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Eating Watercress is Anti-Ageing, an Aphrodisiac, a cure for Hangovers, and much more!

If you want to roll back the years, forget expensive creams and lotions! A recent study shows that adding one bag of watercress a day to your diet can improve your skin tone and reduce wrinkles! In the new study, 10 out of 11 female volunteers experienced visible improvements to their skin after just four weeks of adding one bag of watercress a day to their diet. One woman even managed to reduce her facial wrinkles by an incredible 39 per cent! Incredible, right? The majority of women also reported increased energy levels. During the trial, the volunteers made no other changes to their usual health and beauty regime. They were allowed to eat their daily quota of watercress in any way they chose – in salads, sandwiches, whizzed into smoothies or wilted into pasta, however it was not allowed to be cooked, only to be consumed fresh.

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Watercress usually grows along the banks of slow-running streams and rivers in Europe, Asia and America. It is characterized by its small, round leaves, with a pungent, peppery flavor. The small white flowers appear in flat clusters are called corymbs. The fresh, tender leaves of watercress have to be harvested just before flowering, because after flowering they become bitter and are no longer good to eat. The health benefits of watercress have been known since ancient days, when it was used as an aphrodisiac by royalty. Watercress has plenty of health and therapeutic properties. However, due to its strong, pungent and bitter taste, it is never used alone, but is always added to juices, salads or other dishes as an ingredient, flavor or garnish.

Benefits of Watercress: 

Anti-anaemic Effect: Watercress is particularly helpful in treating different types of anemia due to its high content in iron. Iron is essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin, and folic acid, which plays a key role in the maturation of red cells in the bone marrow. The right amount of vitamin C in watercress also makes better absorption of iron.

Anti-inflammatory Properties: Watercress is rich in vitamin C, which has an anti-inflammatory action and can help prevent or relieve the symptoms of cold, flu and other types of inflammation.

Anti-oxidant and anti-cancer Effects: Just as many other herbs, watercress is rich in anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidant substances help prevent or fight the damage caused by free radicals to body tissues, thereby contributing to prevent premature aging, as well as lower the risk of developing cancer and many other chronic or degenerative diseases.

Aphrodisiac Effect: Several historical sources show that watercress has been used for its aphrodisiac effect since the age of the ancient Romans and Persians. This could be due to its high zinc and iron content.

Blood Glucose: Although not definitely proven, it seems that watercress can help control blood sugar levels and prevent or treat high blood glucose. It is probable that the hypoglycemic effect of watercress is in part due to its high content in soluble fiber, that helps reduce the absorption of carbohydrates from the intestine. This effect is particularly helpful for individuals with diabetes.

Bone Health: The right proportion of calcium, magnesium, manganese, vitamins A, C and K in watercress helps promote and maintain healthy and strong bones.

Cough: The sulphur glycosides found in watercress have been shown to modify bronchial secretions and exert an expectorant effect, which can be used to treat many forms of chronic bronchitis.

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Digestive Function: Watercress does improve digestive function, due to its high content in vitamin C and fiber, which stimulate salivary and gastric secretions and the motility of the intestinal tract respectively.

DNA, preserve: In a laboratory test, it was found that daily consumption of watercress increase the ability of cells to resist DNA damages to lymphocytes (white blood cells).

Eye Health: The high content in phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin are potent anti-oxidants; together with vitamin A and zinc all in this herb help greatly improve eye health.

Hair Health: Watercress can be used topically to treat dandruff and prevent hair loss, due to its sulfur, iron, zinc and vitamin A content. The best results are obtained by rubbing the scalp and the hair with a watercress tincture.

Hangover: A hangover happens when the liver gets overloaded with toxic alcohol. Watercress juice is so concentrated with so much cleansing goodness that it activates the detoxifying enzymes in the liver for detoxifying a hangover.

Purifying Effect: Watercress has been used for centuries for its purifying effects. It enhances the diuresis and helps give the colon a good “spring-cleaning”, thereby effectively removing toxins from the body.

Skin Health: When used topically, watercress juice can be helpful in relieving skin eczema, as well as other skin conditions. Its high content of vitamin A and C best obtained by juicing are also beneficial for healthy skin.

Teeth: Chewing watercress makes teeth stronger. It also cures bleeding of the gum or gingivitis.

Thyroid Gland: The high iodine content in watercress can help prevent goiter, improve the function of the thyroid gland and relieve the symptoms of many forms of hypothyroidism.

 

 


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Oats for breakfast, sure! But Oats for healthy and glowing skin, even better!

A hot bowl of Oatmeal is a healthy and delicious start to the day, but Oats also have amazing skin benefits that we should be taking advantage of. And this wonder food is just what we need to add to our healthy, organic, green and sustainable lifestyle.

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Face Exfoliator:

Combine 1 tsp of ground oatmeal, 1 tsp of lemon juice, and 2 tsp of yogurt and apply to the face. This scrub tones and hydrates the skin.

Cleanser:

Oatmeal is great at removing excess oil and dirt from the body and face, thanks to the saponins it contains. Their cleansing and exfoliating properties make oatmeal a powerful ingredient in many face scrubs, cleansers and shampoos. You can also use ground oats to eliminate excess oil from your scalp, which will give you an extra day or two between washings. Plus, oatmeal has strong anti-inflammatory properties and can be used to relieve itchy, uncomfortable skin.

Hand Scrub:

If you have a sink drain that can handle the roughage, you can make an awesome hand scrub with oatmeal, honey and a dash of olive oil. You can add in your favorite essential oils to make it more fragrant, or just leave as is. It’s great for sensitive skin because it exfoliates gently.

Bath Soak:

Oatmeal, best known for it’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, is especially good for sensitive skin. It can be used in the bath for skin softening and very gentle exfoliation. Next time your skin is feeling rough from the harsh winds of winter, add a 1/2 cup of oatmeal to your bath with some lavender essential oil. Your skin will feel softer and the aromatherapy effects of the lavender will help you relax and rejuvenate.

Dry Shampoo:

Oatmeal works great as a dry shampoo as the oats absorb excess oil. Just rub some ground oats over your scalp and brush out the excess oats with a boar bristle brush. Voila, natural dry shampoo!

Hydration:

Oatmeal helps with hydration because it is rich in lipids. It locks in moisture and its proteins protect the skin’s barrier function.

Skin Reliever:

Oatmeal mixed with cool water can be beneficial for sunburn, windburn, redness, chicken pox, eczema and itchiness. Bathing in colloidal oatmeal (finely ground) can really sooth irritated skin.

Face Mask:

Oatmeal helps with acne because it contains ‘saponins’, which remove dirt from pores and are anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidants. Oatmeal is also very moisturizing due to the high level of healthy fat in it.

 

 


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What is Argan Oil and why is it such a popular beauty trend worldwide?

What is Argan Oil? Argan Oil is pressed from the nut of the fruit of the Argan Tree, which is only found in the semi-desert area of South- Western Morocco. The argan tree lives to be about 150 to 200 years old and does not start producing the fruit, which is smaller than apricots, until it is 30 to 50 years old. Because the tree is found only in a limited area, the oil itself is quite rare. Argan Oil is not made from a nut at all. Argania spinosa trees are fruit bearing, and Argan Oil is made from the kernel inside of the pit of the fruit. So this product is nut-free. The extraction of the oil from that kernel inside the fruit is done by hand is very time consuming. The fruit of the Argan tree is green in early spring and then turns gold and falls from the tree. At that point it is then picked up and opened. The outer layer of fruit is often given to local goats to enjoy and the pits are taken from the inside of the fruit. These pits are then allowed to dry in the marvelous Moroccan sun. Then the hard work begins. Each pit is cracked between two stones. The kernels are then removed, crushed in a mortar with a pestle, and then ground into a thick paste by hand with a stone quern. The paste is then squeezed to produce the oil. The solid part of the paste is used as animal feed or a type of soap.

Argan Oil

There are two varieties of Argan Oil:

Argan Oil for Culinary Use: One is for culinary purposes and the other is for cosmetic use. If the oil is to be used in cuisine, the kernels are roasted before grinding. This brings out the delicious nutty flavour in the oil. Roasted kernels produce a lot more oil than unroasted kernels. This is why culinary Argan Oil is less expensive than cosmetic version.

Argan Oil for Cosmetic Use: This is made from raw, unfrosted pits. It, too, has a bit of a green, nutty aroma when you first apply it, but that scent completely disappears within a few minutes. Beware of “deodorized” Argan Oil. The process used to take the aroma out of the oil is said to damage the miraculous abilities of pure, unaltered Argan Oil.

What do Goats Have to Do With it?

Morocco’s mountain goat, called the Tamri goat, eats the fruit of the Argan tree. The goats literally climb the tree to get to the nut. Goats find this fruit so delicious they are willing to climb the prickly Argan trees to get at it, sometimes even ten goats at one time! For a tree that only grows to be about 35 feet tall, that’s a lot of goats!

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Goats also damage Argan trees as they climb them in their quest for lunch. In the past, the pits from the goat’s droppings were cracked open and the kernels inside were pressed to make Argan Oil. The argan oil producers would then take the droppings of the goats, which had the seed completely undigested, and use that to produce the argan oil. While we’re sure that is still practiced today, some argan oil producers today are producing the oil, goat-free. The journey through the digestive system of a goat is not a necessary step in the process of making quality Argan Oil.

Argan Oil Beauty Benefits:

Argan Oil is the best beauty ingredient. Here are some easy ways to include argan oil in your beauty regimen.

  • Hair: Argan oil is a great product to calm frizzy ends, add moisture to dry hair as well as add a little shine. Apply to your hair while it is still damp for an all over treatment or apply just to your dry ends after your hair is dry.
  • Scalp: If you’re dealing with dry scalp, apply some argan oil to a cotton ball and dab your scalp with the oil. If you do this before bed, you’ll give the oil plenty of time to moisturize your scalp before you wash your hair in the morning.
  • Face: It might seem scary to apply a pure oil to your face, especially if you have sensitive skin, but it will become smooth, clear and radiant, all thanks to using argan oil as your daily morning moisturizer.
  • Body: You can use argan oil for a full body moisturizer, applying just as you would a body lotion or cream. Apply the oil right after you get out of your shower for best moisturizing results.
  • Hands: Argan oil is a great oil to use on your hands, especially on your cuticles and on your nails, if they are prone to cracking and peeling.

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Composition of Argan Oil:

Argan Oil is made up of unsaturated fatty acids, Vitamin E/tocopherols, squalene and sterols. Each of these components is unique and useful for different reasons. Some act as antioxidants, while others help with chronic inflammation. Some properties are even known for their ability to protect against skin cancer and for being anti-tumorigenic.


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Rains play havoc on your skin and hair!

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The onset of the monsoon is a welcome relief from the sweltering heat. Monsoons are good for our crops and we enjoy the fresh breezes and wet fun in the rains! But the, every silver lining has a cloud attached!

This season takes a toll on your skin and hair. Greasy skin, acne and hair fall are just some of the issues. During the rains the skin behaves differently and attracts more grime and dust than usual. Take some time off to exfoliate the face, body and feet. Here are some holistic solutions to your woes.

Get ready to glow this monsoon!

Hydrate: It is easy for the skin to get dehydrated during monsoons, so use a toner that will provide effective hydration. Use it every morning and evening for maximum effect, to maintain the natural pH balance of your skin. You need to be extra careful about cleansing your skin without stripping it of its natural moisture. Use a cleansing agent which is gentle and yet strong enough to remove all dirt.

Eat & Drink Healthy: Remember to nourish your skin from the inside too – eat salads blanched in boiling water to disinfect them, vegetable soup which will keep you warm and healthy and drink the usual 8-10 glasses of water. Your skin is always thirstier than you are!

Face masks:

Wash and clean your face daily and religiously with a gentle cleansing milk which is rich in antioxidants and also helps remove impurities and dirt from your pores. Use a face mask at least once a week depending on your skin type. Face masks help soothe the skin, get rid of inflammation issues and breakouts.

Exfoliate your face with a refining polish using gentle circular movements. For optimum results, concentrate on problem areas such as dry or congested skin.

Face refreshers provide an ultra relaxing and fresh clean up of the face for both men and women. They whisk away all the layers of dead skin that pile up during the sticky monsoon weather with the gentle but effective exfoliating scrub, toner and masks, which also have mild antiseptic properties.

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Rinse. Pat dry and use a serum/oil on your face and allow to absorb. Use a face mask all over face and neck and finish with your preferred moisturiser. Use a facial mist that soothes, moisturises and relaxes your face. They contain sunscreen, minerals, antioxidants or other ingredients that nourish and protect skin.

The biggest problem that your skin faces is combating acne due to open pores and high humidity. The solution? Good old Indian neem. Most international beauty products now come with neem extracts because it has good anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Look for skincare products that have neem as an ingredient, or simply make a paste out of fresh neem leaves and apply it to your face. Or you can even have a shot of neem juice in the morning.

Sunscreen

Don’t avoid sunscreen lotions at all during the rainy season. As long as there is daylight, our skin needs protection from UVA and UVB ray.

Hair Care

Don’t use too much of hair products and use only a mild shampoo and gentle conditioner for the hair. 
The weather can make the hair dull, flat and tangled.

Use hair serum the previous night and massage into scalp as well as the shaft. The next day wash hair with a mild shampoo and apply a hair mask in the shower and steam. Rinse.  In the meantime, use a body polish and exfoliate the entire body concentrating on dry areas.
· Good and effective cleansing using a volumizing shampoo twice or thrice a week is highly recommended as hair tends to go limp in this season
· Conditioning your hair becomes twice as important during this season. Don’t shun it if you have sticky hair, instead opt for a light conditioner that is suited for limp, oily hair
· Keep the scalp dry to avoid scalp conditions like fungal and bacterial infections, which are more prevalent during the monsoon
· If you need to blow dry your hair, apply a leave-on conditioner prior to it
· Go easy on styling during this season. Excessive use of hair gels and sprays will only cause further damage
· Take time off from your busy schedule and book yourself a hair spa therapy appointment
· Oiling once a week would help but make sure you wash your hair well as residue oil can attract dust and grime, which along with sweat, can cause dandruff and even scalp infections
· Keep your hair trimmed and short during the season
· Food for hair – milk and milk products, nuts, soya products

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Body Care:

At home spa ritual: It’s extremely important to keep the massage clean and dry and it is imperative that one uses chemical-free organic products.

Foot Care:
· Effective cleansing of feet is very important as they get exposed to lot of grime
· Do not forget to completely dry your feet so as to prevent fungal infections
· Avoid wearing boots as these hold water for a longer duration, creating a soggy environment for your feet

A weekly foot massage is good. Our feet bear the brunt of the season. Go for regular pedicures. Begin with a mint and lemon grass foot scrub followed by a pure aroma oil massage that provides a protective layer from germs and infections. The stimulation of blood and lymphatic fluid circulation keeps the feet and body healthier.

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So although the sky may carry a gloomy cast, you can brush off your skin woes, with a guarantee of beautiful, glowing skin and toss your healthy hair at the lowering skies!

Just sit back and enjoy the season!

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Summer brings refreshing news & natural goodness!

ImageSummer brings refreshing news & natural goodness!

It’s summer time and you’re itching to discard your jeans for shorts! But summer can be harsh on the skin and body so it’s important that you learn to take care of yourself.

Every season needs a particular type of body care. You need to follow health care tips as per the season. During summer there is lot of heat persistent in the atmosphere, thus we need to take body care accordingly.

BODY CARE TIPS FOR SUMMER SEASON – 

Skin Care & Clothes

1. The preliminary step for protection from sun’s heat is wear clothes that cover your entire body when you go out in the sun. This protects the body from excessive heat.

2. Wear light color cotton clothes that are loose enough to provide proper aeration. Light color clothes reflect the sun’s rays and reduce their intensity and harm due to the exposure.

3. Wear the cap or tie a scarf whenever you go out in the sun.

Sun Protection

4. You need sun protection to avoid tanned and dry skin. Sun damage can happen whenever you come in contact with harmful UV rays- if you go outside, be sure to use a high SPF sunscreen and reapply it frequently and liberally.

5. Do use safe sunscreen lotions to protect your skin from the ultraviolet rays emitted from sun.

Fluids

6. In summer excessive sweating is common so you are likely to suffer from rashes, rosacea, acne on the face as well as your back, tanning, prickly heat, hair damage, skin infections and sunburn.

Increase the amount of the fluids you drink daily as body needs a lot of fluid during the summer season as the body fluids are lost due to the prominent sweating due to the heat.

Diet

7. Eat a balanced diet as digestion problems are common in the heat. Drink a lot of fresh juices and eat fruit.

Sleep

8. Sleep well to keep your health up to date. About 7 to 8 hours of sleep is necessary during the summer season as it helps all the body processes to take place properly.

Enjoy your summer holidays safely, have fun and be happy & sunny!

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