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Posts tagged ‘Ayurveda’

The Spice that Could Help Boost Memory in Just One Hour

The Spice that Could Help Boost Memory in Just One Hour

While conducting the research for my upcoming book 60 Seconds to Boost Your Brain Power (Rodale, 2015), I came across an exciting study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The double-blind, placebo-controlled study explored the effects of one of turmeric’s active ingredients known as curcumin on sixty healthy adults aged sixty to eighty-five to determine whether the spice has any short- or long-term memory or cognitive effects.

Conducted at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia, researches assessed the mental effects of curcumin supplementation after one hour, three hours, and four weeks. They conducted multiple tests to determine whether the participants had any mood, cognitive, or blood marker effects that might indicate curcumin’s immediate or long-term effects. In just one hour after taking the supplement the participants showed significant performance improvement on memory and attention tasks compared to the placebo group.

The participants had many impressive results after four weeks of treatment with curcumin as well. The scientists indicated that working memory, energy levels, calmness and contentedness (as measures of mood), and even fatigue induced by psychological stress were significantly improved following the long-term treatment with the supplement. Participants also had lower cholesterol levels after taking the curcumin supplement.

Even Alzheimer’s patients with severe symptoms, including dementia, irritability, agitation, anxiety, and apathy, showed excellent therapeutic results when taking curcumin in a study published in the Japanese medical journal Ayu. When participants took 764 mg of turmeric with a standardized amount of 100 mg/day of curcumin for twelve weeks, they “started recovering from these symptoms without any adverse reaction in the clinical symptom and laboratory data.” After three months of treatment the patients’ symptoms and their reliance on caregivers significantly decreased. After one year of treatment two of the patients recognized their family members when they were unable to do so at the outset of the study. In one of the cases the person had a 17 percent improvement on their Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score.

The study results were achieved using a brand of curcumin called Longvida; however there are many other excellent brands. Ideally choose a standardized extract of curcumin. Follow package directions. Consult your physician prior to taking curcumin. In my upcoming book 60 Seconds to Boost Your Brain Power (Rodale, 2015), I recommend 400 mg of curcumin three times daily for people suffering from brain disorders, working with a physician.

Check out my new books Weekend Wonder Detox, 60 Seconds to Slim, andThe Probiotic Promise.Subscribe to my free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow my blog on my sites HealthySurvivalist.com and DrMichelleCook.com, and Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD. Take the FREE WEEKEND WONDER DETOX QUIZ to determine which detox is best for you.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook


Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 17-time book author and board-certified doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim, Weekend Wonder Detox, Healing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and the upcoming book The Probiotic Promise. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

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Leesa A. Wheeler

Leesa A. Wheeler

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Healing Paint Colors for Your Ayurveda Type

Healing Paint Colors for Your Ayurveda Type

Now this is a truly healthy and healing paint: The paint itself is as pure as  possible and the 108 colors are designed to promote harmony and balance using  East Indian Ayurvedic color therapy. All this from a company that has been on  the leading edge of pure, green, safe products since the 1970s!  Mouse over the  108 colors chosen with this ancient wisdom in mind to see which colors resonate  with you and what they mean.

Visit the AFM  Safecoat site and click one at a time on the Ayurvedic types listed on the  left, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. You will see a list of colors to the right of the  picture of a room. Move your mouse over each color name to turn the room to that  color.

After you have found the colors that speak to you,  try this fun quiz to see which type you think you are from reading words! For me, I never figured out my Ayurvedic type from reading text about them,  or from all the quizzes  I have taken, but it was clear as a bell from looking  at the colors on the AFM Safecoat site.

By Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. Named one of the  top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine, Annie has authored four  books, including “Home Enlightenment” (Rodale Press, 2005) and “Better Basics  for the Home” (Three Rivers Press, 1999).

Healing Color Combinations by Ayurvedic Type

Healing Color Combinations by Ayurvedic Type

Does the color of some rooms make you squeamish? Itchy? Antsy? Does the color  of other rooms make you soft? Calm? Wonderfully wobbly and weak in the knees? It  is no secret that we all respond to color, and each of us responds differently  to different shades. Color has a profound effect on us that can influence our  moods and energy with the simple flick of a hue.

AFM Safecoat paints has a system for Healing Paint Colors for Your Ayurveda Type that shows you  how to find emotional balance through the use of color. The company does  business on a “health first premise”–their paints meet the highest standards of  environmental responsibility, and also contain no toxic ingredients such as  solvents, heavy metals, chemical residuals, formaldehyde and other harmful  preservatives.

The Ayurveda Essence color system takes the health premise a step further by  offering interactive tools to help you manipulate subtle aspects of your  environment to promote optimum wellness. There are 108 colors in three groups of  36. (I like how the number 108 surfaces frequently in sacred numerology; but I  just like numbers.) To keep it simple, they created three micro palettes that  correspond to the three major constitutional types of East Indian medicine:  vata, pitta, and kapha. Once you know which type you are (see next page), you  can select colors accordingly: whether the colors are hot or cold, warm or cool,  calming or stimulating, uplifting or grounding, moist or dry, etc. Eastern  healing has generated many practices that promote harmony, created to relieve  stress by helping us understand how to create balance in the day-to-day.

East Indian traditional healing proposes that there are five elements that  can be simplified into three groups known as constitutional types or dosha. The  elements are ether, air, fire, water, and earth. Ether and air are grouped  together and known as vata. The vata constitution is akin to the ectomorph: of  lean build and a thin frame. Fire stands separately as pitta, and the pitta  constitution is akin to the mesomorph: an individual with a moderate frame and  musculature. Water and earth are grouped together and known as kapha. Kapha  types are akin to the endomorph: substantial in mass. Most of us are hybrids of  the dosha types (such as vata/pitta or pitta/kapha), but a key point is that it  is usually the aggravation of our primary dosha type that creates imbalance and  disharmony.

The Ayurveda Essence palettes are grouped together as such:

Ectomorph/Vata/Air and Space: A palette of muted and subdued  earthy tones

Mesomorph/Pitta/Fire: Complex colors with a cooling and  calming orientation

Endomorph/Kapha/Water and Earth: A palette of vibrant and  stimulating colors with warm overtones

As a whole, Ayurveda Essence incorporates colors that range from deep and  chromatic brights to the muted lights and neutrals. The steps in value between  colors has been designed with an eye toward a harmonious contrast. This design  feature automatically eliminates the kind of clash that can result from colors  which are too close to one another in value, and makes the creation of  monochromatic schemes easier. The key difference among the palettes is how they  handle chromaticism. Each micro palette is constructed to avoid those portions  of the color spectrum that would be the most aggravating to the respective  constitution–they are very balanced.

AFM also has another tool to abet you in your trek towards wellness: a set of  17 healing color combinations. You can visit this page to see the color combinations, and while you are  there you can click on the individual links on the left navigation column to see  colors by Ayurvedic types: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.

If you don’t know what your Ayurvedic type is, find out here: Which Ayurvedic Type Are You?

By Healthy Living Editors

Healthy Living Editors

Healthy Living offers more than 10,000 ways for you to improve your life,  your home, your community, and even the world. From the latest healthy and green  news to simple DIY tips, our informative and inspirational content empowers you  to make a difference.

Wonder Nut: Walnut

Wonder Nut: Walnut

Do you love walnuts? Do you constantly look for ways to include them in your  daily diet? If yes, congratulations—you’re getting more potassium, magnesium,  calcium, and Vitamin E. What’s more, you’re getting much less sodium than those  who prefer salted peanuts. You’re boosting your memory and brain power, and… oh,  the benefits of walnuts are simply too many to count!

Walnuts are a wonder nut indeed. Just seven of them a day can keep you free  of many health problems. Here’s a brief list of their amazing benefits:

1. Whole, unskinned walnuts are rich in phenol, whose  antioxidant properties are known to boost immunity and delay aging. 2. In fact, walnuts contain almost twice as many antioxidant  polyphenols as Brazil nuts, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, macadamias, hazelnuts,  cashews and pecans. 3. The omega-3 essential fatty acids in  walnuts improve your blood lipid profile, protecting you from strokes and  coronary disease. 4. Walnuts have a special kind of Vitamin  E, which further protects the heart. 5. The high-quality  protein in walnuts can substitute for meat. 6. The nutrients  in walnuts have been found to be effective against certain cancers, especially  prostate and breast cancer. 7. Ayurvedic healers recommend  giving one walnut a day to growing children, because the nut is known to nourish  the brain. Modern research has corroborated this, thousands of years after  vaidyas first recommended walnuts as a brain-sharpening nut! 8. Eaten in moderation—7 walnuts a day—they calm the Kapha dosha, which  means you have more energy and fewer colds, among other things. 9. Studies have shown that walnuts are beneficial for those with Type 2  diabetes. 10. Another research study indicates that walnuts  contain melatonin, an antioxidant that regulates sleep.

Walnuts are wonderfully versatile, too. You could munch them raw, which is my  favorite way of enjoying them, or you could sneak them into your cereal and  salads. Do share your tips and ideas for enjoying this lovely butterfly-shaped  nut. I will soon share mine, too.

And now, off I go to get my daily quota of 7 crunchy walnuts! (Why only 7,  you ask? That’s because 7 walnuts make 1 ounce, and that ounce of protection is  all you need to keep the doctor away!)

By Shubhra Krishan

Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential  Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003),  Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004),  and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House  India, 2011).

13 Ayurvedic Anti-Aging Herbs

13 Ayurvedic Anti-Aging Herbs

 

The  modern sciences are engaged in researching the products and formula for   anti aging property. Based on recent scientific findings, one  of the techniques  of anti-aging, for both women and men, is herbal  treatment. The total blueprint  of herbal anti aging treatment  is in   Ayurveda,  the ancient Indian system of medicine are called Vata, Pitta,  and Kapha.  According to this system, the secret to productive anti aging  is to maintain  Vata, Pitta, and Kapha in perfect equilibrium. Rasayana  is an exceptional  ayurvedic anti aging  treatment. This method involves  two faculties namely, kutipravesika and  vatatapika. Kutipravesika  attributes itself to restricting the person being  treated in a tiny  shelter with just one small door. The system also requires  small holes  instead of windows.

In Ayurvedic herbal treatment, anti aging means principally keeping up a   healthy body into herbal treatment and bringing down the operation of  aging,  degeneration and depreciation. The objective of herbal anti-aging  treatment is  to aim for a healthy aging mode, and to maintain both mind  and body working at  optimum level, so the treasures of old age can be  relished with peace of mind  and vitality.

Amla(Emblica Officinalis): Amla is the best Rasayana as   mentioned in the  Charaka samhita. Amla is the magical herbs with the  rich  in Vitamin C. It is believed to have good rejuvenating power. The  fruits of  Amla  is used to make the Chyawanprash (Herbal tonic) and best  Rasayana.  So daily intake of Amla and its products is good anti aging  property.

Ginger Family: The rhizomes of the ginger family  contain an  array of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients.  Ginger contains  essential oils and spicy substances such as gingerol,  shogaol, zingerone and  capsaicin, all of which increase peripheral blood  flow. It reduce cellular  inflammation for anti-aging skin care  benefits.

Turmeric (Curcuma longa) rhizomes contain curcumin and  its  derivatives (curcuminoids) that are bright yellow in color. Their  hydrogenated  derivatives, tetrahydrocurcuminoids, are nearly colorless  materials. All of  them possess antioxidant and anti-inflammatory  activity.

Galanga (Alpinia officinarum), also known as Galangal  or  Chinese ginger, contains essential oils, gingerols and a group of  pungent  substances, diarylheptanoids. Diarylheptanoids (and analogous  phenyl alkyl  ketones) possess excellent anti-arthritic properties due to  their arrest of  prostaglandin biosynthesis via inhibition of  5-lipoxygenase. Purified extracts  of galanga, which are composed  primarily of lower alkyl cinnamate esters, have  UV absorbing,  antioxidant and tyrosinase inhibiting properties.

Frankincense, Boswellia: Guggal (Boswellia serrata) has   been used for centuries as an arthritis treatment. This biochemical  mechanism  provides a way to formulate skin anti-aging products via the  incorporation of  extracts or isolated pure compounds.

Clove Family: Clove oil and clove buds have  applications as  toothache and muscular pain remedies. A number of plants  in this family,  notably Syzygium aromaticum, Syzygium corynocarpum and  Syzygium mallacense  contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory  constituents.

Vitis: The grape family is well known for its potent   antioxidant constituents, especially procyanidins, found mostly in  seeds, and  resveratrol, concentrated in skins of red and black grapes.  suggests their  application for skin anti-aging benefits.

Trace Metals: About 30 elements are recognized as  essential  to life. Some are required in macroscopic amounts in  essentially all forms of  life: H, Na, K, Mg, Ca, C, N, O, P, S and Cl.  The others occur in trace or  ultra-trace quantities. Fe, Cu and Zn are  at the top end of this “trace” scale.  The modulation of these  metalloenzymes by appropriate trace metal topical  therapies can lead to  new skin anti-aging ingredients and their formulation  methodologies.

Rosemary: It contains some of the most promising active   agents, including rosmarinic acid, and diterpenes ursolic acid,  carnosic acid,  carnosol, oleanolic acid, hinokiol and seco-hinokiol,  rofficerone, and  amyrenones, which, due to their reported strong  antioxidant, anti-inflammatory  and tyrosinase inhibiting properties.

Licorice: Glycyrrhiza glabra contains some very  exciting  active agents  Glycyrrhizin, glycyrrhetinic acid, glabrol,  glabridins and  various liquiritins are most interesting for skin care  applications due to  their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and skin color  (melanin) reduction  benefits. Neem: Azadirachta indica has been recognized  for its  antibacterial, insecticidal, antimalarial, hypoglycemic, and   would-healing benefits. Recent work has shown neem extracts to possess  strong  antioxidant and free radical scavenging properties.

Andrographis: Neoandrographolide, one of the principal   diterpene lactones, isolated from a medicinal herb Andrographis  paniculata  actively inhibits suggests potential for skin anti-aging  applications for both  andrographolide and neoandrographolide.

Pomegranate: Punica granatum provides a wealth of  wonderful antioxidant and free radical  neutralizing ingredients, for  example, ellagic acid, gallagic acid, punicalins,  and punicalagins. All  are suitable for anti-aging applications, although some  are not  commercially available.

by Dr.  Ram Mani Bhandari, Contributor to Ayurveda  on Allthingshealing.com

All Things Healing (allthingshealing.com) is an online  portal and community dedicated to informing and educating people across the  globe about alternative healing of mind, body, spirit and the planet at large.  We are committed to bringing together a worldwide community of individuals and  organizations who are working to heal themselves, each other, and the world. We  offer 39 healing categories, 80 plus editors who are experts in their fields, a  forum for each category, and an extensive “Find Practitioners” listing. Our  Costa Rica Learning Center and Spiritual Retreat is coming soon. Join  us!

11 Beauty Uses for Coconut

11 Beauty Uses for Coconut

Did you know that if you use the typical department or drug store brands of  cosmetics daily, you could be absorbing nearly 5 pounds of chemicals into your body annually?

Many of these widely distributed products that are highly advertised and  hyped, including some of the ones your dermatologist sells, have been linked to  deadly inflammatory conditions and even cancers.

You might want to check your personal care product labels and see if they include any of  the following: Mineral oil, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), petrolatum,  propylene glycol, gycerin, collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid, alpha hydroxy  acids (AHA’s), bentonite, fragrances, kaolin, lanolin, lauramide DEA, sodium  chloride, or benzophenone. These are the culprits we don’t want to put  on our skin, which is the largest organ in our bodies.

Some of these ingredients are even advertising buzz words that we have become  accustomed to believe that they are actually good to have in our products, but  nothing could be further from the truth.

To the get the “skinny” on each of these ingredients and why you don’t want  to put them on your skin, please peruse, “The Truth About Cosmetics,” as we are going to learn how to  avoid all of them by making some or all of our own personal care and beauty  products both safely and cost effectively. I will share a few here but there is  a wealth to be mined online and you can experiment yourself with these recipes  and find many good ones.

Making our products ourselves is the very best way to be sure that we’re not  ingesting or applying these and many more dangerous chemicals topically. In the  spirit of DIY why not simply take matters in our own hands and make our own  meals at home as much as possible and make our own beauty and personal care  products, too? I think you will find that this can be both fun and easy to do  when using your own organic and natural ingredients. You might even find that  you may already have beauty-fuel ingredients right in your own kitchen that can  be the base of many homemade personal care products.

I suggest to my clients that the most important natural food and ingredient  to have on hand to use as a base for our homemade personal care products is  organic, expeller pressed, unrefined, virgin, coconut oil.

The Coconut and Its Beauty-Fuel Oil

The scientific name for the coconut is cocos nucifera. Spanish  explorers called it “coco,” which was said to mean “monkey face” because the  three holes on its surface, especially the pair of eyes on the hairy nut’s  surface resembles the face and the head of a monkey. Nucifera means “nut-bearing.”

Coconuts have been found to be extremely nutritious. They provide coconut  meat (which we usually purchase as flakes), juice, milk, and oil which has fed,  nourished and soothed populations, externally and internally around the world  for hundreds of years. Many island nations use the coconut as a staple food in  their diet because it provides the majority of the food the people eat. The idea  I present here is to use it both internally and externally!

Why Should We Use Coconut Oil Internally?

Coconut is highly nutritious and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is  classified as a “functional food” because it provides many health benefits  beyond its nutritional content. Coconut oil is of special interest here because  it possesses healing properties far beyond that of any other dietary oil and is  extensively used in traditional medicine among Asian and Pacific populations.  Pacific Islanders consider coconut oil to be the cure for all that ails them. I  couple it for my clients with an organic cold extracted greenlip mussel oil  supplement in capsule form, in order to augment the benefits of the coconut oil  by incorporating the unique array of anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids which  this marine source is rich in. See MoxxArt.com  for more information about greenlip mussel oil and its synergistic potential for  people and animals when combined with coconut oil.

The beautiful, bountiful, coconut palm is highly valued by  most island people as it is known to be both a source of food and medicine. It  has been known as “The Tree of Life.” Modern medical science has recently  unlocked the secrets to coconut’s amazing healing powers, according to the Coconut Research  Center.

Coconut Oil is Brilliant Topically

Coconut oil topically acts as a wonderful moisturizer for all types of skin,  including dry and aging skin. Coconut oil is a safe solution for preventing  dryness and flaking of skin and it makes a perfect massage oil, as well.  It is  known to delay the onset of wrinkles, and sagging of skin which normally become  prominent with age. Coconut oil also helps in treating various skin problems  including psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema and other skin infections. Coconut oil  should and does form the foundation ingredient of various personal care products  such as soaps, lotions, and creams. Coconut oil also helps in preventing  premature aging and degenerative diseases due to its antioxidant properties.

The nutritional benefits of coconut oil are said to include hair care, skin  care, stress relief, maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, weight loss,  increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney  problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental  care, and bone strength. These benefits can be attributed to the presence of  lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as  antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.

How to Use Coconut Oil in Our Daily Routine

To use coconut oil in your daily routine, it’s as simple as applying pure  coconut oil all over your body and then stepping into a steaming shower or tub.  And then how about using a homemade coconut oil scrub to exfoliate your  skin?

Scrubs offer a fantastic opportunity to remove dead skin and  make you feel invigorated in the process.

Here is my recipe for a homemade Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub, that is easy to  make and store:

Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub

1 cup organic coconut sugar 1/3 cup fine ground Himalayan Chrystal or pink  salt 1/2 cup cold or expeller pressed, virgin, organic, coconut oil 2-3  tablespoons almond oil 1 tablespoon vitamin E oil 1 or 2 drops of lavender essential oil (or you can use rose essential oil)

Since you might have a nice jar with lid on hand which you may have saved  from the recycling bin you can start with your own recycled jar, or buy a “Ball  Jar,”  add the Himalayan Chrystal or pink salt, coconut oil and then add the  rest of the ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon. (I like to keep a small  wooden spoon in my shower or next to the tub to stir the scrub and spoon it into  my hand for easier application.)

For an all-natural moisturizer after bath or shower, pure coconut oil  is my favorite. It’s a beauty-fuel moisturizer and a potent source of  the beneficial fat lauric acid. I put a tablespoon in my herbal tea and sip this  before, during or after my bath or shower. Your thyroid gland loves coconut oil  as it helps to nourish it. One of the symptoms of hypothryroidism is dry skin so  we get double the benefits when we use coconut oil internally and externally as  often as possible.

How Else Can We Use Coconut Oil?

If you are using coconut oil for topical purposes, especially skin, scalp and  hair care, just melt the oil (if it is in its solid state) by keeping the bottle  in the sun or warming it in warm water. Coconut oil melts in hot weather and  congeals in cold weather and this is normal for coconut oil. You can also take  some coconut oil out and put it in a small bowl and heat the bowl over a flame  (do not use microwave). Then take the oil on your palm and apply it to your  skin, or scalp and hair.

Body Lotion: After a bath or shower, just massage coconut  oil all over your body— it feels and smells amazing. You can remove any excess  oil with a Turkish towel and rub yourself down briskly.

Facial Moisturizer: Whether your skin is dry or oily or even  if you struggle with acne, coconut oil turns out to be antimicrobial,  antifungal, and antibacterial, which explains why it heals skin conditions so  well.

Eye Makeup Remover: Just melt a little coconut oil in the  palm of your hand and apply it to a cotton ball and remove your eye makeup  gently, as you would with a store bought product. Don’t get any oil into your  eyes, please.

Hair Conditioner and De-Tangler: Coconut oil is great for  all hair types, thin, thick, straight or curly—coconut oil helps amazingly and  after blow drying or flat ironing apply a little to your hands and use to  achieve a sheen.

Deep Conditioner for Hair: Perhaps once a month or after  coloring, perming, straightening or other treatment, slather coconut oil on your  scalp and let it soak in for a little while and then shampoo out.

Toothpaste: Baking soda + coconut oil makes a fine  toothpaste.

Coconut Oil Shampoo: It’s not difficult to make your own  shampoo, as follows:

Homemade Coconut Oil Shampoo

Simply mix 1/4 cup coconut milk (I use the Thai canned coconut milk but there  are other options to experiment with or make your own) with 1/3 cup liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronner’s) and combine with 1  tablespoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon almond oil and 
10 to 20 drops of essential  oil of lavender or rose (stop after 10 drops and see how you like the fragrance  and then add more slowly checking after each addition to customize your  shampoo). Combine all ingredients in a blender or whisk thoroughly and pour into  a recycled shampoo bottle or jar and shake well.  Again you can recycle whatever  you have on hand for this purpose. It’s great to repurpose whenever we can.  Shampoo as you would with any shampoo and rinse well. A rinse of 50 percent  water and 50 percent white vinegar is a nice finish.

Or try a coconut oil hair mask.

Coconut Oil Hair Mask

Simply mix 1 tablespoon organic honey with 
3 tablespoons coconut oil   (optional ingredient) and one raw beaten egg yolk and whisk thoroughly or use  your blender. 
While still in the shower and your hair is still wet but not  dripping, pour the hair mask a little bit at a time onto the ends of your hair,  working your way up to the scalp. As soon as you’ve used all the mask and your  hair is thoroughly coated, wrap it in a damp warm towel or a shower cap and  leave in for 30 minutes. Rinse and shampoo your hair as usual. For a deeper  conditioning treatment try this:

Deep Coconut Oil Conditioner Recipe

One very ripe mashed fresh avocado 2 tablespoons coconut oil 2  tablespoons purified water 2 tablespoons organic (preferably raw) heavy  cream

Combine all ingredients and using a wide tooth comb, comb it through your  hair and cover with a shower cap or a wrap your head in a warm towel for  about 30 minutes. Allow the Deep Coconut Oil Conditioner to penetrate deep into  your hair and scalp, then rinse the conditioner out with tepid water.   Shampoo with our homemade coconut oil shampoo and rinse.

All of these homemade personal care products will last a bit longer and stay  fresher (up to a week) if you keep them in the fridge!

You can see by these examples that there are many personal care products that  we can make ourselves by utilizing the beauty-fuel coconut and other natural  ingredients. When we cook with and use coconut oil in many of our recipes, we  make full use of the beauty-fuel benefits of the bounty that the coconut and  nature itself offers us. This way we can achieve beauty that is more than skin  deep!

By Celeste Yarnall,  Ph.D

Celeste Yarnall, Ph.D is an author, lecturer and holistic practitioner.  Through her company Celestial Pets,  she consults with animal companions and specializes in the species specific, raw  carnivore diet and EFT Tapping solutions. She is a medical intuitive, Reiki  Master and author of 4 books. She and her husband, Nazim Nazim, a contemporary  artist, live in Westlake Village, CA with their 4 cats! You can connect with Celeste  on Facebook here.

7 Ayurvedic Tips for Fighting the Common Cold

7 Ayurvedic Tips for Fighting the Common Cold

 

I am sure we all have our own little tricks for dealing with the common cold.  Some of us straightaway pop decongestant and sinus-relief tablets, others try to  blow it all out loud and clear.

Ayurveda, I have realised, offers some truly helpful advice for increasing  your immunity, so that the nuisance simply doesn’t happen—or at least bugs you  much less frequently. I’ve tried all these tips, with success. Sharing them with  you:

1. Keep your digestive machinery running smooth. If there is  constipation, a cold is usually not far behind. The reason: all that undigested  material is rotting inside your system, creating a ‘seedbed,’ so to say, for  agents of disease to thrive on.

2. Include ‘warming’ spices in your diet: specifically black  pepper and cumin. Freshly crushed black pepper, mixed with a spoonful of honey,  is a cold-fighter that generations have used.

3. Stewed fruits, such as apple, pears and peaches, cooked  with cloves and cinnamon, warm you up nicely and keep the a-tissues away!

4. Turmeric is my absolutely favourite spice for boosting  immunity. It has innumerable healing benefits, among which is its capacity to  destroy germs and ease inflammation. So, cook your greens, stews and stir-fries  with a touch of turmeric. You get both golden colour and healthy  respiration.

5. Avoid certain ‘mucus-forming foods’ such as yogurt and  cheese at night. They increase Kapha, which is associated with ‘congestive’ disorders.

6. Basil and honey make another powerful combination,  because both are known to boast antiseptic and immunity-boosting properties. How  about a soothing honey-basil tea? It’s delicious, too.

7. Here’s an obvious one, which surprisingly many people do not  follow: stay warm. When you have a cold, you should not sit in  an airconditioned room or wear skimpy clothes. Your body needs warmth and  protection to arm itself against the nasty cold.

Happy healing!

By Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential  Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003),  Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman’s book of comfort (New World Library, 2004),  and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House  India, 2011).

Holy Basil: The Queen of Stress-Reducing Herbs

Holy Basil: The Queen of Stress-Reducing Herbs

 

If you’re dealing with stress and interested in natural healing, you may have heard of the term “adaptogen.” If not, such as the name implies, adaptogens are a class of herb that literally helps you to adapt; to become more resistant to stress, trauma, anxiety and fatigue. These days, who isn’t looking for something to help them weather the storm?

So, where to turn in a sea of natural remedies? I don’t claim to know the right herb for every person, but my favorite adaptogen and ‘the Queen of Herbs’ is Tulsi – also called Tulasi or Holy Basil (I will use all three terms interchangeably throughout this article.) There are three types of Tulsi mentioned in ancient Indian text: Krishna Tulasi (purple leaf Tulsi,) Rama Tulasi (green leaf Tulsi), and Vana Tulasi (wild leaf Tulsi.)

These holy plants have been revered in India for over five millennia; so much so, that at one point, almost every family had a plant growing at home, which they prayed to on a daily basis. Ancient Sanskrit teachings say that respecting and honoring the Tulasi plant will bring peace and happiness into your home life, awaken harmony in nature and create pure love and devotion in your heart.

When you hear about the reported benefits of Tulsi, it’s easy to understand why it is so revered. Tulsi is not just an amazing adaptogen, it has also been said to sharpen the memory, build immunity, support blood sugar levels, relieve fever, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, improve digestion, and fight the common cold, as well as being an effective expectorant. It can also be used to treat sore throats, respiratory disorders, kidney stones, heart disorders, stomach issues, mouth infections, insect bites, skin disorders, teeth issues, headaches, eye issues, and more… Phew! Honestly, the list goes on and on.

So, now you can see why Tulsi is one of my favorite herbs. In fact the name ‘Tulasi’ loosely translates to “the incomparable one”.

Tulsi can be found on the market in many forms including tinctures, capsules, essential oils, flower essences, and as a loose leaf or bagged tea. Personally I experienced great benefits from the use of a potentized encapsulated tincture. These days, I tend to enjoy Tulsi as a tea throughout the day, either from a tea bag, or fresh from the garden. My go-to company for bagged Tulsi* is Organic India, both for their blends and their ethics. (Leesa’s too!)

As stated on their website:  “Organic India actively promotes sustainable agriculture and pays a premium market rate to our farmers.”  In countries such as India, where industrial agriculture has wrought havoc on the natural environment, efforts such as these are invaluable.  *Organic India also has encapsulated Tulsi, which can be an effective way to get a stronger dose, but I have not had a chance to test their capsules.

Three of my favorite Organic India blends are Tulsi Sweet Rose, Tulsi Green Tea, Tulsi Peppermint.

Tulsi Sweet Rose: Don’t be fooled by the smell of this tea bag before you brew it. It has a strong floral note before steeping, but after brewing it becomes mild, sweet and rather yummy. A strong brew of Organic India’s Sweet Rose is particularly wonderful chilled on a hot day.

Tulsi Green Tea: Although it may seem counterintuitive to mix a stimulant like green tea with an adaptogen like Tulsi, Organic India’s Tulsi Green Tea mix is one of my favorite blends for when I need a little morning encouragement. I find caffeine jarring to my system, but this blend seems to make me coherent without the jitters.  (This one is Leesa’s favorite! So good and good for you!) 

Tulsi Peppermint: Particularly good for an upset stomach or if you’re dealing with a cold. One of those teas I always like to have in the cupboard.

Growing instructions:

From my research and personal experience there is some disagreement on the level of difficulty in cultivating Tulsi.  All sources do agree though that these plants like it hot and can be difficult to grow in a temperate climate. However, with a bit of love and energy they have been known to flourish even in unfamiliar climates.

Here is the plan of action I came up with for planting my Tulsi seeds:

1.     In the late Spring/early Summer, create or buy a rich, vegan-organic potting mix.
2.     Fill a tray or small seedling pots with this mix, and lightly press seeds into the soil. (If you have some around, spray EM on the seeds first to give them a boost.) One seed per six inches of soil, or one seed per pot will do. If you can still see the seeds, gently sprinkle a small bit of dirt over the top of them.
3.     Keep the Tulsi seeds moist and warm until they germinate, which can take anywhere from one to six weeks.
4.     Like all basils, Tulsi will branch out when pruned correctly. After the first six sets of leaves appear, pinch off the top set of leaves. This action tells the plant to put its energy into branching out instead of reaching higher.
5.     Water your plant as needed, but do not be afraid to let the soil dry in-between watering. Tulsi likes well draining soil and will not do well if left sitting in water.
6.     If your plant starts to go to flower, you can either pinch off all the flower tips (so that the plant will put its energy back into growing) or you can allow part of the plant to flower and then go to seed – either way it is better not to let the entire plant go to flower.

However you decide to enjoy your Tulsi, I wish you the best of luck with your health, growing and tea brewing!

Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati is a Veganic Grower and Educator for Gentle World — a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about being vegan. Visit www.GentleWorld.org for more information.

Quiz: Which Ayurvedic (Life Energy) Type Are You?

Quiz: Which Ayurvedic (Life Energy) Type Are You?

 Quiz: Which Ayurvedic (Life Energy) Type Are You?

Ayurveda is a complete holistic medical system that has been practiced in India for thousands of years.

In the ancient language of Sanskrit, “ayus” means life, and “veda” means knowledge. Ayurveda is the science of living. As a complete system that treats each person as an individual, ayurveda is perfectly customized for you.

Ayurvedic healing teaches that there are three basic constitutional “types”: Earthy Kapha, fiery Pitta, and airy Vata. Once you know your type (we are blends of all types, but one usually stands out), you can learn to analyze your personality and body type, and find out which foods, exercises, lifestyles—even jobs—are most beneficial for you. Here is an illuminating quiz to help you find your Ayurvedic type.

Consider each statement, and assign the number that is most appropriate beside each one (0=never applies; 2=sometimes applies; 4=often applies).

VATA
My skin is dry. I can’t seem to moisturize enough.
I’m slim and can eat whatever I want without putting on weight.
My digestion feels irregular. Sometimes I’m ravenous; sometimes
I have no appetite.
I learn new things easily, but my long-term memory isn’t great.
I am creative and enthusiastic.
I give out so much energy that sometimes I need to rest up to recover.
My energy levels fluctuate a lot.
I dislike the cold, be it in weather, food, or drinks.
My moods change easily.
Stress makes me feel fearful and insecure.
PITTA
I am of medium build and have a well-balanced shape.
When I get indigestion, it tends to manifest as burning sensations.
I love iced drinks, ice cream and other cold foods.
I have a large appetite and digest food very quickly.
My mind is generally well-focused and alert.
People consider me passionate, confident, and courageous.
I don’t like heat much. It tires me, and I sweat easily.
I tend to be impatient, and sometimes anger easily.
I am determined, critical, and stubborn.
I’m rarely daunted by a challenge.
KAPHA

I have a solid build. As a baby, I was big boned.
My digestion is slow, and I feel heavy after eating.
I gain weight easily and am slow to lose it.
I am patient and even tempered.
I’m able to remain calm and unruffled under stress.
I feel I’m slower than others to grasp new concepts.
Once I really learn something, I never forget it.
Once I get going, I have loads of stamina, but I’m not a high-energy person.
I have a caring, compassionate nature.
I don’t like humidity and dampness, but I’m fine in very hot or very cold conditions.

 Now add up each of your three dosha sub-totals. Your highest score reveals your most active dosha.

 by Annie B. Bond
Adapted from The Ayurvedic Year, by Christina Brown (Storey Books, 2002).

Healing Paint Colors for Your Ayurveda Type

Healing Paint Colors for Your Ayurveda Type

Healing Paint Colors for Your Ayurveda Type

Now this is a truly healthy and healing paint: The paint itself is as pure as possible and the 108 colors are designed to promote harmony and balance using East Indian Ayurvedic color therapy. All this from a company that has been on the leading edge of pure, green, safe products since the 1970s! Mouse over the 108 colors chosen with this ancient wisdom in mind to see which colors resonate with you and what they mean.

Visit the AFM Safecoat site and click one at a time on the Ayurvedic types listed on the left, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. You will see a list of colors to the right of the picture of a room. Move your mouse over each color name to turn the room to that color.

After you have found the colors that speak to you, try this fun quiz to see which type you think you are from reading words! For me, I never figured out my Ayurvedic type from reading text about them, or from all the quizzes I have taken, but it was clear as a bell from looking at the colors on the AFM Safecoat site.

by Annie B. Bond

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