Home & Health Blogs

July 20, 2017

Cuts, scrapes, scratches, burns, coughs, canker sores, heartburn, stomach upsets, diaper rash—mostly minor, but sometimes painful and always inconvenient—are common occurrences in most households. What to do? Some people reach for the honey. Food and medical historians remind us that traditional healers have used honey for a wide variety of medicinal purposes since prehistoric times. A growing body of modern research confirms their wisdom. Honey is even making inroads into mainstream... more

July 16, 2017

Why do onions make you cry when you cut them? Are leftover onions poisonous?  Enjoy these onion facts—and some folklore. Why DO Onions Make You Cry? To put it simply, fumes from onions trigger a reaction in your eyes’ glands that starts the flow of tears. When you cut the onions, you are damaging their cell walls and causing naturally occurring amino acid sulfoxides to get released, mix with other compounds in the onion, and turn into a gas that wafts into your eyes, causing irritation. Your... more

July 16, 2017

Celery is one of the most underrated vegetables. Most people would never think of this humble stalk as a high-powered health food. Yet, it is! Yes, we know that celery has a satisfying crunch as well as a handy groove for holding anything spreadable. Cooked, it imparts a delicate flavor to salads, soups, and stir-fries. And it has only 11 calories per cup. Yet it is still perceived as bland and boring, made mostly of water. Nonetheless, celery has many health benefits that you might not expect... more

July 13, 2017

Eeow! Startled from a deep sleep, you suddenly come to with a shriek, as your calf, thigh, or maybe the arch of your foot contracts in violent pain. Leg cramps can be a common and painful occurrence—here’s what causes leg cramps at night, as well as how you can prevent and relieve them. Emerging groggily from the edge of sleep or from a deep sleep, you struggle to straighten your leg, pull your toes forward, perhaps kneading the knotted muscles with your thumbs. After the spasms subside, you... more

June 24, 2017

The good news is never quite as good as you wish. However, recent research suggests that eating a little chocolate a few times a week may deliver a cascade of health benefits. Though most of the confirmed benefits are relatively modest, it may help prevent or control obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. Chocolate may lower the risk of stroke and some cancers, improve athletic performance, protect brain function, and slow declines in cognitive function, help protect the skin... more

June 22, 2017

Raising chickens for eggs? Let’s talk about how to collect, clean, store, and hatch chicken eggs in the fifth installment of our Raising Chickens 101 series. Once you’ve eaten farm-fresh eggs, it’s hard to go back to grocery store eggs. Fresh farm eggs, free-range or not, are delicious, with bright yolks and firm whites. Give your hens ground oyster shell or a similar calcium supplement, available at farm suppliers, for strong eggshells. Collecting Eggs You’ll want to collect eggs every morning... more

June 9, 2017

The final chapter in our Raising Chickens series is what to do when your chicken stops laying eggs or suffers from illness and pain. Yes, this is the cycle of life and an unfortunate responsibility that comes with the job of raising chickens. If you are wondering how to get started with chickens, click here for the full 6-part Raising Chickens 101 series. How Long Do Chickens Lay Eggs? Egg laying is largely dependent on the length of the day, and most hens will stop laying when they receive... more

June 8, 2017

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of headlines about essential oils in connection to health. What are they, and why the big deal?  What Are Essential Oils? An essential oil is the liquid distilled from a plant that contains the phytochemicals that give the plant its characteristic aroma and flavor. They get their name because they represent the aromatic “essence“ of the plant they came from.   Age-Old Practice They may be trendy, but they’re not new. Chances are you or someone in your family... more

May 26, 2017

Oats are good for more than just breakfast. Read on to learn about the health benefits of oatmeal and oats, as well as what else they can do! Use Oats for Summer Relief The humble oat (Avena sativa) has a long history of medicinal uses use that continues to this day. Modern research suggests that oats or extracts of oats may reduces cholesterol, lower blood pressure, help prevent atherosclerosis, promote wound healing, and slow the proliferation of colon cancer cells. For at least 4,000 years,... more

May 20, 2017

I’ve baked my own whole-grain bread for more than 40 years (the kind food writers call “rustic”). I don’t think I’ve ever bought a loaf of bread. Yet store-bought white bread somehow occasionally puts in an appearance here, and I will say it serves a number of surprising household uses that don’t involve consuming it. Almost worth keeping a  loaf on hand in the freezer. Make a poultice. Soaking a piece of bread in hot milk is a renowned folk remedy for bringing an unripe boil or pimple to a... more

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