Archive | August, 2012

Cloves, Not Just For Cooking

28 Aug

How many times during the holiday season have you pulled out cloves to put on your ham or to use as a spice in your holiday cooking and baking? Did you know that cloves can help clear up colds, mold and skin problems too?

Believe it or not, a tea containing cloves, it Chai can help you kick a respiratory infection. Cloves work as an expectorant, loosening mucus in the throat and esophagus so that you can cough it up. After seeing your doctor to rule out a bacterial infection, you can try a healing brew of 2cloves, a stick of cinnamon and 2 crushed cardamom seeds in an infuser or steeper; place in a large mug with a black tea bag. Add boiling water and let it steep for 1 to 2 minutes. Then sip away your symptoms.

To give your clothes an intoxicating aroma and sweeten up musty spots like the basement, toss a few whole cloves in the bottom of an old clean sock and tie with a ribbon. The spicy scent covers up odors and keeps your stuff smelling fresh. Swap out the cloves every 2 to 4 weeks so the scent stays at its sweet and spicy peak.

Cloves help clear acne, thank to eugenol, a natural antiseptic that balances the skin, stopping future breakouts. Try combining 1 teaspoon of ground cloves, 1 teaspoon of honey and 3 drops of fresh lemon juice in a small bowl. Apply to your entire face and leave on for 20 minutes, then rinse with cold water for clear skin.

Got mold? Skip harsh chemicals and eliminate it with cloves. It works as a natural antiseptic and reduces existing outbreaks and prevents future one in affected areas. Add a dash of clove oil (about ½ teaspoon) to 2 cups of water and pour it into an empty spray bottle. Scrub the susceptible spots, spritz on and let sit to deter further growth. Then sit back and breath easy.

Lastly cloves are an excellent source of manganese, a trace mineral that helps you metabolize carbs and proteins. Sprinkle the powdered clove in your baked treats for a flavor and nutrient boost.

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What is Ayurveda and What is it good for?

22 Aug

Considered by many scholars to be the oldest healing science, Ayurveda is a holistic approach to health that is designed to help people live long, healthy, and well-balanced lives. The term Ayurveda is taken from the Sanskrit words ayus, meaning life or lifespan, and veda, meaning knowledge. It has been practiced in India for at least 3,500 years. The basic principle of Ayurveda is to prevent and treat illness by maintaining balance in the body, mind, and spirit through proper diet and lifestyle, detoxification therapy (PanchaKarma), rejuvenative therapies, as well as herbal remedies.

How does it work?

Just as everyone has a unique fingerprint, according to Ayurvedic beliefs, each person has a distinct pattern of energy — a specific combination of physical, mental, and emotional characteristics. It is also believed that there are three basic energy types called doshas, present in every person:

  • Vata — energy that controls bodily functions associated with motion, including blood circulation, breathing, blinking, and heartbeat. When vata energy is balanced, there is creativity and vitality. Out of balance, vata produces fear and anxiety.
  • Pitta — energy that controls the body’s metabolic systems, including digestion, absorption, nutrition, and temperature. In balance, pitta leads to contentment and intelligence. Out of balance, pitta can cause ulcers and arouse anger.
  • Kapha — energy that controls growth in the body. It supplies water to all body parts, moisturizes the skin, and maintains the immune system. In balance, kapha is expressed as love and forgiveness. Out of balance, kapha leads to insecurity and envy.

Everyone has vata, pitta, and kapha, but usually 1 or 2 are dominant in a particular person. Many things can disturb the energy balance, such as stress, an unhealthy diet, the weather, and strained family relationships. The disturbance shows up as disease. Ayurvedic practitioners prescribe treatments to bring the doshas back into balance.

From a Western medical perspective, stress relief seems to be one of the ways Ayurveda works to help fight illness. For example, studies have found that meditation, a component of Ayurveda, lowers anxiety. Other studies have found that Ayurveda lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, slows the aging process, and speeds recovery from illness. Many herbs used in Ayurvedic medicine have antioxidant effects, which means that they may help protect against long-term illnesses such as heart disease and arthritis.

What is Ayurveda good for?

The goal of Ayurvedic medicine is to prevent diseases. Studies have suggested that Ayurveda may be effective at reducing the risk of heart disease. For example, one study found that Ayurveda helped reduce plaque and reverse the thickening of artery walls known as atherosclerosis in both healthy adults as well as adults at high risk for heart disease. Atherosclerosis is a slow, complex disease in which cholesterol, fats, and other substances build up in the inner lining of an artery. This build-up, known as plaque, can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Combining yoga with an Ayurvedic herbal remedy containing winter cherry (Withania somnifera), boswellia (Boswellia serrata), and turmeric (Curcuma longa) may reduce pain and disability in people with arthritis.

A number of Ayurvedic herbal remedies have been examined, though sometimes good quality studies are lacking. For example, guggul (Commiphora mukul), a traditional Ayurvedic medication used to treat high cholesterol, is widely used in India. It appears to block production of cholesterol in the liver, lowering cholesterol levels. Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum) seeds can lower LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides (fats in the blood), and raise HDL “good” cholesterol levels. Its effects seem to come from its ability to lower the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine, and may be related to the high fiber content of the seed. The high fiber content of fenugreek seeds may also help control blood sugar if you have diabetes.

Other Ayurvedic herbs are being studied as treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, asthma, dementia, dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), herpes, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, perimenopausal problems, and premenstrual syndrome, among many other conditions. Ayurvedic herbs combined with conventional medications may also be helpful for acne, chronic constipation, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity, and uterine fibroids.

It is always recommended that you discuss the taking of herbs with your health care provider prior to taking them.

 

Wishing you much health and wellness!

 

Namaste,

 

Rochele M. Lawson,RN,AHP,CMS

http://www.rochelelawson.com

http://www.healthhealingwellness.com

http://www.freegiftsfromrochele.com

Ayurveda Travel Scents

15 Aug

Aromatherapy is the therapeutic use of aromatic plant extracts and essential oils; whether breathed in or applied directly to the skin, the extracts can be used to address all manner of everyday ailments, including travel-related stressors from jet lag to digestive trouble. Below you will find some tips based on the principles of Ayurveda that will bring something special to your travels.

Jet lag:  To help keep jet lag at bay, bring along some peppermint or lavender essential oil or a combination of both to inhale prior to, during and after your flight, train ride or boat ride. Its natural and works wonderfully. You’ll be amazed.

Stress: Running late for a flight, missed a flight or run into another type of travel snag? The essential oil Ylang, Ylang slows down the heart rate and helps to alleviate anxiety, nervousness, tension, anger and fear. Putting a drop or two of this essential oil on a tissue and waving the tissue under your nose to breathe it in, will assist in calming you down.

Sleep: Falling asleep in a strange place is rarely easy. To quiet the mind and get the body ready for bed, try massaging your feet with warm sesame oil after you have added a few drops of chamomile, marjoram and lavender essential oil, all of which are helpful in preparing the body for a good night’s rest.

Energy: To wake up in the morning and for a continued boost throughout the day, a combination of lemongrass with rosemary will be stimulating and energizing. Breathe in the scent, then apply the oil to your pulse points and temples.

Digestion: Fennel or ginger essential oils rubbed right onto the stomach and abdomen work wonders. Fennel is used for indigestion, gas and abdominal spasms and stimulates digestion and ginger is used for nausea as well as assisting with the digestive process as well.

And now you have the secret to making your travels flawless and effortless even when they aren’t.

Happy Travels!

 

Namaste,

 

Rochele M. Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS

http://www.rochelelawson.com

http://www.healthhealingwellness.com

http://www.freegiftsfromrochele.com

Fasting, A Natural Path To Wellness

14 Aug

The ancient tradition of fasting is filled with examples of famous teachers from Jesus to Gandhi. These notable figures spent days, weeks or even months without food and sometimes water. Although those were extreme fast, everyone experiences a mini fast on a daily basis. This fast occurs from the time of the last meal eaten until the time of when the first meal is eaten the next day. Occasionally extending these daily fast to several days can bring long-lasting physical and spiritual benefits.

One of the best reasons to fast is to clean up bowel toxicity. Today we live in a world that is filled with toxins and fasting is the most profound way to detoxify the body and mind. Most adults have a lifetime of accumulated toxins from pollution, processed foods, medications, over eating, cellular and metabolic waste and stress that impair the digestive system. The build up of this toxin can wreak havoc on the body.

Fortunately, nature has a simple yet powerful remedy to alleviate the toxins from our bodies and this remedy is fasting or in Ayurveda, it may be a full Pancha Karma treatment (Ayurveda Detox). It should be noted that fasting also has some additional benefits to our body besides eliminating toxins; it actually stimulates new cell growth and turns on the “youthing” genes that restore health, reverse the aging process and increase longevity.

There are several schools of thought when it come to fasting however since I recommend a holistic approach to fasting, I recommend contacting an Ayurveda Health Practitioner for a complete assessment to determine what is the best course of action for you to begin your Fasting or Detox program.

All fasting programs have a “pre” fast plan, a “during “plan and a “breaking” the fast plan. It is important that you follow the advice of your practitioner so that your mind, body and spirit can experience the true benefit and all goodness from this very powerful natural healing tool.

Here are some things that you may experience during your fast. For the first few days as you detoxify you may have an increase in body odor, rashes, a coating on the tongue, with flu-like symptoms ranging from headaches, muscle aches, dizziness and fatigue to waves of anger, sadness and fear. All of these surfacing toxins are more easily released with the assistance of massage, light exercise, decreased sensory stimulation, meditation, quiet time and journaling to name a few.  In a seven day fast, you can expect to feel by the third day hunger to fade and the desire for and attachment to food will have diminished, freeing the mind and spirit for contemplation. The last few days of the fast (detox) are often accompanied by a renewed sense of joyful well-being, physical vitality, flexibility, strength, mental clarity and awareness.

Natural beauty will also begin to reappear. Gone are pale or dry and crepe-like skin; wrinkles; puffy, dark circles under the eyes; and cellulite and replaced by a glowing, peachy, complexion, vibrant eyes and a toned body that can only come from renewed inner health.

The purification that results from an experience like this often leads to appreciation for the human body, compassion for oneself and others and a deeper connection to spiritual truth and inner wisdom. Although one fast (detox) is not enough to detoxify the body and mind completely, it will begin to reveal how true health feels. The practice of detoxing opens a path to boundless health and spiritual growth and allows one to move beyond the limiting desires and diseases of the mind-body complex. For some, this freedom also strengthens communion with the divine and sets them forth on their journey to feeling fabulous.

Namaste,

Rochele M. Lawson, RN,AHP,CMS

What Dosha are you?

8 Aug

The science of Ayurveda hold that every part of our mind and body is governed by the doshas, the bioenergetic forces that sustain life.  The three Doshas or body constitutions are Kapha, Pitta and Vata.

Kapha: Within the Kapha dosha there is a predominance of the water and earth elements. Like these elements Kapha tends to be cool, moist, stable and heavy. In the body these qualities manifest as dense, heavy bones, lustrous, supple skin, low metabolism, large eyes, short necks, bushy eyebrows, round, soft faces and large stocky frames.

Pitta:  The Pitta dosha is said to be made up of the fire and water elements. Fire is more predominant and those people with a predominant Pitta nature have many of the qualities of fire within them. Pitta tends to be hot, light, a little moist, un-stable, sharp and penetrating. It is also somewhat volatile and oily. The oily nature of Pitta is related to the secondary component of water. These people tend to be of medium build with moderate eye brows, medium length necks, deep-set eyes and moderate skin thickness.

Vata: The Vata dosha is said to be made up of the air and ether elements. Air is the more predominant  quality with Ether being secondary.  Vata tends to be cold, light, dry and mobile. People of Vata nature tends to “flighty” and flow much like the wind.  People of Vata nature tend to have long, oval faces, long, narrow bones, small eyes, thin skin, thin eyebrows and long necks.

So which dosha do you think you are?

You can find out by going to http://www.freegiftsfromrochele.com and take the mini dosha quiz.

Namaste,

For a more complete explanation or assessment visit: www.healthhealingwellness.com or give us a call at 209-640-3154 for a personal consultation.