Monthly Archives: April 2017

Beautiful Skin Naturally

Looking for that perfect skin product? One that will keep your skin looking great, smells great, is appealing to apply, has actual ‘therapeutic’ effects, and doesn’t break the bank? Look no further than aromatherapy. Creating a wonderful blend just for your skin type with the magic of potent natural botanicals is fun and rewarding in more ways than one. Essential oils are widely used in natural medicine, and some are well-known for their skin rejuvenating effects.

While some of the most highly regarded therapeutic grade oils may seem expensive at first, they are effective in such small concentrations as to really make them worthwhile. And their efficacy is well-known; that’s why so many laboratory-made preparations use components of essential oils in their formulas. With a one or two ounce bottle to mix in, and an eye dropper, you can easily mix your own blend with the aroma and actions you desire most.

There are a few essential oils and carriers that are highly regarded in natural beauty and skin care. With these, and perhaps one or two extra ingredients, you can make effective (and very pleasant smelling) recipes for a wide variety of skin conditions.

The short list of essential oils for skin care – Helichrysum (also known as Everlasting) is one of the strongest anti-inflammatory oils known in aromatherapy. It is also very high in regenerative ketones; compounds which stimulate the regeneration of skin cells. Rosemary Verbenone serves a similar function, being thought to enhance metabolic functioning in the dermis layer, increasing circulation and the elimination of waste products. Lavender has properties similar to Helichrysum, with a wonderful, relaxing aroma; it can bring synergy to a combination of oils and is thought to keep the skin in a balanced, healthy condition. Carrot Seed essential oil is also regenerating, bringing life to tired, pallid skin. Palmarosa essential oil can be included for it’s pleasing aroma and anti-septic effects; Niaouli is also recommended for the same reasons, along with it’s skin-firming properties.

This is only a few of the many essential oils included in skin formulas, though these are considered among the most important for their broad range of effects. Almost any essential oil can be added to a blend in balanced quantities. In many cases, oils are added as much for their lovely aroma as their direct therapeutic benefits to skin tissue. Many aromatherapists, and natural health professionals for that matter, consider the overall mental and emotional condition to be of primary importance in creating an appearance of fitness and beauty. Many citrus and floral oils are used for this reason – Neroli, distilled from the flowers of the bitter orange tree, is an often used example. Others are Jasmine, Sandalwood (very popular in Men’s skin care), Geranium and Ylang Ylang.

Essential oils, be they for direct effects on skin metabolism, or for the overall state of wellness of the user, will be diluted in a carrier oil, sometimes known as a base oil. It is important to note that diluting the oils will often actually enhance their effects; essential oils are often too strong to be used directly, and many studies have shown increased efficacy in dilutions down to 1% or less of the total formula. The carrier oils serve several other functions as well; they “carry” the essential oils into the skin, increasing their total absorption. They also nourish the middle and lower layers of the skin with essential fatty acids or EFA’s – compounds now considered critical to the health of all living tissues. Further, some carrier oils have vitamin analogs which assist in skin regeneration and repair.

A few of the most important carrier oils include the following: Rosehip Seed Oil is highly regarded for it’s regenerating effects for skin which has been over-exposed to the sun or has other damage. It includes a variety of Vitamin A which acts to increase cellular turnover, similar to Retin-A without the over-drying side effects. Numerous scientific studies have validated this oil’s positive effects on damaged or prematurely aged skin. Next is Evening Primrose Oil, which has a significant quantities of gamma-linolenic acid, an important essential fatty acid. Evening Primrose oil has been used to support skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, and may help premature skin aging. Finally, Hazelnut oil is possibly the most commonly used base oil for skin care; it is gentle, has little aroma, and is suitable for all skin types. Often, small amounts of Rosehip seed and/or Evening Primrose oil will be included in a blend, with Hazelnut oil comprising the majority of the carrier mixture.

Here are several blends categorized by skin type to get you started. For normal skin, used at any time: In each ounce of Hazelnut Oil, add 15 drops Thyme Linalool, 15 drops Rosemary Verbenone, 15 drops Neroli, and 15 drops Spike Lavender; this blend can work well for acne with it’s antiseptic properties, but is an excellent tonic for all skin types.

If your skin has been chemically damaged, is overly-sensitive, or otherwise ‘weakened’ with broken capillaries, try this mixture, applying frequently: For each ounce of base oil, use three parts Hazelnut, one part Rosehip Seed, and one part Evening Primrose. Add the following essential oils: fifteen drops Moroccan Chamomile, fifteen drops Helichrysum, fifteen drops true Lavender, and fifteen drops Roman Chamomile. The Helichrysum, Lavender and Rosehip seed will enhance the skin’s own natural metabolism, and the addition of the Chamomiles will greatly reduce inflammation that is found with almost all damage and/or aging.

If your skin is prone to acne, or has over-active sebaceous glands, the following blend can be of great assistance. It contains regenerative, antiseptic, and cleansing oils. Simply use Hazelnut as the base, and to each ounce include fifteen drops of Green Myrtle or Inula graveolens, fifteen drops Eucalyptus dives (because of the ketones in this oil, it should not be used if pregnant – or under 10 years of age – but is otherwise considered safe), fifteen drops Spike Lavender, and fifteen drops Rosemary verbenone.

If your skin has no particular ‘condition’, but appears tired, lifeless, pallid, or ‘worn out’, try mixing one-fifth ounce of Rosehip Seed and four-fifths ounce Hazelnut oil. Then add 15 drops each of Carrot Seed essential oil (also known as Queen Anne’s Lace or Wild Carrot), Lemon verbena (which helps the skin detoxify), Niaouli (gently tightening the skin), and Rosemary verbenone – this creates an excellent restorative blend. For aging skin needing firming that can be used around the eyes – try this more gentle variety: Mix in five ounces of Hazelnut oil and one ounce of Rosehip seed oil, add fifteen drops of each of Myrtle essential oil (green), Cistus or Rock Rose and Rosemary.

So there are a few tried-and-true aromatherapy skin care blends to use in your natural beauty regime. You can easily mix and match the oils described to create your own blend, and add any oils you really like the aroma of (be aware that a FEW essential oils are VERY strong, and should not be used on the skin – the more common of these include Cinnamon, Clove, Oregano, and Red Thyme – consult with a knowledgeable practitioner if you are unsure about the safety of any oil). A word about purchasing oils for your blends – do NOT use anything labeled as a ‘fragrance oil’ – these are synthetic reproductions of essential oils that will likely cause an allergic reaction.

DO seek out a reputable source. And oils, like wine, do vary greatly from maker to maker. A higher price can mean a significantly nicer oil (though not always) – one that is sweeter, or more well-rounded – only a few oils should smell ‘medicinal’ – Spike Lavender is a little ‘camphorus’ in general – but a good Rosemary verbenone should have a very appealing scent . Despite the initial outlay, you are more likely to continue to use a blend that you really like the aroma of, and that has therapeutic effects. Though once you find the oils you adore, you’re more than likely to continue the practice of making your own blends for some time to come.

Enhance Your Dental Health Naturally

Modern studies and centuries of use show that a wide variety of herbs, essential oils, and other natural substances improve oral hygiene and help prevent and heal many tooth and gum disorders. Many herbalists advocate a preventative, holistic approach to mouth care that combines herbs with an improved diet and an effective daily oral-hygiene routine.

Dental-health professionals agree that the most important factor in tooth and gum health is diet. Since the bacteria in the mouth thrive on sugar, it is best to reduce or eliminate refined simple sugars from the diet, and eat primarily fresh foods free of chemicals, additives, and preservatives. Eating whole grains and high-fiber foods like raw carrots, and chewing them thoroughly, stimulates the gums.

Nutritional supplements also improve dental health. Antioxidants, including vitamins C and E, zinc, selenium, and beta carotene improve oral health, and folic acid reduces plaque, inflammation, and bleeding in the mouth. Daily doses of Coenyzme Q10 combat receding gum lines. Supplemental vitamins and minerals are important, since the body takes needed calcium from the jaw bone first in the event of a deficiency, which can lead to loose teeth. Eating kelp daily promotes healthy teeth and gums, since it is rich in vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

In addition to diet, a thorough, consistent oral-hygiene routine is important for healthy gums and teeth. Since gum disease and tooth decay stem largely from excess bacteria residing between the teeth and gums to form plaque and tartar, the main goal of oral hygiene is to remove excess bacteria from the mouth. Dental professionals recommend brushing your teeth at least twice, and flossing at least once, daily. Since bacteria can also collect on the tongue, cleaning the tongue with a toothbrush, a commercially-available tongue scraper, or even an upside-down soup spoon, eliminates twice as much bacteria from the mouth as just brushing the teeth. It is also beneficial to thoroughly brush the gums, as well as the insides of the cheeks. Over time, bacteria can inhabit your toothbrush and reenter your mouth with each brushing, so dental-care professionals advocate changing your toothbrush twice a month. You can also buy a toothbrush sterilizer, or soak your toothbrush in an antibacterial mouthwash between uses. Electric rotary brushes have been shown to remove significantly more plaque than regular brushes.

Rubber-tipped gum stimulators also further aid in cleaning, stimulating and massaging the gums to keep the tissues healthy. Brushing and flossing alone cannot always remove enough bacteria from deeper gum pockets, so dental-care providers often recommend oral-irrigation devices such as the “Water Pic” and “proxi-brushes,” very small brushes resembling bottle-brushes or pipe cleaners. These tools can clean hard-to-reach areas between teeth, around braces and other dental work, and inside spaces caused by receding gums.

If you wish to maintain healthy teeth and gums naturally, you can easily incorporate natural and herbal tools and preparations, such as natural brushes or picks, powders, pastes, teas and mouthwashes into your daily oral-hygiene routine. Many preparations are easy to make at home, and health-food stores sell their own varieties that include the same herbs and ingredients. It is important to exercise care when using herbs. Some herbs can be toxic if used for too long or in too great amounts. In addition, the active ingredients in some herbs are not recommended for certain health conditions, and can react negatively with prescription medications or other remedies. It is therefore recommended, especially if you are pregnant, wish to treat a child, have special health conditions, or are taking prescription medications, that you research the herbs that interest you before using them, and consult a qualified professional if you have questions or doubts.

A great many herbs and natural substances promote tooth and gum health by tightening the gum tissue, promoting circulation, and removing plaque and debris from the mouth. To name just a few, these include resins such as myrrh and the anti-viral bee product, propolys, which stimulates the production of new mouth tissues, usnea, a lichen stronger than penicillin against strep and staph bacteria, bloodroot, and plantain, a common weed which eases mouth abscesses and inflammation. High-tannin-content herbs such as krameria and oak apples also enhance tooth and gum health. Hawthorn extract, used over time, tightens the gum tissue. Echinacea extract, an antimicrobial immune strengthener, fights bacteria in the mouth. Extract of aloe vera also soothes and benefits the mouth tissues. Licorice root is anti-inflammatory and antibiotic, inhibits plaque growth, and tastes pleasant, so it is often added to toothpastes and mouthwashes. The essential oils of many healing plants are naturally antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal, and increase blood flow to the gums. Dental-health-enhancing essential oils include tea tree, peppermint, spearmint, eucalyptus, orange, clove, cinnamon, ginger, sage, rosemary, thyme, anise and fennel, to name a few.

Many traditional cultures make natural, disposable toothbrushes and gum stimulators from the twigs or roots of healing plants. Bay, fir, juniper, eucalyptus, oak, willow, and neem-tree twigs have served this purpose, as well as the roots of marshmallow, horseradish, alfalfa, and licorice. Health-food stores often sell a rough equivalent, wooden toothpicks soaked in healing essential oils. You can even make your own by placing undyed wooden toothpicks in a glass jar and covering them with a dental-health-enhancing essential oil. Let them soak in the oil overnight, then allow them to air-dry.

To prepare a simple homemade toothpaste, mix a small amount of baking soda with just enough hydrogen peroxide to form a paste. Apply this paste to the gum line, both inside and out, then place the rubber point of the gum stimulator between the teeth, and rotate in a circular motion for several seconds. Repeat this routine twice a day. Many tooth and gum problems occur when the pH inside of the mouth is too acidic, and baking soda alkalinizes the mouth. You can also add small amounts of zinc sulfate, folic acid (you can grind these to a powder in a coffee grinder or using a mortar and pestle), liquid vitamin E, one to two drops of peppermint or tea-tree essential oil, or hawthorn, echinacea, or aloe vera extracts. Experiment to find the particular mixture that best suits you. Other effective tooth powder ingredients are alum, salt, blackened eggplant, myrrh gum, turmeric, and white-oak or prickly ash bark. In some cases of severe gum disease, wrapping tooth powders in gauze and placing them in the corners of the mouth nightly has healed the condition in just a few months.

Herbal teas or extracts can replace water in your oral irrigator or serve as mouthwashes, for added benefits. Even the commercial mouthwash, Listerine contains anti-bacterial thymol, which is derived from the thyme herb. Since thymol reduces gingivitis, Listerine also works well in the oral irrigator. You can also prepare homemade mouthwashes by steeping dried herbs in vodka or apple cider vinegar. Good mouthwash herbs include cloves, coriander, dill, sage, peppermint, spearmint, eucalyptus, cinnamon, rosemary, fennel, sage, basil, cardamom, parsley, ginger, blackberry leaf, calendula or chamomile flowers, echinacea or marshmallow root, mint, raspberry leaf, basil, sage, thyme, and yarrow, to name a few.

Beauty of Nature

What is nature? = Science wants to understand nature. Therefore it is important, how the word nature is defined: Nature is everything that was not made by man. So the definition of nature excludes all things that were introduced by mankind. All those human developments are summarized as culture.

Nature keeps changing from season to season, from minute to minute. If the sea was a bright blue in the morning, by noon it has become an emerald green hue. The color of the sky keep changing throughout the day, from the pale pink at dawn to a dazzling blue at mid morning and a bright orange by sunset and purple at twilight. Nature reflects our moods. When the sun shines, we feel happy and hopeful.

We have all learned that Nature is man’s best friend. The sunset and sunrise, the song of birds, their evening gatherings, the breeze that sways trees and the winds that blow your mind away… it’s all nature and beauty divine. Nature is everywhere and not just in resorts, parks, forests and mountains. It’s even in the cities. How many times a day do we come across places that have gardens, trees or even plants and how many times do we notice them and relish their serenity? Sometimes even our homes have gardens. In the midst of our busy, hectic, stressful lives, we fail to think about anything other than duties and few priorities. We spend all our free time watching TV or playing on the internet. If we spent some of this time tending gardens or walking in the park, we’d find it way more relaxing, if not entertaining, than anything else. Nature is serene, beautiful, lovely, unique and a gift to every one of us. Experiencing it should be a part of our lives.

Spending time in nature can make you feel better is intuitive. We all feel this to be true, and many of us have anecdotes of our own or from friends and family that support that idea. people who have been suffering from stress, sickness, or a trauma can spend time quite contemplative time in gardens or taken to the mountains or wood heal. But nature is not just wilderness. The benefits of nature can also be found in our communities’ parks and green spaces. Nature is good for our health benefits.

Beauty As Nature Intended

In today’s world of consumerism and mass production, it is better to assert your individuality by sticking to the natural beauty practices that have been passed on to you. You do not need products that have chemicals in them or products that have been tested on animals in order to make you look or feel beautiful.

The truly beautiful women and men are the ones who are good and healthy on the inside and merely reflect that in their outward appearance. The most effective and everlasting ways of beauty are natural and extremely simple.

The first and most essential beauty tip is this: drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Carry a bottle or two with your wherever you go and take sips at frequent intervals. Water is the healthiest beverage and cleanses the body of unwanted toxins. Water aids smooth and fast digestion. When the internal organs are cleansed, it affects the health of the skin in a positive way. In no time at all, your skin will look and feel clearer. Blemishes will soon disappear and your complexion will even out. Your face will soon glow from within.

Another important tip! Don’t wear makeup! Why subject our skin to harmful chemicals that will not only clog your skin but will make you feel dirty. It is safer and kinder to the skin when you don’t wear any makeup at all. Take good care of the skin, it’s the largest organ you have!

Have early nights. Develop a healthy sleep pattern and go to sleep early. Going to sleep at 10 PM and waking up at 6 PM provides the perfect amount of rest that your body needs, and will result in you having sparkling eyes and clear skin.
Wearing colors that suit your skin tone will improve your overall appearance drastically. You don’t have to have the most expensive clothes, but neatly pressed and tidy clothes will always give off a good impression in any situation. You will look put together and ready for anything.

Nature’s Anti-Depressant

Nature’s Anti-depressant

Have you ever taken a walk in the woods and felt a deep sense of peace and beauty envelop you? Have you ever walked by the ocean and sensed the power and majesty of its beauty filling you with inspiration? Have you ever hiked a mountain and when you reached the top felt awe as the expansive vista before you took your breath away? Nature is a great resource for re-connecting with your beauty. The nature of your nature in nature comes to life as life blooms naturally around you. We are beings of nature; it is our natural state to commune with the elements, to see ourselves as a part of the whole and at one with all that is. Aligning with the beauty of nature is aligning to your own nature, your sense of well-being and natural beauty as well.

When we move our bodies, and our bodies are made for movement, we allow exciting feel good chemicals to course throughout our bodies. Endorphine’s are our bodies natural anti-depressants, they are stimulated by movement and positive emotions, they pick you up and lighten up your mood as you get your inner engines burning. Activating endorphins through physical movement and/or positive emotions and thoughts, can shift your burden of depression in no time at all.

The amazing thing about the Beauty Walk as a means of fighting off depression is this; not only are you releasing the feel good chemicals in your body, you are also infusing your Self with the beauty and magnificence of life around you.

The Beauty Walk

The Beauty Walk is exactly what you imagine it to be, it is walking and moving and breathing in the bounty of life that surrounds you. Becoming one with it all. For the truth of every human being and every particle on this planet is that we are all made of the same rich radiant substance of the Universe. All that is of beauty outside of you is also within you. You can never be separate from your own source of beauty.

With depression we tend to sink into ourselves, shutting off the light within us, and shutting out the light of the world around us. We feel disconnected and dis-engaged. Taking yourself on a beauty walk is a way to reconnect to the abundance of life and re-engage in the world. Just noticing the rustling of the leaves in the tree and thinking of how wonderful that sound is, as if the tree is speaking to you, or watching a bird fly over head, with strength and speed as it soars in the sky, that bird is alive and moving with purpose, take that energy inside of yourself, as if you are drinking up the experience and make it your own. Like the bird, you can move with strength and purpose. The beautiful blue of the sky, the light of the moon, the vibrant colors of flowers, these are all part of nature’s profound beauty and perfection of life, just as you are, just as every human being is. Take in the profound beauty of nature and equate yourself to it, mingle with it, become it and allow it to become you too. This beauty is on the inside.

One of the greatest discoveries of my life, and possibly the greatest thing I do for my self, my body, mind and spirit is to take my ‘Beauty Walks’. The Native American Indian’s have an expression that I have loved since the day I first discovered it, I saw it on a bumper sticker once and I have been looking for that bumper sticker ever since. It said “Walk in Beauty”. How wonderful is that?

I have been a walker for many years, it is my favorite form of exercise, it is the way I meditate and formulate my creative endeavors. It is the way I de-stress and release the garbage that rummages through my mind. Walking is a great way to ground yourself and circulate energy. It is rhythmic and it is the easiest most natural form of exercise. I have a background in natural health and healing, I have studied and practiced the healing arts of color, sound, touch, aromatherapy, nutrition and energy therapies for years. I understand that a healthy mind, body and spirit lead to a greater sense of joy, well-being and peace throughout our lives and I use the tools of these various healing modalities to infuse my own life as well as those of my clients. I have also known that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, an expression we all learn as children. To see beauty is to be beauty, this is something we have all heard but how often do we remember it?

I don’t know when it happened exactly, it was a gradual process but at some point, I realized I was combining all these components together and turned my daily walks into what I call ‘Beauty Walks’. I am proud to say it; I actually tell people I am going on my Beauty Walk, as hokey as it may sound, because I know it is an inspired action. I have shared this inspired action with many girls, women and men hoping to inspire them too, offering them a tool to feel more health and wholeness in their daily lives. I share it because I am inspired every time I take my beauty walk and the key element to the whole process is infusing my self with beauty, it is a totally sensual experience. I will add that I believe I am becoming more and more beautiful as a woman and a person inside and out because of these walks.

In my own experience of the Beauty Walk, I will admit that the first ten minutes or so are about decompressing. All the stuff of the day swirls through my head, my issues and disappointments, tasks I need to finish, things I am uncomfortable about etc. All of it surfaces until I get into the rhythm and start noticing what is around me.

When you physically take your Beauty Walk, I invite you to notice the beauty, even in a city, within all things around you wherever you may be. Notice architecture, colors of homes and buildings, see if you can find the beauty in a person walking by you. Open yourself to being a mirror of beauty and be the beauty that you see. You can use this to inspire your own form of exercise or use it as a meditation to ground, center and beautify yourself at anytime.

Elizabeth Stahl B.A., N.H.C., is the creator and facilitator of “My Goddess Party”, Star of Aphrodite Life Coaching, Girls of Power and The Girls and Goddesses Parties – for girls ages 10 and up.

Elizabeth has 16 years of experience in the Natural Health Field specializing in Women’s Health and Wellness. She combines her practice as a Natural Health Consultant (NHC), with her Life Coaching practice, Goddess Parties and Sacred Women’s Circles. Elizabeth infuses Girls and Women with the essence of their divine feminine spirit and encourages their growth towards the women they want to be.