Natural Help for Sadness and Depression

Natural Options to Relieve Sadness and Depression

It’s often difficult to differentiate between sadness and depression. Each has certain qualities that frequently overlap; yet both can impact our lives dramatically.

Sadness can range from a simple momentary unhappiness to a long-term grief or sorrow. Depression is defined as gloominess or dejection, either of which can be debilitating.


With the realization or diagnosis of either sadness or depression, there is a tendency for physicians to quickly follow with a prescription for anti-depressant medications to mask and suppress negative feelings. This is not necessarily a bad thing; anti-depressants can be a life saver for some, but certainly aren’t necessary for every case.


Typical Symptoms of Depression

First we should define the typical symptoms of depression. This can assist in evaluating whether or not depression is even an issue.  There are some key areas to consider:



With respect to behavior, we generally look for changes in “normal” behavior patterns. A person may show disinterest in their usual surroundings or neglect to perform regular chores.

Signs that a change in usual patterns is occurring are when there seems to be a greater desire to be alone; the person is sleeping more than usual; or they become forgetful about special hobbies. A loss of appetite is also an important sign. This isn’t to say that other factors would not be considered, but given the following additional symptoms, depression would be a primary diagnosis.



Appearance is something that is difficult to hide. As caretaker, you should pay attention to uncombed hair, dirty clothes, facial expressions, unusual quietness, skin tone or gestures. Concealing one’s feelings may be easier for some than others, but obvious feelings may be more apparent. Look for recent signs of grief from the loss of a loved one or pet or a sense of hopelessness with unusual anger and impatience. Also look for new or unusual reactions such as self-blame or ongoing criticism of friends and relatives.


Words Being Used.

There are words and phrases that are reflective of suicidal thoughts based on underlying depression. The key is to be aware of unusual behavior or words and take action before they reach a self destructive or suicidal stage. These can include phrases like: “I wish I were dead”, “What’s the point of living”, “I have no joy in my life”, “Things will be better when I’m gone”, or “They won’t have me to kick around much longer”.

As a preliminary response, you might consider counseling or one of the following alternatives. Please bear in mind that depression is difficult to self diagnose, but the feeling that “something is not right”, with a chronic desire to continually sleep, should lead one to consider help.


Unless the sadness or depression is severe, I recommend investigating these natural remedies and combining them with added exercise, daylight and communication as your first option.



St. John’s Wort


St. John’s Wort is the most extensively researched herb as an anti-depressant, and for good reason as it is known to show significant improvement in depression, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness, and trouble sleeping.  Its nutrient value aids nerves and is thought to provide an alternative to Prozac as an antidepressant.

Remember that when taking any traditional drug or herbal compound, there can be unexpected side effects. In this case, St. John’s Wort can cause anxiety as it increases levels of dopamine in the brain, so avoid it if there is recurring anxiety.  Read reviews.



Licorice Root

Nature's Answer Alcohol-Free Licorice Root, 1-Fluid Ounce
Licorice Root tends to replenish the adrenals, allowing a more relaxed state. Though often not thought of as an herb for depression, it really should be.
Licorice is known to have 8 different anti-depressant compounds, known as MOA inhibitors. These inhibitors are capable of potent anti-depressant activity and show significant improvement for all types of depression.

Licorice Root is also very nourishing for burned out adrenals and is best used during times of chronic fatigue and tiredness that usually results in frequent illness.  Read reviews.

 Keep in mind that this herb is not meant for long term use, but is generally safe for use off and on.  This herb should not be used for those with hypertension or high blood pressure.



Passion Flower

For those who can’t get all of those constantly circulating, unhealthy thoughts out of our minds, Passion Flower would be you herbal ally of choice. While it doesn’t necessarily treat depression itself, it will certainly help quiet an overactive mind, especially when used before sleep.

Passion Flower is a calmative for the nerves, reducing anxiety and high blood pressure while encouraging sleep. Read reviews.





Nature's Way Valerian Root -- 180 Capsules
Valerian, or Valeriana officinalis, as it is officially called, has been in use since the time of Hippocrates. Its other variety is Valeriana dioica. Valerian is an herb that grows mostly in Europe, Asia, and North America. It has been used for centuries for the treatment of various conditions like depression, insomnia and anxiety.

Valerian is known for its calming effect without causing drowsiness. Since Valerian does not affect REM sleep cycles at night, it does not induce any sleepiness but rather produces a natural, mild calm to soothe the anxiety of patients. Studies show that Valerian provides quick and natural relief for people with poor sleep. This is a natural and safe alternative to drugs like benzodiazepines which may cause continuous dependence on the pills.





Swanson Full-Spectrum Chinese Skullcap 400 mg 90 Caps

Scullcap is another adrenal herb, but also has been very effective for nerves, high blood pressure, worry, restlessness and emotional conflict.  Skullcap is a very effective herb that has a calming yet strengthening effect on the nervous system and will help to relieve certain symptoms of depression such as poor sleep, poor concentration and headaches.

It is particularly useful for depression brought on by prolonged stress, illness or overwork. Skullcap may be taken as an infusion, capsules or tincture.






Nature's Way Rosemary (Leaves) 100 Caps

 Rosemary is believed to be very good for depression. Rosemary was one of the first herbs used in the American south in colonial times to treat women for depression after childbirth.

Rosemary (Rosemarinus officinalis) grows primarily on the Mediterranean seashore. Fittingly, its name means “dew of the sea.” It’s built quite a reputation as a potent, natural remedy for anxiety.

Throughout history, rosemary benefits over the years include relieving depression, improving circulation, memory, digestion and easing muscle pain.

Modern technology has allowed scientists to explore the mechanisms behind rosemary’s benefits. Evidence shows that rosemary boosts blood flow to the brain, and this improves memory and helps you think more clearly.

It appears that rosemary benefits also include breaking down acetylcholine, a chemical found in the brain. This allows nerve cells to communicate with one another more effectively, which contributes to enhanced mental acuity, better memory recognition, increased concentration and a calmer disposition.



Holy Basil

ORGANIC INDIA Tulsi - Holy Basil Supplement - Made with Certified Organic Herbs (Vegetarian Capsules, 90 Count)


Holy basil, known as tulsi (also spelled tulasi) in its native India, is a revered herb in Ayurvedic medicine. Holy basis has been used to treat a variety of health concerns from headaches and stomachaches to inflammatory problems and common colds. This herb is classified as an adaptogen, a substance that increases the body’s resistance to internal and external stress. Therefore, it makes sense that holy basil would relieve panic attacks and depression.  Read reviews.

Holy basil is a relatively well-studied herb, with research that has demonstrated that it can radically and speedily improve anxiety and depression, and reduce stress – both physical and emotional. The exact mechanism of action is yet to be determined although research has shown that holy basil decreases the amount of cortisol released during stress without the adverse side-effects of prescription medications.

In addition, holy basil has the capacity to increase physical and emotional endurance thus increasing the resilience to all stressors. As already mentioned, it lowers blood sugar levels which in turn reduces cravings and stabilises moods, and thus facilitates weight loss.

Holy Basil has been traditionally used to support people through times of stress, working as adaptogen (i.e. substance that balances and protects the body by improving resistance to any type of physiological or mental stress) and anxiolytic (decreasing anxiety). One of the most strongly supported actions of this herb is that of an adaptogen, with current research supporting its traditional use in managing acute and chronic stress and fatigue. Chronic stress has been shown to increase the levels of oxidative stress and free radicals. Holy basil enhances the levels and activities of endogenous antioxidants and antioxidant enzymes including glutathione and superoxide dismutase.

In a recent randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial researchers evaluated the efficacy of an extract of holy basil in the symptomatic control of general stress (1). They concluded that the effect of holy basil supplementation over placebo on comparison was considerable for all stress parameters measured. The treatment showed 39% improvement in general stress symptoms over and above the placebo. The significant finding in this study was the reduced intensity of forgetfulness, reduced symptom scores of sexual problems (stress-related), and the effective relief from frequent feelings of fatigue and sleep problems.


Holy basil has been clinically trialed in treating generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) in a small, controlled 60-day clinical trial (2). The results indicated that taking the herb significantly improved anxiety, stress, depression and attention span in subjects suffering from GAD, with the greatest improvements occurring at the completion of 60 days of treatment.


As a bonus, other research has indicated that holy basil has a strong antioxidant action in the brain resulting in improved memory and slower cognition decline. Free radicals have been associated with ischaemic brain lesions, development and progression of degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, and general decline in memory and cognition due to chronic stress. Read reviews.


1) Efficacy of an Extract of Ocimum tenuiflorum (OciBest) in the Management of General Stress: A Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study; Ram Chandra Saxena,1 Rakesh Singh,2 Parveen Kumar,3 Mahendra P. Singh Negi,4 Vinod S. Saxena,5 Periasamy Geetharani,6 Joseph Joshua Allan,6 and Kudiganti Venkateshwarlu6; Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 894509, 7 pages
2) Controlled programmed trial of Ocimum sanctum leaf on generalized anxiety disorders. Bhattacharyya D1, Sur TK, Jana U, Debnath PK.; Nepal Med Coll J. 2008 Sep;10(3):176-9.





Natrol 5-HTP TR Time Release, 200mg, 30 Tablets

Generally, a product called 5HTP can be helpful for low serotonin levels, taken with B6 for absorption. Preliminary studies indicate that 5-HTP may work as well as certain antidepressant drugs to treat people with mild-to-moderate depression. Like the class of antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which includes fluoxetine (Prozac) and sertraline (Zoloft), 5-HTP increases the levels of serotonin in the brain.

One study compared the effects of 5-HTP to fluvoxamine (Luvox) in 63 people and found that those who were given 5-HTP did just as well as those who received Luvox. They also had fewer side effects than the Luvox group.

Read reviews.






Doctor's Best SAM-e 400, 60-Count


SAM-e is short for S-adenosylmethionine. This supplement is designed to act like a synthetic form of the body’s natural mood-boosting chemicals. According to the Mayo Clinic, SAM-e is regarded as a supplement in the United States — the FDA doesn’t consider it a medication. You shouldn’t take SAM-e along with antidepressants. You should also be aware that SAM-e can cause health effects like upset stomach and constipation if you take too much.

Read reviews.








Jarrow Formulas Inositol Powder, Supports Liver Function, 600 mg, 8 oz
Inositol is an organic, glucose-like compound that facilitates the transmission of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. People ingest about 1 gram of inositol a day from fruits and vegetables, whole grains, meat, and other foods, and it is also sold as a capsule and powder.

The evidence: The brains of people with depression and bipolar disorder have been shown to have below-average levels of inositol, which prompted researchers to investigate whether inositol supplements could help treat depression.

The initial research was promising. A small study published in 1995 found that taking 12 grams of inositol a day — an amount equivalent to a fistful of the capsules sold in health stores — improved depression symptoms more effectively than placebo.  Read reviews.




Folic Acid

Spring Valley - Folic Acid 800 mcg, 250 Tablets


Folic Acid is the synthetic form of folate, a B vitamin (B9) found in fruits, leafy vegetables, and other foods, that affects the neurotransmitters known as monoamines. Folic acid is sold in stores as a capsule or tablet.

The evidence: Folate deficiency is common among depressed people, especially those who don’t respond to antidepressants.

Folic acid has never been tested as a stand-alone treatment for depression, but it has been compared with placebo as an addition to Prozac.

In one study, patients who received folic acid responded better than those who received placebo — but only the female patients. Nearly 95 percent of the women who received folic acid responded to the combo treatment, compared to about 60 percent of the women who received the placebo.  Read reviews.







Boiron - Aurum Metallicum 200 C Md, 80 pellets


Aurum is a remedy used for depression, sadness, insecurity, anger, self-reproach, suicidal thoughts, and fears of failure, worry, tension, stress, bouts of depression from lack of sunlight and heart problems. A potency of 30c should be sufficient to determine its value. Take once, wait 4-5 days and then repeat only if no changes have occurred. Repeat only once more and if there are still no changes, consider another remedy.  Read reviews.




Boiron - Sepia 200 CK - 80 Pellets


Sepia is a Homeopathic remedy that helps with bouts of depression from loss of sunlight, but it can be differentiated from Aurum by its grief, fatigue, sarcasm and irritability aspects. The individual needing Sepia can be indifferent, weepy, angry, overwhelmed and exhausted. Read reviews.




All of these herbs, supplements and Homeopathic remedies can be used in conjunction with medications, generally, without causing any harm. But remember; stop dosing if an aggravation occurs, as there is no need to over stimulate depression. Once triggered the body finds its own way of rediscovering balance, even on the emotional level.




Final Thoughts

Although herbs and supplements show promise in treating depression, they aren’t a consistent or reliable substitute for treatments when you experience severe depression.

You should call a doctor right away if you have severe depression or thoughts of hurting yourself. Don’t try to rely on supplements as a way to pull you through these severe symptoms. Depression can be a serious disease. If your symptoms are severe, work with your doctor to find a treatment plan that fits for you.


Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful information. 

I welcome your comments below.





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The Fix for Cracked Heels


The Fix for Cracked Heels



With patience and the right plan, you can heal your cracked heels at home quite successfully.

Read on to see the care routine I use and recommend.


Cracked heels are a common problem that may develop into painful fissures or openings if left untreated. You may see dehydrated feet as a minor nuisance; however it can lead to further problems such as fungal infections and ulcerations.



What’s Causing Your Cracked Heels?


While one of the main causes of dry, cracking skin is the arid winter air, other factors can impact heels. Common problems that contribute to heel fissures include but are not limited to:

  • Age
  • Psoriasis or other skin-related conditions
  • Kidney disease
  • Thyroid disease
  • Vitamin deficiency


Skin loses its ability to stretch with age, so cracks are more common as you get older. Diabetes can interrupt the body’s ability to produce oils, making the skin less supple and more susceptible to extreme dryness.

Disease and disorders such as athlete’s foot, psoriasis, eczema, and thyroid disease may cause cracked heels.

Excess weight can create extra pressure on the feet.

Prolonged standing in ill-fitting shoes can become a problem due to added pressure. Poorly structured feet can sometimes lead to abnormal gait that produces calluses to the heel.

Water, especially running water, can rob the skin of its natural oils and this can leave the skin dry and rough.

Deficiency of vitamins, minerals and zinc can lead to skin breakdown as well.  (See Important Seniors’ Nutritional Supplements Reviewed)



Symptoms of Dry, Cracked Heels


One of the first signs of dry, cracked heels is formation of thick, discolored callus tissue that may cause pain with everyday pressure-related activities like walking or running.

If the callus goes untreated and continuous pressure is applied, then you may eventually notice small or even deep breaks that may cause bleeding to occur. If not properly cared for, this may cause an infection. The skin to the heels may begin to redden or become severely inflamed.

Diabetics must check their feet daily because these changes can go unnoticed due to a decreased ability to feel their feet.  (See Caring for Diabetic Feet)

Dry, cracked heels are easily prevented by wearing adequate supportive shoes and with regular use of moisturizers. Ideally, the goal is to prevent cracks from first forming.



If you have developed dry, cracked heels, here’s a simple healing plan that works, which you can manage yourself:


Start With a Soak

Cuccio Earth Lava Pumice Stone


Start your treatment with a warm soak to soften the skin, followed by a scrub with a  Pumice stone, to  remove some of the excess dead skin that is preventing proper healing.  Try the Cuccio Earth Lava Pumice Stone.  It is all-natural, inexpensive, and has excellent reviews.



I personally like this all-natural Therapeutic Foot Soak, which is a bestseller among foot soaks. It’s ultra soothing formula contains chamomile oil and tea tree oil for their healing, antibacterial and antifungal properties.  I find it has  a relaxing scent, is a pleasure to use, and I think its a great value.





Next, Use a Good Topical Cream


Topical creams are documented to be the best skin care treatment, so after your soak and scrub, dry your foot thoroughly and apply a cracked heel cream.   Mild cases may have success with petroleum jelly, but a cream developed specifically for cracked heels will provide a more effective remedy for cracked skin.


I have two recommendations for cracked heel cream, both of which have my husband’s seal of approval.  My husband, Mark suffers from chronic dry, cracked heels.  He wears flip-flops most of the time, which is probably the largest contributing factor to his problem.  These are the products which have worked best for him (when used consistently).



Flexitol Heel Balm, 4 Ounce Tube

For a bad case of dry, cracked heels, the product we have found to work best is Flexitol Heel Balm.


Flexitol is a powerful balm, containing glycolic acid and urea, which are powerful exfoliants and allow moisture to penetrate the area to heal the problem.  It also contains shea butter, tea tree oil and aloe vera gel.  This is a high quality product and works well on difficult cases – highly recommended.



Blue Goo Cracked Heel and Hand Skin Softener, 2 OunceAlso Recommended: Blue Goo Cracked Heel Cream


This newer product is a non-petroleum, lanolin-based balm.  It is a simple formula and an inexpensive product which works well once the cracks have started to heal.  I recommend switching to this product for the later stages of healing and for maintenance.





Finally, Cover and Protect

Finally, use a bandages or covering to allow moisturizing agents to work more effectively, prevent moisture loss, and act as a barrier against bacteria growth.

My husband and I both these heel protectors for day and overnight; they keep the cream on your heel (and not in your socks, on your floor, or in your bed!)


These protectors are not particularly cushioning, but they are excellent for using during your heel treatment, and they wont cause your feet to overheat when you wear them to bed; better than bandages and cooler than socks. These are unisex and will stretch to fit larger feet.

If you spend a lot of time on your feet, you may also want to consider some shoe insoles to redistribute pressure abnormalities on the heel.

Do give it some time and be consistent in your efforts.  Even the worst heels can be coaxed back to normal with enough patience.


If healing is particularly slow, have a  podiatrist examine your heels; he or she may decide to remove specific callus tissue to help the healing process.




Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on how to heal cracked heels.

I welcome your comments below.




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How to Keep Your Senior Hydrated



For many, the long awaited summer months bring to mind family picnics, cool drinks on the porch, and lazy afternoons at the beach. But, as temperatures soar, warm weather activities can increase the risk for another staple of summer: dehydration.

Not getting enough fluids, especially when it is hot outside, can pose serious health problems for anyone, but older adults are at particular risk for dehydration, which is the most common fluid or electrolyte imbalance among the elderly.


Why Seniors Are at Risk

There are a few reasons why older adults are more susceptible to dehydration. As we age, our body’s ability to conserve water is reduced, causing increased difficultly when it comes to adapting to things like extreme temperatures. Additionally, the sense of thirst also diminishes with age, so by the time someone actually feels thirsty, essential fluids could already be extremely low.

Certain medical conditions and medications can also affect a senior’s ability to retain fluids. Individuals with dementia may forget to eat and drink, which severely reduces their intake, and drugs like diuretics, antihistamines, laxatives, antipsychotics and corticosteroids may also cause frequent urination that depletes water and other fluids in the body. Seniors who experience incontinence may also refuse or limit water in order to avoid accidents.



Signs and Symptoms of Dehydration

As a family caregiver, it’s important to be mindful of the signs and symptoms (both for yourself and your loved one), and to communicate with a doctor or health professional should you notice red flags that could indicate complications from fluid loss.

There are a few clear symptoms and warning signs that all family caregivers should remember to look for if they are caring for an older loved one.


It is important to pick up on the more subtle, early signs that indicate a senior needs to up their fluid intake before they lose too much water. Rather than go by thirst, color of urine is a better indicator of hydration. It should be clear or light yellow.


Keep in mind that thirst is not usually a helpful indicator. These signs include headache, constipation, muscle cramps, dry mouth and sleepiness or lethargy. Urine color is also a helpful indicator and should be clear or light yellow for someone who is properly hydrated.

If severe dehydration goes unchecked, it can cause seizures due to electrolyte imbalance, a reduction in the volume of blood in the body (hypovolemic shock), kidney failure, heat injuries, and even coma or death.


Signs of Severe Dehydration


  • Little or no urination
  • Dark or amber-colored urine
  • Dry skin that stays folded when pinched
  • Irritability, dizziness, or confusion
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat
  • Weak pulse
  • Cold hands and feet



Preventing Dehydration


For most of us, drinking plenty of fluids and eating foods with high water content is a great way to keep our bodies properly hydrated in warmer weather. Most adults need about two quarts (64 ounces) of fluids every day, but that amount increases with heat and humidity and can change based on various medications.

A good rule of thumb is to try balancing fluid intake with output. If a senior is sweating or urinating more frequently, then their fluid intake should become more frequent as well.

If a loved one is suffering from an illness that causes fever, diarrhea or vomiting, carefully monitoring fluid intake is crucial. Keep in mind that you can become dehydrated in cold weather, too.



Ways to Increase Fluid Intake

If your loved does not enjoy drinking water, it is good to remember that most fluids count towards the 64 ounces (except for fruit juice, alcohol, soda and caffeinated beverages), and many foods do too.

 Stur - Variety Pack (5pck) - ALL-NATURAL Stevia Water Enhancer -- makes 100 8oz. servings - liquid drink mix. Non-GMO, High Antioxidants, natural stevia leaf extract, sugar-free, calorie-free, preservative-free, 100% Vitamin C, liquid stevia drops. **Family Business, Happiness Guaranteed, You will Love Stur*

Sometimes a caregiver must pick their battles, though. If a senior refuses to drink plain water, there are some modifications and alternatives available.

Try using water enhancers, opting for flavored waters, serving a half water half juice mixture, or including plenty of ice in their preferred beverage if they like it cold.

Recommended Bestseller:

Stur All-Natural Water Enhancer (sugar-free, made with Stevia)


For those who enjoy warm beverages like tea or coffee, hot chicken, beef or vegetable broth can provide a soothing source of fluids and electrolytes that seems more like a “meal” and less like a drink. Even stubborn elders are often fond of sweets, so popsicles, milkshakes and smoothies may be more enticing options that also function as a sneaky vehicle for fluids.


How you serve beverages can have an effect on a loved one’s willingness and ability to drink as well.

Someone with low vision might be able to see an opaque, brightly colored cup more easily and therefore drink from it more often. Particularly resistant seniors may find a beverage more appetizing if it is served in a pretty glass or with garnish. For example, try serving a healthy smoothie in an old-fashioned soda fountain glass with a piece of fresh fruit on the rim.




See Help for Low Vision






Sometimes specialized drinkware may be necessary for those with swallowing difficulties, tremors, arthritis, motor skill problems and muscular weakness. Cups with two handles, a no-spill lid, built-in straw, or ergonomic features may simplify the process and prevent spills.







Fluid-Filled Snacks

While water is the go-to for most people, keep in mind that beverages are not the only source of fluids. Raw fruits and vegetables can pack a hydrating punch as well. For example, a small plate of cut vegetables, like celery sticks, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes and carrots served with a healthy dressing or hummus for dipping can be a nutrition- and fluid-filled snack. Use the list below to add foods that will help your loved one stay hydrated.



Foods with High Water Content

Food Percentage of Water Serving Size to Obtain about 4 Ounces of Water
Cucumber 96% 1 cup peeled and sliced
Tomato 94% 1 medium
Watermelon 92% 1 cup diced, or 10 balls
Bell pepper 92% ¾ cup sliced
Grapes 92% 1 cup
Cantaloupe 90% 1/10 (1 small wedge)
Orange 97% 1 medium
Blueberries 85% 1 cup
Apple 84% 1 medium


If a senior has an aversion to fruits and vegetables, especially when they are uncooked, high water content foods like crudités, salads or gazpacho, may be an unrealistic approach. On the other hand, sneaking healthy ingredients into foods they already enjoy can yield small victories for a caregiver.

Try adding a cup of fresh berries to a loved one’s yogurt, cereal or dessert, or add slices of tomato and a few leaves of lettuce to wraps and sandwiches. These may not seem like meaningful additions, but every little bit adds up. Incorporating these items on a daily basis can help your loved one prevent dehydration without changing the amount of liquid they drink.




While these helpful guidelines make good health-sense, it is important to stay in communication with your doctor and keep in mind that managing some medical conditions, such as heart failure and kidney or liver disease, may require intentional restrictions on fluid intake.


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Caregivers Must Prepare for Emergencies


Caregivers Must Prepare for Emergencies




If you’re among America’s 54 million caregivers, knowing how to evacuate a loved one or how a loved one can take shelter during an emergency may not be as easy as just stepping out a door, or crawling out a window, especially if your loved one has mobility challenges and physical issues.

Not only do you have to consider how you yourself will get out of the house during an emergency, but how will your loved one also be able to escape? These are just a few of the questions that a caregiver must consider in order to arrive at a much-needed safety plan for their loved one.


Contact Your Local Red Cross – When devising your in-home, emergency preparedness plan, a good resource to contact is your local chapter of the Red Cross. They can tell you what kind of natural disasters occur in your area, how to prepare for each, and how you will be warned of an emergency.

Also, many communities extend special assistance to those who have mobility problems by registering these people with a local fire department or emergency management office. Professional help will then be administered quickly and with priority in an emergency to people with physical limitations and mobility challenges.


If you are a caregiver who still must work outside the home, ask your supervisor about any emergency plans that may be in effect at your workplace. For example, some places will not allow employees to leave for home until an “all clear” has been given by local authorities, so caregivers need to take a policy like this into consideration when creating an at-home safety plan for a loved one.


If you currently utilize a personal care attendant from an agency, find out whether the agency has special provisions during an emergency; will they continue to provide care and services at another location if your loved one needs to be evacuated from their current environment? It’s important to determine what will be needed for each type of emergency.


Rehearse Your Plan –  Once a safety plan has been created, it is wise to rehearse it, making sure that there are no other problems that arise during an emergency.


Let Others Know the Plan – It’s also a good idea to discuss a finalized evacuation plan with other family members who may not live with you, as well as with neighbors, friends, and any other personal care attendants that may be a part of the in-home caregiving team.  This way, people other than the caregiver will know where to locate a loved one in a timely manner and assist with anything they may need at that moment, should their caregiver not be able to do so.



4 Steps for Seniors’ Natural

Disaster Safety



1. Build an emergency kit

It’s critical that your older adult has the food, water, medicine, and supplies they’ll need to survive an extended power or water outage.


Prepare a week’s worth of basics like:

  • Non-refrigerated or non-perishable foods they can eat.  Freeze-dried ready to eat emergency food supplies are a great idea because they take up very little space and have a 25 year shelf life (this means you can purchase them once and not worry about needing to replenish due to spoilage).


Recommended: Wise Prepper Pack



  •  Clean drinking water — one gallon per person per day
  • All necessary medications and medication supplies like syringes for insulin
  • Garbage bags and plastic ties for temporary toileting
  • Moist towelettes for personal hygiene
  • Flashlights and batteries


I really like this Self Powered Flashlight, Emergency Radio & Portable Phone Charger can be a lifesaver during emergencies when there is no power;  its  an eco-friendly, lightweight, low-maintenance and dependable multifunction device. This is a critical addition to any emergency kit.



It comes with a easy-to-tune-in radio FM/AM, Blink / Siren Mode, and it even has a headset jack.

For about 3 minutes of hand crank you’ll get 15 minutes of flashlight, 5-10 minutes of radio, 3 minutes of phone usage, or 3 minutes of siren/blink… priceless in an emergency. It can also be charged with solar exposure and USB.  Read reviews of this emergency radio.







  • Wrench or pliers to turn off gas or water


Recommended: Aid & Prep 250 Piece First Aid Kit 

(to read my review of this 250 Piece Kit  – see Easy First Aid Kit for Home and Car )



This terrific Four Function Whistle is also a thermometer, magnifier, and compass!





Keep copies of important information like:

  • A list of prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and orders for medical equipment – including dosage, treatment, and allergy information
  • Medical insurance and Medicare / Medicaid cards
  • Contact information for doctors and people in their support network



Add special supplies like:

  • Extra batteries for devices like hearing aids or wheelchairs
  • An extra pair of eyeglasses – use an old pair
  • Plan ahead for refrigerated medications like insulin for diabetes – talk with the pharmacist or doctor
  • Oxygen
  • Catheters
  • Extra food and water for pets or service animals


2. Form a support network

You might not always be nearby to help your older adult when disaster strikes. So, it’s important to create a support network of trusted neighbors, relatives, and friends who can step in during an emergency.

Familiarize them with your older adult’s needs. Make sure everyone knows what medications, supplies, and medical devices are important, where they’re kept, and how to use them. Also, give them a copy of the emergency plan and access to your senior’s residence.


3. Create an emergency plan

Depending on the type of natural disaster, it could be safer to either evacuate or shelter in place.

Nature is unpredictable, so prepare one plan for sheltering in place and another for how to evacuate.

A written plan is best for handing out and reviewing with everyone in your senior’s support network. That way everyone will be clear on what to do and where to go. And if you’re separated, you’ll know where to find your older adult.

If your senior needs routine treatments in a clinic or hospital or if they have regular services like home health care, talk to the service provider about what to do and where to go for back-up care during an emergency. Include that information in the emergency plan.


4. Make sure money is accessible and secure

Older adults who depend on Social Security or other federal benefits can run into trouble if they rely on mailed payments. During emergencies or evacuations, mail services can be interrupted for days or weeks. Even worse, checks could get stolen!

To prevent financial problems, help your senior switch to electronic payments of federal benefits.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury recommends two safer ways to get federal benefits:

  • For people with bank accounts, direct deposit to a checking or savings account is the best option. Sign up by calling (800) 333-1795 or at
  • For people without a bank account, use the Direct Express® prepaid debit card. Sign up by calling toll-free at (877) 212-9991 or at


Bottom line

Creating an emergency kit, plan, and support network sounds like a lot of work, but it can mean the difference between your senior developing a serious health issue or making it through the disaster unharmed.



You may also be interested in:

Easy First Aid Kit for Home and Car

Organize Your Senior’s Home for Winter

Best Digital Thermometers Guide and Reviews

Review of Kite Shield Mosquito Repellent

Ring Video Doorbell Pro Review

Jitterbug Touch3 Smartphone Review

Stop Alzheimer’s Wandering

Caregivers – Reduce Risks from Heavy Lifting

About Me

Create Your Own Blog

Blue Emu and Australian Dream – Which is Better?

Blue Emu & Australian Dream – Which is Better?





According to statistics, joint pain is becoming one of the most common complaints of people seeking medical attention. Damaged joint tissues commonly cause joint pain and other symptoms of stiffness and inflammation.This happens due to aging, frictional damage, stress, and trauma.


While there are joint supplements that you can take to aid in the repair process of the joints, the effects are not immediate. 

Topical analgesics provide a quick and effective relief from joint pain, and can help you get through your daily activities.



Blue-Emu®: The Omega Rich Topical Analgesic

Does it Work?


Blue Emu Original Analgesic Cream, 12 Ounce (Packaging May Vary)

Blue-Emu® is a unique topical analgesic due to the combination of its ingredients that provide quick and long long-lasting pain relief.


What Exactly is Blue-Emu®?
Blue-Emu® joint products are topical analgesics that come in cream and spray preparations. The product contains Emu oil that is a natural omega rich fatty acid.
Emu oil is a by-product when the birds are processed for their lean meat. Omega rich oils have many benefits especially when combined with other ingredients to be applied topically. It ensures an efficient delivery system for the product thus ensuring optimum benefits.

Blue-Emu® combines Emu oil with ingredients like Aloe Vera, methylsulfonylmethane, and glucosamine to provide quick and effective relief from joint pains. Not only does it reduce joint pain but it also supports optimum joint health.



Ingredients in Blue-Emu®


Blue-Emu® Original – Stabilized Aloe Vera Gel, Emu Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Dimethicone, Glycerin, Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Oleyl Alcohol (and) Zanthoxylum Alatum Extract, Horse Chestnut Extract, Comfrey Extract, Calendula Extract, Chamomile Extract, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Glucosamine Sulfate Sodium, Allantoin, Panthenol, Ethoxydiglycol, Carbomer, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, Propylparaben, Triethanolamine.


Blue-Emu® Continuous Pain Relief Spray – Trolamine Salicylate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Caprylyl Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Dimethyl Sulfone, Dosodium EDTA, DMD Hydantoin, Emu Oil, Glucosamine Sulfate, Glycerin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Lecithin, Oleic Acid, Penthenol, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitol, Water, Xanthan Gum.



The Science Behind Blue-Emu®


Blue-Emu® works primarily by supplying key building blocks for joint health such as glucosamine and MSM directly into the affected area.


As we all know, glucosamine is essential in the repair process of damaged tissue and cartilage joints. It also has anti-inflammatory properties thus when applied topically, it can effectively reduce joint inflammation and the pain accompanying it.


MSM on the other hand has the analgesic property that has long been used for treating joint pains. Thus when these ingredients are combined with Emu oil, the efficient delivery system is ensured to the area where Blue-Emu® is applied.



Advantages of Using Blue-Emu®


  • It relieves joint pain, inflammation, and swelling.
  • It also helps reduce muscle ache and soreness.
  • It helps reduce joint stiffness.
  • It provides quick and long lasting pain relief.
  • It does not have strong scent.
  • It is handy and easy to use.



Possible Side Effects of Using Blue-Emu®


  •  Redness
  • Itching
  • Skin irritation
  • Possible allergic reaction (especially in people who have shellfish allergy)



Is Blue-Emu® Safe?


There are concerns that Emu oil can cause bacterial infection especially when applied topically however this only happens if the Emu oil used is not purified and manufactured properly. The Emu oil contained in this product is premium, purified, and tested to be safe for use. To ensure safety, Blue-Emu® should be used as directed on the packaging.



Directions for Use


Apply Blue-Emu® liberally on the affected area and massage thoroughly to ensure even distribution and absorption. For the first 2 weeks, Blue-Emu® can be applied 2-3 times daily. After the first 2 weeks, application can be reduced to as needed basis.



Precautionary Warnings


  • The product is to be applied only externally.
  • Do not apply the product on broken, irritated, or broken skin.
  • Avoid using the product if you have known allergy to shellfish because the glucosamine of Blue-Emu® is sourced from shellfish.
  • Keep out of children’s reach.
  • Wash hands immediately after using Blue-Emu® to avoid transferring the product to eyes and other mucus membranes of the body.
  • If accidentally swallowed, seek immediate medical attention or contact the poison center.
  • Do not use heating pads over the area where Blue-Emu® is applied.
  • Avoid using Blue-Emu® along with other topical products unless otherwise specified by your physician.



Blue-Emu® is a revolutionary joint product since it contains key building blocks for joint repair like glucosamine and MSM which is coupled with other ingredients that aids in relieving joint pain.

Unlike other topical products for joint pain that only causes numbing effect on the affected area, Blue-Emu® targets the problem right at the very source that is the damaged joint and cartilage tissues. This product not only relieves joint pain, inflammation, and stiffness, but it also supports optimum joint health. 

Read customer reviews.



Australian Dream – Does it Work?



Australian Dream Back Pain Cream, 4 Ounce


Australian Dream Arthritis Pain Relief Cream, 9 Ounce



Australian Dream Cream Overview


The product Australian Dream Cream is a brand of topical pain reliever that helps treat a number of different conditions. While its main purpose appears to be the treatment of pain from Arthritis, the cream also can help ease backache, sprains, muscle strains and bruising. It is sold from many retail stores worldwide and has a very simple but informative product website.


The Australian Dream Cream manufacturer is well established and all contact details for them are provided on the site, including information about their history. The site does not sell the product directly to consumers but does provide a link to help consumers locate a store that carries the brand.


Australian Dream Cream is available in three different sizes (2oz, 4oz and 9oz) and the cost varies depending on size and retailer. All purchases have a 100% ‘empty jar’ guarantee offered by the manufacturer.


While the product website itself does not contain any consumer testimonials or reviews, Australian Dream Cream is endorsed by the well-known game show producer Chuck Woolery who appears on the site as a spokesman for the brand.


For customer reviews, I checked out Amazon, where there are over 450 (mostly positive) reviews.



Australian Dream Cream Product Description


Australian Dream Cream is specifically designed to enhance the body’s own response to pain by increasing the flow of blood to the affected area. It does so using a natural blend of ingredients that work fast and effectively but without the burning sensation often caused by other topical pain relievers.

It is applied directly to the painful area so it can start working upon contact. It can be used 3-4 times a day, with just a small amount required per use. There are no specific details provided on the product website as to how soon results can be expected or if it needs continuous use in order to maintain results, although this is likely dependent on the nature and severity of the pain.



Specific ingredients in Australian Dream Cream include:


Histamine Dihydrochloride, Emu Oil, Chondroitin, MSM, Glucosamine


There are several ingredients of note used in the Australian Dream Cream formula, although the substance mainly responsible for increasing blood flow is Histamine Dihydrochloride. A natural vasodilator, this ingredient allows a greater volume of blood reach the painful area, helping the body heal itself more effectively.

Histamine Dihydrochloride is combined with the well-known pain relieving ingredients Chondroitin and Glucosamine which are often used together for their superior joint pain benefits. It is not clear how effective they are when used topically however, as they are usually found in oral capsules.

Unlike creams that contain Capsaicin, Australian Dream Cream does not sting or burn the skin making it ideal for all skin types. While it uses certain emollients for ease of application, the cream is non greasy and, because it uses no menthol or camphor, will not leave a strong odor.



Australian Dream Cream Advantages


  • Australian Dream Cream is non-burning
  • All ingredients are listed
  • There is an ‘empty jar’ money back guarantee
  • Australian Dream Cream has a reputable manufacturer
  • The formula contains Histamine Dihydrochloride
  • There are numerous excellent customer reviews on Amazon




Australian Dream Cream Disadvantages


  • Scientific data is not provided
  • One Reviewer (out of over 450) had an allergic reaction




Australian Dream Arthritis Pain Relief Cream, 9 Ounce
Australian Dream
Australian Dream Cream – The Bottom Line
Australian Dream Cream uses several natural ingredients that will certainly help relieve pain associated with arthritis and other joint and muscular conditions.
Overall, Australian Dream Cream is a reputable, good quality brand that, despite being one of the more expensive brands on the market, can be relied upon for fast, non-burning pain relief.  Read customer reviews.


Another Topical Treatment I  like is Blue Goo

(its a good, less expensive substitute for Blue Emu)


Blue Goo Pain Relief Gel, 6 Ounce
Blue Goo Pain Relief Cream, 6 Ounce


Blue Goo is another emu oil product which provides professional strength joint pain and other types of pain relief. This brand comes in both gel and cream form.


Blue Goo provides the following:


  • Temporary relief for muscle aches, pains and strains, arthritic pain, joint pain, and tendonitis.
  • Fast-acting solution to relieve you from discomfort.
  • Loosens muscles and tendons.


The brand is made from 100 percent pure emu oil, just like Blue Emu,  hence, you’re getting a potent yet safe ingredient.


Blue Goo joint pain cream or gel is made by Garcoa Laboratories. This US-based The company also has foot care products available.  Garcoa Laboratories is the go-to manufacturer of athletes, health buffs, and sports professionals alike. The company goes by the saying, “reliable relief you can trust”. They make their products only from the finest and safest ingredients.

Blue Goo uses MSM, Glucosamine HCL, Chondroitin Sulfate, Emu Oil, Menthol, and White Willow Bark. It’s also made with other herbs that have been carefully measured and blended synergistically to relieve your body from those pesky aches and pains immediately.


As mentioned, Blue Goo contains emu oil.


  • Emu oil is easy for your body to absorb.
  • It’s high in oleic acid. This acid increases the cream’s ability to carry compounds into the skin cells.
  • It doesn’t contain phospholipids, which delays absorption.



Blue Goo Summary

My thoughts are that if you want to try a product with emu oil, Blue Goo would be a good, less expensive substitute for Blue Emu. 

There are some terrific customer reviews of Blue Goo at Amazon.



Topricin Is Another Option (Homeopathic) 

Topricin has been around since 1994, and provides safe, homeopathic pain relief. The cream is a combination of natural biomedicines that stimulate your body’s natural healing system.  It is odorless and greaseless.

Active homeopathic ingredients in Topricin include: Aesculus Hippocastanum, Arnica Montana, Belladonna, Crotalus Horridus, Echinacea, Graphites, Heloderma, Lachesis mutus, Naja tripudians, Rhus toxicodendron, and Ruta graveolens.

I’ll admit that I am skeptical of homeopathy, but I could not ignore the customer reviews.  With a customer rating of 4.6 out of 5 from over 2,000 customer reviews, there must be something in this that works.



Topricin Summary


Because of all the great customer reviews (and even though I am skeptical of homeopathy), I think Topricin is worth a try.




Consider Trying Oral Supplements That Help Repair and Rebuild Cartilage

Remember that even the best topical pain relief products only provide temporary relief.

In order to be proactive for more severe, chronic joint pain, the consumer may need to also use an oral supplement which can actually help repair and rebuild damaged cartilage. 

If you are looking for a high quality oral supplement to support you joints and cartilage, I recommend

ZENWISE Health Joint Support is a full spectrum solution that provides the body the necessary building blocks to repair damaged joint tissue, improve synovial fluids and neutralize the root causes of joint issues.

I like that this product not only contains therapeutic dosages of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, but also hyaluronic acid, MSM, and curcumin. 

Advanced Strength Joint Support has over 2,200 consumer reviews, and has a terrific ratings as an Amazon bestseller.


Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some practical information on topical pain relief products. 

I welcome your comments below.




You may also be interested in:

Aleve Direct Therapy TENS for Back Pain Review

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Aleve Direct Therapy TENS for Back Pain Review

Reviewing The New Aleve Direct Therapy TENS for Back Pain





For several thousand years, people have recognized that electrical stimulation can have an impact on pain. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is said to have used electric fish to cause numbness, and a report of gout being “cured” by accidental contact with a fish called an electric ray dates back to the first century. Later reports also described pain resolution that occurred when similar types of “electric” fish were placed on afflicted body parts.


It wasn’t until the 18th century when a more formal device to deliver electricity to decrease pain was created. Although initially developed in Europe, Benjamin Franklin is credited with reforming the original electric condenser, which was used to shock patients in an effort to treat various ailments. 



ALEVE Direct Therapy

Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) is a therapy that uses low-voltage electrical current for pain relief.

Using a small, battery-powered machine about the size of a pocket radio, you connect two electrodes (wires that conduct electrical current) from the machine to your skin.

The electrodes are often placed on the area of pain or at a pressure point, creating a circuit of electrical impulses that travels along nerve fibers.


When the current is delivered, many people experience a reduction in pain. This may be because the electricity from the electrodes stimulates the nerves in an affected area and sends signals to the brain that block or “scramble” normal pain signals. Another theory is that the electrical stimulation of the nerves may help the body to produce natural painkillers called endorphins, which may block the perception of pain.

You can set the TENS machine for different wavelength frequencies, such as a steady flow of electrical current or a burst of electrical current, and for intensity of electrical current

People use TENS to relieve pain for several different types of illnesses and conditions. They use it most often to treat muscle, joint, or bone problems that occur with illnesses such as osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia, or for conditions such as low back pain, neck pain, tendinitis, or bursitis. People have also used TENS to treat sudden (acute) pain, such as labor pain, and long-lasting (chronic) pain, such as cancer pain.

Experts generally consider TENS to be safe, although the machine could cause harm if misused, so always follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.



Aleve Direct Therapy TENS Device Review

(great alternative device below, too …)

Aleve Direct Therapy - TENS Device

The Aleve Direct Therapy TENS Device is a brand new product from Bayer. Aleve Direct Therapy uses TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), a therapy that uses electrical stimulation.

It incorporates two clinical theories of how TENS provides pain relief: by blocking the transmission of pain and stimulating endorphins, the body’s natural pain reducing chemicals. Aleve Direct Therapy can help relieve lower back pain due to exercise, normal household and work activities. 

TENS is sometimes described as producing a tingling sensation and can vary by individual and the intensity selected. Aleve Direct Therapy is adjustable for the level that feels best for you and the wireless remote makes it simple to adjust.




Each Aleve Direct Therapy session uses a patented 3-stage waveform pattern:



Stage 1 5 minutes

High-frequency stimulation (sometimes described as a strong tingling sensation) initiates the feeling of pain relief by suppressing the transmission of pain signals from nerves. Find your preferred intensity level with the wireless remote control.



Stage 2 20 minutes

Low-frequency stimulation in this stage feels like a gentle tapping sensation. This stimulates an increased endorphin release that can reduce the sensitivity to pain beyond the 30-minute session for some people.



Stage 3 5 minutes

Like stage 1, this high-frequency stimulation helps maintain the feeling of pain relief to complete the session.




The unit can be worn throughout the day for repeated use but has been preprogrammed for 30-minute sessions. Of course, you can stop treatment at any time according to your needs. It is recommended that you wait 30 minutes between sessions.




To help get the most relief for your particular needs, you may adjust the intensity level with the wireless remote control.



With 2 buttons, you can increase or decrease the intensity to find the level that’s comfortable for you. There are 15 different levels.




Aleve Direct Therapy was designed to be comfortable and mobile, so it can be worn throughout your day for repeat treatments according to your particular needs. Thirty-minute breaks are recommended between sessions.




Aleve Direct Therapy is very discreet. It operates silently, contours to your back and is controlled wirelessly, so it’s easily concealed by clothing other than form-fitting apparel or see-through fabrics.




The Aleve Direct Therapy unit is about 3.5″ x 7″ and weighs less than 5 oz. Its sleek design was developed to cover both sides of your lower back to give you the relief you need while fitting discretely under your clothing.



Latex Free Aleve Gel Pads:

Aleve Direct Therapy - Refill Gel Pads


Aleve Replacement gel pads are free of latex and animal products/ingredients. Only Aleve gel pads should be used with Aleve Direct Therapy.

This will enable you to operate the device properly and help protect you from potential burns or skin irritation. No other method should be used to attach the Aleve Direct Therapy device to your back.



Gel pads last for 2-5 applications on average. However, this will vary by person, depending on factors like skin type, activity level and how long you leave it on your back.

If the gel pads are not sticking to your back effectively, you should replace them. The timing will vary by person, depending on factors like skin type, activity level and how long you leave it on your back.

Replacement gel pads are available at the same retailers that sell Aleve Direct Therapy and are sold in 2-pair packs.



Insurance Coverage:

It is  important to know that, even though you don’t need a prescription to buy Aleve Direct Therapy, you do need to get one to submit with your insurance claim.




Aleve Direct Therapy packs easily in your carry-on bag and can go through normal screening. If you’re wearing the device, the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) suggests you tell the screener before you walk through and let him or her know it is on your lower back.



Maintenance and Storage

Clean the device and remote using a damp cloth and mild soap. Gently wipe clean, leaving no soap residue. Do not submerge the device in water or other liquids.

Note: This device has water detection technology. Water damage will void the warranty and 30-day, money-back guarantee.

Aleve Direct Therapy should be stored in the storage box included with your device. If the device will be stored for a short time between uses and the gel pads are still applied to the device, the green protective liners should be applied to the gel pads before storage.

If the device will be stored for a long period of time, the 2 AAA batteries should be removed from the main device. The gel pads should be removed and disposed of. Whether being stored, operated or transported, the device should be kept at temperatures from 50-104° F (10-40° C) with relative humidity between 30% and 80%.





Another Wireless TENS Option:





While researching the Aleve device, I came across the WiTouch Wireless Tens device by Hollywog, which is exactly the same as the Aleve product, and has been on the market for years with good reviews. 





WiTouch Wireless TENS OTC GreenOther than it’s green color, I could not find any difference between the two devices.  The WiTouch works on a similar  waveform pattern, has the same dimensions, the same replaceable gel pads, and even the same two-button remote as the Aleve device.



The WiTouch manufacturer, Hollywog/Core Products, was first company to produce  wireless remote controlled pain relief device for consumers, incorporating TENS technology to specifically targeting lower back pain.  There are over 140 reviews on the WiTouch, and users have been impressed with the device (it has a 4.1 star rating on Amazon).  In my opinion, it’s worth investigating the WiTouch unit in addition to Aleve Direct.




Video:  news story on Australian television about the WiTouch and developer.






Video: live demonstration of the WiTouch on a back pain sufferer.






Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.







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About Me




Best Digital Thermometers

Best Digital Thermometers




Do you think you someone in your household might have a fever?
An accurate thermometer is the only way to be sure.
Today’s digital thermometers are fast, easy to use, and safer than traditional mercury thermometers.
Although most thermometers are still designed for oral, rectal or underarm use, there’s also a growing market of “smart” thermometers that can sync with your smartphone and infrared thermometers that can take a temperature from the forehead or ear.


What the best digital thermometer has:


  • Accurate temperature readings. No matter what other features it has, a thermometer that doesn’t give accurate temperature readings is useless.


  • Quick results. With most digital thermometers, you or your sick child have to sit quiet and motionless until the reading is complete. Having a fast thermometer makes it easier to get through the process without repeated do-overs because you moved or let the device slip out of place. The best digital thermometers offer readings in 10 seconds or less.


  • Convenient testing locations. The ideal testing location (rectal, oral, underarm/maxillary or forehead/temporal) depends primarily on the age and disposition of the patient. For children age three and under, rectal temperatures are still generally said to be the most accurate.


  • A beeper and backlit display. Sometimes it’s easier to take a temperature in the dark, either to avoid waking someone else in the room or to avoid further disturbing a cranky, tired child. A backlit display and a beep-when-done feature both make the whole process a little more foolproof.


  • Fever alert. Some digital thermometers offer a color-coded fever alert to let you know if you or your child have a high temperature. This takes the guesswork out of reading the display, especially if you’re feeling groggy or sick yourself.


  • Memory to store prior readings. Many digital thermometers have an internal memory that stores anywhere from one to thirty previous temperature readings. This eliminates the need to immediately document temperatures taken in the middle of the night or the early morning, and also lets you go back and double-check to make sure you’ve recorded things correctly.


  • Long battery life. Whether your digital thermometer uses a button cell battery or standard alkaline batteries, the longer its battery life, the less time you’ll spend fumbling to change batteries in the dark.


Know before you go


Consider the age of the patient.

Many physicians still advise using a rectal thermometer for children up to three years of age, but recommend other types of thermometers for older children and adults who will usually object to the use of a rectal thermometer. If the person whose temperature you’re taking struggles to stay still during a reading, minimize the struggle by using a faster or less-invasive thermometer.


When do readings usually take place?

For a sick newborn, parents may want to take their temperature during the night when the infant is calmer. Older children and adults may prefer to have their temperatures taken during the day. If you’re in the habit of taking temperatures at night, keep in mind that several features can affect the thermometer’s suitability, including how invasive the thermometer is and how loudly it beeps to confirm a good reading (which might wake others in the room).


Do you need to document temperatures over time?

If you’re using a digital thermometer for fertility tracking or for a chronic illness that requires ongoing documentation, look for a thermometer that stores many past readings in internal memory. Being able to store 20 or 30 readings saves you from having to constantly document your readings one at a time, especially if you’re taking temperatures at night or in the early morning.


Will you be using the thermometer for more than one person?

If you’re looking for a digital thermometer for the whole family, look for a model with disposable probe covers or an easy-to-clean probe. This is especially important if you use the same thermometer for rectal temperatures and measuring other sites, although most users quite rightly prefer to hold one thermometer in reserve for rectal measurements only, and use another one for taking temperatures at other sites.


Best Digital Thermometer

Clinical Digital Thermometer Best to Read & Monitor Fever Temperature in 15 Seconds by Oral Rectal Underarm & Axillary - Clinical Professional Thermometers & Reliable Readings for Baby, Adult & Children - Modern Mercury Replacement


The Generation Guard Clinical Digital Thermometer is everything a basic digital thermometer should be: It returns results quickly (about 15 seconds), it can be used orally, under the arm or for a rectal reading, and it’s fully waterproof so you can wash the whole thing if need be. The Generation Guard thermometer is accurate to 0.2F or 0.1C, and switches between Celsius and Fahrenheit when you press and hold its single button.


Fast and accurate, the Generation Guard Clinical Digital Thermometer is a top pick of reviewers. It can be used for oral, underarm, or rectal readings, although it’s best for oral use. The fully waterproof housing enables you to give it a thorough cleaning to avoid passing along germs.



Accurate, Washable, Versatile, Beeps when done, Results in 15 seconds



No backlight



Best Smart Digital Thermometer

Kinsa Smart Thermometer, Newest Model


The Kinsa Smart Thermometer pairs with your iOS or Android smartphone, harnessing its processing power to take quick, accurate readings.


Because your phone does most of the work, the thermometer itself is small, light and durable. It plugs into your mobile device’s headphone jack and includes a free app that walks you through positioning the thermometer correctly, lets you add written or photo notes, and tracks your symptoms, temperature and any medication you take.


The Kinsa Smart Thermometer syncs with your smartphone to track symptoms, chart temperature fluctuations, and keep track of your meds. You can even add photos of symptoms like rashes. There’s also a “bubble game” to keep children still while you take their temperature.



Can be used, orally, rectally or underarm, Free app tracks symptoms and medication, Stores information for multiple users, Good customer service



Readings can be inconsistent, App can be finicky with iPhone



Best Rectal Thermometer

Vicks Baby Rectal Thermometer 1 ea

The Vicks V934 baby rectal thermometer is a smash hit with users, who love its soft, flexible, short tip. The egg-shaped base of the thermometer fits comfortably in your hand and eliminates any risk of accidentally inserting the probe too far. This is the thermometer that users turn to when they’re frustrated by inconsistencies from other models, and it’s backed by an impressive lifetime guarantee.

This is one of the most-recommended rectal thermometers for babies. The Vicks V934’s short stem and bulb-like shape make it super safe, and the backlight means it can even be used in a dim nursery.


Safe, Accurate, Fast, 10 second reading, Easy to hold, Lifetime warranty


Not fully waterproof


Best Ear Thermometer

Braun Ear Thermometer

The Braun Thermoscan 5 ear thermometer tops the charts thanks to its speed — readings are returned almost instantly — and suite of features.

A soft, pre-warmed tip helps eliminate the discomfort and inconsistent readings that can result from a cooler tip, and a light-and-beep system helps you position the thermometer correctly. The Thermoscan 5’s backlit display changes color to indicate a fever, and users love that its AA batteries are widely available.

The Braun Thermoscan 5 is a very safe, very accurate thermometer that’s much easier to use on a fidgety child (or adult) than an oral style thermometer. It can even be used when the child is asleep, thanks to an illuminated display.


Pre-warmed tip, Safe and comfortable, Accurate and fast


Requires disposable lens filters to operate



Best Temporal (Forehead) Thermometer

Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer MODEL# 2000C TAT-2000C Battery

Like all temporal thermometers, the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer requires a bit of a learning curve — but once you’ve mastered the basic technique, it returns results so accurate and reliable that many medical experts buy the home version for themselves.

This thermometer’s accuracy has been verified by a number of clinical studies. The display will beep and flash when a reading is complete, or you can turn this feature off to avoid waking someone who is sleeping.

Also called a forehead thermometer, temporal thermometers are becoming accurate enough to replace the more traditional types.

Among the best of this type is the Exergen Temporal Artery Thermometer. It gives a reading almost instantaneously and, in testing, gets excellent scores for accuracy.


Accurate, Very fast, Easy to use, Beeps and flashes when done


A learning curve

Choose a thermometer that best suits your needs and keep it someplace handy in your home, preferably near your medicines and first aid kit.



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Review of the 2016 Ring Video Doorbell Pro

2016 Ring Video Doorbell Pro Review




The front door of your home is a place that usually isn’t secured the way it should be. Package theft, burglary, and other malicious crimes are on the rise, but so is the smart technology that keeps us safe and secure.

Video doorbells have been around for a few years, but none have been as refined and feature-rich as the new Ring Pro.

As featured in Time Magazine, Fast Company, and even the popular television show Shark Tank, Ring has been making a name for themselves as the best video doorbell available. But the original Ring Video Doorbell left a bit on the table in terms of desired features, specifications, and details.

Today I’ll be looking over their improvement, the Ring Pro, how it differs from the original, it’s specific features, and what’s better about it.


Size and Shape

From first glance, you’ll likely immediately notice that the Ring Pro appears much smaller in size.

Measuring 4.5″ x 1.85″ x .8″, the Pro is slightly shorter and a bit skinnier than the original. Although the original is still quite small and discreet looking, it measures 4.98″ x 2.43″ x .87″.

I think that the design of the Pro is much more appealing than the original, simply because it’s more rectangular and looks more similar to a standard doorbell, rather than a video camera.


1080p HD Resolution

Offering an improvement upon the original 720p resolution, the Ring Pro delivers an extra boost of clarity with full high definition in 1080p. It’s designed to give you a better view of the details so that you can have a clearer and more vibrant image.

Too often, you’ll hear about a criminal that was caught on camera, but the camera that recorded them was outdated and didn’t provide enough clarity to make a good description of the perpetrator. By offering 1080p resolution, you should have no issues determining a clear description of anyone or anything that occurs.


Interchangeable Faceplates

One of the favorite aesthetic features regarding the Ring Pro is that it gives you the option to freely change the color of the faceplate whenever you’d like. Rather than coming with a solid color that can’t be changed, you’re given the freedom to change the to the faceplate that match the decor or color scheme of your home.


Ring Pro Faceplates


This means that you won’t need to decide on a specific color and be stuck with that option forever. Best of all, four different faceplates of various colors are included.



One of the most notable and important differences between the original Ring and the new Ring Pro is how it connects to your home.

The Pro requires an existing hardwired doorbell so that it can be powered and functional without the use of a battery. Because of this, there obviously won’t be an included rechargeable battery like the Original. This can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. If your front door doesn’t currently have a doorbell, you won’t be able to integrate the Pro. But with the Pro, you won’t need to hassle with batteries – ever.


Ring Pro


Wifi Connection

Since 1080p videos require a bit more bandwidth than your standard 720p video quality, Ring made a smart move by incorporating Dual Band WiFi into the new Pro version. With dual band WiFi, you aren’t restricted to the 2.4 Ghz channel – you can also take advantage of the 5 Ghz channel, offering better transfer speeds and improved latency with less load time.

It connects to your home WiFi network and is then available to view and interact with on virtually any device using the Ring App – free from iTunes or Google Play.


Motion Detection

Rather than selecting a variety of different motion zones like you had to do with the original, the Ring Pro allows you to create your very own custom shaped zones.

While you’re looking on screen at the view that the camera has, you can easily draw a variety of shapes to create your own specific zones, rather than pre-selected zones that don’t give as much flexibility. However, each zone can’t be adjusted for it’s own sensitivity so that you’re only alerted about what matters most.


Ring Pro Motion Zones


Motion detection is a great feature to have, but if not implemented correctly, it can become a nuisance. For instance, the original Ring video doorbell gives you the freedom to adjust how sensitive the motion detection is. Everything from the wind blowing to a bird flying by could potentially set it off. Unfortunately, although you can create custom zones for the Ring Pro, it doesn’t let you adjust the sensitivity of each zone like the original Ring does.


Night Vision

Having the ability to see in the middle of the night is a real luxury, especially considering that low-light and dark settings are quite common for front porches. With a variety of infrared LEDs built into the Ring Pro, you’re given full-freedom to see clearly in the dark.


Ring Pro Night Vision


Although the original version had this same night vision capability, it’s noteworthy to include as a quite useful feature for the Pro.


Field of View

To my surprise, the Ring Pro actually has a slightly smaller field of view than the original Ring Video Doorbell. Likely because of it’s smaller size, the Pro boasts a 160 degree field of view, whereas the original has a 180 degree field of view. Although this is a slight downgrade, it still offers enough view for most applications.


Ring Pro


Cloud Video Recording

Recording to the cloud with the Ring Pro is not required, but it surely expands the amount of security and freedom that it brings to the table. With cloud recording, you’re given the ability to view and download up to six months of activity at a time.

You can access your video clips and keep the important events and sift through the ones that you’d like to delete. Although it does cost $3 a month or $30 per year, this is a nice feature to have, especially if you’d like to share your clips with friends, neighbors, or even Law enforcement.


Ring Cloud Recording


While the cloud recording is definitely a nice feature, I think it’d be nice if you could configure the Ring Pro to save footage onto your own hardware. For example, instead of having footage sent to a cloud server, if there was an option to save to an SD card, network attached storage, or your own FTP server, it would be a nice addition. The only way to save and access recordings is through the $3 a month or $30 per year subscription.


Two Way Audio

Through the App, you can speak through to whomever’s at the door, and they’ll be able to communicate back to you.

With a small integrated microphone and speaker, verbally speaking is easy and clear. They’ve even integrated some advanced noise-cancellation technology that filters out all of the unwanted background noises and gives you clear communication without distortion.


Ring Pro


Final Thoughts

Offering several improvements over it’s predecessor, the new Ring Pro Video Doorbell has become a game-changer in the home security market.

By delivering full 1080p high definition clarity, advanced, fully-customizable motion detection, and an assortment of other advanced features, it has  become one of the most desired home security products for 2016.

To top it off, everything you need is included – a screwdriver, 4 faceplates, optional wiring and connectors, a drill bit, pro power kit, screws, anchors, and an informative quick setup guide. Best of all, each Ring Pro is backed by a one year warranty on parts, and they even give you lifetime purchase protection to assure that your investment was well worth it.


Ring Pro Q and A


What are the key features of Ring Video Doorbell Pro?

  • 1080p HD Video
  • Advanced motion detection
  • Lifetime purchase protection
  • Works with iOS, Android, and Windows 10
  • Wi-Fi Connected
  • Interchangeable faceplates
  • Requires connection to a wired doorbell



How much does Ring Video Doorbell Pro cost?



Where can I order Ring Video Doorbell Pro?

Visit Amazon to order Ring Video Doorbell Pro today!


What are the dimensions of Ring Video Doorbell Pro?

4.5 x 1.85 x 0.80 inches, 11.43 x 4.7 x 2.03 cm.


Does Ring Doorbell Pro operate on battery power?

No, Ring Doorbell Pro is designed to be powered by doorbell wires only. 


What is the operating temperature range for Ring Doorbell Pro?

Ring Doorbell Pro operates between -5°F and 120°F.  (-20.5°C and 48.5°C)


Will I be able to use two Ring Pros on one power circuit?

Note:  A transformer can power only one Ring Pro only. If you have more than one Ring Pro it must be installed on a different transformer / power circuit.


Which doorbells is Ring Doorbell Pro compatible with?

Ring Doorbell Pro is compatible with most mechanical or digital (electronic) doorbell kits that use transformers between 16 and 24 volts AC.  DC transformers or transformers below 16 volts AC are not supported.


What’s the difference between Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Video Doorbell Pro?

Ring Video Doorbell and Ring Video Doorbell Pro both offer the same great experience.  You can see and talk to people at your front door whether you are at home or anywhere in the world.  Advanced motion detection sends you alerts when people are moving around in front of your door, helping prevent crime in our neighborhoods.  


Here are key differences that will help you decide which Ring Video Doorbell is right for you:


  Ring Video Doorbell Ring Video Doorbell Pro
Power options Rechargeable battery power or hardwire to existing doorbell kit Hardwire to existing doorbell kit only
Battery Life 6-12 months n/a
Compatible Doorbell Transformers 8-24 VAC, DC not compatible 16-24 VAC, DC not compatible
Field of View 180 degrees horizontal 140 degrees vertical 160 degrees horizontal100 degrees vertical
Video Resolution HD 720P HD 1080P
Finishes Available in 4 finishes Comes with 4 interchangeable different color faceplates.
Compatible Networks 2.4 gHz 802.11 b/g/n 2.4 or 5 gHz 802.11 b/g/n
Advanced Motion Detection 5 selectable zones and customizable sensitivity scale Customizable motion detection zones
Live View Available Hardwired only, yes Yes
Size 4.98 x 2.43 x 0.87 inches 12.65 x 6.17 x 2.21 cm 4.5 x 1.85 x 0.80 inches 11.43 x 4.7 x 2.03 cm
Mounting screws 4 2
Security screws 2 1
Best for Everyone Users with a wired doorbell kit, professional installers


Ring Video Doorbell Pro includes four faceplates with the colors Satin Black, Satin Nickel, Dark Bronze, and Satin White.  The faceplate can be changed at any time.

How does Ring Video Doorbell Pro mount to the wall?

Two screws mount Ring Video Doorbell Pro directly to the wall.  The mounting screws can be screwed straight into wood or vinyl.  For brick, concrete, or stucco, use the unit to mark the location of both holes, drill using the provided drill bit, insert the anchors, then secure the unit with screws to the anchors.  After installation, place the selected faceplate on top of the unit and secure with a security screw.


What comes in the box?

Everything needed to install Ring Video Doorbell Pro in minutes:


  • Ring Video Doorbell Pro
  • Four interchangeable faceplates
  • Drill bit
  • Mounting screws and anchors
  • Security screw
  • Security screwdriver
  • Pro Power Kit
  • Wire Clips
  • Wire Harness
  • Install instruction guide 

What is a Pro Power Kit?

It’s a small item that gets wired to your doorbell to provide the necessary power for Ring Video Doorbell Pro to function.  The Pro Power Kit must be installed for proper operation of Ring Video Doorbell Pro.

Does Ring Video Doorbell Pro use a diode for electronic (Digital) doorbell kits?

No.  A diode should not be used with Ring Video Doorbell Pro.  The Pro Power Kit, Wire Clips, and Wire Harness are required.  See instructions for installation and use.

What WiFi networks is Ring Video Doorbell Pro compatible with?

Ring Video Doorbell Pro is compatible with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi networks operating on 2.4 gHz or 5 gHz frequencies.  


Will Ring Video Doorbell Pro on a 5 gHz network work with my Ring Chime on a 2.4 gHz network?

Yes.  Ring Chime will only work on a 2.4 gHz network, however Ring Chime does not need to be on the same network as Ring Doorbell or Ring Doorbell Pro.  Ring Chime can work on a completely different network at a different location.  

What is the recommended upload Internet speed for Ring Video Doorbell Pro?

2 Mbps upload speed recommended for best streaming performance.

How do the customizable motion zones of Ring Video Doorbell Pro work?

Users draw boxes around the area they wish to monitor, then saving the setting. Additional custom zones can be created, then each enabled or disabled for total control of motion detection.

What is the warranty?

1 year parts and labor.  Lifetime purchase protection.  

What is the refund policy?

30 days no questions asked.  

What if someone steals my Ring Video Doorbell Pro?

We will provide one replacement unit for free!  Simply send us a copy of the police report and we’ll ship you one replacement Ring Video Doorbell Pro.

Can I upgrade my Ring Video Doorbell to a Ring Video Doorbell Pro?

No.  Ring Video Doorbell Pro is a separate purchase.  

Do I have to have a Ring Video Doorbell to use Ring Video Doorbell Pro?


Is Ring Video Doorbell Pro compatible with Ring Chime?




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Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids


The Most Effective Stop Smoking Aids



Many things motivate people to quit tobacco: being a good role model, wanting to reduce others’ exposure to second hand smoke, saving money, and wanting to feel better and improve health.

Whatever your reason, keep in mind that quitting cold turkey is the least successful method for kicking cigarettes for good.



Fortunately, many over-the-counter and prescription quit aids have been developed that may significantly improve your odds of success.


As you figure out which quit-smoking aids best meet your needs, keep the following in mind:

  • Some treatments to stop smoking are covered by health insurance. Check with your carrier to see.
  • Some products are available both over the counter (behind the pharmacy counter) and with a prescription. Ask your health insurance about whether you need a prescription for coverage or reimbursement.



Try, try, and try again.

People who successfully quit smoking rarely do so on the first attempt. If you’ve tried before without success, don’t be discouraged. Consider a different quit aid—the nicotine patch instead of gum, or adding in a prescription medication—and evaluate what worked and didn’t work to keep you on track during past attempts to quit.



Start with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

They can offer invaluable advice and connect you with programs for people trying to quit, including support groups and other resources. Consider taking advantage of these supports, because most people do best when they combine quit-smoking products with behavior change programs.

When selecting a product, consider your current medications and health conditions. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if unsure about whether any particular smoking cessation product is safe for you.

Some people load up on patches, gum, and sprays yet continue to smoke at the same time. This can overload your system with nicotine, resulting in jitters, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, and trouble sleeping. However, some products can be used together, so ask your doctor or pharmacist what’s best for you.

Research suggests that medications and nicotine replacement therapies can double and sometimes even triple the chances that a smoker will successfully quit. Some of these treatments also help to minimize weight gain while quitting — an important plus for many smokers who want to kick the habit.

With a growing number of options available, doctors are now able to create personalized treatment plans tailored to an individual smoker’s needs and preferences.



The Best, Most Up-To-Date Quit Smoking Aids:



Nicotine Patch



The nicotine patch is a small, self-adhesive patch that releases a slow, steady amount of nicotine into your body through your skin. You apply a new nicotine patch every day on a hairless area of skin between your waist and neck, such as your upper arm or chest.


The nicotine patch is available without a prescription in various doses. The patch is easy to use. The nicotine patch is long acting, controlling nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms for 24 hours at a time. You can gradually taper off the nicotine patch as your cravings and withdrawal symptoms decrease. The patch may be used in combination with other quit-smoking aids.



You can’t quickly adjust the amount of nicotine if you have sudden cravings or withdrawal symptoms. However, you may be able to use a second quit-smoking medication along with the patch when a craving arises. The patch may cause skin itching, rash and irritation where it’s applied. Patches also may cause sleep disturbances and vivid dreams. Removing the patch at night may help. Patches must be replaced every 24 hours. To minimize potential skin irritation, avoid putting the patch in the same place more than once every two weeks or so.


If you have certain skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis, you may more easily develop skin irritation if you use the patch.


It’s typical to use the nicotine patch for eight to 12 weeks. You may need to use it longer if cravings or withdrawal symptoms continue. Talk to your health care provider if you think you need to use it longer.

Read nicotine patch reviews.





Nicotine Gum


Nicotine gum contains a small amount of nicotine. The nicotine enters your body as it’s absorbed through the lining of your mouth when you use the gum according to directions.

Nicorette Nicotine Gum Fresh Mint 4 milligram Stop Smoking Aid 100 count
Best Seller: Nicorette Fresh Mint


Nicotine gum is available without a prescription in two doses. It’s short acting, which means it can control sudden nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms for short periods of time. When you first start using nicotine gum, you can use a piece every one to two hours, up to 24 pieces a day. Nicotine gum comes in several flavors. It’s often used in combination with the nicotine patch and other quit-smoking medications.



You must use nicotine gum repeatedly throughout the day to control cravings or withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine gum may only take the edge off cravings, not make them go away completely.

You must follow a specific biting technique for nicotine gum to work effectively. Don’t chew it like chewing gum. To release nicotine from the gum, bite a piece until it has a peppery taste or you notice a tingly sensation in your mouth. Then, to let the nicotine absorb, hold the gum between your gumline and cheek until the taste or tingly sensation stops. To release more nicotine, bite and hold again. Repeat the cycle for about 30 minutes, and then discard the gum because all the nicotine in it has been used. Side effects include jaw soreness from too much biting, as well as mouth irritation, nausea, stomach upset and excess saliva.



Nicotine gum may stick to dentures or other dental work. Avoid eating or drinking anything but water during use and for 15 minutes before to prevent problems with poor nicotine absorption.



Nicotine gum is recommended for up to 12 weeks. You can start by using a piece every hour or two, and then gradually reduce the frequency as cravings and withdrawal symptoms decrease.

Read nicotine gum reviews.



Nicotine Lozenge


Nicotine lozenges are tablets that contain a small amount of nicotine. You place a lozenge between your gumline and cheek and suck it slowly, allowing it to dissolve. The nicotine enters your bloodstream as it’s absorbed through the lining of your mouth.



Nicotine lozenges are available without a prescription in different doses and flavors. One type is called a minilozenge, and it’s intended to get nicotine into your system more quickly. All lozenges are short acting, which means they can control sudden nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms for short periods of time. You can generally use up to 20 lozenges a day. Nicotine lozenges are often used in combination with the nicotine patch and other quit-smoking medications.


You must use nicotine lozenges repeatedly throughout the day to control cravings or withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine lozenges may sometimes cause nausea, indigestion, heartburn, throat irritation or hiccups.



Avoid eating or drinking anything but water for 15 minutes before use or during use to prevent problems with reduced nicotine absorption.




Nicotine lozenges are recommended for about 12 weeks. Reduce how many times a day you use the lozenges as your cravings and withdrawal symptoms decrease.

Read nicotine lozenge reviews.




Nicotine Inhaler – Only by Prescription


The nicotine inhaler is a prescription device that gives you a small dose of nicotine. When you puff on the nicotine inhaler, nicotine vapor is released from a cartridge inside the device. The nicotine enters your bloodstream as it’s absorbed through the lining of your mouth and throat. Hold the vapor in your mouth for a few seconds and then blow it out — don’t inhale it into your lungs.



The nicotine inhaler is short acting, which means it can control sudden nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms for short periods of time. You control the dose of nicotine you receive. You can take as few puffs as needed to satisfy withdrawal symptoms or cravings and save the rest of the cartridge for later. The inhaler also keeps your hands busy, which can help with cigarette cravings. The nicotine inhaler is sometimes used in combination with the nicotine patch and other quit-smoking medications.



The inhaler is available only by prescription. You must use the nicotine inhaler repeatedly throughout the day to control cravings or withdrawal symptoms. The nicotine inhaler may cause coughing and mouth or throat irritation.


Check with your doctor before using the nicotine inhaler if you have any lung disease, such as asthma. Avoid eating or drinking anything but water for 15 minutes before use or during use to prevent nicotine absorption problems.



Recommended use of the nicotine inhaler is six to 16 cartridges a day for six to 12 weeks, gradually tapering to none over the next six to 12 weeks.




Nicotine Nasal Spray – Only by Prescription


The nicotine nasal spray is a prescription medicine which delivers a solution into your nostrils that contains a small dose of nicotine. The nicotine enters your body by being absorbed through the lining of your nose. The recommended dose is a spray in each nostril one to three times an hour.



The nicotine nasal spray is short acting, which means it can control sudden nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms for short periods of time. The nasal spray also works faster than does nicotine gum, lozenges and the inhaler. You control the dose by using the spray as needed throughout the day. The nicotine nasal spray also can be used with the nicotine patch and other quit-smoking medications.



Nicotine nasal spray is available only by prescription. It may be inconvenient, since you must use the nasal spray repeatedly throughout the day to control cravings or withdrawal symptoms. Side effects include nasal, sinus and throat irritation, watery eyes, sneezing, and coughing. These effects typically go away with regular use over five to seven days. The nasal spray also poses a slight risk of dependency.



Nicotine nasal spray isn’t recommended if you have a nasal or sinus condition.




Nicotine nasal spray is often used for about three to six months. Recommended use is one to two sprays in each nostril an hour at first, gradually tapering to none.




Bupropion (Zyban) – Only by Prescription


Bupropion (Zyban) is a prescription medication classified as a type of antidepressant. A sustained-release form of bupropion is approved for smoking cessation. Unlike nicotine replacement therapy, bupropion doesn’t contain nicotine. It’s thought to decrease tobacco cravings and withdrawal symptoms by increasing the levels of certain brain chemicals.


Bupropion is a pill, so it’s relatively easy to use. It can be used in combination with any nicotine replacement medication.



Bupropion is available only by prescription. Because it takes five to seven days to achieve effective levels in the bloodstream, you typically should start taking bupropion a week or two before you quit smoking.

Side effects may include insomnia, agitation, headache and dry mouth. Also, you must remember to take the pill two times a day.



In 2009, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required bupropion to carry a black box warning — the strongest safety warning that the FDA can issue about a prescription medication.

The warning is required because bupropion may be associated with serious mental health problems either while taking it or after stopping it, including an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior, hostility, and depression.

If you take bupropion, report any changes in mood or behavior to your doctor immediately and stop taking the medication. Bupropion isn’t appropriate if you have a seizure or eating disorder, if you’ve lost consciousness for more than an hour because of head trauma, if you’re already taking a medication containing bupropion, or if you take a type of antidepressant known as a monoamine oxidase inhibitor.



Bupropion is generally used for 12 weeks, but if you’ve successfully quit smoking, you can use it another three to six months to reduce the risk of a smoking relapse.



Varenicline (Chantix) – Only by Prescription


Varenicline (Chantix) is a prescription medication that can help reduce cravings for tobacco and control nicotine withdrawal symptoms. It also blocks nicotine receptors in your brain, which decreases the pleasurable effects of smoking.


Varenicline is a pill, so it’s relatively easy to use. It can be used in combination with any nicotine replacement medication.



Varenicline is available only by prescription. Because it takes several days to reach effective levels in the blood, you typically should start taking varenicline a week or two before you quit smoking. Also, you must remember to take the pill two times every day. Side effects can include nausea, vision trouble, fainting, severe skin reactions, vivid or strange dreams, and impairment of the ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. Some studies have shown an increase in road accidents and falls among people taking varenicline.



In July 2009, the FDA required varenicline to carry a black box warning — the strongest safety warning that the FDA can issue about a prescription medication. The warning is required because varenicline may be associated with serious mental health problems either while taking it or after stopping it, including an increased risk of suicidal thoughts or behavior, hostility, and depression. If you take varenicline, report any changes in mood or behavior to your doctor immediately and stop taking the medication. Varenicline should be used with caution if you have severe kidney problems.



Varenicline is typically used for 12 weeks, but if you’ve successfully quit smoking, you can use it another 12 weeks to reduce the risk of a smoking relapse.



Nic Out Cigarette Filter Holder


While researching smoking cessation products, I came across an item called Nic Out Cigarette Filter Holder, which looked interesting.

Its a disposable cigarette filter which cuts out up to 90% of the tar in cigarette smoke. 

The idea of this product is to gradually lower the nicotine level in your blood, thus reducing cravings. 

This is not technically for quitting smoking, but it’s something positive which can be implemented until one is fully committed to the quitting process. At the very least, you will be limiting the amount of cancer causing nicotine, tar and other chemicals from entering your lungs while you smoke (worth doing!)

Nic Out Cigarette Filters Holders Stop Smoking Aid Reduce Tar and Nicotine

What struck me about this product were the numerous positive reviews.  Apparently, the Nic Out doesn’t change the taste of the cigarette, so its a relatively unobtrusive way to cut down on the harm from smoking. 

It comes in a pack of 30, with each filter being good for 5 cigarettes.

It might be worth investigating as an intermediate measure until your quitting day.




Final Thoughts


The most effective strategy to quit smoking for good is to combine a quit-smoking product with a program that includes support from professionals trained to treat tobacco dependence.

Consider joining a community stop-smoking group or starting in-person or telephone counseling. Call 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) to obtain free telephone counseling services and information about stop-smoking programs near you.


I’d love to hear your experience with quitting smoking (or trying to).  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.






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Alzheimer’s, Elevated Cortisol and Your Genes

 Alzheimer’s, Elevated Cortisol and Your Genes



According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s disease affects over five million people in the U.S. and eliminating the disease would save more than half a million lives every year. Though the exact cause of Alzheimer’s still eludes researchers, it has been linked to certain genetic factors.



Genes, Heredity and Alzheimer’s Disease


Medical News Today explains that our genes determine what we look like, how we behave and how we survive. They can make us susceptible to certain diseases and conditions, like Alzheimer’s, depending on whether we develop those conditions.

How our genes interact with each other and on environmental factors has a large role in determining if we are likely to develop the disease, as does inherited traits, according to Healthline. People whose immediate family members have Alzheimer’s have been found to be at a higher risk of developing the disease.

Scientists believe Alzheimer’s results from a combination of genetic and hereditary traits, meaning some of these factors we can change, but others, such as our genes, we cannot. 


Two categories of genes that researchers have linked to Alzheimer’s:


Risk genes increase your likelihood for a disease but do not guarantee you will have it. The strongest risk gene for Alzheimer’s is called apolipoprotein E-e (APOE-e4). Studies indicate that this gene may factor into 20-25% of Alzheimer’s cases. If you inherit APOE-e4 from one parent, your risk for Alzheimer’s increases. Inheriting it from both parents makes your risks go up even higher, but it is still not a certainty.


Deterministic genes cause a disease or disorder and guarantee you will develop it if you inherit these genes. Research shows that gene variations in three proteins, amyloid precursor protein (APP), presenilin-1 (PS-1) and presenilin-2 (PS-2), will result in Alzheimer’s disease. Also called familial Alzheimer’s disease, deterministic gene variations often affect many family members in multiple generations, and symptoms typically develop before age 60. However, this form of Alzheimer’s accounts for fewer than 5% of cases.



Alzheimer’s Risk Factors You Can Change


Even if you have no family history or genetic risk of Alzheimer’s, other health issues, such as brain injury and cardiovascular disease, can increase your chances of having dementia.

For instance, your odds of having the disease increase if you suffer from:


Head trauma that results from vehicle accidents, sports injuries and falls can put you at greater risk for Alzheimer’s. Buckle your seatbelt, wear your helmet and take precautions in your home to prevent falls for you and senior loved ones.


Certain conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol or history of stroke may increase your chances for developing Alzheimer’s. Follow your doctor’s instructions for preventing or treating any damage to your heart or blood vessels.


Can Rhodiola Rosea Fight Alzheimer’s?


dry roots and fresh flowers of Rhodiola Rosea


The herb rhodiola rosea, native to mountainous regions of Europe, Asia and the Arctic, has shown to help reduce stress. It’s a staple of Eastern European and Scandinavian diets and is used to stimulate the nervous system, improve stamina and eliminate fatigue.

Recently, rhodiola rosea has gained notice as a potential aid for memory loss, making it the subject of studies on aging and Alzheimer’s disease and has been added to the list of herbs that promote healthy aging and may even prevent Alzheimer’s disease.



How Does Rhodiola Rosea Work?


Rhodiola rosea contains phenylpropanoids, which are believed to enhance cognitive function and have a calming effect. In addition, it contains antioxidant compounds that help prevent diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. It’s also shown to improve glycogen production and increase endurance, all beneficial during physical activity.



Scientific Research on Rhodiola Rosea


Studies on students and physicians demonstrate the herb’s ability to reduce stress levels and fatigue.

Additionally, research has shown that the herb slows the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is linked to memory. A proofreading study indicated that participants who took a single dose of rhodiola rosea (300 mg) significantly decreased errors compared to the control group.

Interestingly, other modern studies show that extracts of rhodiola also improve symptoms of depression, and relieve stress-induced fatigue.



Rhodiola Rosea Restores Normal Cortisol Levels


Most interesting is its mechanism of action. By modulating a stress-activated protein kinase called JNK, rhodiola restores the normal sensitivity of cortisol receptors. This was demonstrated in a 2009 Swedish placebo-controlled study. At the end of the 4-week study, participants given rhodiola had measurably lower cortisol levels than placebo, and scored better on scales of burnout and cognitive function.


Chronically elevated cortisol looks like this:


  • sleep disturbance
  • suppressed thyroid function, insulin resistance
  • progesterone and testosterone deficiency


Elevated cortisone shrinks the hippocampus of the brain. It causes osteoporosis and immune dysfunction. If that wasn’t enough, it shortens the telomeres of our DNA, which accelerates aging.

When stress is unremitting, cortisol receptors lose sensitivity, forcing the HPA axis to pump cortisol up even higher.  You can feel elevated cortisol when you’re still lying awake at 1 am, and you can see it as weight gain around the middle.



Importantly, studies have also linked elevated cortisol to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. For further reading, there is an interesting article from UC Irvine on the effect of stress and cortisol on Alzheimer’s risk.



Psychology Today states that over the course of a lifetime, the effects of chronic stress and cortisol can accumulate and become a risk factor for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Several studies have shown that stress, and particularly one’s individual way of reacting to stress (the propensity to become “dis-stressed” often found in neurotic people for example), increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

If you think your cortisol may be elevated, can measure it  yourself with a simple home saliva test.


Recommended:  ZRT Laboratory Saliva Test Kit

Diurnal Cortisol (Cx4) - 4 Panel (Full Day) Cortisol Hormone Stress Level Imbalance Test Kit


  • The full diurnal cortisol (Cx4) profile measures cortisol levels at four time points (morning,noon, evening and nighttime)
  • Results inn approximately 7 to 10 days with lab analysis.
  • Safe, easy at-home hormone imbalance unisex saliva test, no additional lab or postage fees



Can Rhodiola Rosea Treat Alzheimer’s?


Promising recent studies reveal that rhodiola rosea improves memory in rats with signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Nevertheless, more studies are needed to determine whether it’s an effective treatment for severe memory loss in humans.

Researchers propose that the constituents in rhodiola and other adaptogen herbs act like mild stress-mimics.  They induce stress protection mechanisms such as heat shock proteins, and modulate the HPA axis. In this way, they inoculate the body against stress, and are a type of hormesis, a biological response whereby a mild stressor (such as exercise or calorie restriction) induces a homeostatic mechanism that protects against other stressors.

In fact, Rhodiola Rosea has been associated with benefits to a number of diseases and mental health issues, so hopefully, we can expect further clinical research down the road.



 This Rhodiola rosea  from Bulk Supplements contains 17 different amino acids that are all necessary in promoting vital bodily functions.

It also has a generous helping of flavonoids (important antioxidant molecules), phenylpropanoids, essential oils, tannins, and many antioxidants,which protect healthy cells from the damaging effects of free radical molecules.

As an adpatogen, Rhodiola rosea allows the mind to relax even in the face of immense mental stress and other conditions which may cause volatile mental reactions. For this reason it has been a mainstay in the herbal medications of many different countries for years.

Customer reviews show that Rhodiola is extremely effective in reducing stress;  it has the ability to regulate serotonin and dopamine levels, two hormones known for contributing to both mood, and a euphoric state respectively. It also holds influence over beta-endorphins. See 578 customer reviews.



More Alzheimer’s Research is Needed


Experts continue to research the complex biological and environmental factors that influence Alzheimer’s disease, but, if you are concerned about your risks, talk to your doctor about your family history and other health concerns that you may have.

Early detection is crucial to getting the maximum benefits of treatment, and it can give you more time and more say in planning for your future.


Recommended: Alzheimer’s Disease – The New Prevention Revolution


Has heredity been a factor in your loved one’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis? Please share your story in the comments below.


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