Natural Living

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About this Blog

"Natural Living" is all about living a naturally healthy lifestyle. Margaret Boyles covers health tips, ways to avoid illness, natural remedies, food that's good for body and soul, recipes for homemade beauty products, and ideas to make your home a healthy, safe haven. Our goal is also to encourage self-sufficiency, whether it's re-learning some age-old skills or getting informed on modern improvements that help us live better healthier lives.

July 22, 2017

String beans. Green beans. Snap beans. Not only are they healthy for your body but also they are good for the Earth! Whatever you call ‘em, green beans are the immature form of the common kidney-shaped bean, Phaseolus vulgaris, harvested before beans begin forming inside the pods. Modern varieties of this native American vegetable no longer have “strings” down the sides of the pods that need to be pulled off before eating. Green Beans Health Benefits Not only are green beans a nice,... more

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 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

May 15, 2017

What are invasive plants? How do you keep invasive plants from spreading? Let’s dig in! Have you ever stopped along a country roadside and dug up a flowering plant near the edge of a drainage ditch, thinking it would make a lovely addition to your garden? Or made a fall wreath from a climbing vine with gorgeous orange berries, then later tossed the wreath into the bushes out behind the garage? Or maybe you’ve decided to let a piece of the lawn go wild to reduce mowing, or bought a piece of... more

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