Tagged with 'natural health'

Mindful Minute: What is Love?

What is Love
“To love and be loved is to feel the sun from both sides." ~David Viscott  Have you noticed how many songs, books, poems, and articles are written about love? For years, love has been linked with feelings of pleasure. We hear people using it to describe a multitude of things. But love is used without a full understanding of its meaning beyond the current dictionary definition. There are many opinions about love within society and from specialists like psychotherapists, priests, gurus; our spouses and partners; and of course, ourselves too. Many people connect love with desire; a desire for something often leads people to remark that they "love" that thing, whether it be travel, food, homes, sex, work, friendships, family, or God. Throughout this article, let’s reflect on this idea of “desire” together - is this actual love? Let us observe mindfully and understand the nature of pure love. Desire We must first understand that desire is related to the senses. When the senses are awakened, there arises a possibility of desire. A person may see a beautiful landscape in a foreign land, a beautiful person, an image of God/Krishna/Buddha, a property, meal, home, beautiful relationship . . . the list is endless. Pleasing sensations often lead to thoughts of, Oh, how beautiful that is. I would like to see, hold, taste, hear, or smell that beauty again. The senses can only experience beauty in the moment. When reflection becomes attached to an experience and wants more of it, desire is born; this desire wants to be fulfilled. Is this love? Any awareness of the senses can be a beautiful experience and bring about desire; once this desire becomes ingrained in us, we may become attached and feel pleasure from the mere idea of it. Is this love? Our conditioned minds will often not allow us to deeply understand the profound meaning of pure love, so contemplating this sincerely requires a true and honest intention to understand. Let’s reflect deeper and look at the nature of attachment. Attachment If we are attached to things that we desire, there surfaces uncertainty and inner conflict which often manifests as various types of fear. The more attached to something one becomes, the more a fear of losing it arises. A person may fear losing a home, a job or career, money, a lover, a relationship, a vacation, meals, sex, company, etc. This fear may cause that person to become even more attached, possessive, controlling, and demanding. For example, if one loves the only local restaurant available in town, they are likely to express anger, irritability, and disappointment if it closes down. Now, change the "love" of this local restaurant to the "love" of a person. The potential loss of a friend, lover, or partner becomes even more emotional. Such attachments often result in demands and controlling or possessive thoughts, words, and actions from each partner that can escalate and create conflicts in relationships. We see this through regular breakups in dating and divorces in marriages. Fear of loss brings questions such as, "Where were you last night?" At the beginning of a loving relationship, this question may contain care and concern about the safety of another (from a parent to a child or from one spouse to another); but over time, it may arise from a need to assert control, and from suspicion with a spouse. We can imagine it being like one person saying to the other, "I love you, and as long as you come back at a time that puts my mind at ease, you will make me happy." Such communication happens quite regularly in many homes. Is this love?  Perhaps now is the time to consider love as it relates to pleasure in relationships. As humans are social creatures, let us see what it is that brings love into our partnerships. We’re all familiar with “loving” things that bring us joy. Is love pleasure? Let's explore this idea. Pleasure A new employee, for example, may say they “loved” their boss when they were supportive, or a wife “loves” her husband of 20 years because he is communicative and attentive. We see in these examples, that when pleasure (positive feedback) is combined with an impression, the experience is wanted again and again. This experience creates the desire discussed earlier, and satisfaction of this desire brings pleasure. Is this love? This can happen for other memories connected with pleasure in the mind as well, which can unfortunately lead to addictions and unhealthy demands.  In another example, a new parent may hold their newborn child with a great deal of affection. They raise them with the utmost care to ensure their safety, good education, and support them in various ways. After a time, when the child is grown, the parent is ready for them to be more independent physically, financially, and emotionally. Is this love? Asceticism Priests, monks, gurus, and ascetics of all sorts say, "Have no desire, and no sex, as this will help you let go of all attachmen ...

Doulas - How They Can Help You

Birth Doulas
You’ve just found out you’re pregnant. Congratulations!  You’re now faced with many decisions about your pregnancy and birth journey; this can be very overwhelming. So, how can this process be made easier?  A birth doula is a trained individual who provides one-on-one emotional, physical, and informational support to a birthing person through pregnancy, labour, and birth. They provide support at home, in birthing centres or hospitals, and maintain a constant presence with you through the entire labour process, from start to finish. The goal of a doula-assisted birth is to empower the birthing person to take control, decrease fear and anxiety, and ultimately leave them with a positive birth experience. The Doula Role  Typically, a birth doula meets with you one to two times during your pregnancy, depending on what stage you’re at when you first connect. During these meetings, you discuss how your pregnancy is progressing and a plethora of information about labour, birth, and postpartum. Together, you will develop a birth plan which encompasses all of the possible choices and outcomes that may come up during the birth.  The birth doula will provide constant support during the labour process, in which they communicate regularly and stay by your side. They assist with pain and discomfort, keep you calm, help with your emotional needs, can guide a partner on how to support you, and facilitate communication and informed consent with medical providers. A birth doula does not provide any medical advice and does not replace an obstetrician (OB) or midwife. Rather, doulas complement their care. In the postpartum period, your birth doula will follow up with you to ensure you are healing well, check in on your mood, and offer additional support. They may also be able to provide you with some breastfeeding support, depending on their experience and training. However, extensive breastfeeding support should be sought out through a lactation consultant.  Note that a postpartum doula is a different type of doula; they provide help in the postpartum period and focus on catering to your household needs and infant care. Training & Knowledge  Certified doulas are trained individuals who have a strong knowledge of the birthing process, including the physiology of labour. Oftentimes, doulas seek out additional training and certifications to help offer you the best care they can. Physiology Of Labour  An incredibly important part of how a birth doula helps to improve the quality of your labour, particularly by decreasing discomfort, can be explained through the physiology of labour.  First, let’s review the different states of the nervous system. There are two systems: The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The sympathetic nervous system can be described as “fight or flight” mode, while the parasympathetic nervous system is described as the “rest and digest” mode. When you are in an SNS state, it signals to the body that there is danger. The main hormones that take over are adrenaline and cortisol. When you are in this state, the blood flow is shunted to your muscles, heart, lungs, and brain to help fight whatever danger is near. Consequently, the blood moves away from your uterus and baby, resulting in lactic acid buildup, increased pain and cramping, and potential distress to the baby. When you are in a PNS state, the body produces hormones such as oxytocin (i.e., your love, bonding, and birthing hormone) and endorphins. Blood will redirect to organs in your digestive and reproductive system (e.g., your uterus). This state tells you that you are safe and induces calmness. Oxytocin is the hormone that creates contractions and facilitates bonding and breastfeeding. Natural oxytocin reduces cortisol and relieves pain and discomfort as well. Additionally, endorphins as you probably know also reduce pain and induce a happier state of mind. At this point, you can likely tell which state is more favourable for labour. On TV and in movies, most births are depicted in a way where the birthing person is screaming in intense pain, and overall, it seems like a very scary experience. Such expectations create fear and anxiety, which will put you in an SNS state; this prolongs labour, increases pain and discomfort, increases the need for medical interventions, and is associated with adverse birth/labour outcomes, including worse bonding and breastfeeding experiences.4 Other factors that induce an SNS state are the environment (e.g., harsh lighting, hospital sounds, various practitioners in and out), feeling overwhelmed or confused, and certain interventions and medical procedures during labour.  You might be thinking about how to keep yourself in a PNS state with all that is happening during labour. Thankfully, birth doulas are trained in techniques that help induce this state and also revert you to a PNS state should stress increase. ...

5 ways to combat Burnout For a Healthier Body and Mind

Healthy Body and Mind
In our fast-paced, results-driven society, it’s no surprise that burnout is an increasing phenomenon for both adolescents and adults alike. There are rising demands placed on individuals to do well in their personal and professional lives. Burnout is a stage that we don't want to reach because it signifies that the body and mind have worked past their limits. It can be easy to put your health on the back burner and just hustle on, as the majority of us have been taught to do. However, burnout can have detrimental long-term effects, especially if it’s left unchecked. The good news is there are ways to help prevent burnout or help us heal from it quicker. 5 Burnout Remedies 1. Set Proper Boundaries In the COVID era, many people had transitioned to working from home wherever it was possible. This meant that separation between work and home was extremely difficult, not only in terms of physical space, but also as the time to commute to and from your destination had also disappeared. People had to train their brains from being "off" at home to being "on" in the blink of an eye.  As more people are returning to their physical workspaces, the separation between work and home has become easier. However, there are still challenges, as many people literally and figuratively “take work home” with them. This has been an easy thing to do with advancements in technology, as well as the systems put in place due to COVID. Consequentially, this increases the demands on your body and mind and creates a recipe for burnout. Periods of rest are required to enhance productivity during work hours. The following are some tips to decrease the risk of burnout for those returning to their physical workspaces: » Use the commute time to do something you enjoy (e.g., read, listen to podcasts/music). » Finish your work at work and leave unfinished tasks on a to-do list for the next workday. » Have strict beginning and end times. » Mute all notifications after work hours. If you are still working from home, have the following parameters set in place: » If possible, work in a space that is separate from where you sleep and where you eat. » Develop a morning routine before starting work. » Change into work clothes during work hours, and into life clothes after finishing work. » Have strict beginning and end times. » Stay disconnected after work hours and days. Boundaries in your personal life are also important. Learn to be okay with saying no to others and yes to yourself. Leave the time and space for proper restoration and things that bring you joy, instead of being driven by obligation. 2. Ask for Help Just because you can do it all, doesn't mean you should. Asking for help not only allows you to decrease your burden, but also allows you the space to only do what you do best. This can result in increased enjoyment and fulfilment, which are some of the best tools to combat burnout.  This applies to both your personal and professional life. Determine what it is that only you can do and what is solely your responsibility, and delegate the rest wherever possible. If you're the type of person who takes care of everyone first, teach others not to need you; do not take on what is not yours to carry. 3. Prioritize Sleep Sleep is one of the most underrated and underappreciated aspects of health; however, it is the most crucial in maintaining a healthy body and mind. Above all else, sleep should take priority. Aim for a minimum of seven to eight hours per night. Do not sacrifice sleep for exercise. If your to-do list is impacting the time you're able to get to bed, either learn to shorten your to-do list for the day, ask for help, or set better boundaries (see Tip 1). Help yourself get a good night's rest by staying away from electronics and artificial light sources in the evening, going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, and avoiding heavy meals or exercise too close to bedtime. 4. Ensure Nutrition Basics Are in Place  Your body and mind need fuel to meet the demands of your day, so don’t skip meals and make sure you're eating at least three solid meals a day. Keep up with your water intake too, and remember that coffee and caffeinated beverages do not count towards hydration. Ensure that your intake of macronutrients (i.e., carbohydrates, protein, and fats) is well-rounded, but if given the option of only one, focus on protein-dense foods to help balance blood sugar levels (e.g., nuts, seeds, chicken, and eggs). For busy individuals, meal prep is your best friend. Spend one day grocery shopping and cook meals for the week so that you have ready-to-go nutritious meals on hand. 5. Be Intentional About Joy  It is far too easy to just "let things happen." We schedule our appointments and we have work hours, but we don't often think about scheduling joy. When was the last time you did something just for you that was fun? How often are you doing thing ...

How Fears Shape Our Experience?

Fears
Have you ever considered your fears in life? Physical and psychological fears are often rooted in a lack of security. Physical security may be established through basic food and shelter, but psychologically, our fears continue to shape our experiences until we look at the root cause. Let’s study this universal experience through a mindful approach. “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” There are many fears: The fear of judgement (from people or God), of loneliness, poverty, heights, loss, and death. There are millions of different fears, and many of us are working through our own personal fear now, at this moment. Sometimes when fears arise, you can receive help with the assistance of a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, or another healthcare professional. This often becomes a cyclical pattern, however, that deals with one branch of fear at a time without looking at the whole structure of fear itself. Fear can be said to begin from a deep need for psychological security—a feeling of comfort found through a steadiness in life that most people desire.  Psychological Security  Throughout history, we have looked for psychological security to overcome fear. This has led to the creation of ideologies like politics, religion, economy, education, professions, family, etc. If we look at any one of these ideologies, we can see that although our minds have been trained to “believe” there is security in them, it’s not intrinsically there. Let’s look first at family. One may believe there is security in a relationship with a husband or wife, but at any moment, that security may be lost to illness, divorce, or death. A child may feel secure with a parent, but is then left alone by being pushed out by a loved one, or they may venture out on their own. These kinds of scenarios will bring some level of fear to the child. Therefore, the familial home may not actually be a place of everlasting security. We can look at the ideology of a particular political group and see that at any time, the group may not deliver on promises made to a community or nation—security here, too, is fragile. In education, after acquiring the credentials needed for a particular job or career, continuing education may be needed to practice in a new city or country, or you may need to adapt to new life situations due to the loss of a job, moving, illness, politics, etc. This does not bring psychological security either. At this point, you may seek security through new training or a new workplace, but this new search or work also brings fear. Sometimes, people seek psychological security through the ideology of a religion, a guru, or a spiritual leader. Over time, they might find that such a leader or role model changes, or a person no longer enjoys the teachings of a new minister at a familiar church or the new administration behind it. In such cases, you may look for a new church, temple, mosque, or leader to find psychological security as you work through personal fears. The same experience is often felt through working with one’s healthcare team. The team is appreciated when all is going well, but when personal health or the team itself changes, you may look for a new provider. This also brings fear and often resentment, anxiety, and frustration. Understanding And Awareness  These examples of ideologies we look to for psychological security each show that they are temporary, which inevitably breeds fear. Our entire world experience is temporary, and fear can grow because we’re conditioned to believe that security can be found in short-term experiences. But there is no security in fleeting things. Just like fear, a happy moment or anger is also temporary. Any one of these emotions can further feed fear. For example, if someone is very happy living in a particular home, they will likely fear any damage or loss to it. Eventually, they will look for a new home due to changing needs, then fear that change. Usually, people are encouraged to overcome their fears; they may seek out a parent for help, a teacher or leader, or a healthcare professional, but rarely can these helpers treat the root cause of the fear. Physical pain also connects with psychological fears. If a person had excruciating pain yesterday, but the pain is gone today, the mind will fear experiencing that pain again. The memory of the past filters through the present, projecting this fear into the future. Thus, even without the pain, people will carry the fear.  Thought and time can sabotage us; both can intensify fears and move a person out of the present moment. If there’s no fear currently, thought and/or time can bring it about. When there is fear requiring immediate action, it doesn’t need conscious thought or time to express itself It’s just suddenly there. For example, avoiding being hit by a car or getting up after a sudden fall are instinc ...

Nature is Mathematical: Expanding Kids’ Minds with an Outdoor Classroom

Outdoor Classroom
The great outdoors is rich with opportunities for math learning that can interest and engage children in real-life problem-solving. Math is a universal language, and the foundations of mathematics give us the tools to ask more complicated questions about the world around us. In grades one and two, children learn the mathematical concepts of addition and subtraction; number sense; and measurements and data collection, such as measuring items with a ruler, comparing which is smaller/larger, and using geometry to identify and understand two-dimensional versus three-dimensional shapes.  As our foundational understanding of math grows while we expand on the basic concepts of BEDMAS and polynomials, the complexity of our cognition and thought generation also evolves. We move from asking simplistic questions about shapes and numbers to philosophical ones about the mind and humankind. However, this process of mind expansion begins young, starting with the ABCs and 1, 2, 3s. Nurturing educational basics creates the fertile ground for complex thought to grow. Nature provides vast and various workspaces to practice these rudimentary math skills, utilizing space and elements just waiting to be discovered and explored. Here are some tips and exercises you can use to help children activate their mathematical minds. Colour & Shape Lessons on colors and shapes are among the first learned in Kindergarten, which can be extrapolated to the outdoor classroom. The basic shapes are the two-dimensional (2D) circle, triangle, and square; and their geometric three-dimensional (3D) counterparts, the sphere, prism, and cube. Have kids explore their “shape space” and see which they can find. Can they find all six of these 2D and 3D shapes? Did they find a group of items that make a shape when put together? Picking a favourite shape or item, such as a rock or leaf, get them to find as many of that item as they can and arrange them according to size or colour gradient. This teaches the skill of comparison and organization and is the basis for making a mathematical series (analgebraic concept). Can they find an object that is a grouping or combination of shapes? If so, have them break that object down into its separate shapes and have them draw the object by using the grouping of shapes as their foundation—this is a drawing technique used to ensure proper scale and arrangement.  Patterns The ability to see groupings of repetitive shapes is the basis of pattern recognition—another fundamental math skill. Patterns are present everywhere in nature, from the changing of seasons to the concentric growth rings visible on a freshly cut tree stump. They are concrete things we can see, like the spiral arrangement of petals on a flower, or complex ideas, like the life cycle of a leaf. Have your child choose a living object, like a flower or mushroom, and have them describe what pattern they see. Is there a repetitive group of objects that can be identified? What is the individual shape, and how many times is it repeated? This exercise covers the basics of multiplication. For an exercise of pattern recognition in concepts or cycles, have them choose a tree or plant and describe their life story, starting from a seedling. This exercise also exemplifies empathy and the ability to emotionally connect to the spirit of nature.  Symmetry Symmetry, like patterns, is another mathematical concept that is well-represented in nature. If an object remains unchanged when it’s rotated, flipped, or divided into equal parts, it’s symmetrical. Gather a plethora of nature objects, like leaves, pinecones, flowers, or sticks, and have your child determine which are symmetrical and which are asymmetrical. An object can have reflectional symmetry around a line or axis. An example of this is a butterfly painting you may have created as a child, where you paint one side of the paper, fold it, then open to reveal symmetrical butterfly wings. Rotational symmetry around a central point can be observed in the radial arrangement of flower petals, among other objects from nature. What are some other examples of symmetry found in nature?  Have your kiddo find four different flowers and determine if they exhibit symmetry, and which type of symmetry it is. Can they recreate the flower using paper shapes or origami? The symmetry of leaves can easily be seen by using the leaf as a stamp; paint the leaf using acrylic or watercolor paint, then stamp it onto paper to create a leaf print. No paint? The leaf can make its own pigment thanks to its abundance of chlorophyll. Put the leaf between two pieces of paper, and use a rock to hammer the leaf to crush the plant cells and release its natural pigment—this will leave an imprint on the paper. A similar craft can be made using clay/dough instead of paper, pressing the leaf into the material to leave a detailed imprint. Using a magnifying glass, children can then explore the lines of ...

Letting Go and Holding On: Reflections For A Healthier You

Letting Go and Holding On
Human minds have been conditioned for years (and through experience) to run away from things we dislike and run toward things we like. We escape avoiding discomfort, pain, and unease while we chase what brings us immediate pleasure, gratification, or a sense of control. This is an interesting concept to observe and understand. Today as we change homes, jobs, and relationships, we can see that the same principles apply. Let’s walk together, mindfully, as we take a closer look at the mind’s tendencies and how they affect us, our families, our workplaces, and the world around us. Letting go When we go through difficult times, we’ve all heard a close friend or family member say, “Just let it go.” you may have noticed that sometimes the mind will replay these difficult times repeatedly, and what we remember about the incident can change dramatically over time. We may also remember things differently from others involved. Even people who feel they have a perfect memory will be biased in their mental perspectives. As a result, we may not speak kindly of a person or an experience that has hurt us, and we may even act differently because of our “understanding” of it. This can happen both in our personal and professional lives. “the truth is, unless you let go unless you forgive yourself unless you forgive the situation unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.” This means that two people can look at the same moment from different perspectives—through the “vision” each person carries from past life experiences. So, if we go to a party and I remember it as having a fabulous spread of tasty treats because I love fruit, you may have found it awful because you are a pastry maker looking for unique baked creations. If either of us tells the other to “let it go,” the hurt that one may feel from that comment will be based on how much we have self-identified by our preferences. I might look forward to interacting with people more at parties, and you may look forward to the food itself. All of this affects us when we think of letting go. Similarly, in the workplace, the more one identifies with the work or work environment, the less easy it would be to “let go” in times of change. If one loves the job, it’s not easy to let it go if there’s a job loss; however, if one focuses on finances and loses the job to get a higher-paying one, it may feel easier. If someone values working with different people, almost any job may be satisfying. Once again, it helps to know what people may identify with to fully understand why we do what we do, and what makes letting go easier for some and harder for others. Once we have this understanding, moving forward after let- ting go (or being let go) in any situation can be easier. Resentment, anger, guilt, and judgment toward oneself or others only build resistance to the reality of the situation. Letting go is easier when one comes from a forgiving space, as steve maraboli’s quote shows us. Remember, when moving away from what is not liked, let- ting go is easier. It’s less easy to let go in situations that were once loved—whether it’s a job or a relationship. When one grieves deeply, this is the best time to try to understand oneself deeply too. Since we are all interconnected, under- standing oneself honestly and fully often opens awareness and understanding of others as well. This space of under- standing allows for true forgiveness in a situation; this is the space that allows us to let go of opinions, beliefs, and judgments. This then opens a world of possibilities that the mind will be ready to see and receive joyfully. Holding on The mind truly loves to hold on to what it finds pleasurable. This may be a sensory-related item, such as food or the touch of another. Sometimes it’s the feeling of power or authority over others, which can happen personally or professionally. Tactics such as using money or yelling can become a power “weapon” in these scenarios. You’ve likely heard of incidents where neither of these tactics has been obvious at first, but drastic incidents have occurred as a result, leading to domestic and/or public violence. Many relationship break-ups have this history, where someone has learned to hold on to their “power” secretively. Can you believe that holding on can lead to such experiences- es? Perhaps you even know of an employee who walked out of their office at a moment’s notice, or a partner that was suddenly handed divorce papers. This happens more often than you might think. Sometimes holding on when one feels wronged even has financial repercussions, as these cases might go to court at great cost to all involved. I hope you can see that the act of “holding on”- if not accompanied by love, honesty, and integrity—can easily lead to greed, jealousy, competition, and anger. Unfortunately, many of us have experienced these sorts of situations or heard about them i ...

Can colloidal silver replace your hand sanitizer?

colloidal silver
There has never been a time when the hand sanitizers in the health food stores are flying off the shelves faster than they can be restocked. Over a year since the pandemic began, hand sanitizer is still essential. It doesn’t matter whether you’re running a quick errand or spending the full day at work, we’re willing to bet you have at least one bottle in your purse, maybe even another in your car. These days, you simply cannot leave the house without at least one bottle of hand sanitizer. However, many of these sanitizers, even the ones sold at health food stores, are made up of 70% alcohol and can be extremely drying to the hands. Hand sanitizer is certainly a great product, but there is another that is just as effective: Colloidal silver. This lesser-known sanitizer may sound unrelated, but it’s extremely versatile as a purse staple. A small bottle of colloidal silver takes up little space yet serves many purposes. What is colloidal silver? When comparing the bottles, colloidal silver is similar to hand sanitizer. They are both clear liquids that come in small spray bottles. The difference lies in the ingredients list. While hand sanitizer is composed of alcohol, preservatives, and scents, colloidal silver is described as tiny particles of silver suspended in a liquid. Its only ingredients are silver and purified water. Don’t worry, you won’t see the “silver” in the liquid because they are nanoparticles and less than 100nm in size. How can you use colloidal silver? Before antibiotics were discovered, colloidal silver was used as an all-purpose remedy for infections and pathogens. Not only does it kill bacteria, but it can also fight viruses and fungi like candida. To reap its antimicrobial properties, you can use it as a topical spray or ingest it internally.  Most popular uses for colloidal silver sprays spray on hands to use as hand sanitizer spray on the face after a long day of mask-wearing, to prevent mask (acne caused by wearing masks long-term) spray in the mouth at the first sign of cold or flu spray in the eyes to clear out an eye infection spray on external wounds to prevent infections spray on the scalp to fight dandruff Best options: Sovereign Silver Spray 59mL*, Sovereign Silver Silver Hydrosol 946mL* *when spraying in the mouth, please follow the instructions on the bottle Is colloidal silver safe? Even though colloidal silver has many anti-microbial uses, not everyone is completely sold on the product. Silver itself is present in our everyday environment and we are constantly exposed to small amounts. Can ingesting it as a supplement be toxic? Current studies show that the risk for chronic exposure to colloidal silver is not well known. As with any substance, there can be a risk of overdose, but the exact amounts and time frame needed for colloidal silver to cause this are not known. Considering how long it’s been used and how effective it’s been, the risk of overexposure is likely low. Using colloidal silver as a spray ensures you are using low quantities, and many supplements contain low concentrations of silver. Nonetheless, it is recommended to use colloidal silver with caution. Author Grace Tien is a women’s health holistic nutritionist. She helps her clients optimize their nutrition habits so that they can get rid of afternoon slumps and live each day full of energy. Grace specializes in nutrition for healthy periods, you can find out more at @gracetien.ca on Instagram.

Ginger Root for Food, Medicine, and Body Care

  Ginger (or ginger root) cultivation began in South Asia over 4,000 years ago, and has since begun sprouting up all over the world. It’s in the same plant family as turmeric and cardamon, and can be used as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It’s anti-inflammatory properties also make it a great ingredient to use in different bath and body recipes, to help soothe aches and relax muscles. Ginger in Food Ginger is used to add a fragrant, spicy flavor to dishes. It can also be made into a candy, ginger ale, and added as a flavoring in recipes for cookies, cakes, and breads. Ginger as Medicine For thousands of years, ginger has also been used in herbal and folk medicine. There are so many ways to use ginger for healing and soothing the body: Helps with digestion – Ginger helps promote saliva and bile production in the stomach, both of which are central to healthy digestive health. It can be taken either as a supplement pill or as a tea. A bit of raw honey added to the ginger tea tastes great and promotes healthy bacteria in the gut – which also aids digestion. Reduces nausea – Whether it’s motion-sickness, morning sickness during pregnancy, upset stomach, or post-chemotherapy, ginger gets to the root of the problem by going straight to work in the stomach, unlike commercial anti-nausea medications which just block messages to the brain. Boosts immunity - As a natural immune booster, ginger gives a warming and energizing effect on the body. It helps promote healthy sweat during colds and flus, during which the seat glands secrete a compound which protects the skin from infection. Anti-inflammatory – Ginger’s heating effect is also great for arthritic conditions, helping to reduce swelling around inflamed joints. It can be used to make a compress, an oil, a salve, or a liniment. Ginger in Bath & Body Care The warming effect of ginger makes it a great addition to many bath and body care applications! Photo courtesy: CrunchyBetty.com Foot Bath/Soak – Just add 2 tbsp. of dried ginger, or 2 tsp. of fresh grated ginger to your foot bath water. Body Scrub – Add 2 tsp. of freshly grated ginger to your favorite body scrub Massage Oil – Either fresh or dried ginger can be infused with a carrier oil (ie: almond or olive oil) for 1-2 weeks, then used as  warming massage oil Bath Salts – Add a few teaspoons of freshly grated ginger along with some coarse sea salt or epsom salts for a warm, soothing bath Please Note: If you have high or low blood pressure, are on blood thinners, suffer from gallstones, or have any kind of heart condition, it is best to check with your healthcare professional before consuming ginger root on a regular basis. Ginger may make your symptoms worse or interact with any medications you may be taking. How do you use ginger in your home? Do you prefer fresh or dried ginger? Anymore ideas to add to this list? Click here to view Ginger Products at Healthy Planet Sources:http://planetsave.com/2011/11/09/natural-healing-uses-for-ginger/http://thenerdyfarmwife.com/14-way-use-ground-ginger/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gingerhttp://www.crunchybetty.com/5-fresh-ways-to-use-ginger-in-homemade-beauty