Tuesday, August 31, 2010

51 Fantastic Uses for Baking Soda

This was sent to me and I am sharing this information.

51 Fantastic Uses for Baking Soda

Baking soda, aka sodium bicarbonate, helps regulate pH—keeping a substance neither too acidic nor too alkaline. When baking soda comes in contact with either an acidic or an alkaline substance, it’s natural effect is to neutralize that pH. Beyond that, baking soda has the ability to retard further changes in the pH balance, known as buffering. This dual capability of neutralizing and buffering allows baking soda to do things such as neutralize acidic odors (like in the refrigerator) as well as maintain neutral pH (like in your laundry water, which helps boost your detergent’s power). It’s a simple reaction, but one that has far-reaching effects for a number of cleaning and deodorizing tasks.

Personal Care

1. Make Toothpaste
A paste made from baking soda and a 3 percent hydrogen peroxide solution can be used as an alternative to commercial non-fluoride toothpastes
You can also just dip your toothbrush with toothpaste into baking soda for an extra boost.

2. Freshen Your Mouth
Put one teaspoon in half a glass of water, swish, spit and rinse. Odors are neutralized, not just covered up.

3. Soak Oral Appliance
Soak oral appliances, like retainers, mouthpieces, and dentures, in a solution of 2 teaspoons baking soda dissolved in a glass or small bowl of warm water. The baking soda loosens food particles and neutralizes odors to keep appliances fresh. You can also brush appliances clean using baking soda.

4. Use as a Facial Scrub and Body Exfoliant
Give yourself an invigorating facial and body scrub. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub in a gentle circular motion to exfoliate the skin. Rinse clean. This is gentle enough for daily use.
5. Skip Harsh Deodorant
Pat baking soda onto your underarms to neutralize body odor.

6. Use as an Antacid
Baking soda is a safe and effective antacid to relieve heartburn, sour stomach and/or acid indigestion. Refer to baking soda package for instructions.

7. Treat Insect Bites & Itchy Skin
For insect bites, make a paste out of baking soda and water, and apply as a salve onto affected skin. To ease the itch, shake some baking soda into your hand and rub it into damp skin after bath or shower.

8. Make a Hand Cleanser and Softener
Skip harsh soaps and gently scrub away ground-in dirt and neutralize odors on hands with a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water, or 3 parts baking soda to gentle liquid hand soap. Then rinse clean.

9. Help Your Hair
Vinegar is amazing for your hair, but baking soda has its place in the shower too. Sprinkle a small amount of baking soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo. Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly–baking soda helps remove the residue that styling products leave behind so your hair is cleaner and more manageable.

10. Clean Brushes and Combs
For lustrous hair with more shine, keep brushes and combs clean. Remove natural oil build-up and hair product residue by soaking combs and brushes in a solution of 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a small basin of warm water. Rinse and allow to dry.

11. Make a Bath Soak
Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your bath to neutralize acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration, it also makes your skin feel very soft.
12. Soothe Your Feet
Dissolve 3 tablespoons of baking soda in a tub of warm water and soak feet. Gently scrub.


13. Make a Surface Soft Scrub
For safe, effective cleaning of bathroom tubs, tile and sinks–even fiberglass and glossy tiles–sprinkle baking soda lightly on a clean damp sponge and scrub as usual. Rinse thoroughly and wipe dry. For extra cleaning power, make a paste with baking soda, course salt and liquid dish soap—let it sit then scour off.

14. Handwash Dishes and Pots & Pans
Add 2 heaping tablespoons baking soda (along with your regular dish detergent) to the dish water to help cut grease and foods left on dishes, pots and pans. For cooked-on foods, let them soak in the baking soda and detergent with water first, then use dry baking soda on a clean damp sponge or cloth as a scratchless scouring powder.
15. Freshen Sponges
Soak stale-smelling sponges in a strong baking soda solution to get rid of the mess (4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of warm water). For more thorough disinfecting, use the microwave.

16. Clean the Microwave
Baking soda on a clean damp sponge cleans gently inside and outside the microwave and never leaves a harsh chemical smell. Rinse well with water.

17. Polish Silver Flatware
Use a baking soda paste made with 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Rub onto the silver with a clean cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry for shining sterling and silver-plate serving pieces.

18. Clean Coffee and Tea Pots
Remove coffee and tea stains and eliminate bitter off-tastes by washing mugs and coffee makers in a solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. For stubborn stains, try soaking overnight in the baking soda solution and detergent or scrubbing with baking soda on a clean damp sponge.

19. Clean the Oven
Sprinkle baking soda onto the bottom of the oven. Spray with water to dampen the baking soda. Let sit overnight. In the morning, scrub, scoop the baking soda and grime out with a sponge, or vacuum, and rinse.

20. Clean Floors
Remove dirt and grime (without unwanted scratch marks) from no wax and tile floors using 1/2 cup baking soda in a bucket of warm water–mop and rinse clean for a sparkling floor. For scuff marks, use baking soda on a clean damp sponge, then rinse.
21. Clean Furniture
You can clean and remove marks (even crayon) from walls and painted furniture by applying baking soda to a damp sponge and rubbing lightly. Wipe off with a clean, dry cloth.

Cleaning continued

22. Clean Shower Curtains
Clean and deodorize your vinyl shower curtain by sprinkling baking soda directly on a clean damp sponge or brush. Scrub the shower curtain and rinse clean. Hang it up to dry.

23. Boost Your Liquid Laundry Detergent
Give your laundry a boost by adding ½ cup of baking soda to your laundry to make liquid detergent work harder. A better balance of pH in the wash gets clothes cleaner, fresher, and brighter.

24. Gently Clean Baby Clothes
Baby skin requires the most gentle of cleansers, which are increasingly available, but odor and stain fighters are often harsh. For tough stains add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your liquid laundry detergent, or a 1/2 cup in the rinse cycle for deodorization.

25. Clean Cloth Diapers
Dissolve ½ cup of baking soda in 2 quarts of water and soak diapers thoroughly.

26. Clean and Freshen Sports Gear
Use a baking soda solution (4 tablespoons Baking soda in 1 quart warm water) to clean and deodorize smelly sports equipment. Sprinkle baking soda into golf bags and gym bags to deodorize, clean golf irons (without scratching them!) with a baking soda paste (3 parts Baking sodato 1 part water) and a brush. Rinse thoroughly.

27. Remove Oil and Grease Stains
Use Baking soda to clean up light-duty oil and grease spills on your garage floor or in your driveway. Sprinkle baking soda on the spot and scrub with a wet brush.

28. Clean Batteries
Baking soda can be used to neutralize battery acid corrosion on cars, mowers, etc. because its a mild alkali. Be sure to disconnect the battery terminals before cleaning. Make a paste of 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water, apply with a damp cloth to scrub corrosion from the battery terminal. After cleaning and re-connecting the terminals, wipe them with petroleum jelly to prevent future corrosion. Please be careful when working around a battery–they contain a strong acid.

29. Clean Cars
Use baking soda to clean your car lights, chrome, windows, tires, vinyl seats and floor mats without worrying about unwanted scratch marks. Use a baking soda solution of 1/4 cup baking soda in 1 quart of warm water. Apply with a sponge or soft cloth to remove road grime, tree sap, bugs, and tar. For stubborn stains use baking soda sprinkled on a damp sponge or soft brush.


30. Deodorize Your Refrigerator
Place an open box in the back of the fridge to neutralize odors.

31. Deodorize the Cutting Board
Sprinkle the cutting board with baking soda, scrub, rinse.
32. Deodorize Trashcans
Sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of your trashcan to keep stinky trash smells at bay.

33. Deodorize Recyclables
Sprinkle baking soda on top as you add to the container. Also, clean your recyclable container periodically by sprinkling baking soda on a damp sponge. Wipe clean and rinse.
34. Deodorize Drains
To deodorize your sink and tub drains, and keep lingering odors from resurfacing, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down the drain while running warm tap water–it will neutralize both acid and basic odors for a fresh drain. (This a good way to dispose of baking soda that is being retired from your refrigerator.)
35. Deodorize and Clean Dishwashers
Use Baking soda to deodorize before you run the dishwasher and then as a gentle cleanser in the wash cycle.

36. Deodorize Garbage Disposals
To deodorize your disposal, and keep lingering odors from resurfacing, pour baking soda down the drain while running warm tap water. Baking Soda will neutralize both acid and basic odors for a fresh drain.

37. Deodorize Lunch Boxes
Between uses, place a spill-proof box of baking soda in everyone’s lunch box to absorb lingering odors.

Deodorizing continued

38. Remove Odor From Carpets
Liberally sprinkle baking soda on the carpet. Let set overnight, or as long as possible (the longer it sets the better it works). Sweep up the larger amounts of baking soda, and vacuum up the rest. (Note that your vacuum cleaner bag will get full and heavy.)

39. Remove Odor From Vacuum Cleaners
By using the method above for carpets, you will also deodorize your vacuum cleaner.

40. Freshen Closets
Place a box on the shelf to keep the closet smelling fresh.
41. Deodorizing Cars
Odors settle into car upholstery and carpet, so each time you step in and sit down, they are released into the air all over again. Eliminate these odors by sprinkling baking soda directly on fabric car seats and carpets. Wait 15 minutes (or longer for strong odors) and vacuum up the baking soda.

42. Deodorize the Cat Box
Cover the bottom of the pan with baking soda, then fill as usual with litter. To freshen between changes, sprinkle baking soda on top of the litter after a thorough cleaning.
43. Deodorize Pet Bedding
Eliminate odors from your pets bedding by sprinkling liberally with baking soda, wait 15 minutes (or longer for stronger odors), then vacuum up.

44. Deodorize Sneakers
Keep odors from spreading in smelly sneakers by shaking baking soda into them when not in use. Shake out before wearing
45. Freshen Linens
Add 1/2 cup of baking soda to the rinse cycle for fresher sheets and towels.
46. Deodorize Your Wash
Gym clothes of other odoriferous clothing can be neutralized with a ½ cup of baking soda in the rinse cycle.

47. Freshen Stuffed Animals
Keep favorite cuddly toys fresh with a dry shower of baking soda. Sprinkle baking soda on and let it sit for 15 minutes before brushing off.


48. Camping Cure-all
Baking soda is a must-have for your next camping trip. Its a dish washer, pot scrubber, hand cleanser, deodorant, toothpaste,f ire extinguisher and many other uses.

49. Extinguish Fires
Baking soda can help in the initial handling of minor grease or electrical kitchen fires, because when baking soda is heated, it gives off carbon dioxide, which helps to smother the flames. For small cooking fires (frying pans, broilers, ovens, grills), turn off the gas or electricity if you can safely do so. Stand back and throw handfuls of baking soda at the base of the flame to help put out the fire–and call the Fire Department just to be safe.

50. Septic Care
Regular use of baking soda in your drains can help keep your septic system flowing freely. 1 cup of baking soda per week will help maintain a favorable pH in your septic tank.

51. Fruit and Vegetable Scrub
Baking soda is the food safe way to clean dirt and residue off fresh fruit and vegetables. Just sprinkle a little on a clean damp sponge, scrub and rinse.
Posted by pooja at 12:44 AM
Labels: News

Friday, August 27, 2010

oatmeal bath

When i read this i was impressed with the results!

Try an Oatmeal Remedy for Itchy Skin

Itchy skin can be brought on by a variety of factors. Bug bites, rashes, and skin problems such as eczema can all be responsible for itching skin. No matter the underlying cause, itchy skin is maddening and makes life miserable.

One natural remedy for itchy skin is oatmeal, but not the oatmeal so commonly eaten for breakfast. The oatmeal used to relieve itching is colloidal oatmeal. Colloidal oatmeal is still made from oats, but it is prepared differently than breakfast oatmeal. With colloidal oatmeal, the oats are ground very finely or even pulverized.

Grinding the oatmeal helps it absorb liquid readily. When it is added to water, it almost instantly produces a milk-like substance that gives the water a slimy consistency. This is because the oatmeal acts as a colloid, which means the molecules spread through another substance and permanently change its consistency. In this case, the molecules of oat spread through the water and permanently change the consistency of the water. Since the two substances combine together permanently, no oatmeal particles sink in the tub or float on the top of the water.

Oats have long been used for skin care treatment. The Egyptians and the Arabians used them as a skin beauty treatment as early as 2000 BC. The ancient Romans and Greeks also used oat baths to heal skin problems.

Oats are great for treating skin because, when colloidal oatmeal covers the skin, it actually binds to the skin. This binding helps it moisturize and soften the skin, as well as help protect it. This is because the water is attracted to the skin and held there by the colloidal oatmeal. Colloidal oatmeal is also beneficial because of its natural ingredients, which include cellulose and fiber. All of these characteristics combined also are why colloidal oatmeal is able to make the skin softer and more elastic.

Conditions that respond well to a colloidal oatmeal treatment include eczema, chickenpox, shingles, sores, sunburn and insect bites. Other skin irritations, such as that created by poison ivy, can also be relieved with a colloidal oatmeal bath.

Colloidal oatmeal can be made at home using regular oatmeal. To do this, oatmeal purchased from the grocery story should be placed in a food processor, coffee grinder, or blender. Using one of these kitchen appliances, the oatmeal can be ground finely into colloidal oatmeal. This process can be somewhat tricky, though, because ground oatmeal that is too coarse will sink to the bottom of the bathtub rather than act as a colloid.

Regardless of if the colloidal oatmeal is homemade or store bought, directions for its use are the same. A lukewarm bath should be drawn. It should not be hot because hot water will irritate the skin further and the water will absorb moisture from the skin instead of lubricating it.

After the water is at the correct temperature, several cups of oatmeal should be added to the bath as it fills. Once the tub is full, soak in the water for 10 minutes. Afterward, pat the skin dry. Do not rub it, as this will also irritate the skin and can potentially cause the itchy area to be torn open. This process might need to be repeated several times, perhaps even three times per day, if the itching is severe.

When getting out of the bath after colloidal oatmeal soaking, it is important to be cautious. The skin can become very slippery from this type of bath, making it easy to slip on the side of the tub or on the floor after getting out of the tub. In addition, using a colloidal oatmeal bath to relieve itching can sometimes leave a sticky feeling on the skin afterward. If this happens, the skin can be rinsed with a few cups of fresh warm water.

When taking a bath with colloidal oatmeal, it is important to make sure it does not get into the eyes. This can cause irritation. Also, if the itchy area is highly inflamed, it is best to avoid taking a colloidal oatmeal bath.

Colloidal oatmeal is a highly beneficial natural treatment that can work wonders toward stopping itching and irritation from a wide variety of skin problems and irritants.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

8 Foods That Boost Your Immune System

This was sent to me and i found it very interesting...

As we all learned in elementary school science class, all
living things need nourishment to survive.

Probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that live in your
intestines and make your immune system strong are no
different. These trillions of bacteria need food in order
to thrive, too.

Food for PRObiotic bacteria is called PREbiotics.

And the more you feed the probiotics in your gut, the
better they will survive and ward off dangerous pathogens
that you ingest, and the healthier your immune system will

And here's some great news for you...

Many prebiotics come from delicious foods and drinks.

Here are some examples:

1- Fresh fruits and vegetables--unpeeled

Antioxidant compounds called phenols are found just under
the skins of fruits and vegetables, and probiotics LOVE to
eat phenols.

Plus, fruits and vegetables also contain soluble fiber
which helps you in two ways...

First, your beneficial bacteria feed off the fiber.

Then they produce short-chain fatty acids as wastes.
These short-chain fatty acids slow the growth of dangerous
bacteria such as E. coli.

2- Trail mix

A blend of nuts and seeds is the perfect prebiotic. The
nuts and seeds are great sources of fiber, protein and
dietary phenols.

Just make sure to stay away from mixes that have candies
or yogurt-covered nuts, because they add refined sugar
(which ends up being food for the harmful bacteria in your
gut). That defeats the purpose.

3- Dark berry juices

Juices that contain good levels of dietary phenols include
those made from blueberries, raspberries, blackberries,
cranberries, pomegranates, cherries, and purple grapes.

Just be sure you're buying real JUICE--not a "juice drink"
which can contain little or no real juice. Read the label
if you're not sure. If the first and second ingredients
are water and sugar, forget it. It's not juice.

The only exception is cranberry juice cocktail. Pure
cranberry juice is quite tart, and the added water and
sugar make it tasty without completely compromising the
quality of the phenols from the cranberry juice.

4- Herbs and spices

Practically every herb and spice contains dietary phenols
(and they're alkaline -- another big PLUS for your body),
so spice things up all you want!

The herb with the highest phenol count is oregano, so if
you like pizza (light on the cheese, please), you're in luck.

Fresh herbs and spices have more dietary phenols than
dried, but both are good food for your beneficial bacteria.

5- Oats

Oats are loaded with beta-glucan, which is a soluble fiber
and an excellent prebiotic.

But all oats are not created equal. Stay away from those
flavored instant oatmeal packets because they're typically
loaded with refined sugar. You don't want to turn your
meal for your friendly bacteria into a feast for the
UNfriendly ones.

6- Legumes

Legumes include beans, lentils and peanuts. They're
loaded with soluble fiber (as well as protein and

The dietary phenol count of beans is one of the highest
per weight of any food in existence.

So go ahead and make some split pea soup, a batch of
hummus or a pot of chili and feed your friendly microbes.

7- Red wine

Good news for you cabernet, shiraz or merlot lovers!
Moderate consumption of red wine (1-2 glasses per day) not
only helps reduce risk of cardiovascualr disease, but red
wine also has one of the highest phenol contents of any
food or drink.

That's because red wine is made not only with the pulp of
the grapes, but also the skin and seeds. White wine uses
only the pulp, so it's not beneficial like red.

And the ultimate dream come true:

8- Dark chocolate

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Magnesium migraines

I found this interesting.

So just what is the magnesium migraines connection?

Researchers have been investigating the magnesium migraines connection because of magnesium's role in stabilizing blood vessels walls. Magnesium is also an important mineral when it comes to helping you get to sleep. Regular sleeping patterns are also very important to migraine sufferers. Magnesium also helps in protein synthesis, and keeps your bones strong and helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function.

It was first suggested that a deficiency in magnesium could cause
headaches over 70 years ago. It makes sense, because a lot of the things that cause the body to run short of magnesium also either trigger migraines or lower your resistance. For example alcohol, stress, and menstruation. Today we know that about half of the people who get migraines are also short of a certain type of magnesium (serum ionized).

When faced with a migraine that won't respond to treatment, many headache specialists will give an injection of magnesium. You should be able to get benefits from long term (2-3 months or more) regular magnesium supplements. The magnesium migraines link may make a big difference to many people.
Is my magnesium low?
Chances are good that you do not have a serious magnesium deficiency. However, there are situations where magnesium can get low. Certain drugs especially can lower your amounts of magnesium, such as diuretics and certain antibiotics. Alcohol may also lower your magnesium levels.

Researchers are sharply divided on the need for magnesium in migraineurs. Most believe that magnesium may play some role in migraine, but some believe that increasing your body's magnesium is THE key in eliminating migraine, even if you don't have a "serious deficiency".

Dr. Sarah DeRossett, American neurologist and headache specialist was quoted in July 2003 in support of magnesium and riboflavin/vitamin B2 for migraine sufferers. "About 15 to 20 percent of the American population is deficient in magnesium, and patients who have migraines have lower blood levels of magnesium than patients who don't have migraines." Read the article here.

You would be wise to make sure you're eating plenty of magnesium-rich foods. If your magnesium is very low, your doctor may suggest a supplement or injections, or even intravenous treatment. Magnesium migraines treatment is becoming more and more popular with migraine sufferers.

Normal adults require about 310-420mg of magnesium daily. Be aware that too much magnesium can cause side effects, and that there are different types of magnesium, which is why it is wise to be monitored by a doctor before you drastically raise your magnesium levels through supplements.
Symptoms of low magnesium...
Magnesium is important to the body, and so low magnesium can cause a host of problems, such as:
irregular heartbeats, loss of appetite, insomnia (a killer for migraineurs!), weakness, shortness of breath, PMS, anxiety, dizziness, nausea, and poor coordination.
What can I eat to boost my magnesium?
First, try to cut down on the processed food you eat. Processed food is prepared in such a way that it cuts down the magnesium.

Magnesium is found in many foods, but some of the best include wheat germ, beans, soy products, whole grains, seafood, dark green leafy vegetables, bananas (warning: bananas are a major migraine trigger for some people) and milk.
Magnesium migraines and the BIG PICTURE
So many migraine treatments have to be seen as part of the big picture. One thing effects the other. Researchers are more and more realizing that the interaction of various things in your body need to be taken into consideration when it comes to migraine – the way chemicals react together, the way various organs work with the nervous system. That's why migraineurs need to try combinations of treatments. There may be a magnesium migraines treatment that involves more than just taking magnesium itself.

One of the more popular proponents of magnesium supplements, Dr. Alexander Mauskop, is the director of the New York Headache Center. He writes in his book What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Migraines that he has found a treatment that is remarkably effective using magnesium, vitamin B2 and feverfew. He makes a good case for the magnesium migraines link and has backed up his opinion with good research.

Dr Barton M Alturn, professor of physiology and medicine at the State University of New York Health Science Center also writes about the magnesium migraines connection (quoted in Nature's Medicines ):

We believe that everyone should be taking 500-600 milligrams of magnesium a day in a combination of diet and supplements.

A study in June 2008 also confirmed the benefits of magnesium for migraineurs. Read more about this study, titled The effects of magnesium prophylaxis in migraine without aura.
What kind of magnesium should I buy?
So you've decided that you'd like to try a magnesium supplement, you know there's a magnesium migraines link, but there are dozens out there - which should you try?

Certain types of magnesium are not well absorbed by the body. Too much magnesium, particularly the wrong kinds of magnesium, can cause diarrhea and simply make your mineral deficiency worse. Also, remember to take magnesium for at least 60-90 days to see if it makes a difference.

If your body isn't absorbing magnesium well, try avoid these types of magnesium: Oxide, hydroxide, and chloride. Instead, look for magnesium types that end in "ate", particularly glycinate, but also gluconate, lactate and orotate.

Note: Very often two or more types of magnesium are combined, such as oxide and citrate. The best thing is to simply talk to your doctor and then try one kind and see how your body handles it.

Source Naturals has an excellent supplement which contains 400mg of magnesium, which many doctors suggest as a good amount for migraineurs to take. It's called Ultra-Mag Magnesium complex.

A very good supplement for migraine containing magnesium and other migraine-fighting componants is MigreLief. There is now an article online about MigreLief that you can read. You can also purchase MigreLief with magnesium here.