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Remedies For What Ails You

When you came down with a cold your mother probably made you some chicken soup claiming it would help. As you grew up, you probably started to think there wasn't much science or medicine behind that chicken soup theory, but you used it anyway. If you've got asthma, your cup of coffee can give you more than just a morning pick-me-up.
As it turns out chicken soup has been proven to be beneficial to helping get rid of a cold. This is only one of a number of old wives' tales that have been tested and researched for their medical benefits and have proven to actually work. Jodi Applegate talked about these cures with Donna Behan, health editor of Woman's Day.
Doctors have long believed that drinking any hot liquid helps to ease cold symptoms, but research has proven that hot chicken soup is especially beneficial. In one study, doctors at Miami's Mount Sinai medical center compared sipping chicken soup, hot water and cold water to clear up nasal mucus. The soup was the most effective. Doctors are not sure why, but they say chicken soup does work.
If you,ve got asthma, your cup of coffee can give you more than just a morning pick-me-up. In one study in the journal Chest, asthmatics were able to breathe easier after they drank three cups of caffeinated coffee, as compared to drinking decaf. Mount Sinai's Doctor Krieger says that coffee acts as a mild bronchodilator and that coffee can prevent a mild asthma attack from getting worse.
A small spoonful of sugar can do more than just help the medicine go down. If you swallow it quickly, before the crystals have a chance to dissolve, it's also a great cure for hiccups, says Dr. Fugh-Berman from the National Women's Health Network, "We're not really sure how it works, but some researchers theorize that sugar stimulates the diaphragm's phrenic nerve, which stops spasms."
When you are feeling over-stuffed the last thing you want to do is eat something. But a little bit of canned or fresh pineapple can make you feel better. The reason is that pineapple is loaded with enzymes that help you digest food. Pineapple can also reduce inflammation because it contains the enzyme bromelain.
Eating yogurt every day isn't just a great way to meet your calcium needs. If you're prone to frequent yeast infections, it can help reduce the recurrences, according to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The lactobacillus acidophilus cultures in yogurt help create a more normal bacterial environment in the vagina. Dr. Mari-Kim Bunnell, an obstetrician/gynecologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, recommends eating a cup of yogurt every day. Make sure it says, 'contains live acidophilus cultures' on the label.
Doctors often recommend drinking lots of fluids to help prevent painful bladder infections, because fluid dilutes the urine and flushes out the bacteria. but there's something about cranberry juice that makes it even more effective. Dr. Bunnell says that cranberry juice works because it prevents the bacteria that cause the infection from sticking to the lining of the urinary tract. The Journal of the American Medical Association recommends drinking more than 8 ounces of cranberry juice every day if you are prone to these infections. In some women the juice's high acid content can cause irritation. If this happens to you, dilute the juice with water.
That orange box of baking soda comes in handy outside the kitchen as well. Dr. Lenore Kakita, a dermatologist at UCLA medical center, says that to soothe a bee sting, make a paste of baking soda and water, and apply it to the sting. Baking soda can also calm a skin rash, by sprinkling baking soda into a tub of tepid water. It is also effective to keep your smile bright. It is a good mild abrasive for teeth because it polishes off stains without damaging tooth enamel. You can make the paste yourself by mixing baking soda with water, although it is now available in many toothpastes (which tend to taste a bit better).
In a Danish study of 30 women with morning sickness, most of them felt less nauseated after taking ginger capsules (available in health food stores). Another study, published in the medical journal Anesthesia, found that ginger was as effective as prescription medicine in preventing nausea and vomiting following surgery. Ginger may also help prevent motion sickness. Dr. Fugh-Berman recommends drinking a cup of ginger tea 30 minutes before a trip. To make the tea, just take a piece of fresh ginger about the size of your knuckle, skin and dice it, and put it in a mug with a little brown sugar. Pour boiling water over the mixture and steep for five minutes. If you can,t find fresh ginger, powdered will work too. Dr. Fugh-Berman warns that, unfortunately, ginger ale will not work because the ginger content is too low.
Soaking in an oatmeal bath can be great for soothing a myriad of skin irritations, including the itch of poison ivy and poison oak, bee stings, hives, insect bites and sunburn. You can fill you tub with tepid water and two cups of oatmeal. It will stop the itching and feel very soothing on the skin. It can also relieve irritated dry skin. Oatmeal soaps and washes are available in most drug stores, made by Aveeno.
A little dab of meat tenderizer on mosquito or other insect bites helps relieve pain and reduce inflammation. This is because of the active ingredient, papaya enzyme papain.
A hot soak before bedtime can be very relaxing, but that's not the only reason it helps you sleep better. As the evening progresses your body temperature drops which makes you feel sleepy. When you take a hot bath it raises your core body temperature so that following the bath your body temperature cools down and the substantial drop in temperature is associated with deeper sleep. In one study done at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., a group of nine women with insomnia took a hot bath one and a half hours before bedtimes for two nights in a row. The next week, the same group took a lukewarm bath. The women experienced deeper, more restful sleep after taking the hot bath than the lukewarm one. (Hot baths can also ease migraine pain and relieve menstrual cramps.)