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Endocrine Disruptors

I have been researching a lot about endocrine disruptors the last few years. The information is incredibly upsetting, but I am trying to take heart. Although we may feel powerless when it comes to the rule of money over health, there are steps we can take towards detoxifying our homes, bodies, and communities. The first step is knowledge.

What is an endocrine distruptor?
An endocrine disruptor is a synthetic chemical that enters the body and disrupts the natural processes of the endocrine system by mimicking or blocking hormones, or otherwise disrupting the endocrine system. The endocrine system is responsible for the production of hormones, resulting in the immense and complex actions they have in our bodies. Xenohormones are the synthetic chemicals that that have the ability to act as hormones in the body to produce physical responses.
Nowadays, endocrine disruptors are found in thousands upon thousands of products that people are exposed to on a daily basis, through the air, food, water, plastics, pesticides, personal care products, and more. Regretfully, if you live anywhere on this planet in this day and age, your body has absorbed a huge number of these toxins. They can cause an incredible number of problems and diseases- anything from mildly irritating allergies, to ADHD, obesity, cancer, and death.

What can you do to detoxify and protect yourself, your family, your community?
People are especially susceptible to the effects of endocrine disruptors when they are in the womb, through childhood, and adolesence. A person can develop issues in adulthood from even small amounts endocrine disruptors they were exposed to while in the womb.
Exercise and sweat regularly. Exercise keeps things moving and flowing through and out of the body. Reducing body fat if you are overweight is key because toxins can accumulate and store in fat cells. Sweat releases toxins.
Eat organic, whole, local, unpackaged, unprocessed foods. Meat and dairy have especially high levels of contaminants- reduce consumption of these and choose only organic, local, and fresh. Eat a variety of organic and fermented foods high in phytoestrogens.
Drink lots of pure, clean water. Do not drink water bottled in plastic. Do not drink tap water that has been contaminated with fluoride, chlorine, or other toxins.
Do away with plastic. Consider buying 100% glass and natural rubber containers for food leftovers- well worth the investment. Think of alternatives to plastic toys. Simply don’t buy things in plastic. Slowly but surely, take steps to eliminate plastic from your home.
Use only 100% natural care products. Don’t use commercial products that contain toxins, which happens to be true of almost any big company, including ones that market themselves as “natural”. Use natural cleaning solutions, throw out the make-up, and instead use personal care products you make yourself or buy them from someone you trust who does. Empower yourself and your family by learning to make things yourself.
If you can, think about planting your own organic garden, and/or restoring some of the local area back to its natural state. Remove trash, learn about organic permaculture gardening, forget the lawn mower and chemicals, and thank the earth you live on.
Learn about herbs and foods that can help you detoxify and stay healthy, and incorporate them into your life.
Educate yourself, and then also educate others in a gentle and kind way.

Further reading:
Hormone Deception, by Lindsey Berkson

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Oh, My Head! A simple headache run-down

Headaches, I have noticed, often stem from a need related to personal boundaries and stress. Before treating a headache, I think it’s important to identify the source of the physical reaction, whether it is physical, emotional, or spiritual. These parts of ourselves are equally important to pay attention to and address in order to bring about a healed situation.

Common Causes

Stress. We all know this one, but it’s still a huge problem in our fast-paced, work-oriented lives. A stress-related headache is your system taking the situation into its own hands to put up the boundaries, and an attempt to forcibly stop you from trying to please the world and take some time for yourself. If you get regular headaches from stress, look at what you can change in your life that brings you stress. Often stressors are hidden in things we have accepted as a part of our lives, and we don’t even realize the amount of stress and damage they are doing to us. Make it a goal to be less stressed (through taking actions, not just thinking about it!), and you may want to consider taking some adaptogenic herbs over time to help you transition to being a calmer, more centered person. Adaptogenic herbs are those that help the body adapt to stressors and respond in a calmer way. Each adaptogenic herb has secondary actions as well, and some of them work better when combined with other specific herbs, so it is important to understand the herbs and the condition fully before just going out and buying them all to solve your problems. Examples of adaptogens are jiaogulan, holy basil, ashwagandha, reishi, eleuthero, rhodiola, schizandra, maca, and many others.

Hormones. Fluctuating hormones can cause headaches and migraines, especially in women in connection with the hormonal changes during the menstrual moon cycle. While this factor is mostly physical, I feel it is also our spirit’s call for the red tent. Taking time out to rest, take a bath, journal, do art, drink tea and other quiet, gentle, self-nourishing activities for one to three days a month is something our culture is sorely lacking. Stress also has been shown to have the effect of dysregulation on the endocrine system. Xenoestrogens, foreign estrogens that attach to our estrogen receptor sites, may also play a role, as it has been demonstrated that a high baseline estrogen in women may cause a steeper drop in estrogen premenstrually, triggering migraines. Eat a diet high in phytoestrogens (plant estrogens such as is found in whole soy and other foods) and beneficial bacteria (found in fermented foods such as miso, homemade saurkraut, and sourdough) to protect yourself, and avoid exposure to xenoestrogens (found in many products such as deodorants, “feminine hygiene” products, plastics, pesticides, cosmetics, etc- educate yourself and read the labels!) as much as possible. Xenoestrogens are toxic and carcinogenic and you should avoid them anyway! Noticing and reducing trigger foods, commonly coffee, sugar, msg, canned meats, alcohol, dairy, and others, can also help tremendously for some women. Hormone-related headaches and migraines can be difficult to understand and treat. Again, herbs are specific, but here are a few examples that are used for hormonal modulation, PMS, migraines, and moon cycle-related headaches: vitex, motherwort, feverfew, butterbur, lavender, jamaican dogwood, ginger, and many adaptogens, listed above.

Illness. Again with the boundaries and stress. Stress inhibits the immune system response, and, both over time and immediately, weakens it. If you feel yourself coming down with something, notice your stress levels and see if you can modify it immediately. Take a “mental health” day, eat nourishing foods, drink lots of water, and lock your door against illness by taking virus-busting herbs such as ginger, garlic, elderberry, turmeric (combine with black pepper to increase bioavailability), rosemary, and hyssop. Breathe in anti-microbial essential oils such as eucalyptus, lavender, and rosemary. Killing the cause should kill the headache. For building the immune system long-term, consider astragalus, jiaogulan, echinacea, and medicinal mushrooms like maitake and reishi, and reduce general stress levels.

Dehydration. Often a simple cause of headaches is we have forgotten the water who mothered us. Drink more water with a grateful heart, and with an effort to drink clean water that has been purified of chlorine, fluoride, and other toxins, and not bottled in plastic.

Nutrition. Don’t skip meals. Eat small amounts often. Eat an organic, varied diet of nourishing whole foods. Avoid processed “foods”, additives, colorings, preservatives- anything artificial or excessively manufactured. If you struggle with eating issues, think about what might be causing it. Do you have enough time to make healthy foods and eat in a relaxed way? Is your digestive system healthy? Take three deep breaths before you eat. Having the body in a parasympathetic or relaxed state is physically necessary for proper digestion. Starting with a bitter food, such as greens, or taking a bitter herb like gentian, stimulates and activates the digestive juices. Digestive tonics and carminatives, such as fennel, ginger, rosemary, peppermint, lemon balm, pepper, basil, caraway, and chamomile, are excellent herbs to try if you easily have an upset stomach. Often a cup of warm ginger tea is all I need in the morning to help me feel like eating and prevent a headache.

Allergies. Environmental and undiagnosed food allergies are a common cause of regular headaches. If you think this could be a causing factor, I encourage you to try eliminating likely food allergens (dairy, sugar, gluten, etc) for a month and then slowly add one back into your diet at a time. Mast cells get overloaded and cause allergic reactions typically after you have tried the food again a few times, so eat the suspected food many times over the course of a week before marking it safe and adding in another potential allergen the following week. This process is not easy, but it has turned around many people’s lives and improved their quality of life tremendously!

Sleep. Make sure you are getting enough sleep! Most of us aren’t. Allot enough time for a good amount of sleep, at least 8 hours. If you have trouble sleeping, identify the reason. Probably stress. In addition, make sure you are getting enough magnesium, and are not exposing yourself to too much light before bed and while sleeping. Herbs that help sleep and relaxation are lavender, california poppy, valerian, hops, chamomile, and many more. Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) can help stop cyclical thinking that can keep you up at night.

Pharmaceuticals. Often a side effect of taking pharmaceutical drugs is headache. Another common side effect is death. Every person’s needs and situation is unique. If you can treat things naturally by all means do, and if you can’t, do what you have to do. If you are taking drugs, make sure you research any herbs you might consider taking, for possible interactions VERY well in addition to consulting your doctor. Some herbs and even foods can increase the potency of the drugs or have other ill-desired results when taken with drugs.

Exercise. Make sure you are getting enough exercise and are stretching often! Headaches can result from compression and stagnancy in the blood, muscles, bones, joints, and organs. Regularly exercising and stretching gets fresh oxygen and energy moving through the body.

So there’s my run-down on headaches for now! Hope this helps someone. Please message me if you have any comments or questions! Thanks for reading.

Herbal Honeys and Elixirs

Herbal honeys are a delicious way to take herbal medicine. Infuse the herbs in the honey by putting the two together and heating very gently on a warm setting for a few days, or during the summer simply put the jar in a sunny window for a couple months or so. The sun method is preferred, as it maintains more of the honey’s natural raw medicine, but you can’t do this with herbs that have too high of a water content or they may not last long enough to infuse properly. Cold infusions are also popular, where you just let the herb and the honey infuse over time without any help from warmth. When the honey has noticeably changed color, scent, and flavor, strain out the herbs and there you have your herb-infused honey medicine. If you use raw, unfiltered, local honey the benefits will be increased. To make an elixir, I blend tinctures (herbs infused in a solvent such as wine, vodka, glycerin, and/or raw apple cider vinegar), herbs, and medicinally infused honey.
If you are interested in buying herbal honeys or elixirs from me, I am happy to make a blend especially for your needs. I use local, raw, and unfiltered honey. Let me know what you are interested in and what kind of amount you’re looking for, and I’ll let you know what options are available. I really enjoy making medicines from the earth and sharing them with people. Elixirs come in 1 oz dropper top amber bottles for $12. I have a few sizes available for pure honeys, and prices vary by the type.

Currently available:

Honeys:
Organic Ginger
Organic Turmeric
Elderberry
Lavender
Osha
Pine ($15/4oz jar)
Goldenrod ($10/4oz jar)
Elecampane ($13/4oz jar)
Hibiscus ($13/4oz jar)

Honey-Alcohol/Vinegar Elixirs ($12/1 oz bottle w/dropper):
Calming Lavender Honey Elixir ($11/oz)
Osha Root Elixir
Spicy Turmeric Anti-inflammatory Elixir
Love Potion

And more

Click Here For Ordering Information


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***Legal disclaimer***

Everything on this website is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to make claims about herbs or products, diagnose, or treat any illness, injury, or health issue. Always consult with a qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any problem.


Natural Deodorant Recipe

 

This is awesome- and works! So please, I encourage you to dump the toxins from your home and underarms, and give this recipe a try!

Equal parts of Coconut Oil, Baking Soda, and Arrowroot powder (available at health food stores, sometimes at regular supermarkets, and online- you can also use corn starch)
Essential Oils- You can make your own blend if you like, just do some research and include an anti-bacterial essential oil. Some favorites of mine include lavender and patchouli, cedarwood and lavender, ylang ylang and orange, and eucalyptus.

Optional added ingredients you can use to help the consistency, if you would like it creamier: cocoa butter, shea butter, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, and/or beeswax. Melt the beeswax down with a little of the liquid oils, let cool, and mash it into the mix.

I let the coconut oil sit out unrefrigerated so it is very soft and easy to work with- but do not heat it. I blend all the ingredients, working them together with a fork. I put the bowl in the freezer for about two minutes, then take it out and pack the mixture into tins. Then I put it back into the freezer, and let it solidify overnight. Voila! Hand apply. It works fantastically, I have yet to hear from anybody that it doesn’t work for them!

Eucalyptus

Princess Jewelweed

Lately I have been in a deep amour with Princess Jewelweed. Such beauty, such charm, such cheerful disposition! This plant grows where she’s needed- if there’s poison ivy about, it’s likely the Princess is there too to help you out should you need it. In the summer, jewelweed has very pretty, small orange or yellow flowers, and sometimes grows taller than I am. If you need to harvest some, just take a sprig, and let the plant live so others may enjoy jewelweed too. If you have a bug bite, or have been exposed to poison ivy, and have access to jewelweed, take some leaves or stem (flowers work too but I like to let them stay and bring more beauty into the world), crush it up and apply it to the area. In my experience, it helps a lot with the swelling, itching, and other reactions, in addition to being an excellent poison ivy rash preventative.

I make a jewelweed soap and salve/ointments.

Click Here For Ordering Information

Jewelweed Soap
Especially good for poison ivy. Wash with this after exposure to poison ivy, poison oak, bug bites, stinging nettles, and other outdoor itches. We use this in my house as our shower soap all through the summer as a preventative- it’s also just a nice soap! $5/bar
Ingredients: Olive Oil infused with Jewelweed, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil (sustainably harvested organic), Aloe Vera Juice, Tea Tree Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, Calendula Petals, Oats.

Jewelweed Ointment/ Poison Ivy & Bug Rub
Apply this to skin before and after (washing first is a good idea) any possible exposure to poison ivy, poison oak, bug bites, stinging nettles, and other outdoor itches. Minimizes reactions, reduces swelling, and discourages mosquitoes and other bugs from taking a bite. Has a strong scent, most notably lemongrass! $7 for a 1.5 oz jar, $15/ 4 oz.
Ingredients: Jewelweed-infused Olive Oil, Beeswax, Jewelweed & Comfrey Tinctures, Aloe Vera, Apple Cider Vinegar infused with Jewelweed, Mint, Rosemary, & Lavender, Thyme-infused Sunflower Oil, Essential Oils of Lemongrass, Citronella, Geranium, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Tea Tree, & Cedarwood.
May also contain Plantain, Sage, Oregano, Marjoram, Basil.

Jewelweed Ointment

4 oz of Jewelweed Ointment

Jewelweed Soap before unmolding

Wrapped Jewelweed Soaps!

Bug Rub

Bug Rub report: Yesterday I went outside for two minutes in shorts. In that time, I got 12 bites. Today, I put the rub all over and I went out for an evening walk, in a short summer dress, in my forested neighborhood, past the reservoir and all around, for an hour and a half. The first hour I got one bite, on the front of my ankle- an awkward place that I may not have even covered. The last fifteen minutes of the walk, however, I suddenly got 3 bites on my bare leg. My walking partner (who was also rubbed, and in shorts) got one bite the entire time, on the top of his foot, which he also didn’t cover. So, I am going to add more essential oils and see if that improves it, make sure I get everything covered, and reapply after an hour. [Update: Went out again this evening (next day), 45 min hike, haven’t added any more essential oils yet- NO bites. Wow!] If you decide to test it out yourself, please, give feedback! No bug repellent is 100% effective, and of course, the chemicals “work” the best (but also may give you cancer and poison you and the environment). I feel that the minor effort of reapplying after an hour and suffering the occasional hungry mosquito that gets through is well worth it for the health of myself and the environment! Good luck!

Keep those skeeters off your skin!

Ingredients:
Coconut Oil
Beeswax
Apple Cider Vinegar
Plantain
Jewelweed
Mint
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Geranium Essential Oil
Lemongrass Essential Oil
Rosemary
Thyme
Sage
Vodka
Oregano
Marjoram
Basil
Lavender

Rub into skin before exposing yourself to them buggers!

Already have bites? Try my Faery Fire or Jewelweed Ointment to help that itching stop!

 

Happy Face Moisturizer

This is a wonderful moisturizer I make and use for my face. A little goes a long way. You only need a tiny dab, spread it evenly over your skin, rub it in well, and let it soak in. It has an earthy and slightly floral scent. The essential oils used have all been recommended for acne-sensitive skin. Avoid eyes and lips. This jar typically lasts me 2+ months, used twice daily.

1.5 ounce jar $8.
Click Here For Ordering Information

Ingredients:

Essential Oils:
Lavender
Eucalyptus
Rose Geranium
Lemongrass
Patchouli
Cedarwood

Grapeseed Oil, infused with Bladderwrack
Aloe Vera, infused with Calendula Petals, St John’s Wort, and Green Tea Leaves
Vitamin E Oil
Vegetable Glycerin
Almond oil, infused with Calendula Petals
Corn Starch
Sunflower Oil, infused with Comfrey Leaves
Safflower Oil
Castor oil
Beeswax
Shea Butter