There are so many benefits and uses for aloe vera that you would think it is some kind of super plant. Well, if you want the truth, it kind of is. An aloe plant may not wear a cape and tights, but it is definitely capable of near miracles when it comes to healing cuts, burn, and other skin irritations. In addition, there are numerous health benefits of ingesting aloe vera juice (or gel in a capsule formula). It’s nature’s wonder drug and the reason why I have half a dozen aloe plants growing in my home all year long. They are really easy to grow and really beneficial to have on hand so why not??
Healing Uses for Aloe Vera
Aloe is awesome for healing all kinds of minor skin aliments. Probably one of the most common uses is for sunburn. Using Aloe gel (98% pure or better) on sunburn will not only soothe the sting of the burn, but will re-hydrate the burned skin and, if used liberally, can prevent your skin from blistering and peeling. It can be applied fresh from the plant, sprayed on, and you can even use freeze the aloe juice/gel in ice cube trays and then use the cubes to rub on and soothe the skin.
But the uses of Aloe Vera gel are not limited to sunburn. This wonder plant is also excellent for soothing and promoting the rapid healing of regular minor burns as well as skin rashes, cuts, insect stings, and has even been used to reduce the irritation of acne.
Health Benefits of Aloe Vera
Aloe vera contains not only 12 vitamins and 20 minerals but also 20 amino acids and over 200 other active components which, together, can promote health and vitality for the entire body. The benefits of ingesting so many incredible nutrients can work wonders on the overall health of the body. Regular consumption can help you to stabilize your body weight, improve your immune system, increase your energy level, as well as help you to maintain healthy skin, teeth, and gums and even regulate your digestive system. I drank it liberally while I was undergoing treatment for colon cancer. Since I was on some pretty horrible pharma drugs at the time I figured my body needed all the TLC it could get. That was seven years ago.
How to Use Aloe Vera
While you can buy aloe vera gel for burns and cuts in most drug stores and can pick up a bottle of gel capsules while you are browsing the aisles, the simplest and best way to get the full use of the aloe vera plant is to grow your own.
Aloe Vera plants are easy to grow and mean that you always have a ready supply should you need it. Simply break off a piece and squeeze out the gel for minor cuts, burns and scrapes. Ingesting is fresh can be a little more complicated since you want to avoid the yellowish liquid that lies between the pure inner gel and the outer skin. In fact, consuming this yellowish liquid can cause stomach upset so you have to be careful if you are preparing gel to drink. Another downside to the consumption of fresh aloe is that it has to be used immediately or it loses many of its nutrients and healing properties due to oxidization.
No Matter How You Slice It
The uses and benefits of aloe vera are many and varied. While fresh aloe is purer and more potent than over-the-counter varieties, the fact remains that no matter how you use it, it can work wonders for your health and give you relief from so many minor skin irritations, burns and cuts that having some readily available is like having a magic wand in your pocket.
Geranium is one of those essential oils that kinda gets ignored. Whenever we think about using EOs for relaxation, balance, and calm we typically think about Lavender, Ylang Ylang, or Roman Chamomile. Geranium though does wonders for those looking to relax and seek some measure of calm in their otherwise hectically paced life. In centuries past people used to grow geranium plants around their homes to keep evil spirits away. We may not have to worry so much about evil spirits but maybe our own negative spirit…it works for that too.
If you are unsure what it smells like, I personally think it smells very similar to rose oil though a little less annoyingly sweet. It is actually quite perfect to use as a perfume when you are in high stress situations (work, meetings, school, commutes, etc) so that you can have a great day, staying cool and collected. It lifts the spirit, relieves tension, and helps you deal with negative emotions. For these reasons it is also great for PMS and menstrual issues. It is actually supposed to help balance our hormones.
How To Use Geranium Oil
Dilute it 50:50 and then diffuse it, inhale it, or apply to the temples, chakras, or abdomen.
You can of course buy geranium essential oil itself or buy some kind of blend or product that contains the oil. Aura Cacia makes several geranium based products that I have tried and like. They have body oil, bubble bath, mineral bath powder, and a spray mist.
One of my favorite ways of late to use Geranium (and other EOs) is to put a few drops inside a car diffuser. I have been driving more recently and during rush hour too. Diffusing essential oils in the car is a pretty nifty way to reap their benefits. You simply put a few drops of Geranium (or any oil of your choosing) on the little paper pads that come with the diffuser, plug it into your cigarette lighter outlet and away you go.
There is actually a USB diffuser you can plug into a computer or laptop as well. Great for working/offices. There is a solution for everything.
Another great time to use Geranium is while traveling. Traveling in general can be stressful but especially so with kids…
- Give your hotel room a make-over with a spray mist: add 3 drops geranium, 2 drops lemon and 1 drop tea tree per ounce of water in spray bottle. Shake and spray throughout hotel room.
- Sun care skin soother: add 3 drops geranium per application of an unscented lotion or aloe vera gel.
- Decompress express for travelers: add 3 drops geranium to 1 tsp. almond oil and massage into temples and back of neck.
Have you tried Geranium oil yet?
A guest post by Avelina Kongoi
We all know how difficult it can be to lose weight at the best of times but just imagine how hard it is to shed even a single pound of body fat when you’re battling hypothyroidism. The reality is that this is a condition that is affecting more and more people’s lives every single year, and it shows no signs of actually stopping.
There are almost 28 million people in America who have been told by their doctors that they have an underactive thyroid. But even more surprising than this number is the fact that there are way more people out there that are still waiting to be diagnosed and given the treatment they require to get better.
Aside from hypothyroidism, there’s another condition that’s also getting more and more common and it goes by the name of subclinical hypothyroidism. This disease doesn’t actually do anything to the individual’s thyroid but it still leaves them experiencing many of the symptoms that are common with people that usually have full blown hypothyroidism. The good news however is that if the person just improves their diet for the better then everything can be flipped around.
So what happens when the individual is suffering from hypothyroidism? Well more than likely it will leave them with a much slower metabolism which will result in them burning way less calories than normal.
Any person out there that doesn’t have thyroid glands that are working properly will find that they will struggle to lose weight. This is because the thyroid glands are responsible for creating two very important hormones known as T3 and T4. These hormones are basically what control your body’s rate of metabolism.
So any individual who doesn’t have enough of these hormones will find it a lot harder to lose weight! This is precisely why losing weight can be do damn difficult.
However those of you that are absolutely dedicated to getting results will be glad to know that you can get it done by following the tips below:
Tip 1: Get a Fully Qualified Doctor to Properly Diagnose and Then Give You Treatment
The first step you must implement is to make sure that you get a fully qualified doctor to thoroughly check you over to give you the diagnosis and treatment that you need.
How you are diagnosed will totally be dependent upon the results of the blood test that your doctor actually gives you. This simple and quick blood test will basically be measuring exactly how much T3, T4 and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) you have inside your body. Should the results come back to show that you have really high amounts of TSH but really low amounts of T4 and T3 then it’s pretty much guaranteed that you do indeed have hypothyroidism!
The American Thyroid Association states that you need to have a TSH level of about 2.5 mIU/L to be officially considered as being hypothyroid.
Those of you that do get the diagnosis that you do actually have an underactive thyroid will go on to be prescribed with some sort of synthetic T4. Most of the time you’ll be given medication that goes by the name of levothyroxine. The great thing about this medicine is that it will help to get your levels of thyroid hormone right back into the healthy range where it should be to get your metabolism fired up again.
Tip 2: Start Making Meals That Are Really Healthy and Nutritious
The best and most effective way to help yourself lose all the weight you want to lose is to make sure that you start eating healthy and nutritious meals. Not even hypothyroidism will be able to stop you from losing weight if you can do this. Every single meal that you sit down to consume should contain a healthy portion of both protein and vegetables.
You might not realize this but protein is actually very satiating. It has been shown to not only keep hunger at bay for a good number of hours but it also helps to protect your metabolism boosting muscle mass, which is very important when you are focused on trying to lose weight and get into shape.
Tip 3: Begin Consuming Tons of Foods High in Fiber and Totally Avoid Processed Junk Foods
Nothing out there is going to be more detrimental to your long term weight loss success than you eating junk foods that do nothing but cause you to gain weight! Seriously you need to do your level best to dump these foods in favor of foods that contain a good amount of fiber in them. The first benefit you’ll notice is that fiber rich foods are very good for keeping your hunger at bay.
Of course the other benefit of getting a good amount of fiber into your body is that it will help to prevent any sort of chronic constipation from occurring which is very common among people that suffer from hypothyroidism.
Tip 4: Exercise Properly
Truth be told, after diet exercise is going to be the key to you really getting the dream body you’ve always desired. So regardless of the time that you’re able to dedicate to exercise every single day, it’s going to be in your interest to make sure that you’re doing whatever you can.
The really great thing about exercise is the fact that it contributes to weight loss a lot more than just helping you burn calories in the moment. Rather it will help to build up a good amount of high quality muscle mass which is essential to getting your base metabolic rate to rise and rise.
And as we all probably know the higher an individual’s metabolism the more weight they are going to end up burning over the long term!
The only way to really overcome hypothyroidism for good and lose the weight you want to lose is by making sure that you remain consistent in your efforts and never allow hypothyroidism to stop you from getting what it is that you want.
Believe me, only you can stop yourself from getting the results that you truly desire! This means you just need to make sure that you keep a positive mind and that you keep moving towards your goals every single day! Do this and believe me soon enough you will end up in the best shape of your life.
Make sure that you head over to http://hypothyroidismdietplan.org/ where you will find all the latest and greatest on exactly what you need to get into the best health of your life, even if you happen to be suffering from an underactive thyroid!
It’s that time of year when moms start to worry about making sure their precious littles are sufficiently protected from the bugs of summer. If your kids are anything like mine they don’t want to play outside in the heat of the day, when the bugs are few and far between, and who could blame them? When the sun starts to fade and the temperature dips though they get a second wind and they hit the door running. Unfortunately the bugs (ie mosquitoes) have the same idea. My kids have already come inside with fresh bugs bites only to spend the remainder of the evening itching up a storm. During the summer months lots of families can be found several evenings a week attending some sort of outdoor event so bugs become a problem.
First we need to set up a good offense and send everyone outside with some protection…a bug barrier. A super easy and natural way to repel bugs is to make an essential oil spray. Just put some clove, basil, juniper, pine, or cedar oils inside a carrier oil like Jojoba or grain alcohol and spray as needed. Even easier and cheaper than that is to use garlic juice and water and spray as needed. You can also buy a more natural product if you don’t want a DIY product. We like and use the Badger Anti-Bug Twist-Up Stick. You put it on lightly or thick and it smells really nice without being at all greasy. No harmful DEET!
You can also get proactive by planting strategically around your house with plants that the bugs don’t like. Rosemary, basil, catnip, and lemon balm are a few plants you can grow that have wonderful insect-repelling qualities
What do you do though when you or the kiddos get bit or stung by ants, bees, mosquitoes and other buggy creatures despite your best efforts? Here are some…
Natural Ways to Soothe and Heal Bug Bites and Stings
Aloe Vera – Cut a small section of your plant (seriously every family needs to have at least one Aloe Vera plant in their home) and rub on, allowing the juices to dry and soothe.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Apply a few drops of ACV directly and allow to dry. Repeat as needed. You can also add a couple cups to your bath water for a soak.
Dry Soap – Rub dry bar soap on the wound to help with itch. I like Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint.
Onion – Take a thin slice of onion and apply directly to the bite/sting. Great for bee stings!
Baking Soda Paste – Mix some baking soda with water to form a paste and apply as needed to soothe and help with itchiness.
Toothpaste – Rub on a bit of a natural toothpaste brand and allow to dry. I haven’t tried it yet but I think Earthpaste Peppermint would work really well for this since it has natural clay in it and peppermint is soothing and cooling.
Lavender Oil – A few drops applied directly to the wound.
Local Raw Honey – This is soothing and it has antimicrobial properties which is awesome for when dirty little fingernails are scratching and digging, thus opening the door for infection. Apply directly to the bite.
Banana Peel – Rub the inside of a banana peel on the wound. Very effective but usually needs to be repeated hourly.
Tea Bags – After brewing up a batch of tea use the bag to soothe any bug bites.
Crushed/Chewed Leaves – Crush up or chew up some basil or plantain leaves until they are soggy. Apply directly to the bite/sting.
Lemon/Lime Slices – Apply directly.
Do you have a natural bug bite remedy that works well for you?
A guest post by Dana from Essential Safe Products…
In light of Father’s Day, I wanted to share some information on the harmful effects that could be caused by endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, and how exposure could be negatively affecting the men in our lives. Studies have shown there are reproductive issues potentially caused by contact with EDCs that could be avoided by taking action! First, it’s necessary to be aware of the toxins most of us come into contact with on a daily basis so healthy choices can be made to start ridding us of any dangers, for good.
So what are EDCs and how do they affect us? Humans depend on a well-functioning endocrine system to regulate the release of hormones essential for metabolism, growth, development, sleep, and mood, and EDCs may alter the functions of the hormone system, resulting in negative health repercussions. While some EDCs occur naturally, synthetic varieties can be found in many household and industrial products, as well as food additives.
Some well known examples of EDCs include phthalates (used to soften plastics), BPA (in much of our plastic products), parabens (in personal care products), and pesticides (on some produce & genetically modified foods). However, there are many more EDCs with less popular names, so it’s a good idea to seek natural alternatives to some common household products that could be hazardous. Taking steps toward avoiding EDCs can help us make positive changes for our families and our health!
The reason I’m discussing EDCs is because evidence has shown that exposure could cause the following reproductive concerns in men:
- Reduce semen quality
- Low sperm counts
- Male infertility
- Hormonal changes
- Testicular and prostate cancer
- Miscarriage in your partner
So before you opt to take that plastic lunch container or pick up fast food, consider trying the following simple ways men (and their families) can help reduce contact with the chemicals:
1. Choose a natural shaving cream (and natural bath and body products)
When possible, select products made from plant based materials and natural oils, to avoid contact with parabens and other toxins. It’s a great tip to steer clear of the word “fragrance,” which is a general term that doesn’t disclose the specific ingredients that could be harmful.
2. Stick with regular soap and water
Try to avoid “antibacterial soaps as well as toothpastes that may contain triclosan, a chemical that could interfere with thyroid hormones. And according to the FDA, there is no evidence that “antibacterial” has any health benefits over standard soap and water. Kind of makes you feel like you’ve been fooled!
3. Skip the fast food
Toxins known for their “non-stick” quality could be lurking in the paper fast-food wrappers/containers of your favorite drive-thrus! Just another reason besides health benefits to stay away from all that grease!
4. Cook at home
Say goodbye to quick microwavable dinners, which could have BPA in the wrapping. Instead, take time to cook your meals in safer cookware (like glass, stainless steel, or cast iron) and avoid non-stick options that could emit toxins like PFOAs. Plus, cooking together means great family time!
5. Pack your lunch
Avoid plastic and Styrofoam packaging, silverware, cups and other disposable items. Instead, bring your lunch in glass or stainless steel containers and pack a reusable water bottle.
6. Eat “cleaner”
Choose organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible as they’ve been shown to have less pesticide residue. And either way, rinse all your produce to avoid consuming chemicals. Also, try to avoid canned foods, as there can be BPA in the lining.
Of course, reproductive health issues among men are not the only concerns linked to EDCs, however, the above tips are a great place to start to invest in your health. For further information on this article, you can visit http://bit.ly/12wwnee.