Category: Health and Remedies

17 Household Plants that Remove Toxins in Your Home

Do you or anyone in your home suffer from allergies?  Did you know that your home could be harboring harmful toxins and allergens?

Some of these pollutants in the home include everyday household products like cleaners and air fresheners, dust, smoke, pollen, dust mites, bacteria, mold, building materials like paint, pesticides and pet dander.

You may experience the following symptoms as a result of poor air quality in the home: coughing, sneezing, wheezing, fatigue, watery eyes, dizziness and headaches.

Certain indoor plants absorb harmful toxins in the air, such as formaldehyde, benzene trichloroethylene and carbon dioxide through tiny openings in their leaves.

17 plants that are effective in removing some household toxins include:

  1. Ficus Alii (Ficus macleilandii “Alii”) – grows up to 10 feet tall in indirect sunlight. Rotate the plant weekly so it maintains it’s shape. Water when the soil feels dry. Water enough so it drains out the holes at the bottom.
  2. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata “Bostoniensis”) – grows to about 3 feet. Store in a cool place with high humidity and indirect sunlight. Lightly mist one or two times a week to help with the humidity. Keep the soil damp.
  3. Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii) – grows up to 4 to 12 feet in indirect sunlight. Water when the soil feels dry. Do not over water or leave sitting in water.
  4. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema modestum) – can grow anywhere between 8 inches and 4 feet tall. Can grow in areas with low light. Water when the soil feels dry. Fertilize once or twice a year.
  5. Areca Palm (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) – grows around 7 feet tall in bright, indirect sunlight. Water enough to keep the soil moist in the spring and the summer. Allow the soil to dry out between watering in the fall. Fertilize in the spring.
  6. Lady Palm (Rhapis excelsa) – grows 6 to 14 feet tall. Keep out of direct sunlight, water when the soil feels dry.
  7. English Ivy (Hedera helix) – prune regularly to keep the desired length. Keep in indirect sunlight, let the soil dry before watering.
  8. Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii) – grows up to 2 feet tall. Keep in a bright area in indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist. Empty the water from the drip tray to prevent rot.
  9. Marginata (Dracaena marginata) – grows to about 10 to 15 feet. Place in indirect sunlight, water when the soil feels dry.
  10. Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii) – grows to about 2 feet. Keep in a moderately bright area. This plant likes dry air and soil. Allow the soil to dry completely before watering. Water until it drains through the drip holes.
  11. Dracaena “Janet Craig” (Dracaena deremensis) – the ‘compacta’ variety grows to about 1 foot. Keep in a bright area with indirect sunlight. Water when the surface feel dry.
  12. Philodendron (Philodendron sp) – grows to about 6 to 8 feet in indirect sunlight. Allow the surface to dry before watering.
  13. Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) – grows to about 3 feet. Keep in indirect bright light. Check the soil moisture daily. Water when the top of the soil begins to dry. Water until it begins to drip through the holes. Remove the water from the drip tray.
  14. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum “Mauna Loa”) – grows to about 16 inches. Keep in indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist, but do not over water.
  15. Rubber Plant (Ficus robusta) – grows from 1 to 8 feet tall. Can grow in low light. Keep the soil moist but do not over water.
  16. Mass Cane/Corn Plant (Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana”) – can grow over 6 feet tall in moderate light. Keep the soil moist, water one to two times a week.
  17. Dwarf Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii) – grows up to 6 feet tall in bright indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.

Some plants may be harmful to pets, also some plants may cause an allergic reaction if handled by someone with sensitive skin. Do your research before getting a new houseplant.

Another way to get rid of pollutants and toxins in the home is to minimize your exposure to allergens:

· Do not smoke in the house

· Avoid carpeting or vacuum daily

· Avoid furniture that collects dust

· Clean air filters regular

· Keep pets out of the house and off of the furniture

For even more protection you may also want to consider investing in a mechanical air cleaner or an electronic air cleaner to remove particles from the air in your home.

Mechanical air cleaners trap particles passing through them with material like fiber glass. The most popular mechanical air cleaners are High Energy Particle Air Filters (HEPA).

The electrically charged filters of electronic air cleaners attract and trap particles and prevents recirculation in the home.

Have you tried any of these methods or do you have another method you use to reduce pollutants in your home? Share your methods in the comments.

8 Natural Treatments for Your Child’s Anxiety

This post contains affiliate links in which I will earn a small commission on items purchased at no additional cost to you.  See my disclosure for more information.

Anxiety is not the same as an anxiety disorder.  According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (ADAA), anxiety is temporary phases of fear and an anxiety disorder is a group of mental illnesses which are chronic and can interfere with daily functions.  Anxiety disorders affect 1 in 8 children.  There are several types of anxiety disorders, each have their own symptoms.  Below is a list of specific anxiety disorders that children may suffer from.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (CAD)
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic disorder
  • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Social Anxiety Disorder (social phobia)
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder
  • Selective Mutism
  • Specific Phobias

Click here for more information on these specific disorders.

Anxiety Treatments

Medication is an effective way to treat anxiety, but there are alternate natural treatments that may also relieve anxiety symptoms.

  1. Lavender – The relaxing and calming effects of lavender aromatherapy has been found to reduce mild anxiety according to the Natural Medicine Journal.
  2. Exercise – According to the ADAA, exercise can reduce symptoms of mild anxiety.
  3. Positive Thinking – Positive thinking can prevent or control anxiety according to WebMd. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts.
  4. Healthy Diet – A healthy diet won’t cure anxiety, but it can help according to Mayo Clinic. Some foods that may help reduce anxiety symptoms are:
    • Eating protein for breakfast.  This keeps your child fuller longer and maintains the body’s blood sugar level.
    • Eating Foods that increase serotonin levels in the brain, such as oatmeal and complex carbohydrates like whole grain.  Serotonin has a calming effect and can lift your child’s mood.
    • Balanced meals with a lot of fruits and vegetables.  Berries contain antioxidants that can boost your child’s mood by easing the feeling of anxiety.  Leafy greens like spinach and kale contain magnesium with can help calm your child.  Citrus fruits like oranges contain vitamin C which may also have a calming effect.
  5. Music – According to Healthychildren.org, music can be comforting and calming which can help decrease anxiety.
  6. Writing – Encourage your child to keep a journal. This can help with anxiety by helping your child gain control of his or her emotions, according to the University of Rochester.
  7. Art – Anxiety.org reports that art therapy can be an effective treatment for anxiety when used with CBT.
  8. Pets – Pets, especially dogs, can lower stress and reduce anxiety according to the ADAA.

Learn how you can help you child overcome anxiety with the award-winning Anxiety-Free Child Program offered by anxietyfreechild.com.  This program was developed with expert doctors of psychology and other professionals to give you the information and resources you need to help your child be free of their anxiety and restore their happiness and confidence.

Have you tried any of these methods to help your child cope with anxiety?  How effective were they?  I’d love to hear your methods on how you help your child cope with anxiety.  Leave a comment.

9 Home Remedies to Treat Your Child’s Eczema

My oldest two children both have eczema.  They had eczema outbreaks often before we found the right prevention treatment for each of them.  They really don’t get it much anymore now.

Besides steroid creams such as hydrocortisone (over the counter or prescription strength for more severe cases of eczema) and antibiotics, here are some natural ways to prevent and treat eczema:

1. Avoid triggers

Avoid triggers such as food allergens, pet allergens, irritating clothing, certain soaps and detergents.  If you suspect a food allergy, consider having your child tested for allergies or keep a journal of your child’s diet (food and drink) and symptoms for a few weeks, this may help pinpoint the trigger.  If symptoms do not improve, the journal may provide helpful information for your child’s doctor.

2. Humidifier

A cool mist humidifier can help soothe your child’s skin by keeping it from drying out, which can cause skin to become itchy.

3. Coconut oil

Apply coconut oil to the skin immediately after your child’s bath, while the skin is still moist.  Coconut oil helps soothe dry and itchy skin.

My 5 year old son recently got an eczema outbreak on his face, it was triggered by a new soap I starting using. His entire face was covered in bumps, everyday it seemed to be getting worse because he was constantly scratching.  His usual moisturizer was not doing the trick this time.

I read that coconut oil was a good treatment for eczema because it has anti-inflammatory components.  It moisturizes and relieves itchy skin.  I saw a major improvement after I began using it.

Tip:  Do not apply coconut oil to the skin if you are going to be in the sun.  A good moisturizing cream recommended by my son’s doctor for his eczema is CeraVe.

4. Breastmilk

Breastfeeding may prevent some babies from developing eczema.  Also, applying breastmilk directly to your child’s skin can help soothe the skin, prevent eczema from spreading and may even heal the rash.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties that help heal eczema.  Apply a mixture of equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water.  Apply the mixture to the affected area twice a day.

6. Oats

Add finely ground oats to your child’s bath to help moisturize their skin and relieve itch.

Or you can make a paste and apply it directly to the affected area, leave it on for 5-10 minutes then wash off.

7. Chamomile Tea

Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties.  A cloth soaked in the tea can be applied to the affected area, or use the tea bags directly on the affected area.

8. Cornstarch and Oil

Mix cornstarch with water and some olive oil or grapeseed oil to create a paste to soothe eczema.

9. Lukewarm Water

Bathing your child in lukewarm water helps retain the skins natural oils.  Hot water dries out the skin.  Pat the skin dry, don’t rub.

You can also try moisturizers like Aquaphor (my everyday go to moisturizer) or CeraVe (as mentioned above).

Have you tried any of these remedies?  Share your experience.  Do you have a remedy or tip to share for treating eczema?

8 Natural Cough Remedies

What treatments can you give your child to relieve a cough?  There are various over the counter cough medicines that are effective, but it is not recommended to give cough medicine to children under 6 years old. Some parents may also prefer an alternative to medications.  Below are 8 natural remedies you can use to sooth your child’s cough.

1. Moist Air

Use a cool mist humidifier or sit in a steamy bathroom for 10-15 minutes.  Moist air helps loosen mucus making it easier to cough it up.  Moist air also helps to sooth an irritated throat.  Adding eucalyptus oil to a humidifier may also help.  Make sure to clean the humidifier daily to avoid mold growth.

Tip:  I read in a review that using distilled water helps keep your humidifier clean.

2. Honey

Before bed offer ½ teaspoon of honey to treat a cough for children ages 1-5 and 1 teaspoon for children age 6 and above.  You can also try combining honey with fresh lemon juice in a glass of warm water.  Honey is not safe for children under the age of 1 year old because it can cause infantile botulism.

3. Elevate Your Child’s Head

Slightly elevate your child’s head to treat postnasal drip.  Do not use a pillow for infants, instead try putting a towel under the head of the mattress.

4. Increase Fluids

Drinking plenty of fluids helps thin out mucus.

5. Vapor Rub

The ingredients in vapor rub helps sooth cough by acting as a decongestant.  Vapor rub is typically applied to the chest, however some parents swear by applying vapor rub to their child’s feet.  Vapor rub is not recommended for children under the age of 2 years old.

6. Saline Drops

A couple of saline drops in each nostril helps alleviate congestion by loosening mucus.

7. Nasal Aspirator

Use a nasal aspirator to remove mucus.  Try adding some saline drops to loosen the mucus prior to suctioning it out.  Be aware that misuse or overuse of a nasal aspirator can cause tissue damage or swelling.

8. Chicken Noodle Soup

Studies have shown that chicken noodle soup contains anti-inflammatory properties that helps sooth a cough.

 

What are some of your cough remedies?

9 Natural Remedies for Sunburn

Most of us know by now that it is important to protect our skin when we are out in the sun.  But we don’t always protect our skin like we should, even when we have good intentions.  If you do happen to get a sunburn, it can be very painful and uncomfortable.  Continue reading for some of the best treatments for sunburn.

1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal can be used to sooth sunburned skin in a variety of ways:

  • Cooked – Cook the oatmeal as directed, add additional water to make the consistency runnier. After the oatmeal cools, apply it to the sunburned skin.  Rinse the solution with cool water once relief is obtained.
  • As a Paste – Add milk and honey to ground oats to form a paste consistency. Apply to the affected area, then rinse once relief is obtained. Omit the honey for children under 12 months.
  • In the Bath – Add ground oats to a lukewarm bath. Or use over the counter colloidal oatmeal mixtures such as Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment.
  • As a Moisturizer – Apply an oatmeal enriched lotion such as Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion with Natural Colloidal Oatmeal

2. Plan Yogurt

Apply plain yogurt to sunburned skin.  Leave on the skin until it dries, then rinse with cool water.

3. Baking Soda

Add a few tablespoons of baking soda to a lukewarm bath and soak for 10-20 minutes.

4. Potatoes

  • Cut a potato into slices and rub the potato onto the skin several times a day, or
  • Add cut potatoes and a bit of water to a blender. Blend until watery then apply the solution to the skin with a cotton ball.

5. Tea

  • Soak black or green tea bags in boiling water for 10 to 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags, squeeze out the water and let cool.  Apply the damp tea bags directly to the sunburn and leave on the skin until the tea bags are dry, or
  • Brew several tea bags, let the tea cool, then soak a cloth in the tea. Add the tea soaked clothed to the sunburn and leave on the skin to provide relief.  Try adding mint to the tea for extra relief.

6. Cucumbers

Apply cool cucumber to sunburned skin for soothing relief.

7. Rehydrate

Drink plenty of water to rehydrate your skin.

8. Lavender Oil

Apply lavender oil to the sunburn or add a few drops in a lukewarm bath.

9. Aloe Vera

  • Cut open an aloe vera leaf and remove the gel. Apply the gel directly to the sunburn.  Rinse if needed.  Repeat 2-3 times a day, or
  • Try a moisturizer like 99.75% pure organic aloe vera gel made by Earth’s Daughter.

Leave a comment and share some of your sunburn remedies.