5 Natural Ways To Help Your Immune System

5 Natural Ways To Help Your Immune System

Five natural, but uncommon ways to boost one’s immune system are consuming antioxidants, getting adequate sleep, consuming certain fats, adequate sunshine and moderate exercise. Boosting one’s immune system naturally can be easy with just a few modifications to diet and lifestyle.


Everybody knows that vitamin C can boost immunity. Many vitamin C containing foods are also packed with antioxidants. Protecting one’s body from the damage of free radicals can help contribute to a healthy immune system. Not only do antioxidants boost the immune system, they can also help to lessen the effects of aging and arthritis. They have even been shown to mitigate the effects of certain cancers.

Antioxidant Rich Foods

  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Pinto Beans
  • Prunes
  • Red Delicious Apples
  • Granny Smith Apples
  • Russet Potatoes Plums
  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Black Beans


Getting adequate sleep seems remains one of the most important ways to naturally boost one’s immune system. Going without sleep can increase the likely hood of getting sick. Getting enough sleep helps one’s body to recharge. Instituting a ‘bedtime’ may help to get one in the habit of going to bed earlier. Forcing a habit is okay to begin with.


Omega-3 fatty acids are great at boosting the immune system. Adding fat to a diet to boost health may seem counterproductive. When it comes to fat, omega-3 fatty acids are essential for good immune system health. Omega-3 fatty acids have shown to lessen inflammation and aid in production of white blood cells. Not everybody eats fish three times a week, so adding omega-3 fatty acids to a diet has to be a conscious decision. Fish oils are a great way to supplement an omega-3 deficient diet.

Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Spinach
  • Winter Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Beans
  • Nuts and Seeds


A little bit of sunshine goes a long way. Some foods are fortified with vitamin D. Absorption of vitamin D through foods may not be as effective as sun exposure. It is actually beneficial to the immune system to get a little bit of sunshine. It is recommended to get from 5 to 30 minutes of sun exposure a few times each week. The sun exposure can be coupled with a brisk walk for an additional immune system boost.

Moderate Exercise

The tip to boosting immunity with exercise is to keep it moderate. Over straining or stressing one’s body with training can actually weaken the immune system. Taking a brisk 30 minute walk two or three times per week is a great way to get moderate exercise. The walk can be coupled with sun exposure to take advantage of two immune boosting strategies.

The five natural ways to help boost one’s immune system are eating foods rich in antioxidants, sleeping more, including omega-3 fatty acids into the diet, adequate sunshine and moderate exercise. Making these minor changes to one’s diet and lifestyle can make a positive impact on one’s immune system.


Sally writes on behalf of Trac Services, a regulatory affairs consultancy that help pharmaceutical companies with the clinical trial application process throughout Europe. Sally enjoys reading health and fitness blog and is particularly interested in the power of food as a medicine. Any opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily represent the business Sally writes for.


How to Improve your Hearing Ability

English: Ear. Good for hearing.
English: Ear. Good for hearing. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hearing is one of the most important body senses. It helps you to perceive messages in audio form by detecting air vibrations. However, this ability may gradually diminish as a result of several factors. In this write-up, we’re going to understand various ways on how to heighten the hearing sense.

Ear Exercises

The following exercises will help heighten your hearing ability.

Noise Filtering Exercises

When exposed to different sources of noise, our ears can manage to select the kind of noise they want to hear by ignoring the rest. The following noise filtering technique will be in a position to help improve your hearing capability. To start with, you need a radio. Switch it on to play your favorite music at a moderate volume. Simultaneously, strike a conversation with your friend. Though the music from you radio may disrupt your conversation, don’t let your friend shout in order for you to hear. Now, take a second radio and tune it to a different radio station. Continue talking to your friend without necessarily straining. Continue adding more radios depending on your level of comfort. You’ll realize that as time goes by, you’ll be in a position to adapt to the surrounding noise and gradually start grasping what your friend is telling you comfortably.

Source and Noise Location Exercise

There are two things that you can achieve with this exercise. First and foremost, you’ll be in a position to heighten your hearing capability and secondly you’ll be able to locate different sources of sound. For this exercise, it’s necessary to have a source of noise e.g a horn. You can then practice this technique outdoors or inside a large room. Stand at about 5 meters from your friend and then close your eyes. Let your friend honk the horn severally and then try to locate the exact direction of the sound. In simple words, you should try to point where your friend is standing. You’ll find out that the more you practice, the more your hearing capability will improve and soon you’ll be in a position to locate the exact source of the noise without straining.

Phase Inversion

Phase inversion is a tactic of “trickling” the brain in an attempt to cancel the constant ringing sounds that may disrupt hearing in some individuals. Basically, phase inversion is done by qualified ENT specialists who work towards discovering the pitches of the ringing sounds on each ear. After that, the doctor can then play similar pitches at different degrees using a listening device on the patient’s ears. Over time, your brain will become accustomed to different ringing sounds thus cancelling out the ringing tinnitus. With regular application of this tactic, one’s hearing capability is constantly restored and heightened.

Other Techniques


Constant build up of wax in your ears can greatly impair your hearing ability. It is therefore very important to uphold good personal hygiene by regularly cleaning up your ears using an ear bud or a mixture of olive oil and hydrogen peroxide (for huge chunks of wax). On the same note, it is very important to consult your doctor in order to ascertain whether the accumulation of wax is the actual factor behind your impaired hearing ability.

Avoid Loud Noise

This is actually one of the basic precautionary measures that one should take in improving their hearing capability. Loud noise assaults your eardrum thus impairing your hearing ability. Ordinarily, an eardrum is not designed to handle high amounts of noise and thus you should wear hearing protection devices as a cautionary measure in case you’re in a noisy environment. You should also avoid using headphones on regular basis.

Vitamin Supplements

Nutritional deficiency is yet another factor that can greatly ruin your ability to hear. A healthy diet avails the necessary nutrients to the body thus helping you sustain your hearing capability for longer as you age. Some of the most important vitamin supplements that you should opt for in order to heighten your hearing senses are vitamins C and E. Good nutrition contains the necessary anti-oxidant elements that help in getting rid of free radicals thus protecting your ears from age related problems.


A good hearing ability is a combination of healthy living, personal hygiene and various hearing exercises. It is thus important for you to uphold the advice offered in this article in order to heighten your hearing sense.

Infographics: How To Remove A Tick

Infographics: How To Remove A Tick

In order to remove a tick safely from your body, the correcty method must be used. There are a lot of different ways to remove ticks floating around the internet, but there is only one proven way to safely remove them, and that’s with tweezers, specifically pointed tweezers. This graphic clearly and simply shows the correct technique for pulling a tick out of your skin.

In addition to showing how to remove a tick, this graphic also provides some intersting information about ticks, including a few tick myths, and the truths about such myths.

One interesting fact about Ticks is that as long as you can find and pull them out of a bite within 24 hours, the bitten victim has a significantly higher chance of excaping any pathogens that might have been transmitted from the tick. Ticks are known to pass along many different diseases and knowning how to safely remove them is extremeley important, especially for people who love the great outdoors.




This graphic showing how to remove a tick was created by Do-It-Yourself Pest Control.


Herbal Preparations: Decoction

A decoction is a method for extracting oils, volatile organic compounds, and other chemical substances from hard plant materials such as roots and bark.

When making herbal decoctions, the ingredients are in most cases 30g (2 tablespoons) of dried herb and 500 ml of water.

Simple Decoction

1. Crush and mash the herbs

2. Place them in a bowl and add boiling water

3. Cover the bowl with a lid and let it stand overnight

4. Replace the water that has been lost by evaporation

5. Place the water with the herbs in an enamel pan.

6. Bring to boil slowly

7. Simmer for about 20 minutes while keeping the lid covered

8. Using a muslin cloth, strain and press all the liquid

The decoction can last up to a period of 2-3 days and it can be taken without diluting .

Reduced Decoction

Follow the simple decoction’s procedure until step 5.

6.  Heat until steam comes out while keeping covered with a lid

7. Turn the heat low and steam for about 1 hour until you see that the liquid has gone down to 250 ml.

8. Using a muslin cloth, strain and press all the liquid

When stored in a cool place, this will keep for around 4-5 days.


Preserved Decoction

You can preserve a decoction longer either by:

  1. Adding 450g sugar or honey to 200 ml of decoction. This should be taken in dosages of 1 teaspoon 3 times daily.
  2. Adding liquors such as vodka or brandy at a ratio of 1:2. This should be taken in dosages of 1/4 cup daily.
  3. Pouring a very thin layer of vegetable oil on the surface of the decoction and then sealing. When need to use arises, just draw the oil off and pour the decoction from it. It should be taken in measurements of 3 teaspoons 3 times daily.

See Also

Health Benefits Of Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree Oil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tea tree oil is extracted from the leaves of a native Australian plant. The reason for it’s name is that for generations before Westeners arrived the local aboriginal peoples were using the plant as an alternative to tea, where they found that the infusion produced was helpful for soothing sore throats and colds.

Like so many “herbal remedies”, studies have indeed found medically-relevant benefits to using tea tree oil – most notably it’s ability to fight micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Infact, the anti-septic nature of the oil perfectly explains how it was able to help sore throats by not only providing a gentle soothing to the afflicted area but also in killing the bateria that were causing the problem in the first place.

These days tea tree oil is most commonly bought bottled rather than in plant form and is generally applied externally. Bearing in mind the nature of the oil, and it’s proven effects, tea tree oil can be beneficial in many health problems caused by microbes.

One perfect example is in the fight against fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and ringworm where regular topical application of the oil can fight the spread of the infection as well as rapidly bringing the overall effects to an end.

Tea tree oil has also been used for generations to clean wounds. In the case of scrapes and cuts, whilst the oil may sting a little, it’s been shown to kill of any micro-organisms that have gained entry. In this way teat tree may well prevent infection as well as speed up healing.

Twice-daily application of tea tree oil is a common and effective solution to acne and juvenile zits. Whilst it is unlikely to eliminate the problem all together, as part of your skin-care regime it can assist in soothing the skin, removing dirt from pores and, most importantly of all, reducing the inflammation that causes spots in the first place making for clearer and more comfortable skin.

Warts are caused by an infection of the HPV virus and in some cases it appears that the anti-septic properties of tea tree may help in killing off the virus and encouraging the now unwanted wart to drop off. The general advice on how to remove warts with tea tree oil is to apply a decent volume of the thick oil at night, before covering the area with a bandaid or bandage in order to prevent it drying out. Over a few weeks of treatment many people see significant improvements in the size and number of their warts.

Lastly it’s worth mentioning that the strong eucalyptus smell of the tea tree oil can he helpful for relieving the congestion experienced with colds and flu. By dabbing a little of the oil on a handkerchief or the pillow, or adding it to boiling water and inhaling the fumes, most people find their nose clears rapidly and they are able to breathe normally for a period of time.


This article was submitted by Richard Adams who writes extensively about wart control solutions and cryotherapy.

Autumn cycling

25 Things You Must Bring on Your Cross-Country Bicycle Trip

Traveling across the country can be quite stressful, but what about when you’re covering thousands of miles on your bike? You’ll be subjected to all kinds of weather, and you don’t have shelter readily available whenever you need it. That’s why you can never be too prepared when it comes to embarking on a cross-country bicycle trip.

Packing for a cross-country bicycle trip can be tricky, because you have to make sure your load isn’t too heavy for your bike to carry. Because of that, you have to be very choosy about what you bring. You need to make sure that every single item you pack is absolutely necessary.

Of course, there are the obvious everyday items like clothes, socks, underwear, cycling shoes, toiletries, tents, sleeping bags, and so on. In addition to that stuff, there are many not-so-obvious things you’d still need.

Here is a list of things you should put near the top of your packing list. You know what they say: you can never be too prepared!

Bicycle gear

  • Bike gloves: Cycling can be pretty hard on your hands even after a few hours, so cycling gloves are a necessity. They also help keep your hands warm in cold weather.
  • Clear glasses: Not only do clear glasses keep bugs out of your eyes, they also allow you to see everything at nighttime.
  • Sunglasses with light and dark lens set: If you wear eye protection, your eyes will thank you! Sunglasses are especially useful if you’re traveling eastbound or westbound.
  • Cap or helmet with visor: Not only will a visor keep sun out of your eyes, it’ll also keep your glasses and eyes dry when it rains.
  • Combination lock: There is no worse situation in a cross-country bicycle trip than having your bike – your only means of transportation – stolen when you’re out and about in a new town.
  • Compass: Sometimes the sun isn’t always reliable when it comes to figuring out which direction you’re going, especially around noon or at nighttime.
  • Camelback: With this, you can drink water effortlessly without losing momentum or having to stop.


  • Waterproof jacket: One of the most important things you have to do while cycling is to keep your core warm. Make sure you wear a hooded waterproof jacket (or a raincoat) in wet weather.
  • Long underwear: There are many articles of clothing that can keep you warm at night, but long underwear is among the best of them. They’re lightweight and they work really well.
  • Brightly colored vest or jacket: It’s important to make sure drivers can see you at night.
  • Waterproof shoe covers (or plastic bags): Your feet have to stay dry at all times, or you’ll end up with some awful blisters.


  • Maps: Unless you have a Smartphone with an interactive map, it would be a good idea to bring detailed maps with you.
  • Rubber bands: You’d be surprised at how useful rubber bands can be during such a trip. You can use them to keep bags of food closed, tie back your hair, or to assist in minor repairs.
  • Mini packets of medicine: Riding all day in the sun may give a headache, or you may feel ill at times, so it might be wise to bring along some pills like Pepto-Bismol or Ibuprofen.

Safety gear

  • Reflective triangle: Once again, it’s very important to make sure drivers can see you at all times. A reflective triangle lets the driver know that there’s a slow-moving vehicle on the road and that the driver needs to look out.
  • Pepper spray: You never know what kind of strange folks you’ll meet along the way!
  • Dog spray: In rural areas, you may encounter some wild or vicious dogs. A dog spray would help keep them away.
  • First aid kit: If you’re roughing it in the wild, you’re bound to get a few cuts and scratches.


  • Travel towel: A travel towel is way easier to carry than a regular towel. It’s super thin and light, and it dries fast.
  • Bug spray: Riding a bicycle should be comfortable, but it won’t be if you’re riddled with mosquito bites.
  • Sunscreen: Protect yourself from the sun!


  • Small tire pump: If you’re traveling that far on your bike, your bike tires will definitely lose some air.
  • A rag and a small bottle of degreaser: These will come in very handy when you’re performing routine roadside maintenance on your bike.
  • Spare parts: You know, in case something goes wrong with your bike mid-trip. Some spare parts include a brake cable, zip ties, brake pads, extra bolts, and AAA batteries for brake lights.
  • Bungee cords: If one of your loads comes loose, bungee cords could save the day.


What are some of the things you absolutely cannot live without during a cross-country bicycle trip? Let us know!

Chiara Fucarino: 25 Things You Must Bring on Your Cross-Country Bicycle Trip – guest post on behalf of Cruiser Bikes, a cool new cheap beach cruiser shop.


Ticks and Lyme Disease

Adult deer tick, Ixodes scapularis.
Adult deer tick, Ixodes scapularis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deer ticks are a member of the arachnid family. They move about the ground slowly, or settle on tall vegetation and wait patiently for a warm-blooded animal to pass by so they can attach themselves.  About the size of a sesame seed; deer ticks will crawl about on a mammal (often unnoticed) searching for a good place to attach itself. Once attached, the deer tick will suck blood and swell up to the size of a raisin.

Some Tips on Avoiding or Dealing with Ticks

  • Ticks are easier to spot on light colored clothing.
  • Do not walk in tall grass, woods, or dune with bare legs.
  • Long pants and a long sleeved shirt will delay a tick from finding a good spot to get attached. Closed footwear and wearing your pants tucked into your socks offers further protection.
  • Stay on groomed paths if possible.
  • Use an insect repellent that has DEET. Apply it to your skin and outer clothing.  Avoid your eyes and mouth, as well as cuts and scrapes.  Please note that the use of DEET may carry its own set of risks.
  • Put a tick and flea collar on your pet and check pets for ticks periodically.
  • Search your body well for ticks daily.  Pay special attention to areas such as groin, scalp and armpits.  Use a mirror to check parts of your body that you can’t see directly, or ask somebody to help.

On average, the deer tick may remain for up to 48 hours before falling off, and during this time it can transmit the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.

Lyme Disease is not life threatening, but it can be very weakening if left untreated.

Lyme Disease’s Symptoms

Its symptoms progress in 3 stages.

First Stage Symptoms

These symptoms may appear within a month to 3 months of the tick bite. It is possible not to experience any of these symptoms but still be affected by Lyme disease. If these symptoms do appear, they will usually go away on their own… but more serious problems will develop later.

  • Headache, fever, fatigue, nausea, stiff neck, muscle aches, and other flu like symptoms
  • English: Erythematous rash in the pattern of a...
    English: Erythematous rash in the pattern of a “bull’s-eye” from Lyme disease (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    A rash may appear where the tick bite was, or somewhere else on the body. The circular or oblong rash may increase in size and have well-defined margins with central clearing, giving it a characteristic “bulls-eye” appearance.  It begins as a small, red, raised area that expands in size, sometimes reaching 20 inches or more in diameter.The rash may or may not burn or itch.

Second Stage Symptoms

Several weeks to several months after the tick bite, a person infected with Lyme disease will most likely experience heart problems and/or nervous system disorders.

Third Stage Symptoms

Several months to a year or more later, a person will likely suffer a recurrent attack of swelling; pain in large joints, and even more sever neurological problems.

Lyme Disease Treatment

One of the problems about Lyme disease is that the symptoms are often easily confused with other disorders. However, it is most easy to diagnose during the first stage of symptoms, and this is the best time to treat with antibiotics.

Backpacker Safety – The Essentials

The following post was written by +Sarah Clarke who blogs for Al Fresco Holidays, specialists in camping holidays in France. For more information, visit the blog

Backpacking can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. It can be a great workout as well and be a way for friends and family members to spend quality time together. For this to be the case, there are a number of essentials to pack and some safety considerations to keep in mind.


Before heading out on any trip, it is necessary to do some degree of planning. This is true for a simple weekend trip just like it is necessary for a month long backcountry excursion. In this planning phase, maps and information about the area should be reviewed. Take into consideration the ability and skill level of other backpackers and the type of hiking and adventure that is desired. A basic route for each day should then be planned along with alternative routes and options for leaving the area in an emergency situation. Knowing the nearest hospital, access points and other areas of civilization is critical as well. Once everything is well planned out and any necessary permits acquired, it is wise to leave a copy of this itinerary or schedule with a friend, family member or neighbour. In the event of an emergency, this person will know an approximate location of the backpacking group.


The right equipment is important when it comes to the safety of everyone in the group. This would include things such as camping stoves, adequate food and water, and a decent first aid kit. All members of the backpacking group should be relatively familiar with all of these supplies which includesknowing how to use and cook on stoves and be able to take care of minor first aid emergencies that might arise. The more knowledge people have, the better. Everyone on the trip should be able to contribute in some manner.


Even in warm summer weather, having the right type of clothing is necessary. Dressing in layers will help to best regulate the body temperature. If a person does not have appropriate backpacking clothing, it is best to borrow some items or make a trip to an outfitter to purchase the appropriate clothes. When possible, cotton should be avoided. Clothes that wick away sweat and moisture will keep a person dry, comfortable and safe from problems such as hypothermia. Well-fitting boots will be needed as well. These should be comfortable and broken in before the trip begins. Otherwise, a person can quickly get painful blisters and find out the boots do not fit correctly.

When backpacking, safety should always be thought about. By having the right gear, making an appropriate plan and dressing correctly, everyone is sure to have a safe and truly amazing and memorable time backpacking in the wilderness.