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Grow Healthy Hair

Healthy Hair Naturally

We know our lifestyles and environments have a huge impact on our physical health. Our hair and skin are the first to show chemical damage. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly help, of course, yet they aren’t enough when you’re using commercially produced, chemical laden products on your hair. So here are some natural options for strengthening and lengthening hair.

Proper Nutrition for Healthy Hair

A nutritious diet that contains healthful fats, protein, and a range of vitamins can help with thinning or thin hair. In fact, thin hair can be a sign that a person is not getting enough nutrients. To help remedy this, people with thin hair should include some of the following nutrient-rich foods in their diets:

  • salmon, which is high in protein and fatty acids
  • eggs, which contain protein, omega 3, and iron
  • walnuts, almonds, and other nuts, which are sources of fatty acids
  • greek yogurt, which is a source of protein
  • green, black, pinto, and other beans, which contain protein

A person should look to add 1 or 2 servings of any of the above foods to their daily diet. Even adding just 3 or 4 servings a week can contribute to improved hair health.

Regular Combing & Trimming

Comb your hair three times a day and trim it in every three months. Regular combing and trimming is extremely important for expediting the growth of new hair. Combing is essential as it provides good blood circulation, and stimulates hair follicles, helping them produce new hair naturally.

Proper Washing Technique

  1. Wash with warm water and rinse with cold.
  2. Use finger tips, not nails, to massage scalp and stimulate follicles.
  3. Always massage conditioners and oils into the scalp with circular motions.

Shampoo is Important

The type of shampoo you are using can have drastic effects on the health of your hair. It’s best to use a natural soap or a petroleum and sulfate free blend. These only remove dirt and do not strip the hair of its natural oils like commercial surfactants.

Coconut Oil Soap: easy to make or purchase. Full of fatty acids essential for nourishing the scalp and hair follicles and gently removes dirt and grease without over drying (stripping) the hair. Purchase yours below.

Natural Conditioning Can Help

Much like shampoo, conditioner contents can have drastic effects on the health of your hair. So instead of a petroleum wax and oil laden blend, try something that actually nourishes your hair. Here are some natural ways to moisturize and strengthen hair.

Apple Cider Vinegar: gently cleanses the scalp and maintains the PH balance of the hair accelerating hair growth. How To Use:

  • Wash your hair
  • Use apple cider vinegar as a final rinse after washing your hair to get healthy and shiny hair.
  • For 1 liter of solution – mix 75ml of apple cider vinegar to one liter of water
  • You may store this entirely or make it smaller batches.
  • For smaller quantities, take 15 ml of apple cider vinegar and add it to a cup of warm filtered water
  • After washing your hair, using this cup of water as the final rinse.

Aloe Gel: Applying aloe oil directly to the hair and scalp may help strengthen the hair and thicken it over time. For a homemade solution, a person can try rubbing some pure aloe gel into the scalp and letting it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing. This can be done once or twice a week.

Avocado: Avocado is rich in vitamin E, and many people believe it to be a good moisturizer. Make a simple avocado rub and apply it twice a week. Do remember it can be an ugly, squishy avocado, not a green healthy one. To make an avocado rub:

  • combine the fruit of 1 avocado with 1 tbsp olive/sunflower/coconut oil
  • apply the mixture to hair and scalp
  • let it sit for about 30 minutes
  • rinse thoroughly with natural shampoo

Cayenne Pepper: stimulates hair growth and prevents thinning of hair. It has a chemical in it known as Capsaicin. This ingredient when applied on the scalp causes the nerves to activate and increase the blood flow to the scalp. This results in increased absorption of nutrients and better hair growth. How To Use:

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of pepper powder with 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • Apply it on the scalp where thinning is more prominent
  • Wash off with cool water

Coconut Milk: rich in iron, potassium and essential fats. It reduces hair fall and breakage. How To Use:

  • Extract the milk of a coconut
  • Apply it on the targeted areas
  • Keep it overnight
  • Rinse off with cool water the next day

Coconut Oil: Rich in potassium, coconut oil keeps your scalp healthy; promotes the growth of new hair and repairs damaged hair. It also reduces dandruff, hair breakage and hair loss. Coconut oil is also used as a pre-conditioning hair treatment for damaged hair. It acts as a moisturizer and strengthens the hair shaft from the root, thus preventing breakage. It keeps the scalp well-nourished and moisturized. Use coconut hot oil treatment for effective results.

Cumin Seeds: packed with 100′s of nutrients and vitamins that are great for replenishing your hair. How To Use:

  • Soak cumin seeds in olive oil or castor oil
  • Let it soak overnight
  • The next morning, apply it to the targeted areas
  • Wash after 15 minutes with a mild shampoo

Eggs: high in protein, which is essential for the body to build strong, thick hair. When used regularly, an egg treatment may help thicken and strengthen a person’s hair. To use an egg treatment:

  • beat 1 or 2 eggs together
  • apply the eggs to the scalp and damp hair
  • leave the eggs on the scalp for about 30 minutes
  • wash hair thoroughly with warm water and mild shampoo

Alternately, combine the eggs with oil and water. To use this method:

  • mix egg yolks, 1 tablespoon (tbsp) olive oil, and 2 tbsp of water
  • apply the mixture to the scalp and dry hair
  • leave for 15 minutes
  • rinse out with warm water and a mild shampoo

Fenugreek: accelerates hair growth and protects the natural color of your hair. How To Use:

  • Take 1 teaspoon of the fenugreek paste
  • Add 2 teaspoons of coconut milk to it
  • Apply it all over your hair and scalp
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes
  • Wash off with a mild shampoo

Flaxseed Oil: rich source of essential fatty acids which helps to transform dry, damaged and brittle hair to healthy and shiny hair. The omega 3 fatty acids in the oil promote healthy hair growth. How To Use:

  • Include flaxseed oil supplements in your daily diet
  • Use it with the combination of other essential oils.

Garlic: home remedy for reducing the shedding of hair. Why? It boosts the regeneration of new hair and promotes the scalp circulation. How To Use:

  • Boil a few cloves of crushed garlic in olive oil or coconut oil
  • Apply it to the roots of your hair follicles.
  • Wash off properly

Green Tea: antioxidants prevent hair loss and boost hair growth. How To Use:

  • Apply warm green tea all over your scalp
  • Leave it for an hour
  • Rinse off with cool water

Henna Pack: very well known as a natural conditioner. It is also good for hair growth. Why? It transforms dull and dry hair to smooth and shiny hair and adds colour too. It promotes hair growth by strengthening the roots of your hair. How To Use:

  • Make a pack by mixing 1 cup of dry henna powder with ½ cup of yoghurt
  • Apply it all over your hair from root to tip.
  • Leave the pack until it dries off completely
  • Wash off with a mild shampoo

Hibiscus Flower: the “flower of hair care.” This flower is used for curing dandruff and enhancing hair growth. It also thickens the hair and prevents pre-mature ageing. How To Use:

  • Make a paste of the hibiscus flower with coconut oil or sesame oil
  • Apply it on your hair evenly.
  • Rinse with a mild shampoo.

Indian Gooseberry (Amla):  powerhouse of antioxidants and vitamin C. Amla promotes healthy hair growth and also improves the pigmentation of the hair. How To Use:

  • Mix 2 teaspoons of amla powder or juice with 2 teaspoons of lime juice
  • Apply this on your scalp properly and let it dry
  • Now rinse it well with warm water

Olive Oil: rich in omega 3 acids and other nutrients that are essential for overall health, including hair health. When applied directly to the scalp and hair, olive oil helps promote thicker hair. Olive oil also has the added benefit of softening the hair and relieving dry scalp. Some people add honey to the olive oil and others suggest leaving the olive oil on overnight using a shower cap to cover the hair. To use olive oil:

  • heat the oil to body temperature
  • massage the warm oil into the scalp and hair
  • leave in hair for about 30 to 45 minutes
  • rinse out the olive oil with mild shampoo

Onion Juice: rich in sulphur that boosts collagen production in the tissues and helps in re-growth of hair. How To Use:

  • Use red onions or shallots
  • Chop it into small pieces
  • Squeeze out its juice.
  • Now apply it on your scalp carefully and keep for 15 minutes.
  • Finally rinse off with a mild shampoo.

Orange Puree: The vitamin C, pectin, and acid in oranges can help a person’s hair in a few different ways. The vitamins and nutrients may improve hair’s natural luster, which makes the hair appear thicker. The acid in oranges helps break apart residue left from hair products. These residues may interfere with hair growth. Unlike some of the other treatments, orange puree has a pleasant scent that makes the treatment more enjoyable. A person can use orange puree as a hair treatment by blending fresh oranges then massaging the puree into the hair and scalp. Leave the puree on the hair for about 1 hour before rinsing it out. Some people like to use a light conditioner to rehydrate their hair following an orange puree treatment.

Peppercorns: The use of black peppercorns is prevalent in the ayurvedic medicine. It leaves your hair soft and lustrous while improving the texture. Why? Black peppercorns have essential oils which keep your scalp well-hydrated. How To Use:

  • Blend 2 teaspoons of peppercorns with half a cup of lime juice
  • Form a smooth paste
  • Apply this paste on the roots
  • Cover your head with a warm towel for deep penetration.
  • Rinse off after half an hour.

Potato Juice: rich in Vitamin A, B and C. These are essential for healthy hair. This can be used even if you are suffering from alopecia i.e. thinning of hair. How To Use:

  • Place potato in an extractor for juicing
  • Apply the potato juice on the scalp
  • Leave it on for 15 minutes
  • Wash off using mild shampoo
  • Potato is good for use as face packs too.

Black Pepper

Black pepper essential oil (Piper nigrum) is steam-distilled from the berries (peppercorn) of the Piperceae. Although black pepper itself is frequently used, the oil is not so widely known. However, it’s an oil high in monoterpenes, a chemical constituent known to have a powerful impact on the body in many ways. The aroma of black pepper is spicy, musky, warm, and peppery.

Find it in Mother Jai’s Aroma Sprays, Warming Pain Relief & Arthritis Relief Oils.

The warm, mild aroma of Black Pepper will remind you of freshly ground peppercorns combined with a soft floral scent. While you may not desire to diffuse it by itself, it can spice up your favorite diffuser blend. Black Pepper is an excellent choice to help in reducing occasional discomfort after exercise or easing achy joints that are associated with normal aging or wear and tear.

Therapeutically, black pepper oil is mostly used as a supplement for digestive and nervous system support and wellness. For this reason many people will use the oil as a flavoring in their cooking, just as you might with crushed black pepper. However, the ratios will be MUCH different. You wouldn’t use a full teaspoon of black pepper oil (yikes!!), but rather start off with a drop, to find the right amounts for your recipes.

Plant Description

Native to India, the black pepper plant is a climbing vine that can grow up to 10 meters high. The stem of the black pepper plant grows into a plentiful green column as the many shoots that grow from the stem begin to produce green, almond-shaped leaves. Growing next to these luscious leaves are clustered flowers and the fruit of the plant—the peppers. The peppers, or fruits, are round and can grow to be approximately 6 mm in diameter. These fruits turn from green to red and are picked at various times of their ripening stages to produce varying types of peppers. In order to produce black pepper, these tiny and rotund fruits are typically picked when they are fully grown, shiny, and green.

Chemistry of Black Pepper Essential Oil

Main Chemical Components: Caryophyllene, limonene, carene, sabinene

Black Pepper essential oil contains a high amount of natural chemicals that can support and protect the human body. Some of the most prominent chemicals are monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, which are known for their antioxidant activity when ingested. These chemicals also help support the immune system.

Oils that Blend Well with Black Pepper Essential Oil

Black Pepper essential oil blends well with Bergamot, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Clove, Juniper Berry, Sandalwood, and Cedarwood essential oils for diffusion.

Primary Benefits

  • Rich source of antioxidants
  • Supports healthy circulation
  • Aids digestion
  • Enhances food flavor
  • Soothes anxious feelings

Emotional Benefits

Aromatically, black pepper essential oil helps people to examine things with clarity and honesty. It allows a person to take off their own facade or mask, share their true thoughts and emotions, and unblock the flow of growth in this way. It might help a person who is dealing with repressed memories or emotions, allowing them to dig deep into their past or their present experiences. It can help you uncover hidden truths or face patterns or habits with courage.

Other Benefits

Black pepper oil is rich in certain useful minerals and vitamins too. For example, there is vitamin-A (Beta Carotene), which is very beneficial for ocular health as well as for antioxidant activity. It has vitamin-K, which is essential for maintaining proper circulatory and metabolic functions, muscles, and bones. Furthermore, it has calcium, potassium and selenium. While calcium is good for bones and potassium for regulating blood pressure, selenium is essentially required for the proper formation of bones, nails, hair follicles and teeth, as well as for proper functioning of the brain.

In Other Words It’s Really Good For:

  1. Cognitive support and brain health. [Dorene Petersen, Presentation: Clinical Use of Aromatherapy for Brain Health: 7 Essential Oils. August 9, 2017, New Brunswick, NJ. Alliance of International Aromatherapists 2017 Conference. AIA 2017 Conference Proceedings page 221-222.]
  2. Aching muscles, arthritis, chilblains, constipation, muscle cramps, poor circulation, sluggish digestion. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 56-64.]

Black Pepper Essential Oil Uses

Ability to provide warm sensations when applied topically. This factor makes it a perfect oil to use in a relaxing massage blend. Create your own warming and soothing massage blend by combining one to two drops of Black Pepper essential oil with a carrier oil. Using Black Pepper essential oil in a massage blend not only provides warm sensations during a massage, its aromatic components also help enhance your relaxing experience.

Improves Circulation. When black pepper essential oil is taken internally, it promotes healthy circulation and stimulates mucus and bile flow. It has warming properties when taken internally and applied topically. Mix black pepper oil with cinnamon or turmeric essential oil to enhance these circulatory activities.

Helps the body kill cancer cells. According to a 2010 study conducted at Michigan State University, black pepper oil and its constituents exhibit anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer activities. All compounds derived from black pepper suppressed human cancer cell proliferation, with peperine being the most effective compound.

Need a good way to calm unwanted anxiety? Black Pepper essential oil is a great way to relieve anxious feelings. When used aromatically, Black Pepper essential oil can help soothe tightened emotions. To relieve yourself of anxious feelings, place a few drops of Black Pepper essential oil into a diffuser or inhale it directly to receive its aromatic benefits. Dilute 1 drop and rub over the heart center as desired for emotional support.

Black Pepper is a powerful essential oil with amazing uses and benefits. With the right combination of essential oils, its effects can be amplified. When you combine Black Pepper essential oil with Juniper Berry oil and/or Cedarwood oil, it can help produce a calming and grounding effect on your senses and emotions, and can help you de-stress and relax.

Contains many natural chemicals that are important in supporting natural functions of the body. Some of these chemicals include monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, which are known for their antioxidant activity when ingested. To provide your body with greater antioxidant support, put one or two drops of Black Pepper essential oil into a Veggie Capsule and take internally.

Enjoy your favorite seasons with good health by using Black Pepper essential oil. Because Black Pepper has certain natural chemicals such as monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes, it can support the immune system when needed most. To better protect your health, take one to two drops of Black Pepper essential oil in a Veggie Capsule when seasonal threats are high. Research published in Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology found that black pepper extract contains anti-virulence properties, meaning it targets bacterial virulence without affecting cell viability, which may be less prone to the development of drug resistance. The study showed that after screening 83 essential oils: black pepper, cananga and myrrh oil inhibited staphylococcus aureus biofilm formation and almost abolished the hemolytic (destruction of red blood cells) activity of S. aureus.

To soothe muscles and joints or to warm the skin during cold weather. Because of its warming, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, black pepper oil works to reduce muscle injuries, tendinitis, and symptoms of arthritis and rheumatism. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine assessed the efficacy of aromatic essential oils on neck pain. When patients applied a cream composed of black pepper, marjoram, lavender and peppermint essential oils to the neck daily for a four-week period, the group reported improved pain tolerance and significant improvement of neck pain.

Use to quit smoking. Black pepper oil may help reduce cravings for cigarettes and symptoms of anxiety in smokers deprived from smoking. A 1994 study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence found that black pepper oil can suppress certain smoking withdrawal symptoms, including cravings for cigarettes. Forty-eight cigarette smokers participated in a three-hour session conducted after overnight deprivation from smoking. The participants were divided into three groups: One group of smokers puffed on a device that delivered a vapor from black pepper essential oil, a second group puffed on a device with a mint/menthol cartridge and a third group used a device containing an empty cartridge. After puffing and inhaling from the devices throughout the session, reported cravings for cigarettes were significantly reduced in the black pepper group relative to each of the two control groups.  In addition, negative effects and symptoms of anxiety were alleviated in the black pepper, and participants reported that the intensity of sensations in the chest was significantly higher with the black pepper cartilage. This study suggests that respiratory tract sensations are important in alleviating smoking withdrawal symptoms and cigarette substitutes delivering black pepper constituents may prove useful in smoking cessation treatment. Black pepper oil is also among the best essential oils for anxiety and nervous conditions.

Improves digestion. Black pepper oil may help ease the discomfort of constipation, diarrhea and gas. A range of studies has shown that it exhibits antidiarrheal, gastro-protective, antidiarrheal and antispasmodic activities. Black pepper does this by stimulating the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid secretion, which is necessary for proper digestion. Black pepper has been used to effectively treat IBS symptoms as well as bladder dysfunctions.

Lowers Cholesterol. A 2002 study on the hypolipidemic (lipid-lowering) effect of black pepper in rats fed a high-fat diet showed a decrease in the levels of cholesterol, free fatty acids, phospholipids and triglycerides. Researchers found that supplementation with black pepper elevated the concentration of HDL cholesterol and reduced the concentration of LDL cholesterol and VLDL cholesterol in the plasma of rats fed high-fat foods. Use black pepper essential oil internally to reduce high triglycerides and improve your total cholesterol levels.

Stimulates appetite. Research shows that olfactory stimulation using black pepper essential oil, which is a strong appetite stimulant, can facilitate swallowing in people with neurological disorders. Inhalation and ingestion of black pepper oil activates the insular or orbitofrontal cortex, resulting in improvement of the reflexive swallowing movement. In 2008, the effects of olfactory stimulation with black pepper oil were investigated in pediatric patients receiving long-term enteral nutrition (feeding with liquid supplements or tube feeding) due to neurological disorders. In eight out of 10 patients, black pepper oil intervention was continued for three months, and five patients showed increases in the amount of oral intake — plus black pepper treatment helped facilitate swallowing movement.

Helps the body detoxify.  Black pepper oil creates a warming sensation when applied topically, so it increases sweating. It also serves as a diuretic and increases urination, helping remove bodily toxins and excess water from the body. This reduces swelling and inflammation; plus it can help lower blood pressure naturally. A 2013 study published in Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics found that piperine supplementation helped normalize blood pressure, improve glucose tolerance (giving you normal blood sugar levels), reduce inflammation and improve liver function in rats fed a high-fat diet. These changes clearly suggest that peperine reduces symptoms of human metabolic syndrome by helping the body to remove toxins and reduce inflammation.

Diaphoretic & Diuretic. Black pepper oil, when ingested, increases sweating and urination. Both of these properties play an important role in the removal of toxins from the body, clearing of the pores on the skin, and disinfecting the body. Sweating and urinating help eliminate extra water and fat from the body, thereby reducing weight, lowering blood pressure and making the body very relaxed. These properties are also helpful for reducing inflammation.

Stimulates energy production. Black Pepper Oil is stimulating and is a good choice for inclusion in blends intended to help enhance alertness and stamina. Black Pepper should be avoided before bedtime. Consider massaging 1-2 drops into the soles of the feet daily, or diffusing as needed for increased energy.

Inspiration for Using Black Pepper Essential Oil

For a muscle rub: In a 5 ml roller bottle; add 5 drops Peppermint, 3 drops Clove, 5 drops Wintergreen and 3 drops Black Pepper essential oils. Top with FCO.

To summon inner strength, diffuse; 2 drops Basil, 2 drops Bergamot, 1 drop Cinnamon, 1 drop Lemon and 1 drop Black Pepper.

Blend into coconut oil or basic salve recipe to warm and promote circulation.

Cautions

If taken in large quantities, it may cause uneasiness, unrest, vomiting, loose motions, irritation and inflammation of the intestines, sleeplessness, overheating, and smelling strongly of pepper. However, there is nothing serious about these symptoms. Keep pepper away from the eyes and nose, as it may cause irritation, sneezing, and burning. Possible skin sensitivity. Keep out of reach of children. If you are pregnant, nursing, or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician. Avoid contact with eyes, inner ears, and sensitive areas.

Mouth Breathing

Mouth Breathing

You have two air passageways to your lungs, through the nose and the mouth. Healthy people use both their nose and their mouth to breathe. Breathing through the mouth ONLY becomes necessary when you have nasal congestion due to allergies or a cold and when you are exercising strenuously it can help get oxygen to your muscles faster. Breathing through your mouth all the time or even just when sleeping can lead to health problems.

Nasal breathing has been well documented to providing various benefits. The nose is equipped with a complex filtering mechanism which purifies the air we breathe before it enters the lungs. Breathing through the nose during expiration helps maintain lung volumes and so may indirectly determine arterial oxygenation.

Many of us are habitual mouth breathers, either in our daily life or when we are physically active or stressed out. For most of us, this habit began in childhood and not only diminishes our energy but also undermines our health and well-being.

Side Effects of Mouth Breathing

ADD/ADHD in Children: When tired children tend to overcompensate and speed up. For this reason, sleep deprivation is sometimes confused with ADHD in children. Children may also be moody, emotionally explosive, and/or aggressive as a result of sleepiness. Children with sleep problems were more likely to be inattentive, hyperactive, impulsive, and display oppositional behaviors.

Anxiety/Panic Attacks: Mouth breathing from the upper chest triggers the sympathetic nervous system, accelerating the heart rate and increasing blood pressure, stimulating our fight or flight response, hence the link with anxiety symptoms. If you’re prone to catching every bug going, often have a sore neck and shoulders, feel tired all the time, tend to have nasal congestion or suffer from anxiety and panic attacks, breathing from the upper chest and through the mouth could be the cause.

Asthma: insufficient carbon dioxide in our blood leads to the symptoms of asthma, various other breathing disorders, and even angina, as the body struggles to maintain the correct balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide. In order to keep the right balance in someone whose carbon dioxide level is too low the body automatically tries to increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood by constricting the airways, swelling tissues, secreting mucus, and so on, thus making it more difficult to quickly inhale and exhale large volumes of air.

Cancer Formation: mouth breathing leads to the oxygen and carbon dioxide imbalance in the body which leads to oxidation. Cellular oxidation is the cellular damage that leads to cancer. It is caused by the imbalance of oxygen in the system for cellular use and causes damage to cells during cellular reproduction. These damaged cells reproduce into tumors or cancer.

Enamel Erosion: breathing through your mouth cause over drying of teeth, thus weakening the tooth enamel. Our saliva cleans and protects tooth enamel. If your mouth is always open the saliva evaporates.

Facial Deformities: children who mouth breathe develop crooked teeth, facial deformities, gum disease, bad breath, and poor growth. Over time, children whose mouth breathing goes untreated may suffer from abnormal facial and dental development, such as long, narrow faces and mouths, gummy smiles, gingivitis and crooked teeth. The poor sleeping habits that result from mouth breathing can adversely affect growth and academic performance. Many of these children are misdiagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and hyperactivity.

Gum Disease: mouth breathing over dries the mouth and causes damage to gum tissues, leading to gingivitis. Our saliva cleans and protects gum tissue. If your mouth is always open the saliva evaporates.

Headaches: many mouth breathers have chronic headaches, shoulder and neck pain, and chronic fatigue. The imbalance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood causes the flight or fight response in the body which over time stresses the muscles and joints especially of he neck and shoulders, leading to tension headaches. It also causes over secretion of adrenal hormones which then causes adrenal fatigue, which leads to headaches and chronic fatigue.

Hyperventilation: breathing excessively fast for the actual conditions in which we find ourselves. When we breathe through our mouth we usually inhale and exhale air quickly in large volumes, this can lead to hyperventilation. It is important to recognize that it is the amount of carbon dioxide in our blood that generally regulates our breathing. If we release carbon dioxide too quickly, the arteries and vessels carrying blood to our cells constrict and the oxygen in our blood is unable to reach the cells in sufficient quantity. This includes the carotid arteries, which carry blood (and oxygen) to the brain. The lack of sufficient oxygen going to the cells of the brain can turn on our sympathetic nervous system, our “fight or flight” response, and make us tense, anxious, irritable, and depressed.

Low Immunity: Mouth breathing makes us vulnerable to viruses and infections since the nose is essentially a sterilizing unit for anything airborne. It also means the tiny cilia, that are meant to clear away mucus, stop working properly, leading to a feeling of being “snotty” all the time.

Sleep Apnea: mouth breathing causes interruptions in breathing during sleep and dries out the tissues causing inflammation and mucous production that also interferes with breathing, especially at night while lying down.

Tooth Decay: mouth breathing dries the saliva in the mouth causing a decrease in pH (more acidic) in the mouth allowing for bacterial growth, plaque formation, and tooth decay.

How to Stop Mouth Breathing

Now it is not easy, but it is so worth it to train yourself to use your nose as it has evolved to be used. You will feel more energized every day, have fewer colds and allergies, and will get more oxygen in and carbon dioxide out. You will also reduce your risk of developing cancer by simply getting a better balance of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.

So what is the perfect breath?

It should come from the lower chest and abdomen. An adult at rest ought to have a rate of about 10 to 14 breaths a minute, and exhalation should be longer than inhalation and finish with a short pause. Most importantly, breathing should be through the nose rather than the mouth.

One of the most important reasons for nasal breathing, is due to the production of nitric oxide (NO). NO exists in the human breath, but little is known about its site of origin or enzyme source. Most NO in normal human breath derives locally from the nose where it can reach high levels during breath-holding.

This molecule, produced in mammalian cells by specific enzymes and is believed to play a vital role in many biological events including regulation of blood flow, platelet function, immunity, and neurotransmission. Although this gas is produced in minute amounts, when it is inhaled through the nose into the lungs, it will follow the airstream to the lower airways and the lungs where it aides in increasing arterial oxygen tension; hence enhancing the lungs capacity to absorb oxygen. Nitric Oxide also plays an important role in reducing high blood pressure, maintaining homeostasis, immune defense and neurotransmission.

A SIMPLE PRACTICE

Here’s a simple, beneficial practice you can try. Over the next few days or weeks, see if you can observe and sense your breathing several times a day in the middle of your activities. Notice whether or not you are breathing through your mouth. Also notice how often you hold your breath. For some of you, mouth breathing or breath holding may be a frequent activity. For others, it may occur mainly in physically, emotionally, or mentally stressful situations. When you notice yourself breathing through your mouth or holding your breath, remind yourself to breathe through your nose and to stop holding your breath.

Simple Steps to Try

1. Practice: Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. What has probably stopped you from breathing correctly is not your lack of knowledge about breathing techniques. It’s more likely that you just need to be aware and to practice.

2. Clearing any nose blockage: It may seem obvious, but many people breathe through the mouth because their nose is blocked. By blowing your nose or using a nasal wash, you can clear your nasal passage of obstructions.

3. Stress Reduction: When people are stressed, their breathing is more rushed. You are more likely to use your mouth to take deep breaths during stressful situations. You may need to see a doctor or change your environment but reducing stress will help improve the way you breathe.

4. The right pillows: If you struggle with mouth breathing when you are sleeping, try changing the height of your head. Prop your head up with an extra pillow or use a thicker pillow.

5. Exercise: By exercising regularly with a regimen of a daily walk or run, you will increase your need for deep breaths; and your nose will naturally take the breathing away from your mouth.

Bergamot

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)

Other Names: Aceite de Bergamota, Bergamot, Bergamot Orange, Bergamota, Bergamotier, Bergamoto, Bergamotte, Bergamotto Bigarade Orange, Citrus Bergamia, Citrus aurantium var. bergamia, Huile de Bergamote, Oleum Bergamotte.

HERBAL MISCELLANY: Despite the fact that the bergamot fruit is inedible, the oil has many culinary and house hold uses. It is the characteristic flavor of Earl Grey tea, and is used as a fragrance for pipe tobaccos.

Bergamot Oil Uses: Acne, abscesses, anxiety, boils, cold sores, cystitis, depression, halitosis, itching, loss of appetite, oily skin, psoriasis, stress.

Major Constituents: (+)-Limonene, Linalyl acetate, Linalool, Sabinene, Gamma-Terpinene, Bergapten

BLENDS WELL WITH: Chamomile, citrus oils, coriander, cypress, geranium, helichrysum, jasmine, juniper, lavender, lemon balm, neroli, nutmeg, rose, sandalwood, vetiver, violet, ylang ylang

Bergamot is a plant that produces a type of citrus fruit. Oil taken from the peel of the fruit is used to make medicine. Some people treat a skin condition called psoriasis by applying bergamot oil directly to the skin and then shining long-wave ultraviolet (UV) light on the affected area. Bergamot oil is also applied to the skin (used topically) for a tumor caused by a fungal infection (mycosis fungoides) and for pigment loss (vitiligo). It is also used as an insecticide to protect the body against lice and other parasites. Bergamot oil is sometimes inhaled (used as aromatherapy) to reduce anxiety during radiation treatment. In foods, bergamot oil is widely used as a citrus flavoring agent, especially in gelatins and puddings. In manufacturing, bergamot oil is used in perfumes, creams, lotions, soaps, and suntan oils.

Healing with Bergamot

Analgesic: Bergamot essential oil reduces the feeling of pain in the body. Actually, it stimulates secretion of certain hormones which lessen the sensitivity of nerves to pain. Therefore, it is very helpful in case of headaches, sprains, muscle aches or any other symptoms or ailments which require a heavy dosage of analgesic pills. This means that you can avoid the dangerous side effects of many over the counter pain medicines, which often have adverse side effects and can damage your liver and kidneys, as well as cause blood thinning and insomnia.

Antispasmodic: It relaxes nerves and muscles, thereby giving quick relief for cramps, convulsions, and painful muscle contractions. This can also be important for people with chronic coughing or respiratory conditions, as well as asthma, which is similar to a spasmodic reaction.

Antiseptic & Vulnerary: The same disinfectant and antibiotic properties of bergamot oil make it a good antiseptic agent. It not only promotes fast healing of wounds, cracks on the skin and heels, ulcers, eczema, and itching but also protects wounds from becoming septic and developing deadly tetanus. It not only treats and heals the effects of other infections but inhibits the formation of new ones.

Cicatrisant: This property of bergamot oil is the reason behind its extensive use in cosmetics and skin care products such as beauty soaps, creams, and lotions. Cicatrisant means a property or an agent which helps scars and other marks on the skin to disappear. It also makes the distribution of pigments and melanin uniform, resulting in the fading away of marks and an even, attractive skin tone. This essential oil is commonly used to eliminate the unsightly effects of acne, which can leave noticeable scars and marks on the affected areas for many years.

Digestive: As discussed above, bergamot essential oil activates and increases secretions of the digestive acids, enzymes, and bile and facilitates digestion. It also synchronizes and regulates the peristaltic motion of the intestines and in this way, it quickens the digestive process and reduces strain to the intestinal tract. In this way, bergamot essential oil can reduce constipation, make bowel movements regular, and prevent gastrointestinal complications like colorectal cancer and other uncomfortable or dangerous conditions.

Deodorant: This property of bergamot oil is popular among the younger generation who is always trying new deodorants, searching for something refreshing and natural. Bergamot essential oil is an excellent deodorant. Its refreshing aroma and disinfectant properties, which inhibit the growth of germs causing body-odor, make it an effective and attractive delivery system as a deodorant. Citrus smells are very powerful and can overcome or eliminate many other odors, which is why Bergamot oil is also used in room fresheners and sprays.

Febrifuge: A febrifuge is a substance or an agent that reduces fever and lowers body temperature. Bergamot is a good febrifuge for a number of reasons. First of all, as an antibiotic, it fights infections that arise from viruses, bacteria, and protozoa that cause fever, including influenza (virus), malaria (protozoa) and typhoid (typhus bacteria). Secondly, it stimulates the metabolic system and gland secretions, thereby providing a feeling of warmth and resulting in additional secretion (perspiration or sweat) from the Eccrine glands (sweat glands) and sebaceous (sebum) glands, thus reducing body temperature. This can also reduce the toxicity of the body through perspiration, and clean out the glands and pores of any foreign toxins that can result in a variety of skin conditions.

Relaxant & Sedative: The flavonoids present in Bergamot oil are very good relaxants as well. They soothe nerves and reduce nervous tension, anxiety, and stress, all of which can help cure or treat ailments associated with stress such as high blood pressure, insomnia, and depression. They can also stimulate the activity of certain hormones in the body, which induce feelings of relaxation and sedation, like dopamine and serotonin.

Vermifuge: It kills worms, and it is a subtle and fragrant choice for children who have contracted worms. It can also be applied on unhealthy, infected teeth or used as a mouthwash to kill oral germs and protect teeth from the development of cavities. Intestinal worms can result in malnourishment and other serious deficiencies including various forms of anemia, so eliminating these worms, particularly in growing children, is a very important application of bergamot essential oil.

Other Benefits: Bergamot essential oil is also a tonic, which means that it tones up the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, excretory, and nervous system, as well as skin and muscles. It is also anti-congestive and is used in vaporizers to relieve congestion and respiratory problems, particularly during coughs and colds. It works as an expectorant to loosen up phlegm and mucus in the respiratory tracts and helps the body to eliminate through natural avenues like sneezing and coughs, thereby reducing the total amount of material and eliminating some of the germs and toxins that caused the condition in the first place.

UNSAFE when used on the skin (topically), because it can make the skin sensitive to the sun and more vulnerable to skin cancer. People who work with bergamot can develop skin problems including blisters, scabs, pigment spots, rashes, sensitivity to the sun, and cancerous changes.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

  • Children: Bergamot oil is UNSAFE in children when taken by mouth in large amounts. There have been serious side effects, including convulsion and death, in children who have taken large amounts of bergamot oil.
  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Do not use bergamot oil on your skin if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. It is UNSAFE.
  • Diabetes: Bergamot might lower blood sugar levels. This could affect blood sugar control in people with diabetes and cause blood sugar levels to go to low. Monitor your blood sugar closely.
  • Surgery: Bergamot might lower blood sugar. There is some concern that it might interfere with blood sugar control during surgery. Stop using bergamot at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
  • Medications that increase sensitivity to sunlight (Photosensitizing drugs) interacts with BERGAMOT. Some medications can increase sensitivity to sunlight. Topical use of bergamot oil might also increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Using bergamot oil topically along with medication that increase sensitivity to sunlight could increase the chances of sunburn, blistering or rashes on areas of skin exposed to sunlight. Be sure to wear sunblock and protective clothing when spending time in the sun. Some drugs that cause photosensitivity include amitriptyline (Elavil), Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), norfloxacin (Noroxin), lomefloxacin (Maxaquin), ofloxacin (Floxin), levofloxacin (Levaquin), sparfloxacin (Zagam), gatifloxacin (Tequin), moxifloxacin (Avelox), trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (Septra), tetracycline, methoxsalen (8-methoxypsoralen, 8-MOP, Oxsoralen), and Trioxsalen (Trisoralen).

Beeswax

Beeswax (cera alba) is a natural wax produced by honeybees of the genus Apis. The wax is formed into scales by eight wax-producing glands in the abdominal segments of worker bees, which discard it in or at the hive. The hive workers collect and use it to form cells for honey storage and larval and pupal protection within the beehive. Chemically, beeswax consists mainly of esters of fatty acids and various long-chain alcohols.

You will find Raw & Unfiltered Colorado Beeswax (from haefelihoney.com) in Mother Jai’s Lip Balm.

Bees consume about eight times as much honey and fly 150,000 miles to create one pound of beeswax. The mixing of pollen oils into honeycomb wax turns the white wax into a yellow or brown color.

Beeswax is the only naturally occurring wax.  Vegetable waxes must be rendered from fruit or leaves like bayberries or candelilla leaves.  Other waxes like soy wax or paraffin are produced by a toxic chemical process.

Beeswax has been used since prehistory as the first plastic, as a lubricant and waterproofing agent, in lost wax casting of metals and glass, as a polish for wood and leather, for making candles, as an ingredient in cosmetics and as an artistic medium in encaustic painting. Beeswax is edible, having similar negligible toxicity to plant waxes, and is approved for food use in most countries and in the European Union under the E number E901.

Evidence has been found of prehistoric dentistry dating back to the Neolithic times reporting a 6,500-year-old human mandible from Slovenia whose left canine crown shows the traces of a filling with beeswax. While we don’t know all the facts, it’s thought that if the filling was done when the person was still alive, the intervention was likely aimed to relieve tooth sensitivity derived from either exposed dentine and/or the pain resulting from chewing on a cracked tooth.

Purified and bleached beeswax is used in the production of food, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. The three main types of beeswax products are yellow, white, and beeswax absolute. Yellow beeswax is the crude product obtained from the honeycomb, white beeswax is bleached or filtered yellow beeswax, and beeswax absolute is yellow beeswax treated with alcohol. In food preparation, it is used as a coating for cheese; by sealing out the air, protection is given against spoilage (mold growth).

Beeswax may also be used as a food additive E901, in small quantities acting as a glazing agent, which serves to prevent water loss, or used to provide surface protection for some fruits. Soft gelatin capsules and tablet coatings may also use E901. Beeswax is also a common ingredient of natural chewing gum. The wax monoesters in beeswax are poorly hydrolyzed in the guts of humans and other mammals, so they have insignificant nutritional value. Some birds, such as honeyguides, can digest beeswax. Beeswax is the main diet of wax moth larvae.

Beeswax Benefits & Uses

Clears Acne: Beeswax is one of the most well-known home remedies for acne. It has strong antiseptic, healing and anti-inflammatory properties, making it effective in the treatment of acne, in particular because it contains vitamin A. It’s also an excellent skin softener and emollient that helps maintain a smooth skin texture after acne elimination. The combination of skin care applications, a healthy diet and daily exercise is the best way to control and prevent acne.

Dermatitis, Psoriasis and Eczema: Beeswax is a great choice for many skin conditions. A honey, beeswax and olive oil mixture is useful in the treatment of diaper dermatitis, psoriasis and eczema.

Heals Dry, Cracked Lips: The natural moisturizers in beeswax make it the perfect lip balm. If you suffer from cracked or chapped lips, topical applications of beeswax and a few other ingredients can provide some much-needed relief. It’s easy to make your own lip balm by combining it with coconut oil, honey, vitamin E oil, and your favorite essential oils, such as orange, peppermint, lavender or lemon.

Moisturizes Skin: Beeswax is an amazing way to moisturize the skin and is commonly found in skin care products and cosmetics. It can help protect and repair rough, dry or chapped skin because it has the ability to lock in moisture. This wax has rich vitamin A content and emollient properties, which soften and rehydrate the skin as well as aiding in the healthy development of cellular reconstruction. Another benefit to its use is that because it is noncomedogenic, it won’t clog pores.

Reduces Stretch Marks: collagen is a major extracellular matrix component that’s very important in wound healing. Since beeswax contains vitamin A, which is helpful in collagen production, it can greatly benefit the reduction of stretch marks. By combining beeswax, royal jelly, shea or cocoa butter, grapeseed oil, and coconut oil, you have a natural remedy for preventing and treating stretch marks while helping improve collagen levels simultaneously.

Relieves Pain and Is Anti-Inflammatory: As medicine, beeswax has been studied in the use of relieving pain and inflammation and has mild anti-swelling effects. A 2014 study published in the Korean Journal of Internal Medicine reports that it was used to helped relieve inflammation caused by osteoarthritis.

Avoiding Toothpaste

What’s in Your Toothpaste?

When it comes to toothpaste, buyer beware. It is not regulated by the FDA because it is considered a cosmetic product. Even though it goes in your mouth! Companies do not have to list all of the ingredients in their products, nor are they required to register their manufacturing facilities with the government or report “adverse events,” making it difficult for regulators to spot potential problems. Essentially, the cosmetics industry regulates itself.

The Cornucopia Institute is chartered as a tax-exempt public charity focusing on research and education. Cornucopia aims to empower organic producers, consumers, and wholesale buyers to make discerning marketplace decisions protecting the credibility of the organic food and farming movement and the value it delivers to society. They have provided some great information on personal hygiene products.

Is it time to reduce chemicals in your environment? Removing these products from your home is a huge step. Don’t believe me? Read your labels and see what you are ingesting multiple times a day.

The Cornucopia Institute’s research on toothpaste uncovered some interesting information:

  • When potentially toxic chemical ingredients are present in toothpaste and mouthwash, they are likely to pass directly and quickly into the bloodstream, even if the toothpaste is not swallowed. This is because the membrane lining of the mouth (oral mucosa) has an absorption efficiency of more than 90%, according to the Physician’s Desk reference Handbook.
  • A label containing the word “natural” does not necessarily mean a toothpaste is free of potentially harmful ingredients.
  • Some prominent “natural” brands are manufactured by companies that primarily sell mass-marketed brands. For example, Tom’s of Maine is owned by Colgate-Palmolive, the company that also makes Colgate toothpaste.
  • Toothpastes sold in Europe have different, safer formulations than the same products, made by the same companies sold in the U.S., to accommodate stricter EU cosmetics laws.
  • The American Dental Association is heavily subsidized by the cosmetic industry, creating a conflict of interest. Its seal does not guarantee the safety of toothpastes, or other oral products, or the quality of the ingredients in these products.
  • The drive to maximize profit margins focuses investment in advertising and packaging, rather than safe and high-quality ingredients.
  • Many ingredients in toothpastes are synthetics derived from petroleum or from heavily processed and synthesized natural ingredients, which, in their final formulation, are not remotely related to the natural parent compound (e.g. coconut oil), and some may become potentially toxic.
  • Toothpaste ingredient labels are often unintelligible, with difficult to pronounce ingredients that only a cosmetics chemist might decipher and understand.
  • Some toothpastes may contain contaminated ingredients. In addition, toxic compounds may be formed by the interaction of ingredients under certain conditions or may be released slowly over time.
  • The average American will use about 20 gallons of toothpaste over his or her lifetime.
  • Children are at greater risk of exposure, because they tend to ingest more toothpaste than adults; in addition, their exposure, will be greater than adults’ in terms of amount of toothpaste used per body weight.
  • Toothpastes specifically targeted to children often contain artificial colors (food dyes), which have been linked to hyperactivity and related behavioral problems in children. Some of which also pose a risk of cancer and allergic reactions.

TYPICAL TOOTHPASTE INGREDIENTS

  • Mild abrasives to remove debris and residual surface stains. Examples include calcium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, hydrated aluminum oxides, magnesium carbonate, phosphate salts, and silicates.
  • Fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel and remineralize tooth decay. All ADA-accepted toothpastes contain fluoride.
  • Humectants to prevent water loss in the toothpaste. Examples include glycerol, propylene glycol, and sorbitol.
  • Flavoring agents, such as saccharin, sorbitol, and other sweeteners, to provide taste. Flavoring agents do not promote tooth decay. (No ADA-Accepted toothpaste contains sugar or any other ingredient that would promote tooth decay.)
  • Thickening agents or binders to stabilize the toothpaste formula. They include mineral colloids, natural gums, seaweed colloids [e.g. carrageenan], or synthetic cellulose.
  • Detergents to create foaming action, including sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium lauroyl sarcosinate.
  • Some toothpastes contain ingredients such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride to help reduce tooth sensitivity; stannous fluoride and triclosan to help reduce gingivitis; pyrophosphates, triclosan, and zinc citrate to help reduce a buildup of hardened plaque; modified silica abrasives or enzymes to help whiten teeth by physically removing surface stains; and some additional ingredients, such as triclosan, to help reduce bad breath.

LIST OF COLOR ADDITIVES, PIGMENTS AND COLORANTS CURRENTLY USED IN SOME TOOTHPASTES – These are mainly found in mass-marketed toothpastes, such as Crest, Colgate, Aquafresh, Arm & Hammer, etc.:

  • FD&C Blue 1 (also known as Blue 1)
  • FD&C Blue 1 Aluminum Lake (also known as Blue 1 Aluminum Lake or Blue 1 Lake)
  • FD&C Red 40 (also known as Red 40)
  • FD&C Red 40 Aluminum Lake (also known as Red 40 Aluminum Lake or Red 40 Lake)
  • FD&C Red 33
  • D&C Red 33 (also known as Red 33)
  • D&C Red 30 (also known as Red 30)
  • D&C Red 30 Lake Aluminum (also known as Red 30 Aluminum Lake or Red 30 Lake)
  • FD&C Yellow 5 (also known as D&C Yellow 5 or Yellow 5)
  • FD&C Yellow 5 Aluminum Lake (also known as D&C Yellow 5 Aluminum Lake, Yellow 5 Aluminum Lake or Yellow 5 Lake)
  • FD&C Yellow 6 Aluminum Lake (also known as Yellow 6 Aluminum Lake or yellow 6 Lake)
  • D&C Yellow 10 (also known as Yellow 10)
  • D&C Yellow 10 Aluminum Lake (also known as Yellow 10 Aluminum Lake or Yellow 10 Lake)
  • FD&C Green 3 (also known as Green 3)
  • titanium dioxide
  • zinc oxide
  • iron oxides

So, after reading all of those, do you still want to put toothpaste in your mouth, in your children’s mouths?

I certainly don’t! That’s why I make Mother Jai’s Charcoal Toothpowder. It’s all natural, deeply cleansing, antibacterial, and healing to teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue. And it can be swallowed without calling the poison control center!

Mother Jai’s Charcoal Toothpowder is Simply made with:

  • activated charcoal (extremely adsorptive [electrical absorption], provides gentle abrasion to tooth surface, and deeply cleansing between teeth)
  • shavegrass or horsetail fern (full of natural, plant based silica to reharden enamel on teeth and strengthen roots and tooth canals)
  • arrowroot powder (antibacterial and healing to tissues, used by natives to kill bacteria in arrow wounds)
  • Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate (acid reducing to help prevent acids from feeding bacteria forming on teeth and causing plaque formation and tooth decay)
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