Chakras

What are chakras?

Chakras are the concentrated energy centers of the body. Chakra is a Sunskirt term and it means “wheel” or “disk”, it is derived from the root word “cakra”. Chakras are spinning wheels of energy/light, they have the responsibility of taking in, incorporating and emanating energy to keep us to function properly.

When a chakra is not functioning properly or is blocked, an illness is more likely to occur. Our well-being on all levels can be affected: lack of energy, feeling of anger, feeling unbalanced …

How to strengthen and increase the flow of your chakra systems?

If we feel unbalanced, we need to work on our physical, emotional, spiritual and mental health to allow the flow of energy through our chakra systems to strengthen. Clearing out clutter in our lives physically and emotionally will help to bring back balance and enhances our wellbeing.

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Our body is an energetic system through which the universes life force flows through. Our 7 chakras are a part of this energetic system, they connect you with the larger part of yourself, the universe and they hold the secrets to our unique self and soul. To visualize a chakra in the body, image a swirling wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet. The invisible healing energy called PRANA, is vital life force, it keeps us healthy and alive.

This is one music I like to listen when I do my meditation.

Each chakra corresponds to massive nerve centers in the body, they contain bundles of nerves and major organs as well as our psychological, emotional and spiritual state of being. Since everything is moving it is important that the chakras remain open and fluid to be in perfect alignment.

How to align the chakras

Awareness to which of your chakras are out of balance is key to aligning them. Our bodies are constantly between balanced and imbalanced. It is good to bring awareness to your body/mind and start understanding its signs and clues so that you can align your chakras.

For example, frequent constipation could indicate in a blockage to the first chakra. A recurring sore throat leaves clues to the firth chakra being blocked.

There are 7 main chakras:

1- Base or Root Chakra- Muladhara

Bija mantra (seed sound) is lam. Its natural colour is red, and is located resting at the base of the spine, in the tailbone. It is associated with the element of Earth, and its properties are related to survival, security and it anchors us to the earth. It represents our foundation. To keep this chakra healthy, exercises such as jogging or dancing are beneficial. Its message is “I exist”.

2- Sacral Chakra- Svadhistance

Bija mantra is vam. This chakras natural colour is orange, and is located in the lower abdomen. It is associated with the element of water. It is related to sense of abundance, wellbeing, sexuality and desire for pleasure. It also informs us how we relate to our emotions and other peoples emotions. Bellydancing, yoga and loving partnerships can enhance the function of this chakra. Live your passion, whatever it maybe. Its message is “I desire”.

  1. Solar Plexus Chakra- Manipura

Bija mantra is ram. Its natural colour is yellow, and is located in the upper abdomen in the stomach area. It is associated with the element of fire. It is related with power, and being in control. An overbearing solar plexus chakra (one not in balance with the other chakras) can result in obsessive compulsive control. When this chakra has a healthy flow it allows you to have control over your destiny, feel your power and accomplish your dreams. Whenever you felt butterflies or felt a pit in your stomach, thats the solar plexus chakra at work. Its message is “I control”.

  1. Heart chakra- Anahata

Bija mantra is yam. Its natural colour is green, and is located at the centre of the chest, just above the heart. It is associated with the element of air. It is related with love and compassion, joy and inner peace. Healthy relationships, pets, family and appreciation of beauty and nature enhances the health of this chakra. Let your hearts energy flow freely in and out. Be open to receiving love that is available to you, the free flowing love that is your birthright. This chakra connects the three bottom chakras (associated with maternity) with the top three ones (associated with spirituality). The message is “I love”.

  1. Throat Chakra- Vishuddha (the purifier)

Bija mantra is ham. Its natural colour is blue, and is located at the throat pit. It is associated with the element of expression and manifestation. It is related with authenticity, truthfulness, clarity influence, receptivity and peace. It is where you speak your truth to the world. It is a gateway and translator between the spiritual/unmanifest and physical/manifest aspect of our being. Singing, chanting and breathing exercises can enhance the health of this chakra. The message is “I express”.

  1. Third Eye Chakra- Ajne

Bija mantra is shan or om. Its natural colour is indigo, and is located in the space between the eyebrows. It is associated with the element light. It is related to insight, perception, intuition, awareness and guidance, discrimination and wisdom. Meditation and visualization exercises can assist the healthy flow of this chakra. Be open to your inner guidance, listen to your thoughts and they will assist you onto the right path. The third eye is the place of discrimination and final judgement, and its role in determining what is reality and what is illusion is crucial. Its message is “I am the witness”.

  1. The Crown Chakra- Sahasrara

Bija mantra is oh or sohem or ah. Its natural colour is violet or violet- white light, and is located at the very top of the head. It is associated with the element of cosmos- pure light and source of creation. It is related to inner and outer beauty, spiritual connection, union and the knowledge of being at one with all. Transcends into oneness, the gift is the transcendence of the individual self into true, mystical experience of unity and oneness. The messsage is “I am that I am”.

Minor chakras

Minor chakras are small points that fuel the major chakras in the body. Reiki healers usually use the palm of their hands. There are 21 Minor Chakras distributed all over the body

Hand and Foot which are linked with the CROWN chakra

Elbow and Knee which are linked with the BASE chakra

Groin and Clavicular which are linked with the BROW chakra

Shoulder and Navel which are linked with the THROAT chakra

Ear and Intercostal which are linked with the HEART chakra

Being fully aware of all the seven chakras, their respective colours and the organs they impact will help you notice the improvements you can bring in your body through all the various methods of awakening and fortifying these chakras.

If you want to book a session of Reiki with me or want to know more about my Therapeutic Candles, contact me directly HERE

Lavender, one of the most popular essential oils in the world

The most popular one is Lavandula augustifolia, I was used to have a lot of  plants when I was in France and I still take some from my parents garden, dry the flower, put it in little pouch and then in my wardrobe to have a nice smell.  Lavender is not only a plant with fresh and floral scent but has many benefits for our health and skin care.

Little History :

  • Lavender has been discovered over 2,500 Years ago. The Egyptian used it for mummification and as a perfume
  • The Romans used the lavender oil for bathing, cooking and purifying the air. It got the name from the roman “lavare” which means laver (in french) or to wash (in english)

Today Lavender has so many virtues and that is why we use it in our skincare. It’s been used both cosmetically and therapeutically. It is a powerful antioxydant, antimicrobial, antidepressive , has calming effect and sedative.

  • Lavender restores skin complexion and reduce acne
  • Slows aging process with powerful antioxydants
  • Relieves pain
  • Reduces nervousness and emotional stress
  • Helps healing wounds and burns
  • Improves brain function
  • Can help with hair loss by massaging the scalp

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I am only in beauty industry and not a doctor so you can check out all the health benefits on the internet however it has been shown that lavender essential oil is a natural antioxydant that will prevent and reverse disease and also helped people maintaining normal and stable mood, helping with memory and improving sleep.

We can use also essential oils in candles which has an aromatherapeutic properties. Aroma candles are made for holistic therapeutic care — for providing well-being to the body, mind, and spirit.

The fragrances of essential oils are emanated in order to stimulate the senses and candles are not just for their pleasant fragrances, but also for their ability to change our mood — to help us feel good.

To use it on the skin, lavender oil  can be added to a carrier oil (such as jojoba or sweet almond), or a cream ( Aloe Vera) Once blended with a carrier oil, or cream, lavender essential oil can be massaged into your skin or added to your bath.bath-oil-2510783_1280

You can also sprinkle a few drops of lavender essential oil onto a cloth or tissue and inhale its aroma, or add the oil to an aromatherapy diffuser or vaporizer.

HempWorx MyDailyChoice Mantra Essential Oils help you relax into your natural and soulful happiness. With six enriching scents: Breathe, Energy, Restore, Relax, Focus and Sleep. There’s an essential oil ready to carry you throughout your day.

Mantra-Essential-Oils

The 2 Mantra Fragrances using Lavender in their blends are:

Relax: Unwind, decompress, and accept the abundance of life with HempWorx Relax. Derived from Grapefruit, Rosemary, Geranium, Lavender, and Frankincense. For aromatherapy use.

Restore: Rejuvenate your strength, senses and sensibilities with HempWorx Restore. Derived from Hemp oil, Peppermint, Wintergreen, S. Lavender, Black Pepper, Atlas Cedar, and Lemongrass. For topical use only. Do not ingest

Try Mantra Essential Oils Today.
To check our products go to  http://bit.ly/2nWo8tm

If you need more info, don’t hesitate to contact me 🙂

Kathy

PS: FDA Disclaimer: Statements made on this product, website or sales materials have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. MyDailyChoice and HempWorx products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. These products are NOT intended to replace medications or eliminate the advice of a competent health care practitioner.

Why meditation is important?

I decided to do this blog about meditation because loads of people hear that it is something that we should practice daily because of its benefits but don’t really follow up with it because they either don’t do it well, and don’t feel any change or they don’t believe that staying in a quiet space for a few minutes daily will really change their world. I am not judging anybody because I was like that before I became a Reiki Practitioner.

So what is Meditation?

Meditation is a mental concentration that helps to control our mind and our thoughts while engaging in mental activity either focusing on specific thoughts or focusing on nothing at all. When meditating, we connect with the universe within our physical bodies, emotional bodies, and mental bodies or our body and mind. It brings together and centers the interaction of these 3 different bodies with our spiritual body or our soul.

It has been proven that physically, meditation affects us in many wonderful ways. It increases the production and flow of endorphins ~ calm and soothes the body. It lowers also our blood pressure and helps to re-align our brain patterns so our body begins healing itself. Reiki also is a powerful energy healing technique.

Emotionally, meditation can help us to eliminate negative thoughts, worries, anxiety, all factors that can prevent us from feeling happy. It helps to reduce the intensity and frequency of our resentments and fear, moving toward a more consistent feeling of caring, compassion, and love.

Mentally, meditation is said to improve focus, mental clarity and reduce or eliminate stress. It allows us to detach from our addiction to thinking too much, our re-living of past events and projecting our worries and fears into the future. It can also give you peace, which I feel is desperately needed in today’s society.

Meditation will help us to practice re-directing our energy in a positive way.

“The past is already gone, the future is not yet here. There’s only one moment for you to live.”

Buddha

We need to be aware that thinking negative thoughts, feeling angry, having resentments and fear, or act selfishly and destructively, is creating that same type of environment and world around us.

By daily meditating, we will become a calmer person; we will gain mental serenity in each task we perform and it will help us re-condition our mind in a positive way, to improve the quality of our effect upon others and ourselves.

So why not meditating daily? Meditation is free, it’s powerful, can be practiced by anyone, everywhere, is extremely beneficial and can help us to feel happier. So make it a priority to add Meditation to your daily task.

It is important to remember that the results are different from person to person and before you can see the results it may takes some time.

How to start meditating?

  • You need to find a special space for meditation at the start after you will be able to do it anywhere. But if you are new, find your quiet place, where you feel good. Start your practice while in a position that comes naturally to you; it can be sitting on the floor on a mat, or lying down, or kneeling down or standing up. You don’t need to be in the lotus position to meditate. My favorite place is lying down on my bed as I put crystals healing on my body while meditating.
  • Find the right time to meditate, try to do it each day at the same time, dusk and dawn are a great time but it is up to you. You want to feel comfortable and you want to have peace of mind, so if you have children wait until they are gone to school. “Your Me Time!”. The advantage of doing it at the same time also is that your body will slow down faster… Remember we are creatures of habits!
  • You can also light a candle, use incense, put light music or use guided meditation on Youtube… There are tons of them.
  • If you are not using guided meditation, when you are in the right position, just concentrate on your breathing… deep breathing coming from your stomach. Inhale deeply through your nose. Hold your breath as you count to 5. Release the air via a slow, deep exhale through your nose. Do it a few times until you feel very relaxed. Oxygen revitalizes you, resets your mind, body and spirit and allows you to feel better. You can close your eyes or focus on something, maybe the candle… It is up to you.
  • When you are in that state, try to remove all the thoughts from your head and you should feel your body getting heavier, your head, your neck, your shoulders, your spine, your legs…. Be conscious of your environment but don’t let it bother you and let your mind wander. You can create your happy place, it might be somewhere you know, or maybe a fantasy place. Make it a safe place where you can go whenever you want to find peace. The more you’ll practice and the more you’ll shape this sacred place, in there you can tell your intentions, you can see yourself and/or your family/friends in the future. There is no right or wrong way to do meditation… Just let yourself go!!! Or if you prefer just focus on something that is bothering you, and ask for answers. In that state of unconscious mind you will find what you are looking for if you practice regularly.

So you need to decide yourself if you want to take this habit of meditating each day! As I said there is no right way and no wrong way. You will find what suits you better and what works for you. It may be helpful to keep a brief journal to record any insights that arise during your practice.

People meditate for different reasons: to feel calm, to diminish stress or pain, to get through a crisis, or to engage in spiritual practice. Through meditation, you attain the power to control your thoughts, and on occasion stop them completely. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t reach a silent mind in the first few sessions. It takes time and practice. Meditation is a simple and spontaneous action. Unfortunately, our mind is used to complication and it takes time to unlearn bad habits.

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

Mahatma Gandhi 

I do believe meditation is very important in our daily lives! I see too many people living in the rat race and not enjoying life to the fullest! Here are 2 questions for you:

Have you tried meditation before? If not, why not?

If you practice regular meditation, what kind of meditation you do?

Feel free to add you comment below

Kathy

How to live a healthier life

When I talk about healthy, it is not always about food intake. You need also to be mentally healthy which will bring you more energy, creativity, vitality and you will experience better mental clarity.

See my Facebook Live Video: https://www.facebook.com/kathy.lopinto/videos/10213604955858350/

Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.

DALAI LAMA

1- Stay away from toxicity

Your body works hard to stay in balance. The Ph of the body is 7.35 so slightly alkaline. If your intake of food is too acidic, you will exhibit symptoms of imbalanced. You need to stop eating too many process food, sugar, sodas, alcohol but instead eating more vegetables and fruits to help to maintain an alkaline state.

Pollution has a huge impact on the body and causes many chronic diseases. The effects of air pollution vary according to each person’s level of sensitivity.

Toxicity is not only about your food intake or pollution but also your environment, the people you spend time with. Negative people will bring you down and should be removed from your life. Remember, we are the average of the five people we hang with most. The reason being is because we are products of our environment. Focusing on the negativity in life is making people feel depressed. Surround yourself with positive people that will encourage you to fulfill your dreams.

(Little tip: stop watching the news, and I guarantee you, you will feel much better)

2- Connect more with Nature

It has been proven that connecting with nature could improve our health, happiness, and well-being. Being in nature reduces anger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, but it also plays a part in your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones.

Hiking has many psychological benefits and impact on our brains and behavior which will help reduce anxiety, stress and increase our attention, capacity, creativity and our ability to connect with people.

Going to the beach as well will bring you many benefits, Sea air is stocked with healthy negative ions which accelerate the ability to absorb oxygen which will relax your mind and help you to get better sleep. The sand is a natural exfoliant, you can take that opportunity to shed dead skin on your body.

Nature sounds such as seaside waves, a crackling fireplace, crickets during a summer night or the gentle sound of water are very powerful sounds to create a calm, peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. Nature sounds help to sleep better, longer and more peacefully. These noises are very helpful to fall asleep or while sleeping, and they can actually lead to better relaxation and enhanced sleep quality.

3- Do something other than work ~ Pick up a hobby or work on something you are passionate about

Routine kills people and relationships. If all you do is wake up, work, home, dinner and sleep; you are going to start feeling as if you are drowning. As for mums or dads at home that are minding children and staying home most of the time, this is crucial that you have something else other than your daily activities. You need to get out and find something else to do with adults.

Put some sparkles in your life, and having a passion or an interest outside family life, or work is going to make you feel more satisfied. A hobby may be just the activity you need to enhance your life. It can even stop mental health problems like depression, anxiety, and stress. Having a physical activity also is another way to improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases. Make sure your workout time is adding to your self-esteem and your self-care.

Exercising helps depression and may block negative thoughts. Exercising with others provides an opportunity for increased social contact. It will lift your mood and improve your sleep patterns.

So what to do? You could prepare a vacation and involve your family. Or have a side project that you can do during your spare time. Maybe there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, like learning to garden or play an instrument. Maybe there’s something you used to love that you’ve stopped doing. Perhaps you could reach out to a new organization: a community association, a sports club, or book club. So many things to do! Just take time for yourself!

4- Find your spirituality

Spirituality is a highly personal matter and will likely result in different outcomes. This journey is going to look different for every single one of us.

You can find your spiritual path and finding happiness through different religions, beliefs or meditation. Everyone is on the same journey but we are all taking different roads to get there. There is no right or wrong way to do it and everybody can choose who they want to call their “Creator”.

One of the most beautiful aspects of spirituality is that it can be experienced differently by everyone. For some people, spirituality is about devotion to religious faith. Others seek out a more personal connection with their spiritual side by engaging in activities such as yoga, meditation, spending time in nature or creative expression. Some keep a gratitude journal, where they can write down the positive people, events and things they are thankful for.

Keep seeking for your greatest you. You are unique and you will find happiness once you find your spiritual journey. Discovering your spirituality is discovering what you believe in. No one can tell you what to believe in. It is something you will have to find for yourself.

Spirituality is fearlessness. It is a way of looking boldly at this life we have been given, here, now, on earth, as this human being.

ELIZABETH LESSER, The New American Spirituality

Thank you for reading and would love to hear your feedback. Which area are you struggling the most?

Kathy

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Disclaimer:

This blog, its content and any linked material are presented for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or prescribing. Nothing contained in or accessible from this blog should be considered to be medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or prescribing, or a promise of benefits, claim of cure, legal warranty, or guarantee of results to be achieved. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog or in any linked material.

The 15 Benefits of Mangoes

In Jamaica it is Mangoes season, we have various types of Mango trees and I am very blessed to have a few trees in my garden.

Mango trees are one of the most cultivated fruits in the tropics. Beyond the sweet, luscious taste of mangoes, they also contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that assure your optimum health.

Here are a few benefits:

  1. Mangoes contain enzymes for breaking down protein and are rich in Fiber, so if you have at least one mango every day, you are almost guaranteed to prevent constipation, piles, and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  2. Mangoes are rich in Potassium (4% in 156 mg) and Magnesium (2% in 9 mg) and are a great remedy for high blood pressure.
  3. Mangoes can prevent Cancer; research has shown antioxidant compounds in mango fruits have been found to protect against colon, breast, leukemia and prostate cancers.mangoes
  4. Mangoes are closely related to Skin Care. Other than bringing a healthy glow to your face, they also help to lighten skin color and treat acne by opening the clogged pores of the skin. Unclogging the pores of the skin is the most effective way to eliminate acne. You don’t need to eat them every day; you can remove the pulp and apply it on the skin for around 10 minutes, then rinse it off.
  5. Mangoes Alkalize the whole body; Remember that cancer cannot survive in an alkaline environment. Mango is rich in tartaric acid, malic acid and traces of citric acid that primarily help in maintaining the alkali reserve of the body.
  6. Mangoes lowers Cholesterol; the high levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C help to lower serum cholesterol levels
  7. Mangoes can help with your Sex Drive; the vitamin E content in these fruits can even help boost your sex life by triggering the activity of your sex hormones.
  8. Mangoes improves Eyes Health; one cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes.
  9. Mangoes delay Aging; they contain high amounts of vitamin A and C, which help produce collagen proteins inside the body. Collagen helps protect blood vessels and the body’s connective tissues, thereby slowing down the natural aging process.
  10. Mangoes promote Brain Health; they have abundant quantities of vitamin B6, which is vital for maintaining and improving the brain’s function and contribute to help with mood and sleeping patterns. The glutamine acid content in mangoes also improves concentration and memory.
  11. Mangoes may help with Diabetes; mango leaves help normalize insulin levels in the blood ~ boil mango leaves in water, soak through the night and then consume the filtered concoction in the morning~  Mangoes also have a relatively low glycemic index (41-60) so moderate quantities will not spike your sugar levels.
  12. Mangoes are providing Iron for women; they are rich in iron, hence it is a great natural solution for people suffering from anemia. Menopausal and pregnant women can indulge in mangoes as this will increase their iron levels and calcium at the same time.
  13. Mangoes can be part of a weight loss aid; they have a lot of vitamins and nutrients that help the body feel fuller. Also, the fibrous fruit boosts the digestive function of the body by burning additional calories, helping in weight loss.
  14. Mangoes can boost your Immune System; mangoes are rich in beta-carotene, a powerful carotenoid. This element helps to enhance the immune system and make it resistant to bacteria and toxins.
  15. Mangoes can avoid Asthma; beta-carotene can lower your risk for developing asthma.

 

Nutrition of one cup of mango with Daily Value:  

  • 105 calories
  • 76 percent vitamin C (antioxidant and immune booster)
  • 25 percent vitamin A  (antioxidant and vision)
  • 11 percent vitamin B6 plus other B vitamins (hormone production in brain and heart disease prevention)
  • 9 percent healthy probiotic fiber
  • 9 percent copper (copper is a co-factor for many vital enzymes plus production of red blood cells)
  • 7 percent potassium (to balance out our high sodium intake)
  • 4 percent magnesium

Mangoes also provide calcium; iron; and powerful antioxidants such as zeaxanthin, quercetin, astragalin and beta-carotene.

 

How to use Mangoes?

Mangoes keep relatively well. Unripe fruit can be left to ripen at room temperature; a fruit that is still green will ripen in a week, or faster if it is placed in a paper bag. Mangoes taste best when eaten at peak ripeness. Ripe mangoes can be kept in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. Mangoes can be frozen, cooked in syrup or puréed; sugar and lime or lemon juice may be added if desired.

 

Cautions when using mangoes:

Since mangoes are of the same family of pistachios or cashews, if you have an allergy to pistachios or cashews, then you should probably avoid mangoes.

If you have a latex allergy, a reaction is possible with mangos, particularly green mangos. This reaction develops because of anacardic acid

Mangos are ripened by some dealers using calcium carbide, which can cause serious health problems (one more reason to buy organic). If you do have inorganic mangoes, wash them properly before consuming or soak overnight in water.

Mango peel and sap contain urushiol, the chemical in poison ivy and poison sumac which can cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals.

 


Disclaimer:

This blog, its content and any linked material are presented for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or prescribing. Nothing contained in or accessible from this blog should be considered to be medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or prescribing, or a promise of benefits, claim of cure, legal warranty, or guarantee of results to be achieved. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog or in any linked material.

Irish Moss and its benefits

Since diagnosed with Endometriosis ( a condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain, especially associated with menstruation), I am doing some research to calm the pain and try to remove the lesions without getting a surgery and I found that eating foods which are good for resolving blood stasis will help me. It includes kelp, vinegar, lemons, limes, onions, Irish moss and bladder wrack (the last two are seaweeds). Being in Jamaica, Irish moss is quite inexpensive and easy to find, so I decided to include it in my diet. Irish Moss has many benefits also.

 

A little history:

The Irish Moss is a seaweed that was original found near Ireland hence the name. The Irish consumed Irish moss during the famine of the 19th century in Ireland.

Irish moss or Chondrus crispus is a type of red algae harvested from the Atlantic coastline of North America, Great Britain, Iceland, and, as the name suggests, Ireland. The seaweed also grows on rocks in Jamaica. Irish migrants to Jamaica brought the tradition of the Irish Moss to Jamaica. ​

irish moss algae

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<==Red Algae

My cooked Irish moss ==>

 

Irish moss is usually harvested in the summer and then dried for
herbal.

The principal constituent is a mucilaginous body, made of the polysaccharide carrageenan, which constitutes 55% of its weight. The organism also consists of nearly 10% protein and about 15% mineral matter, and is rich in iodine and sulfur. When softened in water it has a sea-like odor and because of the abundant cell wall polysaccharides it will form a jelly when boiled, containing from 20 to 100 times its weight of water.

Irish moss is so rich in a certain polysaccharide called carrageenan, it is widely used as a thickening agent, stabilizer and lubricant in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Gelatin is a very common binder in a variety of foods, however, it isn’t vegetarian/vegan friendly as it comes from the collagen within animal bones and skin. As a substitute, Irish moss is used as a vegan gelatin agent.

Instead of the animal based gelatin, the carrageenan extract from the seaweed is used in vegetarian packaged and frozen foods, milk, ice cream, and yogurt.

It’s not only used for food, it is a common ingredient in organic/vegan/cruelty-free makeup, toothpastes, lotion, and shampoos.

 

How do I prepare the Irish Moss that can be added to my meals?

Popularized in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries, the Irish moss drink is a beverage made from boiling the alga for an hour while adding flavorings, sweetened condensed milk, rum and spices. It is believed to be an aphrodisiac.

I don’t prepare it as a beverage but I keep it full in the fridge once it is done:

  1. Wash the Irish Moss to remove sand and other matter.
  2. Place the Irish Moss in a pot and bring to a boil. ( at least 1 hour)
  3. Add gum arabic (or acacia gum) , isinglass (kind of gelatin)
  4. Boil for another 10 min
  5. Drain it and let it get cold before putting the Irish Moss in the fridge.

I use at least 1 spoon for each meal. It can be blended in a smoothie, or in a soup, or I even put it in my food. I find that it has no taste.

 

Its Benefits

Irish Moss is being used to thicken smoothies and milks, and even in custardy desserts; but it has also multiple health benefits:

  • The Iodine, more concentrated in sea moss than any other food  is a serious fuel for the Thyroid. Selenium is also present in abundance and is a necessary factor in thyroid hormone production.The thyroid relies on regular iodine intake in order to convert the iodine into hormones.
  •  Potassium is very important to our body to support our mental/emotional health. Adding high-potassium foods like Sea Moss to the diet can significantly improve behavior and mental functioning (especially for ADD children!). High potassium foods can relieve many symptoms of anger, irritability, anxiety disorders, depression, and fibromyalgia.
  • Irish Moss also contains Algin. This phytonutrient has therapeutic value as a heavy metal detoxifying agent which means that it helps pull heavy metals out of the tissues of our bodies. Additionally, Sea Moss is a healing agent to all mucous membranes (great for external skin health and internal digestive tract health) and has a mild laxative effect.
  • Irish Moss is great to support our Immune system, it helps relieve and prevent symptoms of colds and flus. Irish moss is a source of potassium chloride, a nutrient which helps to dissolve the inflammation and phlegm in the mucous membranes, which cause congestion. It also contains compounds which act as natural antimicrobial and antiviral agents, helping to get rid of any infections.

 

 

DISCLAIMER:

I am not a physician or qualified medical professional. The information in this article, including my comments below, are for reference only and are not meant to take the place of medical advice you receive from your doctor. This content does not provide dosage information, format recommendations, toxicity levels, or possible interactions with prescription drugs. Accordingly, this information should be used only under the direct supervision of a qualified health practitioner such as a naturopathic physician.

 

What is Kombucha and its benefits

I got introduced to Kombucha not long ago. I got sick and had to take 2 rounds of antibiotics and if you know me well I don’t like taking medicines so I checked what I could do to cleanse my liver. Antibiotics help fighting infection but also harm good bacteria in your body.

What is Kombucha?

Known as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese and originating in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, Kombucha is a beverage with huge health benefits extending to your heart, your brain and especially your gut.

Kombucha is a traditional fermented drink made of black tea and sugar and contains a variety of vitamins, minerals and enzymes. Kombucha also contains antioxidants, can kill harmful bacteria and may help fight several diseases

How is it made?

Kombucha is a sweetened tea that is fermented with a SCOBY (a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) to become a nutrient-rich beverage. SCOBY is a collection of microbes responsible for turning sweet tea into a probiotic beverage. Essentially, it is a living colony of beneficial organisms that turn sugar into healthful acids and probiotics.

kombucha mother

I know it doesn’t look very appetizing :)tic

The fermentation process takes 7-12 days depending on temperature and the strength of the SCOBY. Once fermented, Kombucha becomes slightly effervescent, with a vinegary smell and tart taste

If properly taken care of, a SCOBY can last for many years as it is the parent culture that creates the tea. SCOBYs are often called “Mushrooms” and are the reason Kombucha is sometimes called “Mushroom Tea.”

The benefits:

Konbucha has a high concentration of beneficial enzymes and acids, including  Gluconacetobacter, Lactobacillus, Zygosaccharomyces and Acetobacter that helps fighting against liver diseases:

  • Improve digestion: It can provide relief from problems like IBS, diarrhea, and constipation. Stress, alcohol abuse and antibiotics can contribute of loss of gut bacteria.
  • Boost the immune system: Probiotics can strengthen our natural defenses against harmful microbes and some forms of illnesses.
  • Help with joint pain and arthritis: Kombucha help preserve collagen so it can assist with healing, repairing, and preventing joint damage
  • Help maintain healthy diabetes and cholesterol
  • Increase energy: It contains iron that may increase hemoglobin in the blood, thereby enhancing oxygen flow.
  • Improved mood: Kombucha contains B vitamins (mainty B1, B6, B12) that may help battle depression, stabilize mood, and enhance concentration
  • Weight loss: When consumed before meal, Kombucha increase metabolism like the apple cider vinegar.

To avoid any negative side effects, it’s recommended that you start by drinking very small amounts of kombucha and work your way to larger quantities.

How do you get Kombucha?

Kombucha has gained popularity and is now available in many stores. You can either buy it or start making your own brewage.

I buy it from a friend in Jamaica, so if interested, you can get back to me and i’ll send you her number.

If you decide to make it yourself, you can find a SCOBY disk in health food stores or online for relatively inexpensive amounts and there are a lot of recipes on the internet. Because I never made it, I prefer that you check yourself for the recipes.

Other Flavoring Ideas and Combinations

easy+kombucha+recipe

 Flavoring Ideas and Combinations

  • Blueberries and cinnamon
  • Berries and fresh or candied ginger
  • Strawberries and basil
  • Cherries and almond extract
  • Pears and almond extract
  • Apple juice and cinnamon
  • Lemon or lime juice and fresh ginger
  • Pineapple juice, coconut water, and coconut extract

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER:

Like with any raw/fermented product, those with any health condition or who are pregnant/nursing should check with a doctor before consuming.

I am not a physician or qualified medical professional. The information in this article, including my comments below, are for reference only and are not meant to take the place of medical advice you receive from your doctor.

Truth about Fluoride and its side-effects

For the last decade, we’ve been hearing so many facts/side effects that people get using  Fluoride. Dentists still say that it is the way to help against teeth decay but we all know this is far from the truth. Fluoride is found mostly in toothpaste but also some municipalities are adding it to the drinking water.

Fluoride is a secondary product of the aluminum industry that accumulates in the body and the brain which might lead to severe neurological damage. Exposure to fluoride is  suspected of impacting nearly every part of the human body, and the potential for harm has been clearly established in scientific research.

Some facts:

  • Most developed counties do not fluoridate their water
  • Fluoridated countries do not have less tooth decay than non fluoridated countries
  • Fluoride affects many tissues in your body besides your teeth and lead to a wide variety of health problems:
    • Bone cancer
    • Thyroid disease
    • Diabetes
    • Hypertension
    • Immune system complications
    • Lower IQ
    • Rapid aging
    • Learning disability
    • Iodine deficiency ….
  • Fluoridation is not a natural process
  • For infants, fluoridated water provides NO benefits only risks
  • 40% for American Teenagers show visible signs of fluoride overexposure with dental fluorosis.
  • Fluoride supplements have never been approved by FDA ens
  • Fluoride is the only medicine  added to Public water
  • Swallowing fluoride provides little benefits to teeth
  • Disadvantaged communities are the most disadvantaged by fluoride

 

water or fluoride

There’s no doubt about it: Fluoride should not be ingested.

Did you know?

  • Fluoride is so toxic that it is considered as hazardous waste by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Hitler fluoridated the water in the concentration camps to sedate the prisoners
  • Fluoride is the same ingredients in rat poison and prozac
  • Crest was the first fluoride toothpaste created in 1955

Dr Kathy Thiessen, Director and Senior Scientist at the Oak Ridge Center for Risk Analysis in Tennessee is strongly opposed to fluoridation. As she explains:

“[Recent data] … indicates no significant benefit from water fluoridation, but a significant association with dental fluorosis, a situation that will not be avoided by fluoridating all cities at 0.7.mg/L … At the very least, even if dental fluorosis is considered only a cosmetic problem, it takes money to treat to improve a person’s appearance and perhaps his or her self-esteem … A growing number of studies indicate associations between dental fluorosis and increased risk of various health problems. Considerable evidence indicates that water fluoridation is an unsafe and unethical practice, with little or no real benefit.”

Dr. Kathy Thiessen, Director and Senior Scientist at the Oak Ridge Center for Risk
Analysis in Tennessee.
common_fluoride_intake_2

 

Kathy

Disclaimer: Please consider that  I am not a doctor or a physician, just a concerned mother, who wants the best for her: children, grand-children, family, friends and pets. These statements are my personal opinions and do not constitute any formal expression, statement, directly or indirectly expressed or assumed, nor non assumed regarding the aforementioned subject.

 

Source about Risk with Fluoride Here and Human Health risks Here 

 

Beauty benefits of Aloe Vera

I knew Aloe Vera when I was in Europe only in cream bottles or in juices but I never really bought or own a plant. On the cover picture you can see our plant in Jamaica that we use for the last 5 years. Each time we move we take our Aloe Vera plant and find the right place!

We usually use the Aloe Vera leaves after we come back from the beach and put it on our skin to avoid sunburn. The next day the skin is back to our normal color as if we didn’t get any reaction from the sun. Also I use it as a facial mask sometimes. I like to do my concoctions 🙂

The plant by itself can grow up to two feet with prickly and bitter leaves which act as a defense to keep animals and insects away. Inside the plant, you find this gooey translucent gel which contains 96% of water, protein with 18 amino acids, Vitamin A,B, B12, C and E. It contains proteolytic enzymes which repairs dead skin cell and has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

  • Ayurveda medicine is a great advocate of Aloe Vera. The holistic healing system believe that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body and spirit.
  • The Chinese herbal medicine also use Aloe Vera to heal people

Aloe Vera is used to help people with dry skin, minor cuts, severe burns and to treat wounds. Healing properties can help acne prone skin, remove tan and also reduce stretch marks.

You can use it directly on your skin and you’ll get a feeling of having a smoother skin and a coolness on your skin. Or you can also mix it with other ingredients and get an exfoliating gel, or a gel to treat your skin and provide nutrients. You can do so many homemade recipes using aloe vera!  It has an anti-aging quality because of the vitamin E, C and betacarotene. You can use it on all skin types.

It is also used in hair products to rejuvenate the hair and give more elasticity while preventing breakage. It helps also with dry and itchy scalp because of its anti viral and anti inflammatory properties.

aloe vera pic in blog

The FDA in 1959 approved the use of Aloe Vera ointment for healing burn.

As a beautician and not a doctor I can’t really talk about the health improvement you’ll get with the Aloe Vera but it has been proven to help digestion, stomach troubles but also is used in some weight loss programs.

If you take care of your body from the inside, you will be healthy but also you’ll be glowing from the outside.

Little history:  The Ancient Egyptians named Aloe Vera Plant the “plant of immortality”. The Egyptian queens associated its use with their physical beauty.

Kathy

www.rivierawellness.co

Jamaican Black Castor oil

People are leaning more and more towards natural hair and skin products, for this reason I will be discussing about the Jamaican Black Castor Oil today.  I expect to have it in my shop very soon.

I want to be honest with you, I didn’t know about Black Castor Oil until I came to live in Jamaica 5 years ago. All I knew was the Yellowish Castor Oil and the only time I used it was to help me getting into labour for my 4th child 🙂 – Disclaimer, I am not a doctor and I read about it so I tried because I was going to be induced the next day… anyway that was 14 years ago 🙂

 

So what is the difference?

Castor oil is a natural plant oil obtained from the seed of the castor plant. Cold pressed castor oil is the oil in its best form as it is not altered by heat or other substances. The nuts are pressed until you obtain this yellow oils substance. This is the purest form of the oil that has been filtered. This is what gives the oil the yellow tint when it goes through the cold press process.

Black castor oil gets its black color from the ash after the castor bean has been roasted. The ash is then added into the oil that has been pressed out which causes it to have the darker black tint as well as a smoked roasted scent.

Castor-Oil1

What are the benefits of Black Castor Oil?

Castor oil is known to help the skin, the hair and the immune system. It contains Vitamin E and Omega 6–fatty acids.

Castor oil is well known to increase hair growth. You can use it for your hair, eyebrows and eyelashes.

  • Stop hair loss and stimulate hair growth
  • Thicken the hair and prevents knots
  • Reduce and prevent hair damage
  • Stimulate your scalp, prevent dry scalp and moisturizes scalp
  • Reduce split ends and reduce hair breakage
  • Kills bacteria and fungi on the scalp
  • Makes hair shinier, stronger and thicker

One recommendation on black texture hair that I got from a hairdresser is that castor oil could break the hair if you leave it in too long. It is better to use it on the scalp instead of the hair lengths.

Castor oil also helps as an acne treatment. It cleanses and tightens the pores resulting in soft and smooth skin. It reduces redness and swelling of acne blemishes along with scarring and pain.

Castor Oil also has some anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties which can help athlete foot, eczema and warts.

Castor oil has also many health benefits that I am not in the liberty to say as I am not a doctor but you can easily find it on the internet. One of the major reasons castor oil has strong immune-enhancing effects is because it supports the body’s lymphatic system. The lymphatic system also impacts the circulatory and digestive systems, which is why castor oil has benefits for helping you detox, supporting heart health and healing digestive issues.

Little history

The castor plant, whose botanical name is Ricinus communis, is native to the Ethiopian region of east Africa. It now grows in tropical and warm temperate regions throughout the world.

To maintain natural hair growth and the strength of their hair, the Egyptians were pioneers in using castor oil. Egyptian doctors used it also to protect the eyes from irritation.

Kathy

www.rivierawellness.co