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Why Olives? Olives have been a longstanding symbol for peace. In the old world, olives and their parts, have been used in numerous ways to boost, maintain and recover health, and because of their amazing health properties, they were also a means of wealth. The olive tree itself is known for it's endurance and strength.

Taking cues from the four tenets of this wonderous fruit, our mission and vision is to support transitions into a wholesome, connected lifestyle with empowering transformational information, applicable consultations and high-end holistic products.

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Friday, January 18, 2019

How to Choose a Safe DIY Recipe & Holistic All-Purpose Toothpaste Recipe

Photo by Katherine Hanlon on Unsplash

Essential oils have been the all rage for past ten years and I've avoided the craze because of the misinformation that enshrouds the industry. Last summer I decided to delve into my research skills and prepared to wade through the muck. Unfortunately, even hours of searching, I got nowhere. Credible, brand-free information was extremely difficult to find. So I took a class. A brand-free class backed with evidence-based information and my holistic world just got that much bigger!

How to Choose a Safe Internet Recipe


Safety when using essential oils IS important and should not be casually dismissed, don't let anyone selling essential oils tell you otherwise. The keyword here is "selling". Selling essential oils automatically disqualifies the salesperson as an independent source of reference. Do your due diligence when researching essential oil. The risk of using essential oil increases when they are applied undiluted. Common adverse reactions are:


Irritated skin Contact Dermatitis (irritation)
Allergic reactions
General Contact Dermatitis
Anaphylactic shock(7)
Using essential oils shouldn't be paralyzing either! A common-sense, evidence-based, BRAND-FREE approach should wisely lead you to right sources and information. However, when the internet is inundated with how-to recipes. How do you choose the safest DIY recipes?

The first clue that you may want to avoid using an internet recipe is the amount of recommended essential oil usage.

Essential oils are volatile. In other words, they release and evaporate readily. Essential oils are present in minuscule amounts in various plants, barks, resins, peels, and flowers. When you peel a lemon, the scent that fills the air is the essential oil.  Steam-distilled (and expressed fruit peels) essential oil products are SUPER concentrated, natural chemicals. It takes 45 rinds of lemon to fill a 15 ml bottle. Just one drop can contain up to 300 chemically related molecules(1) and because our bodies were not designed to process essential oils in a concentrated format, it is important to be sure they are diluted in a balanced way.

As a personal safety guideline -  a recipe should not have more than 24 - 30 drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil and other emulsifying ingredients. Avoid recipes that suggest 30 or more drops of EACH suggested essential oil for every ounce of carrier oil or emulsifying ingredients in the recipe.
For example: if a recipe suggests a formula of ten different essential oils, then the guideline should be three drops of each essential oil for every ounce of carrier oil.

Avoid personal care recipes that recommend an undiluted blend. In other words, a straight blend of essential oils without the benefit of a carrier oil such as sweet almond or jojoba oil.

With that said, I've formulated an all-purpose toothpaste that covers a wide range of oral concerns.

Holistic All-PurposeToothpaste


What you'll need:
Clean, empty 6 or 8-ounce container - glass is preferable, but not required.
4 Tablespoons of melted, Organic, Raw Virgin Coconut Oil
4 Tablespoons of Baking Soda
1 Tsp. of Pink Himalayan Salt
2 Tsp. of powdered Stevia Leaf (whole herb)
4 drops of Orange essential oil (expressed, not steam-distilled)
4 drops of Cinnamon bark essential oil
4 drops of Clove
2 drops of Anise Star essential oil
2 drops of Lemon (expressed)
2 drops of Copaiba

Directions
Combine dry ingredients in the container. Add melted coconut oil. If the coconut oil is solid, melt prior to preparing by keeping in a warm spot or placing the jar of coconut oil in a bowl of hot (not boiling) water. Add the essential oils and stir thoroughly with a wooden or plastic utensil. Stainless steel can react with the essential oils. 

All Purpose Whole Use Essential Oils and Ingredients

Every ingredient in the recipe provides a purpose; Gums, Cavities, Halitosis, brightening, plaque and antibacterial.  The baking soda acts as gentle abrasive (plaque), while coconut oil(6) can be healing and antibacterial. The pink salt mineralizes teeth. Copaiba(2) and Stevia(3) have been found to be helpful in cavity prevention. The orange and Lemon essential oil can contribute to a bright smile, and everyone knows that cinnamon can freshen your breath. Anise star is my absolute favorite oral support oil for gums. Anise carries an allergen warning if you're allergic to carrots and celery, simply omit the oils. (4, 5)




Suggested Recipe Adjustments for Suitability

Its extremely important to understand that essential oils react differently in different bodies, in other words, they are bio-individual. What works for me may not work for you. Here are some adjustments you can make to the recipe to suit your needs better.

Cinnamon bark is a hot oil, if 4 drops are too much, you can reduce it to just two or one. Peppermint is another good breath freshening agent you can replace cinnamon with. Otherwise, Cypress oil is well-known for their deodorant action. If you are allergic to carrots and celery,(5) simply drop anise oil form the recipe or increase other non-hot oils (Cinnamon, Peppermint, and Clove are hot) by two drops. 


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Disclaimer:

This article is written and presented in an informative manner and has not been reviewed or evaluated by the FDA and should be not be used to diagnose, cure or treat any diseases. Please talk to your doctor before making any dietary changes.

Sources:
1 - The Healing Power of Essential Oils; Dr. Eric Zielinski
2- https://naturallivingfamily.com/copaiba-essential-oil-uses/#learn1
3- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26192983
4- https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/anise
5 - https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/anise-oil.aspx
6 - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405844018308983
7 - https://tisserandinstitute.org/safety/adverse-reaction-database/


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Friday, January 11, 2019

Three Whole Body Uses of Rosa Damascena


“What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”
The sweet, intoxicating scent of a true rose continues its popular lure after 35 million years of its existence, according to fossil evidence.(1) Roses are hailed for many reasons...beauty, its variant beneficial properties, flavor, and the glorious scent. It is globally known as the symbol of love! Though some may not embrace the scent of rose quite as heartily as others, there are three whole-body ways you can use this exquisite plant, but first a little history lesson!

History of Rose

Although the genus Rosa has approximately 150 species throughout the Northern Hemisphere Rosa Damascena, the Damask Rose, is one of the most popular types of roses used as an ingredient in beauty care. The Damask Rose is mainly cultivated in Iran for the purposes of perfumery and rose water, but has uses and applications beyond these. They have been studied for medicinal purposes and is consumed as food in some cultures. Because the Rose has very low oil content, an exorbitant amount of roses must be used to produce a certain amount of rose oil. It is said 60,000 roses are used to produce just an ounce of oil.(4) Coupled with the lack of natural substitutes, rose essential oil is among the most expensive essential oils in the world.(2)


Beneficial Properties of Roses 


While the energetic qualities of roses are cooling and drying, they boast of multiple properties with whole body uses. They are:
  • Astringent
  • Analgesic (Pain Relieving)
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Microbial
  • Nervine
  • Anti-Aging
The petals, leaves, and fruit (rose hips) are all used in whole body applications. You can find roses in these products in your local health food store or an online co-op:
  • Rosewater (Rose petals steeped as tea or infused in water)
  • Rose Hydrosol (distillation of rose petals)
  • Dried and/or powdered Rose Hips
  • Dried petals/Flowers
  • Rose Essential Oil

Roses as Food

Rose hips and petals are the most common way to consume roses. Rose hips are very high in vitamin C and bioflavonoids. The petals have a lower vitamin C content compared to its fruit, Rose Hips. Rose hips are located at the base of the rose, just behind the bud. Rose Hips can be added to salads, yogurt and the petals/buds steeped as teas. The hips can be jellied into a condiment to add pizzazz to your sandwiches. Other foods to make with rose hips can be pies, puddings, desserts, trail mixes and much more to the extent of your imagination! Rosewater is a popular drink in the middle east and can be drunk as a way to cool down in hot weather seasons. Rosewater can be added to ice creams, gelatos, and even yogurts. The combo of dairy and rosewater is said to be a match made in heaven!

Rose as a Medicinal Support

Roses are more than just a pretty face, they have numerous medicinal benefits found in history and cultures across the globe. Human in vivo studies of roses has shown them to have a positive effect on heart health with internal and external uses. Roses are known to “gladden” the heart.
“In one study people were given 40 grams of rose hip powder daily for six weeks. At the end of the six weeks, there was a significant improvement in blood pressure and plasma cholesterol in the people taking the rose hip powder as compared with the control group.” (3)
An analgesic effect has also been found in the compound of roses. Suggesting the flavonoids in the roses are responsible for pain-relieving results.(2) The oil, absolute and hydrosol have shown a wide range of antimicrobial effects.(2) Studies on the extracts of R. Damascena have also shown a hypnotic effect (sleep-inducing) on the nervous system.(2) Additionally, it is said to have beneficial effects on neuritic atrophy (Dementia). Other medical benefits include:
  • Anticonvulsant activity
  • Anti-HIV activity
  • Anti-Diabetic effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory benefits
  • Ophthalmic benefits
Overall the medicinal functions of the rose are partly contributed to their abundance of phenolics compound. Phenolics are synthesized by plants and play important roles in plant development and plant defense.(5)

Roses in Skin Care

It’s astringent and antioxidant activities makes roses very popular as a skin care ingredient. Roses can be a wonderful aid in healing wounds. Anti-aging effects are said to be the result of rich antioxidant activity that combats free radicals; the cause of oxidative stress. They can tone and calm inflamed skin. Even more impressive, a study of R. Damascena Hydrosol was found to be effective inhibiting skin inflammations caused by infections of MRSA and Candida Albicans. “Rosewater inhibited mycelial growth of C. Albicans at a concentration of ca. 2.2%, and reduced viability of MRSA within 1 h.”(6)

Making Rose Tea

You can make your own cup of Rose tea to enjoy the many whole body application of this delicate, romantic flower. You’ll need… 1 cup of fresh R. Damascena Rose petals/buds or ½ cup of dried petals/buds 2.5 cups of distilled or clean water Honey to taste.

Directions

Bring water to a boil in a non-reactive pot. Once it boils, turn off the pot and remove from heat. Add the petals/rosebuds and stir gently. Place a lid on the pot and let it steep for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and add honey. Here’s a tip - The lid is important to prevent water-soluble vitamins from escaping with the steam. While the lid may seem unnecessary, it is an important part of steeping! Finally, only purchase petals and buds from reputable sources. Do not use petals and buds from a flower shop, they will most certainly be sprayed with chemicals. One eco-friendly, online herbal company you can source petals from is; Mountain Rose Herbs. As you now see, roses are truly extravagant in every way! You can use them to benefit your skin, consume them as food and try them in a medicinal capacity. Which whole body use of Rosa Damascena appeals to you the most?


Did you find this article helpful? Donate to keep this site free. Your donation goes directly to a hard-working, earth-loving, holistic family. To donate, go the sidebar.


Disclaimer: This article is written and presented in an informative manner and has not been reviewed or evaluated by the FDA and should be not be used to diagnose, cure or treat any diseases. Please talk to your doctor before making any dietary changes. 

Article Sources:

1 - University of Illinois; History of Roses - https://extension.illinois.edu/roses/history.cfm
2 - NCBI; The Pharmacological Effects of Rosa Damascena - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3586833/
3 - Rosalee De La Foret; Alchemy of Herbs; Hay House, Inc., New York City, NY; 2017 4 - Vegetarian-Nutrition; Rose Hips. Medicine for Heart and Body - https://vegetarian-nutrition.info/rose-hips/
5 - Molecular Plant Pathology - The Roles of Plant Phenolics in Defense and Communication - http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1364-3703.2010.00625.x/epdf?r3_referer=wol&tracking_action=preview_click&show_checkout=1&purchase_referrer=www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov&purchase_site_license=LICENSE_DENIED
6 - Green Med Info - Rose Water Has a Potential Effect to Inhibit Skin Inflammation Caused By Microbes - http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/rose-water-has-potential-effect-inhibit-skin-inflammation-caused-microbes

Friday, January 4, 2019

Indian Gooseberry Fruit For Fasting Support


Ayurvedic medicine, indigenous to India, is one of the oldest medical systems in the world. Different figures have been given, but most agree it has been around for 3,000 to 5,000 years. It is an intricate system that upholds the mind and body connection with the healing use of plants, herbs, minerals and other naturally-occurring substances. Loosely translated to mean “Science of Life”, Ayurveda focuses on a person’s constitution or rather the balance of one’s constitution, called the doshas. This medical system has stood the test of time and has given us many gems.(1) One of them is Phyllanthus Emblica, otherwise known as Indian Gooseberry (Amla) fruit. Originating in India, the Gooseberry fruit can be found growing in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, and Malaysia. Better known as the Indian Gooseberry tree, it is also called “the Malacca tree” in English and in Hindi, it is simply known as Amla.(2) Historically, they are used as chutney, pickles and a sweet delicacy called murabba.   The Gooseberry fruit is arguably one of Ayurveda's most important herb. It has a long list of beneficial properties, but here are three highlights.

A Tonic For the Liver
  1. Officinalis (Indian Gooseberry) has been found to increase enzymes in the liver (6) and enhances liver function by playing a protective role. (5) Extracts of Phyllanthus Amarus (Indian Gooseberry) has shown to improve liver function, reduce profibrogenic events and promising potential with chronic HBV infection (Hepatitis B)(2)
  Fasting Blood Sugar Levels

Studies show that Amla has a significant impact on fasting blood sugar levels.(3) Their anti-diabetic properties can be contributed to their high level of phytochemicals - antioxidants and free radical scavenging properties (4) Indian Gooseberry’s high fiber content also contributes to normalizing blood sugar levels. A large amount of fiber slows the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream and can prevent spikes and crashes.(5) The fiber content of the berry makes up 26 percent of the daily recommended value.(7)

Unusually High Phytochemicals

As mentioned previously, Indian Gooseberry has an exorbitant amount of phytochemicals. “Many plant extracts and plant products have been shown to possess anti-diabetic activity having significant anti-oxidant activity. Since E. Officinalis contains a large number of polyphenols, it is found to possess significant antioxidant activity. Therefore, the presence of polyphenols may be responsible for the anti-diabetic activity of E. Officinalis.” - Pub Med - Experimental Study on the Effect of E. Officialis   Implementing Indian gooseberry fruit during a fast can be a potent tool during the fasting phase. Fresh Indian gooseberry fruit may be difficult to obtain, but the dehydrated and powdered fruit is readily available online. There are no known precautions with this beautiful fruit, however, if you’re a diabetic on medication to control blood sugar levels, do talk to your practitioner before using Amla.   Tell me, what do you find most impressive about Amla?

Sources:

1 - Dr. Axe -  7 Benefits of Ayurvedic Medicine - https://draxe.com/ayurvedic-medicine/
2 - Science Direct - Phyllanthus Emblica - https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/phyllanthus-emblica
3 - Pub Med - Effect of Amla on Blood Glucose Levels - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21495900
4 - Pub Med - Anti-Diabetic Effects - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24577384
5 - Dr. Axe - Indian Gooseberry Benefits - https://draxe.com/indian-gooseberry/
6 - Pub Med - Experimental Study of the Effect of E. Officialis - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3968711/
7 - Dr. Mercola - Food Facts Indian Gooseberry - http://foodfacts.mercola.com/gooseberries.html

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Disclaimer: This article is written and presented in an informative manner and has not been reviewed or evaluated by the FDA and should be not be used to diagnose, cure or treat any diseases. Share the knowledge.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Bitters' Sweet Role in Health


Taste serves two roles. It evaluates food for toxicity and nutrients and prepares to metabolize food when they are ingested. There isn't a solid worldwide consensus on many how many types of tastes there are, I suspect the disagreements come from the difference in cultures across the globe and the monotonous state of processed food. In essence, there are five: Salty, Sour, Sweet, Savory (Umami) and Bitter.(3)
"Exploring the ancestral context for taste is useful to understand how modern humans use taste to live and feed today. Those who live in an environment of very low food security forage using taste to identify nutritious foods to eat. While those who live in an environment of abundant, palatable foods are guided by taste to over consume calorically dense foods, which too often results in diabetes and obesity."(3)
Bitter is not a popular flavor. It is typically equated to negativity. Phrases like; "bitter truth", "bitter end", "a bitter pill" are associated with unpleasantness, something we all want to avoid, but the fact is bitter, as a flavor from wholesome plants and herbs, can be health tool. Bitters assist with:

⧫ Producing digestive enzymes
⧫ Improve liver function
⧫ Improve gallbladder function
⧫ Primes and optimizes the digestive system (4)
⧫ Aids in detoxification
⧫ Bile production

Bitters and Bile


The Bitter Reflex is a process triggered by bitter substances on the tongue. The small intestine is
stimulated by the bitter taste which prompts your liver and gallbladder to increase a healthy flow of bile in anticipation of eating. Healthy bile flow assists in ridding your body of oxidized cholesterol and hormonal metabolites.2

Bile is digestive substance created by the liver for the purpose of digesting fats and to aid in detoxification. Bile emulsifies fat and fat-soluble vitamins for absorption in the gut. Trying to digest fats without bile is similar to washing greasy dishes without soap. As a detoxification agent, bile absorbs waste products, like bilirubin, created by the body from old red blood cells. Additionally, bile absorbs excess cholesterol into the gastrointestinal tract to be passed out with other waste products.

While the liver continuously creates bile, it is stored and concentrated in the gallbladder. The bile in the gallbladder is 5 to 20 times more concentrated and becomes bile salt.1

Good examples of common bitters are Dandelion, Orange Peel, Peppermint, and Argula.

When and How to Use Bitters

Try to incorporate bitters into your daily diet. Avoid sweetening them. Adding arugula and dandelion leaves in your salads is a good way to start. You can use them in a tincture form. I'll share my favorite Orange Peel bitters recipe soon, so stay and follow by email (sidebar). Put a few drops of bitters on your tongue 15 to 20 minutes before you eat.

Fasting is a good time to utilize bitters! While the autophagy state is turned on, bitters can really support this process, especially the liver. Detoxing can be hard on the liver.

The 3-day nutritionally-supported fasting program with Miessence FAST has organic bitters just for this purpose. I use FAST during fasting, take orange peel bitters daily and I LOVE it. It has been tremendously helpful in controlling gas, bloating and it has improved my digestion. The interesting thing...I no longer find my orange peel tincture "bitter". It tastes sweet to me!

If you're interested in using Miessence FAST for fasting or bitter support, purchase it here or contact me for a free consultation.

Sources:

1 - http://www.healthhype.com/what-is-bile-production-function-salts-storage-secretion.html
2 - http://www.westonaprice.org/modern-diseases/digestive-disorders/bitters-the-revival-of-a-forgotten-flavor/
3 - Science Direct; Evolution of Taste - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982213004181
4 - Healing the Body - https://healingthebody.ca/use-bitter-herbs-for-optimal-digestion-and-detoxification/#gs.7=T9xR0


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