Traveling? – Treating Jet Lag Naturally

Planning a road trip? Booking a flight? Returning home by bus or train? Feeling exhausted, foggy-headed, in a daze? If you are planning a long distance trip for the summer or for an upcoming holiday vacation, you might want to consider these tips to prevent or reduce jet lag. Can jet lag be treated naturally? Can it occur on bus, train or in the car? Ideas include a special jet lag diet, homeopathic remedies, and lifestyle changes and exercise. Find out more.
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Dehydration – 30 Symptoms, 12 Causes, and 12 Treatments

Are you dehydrated? Headache, faint, nauseated, fatigued.  How do you know? What causes it and what are the symptoms? When is it serious? You may be surprised at what you discover in this informative and important article.

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What Causes Leg Pain? How to Prevent and Treat Leg Pain

20 Top Causes of Leg Pain

What causes leg pain? How can it be prevented? Here are the 20 top causes of leg pain.

What causes leg pain? How can it be prevented and treated? There are many reasons for leg pain. Some are more serious than others. It’s best to see your doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing pain and/or swelling in the legs. Leg pain can be a symptom of a blood clot which if not treated immediately can cause stroke or heart failure.

Here are the most common causes of leg pain.

  1. Osteoporosis
    Osteoporosis is a condition of the bones where they are thin and subject to increased risk for fracture. Muscle and bone pain is a well-documented symptom of severely deficient vitamin D.   Vitamin D and calcium are important bone builders and are recommended supplements for treatment and prevention of osteoporosis.   Leg cramps that occur at night are often a signal that your calcium, magnesium, and/or potassium blood levels have dropped to low levels. If low calcium, magnesium or potassium levels continue over long periods of time, this may lead to excessive bone loss and osteoporosis.


  1. Bone FractureFractures
    A fracture usually results from traumatic injury to bones causing the bone tissues or bony cartilage to be disrupted or broken. There are different types of fractures including simple, compound, incomplete and complete. Simple fractures (“closed fractures”) are sometimes not obvious and not seen by the eye, as the skin has not been injured. Fractures can cause leg pain. Compound fractures (“open fractures”) cause a tearing or rupturing of the skin and are more prone to infection.  Fractures can cause leg pain.  Treatment is immobilization to gain realignment of the bone.


  1. Shin splints
    Shin splints (medial tibial stress syndrome) refers to the pain that results from stress on the tissues that connect muscles to the shin bone (tibia). They also may come from the small bone of the lower leg and ankle, (the fibula). The most common cause of shin splints is stressful activities that constantly pound on the legs and feet.  It is a common complaint among basketball players, tennis players and runners.  Physicians usually recommend that people with shin splints take an extended period of rest to let that area heal.
  2. Strain
    A strain (also known as “pulled muscle”) is an injury to a muscle or tendon in which the muscle fibers tear as a result of overstretching.   A tendon is a fibrous cord of tissue that connects muscles to bones.  Strains often occur in the lower back and in the hamstring muscle in the back of your thigh. Mild strains can be treated at home by resting the  effected area, but you should see a doctor if you can’t walk more than a few steps without significant pain,  can’t move the affected joint, or have numbness in any part of the injured area.  Strain is generally treated by applying cold pack, elevating, compressing the area, and rest.
  3. High Ankle SprainSprain
    A sprain is an injury to a ligament caused by tearing of the fibers of the ligament. The ligament can have a partial tear, or it can be completely torn apart. Sprains most often occur in the ankle, knee and wrist.  For most sprains home treatment is effective. Elevate the area, rest, apply cold pack, compress the area with elastic wrap or sleeve.  See a physician or trusted health-care professional if pain is more severe or not subsiding.
  4. Internal bleeding
    Internal bleeding is bleeding occurring inside the body. It can be a serious medical emergency depending on where it occurs (e.g. brain, stomach, lungs), and can potentially cause death and cardiac arrest if proper medical treatment is not received immediately.  Internal bleeding (also called internal hemorrhage) is a loss of blood that occurs from the vascular system into a body cavity or space. It can result in pain, swelling, dizziness, muscle weakness, blood in urine, stool, or vomit, or noticeable bruising
  5. Peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
    Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) happens when there is a narrowing of the blood vessels outside the heart. The cause of PAD is atherosclerosis.  Atherosclerosis is caused by a build up of plaque (made up of fat and cholesterol) on the walls of the arteries.  The arteries supply blood to the arms and legs.
  6. Deep Vein ThrombosisDeep vein thrombosis (DVT)
    A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a vein that is deep inside the body.  Most deep vein clots occur in the lower leg or thigh. If the vein swells, the condition is called thrombophlebitis.  DVT can be very serious and lead to heart attack or stroke or a serious problem in the lung, called a pulmonary embolism.  Treatment includes medicines to break up and prevent blood clots, relieve inflammation and swelling.  Sitting for long periods of time can increase the risk of blood clots. Elevating the area and applying moist heat can be helpful.  Always take plenty of breaks, stretch, and drink plenty of liquids.
  7. Shingles
    Shingles can be a cause of leg pain. Shingles is a disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus.  This is the same virus that causes chickenpox. Symptoms include pain and red blisters on the skin that appear on one side of the body.   Symptoms usually begin with muscle aches and pain. The pain can be a severe shooting pain, or burning or tingling, electrical sensation. Blisters usually go away after 14 days but the pain of shingles can last for weeks, months and even years.
  8. Alcoholism
    Alcoholism can lead to a condition known as alcoholic polyneuropathy (also known as “alcohol leg“).  This is a neurological disorder in which multiple peripheral nerves throughout the body malfunction at the same time. It causes the degeneration in neurons of both the sensory and motor systems.   People with alcoholic polyneuropathy experience pain and motor weakness usually beginning first in the feet, legs  and hands and then moving inwardly toward the center of the body.  Treatment is abstaining from alcohol, nutritional supplements, and pain management.
  9. Diabetes
    Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the pancreas does not produce enough insulin, or because the cells in the body do not respond to the insulin that is produced.  People with diabetes can experience diabetic neuropathy.  The most common symptoms of diabetic neuropathy are numbness, tingling and pain in the legs or feet, and also a risk of skin damage. Treatment of diabetes involves keeping the blood sugar levels normal, usually with diet, exercise, and appropriate medications (insulin).
  10. SciaticaSiatica
    Sciatica (sciatic neuritis, sciatic neuralgia, or lumbar radiculopathy) is a set of symptoms including pain caused by general compression or irritation of one of five spinal nerve roots of each sciatic nerve or to the left or right or both sciatic nerves. Symptoms include lower back pain, buttock pain, and pain, numbness or weakness in various parts of the leg and foot. Other symptoms include a “pins and needles” sensation, or tingling and difficulty moving or controlling the leg. Typically, symptoms only manifest on one side of the body. The pain may radiate below the knee.   Treatment varies depending on the cause of the problem (pregnancy, herniated disc, tumor, etc.). Spinal manipulation, surgery, physical therapy, and pain management are typical treatments.
  11. Peripheral neuropathy
    Peripheral neuropathy is a result of nerve damage.  It often causes weakness, tingling, numbness and pain, usually beginning in your hands and feet but also in the legs and other parts of the body.  Peripheral neuropathy distorts and sometimes interrupts messages between the brain and the rest of the body.   Pain and other symptoms often appear symmetrically, for example, in both feet followed by a gradual progression up both legs. Next, the fingers, hands, and arms may become affected, and symptoms can progress into the center of the body.   Treatment includes exercise programs and physical therapy, eating a balanced diet, taking vitamin supplements, and limiting or avoiding alcohol consumption.
  12. Cancer
    Cancer can be a cause of leg pain. Cancer is caused by an uncontrolled division of abnormal cells in a part of the body. Cancer cells are called “malignant” cells. Cancer expands locally by invasion and systemically by metastasis.  Traditional treatments include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy.  Alternative treatments are becoming more popular.  Particular dietary considerations and lifestyle changes have been shown to be effective in cancer prevention.
  13. ArthritisArthritis
    Arthritis can be a common cause of leg pain.  Arthritis is inflammation of joints due to infectious, metabolic, or constitutional causes.
    Arthritis leg pain generally is associated with specific joints (e.g., knees or hips).  When cartilage around a joint wears down, a person may feel pain, stiffness, and experience swelling at the joint. Arthritic joints may also be warm and have limited movement.  Treatment for arthritis pain can include pain treatment, exercise, resting the joint, elevating the effected body part, change in lifestyle, and nutritional or diet changes.
  14. Myalgia
    Myalgia isn’t a disease but is a symptom of many diseases and disorders. The most common causes are the overuse or over-stretching of a muscle or group of muscles.  Myalgia has also been referred to as muscular rheumatism.  Leg pain which is caused by muscle pain can be generally classified as myalgia. Treatments vary depending upon the cause of the problem, but can include pain treatment, exercise, resting the joint, constrictive wrap, cold packs, elevating the effected body part, change in lifestyle, and nutritional or diet changes.
  15. Muscle cramps
    Leg pain can be caused by a muscle cramp in the leg. A muscle cramp is an involuntarily and forcibly contracted muscle that does not relax. Cramps can be prevented by having adequate nutrition and hydration, exercising safely (warming up), and maintaining flexibility t factors.  Cramps can be stopped by stretching the muscle.  A cramp can last a few minutes or several hours. Cramps of the legs and feet, are common.  A cramp of the calf is very common and known as a “charley horse.”
  16. Dehydration
    Dehydration can be a cause of leg weakness, pain, and cramping.  When a person is dehydrated it means that the body does not have as much water and fluids as it should.  The severity of the dehydration (mild, moderate, or severe) is determined by how much of the body’s fluid is lost or not replenished. When it is severe, dehydration is a life-threatening emergency and a person could become unconcious and risk death, heart failure or stroke.  Hydration is important in pain management.
  17. HamstringHamstring injury
    A hamstring injury is a common injury to the leg  and common cause of leg pain. It is caused by the straining of the hamstring (also known as a “pulled hamstring”).  This injury is defined as an excessive stretch or tear of muscle fibers and related tissues of the hamstring muscles — the group of three muscles that run along the back of the thigh, and is common among dancers, runners, and soccer, basketball, football, or tennis players.  It occurs with activities that involve running with excessive stopping and starting.  Surgery may be needed to repair a torn muscle but generally homecare treatment is advised, including rest, elevation, cold packs, and pain treatment.
  18. Trauma
    Trauma to the leg can be the cause of leg pain. Trauma can be a serious injury or shock to the body, as from violence or an accident. Most leg injuries in children and teenagers occur during sports or play. The risk for injury is higher in sports, such as football, wrestling,  snowboarding, in-line skating, soccer, biking, skiing,  and skateboarding. Knees, ankles and legs are often injured.  Elderly adults with osteoporosis (thinning bones) are more at risk for fractures.  Treatment for trauma to the leg varies depending on the injury and may include surgery.

If you are experiencing leg pain and unsure of the cause, see your doctor or trusted health care provider to determine the cause of your discomfort and to seek treatment.

20 Natural Remedies for Chapped Lips

Are there natural alternatives for chapped lips? Why do lips become dry, cracked, and chapped and what can we do to prevent it?

20 Remedies Chapped Lips

What natural products are effective in soothing dry, sore, chapped lips? Try these alternative treatments that are healthy and easy for everyone.


Chapped lips can be bleeding, cracked, sore, peeling, dry, flaky, split, or infected and oozing with visible sores.  Chapped lips can be uncomfortable,  painful, and  embarrassing because it can interfere with one’s ability to eat, to talk, and to kiss.  If your chapped lips are bleeding and look infected, it is strongly recommended that you consult with a doctor or trusted health professional.

Healthy vs Unhealthy Lips
Healthy lips have a protective lip barrier that keeps out irritants and bacteria. The living cell layer of healthy lips maintains intercellular hydration necessary to support lip tissue. Unhealthy lips have an unstable protective lip barrier leaving the lips vulnerable to inflammation and infection. Chapped lips caused by dehydration, trauma (chewing the lips) or sun or wind damage, can lead to more serious infections if not hydrated and allowed to heal.


WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF CHAPPED LIPS? – Chapped lips can be the result of a number of different factors, including dry weather, sunburn, overexposure to extreme temperatures, dentures that do not fit properly, dehydration, tooth or gum infections, lip biting,  a vitamin deficiency riboflavin (vitamin B2), allergies, bacterial infection, virus, drug reactions, influenza, and other medical problems.  Most often people experience minor chapped lips from external conditions that can easily be modified or controlled. If you are experiencing chronic chapped or peeling lips, it’s best to take a look at your personal situation to determine the best course of action and treatment to help your lips heal.


stressed woman

It is very common for people to lick or chew on on the lips when stressed. Licking causes chapping and peeling. Are you stressed?

STRESS AND NERVOUSNESS Are you stressed?  Many people experience chapped lips because of nervous habits of biting the lips, peeling or picking at the lips or continuously licking the lips.  Observe yourself and your habits and if you are expressing your stress or anxiety with your lips, try another way to relieve stress such as engaging in sports activities, crafts, hobbies, chewing gum, playing a musical instrument, practicing meditation, receiving a relaxing massage, sharing your frustrations with a trusted friend, counselor or psychiatrist.  Take time out to listen discover if you have a nervous habit that is damaging to your lips.  If so, check out our “20 Alternative Approaches to Stress” for suggestions, or seek professional help to handle stress from a counselor or your trusted health practitioner.



lip balm

Homemade lip balms or natural products consisting of bees wax, olive oil, or Vitamin E oil are much less likely to cause allergic reactions.

ALLERGIES AND SENSITIVITIES It is a common belief that Chap Stick or Vaseline or other commercial lip balms, lip gloss, or lipstick products are the best course of action for chapped lips.  However, many people experience chronic chapped lips as an allergic reaction to fragrances or other chemical products and food coloring or chemical dies found in Chap sticks, lipsticks or lip balms. Vaseline is petroleum jelly.  Many people have adverse reactions to petroleum products and find that this product only covers up and prolongs the chapped, dry lips and does not cure it.  When the product is removed and alternative, natural products are substituted, the chapped, peeling lips often heal very quickly. Another problem with commercial products is the packaging. If a lip balm, lipstick, gloss or similar product is applied to infected lips and repeatedly applied from the same container, the lips are infected again and cannot heal. There is less chance of contamination if fresh, natural products are applied and then discarded.  Be sure to thoroughly wash hands before touching the lips and applying products and to throw out used applicators and containers.


sunburn man

Dehydration and sunburn are common causes of chapped lips. Be careful when out in the sun and remember to keep hydrated and protect your lips from sun and wind burn.

DEHYDRATION, WIND AND SUN – Probably the two most common causes of chapped lips is dehydration and sunburn. We often have busy lives and forget to hydrate ourselves. Lack of water causes the lips to dry up quickly.  You may feel that you have had plenty of water to drink, but try measuring the amount of water you drink daily.  As we age we lose the ability to feel thirsty and often forget to hydrate ourselves.  Also take care to avoid wind and sun exposure. Lips can be burned just as easily as our skin and we often forget to protect the lips when we are outside in the sun and wind.

If your chapped lips are infected or inflamed at the corners, you may have angular cheilitis. Angular cheilitis is a chronic inflammation of the mouth. It is characterized by the presence of cracked corners of lips and sores on the mouth area. Angular cheilitisPeople of all ages  can have angular cheilitis, even toddlers and youth of all ages. Angular cheilitis should not be mistaken for herpes. Angular cheilitis can be painful and if treatment is not given right away, the person suffering from it would experience bleeding and oozing of pus coming from the lips.

Symptoms of angular cheilitis are cracks, splits and fissures on the corners of the mouth, pain, swelling, itchiness and bleeding in the affected areas and blisters, erosions and crusting. Angular cheilitis  can be associated with an intraoral candidal infection, or oral candidiasis.  Other organisms causing the infection can be staphylococci and streptococci.

To diagnose angular cheilitis, a doctor will perform a laboratory culture from a swab of the inflamed areas. This will determine if there is an existence of microorganisms like Candida albicans and Staphylococcus aureus.   Some believe that cheilitis can result from too little vitamin B12 or iron in the diet. Picking or scratching at these sores can  trigger a bacterial infection that can spread. Angular cheilitis can disappear on its own without treatment, however, it is important to have a laboratory test taken to rule out underlying bacterial or viral infections and to keep the area clean, use clean hands when applying balms or moisturizers, and clean products as described in our tips above. Other treatment methods that you can discuss with your doctor include:

  • Moisturizing lip balms (see our list of natural remedies below)
  • Antibacterial medications
  • Anti-fungal topical ointments
  • Nutritional supplements

Cold SoreCOLD SORES – Cold sores are caused by a common herpes virus, and they can cause pus in the lips in some cases. This type of blister can be uncomfortable and usually appears on the upper or lip. People with cold sores might be tempted to pop or lance a cold sore, however, doing might cause harmful bacteria to infect the sore and make the cold sore more inflamed and enlarged.  If a cold sore has dry or oozing pus, this is an indication that a more serious bacterial infection might be present and if not treated carefully it might leave a scar.  As with cheilitis, medical professionals advise that a cold sore is kept clean and left alone as much as possible to facilitate the healing process.


Healthy LipsTWENTY NATURAL APPROACHES TO HEALING CHAPPED LIPS  – Whether or not you have an infection such as a cold sore or angular cheilitis, or you just have common chapped lips caused from windburn or dehydration, cleanliness and natural products are key to healing.  Here is a handy list of 20 natural remedies for healthy lips.  Observe your lifestyle and see which solutions seem to fit your situation.

  1. Drink plenty of water
  2. Take fish oil supplements
  3. Avoid licking lips
  4. Avoid petroleum products
  5. Avoid fragrance or dyes
  6. Throw out all lip products
  7. Eat a healthy diet
  8. Apply olive oil
  9. Apply 100% pure lanolin
  10. Apply cucumber slices
  11. Apply aloe vera gel
  12. Apply cocoa butter
  13. Apply shea butter
  14. Apply organic beeswax
  15. Apply kawa gel
  16. Apply vitamin E oil
  17. Take vitamins B2, C, E
  18. Use a humidifier
  19. Avoid sun
  20. Avoid wind
Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E Oil is an effective, natural moisturizer for chapped lips. It is commonly found in pharmacies or drug stores.

These tips are great suggestions for minor chapped lip problems, and you should see a remarkable improvement. These remedies will not be effective you are continuing to infect yourself with contaminated products or if you have underlying infections, allergies or anxieties which must be addressed.  Always consult with your trusted health professional if you suspect a bacterial or viral infection.  You will need prompt medical care and treatment for more serious conditions.


Devani A, and Barankin B,   Answer: Can you identify this condition?- Angular Cheilitis,  Can Fam Physician. Jun 2007; 53(6): 1022–1023.

Kahana M, Yahalom R, Schewach-Millet M. Recurrent angular cheilitis caused by dental flossing. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1986;15(1):113–4.

Yesudian PD, Memon A. Nickel-induced angular cheilitis due to orthodontic braces. Contact Dermatitis. 2003;48(5):287–8

A Akpan, R Morgan, Oral candidiasis,  Postgrad Med J 2002;78:455–459



Jean E. DartThis article is written by Jean Voice Dart,  M.S. Special Education from Illinois State University. Jean is a published author and has written hundreds of health articles as well as hosting a local television program, “Making Miracles Happen.”  She is a Registered Music Therapist, Sound Therapist, and Master Level Energetic Teacher, and is the Executive Director, founder and Health and Wellness Educator of the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance.  The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a registered 501 (c) 3  nonprofit health and wellness education organization.  For more information about  the Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance contact us or visit our website at


Disclaimer: The Monterey Bay Holistic Alliance is a charitable, independent registered nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and does not endorse any particular products or practices. We exist as an educational organization dedicated to providing free access to health education resources, products and services. Claims and statements herein are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The statements about organizations, practitioners, methods of treatment, and products listed on this website are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information is intended for educational purposes only. The MBHA strongly recommends that you seek out your trusted medical doctor or practitioner for diagnosis and treatment of any existing health condition.

Water – It’s Not Just Fun and Games!

sports bottleFeeling thirsty? Drink up! The topic for today is dehydration and the miracle solution of water.   Did you know that your body is composed of about 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. Continue reading