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home-remedies

Anyone who suffers with migraine will know that it is all-consuming – for the majority of people, you will have to stop what you are doing completely until it subsides. While a tablet may do the trick when things get particularly bad, you don’t want to have to rely on painkilling medication, so here are some natural alternatives.

1. Acupuncture

Various studies have shown that this ancient practice is extremely effective in the treatment of migraines, although reports vary from patient to patient. It might be worth doing a little research into this one, perhaps with your GP.

2. Peppermint Oil

This is great for tension headaches, in particular. Not only does peppermint help blood flow, but it also opens up your sinuses to allow the flow of oxygen to the site of the pain.

3. Vitamin B

Also known as riboflavin, a deficiency of this vitamin is often what is behind a migraine. If you think you might be Vitamin B-deficient, consult with your doctor to see if your levels are correct; turning the problem around could be as simple as eating more Vitamin B-containing foods such as eggs, vegetables, whole cereals, fish and poultry.

4. Flaxseed

Many migraines are caused by inflammation, which can be reduced by consuming omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed is rich in these omega-3 acids, so try sprinkling a spoonful into your morning porridge or cereal to start the day off right.

5. Lavender Oil

Lavender is known for its healing properties, and it has proven particularly effective for patients suffering with migraines and headaches. Lavender Oil can be applied topically or inhaled – never ingested.

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I was known as the cold sore kid in school for a reason. Every few months, I would have an enormous breakout that would last a week or so, that would always leave me feeling insecure and uncomfortable. As time went on, I developed some techniques to keep these at bay as much as I could.

Antivirals are great when necessary, but my GP informed me that overuse of these can cause us to become immune to medication such as Zovirax, so isn’t an ideal solution.

Therefore, natural routines and remedies can be carried out to stop the spread of this pesky virus. As this time of year is always particularly bad for those who carry the virus, I thought I’d share my tips on how to keep cold sores at bay:

Bin ALL your lip balms

I know it seems like a waste, but cross-contamination is a real problem when it comes to cold sores. Wash out your lip balm containers and recycle them. Then, invest in ONE very good SPF lip balm.

Never ever share this lip balm and never ever apply it directly to your lips. Use hand sanitiser or alcohol wipes to clean your fingertip before you apply. You can also give the applicator a wipe down with alcohol when you use it to further prevent cross-contamination. Make sure that you use this lip balm as much as possible, and never let your lips get dry.

Take a high dose of Lysine Supplements

Lysine is a natural amino acid that targets the herpes simplex virus which causes cold sores. Get down to your chemist and purchase a large jar of 500mg tablets. Take two of these each day with food and eventually, you should see results. Routine is key here so you must make sure you take them every day in order for them to work. I even named my morning alarm Lysine to remind myself to take them with my breakfast!

Carry alcohol in your bag

I mean sterilising alcohol, of course. Alcohol wipes or a little bottle of sterilising fluid will also do the trick. When you eat out or drink in bars and pubs, make sure to rub the rim of your glass, mug or bottle you are drinking from. This will cover all bases because the alcohol will kill any bacteria or virus that is present and lower the risk of you picking up something.

Carry Zovirax in your bag

Purchase Zovirax anti-cold sore cream or another brand of cream that contains aciclovir or penciclovir. Buy the tube and not the pump as you can get more out of it. ALWAYS have the tiny tube on your person. Whenever you feel the teeny tiniest tingle on your lips, apply- again with a sterilised fingertip. You can also use an alcohol wipe to clean the tip of the tube after each use.

Keep your hands clean

If you really want to be rid of cold sores for the festive season, you need to be on the ball when it comes to hand washing. We touch our faces and mouths CONSTANTLY during the day. This causes a virus like herpes simplex to spread like wildfire. Washing your hands or using hand sanitiser will break the viral cycle and reduce your chances of getting cold sores.

I know this seems like a lot to think about. However, you will soon be able to enjoy the silly season without having that constant cold sore worry!

Source: hse.ie, sona.ie

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Dry skin can be extremely irritating and make us very self conscious. Many of us suffer from it and while we can buy moisturisers for dry skin, here are some home remedies you can try too. They are affordable and great for your skin's health. 

Olive oil and egg yolk
Olive oil is a natural antioxidant and the vitamin A in egg yolk controls the shedding of the skin and also makes it smooth. Mix together and rub on dry areas.

Coconut oil
Coconut oil has enough fatty acids that make up for loss of moisture from the skin, it also makes your skin feel soft and smooth. Leave it on overnight and wash it off in the morning, as regularly as you can.

Lemon juice and sugar
This exfoliating scrub evens out rough spots on the face, while the lemon lightens the skin tone. Mix a teaspoon of sugar with half a lemon and rub it all over your face.

Avocado and honey
This locks in moisture and can improve your skin's health. Mix half a cup of honey with half a mashed avocado into a mask consistency, apply on dry areas and leave on for 15 minutes before washing it off.

Banana and yoghurt
This mask moisturises and exfoliates the skin. Mash bananas with yoghurt and leave on dry areas for half an hour, then rinse it off. 

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Waking up to dark circles is never a great way to start the day. Instead of running to your make-up kit and sweeping the problem under the rug, take a look at the things you have in your kitchen – you’ll be surprised by how fast home remedies can conquer those dark circles.

Tea bags
When cooled down, tea bags can work like magic on your eyes. Place a teabag on each eye while they’re still moist and then relax and let them do their thing. After 15 mins, give your face a splash of water and pat it dry to see the difference.

Metal spoons
This one always seems to shock people, but cold spoons can actually help with dark circles. Put two metal spoons in the freezer for a couple of hours and then when they’re cold enough, place the curved side of each spoon on your eyes. You will start to see a change as you do this.

Cucumbers
If in doubt, take the traditional route – it never fails. Put a slice of cucumber on each of your eyes for 10-15 minutes and relax. Your eyes will thank you for it!

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