Monday, February 20, 2006

Chlorine In Your Tap Water

I found the article below on a forum, and would like to share it with you. I've never liked the taste of tap water, and I've been aware of the unhealthy nature of drinking water with chlorine in it, so we drink bottled mineral water. I wish I could drink Pi-water, but it is not available in Spain where we currently live. Another day I'll post more info about that one, it is really great. Enjoy the article:

Would you drink a cup of pesticides? What about a cup of chemical water? All your aquarium fish will die within a matter of minutes if you add tap water to your fish tank without also adding a de-chlorinator to remove the chlorine. Doesn't that tell you something about the danger of drinking chlorine? Chlorine in tap water results in cancer and many other diseases, according to researchers

According to recent research in Europe, pregnant women in their first trimester who drink five or more glasses of chlorinated tap water a day may be at a much higher risk of miscarriage than women who drink non-chlorinated water.

Concerned that chlorine may cause spina bifida and stillbirths, the British government has ordered an independent study on chlorine-treated drinking water.
Scientists from Imperial College, London University, are interested in this new research from doctors in Norway, Canada and the United States reporting higher levels of birth defects in areas where chlorine is used, compared with drinking water treated by alternative methods.

John Fawell, a leading specialist on water quality and an independent industry consultant, says: "The people who have done this work in Norway and in the United States are reputable researchers and the government and water companies have commissioned their own research from London University. All of Britain's and the United State's water companies chlorinate their public water supplies.
The only people who use non-chlorinated water are those with their own water wells.

A Norwegian study of 141,000 births over a three-year period found a fourteen percent increased risk of birth defects in areas with chlorinated water. Scientists have already found an association between chlorine and an
increased risk of bowel, kidney and bladder cancer, but it is the first time that a link has been verified with higher levels of spina bifida.

Dr. Per Magnus, the research scientist who carried out the Norwegian study, states: "This is an important finding because we know there are chemicals released by the action of chlorine on organic particles at treatment works. We
have observed mutations in these chemicals that seem to tie up with mutations that are found in babies. We were in a unique position in Norway to make these observations because in some areas our water comes from the mountains
and doesn't require cleaning with chlorine."

The Norwegian government has ordered more research be done. Concerned families have begun filtering their tap water. A popular method is to place sachets of coral sand, dredged from Norwegian fjords, into water before it is consumed,
removing all traces of chlorine in tap water after fifteen minutes.

In Canada at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, researchers found that high levels of trihalomethanes, a by-product of chlorine in drinking water, significantly increased the risk of stillbirth.

Bladder cancer has been linked to chlorinated drinking water in an average of ten out of eleven studies. One of the studies in Ontario, conducted with funding from Health Canada, found that fourteen to sixteen percent of bladder
cancers in Ontario showed a direct correlation to drinking water containing high levels of chlorine by-products. Chlorinated water has been linked to colon and rectal cancers in the studies, but the occurrences were not as common as those for bladder cancer.

Solutions? Dr. John Marshall, of the Pure Water Association, an American consumer group campaigning for safer drinking water, states: "It shows we should be paying more attention to the chemicals we put in our drinking water and should be looking for other alternatives to chlorination. A number of safe, non-toxic options exist, such as treating water with ozone gas or ultra violet

For now, investigate the purest "spring" water sources available in your region of the country. Keep a water jug close by and constantly full, sipping on "pure" water all day long. Use it for your coffee or tea, and teach
your children the difference between pure water sources and chemically altered water. Investigate the safety of the piping in your home, and add a water filter to the house tap if possible. Place filters on icemakers, and don't drink from the garden hose. If you have access to a water well, have it tested for heavy metals, and place a filter on that tap, if necessary.

Pure water is a human being's primary survival mechanism. Don't take the importance of natural water lightly.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Essential Nutrients Missing From Your Diet

There are several essential nutrients missing from the diets most people eat. Replacing them with vitamin supplements doesn't make up for the synergistic effects of nutrients found in food.


Fiber is the indigestible part of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Whole grains and cereal fiber can lower your heart disease risk by 30%. To increase the fiber in your diet to the recommended 14g for every 1,000 calories eaten, have a 1/2 cup serving of Fiber One cereal and add more beans to your diet with lentil soup. Use whole grain bread and add some fruit and vegetables to your meals.

Magnesium and Potassium

Magnesium and potassium are linked to blood pressure control, protection from osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes and stroke. To add magnesium, have a half-cup of bran and cooked spinach daily. For potassium, eat sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans and bananas.


Calcium provides the raw material for building your teeth and bones. It prevents bone-thinning osteoporosis, contributes to healthy blood pressure, and can reduce the risk of colon cancer. To have the right amount in your diet, drink three glasses of low-fat or fat-free milk every day, or have eight ounces of fat-free yoghurt and 2-3 ounces of low-fat cheese each day.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A cares for and maintains our eyes, the linings of the respiratory, intestinal and urinary tracts, and the quality of our skin. To add more vitamin A to your diet, add darkly-pigmented foods to your daily diet. These include carrots, spinach, kale, winter squash, and a medium baked sweet potato. They do not include lettuce and french fries.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is necessary for our body to create collagen, a glue that holds our skin, bones, blood vessels and skin together. It also helps to make brain chemicals, neutralize damaging free radicals, and metabolize cholesterol. Vitamin C may also help the heart and reduce arthritis and diabetes. To add vitamin C to your diet, simply add a glass of orange juice or an orange every day. Other helpful foods with vitamin C are kiwifruit, cantaloupe, Brussels sprouts, strawberries, red or green bell peppers, and broccoli.

Vitamin E

Sufficient vitamin E also neutralizes free radicals to protect cells from damage, plays a role in the immune system, can help prevent the common cold, and can lower the risk of Parkinson's disease. Foods healthy in vitamin E include almonds, sunflower kernels, and sunflower oil in salad dressings, which helps you gain the nutrients from the vegetables and carry the vitamin E into the bloodstream.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Rooibos Tea - The Healthy Drink

Rooibos or Red Bush Tea as it is also known is not a true tea but an herb which is indigenous to the Cederburg area of South Africa. Due to its widely publicized health benefits it has grown into a billion dollar export industry since the mid twentieth century.

The tea has no caffeine and only half the tannin of ordinary tea. Apart from being refreshing to drink, in place of ordinary tea and coffee, it has the advantage of containing minerals and powerful antioxidants. Having no oxalic acid it also does not irritate the kidneys.

The Japanese scientists, who did studies in the 1960's, discovered Rooibos contains a powerful antioxidant similar to SOD which is thought to retard aging and quercetin which is believed to have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Besides that Rooibos is also found to contain aspalathin which counteracts the atherosclerotic processes that result in heart disease. Due to this the Japanese promote it as an Anti-Aging Tea and import large quantities of the tea.

Research was done elsewhere where the French found that hair lotion containing Rooibos promoted faster hair growth with improvement in the hair condition and caused no allergic reactions. In South Africa research found that the polyphenol content in Rooibos is similar to green tea. Polyphenols help protect the body from damage by free radicals.

Rooibos has been found to be helpful with general health problems. It relieves digestive problems, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and constipation. Having a calming effect it helps with irritability, insomnia and depression.

Both pre natal and breast feeding Mothers supplement their intake of manganese, calcium and fluoride drinking Rooibos and therefore promote strong teeth and healthy bones in their babies. Rooibos, when applied at every nappy change, relieves nappy rash and when drunk by the baby relieves colic.

Preparation of Rooibos is the same as ordinary tea. First warm the tea pot with boiling water and then place one teaspoon of tea or tea bag per cup required in the pot. Pour over boiling water and let infuse for a few minutes. The longer it is left before drinking the more antioxidants the tea will contain. Can be served plain, with hot or cold milk or lemon. It can be lightly sweetened with honey or sugar or just left without any sweetening. Rooibos also makes a wonderful ice tea.

In South Africa Rooibos Tea is often used in day to day cooking as not only does it add important minerals and antioxidants to the diet and help digestion, it also enhances the flavors of the cooking. Just replace the water in a recipe with the tea.

Next time you are in your health shop or in a department store stocking specialty teas, why not pick up a packet and try it out?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Natural Remedies For Constipation

The following paragraphs summarize the work of health experts who are completely familiar with all the aspects of health. Heed their advice to avoid any health surprises.

There are two basic types of constipation - organic and functional. Organic constipation is a result of some physical change, obstruction, or distortion in your colon. This type of constipation needs immediate attention from a doctor.

This article only covers Functional Constipation. This type of constipation is a result of not following a proper diet, drinking enough fluids, having good emotional health and not having a good lifestyle - a lifestyle that promotes good movement of digested foods through the intestines and colon.

Even though there are many definitions for constipation, constipation is simply a condition where the fecal matter traveling through your colon remains too long in your colon before traveling out the rectum.

Constipation is a symptom and not a disease. It is a condition that tells you your colon is not working properly or that you have some underlying gastrointestinal disease you are not aware of.

Constipation may be a warning that your diet and lifestyle are causing an imbalance in your body. It is a symptom that many people ignore or that many people try to eliminate by using unnatural and oftentimes dangerous drugstore laxatives.

Drugstore laxatives should be avoided when you have constipation. They can become habit-forming, damage your colon, and have nasty side effects if used too long. They sometimes have the tendency of creating the problem you are trying relieve - constipation.

Sometimes the most important aspects of a subject are not immediately obvious. Keep reading to get the complete picture.

To keep your body in chemical balance, it is important to use only natural remedies for constipation. Natural remedies such as herbs and foods bring into the colon those nutrients that can build up your colon and reactivate your natural peristaltic action.

As you use natural remedies, keep in mind that one particular remedy may not work for you. You may have to try a different remedy or increase dosage of the one you are using. If you supply what your body needs by using a specific remedy, then you will get results from using that remedy.

Experimenting is part of finding out what remedy is best for you. There are many different natural remedies you can choose from. Look on the internet for "natural remedies for constipation" and you will find many listings.

Keep in mind that most remedies should be used only for a short time, two to four days and not longer than 2 weeks. They should only be used for the time needed to clear your constipation. This might be just 4 or 5 times or sometimes it may take several weeks.

There are some herbal combinations that can be used for longer duration. These combinations can improve your colon's health and get your bowels moving again.

If you have constipation, the natural balance and function of your colon has been affected. But, natural remedies can bring you colon back into balance.

The best remedy we have found so far, and it can be taken every day without any side effects, is noni juice. And it will not only help you with constipation :)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Nutrasweet and Brain Tumors

Article by David Lear

Nutrasweet and Brain Tumors: Class Action Suit Ready To Launch
Had any Nutrasweet lately? If you have, you might like to know that a class action lawsuit is in the works against Nutrasweet manufacturer G.D. Searle.
A consumer rights advocacy group calling itself “Mission Possible” is leading this potentially explosive litigation. In their lawsuit they plan to expose evidence pointing to the fact that aspartame - also known as “Nutrasweet” - has been found to be a causative agent for brain tumors and that the FDA has known of these risks for years. Mission Possible has amassed an impressive array of studies and reports proving that aspartame is not a bonafide food additive but a neurotoxic drug that spins off the deadly brain tumor agent: DKP (diketopiperazine).
The founder of Mission Possible, Betty Martini, explained the situation as follows: “Neither congressional hearings nor repeated petitions calling for a ban have stopped aspartame manufacturers from exposing the public to this sweet poison. In fact, aspartame producers are reporting increased sales and boasting the market place addition of Neotame, a new aspartame product.”
It is a matter of documented record that for sixteen years, the FDA tried to resist pressure to approve aspartame because of various studies that linked the artificial sweetener to a variety of adverse reactions. Among those reactions were brain tumors that occurred in animals that ingested aspartame.
In 1977, FDA investigator Jerome Bressler discovered that Searle had intentionally destroyed evidence of a large number of laboratory animals that had died from ingesting aspartame. Bressler later met with doctors H.J. Roberts, MD and Russell Blaylock, MD to brief them on his findings.
For quite a long period of time during the initial lab testing, the fate of aspartame was uncertain. The FDA had been resisting approval based on mounting evidence that aspartame was toxic.
Then - enter Donald Rumsfeld (yes, THE Donald Rumsfeld). In 1978, the Board of Directors of G.D. Searle recruited Rumsfeld to head up the company as CEO. Three years later, political wheels turned and the FDA reversed its longstanding opposition to aspartame and approved its sale.
Since then, the FDA has received thousands of complaints and has amassed a list of no less than 92 symptoms of aspartame poisoning. This list includes neurological problems, seizures, vision loss, blindness, headaches, cardiovascular problems, and death.
Of all the consumer complaints filed with the FDA each year, a whopping eighty percent of those complaints have to do with adverse reactions to Nutrasweet-related products. Eighty percent!
Fortunately for all of us, Martini has been collecting data about this controversy since 1992. She has tried executive and administrative remedies to have aspartame removed from the market place, but little has come of her efforts.
She is now of the opinion that: “Litigation is the only way to spare consumers from the misery of aspartame poisoning.” Her reasoning is supported by the outcome of recent product liability controversies such as the now famous Vioxx fiasco. In the case of Vioxx, it had become clear to many observers that the FDA wasn't going to be part of the solution - at least not soon. It finally took a well-orchestrated class action lawsuit to get everyone's attention and pressure the agency into taking corrective action.
To back up these allegations about Nutrasweet, there's a large body of evidence in Mission Possible's possession that accurately documents the history of aspartame from its initial discovery to its politically-engineered approval. That a product with so many known health risks continues to be allowed in over 9000 commonly consumed foods, beverages and medical products, is, well, food for some very disturbing thought.
Over the years it has been demonstrated that aspartame is a neurotoxic agent and that it interacts with other drugs and vaccinations in unexpected, harmful ways. For example, in one set of discovered documents, Searle conducted Nutrasweet experiments in six third world countries (1983-1984). During that period, some of the subjects who were given Nutrasweet developed brain tumors and others started to have seizures.
The bottom line is that large numbers of people who were asked to consume Nutrasweet in early Searle studies came down with brain and nervous disorders. The damaging results from these studies were statistically significant and yet, for reasons that are now becoming obvious, the FDA was not advised.
In 1999, an aspartame study was done by Dr. Peter Nunn at King's College in England. Based on the results, Dr. Nunn concluded that: “…it is possible that the aspartame breakdown product may be capable of enhancing the rate of malignant progression of preexisting…tumors in the brain”. These results validated those of famed neuroscientist Dr. John Olney, who had also determined that there was a connection between brain tumors and aspartame.
Currently, about seventy percent of adults and forty percent of children consume aspartame in one form or another. Coincidentally, brain tumors in the United States have been steadily on the rise since the early 1980s when aspartame was approved.
In a powerful video documentary called “Sweet Misery: A Poisoned World”, aspartame investigator Cori Brackett pieces together key interviews with doctors, scientists, attorneys, and FDA investigators. Most troubling is the body of evidence pointing to the fact that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld used his considerable political influence to cause the FDA to approve aspartame, knowingly putting hundreds of millions of people at risk.
So here it is in a nutshell: if you consume any product that contains aspartame (AKA: “Nutrasweet”) you are in fact consuming a poisonous chemical known for its ill-effects on the human body. If you eat or drink products containing Nutrasweet, you're just asking for it. For the sake of your health and for the sake of those who love you and want to see you around for a long time, please stop. Read the label. If it says “Nutrasweet” or “aspartame”, reach for something else.
Please consider forwarding this important health information to your email list.

About The Author:
David Lear is an independent nutrition researcher and free-lance writer. His principal interest is in natural, cutting-edge supplements that improve health and reverse “incurable” illness. For more info, see:

Friday, February 10, 2006

Hooray for Chocolate!

There is great news for chocolate lovers...Chocolate is good for your health! Now, we are not talking here about a candy bar but about real chocolate, the kind that contains at least 71% of real cocoa. Something to remember when selecting chocolate is that the darker it is, the less sugar it contains and the better it is for you.

We are all aware of the emotional benefits of chocolate. By liberating endorphins in the body, chocolate provides us with feelings of comfort and wellbeing, energy and pleasure. Some surveyed women go as far a saying that they would prefer chocolate to sex! No wonder with such a texture, rich color and taste, chocolate is not only an aphrodisiac but also a pleasure for the senses. In addition, chocolate also contains serotonin and caffeine which both provide energy and promote good humor.

Pleasure aside, chocolate also holds beneficial health properties. Chocolate's complex chemical composition offers a variety of substances that the body needs to function properly and to prevent disease.

Chocolate enhances cardiovascular health. Like red wine, the phenols contained in dark chocolate help prevent coronary diseases. The British Medical Journal reports that a daily portion of 100 grams of dark chocolate reduces blood pressure and the occurrence of cardiovascular incidents by 21%. These phenols are also rich in antioxidants and they help neutralize free radicals produced by the body or absorbed thought cigarette smoke and other sources of pollution. Cocoa butter is already used in creams to heal scars and burns. No wonder pharmaceutical companies are now exploring the possibility of researching with chocolate to develop new medication to counter cancers and osteoporosis.

Chocolate does contain fats but these are unsaturated and contribute to reducing bad cholesterol and to increasing good cholesterol. Chocolate is also an excellent source of magnesium. Should it contain nuts, chocolate can become a great source phosphor and vegetable iron.

One of the many benefits of living in our time is that there is a plethora of organic and fair trade chocolates that are readily available to us in natural health food and grocery stores. The benefits of purchasing these types of chocolates abound but the most obvious are that they do not contain organochlorine pesticides that are usually used to treat traditional cocoa crops and that are harmful not only to the consumer but also to the field worker. Furthermore, purchasing fair trade chocolate ensures that the (healthier) worker can benefit from improved working and living conditions by receiving a fair salary for their work.

Like with everything however, chocolate must be consumed in good measure. Chocolate increases caloric intake and energy level. This can be good, provided these calories are burned. We might even change the saying to "Some chocolate everyday keeps the doctor away!"

Cranberries - Simple Protection from Cancer and Heart Disease

When is the last time you ate cranberries? Was it with a turkey dinner? With all the research pointing to the amazing health benefits of this simple berry, shouldn't cranberries be more than a once a year side dish?

How Cranberries Are Proving Their Strength:

The Cranberry Institute provides the results of studies and research that highlight the fantastic health benefits of the humble cranberry.

Cranberries have been used for thousands of years by Native Americans as a source of food and to extend the shelf life of dried meats. Colonial sailors also made use of the natural preservatives in cranberries (from benzoic acid) which allowed them to last through long sea voyages, and the high Vitamin C content which prevented scurvy.

Perhaps they were on to something since new research suggests that cranberries may prevent the adhesion of the e.coli bacteria - a common cause of food poisoning from contaminated meat - to the urinary tract. This 'anti-adhesion' effect may also help in preventing bacteria from causing stomach ulcers and gum disease.

Vitamin C is also a known powerful antioxidant and is being widely accepted as a means of combating the effects of free radicals in the body which can cause cancer, heart disease and other health problems. Antioxidants from cranberries are being researched for prevention of kidney stones and lowering cholesterol.

While many fruits contain antioxidants, according to research cranberries have more antioxidants than 19 commonly eaten fruits. With this news it makes sense to include cranberries into a balanced diet throughout the year.

How Can You Include Cranberries Into Your Diet?

Fresh, frozen or dried, cranberries can be eaten anytime of the year.

Adding dried cranberries to baking (such as scones, breads and cookies) is an easy way to enjoy their tart sweetness. Adding frozen cranberries to smoothies or soups can lend a mild tang to your creations. Fresh cranberries make excellent garnishes and dressings.

The easiest way to add cranberries to your diet is to drink cranberry juice. While sweetened juices have less antioxidants than unsweetened, the benefits of adding cranberry to your diet are still there. If you add unsweetened juice to sparkling water you can enjoy a refreshing spritzer.

While studies are still being conducted on the health benefits of cranberries there is no doubt that increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables in your diet will lead to a healthier body. Choosing to use a variety of berries, citrus and other fruits will ensure you are giving your body everything it needs for optimum health.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Insomnia: Put It to Rest

Are you unsatisfied with your quality of sleep? Do you feel tired and un-refreshed on waking in the morning? Do you stay that way throughout the day or lack energy and have difficulty concentrating?

The World Health Organization says that one-third of the world's population experience insomnia at some stage in their lives, with approximately five per cent needing medical treatment.

To avoid medical intervention, try these natural techniques and remedies, and help put your insomnia to rest.

Relax before going to bed. Do some deep breathing, listen to soft music. According to Dr. Timothy Sharp from Sydney University, avoiding caffeine, alcohol and nicotine will also help.

Bedtime routine
Develop a bedtime routine so your body knows it's time to go to sleep. By winding down your physical activities and following a set routine prior to bed, your body will start to associate some of these actions with going to sleep. Start with a cup of hot milk. Milk contains a protein called tryptophan, which helps to promote sleep. This can be substituted with chamomile tea, which is known to calm the nerves. Follow this with a hot bath or shower, the heat will help to lower your internal body temperature, again telling your body to go to sleep.

For sleeping only
Make your bedroom your sleep-room. Turn the lights off as soon as you get into bed. Don't read, eat or watch television in your bedroom, or do any activity that is not sleep related. Make sure the room is dark and cozy; include extra pillows on the bed and even some teddy bears. Make your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary, a room that you will instantly feel secure and comfortable in, and best of all, a room that you will crave to sleep in.

Clear your mind
Clear your mind of the day's activities or things that are due to be done tomorrow. Write a 'to do' list for the following day. Organize uniforms, lunches, etc ... the night before. Make arrangements earlier than usual so you don't worry.

Mind demons
Kill all the mind demons from yesteryear. Many of us have issues or events from the past that may still affect our daily lives. These issues can also mess up our sleeping patterns. Whatever these issues may be, now might be a good time to finally set things straight; forgive that person, give back that item, start talking to that family member again (or even make that appointment to see a psychologist if necessary).

Give time back to yourself
Allow time to sleep. Instead of trying to cram as much as you can into the day then find you haven't left much time to sleep, try to find short cuts or solutions to give a little time back to yourself. Make a double casserole and freeze half for another night. Spot clean the house as you go. Have more barbecues, using paper plates (less washing-up). Offer to pay the kids, or the neighbour's kids, to do some extra chores.

Check your diet
A balanced diet helps to make a balanced mind. If you're lacking in essential vitamins and minerals your body cannot operate at its best. Throw out the junk food and fizzy drinks, and make a new start to good physical and mental health. Add in some regular exercise and watch your body respond with some improved sleep.

Get up
Don't lie in bed if you can't sleep. If you don't feel sleepy enough to drift off, your mind will probably anguish over the fact that you can't get to sleep. This will only make it harder to get to sleep each time you experience this. Get out of bed and go into a different room. Do something to distract yourself until you do start to feel sleepy and then try to sleep again later.

Medications to watch
Medications may interfere with your sleep. It has been shown that some of the medications below may cause sleep problems. Check with your doctor if you are experiencing insomnia and are also taking any of these medications - amphetamines (diet pills), antidepressants, beta blockers (heart and blood pressure), cimetidine (ulcers), clonidine (blood pressure), cortisone, diuretics (fluid), levodopa (parkinsons), methyldopa (blood pressure) and ventolin (asthma).

Above all, de-stress. Sharp says that stress is the worst cause of insomnia. Use some of the techniques above and try to remove as much stress out of your life as possible, and finally put your insomnia to rest.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Official Google Video Blog: Highlight: LIME

I just discovered Google Video, and their Video Blog. This post is something
that will interest you:
Official Google Video Blog: Highlight: LIME

Friday, February 03, 2006

Natural Winter Skin Care

Winter is a wonderful time of the year - holidays, warm fires, crisp air, and for many, fresh fallen snow.

But the colder temperature and lower humidity affect the condition of your skin and hair.

OK, let's see some suggestions for protecting your skin and hair:

1. The skin on your hands is thinner than in other areas of your body, and it needs extra protection and care. Make sure that after washing your hands you dry thoroughly and use a good hand cream. Wearing gloves outdoors will also protect them and keep your skin soft. I always have a small tube of hand cream in my bag, and another in the car.

2. Elbows, knees, and feet are completely covered in the winter months, and usually forgotten until spring. Clothing and boots can cause friction that creates a buildup of thick skin. A good scrubbing with a natural lofah sponge, followed by a rich cream will remove any problems here.

3. Sun protection is very important in the winter months, just as it is year-round. Many people forget to use sunscreen, but sun reflects off snow and ice, and you can actually get double the sun exposure.

4. Protect your lips with a good lip balm, and avoid licking your lips as much as possible, since that will cause your lips to crack and chap. If you get a bad case of chapped or cracked lips, use some Vaseline Intensive care before bed, and you should be good to go in the morning.

5. Winter winds and low humidity are also hard on your hair, and using a rich, deep hair conditioner is important to restore moisture to your hair.

6. One way to keep your skin in great shape is getting a massage. You don't have to go to a specialist for this: just get out your favorite massage oil and ask a family member to give you a quick massage. Then relax and enjoy the experience and the benefits.

Here are some of the best natural beauty ingredients available for winter skin and hair care:

Baking Soda - can be used as a deodorant, bath powder, or tooth whitener. Mixed with water, it helps remove residues from hairstyling products, making your hair clean and shiny.

Beans - Finely ground until powder-like, beans make a great cleanser for your face and body: just add the powdered beans to your favorite cleanser and massage into damp skin. Dry beans are rich in protein, potassium and iron, all good ingredients for healthy skin. Another great alternative is ground avocado stone.

Citrus Fruit - contains citric acid, which kills bacteria on the skin. Also, the fresh scent is a known energizer. Rinse your hair with lemon juice mixed with water when you hair is dull and tired. Another great idea I've just read in a magazine: mix a couple of drops of grapefruit juice with your shampoo when you wash your hair.

Maple Syrup - can be used as a facial mask, or hair conditioner, and it's one of the best natural moisturizers. For best results, make sure you look for syrup marked 100% pure.

Tea Tree Oil - this oil has very powerful antibacterial and antiviral qualities, and it's easily absorbed by the skin. I usually mix some drops in my hydrating cream.

Enjoy your beautiful skin and hair this winter!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

What is Ayurveda?

You'll find an earlier post about Ayurvedic Herbs. I'd like to recommend you a great site offering Ayurvedic products.
Let's see firs what Ayurveda means. Ayurveda is a Sanskrit word that means "knowledge, or science of life".It began in India almost 5,000 years ago. Ayurveda is "knowledge of healthy living" that goes far beyond merely treating illness. It is part of a complex philosophical and holistic system rooted in the Vedas - the ancient, legendary religious texts of the Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia, or arsenal of herbal supplements, includes over 600 plants and 8,000 botanical recipes for combining healing plants.

Ayurveda may be the oldest organized holistic healing system in the world. In this elaborate and sophisticated approach to health care, herbal treatments, massage, dietary adjustment, physical exercise, climate and sunshine, yoga, and meditation are delicately combined to harmonize your internal and external states.

Today, as news about India's ancient knowledge rapidly spreads, Ayurveda has garnered praise throughout the Western world. Long before most American consumers knew about Ayurveda, Western pharmaceutical researchers had already discovered the virtues of India's legendary herbal supplements.

Read more, and check out some great products here:
Balance Ayurvedic Products