4 sandwiches.
So here it is, my first ever blog, very excited as I have no idea what I am really doing but hope that it will be lots of fun and games along the way! It is for family, friends, people who like me and those who don’t and those who simply want to know what other human beings are getting up to in their life!
My hope is that this blog will interest people, inspire others to ‘Be the change that you what to see in the world’ (Gandhi) and allow some to look at life in a different way and not be afraid to break from the norm and the ‘system’ we are in.
So here is the overview of what we are setting out to do…hopefully!
For those who do not know me my name is Mubeen Azam and in May of this year I resigned from my job as a teacher after seven amazing, challenging and fruitful years in Cornwall, UK. A change was needed to reevaluate and refocus our perspective on what life is, so we decided to travel to Canada for a break, a holiday, well an extended holiday…for a year!
I will be travelling with my beautiful, supportive, caring, loving, intelligent and rock of a wife, Nour, who literally has been my guiding light since we first met in January 2001 and who I could not live without as I believe I am of her and she is of me and whatever has happened so far in our life and what will happen in our future is simply meant to be.
By the grace of God we have been blessed with three a beautiful daughters, Fatimah (8, going on 18), Maryam (4, going on 14) and the one who rules, Sara (2, who has been here forever)!
I certainly don’t feel it and many, many, many people tell me I don’t look it :)but I will be 40 this August and I wanted to give my own personal meaning to the saying ‘life begins at 40’…so we are nearly there as we travel in less than 36 hours, hope you enjoy the journey too and remember, chill it’s just Mubeen!!!
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