DIY Deodorant

October 12th, 2016

Deodorant has many toxic ingredients that can wreck havoc on our bodies. When choosing a deodorant you want to AVOID the following ingredients: aluminum compounds, parabens, silica, triclosan, propylene glycol, talc, and steareth-n. These toxins can actually cause anything from minor skin irritation to kidney and liver damage to cancer. Luckily, there are a variety of all-natural and organic brands that do not have these harmful ingredients, which are capable of giving you the same amount of protection. You can find these natural and organic deodorants at any health food store. I prefer to use Crystal Essence or Tom’s of Maine, which are on the cheaper end of the spectrum and I can find at pretty much any grocery store (very convenient). However, if you have time and are willing to find the ingredients you can always make your own deodorant at home. I posted a video below of a really great organic deodorant recipe. I hope you enjoy!


Is Your Drinking Water Contaminated?

September 30th, 2016

Apparently 75% of drinking water in the United States is contaminated and is potentially harmful to consume.

via Mike Adams at thefallingdarkness.com:

An Environmental Working Group review of government water analysis data reveals that 75% of drinking water in America is contaminated with cancer-causing hexavalent chromium (also known as chromium-6). In a widely publicized report, EWG warns that 200 million Americans are right now being exposed to this toxic chemical in their water.

This is on top of our own efforts at EPAwatch.org where my lab tested hundreds of municipal water samples from across the country and found high levels of lead and other heavy metals in 6.7% of samples.

Yet another problem is hexavalent chromium, which is used in industrial operations such as chrome plating and the manufacturing of plastics and dyes. It has been linked to liver and kidney damage in animals as well as to leukemia, stomach cancer, and other cancers. Hexavalent Chromium has been found in the tap water of thirty-one out of thirty-five cities sampled. Of these cities, twenty-five had levels that exceeded safety standards. Sadly, even if your water is not contaminated with any of these substances, it may still be unsafe to drink. – The Great American Health Hoax – The Surprising Truth About Modern Medicine by Raymond Francis

If this is alarming to you, you have options. Make sure you are filtering your water with a water filter, which has been certified to remove heavy metals and other toxins. My personal favorite is the the ZeroWater filter.

The ZeroWater filter can remove:

Aluminum reduction: 100%

Copper reduction: 99.1%

Arsenic reduction: 99.3%

Strontium reduction: 100%

Cadmium reduction: 99.2%

Cesium reduction: 100%

Mercury reduction: 99.4%

Lead reduction: 99.2%

Uranium reduction: 99.1%

In addition via ZeroWater:

To date, the breakthrough ZeroWater filter has received certifications by NSF International and the Water Quality Association for the removal of copper, iron, zinc, aluminum, lead, chromium, mercury, chlorine and hydrogen sulfide.

For more information on this and other filters check out the article; 7 most popular countertop water filters tested for removal of heavy metals and radioactive elements 


Manuka Honey Benefits

September 28th, 2016

Manuka honey has some amazing health benefits. However, because of its rising popularity many companies are trying to cash in by selling fake Manuka honey. Real Manuka honey has medicinal and antibacterial properties, which is why it’s so important to find the real deal. When looking for it, it should have the following clearly labeled:

via Dr. Axe

  • It will have a UMF trademark clearly labeled on the front of the container.
  • It will be from a New Zealand UMF licensed company and labelled in New Zealand.
  • It will have the UMF company’s name and license number on the label.
  • It will have a UMF rating number of 5-16+. If it is labeled without the UMF or without a number, then it is not the genuine article.

Keep in mind that the higher the UMF (Unique Manuka Factor) the more superior the medicinal quality is. For example, by using a Manuka honey with a UMF of 10-14 you will experience some healing and bacterial balance. Use a Manuka honey with a UMF of 15+, which is high in phenols, you will experience more medicinal benefits such as combating resistant bacteria.

The following are a range of specific health benefits you might experience with Manuka honey via Dr. Axe:

  • It can help with small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), low stomach acid, and acid reflux
  • It can fight acne and eczema
  • It can fight staph infections (MRSA)
  • It can heal burns, wounds, and ulcers
  • It can help cure gingivitis and periodontal disease
  • It can reduce colonic inflammation and restore lipid peroxidation seen in those who suffer with IBS and IBD
  • It can stop the growth of sore-throat causing strep bacteria and boost the immune system
  • It can help combat seasonal allergies and sinusitis
  • When added to milk it can aid in the release of melatonin and create deeper, more restful sleep

Tips to Improve Your Sleep

June 11th, 2016

Getting a good nights sleep is important for your overall health. Not getting enough sleep or having interrupted sleep can be a contributing factor to a range of significant health issues. According to Dr. Mercola insufficient sleep can increase your risk of heart disease and cancer, it can harm your brain, contribute to a pre-diabetic, insulin-resistant state, and can cause premature aging.

Below are some some simple tips to help your mind and body get ready for bed and to help you achieve a deeper sleep.

  • Open your blinds first thing in the morning so the production of melatonin stops and your body wakes up.
  • Take a walk after lunch. The sunlight will help you to be less sleepy during the day and help you produce melatonin better at night.
  • Cut caffeine out of your diet anytime after breakfast. Caffeine can linger in your body and make it harder to get rested.
  • Eat a light dinner and don’t eat for at least 3 hours before bedtime. Eating close to bedtime will devote more of your bodies energy to digestion than to recharging your body during sleep.
  • Exercise. This can help burn off excess energy and it releases endorphins, which help your body to become more relaxed.
  • Turn off your phone, dim your lights, and dedicate 15-30 minutes to a relaxing activity such as taking a bath, meditation, listening to music, or reading.
  • Sleep in the complete dark. Any bit of light can disrupt melatonin production.

 

 


Is Diphenhydramine Really Safe?

June 9th, 2016

Diphenhydramine, also known as Benadryl, is used to combat pesky allergies. Pregnant women who suffer from severe morning sickness or anxiety are also encouraged to take it as diphenhydramine can help with nausea and anxiousness. Diphenhydramine has been on the market for so long that often time people don’t have a second thought about taking it. However, is this medication really all that safe?

Recently, both acetaminophen and ibuprofen have been found to negatively impact health. Acetaminophen has been shown to dull positive emotions and cause apathy. As for ibuprofen, even taken at small doses, can increase your risk of stroke, heart attack, and liver damage. I personally know people that pop these medications like they’re candy. There is this shared mentality that as long as it’s over the counter and it has been around forever then it must be safe. The truth is we don’t really know how safe these medications are or will be until the damage has been done, which can sometimes take decades.

In the case of diphenhydramine, it has been linked to the early onset of dementia.

Via Beverly Merz at Harvard Women’s Health Watch:

A team led by Shelley Gray, a pharmacist at the University of Washington’s School of Pharmacy, tracked nearly 3,500 men and women ages 65 and older who took part in Adult Changes in Thought (ACT), a long-term study conducted by the University of Washington and Group Health, a Seattle healthcare system. They used Group Health’s pharmacy records to determine all the drugs, both prescription and over-the-counter, that each participant took the 10 years before starting the study. Participants’ health was tracked for an average of seven years. During that time, 800 of the volunteers developed dementia. When the researchers examined the use of anticholinergic drugs, they found that people who used these drugs were more likely to have developed dementia as those who didn’t use them. Moreover, dementia risk increased along with the cumulative dose. Taking an anticholinergic for the equivalent of three years or more was associated with a 54% higher dementia risk than taking the same dose for three months or less.

If you have allergies don’t be discouraged by this news, you still have other options. Diet, supplements, and vitamins can have a great impact in combating allergies.


Insomnia.

June 7th, 2016

Insomnia has plagued me for as long as I can possibly remember. Instead of relaxing and winding down when I get into bed at night, my brain seems to want to work overtime. My brain eagerly wants me to think every thought I’ve ever had or should have had my entire life. My insomnia is chronic and debilitating.

I have been prescribed some pretty serious medications to help me sleep throughout the years, but they just ended up making me feel agitated and zombie-like the next day. It has never been worth the added hassle. I have also tried various relaxation techniques such as meditation, showers, calming music, exercise, and lavender essential oil. Herbal remedies also worked to a certain degree. However, nothing was powerful enough on the nights that for whatever reason were particularly hard to fall asleep.

I’m definitely not alone in this battle as 10% of Americans experience chronic insomnia. The main problem with me and with most people who are experiencing chronic insomnia are the underlying issues that are likely causing the insomnia, which are simply not being dealt with. The brain can’t shut down because it knows there is unfinished business. It is trying to bring the thoughts we are suppressing to the surface so we can finally cope with what is truly bothering us. The insomnia will continue until we decide to take the final leap and deal with the things we are not allowing ourselves to deal with.

Alain de Botton has an interesting view on insomnia which correlates with my own views. However, he adds in a pretty simple and enlightening solution to the problem. Watch the video below to find out more.

 

 


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