Home & Health Blogs

April 16, 2018

Peanut butter sure is delicious, but did you know that it’s useful, too? From shaving cream and leather polish to mousetrap bait, here are some of the best uses for peanut butter. Warning: If you or a family member suffers from a peanut allergy, please do not try these solutions. According to the National Peanut Board, Dr. George Washington Carver developed more than 300 products from the humble peanut. They include face powder, shampoo, paper, shaving cream, hand lotion, insecticides, glue,... more

April 4, 2018

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

April 4, 2018

Is cracking knuckles bad for you? Why do joints crack? Maybe you’ve picked up this common habit yourself. If not, most of us know folks who intentionally and constantly crack their knuckles (necks, backs, wrists, etc.), driving everyone around them batty. Let’s get cracking on some answers …  Why do joints crack? Believe it or not, the reason why crackling knuckles make that noise is still a subject of debate. Knuckles are full of fluid which keeps the bones from grinding on one another.... more

April 4, 2018

Do you grunt, groan, and ratchet yourself to a standing position as you get out of bed in the morning? Then, after stretching and moving around for a few minutes, you feel the achiness and stiffness abate (at least some of it). These experiences are common for just about anyone, but especially painful for people with arthritis, fibromyalgia or other inflammatory conditions, recent injuries, those recovering from a recent surgical procedure, athletes after a hard training day, or ordinary... more

March 29, 2018

In most regions of the nation, spring brings on a pollen assault. For days, sometimes weeks, pollen fills the air. It dusts the car and buildings, the surrounding landscape. Many of us don’t have to see it to know that pollens have blown in: Our stuffed-up sinuses deliver the message. From Pollen Allergies to Post-Nasal Drip Those affected snort, cough, sneeze, blow their noses all day and can’t breathe all night. Their eyes may itch and swell shut, their faces get puffy, their jaws and even... more

March 28, 2018

Yep, asparagus is good for you, so even if you don’t grow it yourself, grab a big bunch from a nearby farmers’ market when it’s in season locally. Here’s how asparagus benefits you—and the answer to our most common question about asparagus’s smell! Using a pickaxe to break up the dense iron-oxide hardpan beneath the thin topsoil of my hillside vegetable garden, then filling the trench with a thick layer of good topsoil mixed with compost, I planted my first asparagus roots 35 years ago. They... more

March 23, 2018

Do you sit for long stretches of the day and/or evening for work, crafting, entertainment, or online socializing? If so, you may be jeopardizing your health. As someone who has “sat for a living” for decades as a writer-editor, I can relate!  Recent studies that associate long periods of sitting with more cardiovascular disease, larger waists, more cancer, and other health risks. The remedy? Microbreaks! Experts recommend taking short breaks every 20 to 30 minutes that get you up and moving... more

March 19, 2018

When it comes to spring-cleaning or any kind of housecleaning, I use an array of six admirably versatile natural cleaning products: vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, salt, borax, wood ash. I started using these products many years ago, mostly because so many commercial cleaning products gave me headaches and irritated my eyes and nasal passages. The headaches stopped, the natural products worked well, and they’ve saved a lot of money over the years. Also, let me admit that I count myself among... more

March 13, 2018

If you grow (at least some of) your own food, prefer scratch cooking at home to dining out/ordering in, and aim to eat for optimal health, you’re already in sync with many of the major food and food gardening trends for 2018. You may even be part of the driving force that’s been moving these trends forward for years. Let’s focus on a few: Edible Flowers Edible flowers and flower extracts made everybody’s trend list this year. They come in such a wide array of flavors and colors that chefs (... more

March 5, 2018

If you haven’t eaten cabbage in a while, we urge you to look again at this healthy, unsung hero of the vegetable world. Want beautiful skin, to lose weight, a great immune system? See five great reasons to eat (and grow) cabbage! Before we had the little greenhouse that enables us to grow salad and cooking greens all winter, we grew between 50 and 100 green and red cabbages each year—and ate them all. I loved looking at them as they grew like giant flowers in the garden, then as they rested... more

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