Monday, July 29, 2013

Chia Seeds

Chia is an edible seed that comes from the desert plant Salvia hispanica, a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in southern Mexico. You may have seen chia sprouts growing on the novelty planters called Chia Pets, but historically, the seeds have been the most important part of the plant. In pre-Columbian times they were a main component of the Aztec and Mayan diets and were the basic survival ration of Aztec warriors. I've read that one tablespoon was believed to sustain an individual for 24 hours. The Aztecs also used chia medicinally to stimulate saliva flow and to relieve joint pain and sore skin.

Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than flax seeds. And it has another advantage over flax: chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don't deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. And, unlike flax, they do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body. Chia seeds also provide fiber (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
Another advantage: when added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, chia forms a gel. Researchers suggest that this reaction also takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar.
Chia has a nutlike flavor. You can mix seeds in water and add lime or lemon juice and sugar to make a drink known in Mexico and Central America as "chia fresca." As with ground flax seeds, you can sprinkle ground or whole chia seeds on cereal, in yogurt or salads, eat them as a snack, or grind them and mix them with flour when making muffins or other baked goods. I find them tasty and an interesting addition to my diet.
Chia is undergoing something of a renaissance after centuries of neglect. It was a major crop in central Mexico between 1500 and 900 B.C. and was still cultivated well into the 16th century, AD, but after the Spanish conquest, authorities banned it because of its close association with Aztec religion (Indians used the seeds as offerings in rituals). Until recently, chia was produced by only a few small growers, but commercial production has resumed in Latin America, and you can now buy the seeds online and in health food stores.
Because of its nutritional value and stability, chia is already being added to a range of foods. Research has shown that adding it to chicken feed makes for eggs rich in omega-3s. Feeding chia to chickens enriches their meat with omega-3s; fed to cattle chia enriches milk with omega-3s. Chia can also be added to commercially prepared infant formulas, baby foods, baked goods, nutrition bars, yogurt, and other foods. Another bonus: insects don't like the chia plant so it is easier to find organically grown varieties. I expect we'll soon be hearing much more about chia and its health benefits.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Ginger Uses and Benefits

1.Ginger for Treating PMS and Menstrual Cramps
About a teaspoon of fresh ginger grated is amazing at easing painful menstrual cramps. Just take it with a big glass of water after, and you'll be surprised by how effective it can be.

2. Ginger for Treating Morning Sickness and Nausea
Look at this fascinating study, featured in the magazine Obstetrics and Gynecology: "Researchers from the University of South Australia in Adelaide gave nearly 300 women either 350mg of ginger or 25mg of vitamin B6 three times per day for 3 weeks. The researchers found that both ginger and vitamin B6, which is sometimes taken to counteract morning sickness, worked equally well at alleviating nausea symptoms."

3. Ginger for a Healthy Heart
Ginger has been shown to reduce the stickiness of blood platelets, so it may help reduce risk of atherosclerosis. It may also help reduce blood cholesterol levels - a problem more and more people are dealing with. Of course, as with any of the ideas in this article - talk to your doctor about using ginger for cholesterol problems, don't just do it on your own.
4. Ginger to Treat Arthritis Pain
BBC News reported in 2001 that ginger is a natural alternative to treating arthritis pain. "A pill containing extracts of the root spice has proved to be as effective as conventional painkillers in a clinical trial. Rheumatologist Professor Ray Altman, who led the study, believes the highly-concentrated supplement could help to reduce the pain suffered by two out of three people with arthritis. He tested the supplement on 250 people with osteoarthritis, the most common form of the condition. Each was suffering from moderate to severe pain. Over a six week period, some were given a 255 milligram dose of the dietary supplement twice a day. The rest were given a placebo. Two-thirds of those given the ginger pills reported relief from pain - significantly more than those taking the placebo.
5. Treats Colds and Flus
In Chinese medicine, natural root ginger has been used for centuries to clean the body of viruses such as colds and flus. If you have a cold or flu, a cup of real ginger tea using fresh ginger will be very soothing - and may help you get over your sickness more quickly!
What Kind of Ginger Should You Use?
Ginger ale - which our Moms always gave us when our tummies were upset - contains very little actual ginger, unless you go to the natural food store and get a more natural variety of the soda. Instead, use FRESH GINGER whenever possible - it's just got more of all the good stuff in it. You can also try a high quality powdered ginger pill.
Selecting Good Fresh Ginger
Fresh ginger should have relatively smooth skin, should feel heavy for the size of the piece of ginger, and should have a nice fragrant smell. If the ginger looks dried out or has no smell - choose a different piece. For the most health benefits, you'll want to choose the freshest ginger.
Storing Ginger and Keeping it Fresh
Store ginger in the fridge - it should keep nice and fresh for 2-3 weeks. Or, you can peel it and store it in whole chunks in the freezer for a couple of months. Just take out the pieces of ginger as you need it and grate.
Using Fresh Ginger
The easiest way to PEEL fresh ginger is with a regular teaspoon! It works well at removing the outer skin, while leaving all the fragrant fresh ginger flesh behind.

Grating ginger is often the easiest way to use it for medicinal purposes - just use a regular grater, or a Microplane grater which creates a finer grate. 

Shared from a great site:

Grow your own ginger, it takes a while but is fun and so worth the wait.
The best instructions I have seen are here:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Eucalyptus Essential Oil Uses

The aromatic oil contained in eucalyptus leaves is an essential ingredient in Vicks Vapo-Rub. This over-the-counter preparation has been a popular remedy with millions of people for many years for treating respiratory ailments, especially asthma and bronchitis. A little of the ointment is applied locally to the chest area and slowly rubbed into the skin in a circular motion using the forefingers. Sometimes a piece of flannel cloth will be laid over the chest to retain its penetrating warmth for a longer period of time.
Infections - Eucalyptus is a traditional Aboriginal remedy for infections and fevers. Eucalyptus is now used throughout the world for these ailments.
Antiseptic - Eucalyptus is an antiseptic and is very helpful for colds, flu, and sore throats.
Expectorant - Eucalyptus is a strong expectorant, suitable for chest infections, including bronchitis and pneumonia.
Warming - The diluted essential oil, applied to the skin as a chest or sinus rub, has a warming and slightly anesthetic effect, helping to relieve respiratory infections. The same effect takes place when the infusion or tincture is used as a gargle.
Pain relief - Diluted essential oil applied to the affected area can help to relieve rheumatic joints characterized by aching pains and stiffness, as well as neuralgia, and some bacterial skin infections.
Other medical uses - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Herpes, Tension headache, Viral infection.

Shared from :

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rose Geranium Essential Oil Uses

Repel Fleas and Ticks
Find some rose geranium essential oil at a local aromatherapy shop, or online. Place a few drops of it into about 1/4 cup of a "carrier" oil in a bottle. Even vegetable oil will work as a carrier. Mix it well, then shake a few drops into the palm of your hand. Rub your hands together and then lightly touch around your dog's fur on her feet, near her neck, the top of her head, her haunches, and a bit on the belly. Do this before heading out on your walk. Don't forget to rub some on yourself, too. (I run my fingers through my hair because ticks love the human scalp.)

Warning, your dog probably won't like the smell! You'll probably like it, though. Be sure to use just a very little, because it's an essential oil and is very strong. BIG WARNING: Never apply an essential oil full-strength directly to skin (or fur). Only tea tree oil can be used full strength, on humans. Or you can also soak a fabric collar in a mixture of this and let your furry child wear this to repel fleas and ticks.

I have read where some people have used this formula for 2 years and although it doesn't get rid of all the ticks (which I hate, hate, hate those ticks), it does seem to keep most of them away from my dog.  But nothing is 100 percent and still as safe as this.

No doubt one of the most effective oils for aromatherapy, geranium is used to relieve stress and anxiety, ease tension, balance emotions, and treat menstrual cramps. Along with the aromatherapy benefits, many people also use this oil for meditation purposes.

Skin Care
One popular usage of geranium oil involves treating acne since geranium acts as a balancing agent for oily skin. Interestingly enough, these balancing properties also help people battle dry skin as well. Another thing worth mentioning about geranium essential oil is that it makes scars fade away.

Anybody who is struggling with the cold or flu should keep geranium aromatherapy in mind because the oil acts as a decongestant. So if your regular cold and flu products aren’t working, consider trying out geranium essential oil.

While most people will probably stick to store-bought deodorants, take note that geranium essential oil can be used to eliminate body odor, and keep you smelling fresh throughout the day. It’s also popular as a perfume because of the sweet scent.

Healing Cuts/Wounds
Geranium is very effective at healing wounds and cuts faster. This essential oil also has anti-bacterial properties, which helps keep the cuts and wounds clean while they’re healing.

Those who enjoy meditating should consider using some geranium essential oil during their next session. Geranium has a very relaxing, calming effect on people, which certainly helps one get into the right mind frame for meditating.

Sleep Aid
Since geranium is quite effective at calming people, it’s no wonder why this essential oil is good at helping us sleep better too. Using geranium through aromatherapy eases a person’s mind, and allows them to fall asleep quicker.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Aloe Vera Benefits

Aloe is  excellent treatment for skin conditions such as burns and eczema. It is often reported that burns can be healed remarkably quickly and the pain reduced very quickly with topical application of Aloe Vera to the burn area. As well as applying topically, Aloe can also be taken internally so it is just as useful for internal epithelial tissue as it is for the skin. For example, mouth and stomach ulcers, nasal and sinuses, bowels, lungs and genital tracts. Aloe works on membranes and surfaces.
Aloe also seems to be excellent at regulating the immune system (an immunomodulator). This means it can both stimulate the immune response for those with weakened immune systems either from exisiting conditions or post-illness fatigue. It can also calm the immune response, such as for Hayfever where less immune reaction is beneficial.
Although Aloe is about 99% water, the remaining 1% is extremely powerful and it is thought this is because the close to 100 ingredients work extremely well together (synergistically). The ingredients in Aloe can be grouped into the following categories: Vitamins, Minerals, Sugars, Enzymes, Lignins, Amino Acids, Anthraquinones, Saponins, Fatty Acids, Salicylic Acid.
Each of these categories could be discussed at length in their own right regarding individual molecules and ongoing studies into their remarkable effects. Combined together it's easy to see why Aloe Vera is such an effective healing plant.
Aloe vera is one of the only known natural vegetarian sources of Vitamin B12, and it contains many minerals vital to the growth process and healthy function of all the body's systems. Numerous studies worldwide indicate that it is a general tonic for the immune system, helping it to fight illness of all kinds. Various research studies are underway to explore the potential of the components to boost immunity and combat the HIV virus, and to treat certain types of cancer (particularly leukemia). It may even have a role to play in managing diabetes.
Over 200 worldwide scientific research papers have been published on the effects. The three main categories of research include anti-inflammatory, anti- bacterial, and anti-viral actions of the plant. The juice is said to soothe digestive tract irritations such as colitis, ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome. It's ability to encourage the release of pepsin (a gastric juice enzyme necessary for digestion) when the stomach is full is a possible reason for its ulcer-healing effects (Journal of the American Osteopathic Society, 1963, vol.62). In one study, oral use for six months helped mitigate asthma symptoms in almost half of the participants. Eleven of twenty-seven patients studied who drank Aloe reported feeling better at the end of the study. Researchers think that results might be due to stimulation of the immune system, as well as naturally occurring anti-inflammatory agents in the plant.
In 1994, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Aloe vera for the treatment of HIV. On-going studies worldwide show that taken in highly concentrated doses can stimulate the production of white blood cells that may help fight viruses and also tumours.
Aloe vera contains protein, calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A, B12 and E, essential fatty acids and is naturally rich in:
Vitamin C which helps maintain tone of blood vessels and promotes good circulation and is essential to the health of the adrenal gland which supports our body in times of stress.
Amino acids which are chains of atoms constructing protein in our body.
Enzymes, which are the life-principle in every live, organic atom and molecule of natural raw food, rejuvenate aged tissues and promote healthy skin.
Germanium which is a mineral that some health authorities claim therapeutic benefits for: immunodeficiency, pain, cardiac disorders, circulatory disturbances and eye problems.
The juice is said to be one of the finest body cleansers, cleaning morbid matter from the stomach, liver, kidneys, spleen, bladder, and is considered the finest, known colon cleanser. Studies have shown that it is healing and soothing in the relief of indigestion, stomach distress and ulcers. People claim relief from arthritis, bladder and kidney infections; leg cramps, constipation, hemorrhoids, insomnia, and for vaginitis, it is said to be an excellent vaginal douche. An excellent internal tonic for energy and well being Aloe juice may add greatly to the strength of the food fed, digestive tract, skin, and overall good health and happiness.

It is also used to ease heartburn, ulcers, diverticular disorders, and other types of digestive upset. It is used as an anti-inflammatory and may be taken internally as a remedy for certain digestive complaints. European folk medicine calls for using the juice to relieve heartburn and ulcers. Preliminary research has shown promising results. Clinical trials in Japan indicate that certain compounds in the herb reduce the secretion of stomach juices and the formation of lesions.
Animal studies and anecdotal reports claim that drinking the juice or taking it as a tablet or capsule can reduce swelling and inflammation in arthritic joints. Drinking the juice may also help those asthmatic patients who are not dependent on cortico-steroids.
In 1997, University of San Antonio researcher Jeremiah Herlihy, Ph.D., conducted a study to observe any negative effects of drinking it daily. Rather than exhibiting negative effects, however, test animals receiving daily Aloe showed a remarkable reduction in leukemia, heart disease, and kidney disease. Dr. Herlihy concluded, "We found no indication of harm done to the rats even at high levels." In fact, the Aloe-drinking animals actually lived 25 percent longer than those in the control group (IASC Conference, Texas, 1997).
There is no single ingredient that makes it very potent and healthful. Researcher Robert Davis, Ph.D., an endocrinologist-biologist, explains that fifteen different compound groups of nutrients work together to make the plant effective. This means that Aloe vera's effects cannot be synthesized easily in a laboratory. On the upside, this makes the plant useful across a wide spectrum of circumstances. And because the various elements that make it effective are nutrients rather than drugs, the juice may complement medical treatments. In fact some cancer patients state that Aloe vera seems to reduce nausea, increase energy, and may help to minimize low blood counts caused by chemotherapy or radiation.
Aloe vera may help adults, children, and even pets receive more value from daily foods and supplements.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

"Zapped" by Ann Louise Gittleman

I finished the book and couldn't wait to share this with everyone. You really
need to know this stuff.  I got it on I Tunes for 1.99, I don't know how long it will be that. It is $10.19 on Amazon.
This will really be an eye-opening guide for Anyone Who’s Plugged In
Are we going to give up our cell phones, laptops, and other electronics? Absolutely not. But emerging scientific evidence reveals that the very innovations that have changed our lives are also exposing us to an unprecedented number of electromagnetic fields—and that it’s crucial we make important changes to our home and work environments. Now, Ann Louise Gittleman has created the first step-by-step manual for fortifying your body, detoxifying your home, and protecting yourself and your family from electronic pollution (and her powerful fixes are easier than you might think!). Zapped is an empowering guide to living safely with the gadgets we can’t live without.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Vitamin B 12 Benefits

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that keeps your nerves and red blood cells healthy. It is responsible for the smooth functioning of several critical body processes.

It is possible for the body to develop a vitamin B12 deficiency. This deficiency is usually reported with symptoms of fatigue.

Strict vegetarians, heavy drinkers and smokers, pregnant and breast-feeding women, and the elderly usually require vitamin B12 supplements. Sometimes our body, mainly our digestive system, is not able to absorb this vitamin well. This can happen when a person has pernicious anemia, celiac disease, Crohn's disease, bacteria growth in the small intestine, or a parasite. People suffering from these conditions may need vitamin B12 supplements as well.
A deficiency in vitamin B12 can result in a host of illnesses like anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, depression, poor memory, soreness of the mouth, asthma, vision problems, and a low sperm count. However, vitamin B12 deficiency is rare as the liver stores enough reserves to last a couple of years.
The top 5 health benefits of vitamin B 12 are:
  • It is needed to convert carbohydrates into glucose in the body, thus leading to energy production and a decrease in fatigue and lethargy in the body.
  • It helps in healthy regulation of the nervous system, reducing depression, stress, and brain shrinkage.
  • It helps maintain a healthy digestive system. Vitamin B12 also protects against heart disease by curbing and improving unhealthy cholesterol levels, protecting against stroke, and high blood pressure.
  • It is essential for healthy skin, hair, and nails. It helps in cell reproduction and constant renewal of the skin.
  • Vitamin B 12 helps protect against cancers including breast, colon, lung, and prostrate cancer.
Make sure that your body is getting enough vitamin B12 by incorporating these foods in your diet: liver, meat, eggs, milk, cheese and some varieties of fish.

Read more on Top 5 Benefits of Vitamin B12