Three Essential Natural Remedies

Aloe Skin Soothing

The ancient Egyptians called Aloe “the plant of immortality.” Today, the Aloe vera plant is used in countless dermatology and cosmetology products.  Whether you are suffering from an outbreak, inflammation, eczema, or sunburn, Aloe Vera contents are miracle elixir. Break off a frond from the base of the stem so you do not harm the plant or waste any of magical gel, and put the frond in the refrigerator for an hour or so.

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Photograph courtesy of Medical News Today

Aloe Vera contains vitamins A (beta-carotene), C and E, which are all antioxidants. It also contains vitamin B12, folic acid, and choline. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals. It also contains 8 enzymes that reduce excessive inflammation when applied to the skin topically, while others help in the breakdown of sugars and fats. Aloe provides calcium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium and zinc, all essential for the proper functioning of various enzyme systems in different metabolic pathways. It additionally contains Aloin and emodin, which act as analgesics, antibacterials and antivirals. It provides 20 of the 22 human required amino acids and 7 of the 8 essential amino acids. It also contains salicylic acid (the number one ingredient in all anti-acne products!)  that possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Lignin, an inert substance, when included in topical preparations, enhances penetrative effect of the other ingredients into the skin. Saponins that are the soapy substances form about 3% of the gel and have cleansing and antiseptic properties.

I’ll share a secret face mask recipe I dreamed up recently that keeps my skin clear and glowing! Open a couple fronds of Aloe and scrape all the gel and juices into your blender. Add a splash of Apple Cider Vinegar, and half a cucumber, and mix on high until you reach a nice froth. If you are able to find calcium bentonite powder, pour some into a bowl, and then pour the contents of your blender inside until you have a clay paste. Apply generously to your face or the effected area, and leave on until it dries. Use a warm, damp washcloth to gently scrub away the mask once you are ready to remove it!

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Photograph courtesy of Health Cautions

Breath Freshening

Oil-pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique for cleansing the mouth of bacteria, which is the number one cause of unpleasant breath. There are so many other problems throughout your body that can arise from improper dental hygiene, so keeping your mouth immaculate is key! Oil-pulling whitens teeth, strengthens the gums, teeth, and jaw, prevents cavities and gingivitis, gets rid of skin problems such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis, detoxes your body, cures hangovers and migraines, helps with sleep issues, clears your sinuses, helps allergy sufferers, freshens your breath, and helps with pain issues!

The most pleasant substance to use for oil-pulling is coconut oil, and it also has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Oil-pulling simply involves swishing the oil around in your mouth for about twenty minutes each day. You can split that in half if you do it before and after bed! Make sure to rise really well afterwards, because a lot of bacteria will be brought out from deep within your gums, and you don’t want to swallow it or let it remain inside your mouth.

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Photograph courtesy of Organic Facts

Curbing Sugar Cravings

If you are actually reading the labels of most products that you buy in the store, most companies sneak an excessive amount of sugar into the ingredients! It’s a wonder why sugar addiction and serious conditions like diabetes have become an epidemic across the world. There are many internal ailments that result in sugar cravings, including food allergies, adrenal fatigue, monthly hormonal changes in women, parasites, Candida, and bacterial overgrowth.

We are prone to crave what we are allergic to, it is our body’s mechanism to avoid withdrawal symptoms. When we experience adrenal fatigue, it means our system is overworked, so your body craves the instantaneous surge that sugars temporarily supply. Unfortunately, sugar put an excess of stress on the body, so consuming it will only worsen the condition. Pre-menstrual syndrome, pregnancy, or a hormonal imbalance often causes the body to crave carbohydrates, expansive foods that slow down and relax the system. If a woman has been eating too many contracting foods, like salt and animal protein, she will begin craving expansive sweets to “open her up” in order to relax and ease the symptoms of the hormonal shifts. Bacteria, parasites, and yeast such as Candida all feed off of sugar. The more that you eat, the more you are inviting these unfriendly pathogens to thrive in your gut.

Eating sugar artificially stimulates a region of your brain called the nucleus accumben, which causes it to produce dopamine, the pleasure neurotransmitter. Not long after, your dopamine levels will drop, and you will begin to feel low energy, or even depressed.  Unfortunately, this is where the cycle of addiction starts, because we will soon want to eat more sugar to “bring us up” again. It is extremely important that we regularly  boost our levels of Serotonin, the happiness hormone. We can do so by sticking to a clean diet (no processed foods, lot’s of hydration), an adequate level of exercise, and a healthy sleep schedule. When you have plenty of serotonin, you are less likely to have cravings for sweets. Eating fermented foods and beverages, sea vegetables, and drinking plenty of water will also help you avoid sugar cravings!

HibiscusTea_Thumbnail.jpgPhotograph courtesy of Dr. Axe

Making an herbal tea with a combination of Hibiscus, Licorice Root, Nettle, and Mint is a secret brew that will give you a delightful treat to sip on, while satiating the incessant sugar cravings. I promise it works!

 

What are your favorite natural remedies? Tell us your secrets! Also check out some of our tips for Making Your Home More Magical! 

 

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