Thursday, June 23, 2016

Dandruff

What is dandruff? Dandruff may be the result of a dry scalp, or a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis. It could also be caused by eczema, psoriasis, or, very commonly, an overgrowth of a yeast-like fungus called malassezia. Drugstore remedies might include shampoos with zinc pyrithione, which targets fungus and bacteria; ketoconazole, which also fights fungus; coal tar and selenium sulfide, which slow the growth and die-off of skin cells on your scalp; and salicylic acid, which loosens flakes so they can be washed away.



Human skin cells are forever renewing themselves. As skin cells in the scalp are renewed, the old (dead) ones are pushed to the surface and then out of the scalp; they are literally expelled.

For people with dandruff, the new cells are produced at a faster rate than they die, resulting in more skin being shed, making dandruff more noticeable.

If the skin is exposed to extreme temperatures, the risk of developing dandruff is greater.

Dandruff can be chronic (long-term) or the result of certain triggers. People with dandruff may also experience irritation and redness on the scalp.

A myth - some people think their dandruff is caused by their scalp being too dry. They try to deal with this by not washing their hair with shampoo, or wash it less often, believing that washing worsens the problem. This is a myth (not true). Dandruff differs from a dry scalp in that it usually gets better when you shampoo more frequently (with the right shampoos).

Symptoms of dandruff
The hallmark sign of dandruff, or seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp, is white flakes on the scalp and in the hair. If the person is wearing dark clothes, the flakes will be more noticeable when they fall on their shoulders. The scalp may also feel itchy, tight or sore.

Adult individuals with seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp may have red, flaky, greasy patches of skin.

There are while flakes of skin on the scalp, and in the person's hairFlakes may be oily lookingHead may feel tight and itchyHead may feel tinglyHead may feel soreRed, flaky, greasy patches of skin (adults, Seborrheic dermatitis of the scalp in adults) Crusting and scaling rash on scalp (babies with Seborrheic dermatitis, or cradle cap).

Most cases of dandruff do not require a visit to the doctor. However, those who still find themselves scratching their scalp, if parts of the scalp become red or swollen, after a few weeks of self-treatment should see their doctor. The person may have severe seborrheic dermatitis or another condition that has dandruff symptoms.

What treatments are available for dandruff?
Treatment of seborrhea (dandruff) is directed at fighting the skin inflammation. This is done either directly, by using cortisone-based creams and lotions (which reduce inflammation), or by using topical anti-yeast lotions and shampoos. Treatment should be directed at the cause of the dandruff.

Essential oils have many uses, from simply smelling delicious to relaxation to fortifying damaged, dry hair. Feel free to experiment with scent mixtures to find your favorite combinations. And remember, less is more when it comes to powerful oils. Be conservative with the amount of drops you use at first and add more later if the solution isn’t strong enough for you.

Never put essential oils directly onto your scalp. Essential oils need to be diluted with a carrier oil, such as coconut, jojoba or olive oil first to protect your skin.

Some popular essential oils and their uses for shampoos include:

Chamomile: Use for fine to normal hair. Chamomile gives golden highlights and sheen to your hair, conditions, soothes inflamed scalps, and helps scaly scalps.

Cedarwood: This oil normalizes a dry and oily scalp, and stimulates scalp and hair follicles. It can be used to treat hair loss and dandruff and as an antiseptic.

Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is an antiseptic and can be used for dandruff treatment.

Lavender: Good for all hair types, it helps balance natural scalp oils, soothes the scalp and calms hair, promotes hair growth, and can be used to treat itchiness and dandruff.

Lemon: Use for oily hair and treatment for dry scalp and dandruff. Gives golden highlights and helps balance your scalp’s natural oils.

Rosemary: Good for oily hair, dandruff treatment, and promoting hair growth.

Tea Tree: Can be used to treat a dry scalp, dandruff, and lice. Good for oily hair.

Ylang Ylang: For oily hair, dandruff treatment, and stimulating hair growth. Oil is soothing and antiseptic

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Cold Care


Support your immune system - don't hinder it.

Rest - It is the most important thing you can do. As soon as you feel a cold/flu coming on get some rest.

Bundle Up - Put on a sweater, hat - get in bed and keep warm. Drink warming beverages; lukewarm water, hot drinks - tea. Take a hot bath, use a sauna if you have one. By doing this you are making your body an inhospitable host for germs.

Spices are good - Adding foods like garlic, ginger and Cayenne increase circulation and help you to sweat it out. 

Limit your "cold" food intake - Dairy foods, OJ, raw fruits and vegetables.

Avoid Sugar

Nourish your body with simple foods - Soup

Hydrate - Drink plenty of fluids; lukewarm water, hot drinks.

At the onset of a cold/flu take Elderberry. Elderberry is powerful for shortening the duration if taken right away. Suggested dosage is frequent doses every hour.

Echinacea is also good at the onset, but not for the duration.

Remember that there is no quick fix. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Key Nutrients for Heart Health


There are a lot of nutrients and supplements that can support heart health, and if you ask different people, each person will have their favorite. We tried to narrow it down to 12 key nutrients that may support the health of that muscle that works so hard to keep you alive every day.

    L-arginine—this amino acid converts to nitric oxide in the body, which helps blood vessels open wider. It also supports heart energy, blood pressure levels, and circulation to the extremities.

    Omega-3—found in fish oils and in some nuts and seeds, these essential fatty acids can help lower the risk of heart disease

    Co-Q10—supports heart health and blood pressure and it may improve endurance

    Resveratrol—found primarily in red grapes and wine, resveratrol helps protect the hear and makes blood more slippery

    Hawthorn—these common berries contain flavonoids that support blood pressure already in the normal range and offer other benefits

    Guggulipid—the name sounds like a fat, but it’s actually a plant extract that supports cholesterol and triglyceride levels already in the normal range

    Magnesium—this essential mineral promotes heart health and helps support blood pressure and cholesterol levels already in the normal range

    Green Tea—The Chinese have used this powerful antioxidant for thousands of years. Green tea supports healthful blood pressure levels and may offer preventive benefits.

    Garlic—supports healthy cholesterol levels and may help improve blood viscosity

    Red Yeast Rice—naturally supports cholesterol levels already in the normal range

    Niacin—(vitamin B3) may help lower cardiovascular risks and supports already-normal cholesterol levels

    Vitamin B6—along with vitamin B12 and folate, this vitamin supports heart and red blood cell health.
 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Teen Acne

Acne is an inflammatory condition of the skin. The small glands that excrete oil to lubricate the skin become irritated and inflamed. This is due to fat-soluble toxins in the body that are being eliminated through the skin pores. Microbes may also start feeding on this waste, which exacerbate the condition. As the body fights the infection, the skin pores fill with pus.

First of all, acne is a sign of dysbiosis (imbalances in gut flora) a general toxic condition of the blood and lymph. What you eat matters! It so important to watch what you’re putting into your body. Avoid all processed foods, eat real foods and make sure to get enough fats into your diet, such as avocados and coconut oil. According to Natural News, Dairy can be a problem and this should be avoided, along with refined sugar.

Since the irritation is affecting glands that secrete oil, the toxins involved here are fat-soluble and may be resulting from a problem with the breakdown and utilization of fats in the body. Hydrogenated oils are irritating to the body and should be replaced with healthier fats such as coconut oil, real butter, Super Omega-3 EPA, and olive oil. Oxidation causes fats to become rancid and irritating to the system. This may be the reason large doses of vitamin A have helped clear up some cases of acne. Foods to add! The following foods, when added to the diet, have been found to help acne: fish oil, turmeric, green tea, nuts, berries (dark red and purple), and green leafy vegetables.

First is to balance the intestinal flora, cleanse the colon and strengthen the detoxification capacity of the liver and kidneys. We suggest; E-Tea, Enviro Detox, All Cell Detox or BP-X. And don’t forget to take your probiotic! This may help your gut by decreasing inflammation.

Remedies:
Tea Tree Oil– Tea tree oil is an essential oil and can be a very powerful all natural remedy for acne, as it is antibacterial. To apply it, mix a small amount (5 to 10 drops) of tea tree oil with a 1/4 cup water. Dip a cotton ball into the mixture and apply it to your skin. You can reapply throughout the day or leave it on under your makeup.

Aloe is very soothing and reduces inflammation and redness. To use it, apply the gel to your skin with your fingers, you can apply it several times a day. If you have an aloe plant, it would be even better as you get the aloe fresh, without any added ingredients. Or you could also just get an organic aloe gel.

Cleansing the skin thoroughly to remove excess oil from the glands and to get ride of unwanted microorganisms is also helpful. It can also be helpful to blend antiseptic essential oils like tea tree oil with a little hydrated bentonite and use this as a facial mask. Essential oils can also be mixed with Silver Shield gel and applied topically to control infection.

Good gut health is key to removing and improving any skin conditions. It can take about 3-4 months to restore to normal.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Headaches

Headaches are defined as a pain arising from the head or upper neck of the body. The pain originates from the tissues and structures that surround the skull or the brain because the brain itself has no nerves that give rise to the sensation of pain (pain fibers). The thin layer of tissue (periosteum) that surrounds bones, muscles that encase the skull, sinuses, eyes, and ears, as well as thin tissues that cover the surface of the brain and spinal cord (meninges), arteries, veins, and nerves, all can become inflamed or irritated and cause headaches. The pain may be a dull ache, sharp, throbbing, constant, intermittent, mild, or intense.



What Are the Types of Headaches?
There are several types of headaches; in fact, 150 diagnostic headache categories have been established. The most common types of headaches are:

Tension headaches:
Also called chronic daily headaches or chronic non-progressive headaches, tension headaches are the most common type of headaches among adults and adolescents. These muscle contraction headaches cause mild to moderate pain and come and go over a prolonged period of time.

Migraines:
The exact causes of migraines are unknown. A popular theory is that various triggers cause abnormal brain activity, which in turn causes changes in the blood vessels in the brain.This is called the neurovascular theory. Genetics plays a role inmigraines and there are some forms of migraines that are associated with inherited abnormalities in certain parts of the brain

More than 47 million Americans have experienced a severe or debilitating headache in the past three months. Migraines alone affect 9% of the U.S. population and costs $1 billion a year in direct medical expenses.

There are the obvious choices for zapping the pain, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Motrin and Aleve, for example). People with migraines often take beta blockers or antidepressants to prevent headaches, and triptans, such as Imitrex or Relpax, once symptoms start.

But if your headaches are persistent or other medications just aren't cutting it, here are some other approaches you can consider.

Acupuncture
In acupuncture, thin needles are inserted under the skin to realign the flow of energy, or qi, in the body

Massage
For temporary relief, try rubbing your temples or getting a neck, back, head, or shoulder massage.

Lavender Oil
Not only does lavender smell great — it’s also a useful home remedy for headaches and migraine pain. Lavender oil can be either inhaled or applied topically. Two to four drops for every two to three cups of boiling water are recommended when inhaling lavender-oil vapors as a headache treatment. Unlike many medicinal oils, this home remedy can also be safely applied externally without the need to dilute it. Lavender oil should not be taken orally.

Peppermint Oil
Peppermint is a soothing home remedy that has been shown to benefit tension headaches. This fresh-smelling oil has vaso-constricting and vaso-dilating properties, which help control blood flow in the body. Headaches and migraine pain are often due to poor blood flow, and peppermint oil helps to open and close the vessels that promote flow. Peppermint home remedies also open up the sinuses so that more oxygen can get into the bloodstream.

Diet Fixes
One of the most useful home remedies for reducing headaches and migraine pain involves making changes to your diet. Certain foods have been shown to affect the frequency and severity of headaches and migraine pain, including dairy; chocolate; peanut butter; certain fruits, such as avocado, banana, and citrus; onions; meats with nitrates, such as bacon and hot dogs; foods containing monosodium glutamate (MSG); foods containing tyramine, an amino acid found in red wine; and foods that are fermented or pickled. Keep track of these trigger foods and your reaction to them with a food diary.

Feverfew
Feverfew, as its name suggests, is used to treat fever, but it’s most commonly known as an herbal headache treatment. This home remedy became popular in the 1980s, when a landmark study in Great Britain showed that 70 percent of participants had less migraine pain after taking feverfew daily. Since then, more studies have demonstrated feverfew’s benefit in preventing and treating migraine pain. One study showed improvement in migraine pain among people who took daily feverfew in combination with white willow, another herbal home remedy, which contains properties similar to aspirin.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Aloe Vera Juice Benefits

Aloe Vera Juice comes from the succulent leaf of the famed aloe vera plant. This juice supports the nourishment of the digestive and intestinal systems and supports the health of internal tissues of both systems. It is a source of trace amounts of vitamins, minerals and prostaglandins. Chug a lug!

Though no one juice or food, for that matter can single-handedly change your skin, there may be some sound scientific basis for the juice's newfound following. It's packed with vitamins, including B, C, and vitamin E, as well as folic acid, which fortify the body's immune system, the health of which is often reflected in the skin, says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RD, and author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet.

Detoxifying. ... Supports the immune system. ... Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar. ... Excellent for digestion. ... An easy way to boost your vitamin and mineral intake. ... Hair growth. ... Good for burns, acne and hydrating skin. The benefits of the stuff seem endless. After all, the Sanskrit name for aloe vera is kumari, which means ‘princess’, attesting to its ability to help you maintain youthful beauty and a healthy glow. Sounds good, right?

Digestive Benefits
Aloe Vera contains nutrient compounds that help to heal and soothe the skin when used externally. It may also have similar benefits on the lining of the digestive tract, when ingested as a drink. A review
published in the "British Journal of General Practice" notes that aloe vera decreases irritation and enhances healing and repair of ulcers in the stomach and intestines. Aloe vera juice also helps to decrease inflammation in irritable bowel syndrome, colitis and other inflammatory disorders of the gut. Additionally, aloe vera can increase healthy bacteria in the intestines that aid digestion.

Immune Benefits
Research published in the "Journal of Environmental Science and Health" notes that aloe vera contains anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties that aid the immune system to cleanse the body of toxins and invading pathogens. Additionally, aloe vera helps to balance the immune system to reduce the effects of seasonal allergies, rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory immune disorders.

Detoxifying
Aloe vera juice is crammed full of amino acids, vitamins and minerals making it one of nature’s most effective cleansers. ‘It can help strengthen digestion and rid the body of any nasty waste, thus detoxifying the body naturally,’ says Sebastian. ‘Its main property is to be soothing, cooling and moistening which helps to clear inflammatory and irritating heat, such as in menopause, plus inflammatory skin and digestive problems, such as acne, rosacea and IBS.

Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

There is some evidence to suggest aloe vera lowers cholesterol and has a positive effect on blood sugar levels, meaning it can be useful for treating diabetes and obesity.

An easy way to boost your vitamin and mineral intake
Aloe vera juice is packed with vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12 and folic acid. It’s also rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, selenium and potassium. Sounds pretty good, right?

Sources:
http://www.prevention.com
http://healthyeating.sfgate.com
http://www.marieclaire.co.uk 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

How to Get to Sleep and Stay Asleep

Set Your Bedroom Up For Success
For people with insomnia, "the bedroom just becomes unpleasant, a war zone," says Baron. That's why she recommends making a few simple changes to make it as comfortable a setting as possible. Maybe it's as simple as buying a new set of comfy sheets, she says. Other bedrooms may be too light. Even the faintest bit -- whether it's from behind the drapes or beaming from the alarm clock -- can keep you up. The bedroom should also be quiet; consider investing in a white noise machine or app if it's not. Set the thermostat for a just-right temp somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees. And please, please, please leave the cell phones in another room -- or at least put them on Do Not Disturb.

Block out noise
White noise is restful, and even more importantly, it means that you won't be woken up with every little thump that the house makes. A fan is ideal because it does double duty of providing consistent soft background noise as well as keeping your room cool. Similarly, an air cleaner will serve to help keep your room free of dust and provide white noise.

Exercise intensely
Don't just "exercise," but do so intensely, to the point of feeling physical exhaustion. At the end of the day, intense exercise is probably the single best way to induce deep, restorative sleep. When I say "intensely," I mean intense relative to your capability. For some this may mean running 5 miles, for others it may mean a brisk 20 minute walk that elevates the heart rate. Physical tiredness is essential to getting a good night's sleep.

Make your room colder
Your body needs to cool down in order to fall asleep and stay asleep, so do what you can to make your room cool. For me, a cool bedroom has the added benefit of allowing me to nestle into a heavy comforter, and I find the heavy warmth very soothing.

Nap every single day
Contrary to all the sleep sources that say to avoid napping, I believe daily naps are definitely a good idea. But in order to make napping work, it is vital to stick to 3 rules:
Keep to a schedule. Napping at the same time every day will allow your body to regulate itself to fall asleep more quickly at that time.Keep it short. Only nap for 10-20 minutes. A 20-minute power nap provides enough sleep to help you feel refreshed and more alert, yet it won't interfere with falling asleep at night.Make it in the early afternoon. The optimal time for napping is 20 to 30 minutes after lunch, which is when your body is naturally inclined to feel sleepy, and it's early enough in the day to not interfere with falling asleep at night.

Consider A Supplement

1. VALERIAN
Most experts recommended this herb to reduce the amount of time it takes to nod off. According to the NIH, no single compound in Valerian has been identified as the active agent. However, the NIH reports that
Valerian seems to have sedative properties, and it may increase the amount of GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), a compound in the brain that prevents the transmission of nerve impulses. Valerian seems to be
especially effective when combined with hops, according to a 2007 study.

2. 5-HTP
A compound derived from the amino acid L-tryptophan, the supplement also is used to enhance mood and decrease appetite. Laurie Steelsmith, a licensed naturopathic physician, does not recommended 5-HTP for those on antidepressant medications. Steelsmith says that 5-HTP acts as a precursor to serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that is essential for a good night’s sleep. “It is better than L-tryptophan because 5-HTP
can cross the blood-brain barrier and thus increase serotonin in the brain.” A small 2009 study of 18 people found that those who took a product combining 5-HTP and GABA needed less time to fall asleep, slept
longer and reported improved sleep quality.

3. MELATONIN
A hormone that regulates the normal sleep/wake cycle, “melatonin can be used in supplement form as an occasional sleep aid, and is especially effective against jet lag,” Dr. Andrew Weil, founder and director of the
Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, says. According to research, the body naturally produces melatonin after the sun goes down, letting us know it’s time to fall asleep. Supplemental melatonin assists with this process. When combined with light therapy, melatonin helps minimize nighttime restlessness in elderly dementia patients, according to a 2008 study.

4. MAGNESIUM
Along with contributing to a good night’s sleep, this light, silvery metallic element is an oft-overlooked nutrient that helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium also helps regulate blood sugar levels, and promotes normal blood pressure, according to the NIH. Lack of magnesium inhibits nerve cell communication, which leads to cell excitability. The result: a stressed and nervous person. Several older studies show that magnesium can
improve sleep quality and reduce nocturnal awakenings.


Sources:
huffingtonpost.com
thebetterhealthstore.com
spine-health.com