Saturday, October 26, 2013

Stroke me, baby!

Recently, my mother had a stroke.  Being an avid, naturalist, she questioned her hospital doctor about supplement she could take to help with her condition.  CoQ10 was one of the first that the doctor put her on.

While discussing all the things that happen to a body when there's a stoke, of course, the main thing was about the nerves in the brain.  After all, this is where a stroke starts.  We brought up the subject of Neuro-PS, which the doctor had never heard of.  

Neuro-PS Benefits

  • Supports healthy cognitive function.
  • Supports sleep by rebalancing pituitary/adrenal communication.
  • Helps fight stress and supports healthy moods.
The doctor agreed it could be beneficial.  Why?   Of course, there's the obvious supporting of healthy cognitive function, which is a great concern after a stroke.  But, the stress and mood benefits are pivotal since strokes, in great part, are caused by things like high blood pressure.  Balancing the moods and reducing stress also aids the blood pressure medication she was prescribed.

For any type of medical condition, it pays to do your research on holistic aids that will naturally help the body heal and flourish.

Monday, June 4, 2012

If Beauty Is Only Skin Deep, You Need to Read This


We all worry about our skin.  Ideally, we’d all like a clear complexion and soft, smooth skin.  Of course, between environment, genetics and time constraints, many of us are far from satisfied with our skin.

Of course, we all know that what we eat and drink has a huge impact on the health of our skin.  Since drinking water helps with the absorption of essential nutrients and flushes toxins from our system, it’s a must for healthy skin.  Adding lemon to your water can also help get some of the Vitamin C needed for a healthier complexion.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A, beta-carotene, repairs and protects skin tissue.  A deficiency of Vitamin A will cause skin to become dry and flaky.  It has also been shown to improve skin afflictions, such as, acne, boils, open ulcers, impetigo and boils.

Foods rich in Vitamin A include fruits and vegetables.  The foods highest in Vitamin A are Liver, Red Pepper / Cayenne / Chili Powder/ Paprika, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Dark Leafy Green Vegetables, Butternut Squash, Dried Herbs, Dried Apricots and Cantaloupe.  Not to say, you have to eat all of these but having one or two of each with your meals, will help meet recommended guidelines.

Vitamin B

Vitamin B is critical as it is responsible for the development of skin cells.  Vitamin B6, riboflavin, aids in cell respiration, which, in turn, sustains the skin.  Vitamin B5 is not only necessary for the body’s consumption and use of B6.  It also aids in the production of cortisone and additional adrenal hormones, necessary for healthy skin, and protects cells against damage caused by radiation, which causes wrinkles and premature aging of the skin.  Aiding in the prevention of acne, bruises, burns, abscesses, eczema, psoriasis and shingles, is Vitamin B Complex.

Foods rich in Vitamin B6, B5 and B Complex include Meat, Fish, Vegetables, Nuts, Seeds, Wholegrain, Bran, Beans and Legumes.

Vitamin C

One of Vitamin C’s functions is maintaining collagen.  Collagen, the fibrous protein found in connective tissue, is relevant to the elasticity of skin.  Vitamin C also aids in healing wounds, burns, and protects your skin from skin cancer that can be caused by long, regular exposure to the sun.

Foods rich in Vitamin C include Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Hot Chili Peppers, Guavas, Bell Peppers, Fresh Herbs (Thyme and Parsley), Dark Leafy Vegetables, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, Kiwi, Papayas, Oranges and Strawberries.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E reduces wrinkles, prevents damage of free radicals (byproducts of pollution, smoke and overexposure to sun) and enriches skins texture.  It is also beneficial for healing burns, abrasions and skin ulcers, as well as aiding in the prevention of scar tissue.

Foods rich in Vitamin E include Mustard Greens, Spinach, Swiss Chard, Topical Fruits, Nuts, Collard Greens, Broccoli, Vegetable Oils, Wheat and Kale, to name a few.

Vitamin K

And last, but certainly not least, is Vitamin K.  In combination with Vitamin A, Vitamin K assists in the decrease of dark circles that form under the eyes; and the visibility of bruises.

Vitamin K can be found in Yogurt, Leafy Green Vegetables, Soybeans, Pumpkin Seeds, Peas, Kidney Beans and Cauliflower.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t address acne directly since it plagues so many people.  In addition to Vitamins A, B, and E, discussed above, Vitamin D, Niacin and Zinc are also known to be beneficial to preventing and/or clearing up acne.  In many cases it’s best to take a multi-vitamin; regardless of how well you eat.  In the event, you want to add foods rich in Vitamin D, Niacin and Zinc:

Foods rich in Vitamin D include Fish, Shrimp, Milk and Eggs.

Foods rich in Niacin include Tuna, Salmon, Chicken Breast, Wheat Bran, Sardines and Peanuts.

Foods rich in Zinc include Sesame Seeds, Oysters, Roasted Pumpkin and Squash Seeds, Yogurt and Peas.

But it isn’t all about what you eat and drink.  You can also reap additional benefits for your skin through scrubs, exfoliates and other directly applied methods.

Body Scrubs/Exfoliates

The value of scrubs and exfoliates is the removal of dead skin cells, which allows smoother skin to the surface.  They also help nourish the body’s cells by increasing circulation. 

You can find recipes for some great homemade facial products at http://naturalfacialrecipes.homestead.com/facescrubrecipes.html

You can also create your own.  Keep in mind that an egg facial will help firm the skin; honey acts as an anti-inflammatory and helps with skin afflictions caused by infection or inflammation; Milk adds enzymes and leaves skin feeling smooth and soft; and, lemon juice helps reduce large pores and removes excess oil.           

Skin Moisturizers

Although we all know about designer fashion companies that create facial and skin moisturizers, with promises of smoother, wrinkle-free skin, most of the time its best to either make your own or find homeopathic / natural products to eliminate the risk of additives companies use. 

There is some great information and instructions for various skin moisturizers at http://www.natural-skin-care-info.com/natural_skin_care_moisturizer.html

Acne Treatments

Though in some cases, acne can be cost by medical or dermatological conditions, for most typical cases, some natural remedies may be helpful.  One such treatment is Tea Tree Oil.  It is a natural anti-bacterial, from Australia, that is believed to kill the bacteria that cause acne. 

For specific homeopathic acne treatment, you can go to http://abchomeopathy.com/c.php/169

and select the areas and skin type to be directed to a homeopathic remedy for your particular needs, as well.

All in all, skin care is really basic.  First, we take care of the inside and do a little work on the outside.  Unless you have extreme medical conditions, that should be enough to give you glowing, healthy skin.  And don’t be afraid to take a multi-vitamin every day to make up for some losses in nutrition here and there. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hair We Grow Again


Who among us doesn’t want beautiful hair?  Well, beautiful hair translates to healthy hair.  If our hair is healthy, whether it’s curly, straight, short, long or in between it all, it will look good and feel good.   These days, we not only have to deal with the normal challenges of healthy hair, there are pollutants in the air; chemicals in shampoos and preservatives in our food that add to the struggle.

First, let’s examine the reasons for unhealthy hair:

·         Poor nutrition

·         Zinc Deficiency

·         Fungus

·         Yeast Infections

·         High use of alkaline shampoo

·         Stress

·         Iron Deficiency

·         Thyroid Disease*

NUTRITION

Although it is important for health to drink lots of water and eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals, there are certain supplements that are essential for healthy, beautiful hair.  Some of these include Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamins A, B, C, D, E, zinc, iron, selenium, protein, and alpha-linoleic acid.

OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to the hair follicles, as they help make them stronger, shinier and grow faster.  A deficiency of Omega-3 fatty acids can result in a dry scalp. 

Some foods that are rich in Omega-3 are catfish, spinach, cod, clams, salmon, sardines, halibut, albacore, herring, trout, walnuts, canola oil, light chunk tuna and flaxseed oil.  It is possible to take supplements but it’s best to get it through food and only use supplements as additional help.

VITAMIN A

Vitamin A is integral for the growth and maintenance of hair and  promotes a healthy scalp.  A healthy scalp is essential for shiny, well-conditioned hair. It also regulates the production of retinoic acid in the hair follicle.  Along with Vitamin C, it helps producer sebum, which is secreted by hair follicles, and works as a natural hair conditioner.  It can be taken internally or applied directly to the hair shaft and massaged into the scalp.

Some great sources of Vitamin A include liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, broccoli, cantaloupe, milk, dried apricots, mozzarella cheese and mangoes.

VITAMIN B

Stress has been known to cause hair loss.  Vitamin B not only helps the body handle stress but one of the B Vitamins, Inositol, has been shown to speed hair growth.  B12 also helps prevent hair loss because it is an element of the hair itself.  B vitamins are best if they are taken together as B-Complex.

B vitamins are found in foods like meat, eggs, beans, liver, whole grain, potatoes, spinach, oranges and lamb.

VITAMIN C

Iron is also needed to grow hair and vitamin C helps the body absorb iron.  Vitamin C is necessary for collagen production, which is necessary for connective tissue maintenance and repair.  Collagen-rich connective tissue is present in hair follicles.  Since the body does not make its own vitamin C, the only way to get it is through foods and supplements. 

Vitamin C-rich foods include lemons, limes, rose hips, bells peppers, kiwi, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and guavas.  The recommended daily dose of vitamin C is 1000 to 2000 mg a daily.

VITAMIN D

Vitamin D stimulates the hair follicle and the cells that for the hair shaft, which reduces hair loss.  As a result, deficiencies of vitamin D can cause flaky scalp and psoriasis.  And, as we already know, a healthy scalp is essential for healthy hair.  So vitamin D is extra important because it affects the hair shaft and scalp.

Some foods that are rich in Vitamin D include fish oil, cod liver, herring, catfish, oysters, salmon, soy milk, milk, orange juice and cereal.

VITAMIN E

Vitamin E is one of the most important vitamins that your hair relies on for health and appearance.  It ensures that the blood in your scalp circulates normally and is a fat-soluble vitamin that increases the shine of your hair as it grows.  Deficiencies can cause the hair to be brittle and dull.

One way to increase your intake is by taking a vitamin-E supplement or to try adding raw nuts and seeds, beans, wheat-germ oil and green leafy vegetables to your daily diet. 

ZINC

Zinc has antioxidant properties that are essential to the immune system.  It helps prevent some types of hair loss by strengthening hair follicles. 

Foods that contain zinc include oysters, red meat, poultry, shellfish, pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, garlic, sesame seeds, wheat germ and chickpeas.

IRON

Low levels of iron can lead to anemia.  Since anemia may have underlying conditions, such as overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), which are known to cause hair loss, it’s important to have iron to fight the anemic effect of the thyroid issue.

Foods that are high in iron include red meat, egg yolks, dark, leafy greens, dried fruit, iron-enriched cereals and grains, oysters, clams, scallops, turkey or chicken giblets, beans, lentils, chick peas, soybeans, liver and artichokes.

SELENIUM

Selenium is an antioxidant that helps rid the body of the harmful effects of exposure to the sun and the environment.  It is also important for supporting your body’s ability to maintain proper functions, like hair growth, and enhances your immune system.

Selenium can be found in foods like Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, tuna, halibut, sardines,oysters meat, butter, garlic, poultry, eggs, mushrooms, whole grains and onions.

ALPHA-LINOLEIC ACID

Just as Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid so is alpha-linoleic acid.  They form a barrier on our hair against loss of moisture and serve as a conditioner.  Fatty acids have been shown to improve the growth of hair as well.

Foods that contain alpha-linoleic acid include flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, soybeans, soybean oil, pumpkin seeds, pumpkin seed oil, perilla seed oil, tofu, walnuts and walnut oil.

Of course, in addition to the importance of eating a well-balanced diet that include these and other supplements necessary for health, most are available in vitamin-type form to be taken orally.  There are also natural products that can be put on the hair to maintain its look and health.


HAIR PRODUCTS

Just as you need natural vitamins and supplements inside for healthy picturesque hair, the best needs to be used on the outside as well.  Most manufactured shampoos have ingredients that are actually bad for your hair.  Some of these include Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate, Ammonium Laureth Sulfate, Ammonium Xylene Sulfonate, TEA Lauryl Sulfate, Sulfur (in dandruff shampoos) and Selenium Sulfide (in dandruff shampoos).  You can either take a list (which does contain more ingredients than this) and read all the labels at the store, or you can find homeopathic/natural shampoos and save yourself the time and aggravation.

What should you use on your hair?

COCONUT OIL

Sun exposure, pollutants, blow drying and hair coloring tends to strip the hair of its natural oils.  Coconut oil delivers a simple and natural remedy for scalp and hair health.  The high saturated fat content of coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides which, according to Organic Facts, integrates well with the structure of     hair.  Virgin coconut oil, rather than refined, is best because it maintains its antioxidant benefits, as well as, vitamins E and K.

Coconut oil adds shine and vivacity to hair, in addition to keeping your scalp healthy; and hair free from lice and their eggs. 

BIOTIN

Biotin, also known as Vitamin H, part of the B complex group, aids in the process of food into energy to elevate healthy hair.  Biotin prevents hair loss and dry and scaling scalp, caused by seborrheic dermatitis, which results from Biotin deficiencies.  Biotin maintains strength and texture of hair by fighting splitting and brittle hair. 

TEA TREE OIL

Tea Tree Oil, native to Australia, has many uses for overall health and well-being, including hair.  Its antiseptic properties assist in the removal of build-up on the hair shaft, caused by minerals from water and product usage.  It also removes dandruff and excessive dead cells on the scalp; and helps clear clogged hair follicles, which normalizes pH balance in the hair, allowing inhibited hair to grow again.

LAVENDAR OIL

Lavender oil is also known for its anti-fungal and antiseptic properties, like Tea Tree Oil.  Not only does it kill bacteria and fungus that can cause dandruff and hair loss, it deep conditions and restores shine to hair.

HOMEOPATHIC ARNICA

Homeopathic arnica, used for stressful conditions that cause profuse itching and flaking of the scalp, can be found as a topical cream or in shampoos and conditioners.  Topical creams are fast-acting as they are applied directly to the scalp. (Warning-Arnica, believed to be poisonous when swallowed, can lead to cardiac arrest and death.  Pregnant women should not use arnica as it may cause uterine stimulation.)

After it’s all said and done, beautiful hair has to be healthy from the inside out.  All the chemicals, shampoos, treatments and concoctions won’t do a bit of good if your body doesn’t have the essentials inside that create and promote healthy, beautiful hair.  And, using so-called beauty products can do more damage than good so it’s best to use natural products to care for your hair.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nighttime Health

It may not seem like a big deal when we don't get enough sleep or get too much sleep.  Sure we are tired and maybe even irritable but that's life.  Right?  WRONG!  Poor sleep leads to many problems that could have adverse affects on our health.

Lack of sleep can make you more likely to get sick, with a cold or flu; it can cause increased weight gain; cause lack of coordination and slow response.  It's also been linked to higher stress, high blood pressure and heart problems.

Too much sleep isn't any better.  It can disrupt blood sugar levels, which can cause diabetes.  In middle-aged women, too much sleep has been linked to increased risk of stroke. 

Some research also suggests a link between mental health issues and sleep issues.  Bipolar, depression, anxiety are just a few of these possible connections.

So what do you do about it?  First, and I do mean FIRST, see a doctor if you get too little or too much sleep but can't seem to control either.  I can't emphasize how many serious illnesses can cause sleep deprivation or oversleeping.

In my opinion, if there's nothing physical then it's time to re-evaluate your sleep pattern.  So many people don't realize that drinking caffeine in the late afternoon and early evening can make it difficult to fall asleep even if you insist it doesn't make you hyper. 

Another issue is stress.  We run and do and plan and worry and make it impossible for our brain and body to relax before sleeping.  We go, go, go then think jumping into bed just because we are finally tired will work.  We all need to unwind. 

And finally, routine, routine, routine.  Go to bed at the same time.  Make an evening routine of dinnertime, relaxtion, meditation, aromatherapy and so on.  Your body will get in the habit of going to sleep when it's time and getting up (at the same time) when it's time.  We have an internal clock that regulates body functions and once we learn to respect that, our body will thank us with energy and health.

Recommendations for relaxing aromatherapy:
Almond oil massages help improve sleep patterns.
Lavendar, Chamomile, Vanilla and Rose are great relaxants in baths and diffusers.

Special note for those who snore:
Of all the essential oils that are there, marjoram and lavender are the two oils which are widely used for treating snoring.

For more help on how to induce sleep naturally, visit: http://www.ehow.com/how_4765158_induce-sleep-naturally.html

Sexual Health: A Joint Venture

We all know that men have tons of testosterone and usually flaunt that every chance they get.  Women, with higher estrogen, aren't usually nearly as sexual.  But the sexual experience between commited partners is one of life's purest joys.  So what to do when the kids, career, errands, housework...etc leave you feeling less than frisky?

No hormones is not the answer here.  It's about mental and physical stimulation so let's start, as usual, with a multivitamin.  This should lead to the discovery of whether fatigue is an issue or other vitamin deficiencies.  But let's take it one step further...add motivation and passion to your love life naturally.

First, let's talk mental attentiveness.  This comes down to mental acuity.  My recommendation (and personal preference) is Neuro PS.  It add zest to the mind and imagination in several areas of life: work, kids, and sexual exploration. 

Second, anytime fatigue plays a role in our day to day, Vitamin B Complex is a great way to fight that feeling of giving up and laying down until Spring. 

Third, supplements like Ginseng (known to be an aprodisiac) or foods like oysters and dark chocolate can help get the motor going.  But don't forget that the wrong daily diet can lend itself as the cause of fatigue, low sex drive, moodiness and depression.  None of which are conducive to a happy sex life.  Lay off too much alcohol, eat foods high in fiber, drink lots of water and exercise (even if it's only 15 minutes of stretching, walking or, my favorite, dancing).

Finally, setting the mood is overlooked much of the time.  Guys especially need to keep in mind that women are more responsive to sight, touch, sound and smell when it comes to eroticism so turn that music on; touch and hold her (oil massages are a definite turn on here); and use aromatherapy in oils, candles, room fragrance and/or bubble baths. 

Examples:
SUPPLEMENTS
Coleus- Coleus helps in the relaxation of smooth muscles and increases blood flow, both important actions in a healthy sexual response.

Comfrey- Comfrey has been shown to affect the sex hormones which stimulate the ovaries and testes. Such a hormonal effect is also indicated by traditional belief.

Dong Quai-Dong quai's ability to optimize female hormones sets the stage for responsiveness to sexual desire. Sexual pleasure, particularly orgasmic intensity, may be enhanced with the use of dong quai.

AROMATHERAPY
Aromatic Oils like Rose, Jasmine, Sandalwood and Neroli are natural aphrodisiacs.  Other scents that increase sexuality and reduce premature ejaculation are Lavendar, Cinammon, Cherry and Sage.

Remember: A healthy, happy sex life starts in the brain and works its way down.  So don't be in a rush to get the quick fix...do the work and the ultimate sexual connection will be made.

**If you have a specific sexual issue, erectile dysfunction, impotence, dryness, etc, please email me and I will research and post a blog about it.  I will NEVER, NEVER use your name in my blog.  All correspondence with me is confidential.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Teen Acne Help

Ahh, the rumors of what causes acne in teens.  Everything from chocolate and junk food to sexual promiscuity or lack thereof.  The real deal is quite simple and it comes down to nutrition.

As usual, I will preach the importance of a multi-vitamin to start with.  In some cases, this will be enough to help balance things out and diminish acne.  More specifically though, I will tell you what supplements you may want to add if that simply isn't enough.

In some cases, acne is stress-related.  So, after beginning a multi-vitamin regimen, I would suggest relaxation techniques such as Yoga (http://hathayogalesson.com/) or Meditation (http://www.freemeditations.com/).

For application ideas, I would suggest Tea Tree Oil facial cleansing.  You can either purchase Tea Tree Oil and dilute it for application or find a Tea Tree Oil facial cleanser.  It is a proven antifungal, antiseptic and antibacterial treatment.

"Vitamin A. Vitamin A the skin heals faster and improves skin quality. It can be taken anywhere within the treatment period, as well as afterwards to prevent future outbreaks. The recommended dose is about 25,000 units twice a day. It is commonly found in fish oils, so eat about two to three servings of oily fish every week.

Zinc and copper. Commonly found in skin ointments and balms, zinc speeds up the healing of skin tissue and minimizes scarring. It also acts as a barrier against germs and bacteria to prevent inflammation and infection. Zinc supplements are often combined with copper, because pure zinc tends to lower copper levels in the body. Take 50 mg of zinc with 5 mg of copper everyday. Do not exceed 100 mg of zinc per day, as this can be toxic in large amounts.

Omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty acids are also commonly found in fish oils. Omega-3 fatty acids strengthen the cell membranes to help them better absorb nutrients. They also prevent bacterial infection and inflammation. Most nutritional supplements for acne contain omega-3 in small amounts, but cod liver oil is one of the best sources. The usual dose is one tablespoon per day. You can also take concentrated fish capsules containing 1,500 mg of EPA daily.

Acidophilus. This is a type of bacteria that helps promote proper digestion. It naturally occurs in the intestinal tract, but it is easily destroyed by digestive acids and normal intestinal contractions. If you have persistent skin problems, take regular supplements of acidophilus.

Digestive enzymes. Digestive or pancreatic enzymes help break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. This helps minimize skin oiliness. If you have extremely oily skin, take regular nutritional supplements for acne containing amylase, lipase, and protease."*
*Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/484741 

Don't spend 100s of dollars on As Seen On TV products...rely on healing your body from the inside out.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Women's Sexual Health-All things can improve with age

Like a fine wine women improve with age.  This is so true but sometimes, with all the changes and hormonal shifts, women's sex drive can decrease with age.  It doesn't have to be that way.  And don't run out to the doctor to see if they make Viagra for women.  That isn't necessary at all.

Sex drive isn't all about the changes to the body and I have found an incredible combination of supplements that will not only help maintain libido but will increase desire and sexual acuity.  (Now I'm just looking for the combination that makes men more romantic...LOL).

First, we all know that sex starts in the brain, especially for women.  Neuro PS has been proven to support cognitive function, memory and better moods.  So not only is it beneficial for women's sexual health but all mental functions as we get older.  On a personal note, I also found that it seemed to decrease inhibitions and increase creativity in intimacy.

Second, as a woman gets older her libido decreases, which can be very frustrating because we don't lose interest in our mate but our bodies tend to lose interest in sexual activity.  Maca, which is known to increase stamina, energy and sexual function, increases our body's sexual desire.

Combining the two has a an aphrodisiac effect on women of all ages.  Though this is not documented anywhere, I take this information strictly from personal experience. 

Visit Puritan's Pride, for the best deals on Neuro PS and Maca.