Healthy Tips from Chef Barrington
For varicose veins, try horse chestnut, an herbal extract that's been shown in studies to strengthen veins and reduce swelling. The herb is also available in topical creams, though there's not as much evidence for these.
Rub Your Temples
Tame tension headaches by rubbing peppermint oil, Tiger Balm, or white flower oil into your temples. All three remedies contain menthol, which has analgesic properties.
The volatile oils in ginger have long made it a useful herbal remedy for nasal and chest congestion. Pour 2 cups of boiling water over a 1-inch piece of peeled, grated ginger; steep for 10 minutes; and strain. Add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper to the water and drink as needed.
According to some research, catching a whiff of this aromatic herb may increase alertness and improve memory. To stay sharp, try smelling fresh rosemary or inhaling the scent of rosemary essential oil before a test or meeting.
Combat a yen for sugar by following a Chinese medicine approach: Eat foods such as endive, radicchio, cooked greens, and olives.
If you suffer from dry eyes, up your seafood intake. Salmon, sardines, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which the body uses to produce tears, among other things. Research suggests that people who consume higher amounts of these fats are less likely to have dry eyes
To ease stress and prepare for bed, soak in a hot bath spiked with a few drops of lavender essential oil. Play soothing music while you bathe to unwind further
Get a Massage
Certain trigger points -- spots of tension in musculoskeletal tissue -- can cause back pain. Ask a massage therapist or other bodyworker who specializes in myofascial release or neuromuscular therapy to focus on these points during a massage.
Go for Garlic
Adding raw or lightly cooked garlic and onions to your meals may help keep you healthy this winter. Both foods appear to possess antiviral and antibacterial properties and are believed to boost immunity.
Keep Echinacea Close
If you feel a cold coming on, consider reaching for this age-old remedy. A 2007 meta-analysis showed that the herb can reduce cold symptoms. Aim for three grams daily in tincture or capsule form, starting at the first sign of symptoms.
To treat an acute migraine, drink a full glass of water -- dehydration can trigger headaches. Even if you need to take a medication for the pain, try wrapping your head with an Ace bandage so that it covers your eyes, then lie down and breathe deeply. This often helps the pain pass more quickly.
Watch Your Carbs
Trying to reduce belly fat? Pay attention to your carbohydrate intake and avoid artificial sweeteners. Sugary snacks and other refined carbs spike blood sugar and cause pounds to settle in your midsection. Choose whole grains, beans, and vegetables instead.