Health

  • Soothe Patches' Scratches

    Does your dog scratch himself silly this time of year? Like you, he may be allergic to early-summer pollens and molds. But steroid-based itch treatments can cause diabetes, osteoporosis, and liver disease, warns Shawn Messonnier, DVM, holistic vet and author of The Natural Health Bible for Dogs and Cats (Three Rivers Press, 2001). Here are natural ways to fight the itch.

    by O'Rya Hyde-Keller
  • Herbal Insect Avengers

    Certain oils in mint, clove, rosemary, sage, and thyme are safe for humans but deadly to pesky aphids and mites. To make an herbal pesticide for a small window garden, mash 1 to 2 cups of fresh leaves with a pestle. Fill a spray bottle with 2 to 4 cups of water, mix in the herbs, and let it sit overnight so the essential oils infuse the water.

    By Nicole Duncan
  • The Biofeedback Boost

    Biofeedback therapy is winning as many accolades as the movie No Country for Old Men won Oscars. A watchdog group, the American Health Care Policy Review board, reviewed the many studies done on the effectiveness of biofeedback and gave the mind-body therapy a Grade A rating. How does it work?

    By Kris Kucera
  • Foods that Fuel

    You’d never head to the yoga studio without your mat or to your spinning class without a pair of bike-friendly shorts, yet many exercisers still approach their workout without the proper fuel. Whether you’re exercising for fitness, health, or weight loss, you’ll reap greater benefits if you feed your body the right foods before and after workouts.

    What and when to eat to maxamize your workout.
    By Christie Aschwan
  • Ask The Doctor: Low Libido

    It’s common for our sex drives to dwindle as we grow older—and the numbers tell the story. The Kinsey Institute notes that while 18- to 29-year-olds have sex an average of 112 times per year, the 40 to 49 set has sex just 69 times a year—that’s a nearly 50 percent decline over a 20-year period.

    I'm in a healthy, happy relationship, but my sex drive has started to lag in recent years. Why is this, and how can I revive my libido?
  • Grooming for Guys

    No matter how rugged your guy, his skin is just as sensitive as yours—perhaps even more delicate. Male hormones, such as androgen, trigger increased production of sebum, the skin’s natural oils, which encourages bacteria and fungus overgrowth. Ironically, these conditions lead to dry, irritated skin, says Cindy Angerhofer, PhD, executive director of botanical research at Aveda.

    Help him choose and use safe, natural products.
    By Joel Warner
  • Sunscreen Primer

    Choosing the best sunscreen can be tougher than finding the perfect swimsuit. With hundreds of options available, should you reach for a product labeled “nano-free,” “all-day protection,” or “SPF 700”? Plus, terms like SPF, UVA, and UVB can have you swimming in a sea of acronyms before you even hit the water.

    What you need to know to have a burn-free summer.
    By Lindsey Galloway
  • Weight Loss in a Bottle

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 68 percent of Americans are overweight and more than one-third are considered obese. Millions of people are trying to lose weight—and most wish it were as simple as popping a pill.

    Our guide to the best and worse diet supplements on the market today.
    By Gina Demillo Wagner
  • Hormone Control

    When the dark hairs began sprouting on her chin and her libido plummeted, Sherrill Sellman of Tulsa, Oklahoma, suspected changes inside her body. When she started kicking off sweat-drenched sheets every night and rocketing out of bed because of predawn anxiety attacks, she resigned herself to the inevitable: Perimenopause had set in.

    Drug-free remedies to help you ease into menopause.
    By Vicky Uhland
  • Pink Grapefruit and Fig Tart

    Shell
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
    1 tablespoon butter
    1/4 cup fresh dates
    2 egg whites
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    Filling
    2 grapefruit, peeled and pith removed
    1 whole cinnamon stick or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    2 tablespoons honey
    2 tablespoons sugar
    2 cups fresh or dried mission figs, halved (about 10 fresh figs)
    2 cups Greek–style yogurt

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix pecans, flour, butter, and dates into a fine meal in a food processor. Blend in egg whites and salt.

    2. Coat the inside of a tart pan with natural cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper cut to fit, and coat again. Place dough in pan, and flatten evenly with your fingers to form a thin layer. Score dough by poking it with a fork. Place a piece of parchment paper over the dough and cover with pastry weights (use dried beans if you don’t own weights).

    3. Bake tart dough until the sides begin to brown, about 15 minutes. Remove parchment paper and continue baking until the bottom has completely cooked, an additional 15 to 20 minutes.

    4. Segment grapefruit, holding fruit over a bowl to reserve approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup juice. Grate the peel of 1 grapefruit, and place grated peel, cinnamon, honey, sugar, and reserved juice in a saucepan. Simmer on low heat until mixture begins to thicken, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

    5. Remove cinnamon stick from mixture, and stir in figs and grapefruit segments. Place 1 cup yogurt in the bottom of the tart shell, then top with fruit mixture. To serve, cut into 8 portions and garnish with a dollop of remaining yogurt.

    nutrition info per serving: 240 calories; 8 g fat; 8 mg cholesterol; 8 g protein; 39 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 110 mg sodium