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Tips on how to care for your skin

This is something I received in a newsletter. If I knew who the original author was I’d surely give them credit.

Our skin plays an important role in our health; it’s actually our body’s largest organ. Skin helps keep body temperature even, protects our organs and provides a pretty package for our body parts. Unfortunately much of the time we don’t take care of our skin the way we should, especially during the winter months, when skin can become dried out, itchy and uncomfortable. Here are some tips on keeping your skin healthy, feeling and looking great.

Exfoliating1. Exfoliate 2-3 times a week

Before stepping into the shower, brush your dry skin with your loofah, body brush or exfoliating gloves to help remove the loose skin and prepare your skin for the exfoliating process. Begin with the soles of your feet. working your way up your body. While in the shower, scrub your body in a circular motion with a natural exfoliate made from sea salt or sugar. You can purchase this, or make it yourself. When you reach the bikini area, don’t scrub too hard because the skin is very sensitive in this area. You can use a body brush to exfoliate your back and other hard-to-reach places. Be gentle on your face, particularly around your eyes and mouth, use an exfoliating product especially formulated for the face. Don’t forget about your hands and feet, you want them to look and feel soft and smooth too! Rinse your body with lukewarm water; follow by the coldest water you can stand.

Facial Hydrating2. Moisturize every day

After stepping out of the shower, apply a moisturizing body lotion all over. Make sure that its free of chemicals and dyes and if its scented make sure its from a natural source. Better yet, buy unscented and put a few drops of your favorite essential oil in it to personalize your scent. Keep the lotion out on your counter to encourage use whenever you feel you need it. If you’re worried about aesthetics, find a pretty decanter to keep it in.

Facial Cleansing3. Wash your face at night

All day long our face is exposed to dirt, toxins, and oils from the air, telephones, fingers, etc. Even if you don’t wear makeup, be kind to your face and wash it before bed. As we sleep our skin repairs itself, washing and moisturizing provides a perfect pallet for renewal. You will notice a difference in the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines just by making sure your face is clean at night.

drinking-water4. Drink plenty of water

Water is an essential part of eliminating toxins from your body, without enough of it toxins can build up in our skin causing breakouts and other skin problems.

5. Eat a healthy dietEating_Healthy

The old adage “you are what you eat” not only applies to our overall health and nutrition, but how our skin looks and feels as well. As the largest organ in the body, our skin can benefit from the good nutrition.

6. Exercise regularly

By increasing blood flow, exercise helps nourish skin cells and keep them vital. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to working cells throughout the body, including the skin. In addition to providing oxygen, blood flow also helps carry away waste products, including free radicals, from working cells in the skin.

Spring is an eExercisingxcellent time of year to take a walk or a hike, smell the fresh air and take in all the colors as they bloom. Exercise will help to relax you and the fresh air will give you energy. Also, the rhythm and repetition of walking has a tranquilizing effect on your brain, and it decrease anxiety and improves sleep.

aroma therapy body scrub


  • 2 C sea salt or granulated sugar DIY-brown-sugar-body-scrub
  • 1 C sweet almond oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil, or olive oil
  • 8 to 10 drops of your favorite essential oil


Add salts or sugar to a bowl and slowly begin stirring in the oil until mixture is smooth, but not goopy. (You may not need the full cup of oil.) Add essential oil and any other fun additions. Mix well, Spoon into a decorative container or jar with a tight fitting lid.

20 Pain Killers in your Kitchen

Found this on Pinterest, which connected to

– Murlidhar Naidu, I hope you don’t mind that I linked this back to you since it was found on your photo blog – if so, please let me know. It’s a great article and one that I felt should be shared…again and again.


Make muscle pain a memory with ginger

When Danish researchers asked achy people to jazz up their diets with ginger, it eased muscle and joint pain, swelling and stiffness for up to 63 percent of them within two months. Experts credit ginger’s potent compounds called gingerols, which prevent the production of pain-triggering hormones. The study-recommended dose: Add at least 1 teaspoon of dried ginger or 2 teaspoons of chopped ginger to meals daily.


Cure a toothache with cloves

Got a toothache and can’t get to the dentist? Gently chewing on a clove can ease tooth pain and gum inflammation for two hours straight, say UCLA researchers. Experts point to a natural compound in cloves called eugenol, a powerful, natural anesthetic. Bonus: Sprinkling a ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves on meals daily may also protect your ticker. Scientists say this simple action helps stabilize blood sugar, plus dampen production of artery-clogging cholesterol in as little as three weeks.

Heal heartburn with cider vinegar

Sip 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water before every meal, and experts say you could shut down painful bouts of heartburn in as little as 24 hours. “Cider vinegar is rich in malic and tartaric acids, powerful digestive aids that speed the breakdown of fats and proteins so your stomach can empty quickly, before food washes up into the esophagus, triggering heartburn pain,” explains Joseph Brasco, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Center for Colon and Digestive Diseases in Huntsville, AL.

Erase earaches with garlic

Painful ear infections drive millions of Americans to doctors’ offices every year. To cure one fast, just place two drops of warm garlic oil into your aching ear twice daily for five days. This simple treatment can clear up ear infections faster than prescription meds, say experts at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Scientists say garlic’s active ingredients (germanium, selenium, and sulfur compounds) are naturally toxic to dozens of different pain-causing bacteria. To whip up your own garlic oil gently simmer three cloves of crushed garlic in a half a cup of extra virgin olive oil for two minutes, strain, then refrigerate for up to two weeks, suggests Teresa Graedon, Ph.D., co-author of the book, Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy. For an optimal experience, warm this mix slightly before using so the liquid will feel soothing in your ear canal.


Chase away joint and headache pain with cherries

Latest studies show that at least one in four women is struggling with arthritis, gout or chronic headaches. If you’re one of them, a daily bowl of cherries could ease your ache, without the stomach upset so often triggered by today’s painkillers, say researchers at East Lansing ’s Michigan State University . Their research reveals that anthocyanins, the compounds that give cherries their brilliant red color, are anti-inflammatories 10 times stronger than ibuprofen and aspirin. “Anthocyanins help shut down the powerful enzymes that kick-start tissue inflammation, so they can prevent, as well as treat, many different kinds of pain,” explains Muraleedharan Nair, Ph.D., professor of food science at Michigan State University . His advice: Enjoy 20 cherries (fresh, frozen or dried) daily, then continue until your pain disappears.

Fight tummy troubles with fish

Indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases…if your belly always seems to be in an uproar, try munching 18 ounces of fish weekly to ease your misery. Repeated studies show that the fatty acids in fish, called EPA and DHA, can significantly reduce intestinal inflammation, cramping and belly pain and, in some cases, provide as much relief as corticosteroids and other prescription meds. “EPA and DHA are powerful, natural, side effect-free anti-inflammatories that can dramatically improve the function of the entire gastrointestinal tract,” explains biological chemist Barry Sears, Ph.D., president of the Inflammation Research Foundation in Marblehead , MA . For best results, look for oily fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, trout and herring.


Prevent PMS with yogurt

Up to 80 percent of women will struggle with premenstrual syndrome and its uncomfortable symptoms, report Yale researchers. The reason: Their nervous systems are sensitive to the ups and downs in estrogen and progesterone that occur naturally every month. But snacking on 2 cups of yogurt a day can slash these symptoms by 48 percent, say researchers at New York ’s Columbia University . “Yogurt is rich in calcium, a mineral that naturally calms the nervous system, preventing painful symptoms even when hormones are in flux,” explains Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a professor of gynecology at Yale University .


Tame chronic pain with turmeric

Studies show turmeric, a popular East Indian spice, is actually three times more effective at easing pain than aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen, plus it can help relieve chronic pain for 50 percent of people struggling with arthritis and even fibromyalgia, according to Cornell researchers. That’s because turmeric’s active ingredient, curcumin, naturally shuts down cyclooxygenase 2, an enzyme that churns out a stream of pain-producing hormones, explains nutrition researcher Julian Whitaker, M.D. and author of the book, Reversing Diabetes. The study-recommended dose: Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of this spice daily onto any rice, poultry, meat or vegetable dish.

End endometrial pain with oats

The ticket to soothing endometriosis pain could be a daily bowl of oatmeal. Endometriosis occurs when little bits of the uterine lining detach and grow outside of the uterus. Experts say these migrating cells can turn menstruation into a misery, causing so much inflammation that they trigger severe cramping during your period, plus a heavy ache that drags on all month long. Fortunately, scientists say opting for a diet rich in oats can help reduce endometrial pain for up to 60 percent of women within six months. That’s because oats don’t contain gluten, a trouble-making protein that triggers inflammation in many women, making endometriosis difficult to bear, explains Peter Green, M.D., professor of medicine at Colombia University .


Soothe foot pain with salt

Experts say at least six million Americans develop painful ingrown toenails each year. But regularly soaking ingrown nails in warm salt water baths can cure these painful infections within four days, say scientists at California ’s Stanford University . The salt in the mix naturally nixes inflammation, plus it’s anti-bacterial, so it quickly destroys the germs that cause swelling and pain. Just mix 1 teaspoon of salt into each cup of water, heat to the warmest temperature that you can comfortably stand, and then soak the affected foot area for 20 minutes twice daily, until your infection subsides.


Prevent digestive upsets with pineapple

Got gas? One cup of fresh pineapple daily can cut painful bloating within 72 hours, say researchers at California ’s Stanford University . That’s because pineapple is naturally packed with proteolytic enzymes, digestive aids that help speed the breakdown of pain-causing proteins in the stomach and small intestine, say USDA researchers.


Relax painful muscles with peppermint

Suffering from tight, sore muscles? Stubborn knots can hang around for months if they aren’t properly treated, says naturopath Mark Stengler, N.D., author of the book, The Natural Physician’s Healing Therapies. His advice: Three times each week, soak in a warm tub scented with 10 drops of peppermint oil. The warm water will relax your muscles, while the peppermint oil will naturally soothe your nerves — a combo that can ease muscle cramping 25 percent more effectively than over-the-counter painkillers, and cut the frequency of future flare-ups in half, says Stengler.

Give your back some TLC with grapes

Got an achy back? Grapes could be the ticket to a speedy recovery. Recent studies at Ohio State University suggest eating a heaping cup of grapes daily can relax tight blood vessels, significantly improving blood flow to damaged back tissues (and often within three hours of enjoying the first bowl). That’s great news because your back’s vertebrae and shock-absorbing discs are completely dependent on nearby blood vessels to bring them healing nutrients and oxygen, so improving blood flow is essential for healing damaged back tissue, says Stengler.


Wash away pain injuries with water

Whether it’s your feet, your knees or your shoulders that are throbbing, experts at New York ’s Manhattan College , say you could kick-start your recovery in one week just by drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Why? Experts say water dilutes, and then helps flush out, histamine, a pain-triggering compound produced by injured tissues. “Plus water is a key building block of the cartilage that cushions the ends of your bones, your joints’ lubricating fluid, and the soft discs in your spine,” adds Susan M. Kleiner, Ph.D., author of the book, The Good Mood Diet. “And when these tissues are well-hydrated, they can move and glide over each other without causing pain.” One caveat: Be sure to measure your drinking glasses to find out how large they really are before you start sipping, she says. Today’s juice glasses often hold more than 12 ounces, which means five servings could be enough to meet your daily goal.


Heal sinus problems with horseradish

Latest studies show sinusitis is the nation’s number one chronic health problem. And this condition doesn’t just spur congestion and facial pain, it also makes sufferers six times more likely to feel achy all-over. Horseradish to the rescue! According to German researchers, this eye-watering condiment naturally revs up blood flow to the sinus cavities, helping to open and drain clogged sinuses and heal sinus infections more quickly than decongestant sprays do. The study-recommended dose: One teaspoon twice daily (either on its own, or used as a sandwich or meat topping) until symptoms clear.

Beat bladder infections with blueberries

Eating 1 cup of blueberries daily, whether you opt for them fresh, frozen or in juice form, can cut your risk of a urinary tract infection (UTIs) by 60 percent, according to researchers at New Jersey’s Rutgers University. That’s because blueberries are loaded with tannins, plant compounds that wrap around problem-causing bacteria in the bladder, so they can’t get a toehold and create an infection, explains Amy Howell, Ph.D. a scientist at Rutgers University .

Heal mouth sores with honey

Dab painful canker and cold sores with unpasteurized honey four times daily until these skin woes disappear, and they’ll heal 43 percent faster than if you use a prescription cream, say researchers at the Dubai Specialized Medical Center in the United Arab Emirates . Raw honey’s natural enzymes zap inflammation, destroy invading viruses and speed the healing of damaged tissues, say the study authors.

Fight breast pain with flax

In one recent study, adding 3 tablespoons of ground flax to their daily diet eased breast soreness for one in three women within 12 weeks. Scientists credit flax’s phytoestrogens, natural plant compounds that prevent the estrogen spikes that can trigger breast pain. More good news: You don’t have to be a master baker to sneak this healthy seed into your diet. Just sprinkle ground flax on oatmeal, yogurt, applesauce or add it to smoothies and veggie dips.

Cure migraines with coffee

Prone to migraines? Try muscling-up your painkiller with a coffee chaser. Whatever over-the-counter pain med you prefer, researchers at the National Headache Foundation say washing it down with a strong 12- ounce cup of coffee will boost the effectiveness of your medication by 40 percent or more. Experts say caffeine stimulates the stomach lining to absorb painkillers more quickly and more effectively.


Tame leg cramps with tomato juice

At least one in five people regularly struggle with leg cramps. The culprit? Potassium deficiencies, which occur when this mineral is flushed out by diuretics, caffeinated beverages or heavy perspiration during exercise. But sip 10 ounces of potassium-rich tomato juice daily and you’ll not only speed your recovery, you’ll reduce your risk of painful cramp flare-ups in as little as 10 days, say UCLA researchers.

Menopause – What Every Woman Should Know

Most of this article comes from Andrew Jones, M.D at the Women’s Health Institute of Texas. I’ve copied and pasted some of his article here mainly because I’m not an expert and Dr. Jones says it better than I ever could. The italicized parts were written by Dr. Jones; my comments are not italicized.

What is menopause? The word “menopause” literally means “cessation of the monthly cycle.” It’s derived from the Greek words “meno” (month) and “pause” (cessation). Brought about by declining sex hormones, you’ve officially reached menopause after your last monthly cycle ends.

Men and women both go through hormone declines. As noted, in women this is called menopause. In men, it’s called andropause. Men and women each have their own recognizable symptoms, and both are easily treatable and reversible.

The problem with treating these conditions lies in the bungling manner in which mainstream medicine handles the therapies, and its failure to recognize safe and completely natural treatments. This has resulted in massive confusion in the media – resulting in skepticism by the general public of any treatment method – whether mainstream or natural.

Read the whole story at the menopause website:

In the natural course of human life, hormone production of all types peaks at the age of 25 in both men and women.

Hot flashes and night sweats can be major problems, extensively interfering with a woman’s life and the lives of those around her. She is intensely uncomfortable, and her responses to these distresses affect her loved ones as well. For me, hot flashes have been the worst! If you know me then you know I joke that the symptoms make me either suicidal or homicidal…and sometimes I’m NOT joking.

What if you have had a hysterectomy? Do you still need progesterone?

Yes. Doctors continue to get this wrong. They were taught the wrong approach and continue to espouse bad advice.

Every one of your trillion or so cells has receptors for all hormones, including estrogen and progesterone. This means that your skin, brain, finger nails, heart, and eyeballs have progesterone receptors, too.

Just because your uterus has been removed does not mean that every other organ in your body should be forgotten. When you take estrogen you “oppose” it with progesterone regardless of whether you have a hysterectomy or not.

Having said that, it is recommend that you take a progesterone (bio-identical) with your estrogen supplementation. Why? To keep your estrogen from being “unopposed”. You don’t want to create too much of an imbalance with estrogen with progesterone.

When the production of progesterone falls off for any reason, a woman can become “estrogen dominant” – a term popularized by Dr. Jonathon Lee. Dr. Lee proposed that estrogen dominance was responsible for many chronic health problems now seen in women.

These estrogen dominant health problems now include migraine headaches, PMS, depression, loss of libido, weight gain, water retention, uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, heart disease, strokes, mental decline, blood clots and increased risk of gynecological cancers.

Dr. Lee passed away in 2003, but prior to that he was a keynote speaker on the subject and had many case studies, which proved the hormone balance of using bio-identical progesterone cream in hormone replacement therapy.

In closing, I suggest doing your own research to find what works for you and find a doctor in your area who specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. Your life after 50 and beyond doesn’t have to be miserable.  In fact, I’m counting on them being the best years of my life!

Biology Test

This is just too cute not to share. Received via email from a dear friend.

Students in an advanced Biology class were taking their mid-term test.

The last question was, “Name seven advantages of mother’s milk,” worth 70 points or none at all.

One student, in particular, was hard put to think of seven advantages.
He wrote:

1.) It is perfect formula for the child.

2.) It provides immunity against several diseases.

3.) It is always the right temperature.

4.) It is inexpensive.

5.) It bonds the child to mother, and vice versa.

6.) It is always available as needed.

And then, the student was stuck. Finally, in desperation, just before
the bell rang indicating the end of the test, he wrote:

7.) It comes in 2 attractive re-usable containers. 

He got an A +

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