Lifestyle

HWA-14 Reasons Why Witch Hazel Should Be In Every Home

14 Reasons Why Witch Hazel Should Be In Every Home

 

Witch Hazel is a substance known as an astringent, which means that it has the ability to shrink the pores of your skin. It comes from the Witch Hazel bush, (whose scientific name is Hamamelis Virginiana), which is a plant native to North America.

Witch Hazel, which is produced by boiling parts of the plant, can be applied topically, and has long been known for its medical properties. It is recognized the world over as a natural skin cleanser and toner, but in actual fact it has many more uses.  Once you find out all the amazing uses for witch hazel  you will probably want to rush out (or make your own – see the end of the article for more details) and make sure you have some in your medicine cabinet.

Use of Witch Hazel # 1 – As a natural astringent

Witch Hazel is a rich source of tannin, and it is this tannin that gives it its astringent qualities, meaning that it is able to bring down the size of your pores and remove any excess oil from your skin. People who work outdoors and who are exposed to environmental pollution can use Witch Hazel to minimize the amount of contaminants that can otherwise infiltrate their pores. This not only helps to keep their skin cleaner, but also reduces the severity of any blemishes. Using Witch Hazel on a regular basis will banish excess oil and help to eliminate and prevent blackheads from forming.

 

Use of Witch Hazel # 2 – A treatment for inflammatory skin conditions and bruises

As well, as helping to minimize and eliminate blemishes on your skin, Witch Hazel can also be used to combat inflammatory skin conditions such as acne. The best way to apply it is with a small ball of cotton wool, or a bespoke cosmetic pad. In addition to eliminating blemishes and dealing with inflammatory skin conditions Witch Hazel can also accelerate the healing and fading of bruising.

Use of Witch Hazel # 3 – Helps to banish blackness around the eyes

The ability of Witch Hazel as an astringent to tighten the skin and minimize inflammation, means that it is the perfect natural treatment for dealing with darkness and puffiness around your eyes. You do however need to be very careful when applying it, because if it gets into your eyes, it will cause considerable pain and discomfort.

Use of Witch Hazel # 4 – Minimize swollen veins

Witch Hazel can also be used to minimize the appearance of Varicose Veins by reducing both the swelling and the pain. Pour the Witch Hazel onto a soft terry cloth, and gently lay over the affected area. It’s also a good idea to elevate the area you are treating as high as you can, as this will help to decrease the blood pressure in the veins.

 

Use of Witch Hazel # 5 – Arrests bleeding

The ability of Witch Hazel to tighten skin through its astringent characteristics helps to promote more rapid healing. You can apply organic Witch Hazel to small grazes and cuts to arrest any bleeding. Some Witch Hazel products that can be bought over-the-counter may contain isopropyl alcohol, which is a disinfecting agent. Although it may sting a little when applied, this will soon disappear, which is why it is such a popular wound cleanser for many people.

Use of Witch Hazel # 6 – Deals with shaving and waxing bleeds

Witch Hazel can be used by anyone who nicks themselves when shaving. Its anti-inflammatory characteristics can be used to minimize razor burn too, rather like an aftershave. It’s also used by many men and women after a hot wax treatments.  This sometimes results in pin-prick size bleeds that Witch Hazel deals with very effectively.

Use of Witch Hazel # 7 – A hemorrhoid treatment

Because of Witch Hazel’s excellent anti-inflammatory characteristics, it is also a great treatment for hemorrhoids and helps to reduce the swelling, as well as any itching, pain, or bleeding. It is actually used in the manufacture of many over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments. To make your own, simply mix a little Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera gel and apply to any hemorrhoid for instant relief.

Use of Witch Hazel # 8 – Sore throat treatment

An herbal tea made with Witch Hazel can help to ease a sore throat. If you are buying an over-the-counter Witch Hazel product, make sure that it is one that does not include isopropyl alcohol. Gargling with non-isopropyl alcohol Witch Hazel solution will reduce any swelling and help to mop up any excess mucus. It can also be used to treat other throat conditions, including laryngitis, sinusitis, and tonsillitis.

Use of Witch Hazel # 9 – Dental treatment

You can use a mouth rinse made from Witch Hazel (one that doesn’t include isopropyl alcohol), to help to minimize the pain and swelling of inflamed gums. It is also very useful at helping to stop any bleeding in the mouth too. For small children with teething problems, or for anyone with emerging wisdom teeth that are causing pain, or if anyone is suffering from discomfort following a dental procedure, a Witch Hazel mouth rinse, to which is added one drop of clove oil, and one drop of myrrh oil, can be administered.

Use of Witch Hazel # 10 – Treatment for Swimmer’s Ear

 

“Swimmer’s Ear” is a microbial infection of the ear canal. Witch Hazel can be used to treat this infection by putting several drops into the affected ear. This will dry up any pus, mop up any excess oil, and help to dislodge any earwax or debris that may be lodged in the ear canal. Once the Witch Hazel has been applied, allow the ear(s) to drain naturally, and clean using a cotton ball. It’s always a good idea to follow up any infection like this with a natural oil with antimicrobial properties, such as apple cider vinegar, basil oil, or tea tree oil.

Use of Witch Hazel # 11 – Anti-irritant for diaper rash

Witch Hazel can be used as a safe and effective treatment for diaper rash. By applying regularly, it can also help to repair damaged skin, thus reducing discomfort.

Use of Witch Hazel # 12 – Anti-sunburn treatment

We’ve already mentioned that you can mix Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera gel to create an effective treatment for hemorrhoids. The same mixture can be used to treat sunburn. The anti-inflammatory characteristics of the Witch Hazel, together with the soothing effect of the Aloe Vera are a match made in heaven for those with painful sunburn.

Use of Witch Hazel # 13 – Remedy for dermatitis

Thanks to its drying and anti-irritant capabilities, Witch Hazel is an effective remedy for dealing with inflammatory conditions caused by plants; such as poison ivy, and poison oak. It is also an effective treatment for dermatitis.

Use of Witch Hazel # 14 – Treatment for bug-bites and insect stings

In the same way that Witch Hazel can be used to act as an anti-inflammatory against poison ivy and poison oak, etc, it can also help to take away the pain and irritation from bug bites and insect stings.

 

 

 

 

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Foods, Health and Disease

HWA-Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust and Cauliflower Chia Pizza Crust

Gluten Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Pizza can be healthy too! Instead of a heavy and greasy pie crust, try cauliflower and chia seeds instead.

It is healthy, delicious, and yields many benefits. Cauliflower is full of the vitamins that our bodies need and crave like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, omega-3’s, and vitamin K. It also serves as a good source of vegetable protein, phosphorous, and potassium.

Cauliflower is very good for cancers such as breast, colon, prostate, and ovarian. The cauliflower provides special nutrient support for several body systems that are closely connected with cancer prevention. It has certain compounds that help resist cancer, and can eliminate cancer enzymes. Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, a Sulphur compound that has been shown to kill cancer stem cells.

Cauliflower is also good for your heart, digestive system, and it’s anti-inflammatory. Sulforaphane in cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables has been found to significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function.

The delicious flowery vegetable is also full of choline, a B vitamin which is known for its role in brain development. Choline is very important during pregnancies, and it may be able to diminish age-related memory decline.

Chia seeds also play a starring role in this deliciously healthy vegan crust. Chia seeds are tiny black seeds that are full of fiber, protein, calcium, iron, and omega-3. They are loaded full of antioxidants that can fight the production of free radicals, which damage molecules in cells that contribute to ageing and horrible disease like cancer.

Make this crust, and you will not be disappointed in the flavor or the benefits!

Cauliflower Chia Pizza Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large head of Organic Cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup of ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Dried Oregano
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds  ( I have also used flax seeds )
  • 3/4 cup water

Instructions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400F.

2. Mix your chia seeds in with the 3/4 cup of water and place in your fridge 20 minutes before intended use.

2. Chop the cauliflower, and place in a blender or food processor and blend until it is a fine rice-like texture.

3. Measure out around 3 cups and place into a large bowl, add in the ground almonds, oregano, salt, and pepper. Make a hole in the center and add in the Chia goop.

4. Combine the ingredients by hand and, and shape everything together into a ball. It should be loose and sticky not like a traditional dough.

5. Put the ball onto a baking tray and form into a flat crust with your hands. Make a ridge around the outside, and bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

6. Add your favorite tomato base, and toppings bake an additional 5-10 minutes and enjoy your healthy meal!

  • We are in this Together!

    -People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

    Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr Mercola

Dr Patricia Carrothers- Reviewed

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Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/truth-about-chia

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/top-10-health-benefits-chia-seeds-6962.html

7 Health Benefits of Cauliflower

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=13

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/22/cauliflower-health-benefits.aspx

Health and Disease

HWA-Plastic Compounds in Tea Bags: Source of Potential Toxins

 

Plastic Compounds in Tea Bags: Source of Potential Toxins

 

I’ve long advocated drinking tea in lieu of coffee, but the downside of modern food technology is again rearing its ugly head and causing brand new health concerns over this otherwise healthful brew.

A recent article in The Atlantic raises questions about the safety of plastic tea bags, some of which have fancy pyramid shapes, designed to allow the tea leaves to unfurl during infusion.

Chances are you’ve never even given the tea bag a second thought. But indeed, some of the newer tea bags are made with a variety of plastics; some are nylon, some are made of viscose rayon, and others are made of thermoplastic, PVC or polypropylene.

Anyone aware of the dangers of plastic chemicals leaching out of plastic containers and bottles is likely to be concerned about drinking tea steeped through heated plastic.

The other bad news is that paper tea bags may be just as bad, or worse, than the plastic ones because many of them are treated with epichlorohydrin, a compound mainly used in the production of epoxy resins.

Considered a potential carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health2 (NIOSH), epichlorohydrin is also used as a pesticide. Besides making its way into tea bags, it can also be found in coffee filters, water filters, and sausage casings.

When epichlorohydrin comes in contact with water, it hydrolyzes to 3-MCPD, which has been shown to cause cancer in animals. It’s also been implicated in infertility (it has a spermatoxic effect in male rats3) and suppressed immune function.

This chemical is already a well-known “process contaminant” associated with modern food production. According to the American Oil Chemicals Society5 (AOCS), 3-MCPD can also be found in variable levels in refined vegetable oils, which is yet another reason to avoid such cooking oils and replace them with organic coconut oil.

Do Plastic Tea Bags Pose a Health Concern?
As you probably know, chemicals in plastic containers and bottles have been found to leach into food and drink, thereby posing a number of health hazards. Examples include bisphenol-A (BPA), bisphenol-S (BPS), and phthalates, all of which mimic hormones and act as potent endocrine disruptors.

Unfortunately, according to the featured article, neither the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have any information on the toxicity of plastic tea bags or the levels of plastic chemicals that might migrate into the tea when steeped in hot water. Hard to believe, but true, the US federal agencies are not supervising this potential toxic exposure.

According to the featured article:

“Could plastic tea bags also be bad for our health? They are most commonly made from food grade nylon or polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which are two of the safest plastics on the scale of harmful leaching potential.

Both have very high melting points, which offer some assurance to consumers, as one would think the melting point of plastic is the temperature at which one would need to worry about accidentally eating it.

There is another temperature point for plastics, though, that we may need to worry about, called the ‘glass transition’ temperature (Tg). That is the temperature at which the molecule in certain materials such as polymers begin to break down. As a rule, the Tg of a material is always lower than the melting point.”

Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius). In the case of PET the glass transition point (Tg) is about 169 degrees, and the breakdown point of nylon is even lower than PET.

“If the question is, ‘As the polymer goes through that transition state, is it easier for something to leach out?’ ‘the answer is yes,’ said Dr. Ray Fernando, professor and director of polymers and coatings at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo,” The Atlantic states.

So while these plastics are generally considered among the safest in terms of leaching potential, the molecules in these plastic tea bags may still in fact break down and leach out when steeped in boiling water—which is the recommended way to brew a good cup of tea, especially when you’re using higher quality whole tea leaves, which these newer tea bags are designed for…

Paper Tea Bags May Be Just as Bad, or Worse…
The now defunct Dexter Corporation was the initial owner on the patent6 of a method for treating both tea bags and coffee filters with latex (plastic), to aid in preventing tears that allow the tea leaves/coffee grounds to leak. This invention “saturates and completely impregnates” the entire web material. Therein lies one of the problems with paper tea bags as they are frequently treated with epichlorohydrin, which hydrolyzes to the carcinogen 3-MCPD when contact with water occurs.

Dow Chemical Co is one of the largest producers of epichlorohydrin. According to safety literature7 from Dow, it’s a very dangerous chemical that requires using extra precautions when handling. Granted, that doesn’t automatically render it dangerous in the final product, but it can still be a cause for concern, particularly as it can turn into a carcinogen when water is added. There are many unanswered questions with respect to the potential hazards of using this chemical in products specifically designed to be used with boiling water…

A good way to protect yourself and your family in this area is to purchase your tea from manufacturers who can certify that their tea bags do not contain this compound. Organic India, for example, has sent me a confirmation that the paper used for their tea bags does not contain epichlorohydrin. In a 2009 article, Kristie Leong, MD also claims to have done her own inquiries and that Bigelow Tea Company does not use the chemical in their bags8. Many plastic tea bags are advertised as “silky” or “mesh bags,” or they’ll have fancy shapes or oversized bags. I’d suggest avoiding those as well if you want to be on the safe side.

Your best option would be to opt for loose tea. This does take longer, but it can be well worth the wait. One of my favorite teas is Royal Matcha Green Tea, which has one of the highest levels of the potent antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Unlike other teas which you steep and strain, matcha tea is a powder made from ground green tea leaves. You add the powder right into the water. You are consuming the whole leaf, which makes matcha one of the healthiest green teas available. Another excellent option is loose Tulsi tea leaves. This well-known Ayurvedic herb is also full of antioxidants that fight free radicals in your body and prevent oxidation damage.

 

How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea
There is an art to brewing tea using loose tea leaves, but once you find your “sweet spot” you may never go back to bagged tea again. Here are a few simple guidelines for making the “perfect” cup of tea:

It is known by all that tea has to have that amount of properties highly for our health.  Today we will talk about the benefits of a particular type of tea: White tea.  In addition to its mild and sweet taste, white tea has a lot of beneficial properties for the body and mind.Bring water to a boil in a tea kettle (avoid using a non-stick pot, as they too can release harmful chemicals when heated)
Preheat your tea pot or cup to prevent the water from cooling too quickly when transferred. Simply add a small amount of boiling water to the pot or tea cup that you’re going to steep the tea in. Ceramic and porcelain retain heat well. Then cover the pot or cup with a lid. Add a tea cozy if you have one, or drape with a towel. Let stand until warm, then pour out the water
Put the tea into an infuser, strainer, or add loose into the tea pot. Steeping without an infuser or strainer will produce a more flavorful tea. Start with one heaped teaspoon per cup of tea, or follow the instructions on the tea package. The robustness of the flavor can be tweaked by using more or less tea
Add boiling water. Use the correct amount for the amount of tea you added (i.e. for four teaspoons of tea, add four cups of water). The ideal water temperature varies based on the type of tea being steeped:
White or green teas (full leaf): Well below boiling (170-185 F or 76-85 C). Once the water has been brought to a boil, remove from heat and let the water cool for about 30 seconds for white tea and 60 seconds for green tea before pouring it over the leaves
Oolongs (full leaf): 185-210 F or 85-98 C
Black teas (full leaf) and Pu-erhs: Full rolling boil (212 F or 100 C)
Cover the pot with a cozy and let steep. Follow steeping instructions on the package. If there are none, here are some general steeping guidelines. Taste frequently as you want it to be flavorful but not bitter:
Oolong teas: 4-7 minutes
Black teas: 3-5 minutes
Green teas: 2-3 minutes
Once desired flavor has been achieved you need to remove the strainer or infuser. If using loose leaves, pour the tea through a strainer into your cup and any leftover into another vessel (cover with a cozy to retain heat)
After Water, Tea is One of Your Healthiest Beverage Choices
While some tea bags—whether plastic or paper processed with epichlorohydrin—may pose a potential hazard, please don’t let that deter you from drinking tea altogether. Although I still believe pure water should make up the majority of your daily fluid intake, high-quality tea has numerous health benefits to offer. Among them is growing evidence that the polyphenols in tea, which include EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) and many others, can be protective against cancer. For example, the polyphenols in green tea appear to be even more effective at fighting the progression of cancer than the antioxidants found in red wine and grapes. Beyond this, the beneficial properties in tea have been known to:

Neutralize the effects to your body of harmful fats and oils
Inhibit bacteria and viruses
Improve digestion
Protect against oxidation in your brain and liver
Help promote healthy gums
Drinking tea has also been linked to:

Improved mental alertness and slowing of brain-cell degeneration Reduced blood pressure Protection again type 2 diabetes
Lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels Lower risk of breast, colon, lung, ovarian and prostate cancers Reduced risk of heart attack and stroke

Of course, there are some general ground rules to follow when selecting tea of any kind, and those are that it should preferably be:

Organic (otherwise tea may be heavily sprayed with pesticides)
Grown in a pristine environment (tea is known to accumulate fluoride, heavy metals and other toxins from soil and water, so a clean growing environment is essential to producing a pure, high-quality tea)
So keep these tips in mind, and go ahead and enjoy a cup or two of your favorite variety. I personally prefer Matcha tea, a vibrant bright green tea made of tea leaves ground into a powder, and Tulsi tea, which is a powerful adaptogenic herb that provides important therapeutic benefits.

 

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Diets and Weight Loss, Health and Disease

HWA-Sugar, Not Fat, is Responsible for Heart Attacks

Sugar, Not Fat, is Responsible for Heart Attacks

Dr. Ken Walker, also known as W. Gifford-Jones, MD, launched a weekly medical column in 1975 and has been going strong ever since. His common-sense approach to healthy living is simple: “Don’t smoke, drink moderately, exercise, and eat a balanced diet.” Yet, he’d probably be the first to tell you that most people just can’t bring themselves to follow this common-sense approach.  In an article published on The Wallaceburg Curious Press’ website, he goes over how sugar, not fat, is responsible for heart attacks. We’ll review some of his conclusions here, as well as provide additional research backing up his claim.

( types of sugars, then there are goods that turn into sugar)

In the 1970s, scientists suggested that sugar and low intake of fiber were major factors in heart disease. But around the same time, the belief that excess intake of saturated fatty acids was the key factor took over this idea. It was a view that stuck around from 1974 to 2014. Research indicates that the claims around saturated fat were exaggerated.

Sugar And Heart Disease

Dr. John Yudkin published a book in 1972 that concluded sugar was connected to many diseases, but most importantly to heart disease. But the evidence was not strong, and the studies didn’t find a clear link between sugar and heart disease. Because of this, Dr. Yudkin’s hypothesis didn’t gain traction or acceptance. Around the same time, the sugar industry paid researchers to publish papers that pointed to saturated fat as the cause of heart disease. The scandal came out in 2016.

But in 2014, Dr. Frank Hu and his peers found an association between a high-sugar diet and a greater risk of dying from heart disease. The 15-year study found that people with 17% to 21% of calories from added sugar had a 38% higher risk of dying from compared to those with lower amounts.

“Basically, the higher the intake of added sugar, the higher the risk for heart disease,” Dr. Hu told Harvard Health, “How sugar actually affects heart health is not completely understood, but it appears to have several indirect connections. For instance, high amounts of sugar overload the liver. Your liver metabolizes sugar the same way as alcohol, and converts dietary carbohydrates to fat.”

Eventually, this leads to excess and accumulated fat, which leads to fatty liver disease and diabetes, and raises the risk of heart disease. Too much sugar increases blood pressure and inflammation and leads to weight gain.

Research Scandal

The scandal came out in 2016 with a paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine about the influence of food industry-funded research. The analysis shows that a sugar group paid Harvard scientists, who are no longer alive, to publish a review on sugar, fat, and heart disease. The studies chosen minimized the link between sugar and heart disease and focused instead on saturated fat. The analysis called for policymakers to give less weight to these industry-funded studies.

“They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades,” Stanton Glantz, one of the paper’s authors, told New York Times.

The Sugar Association responded to the claims with a statement saying they should have exercised greater transparency. They said the review was published when medical journals didn’t typically require funding disclosures.

In 2018, other papers came out that challenged these claims about the industry. The writers suggested that there was “no smoking gun” or conspiracy that implicated the industry in the funding or suppressing of its effects on heart disease. They’re careful to stress that they’re not defending the sugar industry, but suggest the claims do not factor in regards to the research standards of the time.

Whatever the involvement of the industry, it is now clear through science that sugar, not saturated fat, causes heart disease.

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    -People Start to Heal The Moment They Are Heard-

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