honey

Product of the Week

This week’s pick is Plant Bio-Active Serum by The Pure – Natural Skincare. This serum contains some of my favorite natural and nourishing ingredients all compliments of the marvelous honeybee — propolis, royal jelly and honey.

What I love about this serum (and serums in general) is that it’s light weight and quickly absorbed by the skin. The structure of the molecules in a serum is generally smaller than that of a moisturizer allowing the serum to penetrate deeper into your skin.

The Plant Bio-Active Serum can be used daily for all skin types including sensitive. You only need a couple of drops to cover your face and neck so the 1 fl.oz. ($43) goes pretty far. You can use this serum under your usual moisturizer for extra toning and texture benefits. Or, I like to use it as an overnight treatment and in hotter weather, as a daytime moisturizer.

Stay Well

Hi! How has your week been so far? Relaxing I hope. We just got back from New York where we had a great time with friends and family. I have to say that NY felt a lot colder than DC. Speaking of cold, it seems as though I caught one at the end of our trip, but I’m happy to say that I’m getting better very quickly. I wanted to share some of my favorite tips that I like to utilize when I’m feeling run down. I very rarely get sick so hopefully these tips will help you like they help me!

1.  Avoid processed  sugar – I do this on a daily basis, but I REALLY do this when I feel a cold coming on since sugar weakens the immune system.

2.  Soak your feet – Another thing I pretty much do daily. It’s such a relaxing and detoxifying habit. I add some of my herb soak salts to very warm water and let my feet soak for about 10 minutes.

3.  Moisturize your feet – After a foot bath is the perfect time to put a therapeutic balm on your feet and some nice comfy socks.  Some of my favorite balms to use include Buddha Nose’s  I Booster Salve and Waxelene (“The Petroleum Jelly Alternative” with SO many uses). I notice I always sleep especially well when I do this before bed.

4.  Sleep well  – There’s nothing like high quality sleep to help you overcome a battle with a bug. I think the advise of 7-9 hours seems about right, but everyone is different.

5.  Consume lots of hot liquids – Green tea, plain hot water with fresh lemon juice and homemade chicken soup are my favorites.

6.  Eat garlic – I always love to eat garlic, but I definitely up the ante if I’m not feeling well. Garlic is nature’s antibiotic.

7.  Have some honey – Another superb natural germ fighter. Add a teaspoon to tea for a sore throat or a tablespoon to the juice of one lemon for a natural cough remedy (see previous post).

8.  Oil your nostrils – It sounds weird, but it’s an excellent way to keep germs out of your nose. To prevent your nasal passages from getting dry just put a little olive oil or sesame oil on a Q-tip/clean finger and coat the inside of your nostrils. This is an especially good practice before traveling on a plane.

9.  Keep the heat down – I am very big on not putting the heat too high during the winter because I hate how it makes my sinuses feel dry/stuffy.  I prefer putting on another layer of clothing before cranking the heat up to anything above the low 70s.

 I really hope these recommendations help you during cold season and throughout the year. Be well! :) ~Annie

 

Quick Natural Fact: Honey

Honey, about 18% water, is a natural humectant, which means that when it’s applied to the skin it pulls moisture towards your skin and helps retain it.  Honey is beneficial to all skin types so consider its addition in beauty products a definite plus and don’t underestimate the benefits of a 1 ingredient mask of pure honey!

Honey mask: simply apply a thin layer of honey to clean skin and leave on for 10 minutes. You’ll be happy to know that this is one mask that is actually very easy to rinse off with warm water.

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A Natural Cough Syrup

I really can’t remember a time when honey wasn’t in my life..it was ALWAYS the sweetener in our home growing up and it continues to be to this day. But aside from the usual uses of putting it in my tea, oatmeal, etc, it’s also my go-to for sore throats as well as coughs. It always does the trick. Now there is specific medical evidence behind it — honey is actually as effective as over-the-counter cough suppressants!  I can’t say I’m surprised, but it’s nice to confirm that the natural route is as effective PLUS there aren’t any negative side effects to using honey.

So if you have a cough (or sore throat) try taking a tablespoon of honey before bed. If you’re wondering which one to choose, I think they’re all great, but I really love the taste of Orange Blossom. Also, when it comes to allergies and the immune system, you’ll get the most benefit from local honey aka the sweet nectar produced by the busy bees in your hood!

The study: Children age 2 and older with upper respiratory tract infections were given up to 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) of honey at bedtime. The honey seemed to reduce nighttime coughing and improve sleep. In fact, in the study, honey appeared to be as effective as the cough suppressant dextromethorphan in typical over-the-counter doses. {full article}

Nature’s Medicine Cabinet

Here are several items that I strongly recommend stocking up on and upping your intake of, especially during cold and flu season:

  1. Garlic (a natural antibiotic & antibacterial)
  2. Honey (no germ can live in honey!)
  3. Lemon (See use for #2 & 3 here – Nature’s Cough Syrup)
  4. Ginger (great for inflammation & circulation)
  5. Spices (like Turmeric and Cayenne Pepper, which are both believed to kill cancer calls among other benefits so clearly they’re excellent for you in general!)
  6. Herbs (like Thyme)
  7. Sea Salt (great for gargling)
  8. Veggies (lots & lots of all kinds, especially the deeply/brightly colored ones to keep your immune system in tip top shape!)
  9. Fish high in omega-3s (such as 2 of my favs – wild salmon & sardines)
  10. Tea (White, Green, Black – in the order of their antioxidant levels from highest to lowest – and herbal teas. Hot liquids are where it’s at this time of year)

Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.” ~Hippocrates

Be well my fabulous readers!

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Yogurt 101

Some of the basics & benefits of yogurt:

  • If you want to avoid high sugar content just go with plain! Even the plain varieties naturally have 12 g of sugar. The sweetened have up to 35 g!
  • Greek yogurt, which is much thicker, can contain up to twice the protein of a non-Greek brand, but it has less calcium.
  • Yogurt contains probiotics, which is healthy bacteria. Probiotics are linked with a healthy digestive system and a stronger immune systems.
  • Do not drain out that top watery layer! That liquid is pure protein (specifically whey protein).
  • Some of my favorite additions to plain yogurt: a drizzle of honey (a prebiotic which encourages the activity of probiotics), walnuts, fresh berries, sliced banana, and wheat germ.
  • Since yogurt has probiotics, a lot of people that are lactose intolerant do not have issues with consuming it!

Photo Credit: Stonyfield Farm

 Here are some coupons & discounts from one of my favorite brands: Stonyfield Farm

Nature’s Cough Syrup

It didn’t surprise me at all when I recently read that the most effective cough syrup could not be bought in your nearest drugstore. Rather, it’s the simple yet extremely effective tonic of lemon and honey that has always been a staple in my house during times of illness. Even as a married woman, the first thing my mom always asked if I’m under the weather is, “Did you do the lemon with the honey?” Usually I have, but if not, I’m always grateful for the reminder.

Anytime a sore throat or cough strikes this is definitely my highly recommended and research-proven, drink of choice!

Mix:

  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1-2 tbs of honey
  • splash of hot H20

*Make sure to sip, not gulp, this sweet and tart, restorative concoction!

How to make old fashioned bubble bath

In a container, mix:

  • 1/2 cup of mild, all natural liquid hand soap or shower gel
  • 1 tbs of honey or sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbs almond or jojoba oil *optional (Good for dry skin)

Pour the mixture into the bath as the water is running. Enjoy your homemade bubble bath!

Natural Relief for Hay Fever/Allergies

I haven’t tried this one yet, but I recently came across this possible natural remedy for hay fever/allergies.  It definitely sounds like a great natural immune booster! 

 

Combine:

  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Honey (preferably raw)
  • 8 oz water

Take 2 -3 times per day.

 

**Honey should not be consumed by infants up to one year old.

Delicious Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2¼ cups water
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 cup regular rolled oats (not the 1 minute)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup raisins
  • organic milk
  • sweeten with honey (about 1 tsp per serving is a nice amount) 

Directions:

  1. Combine water and salt in a small saucepan and turn the heat to high.
  2. When the water boils, turn the heat to low, add oatmeal, and cook, stirring, until the water is absorbed (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add cinnamon and raisins and stir. Cover the pot and turn off heat.
  4. Let set for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve with milk and honey.
  6. Enjoy!

Serves 2

 

While this is not the quickest way to make oatmeal, it does produce tastier results. It’s also so hearty and healthy!