Category Archives: Health and Beauty

Raw Food

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I am doing an 11 week Raw Food challenge.  I believe that what we put in our bodies really reflects on our health.  Since going raw I have not been sick, caught any colds, or anything.  It’s been pretty amazing.  Anyways I thought I would share a video I made for my other blog veggiegrl.  Enjoy!

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Eating Raw

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I have taken up eating 75% raw again for my health.  I find that I have more energy, am sick less, and feel generally good when I do this.  If that is something you are interested please follow my food blog here.

In other news Pam and I went to the holistic health and psychic fair yesterday.  IT WAS AMAZING!  It was so nice that it was just a town over and not a long drive.  We were there for quite a few hours even though there were maybe 30 vendors.  I visited an intuitive guide and it was eye-opening.  She was amazing and gave me some great ideas on how to better open myself to my gifts.  One thing she told me was that my heart and third eye Chakras were blocked.  Once I was done with her I found this wonderful Chakra cleanser who was just lovely.  Her energy work was amazing, I have never been so relaxed in my whole life!  It was like I was floating and wherever her hands were there was this high vibration and warmth.  I highly recommend this.  One thing I took away from this fair was that I have to just be happy and proud of me and my gifts and if it freaks anyone out or they don’t like it, it is just too bad for them.


I put that into practice today.  It was a very interesting experience, people you would have never though would be interested were.  I found out a few of my lovely vendors and the market I participate in are very into what I am.  Who knew!  I also basically conducted a class on herbalism and health. HAHA Mary’s brain must be just swimming with information.  So for this week my goals for all of you is to do the following:


Look into the mirror and say to your self as you look into your eyes “Everyday in every way I am _________,__________ and ___________.”  Choose three things (ex.  Smart, Successful, Beautiful, Calm, Worthwhile, Amazing…).  Then believe it.  The other goal for all of you is to just be happy with who you are, and I mean seriously happy.  Don’t brush off your skill or gifts with laughter, diversions, or your own blocks.  I guess you could say the theme of this week is Happiness.  Good luck, though I know you all don’t need it.

Namaste 

Medicine Making

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I’ve been a busy gal of late getting my medicines for winter ready.  For those of you who do not make your own or have no idea what I am talking about I have my tinctures started.  What is a tincture?  A tincture is an alcoholic extract (e.g. of leaves or other plant material) or solution of a non-volatile substance (e.g. of iodine, mercurochrome). To qualify as a tincture, the alcoholic extract is to have an ethanol percentage of at least 40-60% (80-120 proof) (sometimes a 90% (180 proof) pure liquid is even achieved).[1] In herbal medicine, alcoholic tinctures are often made with various concentrations of ethanol, 25% being the most common.(wikipedia.com).

Tinctures take roughly 6 weeks to make using the folk method of 1/2 jar of dried herb fill the rest with vodka.  So what do I have brewing you may ask… and why more importantly:

Valarian: One of the most useful relaxing nervines, valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a perennial plant native to Europe and Asia. Valerian root tincture is an effective remedy for insomnia, reducing tension and nervousness, and for menstrual cramps.
An ancient, effective, and well recognized medicinal herb, Valerian has been used in medicine since at least the time of ancient Greece. Valerian has also been used for gastrointestinal spasms and distress, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.(http://www.localharvest.org/valerian-tincture-valeriana-officinalis-C3268)

Yarrow: Yarrow tincture in an indispensable part of our herbal medicine cabinet. It has been used traditionally as a wound healer, and antimicrobrial and anti-inflammatory herb. (http://www.localharvest.org/yarrow-tincture-C15288)

Calendula: The most notable use of calendula, however, is for its use externally on wounds, burns and abrasions – and especially for rejuvenating skin and helping the body to prevent and/or overcome abnormal skin growths. Scientific studies have shown that ointments made with calendula extract are particularly effective for healing wounds, including leg ulcers and other wounds that heal with difficulty. A recent study has shown efficacy for helping to heal surgical wounds after caesarian section. Another recent study showed that a naturopathic preparation containing calendula extract was effective in the management of ear pain associated with acute otitis media.

The flowers contain high concentrations of colorful orange xanthophylls, carotenoids and other flavonoids that are powerful antioxidants and the flavonoid extract has been shown scientifically to be effective against inflammation, fever and to stimulate bile flow for aiding digestion and cleansing the liver. The aqueous extract has also been shown to have an uterotonic effect. Studies done of the flowers of Egyptian Calendula officinalis L. conducted at the Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Japan, found hypoglycemic and stomach protective properties for calendula flowers. The principal saponins inhibited an increase in serum glucose levels in glucose-loaded rats and prevented gastric lesions in rats. (http://www.localharvest.org/calendula-tincture-calendula-officinalis-C2682)

St. John’s Wort:  We are all aware of SJW effective use in treating anxiety, depression, irritability, fatigue and insomnia.  But it can do so much more!

It is a commonly used pain killer, and is useful as a topical treatment in treating wounds, bruises, herpes sores, varicous veins and burns, including sunburn. Also effective in easing pain of arthritus, sciatica, nerve pain, menstral cramps, hemorroids, and gout. In addition, has been known to help regulate menstrual cycle. (http://www.localharvest.org/st-johns-wort-alcohol-tincture-2-oz-C17543)

Chamomile: The beautiful fragrant Chamomile plant is a great sleep aid and mild sedative for children. It helps calm and cool a person down, and may help with occasional sleep issues. Use this tincture to ease a stomach ache due to over eating or flatulence. (http://www.localharvest.org/zzzs-please-sleep-aid-chamomile-tincture-C9903)

Beyond my tinctures I am also making homemade vanilla extract.  Who knew it was so easy!  I am currently extracting using vodka but may try other alcohols in the future.  I think I am going to try more extracts in the future too!  I took 3 whole vanilla beans and split them mostly in half keeping one end together.  Add 1 cup of alcohol (i used vodka but I have heard others using rum or brandy).  Put in a dark place and shake everyday for about 8 weeks.  Strain you and now you have homemade chemical free pure vanilla extract.  Total it cost me about $7.00 to make about 8 oz of extract which equals to about 87 cents an oz!

-Namaste

 

Rose Hip “Jam”

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This morning I was browsing herbmentor.com reading though the forum when a quick and easy recipe for Rose Hip “Jam”.  I thought to myself well I do love rose hips and I do love jam so what can go wrong with this?  Absolutely nothing, it’s amazing, yummy and a new favorite in our house!  So what’s the recipe?

Dried Rose hips
Fruit Juice (I used what was left from my Archer Farms blueberry pomagranite smoothie).

Place your rose hips in a sealable jar such as a canning jar.  Cover them with your juice and place in the refrigerator.  I checked in after a half an hour, stirred it and added a bit more juice.  After an hour I couldn’t wait anymore to try it out.  It’s amazing and good for you too!

Here’s a link regarding rosehips click to download this little booklet by Rosalee de la Foret Rose Hips Booklet it has some great info on it’s benefits and some great recipes as well!

-Namaste

Deodorant

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I have been interested in trying more of a natural form of deodorant for a while now.  One of the reasons I have not yet done so is that it is really hard for me to pay $8 for 1 thing of it.  It’s just so expensive.  As I was looking around at different recipes for deodorant I got inspired and came up with my own recipe.  Before I give it all to you (my mom taught me it’s good to share) let’s discuss what’s in commercial deodorant.  In front of me is my husband’s Degree for men.  The ingredient list is as follows:

Aluminum Zirconium Tetrachlorohydrex
Cyclopentasiloxane
Stearyl alcohol
PPG-14 butyl ether
Hydrogenated castor oil
Talc
Fragrance
PEG-8 distearate
Zea mays (corn) starch
BHT

Now let’s look up this deodorant in the cosmetic database…. here’s what it says:

Health concerns of ingredients
About the ratings
Overall Hazard yes
Cancer yes
Developmental & reproductive toxicity yes
Allergies & immunotoxicity yes
Use restrictions yes
Other HIGH concerns: Persistence and bioaccumulation, Miscellaneous, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Contamination concerns
Other MODERATE concerns: Neurotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
Other LOW concerns: Endocrine disruption, Ecotoxicology, Data gaps

I highly recommend this website btw.  I encourage you to look up each ingredient listed here.  You will be amazed at what you are putting on your body!  Well I don’t want that on my body and since skin is the largest organ, in my body either!  I have found when starting a new regime you have to do it for a while to let your body detox first.  This can be uncomfortable, slightly icky, and could be stinky too depending on what part of you is going through detox.

I came up with a recipe based on a few I read on the internet that I am sure will need some tweaking.  But here it is:
1/4 c Baking Soda
1/4 c Corn Starch
1/4 c Coconut Oil (I decided to try Shea Butter instead)
10 drops Lavender EO
10 drops Clary Sage EO
10 drops Tea Tree EO
5 drops Eucalyptus EO

Place Baking Soda and Corn Starch in a bowl, mix until blended.  Place Shae Butter in a microwave safe dish and heat for 30 seconds.  Stir to melt completely.  Add the essential oil blend to the Shea Butter and stir until completely incorporated.  Pour into the bowl with the soda and starch.  Mix together (this will form a very thick batter consistency).  Pour into a jar with a lid (I used a small 4 oz canning jar).

To use scoop up a small amount on your fingers and rub onto your arm pits.  Now remember this isn’t an antiperspirant.  You are supposed to perspire to release toxins.  This will however deodorized.  I plan to use this whole jar and I will update you how much I like it periodically.  So far the smell is wonderful as is the feel.  It is very nourishing.  I am thinking if I make it again I will do 50/50 Shea Butter and Coconut Oil or Butter.  It is still a bit white when I look where I put it, but we’ll see how it goes.

-Nameste

UPDATE (8/13/2011 11:33pm):  I used the deodorant tonight after I was done getting ready for an end of the summer party a few of our friends were having tonight.  While the deodorant can still leave white traces if it is not completely rubbed in.  Anyways, I put this on a headed out to this outdoor party.  I experienced no wetness at all (though it was not that hot today) and even now at home 5 hours later I still smell fresh.  I don’t have the lovely herbal smell like when you first put it on but there is no odor at all.  I am in love with this stuff right now and so is the hubby.  We’ll see if that positivity continues.

UPDATE (8/25/2011 9:07pm):  My husband and I are still using the deodorant and I have to say I love it.  There is absolutely no body odor.  It’s been a bit toasty lately here in good ole Wisconsin so this stuff has really gone through the testing process.  While I have had some sweating (remember that is normal) it has only been a little.  I feel I actually sweat more when using traditional deodorant/antiperspirant.  The herbal blend is amazing and love how it smells.  Also, my armpits are very smooth and moisturized due to all that shea butter.  Once this one is done I am still going to try out 1/2 Shea and 1/2 Coconut oil and I am going to put it in a tube instead of a jar.