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Why You Should Add Holy Basil To Your Diet

By on Jan 25, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The list of benefits found in ‘holy basil’ seem to be endless according to this article. This herb not only bring anti-aging, detoxifying and immunizing properties, but it is also used in Ayurveda! The article below dives into all of the benefits you feel if you consume holy basil. Read more to understand the benefits! (Natural News) Holy basil, also known as tulsi, Ocimum sanctum or Ocimum tenuiflorum, is a sacred plant to many Hindus, and is used in a wide variety of religious contexts. It is also an important herb in Ayurveda, or traditional Indian medicine. Although the plant has been used in Ayurveda for centuries, Western herbalists and scientists are only just beginning to understand the powerful benefits of this anti-aging, detoxifying herb. In Ayurveda, holy basil is used to support immunity, aid detoxification, modulate stress and slow aging. In Western herbalism, the plant is known as an “adaptogen,” or a plant that increases the body’s resistance to a wide variety of environmental stressors, rather than having only a few specific effects (such as lowering blood pressure, for example). Adaptogens are so named because they adapt their function to the needs of the body, thus helping maintain balance. (Learn more about natural medicine for preventing disease at Prevention.news) Soothing stress, slowing aging According to Ayurveda, holy basil can be used to boost mood, stamina and endurance by filling the body with a calming energy. It can help speed up slowed digestion or free up suppressed emotions. Studies suggest that some of holy basil’s benefits come from its ability to help the body regulate its levels of cortisol, which is sometimes called the “stress hormone.” Released during times of stress, cortisol activates many components of the sympathetic nervous system, also known as the “fight or flight” response. While this response is important in times of crisis, it is hard on the body over time, and cortisol has been linked to many of the negative health effects of chronic stress. Holy basil’s effects on cortisol may partially explain its traditional use in Ayurveda to soothe emotional and digestive upset. Cortisol can also suppress the immune system, a condition holy basil is also used to treat. The herb’s much-lauded anti-aging effects may come in part from its high antioxidant activity. Researchers believe that many of the effects of aging come from cell and DNA damage caused by chemicals known as free radicals; antioxidants help remove free radicals from the body. Science beginning to explore effects Holy basil’s antioxidant effects likely make it a powerful cancer preventive, as cancer is one of the many health conditions linked to free radical damage. A 2007 study from the Journal of Medicinal Food further suggests that holy basil may also exhibit direct anticancer activity. In that study, cancer was induced in rats, who were then treated with varying doses of holy basil leaf extract. At concentrations of 300 mg per kg of body weight, the extract reduced cancer cell formation, oxidative damage to proteins and fats, and levels of enzymes responsible for producing further toxic effects in the body. Another study, published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2008, found that holy basil might help reduce the effects of nerve degeneration (neuropathy), a common side effect of injury and many diseases, such as diabetes. Researchers severed sciatic nerves in the paws of rats, then treated them with holy basil extract for ten days. They found that over the course of the treatment, the nerve degeneration was reduced, and nerve sensitivity and motor control increased. Rats treated with holy basil extract also showed decreased oxidative stress and higher levels of calcium and glutathione. (RELATED: Learn about more natural remedies at Remedies.news) Holy basil may also be good for the skin, perhaps due to potent antimicrobial activity. A study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science in 2006 compared the effects of holy basil, sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum, the type commonly used in Western cooking), and hoary basil (Ocimum americanum) on bacteria believed to be the cause of acne. The researchers found that both holy basil and sweet basil showed significant antimicrobial effects. Sources: YogaJournal.com NaturalNews.com § (Natural News) One in five U.S. adults suffer from arthritis, a term used to describe inflammation of the joints. Arthritis, which can be caused by a variety of widely differing health conditions, is the number one cause of disability in the United States. Because there is no cure for arthritis, the condition is typically treated with over-the-counter or prescription painkillers and anti-inflammatories (underlying health conditions, such as autoimmune disorders, may have their own treatments). But as with all pharmaceuticals, these drugs can carry side effects or even serious risks, particularly if used long term. But, there is a natural alternative. If you suffer from stiff, inflamed or painful joints, try the following essential oil treatments, and see if they are able to offer you relief. (Also, stay informed about natural remedies at Remedies.news) Which oils to use Many essential oils have overlapping effects, so you can either choose the oil that you best like the smell of (or that is least expensive or easiest to find), or you can combine multiple oils to boost their effectiveness, or both. Eucalyptus oil is a natural topical analgesic, which is why it is included as an ingredient in many medicated chest and muscle rubs. Part of its painkilling power may come from its...

Ayurveda in the New Year.

By on Dec 29, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Is your resolution in the new year going to be to practice ayurveda more? If so, you can use this article as your starting guide! It explains and teaches a different meditation for each of the three doshas. Meditation itself has many benefits so if you tie that into ayurveda you will be even better off! Learn about the meditations in the article below. The key to true mind-body balance? Understanding your body’s natural needs—how to eat, cook, cleanse, and heal—through each season. In our upcoming online course Ayurveda 101, Larissa Hall Carlson, former dean of Kripalu’s School of Ayurveda, and John Douillard, founder of LifeSpa.com and best-selling author, demystify yoga’s elemental sister science. Sign up now! The new year is the perfect time for a fresh start—and meditation can help, no matter what your dosha is, says Larissa Hall Carlson, former dean of Kripalu’s School of Ayurveda and co-leader of Yoga Journal’s new course, Ayurveda 101. “Meditation is important for all the doshas, all year long, but it’s especially important this time of year as we re-focus goals and set intentions,” she says. While the following three meditations can be done by anyone at any time of year, each one is intended to balance the qualities of each dosha, whether you’re looking to balance your personal constitution or the qualities of the current season. Here, Carlson shares her favorite New Year’s meditation for each dosha. Vata: Japa Meditation Establishing rhythm is one of the most effective ways to stabilize an overactive or scattered mind. When the light, subtle, and mobile qualities of vata dosha increase excessively during the cold and windy winter season, excess vata often manifests as mental restlessness, stress, fear, or anxiety. Luckily, the rhythmic repetition of mantra during japa meditation slows down a racing mind and enhances focus. I like using mala beads to track the mantra repetitions, as mala beads have some weight, and that tangible anchor is good for grounding excess vata and staying on point. Don’t have mala beads? Not to worry–just repeat the mantra for several minutes, until you feel quiet and relaxed. How to Practice Japa Meditation First, choose a mantra that resonates with you. The following mantra to settle the mind is especially popular for yogis in the new year: Yogash Chitta Vritti Nirodhah (Yoga ceases the fluctuations of the mind). Grab your favorite set of mala beads and sit down comfortably. Cover up with a warm blanket. Take the mala into the right hand, draping it over the middle, ring, and pinky fingers (relax the pointer finger—it doesn’t touch the mala). Use the thumb to move the mala beads, one bead at a time. Close your eyes. Repeat the mantra once for each bead, using a soothing rhythm. Do this 108 times, or until the mind gets focused and steady. Kapha: Walking Meditation Ensuring good movement and circulation is important for preventing the heavy, thick, wet qualities of kapha dosha from accumulating during the rainy spring kapha season (or if you’ve been eating too many holiday treats this winter!) and manifesting as mental sluggishness, lethargy, foggy thinking, and lack of motivation. You can reduce excess kapha by using meditation techniques that have sharpness, lightness, and mobility. One of my favorite meditations for kapha is walking mediation, as it keeps the body moving while enhancing focus and mental clarity. Clear out the cobwebs and get moving this new year! How to Practice Walking Meditation Carve out 15–20 minutes. If it’s cold outside, look for a quiet place to do an indoor walking meditation, like a long hallway, a library, a yoga studio before class, or even circling laps through any room in your home. Take off your shoes and socks, if possible. Stand in Mountain Pose and take a few breaths, to notice how you’re feeling and set your intention for the practice (perhaps around taking new steps in your life in the new year). With natural breath and a downward gaze, start walking slowly and rhythmically, either back and forth in a long line or repeating a circular path. As you walk, begin using these three phrases: “lift, move, place.” Anchor your mind’s attention on the sole of each foot as you travel, noting the sensation as the foot “lifts” off the floor, “moves” through space, and is “placed” back on the floor. Pitta: Meditation on the Breath Peace and quiet—that’s what you need when the hot, sharp qualities of pitta increase excessively in the mind during the hot, humid summer season (or from work stress or chaotic holiday to-do lists). When excess pitta manifests as mental irritation, frustration, impatience, or anger, then a cooling, refreshing, quieting, spacious meditation technique is in order. Meditation on the breath redirects the sharp focus of pitta to rest on the refreshingly quiet and subtle anchor of the breath. Letting go of typical planning, organizing, and list-making activities that often consume pitta’s attention and making time for true quiet can reset the mind into a tranquil state, allowing you to calmly tackle the new year. How to Meditate on the Breath Find a comfortable seat where you won’t be interrupted or distracted. Sit up tall with your hands on your lap and your palms turned up. Close your eyes. Soften the muscles in your face and jaw. Anchor your mind’s attention on the belly. Without controlling the breath, simply observe the natural movement and sensation of breath at the belly....

If You Get a Sinus Infection…

By on Dec 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Sinus infections are not fun. You can take brand after brand of medicine and only feel the slightest bit of relief. Luckily there are natural alternatives to medicine that can help you feel better. You can read the suggestions in the article below and try them yourself if you get sick. We hope you feel better sooner rather than later! (NaturalNews) Being someone who used to suffer from sinus infections, I can attest to the disruption they cause – the breathing difficulties, the pressure, pain, and congestion. It’s awful, but nothing started to change for me until I mentally got serious about reducing the inflammation and fungus in my body and assisting the function of my mucous membranes and mucus flow. Hydration is essential When the sinus cavities are inefficient at removing pathogens, mold, chemicals, dander, pollen, or dust, then congestion, pressure, and infection can manifest. Sinus cavities become inefficient for many reasons. One of the reasons they become inefficient is because the body is not properly hydrated. Adequate intake of water can help thin the mucus in the sinuses, helping eliminate irritants that get trapped in the cavities and inflame the sinuses. If the sinuses are properly draining, the irritant drains into the throat and is ultimately neutralized in stomach acid. Forcing pathogens beyond mucous membranes retrains the immune system and suppresses the membranes’ ability to respond to future threats Ineffective mucous membranes could also be caused by vaccines and the consistent retraining of how the immune system responds to pathogens. When pathogens are introduced directly into the muscle tissue and into the blood, the mucous membranes and exocrine system glands are bypassed. When multiple vaccines are administered throughout a person’s young life, the mucous membranes go unused to a certain degree. The immune system is retrained in the process. By method, vaccines suppress our body’s natural ability to filter out and eliminate pathogens in real time. This suppression of a vital defense mechanism is an underlying cause to sinus infections and allergies later in life. Systemic inflammation of the tissues renders mucous membranes ineffective Another reason the sinuses become inefficient is due to systemic inflammation of the tissues and the mucous membranes. The mucous membranes are present in cavities throughout the body and they surround internal organs. The mucous membranes are important filters in the nose because they stop pathogens and dirt from entering the body. They also regulate hydration in the tissues and produce mucus when needed. This natural protective mechanism of the human body must be encouraged and strengthened. To reduce inflammation and to speed up the recovery of mucous membranes, one must look to the plant based medicines that do just that. Plant-based substances that restore the function of sinuses and mucous membranes Anti-inflammatory substances that also promote tissue repair can be found in: turmeric root, astaxanthin, ginger root, boswellia, pineapple, and devil’s claw. Plant-based medicines that help make the mucous membranes more effective include: marshmallow root, hyssop, and mullein. These can be combined in a tea. Manual stimulation and massage therapy of the forehead is often necessary to relieve pressure. The massage technique should start around the temples, move across the forehead, and work its way down in-between the eyes. Aromatherapy is important too. Essential oils such as lavender, tea tree, oregano, rosemary, peppermint, and eucalyptus can clear out congestion and knock out pent-up pathogens that are exacerbating the infection. External environment could be overburdening the sinuses The external environment could be constantly taxing the sinuses as well. A house full of mold pet dander, or perfume chemicals could be overwhelming the sinus passages. An effective air filtration system or indoor plants can help tremendously. Steps can be taken to remove these overwhelming irritants from the household environment. Manually cleaning out the sinus cavities with a neti pot is sometimes needed. Add a few grains of cayenne pepper in water and use the solution to irrigate the sinus passages. This will help induce sneezing and remove irritants. To make a saline solution for irrigation purposes, use 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to 16 ounces of warm water. Fungus lifestyle causes reoccurring infections Infections that have reoccurred for a very long time are a sign that the consumption habits of the individual need to be addressed. The internal environment of the human body could be feeding fungal infection in the sinuses. This, along with longstanding inefficiency of the sinus cavities can put the sinuses in a state of chronic infection. The internal environment must be restored so that fungal conditions such as Candida can no longer dominate. This may require the elimination of refined sugars, most red meat and dairy products. To restore this internal environment, plan on consuming powerful anti-fungal compounds found in earthy substances such as black walnut hull, Oregon grape root, wormwood, garlic, onions, honey, apple cider vinegar, and burdock root. The diet should also include more alkaline-forming foods for the gut. Sources: ZeeNews.India.com NaturalNews.com NaturalNews.com Blogs.NaturalNews.com NaturalNews.com Source:...

Stopping Sickness with Ayurveda

By on Nov 28, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Cold and flu season is in full swing. There are a lot of things we have all most likely resorted to doing in the fall and winter to prevent sickness like taking vitamins, getting enough sleep, and getting the flu shot. However, have you ever thought about how ayurveda, a practice we know and love, can help prevent getting a cold or the flu? Read up on the six tips in this article and try them yourself! The key to true mind-body balance? Understanding your body’s natural needs—how to eat, cook, cleanse, and heal—through each season. In our upcoming online course Ayurveda 101, Larissa Carlson, former dean of Kripalu’s School of Ayurveda, and John Douillard, founder of LifeSpa.com and best-selling author, demystify yoga’s elemental sister science. Sign up now—winter session begins Dec. 5th! Cold and flu season is here, but in addition to eating a balancing, seasonal diet, there are many Ayurvedic practices that can help you stay healthy throughout the winter months, says John Douillard, founder of LifeSpa.com and the co-leader of Yoga Journal’s upcoming online course, Ayurveda 101. The best part? Several of these quick and easy techniques can be done in the shower, so they don’t make a big mess. Here are his 6 best tips for avoiding bugs and feeling your best this winter. 1. Make a turmeric paste. Turmeric, which is harvested in the fall for the winter, is an immune-boosting spice. Just take equal parts organic turmeric powder and raw honey and mix it into a paste. At the first hint of a cold, take 1 tsp of the paste every two hours until you’re feeling better. To make the formula more potent, mix 16 parts turmeric to 1 part black pepper and make a paste with equal parts ghee and honey, and you’ve got a pretty amazing cold remedy. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that has many studies showing its immune-boosting properties. Adaptogens help people cope with stress, and since holiday stress can be immune-compromising, [taking Ashwagandha] is a good strategy for staving off colds and flu. Take 500 mg of the whole organic root three times a day after meals when under stress or to prevent winter colds and flu, Douillard recommends. (Editor’s note: consult your doctor before taking any supplements.) 3. Give yourself an Ayurvedic self-massage every day. The skin has millions of sensory neurons on it, so the nervous system is exposed. You can calm and de-stress the nervous system by using your skin as therapeutic access to the nervous system. Self-massage with immunity-boosting oils like sesame oil dampens and calms the nervous system on your skin and allows you to handle stress better, which directly relates to immunity. Plus, the oil helps prevent eczema and rashes, and it’s great for skin health and radiance. Learn how to do abhyanga. 4. Start a neti + nasya routine. Using a neti pot with a saline or saltwater solution cleans out the sinuses, but the saltwater can leave the skin on the dry side. When the skin gets dry, it reacts by producing mucus, which is a breeding ground for bad bacteria. Doing nasya can help. Nasya is a nasal-lubricating technique that involves sniffing herbalized oils in the nose to moisturize the sinuses and thus prevent dryness and any reactive mucus production. Two to four drops sniffed into each nostril 2–3 times a day during the winter works wonders. I recommend doing both—neti should always be followed by nasya—but if you’re going to do one or the other, nasya is the better choice. Learn how to do nasya. 5. Put oil in your ear. Putting a few drops of warm oil in your ear at night—sesame oil, mustard seed oil, or ear oil—lubricates the upper Eustachian tube and the cervical lymph nodes in the neck. Your lymphatic system carries your immune system. If the cervical lymph nodes get dry, you get swollen glands, which means the immune system is stuck in traffic. You want to keep the nodes lubricated so the glands are more effective at getting rid of any bad bacteria that might accumulate. 6. Start oil pulling or swishing. Your mouth is your first line of defense against a cold. Oil pulling or swishing with herbalized oils takes away bad bacteria and boosts good immune-boosting bacteria in your mouth. Learn more about oil pulling. Source:...

A Possible Aid in Asthma Treatment

By on Nov 25, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

It is likely that you know someone who suffers from asthma. If you personally do, you know how uncomfortable you can be during an attack. Besides inhalers, there are not many other options for treating asthma. This is where essential oils have stepped in. Essential oils bring many benefits for a wide variety of health-related problems. This article highlights how they might be the next best holistic method to help people breathe more clearly. Asthma is a long-term lung disease. The airways in the lungs become inflamed and swollen, causing the airways to tighten. This makes it difficult for air to pass through and for the person to breath. According to The American Lung Association, nearly 26 million Americans have asthma, including more than 7 million children. It is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children. There is no cure for asthma at present, but there are many treatment plans that can help people lead normal lives. Although there is a variety of asthma medicines on the market, some people prefer more natural treatment options. Many people looking for a natural and more cost-effective treatment option have turned to essential oils. This article will look at the use of essential oils to treat asthma, along with other treatments for the condition. What is asthma? Asthma makes breathing difficult, which can lead to symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. This sequence of events is referred to as an asthma flare-up or an asthma attack. It is not known what causes asthma, but some people are more at risk of developing the disease than others. It is not uncommon for asthma to run in families and for environmental factors to play a role. Exposure to dust, chemicals, or irritants in the workplace can increase the risk for asthma. Damage from respiratory infections during infancy or early childhood as well as bad allergies can lead to asthma. An asthma attack can happen at any time and anywhere. There are certain situations where people are more likely to have an asthma attack, however. These cause the following types of asthma: Exposure to any type of irritant can cause allergies to flare up or simply irritate the respiratory system, triggering an asthma attack. Natural essential oils for asthma The therapeutic capabilities of essential oils are nothing new and may be helpful for some people with asthma. The following oils have some evidence to suggest a health benefit for people with asthma: Peppermint: One of the common causes of asthma attacks is exposure to allergens that trigger the release of a compound called histamine. Peppermint can help to stop the release of histamine in the body. A substance called methanol is present in peppermint and can relieve stuffy or blocked noses, which can help people with asthma to breathe better. Lavender: This essential oil is used for a variety of things. It has natural sedative and anti-inflammatory characteristics that may help people with asthma fight inflammation. Eucalyptus: Research suggests that eucalyptus oil may have anti-inflammatory properties. Tea tree oil: This essential oil helps by reducing inflammation. In doing so, tea tree oil can help reduce the body’s allergic response. Roman chamomile: Another essential oil with anti-inflammatory properties. It can also help part of the lungs called the bronchus to relax as well as relieve coughing. Using essential oils There are three common ways that people with asthma can use essential oils. Aromatically: Some essential oils such as lavender and eucalyptus can bring relief through inhalation. Diffusing essential oils into the air could also help to purify the air and get rid of potential allergens. Topically: Essential oils can be absorbed through the skin. People should be sure to research the oils properly as some must be mixed together to avoid skin irritation. Internally: Some essential oils are available as supplements and can be taken internally. Not only are essential oils a natural way for people to treat asthma symptoms but they can also help patients avoid side effects from allergy shots or other medications. Risks and considerations People should always be careful when using essential oils. They may not be a good fit for every person with asthma. Some oils can give off a strong odor that can trigger asthma symptoms and attacks. Essential oils are not recommended for people with asthma who are very sensitive to smells and whose symptoms are easily triggered by them. People should make sure that the fragrance does not cause a problem before using any essential oil. Some essential oils can also irritate the skin, so people should test a few drops on the skin first. Oils should always be diluted because they can cause skin rashes when pure. Essential oils should not be given to children without a consulting a doctor. They can cause skin irritation, and some of them contain some strong ingredients that are not child-friendly. Though some people with asthma have had success with essential oils, they are not a replacement for medical care. Research studies are being carried out, but there is no firm evidence that proves essential oils are a reliable treatment option. Asthma patients should take any medicine prescribed by their doctor and go for regular checkups. If anyone experiences any asthma symptoms that do not seem to go away or get worse, they should see a doctor. There is no cure for asthma and, left...

Mindfulness Meditation Benefits

By on Oct 19, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

More research has been done on mindfulness meditation, further showing that there are positive health outcomes that can come about. This study from Michigan State University has found that negative feelings and emotions can be subsided through mindfulness meditation. Read the full article below to learn more about the study and its results. Anyone looking for a way to control their negative emotions might benefit from some mindfulness meditation, according to a study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. The University of California-Berkeley define mindfulness as: “Maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment.” A Harvard Help Guide tells us that: “Above all, mindfulness practice involves accepting whatever arising in your awareness at each moment.” Mindfulness has gained popularity in recent years. Rooted in religious practice and prayer, and especially in Buddhism, proponents claim that it can benefit the immune system, improve attention and memory, and increase the density of gray matter in the brain. It is said to enhance compassion, to ease relationship behaviors, to help people to overcome addiction, and to reduce stress. The search for neural associations that underlie mindfulness Now, researchers from Michigan State University (MSU) have found neural evidence that mindfulness helps to control negative feelings, not just in people who are naturally disposed to be mindful or well-practiced in meditation, but in anyone. On the basis that mindfulness can help to regulate the emotions, the team wanted to know whether someone who is not naturally mindful can enter a “mindfulness state of mind” through a decision to do so, or by undertaking a focused, deliberate effort. The team of psychology researchers, led by Yanli Lin, an MSU graduate student, invited a group of 68 native English-speaking females, who had not practiced mindfulness meditation before, to participate in the study. Analysis showed that participants came to the experiment with different levels of natural mindfulness. Each participant wore an electrode cap, to enable EEG recording. They then took part in one of two 18-minute activities. Some listened to a guided meditation, while others were exposed to a language-learning presentation. Immediately after the meditation, they were shown some disturbing pictures – for example, a blood corpse. The researchers used the EEG to record their brain activity while viewing the images. Meditation appears to help tame emotions The participants were instructed to view the pictures either “mindfully” or “naturally.” After this, they completed a questionnaire. Results indicate that, whether the participants had high or low levels of natural mindfulness, the brain was able to control negative emotions to the same extent. Exposure to the meditation session appeared to help the emotional brain to recover quickly after seeing the photos, suggesting that meditation enabled participants to tame their negative emotions. Some participants were also asked to view the images “mindfully,” while others were not, but this did not appear to affect their ability to control emotions. It would seem that meditation could be more helpful in achieving emotional control than just telling people to “be mindful,” says Jason Moser, MSU associate professor of clinical psychology and co-author of the study. “If you’re a naturally mindful person, and you’re walking around very aware of things, you’re good to go. You shed your emotions quickly. If you’re not naturally mindful, then meditating can make you look like a person who walks around with a lot of mindfulness. But for people who are not naturally mindful and have never meditated, forcing oneself to be mindful “in the moment’ doesn’t work. You’d be better off meditating for 20 minutes.” Jason S. Moser Lin believes the results show that meditation can improve emotional health, and that even people who are not naturally mindful can acquire these benefits through practice. One challenge in conducting such research, say the authors, is that there are different definitions and types of mindfulness, as well as the potential interference of mood and anxiety disorders, among other confounders. The team attempted to minimize this by choosing, as far as possible, a homogeneous group. The participants were all undergraduates, and they were all right-handed. Find out how mindfulness meditation can help to reduce pain. Source:...