Tag Archives: bronchitis

Himalayan salt lamps to purify indoor air

What are Himalayan salt lamps?

Himalayan salt lamps are salt crystal lamps made from the purest salt in the world, found at the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. The large salt crystals salt crystalsare hand-carved and shaped into lamps or candle holders that are unique in shape, size and color. The salt lamp is composed of a base in order to place the lamp or the candle holder anywhere you want and of a light bulb socket to insert a light bulb or a small candle. The salts typically come from Khewra Salt Mines that are located in Pakistan, 300Km from the Himalayan border. Khewra salt mineIt is is the 2nd largest salt mine in the world, attracting more than 40 000 visitors a year. The salt started being extracted in 320BC at the time of Alexander the Great. The mine is located at almost 300m above sea level, forming a 19 story-building. The tunnel where the salt is extracted from is more than 40 km long and 465,000 tons of salt is produced each year. The salt crystals are of pinkish, whitish, reddish or even transparent colors and can be 99% pure at certain spots.

How Himalayan salt lamps work?

The Himalayan salt lamps are a nice decoration item, providing soft light and thus creating a very relaxing and subtle atmosphere. However, salt lamps are more than that since they also have therapeutic effects that have been proven by scientific studies, much like speleotherapy, a salt-based therapy that can help cure a wide range of bronchial problems. First of all, salt lamps are hygroscopic, which means that they attract and retain moisture and humidity in the atmosphere. The salt lamps have indeed the ability to produce negative ions thanks to their chemical composition. Negative ions produce an air that is similar to the one after a rain storm: the air is clear and recharged with oxygen. They are therefore ideal at home to absorb humidity and to reduce bacteria, germs or airborne particles that feed from humidity but they also counteract the positive ions created by electrical appliances, computers, cell phones that often have a negative impact on our mood and health. In country side, forests, mountains or near waterfalls, the air is charged with 4000 negative ions per cubic centimeter while in polluted areas or cities, the air is only charged with 100 or 200 negative ions per cubic centimeter. By producing negative ions, the salt lamps recreate this natural atmosphere, leading to a state of well-being.

Himalayan salt lamps are said to help with conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, chest congestion, coughs, sinus problems, snoring and allergies because they contribute to a cleaner air. They also increase energy levels and contribute to a better mood while inducing relaxation and well-being during stressful times. They can also help improve sleeping patterns. They have even been used by health practitioners in Europe, Japan or North America for their proven benefits and ionized rooms are gaining in importance because according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollution is in the top 5 threats for health.

Salt lamps can be placed at home in each room, next to the computer, on in the bedroom or living room. They are ideal for work space such as spas or relaxation rooms to create a nice atmosphere while purifying the air. The salt lamp works best when lit up for a while because it had time to warm up and make the lamp surface warmer than the surrounding air, therefore attracting water molecules that form condensation on the salt crystals.

Where to find Himalayan salt lamps?

You can find salt lamps in natural stores, specialty stores or decoration stores, even online. However, salt lamps have become popular and it is important to double check their origin to ensure that they are not fake as the same applies for all organic products. Also, a true salt lamp will not be polished but rather will have this rough effect. This is important because polished salt lamps will not produce negative ions the same way as rough salt lamps will. Also, larger salt lamps made of salt chips are better because they will also produce more negative ions. Ask your vendor for more details and if he/she cannot give you an answer, look somewhere else. We also suggest the online store Solay Wellness that carries a vast variety of hand-crafted salt lamps made with salt crystals from the Khewra salt mines.

Natural shaving oil for men and women

For people conscious of their health, shaving creams or shaving gels can seem a bit hazardous considering the ingredients they contain and if you prefer using a natural shaving oil alternative, we have a great organic shaving oil substitute for you, may it be for men or women.

In men, shaving is the most obvious cause of skin inflammation on the face because it needs to be performed almost every day. Some women also prefer regular shaving for legs, armpits and private areas instead of waxing which also dry and inflame their skin. The purpose of a shaving product is to moist and soften the hair and create a film that will reduce the effects of the razor and protect the skin. A natural shaving oil will perform this function just fine and here is what you could use to produce your own shaving oil:

Use 3 parts of safflower oil (17ml)
Add 1 part of evening primrose oil (5ml)
Add 2 drops of vitamin E
Add 2 drops of tea tree essential oil
Add 2 drops of vetiver essential oil
Add 10 drops of copaiba essential oil

Apply on the shaving area and use the razor as you usually would do with a regular shaving cream. Once done, remove the excess of oil using a soap for sensitive skin and it’s done! This shaving oil will bring the same expected results and will leave the skin smoothe.

You can make your shaving oil on a daily basis or increase the quantities above to make an oil that will last a bit longer. However, home-made cosmetics do not resist shelf-life so long because they do not contain preservatives so you should make sure not to keep this oil too long. Also, because it contains essential oils, the oil should be tested on a small skin section before application to make sure that no allergic reaction occurs.

About the ingredients:

Safflower oil:
Safflower oil is produced from the safflower seeds, a plant from the sunflower family with red, orange or yellow flower heads. The plant measure from 30 cm to 150 cm and can grow in dry climates but is not very resistant to intense colds. Safflower is typically used to produce dyes, and the seeds to produce oil. The safflower is also being tested to produce insulin.

The safflower oil is colorless and odorless is used in cooking for salad dressing (you should ensure the oil is cold-pressed) and in cosmetics. Safflower oil is rich in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, omega 6 and vitamin E. The safflower oil contributes to weight loss and is recommended to people suffering from type 2 diabetes to lose weight but also to reduce blood sugar. It also helps to regularize menstrual cycles. It is also recommended for dry hair or hair loss, for dry skin, skin inflammation and acne-prone skins.

Organic evening primrose: See our article dedicated to organic evening primrose

Copaiba essential oil:
Copaiba tree belongs to the Copaifera genus and grows in South America, mainly in Brazil, in the Amazon region where Indians have been using the copaiba resin for centuries due its healing properties. Copaiba essential oil helps with wounds healing, pain, inflammations, sore throats, bronchitis, urinary tract disorders, ulcers and cancer. When used on the skin, it is an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antifungal, it stops skin from bleeding, it is recommended for skin disorders, even psoriasis.

Tea tree essential oil:
Tea tree essential oil is extracted from the tea tree leaves. Tea tree is native to Australia where Aborigines have been using it for its healing properties. The name originated from Captain’s Cook who drank a mix of leaves as a tea substitute. Tea tree has powerful anti-bacterial and antiseptic effects and can be used for cuts, insect bites, rashes, burns and acne.

Vetiver essential oil:
Vetiver is a type of grass originating from India but is also grown in tropical regions such as Haiti. Vetiver helps to combat soil erosion because its roots grow downwards. Vetiver grows up to 1,5 meter high, has long stems and large leaves. The vetiver essential oil is extracted from the roots and has a smoky, earthy and sweet scent and is used as a sedative to fight stress, nervous conditions, to improve blood circulation and in case of acne, cuts, and as a cicatrisant. It is commonly found in cosmetics and perfumes for its scent and its fixative properties.

Helichrysum essential oil

Helichrysum comes from the Greek Helios=sun and khrusos=gold. Also known under the name Helichrysum italicum or Helichrysum angustifolium, Helichrysum is a plant belonging to the daisy family Asteraceae that grows on rocky and dry grounds, on abandoned grounds or behind sandy beaches at low altitudes. Helichrysum is commonly found in the Mediterranean region, especially in Corsica. Helichrysum plant produces blooming yellow flowers on a woody stem; the flowers are also called Everlasting (or Immortelle) because dry bouquets are made out of the flowers. The plant measures between 20 to 50 cm high and the flowers bloom in June or July. They have a very strong smell and are sometimes used in gardens to repel cats.

Helichrysum essential oil benefits

Helichrysum essential oil is becoming a rare oil and is extremely expensive. It has a thick texture and a dark color and is considered one of the most valuable essential oil for its health-benefiting properties. Relatively unknown in the USA, helichrysum is widely used in the medical aromatherapy world in Europe and even sceptics do not argue with its powers. Helichrysum essential oil is the most powerful oil to use in case of:

bruise, wounds, sprains: In case of emergency and until medical attention is available if needed, a few drops applied right away on a wound or bruise will mostly prevent hematoma or swelling. Even if applied once the bruise is apparent, helichrysum will speed up healing and prevent the pain associated with the bruise. It can also be applied on sprains to heal quicker and even act faster than organic arnica cream.

– Inflammation, arthritis, rheumatism, muscular pain: Helichrysum has unique natural anti-inflammatory properties and regenerative properties due to its content of di-ketones. It helps connective tissues to heal and can soothe inflammations and even arthritis. It is good for all kinds of aches and muscle pain associated with exercise thanks to its muscle-relaxant properties and is therefore good for athletes. It has cell regenerative properties.

– Anti-coagulant and blood circulation: Helichrysum prevents the formation of blood clots and can even be used in cases of varicose veins or phlebitis. It acts as a blood thinner so it should be used only with the help of a professional practitioner especially for people on blood thinner medications. It stimulates the blood circulation.

Stretch marks and scars: Helichrysum can help reduce scarring (new or old scars) thanks to its cicatrisant properties and should be used for a minimum period of 6 months to see results. It can be used also after surgery to speed up scar healing. It is also beneficial in case of stretch marks and can be used after pregnancy to make them disappear. It will help with tattoo-healing and body piercing.

– Colds, bronchitis, coughs and asthma: Helichrysum can help recover faster from a cold and soothe the effects of cough (helps get rid of mucus in combination with ivy leaf extract), bronchitis and even asthma thanks to its antispasmodic effects and natural anti-bacterial properties.

-Smoking:
– Skin problems: Helichrysum is widely used in skin products because it can help with eczema, psoriasis, acne, dermatitis or problem-prone skins or skin irritation. It has also skin-rejuvenating and anti-aging properties and works wonder on sensitive or inflamed skins.

Detoxification: Helichrysum can help get rid of toxins in the body by stimulating the liver and the kidneys. It can be used also during detoxification from drugs or nicotine to speed up recovery and it helps with nicotine withdrawal for people who want to quit smoking.

– Psychological traumas and nervous tensions: Helichrysum has the ability to soothe nervous tensions (works as a tonic for the nervous system), to relieve stress, to reduce headaches and to recover from past or current emotional traumas, shocks or stress disorders. It can be used as a natural cure for depression, anger or phoebias. It is said to be the “honey for the psyche” and contributes to spiritual growth by opening the heart and connecting body and soul.

How to use helichrysum essential oil?

When considering using helichrysum essential oil, one should always favor a 100% pure helichrysum essential oil to ensure that the oil is true and pure. A fake oil will not have the health benefits listed above and won’t work.

Also, helichrysum essential oil is a very powerful oil so it should be used carefully and in small quantities otherwise, the adverse effects could occur. When used to treat emotional wounds, this should be done step by step as strong emotions can resurface at once.

When used on the skin, one or two drops mixed with a carrier oil is sufficient to apply on the desired area. In case of bruise or wound, one or two drops of undiluted organic helichrysum essential oil can work wonders.

Helichrysum essential oil is not to be used by children or pregnant women. Also, to use helichrysum essential oil as part of a health treatment, it is recommended to consult a professional practitioner for advice.

Ivy leaf extract for colds and coughs

Ivy or Hedera is an evergreen and climbing plant belonging to the Araliaceae family and that comes from the Atlantic islands, Europe, North Africa, parts of Asia and Japan. We find 2 main types of Ivy plant: English Ivy and Boston Ivy (not to be mistaken with poison Ivy). Ivy usually grows on walls or houses, can be part of ornamental arrangements and can reach up to 30 meter high. Ivy plant on houses can be a problem though because of all the insects taking refuge in the plant including spiders that crawl their way back in houses. Ivy plant can however be beneficial for your home feng shui, especially located in corners that will cut straight lines or absorb the electromagnetic vibes of devices such as TV or computer as long as you keep it subtle because a full facade covered with ivy plant can also cause your skin to be prompt to problems. Additionally, ivy plant roots are very strong and can easily dig their way into the house foundation, to the point of destroying the house structure.

Besides its ornamental purpose, ivy leaf goes way back as a traditional herbal remedy. According to the Greek tradition, Ivy leaf was believed to prevent inebriation (becoming drunk) from wine drinking and this is why the Greek God of wine, Dionysus, wore Ivy leaf around his head.

Also, ivy leaf has been traditionally used for colds for its anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic properties and particularly for coughs and chest congestion for its decongestant properties. This has been supported by scientific studies and ivy leaf is now recognized as an effective medicine to treat the inflammation of of the respiratory tract. Ivy leaf extract helps to liquefy the mucus, ease throat and chest inflammation and calm the cough associated with bronchitis. However, it does not suppress the cough completely in order for the mucus to leave the body and for the infection to stop.

Ivy leaf extract is an efficient and natural remedy for bronchial inflammation, may it be for adults or for children and is easily found as a ivy leaf syrup that won’t induce the side effects of other regular syrups such as drowsiness, dizziness, lightheadedness, among others.