Daily OM for January 27th – Fuel that Nurtures

Fuel that Nurtures

Eating Right to Feel Better

by Madisyn Taylor

What we eat and drink can have a powerful effect on our ability to focus, mental clarity, mood, and stress levels.

At its simplest, food is fuel. Though our preferences regarding taste and texture can vary widely, we all rely on the foods we eat for energy. Most people are aware that it is vital we consume a diverse assortment of foods if we aspire to maintain a state of physical well-being. However, the intimate connection between diet and our mental well-being is less understood. Just as the nutritional components in food power the body, so too do they power the mind. Some foods can impair cognitive functioning and sap our energy while others heighten our intellectual prowess and make us feel vigorous. What we eat and drink can have a powerful effect on our ability to focus, mental clarity, mood, and stress levels.

Food allergies, which don’t always manifest themselves in forms we recognize, can also play a significant role in the maintenance of mental health. Thus, for most of us, even a simple change in diet can have a profoundly positive impact on our lives. Taking the time to explore whether anxiety, muddled thoughts, or inexplicable tension can be linked to a food allergy or food sensitivity can empower you to treat your symptoms naturally. The benefits of a healthier, more personalized diet are often felt immediately. Sugar, saturated fats, wheat, and dairy products are frequently allergens and can stress the body. For people that are allergic, consuming them can cause imbalances in the physical self that have a negative effect on the body’s ability to nourish the brain. Water, fiber, nuts, unprocessed seeds, raw fruits and vegetables, and vegetable proteins, on the other hand, support physical and mental functioning by providing those nutrients we do need without additional substances we don’t.

A balanced, natural diet can ease mood swings, panic attacks, anxiety, and mild depression. Intellectual clarity and agility is improved when the mind receives proper nourishment. Even those individuals who are blessed with the ability to consume almost any food can benefit from a healthier and simpler diet. Since the mental and physical selves are closely bound to one another, we must feed each the foods upon which they thrive.

The Daily OM

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Old Fashioned Mustard Plaster

Old Fashioned Mustard Plaster

Helps relieve chest congestion due to colds.
1 tbsp dry mustard
1/4 cup flour
Lukewarm water

Sift together mustard and flour in a bowl. Slowly add just enough water to make a paste. Spread the plaster on a piece of muslin big enough to cover chest. Cover with another piece of muslin.

Make sure the skin is dry. Place the mustard plaster on the chest. Check
frequently and discontinue if there is any kind of allergic reaction. Remove when skin begins to turn red, usually after 10-20 minutes, and don’t leave on any longer than 30 minutes at a time. Then rub the chest w/ petroleum jelly to keep the heat in. Treat twice daily until congestion clears up. NOTE: For children, reduce amount of flour to 6 teaspoons.

Study Shows Herb Effective for Seasonal Allergies

Study Shows Herb Effective for Seasonal Allergies

by Michelle Schoffro Cook

The herb Perilla frutescens and the extract from the perilla leaf  have been found in numerous studies to be effective for the treatment of  allergies. In one study published in Experimental Biology and Medicine,  perilla and one of its active ingredients, rosmarinic extract were found to  ameliorate allergic inflammatory reactions including nasal and sinus congestion,  and eye irritation.

In another study published in Phytotherapy Research, Japanese  scientists at the Department of Kampo Medicinal Sciences, Hokkaido College of  Pharmacy, found that perilla was more effective than a drug used for allergies.  Another study published in the journal Food Chemical Toxicology showed  that perilla oil had a beneficial effect on asthmatic allergies.

Perilla leaf or perilla leaf extract are available from many health food  stores. Follow instructions on the package.

Adapted with permission from Allergy-Proof:  Over 60 All-Natural, Drug-Free Ways to Beat  Allergies by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.

 

Sinus and Allergy Tonic

This tea may also be used as a gargle for sore and tickling throats or as a compress on the forehead to relieve a stuffy head.

1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon sage leaves
1 teaspoon lavender leaves

Steep the above herbs in 2 cups of boiled water for 10 – 15 minutes. Strain and drink 1 cup to relieve sinus congestion.

5 Ways to Safely Survive Allergy Season

5 Ways to Safely Survive Allergy Season

  • AgingCare.com

By Anne-Marie Botek, AgingCare.com

Thanks to an unusually warm winter, allergy season has come early this year. As pollen fills the air weeks ahead of schedule, people afflicted by seasonal allergies are beginning to groan.

Like many millions of Americans, the elderly are not exempt from the stuffy noses and watery eyes that accompany allergies. But, unlike most of those millions, seniors often have complicating factors such as chronic diseases that can make it difficult to deal with their allergies.

Christopher Randolph, M.D., member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology’s Asthma & Allergic Diseases in the Elderly Committee, discusses ways caregivers can make allergy season bearable for their elderly loved ones:

1. Look for the signs: Allergies don’t discriminate between the young and the old. Randolph says that people falsely assume that the elderly do not get seasonal allergies, when, in fact, they are just as likely as anyone else to be affected when spring blooms begin to appear. Caregivers should be on the lookout for the traditional signs of allergies: sneezing, a runny nose, and itchy eyes.

2. Make sure their doctor knows: Randolph points out that it can be difficult for a doctor to diagnose allergies in an older person, particularly when they’re focused on a senior’s larger health issues. Elderly people often have multiple chronic health problems, and it can be hard for a doctor to separate a potential allergy from an ongoing disease. A caregiver who suspects that their elderly loved one may have allergies should bring their concerns to their loved one’s doctor.

3. Be aggressive: “Allergies have a larger impact on the lives and health of the elderly,” Randolph says. It makes sense; allergy symptoms, such as a congested nose and an irritated throat, can be extremely dangerous to a senior who has pre-existing cardiovascular problems. This is why Randolph feels that allergies in the elderly should be treated as rapidly and aggressively as possible.

4. Avoid traditional antihistamines: Antihistamines, the class of drug most commonly prescribed to treat allergies, can be dangerous to seniors. Potential side effects from these medications include: confusion, drowsiness, urinary retention, dry mouth and eyes, and dizziness. Randolph says that antihistamines can potentially cause changes in mood or behavior in the elderly and may lead to dangerous interactions with commonly prescribed medications. For the senior suffering from seasonal allergies, a doctor will likely prescribe a nasal steroid or some form of topical medication.

5. Be on the lookout for upcoming treatment options: Randolph says that there is a new type of treatment for allergies being developed specifically for the elderly. By combining an antihistamine with a steroid inhaler, this new treatment will be able to deliver the antihistamine directly into the nose, avoiding the unpleasant side effects traditionally associated with the drug. While it probably won’t be ready in time to help seniors this season, Randolph expects the treatment will be available to the public within the next three to six months.

What’s Your Seasonal Allergies IQ? (Quiz!)

What’s Your Seasonal Allergies IQ? (Quiz!)

  • Katie Waldeck

Ah, springtime. The flowers are blooming, the temperature’s rising, people are at long last beginning to enjoy the outdoors again. But there’s also a far less pleasant aspect of spring – seasonal allergies come to rear their ugly heads.

So how much do you know about your dreaded seasonal allergies? Take this quiz to test your knowledge!

 

Questions Part I

1. Which of these weather conditions are the most ideal for seasonal allergy sufferers?
A. Hot, dry and windy.
B. Cold and windy.
C. Cold, wet and wind-free.
D. None of the above — they’re all bad.

2. True or false: eating locally-sourced honey will help alleviate spring allergies.
A. True.
B. False.

3. The worst time of day for allergy suffers is:
A. The early morning, 5AM-10AM.
B. Overnight, 10PM-5AM.
C. Midday, 10AM-4PM.
D. They’re all equally as bad.

 

Questions Part II

4. True or False: your lifestyle affects your development of allergies.

A. True.
B. False.

5. Which of the following is least likely to trigger your seasonal allergies?
A. Grasses.
B. Weeds.
C. Flowers.
D. Trees.

6. Which of the following is an easy way to combat pollen?

A. Wash your hair before bed.
B. Close windows and doors.
C. Wear natural fabrics.
D. All of the above.
E. None of the above.

 

Answers Part I

1. Which of these weather conditions are the most ideal for seasonal allergy sufferers?
A. Hot, dry and windy.
B. Cold and windy.
C. Cold, wet and wind-free.
D. None of the above — they’re all bad.

Portland, Ore. and Seattle, Wash. are the best cities for allergy suffers. Why? Windless days make it much harder for pollen to travel around, and rain usually washes it away! Pack your bags and head to the great Pacific Northwest!

2. True or false: eating locally-sourced honey will help alleviate spring allergies.
A. True.
B. False.

A bit of a trick question. Consuming local honey has never been proven to reduce allergy symptoms, but it hasn’t explicitly been disproven either. Even if it did, it might not even contain the kinds of allergens you’re triggered by.

3. The worst time of day for allergy suffers is:
A. The early morning, 5AM-10AM.
B. Overnight, 10PM-5AM.
C. Midday, 10AM-4PM.
D. They’re all equally as bad.

Pollen counts are worst during the middle of the day — better hold off on that jog til after dinner!

Answers Part II

4. True or False: your lifestyle affects your development of allergies.

A. True.
B. False.

You’re off the hook on this one. Nope, there’s absolutely nothing you can do to yourself to develop allergies. Don’t let that be a free pass, though!

5. Which of the following is least likely to trigger your seasonal allergies?

A. Grasses.
B. Weeds.
C. Flowers.
D. Trees.

Though it has been seen among florists, common folk are very rarely allergic to flowers. What you’re likely allergic to is the pollen from grasses, trees and weeds. Buy yourself a bouquet (or pick one from your garden) to celebrate this fact!

6. Which of the following is an easy way to combat pollen?

A. Wash your hair before bed.
B. Close windows and doors.
C. Wear natural fabrics.
D. All of the above.
E. None of the above.

These are all easy techniques for reducing pollen levels inside of your home. You can also look to your air conditioning system for help — make sure the humidity level is below 50% and that you change your filters as often as recommended.

Herbal Remedies: Suffering from Hives

Take a teaspoonful of flour in a glass of water. Repeat several time a day. Hives are caused by too much acid in the blood and the flour counteracts this.

Take fresh burdock roots, alice in one-fourth-inch  thick pieces. Pour twice as much boiling water over it and let it cool. Drink a half cup three times a day.