Health benefits of winter vegetables

During the cold winter months our bodies need a steady supply of fruits and vegetables to stay fit and healthy as well as help fight of viruses including colds and flu. Vegetables are rich sources of vitamin C and a whole host of other nutrients and minerals that help to both avoid illness and maintain good health.

Some of the very best winter vegetables include:

  1. Artichoke – Artichokes posses powerful antioxidant properties but there health uses don’t stop there, Studies done with artichoke leaf extract have found that they induce apoptosis (cell death) and reduce cell proliferation in many different forms of cancer, including prostate cancer, leukemia, and breast cancer.
  1. Kale – Just one cup of Kale contains around 10% of your daily RDA of calcium. In addition to this Kale is also a great source of many essential dietary minerals including copper, potassium, iron and manganese
  1. Cabbage – The health benefits of cabbage include frequent use as a treatment for constipation, stomach ulcers, headaches, obesity, skin disorders, eczema, jaundice, scurvy, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, eye disorders, heart diseases, aging, and Alzheimer’s disease
  1. Arugula – Arugula is one leafy vegetable that certainly stands out. It is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals. Arugula contains about eight times the calcium, fives times the vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K, and four times the iron as the same amount of iceberg lettuce.
  1. Winter squash – Winter squashes sometimes referred to as butternut squashs belong to a family of plants known as Cucurbitaceae this family also includes pumpkins. Butternut squash contains many vital poly-phenolic anti-oxidants and vitamins.

Top 10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet.

It is loaded with antioxidants and bioactive compounds that can have powerful effects on the body.

This includes improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other incredible benefits.

Here are the top 10 health benefits of green tea that have been scientifically proven to be true in human studies.

1. Green Tea Contains Various Bioactive Compounds With Powerful Beneficial Effects

Green tea is more than just green liquid.

Many of the bioactive compounds in the tea leaves do make it into the final drink, which contains large amounts of important nutrients.

It is loaded with polyphenols like flavonoids and catechins, which function as powerful antioxidants (1).

These substances can reduce the formation of free radicals in the body, protecting cells and molecules from damage. These free radicals are known to play a role in aging and all sorts of diseases.

One of the more powerful compounds in green tea is called Epigallocatechin Gallate(EGCG), which has been studied in isolation to treat various diseases and may be one of the main reasons green tea has such powerful medicinal properties.

Green tea also contains some substances with a mild stimulant activity, which are responsible for its boost in brain function and physical performance:

    • Caffeine: tea contains some caffeine, but much less than coffee, making it a good alternative to coffee for those who are caffeine sensitive.
    • Theobromine: Also found in chocolate, theobromine can have a mild diuretic effect and improve blood flow, leading to a net reduction in blood pressure (2).
  • Theophylline: Found in small amounts in tea, theophylline can mildly stimulate the heart and relax the airways (3).

Then it contains a unique amino acid called L-theanine, which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier. It can have mild anti-anxiety effects and may help to improve brain function (4).

Because of L-theanine and the smaller dose of caffeine, green tea can give you a much milder “buzz” than coffee.

Green tea also has small amounts of minerals that are important for health, including manganese.

Try to choose a higher quality brand, because some of the lower quality versions can contain excessive levels of fluoride (5).

That being said, even if you choose a lower quality version, the incredible benefits still far outweigh any risk.

Bottom Line: Green tea is loaded with bioactive compounds that can have various beneficial effects on health. These include powerful antioxidants and mild stimulants.

2. Green Tea Improves Brain Function and Makes You Smarter

A Cup of Green Tea

Green tea does more than just keep you awake, it can also make you smarter.

The key active ingredient is caffeine, which is a known stimulant.

It doesn’t contain as much as coffee, but enough to produce a response without causing the “jittery” effects associated with too much caffeine.

What caffeine does in the brain is to block an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine. This way, it actually increases the firing of neurons and the concentration of neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine (67).

Caffeine has been intensively studied before and consistently leads to improvements in various aspects of brain function, including improved mood, vigilance, reaction time and memory (8).

However… green tea contains more than just caffeine. It also has the amino acid L-theanine, which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier (9).

L-theanine increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, which has anti-anxiety effects. It also increases dopamine and the production of alpha waves in the brain (101112).

Studies show that caffeine and L-theanine can have synergistic effects. Thecombination of the two is particularly potent at improving brain function (1314).

Bottom Line: Green tea contains less caffeine than coffee, but enough to produce an effect. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which can work synergistically with caffeine to improve brain function.

3. Green Tea Increases Fat Burning and Improves Physical Performance

Tea Plant

If you look at the ingredients list for any fat burning supplement, chances are that green tea will be on there.

This is because green tea has been shown to increase fat burning and boost the metabolic rate, in human controlled trials (15).

One mechanism may be caused by the EGCG inhibiting an enzyme called Catechol-o-methyl transferase, which breaks down norepinephrine.

By inhibiting this enzyme, EGCG increases norepinephrine activity, which functions as a signal to fat cells to break down fat.

Caffeine on its own can also increase the metabolic rate, but green tea boosts the metabolic rate more than can be explained by caffeine alone.

In one study in 10 healthy men, green tea increased energy expenditure by 4%. Another study showed that fat oxidation was increased by 17%, indicating that green tea may selectively increase the burning of fat (1617).

A combination of caffeine and EGCG has also been shown to increase metabolism, in one study making individuals burn an additional 179 calories in one day (18).

However, I’d like to point out that some studies on green tea don’t show any increase in metabolism, so the effects will depend on the individual (19).

Caffeine itself has also been shown to improve physical performance by mobilizing fatty acids from the fat tissues and making them available for use as energy (2021).

In two separate meta-analyses, caffeine has been shown to increase physical performance by 11-12%, on average (2223).

Bottom Line: Green tea contains moderate amounts of caffeine and large amounts of a bioactive compound called EGCG, both of which can boost the metabolic rate.

4. Antioxidants in Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Various Types of Cancer

Green Tea With Pot And Cups

Cancer is caused by uncontrolled growth of cells. It is one of the world’s leading causes of death.

It is well known that oxidative damage contributes to the development of cancer and that antioxidants can have a protective effect (24).

Green tea is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants, so it makes perfect sense that it could reduce your risk of cancer, which it appears to do:

    • Breast cancer: A meta-analysis of observational studies found that whomen who drank the most green tea had a 22% lower risk of developing breast cancer, the most common cancer in women (25).
    • Prostate cancer: One study found that men drinking green tea had a 48% lower risk of developing prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer in men (26).
  • Colorectal cancer: A study of 69,710 Chinese women found that green tea drinkers had a 57% lower risk of colorectal cancer (27).

Multiple other observational studies show that green tea drinkers are significantly less likely to get various types of cancer (282930).

It is important to keep in mind that it may be a bad idea to put milk in your tea, because it can reduce the antioxidant value (31).

Bottom Line: Green tea has powerful antioxidants that may protect against cancer. Multiple studies show that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of various types of cancer.

5. Green Tea May Protect Your Brain in Old Age, Lowering Your Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Elderly Man And Woman Holding Cups of Tea

Not only can green tea improve brain function in the short term, it may also protect your brain in old age.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disease in humans and a leading cause of dementia.

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and involves the death of dopamine producing neurons in the brain.

Multiple studies show that the catechin compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons in test tubes and animal models, potentally lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s (323334).

Bottom Line: The bioactive compounds in green tea can have various protective effects on neurons and may reduce the risk of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, the two most common neurodegenerative disorders.

6. Green Tea Can Kill Bacteria, Which Improves Dental Health and Lowers Your Risk of Infection

Green Tea in a Wooden Spoon

The catechins in green tea have other biological effects as well.

Some studies show that they can kill bacteria and inhibit viruses like the influenza virus, potentially lowering your risk of infections (35363738).

Streptococcus mutans is the primary harmful bacteria in the mouth. It causes plaque formation and is a leading contributor to cavities and tooth decay.

Studies show that the catechins in green tea can inhibit the growth of streptococcus mutans. Green tea consumption is associated with improved dental health and a lower risk of caries (394041424344).

Another awesome benefit of green tea… multiple studies show that it can reduce bad breath (4546).

Bottom Line: The catechins in green tea may inhibit the growth of bacteria and some viruses. This can lower the risk of infections and lead to improvements in dental health, a lower risk of caries and reduced bad breath.

7. Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Type II Diabetes

Iced Tea in a Glass

Type II diabetes is a disease that has reached epidemic proportions in the past few decades and now afflicts about 300 million people worldwide.

This disease involves having elevated blood glucose levels in the context of insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.

Studies show that green tea can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce blood glucose levels (4748).

One study in Japanese individuals found that those who drank the most green tea had a 42% lower risk of developing type II diabetes (49).

According to a review of 7 studies with a total of 286,701 individuals, green tea drinkers had an 18% lower risk of becoming diabetic (50).

Bottom Line: Some controlled trials show that green tea can cause mild reductions in blood glucose levels. It may also lower the risk of developing type II diabetes in the long term.

8. Green Tea May Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Powdered Green Tea

Cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke, are the biggest causes of death in the world (51).

Studies show that green tea can improve some of the main risk factors for these diseases.

This includes total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (52).

Green tea also dramatically increases the antioxidant capability of the blood, which protects the LDL cholesterol particles from oxidation, which is one part of the pathway towards heart disease (535455).

Given the beneficial effects on risk factors, it is not surprising to see that green tea drinkers have up to a 31% lower risk of cardiovascular disease (565758).

Bottom Line: Green tea has been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol, as well as protect the LDL particles from oxidation. Observational studies show that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.

9. Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight and Lower Your Risk of Becoming Obese

Cup of Green Tea With Leaves

Given that green tea can boost the metabolic rate in the short term, it makes sense that it could help you lose weight.

Several studies show that green tea leads to decreases in body fat, especially in the abdominal area (596061).

One of these studies was a randomized controlled trial in 240 men and women that went on for 12 weeks. In this study, the green tea group had significant decreases in body fat percentage, body weight, waist circumference and abdominal fat (62).

However, some studies don’t show a statistically significant increases in weight loss with green tea, so this needs to be taken with a grain of salt (63).

Bottom Line: Some studies show that green tea leads to increased weight loss. It is particularly effective at reducing the dangerous abdominal fat.

10. Green Tea May Decrease Your Risk of Dying and Help You Live Longer

Glass And Bag of Tea

Of course, we all have to die eventually. That is inevitable.

However, given that green tea drinkers are at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, it makes sense that it could help you live longer.

In a study of 40,530 Japanese adults, those who drank the most green tea (5 or more cups per day) were significantly less likely to die during an 11 year period (64):

    • Death of all causes: 23% lower in women, 12% lower in men.
    • Death from heart disease: 31% lower in women, 22% lower in men.
  • Death from stroke: 42% lower in women, 35% lower in men.

Another study in 14,001 elderly Japanese individuals aged 65-84 years found that those who drank the most green tea were 76% less likely to die during the 6 year study period (65).

11. Anything Else?

Many of the studies mentioned above are so-called observational studies. Such studies can only show association, they can not prove that green tea caused the effects.

However, these results make perfect sense given the powerful effects of all the bioactive compounds.

If you want to enjoy all these incredible health benefits of green tea, then you can either drink a few cups of green tea per day or take a green tea extract supplement.

Interestingly… all of this is just the tip of the iceberg. People have been using green tea for all sorts of things with amazing success.

Feel free to add to the list in the comments below!

Bottled water found to contain over 24,000 chemicals, including endocrine disruptors

(NaturalNews) Widespread consumer demand for plastic products that are free of the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) has led to some significant positive changes in the way that food, beverage and water containers are manufactured. But a new study out of Germany has found that thousands of other potentially harmful chemicals are still leeching from plastic products into food and beverages, including an endocrine-disrupting chemical (EDC) known as di(2-ethylhexyl) fumarate, or DEHF, that is completely unregulated.

Martin Wagner and his colleague, Jorg Oehlmann, from the Goethe University Frankfurt, in conjunction with a team of researchers from the German Federal Institute of Hydrology, learned this after conducting tests on 18 different bottled water products to look for the presence of EDCs. Using an advanced combination of bioassay work and high-resolution mass spectrometry, the team identified some 24,520 different chemicals present in the tested water.

But of major concern, and the apparent underpinning of the study’s findings, was DEHF, a plasticizer chemical that is used to make plastic bottles more flexible. According to reports, DEHF was clearly identified in the tested water as the most consistent and obvious culprit causing anti-estrogenic activity. Despite trace amounts of more than 24,000 other potentially damaging chemicals, DEHF stood out as the only possible EDC capable of inducing this particular observed activity, a highly concerning observation.

The study’s published abstract explains that 13 of the 18 bottled water products tested exhibited “significant” anti-estrogenic activity, while 16 of the 18 samples were found to inhibit the body’s androgen receptors by an astounding 90 percent. Additionally, the other 24,520 chemical traces besides DEHF were also identified as exhibiting antagonistic activity, which means that they, too, are detrimental to the body’s hormonal system.

Many thousands of endocrine-disrupting chemicals used in plastic production prove material unsafe

But DEHF is apparently not alone in causing significant damage to the endocrine system, as the team was unable to identify this chemical as being specifically anti-androgenic. What this suggests is that there is some other chemical, or chemical combination, being leeched into bottled water that is interfering with the body’s chemical signaling system, which is, of course, responsible for hormone production and use within the body.

“We confirmed the identity and biological activity of DEHF and additional isomers of dioctyl fumarate and maleate using authentic standards,” report the researchers. “Since DEHF is anti-estrogenic but not anti-androgenic we conclude that additional, yet unidentified EDCs must contribute to the antagonistic effect of bottled water.”

So while these specific findings concerning DEHF are groundbreaking, the overall conclusion to be drawn from this research is that far more study is needed to determine the types of chemicals that are being leeched from plastic into our food and water, not to mention the extent of this leeching. And since the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the rest of the three-letter government agencies will surely never get around to conducting this important research, independent science will simply have to take up the charge.

“This work is a ‘tour de force’ in identification of endocrine disruptors in packaged materials,” says Bruce Blumberg from the University of California, Irvine, as quoted by Chemistry World. This type of analysis, he adds, “will be very important for our future understanding of what chemicals we are routinely exposed to and which of these pose hazards of being endocrine disruptors.”

You can read the full study abstract here:

In the meantime, conscious consumers can avoid plastic containers whenever possible and simply use glass or steel containers instead to avoid these unknown risks.

Learn more:

Israel commits to ending water fluoridation by 2014, citing major health concern

Israel’s Ministry of Health has made a bold ruling against artificial water fluoridation, reversing more than 15 years of forced poisoning via public water supplies in the Middle Eastern country. A recent announcement by Israel’s Supreme Court has declared that a 1974 law permitting — and a later 1998 law requiring — all public water supplies in Israel to be fluoridated are both outdated and invalid, and that all current fluoridation programs in the country will have to end by April 9, 2014, in order to comply with new public safety requirements.

The welcomed ruling came after a petition filed last year by two dedicated individuals, including a representative of Israel’s Association for Dissemination of Health Education, brought to light numerous dangers associated with water fluoridation. These include lowered IQ, brittle bones and teeth and damage to the thyroid gland, serious side effects that are hardly justified by the flimsy and antiquated arguments claiming that ingested fluoride somehow helps prevent tooth decay.

The three Israeli Supreme Court justices who heard the case, along with Israeli Health Minister Yael German, took all this information to task and ultimately concluded that fluoride is, indeed, a public health threat and provides minimal, if any, health benefit to society. In his ruling, Justice D. Barak-Erez ordered the cessation of all water fluoridation programs throughout Israel by 2014, emphasizing the fact that water fluoridation is dangerous, and the science defending it is outdated and “no longer widely accepted.”

“We have noted before us the State’s obligation to stop the fluorination of drinking water within one year,” reads an English-translated release of the ruling, which you can view at the following link:

US among just a few remaining first-world countries that still poison drinking water with fluoride

Any news of water fluoridation programs being scrapped, even if they are outside the U.S., is of course good news for everyone. And what this recent ruling in Israel accomplishes for the rest of the currently fluoridated world is providing further momentum for ending water fluoridation programs everywhere, especially in the U.S. where the vast majority of public water supplies are still fluoridated.

“Zealous fluoridation promoters try to convince the American public that ‘everyone drinks fluoridated water.’ But the opposite is true,” says Dr. Paul Connett, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Fluoride Action Network. “An overwhelming number of countries do not fluoridate, including 97 percent of the European population. In fact, over half the people in the world drinking fluoridated water live in the U.S.”

“What I find remarkable here is that Health Minister German [Israel’s Health Minister] has been able to escape the unscientific belief system on fluoridation that traps so many public health bureaucracies in fluoridated countries,” he adds.

Fortunately, the truth about fluoride continues to spread, and towns and cities everywhere are rethinking the expensive, dangerous practice. Just within the past several months, for example, Portland, Oregon; Woodland, Washington; Wichita, Kansas, and many other towns and cities across America and throughout the world have decided to end their water fluoridation programs. Are you and your natural health allies willing to put in the necessary effort to see water fluoridation cease in your own community?

“It must be known to you that fluoridation can cause harm to the health of the chronically ill,” including “people who suffer from thyroid problems,” wrote Israeli Health Minister Yael German in a recent letter to doctors who tried to block efforts at stopping water fluoridation in Israel.

You can learn more about the dangers of artificial water fluoridation, and work towards ending it in your own community, by visiting the Fluoride Action Network:

Learn more:

Natural Health, What Berries Work Best?

The news – that most people (still) need to hear – is that recent advancements in nutritional science have clearly shown that the food we consume can act as a powerful disease fighting tool. Scientists unanimously agree that the best protection one can get against diseases is by consuming a diverse range of fruits and vegetables.

Berries, in particular, have been a topic of interest due to their anti-aging, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Anthocyanin – the key to berry power

Berries are a nutrient-powerhouse to an array of vitamins including vitamins A, C, E and folic acid; minerals selenium, magnesium, calcium and antioxidant polyphenols and anthocyanins. The unique disease-fighting ability of the berries is due to the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanin. This particular type of antioxidant is dominant in the berry family, hence the superior health potency.

Anthocyanins are basically the blue / purple pigments that impart a bright color to the berries. Many studies have directly linked anthocyanins to powerful health benefits including decreased oxidative stress, cancer prevention, decreased inflammation during allergies, diabetes prevention, blood pressure reduction, lower cholesterol and a stronger heart. Examples of anthocyanin rich berries include blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, acai berries, goji berries, tart cherries, cranberries and elderberries – to name a few. Other non-berry foods that are also good sources of anthocyanins include organic kale, brussel sprouts, blue corn, alfalfa sprouts and bell peppers.

Top 5 berries and their specific health properties

Cranberries: They are widely used in treating urinary tract infections. Again, the anthocyanin compounds give this fruit its powerful health benefits.

Tart cherries: Studies showed that anthocyanins and cyanidin compounds in cherries inhibited the inflammatory pathways and hence were beneficial in treating arthritis and gout.

Blueberries: Blueberries are among the most researched berries for their high antioxidant capacity. It is particularly significant in protecting against age-related brain deterioration and maintaining nerve health.

Blackberries: Rich in anthocyanin compounds namely cyanidin-3-O-beta-D-glucoside. Also called as C3G, this is one of the potent antioxidant with high ORAC (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) values. Blackberries are recommended for promoting heart and blood vessel health.

Strawberries: They are rich anthocyanin compounds like cyanidins, perlargonidins, procyanidins, and host of other antioxidant chemicals. They are touted for their anti-cancer effects.

The more colorful your plate, the greater the disease protection

A growing body of evidence indicate that diverse and vibrant hues offer the best protection against numerous degenerative conditions like heart problems, diabetes, stroke, dementia, cancer, hypertension plus much more. This is simply because the natural pigments present in the berries impart the color and are also responsible for the health benefits.

The pigments differ in their therapeutic effects ranging from anti-inflammatory to antioxidant to anti-aging effects. Generally speaking, researchers suggest that more deeply colored a fruit or vegetable are higher in disease-protecting ability.

Are we consuming enough of these disease fighting foods?

The answer for this question can be obtained by scanning our plates for colors. If your plate does not boast of rainbow-colored fruits and vegetables, you are probably not consuming enough of these powerful disease preventing agents. If you find this difficult to do – then try having fruit as a snack – during the day.

Obviously, we are not suggesting that anyone become a ‘fruitarian’ – although, some people (in the short term) can benefit greatly from that way of eating. We are suggesting that the regular consumption of fresh, organic berries is a delicious way to help boost your immune system and stay healthy.

What’s your favorite fruit? (post your comments below)

Seeram NP. Berry fruits for cancer prevention: current status and future prospects. J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Feb 13;56(3):630-5
Lala G, Malik M, Zhao C, et al. Anthocyanin-rich extracts inhibit multiple biomarkers of colon cancer in rats. Nutr Cancer. 2006;54(1):84-93.
Seeram NP, Adams LS, Zhang Y, et al. Blackberry, black raspberry, blueberry, cranberry, red raspberry, and strawberry extracts inhibit growth and stimulate apoptosis of human cancer cells in vitro. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Dec 13;54(25):9329-39.

– See more at:

7 Natural Oils For Healthy Beautiful Hair

7 Natural Oils For Healthy Beautiful Hair

These natural oils will add moisture and shine to your hair, they will nourish the scalp helping to reduce dry, flaky skin,  they will help to get rid of dandruff, and they will aid faster and healthier hair growth – all without the use of expensive cosmetics or dangerous chemicals!

To apply any of the treatments below, massage a bit of room temperature or slightly warmed oil to your roots and scalp working it down to the tips like you would with conditioner. Put on a shower cap and let it soak in for about half an hour, then wash your hair using an all-natural shampoo.

For thick unruly hair try Coconut, Argan, Avocado or Extra-virgin olive oil. For thinner hair that needs more life try Pomegranate Seed or Rosemary Oil. Jojoba oil is great for all hair types.

Coconut Oil

Not only does coconut have that great “vacation-in-the-Caribbean” smell, it’s also great for your hair.

Coconut oil is high in vitamin E and other nutrients, and your hair can absorb them all. The result will be hair that is thicker, shiner, healthier and has stronger roots. It also contains lauric and capric acid, which have amazing antimicrobial powers – meaning it will make your hair and scalp healthier and prevent dandruff, itchy scalp and infections. Make sure you buy the extra-virgin kind for maximum effectiveness.

Argan Oil

Argan oil is the most expensive of the hair oils on this list, but ask anyone who uses it and you’ll hear that it’s worth every penny. It contains lots of vitamin E, Omega 3 and 9 fatty acids, and antioxidants, all of which do amazing things for damaged, dry, coarse or otherwise unmanageable hair.

There are several smoothing products on the market containing Argan oil, but you’ll get the best results applying it using the method at the top of this list.

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

The same oil that you likely use for cooking and salad dressing can be used as a deep moisturizing treatment and to promote hair growth. Massaging your scalp with olive oil will promote scalp health and improve circulation, while fighting off bacteria and leaving you with softer smoother hair.

Olive oil also makes an excellent, all-natural alternative to shaving cream.

Pomegranate Seed Oil

For fine or thinning hair, Pomegranate seed oil can work miracles. It contains high amounts of punicic acid, which revitalizes your hair leaving it looking thick and shiny. It’s also a great protector against chemicals and other environmental damage. Pomegranate seed oil is very thick and somewhat expensive, you can mix it with extra-virgin olive oil to make it last longer and get the benefits of both.

Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary Essential Oil For HairThinning hair tends to hold in more dirt and toxins; rosemary essential oil is great for cleansing and it also contains loads of vitamin B, iron and calcium. It has been used for thousands of years as a remedy for thinning and brittle hair, plus it has been scientifically proven to prevent premature graying.

Rosemary essential oil should be diluted with a carrier oil (such as extra virgin olive oil) before use.

Avocado Oil

Avocado oil, like avocados themselves, contains proteins, healthy fats, amino acids and vitamins A, D, E and B6. The proteins will help fill in damaged airs in your hair’s cuticles, repairing damage that’s already been done and preventing future breakage and frizz. Avocado oil is strong and thick, so it is most effective when used on medium to thick hair.

Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil isn’t actually an oil, it’s a liquefied wax that is extracted from a shrub native to the southwestern US.  Jojoba oil is high in vitamins A, E and D and is great for all hair types. It can be found in several all-natural shampoos and hair products, but like the other oils, it’s most effective on its own. Jojoba oil helps repair damage to your hair and promotes new, healthy hair growth.


The Amazing Health Benefits Of Kombucha


Kombucha Health Benefits

Have you heard of Kombucha, the beverage the ancient Chinese called the “Immortal Health Elixir?” It’s been around for more than 2,000 years and has a rich anecdotal history of health benefits like preventing and fighting cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases.

Made from sweetened tea that’s been fermented by a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (a SCOBY, a.k.a. “mother” because of its ability to reproduce, or “mushroom” because of its appearance), Kombucha didn’t gain prominence in the West until recently.

In the first half of the 20th century, extensive scientific research was done on Kombucha’s health benefits in Russia and Germany, mostly because of a push to find a cure for rising cancer rates. Russian scientists discovered that entire regions of their vast country were seemingly immune to cancer and hypothesized that the kombucha, called “tea kvass” there, was the cause. So, they began a series of experiments which not only verified the hypothesis, but began to pinpoint exactly what it is within kombucha which was so beneficial.

German scientists picked up on this research and continued it in their own direction. Then, with the onset of the Cold War, research and development started being diverted into other fields. It was only in the 1990s, when Kombucha first came to the U.S., that the West has done any studies on the effects of Kombucha, and those are quite few in number. As is typically the case in the U.S., no major medical studies are being done on Kombucha because no one in the drug industry stands to profit from researching a beverage that the average consumer can make for as little as 50 cents a gallon.

Thanks to it’s rising commercial popularity in the last decade, the older Russian and German research has been made available in English to Westerners, and a few wide-spread anecdotal surveys have been sponsored by Kombucha manufacturers, but that’s about it. While there are limited amounts of research done on the beverage, there has been lots of research done on many of the nutrients and acids it contains in large quantities (such as B-vitamins, antioxidants, and glucaric acids).

Regardless of the “lack” of scientific evidence, the fact remains that this beverage has 2,000 plus years of tradition behind it and an ardent and addicted following.

What are the health benefits of Kombucha?

Kombucha Health Benefit #1 — Detoxification

Detoxification produces healthy livers and aides cancer prevention. One of kombucha’s greatest health benefits is its ability to detox the body. It is rich in many of the enzymes and bacterial acids your body produces and/or uses to detox your system, thus reducing your pancreatic load and easing the burden on your liver. Kombucha is very high in Glucaric acid, and recent studies have shown that glucaric acid helps prevent cancer. I know 2 people in my immediate circle of friends who have had cancer (pancreatic and breast) and fought it into remission without any chemo or radiation therapy. Instead, they warded it off by detoxing their lives (going 100% organic, removing chemical cleaners and agents in their home, changing their diet to be at least 80% raw or fermented, etc.) Central to the detoxification process was drinking Kombucha regularly. Even Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the recently deceased Russian author and nobel-prize winner, in his autobiography, claimed that kombucha tea cured his stomach cancer during his internment in soviet labor camps. (And because of this testimony, President Reagan used Kombucha to halt the spread of his cancer in 1987. You’ll note he didn’t die until 2004, and that was from old age, NOT cancer.)

Kombucha Health Benefit #2 — Joint Care

Kombucha contains glucosamines, a strong preventive and treatment all forms of arthritis. Glucosamines increase synovial hyaluronic acid production. Hyaluronic acid functions physiologically to aid preservation of cartilage structure and prevent arthritic painwith relief comparable to NSAIDs and advantage over glucocorticoids. Hyaluronic acid enables connective tissue to bind moisture thousands of times its weight and maintains tissue structure, moisture, lubrication and flexibility and lessens free radical damage, while associated collagen retards and reduces wrinkles.

Kombucha Health Benefit #3 — Aids Digestion and Gut Health

Because it’s naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast, Kombucha is a probioticbeverage. This has a myriad of benefits such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability. As such, it’s noted for reducing or eliminating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, etc.

Kombucha Health Benefit #4 — Immune Boosting

Kombucha is extraordinarily anti-oxidant rich, and you all know the benefits of anti-oxidants forboosting your immune system and energy levels.

Where can you learn more about kombucha health benefits?

Here are a few articles on the health benefits of kombucha:

Are the health benefits of kombucha for real?

When I first read about the panacea of benefits, I was skeptical. How could one beverage do so many things? But then I realized that it’s not so much that the beverage does something to our bodies, like a medicine targeted at curing specific symptoms. It’s more that this beverage promotes health. It gives your body what it needs to heal itself by 1)aiding your liver in removing harmful substances, 2)promoting balance in your digestive system, and 3)being rich in health-promoting vitamins, enzymes, and acids.

The general consensus seems to be that with regular, daily consumption, you’ll notice improvement in immune system functioning and energy levels within about a week, the healing of more minor ailments within a month or so, and the healing of more radical illnesses within a year or so.