Surprising Healing Benefits of Spices

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Alternative Medicine, Natural Healing

Chances are you sprinkle cinnamon into your morning oatmeal or add a dash of oregano to pizza without giving the spices much thought. But did you know your favorite flavors can actually do your body good? According to Christina Suarez, master herbalist and owner of TheGoodHerbCo.com, while spices are only effective when eaten at least daily, each has its own specific health benefits. Read on to find out which additives can burn fat, ease a sore throat or help you get to sleep, and how you can incorporate them into your daily diet.
Cardamom
Fruit of the Elettaria cardamomum plant in the ginger family.
Health Powers: Eases belching, flatulence and indigestion; treats respiratory conditions like coughing, asthma and loss of voice; aids in the elimination of toxins through your skin.
Daily Dose: Stir a few freshly ground pinches of cardamom pods into a shot of OJ or your morning fruit salad, or mix it with white or brown rice before you boil it.
Cayenne
Fruit of the Capsicum annuum plant in the Solanaceae family, along with chile pepper.
Health Powers: Eliminates gas from the stomach and intestines; soothes sore throat, cold and flu symptoms; increases metabolism for weight control.
Daily Dose: Stir into a cup of hot chocolate or any sweet juice drink for a contrasting flavor kick.
Cinnamon
Bark of a small evergreen tree.
Health Powers: Tames nausea and stomach ulcers; functions as a mild anti-inflammatory; increases insulin sensitivity to help focus fat burn.
Daily Dose: Stir into coffee/tea, yogurt, oatmeal or any boxed cereal.
Cloves
Flower bud found at the base of an evergreen tree.
Health Powers: Soothes digestive tract muscles and is a potent antihistamine.
Daily Dose: Mix into your nightly ice cream treat or sneak into mustard spread.
Nutmeg
Fruit of Myristica fragrans,an evergreen tree.
Health Powers: Improves digestion; eases the symptoms of menstruation; induces calm and sleep.
Daily Dose: Grate a small amount into applesauce or plain yogurt. (Note: It’s safe to grate the entire nut, which you can usually buy whole at the supermarket, but you never want to consume more than one nutmeg per day because too much of this potent spice can cause stomach pain, double vision and other uncomfortable reactions.)
Celery Seed
Seed of the Apium graveolens plant in the parsley family.
Health Powers: Flushes the liver of toxins; lowers blood pressure; combats water retention.
Daily Dose: Think salads—tuna, potato and egg all work—which can be tossed onto a bed of lettuce, eaten alone or spread onto bread.
Coriander
Also known as cilantro; the leaves and seeds of the Coriandrum plant in the aromatic Apiaceae family.
Health Powers: Acts as a diuretic; eases seasonal allergies.
Daily Dose: Cook into couscous and quinoa, which you can store and eat with leftovers.
Fennel
Seed of the Foeniculum plant in the aromatic Apiaceae family.
Health Powers: Calms bowel distress; supports milk production in nursing mothers; combats water retention.
Daily Dose: Add to canned minestrones and vegetable soups.
Oregano
Leaf of the Origanum plant in the mint family.
Health Powers: Loosens mucus; helps treat respiratory illnesses; and calms indigestion.
Daily Dose: Use in any tomato-based foods, like marinara sauces, pizza and soups.
Thyme
Leaf of the Thymus plant in the mint family.
Health Powers: Relaxes the muscle tissue of the gastrointestinal tract; stimulates immune system.
Daily Dose: Toss into any meat-based dishes.
Turmeric
Root of the Circuma plant in the ginger family.
Health Powers: Reduces inflammation (joints, airways); detoxifies the liver.
Daily Dose: Mix in with oil-and-vinegar-based salad dressings.

Nerve Pain Oil

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Alternative Medicine, Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, Natural Healing, Physical

Reduce your suffering from nerve pain with this gentle and effective formula.
Nerve Pain Oil
4 drops chamomile oil
3 drops marjoram oil
3 drops helichrysum oil (if available)
2 drops lavender oil
1 ounce vegetable oil or St. John’s wort oil
Combine the ingredients. Apply as needed throughout the day for pain relief. This formula is even more effective if St. John’s wort oil is used instead of plain vegetable oil. Buy it at a natural food store.

Essential oils for nerve pain: chamomile, lavender, marjoram, peppermint, sandalwood

Peppermint Oil

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: Alternative Medicine, Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, Natural Healing

Peppermint oil (Mentha x piperita) has a variety of medicinal uses. Peppermint oil is taken in liquid format or in a capsule. It is also mixed with other oils and placed on the skin. Taking peppermint oil orally or using it on the skin is typically safe for non-pregnant adults in small amounts. However, some side effects may occur with the use of peppermint oil, such as heartburn or allergic reactions.
Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Peppermint oil is helpful with the problem of irritable bowel syndrome. The peppermint oil will treat symptoms of pain and bloating due to gas and diarrhea. In a study to test the effectiveness of peppermint oil to treat irritable bowel syndrome, 75 percent of the patients who used peppermint showed lessening of symptoms related to the disorder, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
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Soothe Cold Symptoms
The symptoms of a cold may dissipate with treatment via peppermint oil. The menthol in peppermint oil helps eliminate phlegm. Using peppermint oil as a chest rub treatment works as a decongestant to help the respiratory system function at its best. This oil will also soothe sore throats. Peppermint also destroys some bacteria and viruses.
Soothe Headache Pain
Rubbing a bit of peppermint oil on the forehead and at the temples is helpful to calm the pain of a headache. The menthol in the peppermint oil works to decrease the throbbing sensation of a headache.
Calm Nerve & Joint Pain
Additional uses for peppermint oil are to help calm nerve pain and joint pain. When rubbed on the skin and joints peppermint oil penetrates into the body and alleviates the twinges of nerve and joint discomfort.
Decrease Menstrual Pain
Menstrual discomfort is aided with the use of peppermint oil taken via tea or by capsule. The peppermint oil may also be spread on the abdomen to quell the pain that occurs with the menstrual cycle.
Calm Nausea & Indigestion
Peppermint oil is helpful with the problems of nausea and indigestion, according to the National Institutes of Health. Peppermint oil is believed to soothe an upset stomach.
Release Anxiety
Peppermint oil is also used to relax you during times of anxiety. When peppermint oil is rubbed on the skin the motions are soothing. The smell of the peppermint oil also helps the body and mind relax and feel calm.

Geranium Essential Oil

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: Alternative Medicine, Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, Natural Healing

This wonderfully scented essential oil is an effective household remedy for so many women and childrens’ conditions from pain relief, to soothing anxiety and stress, reducing swelling and inflammation, and sedating the nervous, this stuff is a natural first aid.
Geranium is also renowned for healing burns, wounds, and skin ulcers and it’s even used to soothe the sore breasts of lactating mothers. You can even use it safely for all types of skin conditions including dry eczema, burns, shingles, ringworm, lice, acne and herpes. I actually had an opportunity to use it for my children’s lice and it worked beautifully (believe me, I checked their little heads extremely thoroughly each day after school!)  It sounds incredible for one simple essential oil, but even modern medicine has recently validated the efficacy of geranium for treating pain.
A recent study on 30 adults with post-herpetic neuralgia were assigned to receive one of five topical treatments (100% geranium oil, 50% geranium oil in mineral oil, 10% geranium oil in mineral oil, mineral oil only, or 0. 025% capsaicin cream and measurements of spontaneous and evoked pain one a scale of 0 (no pain) to 100 (worst possible pain) were taken at 2, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, and 60 minutes following application of the respective topical treatment.   Pain was found to be reduced in all participants receiving geranium oil and the degree of pain reduction was proportional to the amount of geranium oil in the topical mixture, so those using 100% geranium oil had greater pain relief than those using 10% geranium oil.
The researchers reported that topical peppermint oil (Mentha piperita) or licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) may also be useful for neuralgia.   Considering how well it worked for nerve pain, I’m definitely planning on enjoying the smell of geranium on a regular basis in my home, for whatever reason I can.

8 Old Wives Tales: Which Should You Believe?

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Alternative Medicine, Natural Healing

Just like your mom didn’t need a thermometer to know if you had a fever, we bet your grandmother or other homegrown expert didn’t let the lack of a medical degree stop her from issuing health directives. But which of them are worth following?
1. Grandma’s wisdom: Ginger is good for upset stomachs.
Science says: Yes. Good evidence shows ginger reduces nausea.
2. Grandma’s wisdom: An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Science says: Granny’s overstating this fruit’s potency. Still, the peel is a good source of quercetin, an important antioxidant that, studies suggest, helps lower blood pressure, fight asthma and allergies, and prevent heart attacks.
3. Grandma’s wisdom: Honey speeds healing.
Science says: Yes. Mild to moderate burns (but not other types of wounds) heal faster if you spread honey on them — maybe because it creates a moist, antibacterial environment that promotes tissue growth.
4. Grandma’s wisdom: Put butter on a burn.
Science says: No. There’s no evidence of a benefit from butter.
5. Grandma’s wisdom: Sleeping in air-conditioning can give you a chill.
Science says: She may be onto something. Air conditioners dry out the protective layer of mucus along nasal passages, which likely allows viruses to infect you more easily. Viruses reproduce faster inside a cold nose too.
6. Grandma’s wisdom: If you go out with wet hair, you’ll catch a cold.
Science says: Maybe. Some research indicates (but doesn’t prove) that a wet head helps cold viruses take hold, by tightening blood vessels in the nose and making it harder for white blood cells to reach the viruses and fight them off.
7. Grandma’s wisdom: Swimming after eating can lead to cramps and drowning.
Science says: Not exactly, but not completely wrong either. After you eat, blood gets shunted to your digestive tract and away from exercising muscles. That can lead to a buildup of lactic acid in your muscles, so swimming a few laps too soon after lunch could cause a sudden (though not fatal) cramp.
8. Grandma’s wisdom: Chocolate gives you pimples.
Science says: Not quite. Chocolate bars might trigger an acne flare-up, but if so, the culprit is probably the sugar, milk, and gooey fillings, not the cocoa.

Essential Oil iGuide limited time SALE

Posted by: Flirtation Creations  /  Category: Alternative Medicine, App Store, Applications, Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, iPhone, iPod Touch, Natural Healing, Physical, Psychological

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Celebrate Passover and Easter with us.
Essential Oil iGuide at the discounted price of 99c for a limited time (March 28, 2010 to April 6, 2010).
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iPhone App – Essential Oils iGuide

App Store

Screenshots

Summary

A few things to note:

Essential Oils iPhone App has been designed as a simple and easy to use guide for the average person wanting to add a little alternative options to their daily living.
The concept of the application is to provide you with access to 3 basic features.
A list of essential oils (and this is by no means all there is).

Some General Uses listed alphabetically.

Then we have created a group of Recipes that show the versatility and wondrous uses of Essential Oils.

A few things to be aware of:

The information provided in this application is for general information purposes only. This data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate.

General Safety Information:

Do not take any oils internally without consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin.
If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner.
Use extreme caution when using oils with children and give children only the gentlest oils at extremely low doses.
It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. A skin patch test should be conducted prior to using an oil that you’ve never used before.

The Top 10 Toxic Products You Don’t Need – Try Natural

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: Alternative Medicine, App Store, Applications, Essential Oils, Natural Healing

After releasing our latest iPhone App Essential Oil iGuide it was interesting to note how many non-natural chemicals harm us.
It’s become so common in our culture to assume we need things – a lot of things. Over-consumption is not only a strain on our bank accounts and environment, it can also be harmful to our health. Whether there’s a warning label or not (usually not), many of the things we buy have associated health risks.
Here are ten toxic products, in no particular order, that you don’t need. And, once you read about them, you probably won’t want them either. Be aware that different homes may have different products that are more toxic than these. This is just a basic list of some of the most commonly purchased products that are almost entirely unnecessary, but pose significant risks.
1. Air fresheners: Most air fresheners mask odors with a synthetic fragrance or numb your sense of smell with chemical anesthetics. But, they do nothing to eliminate the source of the odor. Also, aerosol air fresheners spew out tiny droplets of chemicals that are easily inhaled into the lungs. Instead, ventilate well and choose natural deodorizers, such as zeolite or baking soda, which contain minerals that absorb odors. How to Freshen Indoor Air Naturally includes recipes for other homemade remedies. Plants are also helpful for purifying your indoor air.
2. Drain, oven and toilet bowl cleaners: Yes, three products instead of one, but they all fit under the category of cleaners – and these are the three nastiest. Corrosive or caustic cleaners, such as the lye and acids found in drain cleaners, oven cleaners and acid-based toilet bowl cleaners, are the most dangerous cleaning products because they burn skin, eyes and internal tissue easily.
* To clean extra-greasy ovens, mix together 1 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup of washing soda, then add enough water to make a paste; apply the paste to oven surfaces and let soak overnight. The next morning, lift off soda mixture and grime; and rinse surfaces well.
* Prevent clogged drains by using hair and food traps.
* To de-grease and sweeten sink and tub drains, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down drain followed by 1 cup vinegar; let bubble for 15 minutes; rinse with hot water. You might have to repeat the whole procedure more than once. This same mixture can be used prior to scrubbing your toilet bowl to deodorize and scour away grime.

3. Canned food: It’s probably shocking to find a food item on a toxic product list, but it’s no mistake. Food cans are lined with an epoxy resin that contains bisphenol-A (BPA). Most experts believe this is our main source of exposure to BPA, which has been linked to hormone disruption, obesity, heart disease, and much more. Eden Foods is currently the only company with BPA-free canned foods (other than the canned tomatoes, which they haven’t found an adequate substitute for given the acidity of the tomatoes). Opt for fresh, frozen, dried or jarred foods.
4. Pesticides: This is a huge category of products, but they deserve inclusion in their entirety because of how extremely toxic they are. They’re made to be. That’s how they kill things. But, solving your pest problem may leave you with another problem – residual poisons that linger on surfaces, contaminate air, and get tracked onto carpet from the bottom of shoes. There are so many non-toxic ways to eliminate pests and weeds – next time you need to get on the offense, check out the recommendations at Beyond Pesticides.
5. Dry-cleaning: Okay, it’s a service and not a product per se, but the chemical used to do it, perchloroethylene, has been linked to cancer as well as nervous system, kidney, liver and reproductive disorders. Even bringing dry-cleaned clothes home is risky. EPA studies have found that people who reported visiting a dry-cleaning shop showed twice as much perc in their breath, on average, as other people. EPA also found that levels of perc remained elevated in a home for as long as one week after placing newly dry-cleaned clothes in a closet. A Consumers Union study found that people who wear freshly dry-cleaned clothes, like a jacket and shirt, every week over a 40-year period, could inhale enough perc “to measurably increase their risk of cancer” – by as much as 150 times what is considered “negligible risk.” Try wet-cleaning, CO2 technology, or even hand-washing.
6. Bottled water: Most people buy bottled water thinking they’re avoiding any contaminants that may be present in their tap water. For the most part, they’re wrong. Bottled water can be just as, or even more, contaminated than tap water. In fact, some bottled water IS tap water – just packaged (in plastic that can leach chemicals into the water) and over-priced. Also, from manufacture to disposal, bottled water creates an enormous amount of pollution – making our water even less drinkable. Do yourself and the world a favor and invest in a reusable stainless steel water bottle and a water filter.
7. Rubber duckies: How does such a cute toy end up on a toxic product list? When it’s made from PVC – the poison plastic. Banned in over 14 countries and the European Union, PVC, also known as vinyl, is still legally sold by U.S. retailers although it threatens environmental and consumer health at every stage of its product life cycle, according to the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice (CHEJ). When it’s in your home, PVC can leach phthalates (linked to hormone disruption) and lead (a potent neurotoxicant) – contaminating air, dust, and eventually you. Go PVC-free by reading packages and avoiding the #3 in the chasing arrows symbol (usually found on the bottom of a product). If a plastic is not labeled, call the manufacturer. Learn more.
8. Couch cushions: No, you needn’t get rid of all your cushions and consign yourself to a future of discomfort. Just avoid cushions, pillows, and anything with foam labeled as meeting California TB 117, as it is likely to contain toxic fire retardants. These chemicals migrate from the foam to dust to people. In animal research, these chemicals are associated with cancer, birth defects, thyroid disruption, reproductive and neurological disorders such as hyperactivity and mental retardation. Don’t worry about increasing your fire risk, data does not show that this standard has resulted in increased fire safety. Look for foam and cushions made with polyester, down, wool, or cotton as they are unlikely to contain toxic fire retardants.
9. Perfume and cologne: Colognes and perfumes may make us more attractive. But mixed in with the colors and scents are a wide variety of unattractive chemicals. Perfumes and fragrances can consist of hundreds of chemicals. Testing of Calvin Klein’s Eternity by an independent lab, commissioned by Environmental Health Network (EHN), revealed that the perfume contained over 800 compounds. Among the chemicals of concern is diethyl phthalate (DEP) that is absorbed through the skin and can accumulate in human fat tissue. Phthalates are suspected carcinogens and hormone disruptors that are increasingly being linked to reproductive disorders.
It’s not so simple to avoid phthalates by switching products because they are rarely listed on product ingredient labels. Phthalates are claimed as a part of trade secret formulas, and are exempt from federal labeling requirements. Find out if products you currently use contain phthalates and find safer ones on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Searchable Product Guide website.
10. Oil-based paints and finishes: There are 300 toxic chemicals and 150 carcinogens potentially present in oil-based paint, according to a John Hopkins University study. Still interested in coating your walls and furniture with this gunk? I hope not. Look for water-based options – ideally those that are low- or no-VOC. You could also explore natural finishes like milk paint and vegetable or wax based wood finishes.
Healthy Child Healthy World is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit inspiring parents to protect young children from harmful chemicals. Learn more at HealthyChild.org

Essential Oil iGuide iPhone App by Flirtation Creations

Posted by: flirtations  /  Category: Alternative Medicine, App Store, Applications, Aromatherapy, Developer, Essential Oils, iPhone, iPod Touch, Natural Healing, Physical, Psychological

7 February 2010.
Essential Oil iGuide for iPhone and iPod Touch was submitted to Apple for review on Sunday evening and was approved for sale today. You can find it on the App Store.
Essential Oils iPhone App has been designed as a simple and easy to use guide for the average person wanting to add a little alternative options to their daily living.
The concept of the application is to provide you with access to 3 basic features.
A list of essential oils (and this is by no means all there is).
Some General Uses listed alphabetically.
Then we have created a group of Recipes that show the versatility and wondrous uses of Essential Oils.
A few things to be aware of:
The information provided in this application is for general information purposes only. This data is not considered complete and is not guaranteed to be accurate.
General Safety Information:
Do not take any oils internally without consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Do not apply undiluted essential oils, absolutes, CO2s or other concentrated essences onto the skin.
If you are pregnant, epileptic, have liver damage, have cancer, or have any other medical problem, use oils only under the proper guidance of a qualified aromatherapy practitioner.
Use extreme caution when using oils with children and give children only the gentlest oils at extremely low doses.
It is safest to consult a qualified aromatherapy practitioner before using oils with children. A skin patch test should be conducted prior to using an oil that you’ve never used before.
Essential Oil iGuide on YouTube
Essential Oil iGuide on Flickr

Essential Oil iGuide

Essential Oil iGuide

Essential Oils iGuide is available for sale on the App Store

On the App Store

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