Healing Effects of Lavender

Screen Shot 2015-01-13 at 12.50.25 PMLavender has been used for hundreds of years as an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which can be used to heal cuts, inflammation, dandruff, burns and bug bites.  It has become one of the most grown natural remedy for use of its oil.  The oil comes from the distillation of the flower spikes of certain lavender plants and is rich in phytonutrients.  Phytonutrients are beneficial to human health, they help to prevent certain types of diseases. Research has shown that lavender oil has been successful in treating depression, anxiety, insomnia and restlessness.  In fact, some studies have shown an improvement in gastrointestinal illness, headaches, toothaches, sores and sprains with the use of lavender oil.

Got Dandruff or Itchy Scalp?

Lavender oil can help scalp conditions.  Many dermatologists have been prescribing the use of lavender oil prior to suggesting medications for dry scalp.  The remedy:  Wet hair with warm water and towel dry.  Next, grab a mug and mix 15 drops of lavender essential oil in 2 Tablespoons olive or almond oil.  Microwave for about 10 seconds or until it feels warm.  Massage the oil into your scalp.  Using a shower cap, let the solution set on your scalp for an hour, then shampoo out.  It is perfectly safe to use multiple times.

Bloated?

Bloating can be caused by poor digestion from an overload of “bad bacteria” in your gut.  Sometimes when we take antibiotics this can happen as a side effect.  Antibiotics kill both the good and the bad bacteria in your body.  The remedy: Use dried edible lavender in your food.  Putting it into Greek Yogurt is especially helpful since the bacteria in this type of yogurt works super well to rebuild the good bacteria.

Stressed Out?

Ever have a stressful day?  Well Lavender can help with that too.  Research has shown that the smell of lavender can make you feel relaxed.  It has proven to slow down your heart rate as well as lower your blood pressure.  The remedy: If you’re feeling stressed out or just can’t go to bed, try putting some fresh lavender in a vase near your bed, or use a diffuser with some lavender oil in it to feel stress free.

Bug Bite Magnet?

Since lavender is a natural anti-inflammatory, it can help reduce itching, redness and swelling.  It won’t help you avoid the bites, but it will help afterwards.  The Remedy:  Dab a few drops of lavender oil on the affected area and wait about 10 minutes for it to seep in.  This remedy can be reapplied every 6-8 hours for the next 24 hours if need be.

So next time one of these issues arise for you, don’t reach for the medicine cabinet.  Go for the garden and try a natural approach to healing!
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STRESS = EATING?

If stress trigger your need to put some food in your much, why not reach for something healthy that will also help alleviate the stress?  What type of food does that you ask?  Well check out these favorites…

1.  Chocolate – My number 1 favorite.  Eating a 1 oz. piece of dark chocolate can bring on a feeling of calm in less then 2 minutes according to researchers at UCLA.  The feeling can last up to 2 hours!  Chocolate contains a couple compounds that help boost alpha waves in the brain.  Alpha waves are the things that hep calm the brain down.  Who said eating chocolate is a bad thing!

2.  Carrots- Probably my number 2 favorite.  Munching on a handful of these crispy veggies also can help reduce nervousness by 20 percent according to those same researchers.  Actually any number of crunchy veggies can help with this.  The natural aggressive act of crunching between the teeth can actually increase endorphins  which are known to make humans feel good.  The same type of reaction that you can get from sex.  The calm effect can take place within 15 seconds of crunching!

3. Beans – Beans help to PREVENT sugar spikes.  When there are sugar spikes in blood levels a feeling of anxiety can also rear its ugly head.  Beans help equal prevent these spikes when studied among women.  Nearly 50% felts calmer after eating a bean dish (hummus).  The balanced blend of fiber, rote in and polyphenols that prevent tensions triggering blood sugar spikes and crashes can last for up to 4 hours!

Next time you feel stress or tension, its ok to eat.  But reach for something that will help you through it, not something you will feel guilty about indulging in afterwards.

 

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Beware of Common Stress Inducers

When you’re a normal adult with responsibilities, stress is unavoidable, and added stress is definitely most unwelcome. Here are some common stress inducers that you have to beware of:

Dirty Room/Work Station. So you say you’re used to your messy room/work station and know how to navigate through it. Besides, you really got no time to fix things because of your hectic schedule. What you don’t know is that no matter how used you are to having a cluttered desk, it may actually be contributing to all the stress you have . It helps to take a bit of time, even just 10 minutes or so, in organizing your corner so that you can focus more.

Traffic Jams/Road Mishaps. When you live or work in a city, traffic jams and road accidents can happen anytime, even on a daily basis. It’s pretty much unavoidable so when it does, just close your eyes for a few seconds and breathe deeply. Getting all stressed out about it will definitely take you nowhere and may even affect the way you take on your tasks for the whole day. It pays to learn to let go of things you have no hold on. Use the time to think of all you need to accomplish for the day and work out a schedule mentally.

Know more common stress inducers?

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The Wonders of Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a therapeutic practice that originated in China as a martial art. It uses gentle flowing movements to reduce stress and promote body health. When I was in college, I took up Tai Chi as one of the my minor Physical Education classes. However, I was disappointed that the class ran only for a few weeks because I really wanted to master the art for all the benefits it can give.

For one, Tai Chi helps relieve stress through its use of diaphragmatic breathing and focused meditation. Tai Chi is also believed to aid decrease in diastolic blood pressure and to promote more efficient breathing. Furthermore, Tai Chi improves balance. I know this for a fact because this art uses a lot of positions which you can only master through the proper balance of feet. In addition, Tai Chi improves posture, muscle strength, and flexibility.

For more information on the health benefits of Tai Chi, you can go here.

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Belly Dancing

One of the things I’ve always wanted to try out was Belly Dancing, but somehow I never had the time. This art of dance has always intrigued me because it looked almost exotic and very graceful and feminine. In addition, I heard that it could also benefit the body and health in more ways than one. Here are just some of the supposed benefits of Belly Dancing that I’ve gathered:

1. It can improve posture and build the back muscles evenly. This is something I (and perhaps many people) especially need because I tend to hunch at times.

2. It tones the overall body. When we are in static positions most of the day, especially when we have a lot of work, we don’t use our muscles as much as they need to be used. Hence, they can become flabby or weak. Belly dancing is a lovely form of exercise that can tone our muscles in our enjoyable way.

3. It can reduce stress! To many people, belly dancing is a great stress reliever and one exercise that allows them to let go and be free of the negative thoughts for the whole session.

4. It can aid weight loss. More than anything, belly dancing is an exercise that burns the extra calories we have eaten within the day. No wonder more and more gyms are offering belly dancing classes.

What do you know about belly dancing? 🙂

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10 Reasons Why Badminton is Teh Bomb

Hearing a badminton racket’s “Whack!” when it successfully hits the shuttlecock often sounds like pure music to the ears of the eager player. Nevertheless, badminton is a sport that’s not only enjoyable but also very beneficial, health wise, because of all the running and jumping and general exercise involved. The following is a list stating just why playing badminton regularly would benefit you a whole lot.

1. It’s a proven fact that playing badminton regularly for at least 30 minutes a day after an adequate warm-up lowers the risk of early death by 23 percent. It can also add life longevity to middle aged people by at least 2 years.

2. Badminton is an exercise that can reduce all the unwanted stuff we have in our bodies such as bad cholesterols or triglycerides, low-density lipoproteins, and very low-density lipoproteins.

3. Playing badminton increases the level of high-density cholesterol which is also known as the good cholesterol that reduces the risk of heart disease and heart attacks.

4. Regular playing can decrease blood pressure by as much as 11/8 mm Hg, making the sport ideal for hypertensive individuals.

5. Badminton as a hobby and sport is suitable for people who are undergoing weight loss procedures. It’s the perfect activity that can be paired up with a healthy diet to make it easier to attain the optimal weight for one’s height and age.

6. Playing badminton helps prevent osteoporosis due to the frequent bone activities occurring as you play the game. It also allows the bone forming cells to produce more calcium which helps strengthen the bones.

7. Playing badminton regularly can help prevent diabetes, certain types of cancers, and other fatal diseases because of the exercise you will get while playing the game.

8. It keeps you feeling strong, well, motivated, enthusiastic, confident and young. Badminton also helps ward off depression, stress, and anxiety and can help build a great personality and sense of sportsmanship. It’s a very social sport.

9. Badminton is one of the most affordable sports to play, so you need not damage your wallet if you want to play!

10. And last but not the least, badminton offers an activity of pure, clean enjoyment and fun!

A Tip: Don’t forget to wear great-fitting and comfortable shoes to prevent knee, joint and feet injury. Get a rubber shoes with extra padding for that added support to the heels. Gear up on safety gear first so you can really kick ass on the court and have fun!

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Heat and Health

Last week I went to a gym to meet my friend who’s a member there. When I arrived, my friend told me that for that day, members’ guests could have free use of the sauna and some other facilities and so she asked if I wanted to avail.

Since I didn’t feel like sweating because I had no extra clothes with me, I declined. But had I known earlier, I probably would have tried the sauna and see what is there to it. I’ve never been to a sauna and have always wondered why a lot of people love going to one to envelope their selves in the heat treatment. I researched for actual health benefits and the following are just some of what they say to be the perks of going to a sauna.

Toxin Remover

 

The excessive sweating brought about by the sauna opens skin pores and allows the excretion of body toxins, body wastes and other impurities from the blood. Because of the intensely high temperature, we release and detoxify our skins in a more intense way than normal, everyday sweating.

Skin Invigorator

The high temperature of the sauna increases out heart rates and consequently, our blood flow. Increase in blood flow means more oxygen and nutrients reach our skin, allowing it to be rejuvenated and be healed faster from certain skin conditions like wounds and acne.

Stress Reliever

Many people go to saunas to relieve of some stress, as this is one of the main benefits of saunas that people do claim. Some critics say that this is the one and only real benefit of going to the sauna. Regardless, sauna promotes stress relief by releasing stress-inducing chemicals and toxins from the body through sweating.

Weight Reducer

When we exercise, our heart rates rise and our metabolisms increase, which can lead to weight loss upon regular doing. Because saunas increase our heart rates, many claim that regular trips to the sauna can also help us lose weight in the same way it burns some of the unwanted fat.

Of course, not everyone can go to the sauna. Experts advise pregnant women and people with heart or blood pressure complications to stay away from saunas because the intense heat may complicate their conditions. It would also help to drink several glasses of water before entering a sauna to avoid being dehydrated. Lastly, refrain from staying for more than 20 minutes.

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