...then it would benefit you to click the infographic to learn about the specific dangers, and follow this link to read my short article with some easy solutions!
High blood pressure, or hypertension, is a chronic and widespread concern. Stress, the narrowing or arteries, thicker blood, or anything that increases the pressure in your arteries can cause it. So many people suffer from it that sometimes it’s almost considered a natural part of aging. But it’s not. And it can often be prevented.
Yet, many prescribed medications and pharmaceutical solutions like statin drugs are notorious for causing their own sets of problems in both the short run and the long run.
The good news is that there are natural, healthier ways to lower blood pressure, and we’ll discuss some of those methods below. Exercise, diet, essential oils, and breathing can all have profoundly positive impacts on hypertension.
Exercise and Diet Options
A program of regular, moderate exercise is perhaps the fastest and most efficient way to relieve hypertension, with a great number of side benefits. Exercise reduces hypertension because it promotes a healthy heart and circulatory system, as well as enhancing your body’s use of oxygen. The more efficient your circulation, the better your quality of life will be. More importantly, NOT treating high blood pressure leaves you at increased risk of heart attack and stroke.
One of the simplest – and tastiest – ways to relieve high blood pressure is to change your diet. Why is it the tastiest?
1. You get to consume more total fat --- of the healthy variety. You’ll be swapping red meat intake for delicious alternatives like wild – not farmed – salmon, poached or baked tuna, mackerel or herring at least three times a week (cooked or raw as sushi works great for any of these).*
2. Treat yourself to avocados! They are another great source of healthy fats that lowers LDL cholesterol, aka – “bad” cholesterol, which tends to worsen pressure in your arteries, and raises HDL cholesterol, aka – “good” cholesterol, which tends to help clear your arteries. Eat as much as you like! They’re also packed with vitamins. Here’s an external link with some delicious avocado recipes.
3. Eat more of your favorite fruits – aim for 3 pieces a day. More vegetables and ground seeds and nuts (in moderation) also help get better minerals into your system (besides table salt) like:
4. Beetroot juice was also shown in a recent study to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 7 mm Hg and 2 mm Hg, respectively. In the study, 250ml of the juice was consumed daily for 4 weeks. Pomegranate juice has also been shown to lower systolic blood pressure when consumed regularly.
5. Another recent study has shown that replacing other cooking oils with extra virgin olive oil (5 teaspoonfuls per day) reduced systolic blood pressure by 6 mmHg, increased good HDL cholesterol, and improved immune function in obese older adults in Boston, MA, USA over a 3-month period.
*Take a high quality multivitamin supplement and a fish oil supplement with high levels of the omega-3 fatty acids called “EPA” and “DHA” (look for at least 250-400mg per serving on the ingredients list on the bottle) to help make up for anything you’re not able to get through your diet.
There are many essential oils that can lower blood pressure, through a variety of applications. A relaxing aromatherapy massage is one of the most effective – and enjoyable – means of lowering both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Other means include using sweet marjoram, lavender, and/or ylang ylang essential oils. You can mix a drop of any of these into a small bit of cream and gently massage it into each wrist, or mix several drops of each in milk and add it to a bath. They help with hypertension and stress as well. Peppermint essential oil can also be applied locally in a cream to reduce blood pressure in local tissues (think: menthol).
Breathing and Stress Management
Finally, simple breathing exercises, such as those used in mindfulness, the 4 7 8 technique for getting to sleep faster, yoga, and other forms of meditation can all help reduce high blood pressure.
Please note that if you are currently on a prescribed blood pressure medication, you should not stop it without consulting your doctor first. If that medication is working well for you, then you don't have a problem. These methods here are all a part of complementary healing, which means they work together and work well with other methods that you may use on your road toward healing. Diet, essential oils, breathing and stress management are particularly good methods for reducing blood pressure in the present moment (when you do them). The more you use them, the more good, healthy moments you create for yourself. As you keep it up, you will find that those good moments outweigh the bad ones, and you will have successfully shifted the balance in favor of healthy blood pressure, instead of against it. This is a natural result of managing stress levels and living this healthier and more attuned lifestyle.
This third segment in the “Get to Know Your Products” series covers a few choice ingredients from the Revitanail Nail Strengthener, a popular requested beauty product, in particular here in Australia. In this series, we’re looking at common but harmful ingredients that are likely to be found not just in this product but indeed in many general beauty and cosmetics products, with an eye toward understanding just what they are and what makes them so harmful to our health.
Toluene – Toluene, also known as benzene or methylbenzene, is used as a petrochemical solvent in a number of products, including nail varnishes and polishes. Toluene is strongly neurotoxic, and exposure is associated with serious long-term health consequences. Inhaling toluene in large doses can even lead to death. Exposure to toluene during pregnancy can cause developmental damage to the unborn child. In smaller doses and quantities, damage to the kidneys, dizziness, drowsiness, irritation to the skin and eyes, fatigue, headache, suppressed appetite, lack of energy, and depression have all been observed. It has also been tentatively linked with blood cancer risk, including lymphoma.
Butyl Acetate - Butyl Acetate, or N-Butyl Acetate is another solvent used in nail care polishes, varnishes and strengtheners, but its list of negative consequences is less intimidating than toluene. Butyl acetate is only associated with skin irritations, including to the eyes, skin, lungs and any areas with mucous membranes. (That’s all, right?) Butyl acetate vapours can also cause dizziness or nausea when inhaled, which is problematic since this is often used as a fragrance ingredient!
Formaldehyde – As if the previous ingredients weren’t bad enough, formaldehyde is the one of the most common and most harmful ingredients – and contaminants – commonly found in skincare products. It is a known, strong carcinogen (i.e. - causes cancer) based on well-established studies in animals – and emerging studies in humans. Nasal and nasopharyngeal cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, and leukemia are among the cancers it has been linked to. This chemical can also cause allergic dermatitis on contact. In Europe, regulatory health protections limit formaldehyde concentrations to 1/5 of 1%, with a specific warning required on the label if a product contains more than .05%.
Despite these clear and obvious dangers, this and many other chemicals are either not regulated at all, or are very poorly regulated. The chemicals are used and processed because they are cheap and no one is stopping them. The industry itself that makes your products won’t address this until they have to. Until laws are available that effectively protect you from these products, the only way to fight these companies is to use your purchasing power to SAY NO to these products and these terrible chemicals and chemical residues.
Appearance is a priority for everyone in today’s demanding society. But looking attractive and maintaining one’s body isn’t easy. People use weight loss programs, diets, and many other regimes for this purpose. Though some of them succeed, many others do not, and a lot of the chemical or surgical methods can come with serious side effects. Now is a better time than ever to explore powerful, quality solutions from nature – essential oils. These oils can work by themselves or serve as an excellent complement to therapies you are already using. They help burn fat, reduce appetite, balance mood, improve metabolism, boost digestion, and flush out your system – all without harmful side effects.
Essential oils are among the most powerful plant-based treatments available. When used as part of a holistic approach, they have an even more profound impact on our health and can help us recover from many troubles including spiritual or emotional strain, underlying health problems, immunity issues and more.
1. Grapefruit Essential Oil
Grapefruit essential oil is one of the most popular oils for suppressing appetite, preventing water retention, improving body energy and eliminating cellulite. Grapefruit helps to detox and cleanse your body and digestive organs and also assists with lymphatic drainage. For these purposes, it can be used in two ways:
Mix 1 or 2 drops of grapefruit essential oil with one glass of water; ensure that you have bought a good quality essential oil that is intended for internal use. It effectively flushes toxins out of your system, helping your body function more efficiently and assisting with weight management. It is more effective when used in morning.
You can mix a few drops of grapefruit essential oil with a teaspoon of a carrier oil of your choice like coconut or apricot kernel oil, and massage areas where fat has accumulated for approximately 20 minutes. Rub the mixture on areas with congested lymph nodes - under arms, neck, under the chin, in front of the ears on the face, and on the belly area. This solution also helps remove stretch marks.
2. Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon, like grapefruit essential oil, can also boost your digestive health, suppress appetite, and improve hydration levels and energy in the body. This solution helps your body to fight against toxins that are stored within fat cells and stimulate the central nervous system. It can be used in any of three ways:
Take a cotton ball and spread few drops of lemon essential oil over it; slowly breathe the vapours especially before meals. It will help to reduce appetite and gently stimulate your mind.
Mix few drops of lemon essential oil with a teaspoon of carrier oil and massage it gently over fatty area of body; it will help clear away waste materials from your body that are usually stored in fat cells. As a bonus, lemon essential oil also accelerates old stretch mark removal and helps remove old scars as well.
Add one or two drops of lemon essential oil to a glass of water first thing in the morning. It will stimulate your digestion (especially with very small amount of organic honey or 100% pure organic maple syrup), and assist your kidneys with flushing out toxins that have accumulated over the course of the night. It is important to buy high quality food grade essential oil for this purpose.
3. Juniper Essential Oil
Juniper essential oil is another fantastic oil that works as a kidney tonic. It helps flush out toxins and has a pronounced diuretic effect. The best way to create this effect is to rub a drop of juniper oil mixed in a teaspoon of carrier oil over the area on your back where your bottom ribs are (this is roughly where your kidneys are), and over your belly area in general. Be sure you are near a bathroom within 1-2 hours after applying this, as the diuretic effect is quite strong for some people. If you have acute kidney problems like renal failure or nephritis, do not use this method, as the diuresis may be too stressful if your kidneys are already inflamed or have poor function. Never take juniper essential oil internally.
All of these solutions can be used daily, all mixed together or separately. If you apply the grapefruit or lemon oil externally, be sure you keep that part of your skin out of the sun for about an hour after application. Any questions? Ask away!
What is organic food exactly, and why is it such an “issue” these days? Well, the reality is that the concept of “organics” didn’t even exist a hundred years ago. Consider a few facts:
· At that time, a majority of people were still growing their own foods using the traditional methods that had sustained mankind for millennia.
· Current agricultural practices, which sacrifice food quality for the sake of quantity and speed, did not exist then.
· For the above reasons, most food produced at the time already *was* organic by default!
While the subject of nutrition and organic food is too large to cover in one article, I will endeavour to highlight some of the more salient points, especially for beginners.
What qualifies to be called an organic food?
Organic foods qualifications, in general, are lists of requirements that range from good and sustainable agricultural practices to the avoidance of many damaging agricultural inputs and chemicals. (It's the side effects from these chemicals that have driven many people to choose organic foods.) The exact standard that applies in your area will depend on your country, state (if applicable), and the associated regulatory authorities. In most countries where this standard exists, including the United States and Australia, "organic" food is a food product where:
Health effects associated with consumption of non-organic foods
The chief health concerns surrounding conventionally produced meat and produce arise from the chemicals and chemical residues (or in the case of meat, antibiotics and growth-accelerating hormones). These are toxic chemicals, and they have variously been associated with the following:
Benefits of eating organic foods
There are many direct and indirect benefits of eating organic food. In short, they include:
Benefits of eating organic food go beyond the individual person’s health. Organic farming practices have a positive impact on the environment as well as on the plants and animals on earth.
Before today’s agricultural practices became commonplace, most food produced in our farms and ranches already *was* organic. Conventional agriculture now uses substances that destroy the delicate environmental and ecological balance required for us to produce food in a sustainable and healthy way. We also risk consuming large amounts of pesticide and other contaminants that affect our metabolism, our hormones, and really everything about our health, and the proof is in the pudding. When scientists study food chains (e.g. - plankton --> anchovies --> tuna --> sharks, etc), it is a common understanding that problems anywhere in the food chain affect all the animals further up. The same applies to human beings. Because we are at the top of the food chain, we MUST take care of our environment that sustains us, otherwise, it’s not anchovies or chickens or plants that suffer the most — it’s US.
James L Poole
I am a holistic health therapist: Emmett Technique practitioner, aromatherapist, nutritional therapist, and Reiki healer. This is my blog about natural healing. For more frequent updates, please check my Facebook group page.