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12 Strange Remedies for Whatever Ails You

12 Strange Remedies for Whatever Ails You

Since the beginning of recorded time, mankind has indulged in a variety of peculiar methods related to remedying his ailments. From blood-sucking leeches to mercury-poured directly into the urethra, there seems to be no limit to the quackery practiced by our ancestors. Still, we can’t be too harsh on them – oftentimes our own urban myths lead us to believe in remedies that are quite strange.

Nevertheless, there are certain things that we might be surprised to learn actually are functioning remedies. From alcohol to acupuncture, here are 12 things that might shock you to learn are actual strange remedies:

1. Alcohol

When many people think of alcohol, they think of bottles lining the bar, of college parties, or maybe of a fine wine or a nice whiskey paired with dinner. However, alcohol has long been used for medicinal purposes, with first recorded use dating as far back as 5,000 years ago. A century ago, alcohol was actually still considered a legitimate medicine, though it was used to treat many ills it didn’t actually remedy.

Nowadays, alcohol’s been studied more closely and its role has been refined mainly to use as an antiseptic, found in the likes of mouthwash, for example. Still, many home remedies calling for alcohol, including using vodka or rubbing alcohol to treat poison ivy, rubbing it on your smelly feet, using it to remove warts & cold sores, and also for acne treatment. While you still may want to think twice before drinking it, remember to apply alcohol the next time your feet stink!

2. Onions

While alcohol isn’t the only food-based remedy on this list, it’s certainly the food-based remedy which could just as easily be considered unhealthy as it is healthy. Onions, on the other hand, are quite possibly the healthiest food on this list, if not of all time. Seriously. Onions contain an antioxidant flavonoid called quercetin, which helps to reduce allergies, asthma, hay fever, risks of heart disease, cholesterol, and even cancer. Eat more of them to experience the health benefits.

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    One thing to remember: placing onions in a bowl to “pull” and “trap” bacteria out of the air isn’t actually a good remedy for anything – stick to eating them and applying them to honeybee stings and bug bites.

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    3. Acupuncture & Cupping

    One thing that onions have in common with needles? They both make me cry. Jokes aside, acupuncture has long been used as a form of alternative medicine, in which needles are placed along meridian lines in the body. Through these lines, Qi (pronounced “chee”) is supposed to flow, and the needles help balance that energy out.

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      Alternatively, if you watched the 2016 Rio Olympic games, you may have seen athletes with large red circles on their bodies, signs of another form of alternative medicine utilizing meridian lines: cupping. Instead of needles, cupping uses heated glass jars that are cleared of oxygen and suctioned to the body. This is supposed to create blood flow in the local area, and it is believed by some to help treat pain, deep scar tissues in the muscles and connective tissue, muscle knots, and swelling.

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        It’s important to note that many alternative medicines like acupuncture and cupping are actually considered pseudoscience, meaning that the “healing power” people tend to feel may stem from the placebo effect. Either way, people swear by these medicines, and strange things are at work here that need to be studied!

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          4. Meditation

          When it comes to the power of the mind or at least the power of mindfulness, you won’t get far without mentioning meditation.

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          While you may not learn how to levitate off the floor, just a few minutes of meditation a day can help to reduce stress. Stress is no frivolous concern, either. Recent research performed by the American Psychological Association shows that 51 percent of women and 43 percent of men in America experience negative side effects of chronic stress, which can even lead to death. It’s not just stress that’s impacted by meditation, however. A neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Sara Lazar, recently found that meditation may actually help grow your brain.

          5. Sauna

          It’s customary in Northern European culture to hit the sauna at least once a day, and you’d be considered a weirdo if you’ve never been in one. Some people believe that saunas offer great health benefits such as cleansing the skin and flushing toxins. What’s for sure is that saunas make you sweat, can help you burn more calories, and, like meditation, help reduce stress.

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            It’s imperative to remember that, while relaxing and healthy, saunas can be dangerous if not used properly. Dr. Harvey Simon writing for Harvard Men’s Health Watch suggests that sauna users follow these simple precautions:

            • Avoid alcohol and medications that may impair sweating and produce overheating before and after your sauna.
            • Stay in no more than 15–20 minutes.
            • Cool down gradually afterward.
            • Drink two to four glasses of cool water after each sauna.
            • Don’t take a sauna when you are ill, and if you feel unwell during your sauna, head for the door.

            6. Essential Oils

            Throughout history, human beings have turned to aromatherapy to cure their ills. There are way too many essential oils to list, and their uses are varied, from using tea tree oil to combat lice and acne, vitamin E oil and frankincense to treat stretch marks, and lavender for cuts, bruises, and scrapes, there’s an essential oil for almost everything. Peppermint is one of the most widely used plants for these oils, and has been for a long time – in fact, peppermint’s ability to sooth the stomach is why you will commonly receive a complimentary mint after dinner in the U.S.

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              7. Hemp & Cannabidiol

              Hemp and cannabidiol (CBD) are two ingredients of the cannabis plant that represent the non-psychoactive baby thrown out with the bathwater. Unfortunately, because CBD is a derivative of the cannabis plant, making its production and possession illegal, there hasn’t been much research done on it – but many have claimed that CBD extracts can help to treat both epilepsy and psychosis.

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                While the various uses of CBD will have to wait awhile to be teased out, hemp hearts, which are legal to use and come from different parts of the cannabis plant, are extremely rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, lower blood pressure, and may even prevent Alzheimer’s. Additionally, hemp seeds are one of the few sources of Omega-3 that can actually be found in plants.

                8. Sleeping

                If there’s one thing on this list that you literally couldn’t live without, that thing would be sleep. Still, just getting a few hours a night doesn’t always cut it. A lack of sleep can increase the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity, and has been linked to lower testosterone and sex drive. Those with good sleeping patterns have also been reported to have improved memory.

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                  If you have trouble sleeping, try changing up the position that you sleep in. There are generally pros and cons to each, such as elevating the head for those with acid reflux, or sleeping on the stomach for those who snore – but the good news is this: no matter what position you’re sleeping in, you’re doing your body some good.

                  9. Music

                  Music has always been seen as a mystical sort of thing, probably because in the early ages there were no scientific processes to show that music releases dopamine in the brain, making the listener happier.

                  The ability of music to produce subtle effects on the body has been exploited by mainstream media and marketing – but that doesn’t mean you can’t hack your own body too (musically speaking). Listen to more motivating music to run faster, improve visual and verbal skills, and even reduce depression. Music has even been shown to reduce pain and anxiety of patients during surgery and has been used in muscle rehabilitation training. Crazy!

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                  10. Fermented… Anything

                  Some say that the stomach is the “second brain.” Our mood can be influenced by our foods – as can our health – so it goes without saying that eating the best will leave us feeling the best. Fermented foods are packed with health benefits that leave your second brain feeling great.

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                    The reason that foods like yogurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, and kimchi – fermented foods – are considered so beneficial to health is that they contain live culture that can create beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics from the original food. Pairing healthy fermented foods with your normal diet can help you absorb nutrients by balancing and optimizing your gut flora. So eat up!

                    11. Apple Cider Vinegar

                    Apple cider vinegar is often used to pickle and sometimes used to ferment things, so it comes as no surprise that it’s used as a remedy and offers amazing health benefits.

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                      Among apple cider vinegar’s benefits:

                      12. Chicken Soup

                      Last but not least, the most common remedy of all: chicken soup. Yes, your mother used to make it for you when you were a kid and had a cold, but that’s just one of those “old wive’s tales” that chicken soup will make you feel better… right?

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                        Actually, no! Chicken soup boosts your vitamin A and selenium intake, which both support proper thyroid gland function. Selenium can help to produce cancer-fighting enzymes to boot, while vitamin A boosts the growth of red blood cells. For healthiest results, try to make the soup yourself and to choose low-sodium ingredients. Now, the next time you get sick, you have the science to back up your request for poultry-infused vegetable and chicken juice!

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                        Andrew Heikkila

                        Owner-Operator of Earthlings Entertainmnet

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                        Last Updated on March 13, 2019

                        How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                        How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                        Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                        You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                        Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                        1. Work on the small tasks.

                        When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                        Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                        2. Take a break from your work desk.

                        Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                        Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                        3. Upgrade yourself

                        Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                        The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                        4. Talk to a friend.

                        Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                        Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                        5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                        If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                        Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                        Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                        6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                        If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                        Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                        Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                        7. Read a book (or blog).

                        The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                        Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                        Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                        8. Have a quick nap.

                        If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                        9. Remember why you are doing this.

                        Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                        What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                        10. Find some competition.

                        Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                        Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                        11. Go exercise.

                        Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                        Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                        As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                        Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                        12. Take a good break.

                        Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                        Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                        Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                        Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                        More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                        Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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