Since childhood I’ve struggled with motion sickness. It doesn’t matter if I’m in a car, airplane, boat, train or on a roller coaster, I will become nauseated within a matter of moments. Thankfully, there are over-the-counter medications that keep this kind of nausea at bay, but when I was diagnosed with an intolerance to corn in my early adult years, not just the food on my plate had to change, but my medications as well. This is because many medications use corn starch as their base, and even that tiny amount left me horribly ill. After discovering this, I began to look for alternatives to use on adventures with my husband.
What Is Motion Sickness?
Motion sickness happens when our inner ear senses motion that is incongruent with how we are visualizing it (i.e. how the road signs fly by our car window, or the gentle swaying of a boat, or the ever-so-slight turn of an airplane). When we sense motion differently than we’re seeing it, it can cause a sense of unease in our bodies. This sense of unease can turn into dizziness, nausea, sweating and vomiting.
To help relieve this sense of unease I use a combination of holistic and homeopathic remedies which I take throughout my travels.
One of my favorite remedies for motion sickness is ginger. This spicy root can stop and prevent nausea, and it also alleviates dizziness. You can drink it as a tea, but I prefer to eat it in crystallized chews when I’m traveling. Eating some before my travels begin and then after any meals while still in motion has been incredibly beneficial for me.
Chamomile and Spearmint Teas
I drink chamomile and spearmint as a blend, but they can be used separately if preferred. I use them throughout travel as chamomile can stop vomiting, alleviate nausea and relax the body, while spearmint can prevent and relieve dizziness and assists in digestion (an important factor when traveling). I will either bring pre-stuffed teabags with the loose-leaf herbs, or purchase a few boxes of pure chamomile and pure spearmint to use while traveling.
Hyland’s Homeopathic: Motion Sickness
This is the first homeopathic remedy I’ve taken that really worked well for me. I felt immediate and long-term relief after each dose and enjoyed how it tasted (it is a sublingual tablet that becomes sweet as it dissolves). In a single trip I used it on long drives, ferries, rollercoasters and, finally, the plane ride home, all with great success.
When in doubt use the pressure points on your wrists to alleviate motion sickness. I did this while on a plane since I couldn’t have my hot teas on hand, and trying to ingest anything (even ginger) had me gagging. You can buy wristbands that do this for you at most pharmacies, but you can easily apply the pressure yourself when in a bind.
The Stress Factor
Traveling is stressful for many, and this stress and anxiety can put a person at risk for experiencing motion sickness. Thankfully, there a few simple remedies to help relax the body and alleviate stress.
Lavender is known for its calming properties, so rubbing a bit of lavender salve into your palms, your chest or around your temples can go a long way to help you relax.
Note: Persons with scent induced headaches or olfactory sensitivities might find lavender too aromatic, and therefore a trigger. Test this remedy at home before using while traveling.
Lemon Balm Tincture
Keeping a tincture of lemon balm on hand is a must for anyone who experiences panic attacks, depression or other nervous tendencies, as it has antidepressant properties and is a nervous system tonic. Taking some before travel begins, and then more should symptoms reemerge, can help relax the body and prevent stress induced motion sickness.
Note: Before use, consult a medical professional or herbalist and always follow dosages specific to the purchased bottle as ratios of herb to alcohol may change depending on the source.
Historical Remedies: Homeopathic Calm Drops
Calm drops do just as they claim. They are a homeopathic remedy in the form of a lozenge that assists in calming the mind and, in turn, the body. When the feelings of stress and anxiety begin to creep up or overcome you, popping one of these in your mouth may bring a much needed sense of calm.
Finding the right combination of holistic and homeopathic remedies is incredibly personal, and not everyone will have the same reaction or response. Try them out to find what works best for you.
Do you have any remedies that have worked well for you? Leave a comment below to share your favorites!
With a background in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and a minor in English, L. Diane is currently studying at Prairie Wise Herbal School in Leavenworth, KS with a goal of becoming a Master Herbalist. She is an avid gardener and a maker of tinctures, teas and baked goods. An aspiring author, as well, she weaves tales of fantasy, along with scarves, baby and pet blankets, and shawls on her table loom.
October is National Pet Wellness Month, which is a nationwide educational campaign sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Focusing on weight management, balanced diet, dental care, and the special needs for senior pets, the program's initiative hopes to educate the owners of approximate 50 percent of the US pet populations on the preventative measures for battling obesity, diabetes, arthritis and thyroid disease. Through preventative care, as well as weight control, pets can be on the fast track to ultimate health and fitness in no time.
Photo by Fotolia.
Dogs on the Move!
Dogs need a lot of rest, but just like humans, they also need stimulation and daily exercise. Commit to daily walks and games of fetch or tug-of-war- using durable toys like goDog® toys with Chew Guard Technology™ from Quaker Pet Group. With the soft plush, you can play fetch indoors or outdoors, so weather is never a factor.
Slow Feeding to Prevent Painful Bloat
Dogs of all sizes and breeds can put themselves at high risk for bloat, the second highest canine health risk, which can cause a great deal of stomach distress and even death. Loving Pets' Gobble Stopper™ from is a simple, convenient and highly effective solution to help prevent canine bloat by slowing your pet’s eating by as much as 500 percent. Easy to insert inside any bowl, the suctioned bone shaped insert is removed easily by owners via the easy-lift tab, but impossible for your dog. A cinch to clean, Gobble Stopper is dishwasher safe and made from BPA-free plastic.
In addition to committing to a more active lifestyle with your pet, a healthy diet is also of utmost importance. It is not just limiting the quantity of your pet's food that is helpful, but choosing a food that it rich in nutrients and quality ingredients.
Help make good choices for your pet and promote health from the inside out with American- made and -sourced Evanger's Pet Foods, for dogs and cats. With premium pure game meats like lean Buffalo and their best-selling Hunk of Beef, they also offer new Premium Dinners that feature Spinach and Kale.
By choosing wholesome treats for your pet, such as new PUFFSTERS™ Air-Puffed Snacks or BARKSTERS™, you are rewarding your pet with low-fat, low-calorie treats with premium ingredients—never any additives or artificial ingredients. Loving Pets offers an interactive TreatFinder™ where pet owners can easily enter in criteria, allergies, preferences, etc and be matched to the perfect treat for their beloved pets.
Dr. Andy Roark DVM MS is passionate about helping educate pet owners on simple, yet important ways they can stay ahead of oral/dental challenges and keep their pet's heart healthy!
Canine dental health is a hot topic, not just because of the importance of good oral hygiene, but also because (just like humans) canine tartar control is directly tied to heart health! Regular and preventative dental care, at home, can also save pet owners hundreds of dollars in veterinary expenses because once a problem arises, it can be very costly.
The dental tartar you see slowly building up on your pet’s teeth is about 80 percent bacteria. It damages the gums, the bone beneath and the ligaments that hold teeth in place. This bacteria can get into the blood stream and infect vital organs like the heart, lungs and kidneys. And there's no question that advanced dental disease hurts; it makes pets feel sick.
Daily brushing is the best deterrent. Every pet's mouth is different, so the amount of dental maintenance needed to make sure your pet stays healthy varies among individuals and also among breeds.
Feeding a high-quality food, staying away from offering your dog table scraps, and using treats and chews that are specifically formulated to keep teeth healthy are all easy ways to support your pet’s dental health. Your vet can even recommend a diet designed for dental health.
WHIMZEES™, all-natural, vet-recommended dog chews, help to fight dangerous plaque and tartar. Available in a variety of fun shaped characters such as Alligators, Hedgehogs, Stix and Toothbrushes, WHIMZEES™ are highly digestible vegetarian treats. These all-natural dog chews not only support dental health, but the unique shape ensures proper blood flow through the gums. WHIMZEES™ have no artificial ingredients, colors, flavors, preservatives, or meat products. They’re GMO- and gluten-free, as well as high in fiber and low in calories.
In 2015, more than half of all the pets in the United States will be considered senior. Veterinarians recommend that senior pets receive special attention and care to maintain optimum health and maximum vitality. In addition to weight management and providing your pet with an ultra soft and easily digestible food made of the finest organic ingredients, such as Evanger's Senior & Weight Management Cat & Dog Food, other issues can sneak up on aging pets.
As cats and dogs age, even going potty can become more of a challenge. Achey joints and arthritis can make bathroom routines, such as stairs and inclement weather, almost impossible. Puppy Go Potty from Healthy Pet is an original indoor elimination solution that was created to ensure happiness and comfort at home to aging pups. Puppy Go Potty is made of 100 percent natural fibers, absorbs 4 times its weight in liquid, effectively controls odor, and is scented with a natural pheromone attractant.
Aging kitties can also get finicky around potty time, a new product from Healthy Pet, ökocat Soft Step, is an all-natural, 99 percent dust-free litter. Made of extra lightweight, fine wood granules that are softer on paws than other materials, which can be an issue for the discerning cat. ökocat™ Soft Step™ is a high performance clumping litter, ideal for cats of all ages, and a great choice for those concerned about transitioning to a natural litter; ökocat feels close to traditional clay litter, but without the scents, chemicals and dust of clays.
This blog is intended for informational purposes only. Mother Earth Living does not recommend, approve or endorse the products and/or services offered. You should use your own judgment and evaluate products and services carefully before deciding to purchase.
Crafted by Mother Earth Living contributor and herbalist Dawn Combs, this bitters formula uses balancing herbs such as dandelion, ginger and gentian to aid digestion.
To Buy: $15, Mockingbird Meadows
Arm yourself against life’s everyday stressors with this balancing blend of adaptogenic herbs, including reishi, chaga, eleuthero and schisandra.
To Buy: $15, Terra Firma Botanicals
With its immune-boosting elderberry and rest-promoting lemon balm and California poppy, this syrup is a go-to staple for cold and flu season.
To Buy: $33, Gaia Herbs
Take this herbal tonic daily to help boost energy, enhance endurance, increase cognitive function and improve overall well-being.
To Buy: $33, Urban Moonshine
Apple Cider Vinegar
Use this high-quality, raw, unpasteurized and organic vinegar when concocting your medicinal herb-vinegar blends.
To Buy: $4, Eden Foods
Anyone who has ever suffered a migraine can tell you it is more than just a headache. According to Axon Optics, migraines cause intense pain, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual disturbances. The following are some natural techniques you can use to try to stop migraines before they start.
Photo by Fotolia.
Lifestyle factors can often trigger a migraine. A few simple modifications may help to reduce their frequency and severity.
• Try to reduce stress and find a calm environment at the first sign of a migraine. Tension and excessive stimuli can contribute to migraine symptoms.
• Practice good sleep habits. Exhaustion and a poor night’s sleep can often trigger a migraine.
• Adopt a healthy lifestyle involving exercise and a healthy diet. Fluctuations in blood sugar and chemicals such as MSG and nitrates in certain foods can trigger migraines. Exercise causes the brain to release chemicals that can block pain signals.
Keep a Headache Diary
The best way to prevent migraines is to avoid known triggers. Keep a daily record of all foods, medications and activities. This can help you identify and eliminate potential headache-causing items and discover when you’re most likely to get them.
Invest in Essential Oils
Essential oils can reduce stress, promote relaxation and improve blood flow. Many of these oils have been used for years as home remedies for headaches, among other things. The most beneficial essential oils for headache relief include lavender, peppermint and basil.
Cool Off with Ice Packs
Ice packs are often more effective in relieving migraines than heat. The ice reduces inflammation may lead to migraine pain. You can also benefit from the numbing effect of the ice which can block pain signals.
Turn to Herbs and Supplements
Recent studies show that supplements such as riboflavin and CoQ10 are effective in preventing migraines. Other popular herbal headache remedies include feverfew, butterbur and flaxseed. These remedies either reduce inflammation or regulate blood flow, which can prevent or alleviate headaches.
Utilize Relaxation Techniques
Massages can ease headaches by stimulating blood flow and relaxing tense muscles in the neck and shoulders. Exercises such as yoga and tai chi help to reduce stress and increase body awareness, making it easier to detect early headache symptoms.
Recurrent migraines can be incapacitating, and have devastating effects on professional and family life. Many migraine sufferers feel anxious or depressed over the impact that headaches have on their daily lives. A support group or counseling can be an effective part of a migraine management regimen and provide sufferers with a renewed sense of control over their lives.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.
One of the most beneficial things I have done for my health in the past year is integrating daily teas and honey pastes into my diet. For the past decade, I have struggled with gastrointestinal discomfort (an ailment experienced by many), and after years of struggling I had to decide whether I was going to continue “fighting” this my entire life or embracing my body and all of its needs. As it was, I decided to stop fighting and instead began listening to my body. The plea I heard was for comfort, understanding and whole-body support.
But how was I to do these things when I’d been doing my best to ignore my disgruntled digestive system for so many years?
I needed to get back to the basics. Food is medicine, and not just for our physical selves, but our emotional and mental selves as well. My body needed kind, gentle and rejuvenating medicine after years of chronic inflammation, which had left my body susceptible to disease and illness. Here are the herbs I turned to when I began integrating daily teas and honey pastes into my diet.
Photo by Fotolia
Calendula is beautiful, delicate and lightly aromatic. I use it as a tea for its ability to move the lymph system, its ability to relax the gastrointestinal tract by reducing inflammation and getting bile and other digestive juices moving, and its whole-body detoxifying properties. I drink a couple of cups a day and really enjoy it in the late morning and early afternoon.
HOT INFUSION: Bring 6 ounces of water to a boil and steep 2 teaspoons of dried calendula flowers for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove teabag. Sweeten with honey, if desired.
ALSO GOOD FOR: Calendula also supports healthy skin and makes a fantastic compress to use on acne and cold sores. After making it into a tea, I save the teabag and use it on my face at night before going to bed.
CALENDULA’S PROPERTIES: Antiseptic, antiviral, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, bitter tonic, detoxifier, diuretic, diaphoretic, estrogenic
Chamomile is one of my favorite teas as it’s tremendously soothing for the whole body. I use it for gallbladder support, nausea relief and its antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties.
HOT INFUSION: Bring 6 ounces of water to a boil and steep 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers for 10 minutes. Remove teabag. Sweeten with honey, if desired.
ALSO GOOD FOR: Chamomile has sedative properties, which make it a fantastic sleep aid. Use it to assist with relieving anxiety and settling the body. Even though I will drink it throughout the day, I always have a strong cup right before bed to help settle my body and relieve nausea that tends to pop up in the evenings.
PROPERTIES: Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, bitters, prevents vomiting, sedative
Spearmint was one of the first teas I began drinking daily. It’s both invigorating and soothing at the same time. I use it for acid reflux, expelling gas and nausea relief.
HOT INFUSION: Bring 6 ounces of water to a boil and steep 1 teaspoon of dried spearmint leaves for three to five minutes. Remove teabag. Sweeten with honey, if desired.
ALSO GOOD FOR: Spearmint is a lovely herb to use in a blend. I will also use it alongside chamomile. Although the herb contains menthol, it doesn’t have nearly as much as peppermint. This is why it can relieve acid reflux rather than exacerbating it, as peppermint has been known to do.
PROPERTIES: Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, decongestant, digestive, stimulant, stomachic, tonic
Marshmallow Root Honey Paste
Marshmallow root was my first honey paste, and to be honest, the taste took me by surprise. It has an odd, earthy flavor. I use the root for its anti-inflammatory and mucilage properties. Considering the chronic, ongoing state of my gastrointestinal distress, I needed something that would coat my inflamed internal tissues while also repairing them—and that’s exactly what marshmallow root does!
HONEY PASTE: Mix up to 1 teaspoon of powdered marshmallow root with enough honey to make a paste. Eat it all at once.
PROPERTIES: Anti-inflammatory, diuretic, highly demulcent, highly emollient, mucilaginous, nutritive
Photos by Leslie Diane
Slippery Elm Honey Paste
Slippery elm is by far my favorite honey paste. Personally, I think it tastes like dessert. I use it to relieve acid reflux, to help resist disease and for its incredible restorative abilities.
HONEY PASTE: Mix 1 teaspoon of powdered slippery elm with enough honey to make a paste. Eat it all at once.
ALSO GOOD FOR: I will eat slippery elm three to four times daily when I have flare-ups of painful acid reflux, or when I know my immune system has been compromised. Otherwise, I eat it twice a day. I don’t always mix it with powdered marshmallow root, but when I do, I combine two parts slippery elm with one part marshmallow root.
PROPERTIES: Demulcent, detoxifier, emmolient, health tonic, laxative, mucilage, nutritive
*Note: This blog post is not intended to be used as a comprehensive list of herbal properties. Please consult your health-care practitioner or seek herbal consultation before integrating any herbs into your daily diet.
I hope you enjoy! Please feel free to leave comments below!
With a background in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and a minor in English, Leslie Diane is currently studying at Prairie Wise Herbal School in Leavenworth, Kansas, with a goal of becoming a Master Herbalist. She is an avid gardener and a maker of tinctures, teas and baked goods. An aspiring author as well, she weaves tales of fantasy along with scarves, baby and pet blankets, and shawls on her table loom.
One of nature’s most amazing foods is coconut. It contains all of the ingredients needed to sustain life, including water, fat, protein and iron. One of our greatest uses for coconut is velvety smooth coconut milk. Combining that unique flavor and those healthful fats with water, coconut milk is a culinary acrobat that warms you up in savory entrées and makes you smile in cold sweet desserts.
The Health Benefits of Coconut Milk
The beauty of coconut milk is not only the creamy texture and delicious taste, but also the vast array of health benefits it offers. Each cup provides 5.5 grams of protein, 631 mg of potassium, and 4 mg of iron. But the real treasure is the unique medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) that make up the majority of the fat content. Unlike other fats, MCTs don’t need to be broken down and can rapidly be used by the body as energy. Instead of being stored as fat, the calories contained in MCTs are efficiently converted into fuel for immediate use by organs and muscles.
Roughly half the MCTs in coconut milk are in the form of incredibly healthful lauric acid. When lauric acid is present in the body, some of it is converted to a monoglyceride, also called monolaurin. Both lauric acid and monolaurin can destroy harmful pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Coconut milk has no trans-fats or cholesterol, and lauric acid has been shown to increase the good HDL cholesterol in the blood to help improve cholesterol ratio levels, promoting vascular health.
Vitamins C and E, as well as many B vitamins, are abundant in coconut milk, all of which supports the immune system and helps provide energy to the cells. It’s also rich in magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and iron. Magnesium is responsible for regulating the heart’s rhythm and supporting the function of nerve cells, while potassium maintains the tissues of the heart, kidneys, brain and muscles. Phosphorus keeps teeth and bones strong, and iron creates red blood cells and carries oxygen throughout your body.
How to Make Coconut Milk
It’s a gift of nature to find all of this in one food. Although coconut milk is made on a large scale and can be readily be found on grocery shelves, it’s fun and simple to make on a small scale in your own kitchen. Simply steep ground coconut meat (fresh or dried) in hot water and then strain, leaving the fibrous portion behind, while the creamy liquid captures the health-promoting MCTs, protein, potassium and iron. Just add to smoothies, curries or whatever else your culinary imagination inspires.
Admit it: The typical workplace is hazardous to your health. You have access to bottomless coffee with plenty of cream and sugar. There are vending machines that gurgle out chips and sweets that you shouldn’t eat on a regular basis. You spend around six hours sitting on your butt, practically glued to your workstation. Having a sedentary desk job is terribly bad for our health, and it’s linked to an increased risk of disease, including obesity and heart problems. It’s high time that you do something when it comes to managing stress at work.
Photo courtesy sharyn morrow/Flickr
Sitting for prolonged periods of time is disastrous for your well-being. The human body was not designed to be idle, according to doctor James Levine, co-director of the Mayo Clinic and the Arizona State University Obesity Initiative. “Lack of movement slows metabolism, reducing the amount of food that is converted to energy and thus promoting fat accumulation, obesity, and the litany of ills—heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and more—that comes with being overweight. Sitting is bad for lean people, too.”
As a regular office worker, how can you rectify this unfortunate situation without quitting your job? Luckily for you, there are lots of things you can do to get healthy, even if you’re stuck in the office. Ever wonder how Call-Center Agents get fit despite their schedule and workload? A little patience and resourcefulness are all it takes to begin your wellness journey. Here are some tips on how to stay fit, despite your office job.
1. Ditch the Car, if You Can
This is a splendid idea, given the horrendous traffic in the metro. If you live nearby and getting some cardio on your way to the office will not be detrimental to your health, why not walk or bike to work? You can get your heart pumping early in the day and you will save lots of money in the process. If your house is too far for walking or commuting, try parking your car a few blocks away and walk to the office when you alight from your vehicle. When you get to your building, don’t head for the elevator—take the stairs instead.
Photo courtesy Jackie.lck/Flickr
2. Get a Standing Desk
Because health problems are caused by sitting all the time, getting a standing desk is a wonderful solution to the problem. Working while standing may seem crazy and tiring, but it actually has many great benefits—some say it allows them to concentrate better, while some say it does a lot for the posture. This may not be easy for you at the start, but you can go slowly at first; begin working on the standing desk for 30 minutes, and then go for an hour. Gradually work your way up until you can spend most of your desk time standing up.
Photo courtesy Juhan Sonin/Flickr
3. Use a Fitness Ball as a Work Chair
Using a stability ball is a great way to improve your balance and burn some calories at the same time. Just like the standing desk, this may take some time to get used to, but once you hit the sweet spot, you’re going to reap the benefits. You’ll work on your core muscles while at the same time working on your monthly reports. It’s hitting two birds with one stone here. During your breaks, you can even use the fitness ball to squeeze in some wall squats or other exercises.
Photo courtesy Eli Sagor/Flickr
4. Bring Your Own Food
No more stopping by McDonald’s for a cheeseburger and fries. Prepare your own meals and bring them to work. Just like other health and fitness initiatives, it will take some practice and time management to be able to do this and incorporate it seamlessly into your routine, but hey: No pain, no gain.
It’s best to plan your meals ahead of time (the weekend is the best time to do it), cook or prepare them in advance, and stock them in the fridge so you can just reheat them in the office when it’s time to eat. Preparing your own food allows you to control your portions, choose healthier ingredients and stick to a particular budget. Not having to worry about your meals for the entire week will bring you less stress and allow you to stick to healthier eating habits.
Photo courtesy daveynin/Flickr
5. Don’t Stash Junk Food in Your Station
Most of us tend to reach for salty chips or sweet candy bars that are available whenever work stress kicks in. Before we know it, we’ve already consumed unhealthy amounts of calories that we’re supposed to avoid in the first place. Eliminate the temptation by removing junk food in your work station. If you must snack on something while working, try eating fruits instead, although we don’t advise finishing five servings of fruit in just one sitting.
Photo courtesy Global Panorama/Flickr
6. Get a Fitness Buddy
Getting fit and healthy in the workplace is a lot easier if you can do it with a colleague who has the same goals as you. Motivation buddies can do a lot for your determination, especially during those times when you’re tempted to skip a workout and just slack off. If you know someone who goes jogging after office hours, try joining him and establish a schedule.
Photo courtesy Brian Cribb/Flickr
7. Bring Exercise Gear to Work
This is a great idea, especially if you barely have the time to go to the gym after work. Use whatever free time you have in the office to do some quick exercises that packs in lots of effort in short sessions. Keep a couple of dumbbells or exercise mat in your drawers. Whenever you’re feeling stressed at work, relieve the tension by lifting weights or doing some push-ups. This sure beats reaching for your eleventh cup of coffee for the day just to get by.
Photo courtesy Mariam S/Flickr
Nothing is impossible for the determined office worker who truly wants to make a lifestyle change. Not having the time or means to go to the gym isn’t an excuse anymore. Make use of the time and resources you have and maximize them so you can exercise and eat right on a regular basis even in the busy confines of your office.
Aby League is a medical practitioner and an Elite Daily writer. She also writes about business and other topics of great interest. She also writes a blog, About Possibilities. Follow her @abyleague and circle her on Google+.