Monday, December 28, 2015

Hangover Cure?

I've decided to repeat my post from a year ago. The information is still valid, important, and bears repeating. Have a blessed new year! 

It’s almost time for the New Year’s celebrations to begin.  While it is a time of celebration, for many, the celebration becomes a time of overindulgence with uncomfortable symptoms occurring afterward.  With alcohol, it is important to remember that over-consumption of alcohol causes dehydration and damages the liver, among other things.  The best advice is not to drink in excess at all.  For those who refuse that good advice, there are some precautions to take, and it’s best to prepare ahead of time.

Plan your way home. If you plan on drinking, use common sense and plan your way home so you are not driving. Have a designated driver, or take advantage of cabs or free rides offered at various locations. Get home safe without driving.

Drink up…the water, that is. Drink plenty of pure, high pH water before, during and after your party to avoid dehydration. pH water is important because alcohol is very acid-forming, making the body more acidic. The higher pH waters can help bring things back into balance.

B smart. Take stress B complex with vitamin C before going out, and again in the morning. Because alcohol is a diuretic, you lose these important water-soluble vitamins, which need to be replenished to support nerve, immune and overall health.  

Protect your Liver. Taking N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) prior to and after your party can help the body metabolize alcohol more efficiently and reduce the toxic effects.  NAC has been shown to provide a level of protection against a number of toxic substances including tobacco smoke, alcohol, and drugs such as acetaminophen. For extra protection, add standardized milk thistle extract is also important as it acts as a potent antioxidant to aid in protecting and cleansing the liver.  You can find some good detox formulas to get you through this time.

While these suggestions may help reduce hangover symptoms, I have to reiterate that over-consumption of alcohol is just not good.  It produces free radical damage, causes dehydration and damages the liver, among other things.  And should you choose to drink, please do not drive! Stay at a friend’s house or have someone else drive you home. The best advice is to enjoy the season and the celebrations, but not to drink in excess at all.  Keep it in moderation, and have a Happier New Year!   

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Aromatherapy: The Scent of the Season

The holidays are filled with many familiar and comforting scents…fresh baked bread, pumpkin pie, peppermint sticks, mulling spices,     
and the scent of a fresh cut tree decorated for the season. In addition to these scents, there are many other scents that can cause positive changes in the mood, mind and body. These scents come from essential oils, the concentrated aromatic oils of plants. These aromatic oils have been used since ancient times for the practice of aromatherapy, the use of essential oils for healing as well as for pleasing and satisfying the senses.

Through the sense of smell, aromatherapy stimulates the part of the brain that handles emotions and memory. Scent can affect mood and feelings, while at the same time causing physiological changes in the body.  Citrus and rosemary can help rejuvenate and refresh the mind. A Japanese study using citrus oil in and office setting found productivity increased. Rose is known for its pleasing scent, but it can also give an overall sense of well-being. Ylang ylang and lavender are scents that help relax, and lavender is the most popular scent studied for its positive benefits on sleep quality.

Essential oils are not only used through inhalation, but have external soothing and healing benefits for the body as well.  Essential oils are now found in numerous cosmetic formulations, including lotions, soaps, oral care products, shampoo, bath oils, and bath salts.     

Aromatherapy lends itself to numerous gift ideas for others or even for you during the holiday season. Single and synergistic combination essential oils are available, along with natural fragrances, carrier oils, diffusers, and candles. Books on aromatherapy and essential oils also make wonderful gifts. Aromatherapy products are gifts that are not only pleasing to the senses, but also thoughtful to a person's health. 

Essential Oil Recipe:

Sweet and Spicy Holiday Room Spray

This comforting, heart-warming blend will fill your holiday home with a scent reminiscent of baking spice cookies.

2 ounces water
28 drops bergamot essential oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 drops cinnamon leaf essential oil
2 drops cardamom essential oil
1  spray bottle

Place water and essential oils in spray bottle. Shake contents and mist the air throughout your home.

Recipe courtesy Aura Cacia