If you have trouble falling asleep, sour cherry juice might be just what the doctor ordered. The drink contains two ingredients that are very important for inducing sleepiness: tryptophan and melatonin. Tryptophan is the amino acid behind the infamous “food coma” that sometimes hits you after eating a meal heavy on poultry and dairy. A tryptophan supplement helps people with insomnia fall asleep faster and improves sleep quality. Melatonin is a well-known sleep aid. It’s also the hormone that our brain releases to make us fall asleep. Given that it naturally contains two established sleep aids, it’s no surprise that drinking a glass of tart cherry juice or taking a tart cherry extract in the evening can help you get a more restful night’s sleep.
Apple Cider Vinegar Can Improve Blood Sugar and Cholesterol Levels
As possibly one of the most popular home health remedies, apple cider vinegar has been touted as a way to prevent or treat dozens of conditions. Not all of those claims are backed up by science, but one apple cider vinegar benefit that stands up to scrutiny is its ability to regulate blood sugar and cholesterol. Insulin carries glucose into the cells in the body. People with type 2 diabetes have high levels of glucose in their blood either because they lack enough insulin to transport glucose or because their cells do not respond appropriately to insulin. In several studies, apple cider vinegar helped to lower blood glucose levels, especially after meals, in people with type 2 diabetes. There is also some evidence that vinegar helps improve sensitivity to insulin.
Eucalyptus is commonly found in over-the-counter cold medications and cough drops. The oil extracted from the leaves of Australian eucalyptus trees helps relieve nose and chest congestion, soothe coughing, and ease sore throats. Beyond its cold-remedying properties, eucalyptus is also an anti-inflammatory that helps reduce pain. In one study, people recovering from knee surgery reported that eucalyptus oil helped reduce pain. A topical cream that contains eucalyptus oil and menthol (the active ingredient in peppermint) is used to treat sore muscles and minor skin irritation. The oil may also have some use as an insect repellent. Humans should never eat eucalyptus (leave that to the koalas). The easiest way to use eucalyptus is to put a few drops of oil in hot water or a diffuser and breath in the healing mist.
Made from the seeds of several plants native to south and southeast Asia, cardamom is a unique spice with an extensive history in medicine. The use of cardamom for oral health dates back to ancient cultures in the Indian subcontinent, Babylon, Assyria, and Greece, where people would chew whole cardamom pods after meals as a breath freshener. Later research revealed that the spice’s active ingredient gets rid of bad breath by killing bacteria that cause it. And it’s not just bad breath-causing bacteria that are susceptible to cardamom. Several studies have found that the spice can kill bacteria that cause cavities and gingivitis. In addition, some research suggests that the oil in cardamom seeds may help stabilize the pH in your mouth, making it harder for disease-causing bacteria to thrive.
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