Happy New Year
This is such an easy recipe to make with only three ingredients - and you probably have all the ingredients stocked in your kitchen - ginger root, lemons, and raw honey.
Why these ingredients?
Ginger promotes healthy sweating, aiding detoxification of the body. This is extremely helpful for a cold or the flu. If you have any of the following symptoms: dizziness, nausea, upset stomachs, vomiting, or cold sweats, ginger is a vital option in getting you on the healing track.
High in vitamin C, lemon is an antioxidant crucial to building a strong immune system in the body to neutralize free radicals that may cause inflammation and swelling.
Honey is wonderful as a natural cough suppressant and for soothing sore throats. It helps boost your body’s immune system by aiding in the production of white blood cells. which, in turn, effectively strengthens your ability to fight infection and fevers.
When you blend the lemon tartness, along with the spiciness of ginger, and the natural sweetness of honey, you have a winning combination for a gentle, soothing remedy to bring your body back into the pink!
Ginger Lemon Cold and Flu Syrup
The size of your jar will dictate the quantity of the ingredients.
For a 12-oz jar, use 2 lemons and a thick 3-inch piece of ginger root (or more if desired). Thinly slice the lemons. Chop or grate the ginger into fine pieces. Layer the lemon and ginger into your jar and cover with raw honey. Make sure the honey sinks all the way down and around the lemon and ginger. Fill the jar to the top with honey.
Refrigerate and allow the mixture to marinate for at least 4 weeks, turning the jar periodically. This gives the lemon and ginger time to infuse into the honey for a more effective syrup.
To use: Take a couple spoonfuls straight or you may add some to hot water for a tea. I like to include some of the lemon slices - and the bits of ginger - when I make the tea.
My 89-year-old dad was recently admitted to the hospital, then a rehab center after a mini stroke. Unfortunately, he developed an upper respiratory infection in rehab. The doctor put him on antibiotics and an expectorant and I brought him my trusty Ginger Lemon Syrup. I had removed all the lemons to make it easier for him to take. Within a couple days, he should a marked improvement. I was approached by several staff members asking me for the recipe, because, they all said, they had never seen a patient recover so quickly from this type of infection! It was a big hit!
Do you have an effective cold and flu homemade remedy? If so, please share!
Holiday Pumpkin Crunch
With the holidays approaching we can expect oodles of scrumptious homemade foods to devour. To keep the desserts on the lighter side, here's a wonderful alternative for a crunchy pumpkin "pie" recipe.
4 ounces cream cheese (your choice: Neufchatel, or vegan, such as cashew cream cheese), softened
10 ounces yogurt (we like coconut yogurt, but you choose your favorite)
15-ounce can pumpkin puree
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice blend
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon kosher salt
For the crunch topping
1 graham cracker broken into pieces
¼ cup rolled oats
¼ cup pecans (halves or pieces)
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9- or 10-inch pie pan (or a 2½-quart baking dish) with oil or cooking spray.
In a food processor, combine the cream cheese and yogurt, then process until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and salt, then process again. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie pan and bake for 30 minutes.
While the filling bakes, prepare the crunch. Clean the food processor bowl, then combine the graham cracker, oats, pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon. Process with several 3-second pulses to reduce the mixture to a coarse meal with some larger chunks. Add the butter and process for another 5 to 10 seconds, or until well incorporated.
After the filling has baked for 30 minutes, sprinkle the crunch topping evenly over it, then return to the oven for another 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature before slicing.
What's your favorite holiday dessert?
3 DIY Hair Tonics
Claire Goodall over at Everyday Roots shares these simple DIY hair tonics for strong, healthy, and shiny hair. Here's what she said:
A healthy head of hair with a healthy, flake-free scalp is a wonderful thing. So wonderful and desired, in fact, that there is an enormous market that caters solely to it. Walk down any hair product aisle and you’ll be overwhelmed with then number of choices you have for shampoos, conditioners, rinses, sprays, and dyes (to name just a few things.) You could spend days, and lots of money, trying to figure out just what chemical concoction will work the wonders it promises. If you’d like to break up that routine, try making some of your own products at home. I have found them to be simple, pure, and more effective that many of the things I have bought in stores.
3 Homemade Hair Tonics- for strong, healthy & shiny hair.
1. Nettle Hair Tonic
Rich in iron, a rinse made with nettles can help combat hair loss/promote hair growth. Drinking nettle tea may also help battle hair loss, as iron can help with circulation to the scalp, in turn fueling hair growth. Nettles will also help with an imbalance of sebum (the oil that your pores produce) which can make a difference if you suffer from dandruff or dry scalp. For something that is such a pain to even brush up against, it’s a wonderful herb when fully utilized!
You will need…
-A large (gloved) handful of fresh nettle leaves or 5 tablespoons of dried nettle
-2 cups of fresh water
-A few drops of your favorite essential oil
-A bottle for storing
If using fresh nettle, place in a pot and cover with 2 cups of water and bring to boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes. Cool, then strain the liquid, add in a few drops of your favorite essential oil and store in the fridge for up to 6 months. If using dried nettle, bring water to a boil and then pour over the herb, letting it steep for 20 minutes before cooling, straining, and adding your essential oil. To use, pour over your hair in the shower and massage or comb in, let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then rinse.
2. Horsetail Hair Tonic
Horsetail naturally contains silica, which is actually more useful than just for filling those annoying little packets that come with so many products these days. As a natural substance, silica can help keep hair growing strong, and prevent it from falling out/thinning.
You will need…
-A handful of fresh horsetail
Bring a pot of water to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and add the horsetail. Steep for 20 minutes, and then strain the liquid. After shampooing pour the cooled liquid over your hair and wrap your head in a warm towel for 20 minutes, then rinse.
3. Parsley Seed & Rosemary Hair Tonic
Parsley and rosemary, the exact scientific reasons unknown, leave hair shiny and glossy (rosemary leaves a particularly dramatic shine on dark hair.) Parsley supposedly helps with lice as well, should you find yourself plagued.
You will need…
-2 tablespoons of crushed up parsley seeds
-1/2 cup of chopped up rosemary
Crush up 2 tablespoons of parsley seeds, and chop up enough rosemary to fill ½ cup. Bring several cups of water to a boil and then add the herbs, steeping for 20 minutes. Cool and strain the liquid, and then pour the rinse over your head and wrap in a warm towel for an hour. Do not rinse off, and allow hair to dry naturally.
When it comes down to it, a healthy scalp and healthy hair is what really looks good-there’s just no substituting, and no getting around it. Instead of using chemicals to try and force your hair into a certain look, try a natural tonic that will nourish deep down and make your hair look good-naturally.
Do you make your own hair rinses? If so, share with us!
Cheater Coconut Cream Yogurt
There are tons of recipes online for various yogurts. This is the EASIEST and YUMMIEST one I've made.
Coconut Cream Yogurt
(vegan, gluten free, soy free, dairy free)
Makes 2-4 servings
2 (14 oz each) cans coconut cream (coconut cream is different than cream of coconut which is sweetened)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon probiotic powder, OR 2 probiotic capsules, contents emptied, OR 1/4 cup coconut kefir
dash of sea salt
1 tablespoon maple syrup or coconut nectar (or to taste)
Chill the coconut cream overnight. In the morning, scoop contents of both cans into a food processor or blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend until yogurt is smooth. You may wish to add a little water to thin, if desired. Top with fresh berries, granola, or other toppings of choice.
Isn't that just the easiest yogurt recipe possible?
10 Superfoods for Your Skin
Natural organic skin care products are wonderful for your skin; however, your diet is also a key element for beautiful, glowing, vibrant, younger-looking skin. Check out these 10 superfoods that can eliminate toxins by cleaning out your digestive system and strengthening your kidneys and liver, which in turn leads to clear, healthy skin. How does that work? A good diet with real food, especially plant-based foods, allows our system to function normally, expelling toxins. A poor diet consistently mainly of processed foods (think: boxes, cans and alcohol) creates a weak system leading to inefficient toxin removal. With a poorly functioning system, these toxins won't be expelled properly through the liver, kidneys and digestive tract, so our bodies expel them through our skin. These toxins manifest themselves as blemishes, skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and multiple other conditions.
For healthier skin, incorporate these 10 plant-based foods into your diet to help support your detox organs!
This fatty fruit helps reduce skin inflammation resulting from UV-induced skin swelling and thickening with its high content of omega fatty acids, as well as vitamin E. Avocados also stimulate collagen production, which helps improve both skin tone and texture.
Rich in folate, beets fight wrinkles and other skin conditions. They are known to detoxify the entire digestive tract and break down bladder, kidneys and liver stones, making these organs function better to expel toxins through your system and not your skin.
All berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc. – are extremely high in antioxidant compounds that neutralize free radicals that would otherwise lead to skin cell damage from UV radiation, pollution, smoke and pesticides.
Packed with vitamins and minerals like vitamins A, B complex, C, E and K, the antioxidants in broccoli help repair dead and damaged tissue and create more vibrant, beautiful-looking skin. It's also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and folate, which accelerates skin healing and proper skin function.
5. Burdock Root
Used for centuries in the treatment of dry skin and dermatitis, burdock is anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory. It is a great remedy for the spreading of acne because of its strong antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. With its high levels of crucial minerals calcium, potassium, and magnesium, burdock root is an herbal remedy for clearing all types of skin conditions and maintaining healthy, glowing skin.
Get your "skin glow on" with the beta-carotene in carrots! They help protect your skin from sun damage, premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, blemishes, and uneven skin tone with their high content of vitamin A and other antioxidants.
Cucumbers are incredibly water dense, making them a great natural diuretic, helping to flush the kidneys and improve the rate at which toxins are expelled from the body. They contain vitamin B-5, which helps your skin retain moisture, and are a great source of silica (a precursor to collagen), which can help fight wrinkles and slow down the aging process.
8. Dandelion Greens
This leafy green acts as a natural diuretic to remove excess toxins from your blood, which helps support liver function and improve toxin removal from your system.
They are anti-inflammatory and that helps calm irritated skin conditions such as eczema and acne. Nettles are also high in antioxidants and protect your body from harmful free radicals.
This herbs main component is curcumin and is used with great success in the treatment of multiple skin conditions, from eczema and scabies to chronic skin ulcers, helping speed healing. Its anti-inflammatory properties soothe break-out prone skin, acne, psoriasis and eczema.
Are you using these superfoods in your diet? If so, tell us how they have helped you!
4 Beauty Secrets For Gorgeous Skin
Last month we shared with you hidden gremlins that harm our skin and we offered tips to combat those toxins. Here are four simple beauty secrets we all can do to help keep our skin beautiful, because all the products and spa treatments in the world won't beat the basics of caring for ourselves.
There’s a reason it’s called beauty sleep. If you don't get enough sleep, it will show up in your face. Period. Unless, of course, you're going for that scary Halloween look.
Your best bet is to make an effort to get the sleep your body requires. Your body needs time to go into repair mode. Think you have a crazy schedule? Your skin is much busier than you'll ever be. At night, it goes from protection mode to repair mode. In other words, while you're getting some shuteye, your body is hard at work replacing old, damaged cells. Just one all-nighter can result in dark circles and acne. The less you sleep, the more likely you are to experience premature aging.
We all have those nights when we aren't able to get enough sleep, but there are ways to combat the lack of zzzzzs. A quick trick is toner, especially rose water. Dab it around your eyes. It gives you an instant pick-me-up and smells awesome!
If you're having trouble drifting off, try working out or doing yoga. It helps switch off the brain. Take a bath with calming essential oils (chamomile, sandalwood, and ylang ylang) or Epsom salts and sleep on pure cotton sheets rather than synthetic fibers, which trap heat, sweat, and dirt. If you're tired of dealing with puffiness around your eyes, just prop two pillows under your head to keep it elevated. This will help reduce fluid retention around the eyes.
Everyone knows that excessive sun exposure is one of the worst things you can do for your skin, and tanning beds are no better. Neither are chemically saturated self-tanning lotions. Getting 15 minutes of sun a day is optimal, but it won't give you a suntan.
You can get that "look" using turmeric, a dark yellow spice native to India. For centuries Indian women have been using it for a natural glow. Just mix half a teaspoon turmeric with milk to make a paste, apply to your skin, leaving it on for about five minutes, then wash it off. You’ll notice a soft golden glow without the use of chemicals or plastics. This turmeric mask will leave your skin soft and supple, and it has immense healing properties including getting rid of acne and discoloration.
Everyone has some level of stress in their life, some more than others. The more stress in your life, the more likely your body will be attacked by diseases. Equally as bad, stress is reflected on your face the minute you experience it.
When you're chronically stressed, you force your adrenal glands to work overtime and eventually exhaust themselves, inhibiting the immune system and triggering a number of health complications. Fight stress through exercise, but it's best to avoid using the gym. The noise factor is not a recipe for reducing stress.
Consider practicing yoga using simple stretching exercises. Yoga has been around for centuries and far surpasses the manic hustle and bustle of corporate health clubs. By switching to yoga, you're training your mind and body - and not wasting funds on fancy health clubs, which can be a breeding ground for illness.
All beings need oxygen and our skin is no exception. How do we harness it the "right way" to be most effective? Oxygen calms inflammation, treats acne, kills bacteria, drives antioxidants and vitamins into the skin, and makes your skin younger looking by providing oxygen to the skin cells.
An expensive option is an oxygen facial. Cha ching! That will cost you about $500 a treatment. Okay, probably not an option.
Another option is expensive beauty products that "claim" their products contain O2. It's a gas. Do you really think these companies can put oxygen into a cream, keep it there and then have it released at the exact moment it's applied to your face? If you believe that, I've got some swamp property to sell you! Even if it was possible for creams to provide some extra oxygen to the skin, the effects would only last a few seconds or perhaps minutes at best.
Then what's the answer? Air purifiers.
An air purifier can filter the air, creating an optimal clean environment that is rich with pure O2. Even if your objection wasn't for beauty, the benefits for optimizing the overall body are numerous, so it's best to use one in your room while sleeping.
What other beauty secrets do you use for gorgeous skin?
Hidden Skin Gremlins
As a living, breathing organ, your skin is exposed to all sorts of pollutants called free radicals - from cosmetics, our homes and our external environment.
In our society, we often lather on products containing harsh chemicals without knowing what kind of damage is being done - all in the name of beauty.
The amount of toxins in the majority of cosmetics is alarming and the FDA does not have the authority to regulate the ingredients prior to packaging. Many lipsticks contain lead; formaldehyde can be found in
nail polish; while fragrances are full of neurotoxins. Considering these products are applied to your skin, which is porous, continued use can have devastating affects on your health.
We are finally beginning to see more and more companies climbing on the "green" bandwagon; however, BEWARE. Labeling and marketing can be deceptive. We have always encouraged our clients to read the labels for all products - be it food, cleaning supports or household products and clothing. Even 1 to 5% toxins can wreak havoc on your body, so always choose products containing 100% pure ingredients.
Ahhhh, how wonderful it is to climb into bed after a long day. It's suppose to be your sanctuary for rest and relaxation, right? But is it?
Our linens can be covered with dust mites, which feed off your dead skin and produce excretions that are unseen by the naked eye,and which cause allergic reactions in most people. If you sleep with your face against your pillow, think about the oils your body and scalp are eliminating that is being rubbed right back onto your skin. What to do? Change your pillowcase every day and your bed linens twice a week - or at least once a week. Also, choose an organic mattress cover and organic linens to avoid synthetics, which may contain toxins (this applies to clothing as well). Be sure to vacuum often and hopefully you are using a bag-less vacuum, because what may be inside those bags is a whole other issue. You may want to read about what's living in your vacuum.
We may have control over products we use in our homes, be it furniture, linens, toys, clothing, cleaning products, or skin care products, but what about the outside environment? If you live in an urban area, you are mostly likely constantly being bombarded by free radicals from car exhaust, gases, fumes and grease from food establishments, etc. You get the picture. What can you do?
Protect your skin from these chemicals. Keep it clean and unclogged. Be sure to cleanse and exfoliate everyday, and apply a natural barrier moisturizer with sunscreen properties. And, of course, that means you should be using natural, organic products. By being proactive and warding off these environment dangers, you are taking care of yourself, and that's a wonderful feeling!
What do you do to protect yourself from these skin gremlins?
What is a Moisturizer?
In the cosmetics industry, a moisturizer is a topical cream, lotion, serum, or an oil designed to maintain optimal levels of oils and water in the skin.
Among the thousands of various moisturizing products on the market some are tailored for morning or evening use; some are for a particular skin type, such as dry skin, combination skin, or oily skin; others are for skin prone to redness or rosacea, etc.
If formulated properly, each moisturizer is a balance of three types of ingredients: humectants, emollients, and occlusive agents. The concentration of these three elements determines the moisturizer's characteristics and use.
Let's break this down to understand how a moisturizer works, using ONLY natural, organic ingredients.
A humectant is an ingredient that helps retain moisture. A moisturizer with a humectant ingredient will draw water from the dermis below, helping to re-hydrate the skin’s surface, but can cause some irritation to the skin in high concentrations.
The classic humectant is glycerin. (You might see it listed as glycerol, which is its alcohol form, on a product's ingredients list.) We do not use glycerin for a couple reasons. It can draw too much moisture, causing irritation and can produce a sticky or tacky feel. We opt for better humectants, such as shea butter, avocado oil, olive oil, castor oil, borage oil, lecithin, aloe vera or honey.
An emollient is an ingredient that fills in cracks between skin cells, helping to soften and smooth the skin’s surface and making it more flexible. They work by increasing the ability of the skin to hold water, providing the skin with a layer of oil to prevent water loss, and lubricating the skin to prevent dryness.They also contribute to the creamy texture of a moisturizer.
There are many emollients used in natural cosmetics, most of which are oils like jojoba oil, sunflower oil and rice bran oil.
Occlusive agents are the ingredients in skincare that form a film or barrier on the skin and prevent water loss through the skin. They can be very effective, but if too much is included in a product it can feel waxy or greasy on the skin.
The classic cosmetic occlusive agent is petrolatum, or petroleum jelly, which, of course, is never used in natural, organic products. Natural occlusive agents include zinc oxide, waxes, and some oils, like castor and jojoba oil. In the case of jojoba oil, it is most like our natural sebum and is a humectant, emollient and occlusive ingredient.
All of our moisturizers, be they creams, serums, body oils or body butters, are carefully formulated to give you the perfect balance of humectants, emollients and occlusive agents. Check them out HERE.
Here's hoping our explanation gives you some food for thought. Questions?
DIY Beach Wave Hairspray
To use, spray on damp hair and scrunch with a towel to dry for loose beach waves. Spray on dry hair and on roots for volume and texture without the waves.
How easy it that? This is one of the simplest, natural hair care recipes to make at home, and it literally costs a fraction of the store bought versions. It adds great texture and volume to hair without the chemicals. by making it yourself, you can also customize to your hair type to get the texture you want.
Here's an alternative recipe with a few extra ingredients.
DIY Beach Spray Ingredients:
• 1 cup of hot water (not boiling)- Can also use strong Chamomile Tea as the base if you want to lighten hair or black tea as the base if you want to darken hair, but you will need to keep in the fridge.
• 2 tablespoons Epsom salts (or more for extra texture)
• 1/2 tsp Himalayan or sea salt (optional but adds stiffness)
• 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
• 1/2 tsp sweet almond oil or jojoba oil
• Optional: a few drops of essential oil (lavender and citrus are great options)
• Optional: 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vodka or alcohol- if you want to lighten hair (the lemon juice lightens and the alcohol preserves)
Put the hot water (or tea) in the spray bottle and add the Epsom salts, sea salt (optional), aloe vera, oil, essential oils (optional) and lemon juice/vodka (if using). Put the cap on the bottle and shake for 1-2 minutes or until Epsom salts and sea salt are dissolved. Store in the fridge if using lemon juice or tea base, or at room temperature if you aren’t. Will last 3-4 months or longer.
As stated above, to use, spray on damp hair and scrunch with a towel to dry for loose beach waves. Spray on dry hair and on roots for volume and texture without the waves.
Let us know how it works for you, and we'd love for you to post before/after pictures!
Welcome! I'm Stephanie (Jo to close friends), founder of EdenSong. Aside from my university studies, I have a natural passion for all things organic. I enjoy living and learning about natural ways, all things health related, cooking, gardening with herbs and flowers, photography, DIYing, yoga, bicycling, ballet, traveling and being with family and friends. A quirk of mine is my near obsession of Asian culture, particularly Korean history and its language. Would you like to know more? Find out about us.
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