I sit here after a series of 60 - 70 degree days, pondering if I should start the haul of putting away the big heavy jackets and gloves, and double check my knees to make sure they're well moisturized for shorts weather. But while I write this blog, we have winter storm "Stella" dancing its way to Maryland. I can't help but feel more confused with this weather. Lets press onward into some fun spring finds we can start slowly adding in our daily life.
This plant not only makes a good companion, but also looks great on your bedside table. It's the plant that keeps on giving. With the weather jumping around, I noticed my skin is just as lost as I am. So, I kindly rip off a little stem of this plant and use the flubber-like substance inside.
- Aloe vera gel contains two hormones: Auxin and Gibberellins. These two hormones provide wound-healing and anti-inflammatory properties that reduce skin inflammation. Giberellin in aloe vera acts as a growth hormone stimulating the growth of new cells. It allows the skin to heal quickly and naturally with minimal scarring.
- Aloe is soothing and can reduce skin inflammations, blistering and itchiness, while helping the skin to heal more rapidly. Additionally, in Ayurvedic medicine, Aloe is used to effectively heal chronic skin problems, such as psoriasis, acne and eczema. - Mind Body Green
Plus, it's great for soothing sunburn, moisturizing that fine skin of yours, helps kick aging to the side, and also if you didn't know - can benefit your digestive system.
Seriously, lets give a hand to this miracle worker!
P.S. for all the plant killers out there, don't worry - aloe vera plants are not fussy and require only minimal watering. Just some extra love.
Our skin can start to feel a little scaly. We've been hiding our gams for what feels like the longest hibernation ever. Let's give our skin the polish it needs - all year round. Dry brushing is a wellness habit that I've seen come to light these past couple years. So of course, being the curious cat I am, I read up on the benefits and headed to my closest health store to find this glorious brush. Last year, I remember I was afraid to touch the rough bristles to my skin. It felt like a porcupine at first, but slowly my skin started to crave and I immediately noticed a difference. Our skin is our biggest organ, so why not give it that extra TLC it deserves?
- Lymphatic Support: The lymphatic system is a major part of the body’s immune system. It is made up of organs and lymph nodes, ducts and vessels that transport lymph throughout the body. Many of these lymph vessels run just below the skin and proponents of dry brushing claim that brushing the skin regularly helps stimulate the normal lymph flow within the body and help the body detoxify itself naturally.
- Exfoliation: This benefit is often noticed the first time a person dry brushes. The process of running a firm, natural bristled brush over the skin helps loosen and remove dead skin cells, naturally exfoliating skin. I noticed much softer skin in the first few days and weeks after I started dry brushing and my skin has stayed soft. Dry brushing is one of the simplest and most natural ways to exfoliate skin.
- Clean Pores: The added benefit of exfoliating the skin, is clearing oil, dirt and residue from the pores. Though it isn’t recommended to dry brush the face unless you have a special, more delicate brush, dry brushing helps improve pores on the rest of the body.
- Cellulite Help: Though the evidence is anecdotal, I’ve found many accounts of people who claimed that regular dry brushing greatly helped their cellulite. I talked about this and my other cellulite remedies here. There isn’t much research to back the cellulite claims, but dry brushing feels great and makes skin softer, so there isn’t really any downside to trying it!
- Increased Energy and Blood Flow: I wouldn’t recommend dry brushing at night because it tends to give me a rush of energy. One theory is that because it increases circulation, it also increases energy. Either way, dry brushing is part of my morning routine. - Wellness Mama
Check out this Amazon link to take a look at different dry brushes on the market:
(I bought mine at Whole Foods)
I noticed that Maca was in my favorite smoothie that I get from Rutabaga Juicery in Annapolis (it's called Lush.) Recently, I've become interested in natural ways to help balance my hormones (PMS and all those fun lady adventures.) I was pleasantly surprised by what I found. Remember friends, always check with your holistic doctor/doctor/midwife etc. if you're having sudden changes in mood, bodily function, or if you notice something is off. I don't push "superfoods" or "supplements", nor am I into the one size fits all approach when it comes to our bodies (I'm not a doctor...even if I did watch Grey's Anatomy for years) But personally, I'm excited to add this into my daily smoothie to see if I notice a difference in my time of the month and leading up to it.
PMS, Menopause, and women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Maca Root is well known to help with hormone balance that often contributes to improving the symptoms of PMS and Menopause. In females with PCOS, maca is believed to help by controlling estrogen levels in the body.
- Estrogen levels that are either too high or too low can make it difficult for a women to ovulate and become pregnant. Therefore balancing the amount of estrogen that a women produces, and in turn the amount of related progesterone produced, is very important for increasing reproductive health, fertility, and decreasing symptoms related to PCOS- like irregular menstrual cycles, excess hair growth, and more. - Dr. Axe
- Those who regularly use maca powder report that it makes them feel more awake, energized, and driven, often relatively quickly after beginning to use it. A positive attribute of using maca for increased energy compared to using caffeine is that maca does not give most people “jitters” or a sense of shakiness like high levels of caffeine can.
- Clinical trials have shown that maca has positive effects on energy, stamina, and mood. Maintaining positive energy levels is related to having lower levels of anxiety and depression, both of which maca has been shown to positively help achieve.
- Exactly how maca increases energy is still unknown, however it’s believed that it may be able to do so by helping to stabilize blood sugar levels (which decrease energy spikes and dips), and to maintain adrenal health, which regulates mood and energy throughout the day. (3)
- Maca benefits also include regulating the hypothamlus, helping the pituitary gland to properly function, which is another key element in balancing focus and energy. (4) An increase in focus, energy and mood enables people to concentrate better and therefore to improve memory and ability to complete tasks. -DR.AXE
- In populations where maca is traditionally consumed, people tend to have lower blood pressure than those in populations where maca is not used. It's rich in potassium, which prevents high blood pressure. A 2010 study published in "Bioresource Technology" found that maca has the ability to lower blood pressure, since its phenolic compounds inhibited the enzyme relevant to hypertension during cultured experiments. This suggests maca may possibly be useful in the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure. - Livestrong
I would love to know if any of you are using Maca in your daily well-being routine or have had positive or negative side affects using it.
I will never get enough of having dried lavender in some way apart of my daily routine. I thank my mom who introduced me to these little magical plants.
I sprinkle lavender everywhere - like confetti. You can put the dried lavender in empty tea bags or mesh bags in your dresser or your pillow case to help you de-stress and bring the smell of Spring indoors. Oh so fresh!
Spring cleaning is around the corner - instead of investing in harmful air sprays, throw the lavender onto your carpet and vacuum over it creating a fresh smell throughout your home. Who doesn't want to be apart of this party? Good for your soul & that dirty carpet.
You can buy lavender in bulk at your health foods store, and I find that it's fairly cheap, unless you go bananas.
Be sure that it doesn't have any added perfumes or additives!
What are some ways you love using lavender? I'd love to know.
I hope this makes it feel like Spring in your home, even if it's just for a day - or in my case - in my heart. My toes are currently popsicles.
Spring is a time of re-birth, allowing us to refresh our mind, body, and soul!
What ways will you be freshing up for spring?
I know I need some good old vitamin D!
(currently ghost status)
As always, I am grateful for you.
Never stop being a light.
Share your magic.
Peace to all,
- Caroline Jane