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The Health Benefits of African Black Soap

By Nicole Gordon

Black soap, or African Black Soap, has been used for generations as a natural remedy for acne, eczema, body odor, and to alleviate oily skin. Its many uses include using it as a body soap for cleansing or lathering and using it as a shampoo–all with the main goal of using a natural product to keep skin looking its best.

History

  • Natural black soap originated in West Africa. Alata Samina, as it is called locally, is typically a combination of the cocoa pod (husk), plantain skins, coconut oil, palm oil and essential oils. Used for generations, black soap and its benefits have been a staple for the relief of skin blemishes and everyday hygiene. Although its roots are in Africa, black soap is now sold across the world and on the Internet, used by people of all backgrounds.

Identification

  • Natural Black Soap is a brownish/black color and soft to the touch. Because it’s natural and unscented, it has more of an earthy scent, which is also beneficial for skin types that are irritated by fragrance. According to http://www.info-ghana.com/black_soap.html, it’s the only soap in the world that does not require lye but lathers more than any other soap without the cancer-causing laurel sulphate.

Uses

  • This multipurpose, all-natural soap is used for issues ranging from rashes to dandruff. Although it’s most commonly used to keep skin blemish-free, other uses include as a shampoo, body soap and face wash.

Benefits

  • Natural black soap works for all skin types, from rough to sensitive, and is said to keep skin smooth and hydrated–but without increasing oily skin for those prone to it. It helps work against premature signs of aging and wrinkles, alleviates bumps and spots, is great for removing makeup, and is good for deep cleaning without drying out or irritating skin.

Warning

  • Black soap should never be all black in color. If you come across a product on the market that claims to be “natural” black soap and it’s not brown in color, it’s dyed and therefore doesn’t have the same benefits as natural black soap. Additionally, the fake black soap is hard in texture, whereas natural black soap is soft. The fake soap doesn’t contain all of the natural ingredients and can stain clothes.

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

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The healing power of touch

posted by Nazia Mallick

Touch is the first sensation we feel when we come into this world. A child’s mental, emotional and physical well-being initially depends a lot on a tender touch. Doctors insist on a newborn baby being placed immediately on the mother’s bosom to feel her heartbeat and to experience the gentle touch of her arms around the body. This helps the child gain a profound sense of security and it later helps in developing their self-esteem, as an adult.

Touch is a very important sensation for human beings to gain a sense of healthy emotional responses later in life. Every child learns the sensation of love and tenderness first with his mother’s touch. Even plants and animals respond to touch. They grow well, feel nurtured and cared for when they are touched. We bring animals into our homes and call them pet. The word pet is all about petting, touching, indulging and caring.

Touch is the nourishment for our soul. Touch releases the endorphins in the brain and essentially helps us feel good.

Ever wondered how a quiet touch conveys a lot to a grieving person than many words of solace? Personally speaking, I feel absolutely at loss with words when I come across a grieving person. I feel that how could words, no matter how right they are, calm the heart torn asunder with grief? However, I have found on few occasions that just placing a quiet hand on the shoulder or gently caressing the hand of a person broken down with emotional pain, calm the sobs to a great extent. It sends across the silent message that you care and empathize with them in their pain. I have experienced that they almost always become quiet in their wailings and give in to a more healthy response of shedding quiet tears. And Psychologists say that to give yourself the permission to cry heartily is to bless your body with the benediction of healing. When a person is frozen with grief and shock, a touch brings on the healing response. They begin to cry, and it lifts them off the dry rocks of their sudden distress.

Touch calms anger, grief and aggression. It brings on healthy tears, stops unchecked and hysterical tears and helps a person gain a balanced perspective on many difficult situations. No words are required when touch is used to convey messages of compassion.

It is observed that more often than not those who are acting hysterical respond to a quiet touch. Though, generally speaking, we as people stay away from such a person. Feeling that they might react violently, but unless a person is medically declared a psychotic, most aggression changes into quietness with a gentle touch.

We all are inherently programmed to receive and give touch to each other. Without touch, relationships fail to blossom, not just among lovers, but between parent and child too. We all know how a crying child responds instantaneously to the touch of his mother and become quiet immediately. How we are told to hug our children to help them grow into emotionally healthy and caring persons in life. Most failing marriages lack the right touches and need a right touch to set it right!

Often when Psychoanalysts talk about troubled childhood and children having grown up with baggage that are at times too hard a burden to carry for their inner world, it is about the lack of proper nurturing and touching as children. Often neglected by a distant father and unloving mother the boys grow up without love and affection for a woman and are unable to commit fully to other relationships in their lives later.

Without getting into the convoluted discussion of troubled childhood and its impact on an adult, lets just sum it up and say that it is the lack of touch, hug and caress in the childhood that creates an intense sense of separateness in a child and they grow up feeling a deeply disturbing loneliness almost all through their lives.

Mother Teresa discovered the power of touch when she said that more than hunger, poverty and physical suffering it is the lack of love, which make people die everyday. She used to touch the lepers and bathe their wounds with her own hands.

It is hard to be Mother Teresa as she was a noble soul, but we could all realize the power of touch and just give it out freely to our fellow human beings only to share with all humanity the feelings of brotherhood and equality.

Let’s, begin from home. Let’s just reach out and hug our child or our parent today, and watch that sunny beam spread on their faces, to warm the cockles of our own heart. Go touch.

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www.healingpowerhour.com

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

The Health Benefits of Coconut Water

The Health Benefits of Coconut Water

Coconut water benefits are pretty amazing, it is a very pure liquid second to water, so it is no wonder it will benefit you in your quest for looking younger.

This is definitely one of mother natures best drinks, it is a powerhouse of anti aging properties, and many celebrities are drinking it by the dozen, one in particular I have read about is Madonna.

The coconuts are picked unripe, so there is still liquid in them otherwise if they are allowed to ripen, the liquid inside will become part of the white flesh of the coconut.

The white part is used to make coconut milk; this is not the same as coconut water!

Coconut water’s electrolyte (aid in a number of vital bodily processes) content is very similar to human plasma, and therefore making it a fantastic sports drink, giving you oral re hydration.  This is a far better sports drink then the commercial one’s available.

Over the years, pure coconut water has also been used by doctors as an intravenous fluid, because it is completely compatible with the human body.

Coconut water can do so much for you it is absolutely amazing!  Combine this with the health benefits of water, and you are on a winning streak for looking younger.

It is rich in minerals such as; sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper phosphorus, potassium, proteins, vitamins C and B, glucose (a type of sugar found in the blood),  contains no fat, and despite its sweet taste it has no sugar.

Those who drink coconut water on a regular basis usually have a smooth and lovely complexion, and considering how good this stuff is for you, it is no wonder!

Coconut Water Health Benefits

  • helps promote weight loss
  • boost your immune system
  • fight viruses
  • boost poor circulation
  • aids digestion by removing toxins
  • boost thyroid health
  • keep body at proper temperature
  • carry nutrients and oxygen to cells
  • help break up kidney stones
  • great for liver problems such as hepatitis
  • reduce urinary problems
  • helps eliminate swelling in hands and feet
  • good for burns
  • good for hangovers

Drinking pure coconut water on a regular basis will help to reduce wrinkles and sagging skin, giving strength and elasticity to the skin.  Something we all want as we get older.

History and folklore (circulated by word of mouth, beliefs, and legends) say coconut water has incredible healing powers, which is now being confirmed by medical research and clinical observation.

Coconut water is a common ingredient in beauty products used for hair and skin.

Other Health Benefits of Coconut Water

  • Coconut Water is an Antibacterial. Coconut water contains monolaurin, an antiviral, antibacterial and antiprozoal monoglyceride that is used to kill lipid-coated viruses such as HIV, Herpes, cytomegalovirus, flu and various pathogenic bacteria.
  • Coconut water is great at reducing vomiting. People who have typhoid, malaria, fevers or other ailments that are known to induce vomiting drink coconut water to settle the stomach. As such, coconut water is also a good thing to drink during a hangover.
  • Coconut helps in keeping check over urinary infections. It is very effective in treating kidney and urethral stones.
  • Coconut water is very effective in treating intestinal disturbances in infants. It kills intestinal worms.
  • Making coconut a part of the daily diet is recommended for those who have been troubled by kidney stones. When taken along with mediation, it helps break up the stones, making it easier for the body to push them out.
  • For all those people who are trying to lose weight, drinking coconut water would prove quite useful. This is because the drink increases the rate of metabolism, thus aiding weight loss.

Where to Buy Coconut Water

You can purchase coconut water from your local organic grocery store, health food store or online. Coconut water health benefits are definitely worth it.

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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

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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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