Some Great Herbs for Stiff Joints

The cold winter months can be hard on stiff and achy joints. This time of year is when relief can come a little harder, which is why I’ll take any help I can find for some at-home natural relief.

Flax is a great source of Omega-3 which is vital for a robust immune system and for fighting inflammation. Try to get 2 tablespoons of the oil or the seeds daily.

Another herb that treats inflammation is turmeric. This is best taken in supplement form to take full advantage.

Another remedy to consider for achy joints is nettles. This herb covers both pain and inflammation which is a win-win for any sore joints! This could help reduce the number of other not so friendly pain relievers needed for relief.

(It is always a good idea to check with a doctor when adding supplements or before ever reducing medication.)

The Best Mushrooms to Eat for Your Health

We’ve always been told that we are what we eat, but as researchers catch up to that sentiment, we’re finding it’s more accurate than we previously thought. Food is medicine for the body that keeps it primed and healthy by delivering it essential nutrients. If we’re eating right, we’re preventing a lot of potential problems down the road.

Some of the best foods to eat for your health are mushrooms. Moreover, don’t worry, if you aren’t a huge fan of mushrooms, you can purchase them in capsule form and take them alongside your daily vitamins. You can still get the amazing benefits of these foods, without having to taste them.

In fact, adding just about any type of mushroom to your diet is terrific for your health, though some of them are particularly amazing. Care to try? Look for these!

Reishi
Renowned for health in Asian cultures for thousands of years, it is symbolic of well-being and longevity. Back then, only the Royals got to eat these. Nowadays, their immunity-boosting powers have been confirmed. They’re antibacterial, anti-fungal, and antiviral. Stew them in tea or add them to soups for your boost. You can even grill them if you soak them overnight.

Shiitake
The Japanese are big on eating for good health which is why you’ll see shiitake mushrooms in many dishes. They’re full of vitamin D and are incredibly versatile to cook with. You can add them to just about anything, so get creative.

Oyster
Oyster mushrooms are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They also have been shown to lower cholesterol. Making a tea out of them is a great way to indulge in their healing benefits.

Porcini
A bit similar in taste to portobello mushrooms, these notorious inflammation fighters are ideal for promoting better overall wellness. Chronic inflammation has been linked to every disease, which is why keeping inflammation at bay is so essential for your longevity. Eat them raw or grilled, sauté, or roast them. They taste great!

White Button
These are the ones you most often see in your produce section, and the good news is that they’re as outstanding a choice as the other mushrooms on this list. Hunters and gatherers used to feast upon them, believing they had magical powers. Even the Egyptians thought they could make them immortal which is why the pharaohs hoarded them to themselves. These days they’re easy to get, so use them in your salads, cook them in your favorite dishes, and get them on your plate any way you can.

Maitake
Keep blood pressure and blood sugar under control with this master mushroom. They’re known for their incredible cleansing powers and can help with destroying abnormal cells. Chop them into smaller pieces and use them in your cooking to protect your health and boost your immune system.

Mushrooms can do so much for your health. Learn to love them to reap the many benefits that come with making them a staple in your diet. So again, if you’re not a fan of mushrooms, check out your local Whole Foods and stroll down the vitamin aisle. You’ll find some encapsulated mushroom blends there that you can start with. Enjoy!

Do you enjoy or dread cooking?

Cooking is therapeutic for some people, and a bit of a chore for others. And whether you enjoy it or not, sometimes there’s just seemingly no time to fit in a home-cooked meal into your busy schedule — don’t you agree?

A lot of the stress of cooking is the lack of preparation, which is actually encouraging because that is an easy fix! There are some tricks you can use to become more intentional with your time in the kitchen and even amp up the fun to enjoy it more.

You can use your kitchen time to listen to podcasts, books you’ve been meaning to read or crank up the music. When trying new recipes or having a little more fun kitchen in general, remember, perfection isn’t mandatory. There is a wiggle room with food, but if you take it seriously, it will always be stressful. Don’t expect to breeze through a complicated meal easily after a long workday or workout — keep it simple!

There are various oils to choose from to use in the kitchen, and the information floating around can be quite conflicting and confusing.

Olive oil is arguably the most popular option that is great because of the light flavor and the higher monounsaturated fats, which are the good fats linked to a healthy heart. Avocado oil is also another very healthy alternative which is very close to olive oil, but with a high smoking point, so it can be used for hotter cooking, which is a huge benefit.

Some other oil options include sesame oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and flaxseed oil. All come with different flavors, so trying new ones out is a fun way to infuse some interesting flavors into your dishes effortlessly.

What’s your favorite oil to cook with?

Apple cider vinegar has become more and more popular over the past few years. There are multiple benefits to taking ACV, and it can be ingested in different ways, especially if taking a shot of the sour stuff isn’t your idea of a fun way to start your morning. (You get used to it, I promise!)

As far as benefits are concerned, ACV can be helpful for blood sugar regulation, killing harmful bacteria on your food, and also can help to boost metabolism. It’s known as one of those old, ancient “cure-alls” that seemingly helps just about anything you can think of.

If you can handle taking a tablespoon of ACV a day without mixing it with anything, please remember to rinse with water after. The acid in the vinegar can eat away at your teeth enamel. Drinking quickly through a straw, so it bypasses your teeth is best practice. Start off with 1/2 a tablespoon and work your way up, so your digestion doesn’t get a shock.

So, have you tried ACV? What did you think?

Natural Antibiotics to Give Your Immunity an Added Boost

While they’re still looking into things, it can’t hurt to add these natural antibiotics to your daily diet to help boost your immunity, especially during these cold and winter months.

It seems bacteria is only getting more and more resistant. With new, more robust strains, scientists are on the hunt to find better ways of battling them for our better health. In doing so, they’re taking a closer look at what’s out there in nature, the very things that the ancient civilizations used to promote their health and wellness.

Garlic
Pungent and full of flavor, garlic adds a boost to the taste of your foods. It’s also been revered in cultures all around the world for having healing benefits. Preliminary research has shown that garlic is effective from handling certain strains of bacteria. It’s also highly nutritious, good for lowering blood pressure and has dozens of other benefits for your health.

Ginger
Ginger is another natural way to battle bacteria. Its antibiotic powers have been recognized in many studies, plus it reduces inflammation and is terrific for tummy troubles, particularly those involving nausea, and can lower blood sugar. Making a tea of it or adding it to your cooking is great for your health, not to mention it adds a lovely flavor.

Honey
Honey’s incredible antibiotic properties have been known for ages. It’s important though that you choose only raw organic honey for the best effects. Store-bought honey tends to be processed which strips it of its beneficial nutrients. You can use honey on burns and wounds, too. Additionally, it’s a better way to add sweetness to the foods you eat or even to your coffee.

Cloves
Cloves are very nutritious and rich in antioxidants, plus they’ve been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria. Studies have found that clove water was particularly helpful for stopping bacteria that causes gum disease, making it an ideal herbal mouthwash.

Oregano
Now you can enjoy more Italian food with purpose! Oregano is full of antioxidants, reduces inflammation, and can chase away bacteria. The research found it to be very effective with certain antibiotic-resistant bacteria when fashioned into an oil, which shows great promise for future
developments. Still, eating it tastes good and is a healthy way to add more flavor to your food.

Echinacea
In traditional healing applications, echinacea has been used for hundreds of years, primarily for treating wounds and infections. When scientists took a look at it, they found that the extract from echinacea can kill off different strains of bacteria, including the one that causes strep throat. More reason to grab a bit of that the next time you head to your local health store or pharmacy.

By incorporating more natural antibiotics into your daily diet, you don’t run the risk of making them less effective. With their other health benefits, using these natural antibiotics in your daily life will help bring about better overall health for you and your family.

How do you start your day?

Your morning routine is a crucial beginning to your day and can set the pace for the day to unfold. Starting off on a strong foot helps you be more productive and stay on task, reduces mental fatigue and helps you to move through your day feeling refreshed and collected.

Start your days at the same time every morning and set intentions for the day by planning out how your day should look. Then follow it up with something that makes you happy, along with something to clear your mind to prepare for the day ahead. Tweak your routine till you find something that sets you up for success. A morning routine can set your mindset for the rest of the day and can do nothing but improve your day!

How do your mornings look typically?

Herbal tea is a popular alternative to coffee and widely enjoyed in an array of different cultures. Aside from being cozy and delicious, herbal tea has a load of health benefits attached to it, as well.

One popular type of tea with numerous benefits is Chai Tea. Chai includes black tea, ginger, cardamom, fennel, clove, and black pepper. This mix helps with digestion, inflammation, the immune system and it contains very beneficial antioxidants.

Another trendy option is chamomile tea, which is well-known for being great to de-stress and help you sleep soundly. Along with helping you catch some z’s it can also have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and liver-protecting effects which makes it one of the healthiest teas around.

Try different varieties of tea to find a great and healthy replacement for sugary juices and soft drinks, you can’t go wrong!

What’s your favorite type of herbal tea?

Have you ever noticed how heavy your chest feels when your surroundings are cluttered and in disarray?

Having a cluttered home can lead to more stress, anxiety, and lack of mental energy. It’s even arguable that living in chaos puts your mind in a low self-control mindset, causing you to be more likely to overeat and make other sabotaging choices. So fascinating how much our surroundings affect us, isn’t it!?

On top of all of this, a cluttered home leads to a cluttered mind, making it more difficult to think clearly. Basically, you are unable to work through the clutter which makes your brain struggle with processing information. This can make it hard to remember things and problem-solving.

The New Year is the perfect time to begin decluttering your home and starting fresh. What room needs decluttering the most in your home?

6 Essential Oils to Comfort Your Sensitive Skin This Winter

During the dry winter months, your skin is subject to damage from the cold and dry air. These months hold a lot of magic with blankets of white snow and the holidays — but your skin can really take a hit and make things quite uncomfortable.

While your skin protects, it also absorbs everything you come into contact with which is why it’s so important to nurture and nourish it every day. You’ll want to step up your skincare routine from head to toe to keep your skin looking and feeling fabulous, and the best way to comfort that sensitive skin is to add essential oils to your regimen.

Here are the best ones to try for this long, cold winter.

Lavender
Not only is the fragrance of lavender soothing, but it also is excellent for treating sensitive skin conditions. You can apply it directly to your skin without worry, plus it’s even good for fading scars and stretch marks. You can also add it into your favorite creams and lotions for a soothing boost that adds more relaxation to your routine.

Cedarwood
Cedarwood is outstanding for softening and hydrating skin. It’s very soothing too, making it great for sensitive skin, though any skin type can benefit from it. It also has antibacterial properties, which can help you clear up blemishes. Sensitive skin should always dilute this essential oil though to enjoy the benefits of it without any irritation.

Helichrysum
This special essential oil contains molecules that are effective in guarding against free radicals while healing damaged skin. These molecules repair past damages and prevent future ones. It’s gentle enough to be applied directly, though you may want to try adding a few drops of it to your creams first.

Sandalwood
That warming, woodsy scent of sandalwood is much more than a soothing fragrance. It can soothe your skin and firm it too. You can smooth wrinkles away, fade scars, and clear up acne. Just add a couple of drops of it to olive oil or coconut oil before applying.

Apricot Kernel
If your skin is so sensitive everything sets it off, this essential oil should do the trick. It’s super-gentle and very hypoallergenic. It’s also great for anyone that has a nut allergy.

Geranium
Ideal for soothing irritation and redness, geranium oil is a beautiful addition to your bath water. Use it with coconut milk to get the hydrating benefits without bothering your sensitive skin.

While many of these are okay to apply directly, sensitive skin types should always try diluting it and only using it to a small swatch of skin first to be sure it doesn’t trigger any problems. You could play it safe and always dilute any oil with a dab of olive oil or coconut oil. Doing that, you might just discover the best essential oil for your sensitive winter skin!