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Body care

Detox your body and prepare it for winter with organic herbal tea

tea

As we enter into these cold and wet months, our body craves for hot drinks, among them the most common is a cup of tea. And if you choose a blend of organic herbs that help your body detoxify and raise your immune system – so much better!

This post is going to be a little different; about herbs, because I often like to research their various benefits. You can use herbs in many different ways; as infusions, compresses, facial steams, in culinary, make teas and many other things. Herbal teas have been used for centuries, because of their healing properties and as tasty and refreshing drinks.

I have a few favorite mixes of herbal teas. One of them is the Blood cleaning tea that I purchase in the slovenian online shop Herbavitalis.net (there is also an english version!). Their herbal mixes are excellent, tasty natural flavors, all organically grown.

The Blood cleaning tea is a mix of nettle, birch and yarrow. Here I want to present you some good effects of these herbs:

Stinging nettle(Urtica dioica):

Is a very well known plant with a long history of use in medicine and foods. You can prepare a cup of herbal tea, make a smoothie from fresh plant, or eat it in soups and other dishes. It’s beneficial because full of minerals and vitamins: iron, calcium, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, beta carotene, vitamin B group, carotenoids and flavonoids. Many of them act as antioxidants in the body. What are the main nettle’s properties? It helps to strengthen immune system, better and cleaner blood, a more efficient metabolism, rich intestinal flora, less excess water that accumulates in the body.

Birch (Betula)

Birch properties are anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral. It’s also known for alleviating joint problems, it helps fighting urinary disorders and also some dermatological problems. In general is said that birch tea cleanses the body waste system.

Yarrow(Achillea millefolium)

Yarrow has anti-inflammatory properties, stops bleedings, stimulates appetite, promotes secretion digestive juices in the stomach and contains anti-allergy substances. It’s also used to clean the blood, lowering blood pressure and improving blood circulation. Very useful is the infusion of its flowers that can be used as a restorative facial lotion, to strengthen the scalp or for a relaxing bath.

Making herbal tea is easy. First, boil the water and then put 1 teaspoon/cup of the herbal mix in a teapot. Pour the boiling water over the herbs and let them steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain if needed, then pour hot tea into each cup. Wait a couple of minutes to cold :-). This is just a raw guide, for a detailed one, always read the instructions when you purchase a herbal tea. The preparation may vary depending on the herb you use.

Drinking herbal teas warms up your body and provides many benefits to your health.

I think that the more we approach to the resources that nature provides us with, the better we feel inside and outside.

I’d like to conclude with this nice thought:

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”   Albert Einstein      

 

(photo: stock.xchng photo)

Organic vs Natural cosmetics

safe cosmetics

Did you know that there is a huge difference between natural and organic?

In Europe and the UK you can declare a product natural by law, if it contains only 5% natural ingredients. This means that these products may contain artificial preservatives, fragrances, petrochemical substances and detergents, which are absorbed into the body and are proven to be carcinogenic. Organic means that the product is produced without pesticides and toxic ingredients in the soil, which is also organic, without chemical substances. Some pharmaceutical companies use some organic ingredients, but their products are based on artificial or chemical substances. However, even if a product is labeled as organic, you should pay attention to the label with ingredients and to the certificate that assure you the quality. Just naming a product organic isn’t enough. The safe product has to be certified organic and under control by a number of internationally recognized bodies such as: ECO CERT, SOIL ASSOCIATION, BDIH (Europe), BFA (Australia), USDA (USA)…

Scientific studies show that in cosmetics there are many harmful and potentially hazardous chemical substances that can be: carcinogenic, skin irritants, allergens, acne producing, cause contact dermatitis and hormone-related diseases.

Pay attention and avoid especially the following ingredients:

aluminum ingredients

DEA ingredients (all ingredients with dea after the first word)

dimethicone (& other methicone ingredients)

formaldehyde

fragrance: contains large quantities of toxins & chemicals not disclosed.

imidazolidinyl urea: releases formaldehyde, toxic laureth family (ingredients with laureth, laurate or lauryl extensions)

parabens: petrochemicals

PEG ingredients

petroleum (petrolatum, mineral oils, vaseline)

phenonip: preservative blend of phenoxyethanol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, propylparaben & isobutylparaben

phthalates (esters of phthalic acid, such as dibutyl phthalate): found in most conventional nail polishes, hair styling products, fragrances, squeezable plastics, soft plastic baby toys, baby wipes. Not listed on products, hidden in ingredients such as synthetic fragrances & “fragrance free” products

stearic (acids & others)

talc: can contain asbestos

TEA ingredients (not tea, but rather ingredients with tea in front)

These ingredients are just some of the most harmful, but the list goes on. So if you want to avoid hours of intensive study, it is still best to look at certified organic products.

You can find on internet many sources of information about this topic. For the start I recommend you further reading such as:

Julie Gabriel: The green beauty guide

Dawn Mellowship: Toxic beauty (also a great book about toxic ingredients)

Skin deep cosmetic safety data base at:  http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com

On this site you find tons of information about ingredients, researches and studies of different cosmetic products and brands. I find this site extremely useful for checking the ingredients and find fresh informations.

http://www.safecosmetics.org

(photo: Dreamstime.com)

Do you really nourish your skin and feel good in it?

Do you really nourish your skin and feel good in it

Nowadays, we believe that we will fight skin related problems such as dryness and many others with that nice smelling body butter that we bought, the new dry oil that absorbs so quickly,…? Well, that is not entirely true.

First of all, we have to understand what our skin is and then what do we really put on. Don’t believe to every word and nice picture that the beauty industry is proposing to you and make believe to millions of women that they don’t feel good in their own skin and consequently that they absolutely need the latest hot beauty product that will make miracles. It’s time to understand that things don’t work that way. You’ve already heard that the skin is our largest organ that “we carry around” and that absorbs most of substances that we apply on it. The skin is the outer covering of the body. Its main functions are to protect our body from outside environment and against excessive water loss. Skin is made up of multiple layers of ectodermal tissue and guards the underlying muscles, bones, ligaments and internal organs. Skin is also the organ of sensation that contains a variety of reactive nerve endings. It has also a psychological function; the mood and the physical state on the face speaks without words.

In brief, the most important thing is that our skin functions normally and renews itself, if our body and mind are in harmony. With bombarding each day our skin with several different cocktails of chemicals in beauty products, food and medicines we have forgotten how does it looks like having a normal, healthy and radiant skin. It’s not a problem if we love taking care and decorating our face, but we need to make some steps further and start caring for our wellbeing in a more conscious way.

There are more factors concerning the health of our skin:

The use of safe cosmetic products: start to use cosmetics with no (or at least fewer) synthetic chemicals than in conventional brands. Those chemical mixes from different products we use accumulate in skin tissues. Consequently, the body detoxify itself longer.

Becoming aware what we put into our bodies; What food do we eat? Fresh, daily prepared and organically grown? Do we include vegetables and fruit in our daily menu? Or we always eat just junk food with many preservatives and other unnatural substances? Remember, what you put in your body, that is what you get on the outside. The skin reflects our state of being.

Limited use of medicines: medicines contain a lot of chemical substances that don’t exist in our bodies naturally. With excess use of medicines, the organs have to work more in order to establish the body natural state and to eliminate out all that is not appropriate and natural for our body.

Take your time to relax: understand that the body, mind and the spirit are all connected. The more positive and relaxed is your view about life, the healthier you will be.

You should also understand that when you start using organic cosmetics, your skin has to adapt to it. This is because non organic cosmetic brands use large quantities of by-products of petroleum refining that are difficult to remove, can clog skin pores and prevent skin to breathe. So when one stops using this products made of synthetically derived substances the skin starts to detox = cleansing itself of chemical residues. Be patient and allow one month for the skin to adjust.

At the end, I know that is hard to choose quickly a safe beauty product in this flood of cosmetic products and different beauty topics, but with a little effort, we can do it.

I invite you to reflect about your beauty choices.

This article is published also on Greenwala.com

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