To prevent pimples, dab on a little pure tea tree oil twice daily. Scientists at New York’s University of Rochester say its powerful anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties can destroy blemish-causing bacteria and heal existing breakouts in as little as three weeks.
Gesture while you chat and you’ll think more clearly. Hand motions kick-start production of acetylcholine, University of Chicago studies show, and this neurotransmitter instantly revs up brain function to increase concentration and focus.
Add a pat of butter to your next serving of cooked veggies. Why? It will double your absorption of their immunity-boosting compounds called carotenoids to help you better fend off cold viruses, say researchers at the University of California. In fact, scientists say enjoying two cups of buttered veggies daily can cut your risk of colds 25 percent or more in just 12 weeks.
Rosemary oil, a potent, natural anti-fungal, can quickly destroy the yeast that causes flaking, according to studies at Turkey’s University of Selcuk. To end dandruff, experts suggest mixing five drops of rosemary oil into a dollop of your favorite shampoo, then massage thoroughly into your scalp once daily. Once dandruff subsides—typically two weeks--treat once weekly to prevent future flare-ups.
Garlic’s natural compound, allicin, has been shown to fight bacteria as effectively as penicillin, report State University of New York researchers. To get relief, place two drops of warm (not hot) garlic oil into your achy ear once daily for five days straight. Look for garlic oil in health food stores--or make your own mix. Simply simmer two cloves of crushed garlic in a half cup of extra virgin olive oil for two minutes, strain, then let cool until comfortably warm before applying.
Soaking your tootsies in black tea for 20 minutes once a week can prevent this embarrassing problem, says Jennifer Zartarian, N.D., a wellness coordinator at New York’s Long Island College Hospital. The reason: “Tea contains tannins—compounds which naturally kill odor-causing bacteria, plus they’re also astringents, so they reduce problematic perspiration.” To make your own odor-taming brew: Steep two black tea bags in eight cups of water for 20 minutes, let cool for two hours, then start soaking.
Spoon up a half a cup of fresh pineapple daily. Why? USDA researchers say this tropical pick is packed with proteolytic enzymes—natural digestive aids that reduce inflammation in the intestinal tract and speed the breakdown of proteins, dialing down gassiness in just 72 hours.
Firmly massaging the back of your head—the area at the base of your skull--for two minutes can cut the pain of a stress-headache as much as 57 percent in just five minutes, according to experts at Florida’s University of Miami. Scientists say rubbing this area rapidly activates key acupressure points, relaxing tight muscles to dampen pain.
Turn on some tunes! Eight-six percent of people nod off faster if they spend 10 minutes each night lying in bed listening to soothing music while they gently stretch their back, legs, arms, fingers and toes, say Harvard researchers. Why? Scientists believe treating overly-tight muscles to a relaxing stretch while listening to calming music offers a double-duty effect. It dampens the production of stress hormones, lowering heart rate, muscle tension and anxiety to help the body more quickly slip into sleepy mode.
Ease aches by cycling. According to researchers at Tucson’s University of Arizona, cycling’s smooth, repetitive motions actually thicken cartilage in the hip, knee, ankle and foot joints, helping to reverse joint damage and cut a person’s risk of further trouble by 43 percent. Their advice: Strive to cycle at least 12 minutes daily.
Sipping two glasses of homemade lemonade daily can cut your risk of kidney stones as much as 87 percent in one year, say scientists at the University of California, San Diego. Why? Lemon juice is packed with citrate, say experts, a natural compound that keeps calcium dissolved in urine so it can’t clump and form kidney stones.
If you’d like to get the health perks of consuming calcium-rich dairy, but milk upsets your tummy, opt for three servings of yogurt or hard cheeses (like Cheddar and Swiss) daily, instead. This switch has been shown to relieve bloating, gassiness and other uncomfortable symptoms for 82 percent of people within one week, report Tufts University researchers. The reason: Symptom-triggering lactose is broken down when dairy is aged or fermented.
Dab canker and cold sores with a bit of unpasteurized honey four times daily and they’ll heal 43 percent faster than if you used prescription Acyclovir cream, say researchers at the Dubai Specialized Medical Center in the United Arab Emirates. Raw honey’s natural potent enzymes zap inflammation and speed healing of damaged tissues, study authors say.