Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Lic-Or-Ice Is The New Spring Protective Ingredient

licoriceLicorice root extract has a long history for its flavor in food and drinks as well as for its anti-inflammatory properties in medicinal preparations, but did you know that it can also play a role in promoting healthy skin?  As an active ingredient in skin care treatments, licorice root extract does double duty by lightening dark spots as a botanical alternative to hydroquinone while offering protection against UV damage.

As a skin lightener, licorice root contains a compound called glabridin which suppresses pigmentation by stalling melanin production.  It accomplishes this by hampering tyrosinase activity, the enzyme responsible for producing melanin.  For those who are not able to tolerate hydroquinone, licorice root extract offers a plant-based option with few side effects or allergic reactions.  Irritation is also rare, most likely due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

As protection against UV damage, new research has been focused on another of licorice root extract’s compounds called Licochalcone A, an antioxidant that has the unique ability to boost the body’s own defensive system against skin-damaging free radicals.  When the skin is exposed to daily assaults by environmental hazards, pollution and UV rays, the body’s natural defense kicks in to eliminate the free radicals that are generated.  Using a lotion containing Licochalcone A, researchers found that pretreated skin cells in a laboratory setting produced a higher amount of antioxidant molecules and, as a result, significantly fewer harmful free radicals. A subsequent study on volunteers supported those findings by showing how licorice root extract was able to protect from UV damage by stimulating the skin’s own defense system.

Another new research project that backs this concept was published in Experimental Dermatology introduces a new plant-sunscreenderived agent, which protects skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) irradiation. “We found out that the antioxidant active licochalcone a, which is the main component of the root extract of the plant Glycyrrhiza inflata (Chinese Licorice), is able to protect the skin from subsequent UV irradiation damage from within by strengthening the skin’s own defense systems,” says Gitta Neufang, a researcher involved in the work from Beiersdorf AG (Hamburg, Germany). “Thus plant extracts with the described profile are able to provide a protective shield from sun exposure supporting and going beyond the action of sunscreens regarding sun protection.” Neufang and colleagues isolated human skin cells and irradiated them with solar simulated light mimicking sun exposure. They were able to show that skin cells pretreated with licochalcone a produced a higher amount of self-protecting, antioxidant molecules. Consequently, significantly fewer harmful radicals were detected in licochalone a treated human skin cells. In addition, they also conducted a study with healthy volunteers demonstrating that the application of a lotion containing Licochalcone A-rich root extract on the inner forearms for two weeks protected the skin from damage after UV irradiation.

The hope is to use licorice root extract as a means to boost the effectiveness of sunscreens. These findings show that the skin’s own defense system can be stimulated by the application of licorice extract. In combination with UV-filters this approach therefore might provide superior sun protection by not only offering physical but also biological sun protection.  No sunscreen is able to block out 100% of the sun’s damaging rays.  Even SPF 50 products only block up to 98%. Researchers are hoping to make up the 2% gap by using new information about licorice root extract to boost the body’s own defensive systems.

~ Courtesy of American Spa Magazine

When Life Gives You Lemons Make Lavender Lemonade

lavender lemonadeFlavoring your lemonade with lavender is a great way to utilize the amazing medicinal properties of lavender. Lavender is a wonderful aromatic herb that calms the senses.

Pure lavender oil is an incredible essential oil to use for your own health and wellness. It’s among the gentlest of essential oils, but also one of the most powerful, making it a favorite of households for the healing properties and uses of lavender essential oil. Lavender oil  has a chemically complex structure with over 150 active constituents, which explains its effectiveness at helping with a lot of health ailments. Lavender oil possesses amazing anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antidepressant, antiseptic, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, analgesic, detoxifier, hypotensive, and sedative properties.

Florida researchers have found that lavender oil benefits include reducing anxiety and lowering pulse rates in nursing students taking stressful tests. And in hospital settings, lavender aromatherapy has been demonstrated to decrease pre-surgery distress and to be more relaxing than massage or merely resting.

Lavender essential oil has medicinal properties as well. It has been shown to reduce depression, improve insomnia and ease labor pains. And anecdotal evidence suggests that lavender oil benefits those with headaches, hangovers, sinus congestion and pain relief.
“Much prior research on lavender has focused on the administration of lavender via an olfactory route. The anxiolytic activity of lavender olfaction has been demonstrated in several small and medium-sized clinical trials. The efficacy of aromatherapy of lavender is thought to be due to the psychological effects of the fragrance combined with physiological effects of volatile oils in the limbic system. These calming effects of lavender oil and single constituents may be the origin of the traditional use of lavender. Lavender oil olfaction has been shown to decrease anxiety, as measured by the Hamilton rating scale,51 and can increase mood scores.

The following are selected examples of clinical trials on lavender aromatherapy:

  • Dunn and colleagues demonstrated anxiolytic activity of lavender oil aromatherapy in patients in intensive care units. Subjects received at least 1 session of aromatherapy with 1% lavender essential oil. Significant anxiolytic effects were noted in the 1st treatment, though 2nd and 3rd treatments did not appear to be as effective.
  • Alaoui-Ismaili and colleagues found that the aroma of lavender is considered by subjects to be very pleasant and is correlated with changes in the autonomic nervous system.
  • Tysoe and colleagues conducted a study of lavender oil in burner use on staff mood and stress in a hospital setting. A significant number of respondents (85%) believed that lavender aroma improved the work environment following the use of the lavender oil burners.
  • Diego and colleagues demonstrated that people receiving lavender oil (10%) olfaction for 3 minutes felt significantly more relaxed and had decreased anxiety scores, improved mood and increased scores of alpha power on EEG (an indicator of alertness), and increased speed of mathematical calculations.
  • Lewith and colleagues investigated the effects of lavender aromatherapy on depressed mood and anxiety in female patients being treated with chronic hemodialysis.  The effects of aromatherapy were measured using the Hamilton rating scale for depression (HAMD) and the Hamilton rating scale for anxiety (HAMA). Lavender aroma significantly decreased the mean scores of HAMA, suggesting an effective, noninvasive means for the treatment of anxiety in hemodialysis patients.
  • Lavender aromatherapy, with or without massage, may also reduce the perception of pain and the need for conventional analgesics in adults and children, though more rigorously controlled trials are needed.

DIY Lavender Lemonade with Lavender Essential Oil

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 12 cups pure water
  • 1 drop lavender essential oil
  • 6 lemons, peeled and juiced
  • Lavender sprigs for garnish

Directions

Mix all ingredients together and chill. Add more water or raw honey if needed.

Other ways you can use Lavender Oil for Anxiety and Headaches

  • Mix 5 to 6 drops of Lavender essential oil to your bath water if you have dry skin.
  • Diffuse 10 to 12 drops of Lavender into the air during your workday for natural stress relief.
  • Add 2 drops of Lavender per ounce of your favorite lightly scented, unrefined organic oil (like almond oil or olive oil) for a body oil with all the benefits of lavender for improving your skin, relaxing your mind, warding off insects or helping you sleep.

~ In courtesy of Living Traditionally

Part 1: Spring Cleaning Long Over Due – Choose a OMG WELLNESS PLAN that Fits You!

SPRING CLEANING LONG OVER DUE – CHOOSE A DETOX THAT FITS YOU!

Spring is here and we have already been through at least 2 awful allergy sessions, 1 stress breakdown and 3 crash diets.  BUT HAVE WE YET TO REALLY WORK ON OURSELVES? THIS IS AN OMG MOMENT READY TO HAPPEN!! Well look no further OhMyGosh has decided to give you a couple of pointers to step up your new body image for the summer inside and out. OMG wants its fans to not only look good but feel great by practicing wellness techniques throughout their everyday activities to avoid SPRING FEVER.

We at OMG want you to learn how to detoxify – to remove all those chemicals that have accumulated in your fluids and tissues – and let your body begin to regenerate itself through fitness, nutrition and health! OMG~did you know strong healthy cells are what makes your foundation grounded? The key  lies in the foods you put in your mouth, the thoughts you put in your head and the feeling you place in your heart.  As you begin to observe how you feel when you improve your diet, control your thoughts and foster peaceful feeling, you will know what to do and what not to do.

The following 3 part blog will take you through some of the most common SPRING FEVER OMG MOMENTS (Health, Weight, Stress) utilizing nothing but OMG strategies of how to Challenge, Conquer, Commit and Complete various elements each day to achieve the ultimate spring cleaning for a GREAT OMG SUMMER 2011 START!!! **Remember these are alternative suggestions provided by OMG and should not replace/conflict with medication. Please contact your doctor or and OMG specialist before starting if you have any concerns**

~ CHALLENGE: Ready for the outside and start enjoying this great spring weather- that is unless you suffer from springtime allergies and sinuses. Your immune system has decided that and everyday substances- maybe pollen from a tree, the dander from a cat or the dust on a book shelf- is your enemy, an allergen. When you inhale that substance into your body, an antibody is created. This specialized protein first detects the enemy, and then signals the immune system to disarm and destroy the scoundrel. If high pollen levels or other allergens are keeping you from enjoying the great outdoors, be prepared to make some OMG changes ASAP!

~CONQUER:   Two herbs that are great for aggravating allergies are Nettle and Ginkgo biloba. Nettle contains a substance that works as a natural anti-histamine and Ginkgo biloba contains substances called ginkgolides, which can stop allergy-triggering chemicals (platelet activating factor, PAF) in their tracks.

When addressing allergies, several important areas can be positively affected by utilizing essential oils, particularly lavender and bergamot, which can be used for their general notifying properties for allergy-related conditions. Most allergies involve inflammatory responses and will benefit from the anti-inflammatory essential oils such as chamomile and lavender. Lemon is one essential oil I often include with allergy remedies because it is purifying, anti-toxic and antibacterial. Essential oil use can strengthen your respiratory, immune, and nervous systems when used correctly, and in moderation.

Dietary recommendations include avoiding the foods which cause problems for you. Drink fresh lemon juice daily in water to purify and detoxify the body. Be sure to drink plenty of pure water too! Anti-oxidants may also help in prevention.

OMG TIP: To relieve itching, which is a common symptom in many allergies, use essential oils of lemon, chamomile and peppermint.

~COMMIT: Make sure your environment is allergy safe to avoid constant contact with the problem at hand. Here are a couple of house tips:  Non-carpeted flooring is best. If you can’t get rid of carpeting, vacuum often with a multi-layer, allergen-proof vacuum bag.  Buy plants such as Philodendrons, spider plants, cactus, English ivy and peace lilies to soak up air pollution and volatile toxins that may emitted throughout your home due to carpet, paint and even computers.

OMG TIP: For general use in many allergy situations, I recommend a blend of essential oils that can be diffused several times per day and can aid in controlling germs, purifying the air, promoting relaxation and are anti-inflammatory. This blend below is anti-toxic and anti-bacterial that should assist in soothing the nervous system.

For Diffuser use: 5 drops of Lavender essential oil, 2 drops of Bergamot essential oil, 1 drop of Lemon essential oil and 1 drop of Peppermint essential oil. Allow this essential blend to diffuse three to four times daily, for 10 to 15 minutes duration each time.          

~COMPLETE: Visualize your immune system as a rain barrel. Many factors, such as infections, environmental toxins, and stress, can fill your barrel. When the barrel is full, one more drop-an allergen-can overflow your immune system so that it can’t deal with the invader. You experience allergic symptoms. The best ways to lower the water level in your rain barrel so that your body can deal with allergens is with detoxification baths. The heat from the bath releases stored toxins from fat cells into the blood. They then travel to the skin and are released. To make sure you keep this OMG MOMENT under control try our Spring Fever Steam Bath product ~ Horseradish and Shiitake extracts to enhance detoxification and stimulating bodily processes to relieve common allergy symptoms such as nasal congestion and dry eyes. It can be used as a facial steam bath, soak or footbath.

OMG TIP: Lymphatic Drainage is very important and helpful when involving respiratory ailments. The four basic principles of this method are:

  • Maintain normal body temperature (to remove or add heat)
  • Create a vacuum (to encourage drainage from glands or organs)
  • Reposition substance (movement of soft tissue)
  • Reposition congestion (to disperse internal fullness)

Below is a short an image to help you be aware of where your most prominent lymph nodes are that contribute to allergy and sinus symptoms. 

OMG is so happy to jumpstart your 2011 Spring Cleaning process. Stay tuned for Part 2 next week: Detox Plans, Healthy Recipes and Fitness Tips to help you put your weight loss goal or overall health at the top of the OMG STATUS. Remember OhMyGosh is where OMG MOMENTS BECOME OMG HISTORY!

Ms.OMG

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