Relax it’s the holidays

I could share a great side dish with you on today’s blog post, but I’d rather show you how I unwind, detox, and relax this holiday season. It can get pretty manic around this time of year — meal preps, holiday parties, gift shopping and in our household trying to determine who will host this year’s festivities.
You may know that I’m a reporter for a local newspaper and this time of year is VERY busy and stressful for me. I have deadlines and projects that must be done. So suffice it to say there’s few nights when I get adequate sleep and plenty more groggy mornings.

I’ve taken to bathing away my stresses. When I was pregnant I took baths all of the time because it eased my sore back, tired feet and most of all it made me feel relaxed afterward. It was my way of ridding my body of all the stress, sort of a detox.

Now don’t misunderstand, the body has a way of naturally detoxifying, specifically through the liver. The liver flushes toxins from the body, which eventually is expelled through urine or our bowels. But, we are subject to more and more toxins every day so why not do a little to help your body?

So here are a few recipes to detox your way to a little less stress, but first the benefits.

Detox bath benefits

  • Reduces stress
  • Relieves sore muscles
  • Flushes toxins
  • Relieves headaches
  • Improves sleep and concentration

Basic ingredients

Essential oil
Epsom salt
Baking soda
Popular ingredients are: Epsom salts, essential oils, milk, ground or fresh ginger, honey, green tea and apple cider vinegar.
keyingredients

baking soda, Epsom salt and essential oils are three of the basic ingredients in a detox bath, but certainly not the only ingredients. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Directions

1. Draw a hot bath. As hot as you can take because you really want to sweat here. Fill the tub.
2. Add a few drops of essential oil. I really like lavender.
3. Pour in baking soda, immerse yourself and sit for at least 20 minutes.
4. Close your eyes and sit back. Maybe do a few deep breathing exercises
5. Rinse in a cold shower
6. Apply a natural moisturizer like shea butter or coconut oil

 

Important: Do not eat immediately before or after, but be sure to drink plenty of water before and after. Baking soda helps neutralize chemicals and aids in mineral absorption as well as softens the skin. Stand up slowly because you may feel drained or light-headed.
detoxrecipecard

epsom salt, baking soda and essential oil make for simple and relaxing detox bath. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

detoxrecipecard2

Add distilled vinegar, sea salt and ground ginger to a basic detox recipe. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

detoxrecipecard3

This detox is more of a hydrating bath, but the benefits are the same as a traditional detox bath. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Let me know via the comments below if you’ve ever tried a detox bath or on facebook, instagram or twitter if you try one of these recipes. Share your own recipe below.

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Cinnamon & milk sore throat tea

I’ve been feeling kinda crummy lately and after dealing with a sore throat, coughing and sneezing I finally went to the doctor. I was forced to, but I digress. The doctor told me I have a virus (which is apparently going around) and allergies.

She didn’t really instruct me to do anything other than what I was doing. So since I had no official prescription I did what I was doing — homeopathic remedies.

I’ve talked about this before and I’ll say it again. If I can find a natural remedy for an illness or health issue rather than resort to medication then I’ll try it. I admit on my first few days of sickness I tried the store bought lozenges and expectorants. They worked temporarily and so I hit the Internet first and my pantry second.

Google sore throat remedies and you come up with lots of pantry items that have been shown to help cure a sore throat — honey is at the top of the list. No matter what sore throat remedy I try I always include honey even if it’s a honey cough drop.

My quick go-to remedy is simply any hot tea and a honey lemon cough drop. I suck on the cough drop a bit and then drop it in to melt. I breathe in the menthol from the cough drop and drink in the tea.

I wanted to try something different because I was sick the other day with a sore throat and I was nauseated. My mom said drink some warm milk and then she quickly followed that up with eat a spoonful of honey. She always suggests a spoonful of honey. I think she saw that on Dr. Oz.

It takes me back to when we were kids and she would suggest we use Vaseline — on everything. We would get a burn. Vaseline. We would get a paper cut. Vaseline. We would get a scratch. Vaseline. You get it.

So I’d like to say I created the following remedy, but it was a Pinterest find. Surprise!

The ingredients are simple: milk, ginger, honey and cinnamon.

Milk

Contrary to what people think that drinking dairy will increase phlegm production warm milk can be of benefit if you have a dry or raw sore throat.

Ginger

Loosens and expels mucus as well as fights bacteria. It has powerful antioxidant effects. It will soothe a sore throat and reduce coughing. Fresh ginger is also said to be effective against the RSV virus (a common cause of respiratory infections).

Honey

Has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It also reduces throat irritation and coughs. Even a spoonful of honey alone can soothe and coat your throat.

Cinnamon

Has antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral properties. It’s full of antioxidants and reduces inflammation. It also thins mucus.
milkcinnamonsorethroattea

A few ingredients that I had in my pantry and fridge created this warming, soothing cinnamon & milk sore throat tea. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

So if you have a sore throat and try this cinnamon & milk sore throat tea please let me know how it turns out because it did wonders for me. Or if you have your own sore throat remedy leave me a comment below, post to facebook or tell me via twitter or snap a pic via instagram.

Tip Tuesday: Achoo! DIY Allergy Relief

It seems as though my allergies hit me earlier this year and I’ve been trying to find relief for weeks. I could easily reach for a little pink pill but it always makes me feel foggy-headed and “dried out” so I hit the internet to see if I could find some natural remedies. I decided to share the best three I found.

The first is a cough syrup from Instructables. This season I’ve had so much sinus drainage that I constantly cough, especially at night.

Cough Syrup

What You Need:

mixing bowl

resealable container

honey

spoon

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

1 1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

8 TBS honey

3 TBS warm filtered water

Directions:

Mix all of the ingredients together and take 3-5 tsp a day, but take as little or as much as needed. Honey helps soothe and coat irritated membranes while ginger (either fresh or ground) works as an expectorant as well as loosens and expels mucus from the lungs. Pepper helps with chest congestion and thyme (fresh or ground) has anti-microbial properties and opens up the airways.

*Note: If the taste bothers you, add a few squeezes of fresh lemon. This will keep for several weeks in a well sealed container in a cool, dry location.


 Tea

Warm tea like chamomile  will break up the mucus in your airways and chamomile in particular, will relieve allergy symptoms. Chamomile is an antihistamine and can provide immunity toward many common allergens.

Chamomile tea is a natural antihistamine. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Chamomile tea is a natural antihistamine.
https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Bonus: The tea bag can be made into a compress for swollen, red eyes.

Directions

  1. Steep a tea bag in water for three minutes.
  2. Dump the water and squeeze out the excess water from the tea bag.
  3. Refrigerate the tea bag for 15 to 30 minutes and remove from the fridge.
  4. Hold the tea bag against your eye for up to five minutes at a given time.
  5. Wait an hour before reapplying a new compress and always use a new tea bag.

*Note: Chamomile has proteins that are similar to proteins found in ragweed so those who are allergic to it should be cautious.


DIY Allergy Relief using cough syrup, nasal saline spray and tea. Don't forget the tissues. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

DIY Allergy Relief using cough syrup, nasal saline spray and tea. Don’t forget the tissues. https://thehousethatwalkerbuilt.wordpress.com/

Saline Nasal Spray

Over-the-counter saline sprays and rinses can help remove pollen from the nasal lining if you’ve been exposed to pollen. Most people often use the spray at the end of the day. Saline nasal sprays also add moisture if your nose feels dry from winter weather.

Directions

Mix two to three heaping teaspoons of non-iodized salt to one quart of water and add one teaspoon of baking soda. It is best to use salt that has no additives. Store the nasal solution in a nasal sprayer, which can be purchased online for less than $1. Store the solution at room temperature and mix before use. If the solution stings when you use it, just use less salt.

Other Tips: Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine and be can found in oranges and grapefruit, clean linens in hot water weekly to get rid of dust mites and steaming or a hot shower breaks up congestion and flush out mucus if only but temporarily. The easiest way to steam is to pour boiling water in a bowl and drape a towel over your head like a tent. Breathe in the steam through your nose for about five minutes.