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Couscous: Good source of Lean, Vegetarian Protein

couscous

Couscous (pronounced “KOOS-koos”) is a dish made from tiny granules of durum wheat or semolina flour. The couscous grains are then prepared by steaming them until they have a light, fluffy consistency.  It is often mistaken for a grain, but it is actually the same dough that is made into many pastas.

Eating couscous provides you with a good source of lean, vegetarian protein. A 1-cup serving of cooked couscous gives you 6 grams of protein, which meets 12 percent of the daily value for the nutrient. This whole-grain food is native to northern Africa and is commonly found in Middle Eastern cuisine.

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Couscous is primarily carbohydrate, but it also contains significant amounts of other essential vitamins and minerals.

Preparing instant couscous is quick and easy — the dried couscous is added to a pot of boiling water or stock, the pot is then covered and the water is absorbed into the couscous in about five minutes.

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Couscous is always steamed and never boiled. Couscous is cooked in a special kind of cooking ensemble called a kiskis, known by the French word couscousière in the West, except in Italy, where it is called a couscousiera. A kiskis consists of two parts: the bottom portion is a pot-bellied vessel for the broth while the top part fits snugly over the bottom part and has holes in its bottom for the steam to rise through, which cooks the couscous. In North Africa, they are often made of earthenware or aluminum. A makeshift couscousière can be made by placing a colander over a like-sized pot.

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Health Benefits of Couscous:

Cardiovascular Health:  A single serving of couscous has more than 60% of the daily suggested intake of selenium. Selenium functions as a powerful antioxidant that functions mainly in the blood vessels to reduce the buildup of plaque and dangerous LDL cholesterol on artery and vein walls.

Wound Healing:  . Protein is an integral part of wound healing, as well as in the metabolism of enzymes that aid in wound repair, both internally and externally. Couscous is a powerful part of any protein diet.

Weight Loss: If you are looking to lose weight, then in grains couscous is better. Couscous has  200 calories in each cup, which is less than 10% of the daily calorie intake suggested for adults and is also very low in sodium, cholesterol, and saturated fat.

Here is a easy recipe:

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10-minute couscous salad

Ingredients:

  • 100g couscous
  • 200ml hot low salt vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
  • 2 spring onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • ½ cucumber
  • 50g feta cheese, cubed
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 2 tbsp toasted pine nut

Method:

Tip couscous into a large bowl, pour over stock. Cover, then leave for 10 mins, until fluffy and all the stock has been absorbed. Meanwhile, slice the onions and pepper and dice the cucumber. Add these to the couscous, fork through pesto, crumble in feta, then sprinkle over pine nuts to serve.

We found this  great lunchbox filler recipe here.

Some people are allergic to various foods, so if you have never eaten sorghum or durum wheat, pay attention to your body’s reaction to make sure you don’t have any unexpected allergies.

 

 

 


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Handmade Soaps: Know Your Soaps

Handmade Soaps: Know Your Soaps

Hand made soaps are usually made in small batches using traditional methods and plant-based ingredients.  Hand made soaps are high in glycerin. Glycerin is a natural by-product of the soapmaking process.

Why should you buy a natural handmade soap:

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Handcrafted soap is made with natural, wholesome ingredients that cleanse without stripping skin of its natural oils. Commercially-made bars are made with chemical additives, or synthetic detergents.

Commercially-made bars are made with synthetic detergents, they cannot even legally use the term “soap.” Instead, they may be called “beauty bars,” “cleaning bars,” “cream bars,” or something similar. Handcrafted soap is made with real and wholesome ingredients.

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Glycerin is a humectant; it attracts moisture and softens your skin. Glycerin is not merely added to handcrafted soap. Rather, it is naturally created in the process of mixing water, oils, and butters. In handcrafted soap, the glycerin is left in place.The absence of glycerin is another reason that commercial bars dry out the skin.

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To know more about natural handmade soaps, you would need to how the soaps are made. There are basically three ways to make a soap:

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One common way is called “melt and pour” soap. There are even melt and pour kits you can buy to make cute soap shapes with your kids. These are generally glycerine based transparent soaps.

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The other two methods are “hot process” and “cold process.” The hot process method utilizes heat after the saponification process has taken place, while the cold process method does not. Undoubtedly the best method for producing the highest quality soaps is the cold process method.

A combination of oils or fats and lye goes in the making of cold process soap bars. Lye is not as scary as it sounds as all the caustic qualities of the lye are removed during the saponification process. When the lye interacts with the oils or fats, it creates glycerine. How hard or soft the soap bar ends up being, and how well it lathers depends on the type of oils and fats that are being used.

Botanical sounding name does not necessarily mean that the product came from a plant either. Cranberry, watermelon, peach, pear, apple, strawberry, fig, pomegranate, coconut are synthetic scents made in a laboratory. Many soaps supposedly containing vanilla, jasmine, rose, lemon verbena, and sandalwood are also made with synthetic scents because the real essential oils, absolutes, or concretes are very expensive or even endangered.

If an oil doesn’t have a latin botanical name, then it’s not a true essential oil and it has no aromatherapeutic benefits. If it dries your skin out or makes it feel tight or itchy, it may not be real, this is a real soap test.  Because a well made, glycerin rich, handcrafted natural soap will leave your skin feeling soft, smooth, and nourished.
Remember that your skin is porous and absorbent. It absorbs whatever it comes in contact with.  Chronic use of chemical laden products will cause the body to store the chemicals in the body fat or even in the brain.

Here is how you can take care of natural handmade soap:

  • Don’t let your soap drown in water.
  • Make sure your soap gets plenty of fresh air between uses.
  • Store your soap on a well drained soap dish.
  • Store unused soap in a dark cool place like a lingerie drawer or linen close

Here are some natural handmade soaps you can find:

This soaps gives deep cleansing, conditioning, nourishment to your skin, remove dead skin cells and also gives. Revitalise and soften skin. For all skin types.

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A glycerin soap with the refreshing fragrance of jasmine and peach.

Aromatherapy-Massage

Spiced with versatile lavender oil, this bar is blended with shea butter and oils of coconut, olive, almond and patchouli making it intensely nourishing. Activated charcoal and green clay help detoxify the skin.


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Tea Tree Oil: The Absolute Favourite Essential Oil

tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is one of the most extensively researched essential oils. It is produced from a shrub like tree by the name of Melaleuca alternifolia, which is found along streams and in swampy areas in its native land of Australia.

Essential oils are powerful, and tea tree oil is no exception. The greatest concern when it comes to using tea tree oil is chiefly skin irritation. If this is a concern for you, always dilute the tea tree oil in a liquid neutral oil such as olive oil, grapeseed oil, almond oil, etc. etc. Mixing with water does no good-it’s an oil, and will therefore separate-so you must give it another fat to grab onto.

This oil is often called the “medicine cabinet in a bottle” and is effective against bacteria, fungi, and viruses too.

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Benefits of Tea Tree oil

For years, people have used tea tree oil to help with skin ailments from acne to psoriasis. But its benefits don’t end there, here are some of the benefits of Tea Tree Oil:

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To remove makeup:

For normal to dry skin, try mixing 1/4 cup canola oil with 10 drops of tea tree oil in a 4-ounce sterilized glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until blended. Store in a cool, dark place. To use, saturate a cotton ball with the oil and sweep over your face to remove makeup. Rinse well with warm water and follow with a toner.

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To treat the chicken pox

Blend a few drops of tea tree essential oil with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and use a cotton swab to apply the oil to sores two or three times a day.

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To relieve psoriasis

Rub a few drops of tea tree oil, diluted in a little olive oil, into your psoriasis patches several times a day.

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Beneficial for the health of your hair and scalp

Tea tree oil has the ability to soothe dry flaking skin, remove dandruff and even can be used for the treatment of lice.

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As a household cleaner

To make homemade a tea tree oil cleanser, mix with water, vinegar and lemon essential oil  then use it on your counter tops, kitchen appliances, shower, toilet and sinks.

Some great Tea Tree Oil uses include:

To treat acne.
An anti-fungal for treating Athlete’s Foot, eczema, various yeast infections, etc.
An antiseptic to be used on cuts and burns.
An anti-viral: it may lessen the symptoms of colds and flu. Try using a few drops in the bath.
Add to a vaporizer to loosen chest congestion.

Precaution to keep in mind for Tea Tree Oil are:

Tea Tree Oil should be kept in a dark glass bottle with a dropper. This will prevent light from shining in and reducing the oil’s potency.
Do not ingest it orally.

You don’t have to travel all the way to Australia to get the benefits of the tea tree now. Here are some of the Tea Tree products you can find:

Vegetal Tea Tree Face Wash is a soap free gel formula with Tea Tree Oil and Cucumber extract that gives very deep cleansing of oil from the face.

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Tea tree Oil is very important in the health of the immune system, as it acts as an immuno-stimulant & increases the body’s ability to fight off any infections.

tea tree soap

Tea tree oil is regarded as one of the strongest natural antiseptics known to man. Because of its ability to inhibit and kill growth of bacteria, fungi & viruses, it makes a great medicinal soap for cuts & scrapes as well as a multi-purpose antibacterial and facial soap for every day use.

tea tree hair

Neem Tea Tree Dandruff Clarifying Hair Solution is an herbal formulation with nutritive extracts and conditioning properties that helps  to control the flaking, scaling, and hair falling. It makes hair soft, shiny & healthy.

It is time to make Tea Tree Oil your new absolute favourite essential oil.

 


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Keep Mosquitoes Away Naturally With Natural Mosquito Repellents!!

 

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Have you always been a magnet for mosquitoes and bugs? Is your skin super-sensitive? Summer is the season when  mosquitoes and bugs tend to come out in full force, leaving your skin covered in bites and your fingers frantically scratching away, desperate for a little relief.

4 Reasons Mosquitoes Bite Some People More than Others

According to the Smithsonian article “Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others?“, there are several different factors that cause mosquitoes to bite you and not your neighbor, a few of them are:

Why Mosquitoes bite some people more

  1. You talk too much  – Mosquitoes are attracted to Carbon Dioxide, those who exhale (talk/breathe) more than others attract more mosquitoes.
  2. Blood type O – According to a published study on “mosquito landing preferances”, Those with type O blood attract more biting insects than those with A,B, or AB Blood
  3. Sweating – People who sweat or with higher body temperatures send signals to mosquitoes that the buffet is now open
  4.  Mosquitoes Are Alcoholics – For unknown reasons, mosquitoes are attracted to those who consume alcohol more than those that don’t. If you like to have an evening cocktail, it’s best to stay indoors.

It is best to use natural and herbal repellents to protect children. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that repellents should contain no more than 30% DEET when used on children. Insect repellents also are not recommended for children younger than 2 months.

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Here are some natural and herbal mosquito repellent plants:

lemon balm

Lemon Balm

It contains high levels of a compound called citronellal, which gives it its lemony aroma and flavor that bugs find so unpleasant.

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Citronella

Citronella with a powerful lemony scent is a grass-like plant that grows up to 6 feet tall!

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Marigolds

In addition to mosquitoes, marigolds repel garden pests, too! The flowers are edible as well, and add color and flavor to salads or can be a gorgeous garnish when you want to dress up a dish.

Lavender-bunch

4. Lavender

Has a lovely scent, pretty purple flowers and calming properties. You can grow it at home, if you keep it next to a sunny window.

peppermint-herbs

5. Peppermint

Biting bugs don’t like the scent of peppermint and it can be used as itch relief if you do get bitten!

wellness mama

Here is how you can make an all natural bug spray:

Homemade Bug Spray Ingredients

  • Essential oils: choose from Citronella, Clove, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Cajeput, Eucalyptus, Cedar, Catnip, Lavender, Mint
  • Natural Witch Hazel
  • Distilled or boiled Water
  • Vegetable glycerin (optional)

Homemade Bug Spray Instructions

  1. Fill spray bottle (I used 8 ounce) 1/2 full with distilled or boiled water
  2. Add witch hazel to fill almost to the top
  3. Add 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin if using
  4. Add 30-50 drops of essential oils to desired scent. The more oils you use, the stronger the spray will be. My personal favorite mix is: Rosemary, Clove, Cajeput, Lavender, Cinnamon and Eucalyptus. It works great and smells good too!

We found this DIY Homemade Bug Spray recipe here.

Here are some of the natural mosquito repellents you can find here:

Just Spray is a very effective 100% Herbal Mosquito Repellent Room Spray made from a unique blend of plant extracts and aromatic oils which keeps mosquitoes away for 8-12 hrs.

A Mosquito Repellent Blend to Protect You.

You can find more natural and herbal mosquito repellents here.


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Celebrate Mother’s Day With Beautiful Eco-Friendly Gifts

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Mothers are the human beings that should be celebrated every day. It so happens that we forget the magnificent achievements of mothers in our daily routine. Her contribution to our lives cannot be rewarded in any other way than our love. If a small token of affection is added to this, it will make Mother’s Day that much special. It is a tradition that is almost 108 years old and is meant for the woman who is a caregiver, a teacher, a manager; only the few duties that she performs on the go while making sure that her children have the best. While one day is not enough to appreciate such an important person, however Mother’s Day gives us this special chance to pamper her to the fullest. Just A beautiful mother’s day card with a heartfelt message can win her heart, as they say but this year we recommend you to walk that extra mile to embrace her, lover her more and more!

Make this day exceptional by adding one of the many small gifts mentioned below, coupled with a special Mother’s Day message.

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1Indie Eco Candles

Candles signify more than just home decor accessories. They dispel darkness and bring light and growth into our lives. A mother is no less than a candle, and these aromatic organic candles will certainly be the perfect gift for her. This assorted pack of 4 candles with no harmful toxin emissions can be lighted in any corner of the room to brighten up the area. Additionally, the scent of essential oils like cinnamon with a hint of orange, jasmine, vanilla cream, and lemongrass will relax every stressed mother from the inside.

2. Maduban Naturals Handmade Pomegranate Chocolates          

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It is not just the children who deserve to be pampered with chocolates, but mothers do too. Though in the latter’s case, it is the taste and health that have to be kept in mind as she did for all our meals. Maduban Natural’s premium dark chocolates are rich with pomegranate fruit extract, fruit bits and nuts, which form a tasty as well as healthy snack for every mom-on-the-go. Its health contributions like ant ageing properties and iron content will make it a thoughtful and essential gift.

3. Omved Aromatherapy Health Massage Oil Set

It is an everyday task to be a mother with no time to relax. For such frantic moments, aromatherapy works like magic to ease out all the stress. This product containing various aromatherapy massage oils captures all the charm in one box to make sure that stress disappears in a jiffy. Massaging or inhaling these oils work just perfect for the tired out moms. The blended oils relax the nervous system and further helps to calm the mind that is always running high gear. It gets them rejuvenated with gorgeous skin and a peaceful night sleep enjoying the most relaxing oil therapy.

4. Wild Earth Indulgence Gift Set

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A mother’s day should always begin with a soothing combination of love and care. These handmade natural bath gift sets, each comprising of natural soaps, organic shampoo and lotion will provide with the same. The vanilla coffee loofah is a unique soap that will scrub away the dead cells revealing a supple skin for summers especially. The embedded loofah slowly removes all non-essentials away. The soothing Ylang Ylang soap is loaded with calming notes that can chase away every wandering thought. The Rose Honey Face and Body wash keeps the skin smelling with the freshness of roses while the Almond Saffron Body Lotion helps to make the skin glow.

5. Soulflower Hair care Hamper Set

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She has groomed us to be the beautiful little souls that we are, so why not indulge her with this hamper of hair care. It is a pack of massage oils with each one having their own unique caring properties formulated specially for a mother’s hair. The refreshing lavender massage oil will help promoting healthy hair, which is thick from the roots. Soulflower cold pressed jojoba carrier oil will help control any frizz while the rosemary essential oil will help distress the mind, reduce exhaustion and lethargy. Together, this hamper will provide your mother the care as well as the compliments she always deserved.

 6. Energy Booster Pack

Finally, it is time the backbone of the family had her pack of strength. Everyday stress takes away a lot of calcium from the system and as women age the body has problems retaining this element naturally. The supplements provide women with the essential calcium, and the bones absorb its CAL-VITA complex easily, which eliminates degenerative diseases like Osteoporosis. As motherhood is a job with no holidays it is essential that we take extra care of this genius member of our family and make sure she is as healthy as she can be. After all, a healthy mother is what makes a healthy family.

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You can buy special gift sets on the occasion of Mother’s Day at www.naturalmantra.com

 


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5 Useful Home Décor Solutions for Earth Day, 2016

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This Friday, instead of finding your way to the club or running home early from office, it is the the day to celebrate Earth Day which falls on April 22nd every year. The event that began way back in 1970, now has more than 1 billion people from more than 193 countries observing this day, making it the largest civic observance in the world!

This Day which initially began as an event, now has commemorated as an annual celebration co-ordinated globally by the Earth Day Network. And this year, the landmark, Paris Agreement is scheduled to be signed by the United States, China and more 120 countries. This signing satisfies a key requirement for the entry into force of the historic draft climate protection treaty adopted by consensus of the 195 nations present at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Paris.

Do you not want to do your bit in contributing to the globally recognised Earth Day?

Do not restrict the celebration to putting the lights out in your household for an hour in a day. Instead,

We have a list of things that you could do to contribute to celebrating Earth Day, once, twice or more in the 365 days. And, we will tell you how!

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1. Climate Change is For Real!

While everyone is concerned with the summers becoming hotter and winters becoming cooler in different parts of the world, little realising is that we are the ones responsible for it, too. And therefore, it has now become necessary to promote planting trees and protesting against deforestation on a remarkable scale. Most of the countries are also encouraging gardening as a vocational pattern, in order to balance out the ecological system. While, planting trees might require the support of a tree plantation drive, we can develop a garden right in our backyards and balconies with the right kind of knowledge and organic solutions for garden problems.

2. Switch Off!

Most of us fail to understand that we are responsible, for the “often” power failures and the electricity shortage. It is necessary to ensure that there is no wastage of electricity which can be done by- Switching off the unwanted appliances and using less power consumption utilities instead of doing it only for one hour in 365 days.

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Also, while we switch off the electricity to observe the “Earth Hour”, it is equally essential to switch off the inverter in a way that there is absolutely “nil” power consumption from your household and instead make use of natural candles, which include vegetable wax rather than the scented and other extravagant variations that are not even eco-friendly.

3. Organic Products for a Natural World!

As the consumption of artificial products are increasing day by day, it is leading to a wastage of our essential and other energy sources. For instance, we might make use of a washing machine to save water but it is also necessary that we also employ eco-friendly laundry products that contain natural ingredients such as sodium bicarbonate and rock salt that work in a supplementary manner.

4. Nature for a company?

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Well, most of us in our busy routines have forgotten the importance of nature around us. We hardly take a look at the surroundings while walking on the streets or while taking our dog out for a stroll in the garden. Have you ever taken a solo trip to be in the company of the nature? It’s a beautiful feeling because the greens respond to each and every conversation in some way or the other. So every day, make it a point to get up and say hello! to your garden and give them some water. It could be great if you could go backpacking amongst the naturals, once in a while!

5. Indulge in Organic Dishwashing

Whether you hand wash dishes or use a dishwasher, the soap, detergent or rinse you use to get them clean will go straight down the drain and into our waterways and environment. Cleaning your dishes with products free of hazardous chlorine bleach, ammonia, and phosphates is a must for your health and for the planet. The organic dishwash powder contains natural ingredients such as organicsoapberries, neem leaves and lemongrass essential oil. It is highly recommended for cleaning baby’s feeding bootles and cutlery.

Tip of the Day

Going Tech for Earth Day!

If you thought these traditional methods were the only way to contribute to our planet, well this year The App Store along with WWF has teamed up with a set of developers to bring out Apps for the Earth, which are in turn fundraising for different earth-related causes like conservation and preventing global warming and much more.

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So what is going to be your pick from the above to help contribute to the planet?
Whatever it is, make sure, you go all-organic because that is the best and the foremost method that you can help save the Mother Earth in your little way!

Buy Gorgeous Green Home Décor Items for Earth Day at www.naturalmantra.com


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Women Personal Hygiene Tips

Girls, when you’re taking care of yourself, there are certain guidelines to help you be your best.

Personal Hygiene is one of those subtle things that’s difficult to quantify. Keeping clean and keeping up a good appearance are also great ways to simply feel good!

In this article, we are going to discuss some major personal hygiene hacks that every woman must know:

women's hygiene products

  1. The Transition

 In earlier times, women would make use of cloth pads which used to be natural but very uncomfortable due to its poor soaking techniques.

Especially during the first and second day of menstrual cycles, women bleed intensely wherein cloth pads result in being completely useless.

Hence, in the earlier times, women would refrain from doing any form of physical work to restrict from bleeding too much, which would be cumbersome while wearing cloth pads.

Then came the organic sanitary pads, which were 90% natural fiber and 10% synthetic. This type of pads are still used and recommended throughout the country, due to its organic nature which is essential when in contact with the personal body parts.

 

  1. Prevent Genital Irritations

 It is most usual for women to contract genital irritations during and post their menstrual cycles because of the blood.

It is best to avoid having bubble bath, use white soft unscented paper to cleanse, post which you can wear the cotton sanitary pads available across stores in India.

And this also means, that it is required of you to change your panty liners after working out or any work that has caused too much sweating.

ecofemme pads

  1. What is the best?

 Right from the older times, women would make use of old cloth remnants during their menstrual cycles but that would result in difficulty in its disposal as the cloth had to be dug in the backyard and could not be just thrown away in the garbage.

As the transition of women from being home makers to working women happened, it also became necessary for women to go from unhygienic clothes to natural cloth pads that could be easily disposed-off and at the same time, were available in the market.

Although, these cloth pads were soon replaced by good quality organic pads due to its poor soaking technique.

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3 reasons why natural personal hygiene products are so much better

  1. They are more healthy

Cloth pads contain no synthetics and are virtually risk-free when it comes to health. Natural products are more likely to be free of chlorine. Chlorine acts as an antibiotic, killing native beneficial organisms in the vaginal canal. To ensure chlorine-free natural products, choose organic, unbleached fabric for your pad materials.

  1. They are more comfortable

You hardly notice wearing anything extra when using cloth pads /chemical-free sanitary napkins. They’re completely comfortable and help make that time of a month a less-dreaded event. And many women experience fewer cramps when using natural products.

  1. They are less wasteful

Disposables add pounds and pounds of waste products to our landfills every year. They clog our septic lines. Cloth pads are fully biodegradable in compostable conditions, ensuring minimal damage to the environment. Truly easy on God’s good earth!

Also, it is necessary that you change your sanitary pad in every 3 hours, because the gel constituent that the sanitary pads contain these days, are very bad if they remain in contact with your genital area for a long time. One option for safe and biodegradable sanitary items would be Nurture Sanitary Pads, that is 100% natural and chemical-free.

Nurture Sanitary pads and panty liners available in India are being used by women regularly now because they are cheap, easily disposable and chemical free, thereby preventing any type of infection which can be placed in the beautiful cotton canvas with gadda cloth Ecofemme travel pouches.

The Ecofemme pouches are your best friend during travels because you can now take the sanitary napkins out, without having to feel ashamed of carrying it in your hand. These pouches are made up of sturdy material that can hold 2 napkins at a time.

Just as much necessary it is to perform a skin care routine each morning or night, and to use all the luxury skin care products on your face and rest of the body, it is equally crucial and essential to maintain your personal hygiene

Buy best natural personal care products online at www.naturalmantra.com