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Whiten Teeth Naturally

We all want white teeth. Here is a natural way of whitening your teeth.

 

Mash a strawberry to a pulp, then mix with 1/2 tablespoon of baking soda until blended. Use a soft toothbrush to spread the mixture onto your teeth. Leave on for 5 minutes, then brush thoroughly with toothpaste to remove the berry–baking soda mix. Rinse. (A little floss will help get rid of any strawberry seeds.) Apply no more than once a week. More than once a week can damage the enamel.

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2012 in Encouragement

 

The Oil Cleansing Method

I wanted to find a way to clean my skin naturally without having to buy all those facial cleansers on the market that have chemicals and fragrances in it. A family member told me about this method so I thought I’d give it a try and I’ve very happy with the results! If would like to try it and say goodbye to buying facial cleansers that have ingredients you just can’t pronounce then keep reading…

The basic concept of this skin care and cleansing method is that the oil used to massage your skin will dissolve the oil that has hardened with impurities and found itself stuck in your pores. The steam will open your pores, allowing the oil to be easily removed. Should you need it, the smallest drop of the same oil formula patted over damp skin will provide the necessary lubrication to keep your skin from over-compensating in oil production.

We will need two oils. The first, and most importantly, is Castor Oil. If you don’t have this medicine cabinet staple already, it can be found online or in the laxative section of your grocer or drugstore – usually bottom shelf. Castor Oil has potent anti-inflammatory properties, but is also healing and cleansing, which is why we’re focusing on this oil as our primary oil. Castor Oil has been the focus of many books and medical discussion because of its seemingly “magical” healing properties. As quoted in The Oil That Heals by Dr. McGarey, he states, “Castor oil will leave the body in better condition than it found it.” Though it may be our most important oil, we won’t be using it in the amounts that we will the other oil (or combination of oils for those who want to take this a step further). A little bit of Castor Oil goes a long way and too much will leave you, surprisingly, with dry skin.

Since Castor Oil is so thick and its cleansing properties so strong, we need to dilute it with another oil, thinner in consistency, but no less nurturing to the skin. Sunflower Seed Oil has become my personal favorite, though in the past, I’ve suggested Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Both are wonderfully caring oils for skin application, but I’ve found that Sunflower Seed Oil has a more luxurious feel for massage. It sinks into the skin better, aiding the castor oil in transportation deep into the pores and allowing it to draw the dirt and grime to the surface of your skin where it can be wiped away. The essential fatty acids, though they are not naturally occurring in the body, are a necessity for the health of our cell membranes. These acids help restore the skins natural moisture balance and help prevent unnecessary dryness. The secondary oil that you choose is entirely up to you and should be determined by your skins needs and the properties of that oil. Choose from natural, cold-pressed vegetable oils, as these have nutrients, vitamins, and fatty acids that mineral oil and other refined oils don’t. You may even have these oils in your kitchen, as they’re used for cooking, as well! For the sake of explaination, from this point on, we’ll say “Sunflower Seed Oil” in place of “Secondary Oil.” Remember that Sunflower Seed Oil may be replaced by your vegetable oil of choice.

Your Personal Oil Blend

The starting point for creating your own, personalized skin cleansing oil blend is knowing your general skin type. Those with dry skin will want less Castor Oil. Those with oily skin will want to blend in more. Finding your perfect combination of oils will probably take a little bit of trial and error, so start with very small batches. Once you know what your ratio of oils looks like, you’ll be able to blend much more at a time for convenience.

Some suggestions in creating your blend of deep cleansing oil:

  • Oily Skin: Try a blend of 30% Castor Oil to 70% Sunflower Seed Oil**.
  • Balanced Skin: Try a blend of 20% Castor Oil to 80% Sunflower Seed Oil**.
  • Dry Skin: Try a blend of 10% Castor Oil to 90% Sunflower Seed Oil**.

**You can replace Sunflower Seed Oil with either Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Coconut Oil.

You can vary these percentages to match your own skins needs. If your skin feels too dry, you’ll need to use less Castor Oil and replace it with more Sunflower Seed Oil. Keep in mind that Castor Oil is the drawing, cleansing, and purging oil for your pores. The Sunflower Seed Oil is to dilute the Castor Oil in viscosity (thickness) and additionally provide moisture, nutrients, and other benefits. My own, personal blend, for my sometimes oily, sometimes dry, frequently flakey, and easily irritated skin is about 25% Castor Oil to 75% Sunflower Seed Oil. I mix and store my mixture in a clean four-ounce flip-top bottle for convenience. When you go to replenish your oil blend, I suggest cleaning your bottle thoroughly with dish soap or the dishwasher. Better yet, if you can replace the bottle, this is ideal. We want to be extremely cautious in introducing bacteria to the bottle.

The Oil Cleansing Method

First and foremost, this is typically done in the evening, prior to bed. There should be no need for deep cleansing in the morning if you’re waking up with skin cleansed the night before. In the morning, a quick wipe with a warm washcloth should suffice. We don’t want to overcleanse our skin as this will serve only to irritate and cause more oil production. The objective of using this method is to deep clean while balancing our skins oil production at the same time.

  • You’ll need a soft washcloth, your oil blend, and hot, running water.
  • Pour a generous puddle of oil into the palm of your hand. Roughly, the size of a quarter, but more is acceptable. Rub your hands together to warm the oil and smooth over your face.
  • Begin massaging the oil into your face. This will remove makeup, dirt, and other impurities, so there is no need to use a makeup remover or wash your face prior to the massage. I’ve found that this removes even my stubborn waterproof mascara and concealor.
  • Using slow, firm motions across the skin, massage the oil deeply into your pores. Take your time and focus on your problem areas. You want the oil to work into your pores so that blackheads and the like can be dissolved and steamed away.
  • As you’re massaging, let your mind drift off to something calming and breathe deeply. Take this time to relax and release some of the stress that your body is harboring. Sit down, breathe deeply, and take your time. Give the oil enough time to work on dissolving the impurities in your pores and give yourself enough time to unwind. Picture what your face would look like if it were completely clear and free from blemishes. Focus on that image and know that it is attainable. Trust that it is attainable. Accept that it is attainable. You can have clear skin, free of blemishes and you will have clear skin, free of blemishes. Focus on perfect skin and breathe deeply.
  • Once you’re satisfied that your pores are saturated and you’re feeling calm, pick up your washcloth and soak it in clean, steamy water. We want the water to be warm enough to open your pores and remove the oil. Cool water will not open your pores, nor will it remove the oil efficiently. We’re not scalding our skin, we’re steaming to coax our pores to release the oil carrying the impurities. We’re essentially steaming our skin as an esthetician would, but without the luxury of a steam machine.
  • Hold the washcloth to cover your face. Allow it to stay until it cools. You will feel your pores releasing the impurities. Wipe the oil gently away and rinse the washcloth well in hot, running water. Hold the washcloth to your face again, allowing it to cool. Wipe gently, rinse well, and repeat two or three more times. Avoid any temptation to scrub, as you’ll find it’s completely unnecessary and your skin will be soft, smooth, and free of flakes without the additional manual exfoliation and irritation that will result. Impurities, dead skin cells, and bacteria will be gently swept away.
  • Have no fear of the oil, as the steamy washcloth will remove it. The Castor Oil, though it is an oil, will help with the removal of the other oils, as well. It is our main cleansing oil and is easily removed with warm water.
  • If your skin feels tight, take a tiny drop of your oil blend, rub it between your clean, damp palms and pat it onto your damp skin. Gently massage any oil residue into your skin so there is no film of oil left sitting on the surface. Your skin should now glow!

This deep cleansing method should be done regularly, but not too frequently. You’ll know if you’re deep cleansing too frequently by the dryness that your skin will exhibit. Don’t be surprised if you find you’ve unblocked an oil flow for the first few days. Once you remove the plugs from your pores, they will begin functioning properly again. Perfect skin won’t happen overnight and while it should take a few massages to achieve your goal, you should notice a huge difference in your skin after the first deep cleansing massage. Give your skin a few days to adjust and adapt to being clean and clear of blockages; understand that the new oil coming from your skin is actually a good sign and will balance out very shortly. You’ll find redness and irritation subsiding. You’ll find your skin losing that “congested,” and thick feeling.

 
 

Exfoliating Winter Hand Scrub

coffee grounds
vodka
olive oil
lemon juice
sea salt

Mix ingredients together. Massage into hands and wrap hot towel around hands. Leave on for a few minutes. After a few minutes rub hands together for a minute or two to exfoliate then rinse with warm water and follow with cool water.

 
 

Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are the brain-boosting, cholesterol-clearing good fats (monounsaturated). There are 3 basic forms of omega-3:

  • Alpha-linelenic acid (ALA) found in English walnuts and vegetable oils like flaxseed, soybean and olive which the body eventually, but in small quantities, converts to DHA.
  • Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found primarily in fish oil, this is the ultimate form of fatty acid in humans. Most people get far too little of this all-important fatty acid, especially since the conversion of ALA to DHA is slow and minimally yielding. Getting a daily dose of of DHA (600 to 1000 mg) from supplements is preferable to reap the health benefits. You have a choice of taking a fish oil supplement or one derived from algae or krill, a shrimp-like crustacean.
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) is also found in fish oil, so it’s absorbed if you’re taking a daily dose of DHA omega-3.

What to look for when buying fish oil supplements:

  • Fish oil supplements vary in the amounts and ratios of DHA and EPA they contain. For example, salmon oil naturally contains more DHA than EPA; a supplement derived from algae may only contain DHA. Krill oil contains significant amounts of both EPA and DHA. Read the labels and remember whatever supplement you buy, it must have at least 600 mg of DHA.
  • Be aware that only about one-third of the oil from fish is rich in EPA and DHA. Many supplements also contain vitamin E or other antioxidants to stabilize the oils and prevent them from becoming rancid. If you choose to buy a fish oil supplement, check the label carefully to see if it recommends refrigeration to prevent spoiling.
  • Most brands of fish oil have been proven safe, free of detectable traces of mercury, and do not contain unsafe levels of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), a toxin and pollutant believed to pose various health threats. To avoid contaminants in an unrefined supplement, it’s best to choose a fish oil supplement made from small, oily fish like anchovy, sardines or menhaden.

Here’s how a daily dose of omega-3 fatty acids can improve and protect vital aspects of your body’s daily functioning:

  • Lubricates joints Helps provide the lubrication joints need to function at an effective level. By keeping joints lubed, you experience less grinding and less overall wear and tear – and thereby – less pain as you age.
  • Decreases inflammation in inflamed joints.
  • Fights wrinkles As we age, fat cells in our skin’s third layer thin out and tend to get a bit bumpier; omega-3s help make that layer thicker and smooth. The effect? Wrinkles go away and skin becomes fuller.
  • Protects Vision Our eyes’ retinas are a membranous structures and the whole eye is covered in a soft double layer of membranes, making your eyes’ health dependent on the liver (who knew?). The liver helps metabolize fat-soluble vitamins that feed and maintain those membranes. If you’re deficient in DHA, it affects how we see by delaying the system that converts light into neural energy in the retina.
  • Pumps the heart Where to begin?! Omega-3s reduce triglycerides, stabilize your heartbeat, make platelets “less sticky” and can even lower blood pressure. The EPA you get with your daily DHA dose helps prevent artery-blocking clots. In the Iowa Nurses Study (and 3 others), 1 ounce of nuts a day decreased the incidence of heart disease between 20 and 60%.
  • Attacks Acne It may surprise you to know that an inadequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids contributes to breakout-prone skin. Trade sugar (and meat) for avocados, walnuts, salmon or trout to help control acne.
  • Clears Cholesterol Boosts levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) and helps clear your arteries.
  • Boosts the Brain In keeping your arteries clear, you’re immediately improving brain function. They also alter your neurotransmitters to help reduce depression.
  • Enhances Fertility Improves fertility rates in both males and females by improving sperm’s swimming ability and the environment for implantation in women.
  • A Pregnancy Prerequisite Omega-3 fatty acids directly affect brain development, making it crucial for expectant mothers. Additionally, research indicates they decrease a mother’s risk of depression. When the mother doesn’t have enough of these essential fatty acids, the baby borrows from her. Some prenatal vitamins now include omega-3s, so be sure to check the label or grab a handful of walnuts each day.

by Dr. Oz

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in Health Tips

 

Dr. Oz – The Owner’s Manual to Longevity

by Dr. Oz

Change Your Thinking About the Importance of Stress

Your thoughts play a crucial role in stress management. The brain is a key activator that, at both conscious and unconscious levels, disposes us to disease or tilts us toward health. The consequence of too much stress is wear and tear on the body. That in turn can play a role in the development of such conditions as obesity, type-2 diabetes, brain atrophy, heart disease, loss of sexual function, high blood pressure, loss of muscle and bone strength, suppression of the boy’s immune system, and depression. In many ways, de-stressing is as important as diet and exercise. The goal here is to reduce stressors in your life for health and longevity.

  1. I suggest you approach de-stressing this way:
  2. Think about a computer that’s overwhelmed by too many complex tasks at once; it will crash.
  3. Think about you under stress: Don’t you feel as if your effectiveness has frozen up, too?
  4. Find ways to reboot.

Stress Reducers

 Here are some different ways of thinking about our life.

  • Find quietude. The human body is better able to counter or reduce the ravages of excess stress if you find the opportunity to escape the tension for a time. Exercise seems to be doubly effective in reducing stress when it is paired with such relaxation techniques as deep breathing, self-hypnosis, yoga, meditation. While training sessions, books, and other forms of guidance are available to help body, but an engagement with family, friends, and community can be life enhancing for the very old, the old, or those of us wondering at the impact of aging.Borrowing from the life facts of Kirk Douglas’s career, think of your life you master specific techniques, you may already know how to find the calm you need. Once you identify it, take regular recourse to your personal place of escapeSet limits. Establish reasonable limits for work or other commitments; you cannot do it all. At the same time, allow for opportunities to pursue your own pleasures.Reframe. Look at your life through a different window. More than a few of the pressures you feel weighing on you are self-generated; rearranging your priorities may shift the burden. At times are you, metaphorically speaking, trying to move an object you know full well to be immovable? If you can’t move the cliff face, perhaps you can find a boulder to roll? Try to step back from the noise and clutter and look at things from another angle. You can find elements to change or eliminate that are not necessary and that are not making your life better.
  • Do not insist on perfection. Recognize that perfection is not always a reasonable or desirable goal either for you or those around you.
  • Keep a journal. This may be news to you, but, according to several recent studies, putting your thoughts and feelings on paper is good for you. People with asthma and rheumatoid arthritis have been found to experience a lessening in symptoms when they write about their stress; another study found measurable decreases of stress hormones and fewer doctor visits among journalers. You may not be able to make your frustrations go away, but thinking them through and confiding them to a diary delivers benefits. You do not have to worry about getting a grade; there are no minimums or maximums. One common approach is putting pen to paper (or fingers to the keyboard) for fifteen minutes, say, three times a week. Get it off your chest. Today’s problems, yesterday’s complaints, long-ago torments, and tomorrow’s worries are all fair game. You may find opportunities for change, but even if you do not, understanding and accepting are in themselves healthful.
  • Skip the caffeineLess caffeine means less stimulation of your central nervous system. Keep in mind that caffeine is found in a number of products, including coffee, cola, chocolate, some teas, and many over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements. There are many people who swear by herbal teas such as ginseng and chamomile, but avoid teas that are billed as energizers, such as those containing ephedra.
  • Relinquish control. As a control person, you know who you are.
  • Listen to music. Loud, up-tempo music may not be the way to go, but that does not mean you have to settle for elevator music. You know what sort of music gives you a sense of ease. Let it take you for a ride–to someplace other than the “I must, I can’t, I’m late, Oh, no!” world of the overstressed.
  • Get enough sleep. For most people, that should mean seven to eight hours a night.
  • Reduce multitasking. One of the great stress-inducers of modern times is the common compulsion to work, communicate (cell phone, text, e-mail), and manage your life all at once. You will be more efficient–and less stressed–if you segregate times and tasks.
 
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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in Health Tips

 

Dr. Oz answers: “What supplements do you take?”

by Dr. Oz

Unfortunately, there’s no one brand or pill that combines the recommended amount of every vitamin, mineral, and nutrient, but some are close and you can use a liquid or pill form. You’ll have to do a little digging yourself, but I want to make it as easy as possible. So here I’ve listed our recommendations of pills and supplements that will make your body and mind stronger, healthier, and younger.

I’d love you to get them from diet, but many have imperfect diets—so consider these recommendations as an insurance policy for an imperfect diet. All of these should be in divided doses: you can take half in the morning and half at night to keep constant levels in your blood during the day.

* Vitamin A: More than 2,500 IU is too much (unless you have an eye condition called wet macular degeneration).
* Vitamin B: Get at least the daily value (DV) of all the Bs plus a little more than daily value of these Bs:
o B1 (thiamin) 25 mg.
o B2 (riboflavin) 25 mg.
o B3 (niacin) At least 30 mg, and you can take lots more after speaking with your doctor if you have elevated lousy LDL cholesterol or triglycerides.
o B5 (pantothenic acid) 300 mg.
o B6 (pyridoxine) 4 mg.
o B9 (folic acid or folate) 400 mcg.
o B12 (cyanocobalamin) 800 mcg.
o Biotin 300 mcg.
* Vitamin C: 800 mg or 50 mg twice a day if you’re taking a statin drug.
* Vitamin D: 800 IU if under age 60; 1,000 if 60 or over.
* Vitamin E: 400 IU in the form of mixed tocopherols. Reduce to 100 IU from supplements if you’re taking a statin drug.
* Vitamin K: You should get enough in normal diet.
* Calcium: This comes from many sources, so total all of them up and get at least 1,600 total mg for women, 1,200 mg for men.
* Magnesium: 400 mg.
* Selenium: 200 mcg.

 
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Posted by on January 2, 2012 in Health Tips

 

How to Treat the Root Cause of Your Acne

by Dr. Mercola

What you want to do is to eliminate the underlying reason that is causing the propioniform bacteria to result in these cysts or lesions. Fortunately, there are some very simple strategies that will accomplish just that, that work nearly every single time.

What most experts will tell you about acne is that diet has nothing to do with it. Well nothing could be further from the truth.

What has become clearly apparent is that your diet has everything to do with it.

If you are predisposed to developing these acne lesions, and are eating a diet that is causing your insulin levels and associated insulin growth factors to rise, then you will have acne.

This happens because when you eat refined carbohydrates and sugar, it causes a surge of insulin and an insulin-like growth factor called IGF-1 in your body. This can lead to an excess of male hormones, which cause your pores to secrete sebum, a greasy substance that attracts acne-promoting bacteria. Additionally, IGF-1 causes skin cells known as keratinocytes to multiply, a process that is also associated with acne.

So, the simple solution is to radically reduce the amount of food you consume that is causing your body to make insulin. The main culprits here are sugar, and ALL grain carbohydrates as they’re converted into sugar in your body. This includes food items such as:

Bread
Cereal
Pasta
Rice
Potatoes
Corn

The confusion here is the thought that you can have a healthy grain. Please understand that even a high quality, organic, whole wheat bread will cause this problem because it’s still a carbohydrate.

Another confusion is thinking that corn is a vegetable. It’s actually a grain, and a very high density carbohydrate, which should be avoided. Even fruits will likely increase the amount of insulin in your body, and as a result can exacerbate your acne if you’re predisposed to it.

You’ll want to replace sugars and grain carbohydrates with vegetable carbohydrates according to your nutritional type, as they metabolize slowly and tend to not cause spikes in your insulin production.

Other Important Factors to Consider When Treating Acne

There are two other important factors to consider, especially if you’ve tried the conventional approach to treating your acne.

Establish proper balance of bacteria — If you’ve been given antibiotics it’s very important to take a probiotic supplement. Antibiotics are indiscriminate killers that wipe out good bacteria in your gut as well as the propioniform bacteria on your face. One common side effect of that is an overgrowth of yeast. If you are a woman, you may experience vaginal yeast infections, but both men and women can develop candida as a result of disrupting the balance of bacteria in your gut.

Of course, by reducing your intake of food that bad bacteria and yeast thrive on, i.e. sugars and carbs, you will also help reestablish the proper balance of bacteria in your gut.

Optimize your vitamin D levels – Lastly, what we’ve now found is that vitamin D is crucially important to establishing a healthy immune system and controlling virtually any type of infection.

When you optimize your vitamin D levels you make over 200 antimicrobial peptides (also called host defense peptides). They are an essential component of your innate immune response, and are potent, broad spectrum antibiotics.

The best way to optimize your vitamin D levels is to expose large portions of your skin to healthy amounts of sunshine – just enough to cause your skin to turn a very light pink. Your body can produce as much as 20,000 IU’s with this level of exposure on most of your body. After that your body will not make any more vitamin D, and you may in fact cause skin damage if you stay out any longer.

By exposing yourself to the sun, or using a safe tanning bed, you will optimize your vitamin D production naturally, and virtually eliminate the need to do any blood testing.

If you don’t have access to regular sun exposure or a safe tanning bed, you’ll want to consider supplementing with oral vitamin D. Typically the oral doses are several thousand units a day, ranging from 2-3,000 to as much as 10,000 IU’s per day. But if you chose that route, only do so if you’re monitoring your vitamin D levels with a blood test at regular intervals.

These are the simple strategies I wish I knew when I was younger. I encourage you to try them out because there’s a strong probability they will virtually eliminate your acne, and all the associated emotional and psychological pain that so frequently affects those with this condition.

Other Important Factors to Consider When Treating Acne

There are two other important factors to consider, especially if you’ve tried the conventional approach to treating your acne.

Establish proper balance of bacteria — If you’ve been given antibiotics it’s very important to take a probiotic supplement. Antibiotics are indiscriminate killers that wipe out good bacteria in your gut as well as the propioniform bacteria on your face. One common side effect of that is an overgrowth of yeast. If you are a woman, you may experience vaginal yeast infections, but both men and women can develop candida as a result of disrupting the balance of bacteria in your gut.

Of course, by reducing your intake of food that bad bacteria and yeast thrive on, i.e. sugars and carbs, you will also help reestablish the proper balance of bacteria in your gut.

Optimize your vitamin D levels – Lastly, what we’ve now found is that vitamin D is crucially important to establishing a healthy immune system and controlling virtually any type of infection.

When you optimize your vitamin D levels you make over 200 antimicrobial peptides (also called host defense peptides). They are an essential component of your innate immune response, and are potent, broad spectrum antibiotics.

The best way to optimize your vitamin D levels is to expose large portions of your skin to healthy amounts of sunshine – just enough to cause your skin to turn a very light pink. Your body can produce as much as 20,000 IU’s with this level of exposure on most of your body. After that your body will not make any more vitamin D, and you may in fact cause skin damage if you stay out any longer.

By exposing yourself to the sun, or using a safe tanning bed, you will optimize your vitamin D production naturally, and virtually eliminate the need to do any blood testing.

If you don’t have access to regular sun exposure or a safe tanning bed, you’ll want to consider supplementing with oral vitamin D. Typically the oral doses are several thousand units a day, ranging from 2-3,000 to as much as 10,000 IU’s per day. But if you chose that route, only do so if you’re monitoring your vitamin D levels with a blood test at regular intervals.

These are the simple strategies I wish I knew when I was younger. I encourage you to try them out because there’s a strong probability they will virtually eliminate your acne, and all the associated emotional and psychological pain that so frequently affects those with this condition.

 
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Posted by on March 27, 2011 in Acne, Beauty Tips

 
 
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