Calcifications

Calcifications in the Body

Calcification is the accumulation of calcium salts in a body tissue. It normally occurs in the formation of bone, but calcium can be deposited abnormally in soft tissue, causing it to harden. Calcifications may be classified on whether there is mineral balance or not, and the location of the calcification.

Smoking is associated with increased calcifications in the heart and major arteries. As smoking is known to be a major risk factor for developing heart disease, these calcifications may also play a role. Overall, quitting smoking has both short- and long-term benefits, especially for your heart, blood vessels, and brain.

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There is no proven way to prevent calcifications, as they’re a result of a variety of biological processes. Quitting smoking and changing diet may impact formation of calcifications, depending on the location of the buildup. Kidney stones may form less often with certain dietary changes. Talk to your doctor about ways to incorporate a healthy diet into your lifestyle.

Calcific tendonitis symptoms and treatments: Calcific tendonitis is the unwanted buildup of calcium deposits in your muscles or tendons. Although this can happen anywhere in the body, it’s most common in the rotator cuff of your shoulder. This condition may also be described as calcium deposits in the shoulder.

Calcific tendonitis symptoms: The main symptom is severe, sometimes disabling, pain. It can occur without any apparent cause, especially in the morning. It may be accompanied by stiffness and a frozen shoulder. Among the possible causes of this condition are genetic predisposition, abnormal thyroid activity, and diabetes.

Calcinosis cutis symptoms and treatments: Calcinosis cutis is the deposit of calcium under the skin. This can happen anywhere on the body. One rare form of it can occur on the face or upper body after a case of acne. The deposits usually show up as whitish bumps on the skin’s surface. They may have no other symptoms, or they may become tender and discharge a chalk-colored creamy material that’s mainly calcium.

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Calcinosis under a microscope. – By Sergio Bertazzo – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27113136

Causes of Calcinosis Cutis

The causes of calcinosis cutis are broken down into four major types:

  • Dystrophic calcinosis cutis refers to calcium deposits that result from trauma, acne, varicose veins, infections, and connective tissue disease.
  • Metastatic calcinosis cutis can be caused by hyperactive thyroid, an internal cancer, destructive bone disease, excessive vitamin D intake, sarcoidosis, and chronic renal failure.
  • Iatrogenic calcinosis is the name for calcium deposits that result from a medical procedure such as calcium injections or repeated heel sticks (pricking the heel to draw blood) with newborns.
  • Idiopathic calcinosis is the name given when there’s no known cause for the condition. It’s usually localized in one area.

Dystrophic calcinosis: Dystrophic calcinosis can occur in tissue that is damaged or inflamed or has become malignant or died. Conditions that can lead to dystrophic calcinosis cutis are:

  • skin injury
  • skin infections
  • connective tissue diseases
  • panniculitis
  • acne
  • tumors

Iatrogenic calcinosis: Iatrogenic calcinosis are typically attributed to certain medications and medical procedures such as repeated drawing of blood from an infant’s heel.

Metastatic calcinosis: Metastatic calcinosis can result from any medical condition associated with excess phosphorus (hyperphosphatemia) and calcium (hypercalcemia), including:

  • kidney failure
  • sarcoidosis
  • paraneoplastic hypercalcemia
  • hyperparathyroidism
  • milk-alkali syndrome
  • calciphylaxis
  • excess vitamin D

Idiopathic calcinosis: Idiopathic calcinosis cutis is calcinosis that can’t be attributed to a specific cause. The typical reasons have been ruled out: Phosphate and calcium levels in your body are normal. There is no evidence of previous tissue damage. You’re not taking medications that could trigger calcinosis. You haven’t had medical procedures recently that could trigger calcinosis.

Alternative Treatments

There are a few natural remedies you can try to treat calcium deposits on the skin:

Massage. Although not necessarily recommended by medical professionals, many people claim that massaging the affected area with aloe vera gel or olive oil eliminates the calcium deposits over time.

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Diet. Many advocates of natural healing suggest lowering your calcium intake and avoiding foods such as dairy products can help.

Apple cider vinegar. Some believe that drinking 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in 8 ounces of water every day will help break down calcium deposits.

Chanca piedra. Others suggest the herb chanca piedra can break down the buildup of calcium in the body.

Increase the amount of Vitamin K and magnesium in your diet. These nutrients may cause calcium deposits to occur in the body if you have a deficiency. Some dietary sources of Vitamin K and magnesium include collard greens, kale, green peas, seeds, spinach, beans, fish, carrots and lettuce.

Take warm soaks in the bathtub. Warm soaks can help treat and prevent calcium deposits from worsening. Fill up a tub with warm water and soak for a period of 20 to 30 minutes daily. If you have pain and inflammation as a result of calcium deposits, icing the area can help.

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Consumption connection? Except in certain rare metabolic disturbances that raise blood calcium, calcification of joints and tendons is a local process that’s not influenced by calcium intake.

How To Make Homemade Magnesium Oil

Ingredients

  • ½ cup magnesium chloride flakes
  • ½ cup distilled water (to extend the shelf life)
  • Glass spray bottles

Directions

  • Bring ½ cup of distilled water to a boil.
  • Add ½ cup magnesium flakes to a glass measuring cup or bowl.
  • Once water has boiled, pour it into the bowl of magnesium flakes and stir until the flakes completely dissolve.
  • Let this mixture cool and transfer to labeled spray bottles for daily use.
  • Store your homemade magnesium oil at room temperature for up to 6 months.

To Use:

Start by using just a few sprays on your skin; initially no more than five. Over the next few days, gradually work up to 10-20 sprays a day. I like to apply my homemade magnesium oil in the crook of my arms, back of my knees, and stomach for best absorption.

It is also wise to do a patch test on your skin (particularly if you have sensitive skin) before applying the spray all over your body. A lot of people may initially experience tingling or a slight itching sensation where the oil is applied. This can be relieved by applying aloe vera on the site or coconut oil about 20 minutes after applying the oil (to give it a chance to absorb properly).

References:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/calcium-beyond-the-bones

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579607/

https://medium.com/@nat.stringer92/magnesium-flakes-vs-epsom-salt-whats-the-difference-and-which-is-right-for-you-92d1ac5f0234

https://www.healthline.com/health/magnesium-oil-benefits

https://wellnessmama.com/5804/magnesium-oil/

https://www.scoi.com/patient-resources/education/calcium-deposits-shoulder

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/calcium-deposits-on-tendons

https://www.healthline.com/health/calcific-tendonitis

https://universityhealthnews.com/daily/aging-independence/calcium-deposits/

https://www.livestrong.com/article/70073-dissolve-calcium-deposits-body/

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-get-rid-of-calcium-deposits

https://www.uwhealth.org/health/topic/special/calcium-deposits-and-tendinitis-calcific-tendinitis/tw9144.html

Stress Relief & Self Care for Business Owners

Stress Relief and Self-Care Tips for Business Owners

Becoming an entrepreneur is liberating in many ways, but it can also create stress. There are a number of tasks and responsibilities when you run your own business, which can become overwhelming after a while. Use this guide for tips on self-care, including exercise, relaxation, and time-saving ideas. For natural stress remedies, try aromatherapy products from Mother Jai.

Exercise for stress relief

One of the best ways to relieve stress is by getting exercise each day. Beyond the physical benefits such as improving circulation and muscle health, exercise can reduce stress and anxiety considerably. There are plenty of ways to get beneficial exercise, whether it’s going for a run in your neighborhood, hiking in the hills, or doing an online yoga class at home.

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If you’re not comfortable at the gym, consider what types of workouts you can do at home. For example, yoga and Pilates are both great ways to get your body moving and both require very little equipment. A yoga mat and a few props are typically enough to get started: Check out some online classes and see if you can fit it in on your lunch break or after work.

While running isn’t for everyone, it’s a fantastic way to improve heart health. You don’t have to run too many miles for the benefits; just 30 minutes of jogging will make a big difference to your cardiovascular health. And as an added bonus, your cardio efforts will help your body produce mood-enhancing oxytocin, endorphins, and serotonin.

Relaxation techniques at home

Along with exercise, consider incorporating relaxation techniques into your daily routine. Some of the most beneficial relaxation tactics include meditation and warm baths.

Meditation is one of the most effective ways to calm your mind and invite clarity into your day. If you’ve never practiced meditation, there are a few helpful mobile applications to help you get started. Apps such as Ten Percent Happier, Headspace, and Insight Timer all offer guided meditations to help new meditators. And according to Forbes, meditation has been shown to rival antidepressants in its ability to relieve stress and anxiety.

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If you find yourself in a moment of high stress, consider trying the square breathing technique to calm your nerves. Square breathing involves inhaling for four seconds, pausing at the top of your breath for four seconds, exhaling for four seconds, and pausing at the bottom of your exhalation for another four seconds. Continue this pattern four times, and observe the changes in your body.

Stress can often cause your body to tighten and develop sore muscles, which is why a warm bath can be great for relaxation. Be sure to use Epsom salts to help soothe your muscles and consider adding some aromatherapy products such as lavender essential oils to help encourage total relaxation.

Business tips

Sometimes one of the best ways to reduce stress is by offloading some of your tasks. Consider time-saving options such as hiring specialists to help with certain aspects of your business. For example, hiring an accountant will take financial planning off your plate, and will help you balance your budget on a regular basis with more ease.

If you’re struggling to decide on a business structure, consider setting up a limited liability company or LLC to make your life easier. LLCs are great because they offer protection for your personal assets and offer tax advantages. You can even take advantage of a formation service if you don’t want to spend the time doing it yourself. Just be sure to check regulations around LLC filing in your state before getting too far into the process.

Getting a handle on your stress is a vital component of being a business owner, so use these tips to help you take care of yourself. Exercise and relaxation techniques are important, as is finding ways to offload responsibilities such as accounting. Not only will you feel better on a daily basis, but your business will also improve as you lower your stress.

Are you searching for the right aromatherapy products? Shop Mother Jai for natural products that promote wellness!

Better Balance

Balance is defined as an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

Sway is the horizontal movement of the center of gravity even when a person is standing still.

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Maintaining balance requires coordination of input from multiple sensory systems including:

  • Vestibular system: sense organs in the ears that regulate equilibrium; directional information as it relates to head position
  • Somatosensory system: information from skin and joints (pressure and vibratory senses); spatial position and movement relative to the support surface; movement and position of different body parts relative to each other
  • Visual system: Reference to verticality of body and head motion; spatial location relative to objects

Aging and Balance Impairment

  • Decline in flexibility and fluid viscosity within the vestibular system reduces its ability to regulate equilibrium.
  • Decline in flexibility and nerve conduction in joints leads to reduction in mechanical stability.
  • Decline in muscle and connective tissue or ligament strength can lead to functional instability
  • Decline in balance is the strongest predictor of falls and one in three people 65 and over will fall each year.

Balance Test

This test is designed to determine the basic balance of an individual.

  • Begin by standing straight behind a chair with eyes open and weight even between feet.
  • Resting your hands on the back of the chair, continuing to stand up straight, close your eyes.
  • If you sway with your eyes closed it likely means that you are off balance.

Ways to Support Balance

  • Exercise regularly. It is important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength and improving balance, and that you get more challenging over time. Tai Chi programs are especially good.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist to review your medicines—both prescription and over-the counter—to identify medicines that may cause side effects or interactions such as dizziness or drowsiness.
  • Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year and update your eyeglasses to maximize your vision.  Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.
  • Make your homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet, adding railings on both sides of stairways, and improving the lighting in their homes.
  • Get adequate calcium and vitamin D—from food and/or from supplements.
  • Do weight bearing exercise. Mild weight-bearing exercise, like walking or climbing stairs, helps slow bone loss from osteoporosis and increase muscle strength.

Beyond Better Balance

The other benefits of multi-component exercise programs include:

  • Faster reaction time. This can help you keep yourself upright if you start to fall by putting out an arm quickly to grab something stable.
  • Improved coordination. This can directly help prevent falls but can also help you roll rather than crash as you go down.
  • More muscle. Stronger and larger muscles can buffer the impact of a fall, providing some protection to bones and joints.
  • Stronger bones. Resistance exercises strengthen bones, and stronger bones are more resistant to fractures.
  • Better brain function. Regular exercise helps maintain brain function with age. Clearer thinking may help you avoid situations that increase fall risk.

Seated Balance Techniques

Building balance while remaining safely seated. These practices are accomplished while sitting with your back straight, feet flat on the floor, and chin parallel to the floor. These exercises help to improve stomach and back strength, reducing back pain and improving balance.

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Seated Abdominal Strengthening

  • Sitting up straight, feet flat on the floor, hands resting on knees.
  • Breathing in slowly through the nose; slowly raise arms up to shoulder height, palms facing down, keeping back straight.
  • Hold arms at shoulder level while holding breath for count of two.
  • Breathing out slowly through the mouth; slowly lower arms back down, palms on knees while keeping your back straight.
  • Pause while holding your breath for a count of 2 and repeat the process at least 5 times.

Seated Side Strengthening

  • Sitting up straight, feet flat on the floor, hands resting on knees.
  • Breathing in slowly through the nose; slowly raise left arm up over the head and arch to the right.
  • Hold arm above head while holding breath for count of two.
  • Breathing out slowly through the mouth; slowly lower arm back down, palm to knee while returning your to back straight.
  • Pause while holding your breath for a count of 2 and repeat the process with the right arm and repeat both sides at least 5 times.

Seated Twist

  • Sitting up straight, feet flat on the floor, hands resting on knees.
  • Breathing in slowly through the nose; slowly turn to the left with both hands resting on the left arm of the chair, sitting up straight while twisting, head turned and eyes looking left.
  • Pause while holding your breath for a count of 2.
  • Repeat the process with the right arm with head turned right and repeat both sides at least 5 times.

Seated Reach

  • Sitting up straight, feet flat on the floor, hands resting on knees.
  • Breathing in slowly through the nose; slowly reach across your chest with your left arm, keeping your right arm down with palm resting on knee, sitting up straight while twisting, resting left elbow on right armrest while facing forward, eyes looking straight.
  • Pause while holding your breath for a count of 2.
  • Repeat the process with the right arm on left armrest with eyes looking straight ahead and repeat both sides at least 5 times, breathing and twisting.

Moving to Keep Moving

Regular exercise is essential to maintaining functional abilities throughout aging. Once we stop moving our muscles weaken and our joints become stiff and inflexible. The more sedentary we become the more we have to do to reverse the effects. Avoid being completely sedentary by moving at least a little every day.

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These are common barriers to exercise that we can overcome.

Self-efficacyBegin slowly with exercises that are easily accomplished; advance gradually; provide frequent encouragement.
AttitudePromote positive personal benefits of exercise; identify enjoyable activities.
DiscomfortVary intensity and range of exercise; employ cross-training; start slowly; avoid overdoing.
DisabilitySpecialized exercises; consider personal trainer or physical therapist.
Poor balanceAssistive devices can increase safety as well as increase exercise intensity.
Fear of injuryBalance and strength training initially; use of appropriate clothing, equipment, and supervision; start slowly.
HabitIncorporate into daily routine; repeat encouragement; promote active lifestyle.
Subjective normsIdentify and recruit influential others; education of patient and influential family/friends.
Fixed incomeWalking and other simple exercises; use of household items; promote active lifestyle.
Bad weatherWalk around the home; use senior centers; promote active lifestyle
Cognitive declineIncorporate into daily routine; keep exercises simple.
Illness/ fatigueUse a range of exercises/intensities that patients can match to their varying energy level.
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Moderate exercise for 30 minutes a day has these health benefits:

  • Improves blood circulation, which reduces the risk of heart disease
  • Keeps weight under control
  • Helps in the battle to quit smoking
  • Improves blood cholesterol levels
  • Prevents and manages high blood pressure
  • Helps delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging
  • Maintains quality of life and independence longer for seniors
  • Helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly
  • Increases muscle strength, increasing the ability to do other physical activities
  • Prevents bone loss
  • Boosts energy level
  • Helps manage stress and releases tension
  • Counters anxiety and depression
  • Improves self-image
  • Promotes enthusiasm and optimism
  • Reduces risk of stroke by 20 percent
  • Counters the conditions that lead to heart attack and stroke
  • Provides a way to share an activity with family and friends
  • Reduces coronary heart disease in women by 30-40 percent
  • Reduces the overall risk of obesity, high blood pressure, poor cholesterol levels, etc.
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Finding Balance with Holiday Eating

We all tend to eat too much for the holidays. One way to counteract our increased calorie consumption is to exercise more (burn more calories).

This can be beneficial, yet if you’ve seen the latest research you will know that calories are not the issue. Macronutrient composition is the issue. To put it plainly, we are getting to many simple carbohydrates and not enough healthy fats.

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So finding balance with Holiday eating is essential to minimize weight gain and maintain digestive health throughout the Holidays.

I would never recommend avoiding certain foods because that leads to uncontrollable cravings. Which make weight loss even harder.

Simply try to put fewer simple carbohydrates (pie, bread, pastries, jellies, marshmallows) on your plate and more complex carbohydrates (rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, quinoa) and more healthy fats (avocado, walnuts & pecans, sunflower & pumpkin seeds, turkey & ham, olive oil).

Following the One-Hand Rule can be very helpful as well. This is filling your plate while considering the size of your stomach. Basically, your stomach is the size of both of your fists together.

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So when you fill your plate consider a serving to be 1/4 to 1/2 the size of your fist. If you have 8 different foods to try then place 1/4 fist size of each so you can try them all. Or if you have 4 foods to try then they would each be 1/2 fist size servings.

This is a very simple method to control your eating without weighing, calculating or measuring.

Why We Should Avoid Petrolatum

White Petrolatum – By Kiyok – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2647443

What is Petroleum Jelly or Petrolatum?

Petroleum jelly is a byproduct of the oil refining process. This means it is not sustainable or eco-friendly, and it also explains some of the potential problems with using it. Petroleum jelly was originally found in the bottom of oil rigs and is further refined for use in the beauty industry. According to packaging and safety info, all of the harmful components are removed before use in beauty or personal care products, but some sources argue that it still contains some harmful components (like hydrocarbons).

Petrolatum, commonly known as petroleum jelly, is a byproduct of petroleum refining. Petrolatum is a soft paraffin or wax mixture sold as a topical skin ointment. It is acknowledged by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an approved over-the-counter skin protectant and is used in the manufacturing of cosmetic skin care.

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Petroleum jelly, petrolatum, white petrolatum, soft paraffin/paraffin wax or multi-hydrocarbon, CAS number 8009-03-8, is a semi-solid mixture of hydrocarbons (with carbon numbers mainly higher than 25), originally promoted as a topical ointment for its healing properties.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a U.S. non-profit organization that does environmental and safety studies, says there’s petrolatum in one out of every 14 cosmetic products on the market, including 15 percent of lipsticks and 40 percent of baby lotions and oils. Plus, it is used as an active ingredient for healing cuts and burns.

The EWG says ’and governments and the CCTFA acknowledge’ there is a risk of contamination from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), cancer-causing chemicals found in crude oil and its by-products. While no studies have ever shown a direct link between petrolatum and cancer, the European Union put numerous grades of petrolatum on a list of dangerous substances. Only highly refined petrolatum can be used in cosmetics there.

How Does Petroleum Jelly Work on Skin?

Petroleum jelly is used in everything from lotions to baby products for its ability to create a protective barrier on the skin and hold in moisture. On labels, it may also appear as Petrolatum, Mineral oil, Liquid paraffin, or Paraffin oil.

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While the ability to hold in moisture may seem like a good thing, it can have its downsides as well. Since petroleum jelly is both waterproof and not water soluble, it creates a waterproof barrier on the skin. At first glance, this may sound good, but it also means that it blocks pores and can lock in residue and bacteria. This is also the reason petroleum jelly should not be used on a burn or sunburn, as it locks in heat and can block the body’s ability to heal.

Also, while it certainly gives the appearance of hydrated and moisturized skin, this may be an illusion as there is nothing in petroleum jelly that is actually nourishing the skin.

Petroleum jelly can’t be metabolized by the skin and just sits as a barrier until it wears off. This means that the body isn’t able to gain any benefit from petroleum jelly (like it can from nutrient rich substances like shea butter or cocoa butter), and there is concern that some of the components (like hydrocarbons) may be stored in fat tissue within the body.

There is strong evidence that mineral oil hydrocarbons are the greatest contaminant of the human body, amounting to approximately 1 g per person. Possible routes of contamination include air inhalation, food intake, and dermal absorption.

This suggests the potential for long-term accumulation of these hydrocarbons in the body. The study found no link between nutritional habits and hydrocarbon levels in the body but did find a strong potential link between cosmetic and beauty product use and contamination, suggesting that beauty products may be a major source of hydrocarbon exposure.

As moms, this study is especially interesting, since it shows the potential for passing on these contaminants to our children during breastfeeding. We also know that we can’t metabolize these substances, so they can build up in the body and are difficult to remove.

Collagen Breakdown

Because of the barrier that mineral oil/petroleum jelly creates on the skin, there is also some concern about its potential to cause collagen breakdown (which is the opposite of what most women want!). Essentially, the concern is that when petroleum jelly coats the skin it blocks the skin’s natural ability to breathe and absorb nutrients. This can slow the cell renewal process and cause the skin to pull the necessary moisture and nutrients from within, leading to collagen breakdown over time (aka wrinkles!).

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Estrogen Dominance

A growing problem in today’s world, estrogen dominance is when the body has high levels of estrogen and proportionately low levels of progesterone to balance it. It is linked to infertility, menstrual problems, accelerated aging, allergies and autoimmune problems as well as nutrient deficiencies, sleep problems and even some types of cancers.

Many products (including petroleum jelly) contain chemicals called xenoestrogens which may increase estrogen problems in the body. Studies have shown that these chemicals may act on hormone receptors in the body and lead to estrogen dominance.

Does it heal skin?

While some beauty companies are promoting petrolatum alternatives, other manufacturers swear by its ability to moisturize and heal. Petrolatum seals off the skin from water and air, as it allows the skin to heal itself.

But there’s a potential downside. A study that was published in Pediatrics in 2000 found that extremely-low-birth-weight infants treated with petroleum jelly were more likely to develop systemic candidiasis; it created a warm, moist place for fungi to grow.

Petrolatum is an occlusive barrier, locking in moisture but it does not allow moisture to be absorbed from the atmosphere. For example, lip balms with petrolatum and other petrochemicals can be less moisturizing than those with emollients that enable moisture exchange.

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Alternatives to Petroleum Based Products for the Skin

Thankfully, there are many great alternatives to petroleum jelly and mineral oil that help increase moisture on the skin and provide nourishment as well. The best part? Most of them can be used alone and you don’t even have to make anything!

Looking for a simple alternative to petroleum jelly or petrolatum? Try Mother Jai’s Moisturizer. Simply all natural with Coconut, Olive and Sunflower Oils. A little goes a long way.

Shea Butter– A natural skin superfood that is high in Vitamins A, E and F. It also contains beneficial fatty acids that nourish skin and it may reduce skin inflammation and increase collagen production. It is excellent on its own or in homemade beauty products.

Cocoa Butter-A great source of antioxidants and beneficial fatty acids, cocoa butter is another great product for skin. There is even some evidence that it may reduce the signs of aging.

Beeswax– A great substitute for the waterproof and protective properties of petroleum jelly without the hydrocarbons. Though not usually used alone, beeswax can be blended into homemade beauty products for its skin-protective ability and is especially good in lip balms and body creams.

Coconut Oil– Coconut oil has so many benefits, internal and external, and it can be great for the skin. It does cause breakouts in some people, so I always suggest testing on a small area of skin first, but it is a source of skin-nourishing fatty acids, lauric acid and anti-inflammatory compounds.

Almond Oil– A liquid oil that is fragrance free and nourishing to skin.

Sunflower Oil – Another liquid oil that is full of nutrients like omega fatty acids and minerals that are essential to skin health.

Jojoba Oil – A perfect choice for skin care because it naturally resembles sebum, the oily substance naturally produced by the body to nourish and protect skin. You can mix jojoba oil into shea butter for a natural lotion.

References:

  1. https://wellnessmama.com/61770/petroleum-jelly/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Petroleum_jelly
  3. www.livestrong.com/article/226763-side-effects-of-petrolatum/
  4. www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/petrolatum/
  5. http://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-looks/skin/the-truth-about-petrolatum/
  6. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/21/vaseline-petroleum-jelly_n_4136226.html
  7. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/petroleum-jelly
  8. https://beautyeditor.ca/2014/10/16/petroleum-mineral-oil-skin-products
  9. http://www.berkeleywellness.com/self-care/over-counter-products/article/petroleum-jelly-safe
  10. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/019096229270060S
  11. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S092318111200031X
  12. https://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(15)01194-X/fulltext
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4885180/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6477564/
  15. https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0365-05962018000200238
  16. http://www.safecosmetics.org/get-the-facts/chemicals-of-concern/petrolatum/
  17. https://jpet.aspetjournals.org/content/78/1/65
  18. https://www.aad.org/news/petroleum-jelly-for-skin-care
  19. https://davidsuzuki.org/queen-of-green/dirty-dozen-petrolatum/
  20. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2020.00785/full
  21. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/fullarticle/519971
  22. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00032719.2016.1153647?scroll=top&needAccess=true
  23. https://www.berkeleywellness.com/self-care/over-counter-products/article/petroleum-jelly-safe

How to Cope with a Medical Condition that Causes Chronic Pain

Receiving a medical diagnosis can be difficult, especially if it’s a condition that will continue to cause chronic pain. While the news may be a shock, the best thing you can do is create a structured plan for yourself that includes relaxation techniques and a safe pain-management system.

Overcoming the shock

The initial shock can take time to wear off.

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  • It can be scary to learn about medical conditions, so be patient as you absorb the news.
  • Be sure to lean on your family and friends for emotional support to help you cope.
  • Stick to your routines to help ground you and take your mind off your diagnosis and pain.

Safely managing your symptoms

Learn healthy ways to cope with pain.

  • You can reduce inflammation through proper nutrition, so experiment with new recipes that can help ease your pain.
  • If you need help creating a healthy eating plan, hire a nutritionist who can help you get on the right path.
  • Start a meditation practice to help reduce pain intensity and increase clarity.
  • Incorporate exercise into your routine to help release natural endorphins and build muscle.

Coping with stress

Use natural methods to relieve tension.

  • Enjoy the natural aromas of essential oils by lighting a blended candle from Mother Jai.
  • Cut tension and relax at home by cleaning, decluttering, and opening your windows.
  • Practice yoga and meditation to relieve stiffness and improve blood flow.
  • Take up a new hobby to help occupy your mind and provide a distraction from worrying thoughts.

Find your community

You’re not alone: find others who are also dealing with a tough diagnosis.

  • To feel less alone in your diagnosis, find other people who share your condition.
  • There are many online resources for finding support groups, including Reddit and Facebook.
  • Support groups can help you work through the emotional and physical challenges of your condition and connect with people who can relate to what you’re going through.

While a medical condition can feel scary and unmanageable at first, following the above advice will help you cope—and thrive. Stick to a routine to stay grounded, take up meditation to reduce tension and pain, and find support groups that can help you through the challenges of your condition.

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Mother Jai offers wellness education, services, worksheets, and hygiene products to help you achieve the holistic wellness you desire. To learn more, call 720-336-1413 today!

Photo via Pexels

What are Chakras?

What Are Chakras?

When we hear the word Chakra, we may think of esoteric things, when it is an ancient word that simply names points in our body where the central nervous system connects with the peripheral nervous system. Each of these points circulates and disperses the electrical energy that flows through our nervous systems and out to our bodies. This electrical energy is what keeps our cells functioning, our mind thinking, and our body working.

Yes, I said electrical. Very low-level electromagnetic energy that is created, stored, and utilized throughout the body. Many people believe this electrical energy to be the soul, life force or spirit. This electromagnetic energy is technically carried along nerve fibers with the help of charged ions (sodium, potassium, chloride, and calcium) that use positive and negative electrical charges to push/pull electrical signals along the nerve fiber.

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The nerve fiber is more conductive using the myelin sheath. Myelin is a layered material composed of phospholipid, cholesterol and protein that winds around nerve cell axons. Myelin insulates nerve impulses from neighboring nerve fibers, and it increases the speed of impulses through nerve axons.

Each chakra is located along the spine and brain where large bundles of nerves exit the spinal cord and innervate the body. These junctions or nerve bundles circulate or spiral the energy from the bundle out towards the body as a type of active transport using the myelin sheath. These are considered energy centers, there are seven main centers, five along the spine and two in and on the brain.

When our nerves are nourished and healthy the electrical impulses travel easily from brain to body and back again. When they are unhealthy, inflamed or malnourished, the electrical impulses are impeded, and dysfunction occurs within the corresponding area of the body. Meaning our chakra is blocked and we should take steps to get the energy flowing again.

Opening and promoting chakra flow is as simple as eating nutritious food most of the time, exercising regularly, meditating often (chakra meditations for example) and practicing self-care every week. If you’ve developed an ailment or disease try these simple things first and you will see a drastic reduction in or complete reversal of your illness or disease.

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References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11053/
  2. https://www.aetherius.org/aura-chakras-kundalini/
  3. https://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/106966/electric-impluses-inside-nerve-cells
  4. https://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=753&t=electrical-signals-in-nerves
  5. https://www.innerbody.com/image/nervov.html
  6. https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/myelin-sheath-cholesterol-6632.html
  7. https://www.onlinewithananda.org/shop/yogananda-institute/yoga-philosophy/understanding-the-chakras-in-depth/
  8. https://www.britannica.com/science/nervous-system/Active-transport-the-sodium-potassium-pump
  9. https://www.britannica.com/science/spinal-nerve
  10. https://ocoy.org/seven-chakras-nath-yogi-tradition/

Tap Water VS Bottled Water

Why Tap Water is Better Than Bottled Water

Yes, our tap water can be unsafe. Yes, there are multiple industrial and agricultural based chemicals found in our tap water. Our municipal water supplies are tested daily and regulated by federal law, yet the standards they have developed are not actually safe levels for human consumption. These levels are typically determined through political compromise and not actual scientific study.

Yet bottled water is worse!

Why? Because it takes all of the chemicals in tap water and adds chemicals from the plastic bottle it’s stored in, for who knows how long.

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We know which is better for the environment. That’s easy. Not only are millions of tons of plastic bottles clogging our landfills, but it takes 1.63 liters of water to make every liter of Dasani—and the company is doing it in drought-plagued California.

Even though both the federal government and most states have bottled-water safety programs, regulations don’t adequately assure consumers of either purity or safety. A few state bottled-water programs (for example, those in Massachusetts and New York) maintain lists of the sources, but not all do.

It’s regulated by different agencies, with different missions. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency oversees the quality of water that comes out of your tap, while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is responsible for ensuring the safety and truthful labeling of bottled water sold nationally. States are responsible for regulating water that is both packaged and sold within its borders (which is most of the bottled-water market), but one in five states doesn’t even bother.

It’s important to note that the federal government does not require bottled water to be safer than tap. In fact, just the opposite is true in many cases. Tap water in most big cities must be disinfected, filtered to remove pathogens, and tested for cryptosporidium and giardia viruses. Bottled water does not have to be.

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Carefully check the label and even the cap; if it says “from a municipal source” or “from a community water system,” this means it’s derived from tap. If you don’t find any information on the bottle, you can call the bottler or the bottled-water program in your state or the state where it was packaged and ask about the source.

Recent research suggests there might be cause for concern. Chemicals called phthalates, which are known to disrupt testosterone and other hormones, can leach into bottled water over time. One study found that water that had been stored for 10 weeks in plastic and in glass bottles containing phthalates, suggesting that the chemicals could be coming from the plastic cap or liner. Although there are regulatory standards limiting phthalates in tap, there are no legal limits in bottled water; the bottled-water industry waged a successful campaign opposing the FDA proposal to set a legal limit for these chemicals.

In a recent study by German researchers, nearly 25,000 chemicals were found lurking in a single bottle of water. Many of these chemicals mimic the effects of potent pharmaceuticals inside your body, according to the study published in the journal PLoS One.

Using other forms of detection to isolate the various chemicals, the researchers found more than 24,500 different chemicals in the bottled waters – including two classes of chemicals, maleates and fumarates, which are known potent endocrine disruptors (hormonally active chemicals). Maleates and fumarates are utilized to manufacture plastic resins, which are used to make water bottles, and they may also appear as contaminants of other plastic chemicals.

In widespread testing, a whopping 93 percent of bottled water samples tested were contaminated with tiny pieces of plastic. The study found an average of 10 total plastic particles and plastic fibers per liter; that’s twice the plastic level found in tap water. And get this: Some of the most popular brands were contaminated — this is widespread. A small amount of the plastic fragments tested positive for industrial lubricants, but researchers say there’s evidence that at least some of the tiny plastic pieces found in the water come from the packaging itself … perhaps the caps because polypropylene plastic bits turned up in more than half the bottled water samples tested.

As a healthy adult, the occasional sip from the “toxic fountain” of bottled water won’t kill you. However, small children, women of child-bearing age, and pregnant women are at greater risk of poor outcomes when exposed to these chemicals. Effects can include stunted growth, early puberty, premature birth, infertility and early menopause – just to name a few. The remaining population should still exercise caution, as more and more research is discovering that these chemicals can also trigger diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.

What are FDA standards? (www.banthebottle.net)

Under the standard of quality (21 CFR, 165.110[b]), FDA allows certain levels of contaminants in bottled water.

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Contaminants bottled water may have in it.

Coliform. Coliform are rod-shaped bacteria, such as E. coli, that are normally present in the human intestine. The FDA says that bottled water may have up to 9.2 coliform organisms per 100 milliliters. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].

Arsenic. Arsenic is a poison. The FDA says that bottled water may have up to 0.05 milligrams per liter of arsenic. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].

Chloride. Chloride is a compound of chlorine, a substance used to disinfect tap water. The FDA allows up to 250.0 milligrams per liter of chloride in bottled water. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].

Iron. Iron is a metallic element. Your body needs some iron, but not too much. The FDA permits bottled water to contain up to 0.3 milligrams per liter of iron. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].

Manganese. Manganese resembles iron and is used in fertilizers. Bottled water may contain up to 0.05 milligrams per liter of manganese. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].

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Phenols. Phenols are corrosive, poisonous acidic compounds. Your bottled water may contain up to 0.001 milligrams per liter of phenols. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].

Dissolved solids. “Dissolved solids” is a catch-all phrase. The FDA allows bottled water to contain up to 500 milligrams per liter of dissolved solids, of whatever type. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].

Zinc. Zinc is a metallic element. Your body needs some zinc, but not too much. The FDA permits bottled water to contain up to 5.0 milligrams per liter of zinc. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].

Fluoride. Fluoride is purposely added to some bottled water. If so, the label should say so. In addition, bottled water that is not labeled as containing fluoride may contain up to 2.4 milligrams per liter of fluoride. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].

Chemical contaminants bottled water may have in it.

The FDA allows set levels of the following chemical contaminants in all bottled water. Amounts vary, but some are shocking, such as Barium. FDA regulations permit up to 2.0 milligrams per liter of barium. That is nearly the same as natural fluorides, even though barium is a toxic metallic element. Cyanide, another poison, is permitted in bottled water. See 21 CFR 165.110[b].

Here is a sampling of chemical contaminants bottled water has in it, along with the permitted milligrams per liter.

  • Barium……………………………… 2.0
  • Chromium……………………………. 0.1
  • Copper……………………………… 1.0
  • Cyanide…………………………….. 0.2
  • Nickel……………………………… 0.1
  • Ethylbenzene (100-41-4)………………. 0.7
  • Monochlorobenzene (108-90-7)………….. 0.1
  • Styrene (100-42-5)…………………… 0.1
  • Toluene (108-88-3)…………………… 1.0
  • Xylenes (1330-20-7)………………….. 10.0

Pesticides bottled water may have in it.

The FDA allows set levels of pesticides in bottled water. There are set limits for each of 29 different pesticides. People who purchase bottled water believe, normally, that they are avoiding pesticides by doing so. For a listing of these pesticides, see 21 CFR 165.110[b].

Disinfectants bottled water may have in it.

The FDA allows bottled water to contain set levels of residual disinfectants and disinfection byproducts. Examples from 21 CFR 165.110[b]:

Disinfection byproducts:

  • Bromate…………………………… 0.010
  • Chlorite………………………….. 1.0
  • Haloacetic acids (five) (HAA5)………. 0.060
  • Total Trihalomethanes (TTHM)………… 0.080
  • Residual disinfectants:
  • Chloramine………………………… 4.0 (as Cl2)
  • Chlorine………………………….. 4.0 (as Cl2)
  • Chlorine dioxide…………………… 0.8 (as ClO2)

Radioactive materials bottled water may have in it.

The FDA allows bottled water to contain set levels of radioactive material. See 21 CFR 165.110[b]. Three examples:

“The bottled water shall not contain a combined radium-226 and radium-228 activity in excess of 5 picocuries per liter of water.”

“The bottled water shall not contain a gross alpha particle activity in excess of 15 picocuries per liter of water.”

“The bottled water shall not contain uranium in excess of 30 micrograms per liter of water.”

Bottled water has more in it than regulations allow.

When bottled water does not meet the standards set out by the FDA, it might still be sold. By law, it should bear a suitable label. Examples:

“Contains Excessive Bacteria”

“Contains Excessive Arsenic”

“Excessively Radioactive”

What You Can Do?

Take time to know what bottled water has in it. Look for bottlers’ web sites and compare information. Remember that bottled water does not mean absolute purity. Be sure yours is healthy drinking water.

Ban the Bottle and stay hydrated! Make it a habit to carry a glass or stainless-steel water bottle, neither of these materials leach anything into water. Making them healthy alternatives to plastic while reducing your out of pocket cost and the amount of waste that goes into the landfill. It’s a win-win!

References:

  1. https://www.nrdc.org/stories/truth-about-tap?gclid=Cj0KCQjw6MHdBRCtARIsAEigMxFMxCCtBGuEqAe_bFamDNhA0TqCiRtkcC_ANccVuc4xV0hQ43hDEUcaApYhEALw_wcB
  2. https://www.banthebottle.net/articles/the-true-ingredients-of-bottled-water/
  3. https://www.banthebottle.net/articles/7-bottled-water-myths-busted/
  4. http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/01/13/more-than-24500-chemicals-found-in-bottled-water.html
  5. https://draxe.com/bottled-water-risks/
  6. https://www.ewg.org/news/news-releases/2008/10/15/harmful-chemicals-found-bottled-water#.W7C76mhKiUk
  7. https://www.ewg.org/research/bottled-water-quality-investigation/test-results-chemicals-bottled-water#.W7C772hKiUk
  8. https://www.ewg.org/tapwater/state-of-american-drinking-water.php#.W7C__GhKiUk
  9. https://www.nrdc.org/stories/whats-your-drinking-water
  10. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/tap-vs-bottled-water/faq-20058017
  11. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/15/microplastics-found-in-more-than-90-of-bottled-water-study-says
  12. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11193/7-reasons-to-never-drink-bottled-water-again.html

Why use Raw Honey?

Raw Honey

Raw honey is best described as honey “as it exists in the beehive.” It is extracted from the beehive, strained and poured straight into the bottle, bypassing commercial processing methods. Raw and regular honey differ mainly in how they are processed. Raw honey contains pollen, may be more nutritious and does not have any added sugars or sweeteners, both of which may be present in commercial honeys.

Most of the health benefits of honey can be attributed to its antioxidants and enzymes. Because commercial honeys are processed, they may have lower levels of antioxidants. Raw and organic honey are subject to different regulations in different countries. In the US, there is no rule that organic honey can’t be heated or processed, which means it may not be raw. While raw honey is safe for healthy adults, it can be dangerous for infants and pregnant women. It may contain spores of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum, which can grow in the gut of developing infants.

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Raw Honey Is More Nutritious

Raw honey contains a wide variety of nutrients. It has approximately 22 amino acids, 31 different minerals and a wide range of vitamins and enzymes. However, the nutrients are only present in trace amounts. What’s most impressive about raw honey is that it contains nearly 30 types of bioactive plant compounds. These are called polyphenols, and they act as antioxidants. Many studies have linked these antioxidants with impressive health benefits, including reduced inflammation and a lower risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

Conversely, commercial honeys may contain fewer antioxidants due to processing methods. For example, one study compared the antioxidants in raw and processed honey from a local market. They found that the raw honey contained up to 4.3 times more antioxidants than the processed variety.

Most Regular Honey Doesn’t Contain Any Pollen

Bees travel from flower to flower collecting nectar and pollen. The nectar and pollen are taken back to the beehive, where they are packed into the honeycomb and eventually become a food source for the bees. Bee pollen is surprisingly nutritious and contains over 250 substances, including vitamins, amino acids, essential fatty acids, micronutrients and antioxidants. In fact, the German Federal Ministry of Health recognizes bee pollen as a medicine.

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Bee pollen has been linked to many impressive health benefits. Studies have found that it may help fight inflammation and improve liver function. It also has properties that may help fight against heart disease and stroke. Unfortunately, processing methods like heat treatment and ultrafiltration can remove bee pollen. For example, one unofficial study analyzed 60 samples of commercial honey brands in the US and discovered that over 75% of all samples contained no pollen.

Regular Honey May Have Hidden Sugars or Sweeteners

Approximately 400 million pounds of honey are consumed in the US each year. Because honey is so popular, it’s hard to meet this high demand from local suppliers alone. This is why approximately 70% of the honey consumed in the US is imported. However, there is serious concern worldwide about regular honey being contaminated with sugar or other sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup.

Risks of Eating Raw Honey

Raw honey can contain spores of the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. This bacteria is especially harmful to babies, children under the age of one and pregnant women. It may cause botulism poisoning, which results in life-threatening paralysis. However, botulism is very rare among healthy adults and older children. As the body ages, the gut develops enough to stop the botulinum spores from growing. That said, if you experience side effects such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea soon after eating raw honey, you should see your doctor immediately.

References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/raw-honey-vs-regular
  2. https://draxe.com/the-many-health-benefits-of-raw-honey/
  3. https://www.benefits-of-honey.com/raw-honey.html
  4. https://blog.paleohacks.com/raw-honey/
  5. http://www.naturallivingideas.com/raw-honey-benefits/
  6. https://www.swansonvitamins.com/blog/guest-authors-on-natural-health/raw-honey-the-complete-story
  7. https://www.thehoneyjarhome.com/what-is-raw-honey
  8. https://www.reallyrawhoney.com/
  9. https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/health-benefits-of-organic-locally-grown-raw-honey/
  10. https://www.organics.org/differences-between-honey-and-raw-organic-honey/