Tobacco Oil: Is It Good For You?

Many people know that tobacco is bad for your lungs and overall health when it is smoked, however, it also actually has healing properties when it is used in other manners.

Insect Repeller

The tobacco plant – called nicotiana – covers over 70 species and has been used for thousands of years in a myriad of ways. It’s known to be great to keep on hand if you like to garden as it keeps the insects at bay. In fact, you can add a couple of drops of tobacco oil into a water spray bottle with some peppermint and lavender oil and you won’t have to worry about any insects infiltrating your garden as bugs detest these kinds of oils.

Pain Reliever

Tobacco oil can also be used as a way to relieve pain. The additives incorporated into tobacco and used for cigarettes or tobacco chew are not included in the purest form of tobacco, nor are they included when the tobacco leaves get transformed into its oil form. So if you are suffering from an ear ache or a tooth ache, tobacco oil is a great way to relieve some of that discomfort in a safe and easy way. Just mix a droplet of the tobacco oil with some water and dab it onto your aching tooth with a Q-tip or put a couple of drops of the mixture into an infected ear that happens to be giving you a hard time.

Inflammation Soother

Indians historically have used tobacco leaves on skin rashes and bits of inflammation as it has natural anti-inflammation properties. While it may be hard for you to obtain whole leaves fresh from being picked, the oil will have the same effect as all the components are inherent within the tobacco itself. Tobacco oil is also a great way to treat insect bites as it helps to mitigate the pain and lessen the inflammation that is often accompanied by bug bites.

Skin Healer

Try adding a couple of drops, with some tea tree oil, into a mixture and you will start to notice how the bites will no longer be a source of irritation or a nuisance to you. This goes for bee stings, mosquito or spider bites. Traditionally, Indians would also use the leaves to treat poisonous snake bites. This oil will have a similar effect if you suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema. Just a few drops onto the affected area that is experiencing the flares and the irritation will start to subside.

You can purchase tobacco oil online from several companies at


Approaches To Using Nutmeg Oil

Consistently known as a common spice that is frequently used to cook with, or even to season hot refreshments, nutmeg has numerous different uses that many may not actually be mindful of – particularly in its oil or butter form. The nutmeg tree itself is often found to be exceptionally tall in its natural habitat, in some cases coming up to 70 feet in length. The seed is where the benefits and flavors of nutmeg are directly derived from. Despite the fact it’s typically used in a ground up consistency, nutmeg oil and butter are both turning out to be progressively well known because of the numerous medical advantages. Here are some impressive benefits associated with the oil itself.

Bad Breath Cure

Many individuals who experience the ill effects of awful breath, or halitosis, do so on account of poor oral cleanliness, medical problems or, on the other hand, a microorganism that has flourished in the back of the mouth or throat. Because of the antibacterial properties of nutmeg, a drop or two in some warm water is a decent approach to intensify your oral care. Rinse with this liquid mixture twice every day to keep awful breath under control.

Heartburn Relief

Sometimes you may struggle with digestive issues on account of what you ingest. This is pretty common. Sometimes the family barbecue or a night out on the town has you eating a bit more than you should be. This prompts many stomach-related problems and issues – one of the most common being indigestion. Abdominal distress, cramping, bloating and the runs are standard side effects that many suffer from. A touch of nutmeg oil can offer some relief. Add a couple of drops to a carrier oil and rub it into your stomach. Additonally, you can add a few drops to your bathwater after a day of too much eating.


Because of its disinfectant and antibacterial properties, skin flourishes off of this sort of oil. It can even be used to help diminish the outward indications of aging. Are you experiencing untimely wrinkles, hanging, or dull skin? Take a stab at including this oil into your regimen and watch how your skin is changed. Interestingly enough, it is common for skincare items to fuse nutmeg into their products. You can basically include two or three drops of the oil to your face wash and enjoy the effects the nutmeg oil has to offer.


Getting enough rest is so indispensable to our physical facilities and how we handle ourselves consistently. When you experience difficulty dozing off from lack of sleep, it can totally divert from your capacity to perform at the level you should. Sleep deprivation caused by the inability to fall and stay asleep can feel miserable. Prescription medication can be expensive and also incredibly risky. Only a couple drops of nutmeg oil can unwind the body and prompt soothing, profound rest. A couple of drops blended with coconut oil, rubbed on your chest, neck and shoulders, will help relieve you and calm your nerves. Nutmeg oil enhances your natural rest receptors and can be used daily. Attempt this strategy around 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime.

You can purchase nutmeg oil online from several companies at

Periodontitis And Lifestyle Changes

Having a healthy immune system makes a huge impact on your body’s ability to respond to periodontitis. Neglecting other health conditions such as obesity or diabetes may make it harder for you to address your periodontitis concerns and symptoms because your immune system is already strained. Here are some simple tips to help fight periodontitis in a truly holistic manner:

Work Out To Fight Plaque
Stimulating your cardiovascular system can prevent plaque biofilm from accumulating in large amounts throughout your cardiovascular system. That’s right – the plaque from your mouth can also enter into your arteries and heart!

Kick The Tobacco Habit
Nearly every patient with periodontitis who also smokes will never see an improvement in their condition. No matter how dedicated they are, smoking can counteract everything good that you do for your gums.

Eat A Balanced Diet
Fibrous fruits and vegetables stimulate gum tissue as you chew, while also providing essential nutrients to the rest of your system. They actually cleanse the teeth while you eat them! When your body has healthy nutrients going in, it makes it easier for you to fight infections as they occur.

Limit Sugar And Alcohol Intake
Sugars and refined sugars often found in processed food and alcoholic beverages create an acidic environment inside of the mouth and the rest of the body. Bacteria thrive in these areas and as they feed on the sugar the result is lots and lots of plaque biofilm. The more sugar you eat – whether it be through your coffee, juice, packaged food, alcoholic drink or other source – the more bacteria that you are going to produce in your mouth. The more bacteria you have, the easier it is for your periodontitis to advance.

More Facts About Periodontitis

Periodontitis can almost always be cured. Dedicated preventive routines, along with supplementation and necessary lifestyle changes, can allow your body to rid itself of the infection. Depending on how advanced the condition is you may need professional treatment ranging from maintenance visits to surgical therapies. In extremely advanced stages of the disease it may be impossible, requiring extraction of the teeth to rid the body of the chronic infection.

In some cases periodontitis can be reversed. Unfortunately, the more the advanced the periodontitis is, the less likely it is to reverse it. You can however stop the disease process from progressing further in most cases with professional care and dedicated home routines. It is easier to reverse periodontitis when symptoms are in the beginning stages.

Periodontitis can be spread between close family members such as husband and wife or parent to child. This is due to the bacteria passing between people through saliva, making it even more important for you to treat the condition.

Symptoms of periodontitis may not be visible for patients that smoke, have undergone radiation therapy or are taking certain medications. In these cases swelling and bleeding may not be evident, but the disease can lie deep below the gums. Other symptoms such as food packing between the teeth or under the gums or shifting teeth may prove to be identifying factors.

Mild periodontitis can be efficiently treated through dedicated oral hygiene routines and supplementation. By preventing the condition to continue, you reverse the bone loss process and may also encourage some tissue reattachment. Periodontitis is a serious condition and requires extremely dedicated oral hygiene practices on a daily basis to prevent relapse.

Brushing and flossing alone does not necessarily remove the bacteria associated with periodontitis. If you have mild periodontitis with only minimum gum detachment or bone loss, it may be just fine. However, due to the loss of attachment with moderate or more severe forms of periodontitis, the concave root surfaces on the sides of the teeth often harbor disease bacteria that cannot be reached with typical oral hygiene methods. A water flosser may be a more efficient method of home cleansing for these areas.

Genetic predisposition may play a factor in your body’s risk to develop periodontitis. Many people with periodontitis identify that one or both of their parents or a sibling has suffered from the same condition. While genetics play a part, it may also be due to the bacteria spreading back and forth among family members through saliva. Simply being predisposed to the disease does not mean that you cannot effectively treat and prevent the symptoms.

Many people complain that simple oral care routines at home such as brushing or flossing cause their gums to bleed or be uncomfortable. Bleeding or irritation is simply a symptom of periodontitis. You must begin cleaning the teeth correctly each day for up to two weeks before expecting symptoms such as bleeding or tenderness to go away. If they do not improve you may need professional treatment as well.

Putting off care for periodontitis could result in advancement of the disease condition into a more severe stage. As the stage of disease progresses, treatments become more invasive and costly in an attempt to retain your teeth. Otherwise, the disease continues to destroy gum attachment and bone levels, ultimately resulting in the loss of teeth.

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How To Prevent And Treat Swollen Gums

The best way to prevent swollen gums is by eating a balanced diet and practicing good oral hygiene each and every day. Keeping oral bacteria in balance will prevent the body’s need to respond to infection, omitting the symptom of swollen gums. Eating fresh fruits and vegetables and omitting sugar intake will reduce the bacteria in your mouth that causes swollen gums. Be sure to brush twice each day gently along the gum lines and floss properly to prevent plaque buildup and inflammation. Additional aids such as the use of essential oils can also reduce plaque.

You may also be at an increased rate to develop swollen gums if you have oral appliances that you wear such as braces, dentures, partials, bridges or retainers. If the appliance can be removed, do so each day for thorough cleaning to prevent the risk of infection. You may need additional appliances to keep permanent fixtures (such as braces or bridges) clean on a routine basis.

Conventional Treatment

Your dentist may choose to prescribe mouth rinse or an antibiotic to help get rid of swollen gums.

Dental cleanings can help remove calcified bacterial deposits such as tartar or hard to reach plaque, allowing the swelling to reverse itself and for you to keep your gums clean at home.

If gum swelling is severe, surgical or laser therapy may be needed to remove excess tissue.

Home Remedies

Essential Oil – Clinical studies have shown that using essential oil as part of your oral care routine may actually be just as good as flossing when it comes to reducing swollen gums.

Electric Toothbrushing – High-quality electric brushes are more efficient at removing plaque bacteria than manual toothbrushes, allowing you to have a better chance of reducing swollen gums.

Water Flossing – Using an oral irrigation device such as a water flosser can be more efficient than traditional flossing when it comes to removing bacterial plaque, which causes swollen gums.

Traditional Brushing and Flossing – The key to brushing and flossing is not rushing and taking enough time to thoroughly remove bacteria from the teeth. Angle the toothbrush toward the gums and gently brush side to side, focusing on two teeth at a time. Spend no less than two minutes twice each day brushing your teeth and gums. When flossing, wrap the floss tightly around the tooth and slide it up and down under the gums several times to remove subgingival plaque.

Antiseptic Mouth Rinse – Over-the-counter mouth rinses can alleviate mild gingivitis symptoms. They may also contain alcohol that can sting or dry out the mouth. A dry mouth can be a preferred breeding ground for harmful bacteria. For this reason it is recommended to avoid mouthwash that contains alcohol. Use 100% pure botanical mouthwash instead.

Swollen Gums Are Usually Caused By Bacteria
Remedies for swollen gums are the same as those used for treating gingivitis and gum disease. Because swollen gums are associated with redness, bleeding and other symptoms of bacterial-induced gum disease, when you want to understand how to treat swollen gums you should understand how to treat gum disease as a whole.

More Facts About Swollen Gums

Your gums are most likely swollen due to an inflammatory response to infection or bacterial plaque around your teeth. To cure swollen, inflamed gums you must keep the area as clean and healthy as possible, reversing the inflammatory response. Proper brushing, flossing, water flossing, nutritional supplements and essential oils are all effective methods to reverse inflammation.

You can get rid of swollen gums naturally. In fact, all dental professionals recommend that you heal your swollen gums on your own, by cleaning the area effectively and using oral hygiene aids or supplements as needed.

It’s not common to have gingival inflammation associated with pregnancy or birth control use due to the hormonal balances in your body. If actual gum disease is present there is extra cause for alarm, as untreated gum disease can increase your risk for premature labor and low birth weight infants.

Inflamed gums have an extra supply of antibodies in the area, which travel through the bloodstream. This means there is also an increased supply of blood to your gums. Cleaning the area will allow blood to cross over the bacterial barrier until the area begins to heal.

Swelling is typically caused by infection, and bacteria cause infection. Cleaning infected areas typically causes mild discomfort, but doing so efficiently each day will quickly help alleviate the tenderness during future cleaning.

Certain medications such as blood pressure medication can cause gum tissue to grow. The tissue appears swollen, but it is very firm. It’s recommended that you do not discontinue your medication but rather discuss this concern with your medical doctor.

Try the all-natural liquid toothpaste with a handcrafted blend of 100% pure cold pressed botanical almond, spearmint and carefully-aged peppermint oils. It naturally helps clean your teeth and gums by eliminating bacteria-causing germs and plaque while leaving you with fresh breath. Click here


Nutrient-Dense Smoothies

Meal prep can be a useful aide in the weight loss goal or nutritional goals one may set for life. This can be done many ways, but with summer right around the corner we have our mind set on one thing: smoothies! No matter your reason, packing a smoothie with your favorite fruits and vegetables is a great way to get those nutrients your body needs but may not be getting from your day-to-day diet.

The average amount of fruits and vegetables an adult needs is between 5-9 servings, which can be difficult to achieve for some people. Whether you’re on the go, busy with your growing family, or just tired from your routine, it can be hard to eat enough of the good foods your body craves for energy. Instead we reach for quick snacks like chips, pretzels, snack bars, cookies, or drinks that give us energy. The problem here is that these are considered “empty” calories. They also make you feel full but have little nutritional value. Yes, they are fast and easy, but are there any health risks?

Instead of processed foods, having a fresh produce intake can up your energy naturally, make you feel less sluggish, and encourage healthy cell regeneration throughout your body. Why reach for the chips when your “ready-to-go” smoothie can be just as easily accessible?

Sometimes, meal prep seems like it takes quite a bit of time and effort, but if you set aside just a few hours for one day, you’ll have your whole week prepped and you don’t have to think about it after that!

These smoothies took us 2 hours to wash, cut, peel, blend, and pour into their containers. This recipe made 8, 8-ounce containers. If you were to drink 2 a day, you have your full week’s worth of servings.

Lastly, this method is tried and true for hiding veggies that you may not like. If you have family members who are picky eaters, or you just can’t stand certain tastes or textures, smoothies are a sure way to get your greens in your diet.


Green Smoothie


2 cups frozen baby spinach

2 cups frozen kale

2 cucumbers, peeled and chopped

2 cups frozen broccoli crowns

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped

4 kiwis, peeled and sliced

16oz Kale Blazer, Naked Brand juice**

16oz Green Goodness, Bolthouse Farms brand juice**

**No endorsements were given for any brand names used. These were personal preference for taste. Feel free to use any organic fruit juice of your choice.**

Mapping A Path To Better Oral Health

Dentists aren’t the only people who influence how we take care of our teeth; our friends and family play a big role, too. That is the conclusion of Brenda Heaton, an assistant professor of health policy and health services research at Boston University’s Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, who presented her research recently at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference in Boston.

Heaton specializes in social epidemiology with a focus on oral health. In 2008, she, along with other members of BU’s Center for Research to Evaluate & Eliminate Dental Disparities, began a new line of research, focused on understanding oral health and disease among residents in Boston public housing. The majority of the work to date has focused on whether or not “motivational interviewing” can influence how women care for their children’s diet and oral health – specifically, the impact on kids with dental caries – also known as tooth decay.

There is mounting evidence that one-on-one behavioral interventions, like motivational interviewing, may change short-term behavior, but the effects don’t last long. “We started to get a sense that there may be more influences that we need to acknowledge beyond just the individual,” says Heaton. She found that social networks – not Facebook and Twitter, but networks of friends, family, and acquaintances – may play an overlooked role in oral health care.

Some women Heaton interviewed “had been born and raised in the unit that they were living in, and were now raising their own child in that unit,” she says, “so we had grandmother, mother, and child in one unit.” Those close connections influenced how people behaved, and to make significant progress against diseases like tooth decay, Heaton had to tap into those networks herself.

That is not easy, but it is important, says Thomas Valente, a professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California and an expert in social networks in health care. People believe information more when it comes from someone they know or respect, and evidence suggests that people are more willing to trust people who are like them. All too often, says Valente, who was not involved in this study, health information is handed to a community by people on the outside, and it is less impactful. “It’s like West Side Story,” says Valente. “It’s like being a Shark and having a Jet come up to you and tell you to do something. It is just not going to happen.”

Oral Health Resources

Heaton wants to spread resources about good oral health, not only to combat tooth decay but also because oral health is intertwined with other health concerns. “Sugar-sweetened beverage [consumption is] something that we are very interested in, not only because it is a huge risk factor for oral health outcomes, but it is also a huge risk factor for obesity and other obesity-related health conditions,” she says.

To understand the connections that already existed within the community, Heaton needed to draw a social map. Since 2008, her team has interviewed close to 200 women living in Boston public housing and identified nearly 1,000 individuals who were influential. Heaton is using those network maps to find similarities about how information flows through these communities. The ultimate goal, she says, is to use the map to introduce health information and resources into a community in ways that change long-term behaviors.

“You can’t design those interventions until you actually have a really strong grasp of the network structure,” says Heaton. For instance, if you want to make an impact, should you look for community members with the most personal connections or for people with large influence but fewer personal ties? Should you take advantage of existing connections or seed new ones?

The power of this approach is that it focuses on prevention rather than cures, says Heaton. It might take a village, but tooth decay “is an entirely preventable health outcome.”

Ways To Use Nutmeg Oil

Regularly known as a spice that is often used in seasonal cooking, or even to flavor hot beverages, nutmeg has other uses that many aren’t aware of – especially in its oil form. The nutmeg tree itself can get very tall, sometimes reaching up to 70 feet in the air. The seed is where the flavor and benefits from the nutmeg tree fruit are derived from. Though used in powder form with regularity, nutmeg oil is becoming increasingly popular because of its many health benefits. Here are some of the uses of nutmeg oil.

Bad Breath

Many people who suffer from bad breath, or halitosis, do so because of poor oral hygiene, health issues or a bacteria that has taken root in the back of their mouth or throat. Due to the antibacterial properties of nutmeg, just a couple of drops in some warm water is a good way to amplify your oral care routine. Gargle with this mixture twice a day to keep bad breath at bay.


With the holidays fast approaching, you are probably excited about all the food that you’ll be eating. Unfortunately, it’s easy to overdo it around the holiday season because there’s so much to choose from. You want to taste everything and food becomes so good that you can get a little careless with what you eat and how much of it you consume. This leads to digestive issues. Discomfort, pain, bloating and diarrhea are some of the most common symptoms. A bit of nutmeg oil can help. Add a few drops to a carrier oil and rub it into your stomach. You can also add some drops to your bathwater after a long day of too much eating.

Skin Care

Due to its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, skin thrives off of this type of oil. It can even be used to help reduce and eliminate the signs of aging. Are you suffering from premature wrinkles, sagging, or dull skin? Well try adding this oil into your regimen and watch how your skin is transformed. Many natural skincare products incorporate nutmeg into their products. You can simply add a couple of drops of the oil to your cleanser in order to get amazing results.

Sleep Aid

Getting enough sleep is so vital to the way that we function and handle ourselves throughout our day. When you have trouble sleeping, it can completely throw off your ability to perform at the level you need to. Insomnia and trouble staying asleep can feel downright hopeless. Prescription sleep aids are costly and can also be dangerous.

Just a few drops of nutmeg oil can help to relax the body and promote restful, deep sleep. A couple of drops mixed with coconut oil, rubbed on your chest and shoulders, will help soothe you and quiet your nerves. Nutmeg oil improves your quality of sleep and can be used nightly. Try this method about 30 to 45 minutes before you intend on going to sleep. Make sure to take deep breaths once the oil has been applied.

You can purchase nutmeg oil online from several companies at

Wonderful Rosewood Oil

An oil that has the word “rose” in it, undoubtedly has positive and lovely benefits attached. Do not be confused though, rosewood is completely different than rose, the flower. The former comes from an evergreen tree that can be found traditionally in Brazil and Peru. These trees can reach up to 40 meters tall and are known for their pinkish, red bark and pale flowers. Once it is transformed into an oil by way of distillation, it can be used for many different purposes. Here are some of the amazing health benefits associated with rosewood essential oil.

Mood Lifter

If you are someone who’s mood can easily be shifted or changed depending on minor things, this is a good oil to have on hand. Whether you have situational depression or something a bit stronger, this oil can help to liven your mood and make your troubles seem a bit more manageable. If you are going through something tough in your life, whether it’s something professionally, personally, or physically, this oil can help to transform your mood. Soak a cotton ball with the oil or add a few drops to your oil burner.

Treat Wounds

When you suffer from a cut, scrape or burn, it’s important to take the necessary precautions quickly in order for the injury to heal. It’s also vital to do this so that it doesn’t become infected or become susceptible to bacteria. Just a couple of drops applied to the area will help to clean the wound and protect it from the harsh elements that can be dangerous if it goes untended. The presence of rosewood oil will also help the wound to heal at a faster rate.


If you’ve been trying to figure out a way to toss traditional deodorant in favor of a more natural option, you should definitely invest in this oil. Because of the antibacterial properties it kills the stuff that causes odor in the first place. It also leaves behind a pleasant and enriching scent. Try mixing some rosewood oil with some coconut oil and apply it liberally as you would a regular deodorant. You’ll be surprised at just how effective it is at keeping bad scents at bay.


Bugs do not like this stuff. Whether you are trying to ward off ants, fleas, mosquitoes, bed bugs or lice, this oil will definitely help. You can use it in a variety of different ways. If you are having a BBQ or a cookout and don’t want to be bothered by flies, make some rosewood oil candles and burn them at all of the tables. If you notice that your house is being infiltrated by stubborn, pesky little ants, spray the baseboards with rosewood oil and lemongrass oil mixed with rubbing alcohol. That will keep the little pests away. You can also apply the oil directly to your skin if you’re going to be outdoors camping and don’t want to return with tons of itchy mosquito bites. This oil will go a long way with helping to repel bugs.

You can purchase rosewood oil online from several companies at


What Is Dental Irrigation?

oral irrigatorOur teeth and gums, and the way we maintain them, are an incredibly important intrinsic part of any hygiene routine. Those who have poor hygiene are at greater risk for many different issues later on in life. For those who are vigilant about caring for their teeth and gums, they are less likely to suffer from conditions like gingivitis, tarter or periodontal issues. Recently something called dental irrigation, which has been around for quite some time, is gaining recent appeal and increased use. But what is this practice that provides a more deliberate and clean mouth.

The way that dental irrigation works is that it cleans between the teeth and in hard-to-reach places with a specific tool that uses water to get rid of the plague buildup. When this particular practice is done it effectively eliminates plague and bacteria that can potentially cause many different problems for your gums and teeth down the road. As a hygiene practice it used to be used in the ‘80s and ‘90s as a way to maintain a certain level of tooth cleanliness between dental cleanings. It lost a little bit of popularity for awhile but in recent years it has been picking up speed and more people are trying it out.

Daily Oral Irrigation

There have been recent studies that show daily oral irrigation can help to get rid of the periodontal pathogens that easily get lodged between teeth. These types of organisms can’t be fully eliminated with brushing and flossing because they are incredibly minuscule and can be missed and lodged into the pockets of the gums very easily. For those who do take part in dental irrigation, they have a notable reduction in specific mediators that cause and perpetuate inflammation. Dentist visits provide an impressive overview of improved oral health for those who do take part in this type of irrigation.

In the event you have already been diagnosed with some type of gum disease of periodontal condition, or simply want to prevent it from occurring, you may want to seriously consider some type of dental irrigation. It can provide relief and reduction in gingivitis, bleeding of the gums, periodontal pathogens and much more. If your oral hygiene is less than ideal, you likely have some type of teeth or gum issue that dental irrigation could help to mitigate. The plaque that is formed in our mouths as a result of bacteria causes numerous problems along the way.

Daily irrigators range from direct flow, steady stream and pulsed flow. The device uses the water to directly attack the plaque and properly eradicate it. The main purpose of this practice and these irrigation devices is to disrupt the plague that gets built up around your teeth and gums in an effective manner. This will help to prevent periodontal issues later on in life. Whether you are a stickler for oral health or you tend to not pay as much attention to your gums and teeth as you should, the practice of oral irrigation may just the thing you should look into.

Try the all-natural liquid toothpaste with a handcrafted blend of 100% pure cold pressed botanical almond, spearmint and carefully-aged peppermint oils. It naturally helps clean your teeth and gums by eliminating bacteria-causing germs and plaque while leaving you with fresh breath. Click here.



Is There A Better Way To Treat Abscesses?

treat abscessesUCLA researchers have found that doctors can use a specific antibiotic in addition to surgically draining an abscess to give people a better chance of recovery. The discovery turns on its head the long-held notion that surgical drainage alone is sufficient for treating abscesses.

The findings are particularly important because of the emergence of community-acquired, methicillin-resistant, Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA, which since 2000 has become the most common cause of skin infections – initially in the U.S. and now in many other parts of the world.

The UCLA study was published recently by the New England Journal of Medicine.

“We found that adding in a specific antibiotic to the medical treatment also resulted in fewer recurring infections, fewer infections in other places on the body and fewer people passing on the infection to other members of the household,” said Dr. David Talan, the study’s lead author and a professor in the department of emergency medicine and department of medicine, division of infectious diseases, at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Olive View–UCLA Medical Center. “This translates into fewer medical visits and reduced health care costs.”

In the U.S., emergency department visits for skin infections nearly tripled from 1.2 million to 3.4 million between 1993 and 2005, and the burden of such infections has continued since then. Most of the increase was due to a greater incidence of skin abscesses – pus-filled boils or pimples with discharge that are the most frequent way people get MRSA infections.

Antibiotics Recommended

“Traditional teaching has been that the only treatment needed for most skin abscesses is surgical drainage — and that antibiotics don’t provide an extra benefit,” said Dr. Gregory Moran, clinical professor of emergency medicine at the Geffen School, chief of the department of emergency medicine at Olive View–UCLA and one of the study’s authors. “Our findings will likely result in patients more often being recommended to take antibiotics in addition to having surgical drainage when they get a skin abscess.”

Emergency department doctors still grapple with how to best treat and prevent MRSA, given its resistance to many antibiotics. “The problem is steadily increasing and anyone can get MRSA, particularly those who are in close contact with other people, such as through sports,” Talan said. “MRSA is commonly transmitted between family members or roommates, and it has even caused outbreaks on NFL teams.”

The Study

The study examined treatment for more than 1,200 patients at five hospital emergency departments – in Los Angeles; Baltimore; Kansas City, Missouri; Philadelphia and Phoenix. For some patients, doctors prescribed an inexpensive, generic antibiotic called trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, also known as Bactrim, for seven days after the abscess was surgically drained. For others, they prescribed a placebo for seven days.

They found that 93 percent of patients who took the antibiotic were cured, well above the 86 percent who took the placebo. “MRSA is not going away, so we need to find better ways to treat and prevent it,” Talan said. “We hope the information will help guide doctors as to the best ways to address skin infections.”

MRSA and other types of skin infection can be easily transmitted from one person to another, but Talan said the following tips can help prevent infection from spreading:

  • If you see a skin infection beginning, see your doctor right away. This could help a small problem from becoming bigger and more difficult to treat.
  • People with skin infections should be careful to keep lesions covered with a dressing or bandage and should thoroughly wash their hands after changing the bandage. Used bandages should be placed immediately in the trash.
  • Avoid sharing personal items like towels, razors or brushes with anyone who has an active skin infection.

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What Is Marjoram Essential Oil?

marjoramIf you were to ask a roomful of people what marjoram oil was, many would look around confused. The oil is not well known in many circles, even in ones that know quite a bit about holistic lifestyles and essential oil benefits. The marjoram essential oil is an aromatic herb that comes directly from the mint family. It is indigenous to Arabia and Egypt.

Many people aren’t aware that this name is actually the official moniker for what we call oregano. That’s right, the herb that you regularly cook with is actually dried marjoram. What most people don’t know is that it has tremendous health benefits aside from its flavoring ability.


Marjoram can be used to help a loved one who suffers from snoring. Whether it’s you or your spouse that snores heavily, this oil can potentially help curb the issue. Taking a couple of deep breaths of the oil right before bed, is said to help those who struggle with snoring loudly throughout the night. Another option is to use it in a humidifier or diffuser before bed. Put 10 drops of the marjoram oil and 10 drops of lavender oil in any type of vaporizer and allow it to fill the air. The snorer with breathe it naturally throughout the night and the snoring severity will lessen as time goes on. The oil also helps with sound sleep, so you’ll be potentially combating two issues at once.


The oil is also quite effective for headache pain. The inflammation that usually causes the head to hurt can be lessened by the oil. The pain that is often experienced because of tooth infections is also diminished by the use of the oil. You can add food grade oil to your tea and put some honey in it to sweeten it, or you can rub a bit of the oil on your temples to alleviate the pain in your head. The same tactic can potentially work for a toothache. Make sure to rub the oil on the gum where the tooth is emitting the most pain.

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is a problem that many people struggle with. This essential oil can be a great health aid. The best way to use it for this purpose is through a massage oil. Add several drops to a base oil and receive a massage at least once a week. The oil will penetrate your skin and naturally bring your blood pressure down. Massages are a great way to de-stress – that combined with the natural components of the oil, will have your blood pressure stabilizing in no time.

Wounds And Bites

The healing properties of the oil are also good for cuts, scraps and wounds. Putting a little bit on a bite or a scratch will prevent it from getting infected, and possibly giving you a bigger issue later on. Its anti-inflammatory compounds make it great for bug bites or even something poisonous like poison ivy or oak. Take a couple of drops on the fingertips and rub them deeply into the problem area. Always remember that even the lesser known essential oils are just as vital to your collection.

You can purchase marjoram essential oil online from several companies at


The Importance Of Vitamin D

vitamin-dVitamin D is fat soluble and helps our bodies absorb magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, and phosphate. A Vitamin D deficiency can result in weak bones, and muscle weakness, and can also increase the risk of cancer and multiple sclerosis.

The minimum daily requirement daily of vitamin D most children and adults need is generally agreed to be 400 units. But the reality is that everyone is different, so actually everyone’s minimum daily requirement of vitamin D is different. To some extent, it depends on who you are and where you are.

Consider sunlight for example. A half hour of exposure to direct sunlight without sunscreen can provide much of the vitamin D you need. But if you’re older, if your skin is darker, if it’s winter, or if you live in the mountains, you may have challenges getting as much vitamin D as your body needs to get and stay healthy.

Each one of these variables – age, ethnicity, season, location – are important considerations that can influence how much of this vital nutrient your body receives and how efficiently it processes it. The state of your health is another important variable. For example, in order to prevent heart disease, cancer, infections, and other conditions, some nutritionists recommend as much as 8,000 or more units each day for some people.

Most ice creams and cheeses are not fortified, but milk itself – from cows, soy, and rice – is often fortified with vitamin D. Some whole grain and multigrain cereals are fortified with vitamin D as well. Fortified orange juice is another good source.

Egg yolk is a rich source of vitamin D, but because of concerns about cholesterol, you should be careful not to overdo it. One egg contains about 200 milligrams of cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends eating no more than 300 milligrams a day.

Beef liver is also a potent source of this important vitamin along with vitamin A and iron, but like egg yolks it is also high in cholesterol, so it should be eaten in moderation. For vegans, Portobello mushrooms will be a better fit than beef liver. Fatty fish – mackerel, salmon, trout, canned tuna, and sardines – are reliable sources of vitamin D.

Blood tests are the safest way to determine how much vitamin D you and your family members need.

The Link Between Fruits And Vegetables And Your Mental Health

fruit and vegetablesNew research – published by BMJ Open – suggests that fruit and vegetable consumption could be as good for your mental as your physical health. The research focused on well-being and found that high and low mental wellbeing was constantly associated with an individual’s fruit and vegetable consumption.

Low mental wellbeing is strongly linked to mental illness and mental health problems, but high mental wellbeing is more than the absence of symptoms or illness; it is a state in which people feel good and function well. Optimism, happiness, self-esteem, resilience, and good relationships with others are all part of this state. Mental wellbeing is important not just to protect people from mental illness but because it protects people against common and serious physical diseases.

“The data suggest that higher an individual’s fruit and vegetable intake the lower the chance of their having low mental wellbeing,” said lead author Dr. Saverio Stranges. “Along with smoking, fruit and vegetable consumption was the health-related behavior most consistently associated with low and high mental wellbeing. These novel findings suggest that fruit and vegetable intake may play a potential role as a driver, not just of physical, but also of mental wellbeing in the general population.”

The Research

The research was part of the Health Survey for England, which oversaw detailed information collected on mental and physical health, health-related behaviors, demographics and socio-economic characteristics. The research – conducted by the University of Warwick’s Medical School using data from the Health Survey for England – involved 14,000 participants in England that were 16 years old or over; 56 percent were female and 44 percent were male. The research revealed:

  • 33.5 percent of respondents with high mental wellbeing ate five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day compared with only 6.8 percent who ate less than one portion
  • 31.4 percent of those with high mental wellbeing ate three or four portions
  • 28.4 percent ate one to two portions

“Our findings add to the mounting evidence that fruit and vegetable intake could be one such factor and mean that people are likely to be able to enhance their mental wellbeing at the same time as preventing heart disease and cancer,” Stranges added.

Can Lifting Weights Improve Your Memory?

IThere’s lots of positive reasons to hit the gym,  but did you know that lifting weights can improve your memory? A new study – conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology – shows that intense workout of as little as 20 minutes can enhance episodic memory – or long-term memory for previous events – by about 10 percent in healthy, young adults.

“Our study indicates that people don’t have to dedicate large amounts of time to give their brain a boost,” says Lisa Weinberg, project leader and Georgia Tech graduate.

The study – published in the journal Acta Psychologica – took a few new approaches in researching how exercise can improve memory.  Participants lifted weights just once two days prior to testing and also studied events just before the exercise instead of just after. Although weight exercises were used for the study, resistance activities such as squats or knee bends would most likely produce the same results. The exercises did not require a person to be in good enough shape to run, bike or participate in prolonged aerobic exercise.

Extensive animal research in the past has suggested that the period after learning – consolidation – is when the arousal or stress caused by exercise is most likely to benefit memory.

The Study

The participants first looked at a series of 90 photos on a computer screen – a combination of positive, negative and neutral images – and were not asked to try to remember the photos. Next, they sat at a leg extension resistance exercise machine. Half of the participants extended and contracted each leg at their personal maximum effort 50 times. The control group just sat in a chair and allowed the experimenter  to move their legs. Each participant’s blood pressure and heart rate were monitored and they also contributed saliva samples for the researchers to detect levels of neurotransmitter markers linked to stress.

Forty-eight hours later the participants returned to the lab and were shown 180 pictures – a mixture of the first 90 photos and 90 new photos. While the control group recalled about 50 percent of the photos from the first session, those that exercised remembered about 60 percent. While all the participants remembered the positive and negative images better than the neutral ones, the pattern was greatest in the exercise participants with the highest physiological responses. This was expected though since existing research on memory indicates that people are more likely to remember emotional experiences – especially after short-term stress.

This study found that exercise participants had increased saliva measures of alpha amylase, a marker of central norepinephrine. Existing research has linked memory enhancements to acute stress responses – usually from psychological stressors such as public speaking. Other studies have tied specific hormonal and norepinephrine releases in rodent brains to better memory.

Now that the researchers know resistance exercise can enhance episodic memory in healthy, young adults, the researchers plan to expand the study in the future. “The findings are encouraging because they are consistent with rodent literature that pinpoints exactly the parts of the brain that play a role in stress-induced memory benefits caused by exercise,” said Audrey Duarte, associate professor in the School of Psychology. “Even without doing expensive fMRI scans, our results give us an idea of what areas of the brain might be supporting these exercise-induced memory benefits.”

“We can now try to determine its applicability to other types of memories and the optimal type and amount of resistance exercise in various populations,” added Minoru Shinohara, an associate professor in the School of Applied Physiology. “This includes older adults and individuals with memory impairment.”

Have You Seen These New Supermarket Trends?

supermarket-trendsConvenience and value are still what grocery shoppers demand, but many retailers have begun adapting to other changing preferences and needs. Here’s a few trends that many of today’s supermarkets are implementing.

Healthy Living And Fresh Prepared Foods

Ninety-two percent of U.S. adults believe that eating at home is healthier than eating out.

Consumers often just want to put the finishing touches on an item and avoid the slicing, dicing and marinating that often comes with food preparation. More than half of U.S. households are comprised of just one or two people, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau, and consumers often look to stores as their “sous chef.”

Meal Solutions And Smaller Grocery Stores

Supermarkets are bundling together meal components that are tasty and easy to prepare. Many retailers are putting their own spin on high-quality fare that reflects trendy culinary influences such as chef-prepared entrees and salads, ethnic fare, and in-store brunch stations and gelato bars.

Smaller stores are also able to refine their offerings based on neighborhood purchasing patterns and are on track for rapid growth, according to a recent Jeffries consumer survey.

Price-Driven Consumers, Online Options And Mobile Commerce

Middle and low-income shoppers account for 70 percent of U.S. grocery sales, but consumers without major financial constraints tend to be frugal and open to shopping in a variety of different channels in order to economize, too.

Grocery shopping is more likely to become a hybrid online and in-store process with consumers placing orders online, but also stopping in the store for items. In the future more people are expected to purchase pantry staples online rather than in grocery stores. Although the market for online ordering is growing experts agree that because grocery shipping is such a sensory experience it will probably never be a totally online process.

There are currently  more than 1,000 grocery shopping apps for the iPhone, says Catalina Marketing. Digitizing supermarket ads and coupons for smartphones, computers and tablets is important to drive sales and form deeper connections with shoppers.

Some Supermarket Shopping Statistics
Here’s a roundup of interesting statistics from FMI’s 2014 shopper study:

  • 1 % of shoppers ordered groceries online for pickup at their local store within the past 12 months.
  • 12 % of meals sourced outside the home come from supermarkets.
  • 24 % of consumers buy fresh prepared meals from the grocery store instead of eating out in order to save money.
  • 25 % of all meals consumed by twenty-something consumers include items purchased that same day.
  • 43 % of primary grocery shoppers are male.
  • 61 % of women say they have all or most of the responsibility for preparing dinner.
  • 71 % of consumers rate the fresh food deli as an important factor when selecting a primary retailer.
  • 75 % of weekly grocery spending takes place in a shopper’s primary store.
  • 77 % of shoppers make a list before going shopping.
  • 88 % of list makers write grocery lists on paper.
  • 93 % of shoppers typically drive to the grocery store.
  • 96 % of shoppers who say they notice the nutrition facts panel.