In my notebook I have about 50 ways how to use baking soda. Over the years I got to
try several of them. I always have a pack of baking soda at home as I use it for baking quite often. The other times I use it are as follows:
Getting rid of stains – I mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a teaspoon of water and then I put the mixture onto the stain. If the stain is bigger, I make a bigger amount and cover the stain completely. I keep it working for about an hour and then I wipe it with a damp cloth. If the stain is still there I repeat the process. This helped me to clean stains inside the bathtub and stains on some plastic toys. I am not sure if it will help you to get rid of the stains from some other materials.
Teeth whitening – again I mix a teaspoon of baking soda and a teaspoon of water to make a paste. Then I use it same as I would toothpaste. When brushing I try to avoid gums as the baking soda can be abrasive and works like peeling. I have read that it may irritate gums if used too often. I did not have that experience but I don’t do this more often then once a month. I would therefore caution anybody with sensitive teeth/gums to do that more often. Also when brushing your teeth do not rub the teeth with a great force. I used this technique when I was a student and did not have money to buy expensive whitening products. It is a great temporary solution.
Getting rid of odor – I use it for example after the place has been painted and I can still smell the fresh paint. I put a bowl filed with baking soda into the corner of the room and usually it neutralizes the smell.Similarly with smells inside the fridge or cupboard.
Baking soda is that is very cheap, easy to get and kinder to the environment than chemical products. There are many more uses but I have mentioned only those that worked for me 🙂
In our region the winter is slowly easing off. It is a lovely time of the year. Air is fresher and fragrant and everybody seems to be relieved the cold days are over.
Recently the changes in weather were more obvious and changes in temperature more abrupt. I try to build my immunity as much as I can during this time. If I don’t have time for spring detox, I at least take several little steps. First, I up my Vitamin C intake. I have noticed that the vitamins I get from fruits at this time of the year are not sufficient. Therefore I supplement with Vitamin C. I choose any natural brand and take it whenever I feel I might come down with a cold. With that I take a tablet of Zinc. Again only when I feel bit weak.
The Zinc tablets were recommended to me long time ago by my favorite homeopath. When I told him I am on a vegetarian diet he recommended a course of Zinc in a liquid form. During those days I suffered from sore throats and colds and basically my immunity was very low. The Zinc really made me more resistant and since then I supplement it during the flu season. With Zinc and Vitamin C I also have some fruits with high Vitamin C content. I always loved strawberries and oranges but recently I have found that kiwis work best for me. When I am not well, I slice one or two ripe kiwis and eat them as a snack. I am convinced they help me to stay healthy! So that is my first line of defense. I also drink a lot’s warm or hot water sometimes with lemon or a teaspoon of Apple Vinegar. Usually this simple routine helps me to get through the spring without any cold. Let me know what works for you 🙂
I have been always ambivalent about oil. Is it good or bad for me? I have heard so many answers but till today I don’t know the truth. One time I tried to cut out fat out of my diet all together. That did not last long. I missed it. Salads did not taste the same. My skin was dry and did not lose weight as I hoped for. So I went back to using it and did not think much about it. However, when my daughter tried the HCLF vegan diet I did find that there are some oil free recipes that can fill me up and are tasty at the same time. These days I am aiming for small amount of fat when I am cooking. I used to automatically think that if I am making a stir-fry it is healthy for me. But I have overlooked the puddle of oil I used to fry my vegetables in. I am bit more focused now. A big help has been an oil in a spray. Instead of pouring the oil onto the pan I just spray it lightly. The effect is the same. Food gets fried and is tasty while I save on calories from fat. If needed I add bit of water – trick that I learned from HCLF fans. More over the bottle of oil lasts lot longer.
There is one negative I have to mention here. The oils in spray seems to be more expensive. I don’t know why we have to pay more for it. The only difference from a normal bottle of oil is the nozzle. If I could refill the spray then I would not mind as much but the spray I have been using cannot be refilled. If anybody knows where to get spray bottles made from dark glass I would be grateful 🙂
One of the remedies I have been leaning on for years are drops from Dr. Bach called Rescue remedy. I have come across them long time ago. Ten years ago to be precise. What I liked straight away was the fact that the mixture was made completely from plants. Moreover it contained some plants I already knew as I always loved botany and leafing through my old plant atlas. The idea that these plants bring help and relieve appealed to me. I have decided to try the power of plants on myself out of curiosity. Nothing to loose right?
The instructions said to use the drops for emergencies and crises. So I did. The result was unexpected…I felt better, calmer and more balanced. I was surprised. Since then I would always reach for the remedy when I felt under exceptional pressure. I do not use it when I face the ‘ordinary’ daily stress as the remedy is meant for more serious crises. At least that is how I understand it. When I take it I always imagine the healing power of plants working through my body and calming me down. So yes, the more sceptical minds might think that it is all mental. However, over the years I have also used it on my kids. When they were little they did not know what are the drops for. The result was same. They felt better. When they were bigger, I used to give them the drops during their exams. On those days I was really happy to be able to give them something to calm their nerves. When I asked them how they felt, they said that they were nervous but it was not a big deal and once the exam started they felt calm and focused.
I have used the Rescue remedy successfully on my family members for the following situations: grief, night terrors, anxiety, panicky feeling and pre-exam nerves. I would always use it only for several days three or four times daily. Sometime I use the drops, sometimes the spray. The results seem to be same but for some reason I prefer the drops.
Update: 2019 – I love, love this product. I am using it for my kids during the exam period. They love it and makes them feel more calm. This product is now available in our local chemist – amazing! It took me years to discover it. I recommend it to everyone who suffers for anxiety and panic attacks. Give it a go 🙂
I thought I am done writing about Homeopathy but yesterday when I opened my drawer I discovered 2 more remedies that I should mention. Simply because I used them a lot when kids were little and they were a great help. We used to travel several times a year over several time zones to countries with very different climates and cuisines. I was always bit worried about the flight because kids used to get earaches on landing and I did not know how to help them. It was always worse if they had bit of cold. I did have some medicines from my doctor but they never worked. I turned to Homeopathy like few times before and found Earache tablets from Hyland’s. I gave them to kids one day before travel and then during the flight. It did not take the pressure and uncomfortable feeling away but it did ease the pain. I was delighted when they did not burst into tears and happy for the surrounding passengers, too 🙂 After this experience I used these tablets on the fist sign of earache especially when I knew that I will not be able to take kids to the doctor until morning. It helped many times but I do need to point out that there were couple of times when we could not stop the infection.
The second remedy is Allergy Relief from NatraBio which are homeopathic drops. They are not completely tasteless but they are so mild that kids never complained. I always used them when they had an upset stomach or felt heavy after eating some new kind of food. The drops worked really well and I always had them with me when I traveled. Thanks to Allergy Relief kids tried many new foods, went to many restaurants and had some naughty food without any consequences. Not mentioning that it made my life lot easier during holidays. I also used to add some Probiotics but they deserve a separate post.
And last but not least are PMS tablets from Hyland’s. I think that was the first Homeopathic medicine I tried. It was long before I had kids. I was just too desperate and was searching for something that will take away that unpleasant tension. Finally I did come across tablets for PMS from Hyland’s. I knew I had nothing to loose and tried it. It helped. I was thrilled. Finally I could use something that was not chemical. I used it for years. Unfortunately I do not have a photo of it because when I tried to buy it last time in my favorite shop they told me they will not stock it anymore. I tried online but could not find a shop that would ship to my country. Actually I did find one and they told me that they will let me know when they will get a new stock. That was six months ago… Anyway I think that is all I can share about my experience with Homeopathy. I am aware that it might not be for everyone but as I said: “I am a fan.”
Update: 2019 – Yes, I still stand by this fabulous trio!
And one more post on homeopathy 🙂 It is about a remedy I use regularly now and I am convinced about it’s effectivness. First time I have heard about it was in one book about natural cures and prevention. Unfortunately I do not remember the title or author but what he said intrigued me. He recommended to use Oscillococcinum, a homeopathic mixture from Boiron as a prevention from flu. I have decided to follow his instruction and used one dose once a week for one month. I did not get any flu. Was it a luck or was the remedy working? I am convinced it is the remedy.
I have been using it every fall and spring and I did not have a flu for years. Same with my children. Not mentioning they love it’s slight sweet. I use it when I feel that there might be a cold coming. If I give it to kids early enough I am able to stop the infection. If it is at a later stage then it at least lessen the symptoms and shortens the duration. When they have an infection I give them one dose in the morning and one in the evening. I also use it when we travel by plane. It usually protects us really well and I don’t have to worry about people sneezing and coughing around me 🙂
The name of it is bit strange and I am never able to pronounce it correctly. A bigger drawback is it’s price. It is expensive and I always think long and hard before buying it. At the end I always do – because I know it will do the trick 🙂
Update: 2019 – I am still using this product and to my great delight it sold in our local chemist!
Just few days ago my husband told me a big news. He read somewhere on BBC website that some studies that were done on Homeopathy finally proved that it does not work. My reaction was something like this:”Wow, that is interesting…” I did not want to hurt his feelings but he obviously forgot one thing…
When my son was seven he got a really bad cough. He had it for ages and could not get rid of it. It was bit strange because he usually got over infections very quickly. Our GP said that it might be an onset of asthma. We live in a city and the air pollution can get pretty bad. After some tests the doctor said that my son will need an inhaler. It was his diagnosis and I respected it, however during that time I have already had some experience with alternative methods particularly with Homeopathy. I had a small Homeopathy kit which I used for fevers and stomach upsets. The small tablets were slightly sweet and dissolved easily. Kids preferred them to herbs that of had strong smell or taste. I made me think that I should see a homeopathic specialist and ask him about my son’s persistent cough. Nothing to loose right? I was very lucky and found a very good one with great references. At that point I did not have any expectations. I just wanted to try it before starting my son on the inhaler. The homeopath explained to me that he will give him some tablets which he has to take exactly as prescribed for a duration of 3 months. He also made some recommendations with regards to his diet and lifestyle. He wrote down everything in detail and explained that this is a process of “desentization”.
We did everything to the letter. To our great surprise, my son’s cough eased away and finally disappeared completely. I was stunned. Our GP was surprised, too. He gave me an inhaler just in case but needles to say my son never needed it. It is a long time ago so no wonder my husband forgot this little story. My son does not remember it either. But I do. That’s how I started to use homeopathy on regular basis. Basically I knew it works and did not question it. I know there will be studies done, things written and things said but to me my experience means more.
I do have to mention that years later my favorite homeopath moved abroad and I had to find a new one. Finally I did find one but I was deeply disappointed. Not so much because the remedy did not work but because the treatment was incredibly expensive. I was shocked. He charged about 5x more than my old homeopath. I did not go back there ever again.
Therefore I would advise to choose your homeopath wisely. Go for good references. Usually the best one are from friends and from people who were helped and seen improvements. I think everybody can make their own opinion but it is worth a try. I am definitely a fan 🙂
Update: 2019 – I don’t care what others things. I know there is a debate whether homeopathy works or not. For me it does – and that is that 🙂
One thing that worked for me over the years was a nettle extract. I have experienced increased hair fall during certain periods of my life. First time was during my teenage years. I did not think much of it as it was not so obvious. My did try few things. Cut my hair short and used some herbal hair tonics. It lasted probably year or so and I forgot all about it. The second time I have experienced more noticeable hair loss was during my pregnancies. By then I have suspected that this is due to the hormonal changes. Again I have used hair tonics and tried to be more gentle to my hair. I bought a good brush, did not wear tight pony tails, used herbal shampoos and and avoided hair colour. It also stopped and I did not have to think about hair loss for a while. Until now.
I have noticed my hair is started to get thinner and is falling out more easily. As I have experienced this before I did make the connection with the hormonal changes straight away. I take it like a message from my body that says: “pay attention to your hair”. And I try. Unfortunately I cannot get the hair tonic that I have used years ago as they do not produce it any more. I have tried some other shampoos, hair masks and tonics but unfortunately they did not work. I remembered that my step father used to rinse his hair with nettle extract. When he was in his 30’s his hair started fall more significantly and got really worried. He did go to see doctor and a skin specialist. They gave him some specialized shampoos but they did not make much difference. He was really miserable. To us it was funny because he still had full head of black hair and nobody would guess his problem. My granny was a very kind soul and she always took all problems to her heart. She has talked to her friend – an experienced herbalist – and he had a simple advice:”Buy nettle, boil it in a water like a tea and when finished washing your hair, rinse them with it.” Granny hesitated to tell my step father because he was not into that stuff at all. He was and engineer and did not like any “mambo jumbo” like herb cures etc. He would often make fun of these things and did not ever consider them as an option. However, when he run out of all his options he thought he will give it try. Granny got a pack of dry nettle that would last for a month. At first nothing was happening. We stopped asking him about the results and got bored with making jokes about it. It was only when has similar problem with hair falling out I remembered this. My step father has a full head of hair even now. Although he is mostly grey, he is not bald and does not have any balding patches. To my surprise he did tell me that ever since my granny advised him on the nettle extract he uses it religiously. Ideally ever two weeks or at least once a month. He keeps on buying dry nettle leaves for more then thirty years!
I was amazed and decided to give it try. Where I live nettle is not a common herb and the only nettle I was able to get were tea bags. But anyways, it is still a nettle right? I have boiled 2 sachets in a liter of a water and when it cooled down I used it as a rinse. I have done that once a week for about a month. And the result? My hat goes off to this wonderful herb! The hair fall reduced after 2 weeks and then stopped after one month. I was delighted! It worked. I did not think that after so many years I will find an answer literally on my doorstep.
One important note though. The rinse is quite dark and can stain your bathtub. The extract is not strong enough to colour the hair. At least I did not notice any change in colour [I have dark brown hair]. Sometimes I am too busy or too lazy to prepare the nettle rinse and usually within a month the hair fall increases again. That means that nettle does not cure but it reduces or stops the hair loss temporarily.
Boil 1 liter of water. Add 2 sachets of nettle tea. Let it stand until lukewarm. Use as a last step when washing your hair. Rinse hair and gently massage in. Do not rinse with water. Repeat twice a week for at least one month to see results.
I should add that the nettle tea is usually recommended to beat tiredness and to clean blood. Many herbalists believe that nettle is better for the body than coffee. Unfortunately I do not like the taste of it. To me it is bit too grassy so I am sticking to a good cuppa of coffee…
Update: 2019 – Zinc supplement seems to help.
Every autumn and spring I take out my trusted trio: Tiger balm, Olbas oil and White oil. Over the years I have discovered that they give me the best protection during the flu season. I have been using them for over 1o years now. Tiger balm I have discovered during my travels. The name intrigued me. Were any tigers harmed during the process? As I read the label I thought:”This is worth a try.” Since then always when I feel head cold I slap it on my forehead or when I have a cough I spread it on my chest. It is a strong stuff. You have to make sure that you do not touch your eyes afterwards as it would irritate them. My kids did not share my enthusiasm and I used to put a little bit on their chest when they were asleep. It always eased any chest congestion and provided relieve. Olbas oil I have discovered by accident when browsing through the shelves of our new pharmacy. It was bit pricey but I gave it a try. Usually a put few drops on a tissue and leave it beside the bed. It has a very pleasant smell of eucalyptus. It is calming and I do think it helps you breath more easily. Sometimes I would put few drops on the heater. The oil would then evaporate and refresh the whole room. And last but not least is the White flower oil. I liked the cute bottle that was easy to slip into the pocket. I put few drops on my neck when I feel some cold coming on. Sometimes I have used it for my daughter when she was getting bit woozy on the train. The strong aroma always refreshed her instantly. As autumn approaching I am reaching for my three little friends – knowing they will give my immunity much needed boost.
I should mention that when I apply these oils people around me can smell it. The aroma is very strong so it is not advisable to use them if you are going to attend some important social event 🙂
Photo coming soon 🙂
As I have noticed my first grey hair I thought to myself that I need to pay a bit more
attention to my aging body. I did plan to do a detox or cleanse for a while but the time
never seemed right. The idea of starving whole day and living just on juices did not appeal to me. But I did want to do something. Something that will make me feel good. Something that will give me more energy.
As luck would have it one of my dear friends has recommended a detox in one her e-mails. I hesitated at first. It had a set menu for 28 days which needed to be followed. I resent any strict diets and was worried this is one of them. To my pleasant surprise the premise of the detox is not to starve – you can eat until full – in fact the more you eat the better. You need to drink about 3-3,5 l of water every day and you need to stick to the meals that are prescribed. The author is Mrs. Macingova, a Slovak nutritionist. Her detox is very popular in Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Most of the people do this detox to lose weight. Some of them have a great success with weight loss but the weight loss is not the main aim of it. Just a bonus.
And now about my results. After the 28 days I felt lot better and more energetic. I even started to wake up half an hour earlier than usual. I did not need my usual coffee boost. I did not crave any sweets. I just did not feel like eating any of my usual treats. People commented on how good and fresh I look. They did notice the difference. With regards to weight loss it was not as spectacular. I have lost only 2 kg on the scale but my clothes were lot looser. What happens with this detox is a loss of ‘volume’. Somehow I shrank. Shirt that was to tight was suddenly loose. I could swing my arms and there was some more space around my stomach area. I did find this very interesting. Mrs. Macingova always stresses that it is not the kilos you loose but the centimeters. The results had such a visible impact on me that I have decided to repeat it again in 3 months. That time my husband joined me and lost about 5 kgs. This detox is going to be part of my routine for sure. On the scale of 1 to 10 I would give it 9. The reason I would not give it 10 is because during the whole month you have to follow the menu. And I am not just very good at sticking to a set of rules. But that is just my laziness I suppose…so I should really give it 10 out of 10 🙂