Coconut Oil 101

 

 

 

Coconut Oil 101

 

We all know that there is no such thing as an “All-in-one” solution when it comes to our health. But it’s great when we come across a product that may address more of our needs at once to help us gain and maintain optimal health. You may find coconut oil to be a good fit. It’s a rich source that can easily be incorporated into your busy life, and may provide a wide variety of benefits to add to your health arsenal.

 

Did You Know?

Coconut oil has been used in many countries for centuries. Though it has grown in popularity these days, researchers in the United States have been studying its structure and benefits since the early 1920s. Coconut oil got a bad rap for a while but has come back in stride as more people become educated about it. It was once thought to be unhealthy in the U.S. during the 80’s. Several domestic food organizations launched an anti-saturated fat campaign that claimed it contributed to heart disease due to its saturated fat content, and linked it to trans fat, an unhealthy fat.

 

Why Did That Happen?

The claim was based on the results of a researcher who used fully hydrogenated virgin coconut oil on mice which increased the level of cholesterol. Misinformation about coconut oil spread like wild fire. The campaign was successful in minimizing the usage of imported oils. Meanwhile, domestic oils were being promoted instead of the once preferred choices of U.S. food companies—palm and coconut oil. However in 1988, N.W. Istfan of Harvard University Medical School’s Nutrition Coordinating Center reported: “For the U.S. consumer, the use of coconut oil does not increase the role of heart disease.”Scientific evidence by other researchers also demonstrated that coconut and palm oil, unlike other saturated fats, are healthy fats with many benefits.

 

What is the difference?

You may be thinking, “But coconut oil is a saturated fat. Isn’t that bad for you?” Yes, coconut oil has a rich saturated fat content, but it’s not an unhealthy fat like trans fat. The fatty acids have a different molecular make up. Most people are familiar with the classification of fats as you read them on a food label: saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated. Fats are also classified by the size of the molecule and the length of the carbon chain that makes up the molecule. There are 3 types of saturated fats: short, medium, and long.

 

◦   Short fatty acids that have a carbon length of less than 6.

◦   Medium chain triglycerides (MCT), also known as medium chain fatty acids that have a carbon length of 6 to 12.

 

◦   Long chain fatty acids that have a carbon length of more than 12.

 

The body works longer and harder to breakdown long chain fatty acids such as margarine, animal fats, and canola oil. However, short and medium chain fatty acids such as butter and coconut oil are easier for the body to digest and convert to energy. Research implies that one of the reasons why plant-based coconut oil has such a positive effect on the body, is because it’s mostly composed of MCT and lauric acid.

 

Benefits

Thousands of studies have been conducted over the years. Studies suggest that coconut oil and its components may provide numerous health benefits such as the ones listed below and many more:

 

◦   Reduces inflammation

◦   MCT help the body efficiently metabolize fat

◦   Lowers the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)

◦   Reduces bad (LDL) cholesterol and increases good (HDL) cholesterol, which improves cholesterol ratio levels

◦   Helps to regulate blood sugar

◦   Supports thyroid function

◦   Improves calcium and magnesium absorption, which aids in the development of strong teeth and bones, and protects against osteoporosis

◦   Conditions and strengthens hair

◦   Kills various bacteria, fungi, yeast, and viruses

◦   Enhances digestion and absorption of a wide variety of nutrients, minerals, amino acids, vitamins such as A, B, D, E, and K

◦   Moisturizes skin and has anti-aging properties

◦   Helps to form a barrier on the skin to protect against infection when applied topically

◦   Strengthens the immune system

 

 

 

It’s my hope that this has helped you have a better understanding of coconut oil. I encourage you to research and learn more about this terrific food source. Here are additional links to research the studies of other benefits:

 

Coconut Research Center                                                       Coconut Oil

 

 

Enjoy healthy living through healthy choices!

 

 

 

*Disclaimer

These statements are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

 

**References

Detox Bath

Detox Bath

 

Why would I want to take a detox bath? Don’t I have organs that take care of that? If that thought ran across your mind, then you’re absolutely right. We do have organs that detox our bodies on a regular basis such as: the liver, kidneys, blood, bowels, and skin. However, our bodies are constantly bombarded at a higher level these days through our food, environment, and various products that we use. This is where we can be a great support system for our bodies by doing things such as taking a detox bath. What a great way to have a “Calgon, take me away” moment too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

What you’ll need:

     

  • 1 cup Epsom salt

  • 1/2 cup baking soda

  • 4 tsp ground ginger or grated ginger (more or less depending on your tolerance)

  • Essential oils (any essential oil that suits you) – I encourage you to research to see which essential oils would be your go-to-oils of choice.

 

Here are some essential oil suggestions based on how you may feel that day.

 

  • Lavender – calming, relaxes muscles

  • Peppermint – fatigue, helps relieve stress, tension, and headaches

  • Citrus oils (Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange) – uplifting

  • Tea Tree – helps ease joint pain and reduce inflammation

  • Rosemary – soothes aching and fatigue muscles, exhaustion

 

Run a tub of very warm/hot water, only as hot as you can comfortably stand it. Please be careful not to scold yourself. Remember, you want to be able to sweat, because sweating is a natural form of detoxing. Hot water opens the skin’s pores, while sweating helps to eliminate toxins. It also relaxes your muscles.

 

Pour the ingredients in the tub under the running water to help them dissolve more efficiently. You should still stir the water to make sure they dissolve and mix as much as possible. Grab that book you’ve been trying to read for the past couple of months, or listen to your favorite music. Get in, and enjoy your bath while you detox. For better results, soak for 20 – 40 minutes.

 

Make sure that you drink water to stay hydrated after your detox bath. You may even want to be proactive and drink some water during your bath, because you are going to really sweat; some more than others. Expect not to be very active after your bath. It’s normal if you find that you’re tired or still sweating afterwards. Carefully get out of the tub and allow yourself to rest. After all, you deserve it.

 

 

Important Tips:

  • If you have heart problems or high blood pressure, then use warm water instead of hot. Also, don’t add the ginger in your bath because of its heat, and avoid rosemary essential oil if you have high blood pressure.  

 

  • Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate (scientific name) has been known to neutralize the chlorine that is added to most city water sources.

 

  • You can also use these ingredients individually in a detox bath, such as an Epsom salt and baking soda bath, ginger bath, or an essential oils bath.

 

Ginger Tips:

If you use freshly chopped or grated ginger, then you may want to put it in a tea bag, muslin bag, or something similar to avoid a clogged drain.

 

 For those who may not know or need a quick reminder, ginger is a hot herb. Meaning it adds heat to whatever you put it in. You may still sweat after your bath depending on how much ginger you use. Some people are okay with it because of its beneficial properties. But if the ginger is too hot for you, then remove it from the ingredients you use for your bath. It won’t make it any less of a detox bath, so you’ll be fine.

 

Here’s an idea to test and see if the ginger is too hot for you before taking a bath with it. Add some ginger to a cup of warm to hot water (whatever temperature you would use for your bath). Let the ginger sit in the water for a couple of minutes, then let your fingers sit in the water for 5 – 10 minutes. If the heat is too much for you, then you know. 

 

 

Important Detox Tip:

Keep in mind that you may feel worse before you feel better during your detox process. This occurs because your body is ridding itself of more toxins at that time than it normally would on a regular basis. For example, you may feel tired after your detox bath, but experience increased energy levels the next day. Understand that all of the toxins in your body will not come out in one detox bath. However, doing this continuously over a period of time will contribute to the elimination of toxins from your body to at least help lessen them.

 

What a great way to treat yourself to a relaxing bath and detox at the same time! Talk about dual cleansing. Read about another way to bathe your toxins away. 

 

Tell us how you enjoyed your detox bath or share your detox bath recipe. We would love to hear it!

 

 

Detox Bath 3c

 

 

 

Disclaimer

These statements are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products or applying this information.

 

 

References

 

 

 

 

How to Detox with a Clay Bath

   clay_bath

There are many different ingredients you can use to detox while bathing: Epsom salt and baking soda, essential oils, ginger, and more. Bentonite clay is another ingredient that you may enjoy using in your bath. It’s known for cleansing the skin, and its detoxing properties.

 

What you’ll need:

  • 1-2 pounds (2-4 cups)                                                                             *Note: beginners may want to start with 1 cup

  • 1-2 cups of natural sea salt (start with one)

 

 

 1)    Pour the sea salt in the tub first, and then 1-2 pounds of bentonite clay in very warm/ hot water as you’re running your bath. Remember to break up any clumps as you do this. Avoid pouring the clay in only one area of the tub to help keep it from clumping. Whisk the clay around in the tub (don’t use metal) to help it dissolve in the water. You can also pre-mix the clay in water in a bowl or container (preferably glass or BPA free plastic), and then pour it in your bath. This is another way to minimize clumps. Get in and enjoy! For better results, soak for 20 – 40 minutes. When finished slowly get out of the tub to avoid getting light-headed.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Or

 

2)    Mix the clay in water to create a thick muddy consistency. Do as mentioned above, except rub the clay paste all over your body, let dry for 5-10 minutes before sitting down in the tub. This provides direct skin contact and is known to aid in the elimination process of the skin. If you have some wet clay left over, then you can squish it in the tub.

    

 

Cleanup

It’s best to clean your tub soon after you’re finished with your bath. Wear protective gloves to avoid contaminating yourself with the very toxins you just released. You may want to push a cloth (that can catch fine material like cheesecloth) into the drain as the water goes down. This minimizes the amount of clay going into your septic tank and disrupting the balance. It’s also a good practice for those that are connected to city sewer systems. Even though the city sewage can handle the clay better than a septic tank, minimizing the clay going down the pipes can help protect them from potential clogs. You can use a washcloth or towel to clean the remaining clay from the bottom of the tub.   

 

 

Important Tips:

  • Don’t let the bentonite clay come in contact with anything metal, because it reduces its effectiveness.

 

  • A good quality bentonite is odorless and should be a grey, cream color. It also has a very fine, velveteen feel.  

 

  • If you can only tolerate the clay bath for less than the mentioned time frame above (e.g.-15 minutes), then that is fine; you are still getting some of the benefits of the bath. Allow yourself to slowly increase your time.

 

  • Don’t be startled if you see that the clay at the bottom of the tub turned black or green after draining the water, especially the first several times. You are seeing toxins and wastes that were eliminated from your body.

 

  •  Adding 1-2 cups of natural sea salt can help increase the ionic charge (negative/ positive charge) capability of the clay in the bath, and it helps the clay dissolve in the water. 

 

  • If this is your first time taking a clay bath, then use less clay. The more clay that’s used, the stronger the effect, and faster your body will detoxify. This may sound great, but it can cause what’s known as a “cleansing reaction” or “detox symptoms” to occur. This occurs when the body’s elimination process is going faster than it can properly dispose of the toxins. Oftentimes, one or more of our detoxification organs (skin, colon, blood, lymphatics, liver, and kidneys) may be sluggish, which makes the others work harder.  The temporary cleansing reaction can be mild to severe depending on how toxic your body is. They may include headaches, nasal or sinus congestion, acne, or flu-like symptoms to name a few. Though you may experience it slightly anyway, using too much clay, too soon can heighten the level you experience. You can always slowly increase the amount of clay you use as you take clay baths to give your body the opportunity to adjust to how it disposes of the toxins.   

 

 

Important Detox Tip:

Something important that I’d like to mention concerning detoxing of any sort. You may feel worse before you feel better during the process of detoxification. This occurs because your body is ridding itself of more toxins at that time than it normally would on a regular basis. For example, you may feel tired after your detox bath, but experience increased energy levels the next day. Though you may be excited about your chosen detox protocol, I encourage you to allow yourself to be patient and balanced as well. Balance is far more important than speed when it comes to a lot of things, especially detoxing.

  

 

Understand that all of the toxins in your body will not come out in one detox bath. However, doing this continuously over a period of time will contribute to the elimination of toxins from your body to at least help lessen them. Read about other ways to support your body through detoxification.

 

 

Tell us how you enjoyed your detox clay bath or share your tips. We would love to hear it!

 

 

Clay 2

Disclaimer

These statements are for informational purposes only and have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products or applying this information.

 

References

5 Natural Remedies for Allergy Relief

5 Natural Remedies for Allergy Relief

 

Woman Blowing Her Nose pic-

 

Are you tired of fighting allergy symptoms every season or throughout the year? Experts say that this year is poised to be the worst allergy season ever. Climate change has shifted everything into overdrive causing pollen to be released early and stay around longer. The roller coaster of weather has also sent allergies into overdrive.

 

 

What are Allergies?

Our immune system is designed to protect us when foreign substances, like bacteria and viruses, enter our body. However, sometimes it gets confused, and has a hard time differentiating an enemy from something harmless, such as foods, pollen, dust, and the list goes on. The result—allergies—pesky occurrences many have come to know all too well with its best pals, Sniffles, Itchy, Headachy, Red Eyes, and Sneezy. Although there are many ways to deal with allergies through conventional medicine, some can be expensive and inconvenient (like allergy shots), or have unpleasant side effects (like drowsiness).

 

Whether you’re a natural, herbal lover like me or you just want to try a different approach; here are some natural remedies that may help you with your quest for allergy relief.

 

 

1)   Nettle

 

Benefits

I definitely can’t move on without mentioning nettle, also known as “stinging nettle.” Studies suggest that it helps to reduces sinus inflammation, and block the body’s ability to release histamine. Nettle is sold as a freeze-dried leaf extract.

 

Note: Use only as directed on the bottle.

 

 

2)   Quercetin

 

Benefits

Clinical studies suggest that quercetin helps to increase a healthy immune response, block the release of histamine, and fight allergy-related inflammation. It’s a natural bioflavonoid found in foods, such as onions, berries, squash, garlic, apples, citrus fruits, red grapes, greens, broccoli, and teas. Although some foods contain quercetin, it’s usually difficult to intake the amount needed to relieve allergy symptoms. The supplemental form is often paired with bromelain (enhances the effect), and can be used in conjunction with nettle and vitamin C.

 

Note: Use only as directed on the bottle.

 

3)   Bromelain

 

Benefits

Bromelain is a natural anti-inflammatory enzyme derived from pineapple core. It has been known to help reduce nasal swelling and thin mucus, resulting in a happier you that can breathe better. Also, it increases absorption of quercetin, making them a perfect pair. Bromelain is best taken between meals for maximum benefits.

 

Note: Avoid bromelain or consult with your physician if you are taking blood thinner medication.

 

 

4)   Butterbur

 

Benefits

Butterbur (also known as butterbock and bog rhubarb) works as a natural antihistamine. It contains a natural chemical compound called petasin, which research suggests blocks some reactions that trigger swelling in the nasal passages. This potent plant has produced excellent results in clinical studies. One study published by Swiss researchers in the British Medical Journal showed that taking one tablet, four times daily was as effective as taking a popular antihistamine drug that controls hay fever symptoms, but without the drowsiness that sometimes occurs. Another study by a group of British researchers was presented at the 60th annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI). It showed butterbur’s effectiveness to suppress grass allergy symptoms, such as runny nose, itching, sneezing, watery eyes, and stuffiness.

 

Note: Butterbur is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with ragweed allergies, or ingestion of the root.

 

 

There are other natural remedies that people use for allergy relief including nasal sprays containing xylitol, apple cider vinegar and honey, acupuncture, neti pots nasal wash, spicy foods such as cayenne pepper, homeopathy, and ginkgo biloba. So, to all of my fellow allergy-sufferers, as you can see, there is hope. You definitely have plenty natural choices to help you feel better throughout the allergy season.

 

 

Hurry, and come on in to House of Health so our knowledgeable staff can assist you in fighting the allergy battles!

 

 

*Disclaimer

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using these products.

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**References