Types of Clay for Skincare!

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Photo by Francesco Ungaro from Pexels

Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay consists of aged volcanic ash also known as Montmorillonite. It contains high concentration of minerals including silica, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron, and potassium.

  • Detoxifying
  • Controls Excess Sebum
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Antibacterial

Fuller’s Earth Clay

It is very strong, and for best results combine with a small amount of bentonite or Kaolin clay. It is also known as Bleaching Clay, Whitening Clay, and Multani mitti or mud from Multan.

  • Lightens Skin (helps hyperpigmentation)
  • Controls Sebum (best for oily skin)
  • Improves Circulation

Kaolin Clay

Comes in white, yellow, red, and pink colors each with slightly different characteristics, also known as China Clay. The a fine very light and most versatile and easily applied clay.

  • Gentle (white is the most gentle, then yellow, then pink)
  • Cleanses
  • Exfoliating (white, yellow, pink)
  • Detoxifying (pink, especially red)
  • Softens (pink, especially white all good for dry skin)
  • Controls Sebum (yellow, pink, especially red)
  • Improves Circulation (yellow)
  • Good for Sensitive Skin (especially white and yellow; pink for oily)

French Green Clay

A green clay (should never be any other color), also called Illite Clay or Sea Clay. The color comes from decomposed plant material and iron oxide.

  • Tingling (not recommended for sensitive skin)
  • Improves Circulation
  • Toning
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Controls Excess Sebum

Rhassoul Clay

Comes from ancient deposits unearthed from the fertile Atlas Mountains in Morocco; also called Ghassoul Clay, Red Clay, and Red Moroccan Clay. Has an elastic texture so not drying. Great for skin and hair. It has a high negative charge and it can help draw out blackheads and other impurities from skin. This also makes it beneficial as a make-up remover or all-purpose face wash.

  • Detoxifying
  • Softening
  • Controls Sebum
  • Exfoliating

Six Cleanses: A Review!

The Gateway Cleanse

The first of BluePrintCleanse’s  (can be found at Whole Foods) three cleanse levels, Renovation, is for beginner juicers and is designed to gently rid the body of impurities by using 100 percent organic, raw, fresh pressed fruit and vegetable juices to take the place of meals. “The bottles are numbered in the order they should be consumed, and one day’s worth of juice is made with approximately 20 pounds of freshly pressed fruits and vegetables including leafy greens, pineapple, beets and more,” says BluePrint founder Zoe Sakoutis. “The nutrients go directly into your blood stream, feeding your cells within 10 to 15 minutes to help you regain an alkaline balance while normalizing your digestion and metabolism.”
People who love it: Blake Lively, Olivia Wilde, CT Esthetic*

The Reset Cleanse

Southern California-based Ritual Wellness offers a Seasonal Reset Cleanse—a variety of six juices per day that is great for beginner cleansers—to effectively release toxins and reset your mind and body. Juices range from vegetable-heavy to fruit blends using 100 percent organic produce that is local and seasonally available. “After a three-day cleanse, you feel reset,” says Ritual Wellness co-founder Lori Kenyon. “The break you have given your digestive system has allowed your body, especially your intestines, liver and kidneys to expel and release stored up toxins. Many people report having clear, glowing skin and feeling less bloated, among many other benefits.”

People who love it: Sofia Vergara, Kim Kardashian

The Zen Cleanse

In addition to offering programs for more experienced cleansers, Z.E.N. Foods offers a gentle beginner cleanse called Rejuvenate that uses greens and fruits in a variety of 20 juices to give the body the ability to reset. “Many foods actually have the ability to heal,” says Mariana Rossano, president and CEO of Z.E.N. Foods. “Drinking pure nutrition through cold pressed juices is a way to get back on track with your eating and gives you the ability to rethink your food intake. Although weight loss is not the direct goal of the cleanse, it is usually a byproduct of drinking strictly juice and clients have lost upwards of five to seven pounds on a 5-day cleanse.”

People who love it: Lisa Rinna

The 24-Hour Cleanse

Perfect for first-time cleansers, Cooler Cleanse’s Juice For A Day cleanse provides a user-friendly way to experience the invigorating power of raw, cold-pressed juices in just one day. The menu consists of six drinks, which you consume roughly every two hours to reach a total of close to 1,000 daily calories. “The Juice For A Day program provides the benefits of juicing, without letting people feel like they’re in over their heads,” says Eric Helms, co-founder of Cooler Cleanse. “Just replace your regular meals with six fresh-pressed juices for a day-long mini-cleanse that will leave you feeling like a brighter, lighter, more supercharged version of yourself.”

People who loves it: Salma Hayek

The Revitalizing Cleanse

Using formulas that are jam-packed with 100 percent organic produce, Juice Press’s (can be found at Whole Foods) Six Juice Cleanse is loaded with living enzymes and the full spectrum of required nutrition; protein, carbohydrates, H2O, fats, vitamins and minerals. “These nutrients will keep all of your necessary functions stimulated and working as they should throughout the cleanse,” says Marcus Antebi, founder and CEO of Juice Press. “Kale has become a popular ingredient since it is high in iron and fiber, low in calories and is a great anti-inflammatory. Ginger and lemon promote immunity and help increase blood flow. Pineapples and apples both aid in the digestive process, help fight off viruses and provide an extra boost of energy.”

Peolple who love it: Kate Hudson, Renee Zellweger

The Balancing Cleanse

If you’d prefer to experience the next level of cleansing, Pressed Juicery’s Cleanse 2 Program may be the one for you. Containing two green juices, two citrus juices, one roots juice and one vanilla almond milk, the cleanse also comes with a bottle of Chlorophyll H2O to provide extra hydration and nutrition throughout the day and a bottle of Aloe Vera H2O to be taken before bed to aid in digestion. “All of our ingredients are fruits and vegetables, along with a few key superfoods and spices including cayenne pepper, cacao and cinnamon,” says Carly Brien, co-founder of Pressed Juicery. “Many people believe that health starts in the colon, and by offering the digestive system a rest, our body gets a chance to revive itself. The benefits are endless.”

People who love it: Molly Sims

 

Via New Beauty

Detox & Beautify Your Skin With Beets!

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Many studies attest to the nutritional benefits of beets but many are unaware of its nutritional power. These bright red root vegetables pack a variety of vitamins and minerals rarely found in such high concentrations within one food.

Beets belong to the Chenopod family – along with spinach and chard – and possess an amazing amount of beauty and health-boosting benefits.

The Anti-Aging Power of Beets 

Beets are high in folate, vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, manganese, and fiber.

Anti-aging benefits include:

  • Skin: They stimulate cell production and repair, which can protect your skin from premature aging and wrinkles. The powerful antioxidants in beets also help fight signs of aging to keep your skin firm and youthful.
  • Eyes: Beets are high in carotenoids, which can help prevent macular degeneration related to age, to keep your eyes bright and beautiful.
  • Brain: The nitrates in beets stimulate blood flow to the brain, which can help fight age-related dementia and keep you sharp!
  • Cardiovascular: The nitrates in beets may also lower blood pressure, according to a British study.
  • Support for good health: Beets are a significant source of betalains, which give the root is deep red color. Betalains are not only a powerful antioxidant, but they are also anti-inflammatory and detoxifying.
  • Anti-cancer benefits: Studies show that beetroot extract may suppress tumors in multiple organs.
  • Detoxification: Beets thin bile, improving liver function and increasing detoxification, one of the biggest factors in boosting beauty from within.

Incorporating Beets Into Your Diet

Many people profess to not like beets, but these ruby colored roots can be incredibly delicious. They are beneficial cooked and raw- if you cook them, you only need to steam them for 15 minutes or so.   Or have them raw in a Clean Red juice (one of my faves!), or slice them thinly and eat them raw on a salad or in a slaw.

Try a delicious Clean Red juice, or make the oil-free* delicious recipes below:

* Beauty Detoxers know I limit all oils (even “good” ones like olive oil) since oils are not whole foods found in nature. They have been stripped of fiber. Better sources of Beauty Fats are whole foods such as small amounts of seeds, nuts and avocados.

Ginger, Beet, and Apple SlawIMG_2569

  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 pound beets, peeled and grated
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, or similar flavored and textured apple, grated
  • 3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • Dash Celtic sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium tamari
  1. Combine ginger, beets and apples in a bowl.
  2. Whisk together vinegar, sea salt, pepper, and tamari.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.

Beet and Fennel Salad with Orange Dressing6a00d83451fa5069e20115705956fc970b-800wi

  • One head of green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 large bulb of fennel, sliced thinly
  • 2 beets, sliced thinly
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
  • Stevia, to taste (optional)
  1. Place cabbage, fennel, beets, and cucumber in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together orange juice, lemon juice, mustard, mint, and stevia.
  3. Pour over vegetables and toss. Serve immediately.

Beet Salad with Tarragon Dressing4ffacb7d30488bc606580165b951994a_large

  • One pound of beets, shredded
  • 1 large shallot, very thinly sliced
  • Celtic sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon fresh water
  • 2 tablespoons raw organic apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
  1. Place beets and shallot in a bowl and season with pepper and a little Celtic sea salt.
  2. Whisk together mustard, water, vinegar, and tarragon.
  3. Toss dressing with salad and serve immediately.

Enjoy! And let me know how you do with your beet-ventures.

Via Kimberly Synder

Detox Tips By Beauty Legend Liz Earle!

Want to feel lighter and brighter with more energy and better skin? Skincare and wellbeing guru, Liz Earle shares her top tips for detoxing the easy way.

Detox tips

Click here to find out more!

When I was first told that fasting on a fruit only diet would give me more energy, or that giving up some of my favourite foods and cups of coffee would leave my skin glowing, I was skeptical. But the principals of detoxification are based on traditional “cures” practiced by European naturopaths for centuries. Giving up certain foods, or existing on fruit alone for twenty-four hours, is not hard, especially when the benefits are so great. I now give my system a regular detox boost, even if it is only over the weekend. A short detox programme is a great way to feel more energised and refreshed. It is the perfect way to revitalise the body, renew energy levels and restore glowing skin and when you have finished you will feel far fitter and healthier and motivated not to return to bad habits.

Better breakfasts
Starting with a healthy breakfast is not only the best way to boost energy levels for the day ahead, but is an easy, positive and delicious daily start to a new you. Refined sugars, found in most breakfast cereals, are the first thing I give up if I’m embarking on a health spring-clean and cutting them out gives me far more sustained energy throughout the day. On cold winter mornings, I switch to a bowl of porridge made with water and sweetened with honey, complete with a sprinkling of sunflower seeds. Or if I’m craving for something fresh, I opt for chopped fruit and berries with a dollop of natural yoghurt. You also can’t beat a protein-packed organic boiled egg that also contains useful vitamins A, B-complex and E, as well as minerals such as zinc, served up with toasted wholemeal soldiers and a glass of orange juice (vitamin C will help increase your uptake of iron from the egg yolk).

Midday meals
Not only is eating soup (of any kind) a good way to get various vitamins and vegetable fibre in a simple, healthy way, it’s also been proven to help shed a few pounds. This is because when food and water are finely mixed to make soup, they enter the stomach together and stay held in a homogenised state as they pass through our intestines. The increased volume of water and semi-solid food then stays in our system for longer than if we were eating food and drinking liquid separately, so we feel fuller for longer. According to researchers at Nottingham University, this means we are much less likely to over-eat. This is especially true of whizzed-up blended soups which reduce hunger-pangs the most due to this homogenisation effect. Never more useful than at this time of year, I’m swapping lunchtime sandwiches for a simple home-made soup and even pop mine into a thermos if I’m out and about, so I don’t miss out on the health and beauty benefits.

Winding down

If a little overindulgence has left you feeling a little ‘liverish’, you might like to try a ‘liver wrap’ – a simple but highly effective way to stimulate the detoxification process in the liver. You will need: A hot water bottle, a flannel and a small fluffy towel. Wearing just a dressing gown, gather everything together and lie down somewhere comfortable. Start by applying the cold damp flannel to the right-hand side of your body just beneath the ribcage to cover the liver area. The coldness felt by the skin briefly lowers the temperature of the tissues beneath and your body’s reflexes respond by increasing circulation in that area. Next, place a really warm hot water bottle on top of the damp flannel to retain moisture and stimulate the autonomic nervous system. This in turn boosts blood flow to the liver and supports its detoxification activity. Cover the hot water bottle with a soft towel and rest on a sofa or go to bed. This is a useful therapeutic treatment to carry out at bedtime and you can even fall asleep with the hot water bottle in place. Otherwise, simply put your feet up and rest for 30 minutes (the longer the better).  Three things to love about the liver wrap – it’s inexpensive, simple and it works.

Dr. Vodder’s Manual Lymph Drainage What It Is And Videos



Self Lymph Drainage Massage – Facial

Lymphatic-drainage massage is considered a staple practice for reducing swelling, relieving fatigue, or helping the body detox (removing waste from our own metabolic processes, not heavy metals or pollutants), which is why it’s included in spa fasting, cleansing, and smoking-cessation programs. Some facialists have seen great improvement of dark under-eye circles with the Vodder method in facials. Lymphatic-drainage massage can also offer some relief for fluid retention brought on by travel, menstruation, or pregnancy.

Dr. Vodder’s Manual Lymph Drainage- Kathy Fleming Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD®) Lecture About

This is a gentle, non-invasive manual technique that has a powerful effect on the body.  Research in Australia, Europe and North America has proven its efficacy as a stand-alone treatment and in combination with other therapies.

Developed in France in 1932 by Emil and Estrid Vodder MLD has grown to be the most well known manual technique to assist lymph flow and aid in drainage of tissues.

The skin is stretched and torqued in a specific manner, based on scientific, physiological principles that have proven to encourage lymph flow.  If performed correctly with the correct pressure, direction and speed, this can greatly enhance recovery and facilitate drainage.  It also has profound effects on systems in the body.

Lymph Vessel System

This system of vessels and lymphatic tissue, including lymph nodes is found in most parts of the body, except the brain, nails, hair and joint cavities. It is a very important system and one that has had little attention paid to it until recently. The importance of a well-functioning lymph vessel system in maintaining health, removing wastes and pathogens, as well as fluid balance is of utmost importance.

The lymph vessel system carries excess water, proteins and wastes from the connective tissue back to the blood stream. During the transportation process the lymph is cleaned, filtered and concentrated. Many immune reactions occur in the lymph nodes. If the pathways become congested, blocked, damaged or severed, then fluids can build up in the connective tissue leading to edema and fibrosis. Eventually cell pathology may begin. If there is damage in the connective tissue (e.g. burns, chronic inflammation, ulceration, hematoma), then the lymph vessel system must transport the damaged cells, inflammatory products and toxins away from the area. The quicker this can happen, the faster recovery will be.

Application
Treatment is performed by certified Manual Lymph Drainage therapists who have undergone the four week, post-graduate, training program. Manual Lymph Drainage can be utilized in the treatment of many different conditions including:

  • Primary and Secondary Lymphedema
  • Venous insufficiency
  • Non-infected inflammatory conditions (e.g. sprains and strains)
  • Ulceration
  • Dermatological conditions
  • Circulatory disturbances
  • Sports injuries
  • RSD
  • Pre- and post- plastic surgery
  • Is deeply relaxing
  • Can improve many chronic conditions: sinusitus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, acne and other skin conditions
  • May strengthen the immune system as part of “detox” treatment
  • Relieves fluid congestion: swollen ankles, tired puffy eyes and swollen legs due to pregnancy
  • Promotes healing of wounds and burns and improves the appearance of old scars
  • Minimises or reduces stretch marks

Stimulate the circulation of lymphatic system for improved health.


What is the lymphatic system?
 
The lymphatic system is the primary system that supports the immune system; which helps us heal, recover and thrive. Surgery, injury, soft tissue hypertension and being sedentary cause a sluggish lymphatic system.
 
Therapeutic massage will boost a sluggish lymphatic system.
Lymphatic massage has different degrees of  speciality. We provide lymphatic massage for general immunity as well as post surgical and injury recovery.

 

The lymphatic vessels

“Within the vascular system, the lymphatic vessels (vasa lymphatica) serve to transport antibody cells and fluid. The lymph in the lymphatic vessels is a watery to milky body fluid transported through the body by the lymphatic system.
 
This fluid is produced when the small capillaries (capillaries) in the blood system emit blood plasma and white corpuscles (leucocytes) to the tissue. Here it is absorbed by the lymph capillaries and transported as lymph to the lymphatic vessels. In contrast to the blood plasma, the lymph contains less protein and oxygen and no red corpuscles (erythrocytes). It consists essentially of water (97 %) and the white blood corpuscles contained in it (3 %), above all lymphocytes (lymphocytus).
 
The lymph vessels transport the lymph and substances, which should not or cannot be in the blood. They do not constitute an enclosed system. The smallest lymphatic vessels, the lymph capillaries, start blind in the tissue. They join up to form the lymphatic vessels. The largest lymphatic vessel is the thoracic duct (ductus thoracicus), which is produced by the joining together of the lymphatic vessels from the lower extremities and the abdomen.

The thoracic duct finally opens out into the left vein angle, where the left jugular vein and the left arm vein come together. The inside of the lymphatic vessels is covered with a thin, non-striated muscle wall. The lymph is moved by contraction of the muscles. Seen from the outside, the lymphatic vessels are constricted at intervals to look like beads on a chain. The constrictions consist of the attachment of semilunar valves, similar to the vein valves. These prevent the reflux of lymph.
 
The lymph tracts are interrupted by lymph nodes (nodi lymohatici). They interrupt the progress of the lymph tracts, with several small lymph vessels entering the nodes but only one large vessel leaving them. They occur in groups at various parts of the body, such as axillae or neck. The task of the lymph nodes is to control the lymph transported to it. Every lymph node is only a few millimeters in diameter. It consists of lymphatic tissue enclosed in a covering of connective tissue. Walls protrude from the connective tissue into the node and divide it into several chambers, called connective tissue septa.
 
The tissue inside the lymph node accommodates the so-called phagocytes (macrophagi) and lymphocytes (lymphocytus). When lymph is transported from the lymphatic vessel into the lymph node and its tissue, any foreign bodies found in the fluid, e.g. bacteria or undissolved substances, are destroyed by the phagocytes. The phagocytes also stimulate the lymphocates to produce antibodies against the substances found in the fluid. These are then emitted through the excretory duct into the lymphatic vessels and thus in turn to the other lymph nodes.”
Text Taken From3dAnatomical Atlas

A Definitive Guide to Healthy Bowels! Detox from the Bottom Up!

Why is cleaning up your bowel important? Your intestines play a significant role in overall health. Along with your lungs, skin, and kidneys, your bowels eliminate bodily toxins. At the same time, once the food you eat reaches your intestines, villi (small, fingerlike projections on intestinal walls) absorb nutrients and deliver them to the rest of your body.

Gut flora is important, too. Your intestines contain more than 100 trillion bacteria and microorganisms. The friendly bacteria in your gut stimulate blood antibodies, allow your body to deal with toxins and allergens, produce vital nutrients, protect you from harmful bacteria and parasites, aid in digestion, and fight foreign invaders that could lead to infection.

With all of that on its plate, plenty can go wrong in your bowel if you don’t look out for its health. When your bowel gets gunked up with toxins and goo, it is unable to foster efficient elimination. The result is toxic buildup that affects your health and beauty on all levels. If the villi also become clogged, it can lead to poor or absent nutrient absorption, resulting in lack of energy and malnutrition, as well as skin issues like dull skin. In the absence of healthy gut flora, parasites and “bad” bacteria can flourish, leading to gas, bloating, and infection and skin issues like acne. Clearly, for all of these reasons, a healthy colon is necessary.

Signs It’s Time to Clean it Out

So how do you know when it is time to clean your bowels? Your body will show numerous signs of toxic overload, including:

  • Lack of energy
  • Allergies
  • Poor immune function
  • Skin breakouts
  • Brain fog
  • Limp, lifeless hair
  • Dull skin
  • Weak fingernails
  • Chronic congestion
  • Bloating and gas
  • Diarrhea, constipation, or both
  • Emotional changes
  • Nutrient deficiencies
  • Headaches

These are just a few of the hundreds of symptoms that can manifest if you aren’t maintaining a healthy bowel. Fortunately, it’s well within your abilities to completely reverse these symptoms by taking charge of your bowel health.

Steps to a Healthy Bowel

A healthy bowel = a healthy you! To generate vibrant, beautiful health, you need to pay attention to your bowel health on multiple levels.

  1. Clean out the sludge.
  2. Build beneficial gut flora.
  3. Support ongoing bowel health.

Step 1: Clean out the sludge.

There’s a good chance your bowel is full of sludge. What puts it there?

  • Highly processed foods
  • Gluten grains including wheat, rye, and barley
  • Sugar and artificial sweeteners
  • Large amounts of animal protein
  • Medications
  • Caffeine
  • Improper food pairing
  • Dairy
  • Acidic foods
  • Pesticides from inorganic foods

You can begin to clean out the sludge by changing the way you eat. Removing processed foods, sugar, chemicals and pesticides, gluten grains, dairy, and many of the foods listed above will begin the process of cleansing. As you transition to a diet containing organic, raw fruits and vegetables packed with plant enzymes and follow the diet principles outlined in The Beauty Detox Solution, you will begin removing years of the toxic sludge that fills up your bowels. Some extremely detoxifying foods you can include in your diet:

Taking magnesium oxide supplements also promotes cleansing. Magnesium has a natural laxative effect on the body. It also breaks down old sludge and toxic waste, allowing you to safely eliminate it. At the same time, the oxygen in the magnesium oxide oxygenates and energizes the body.

I also recommend using gravity-style colonics to continue the process of cleansing and remove year’s worth of sludge that has built up in your intestines. These gentle colonics, which should be done by a professional, generally cost between $50 and $120. Talk to your Doctor First there are many contraindication to colonics!

Step 2: Build Beneficial Gut Flora

The best way to replace harmful bacteria in your gut is by crowding it out with the good stuff. Here are some terrific ways to build good intestinal bacteria.

  1. Take a probiotic supplement. I especially like Dr. Ohhira’s probiotics, which contains 12 strains of beneficial bacteria as well as prebiotics for intestinal health.
  2. Eat Probiotic and Enzyme salad regularly. It is rich in probiotics and minerals and supports intestinal health.
  3. Include raw, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar in your diet. It promotes healthy bacterial growth and supports elimination.

Step 3: Support Ongoing Bowel Health

Once you have begun the process of cleansing and building good flora, your ongoing health habits will determine how well you maintain what you have gained. Continuing to eat a primarily plant-based diet, taking probiotics, and eating the probiotic and enzyme salad are steps you must continue to take in order to maintain bowel health. The order in which you eat your foods will also support a healthy colon. Some general rules include:

  1. Eat fruits on an empty stomach.
  2. Eat a Glowing Green Smoothie throughout the morning for breakfast.
  3. Avoid drinking significant quantities of liquids within 30 minutes of eating a meal, or for at least 45 minutes afterward.
  4. If you eat animal proteins, eat them once a day. Dinner is the best time in our modern society, so you don’t get slowed down in the middle of the day.
  5. Don’t graze constantly. Instead, eat meals when you are hungry and allow time for full digestion before eating something else. Keep snacking to a minimum.

Stick with it!

Sometimes, people notice symptoms associated with cleansing as the toxins make their way out of your body. Many people quit because of these symptoms, but they generally only last a week or two. Many others never experience any symptoms at all.

Some symptoms you may notice when you cleanse include:

  • Headaches
  • Sore throats
  • Aches and pains
  • Skin rashes or acne
  • Mood swings
  • Dizziness
  • Brain fog or light-headedness
  • Boating
  • Fatigue

These symptoms tell you your body is cleaning itself out. Ride them out, and within a few weeks, you will feel better than you ever have before!

Remember that detoxing is an ongoing process, and you need to keep up with these modalities on an ongoing basis, to keep your healthiest and most beautiful.

Via Kimberly Snyder

_____________________________

What Your Stool Is Telling You

When trying to figure out the significance of a symptom you may be having, it’s helpful to think in terms of what’s the most likely diagnosis and what’s the most lethal. Hopefully they are not the same. For example, the most likely cause of red blood in the stool is hemorrhoids, but the most lethal is colon cancer.

Taking a close look at your stool can tell you a lot about what’s going on in your intestines and can lead you to make the right changes to improve your digestive and overall health. If you know what to look for, it’s like reading tea leaves! I tell my patients that if they pay close attention to what’s going on in the bowl, they might not need my services.

Here’s a guide to some of the most likely – and most lethal – conditions that can lead to changes in the shape, size, smell and shade of your stool.

Shape

Insufficient fiber in the diet, diverticulosis, bowel spasm or excessive straining are common causes of a change in stool shape. Diverticulosis causes pothole-like craters in the lining of the colon, as well as a narrowing of the internal diameter of the colon due to wall thickening. The result is narrow, pellet-like stools that often fall apart in the bowl and can be difficult to expel. Other associated symptoms of diverticulosis include a dull ache in the lower abdomen, a feeling of incomplete evacuation even though you may be having multiple bowel movements, and lots of gas and bloating. Endometriosis, uterine fibroids, masses in the abdomen or tumors in other organs, like the ovaries or bladder, can cause thin stools due to external compression of the colon. Colon cancer definitely needs to be excluded by a colonoscopy in anyone experiencing new onset of pencil-thin stools, which can occur as a tumor gets larger and grows inward, reducing the colonic diameter.

Size

Size matters. Small, hard stools are typical in people eating a low-fiber Western diet, and are associated with a higher risk for ultimately developing diverticulosis and colon cancer. Constipation is often associated with small, difficult-to-pass stools, and people suffering from constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are particularly prone to having small stools. A high-fiber diet or regular use of a bulking agent like psyllium husk will lead to larger, softer stools in most people, making defecation easier. Even though a fiber-deficient diet is the most likely culprit, colon cancer is again on the list as most lethal.

Smell

The odor of your stool is highly dependent on a number of factors, including how long it’s been sitting in your colon, your diet, medications you may be taking and, in some cases, the presence of infection. Bacterial imbalance (dysbiosis) in the GI tract and undigested fat can also lead to a change in odor.

The most common cause of smelly stool is bacterial fermentation of the food in your intestines that produces foul-smelling sulfide compounds. Antibiotics can also change the smell of stool and give it a medicinal odor. More lethal causes of malodorous stool, and fortunately much less common, include inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and pancreatic cancer. Both these conditions can result in floating, foul-smelling stool with an oily sheen.

Diseases that cause malabsorption of nutrients like Crohn’s, celiac disease and cystic fibrosis can also lead to foul-smelling stool. Infection with parasites such as giardia lamblia can cause stool to have a very unpleasant odor.

New onset of diarrhea associated with a foul odor should prompt an evaluation for infection, whereas fat in the stool associated with a foul odor should raise concerns about malabsorption or pancreatic disorders. For most people, smelly stool is simply a byproduct of the beans they had for dinner the night before.

Shade

The color of stool can vary dramatically and can also be a clue as to whether various disease states are present.

Normal stool is brown due to its composition: bacteria, water, bile, bilirubin, broken-down red blood celIs and indigestible plant matter like cellulose, along with small amounts of protein and fat.

Red stool is most worrisome as it indicates bleeding in the lower GI tract from conditions like hemorrhoids or diverticulosis, or more serious conditions like rectal cancer. Red stool can also be caused by ingesting red food coloring or beets. While it should always be reported, it’s not always an ominous sign.

Green stool can occur with rapid transit through the intestines where bile doesn’t have a chance to be broken down to its final brown color. Green can also be a sign of Crohn’s disease, antibiotic use, ingestion of leafy greens or iron therapy.

Yellow stool can be the result of gallbladder dysfunction which causes improper handling of bile. Infection with giardia lamblia produces a characteristic yellow diarrhea. In addition to causing diarrhea, different types of infection in the GI tract, whether viral, bacterial or parasitic, may cause changes in stool color.

White stool can be a sign of fat malabsorption, as with pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, but barium used for X-rays can also give the same appearance. Mucus in the stool can give it a whitish appearance and may be due to inflammation or benign conditions like IBS.

Black stool should trigger a search for bleeding from the upper part of the GI tract (esophagus, stomach or small intestine), but can also be seen with iron therapy, heavy meat consumption, and bismuth-containing compounds.

Light-appearing clay-colored stools are characteristic of liver disease and decreased bile output, but can also be caused by antacids containing aluminum hydroxide. Vitamins and supplements commonly cause changes in urine color but may also change stool color.

Via Dr. Oz

Need a little help when pooping, try the Squatty Potty it helps give you the leverage you need.

Disclaimer:
While I’ve attempted to use

credible sources for information,

this is not intended to be a

substitute for professional

medical advice or treatment.

If there is a disparity between

the information presented

within this blog and the advice

given by your medical professional,

please follow the medical professional’s

advice as he/she will know you

and your medical circumstances.

Essential Oil of the Month: Celery Seed!

Essential oils are the oils from the plants they were extracted from in concentrated form. Essential oils have been used in skincare, folk and alternative medicine, aromatherapy, cosmetics, soaps, perfumes, foods and drinks for centuries.

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Botanical Name: Apium graveolens
Parts Used: Seeds
Note Classification: Middle
Aroma: Sweet, warm, earthy spice

Limonene: 80-85%

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Apium graveolens is a plant species in the family Apiaceae. It is commonly known as celery (var. dulce) or celeriac (var. rapaceum) it grows up to 1 m tall with a grooved, fleshy, erect stalk and skinny pennant leaves. The plant grows with a smooth stem and soft leaves sporting white flowers. It is used around the world as a vegetable, either for the crisp petiole (leaf stalk) or the fleshy root. The leaves are strongly flavored and are used less often, either as a flavoring in soups and stews or as a dried herb. In temperate countries, celery is also grown for its seeds. Actually very small fruit, these “seeds” yield a valuable volatile oil used in the perfume and pharmaceutical industries. They also contain an organic compound called apiol. Celery seeds can be used as flavoring or spice, either as whole seeds or ground and mixed with salt, as celery salt. Celery salt can also be made from an extract of the roots, or using dried leaves.

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The use of celery seed in pills for relieving pain has been recorded as early as 30 AD.

Common Uses: antioxidant, anti-rheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, depurative, digestive diuretic, carminative, stomachic, cholagogue and hepatic, nervine and sedative (nervous) properties.

Benefits: Flatulence, indigestion, jaundice, liver congestion, neuralgia, rheumatism, sciatica.

Blends well with: Lavender, Pine, Lovage, Tea Tree, Cinnamon Bark, Clove Bud, Black pepper, Coriander, Ginger, Oakmoss, Opopanax, Pine, Mandarin, and Tea tree.

Celery Seeds (Apium graveolens)

Celery seed is known to increase the elimination of uric acid and therefore is an excellent aid in the relief of arthritis and rheumatism or with any problem where there is swelling and a high acidic condition, like gout and neuralgia. It helps to release toxins from the blood stream and thus, has been found to have a rejuvenating effect on the liver. The pain from sciatica seems to be greatly reduced when celery seed essential oil (mixed in a carrier oil) is massaged into the lower back. Useful for the endocrine system, this oil balances menstrual cycles and alleviates cramping and uterine spasming. Celery seed is a great help whenever there is tension from pain, which means it is wonderful for PMS.

Essential Oil should not be applied directly to the skin but in carrier oils, putting the oils directly on the skin is too harsh due to their concentrated form. Add a few drops of Celery Seed essential oil to the carrier oil.

If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment,or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oils is not recommended!

While essential oil will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Disclaimer

While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.

Benefits of dead sea salt

Benefits of dead sea salt. Great article from SkinandBodyFocus

People are always looking for ways to keep their skin, soft and supple. Going to extremes to achieve the ultimate glow and silky smooth texture.  Many dollars have been spent also, but did you know that it need not cost you an arm and a leg to get good results?  It can be as simple as taking a bath with salt. Not any kind of salt, but the salt from the Dead Sea. It contains magnesium, potassium, calcium, chloride and bromides.

The magnesium helps to slow down the aging process in our skin, while the calcium is good to prevent water retention and improve circulation. Got dry flaky  skin? the potassium helps to balance the moisture levels.  As an added benefit the Bromides works as a sedative …GOT STRESS? Add your favorite essential oils and you have some wonderful therapy going on!

Here is a CNN report you might find interesting

Via Salt Works

Minerals and naturally occurring chemicals found in the Dead Sea:

Sulfur is necessary for the secretion of bile from the liver and for converting toxins into non-toxins. Sulfur is found in the amino acids cysteine, and methionine; as well as in cells, hemoglobin (of the blood), collagen (of the muscles), keratin (required for skin), insulin, heparin, biotin and co-enzyme A (required for healthy hair, skin, nails, among many other biological structures). Sulfur is necessary for synthesizing collagen. It is required for the adequate digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and a number of vitamins e.g. thiamin, biotin and pantothenic acid; It is also essential to enable cells to breathe.

Chlorine is necessary to maintain the correct balance of alkaline and acid in the body, together with being vital for cell metabolism

Iodine is necessary for the production of the hormone thyroxin, and is also vital for both energy and cell metabolism

Potassium is necessary to maintain the water balance in order for cell metabolism to take place, assisting the cells to absorb nourishment and expel waste products. An imbalance in potassium often leads to water retention. Potassium also plays a vital role in regulating muscle contractions and the nervous system.

Sodium, like potassium, plays a vital role in assisting the cells to absorb nourishment and expel waste.

Calcium is necessary in strengthening cell membranes and cleansing the pores. In addition it is vital for production and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones, together with regulating the heart muscles and nerves.

Magnesium is necessary in assisting the body to utilize other essential nutrients and in cell metabolism.

Bromine helps with the natural repair of the body together with cell metabolism and can be used as a natural antibiotic.

Salt along the shore of the Dead Sea

Salt along the shore of the Dead Sea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A favorite place of mine to buy:

http://www.saltworks.us/salt_info/si_BenefitsOfBokek.asp

Top 10 Benefits of Manual Lymphatic Massage!

  1. Relaxes you!
  2. Detoxifies your body!
  3. Stimulates your circulation enabling your immune system!
  4. Decongests your lympatic system.  A congested lympatic system (due to surgery, illness, injury, et cetera),  can cause soreness, puffiness, allergies, headaches, low energy, increased susceptibility to infection, aches, pains, and flu-like symptoms.
  5. Reduction in edema (an abnormal accumulation of fluid beneath the skin or in one or more cavities of the body that produces swelling.)  Clearing areas of congestion such as swollen ankles, puffy eyes and swollen legs.  Treatment of lymphedema and other conditions arising from venous insufficiency.
  6. Regeneration of tissue
  7. Relief of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, some forms of constipation and insomnia.
  8. Help reduce cellulite
  9. Increases the metabolism
  10. Swelling relief following plastic surgery, promotion of scar tissue healing, torn ligaments and sprains.

    The lymphatic system, lymph vessels and lymph ...

    The lymphatic system, lymph vessels and lymph nodes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The lymphatic system (lymph vessels, lymph nodes, and organs) has a vital role in the body by regulating the immune system, which protects the body against infection. Part of the body’s defense system, the lymph nodes remove microorganisms and other foreign substances. They act as a filtration system that keeps particulate matter, such as bacteria, from entering the bloodstream.  It transports nutrients to cells and eliminates metabolic wastes, toxins and excess fluids from the body.  Stimulating the lymphatic system through manual lymphatic drainage will activate all of the above functions as well as encourage fluid circulation and cell regeneration. Both actions promote detoxification, facilitate healing and support the immune system.  . Manual lymphatic drainage is also a very effective way of detoxing the body plus stimulating vital immune defenses. This is a powerful, deep cleansing treatment!

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