Water

Occupying more than 70% of the Earth’s surface and more than ²/3rd of the human body; in its simplest form, we need it for everything. 

For the past few days, its been the talk in my office of this “Chinese Water Therapy”. I’ve been ignoring the talk, because, to me it was just another fad, which would soon die out.

However, I was doing some research on how to make some natural products (yes look out for my beauty line soon guys) and in doing so, I realized how important water is as an ingredient in our products, yet the presence of it can be so harmful. As a result, the inspiration for this post came to me.

I dug a little deeper in this “Chinese Water Therapy” thing and after all my research this is what it is:

—EXCERPT—

It is popular in Japan today to drink water immediately after waking up every morning. Furthermore, scientific tests have proven its value. We publish below a description of use of water for our readers. For old and serious diseases as well as modern illnesses the water treatment had been found successful by a Japanese medical society as a 100% cure for the following diseases:

Headache, body ache, heart system, arthritis, fast heart beat, epilepsy, excess fatness, bronchitis asthma, TB, meningitis, kidney and urine diseases, vomiting, gastritis, diarrhoea, piles, diabetes, constipation, all eye diseases, womb, cancer and menstrual disorders, ear nose and throat diseases.

Method of Treatment
• As you wake up in the morning before brushing teeth, drink 4 x 160ml glasses of water.
• Brush and clean the mouth but do not eat or drink anything for 45 minutes.
• After 45 minutes you may eat and drink as normal.
• After 15 minutes of breakfast, lunch and dinner do not eat or drink anything for 2 hours.
• Those who are old or sick and are unable to drink 4 glasses of water at the beginning may commence by taking little water and gradually increase it to 4 glasses per day.

The above method of treatment will cure diseases of the sick and others can enjoy a healthy life.

The following list gives the number of days of treatment required to cure main diseases:
1. High Blood Pressure – 30 days
2. Gastric – 10 days
3. Diabetes – 30 days
4. Constipation – 10 days
5. Cancer – 180 days
6. TB – 90 days

Arthritis patients should follow the above treatment for only 3 days in the 1st week, to be followed by daily treatment. This treatment method has no side effects, however at the commencement of treatment you may have to urinate a few times.

—END OF EXCERPT—

So, I can’t say I was impressed or moved any at all by this but it did encourage me to share this post on water with my readers.

Water is endlessly beneficial to us, and it provides more benefits than disadvantages, to my knowledge anyway. I am personally in love with water (if you haven’t guessed by now, I’m in love with health :)). I have seen what water can do for us as human beings, through my friends and yes I can testify myself how it has changed my life.

There was a point in my life when my hair was breaking and getting thin. And my hairdresser asked me one question that made me both embarrassed and enlightened: “How often do you drink water?” I was appalled, because I was an upcoming nutrition professional and she was a hairdresser ( no offense to hairdressers of course but you get my drift) Yes! a lack of water does show, even in the condition of your hair!

With that said, here are a FEW of the purposes water has to our bodies daily:

Healthy Skin :

I have mentioned in one of my previous posts You ARE what you eat that what you take in your body ultimately determines your health status. Likewise, consuming water, you are hydrating your body and in turn you hydrate your skin. We live in a temperate climate and we are at a constant battle with the heat the sun produces. If we don’t keep our bodies constantly hydrated, this can in turn cause our skin to become dry and cracked, resulting in the flakes we sometimes get on our skin and, yes, even the wrinkles are as a result of dry skin. So one of the cheapest beauty products we can invest in is to drink at least 8- 8oz glasses of water in any given 24 hr period.

Body Temperature :

Obviously, right? When you’re hot, you drink water, you get thirsty because your body is dehydrated right? Then our bodies need water to regulate our body temperature. When we feel hot, our bodies produce perspiration to cool our bodies down, and perspiration is water, we are loosing water, so we need to put it back right?

Flush Toxins :

We inhale and exhale toxins everyday. We also accumulate toxins through the foods that we eat. Water flushes our bodies through a system that is set up with out kidneys to remove toxins through urination. (Some is also removed through perspiration)

Lubrication :

Water acts as that fuel for the lubrication in our joints. It helps with that free movement that is needed and it has been shown that sufficient intake of water, before, moderately during, and after exercise can reduce the likelihood of us getting muscle cramps. Water also acts as a medium to pass our food along our digestive system.

Constipation :

Water helps to soften our stool, partly due to its role in lubricating our colon. Fibre intake allows our bodies to make the bulk of our stool, but without adequate fluids, will result in constipation. So if you have problems with constipation, the best medication is, yup you guessed it! Drink at least 8- 8oz glasses of water in any given 24 hr period.

Oxygen Levels :

Water constitutes a great amount of your blood volume (obviously, right?) And as a result, once your body is adequately hydrated, your heart and lungs will work effectively to supply blood and oxygen to your body’s cells, thus making the brain work more effectively and also causing your metabolism to be improved ( in turn burn fat).

My friends will note that if they tell me they have a headache, more times than not I will ask “Have you had any water since morning” and most times the headache is as a result of dehydration. Never wait until you are thirsty to drink water, by then your cells have already started exhaustion of their water content.

I have friends that say that they can’t drink water, because the taste of it upsets them. Or they just don’t like drinking plain water. This one is for you:

lemon water

 

And guys (and girls) I know I haven’t touched all the benefits of drinking water. But above are enough reasons why you should try to drink your 6-8 (8 oz.) glasses each day. So DRINK UP!!!

 

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Beauty is only skin deep

I haven’t written a post for a while, partly because I’ve been pretty busy lately and also because I have been struggling to find a topic to blog about. BUT!!! Here goes:

“Beauty is only skin deep”. There are gazillion quotes about beauty but, I chose this one today because external beauty is exactly that, its reflected in the appearance of your skin. Which is why models and actresses and all the most physically beautiful people you know; invest, yes, invest in the make up they use. 

Only recently I have become caught up in make up and what it can do for your immediate (outer) appearance. You can check out a blog, a good friend of mine hosts and the AMAZING results make-up can do for a chick: http://www.sunipink.wordpress.com

On the other hand, being a health fanatic, I believe that your natural skin should look beautiful, especially when there is no make up on. So last night, I got tired of the fact that my skin wasn’t looking so much like I wanted it to. I normally do mini facials every now and again to keep my skin looking fresh but I got complacent. Here are the things I used:

  • Brown Sugar
  • Coconut Oil
  • Regular cooking (vegetable oil)
  • Mullein
  • Neem
  • Aloe Vera
  • Vitamin E soft gels

Yea, that’s it.

I used the brown sugar, oils and mullein to make a scrub.

Brown Sugar has a coarse texture, which is normally a property that is needed for a scrub, it might be too coarse for some persons, dependent on the sensitivity of your skin.

Brown Sugar

Coconut Oil is right up there with Aloe Vera, and if you read my post about Aloe: All Over, you’ll know how much I am in love with it as my multi-purpose ingredient. But right now, I’ll just say that I used the coconut oil because it has anti-bacterial, healing and high moisturizing properties. Coconut oil is relatively expensive, which is the only reason I added the vegetable oil, (to give my mixture a little more lubrication.)

Coconut Oil

Mullein, on the other hand, I know MOST of you probably never heard of before. But, I worked in a health store for a couple of months and I bought it for the purpose of my sinusitis. It is an excellent herb for any respiratory related illness, and I thought, umm since it helped in soothing my sinuses, wouldn’t it act similarly if I used it externally as well? Little did I know, it has numerous uses, including the treatment of scrapes, burns and inflammatory skin disorders. You can check out more about mullein right here.

Mullein plant

So, I took like a teaspoon of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of mullein, and I just poured enough coconut oil to bring it all together (should not in any form be watery) and then I added the vegetable oil just to make sure it would be slippery enough to move over my face. Be careful, no presence of liquid should be obvious, the mixture will look like some grains or lumps of the mullein and sugar, just held together by the oil.

  • I washed my face first (with my regular face soap) then,
  • I took the scrub mixture and started rubbing it in circular motions all over my face, scrubbing gently with an effort to remove any dead skin cells, or any other debris that my soap didn’t remove.
  • DO NOT SCRUB TOO HARD!!!!
  • Then I let it stay on my face for 10 minutes or so, so that my skin could get the benefits from the ingredients.
  • Next, I took a clean rag, put it in my face basin, poured hot water on it, then turned the tap on it and squeezed it out and wiped the scrub off my face. Washed out the rag and wiped off the remaining stuff.

The Aloe Vera and Neem were used to make my awesome mask.

Now, my face looked kinda dry, which is why I chose to include coconut oil in my scrub and that is also one of the reasons I chose to use Aloe Vera.

Aloe Vera (for the purposes of this mask) has cleansing and moisturizing properties and it also has anti-inflammatory properties. A mask is used to treat the skin for any apparent damage that might be caused from everyday wear and tear, exposure to the sun, etc.

Aloe Vera

Neem, although it’s a little more popular than mullein, it might be another ingredient you guys are also be unfamiliar with. Neem, funnily we have many neem trees here in Jamaica. It is an excellent herb and is used for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It can even be used as a natural insecticide. Find out more about neem right here. However, I had neem in my cupboard because I had recommended it for my housemate who has eczema, it aids in relieving the itching and if taken internally, can give you a really good cleanse (it’s really bitter though). I used need because I had some pimples coming up and I needed something that had some anti-septic properties.

Neem

  • I put about 2 table spoons of dried neem leaves in a cup, poured some boiling water on it (just enough to cover the leaves) and covered the cup for about 10 minutes.
  • I went and cut a fresh aloe vera leaf, peeled off the skin, cut the jelly part in some cubes, then used my fork and mashed it up and whipped it 🙂
  • Then I poured the neem mixture in the aloe vera and whipped it up.
  • Using a strainer I removed any excess water and I ended up with a slime.
  • I took some of the neem leaves and put it in the mixture as well.
  • I took a warm rag and put it over my face (just to open up my pores to accept the healing properties of the mask)
  • I then rub the slime all over my face, also kinda rubbing it in and then any area that had blemishes or pimples, I put a neem leaf to cover it (remember neem has anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties)
  • I let this stay on for about half hour, be careful, initially the aloe might drip off your chin but eventually it will dry on your face.
  • Then I used my warm rag again to remove the mask. Once for the initial cleanse and a second go to remove any remaining. Then i washed out the rag and then used the cool rag to wipe my face twice to close my pores.

Vitamin E is another one of my beauty staples alongside coconut oil and aloe vera. It has properties which help prevent scarring, or reduce the appearance of scarring, helps clear up blemishes and also treats the skin, helping to combat any unwanted oils and clogged pores (ironic huh? as it is an oil itself) D-Alpha is the one you should use and not Dl-Alpha as that’s the synthetic kind.

  • I used a common pin to pierce 1 or two holes in the soft gel and then squeezed the oil directly on my face ( you can use 2 softgels, you really don’t need anymore.)
  • Rubbed it in as much as possible and slept with it overnight
  • It’s normally recommended you remove treatment and add a moisturizer or sunscreen. But I sought my vitamin E sufficient.

Now I realize I should have taken some before and after pictures. When I woke up this morning I was more than pleased with the results 🙂

You ARE what you eat

Kelloggs Commercial

How many times have you heard that line? “You are what you eat?” Well, you may not physically appear exactly like the food or foods that you consume like the commercials above bluntly put it. But in essence what you consume affects how our body systems work, including that of the body’s biggest organ, the skin.

You have a choice in what you’re made of

The idea for this post came to me because my boss got a new piece of equipment the other day. Its called the QMRA machine. It can test a number of things based on an electrical current run through your body and tell you what’s wrong (or not so wrong with you)

Surprisingly it did come up with a lot of stuff. But what amazed me more was the fact that they gave a lot of nutritional advice when it gives you suggestions based on what might be wrong. Ironically Jamaicans don’t pay enough attention to what they eat on a daily basis (or what they don’t eat).

Most times this only comes of importance when either, they suffer a heart attack or stroke, or discover that they are diabetic, or when obesity starts affecting their day to day activities. All of these highlighted conditions are non-communicable, meaning preventable (for the most part).

This is the sad reality of it all. Despite the fact that what we take into our bodies IS a conscious choice. “You have a choice in what you’re made of”

So please, nobody is saying you can’t eat the Burger King and KFC and the Devon House Ice Cream, because you can, and you should!  (We deserve to indulge every now and again) But you NEED to be consuming your 6-8 glasses of water and your 3-4 servings of fruits and vegetables, cutting down on the fats and sweets.

How does YOUR daily plate look

So if you were to portion all the foods you consumed each day, how would YOUR plate look? And in turn what is this saying for your body. Literally food for thought.

Aloe: All Over

Just put some aloe on! Its as simple as that! (Well almost).

Aloe Vera has been the “cure” for almost every problem for as long as I can remember. But knowing what I do now, makes it one of my most favourite plants of all time. It has so many properties, its amazing. The most extraordinary benefits include: Clarifying, Moisturizing and Anti-inflammatory. These all become significant when it comes to our skin, hair and even digestive health! Let’s explore these benefits now.

Aloe-Vera_4.jpg

Clarifying
For the purposes of this blog, clarifying means to clear up. And in the true sense of the word, Aloe does just that!

  • If you are plagued by acne scars (dark spots left from pimples squeezed) just take some of the gel like substance from the miracle plant and rub it on. And you can rub it all over your face if you like. And in no time you’ll start to see the dark spots fading.
  • For persons who suffer from; dandruff or dry scalp, rub some aloe gel on the scalp and the itching is relieves and the flaking disappears after continuous use!
  • Burning sensation due to heartburn or stomach ulcer? Constipated? Or just need a mild internal cleanse? Mixing the gel with your water(or just eating it, if you’re brave enough) Can give you a proper internal flush and alleviate all of the aforementioned symptoms.

Taking aloe vera internally also allows acne, eczema, dandruff and other skin related conditions to be cleared up more effectively along side with external use

aloe.jpg

Moisturizing

Dry, brittle, damaged and constant shedding of the hair can probably be every girl’s nightmare. I know its MINE!

  • Before shampooing the hair, use the gel of the aloe vera (and coconut oil) and saturate your hair with it (esp. the ends, and don’t forget the SCALP!!!) Leave on for half hour to an hour, or overnight if you can, under a steam cap. Also add some while you put the conditioner in (after shampooing). YOU should try this and then tell ME the results.
  • Dry skin, as a result of dehydration, or constant washing with drying face products or constant exposure to dry heat or air condition? Should I say anymore? Rub some aloe vera gel on(and vitamin e from a capsule). Magic! And the glow? Unforgivable!

Can you tell I’m excited at the wonders of this plant?

Anti-inflammatory

The aloe vera is not only excellent for acne scars but for the red, painful and otherwise unsightly pimples, immediately before and after you squeeze them!

You know the drill: Put some aloe vera gel on for at least an hour a day and preferably overnight (with vitamin E) and voila!

  • Likewise, for those ladies and men who shave. To prevent razor burns, or alleviate the unsightly redness and puffiness (especially in the bikini area). Just slap some gel on!
  • Excellent soothing gel for sunburn. It can be stored in the fridge and is even more soothing when used cool.

These are just SOME of the amazing benefits of the aloe vera plant guys!!! We have so much of it available here on our wonderful island! Try some TODAY! (All over)

Warding off the “Vampires”

Vampires. My favourite mythical creature. Nevertheless, this does not take from the horrible fact that they are blood thirsty, heartless, immortal demons which will stop at nothing to either infect or by whatever means necessary steal blood from a mortal for their own selfish purpose – to sustain their own life.

Likewise many of the illnesses or diseases that we face today treat our bodies the same way. Getting to the source of our lives’ sustenance – our blood.

Garlic has been for many years seen as an antibiotic.

  • I remember whenever I had a cold, mom would recommend me make a cup of garlic tea.
  • We put garlic in our rice and peas for flavour, however the original practice was for the garlic to be put in the food while it was being cooked, then be removed before the meal was finished ( to use the garlic as a medium to remove the bacteria).

Look at the many forms of vampires this everyday herb can alleviate.

The history behind Garlic and Vampires

www.rawforbeauty.com

“Out with the old – In with the new”

Cerassee

Our fore parents lived longer than that of our peers in today’s generation for many reasons. They lived by old wives tales and practices mainly because of tradition. More times than not, they had no scientific reason behind following such practices. And the old adage lives true “Weh nuh kill yuh fatten” and indeed they lived longer.

Whether you are old enough to remember, or just young enough to recall their parents recanting the stories of the ever so popular “wash out” that they would painstakenly undergo each year right before the back to school season; this one if for you.

Most person’s start off a weight loss programme and end up relapsing. There are many things that can contribute to this. However, one way to increase the chances of your weight loss goals in being positive is to start with a cleanse. Don’t get me wrong, a cleanse is always recommended and still beneficial even if your goal is not weight loss.

A good cleanse consists of two parts: The first stage being that which has components that can cleanse the digestive system and would work similar to a vegetable or juice diet for at least 3 days. The second stage consisting of components that will replenish the body (putting back the good bacteria), similar to that found in natural yogurt.

Here are two such cleanses brought to you by Symmetry:

Para Cleanse

  • Powerful botanicals to purge impurities from the body to help maintain the body’s natural resilience.
  • Two-phase system – the first phase works to eliminate impurities, while the second phase works to nourish the blood.
  • A support system for the body’s natural immune function.

BotanaCleanse Plus

  • Provides a gentle, mild cleansing with botanicals and natural fibers.
  • Nourishes and protects the colon with probiotics to support the “friendly flora” in the colon.
  • Natural ingredients that work synergistically to cleanse and support the entire body, removing toxins and protecting the colon.

Check out the links below and take a walk in the path of our heritage:

The dreaded ‘washout’ and worm medicine

Old Time Jamaican Herbal Remedies

CLARITY

CLARITY

The above is a link to the product that I am about to introduce. Don’t hesitate to click 🙂

Following up the previous blog: “13 ways to Focus”, today I bring to you a product by Symmetry that consists of many herbs that assist in enhancing mental clarity. This product is available through me. My related website for this product is http://www.symmetrydirect.com/simplybeautiful

Clarity is a powerful, synergistic blend featuring:

  • Ginkgo biloba – an oxygenating herb that scientific studies show to increase blood flow to the brain; noted for its beneficial effects on mental performance.
  • Red ginseng – strategically blended with a variety of other botanicals and nutrients known for their ability to support focus, concentration, memory and learning.
  • Herbal blend – clinically tested ingredients blended in proper ratio to support proper circulation, thereby promoting mental stimulation.

A few of the herbs contained in this amazing product include:

Ginkgo Biloba, which is one of the oldest living tree species, dating back over 300 million years (individual trees can live for over 1,000 years). In China, extracts of the fruit and leaves of the ginkgo tree have been used for over 5,000 years for respiratory concerns and brain function.

Recently, western researchers have been studying Ginkgo Biloba as a control for senility, hardening of the arteries, and as a support for oxygen deprivation. This research has shown the herb’s ability to boost the brain’s metabolism of energy-producing glucose and increase electrical activity.

Researchers have also reported that Ginkgo extracts effectively increase blood circulation and increase oxygen levels in brain tissues. Ginkgo is also a powerful antioxidant that supports normal platelet aggregation inside arterial walls, helping to keep them flexible.

Ginkgo’s ability to improve blood flow has been shown in numerous studies with the elderly. Aging can be associated with decreased blood flow to the lower extremities, with numbing or tingling legs common in this group. German researchers found that Ginkgo extracts improved circulation to the extremities and made it possible for patients to walk further with much less discomfort. Ginkgo biloba extracts are considered safe and free of side effects for the most part.

Gotu Kola rebuilds the energy reserves, and is thought to be particularly useful after a nervous system support. Gotu kola is sometimes called “food for the brain”. Gotu kola helps to combat stress, improve reflexes, and increase mental and physical power. 

In recent years, gotu kola has become popular in the West as a nerve tonic to promote relaxation and to enhance memory.

Indian healers used the gotu kola herb to treat skin inflammations and as a mild diuretic. Oriental healers relied on gotu kola to treat emotional disorders such as depression that may be rooted in physical problemsGotu kola has also been used to bring down fever and to relieve congestion due to colds and upper respiratory infections.

Gotu kola has been used traditionally for people who are inactive or confined to bed due to illness. Proponents of the herb also believe that its beneficial effect on circulation may help improve memory and brain function.

Ginseng

  • Ginseng stimulates both physical and mental activity.
  • Ginseng greatly strengthens and protects the human body from stress.
  • Ginseng increases physical and mental efficiency, improves accuracy of work, and contributes to one’s concentration.
  • Ginseng stimulates and improves the work of the brain cells.
  • Ginseng is well known to support of the nervous system.Ginseng supports the function of the endocrine glands.