Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Natural Facial Scrub Recipes for Glowing Skin

Homemade facial scrub can help to get rid of acne and blackheads. It helps to keep your face clean and smooth. 

Facial scrub removes the dead skin cells and oil that clogs up the pores. It is well known that acne is the result of oils produced by the subcutaneous glands clogging up the pores. Facial scrub helps to remove acne and blackheads. It is necessary to use the right kind of scrub that suits your skin type. Use facial scrub once a week. Using it more frequently will make the skin dry and dull. It might even damage your skin, if it is sensitive.

Apply the scrub to your face and neck with a gentle massage. Don’t rub it too hard. Avoid it from getting into the eyes. Wash it off after 15-20 minutes. Remove all traces of the scrub from your face. Pat your face gently with a towel.

There are several recipes to make facial scrub at home. They can be made from natural ingredients and are safe. They will not cause any damage to the skin, like the scrubs available in the market which contain chemical ingredients.

Here are a few recipes for natural facial scrubs

Baking Soda Face Scrub

Mix a tbsp of baking soda with warm water to make a paste. Apply the paste to your face and neck. Rub the face gently with your fingers in a circular motion. Then wash your face with warm water to remove all traces of the paste and pat it dry with a towel. 

   Source: Wikimedia Commons: Emmanuel Boutet
Honey and Sugar Scrub

Honey is an excellent moisturizer. Take cup of sugar, in a bowl.  Add 4 tbsp of honey and ¼ cup of olive oil. Mix it well. Apply it to your face and neck gently. Wash it off after 15 minutes. It will not only exfoliate your skin, but will also nourish it. This scrub should not be used on sensitive skin.

Corn Meal Facial Scrub

Corn meal makes an excellent facial scrub. Take 5 tbsp of corn meal in a bowl. Squeeze some lemon juice and make a paste. Apply this to your face and neck area with a gentle massage. Wash your face with warm water after 15 minutes and pat it dry with a towel. This can also be used for sensitive skin.

Banana Facial Scrub

Take a ripe banana in a bowl. Mash it well with a fork. Add honey and lemon juice and mix it well to make a fine paste. Apply it your face and neck. Wash it off with warm water after 15 minutes and pat it dry with a towel. Banana facial scrub can be used for sensitive skin.

Regular facial scrub or exfoliation is essential to keep your facial skin clean and free from acne and blackheads. It will help to keep your skin young and healthy. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

Natural Remedies for a Burn

Burns are very common. Certain natural remedies can help to heal a burn fast. You may burn your fingers when you’re cooking. First degree burns are generally superficial. They affect only the top layer of the skin (epidermis). This may cause blisters, swelling and redness of the skin. Second degree burns will penetrate to the dermis, the second layer of the skin. Third degree burns will destroy the skin completely and may damage the underlying muscles. It can result in scarring.

Aloe Vera Plant
Source: Wikimedia Commons: Erin Silversmith

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is an excellent remedy for burns. Just cut a aloe vera leaf with a knife and squeeze the gel to the affected skin. It will reduce the pain and the burning sensation. According to the New York Times, a group of surgeons studied the effects of Aloe Vera on burns. They concluded that aloe vera could make a difference when applied to first degree burns.  However second and third degree burns require medical attention.

How to Treat Burns

The burnt area should be washed with cold water. Don’t use ice, as it may aggravate the problem

Open a capsule of vitamin E and apply the oil on the affected area. Consuming vitamin A and vitamin E can also heal the burn quickly.

Potato Skin

Potato skin can replace bandages in treating burns. Dr. Narayana a plastic surgeon of Jubilee Medical College in Kerala (India) says that potato skin is not sticky and heals the wound fast. It helps to keep the wound moist and can be peeled of easily. Water evaporates from the burn wound quickly, making it dry. Potato peel helps to prevent this. The ability of the potato peel to keep the wound moist, helps to heal the burn wounds faster.


It is advisable to put burn wounds under cold water for about 5 minutes. Then the skin can be covered with sterile bandage. This can help to reduce the pain and irritation. You can also take pain killers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

It is necessary to keep the wound as clean as possible to prevent infection. Several OTC creams for burns are available. One of these can be applied to the affected area.

Alternately you can apply an antibiotic cream on the burn wound to prevent infection. You should use a non stick cotton bandage to cover the wound. It is necessary to change the bandage every day. Blisters should not be broken as they prevent infection.

Don’t apply butter, oil or Vaseline on the burn, as the burn requires moisture to heal.


Dilute vinegar can be applied on minor burns. As vinegar is acidic it helps prevent infection. After the application of vinegar, cover the wound with a sterile cloth.

To Treat Burn Scars

Aloe vera gel is quite useful in minimizing scarring due to burn. Apply aloe vera gel on the scar 3-4 times every day.

Papaya is also effective in minimizing the scars. Rub ripe papaya fruit chunk on the affected skin several times a day.

Paste made from Fuller’s earth helps to fade the scars. Add a tbsp of lemon juice and some rose water to make a paste. Apply the paste and wash it off after ten minutes. Repeat the process 3-4 times a day. 

If the burn is serious consult a doctor immediately. It is extremely important to prevent infection.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Benefits of Elderberry Tea

Benefits of elderberry tea include its ability to reduce chest congestion and LDL levels. It is also a very good antioxidant.

Elderberry tree grows several countries across the world. It is a shrub which at times grows to the height of a small tree. Its flowers are cream in color and fragrant. The flower gives way to a dark purple colored fruit.  Its scientific name is sambucus nigra. Native Americans used it to treat rheumatism. In Europe it is used in the preparation of food products like jams, wines, jellies and pies. Elderberry tree that grows in Europe is different from the one that grows in America.

  Elderberry Fruits
Source: Wikimedia Commons: Evelyn Simak

Nutritional Content

Elderberry fruits are a rich source of calcium and iron. They also contain vitamins A, C and B6. Over the years elderberry fruit has been used to treat stomach ache, common colds, rheumatism, sore throat, diarrhea, and constipation. Elderberry leaves and bark have been used as an expectorant, diuretic, laxative and for topical applications.


Elderberry fruits have excellent antioxidant properties. It is said to have higher antioxidant capacity than cranberry. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, elderberry may have antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anti-toxic properties. It helps to fight against free radicals which can cause cell damage.

Preparation of Elderberry Tea

Add 2 tbsp of dried elderberry flowers to a cup of boiling water. After it cools down, strain the tea. It is now ready for drinking. Only dried elderberry flowers should be used to prepare tea. Unripe berries and leaves should not be used as they may cause vomiting.

For Chest Infection

Elderberry is very effective in treating chest and upper respiratory tract infection. It helps to control the formation of phlegm and is a good remedy for colds and cough. It is also a good remedy for chest congestion and sore throat

LDL Levels

It helps to reduce LDL levels. It also helps to increase the levels of HDL (good cholesterol). It is very good for the heart.


Elderberry tea can help to reduce the pain due to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Antiviral Properties

Antiviral properties of elderberry tea can help to recover quickly from chicken pox and measles. It would also promote quick recovery from influenza and fevers.

Side effects

“Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicines” says elderberry should not used by people suffering from kidney and liver diseases. Pregnant women and lactating mothers should also not use it. It may cause allergic reactions like itching, skin rashes, swelling, nausea and vomiting in some people.