Author: Nerd

Vegan Soap Making Notes

Preparing Herbs for Making Soap

You’ll want to pick your herbs (or gather them from nature) when they are at their peak. Mid-morning is best after the sun has dried the dew off the flowers and leaves, but before the sun dries out the natural oils of the plant. You can dry your herbs naturally in the sun, or in an oven or dehydrator. However it’s done, you’ll want to make sure they are thoroughly dry with no dampness left. Herbs that are not completely dry could produce mold in your soap or the lye may rot them. Either way, it’s undesirable.

When your herbs are dry, store them in a sealed container like a canning jar. This will keep them handy, you can see what’s inside, and they will stay dry. You can leave them as a whole leaf or flower or you can use a coffee/spice grinder to powder them.

Herbs for Homemade Soap

Lavender
Its light clean scent is well known and often provides a sense of comfort. It is antibacterial and can help to heal wounds. Lavender is also well known for its relaxing properties and uses as a natural sleep aid. Use it whole in the soap for a gentle exfoliating property or powdered for even gentler action.

Chamomile

Chamomile is soft and fragrant. It’s a gentle healing herb and is very soothing. It can also help to remove bacteria on the skin, although not as well as lavender.

Calendula

Often called pot marigold, calendula is not in the marigold family, but is in the aster family. Calendula is very healing and can help to remove redness from the skin. Many herbs turn dark after a few weeks in soap, but calendula will hold its color very well for a long time.

Lemon Balm

When it’s dried, lemon balm loses some of its lemony scents, but it still works very well in soap. Lemon balm is thought to be antiviral and can help to kill germs when you wash with it. It provides a dark green color and a bit rougher exfoliation than lavender or chamomile, while not abrading the skin.

Marshmallow Root

One of the most soothing herbs is marshmallow root. When powdered and used in making soap, the soap becomes soothing and softens the skin very well.

Comfrey

Comfrey root, dried and ground into a powder, is added to soap to help heal the skin. It is very effective for acne and poison ivy rash, while not being too harsh. It will not dry the skin out but will help to heal the skin. You can also use the leaf, although the root has a more healing ability.

Plantain

One of my favorite herbs is plantain. Not the banana relative, but the herb (or more often weed) found in your yard. It is thought to be very healing, even more so than aloe vera. It is demulcent like marshmallow root, but also has a nice green color that doesn’t fade quickly in soaps.

Mint

Almost all of the mints are antibacterial, making them a great choice for soap making. There are several different types of mint, some having more of the characteristic minty smell than others. Theres pineapple mint, spearmint, and grapefruit mint. It smells just like the peel of the grapefruit and lends a nice quality to soap.

Rosemary

Perhaps one of the most useful herbs in soap making is rosemary. It is antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral. It is also full of antioxidants. Rosemary Oil Extract, or ROE, is sold as a preservative for soap, herbal and other cooking needs.

Oils

Hemp Seed Oil:
Hemp seed oil is a deep, green color with a light, nutty smell. No, it doesn’t smell like marijuana, nor does it have any of the effects that marijuana has, but it does indeed come from the seed of the cannabis plant. It’s really lovely in lotions and creams and great in soap too. It gives a light, creamy/silky lather. Because of its fatty acid makeup, it has a very short shelf life…less than six months…so it should be refrigerated or even kept in the freezer. Treating it with rosemary oleoresin extract is a good idea to help keep it from oxidizing. It can be used as a luxury healing/moisturizing oil in soap up to 10%-15%.

Palm Oil:
Palm oil, along with olive and coconut, is one of the top oils used by soap makers today. Because of the qualities, it gives soap, it is often called “veggie tallow” in that it gives many of the same qualities that beef tallow does – a hard bar with a rich creamy lather. Alone, it’s pretty unremarkable, but combined with other oils like olive, coconut, and castor, it makes great, hard, long-lasting soap. There are some serious concerns about palm oil farming in Malaysia – and the impact it is having on both the land and the people. We know several soap makers who have eliminated palm oil from their recipes because of this.

Castor Oil:
Castor oil is a thick, clear oil that helps increase the lather in soap – a rich, creamy lather. It’s also a humectant (attracts moisture to your skin) oil. Just a little will do…5% – 8% in your recipe will work wonders. Shampoo bars often use 10%-15%…but more than that and you get a soft bar of soap. Castor oil has a fatty acid makeup that’s completely unique—which makes what it contributes to your soap (the rich, creamy lather) unique.
Castor oil will speed up the rate at which your soap will get to trace – so we usually leave it out of recipes that require complex swirls or designs.
Jojoba Oil:
Jojoba is actually a liquid wax that is very similar to sebum in its chemical composition. It contributes a nice stable lather, has remarkable absorption and moisturizing qualities and unlike some of the other luxury moisturizing oils, has a very long shelf life – 1-2 years! Use it at 5-10% maximum. Or just save it for “leave-on” applications like balms, massage bars, bath bombs, and lotions. It can make the soap batch trace more quickly, so it’s not a good oil to add if you’re going to do complex coloring or swirls, or are working with a temperamental fragrance or essential oil.

Apricot Oil:
Apricot kernel oil is a light oil that is similar to almond oil in its fatty acid makeup. It absorbs nicely into the skin and is a good luxury conditioning oil in soap – at about 5% – 10%. It’s good in soap, massage and bath oils, massage bars and bath bombs.

Coconut Oil:
Coconut oil is one of the primary oils soapmakers use in their soap. Susan Miller Cavitch, in her book The Soapmaker’s Companion, calls it “a gift.” Most of the coconut oil sold and used has a melting point of 76°, but there is a hydrogenated type that melts at 92°. Either version works the same to give tremendous, bubbly lather to your soap. It also makes for a very hard, white bar of soap. The collective opinion is that using more than 30% coconut oil in your recipe will be drying to the skin. Yes, the super-cleansing nature of coconut oil can strip oils from your skin, but we have often used it at 30%-40% with great results, especially with a slightly higher (6-8%) superfat. Or, you can make 100% coconut oil soap with a 20% superfat. It’s an amazing bar of soap.

Almond Oil:
A lovely moisturizing oil that is very light and absorbs well. In soap, it produces a low, stable lather, but we wouldn’t use it more than about 5% – 10% in soap – as it’s not a very hard oil in soap. It’s really nice in lotions, massage bars, bath bombs, bath oils, and especially in salt and sugar scrubs.

kukui nut oil:
A rich, liquid nut oil that’s native to Hawaii, kukui nut oil contributes to a nice, creamy stable lather in the soap, and is nicely moisturizing. Like the other luxury liquid oils, we recommend using it at 5-10% of your recipe for a richer, creamier soap. In lotions, creams, massage bars, and balms, it absorbs quickly, conditions skin nicely, and is reputed to help ease acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

Avocado Oil:
Avocado oil is a heavy, green, rich, moisturizing oil that has a high percentage of unsaponifiables (the portions of the oil that don’t react with the lye to form soap,) so it’s a good oil to superfat with. It’s often used in soap recipes for people with sensitive skin. On the skin, it first feels a little heavy…but after a moment, it absorbs nicely. It’s high in vitamins A, D & E, which is good for your skin and gives it a longer shelf life. You can use it in your recipes from 5% – 30%. It’s a bit too thick, in my opinion, for massage oils…but it’s wonderful in massage bars.

Neem Oil:
Neem oil is extracted from the bark of the neem tree. It is growing in popularity as a soap making oil due to its antiseptic, anti-fungal and insect repellent qualities. We know of one soap maker who uses neem oil at about 25% of the recipe and sends it to soldiers in the middle east to repel sand flies. It evidently works very well. It’s also great, all by itself (as both an oil and in a soap recipe) for treating skin conditions like athlete’s foot. The scent of neem is very strong…a sort of green, earthy, nutty smell…and takes some getting used to. But it doesn’t come through too strongly in the soap and blends well with other earthy scents. 

Babassu oil:
Babassu oil comes from the kernels of the babassu palm, or Grade A oil (generally the best grade for soap), comes from the second pressing and is lightly refined/filtered. 100% olive oil makes the famous “Castille soap” and “Marseille soap” must contain at least 72% olive oil. Olive oil is generally the #1 oil in most soap makers’ recipes – and for good reason. Olive oil soaps are very moisturizing, make hard, white bars of soap (though high % olive oil soaps take a longer time to cure) and are exceptionally mild. But the lather from Castille soap is low and a bit slimy. Most soap makers combine olive oil with other oils 

Safflower Oil:
Its fairly short shelf life and fairly unremarkable fatty acid makeup have made safflower oil pretty neglected in soap making recipes. If you have it on hand, you can certainly use it in your recipes like you would soybean, canola or sunflower – at 5-15% or so. In soap, it is mild and moisturizing. 

Palm oil, along with olive and coconut, is one of the top oils used by soap makers today. Because of the qualities, it gives soap, it is often called “veggie tallow” in that it gives many of the same qualities that beef tallow does – a hard bar with a rich creamy lather. Alone, it’s pretty unremarkable, but combined with other oils like olive, coconut, and castor, it makes great, hard, long-lasting soap. There are some serious concerns about palm oil farming in Malaysia – and the impact it is having on both the land and the people. We know several soap makers who have eliminated palm oil from their recipes because of this.

Pumpkin seed oil is a rich and vitamin-filled oil with abundant antioxidant properties. It contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, as well as vitamins A, C, E, and Zinc. Its fatty acid balance is most similar to soybean and sunflower oil and will contribute about the same qualities to soap that they do in terms of hardness, lather, and conditioning. Most soap makers we know save the super-premium nourishing oils like pumpkin seed for special skin care products and focus on the more basic oils for soap making. That said, in terms of pure marketing appeal, it’s a wonderful luxury oil to add (a bit) to a batch of pumpkin soap.

Shea oil, or liquid shea, is fractionated shea butter, one of the most popular luxury oils used in soap making recipes. This variation of shea butter is liquid at room temperature and wonderful for adding to melt and pour soap, massage bars, or to creams and lotions. We’ve also used it in bath bombs. It’s very moisturizing in the tub but may be a bit too oily for some folks. But the fact that its liquid doesn’t give any benefits in soap. So if you’re going to use shea butter in soap, go ahead and use the actual shea butter instead of liquid shea oil.

Exfoliates

Colloidal Oatmeal
Colloidal oatmeal is one of the most gentle exfoliants. It can be used in face masks, soap, and more. We added it to the Oatmeal Bath Bombs and Gentle Oatmeal Baby Soap because of its silky texture and soothing properties.

Bamboo Powder
This natural powder comes from bamboo stems. It starts as a thick liquid, then crystallizes at room temperature. Add it to handmade soap and cosmetics for gentle exfoliation. You’ll love the way it feels in the Black, White, and Gold All Over Soap.

Pumice Powder
Pumice powder is a fantastic gentle exfoliant created from milled volcanic glass. Its fine texture works well in the Pumice and Poppy Seed Melt and Pour Bars.

Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda)
Baking soda is an amazing multi-purpose product. It’s used in bath bombs, bath salts, and natural cleaning products. It’s great for scrubs as well – try it in the Sea Clay Dry Salt Scrub, Walnut Facial Scrub, or Cranberry Seed Foot Scrub.

Walnut Shells
Along with exfoliation, walnut shells add a natural brown color to handmade soap and cosmetics. We used them for the crust in the Pumpkin Pie Cold Process Soap and the dirt in the Carrot Cold Process Soap.

Salts and Sugar
There are a variety of salts and sugars that can be used for scrubs, bath bombs, and more. Depending on the size, they can offer gentle or more powerful exfoliation. Salt can also be used in cold process soap – it creates really creamy lather. Learn how to use it in the Lavender and Rose Pink Salt Barstutorial.

Jojoba Beads
This biodegradable exfoliant is made from jojoba oil. The beads come in various sizes and colors, so there’s an option for every recipe. Try them in the Rainbow Jojoba Bead Sugar Scrub or the Cleansing Charcoal Facial Scrub.

Shredded Loofah
This exfoliant comes from whole loofah sponges. They’re ground to a fine texture, making it easy to disperse throughout soap or scrubs. Try it in the Lard and Loofah Cold Process Soap or the Gardener Melt and Pour Soap.

Icelandic Black Sand
This product comes from a volcanic beach on the South Coast of Iceland. It has mild exfoliation and a beautiful natural color, as seen in the Coastal Rain Cold Process Soap

Water is Life – Live Intelligent

One in 10 people around the world lack access to clean drinking water, yet the majority of US consumers are unaware of the extent of the global water crisis.

5/2013. A girl is drinking water from the water taps at her school in the Domiz refugee camp in Northern Iraq.

The Power of Clean Water, this documentary follows the lives of three women and their families, providing a first-hand perspective on the daily challenges of accessing clean drinking water. The film also demonstrates the positive impact P&G’s Purifier of Water packets have had on communities in Indonesia, Kenya, and Mexico.  In these countries, people struggle with finding clean water to drink. And without clean drinking water, it’s much harder to keep their children healthy, educated, and provide a better life for their families.

Finally, a global awareness of the water crisis is growing, but many consumers in the US are still unaware of how many people struggle with the daily reality of not having access to clean water. In 2014 I traveled to Kenya to help build a water system to support a school, garden. To my amazement, I returned a year later to a fully-grown garden. When I drove up to see the children enjoying their lunch, I instantly burst into tears, because it was at that moment that I saw the lives of others benefit from my hard work, and knew I couldn’t stop there.  

So about Water

About 60 percent of your body is made up of water. Drinking enough water helps maintain the body’s fluid balance, which helps transport nutrients in the body, digest food, regulate body temperature, and more.

The U.S. problem with Water:

Sadly, water is the second most popular beverage in the United States after soft drinks. TThis fact is scary considering sugary soda is a health hazard, upping the risk of stroke, obesity, heart, and other health problems. However, many diseases can be avoided if people choose to drink water. Water doesn’t have negative side effects except for consuming too much. It is possible to overdose on water and “drown internally”. So kick that sugary stuff habit to the side and make water your number one drinking choice. The benefits are endless. 

Controls calories: Simple, when you drink more water you become fuller and eat less. 

Muscle energy: When you sweat at the gym, you lose water. and when you lack water in the muscles they get tired quicker. Who wants tired muscles when they are trying to work out?

Clearer skin: Water flushes out toxins and reduces the onset of pimples. 

Fatigue buster:

Water can help you fight that tired feeling since a common symptom of dehydration is tiredness. Grab a glass of water when you feel sleepy. 

Hangover help:

Let’s face it, booze is poison, and your body hates it. As soon as you drink alcohol your body starts to dehydrate. removing the water and leaving the chemicals. The best way to avoid a hangover is to drink plenty of water while consuming alcohol and after.

Pain prevention:

A little water can really go a long way. Aching joints and muscle cramps and strains can all occur if the body is dehydrated.

Keep things flowing:

Nobody wants to deal with digestion issue, so drinking enough water adds fluids to the colon which helps make things, move smoother.

Sickness fighter:

Water may help with decongestion and dehydration, helping the body bounce back when feeling under the weather. Just beware—drinking fluids haven’t been scientifically proven to beat colds in one swoop, so don’t swap this for a trip to the doctor or other cold remedies.

Brain Boost:

A study in London found a link between students bringing water into an exam room and better grades, suggesting H2O promotes clearer thinking. While it’s unclear if drinking the water had anything to do with a better score, it doesn’t hurt to try it out!

Event: This is a Great Event Stella Artois put together: 

https://www.facebook.com/events/170556457072502/

Social Media Initiative: Use the hashtag #7billionliters on twitter, facebook, or Instagram and Procter and Gamble will donate a liter of water to people who need it most!

The Secret to Napping for Success

Some people are made to feel a little guilty about taking naps during the day like it equates to being a slacker. Then I read an article about sleep and the importance of naps. Snoozing is no longer considered losing, but gaining. Most people think the secret to being productive is managing your time, they believe that sacrificing sleep is necessary in order to be successful in their industry. But I know it’s all about managing your energy and will reveal some reasons why;

Daily naps reduces the risk of heart disease. Those who take daily naps are 37 percent less likely to die of heart disease? 

“Taking a nap could turn out to be an important weapon in the fight against coronary mortality,” said Dimitrios Trichopoulos of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, who led the study.

Daily naps help to restore alertness. Most afternoons you start to feel drowsy, especially at work. This lowers your alertness and focus. 

The National Sleep Foundation recommends a nap of twenty to thirty minutes. This supposedly, “improved alertness and performance without leaving you feeling groggy or interfering with nighttime sleep.”

Daily naps prevents burnout. In a crazy busy world, we are all in the “rate race” but we shouldn’t be racing without resting. Doing so leads to frustration, burnout, and stress. 

Napping is the ultimate reboot of your computer, I mean body. It relieves any stress giving you a fresh start. The same reason we can’t wait to jump in the bed at night. Those who nap show greater emotional resilience, improved cognitive function, and more. All we need is 20 to 30 minutes daily to protect from frying our circuits.

Daily naps heighten sensory perception. Dr. Sara C. Mednick, author of Take a Nap, Change Your Life says, napping can restore the sensitivity of sight, hearing, and taste.

Napping relaxes your mind, which allows new associations to form in it, improving your overall creativity. So, rest before coming up with ideas and making important decisions. 

Daily naps make you productive. 

Numerous studies have shown workers becoming increasingly unproductive as the day wears on. This is where slacking comes from, and it’s mainly after lunch. Instead of taking a nap, they drink coffee or an energy drink, even worse, get up and walk. A twenty-minute nap defeats any and all energy drinks.

Daily naps improve mood. Which improves any and all actions and reactions.

A happier person makes better decisions, has a nicer demeanor, and is easier to approach. 

Daily Naps improve performance including better mental memory and quicker reaction time. 

Napping Tips

Take a twenty-minute nap right after lunch. If you can’t, try to squeeze it in before 4:00 p.m.

Keep it twenty to thirty minutes, anything longer may lead to “sleep inertia”, that feeling of grogginess when you awaken from a deep sleep. Long naps can also interfere with nighttime sleep. Set an alarm to avoid oversleeping. 

Sleep deprivation affects work performance along with mental and physical health. At 36, 48, and 72 hours without sleep, your body and your mind begin operating in altered states that put your health, and your life, at risk,

There are many successful leaders who were known for napping, names you recognize. Could these leaders know that napping was the key ingredient to their success? You be the judge, here are a few.

  • John D. Rockefeller, who was an oil industrialist and philanthropist napped daily in his office.
  • Thomas Edison napped daily, but his ego forced it to embarrass him.
  • Ronald Reagan, a known nap taker was criticized for it.
  • Leonardo da Vinci preffered napping over long sleep.
  • Winston Churchill’s knew he would get twice as much work done daily if he took a nap, this wasn’t up for negotiation.
  • President John F. Kennedy took naps religiously after eating lunch.
  • Albert Einstein not only got 10 hours of sleep at night but napped daily.
  • Napoleon (The French Emperor) took naps daily.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt napped before speaking arrangements to boost her energy.
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson figured out a way to break up his day into 2 by taking a nap daily at 3:30 p.m.

The desire to stay connected

Mobile notifications can feel important—leading people to keep their phones close by, even when they’re asleep. An alarming amount of people sleep with their phones near their beds, mostly Millennials. It looks like technology is literally getting in the way of our dreams if you’re allowing it to. 

Yearly we have #NationalNappingDay: 

It typically falls the Monday After Daylight Savings. It’ a yearly celebration of naps that allow us all to re-evaluate naps and recover from the time change.This year it falls on…

2018: March 12

If lack of sleep can seriously harm you, how much sleep is enough to ensure that our brains are functioning properly?
Current guidelines say between seven and nine hours nightly for adults.
What are your thoughts, Please leave comments. 
Some companies are offering their employees nap rooms. Does this mean in the future we will all be snoozing to improve the bottom line?
Some presenters at CES think so,  See link -> http://ow.ly/KDva30iSRlX

 

Boost Health with This Backyard Secret

Warning! You may want to talk to your doctor before using a natural remedy to treat a serious illness.

Since we can remember, man has looked to nature to cure poor health. Within the last decade notably, herbs have made their way into thought culture with the recognition of plant medicines resembling ayahuasca, ibogaine, and cannabis in the headlines for their powerful abilities to heal the most prominent diseases. However, these plant remedies can be forbidden to use for healing in many countries.

The good news is that common weeds in our yards yield superb healing skills and guess what — they’re legal! Here are twelve weeds that possess fascinating medicinal properties.

1. Red Clover (Trifolium pre tense) has chemicals that mimic the female hormone estrogen in the body. Medical professionals examine the herb as a treatment for menopausal symptoms like hot flashes. Doctors also warn women with a history of breast cancer to stay away from the synthetic estrogen. Estrogen-like chemicals have a way of bringing on cancer. 

  • The weed helps in reducing the complications during and after menopause.
  • It helps in improving bone density.
  • The plant extract is helpful to improve the immune system, treat could and respiratory disorders.
  • The decoction of this weed helps in regulating heart problems like high blood pressure.
  • The plant is also helpful in treating skin inflammation, eczema, and psoriasis.

2. Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) The plant is known to treat gout, aching muscles and joints, arthritis, anemia and eczema. It is widely used to treat joint pain. Capsules of dried stinging nettle is also a good remedy to reduce the symptoms of hay fever. It is also popularly used to treat bladder problems. If you boil nettle it can be eaten as a collared greens alternative. It is very easy to get stung by a stinging nettle. Applying crushed up dandelion, horsetail, Aloe vera, jewelweed or the leaf of a dock or lock plant can counter the acid in the sting.

https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/n/nettle03.html

3. Milk Thistle (Silybum Marianum) is your livers best friend. This has been known for over 2000 years. Research found this may be good for people who damage their liver with alcohol. Silymarin is a chemical that may protect the liver from damage caused by a drug overdose, as well as damage from over the counter drugs like Tylenol. If you are a shroomer, this may be an antidote for a poisonous shroom.

  • The plant decoction is used to cure Jaundice and liver disorders, as it maintains the bile production.
  • The plant also cures heartburns and depression.
  • It is also used for allergies, blood disorders and has anti-aging properties.
  • The plant has been proved to cure Cancer, Malaria as it contains flavonoids which are helpful against the unwanted cells.

4. Horsetail (Equisetum Ravens) – The Greeks and Roman Empires used the herb to stop bleeding and weight gain, heal ulcers and wounds and treat tuberculosis and kidney problems. Used in a tea it tastes mildly bitter, like chamomile. It acts as a diuretic and increases urination. This stuff is so powerful, doctors suggest taking a multivitamin when drinking lots of horsetail tea because it can flush vital nutrients, such as vitamin B1, potassium and thiamine, out of one’s system.

https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/h/hortai39.html

5. Dandelion – within the past, Europeans used remedies made of blowball (Taraxacum sp.) roots, leaves and flowers to treat fever, boils, eye issues, polygenic diseases and symptoms. Practitioners of ancient Chinese medication take dandelions for abdomen ailments, and breast issues like inflammation or lack of milk flow. Dandelions have a bitter taste and contain vitamins A, B, C and D, and iron, K, and metallic element. Like Milkweed, Dandelion was a traditional remedy for warts. One would protect the skin surrounding the wart with Vaseline. Cover the wart with stem juices that were squeezed out. Let dry and cover with a plaster and repeat daily. After three days the wart should be dried up and a brownish color, it’s then it will fall off.  This weed can be used like coffee, it’s washed, cut into large pieces and dried gently beside the open fire or in the sun until they became hard and brittle. You want to drink it because, the root contains bitters, which is good for cleansing the liver, spleen, and gallbladder. In Co Meath (Ireland) pieces of the dried root were simmered in buttermilk, strained and taken as a cure for yellow jaundice.

Serious about using this?

Read More: http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/d/dandel08.html

6. Milkweed – The main use of this herb is for its benefit on the lungs. It helps with breathing conditions, liquefying mucous and reducing spasms. It has also been widely used by Native Americans as a contraceptive.  The sap produced, that’s milky white/The milky white sap produced, is used to remove warts, heal ringworms and snakebites. The sap contains latex, alkaloids, and cardiac glycosides. However, the herb also contains chemicals harmful to livestock and humans. The herb produces toxic chemicals to protect against hungry herbivores. It can help a person manage constipation and diarrhea.

7. Chicory (Cichorium Intybus), a sky blue flower is often seen along roads, provides the largest insulin supply. According to WebMD, patients use insulin to fight high cholesterol and triglycerides. Many women with type-2 diabetes benefit from taking insulin by reducing the rate of blood sugar increase they get after eating. hickory coffees happens when coffee lovers add roasted and dried root to their cups of hot water. Chicory coffee is big in New Orleans.

https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/c/chicor61.html

8. Burdock (Arctium sp.) – Traditionally, healers use burdock to clear toxins from the blood and increase urination, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. The plant also is used to treat skin ailments, such as eczema, acne, and psoriasis. The leaves and roots of burdock are edible and contain inulin, like chicory, so they may aid digestion and/or cause a nasty case of flatulence. Burdock also contains high quantities of antioxidants that can prevent damage to cells.

https://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/burdoc87.html

 

9. Plantain (Plantago Major) –  This is the weed commonly found in sidewalk cracks is actually one of the best healing herbs on the planet. Since the age of the ancient, Greek doctors have used plantains to speed wound healing. Native Americans have used it to heal wounds, cure fever, and to draw out toxins from stings and bites, including snake bites.

Plantain as a poultice is recommended on wounds or as a nutrient-rich tea to treat diarrhea. Plantain leaves are mainly used for herbal preparations, so it is best to pick just the leaves, rather than dig out the entire plant. Pinch off unblemished leaves, selecting slightly mature ones over the very tender leaves, unless you’re planning to use them in salads. Mature leaves have a higher concentration of potent phytochemicals.

10. Purslane – Is commonly found in yards and gardens, but most people do not ever consider harvesting it. It has a slightly citrusy taste and a crisp texture. It is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. This herb is also rich in vitamins A, C, and various B vitamins, as well as a number of minerals. Tilling brings seeds to the surface where they quickly germinate. Purslane seeds germinate best with soil temperatures of 90 degrees so mulching may again help to control it. Since it germinates in high soil temperatures also means it doesn’t appear until June.

https://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/p/prugol77.html

 

11. Lamb’s Quarters – Are Very Nutritious The leaves of Lamb’s Quarters can be harvested and used like spinach. Use this herb in your juice, salad, soup, or any recipe that calls for spinach. It has a high content of vitamins A and K, as well as calcium and magnesium. Lamb’s Quarters is considered one of the most nutritious wild foods. These are just a few examples of herbs and weeds that have nutritional value. You may have some of these growing in your backyard and not even know it. Before harvesting any outdoor weeds or herbs, verify the identity of the plant. 

12. Bee Balm (wild bergamot) – Bee-balm is most often viewed as a wildflower and actually sold as an ornamental.  However, this plant can occur as a weed in some pasture and rangeland environments.  Bee-balm or wild bergamot is found throughout the United States except in Florida and along the West coast. The flowers make an attractive edible garnish in salads. Bee Balm herb is a source of oil of thyme, and is noted for its fragrance. The fresh or dried leaves are brewed into a medicinal tea. Bee Balm leaves and flowers and stems are used in alternative medicine as an antiseptic, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic and stimulant. A medicinal infusion is used internally in the treatment of colds, catarrh, headaches, and gastric disorders, to reduce low fevers and soothe a sore throat, to relieve flatulence, nausea, for menstrual pain, and insomnia. Steam inhalation of the plant can be used for sore throats, and bronchial catarrh (inflammation of the mucous membrane, causing an increased flow of mucus). Externally, Bee Balm is a medicinal application for skin eruptions and infections. Bergamot’s distinctive aroma, found in both the leaf and flower is wonderful for use in potpourri. While a fragrant herb in its own right, Wild Bergamot is not the source of the commonly used Bergamot Essential oil.

So there you have it, I covered some of the main backyard herbs, of course, there are many more. Maybe I’ll make a part 2 to this. Remember to be mindful that if you plan on ingesting these herbs, make sure they haven’t been sprayed with pesticides or treated with chemicals. Try looking in your own backyard to see if any of these wild medicinal weeds are at your disposal!

https://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/bethro34.html

References:

https://wellnessmama.com/59478/backyard-herbal-remedies/

https://juicing-for-health.com/weeds-that-are-medicinal-herbs

https://www.theorganicprepper.com/10-medicinal-weeds-that-may-grow-in-your-backyard/

http://www.naturallivingideas.com/plantain-benefits-uses/

https://altnature.com/gallery/beebalm.htm

http://www.pracreation.com/10-common-weeds-that-actually-have-medicinal-properties/

Why Every Woman Should do Handstands Daily

Headstand (Shirshasana) is often referred to as the king of all yoga poses. Here are some reasons why you should headstand daily.

Some PROS

1.Let’s start off with my favorite, duh, a free facelift. While upside down, The inverted position of a headstand also flushes fresh nutrients and oxygen to the face, creating a glowing effect on the skin. Being upside down allows nutrients and oxygen to rush to the face. Not only is this healthy, it makes the skin glow.

2.Headstands release anxiety and relax the mind. It puts more smiles on your face, because duh when your upside down you automatically have a smile. Seriously though, your depression will decrease as you create more positive thoughts thanks to your flushed and detoxified adrenal glands

3.Headstands increase blood flow and nutrients to the scalp, decreasing the onset of grey hair. Some professionals believe it actually reverses grey hair back to its natural color.

4.Headstands give your heart a boost in circulation and make it easier to send blood up to the brain. De-oxygenated blood is able to flow easily from the extremities back to the heart

5.Headstands provide refreshed blood to the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. These are vital ass glands, they are like the masters that regulate all other glands in the body (thyroid, adrenals, and pineal). This includes our sex hormones, so expect hotter sexcapades with a consistent headstand practice.

6.People who have varicose veins will like the fact that being upside down drains the fluid that was retained in the feet.

7.Besides its healing power, headstands build on core strength. In order to stay upside down for a length of time, you will need a massive amount of strength in your upper back, arms, and shoulders. To accomplish a still headstand the practitioner must engage the transverse abdominus, the obliques, and the rectus abdominus. A tip to really strengthen the core would be to pike the legs at the same time when coming in and out of the pose.

8.Since headstands send more oxygenated blood to the brain, it eliminates your chances of having an ischemic stroke.

9.Helps to cure insomnia naturally.

10.Headstands increase memory improves mental balance and concentration. 

 

Some CONS

1.Headstands can be contraindicative if you have neck injuries, extremely high blood pressure, ear and eye problems, if you are menstruating, or have acid reflux.

2.Headstands improve your balance, besides strength. You need good balance to be able to hold yourself up. Freestanding headstands require you to have superior strength. Especially so you can transition poses.

3.Just do it, start building handstands into your everyday routine, even if you’re not ready for 5 mins, start slowly with 1 minute, go up by a minute every 5 days. Not only is this healthy physically, and mentally, it comes with killer bragging rights, and you earned them.

Shirshasana Steps

  1. Sit on knees like and interlock the fingers of both hands and place them in front on the yoga mat.
  2. Slowly place your head into the hollow of palms. be careful not to put any pressure on your skull. 
  3. Slowly lift your both legs towards upwards and keep it straight. Ask a friend or find a wall for help.
  4. The body should be in a straight line from down to up.
  5. Breathe normally in this position for 15 to 20 seconds or more than that if you can.
  6. Now slowly release pose to come to starting position by lower down your legs (Bending Knees) one by one.
  7. Repeat this for 3-4 cycles.
  8. You can practice it for 1 minute to a maximum of 5 minutes in the beginning. After a good practice increase duration. 

Photo Credit: Th33BestICanBe

Why Every Woman Needs a Bidet

 

When it comes to personal hygiene save money and the environment with a Toilet Sprayer.

There’s environmental, and personal health benefits from using water over toilet paper for personal hygiene. Every day the average American uses 60 sheets of toilet paper, and 800 million tons a year. Forests are being destroyed to keep up with this demand. One economical way to cut down would be the use of a bidet.

The bidet isn’t standard in American homes, but you can find them all over the world. The bidet was invented by a French furniture maker around the 1870’s mainly to improve the aristocratic lifestyle.

It’s environmentally friendly because it uses about an 8th of a gallon of water when in use. Though people mainly connect the use of trees when making toilet paper. They usually forget the water usage during the production process. It takes 37 gallons of water to produce a roll of toilet paper. Overall you end up saving money, the environment, and lowering household waste.

Some health benefits are, the water replaces the paper that can destroy the skin around the bottom due to heavy wiping and friction. This greatly improves your chances of not getting hemorrhoids. Bidet’s also help with urinary tract infections in women since a popular cause is from wiping fecal matter too close to the urethra.

Side note, This may not be fun in the winter if you cannot adjust the temperature.

Another use of a toilet sprayer is to clean off cloth diapers and toilet rags. Not everyone is ready to leave toilet paper behind, but aren’t comfortable with the paper use. They usually gravitate toward cloth rags. These rags get soiled just like the cloth diaper insert. One-way to prep them for washing machines is with a pressurized sprayer. This sprayer guarantees you don’t touch poop.

Side note, Newborn breastfed babies poop is water-soluble.

Lastly, one final use would be to rinse off or hose down your pet in colder months. Animals don’t like being cold just as much as humans. That being said, during cold months when you wash your pet inside, the pressure controlled sprayer is great for washing off soap and dirt.

What goes into making toilet paper:

Wood Pulp
Chemicals
Water

Question: Knowing this information now, would you still stick with toilet paper or, are you more likely to install a sprayer or toilet seat in your home? Please give your opinions below in comments.

Here’s a sprayer I highly recommend:

Purrfect Zone

You can easily control water pressure from a gentle rinse to a strong jet spray to clean up dirty messes easily and it makes cleaning cloth diapers a breeze. The kit includes both wall and toilet mount options and the sprayer can be mounted on either side of the toilet making it ideal for both right or left-handed people. The kit has all accessories you need to install yourself, including plumber’s tape.

All parts of the kit are designed and constructed to the highest standards with steel to prevent water leakage and ensure that the sprayer will last. The flexibility of the hose makes it possible for the user to get the sprayer at the perfect angle for them. The best part, the sprayer comes with lifetime warranty. PurrfectZone wants to make sure their customers are happy and satisfied.

Purchase $38.00

If environmental impact and household waste is your concern, I encourage getting this toilet sprayer and lowering your carbon footprint one smart purchase at a time. 

 

We eat Sterilized Bananas ???

Bananas are a starchy, sweet botanical berry and edible fruit that come from flowering banana plants. I always wondered about seeds in the banana. Are there any seeds, are they so tiny that they’re edible, what’s the real deal? In my ignorance, I actually believed there were tiny seeds that were edible, like strawberries. With my logic, I assumed the seeds are there, they’re just too tiny to see, I figured how else do they grow? How do you grow a plant without seeds? I’m guessing the same way you grow ginger or potatoes.

The older bananas are considered wild. The wild banana mostly consists of inedible seeds and a starchy pulp. Many cultures boiled it before eating. I can understand why the wild banana was replaced by the hybrid sterilized banana, and I can also see the consequences being a less nutritious fruit. The first bananas were discovered around 10,000 years ago in the Papau New Ginea area.

The most recent banana is the Cavendish-grown from a corm, shown here next to a wild banana. They are a split of two wild banana varieties; musa akuminata and musa balbisiana. They aren’t grown from seeds but from a bulb or rhizome. You plant the bulb in the ground and it splits. The banana plant is considered a plant because it’s not a tree. Now we have what we call a sterilized banana with undeveloped seeds yummy.

Some other bananas are the musa velutina, or the hairy pink banana. The peels are like firm springs that come right off the banana. They are a bit smaller and filled with seeds about 30 – 40 to each one. The taste is similar to the modern popular banana but a bit tangy.

Say, “Thank You” and Shut up

Compliments are a simple effortless way to brighten someone’s day. It’s also an activity that starts off challenging. My favorite quote is, “Being nice is one of the hardest things in the world.” Compliments are equally not as easy to receive as they are to give. It makes me wonder why? But only a nice person can give and receive compliments graciously hence making handling compliments hard. Why?

Compliments can start with confidence. People with low self-esteem have more doubt and are less likely to accept compliments and praise. They usually end up answering in a weird or awkward way other than appreciation because they don’t feel deserving. We sometimes second guess a compliment. Accepting compliments doesn’t mean you’re arrogant or conceited, they actually increase your self-esteem on average by 10%.

You can tell a lot about a person by their reaction to a compliment.

Compliments are like paying it forward, it’s equally beneficial to the giver and receiver. The better you get at receiving compliments, the more it will build you up, and the easier it becomes for you to give compliments to others.

What we learned today; Give more detailed compliments, make more friends, have a better life, be more secure. 

You should know Human trafficking

Let’s talk about the third international crime industry behind drugs and guns. Human trafficking is the use of coercion, fraud, or force to compel another person to labor. Trafficking happens when need meets greed, but to go deeper it happens when workers are excluded from protections and denied rights. Human Trafficking better known as slavery is basically the new slavery or when it comes to sex, the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children. We also like to give it acronyms to make it not sound so bad. What is the true value of a human life? Unfortunately, Numbers don’t lie;

30 billion dollars are generated yearly from human trafficking

45 million USD spent a year on online sex trafficking in the US

35 million enslaved globally

300,000 children at risk for human trafficking a year

200,000 dollars Per year is what a pimp makes for 1 victim

13 The average age of a child prostitute

100 USD is the average cost of a U.S. slave

1 million slaves are moved across international borders on the black market 70 percent being women and 50 percent being children

60,000 is estimated to be the yearly amount of victims that die from abuse, disease, torture, and neglect.

11,000 USD is the average price to buy a child as a suicide bomber

This is a worldwide epidemic covered by news of many different countries:

Ex: Sex Trafficking in Bosnia

       Sex Tourism in Thailand.

       Human Trafficking in a New Jersey hair salon

       Suicide Bombers in the middle east

Human trafficking isn’t just found in the sex industry. It’s found in fields, mines, the food industry, the clothing industry, and the technological industry. Humans are sold as slaves for many reasons:

  1. Labor – (Main Reason)
  2. Forced Sex – (Main Reason)
  3. Organs
  4. Babies
  5. War soldiers (for armed conflicts)
  6. Suicide Bombers (Yes you can buy a child to sit in as your suicide bomber)

Ninety percent of women involved in prostitution were victims of child sex abuse or raped by the age of 18. Children that are getting prostituted and enslaved are usually by their own family members. They start getting swapped out for money, rent drugs, favors. A lot of these children are Caucasian girls in the United States. The internet has greatly increased human trafficking. They can use the Internet to filter out girls by so many categories. It’s like yelp for human trafficking. What does a sex buyer look like? I know your thinking of shady men driving through the street at night looking for prostitutes but, envision men in suits, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and your neighbors.  

I’ll leave off with this bit of knowledge; there are more slaves today in 2018 than ever in history. How is that for evolution? How did this happen? This is a huge problem that is quite easy to ignore. What can we do? It’s up to all of us to learn everything we can about the labor and supply chains of the products that we support.

The Oil Pulling Effect

Oil pulling is an age-old remedy hailing from Ayurvedic medicine. Where one is using natural substances to clean and detoxify gums and teeth. It’s great for overall gum health and a natural teeth whitener. Certain oils combinations can also help fight harmful bacteria in the mouth.

Dr. Bruce Fife, whose written an entire book on oil pulling, says the oil acts as a cleanser.

“When you put it in your mouth and work it around your teeth and gums it “pulls” out bacteria and other debris. As simple as it is, oil pulling has a very powerful detoxifying effect. Our mouths are the home to billions of bacteria, viruses, fungi and other parasites and their toxins. Candida and Streptococcus are common residents in our mouths. It is these types of germs and their toxic waste products that cause gum disease and tooth decay and contribute to many other health problems including arthritis and heart disease. Our immune system is constantly fighting these troublemakers. If our immune system becomes overloaded or burdened by excessive stress, poor diet, environmental toxins and such, these organisms can spread throughout the body causing secondary infections and chronic inflammation, leading to any number of health problems.”

The basic idea is that oil is swished in your mouth for 15 – 20 mins each day helping to improve oral health. The idea is the oil is able to cut through plaque and remove toxins without disturbing the teeth or gums. It was first introduced to the United States in the early 1990s by a medical doctor named Dr. F. Karach, who used it with success in his medical practice.

Most sources do agree that oil pulling is safe but debate how effective it is. I can say I have been oil pulling for about a year, and it has tremendous results. I enjoy how easy it is to do during the day, allowing me to easily multi-task.

Some Good Oil Pulling Recipes are:

1 drop oregano oil substitute for (peppermint, clove, and cinnamon)

1 tsp. sesame oil

1 tsp. coconut oil

1 drop oregano oil

1 tblsp. coconut oil

1 drop oregano oil

1 tblsp. sesame oil

Coconut and sesame oils are natural, antibacterial, antimicrobial.

Instructions:

1. Drink 1 cup of water on an empty stomach.

2. Put 1-2 teaspoons of oil into the mouth.

3. Swish around 20 minutes.

Timing is key, you want the oil there long enough to break through plaque, but not long enough that your body starts to re-absorb toxic mix. The oil will become thick and milk as it mixes with saliva and toxins. When you first start 20 minutes may be really hard to do. When I started I worked my way up 5 mins. every week.

4. Spit oil into the trash can. Spitting in the sink and toilet can lead to clogged pipes. Swallowing it would completely defeat the purpose of trying to detox. You would be ingesting all of the toxins.

5. Rinse well with warm water.It’s better to swish the water like you did the oil. This will get any remaining bacteria out of your gums and teeth. If you swish hard enough you may feel like you just drank peroxide. That’s perfectly normal. It may even be better to swish with salt water.

6. Brush your teeth

See Morehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elyK-UjPXKE