Dr Akilah El – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

The Natural Health and Holistic World According to Dr Akilah El

Category Archives: Cosmetics

The Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel and Juice

Natural Home Remedies and Beauty Purposes of Castor Oil

By Marshall Warshack

You will find bottles of castor oil in health stores and maybe in your grandmother’s medicine cabinet. However, it behooves us well to own a bottle as well. Why? Castor oil, a very pale yellow liquid extracted from the castor seeds of Ricinus Communis, is one of the most useful plant oils. Castor oil comes in different grades and is used as food additives, in cosmetics, in flavorings, as a mold inhibitor and in pharmaceuticals. Castor oil has a long history of medicinal uses both internally and externally, treating conditions ranging from arthritis to genital warts. But it is not all old wives’ tales and grandma’s “cure-all.”  The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has categorized castor oil as “generally recognized as safe and effective” for over-the-counter use as a laxative and undecylenic acid, a castor oil derivative is also FDA-approved for over-the-counter use on skin disorders or problems.

Just what make castor oil such a health heavyweight? Castor oil is rich in Ricinoleic acid which exerts anti-inflammatory effects and is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal as well. In addition, its high levels of unsaturated fatty acids have antioxidant properties.  Like magic potion, you just need one bottle of castor oil– it yields many health and beauty purposes as listed below:

  • Beautiful skin

Is your skin dragging your appearance down with wrinkles and age spots? Age can get the better of you but you can get the better of the situation with this easy ritual: apply a thin layer of castor oil to face before going to sleep. Castor oil is a natural rich emollient and its molecular weight makes it easier to penetrate into the stratum corneum (a fancy word for the outermost layer of the epiderm). Dermatologists will tell you that a healthy stratum corneum makes healthy youthful looking skin. Do this religiously and earn top marks for beautiful skin. This ritual will also reduce appearance of age spots (brought about by sun damage and the aging process) and produce suppler skin.

  • Skin Infections

Castor oil’s antimicrobial properties are put to good use when you need to fight skin infections. Do you have abrasion, acne, dry skin, boils, warts, chronic itching, inflamed skin, sunburned skin or even stretch marks? Don’t despair—soak a cotton ball with castor oil and apply to skin in the morning and at night. If the area is small (for example a wart), soak a band-aid in castor oil before applying. Just that easy!

  • Beautiful Full Hair

How’s your crown of glory? Is it a source of pride or do you wish bald is the perennial fashion statement? If thinning hair is your problem, here’s help. Castor oil has the uncanny ability to encourage hair growth. Some even claim it can grow longer eye-lashes! While these claims are not based on solid scientific evidence, users of castor oil to promote hair growth have reported favorable returns for their hair diligence. If you’re thinking of using castor oil to bring back the glory, here’s how:

Since castor oil can be thick, dilute it with lighter oil like sweet almond oil or avocado oil. Apply to scalp, rub it in gently and wrap your hair with a plastic cap or towel. Leave it on for half an hour or longer. Shampoo off, making sure the scalp is clean. Repeat it once a week.

Another bonus to this castor oil routine–castor oil’s rich omega-3 fatty acids is a rich moisturizer and your hair will also look nourished and silky. Now, your hair can rival those shampoo girls you see (and may be envious before) in commercials. Move over!

  • Arthritis

Arthritis can get you down—sore joints, aching muscles and inflamed nerves can make you life miserable. Rub the misery away with some castor oil help. Because castor oil is anti-inflammatory, consider massaging sore areas with castor oil. Alternatively, use a castor oil pack. You can easy make this yourself or purchase a kit. To begin, make a castor oil pad—fold a flannel cloth 3 or 4 times over. Soak folded cloth with castor oil and placed it on affected joint or area. Cover the cloth with a plastic wrap and place a hot water bottle or heating pad over it. Leave it on for 45 minutes to an hour, once a day. To reuse castor oil pad, put it in a Ziploc bad and refrigerate.

Castor oil pack is also good for treating colds, cysts, flu and ulcers. Reputedly, it can also simulate liver, relieve pain, reduce inflammation and stimulate the lymphatic system. Yes, the wonders never cease….

  • Constipation

Not a pretty C word—in fact, if you ever had it—it’s convolution of your insides—got to go but can’t. FDA agrees that castor oil is a laxative and so, herein lies the cure—simply take a teaspoon of castor oil in the morning. Doesn’t sound too appetizing? Mix it with some orange juice, cranberry, prune juice to take away the bitter taste without compromising the laxative effects. Do not take it consecutively for 3 days—if it doesn’t help, it’s time to see your naturopathic doctor. Immediately!

  • Ringworm Treatment

Ringworm is characteristically marked with itchy ,red circular rash (hence the name) and it develops on the top layer of the skin. According to Mayo clinic, ringworm is a fungal infection (despite the name) and can be a stubborn condition to treat. Ringworm can also infect scalp and nails. Castor’s oil’s undecylenic acid is antifungal, which makes it an ideal treatment for ringworm. Rub castor oil on affected area and leave it overnight.

  • Eye Styes

When an eyelash follicle or an eyelid oil gland becomes blocked with excess oil, debris or bacteria, eye styes can formed. Eye styes can cause watery eyes, pain, tenderness, itching, redness, and sensitivity to light. It often appears as a reddish bump—not a pretty sight. To get rid of eye styes, apply a tiny drop of castor oil directly on stye 2 or 3 times a day.

This list is by no means complete but suffice to say, wow—castor oil can do all that? Yes, and more—castor oil not only promotes beauty but is a mighty force against certain medical ailments. However, always consult a doctor before self-medicating.

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The Health Benefits of Skin Brushing

The blog is related to our last week entry on The Benefits of Saunas and Sweating

The skin is the largest elimination organ, it is known to be responsible for 10 to 15% of total body elimination, and is sometimes referred to as the third kidney.

Dry skin brushing is a swift and powerful way to enhance the detoxification process . It’s easy, pleasant and yields tremendous benefits!

Not only does it improve the appearance of your skin by eliminating dead cells and helping new skin to regenerate, it also stimulates blood circulation, the lymphatic system, and greatly enhances toxin elimination.

In addition, the massaging effect of the bristles is known to be highly beneficial for eliminating cellulite.

Brushing the skin gently stimulates the lymphatic system and is considered to be one of the best natural lymphatic cleansers available.

The lymphatic system is composed of lymph vessels, lymph nodes, and organs. Part of the body’s defense system, the lymph nodes remove microorganisms and other foreign substances. They act as a filtration system that keeps particulate matter, such as bacteria, from entering the bloodstream.

Stimulating the lymphatic system through skin brushing will activate all of the above functions as well as encourage blood circulation and cell regeneration. Both actions promote detoxification, weight loss and cellulite reduction, as well as improve body tone and skin radiance.

I have been regularly brushing my skin for the last 2 months, in addition to my Detox Bath, and am genuinely amazed at the benefits I am experiencing. Not to mention that I’m really flattered by the compliments I am receiving on how healthy and radiant I look! My normally dry skin seems a lot more supple, I am eliminating better, and the cellulite lumps on my thighs and hips are now less visible…

All you need is a NATURAL bristle brush with a long handle or a loofah…and 5 minutes.

I start with brushing my feet –including the soles- moving upwards to the tighs, in small circular motions.

For the upper body part, I put one arm up and brush down towards my armpit and then move to the other arm. When brushing my torso I brush towards the heart. Brushing over the top of the breast I insist on the armpit, where there’s a concentration of lymphatic nodes. I finish off with small circular brushing around the neck and shoulders, avoiding the face where the skin is sensitive.

I then brush my abdomen from the left side to the right, and go around in circles to gently massage the colon. I insist on the hips and thighs as skin brushing is an excellent treatment for cellulite.

As a general guide, it is more beneficial to brush from the extremities towards the core of the body.

Always brush gently, and especially over the sensitive areas. In time, and with practice, your skin will become more resilient and endure more vigorous brushing. It is important to avoid brushing over bruises, cuts or irritated areas.

Dry Skin Brushing benefits are numerous and include:

  • Accelerating toxin elimination
  • Stimulating blood flow and circulation
  • Reducing Cellulite
  • Enhancing lymphatic flow
  • Exfoliation and removal of dead skin cells
  • Anti-aging through cell regeneration
  • Stimulating both the sweat and sebaceous glands, thus contributing to the restoration of moist, supple skin.

Brushing your whole body will take around 3 to 5 minutes. Always brush the skin when it’s dry, and follow with a hot shower to wash off the dead cells.

To complete a PERFECT detox, finish up with a Sauna Sweat or Detox Bath

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

The Health Benefits of the Saunas and Sweating

Sweating Toxins Out in a Sauna

The skin is the largest organ in the body and through the pores it plays a major role in the detoxifying process alongside the lungs, kidneys, bowels, liver and the lymphatic and immune systems. The skin produces cool sweat to regulate the body’s elevated temperature. It also has the ability to transform toxins from lipid-soluble or oil-based, into -easier to eliminate- water-soluble forms. Sweat carries toxins out of the body and flushes them through the pores.

Sweating is the body’s safe and natural way to heal. Scientists and doctors are finally acknowledging what our ancestors instinctively knew, that regular sweating restores good health through the elimination of toxins.

Therefore don’t take the sauna for a mere luxury if you aim to achieve and maintain good health. It is a necessity, and a very reliable way to help your body stay healthy by eliminating toxin surcharge.

Benefits of the Sauna

As we mentioned earlier, the skin is a major eliminative organ. Our modern lifestyle makes most people’s skin inactive. Many of us don’t sweat, especially during the winter months. Modern synthetic fibres or tight clothing that doesn’t allow the skin to breathe, can damage our skin and our natural ability for elimination, as does excessive prolonged sun exposure. A sedentary lifestyle also inactivates the skin.

Our skin is exposed to hundreds of chemicals during the course of our life, and is affected by them. From innocent bath products such as shampoos, shower gels, lotions and soaps to deodorants. Household cleaning solvents, detergent residues on clothes and chemicals from the bath or shower water also affect the skin.

Regular use of the sauna gradually restores the skin’s elimination ability. Sweating removes toxic chemicals and metals faster than other detox method. It is a good habit that pays many health dividends.

The sauna’s benefits are numerous. Not least because it is so relaxing and leaves your body soothed and your mind serene. It’s main advantage lies in the fact that it promotes sweating, helping the body to rid itself of toxins. It is also believed that exposure of the skin to heat stimulates the production of white blood cells and strengthens the immune system.

Other benefits of the sauna include:

  • Improved blood circulation: The sauna increases and improves the rate of blood circulation and breathing.
  • Weight loss: Sauna is similar to mild exercise, it burns about 300 calories per average session. Regular sauna treatments combined with a healthy diet and moderate exercise will help you lose weight and stay fit and healthy.
  • Skin cleansing: A profuse sauna-induced sweat followed by a shower cleanses your skin far more thoroughly than just taking a shower. It makes it soft and healthy with immediately noticeable effects.
  • Body relaxation: Stress build-up creates tension in the body manifesting in various aches and pains. The heat and humidity of the sauna diffuses the pain and relaxes tired muscles. A sauna in the evening will leave tense muscles and sore limbs totally relaxed. Sauna also temporarily relieves arthritic pain.
  • Mind relaxation: The sauna is essentially a place to relax. Regular sauna adepts all agree that it effectively helps relieve physical and mental fatigue and stress.

The sauna enhances circulation and oxygenates the cells, tissues and organs. It increases the body’s ability to produce energy, which promotes healing. At the same time, heating the tissues speeds up the metabolism. Your cells are gradually capable of eliminating toxins much more effectively.

Isn’t it time to indulge?

Accumulated toxins age the body because they prevent cells from regenerating efficiently. I recommend combining the sauna experience and skin brushing for effective daily detox.
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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

Foods That Fight Wrinkles

food that fight wriklesIf you love the white stuff — we’re talking sugar, folks — your sweet tooth could be making your skin sag, crinkle, and wrinkle before its time. Blame glycation. That’s what happens when sugar hits your bloodstream, gloms on to proteins, and forms the aptly named AGEs, oradvanced glycation end products. AGEs are bad news for your skin. They damage the collagen and elastin fibers that keep it strong and supple.

While scientists aren’t ready to say “sugar causes wrinkles,” docs know from observing people with poorly managed diabetes what out-of-control blood sugar does to skin — and it isn’t pretty. Bluntly put, it causes “premature” aging.

That should be extra inspiration to skip the cakes, cookies, and sugary drinks and fill your plate with wrinkle fighters. Here’s even more: There is plenty of scientific proof that certain nutrients help nourish the fibers that keep skin stretchy and healthy, says Manhattan dermatologist Amy Wechsler, MD, RealAge expert and author of The Mind-Beauty Connection. Step right up to the beauty buffet and serve yourself this way:

Lists of such foods are given below

1. Blueberries: These fruits are considered to be one of the good anti-wrinkling foods. They have natural fructose sugar and enough fiber which absorb the extra calories from foods. They contain phytochemicals known as flavonoids. It is powerful antioxidants which help in reducing the damage of cells.

2. Beans: Legumes like peas, beans are the best source of plant protein. They are high in potassium but low in sodium. Eating other whole grain foods like rice, wheat and corn provide the amino acids which complete the full protein cycle. It also helps in reducing the cholesterol levels.

3. Avocado: Avocado is a good source of Vitamin E and contain good amount of potassium in it which prevents aging. It also contains healthy monounsaturated fat which reduces the cholesterol in body.

4. Cruciferous Vegetables: Vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, radish, turnip helps to fight against toxins and cancer and also keeps your skin away from aging.

5. Omega-3 eggs: These eggs are produced by chickens that have been fed with alfalfa, corn, soy beans and flaxseeds. The presence of Omega-3 in eggs helps to keep the skin nourishes and also prevents heart diseases.

6. Tomatoes: This item contains a chemical known as lycopene. It reduces the skin cell damage and redness. A mix of some extra-virgin oil with tomato will help to absorb the lycopene further.

7. Sunflower seeds: These contains a lot of fat-soluble vitamin, Vitamin E. It prevents cell damage from free radicals. Application of Vitamin E oil also helps to prevent skin from damage of the sun rays.

8. Fish oils: Fishes like salmon and tuna are full of omega-3 oils which are necessary to maintain beautiful skin. Buying of distilled fish oil which is made of smaller fish such as anchovies and sardines are highly suggested since they contain low amount of toxic wastes.

Some other prevention can be taken like:

• Hydrating your body by taking a good amount of water or herbal tea during the day. Drinking water or watery fruits will also do.

• Avoid taking alcohol and coffee, since it makes the body dehydrated which is bad for anti-wrinkling issue.

 

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Akilah M. El, N.D. is a Naturopathic Doctor and board-certified Master Herbalist with a private practice in Atlanta Georgia and Berlin Germany. Join Dr Akilah El on Facebook and Twitter

 

For More Health Tips Like This Check Out Our Health Tips Page

 

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