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The Wild Foods Blog

Welcome to the Wild Foods blog. The Wild Blog features recipes, specials, product spotlights, giveaways and more!

Dried Senna Leaf as a Laxative and Effective Skin and Hair Treatment

Mike Rothschild

Senna originates in regions of North Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia including China and India. Senna is known widely as a very powerful laxative due to the constituents present called anthraquinones, which are also known as sennosides or glycosides.

The dried leaves and fruit bodies of senna are especially effective in treating constipation and clearing the bowel before medical procedures, such as a colonoscopy diagnostic test. Senna is also used to aid in weight loss, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and hemorrhoids.

The above mentioned are not the only benefits that can be received from adding dried Senna leaf to your diet. Below are some additional ways dried senna can improve your skin, hair, and digestion.

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7 Hair, Skin, and Digestion Benefits of Dried Senna Leaf

1. Treats Skin Conditions

This shrub is also used in Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurvedic medicine is one of the oldest medicinal systems with one of the main guiding principles being that the body and mind are inextricably connected.

The essential oils, tannins, and resin present in senna alleviate skin inflammation. This can also be made into a paste to cure ringworm and heal burns and other wounds.

2. Treats Skin Infections

Due to the high antibacterial property of senna, it can be used to treat skin ailments and dermatological problems. Those that suffer from conditions such as acne and eczema, but prefer natural alternatives often turn to this powerful leaf for relief.

3. Use to Achieve Strong Hair

Many women (and men!) are on the hunt for the best ingredient to strengthen hair, condition the scalp, and achieve shiny, smooth hair. My friends, I present the senna leaf, which achieves all of the above mentioned.

A paste can be made by mixing yogurt, water, and senna powder. Adding citrus, spices, and essential oils can achieve a better effect, so if you’ve got them - add them! Apply it directly to the hair and let the prepared senna paste penetrate into the scalp and roots of your hair. Lastly, cover your hair with a plastic bag and let it dry. After few hours, rinse it off and voila! For best results, use weekly.

4. Great as a Conditioner

Senna also works well as a stand-alone conditioner. Senna’s constituents help minimize the impact of chemical treatments from commercial products that build up and dull the hair. Your hair may feel dry and rough at first, but not to worry. The benefits will appear after a few uses. (I experienced this same reaction when I switched to a purifying all-natural lemon cleanser. Now my hair is gorg!)

5. Combats Hair Loss

Among the other amazing hair benefits provided by senna, it also improves scalp health, treats dandruff, and thickens hair. It makes the hair stronger and combats hair loss. Try mixing it with Amla and Shikakai for a better result.

6. Treats Constipation

Dried senna is also effective in treating constipation. In fact, the FDA approved this as a nonprescription drug for treatment. It stimulates muscles used in digestion and speeds up the release of fecal matter. In addition, this softens the stool because it enables the colon to absorb sufficient water. In traditional Chinese medicine, this shrub is known as the ‘cleansing herb’ because of its laxative effect.

7. Effective for Weight Loss

As a byproduct of the digestive benefits of senna, it improves and promotes weight loss. The purpose of senna is not to treat weight loss itself, but by promoting proper digestion and bowel movements, stagnant food is passed through the tract and cannot accumulate in the stomach. Therefore, you won’t feel bloated, but rather fresh, light and clean.

Next time you pick up a diet tea, notice it probably contains senna. Rather than filling up on artificial crapola, scoop up some Senna leaf in the Wild Shop and have some senna tea!

Senna Side Effects and Warnings

Senna tea is from Cassia Senna Shrub. This is safe to use for adults and children two years and older. The active compounds called sennosides and glycosides act as irritants in the colon, which enhances the muscular contractions of intestines, pushing the bowel to come out.

The side effects - if used excessively - could be cramps, diarrhea, and stomach discomfort. Do not use this for a period of 2 weeks or more because it can increase muscle weakness, heart disorders, and liver damage.

The Health Benefits of Stevia

Mike Rothschild

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Stevia is most widely known and used for what it doesn’t do. It doesn’t contain calories. It doesn’t spike blood sugar levels the way sugar does. It doesn’t take as much to sweeten.

But what about what it does do? Stevia is derived from a plant and is also widely used by health nuts to add a little sweetness without adding a lot of nastiness. Below are some of the top of health benefits of stevia leaf.

5 Top Benefits of Stevia Leaf

1. Controls Diabetes

Stevia regulates blood sugar levels and is often used to control diabetes. Stevia has stevioside, a non-carbohydrate glycoside compound. Stevia has the same function as sugar, in that it sweetens food, but it differs in that it opposes sucrose, of which normal sugar consists.

When the stevioside breaks down, the particles containing glucose are absorbed in the colon and do not enter the bloodstream nor affect the levels of glucose in the body. Therefore, stevia is recommended to replace ordinary table sugar. This is particularly encouraged for diabetics so they can consume sweets without risking their health.

2. Weight Loss

One of the many reasons stevia is so popular among women with fitness and physique goals is due to the low-calorie nature of stevia. Stevia is 200X as sweet as sugar in the same concentration as normal table sugar. The dosage requirement is significantly reduced without having to alter tasty sweetness. Stevia can be used to bake with in place of sugar, leaving you guilt- and worry-free.

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3. Regulates the Blood Pressure

There are other glycosides present in stevia which help relax the blood vessels, facilitate sodium elimination in the body, and increase urination. Since stevia relaxes blood vessels, less stress is placed on the cardiovascular system, which then prevents certain conditions like strokes, atherosclerosis, and heart attacks.

4. Oral Health

Stevia is often a popular additive in mouthwash and toothpaste because it has the ability to reduce the formation of bacteria in the mouth. It can also prevent gingivitis and cavities. Crazy, isn’t it? Something that sweetens naturally and is actually good for your teeth!

5. Anti-Cancer

Stevia is potent with antioxidants and is an ideal supplement for cancer prevention. The constituents kaempferol and quercetin found in stevia scavenge free-radicals that accumulate in the body and destroy healthy cells.

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Is there a downside to Stevia?

Whole stevia leaves have many other health benefits like preventing osteoporosis and improving skin care due to the antioxidant compounds. While it does bring many benefits, prevents and cures many ailments, there is the possibility of an allergic reaction. If you are allergic to daisies, marigold, or ragweed, you may also be allergic to stevia leaf.

While a rare reaction, when using stevia you may experience bloating, cramping, headaches, or dizziness.  It is always recommended to consult your physician before use and discontinue use immediately if you experience any adverse reactions.

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Wild Recipe: Matcha Veggie Patties

Mike Rothschild

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(Vegan, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Soy Free)

 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup cooked Chickpeas
  • 1 tsp Wild Matcha Powder
  • 2 tbsp Tapioca Flour
  • 1/4 cup minced Carrots
  • 1/4 cup minced White Onion
  • 2 minced Garlic Cloves
  • 1/3 cup chopped Spinach
  • 1/4 cup chopped Parsley
  • 1 tsp Wild Himalayan Salt
  • Pinch of Pepper
  • Olive Oil (or alternative cooking oil)

SAUCE

  • 1 can Coconut Milk or Coconut Milk Powder
  • 2 tbsp Tahini
  • 1 tsp Wild Turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp Wild Himalayan Salt
  • Small squeeze of Lemon
  • Pinch of Cayenne Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Curry Powder

Preparation

  1. Mash cooked Chickpeas with a fork (or add to a food processor), then mix in all remaining ingredients, aside from oil.

  2. Form mixture into patties of desired size, then cook on a pre-heated cast iron skillet with oil.

  3. Cook until lightly browned, flipping patties to ensure both sides are cooked.

  4. Place on a paper towel to remove excess oil.

  5. Add preferred toppings, and enjoy!

SAUCE:

  1. Heat all ingredients on low/medium heat until reaching a simmer.

  2. Remove from heat, and serve over patties, or with a side of fries!

Tips

  • This patty recipe made 8 appetizer slider sized patties.
  • If the mixture is too dry, add a small splash of water.
  • If the mixture is too wet, add a bit more Tapioca Flour.
  • Don’t want to heat the sauce? No problem! Just add all sauce ingredients to a food processor until well blended!

Wild Recipe: Creamy Mushroom Gravy

Mike Rothschild

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(Gluten free, Grain Free, Soy Free, Dairy Free)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 cup Chopped White Onion
  • 1/2 cup Chopped Mushrooms
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp Wild Himalayan Pink Salt
  •  1 1/2 tsp minced Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh Rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh Thyme
  • 1 tbsp Wild Bone Broth Protein
  • 1 tsp Mushroom Powder
  • 1/2 Cup Cashew Cream (soak Cashews in water overnight, or at least 6 hours. Add to food processor with about 1/2 cup water and blend until smooth and creamy.)

Preparation

  1. Add Veg Broth, Onions, Mushrooms, Bay Leaf, Himalayan Salt, Garlic, Pepper, Bone Broth Protein, and Mushroom Powder to skillet/pot, cooking on medium heat.

  2. Once simmering, add in Cashew Cream and Herbs, stirring over heat until well combined and creamy.

  3. Serve over your favorite gravy dish, and enjoy!

Tips

•Need to omit the Cashew Cream? No problem, use Coconut Cream in its place!
•It’s creamiest while hot, so be sure to serve and eat while hot for best taste.
•This recipe made about 2 cups of gravy. Double or triple the ingredients for a larger serving.

•Vegan? Omit the Bone Broth Protein to make completely vegan.

Wild Recipe: Apple Chia Jelly 

Mike Rothschild

A fast and easy, vegan, paleo jelly made with seasonal fruit!

Ingredients

  • 2 gala apples
  • ¼ cup sweetener of choice, (I used erythritol)
  • ½ cup water 
  • 2 teaspoon Wild chia seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Peel and core the apples. Dice into ¼ inch cubes. 
  2. Combine the apples, sweetener and water in a small sauce pot.
  3. Stir and heat over medium heat. 
  4. When the mixture comes to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes. 
  5. Remove the lid and use a whisk to mix and mash the apples, breaking them down as you go. Do this for 2-3 minutes until the mixture begins to look like jam. I like mine chunky, if you want it smoother, keep cooking down the apples until you have reached desired consistency. 
  6. Stir in the chia seeds, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well.
  7. Transfer to a clean jar, let it cool and store it in the fridge. 
  8. Spread it over your favorite pancakes, toast or even on pork loin! 

Wild Recipe: Keto Cortado

Mike Rothschild

Cortados are Cuban version of a macchiato. Potent and sweetened coffee cut (cortado) with milk. Traditionally evaporated milk was used, which makes full fat coconut milk the perfect replacement! This rich, sweet coffee is the perfect ending to any meal, and a must for that afternoon pick me up. 

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • Espresso grind, dark roast coffee
  • Filtered water 
  • 3 teaspoons xylitol 
  • ½ cup full fat coconut milk 

Directions

  1. Prepare your stove top espresso using a moka pot or caffettiera. Fill the bottom chamber with water up to the bolt or nob. 
  2. Fill the basket with ground coffee, full but not too packed. Place that over the chamber then screw on the top. Place the moka pot on a burner over medium high heat. 
  3. This will take a few minutes, but keep your ears listening for the sound of rising water, when the pressure beings to build. 
  4. In a small sauce pot heat the coconut milk over medium heat. 
  5. In a measuring up put the sweetener and have it at the ready, next to the stove with a teaspoon. 
  6. When the first drops of coffee come through the spout of the moka pot, measure out 4 teaspoons in to the measuring cup with the sweetener. Place the moka pot back on the stove to finish brewing. 
  7. Vigorously mix the sweetener and coffee mix to a sugary paste or syrup. 
  8. Beat the syrup as you pour the coffee into the measuring cup until fully combined.
  9. Pour ¼ cup of espresso into small cups. Then cut it with milk. I like equal parts milk and coffee. Mix, serve, enjoy! 

Berries for Health: The Beneficial Effects of Blackberry Leaves

Allison Bingham

The use of berries in daily life is nothing new. Berries of all kinds are used to make jam, blended in smoothies, diced up for desserts, and are even utilized as a salad topper. Some of the most sought-after are blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Although less popular, blackberries are anything but less potent or beneficial.

Interestingly enough, blackberries were almost non-existence on supermarket shelves in the early 1990’s. Due to the berries firmness and excellence in shelf-stability, a demand was established and has been growing ever since.

Berries are high in antioxidants, which protect from free-radicals and prevent oxidative damage. Blackberries are loaded with Vitamin K, C, and manganese and are also comprised of protein, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and vitamin A. Blackberries are a superior choice of fruit when considering sugar and carbohydrate intake and even keto friendly!

Blackberries are not only delicious, but have a multitude of health benefits. Let’s find out how blackberry leaves can improve your happy, healthy bod.

THE TRUTH ABOUT BLACKBERRIES

Cognitive and Motor Function

Studies have shown that diets high in fruits and vegetables (with their polyphenolic compounds), not only reverse, but inhibit age-related degeneration of motor and cognitive function. Berries, in particular, beneficially impact human health, disease, and performance in profound measures. Blackberries themselves have a direct impact on balance and coordination, improving motor functionality.

Brain games, such as crossword puzzles, are often recommended by doctors to prevent long-term and working memory loss as people age. So too can blackberries be added to this recommended list, for they have been proven to improve working (short-term) memory function.

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Oral Health

A recent study in the Journal of Periodontal Research establishes the benefits of blackberries antibacterial properties in the treatment and prevention of gum disease. Blackberry extract is linked with blocking the disbursement of cancer cells and has the greatest antioxidant capacity compared to blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

Blackberry leaves have also been used in the treatment of sore throats and mouth sores and promote overall oral health.

Bacterial and Viral Aid

Blackberries are high in gallic acid, rutin and ellagic acid (a known chemopreventive) with antibacterial and antiviral properties. The blackberry plant and leaves are highly astringent, making it an effective treatment for diarrhea. Infusions are used to treat diarrhea, while decoctions are used to treat diarrhea and hemorrhoids.

Boiled blackberry leaf extract is a great cure for diarrhea and the high vitamin content gives the immune system a much needed boost.

Treatment of Open Wounds or Lesions

One traditional use of blackberry leaf is to treat open wounds, lesions, or bruises. The antibacterial properties of blackberries fight off bacteria and infections and speed up recovery time. A poultice or compress can be used as an effective treatment for external wounds.

Anti-Cancer

Antioxidants have been known to prevent the proliferation of cancer cells. As previously mentioned, blackberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of berries measured against raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries. Due to the abundance of these free-radical scavenging constituents, blackberries have shown significance in destroying free-radicals that harm cells and lead to cancer, as well as blocking the production of new cancer cells from forming.  

Digestion

Blackberries are a high-quality source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which is essential for the digestive tract to perform optimally. Insoluble fiber promotes water absorption in the large intestine and the consumption of both fibers encourages regular bowel movements and freedom from constipation.

HOW TO USE BLACKBERRY LEAVES

Blackberry leaves may either be used as a tincture, decoction, or infusion. These are used to treat sore throat, mouth, and diarrhea, and other illnesses mentioned above.

Tinctures are ONE teaspoon twice a day, while two to three teaspoons are required for an infusion of blackberry leaves. They are best mixed with a cup of freshly-boiled water and given 20 minutes to cool. Drink an infusion three times and a decoction once per day.

CAUTION WITH BLACKBERRY LEAF

The tannins in blackberry leaves have caused some controversy as being fairly toxic. These constituents are also found in red wine and tea. Though some may worry, the dilution from milk or water is significant enough to alleviate concern. It should be noted that women who are pregnant or nursing, as well as children under the age of 2, should avoid blackberry leaf in any form.

Check out our blackberry leaf in the Wild Shop!

No Bake Matcha Energy Balls 

Mike Rothschild

Prep: 30 minutes

Makes: 15 balls 

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Combine the shredded coconut, all of the seeds, coconut oil, matcha and sweetener in your food processor. Process until a thick, gritty paste forms. 
  2. Put the cacao powder on a plate. Line a second plate with parchment paper. 
  3. Use a tablespoon to shape balls with the seed paste then gently roll it in the cacao powder and set it aside. Repeat with all of the paste. 
  4. Line them up on the plate with parchment paper, making sure they’re not touching. Let them set in the fridge for 30 minutes. 
  5. Dust with remaining cacao powder and enjoy. Store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to eat.

Why We Should Love Roses Even More

Mike Rothschild

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Roses might just be the most loved of all flowers, but they are one of the healthiest flowers too. Sure, we know they are majestic, but some of us might not know how versatile this flower is. Aside from making girlfriends swoon, Roses can help with skin care, improve air fresheners, and make baths more relaxing.  With over 100 species, a rose with any other name would still be as healthy.

Smell of Spring All Year Round

Rose scent is shown to enhance moods, help with relaxation and even make sleeping easier. Whether you want to smell like roses or make your house feel like the first day of spring with the scent of roses filling the air, rose petals will get the job done.

As decoration, you can float rose petals in bowls of water. To add a more romantic touch, you can add floating candles to go with them. Then, of course, there is the traditional rose petals sprinkled on the table top.

While your room smells like spring, get into the spirit by using a facial mask made of rose petals. You can make your own mix using rose petals soaked in 3-4 tablespoons of water for 2-3 hours. Mash the petals into the water and add honey before applying on your face. Leave it on for 15-30 minutes, rinse with cool water, and keep your face fresh like the first day of spring.

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Health and Beauty Benefits of Roses

  • Helps maintain the pH balance of the skin.
  • Assists in eliminating excess oil
  • Offers to reduce redness caused by skin irritation with anti-inflammatory properties
  • Helps reduce acne, dermatitis, and eczema
  • Aids in keeping the pores free from oil and dirt.
  • Keeps the skin refreshed with hydrating and moisturizing properties
  • Can be used to facilitate healing of scar, cuts, and wounds
  • Helps in the regeneration of skin tissues and strengthening of skin cells.
  • Promotes relaxation with its mood-enhancing scent.
  • Fights dandruff and reduces inflammation of the scalp.
  • Conditions and revitalizes the hair.

Rose as Food

It’s no surprise that rose is edible. Although we only see a rose in our tea ingredients, rose can also be added to food and even dishes. But take note that the rose we are talking about is not the pesticide-laden rose they sell in flower shops.

Rose tea is known to have calming effects. Some also add rose petals to give green tea a great flavor. Rose petals can also be sprinkled on fruit salad to achieve balance. If you are more of a food preservative, rose petals make a lovely jam, either with other fruits like strawberry or on its own.

The many uses of rose is probably a reason why it symbolizes love.  The flower itself takes good care of the skin, and even overall well being. If you’re the type to add a romantic touch to your food or your beauty ritual, the rose is probably your favorite flower by now.

The Medicinal Wonders of Lavender

Mike Rothschild

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Lavender has been everyone’s favorite, not just because of its invigorating, fresh floral scent, but also because of its many uses. The lavender scent exudes cleanliness and calm;  that’s why lavender can be seen on the lists of ingredients of many products ranging from perfumes and beauty products to soaps and air fresheners. The many uses of lavender make it essential to have in your home.

The most common form of lavender is Lavandula angustifolia and it’s where we get the color lavender. Almost forty plants can be classified as lavender and can be traced back to Europe, Africa, and Asia. Lavender grows and spreads so fast it is considered a weed in some places.

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Uses of Lavender

  • Surprisingly, lavender has found culinary use in salad dressings, honey, sauces, and beverages. In some cultures, it is also used as a spice to add flavor to dishes.
  • When the leaves and flowers of lavender are grounded, the natural compound left can be topically applied or brewed as tea in order to help soothe anxiety and balance your mood. The antioxidant that lavender contains has been found to lower the levels of stress hormones, hence the therapeutic effect.
  • For the longest time, Lavender tea has been trusted by many cultures in helping to get a restful sleep. This flower has shown to help relax, clear the mind and induce sleep. This makes it an important oil to use in aromatherapy.
  • If you take lavender flowers and put them in a mixture inside a spray bottle, it will make a good spray to protect your skin against psoriasis, eczema, and acne. Lavender helps relieve irritated and dry skin.
  • One of the many unpopular uses of lavender is to help treat wounds, as it has antiseptic properties. Its leaves can be crushed and applied to wounds to help facilitate healing and avoid further infections.
  • Struggling with a solution to hair loss? Look for lavender based shampoos. Lavender tea mixed and applied to your hair can be a more natural and effective alternative. It works by keeping the hair follicles healthy.
  • Secondary to its relaxing effects, lavender may help reduce blood pressure, thereby decreasing the risk of stroke and heart attack. This benefit can be attributed to the antioxidant that lavender contains.
  • In some cultures, lavender leaves are chewed or brewed as a tea to alleviate stomach discomforts like bloating and cramps. This effect is a result of polyphenols found in lavender. This same substance can also prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

Lavender does have many uses. The most important uses are: its positive effects on people’s mood; prevention of skin irritations; infections and inflammation; and helping to ease bloating in the stomach. What makes lavender great to use is that lavender-based products are readily available everywhere. They can be acquired and prepared easily. See? Lavender is not just another wonderfully smelling plant.  It’s a plant of many medicinal wonders.

Beyond the Laxative: Senna Leaf’s Many Less Known Uses

Mike Rothschild

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Perhaps there is no other more widely and commonly used ingredient for bowel cleansing than the Senna Leaf.  It is considered by many as their go-to solution for constipation. Secondary to its benefit in bowel movement, Senna became one of the secrets in weight management. Beyond these benefits, there are lesser-known uses of Senna Leaf, including hair and skin care.

Origin of Senna Leaf

Senna is a plant from the legume family, Fabaceae. It bears flowers that are mostly yellow, though some are pink. The plant originated from North Africa and the Middle East. It can also be found in temperate regions of India and China. Globally, it is widely available in the form of tea bags, loose tea, capsules, tablets and even liquid extracts.

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Common Uses

If you spend hours in the toilet trying to relieve the waste from your system to no avail, Senna Leaf is the readily available answer and is highly recommended. It works against constipation, due to the presence of anthraquinones, a compound that produces a laxative effect.

Senna Leaf is also a favorite among weight conscious people. It is an essential support to low fiber diet to avoid constipation that the diet can cause. It also helps increase fluid intake, and it cleanses and detoxifies the digestive system. All these could result in increasing metabolism and nutrient absorption which are the important processes in weight management.

Skin Care Benefits

Senna contains oils, resin, and tannin. These are essential oils that are known to ease skin inflammation associated with burns, ringworms, and wounds. Other helpful contents that can be found in Senna are acetone and ethanol. These substances are antibacterial and can be used to prevent and treat acne and other skin infections.

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Hair Care Benefits

Have you been trying numerous products without getting the smooth, shiny and strong hair that you want? Senna might just be your next hair care ingredient. When you mix Senna powder with water and yogurt, you get a natural hair care paste that is easy to prepare, is skin-friendly, and might just yield the result you’ve been aiming for.

Aside from the benefits of Senna in keeping healthy and shiny hair, it can also be used as a natural highlighter. It creates a subtle shade of ash blonde and lighter shades to the hair.

The effects Senna has on the hair includes conditioning, strengthening and thickening. However, it also helps maintain a healthy scalp by preventing the occurrence of dandruff. A healthy scalp means less hair loss.

With all these great benefits, Senna is a wonder herb which can be an important part of your overall health care habit. It is rare to find an herb which can be used to ease digestion problems, maintain healthy bowel movement, cleanse the body from excess fat, and can also be used in addressing skin and hair problems like acne, eczema, and skin inflammation.

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The Many Medicinal Uses of Hibiscus

Mike Rothschild

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Hibiscus is a lovely flowering plant that comes in different colors including yellow, white, peach, and most commonly red. Its flowers can grow as wide as 6 inches. The red hibiscus is popularly used for its many medicinal wonders.

Historically, many cultures across the globe used Hibiscus to treat different conditions, and they have continued to do so:In Africa, many people have used Hibiscus tea to relieve constipation and cold symptoms. They have also used it against cancer and liver disease. Egyptians have used Hibiscus tea to aid in lowering body temperature and also to help treat heart and nerve diseases. Europeans have used hibiscus to support upper respiratory health, relieve constipation, and maintain healthy circulation. In other cultures, people have used the leaves to facilitate healing of skin wounds. Some have even used them  for hair care.

The hibiscus found in herbal drinks comes from the pods that form when the flower finishes blooming. However, the hibiscus flower itself can be made into tea when dried. Hibiscus tea has a sourish taste; because of this, some people like to add sugar or honey to the mix.

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Hibiscus Tea and Its Effect on Cholesterol

Studies have been conducted regarding the effects of hibiscus tea on the body’s cholesterol levels. In 2014, clinical trials showed an increase in good cholesterol after consuming hibiscus tea or extract.  Although more studies are needed to prove this effect, it has already been established that hibiscus contributes to the good results in cholesterol levels.

Hibiscus and High Blood Pressure Prevention

In 2010, it was found out through a study that drinking hibiscus tea lowered blood pressure of people who were at risk for high blood pressure. The participants in the six-week study were instructed to take 8 ounces of hibiscus tea daily throughout the duration. A significant decrease in the systolic blood pressure was noted in the participants who took the hibiscus tea. Another study was also conducted and yielded a significant decrease in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

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Hibiscus and Healthy Metabolism

Building upon years of research and studies on hibiscus, a recent discovery found that hibiscus extract may have contributed to healthy metabolism, thereby making it a great use against obesity and fat build-up.

Flower Power: The Nutritional Composition of Hibiscus

The many medicinal wonders of Hibiscus are attributed to the antioxidant contained in it. Anthocyanin is an antioxidant, and it causes the red coloration of the hibiscus petals. The same substance can be found in berries and red wine. Hibiscus tea contains no calories or caffeine.

Research about the effects of Hibiscus on the overall health is expanding. More and more studies support the many medicinal uses of Hibiscus. It has become a popular choice in many cultures to remedy different conditions, from skin wounds and heart conditions to hair and skin care. In addition to tea, various types of products that contain Hibiscus as an active ingredient have also been formulated, including capsules, supplements, and extracts.

Anti-Inflammatory Pumpkin Spice Collagen Smoothie

Mike Rothschild

Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 8 ounces full fat coconut milk
  • 8 ounces water
  • 1 cup ice
  • 3-4 scoops Wild Collagen
  • 2 tablespoons shelled pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseeds (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons xylitol

Pumpkin Spice Mix:

  • 2 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger 
  • ½ teaspoon Wild ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper 

 

Directions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in your blender. Blend on high until smooth and thick. 
  2. Serve into two large glasses. Enjoy immediately! 

Three Main Reasons Why Witch Hazel is Friendly to Your Skin

Mike Rothschild

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You have probably seen witch hazel among the ingredients of many cosmetic products, which is only proper because this plant is definitely loaded with skin-friendly properties. Witch hazel is also readily available, both on the market or online. Traditionally, it has been used in many skin-cleansing and maintenance routines. Our ancestors knew how to take care of their skin.

There are many substances in witch hazel that are beneficial to the skin. But in a bigger and more simplified manner, they all contribute to the properties that this plant has to offer. Here are the major properties that make witch hazel your skin’s best friend.

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Astringent

 Perhaps this is the most well-known among witch hazel’s properties. This is due to the high concentrations of tannins it contains. It works by removing excess oil and eliminating pores. Tannins also tighten the skin proteins, which eventually form a protective layer to cover the skin, thus facilitating skin healing. This natural astringent is perfect for use for people who are regularly exposed to pollutants that may contaminate their pores. With regular use, applying witch hazel to the skin could result in fewer blemishes and especially fewer blackheads. It is even used to assist in the treatment of other skin conditions such as eczema, varicose veins, blisters, minor cuts, and bruises.

Moisturizing

 An astringent that could also act as a moisturizer! This is what is unique about witch hazel. It does not dry the skin out. Applying witch hazel actually locks in the moisture in the skin. Reducing moisture loss is important in maintaining healthy skin elasticity, which then also contributes to achieving smooth and soft skin. A properly moisturized skin is also the key to eliminating skin conditions such as rashes, stretch marks and skin dryness caused by the weather. Some women have eliminated stretch marks by regularly spraying witch hazel to the affected area.

Anti-inflammatory

 Witch hazel has been topically used as an anti-inflammatory, especially for acne and eczema, due to the procyanadins, resin, and flavonoids it contains. One popular use of witch hazel is to soothe puffiness of the eyes. It can be diluted and applied to the area around the eyes before bed. Another use is to prevent varicose veins from developing. It can be added to a cloth or swab, then rubbed into the area where the bruising and veins are forming.

Certainly, witch hazel has a variety of uses, not just in skin care but also to the overall health of the body. The use of this skin-friendly plant has also been increasing, as people begin to lean on natural products which are deemed healthier. Among the many uses of witch hazel, three of the most important properties are offered by its nutritional composition: astringent to assist healing and maintain the pores; moisturizing to avoid skin irritation that might lead to infection; and anti-inflammatory to prevent skin issues from worsening. Witch hazel is indeed a friendly plant, which brings magic to the skin.

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The Healing Power of Calendula and How to Prepare Calendula Tea

Mike Rothschild

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The beauty of Calendula alone could heal (a tired mind, that is). Calendula is very relaxing to look at. The yellow petals are like rays of the sun. It is a bright and lovely flower. On top of that, this flower contains actual healing properties.

Calendula is native to the northern Mediterranean countries. This annual flower got its name from its ability to bloom with the calendar. It usually blooms with every new moon. In some parts of the world, this flower is called pot marigold, which is a tribute to the Virgin Mary. Calendula could be seen in Catholic events honoring her. In the Hindu culture, they adorn their temples with this flower. Historically, calendula was considered a food and could be found mixed with soup and rice.

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Calendula’s Anti-inflammatory Property

 The anti-inflammatory property of Calendula is a result of the flavonoids it contains. Flavonoids are antioxidants found in plants that help protect the cells from free radical damage and other compounds that cause inflammation. Another substance found in high concentration in Calendula is linoleic acid. Because of its powerful anti-inflammatory property, Calendula is used to help alleviate inflammatory conditions including dermatitis, ear infections, diaper rash, cuts, and sore throats.

Now that the healing power of Calendula has been established, it’s time to know how to prepare the most common form of calendula available in the market - Calendula tea. These are the few methods of preparing Calendula tea:

  • Simmer the dried flowers in water. Put one to two teaspoons of dried calendula flowers in a mug. Then add one cup of hot water. Let the tea steep for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Simmer the fresh flowers in water. Place the fresh flowers into a jar. Pour hot water over the flowers. Let the tea simmer. Wait for the tea to be cool enough to drink 
  • Let the fresh flowers infuse under the sun. Place the fresh flowers in a jar. Dried flowers can also be added. Pour cold water into the jar. Leave the jar under a sunny area for five to six hours.

Calendula tea can be used as a gargle in order to ease sore throat or as a mouth-rinse to relieve blisters inside the mouth or inflammation of the gums. For topical use, calendula tea can be sprayed into a clean cloth and applied to the inflamed, itchy or scratched skin. This is also ideal for application on babies’ skin if they experience diaper rash. Even acne breakouts can be prevented by washing the face with calendula tea. This flower has so many uses.

Indeed, Calendula is not just a beautiful flower but also a healing one. It is not just full of bright color but also of beneficial antioxidants. It can be decorative and can also be medicinal. Calendula sure is a flower that contains the best of both beauty and function.