Sunday, October 16, 2016

27 Best Herbs For Hair Growth

Hair loss is the dreaded word for both men and women. Everyone dreams of long, thick and strong hair. Here are some 27 best herbs which gives you hair growth and nourishes your scalp. Make use of these herbs which encourages hair growth and stop worrying about hair fall.

Hair loss, or hair thinning, or even hair damage is a concern for men and women as we get older. Here are 27 herbs that are great for hair growth and also for keeping your hair healthy!

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe contains salicylic acid, an anti-inflammatory and mild antibiotic, and aloe vera can help to clean your scalp of skin cells and excess sebum which can clog hair follicles.

2. Amla

This herb contains antioxidants and vitamin C which are necessary for collagen production and hair growth. It’s also used as a remedy to delay premature greying of hair.

3. Basil

When applied to the hair and scalp, basil acts as an anti-inflammatory, helps prevent breakage of hair, and improves circulation which can help to stimulate hair growth.

4. Bhringraj

This is an ancient Ayurvedic herb considered to be very powerful in encouraging hair growth.

5. Burdock Root

Rich in fatty acids, burdock root oil can be used to help promote scalp health, reduce inflammation and promote stronger hair growth.

6. Calendula

Calendula oil is rich in minerals and anti-oxidants. Applying calendula oil to the scalp helps promote hair growth, increases collagen production and circulation.

7. Fenugreek

Rich in vitamins, fenugreek can help improve circulation and stimulate hair growth. The best way to apply it is by turning fenugreek seeds into a paste, and applying it directly to the scalp.

8. Flaxseed

Full of fatty acids and anti-oxidants, ground flaxseeds can be mixed with water to form a gel that can be applied to the scalp to help stimulate hair growth and improve hair strength.

9. Ginger Root Oil

This oil increases circulation in hair follicles, promoting stronger and faster growth. It is also an anti-septic and moisturizer, making it great for clearing up dandruff and other skin conditions which may interfere with healthy hair growth.

10. Gotu Kola

This herb has been used for thousands of years to treat many internal and external maladies. The best way to use this herb is to mix gotu kola extract with olive oil and massage it into the scalp. This should improve circulation and help promote stronger hair growth.

11. Hibiscus

Hibiscus flowers contains vitamins and anti-oxidants that improve the health of the scalp and hair. Use fresh blossoms or dried hibiscus to coconut oil and grind it into a fine paste. Then apply the paste to your scalp and hair regularly – allow it to soak into the scalp/hair for at least two hours before rinsing – it should help increase hair growth while also warding off premature greying and dandruff.

12. Hops

The flowers of the hops plant contain an oil that has been shown to nourish and stimulate hair growth, and help thicken and/or strengthen existing hair. The oil of the flower is also a natural anti-septic which can help to fight infections of the scalp or hair follicles that can stunt hair growth.

13. Horsetail

This herb works by stimulating blood vessels in the body, which can help in supplying oxygen to hair follicles. Horsetail also contains quercetin, a flavonoid with anti-allergy and anti-viral capabilities. It contains silica which is a nutrient that helps to repair hair damage and fortify hair against breakage. To use, steep one part dried horsetail in two parts water for an hour or more. Strain and cool the infused water to room temperature before applying to hair and scalp.

14. Lavender

Lavender is a herb that has been used for almost every health ailment – from improving sleep to reducing stress to helping healthy hair grow. This oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-septic. It helps stimulate circulation in the scalp, strengthens new hair growth, and helps to balance the natural oil production of the scalp. It’s also a natural insect repellent which can ward off parasites like head lice.

15. Licorice

The flavonoids naturally occurring in licorice work to nourish the scalp and heal damage caused by fungal infection, eczema, environmental allergens, and chemical exposure. To prepare this herb, add one tablespoon of dried licorice root to three cups of boiling water. Allow the roots to steep for an hour or more on low heat. Strain and cool the infused liquid to room temperature before applying to hair and scalp.

16. Marshmallow

The roots of this herb contain contain lauric acid, which is a medium chain fatty acid present in coconut oil. It’s also rich in mucilage, a natural hair detangler. To prepare this herb, boil dried marshmallow for about fifteen minutes, then strain it – and combine the strained part with your own conditioner before applying to hair.

17. Oat Straw

This herb is a source of silica and magnesium which promote scalp health and hair growth. To prepare this herb, steep oat straw in hot water for an hour or more before applying it to your hair. You can also drink it as a tea.

18. Parsley

Common garden parsley is full of vitamins and anti-oxidants which increase keratin and collagen production in the scalp, increase circulation, promote healthy hair growth, and protect skin and hair from damage by free-radicals. This herb also contains zinc and copper which works together to regulate metabolism and synthesize melanin, the pigment that protects skin and hair from sun damage. To prepare, steep parsley in boiling water or grind fresh parsley mixed with water or oil into a fine paste to be applied to scalp and hair. Parsley can also be added to tea and salads.

19. Peppermint

Peppermint oil is an anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. When applied to the scalp, peppermint oil can help to heal chemical, microbial, or environmental damage while also stimulating growth by boosting circulation and stimulating hair follicles.

20. Rose Hips

Rose Hips oil (wild rose) is one of the best sources of Vitamin C, making it a powerful stimulant for hair growth. To prepare, simmer or soak rose hips in water until they become soft enough to crush. Mix with a moisturizer to form a paste that can be applied to the scalp and hair.

21. Rosemary

Rosemary oil is rich in vitamins, an anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, and one of the most popular herbs for healthy hair. Massage one to two teaspoons of rosemary oil directly into the scalp.

22. Sage

This herb contains vitamins B and C, as well as magnesium, zinc, and potassium, all of which improve hair growth and strength. It’s also antibiotic, anti-allergic, and anti-septic making it ideal for healing skin ailments that may stunt hair growth. Add this oil to a moisturizer to rub into the hair, or steep it in hot water and apply to scalp.

23. Shikakai

This herb has been used in Asia for thousands of years as an herbal hair cleanser. It’s often combined with Amla in shampoo sold in India for hair benefits. To prepare, you can ground shikakai fruit into a powder or steep it in warm water – then rinse hair with the paste, or massage it into the scalp to promote growth, strengthen roots, and improve scalp health.

24. Soapnut

As the name suggests, the fruit of the soapnut tree has been used since ancient times to make soap. It’s a natural cleanser that has both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, making it an excellent choice for nourishing scalp and hair follicles, as well as for growing thicker, healthier hair.

25. Thyme

This common herb has both anti-septic and anti-fungal properties, as well as containing magnesium, potassium, and selenium which are known to promote stronger hair growth. Steep dried thyme in warm water to create an herbal rinse that can be applied to your hair.

26. Watercress

Watercress is packed with vitamins and minerals – most notably of which is biotin – which has benefits for stronger hair growth.

27. Yarrow

Yarrow is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and astringent making it great for treating scalp conditions which may stunt hair growth. It is high in natural saponins and fatty-acids, which makes it perfect for cleansing the scalp naturally and stimulating new hair growth.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

6 Awesome Herbs For Glowing & Beautiful Skin

Aloe vera has blood purification properties that helps treat acne, allergic rash, swelling and blemishes. Neem (Margosa) is a natural cleanser that flushes out toxins and prevents pimples and skin eruptions. Paste of gram flour, turmeric and sandalwood works as an antiseptic. Rose water or saffron and water paste, applied on face keeps skin smooth and glowing.

Herbs for Skin

As Herbs can give glowing and beautiful skin, Synthetic and artificial cosmetics are out and herbal skin care is in!  A number of time tested herbs that have been researched over the years promise a smooth and supple skin, natural radiance as well as escape from most of the skin maladies. Though it is equally important to be aware and restrain from the factors that would otherwise cause harm to your skin. The age old therapies of Ayurveda work as a boon in not only doing away a number of skin maladies like acne, blemishes, skin eruptions etc. but they also promise great help when it comes to nourishing and restoring your natural beauty.
Here are some of the herbs for skin that could benefit you by providing soft and smooth skin with a natural glow.

1. Aloe Vera

Fresh juice or extract from this herb could prove to be a boon for your skin. It’s potent blood purification properties are beneficial in curing many skin ailments like acne, allergic rash, swelling and also blemishes. Nowadays a number of cosmetics contain Aloe vera as the main ingredient.In Ayurvedic texts it has been said that the fresh juice applied on the face can result into fairness and loss of blemishes. This is because Aloe vera is slimy and mucoid by nature, and cold in action. It is bitter in taste and has a pungent after taste. Therefore according to Ayurveda, it is believed to subside the aggravated heat in the body, which is the cause of most of the skin problems. Recommended Dosage: 10 to 20 ml of freshly extracted juice. Local application of the pulp or juice is also recommended.

2. Neem

Neem or the Margosa tree is a natural cleanser that flushes out toxins from the body and thus helps clear the skin from maladies like pimples and skin eruptions. It is recommended both for internal as well as external use. The juice extracted from grinding fresh Neem leaves and the paste thus formed can be applied on the skin eruptions. Also the Neem leaves could be pounded and made into small balls, which when taken on an empty stomach proves a wonderful blood purifier. According to Ayurveda, Neem is light in nature and cold in action. The taste is pungent and astringent, whereas the after taste is bitter. Therefore, Neem again proves beneficial in decreasing the aggravated heat in the body system. All the more it is believed to be a natural antiseptic, antipruritic and a natural wound healer. Recommended Dosage: 10 to 20 ml fresh juice extracted from the leaves. Also used  for local application.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is another herb that has for always been associated with beauty. It acts as a wonderful beauty therapy as well as efficient cosmetic use. Turmeric mixed with gram flour (besan) and sandalwood powder applied to the skin makes it soft and glowing and helps to remove blemishes. This can be supplemented with a little oil or butter. I would also recommend a pinch of turmeric in their daily intake of milk, as the antiseptic and anti allergic properties held by the herb is an effective cure in skin problems. Recommended Dosage: 1 to 3 grams of the powder. Local application as advised.

 4. Sandalwood

Sandalwood is believed to be a holder of anti-toxic and rejuvenating properties. It is a regular ingredient in many skin crèmes and beauty enhancing products. It proves highly meritorious in curing heat related skin problems like itching, blemishes, allergies and roughness of the skin. You could apply some sandalwood oil mixed into coconut oil or even sesame seed oil and massaged into the effected areas to find relief. Recommended Dosage: 3 to 6 grams of the powder. Local application as recommended.

5. Rose

Rose is believed to be light, slimy and cold in action. It is also rich in vitamin C, naturally rejuvenating and virtuous for the skin. The Rose water can be applied externally to the skin for better results and to get a fairer complexion. You could also take two teaspoons of Rose syrup mixed in a glassful of water on an empty stomach once or twice a day. This is an effective cure for heat borne skin ailments like pimples, blemishes etc. Recommended Dosage: 20 to 40 ml of the syrup, 10 to 20 grams of rose- jelly (Gulkand). Local application also suggested.

6. Saffron

This is another herb that proves to be a boon to your skin. Since olden times, saffron has been regarded as highly beneficial for the skin. Not only does it add glow to the skin and cure blemishes; it also acts as a blood purifier. The oil of saffron called ‘Kumkumaadi tail’ is to be applied to the face. As an easy remedy, make a paste by mixing saffron in water and apply it to the blemishes. Recommended Dosage: Half to one gram. Local application as suggested.

Omega 3s Slow Down Cognitive Decline In Alzhiemer’s Patients

A recent study suggests that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and fish oil supplements in combination with antioxidants - lutein and zeaxanthin - can help prevent age-related mental decline and improve your brain function. The best natural food sources of lutein and zeaxanthin are leafy green vegetables, carrots, paprika, red peppers, corn, and saffron.

The progression of aging commonly renders individuals more susceptible to many clinical diseases and disorders. At the forefront of this health alteration is the natural deterioration of the mind, observed in many cognitive disorders. Alzheimer’s Disease is an immensely prevalent disorder among older individuals. This disease is a subset of the disorders noted under dementia in which the brain is depreciated and this damage interferes with cognitive functions including memory and behavior.
As the most common type of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-80% of dementia cases and is most common in individuals 65 years of age and older. The progression of this disorder grows worse over time, alluding to its position as the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. No cure presently exists for Alzheimer’s disease, as it is an extremely vague condition with loosely assigned risk factors. Thus, extensive research is invested to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Current treatments cannot halt the progression of this disorder; they merely slow the cognitive damage.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids And Alzheimer’s Disease: Research

A recent study proposed the use of omega-3 fatty acids with lutein/zeaxanthin supplementation as a remedy for cognitive decline observed with Alzheimer’s disease. This study relied on prior research that projected that diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids can protect cognitive functionality. This theory rests on the premise that a common component of brain cells and omega-3 fatty acids known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) may provide protection against Alzheimer’s disease.
Individuals plagued with cognitive decline have characteristically low levels of DHA in their brains. Lutein and zeaxanthin are both carotenoids found in the human diet that additionally are hypothesized to impact brain function. Lutein is found in leafy, green vegetables such as spinach, kale, and carrots. Zeaxanthin is found in the human diet via paprika, red peppers, corn, and saffron, distinguished by a vibrant red color.

Impact Of Omega-3 Fatty Acids On Brain Function

The researchers in this study found that risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease included older individuals with lower educational status, hypertension, male gender, and other cardiovascular conditions. Ultimately, these various combinations of supplementation found no significant decrease in cognitive decline among study participants.
Forward thinking research proposed that consuming omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants through food products as opposed to supplement form may have produced more conclusive results. It is still widely accepted that brain function is reliant on dietary fats because of the composition of brain tissues, which are fat based. DHA supports nerve cell structure and function, improving memory and thinking. The goals of future cognitive studies are to translate these observations in cognitive improvement from animal models to human trials in the hopes of deducing an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

4 Steps To Lower Breast Cancer Risk

A healthy diet can help lower the risk of breast cancer. Try to eat a lot of fruits and non-starchy cruciferous vegetables. Replace all your skincare products with natural and organic ones. Discard the underwire bras that can impede proper lymphatic drainage around the breasts. Strive for a vitamin D level between 50-75. Get regular screenings done to prevent it at an early stage.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. During the month of October many people will walk for a cure. You can recognize the women who have had or are battling breast cancer. They will be the ones on the walk wearing pink t-shirts. They will walk along side family, friends, doctors and nurses who have been supporting them along the way.

The Awareness Walk

Breast cancer awareness walk happens each year to bring attention to the disease that most women fear. Millions of dollars have been raised and spent on breast cancer research, but what about prevention? What is the reason for increase in breast cancer every year?

What Causes Breast Cancer?

I can certainly speculate on some of the theories and suspicions. Such as our exposure to environmental toxins that are known hormone disruptors. The food chain full of processed foods, chemicals, additive, pesticide residue and genetic modification. The chronic stress in many women’s lives. Plenty of chemicals in skincare products and cosmetics are also speculated to be the reason.
It could be any of these things, if not all are contributing to the rise not only in breast cancer, but other forms of cancer and chronic disease as well.
So what can you do today to protect yourself and lessen your risk of developing breast cancer?

4 Steps To Lower Breast Cancer Risk

1. Stay On A Healthy Diet

Consume a diet rich in organic non-starchy cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, radishes, and arugula.

2. Watch Your Skincare Products

Replace all your skincare products with natural and organic products. Make your own soaps, use extra-virgin coconut oil as a natural moisturizer. Look for companies that have banned toxic chemicals from their products for safer, natural ingredients. You can also look on the Environmental Working Group’s website to find a list of safe options.

3. Discard The Underwire Bras

These can impede proper lymphatic drainage around the breasts.

4. Maintain Optimal Vitamin D Levels

Make sure your vitamin D level is optimal. This can help your immune system to fight against things. Research has also shown that more women survive breast cancer when their vitamin D level is optimal. Strive for a vitamin D level between 50-75. Less than this and you will want to consider supplementing with vitamin D3.
Although these are just four simple points that you can follow, they are very effective. There are certainly more that you can do such as exercise, stress management, getting adequate sleep and getting regular breast cancer screenings.
I think we all know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. It is important to remember to do what you can to reduce your risks.

How a change to the kitchen helped with my weight loss

Start your weight loss journey with these simple lifestyle tweaks and rearrangements in your kitchen to foster more nutritious and healthy eating habits.
Since the start of my birthday on August 1st (2016 for future references), I have lost 10 pounds by simply changing not just what I had been eating, but how I was cooking.
I made it a point that age 29 was going to be highly focused on cooking because:
  • I wanted to save money.
  • I wanted to impress others.
  • I wanted to eat healthier.
I certainly dabbled in cooking for years prior, but I often found myself falling back on old habits and buying quick meals (usually fast or frozen meals) because I felt lazy.
What changed this time that has so far stuck is that I began introducing a different variety of foods to my diet as well as new and interesting cooking wear to keep my attention.
The result? Well, my gut has started to shrink, I am down 10 pounds, and my pants are getting loose.
Here are a few things that made the big changes to my time in the kitchen:

1. Sweets To Salty

I have never been a huge fan of sweets, but lately this year and especially after I committed to cooking I have been finding myself absorbed in salty foods versus sweets and I love using turmeric and garlic.
  • In place of a soda I will drink green tea or have a coffee.
  • Instead of gummy worms I stick to pistachios or cashews.
  • Crackers have replaced cookies.
Dumping the refined sugars has made me feel quite amazing. I do not get those sugar rushes nor am I stacking on empty calories. Over time I had a preference for salty (and bitter) foods rather than indulging in my sweet tooth.
That went places considering nuts are great for protein, natural sugars (when you want to indulge) in fruit is healthier, and snacks like crackers or popcorn provided a better source of much-needed fiber I was not getting before.

2. I Upped The Hardware

A change to your kitchen on a hardware level is like giving an artist a new color palette. You unlock a whole new world of cuisine and when you find recipes that pique your interest, well then…you start using these new appliances like crazy.
Some upgrades were easy while others did come at a higher (but worthwhile) investment:
I even went as far as considering professional appliances like a commercial fridge because I was cooking more, creating leftovers, and constantly picking up great finds when I was out at the stores (especially when there were sales!).
Hardware changes everything if you are willing to make an investment and avoid unitaskers; go with the hardware that provides “big wins” and it will bring you to a whole new level of challenges and fun.
Oh – and if you are wondering how this contributed to losing weight. Well…anyone that knows how hectic cooking can be can tell you what a workout it can be!
Suddenly I am going from hitting the zap button to micro-managing pans and you will feel the burn.

3. Going Local

I have the privilege of living within a 5-minute proximity of a farmer’s market (though it is only available on Thursdays and some of the odd ones).
Despite it not being a regular occurrence, I still make the most of my local offerings at the market and on a local level.
  • Fresh veggies and fruits are coming from the market.
  • I try to purchase meats (especially fish because we have many lakes) from stalls.
  • The ethnic markets (we actually have a Polish and German market in my town) are fantastic.
Going local helps you avoid the temptations of the big box stores, which are chock full of products that are likely to tempt you into submission.
When you are going to the local markets and shops, you are usually limited in selection, which means you have to work with what you have.
Base your diet around what is fresh and available and you will quickly find out how easy it can be to lose a few pounds because you are not reaching for those snacks you do not really need at the big box store.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Top 5 Anti-Inflammatory Foods You Need

Products featured in this post

Start small by incorporating these top 5 anti-inflammatory foods like chia seeds and flax seeds, blueberries, ginger, turmeric and green leafy vegetables into your daily meals. Take ownership for creating the healthiest version of you and establishing good eating habits for your loved ones.

We all know that the root cause of most chronic health conditions is inflammation in the body. This can be from environmental toxicity, skin care products you are using, foods you are eating, stress, and many other factors.
Your body can only do so much to cleanse the system and then it shows up in many ways and different health ailments. It is important to understand you can do A LOT to lower the inflammation in your body and one very simple way is to eat foods that naturally lower inflammation for you.
I’ve put together a list of my top 5 favorite foods to incorporate daily. Remember you do have the power to choose what you put in your body, so choose wisely.

Top 5 Foods To Include In Your Diet

1. Chia Seeds And Flaxseeds

These are two favorite seeds that are so easy to add to any of your dishes. These are excellent sources of Omega 3. Chia seeds can reverse inflammation and lower blood pressure which is great for heart health. Flaxseeds are an excellent source of antioxidants which is great for hormonal balance and cellular health. You can simply add these to a smoothie, sprinkle on oatmeal, add to pancake batter, mix with muffins and so many other simple ways to incorporate.

2. Tumeric

Most of you have heard of the amazing benefits of adding tumeric to your diet. Tumeric’s primary compound is curcumin, which is an active anti-inflammatory compound. Adding this daily will really help lower the inflammation in your body. You can take it in capsule form or add it to your diet.

3. Blueberries

Who doesn’t LOVE blueberries? This is one of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods. These berries contain quercetin which fights inflammation and is high in antioxidants. You can add these berries to everything! Yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, smoothies, salads and more. Make a point of eating these berries daily to support your body.

4. Green Leafy Vegetables

These vegetables are anti-inflammatory and HUGE in antioxidants which helps with free radicals in the body. We are over exposed to toxins in so many ways and it is very important to do your part in lowering the toxic load. When buying green leafy vegetables try to buy organic if possible and simply incorporate them into your daily meals. I love putting a handful of kale or spinach in my smoothies!

5. Ginger

I love ginger! Whether you use fresh or dried (personally I use the essential oil ginger which is highly concentrated and more powerful than the dried herb) and I add it to drinks or soups. Ginger reduces inflammation and helps lower the toxins in your body