Dr Akilah – Celestial Healing Wellness Center

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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.

www.healingpowerhour.com

Herb of the Week – LAVENDER

Lavender, also known as Lavandula angustifolia, is one of the most widely used, versatile herbs known today. It is considered a member of the Labiatae family, which also includes mints and the plant originated in England, France, Tasmania, and Yugoslavia.

Lavender flowers have long since been used to treat digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and restlessness. Until World War I, lavender was used to treat and disinfect wounds. For centuries, English farmers would place lavender flowers in their hats to prevent headache and sunstroke. Women would place sachets of lavender in their closets and wardrobes for fragrance, in addition to using it in potpourri. Hospitals used lavender as an antiseptic and disinfectant to sterilize surfaces and equipment.

Today, lavender is used in much of the same way, for many of the same reasons. Both the flowers of the plant and the essential oils derived from the plant can be used for therapeutic uses.

According to the book The New Healing Herbs, the essential oils extracted from the flowers contain more than 150 compounds. Lavender essential oil is easily and quickly absorbed into the skin, and can be detected in the blood in as little as 5 minutes.

Today, lavender is most commonly used for anxiety, depression, mental exhaustion, insomnia, scrapes and wounds, digestive problems, headaches, skin problems and women’s health problems. In addition to this, lavender can be used to treat exhaustion, heat exposure, fevers, aches and pains, over-exertion, jet lag, rashes, sprains, sunburn, sunstroke, bruises and burns. It can also be used as a disinfectant and insect repellant. Lavender is an antiseptic, natural antibiotic, sedative, detoxifier.

Anxiety and depression. The essential oil of lavender has a calming, sedative, and anti-convulsive effect. It can also increase the effectiveness of other relaxants.

According to the Smell and Taste Foundation in Chicago, the scent of lavender increases brain waves associated with relaxation.

Commission E, the German counterpart of the FDA that regulates herbal remedies, also approves lavender for treating relaxation and restlessness.

Insomnia. A study conducted at the University of Leicester in England showed that the use of lavender essential oil is just as effective in promoting sound sleep as traditional medication. In fact, many British hospitals offer their patients lavender pillows to help with sleeplessness.

Scrapes and wounds. Lavender essential oil has very powerful antiseptic properties. Applying it to wounds can not only increase cell growth causing the wound to heal faster, but it also decreases the appearance of scars. The oils anti-microbial action protects scrapes and wounds from infection, while allowing them heal.

Digestive problems. Lavender has also been endorsed by Germany’s Commission E to treat all sorts of stomach and digestive disorders. It soothes the lining of the digestive tract and promotes the secretion of bile, which helps the body digest fats. In addition to this, lavender can also relieve gas pressure and constipation.

Headaches. Massaging lavender oil onto the temples, neck and forehead can relieve neck and head tension and promote relaxation, thus relieving a variety of headaches. Those included are general headaches, gastric headaches, nervous headaches, sinus and tension headaches.

Skin problems. By massaging lavender oil into the skin, it can be used to treat a number of skin problems such as acne, burns, dry skin, eczema, itchy skin, sunburn, seborrhea, and skin inflammation.

Women’s health problems. For pregnancy, lavender can help sooth and relieve flatulence and indigestion. It can diminish the look of stretch marks and scars. It can relieve cramps, edema, exhaustion, infection, breast abscesses, and post-natal depression. A study of lavender by British researchers suggests that using lavender oil during pregnancy and childbirth can help ease delivery pain and promote a speedy recovery.

By either adding lavender to the bath or massaging it into the skin, lavender can help relieve pre-menstrual syndrome, and menstrual cramps. It is effective in aiding the treatment of chlamydia, pelvic inflammatory disease, thrush, vaginal infections, inflamed vaginal tissue, vaginitis, cystitis, Raynaud’s Disease, breast abscesses, and cervical cancer. If being treated with radiation for any form of cervical or uterine cancer, lavender oil can prevent and diminish irradiation burns.

The uses of lavender are endless. Lavender is a must-have for all homes because of its calming, antibiotic, antiseptic, disinfectant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. It is good for treating or aiding in the treatment of a number of health problems.

By mixing lavender with water, it can be sprayed on surfaces and used as a household disinfectant, and applying it to the skin can deter insects.

According to the book The New Healing Herbs, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute believes that a particular compound in lavender, known as perillyl alcohol has been shown to exert remarkable action against a variety of cancer tumors in the breast, lung, liver, colon and pancreas. It is noted that currently, this particular compound is being tested as a possible cancer preventative, as well as treatment.

Applications and safety.

Lavender can be applied a number of different ways. It can be massaged onto the skin, placed in diffusers for inhalation, added to baths, added to vaporizers, and mixed with water or other substances for spray purposes.

Lavender is very potent and should always be used sparingly. The oil must always be diluted with water or a carrier oil such as olive, jojoba, avocado, or grape seed oil. Never place lavender oil directly on the skin without diluting it. Lavender flowers can be placed in sachets, potpourri, heat packs, ice packs and wraps. Lavender is safe for most anyone. The flowers remain effective long after they have dried.

To store lavender, both the oil and flowers should be placed in a dark, glass container, away from direct sunlight or heat.

Lavender is an extremely useful, beneficial and versitale herb. It can be used to therapeutically treat a variety of ailments, contains antibiotic, antiseptic, disinfectant, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, is safe for most all adults, has a pleasant aroma and calming qualities. Lavender is truly a must for every home and should become an excellent addition to the first aid kit.

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www.healingpowerhour.com

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

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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