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Natural Remedies – Coconut Oil to soften skin and other beauty purposes

24 Apr

I am a fan of natural remedies. I have not used a Tylenol or any other analgesic to take care of a headache in over 15 years. I have shared already some of the natural remedies I use to treat a cold, coughs, sleepless nights and even nausea.

We were discussing over on FaceBook some of our experiences with natural remedies and my friend Robin shared her new found appreciation for coconut oil. To her, it’s a miracle on a jar.

coconut_oil

I asked her to please share her experience and this is what she wrote for me and you all:

“I’ve used coconut oil in the past, but I’ve never been regular with it. Skin super dry, slather it on, forget about it until the next major emergency. A couple of weeks ago I decided to be regular, vigilant. It goes on my lips instead of lip balm, it gets rubbed in after the shower, still dripping wet, patting, not rubbing skin dry.

Oh my God, it is amazing. I am a 55 year old woman. My skin is as soft and smooth as a 20 year old. I have a patch of psoriasis on my calf. No, I don’t, not anymore. It’s gone, smooth, silky skin in its place. Also, my upper arms were bumpy. Kind of like teeny, tiny pimples, but not pimples. I’ve had them since my early 30’s. Gone.

And this, okay, it’s going to sound weird, but I have allergies. I rub a little of the oil inside my nose. The sneezing is down by half. Apparently, the oil traps the particles. Way less marauders get by to torture me.

I’m using organic, cold pressed, cooking grade coconut oil. It’s not cheap, but a little goes a long way. I really wish I’d done this earlier. I smell great all the time now. I find myself at work, sniffing my forearms.

I think I shall make a lip balm, using coco butter, coconut oil, and maybe a dash of peppermint (which I understand does not have the drying effects that camphor or menthol). My lips are the only part that haven’t reverted to youth. They’re still dry, but they’re not still crackly. I’m hopeful the oil will have the same effect it did on my skin, just that it will be a slower process. It’s helped a great deal, just not as much as it’s done on my skin, at least this far.

Today, it’s cold and dry out. I rubbed a tiny bit of oil on my palms, rubbed it into my hair. Shiny, not staticky hair resulted. Let me stress – tiny bit. I have thin, fine hair. If I’d used more, it have been weighted down like a helmet. The tiny bit though, it did good things.”

coconut-oil-DSC_1718
After this testimonial, I am giving coconut oil a try too. I was reading on the internet from trusted sources like WebMD, Dr. Oz and Body & Soul Magazine that coconut oil does have a positive anti-oxidant action on the body as it contains Vitamin E, which helps to reduce the effects of oxidation on the body. And even though it’s a saturated fat and should be consumed in moderation, it’s from a vegetable source.

According to Ayurvedic medicine, the higher the fruit/crop grows from the ground, the better it is for us… and coconuts grow real high atop palm trees. So don’t be discouraged to try coconut oil either for cosmetic uses like Robin has or for consumption. I’ve had great experience using coconut water to hydrate myself while training for marathons, to aid in constipation and I have also used coconut oil in cooking. Coconut oil has a high smoking point so it’s great for sautéing and cooking at high temperatures. I have even used it in place of melted butter in a vegan version of my bread budín recipe and a vegan version of crepes. Just be careful, always cut down a bit when using coconut oil to replace melted butter. If a recipe calls for X amount of melted butter, use about ¼ less coconut oil than what the recipe calls for butter. I do not know the logic for it, but it is a rule of thumb that has worked well for me.

I want to thank Robin for candidly sharing her experience with coconut oil with us… and to encourage you to always strive to go as natural as possible. It’s good for your body and spirit.

 

Coca Tea to avoid altitude sickness…

18 Jul

It’s tradition… it’s what people tell you immediately after you say you’re traveling to see Machu Picchu… so, will you be having coca tea??

As the word says… coca leaves are the raw material to make cocaine. Yep… cocaine, the drug. But coca leaves are also the natural remedy of choice to acclimate to the 11,000 feet above sea level altitude where Cusco resides. For centuries, Peruvians have chewed on coca leaves to help them deal with the side-effects of being so high up in the sky, no pun intended.

Altitude sickness can be very debilitating – headaches, difficulty breathing, disorientation, dizziness, among others. For perspective, you only reach 10,000 when traveling on an airplane. When you’re traveling to Cusco, you need to incorporate some down and easy time to get used to the altitude and not allow it to get the best of you and your trip.

I was not sure if I would have coca tea or not… I’ve never been in the presence of the drug and have no interest in ever trying it. But because of the novelty, and because I did not want to bring down my group my feeling sick on a trip, I gave it a try. This will be the closest I’ll ever be to getting a hit in my life… so let’s enjoy the experience, no??

Coca Tea 2 Collage

 

Coca tea tastes very similar to linden tea. I sweetened it with brown sugar and it was a very enjoyable experience… one that I could certainly get somewhat addicted to. ;) I only had it twice… as our Guruji told us it really has a substance that hinders your spiritual growth. After we had the experience and acclimated well to the altitude there was really no real need for it anymore.

Coca remedies for altitude sickness come in various presentations – the raw leaves, in traditional tea bags and even in candy form. These are only to be enjoyed in Peru. I do not believe any of these are permitted to bring into the US, for obvious reasons. So this is something that can only be experienced when you visit these parts of the world.

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After a few days, we also learned there is yet another remedy for altitude sickness which is sometimes even more effective, but not as notorious as coca tea… it’s Muña Tea. Muña is an Andean mint leave, very pretty and very fragrant. Cusqueños offer muña tea as a welcome drink to visitors. I had the chance to taste muña tea a few times and it’s a delicious, caffeine-free way to deal with altitude sickness and the cold up in the Cusco mountains.

Te de muña Collage

Have you ever visited Cusco? Have you ever had coca tea? What was your experience?

 

Sugar-Coated Fennel Seeds

5 Jul

I do enjoy something sweet after dinner… not necessarily dessert, but something sweet to freshen my breath and possibly, help me with digestion.

I am used to a little minty something after a restaurant dinner… but in India, you get served sugar-coated fennel seeds.

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In paper, if I read fennel seeds coated in sugar I would probably say, PASS!! But without knowing what they were, I popped a few of these sugary treats in my mouth and they’re delicious!!

I have learned they are great to help you digest your dinner and they help simmer down the effects of spicy foods.

So if you have an Indian market nearby, seek out these delicious treats – sugar-coated fennel seeds.

 

Home Remedies – Honey, Lime, Aloe and Onion to relieve coughs

11 Jul

I prefer to cure myself using home remedies than using a bunch of chemical medications…… I haven’t even taken a Tylenol to relieve a headache in over 15 years.

And I have mentioned you how I mix together honey, lime juice and aloe to create a syrup to help me relieve my cold symptoms.

So, if you develop a cough, just add a ¼ piece of small onion to the mix. The taste is more pungent, but juts drink it like you drink a medicine. According to some internet research I did recently, onions are effective against many bacteria and early American settlers used them to treat colds, coughs, and asthma. Also, the Chinese used them to treat coughs and breathing problems. Even the World Health Organization recognized onions for providing relief in the treatment of coughs and colds, asthma and bronchitis.

All those people together can’t be all wrong… so have your onion “jarabe” the next time you’re feeling under the weather.

COUGH HOME REMEDY

1/2 cup honey

the inside clear gel of an aloe vera leaf

the juice of 2 limes

¼ piece of a small onion

1. Mix all the ingredients in a blender.

2. Drink about a 2 tablespoon measure every hour or so… or as often as you want.

It tastes good, so I would not blame you if you want to drink it for the taste as much as your desire to feel better.

Home Remedies – Chamomile and Linden Tea to help you sleep

30 Apr

There used to be a time when I had difficulty falling asleep. Me, the person that all she needs to fall asleep is  to be sleepy. I was so stressed out, so unhappy about my work and living situation that at night I was not able to close my eyes at all. And that brought other issues… I would fall asleep so late at night, that in the mornings I would not want to wake up at the time I needed. It was a very tough time for me…

But I learned about using herbal remedies to help my situation. I started making a ritual every night to “program my brain” to get into sleepy mode. And part of that ritual was to drink a hot mug of chamomile and linden teas with honey before going to bed.

Chamomile and linden, both, have calming properties. They help you ease the tensions and promote deep, healthy sleeping.

Who told me about this?? Not sure… but I am sure it works. I once gave my friend Ana a mug of chamomile/linden tea before a big meeting we had. She was super stressed and needed to calm down to be able to deliver the presentationbetter. After drinking it, she told me she felt so relaxed, she couldn’t even get up from her chair during the meeting.

Have you tried drinking chamomile or linden teas before?? What has been your experience?? Any other natural remedies to help your sleep?? Please share it with us all…

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