Monday, 14 October 2019

Benefits of Burning Sage, How to Get Started, and More

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Where did the practice originate?

Burning sage — also known as smudging — is an ancient spiritual ritual.
Smudging has been well established as a Native American cultural or tribal practice, although all groups don't practice it.
We have the traditions of many Native American peoples to thank for its use. This includes the Lakota, Chumash, Cahuilla, among others.
Many other cultures around the world share similar rituals.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of burning sage and how you can use it to improve your overall well-being.

1. It may be purifying

The most-used types of sage have antimicrobial properties. This means they keep infectious bacteria, viruses, and fungi at bay.
White prairie sage (Artemisia ludoviciana) is both antimicrobial and antibacterial. White sage (Salvia apiana) is also antimicrobial. And both have been shown to repel insects.
One 2007 study found that burning sage for an hour decreased the level of aerial bacteria by 94 percent. These effects were preserved for up to 24 hours afterward.
Beliefs that burning sage clears out spiritual impurities may be tied to its ability to repel pathogens and insects that cause disease.

2. It may help relieve the symptoms of some conditions

It turns out that sage may help clear the air of lots more than bugs and bacteria.
Though scientifically unproven, burning sage is thought to release negative ions. This is said to help neutralize positive ions.
Common positive ions are allergens like:
  • pet dander
  • pollution
  • dust
  • mold
If this is the case, burning sage may be a blessing for those with asthma, allergies, bronchitis, and other respiratory conditions. But inhaling the smoke during the smudging can aggravate it. Wait until the smoke clears before spending time in the room.

3. It can be a spiritual tool

Smudging has long been used to connect to the spiritual realm or enhance intuition.
For healers and laypeople in traditional cultures, burning sage is used to achieve a healing state — or to solve or reflect upon spiritual dilemmas.
This may have some scientific basis, too. Certain types of sage, including salvia sages and white prairie sage, contain thujone.
Research shows that thujone is mildly psychoactive. It’s actually found in many plants used in cultural spiritual rituals to enhance intuition.

4. It may help dispel negative energy

Smudging may also be used as a ritual tool to rid yourself — or your space — of negativity. This includes past traumas, bad experiences, or negative energies from others.
This may help you establish a positive environment for meditation or another ritual. Choosing to sit and let go of negative thoughts in a ritual like this sets your intention and dedication to self-improvement.

5. It can cleanse or empower specific objects

Burning sage creates fragrant smoke central to smudging’s benefits. You can use this incense to smudge yourself or specific spaces. Or, you can smudge specific objects.
This can be useful with new purchases, gifts, or secondhand items. However, any item can be smudged.
If you have any concern with negative history or energy attached to a new or unfamiliar object, smudging may help bring peace of mind and make the object more sacred to you.

6. It may help improve your mood

Tradition suggests that smudging can literally lift one’s spirits to banish negativity. Some research supports this.
A 2014 study documented white prairie sage (also known as estafiate) as an important traditional remedy for treating anxiety, depression, and mood disorders in certain cultures.

7. It may help soothe stress

If burning sage can lift one’s mood, it could also be a great ally against stress.
A 2016 research project for the University of Mississippi established that white sage (Salvia apiana) is rich in compounds that activate certain receptors in the brain. These receptors are responsible for elevating mood levels, reducing stress, and even alleviating pain.

8. It may improve the quality of your sleep

Smudging has been traditionally used to safeguard against negativity that could interfere with sleep.
Some research suggests that sage contains compounds that could help ease insomnia.
Classic garden sage (Salvia officinalis) is sometimes burned like white sage. It’s also been used to improve sleep and soothe anxiety.

9. It may help boost cognition

In addition to dissipating negative energy, improving mood, and strengthening intuition, smudging with sage is also thought to increase one’s focus.
Some research shows that Salvia white sage can enhance cognition and alertness.

10. It may help boost your energy levels

Ridding the body, objects, and spaces of bad energy can help welcome in newer, fresher, and more positive energies. In a way, this could have an energizing effect and help with fatigue.
Some sage-like species closely related to white prairie sage are also used for smudging. Many have documented anti-fatigue uses.

11. It can create an uplifting fragrance

For some, this may be the best of all benefits: Sage is a lovely incense with a divine aroma, pure and simple.
It also works great as a chemical-free air freshener or odor controller.

What you need

The practice of burning sage or smudging is fairly simple, with few necessary tools.
Basic tools include:
  • a sage bundle (or smudge stick)
  • some recommend a seashell or bowl of ceramic, clay, or glass to hold burning sage or capture ash
  • some recommend matches over a manmade lighter
  • optional feather or fan for fanning smoke
There are many types of sage usable for smudging. Traditional examples include:
  • white sage (Salvia apiana)
  • other Salvia species
  • white prairie sage, or estafiate (Artemisia ludoviciana)
  • other Artemisia species
Source Health Line

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Knee Pillow Orthopaedic Leg Cushion for Side Sleepers Back Sciatica Pain Relief - Tried and Tested

I can recommend this as I have been using this at night for the last three months, and my knee pain has dramatically reduced. It is very comfortable and stays in place. 

1.REDUCE BACK, HIP, LEG, KNEE & SCIATICA NERVE DISCOMFORT- As a side sleeper, you don’t sleep perfectly straight. Your top leg drops in front of you putting pressure on your back, your hip joints twist & your knees touch, causing pain. The Contour Pillow is the best leg pillow cushion for those looking for relief as the cushion comfortably supports your legs & knees to provide proper sleeping alignment & positioning to eliminate those painful pressure points.

2.THE ONLY LEG PILLOW THAT SUPPORTS BOTH YOUR LEGS & KNEES – The leg pillow was invented to help reduce the pressure that occurs from bad sleeping posture which causes discomfort. Years later we realized that cushioning & supporting BOTH your legs & knees are important in maintaining proper alignment to help reduce pain

3.VENTILATED MEMORY FOAM ALLOWS AIR TO CIRCULATE FOR A COOLER NIGHTS SLEEP – Unlike traditional memory foam leg pillow that are designed to absorb your body heat in order to compress, the designed with ventilated air holes in the memory foam that promote air circulation throughout the night. The temperature regulating foam technology pushes the heat outwards away from your body, to prevent you from feeling like you are overheating.

4.SLEEP COMFORTABLY IN ANY POSITION & MOVE FREELY THROUGH THE NIGHT – Unlike tradition knee pillows, features a true ergonomic design with its soft curves & crescent shape to fit men & women comfortably. Without requiring hazardous, circulation restricting straps, the precise tether of the pillow contours to fit the natural shape of your legs. This allows the foam leg pillow to contour to your shape without restricting movement or requiring you to sleep in a certain position.

5.USE 2 CONTOUR LEG PILLOWS FOR FULL & TOTAL LEG SUPPORT – For even better support and comfort, you can use 2 of the orthopedic pillows for total leg alignment & support & improved relief for your hips, lower legs & knees. The unique shape of this ergonomic contour leg pillow allows to fit for leg pillow comfort, but then you can change it, and place it between your calves for lower 

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Wild Garlic

Wild garlic guide: where to find, how to cook it and recipe ideas.

Late spring is the perfect times to go foraging for this versatile and pungent plant, which can be whipped up into a delicious soup or pesto. Our expert guide on where to find it and forage responsibly, how to cook it and tasty wild garlic recipe ideas

Wild garlic growing wild

Wild garlic facts

The plant, native to Britain, is also known as Bear leek, Bear’s garlic, Broad-leaved garlic, Buckrams, Ramsons, Wood garlic and can grow to heights of between 45 and 50 cm.
The leaves and flowers are edible. Young leaves are delicious added to soups, sauces and pesto. Leaves appear in March and are best picked when young. The flowers emerge from April to June and can add a potent garlic punch to salads and sandwiches.

Health benefits of wild garlic

Used traditionally throughout Europe as a spring tonic due to its blood-purifying properties, similarly to bulb garlic, wild garlic is also thought to lower cholesterol and blood-pressure, which in turn helps to reduce the risk of diseases such as heart attack or stroke.

Other uses for wild garlic

The leaves were once boiled and the resulting liquid used as a disinfectant. Its smell is said to repel cats, so may be a good inclusion for a keen ornithologist’s garden. Despite its strong scent, wild garlic has a much mellower taste than conventional garlic. Easily confused, prior to flowering, with the similarly leaved Lily of the Valley. Best not to eat this one though, it’s poisonous.

Where to find wild garlic

Dense clusters of green spears thrust from the woodland floor in spring: these are ramsons, better known as wild garlic and they are a sign that the woodland you are walking in is very old.
wild garlic flowers and leaves
Allium ursinum (WILD GARLIC, Ramson) in bloom, close-up/Credit: Getty
Closely related to onions and garlic, ramsons similarly grow from bulbs and give off a strong and attractive garlic smell. In continental Europe, the bulbs are thought to be a favourite food of brown bears, hence the plant’s scientific name Allium ursinum (bear leek).
Wild garlic likes damp ground where it will grow in abundance, with hundreds of green leaves growing on a single green stem. Here is a small selection of some of the best places to see, and to smell wild garlic in the UK:
Wild garlic thrives in woodlands
Wild garlic in Cotswolds' wood

What to do with wild garlic

Like the domesticated alliums, ramsons are edible and the leaves are an excellent addition to a cheese or pate sandwich. Dig up the bulbs and use like garlic, and save the flowers- they make a beautiful edible decoration to savoury dishes.
Whizzed up with walnuts, olive oil and a few tablespoons of parmesan added after, the leaves also make a delicious wild garlic pesto.
Better still, you can create a lovely spring soup from the leaves. Fry an onion in butter until soft and add a finely cubed potato and a bay leaf. After another five minutes frying, add 500ml of vegetable stock and simmer until the potato is soft –about 10 minutes. Add the bunch of ramsons leaves and cook briefly – no more than a couple of minutes. Remove the bay leaf, blend the soup, add seasoning and you will have a bowl of spring green goodness.

Wild garlic recipe ideas

River Cottage chef Gill Meller has created three delicious wild garlic recipes to rustle up using your foraged finds
Gill Mello forages wild garlic
Cook up a wild garlic feast with River Cottage Gill Mellor’s easy recipes

Wild garlic, potato and chorizo tortilla

I really enjoy cooking through spring and early summer. It’s a pleasure, particularly if you’ve gone out and picked a little wild garlic beforehand, and this simple breakfast or lunch dish is no exception. Big flavours and easy to find ingredients make it a pretty, reliable, no-hassle fallback.
Wild garlic, potato and chorizo tortilla
Wild garlic, potato and chorizo tortilla

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Health benefits of bananas

Health benefits of bananas

​​1. ​Bananas are one of the best fruit sources of vitamin B6​

Vitamin B6 from bananas is easily absorbed by your body and a medium-sized banana can provide about a quarter of your daily vitamin B6 needs.
Vitamin B6 helps your body:
  • produce red blood cells,
  • metabolise carbohydrates and fats, turning them into energy,
  • metabolise amino acids,
  • remove unwanted chemicals from your liver and kidneys, and
  • maintain a healthy nervous system.
Vitamin B6 is also good for pregnant women as it helps meet their baby’s development needs.

2. Bananas are respectable sources of vitamin C

You may not associate bananas with vitamin C but a medium-sized banana will provide about 10% of your daily vitamin C needs.
Vitamin C helps:
  • protect your body against cell and tissue damage,
  • your body absorb iron better,
  • your body produce collagen - the protein which holds your skin, bones and body together, and
  • support brain health by producing serotonin, a hormone that affects our sleep cycle, moods, and experiences of stress a​nd pain.

3. Manganese in bananas is good for your skin

One medium-sized banana provides approximately 13% of your daily manganese needs. Manganese helps your body make collagen and protects your skin and other cells against free radical damage.

4. Potassium in bananas is good for your heart health and blood pressure

A medium-sized banana will provide around 320-400 mg of potassium, which meets about 10% of your daily potassium needs.
Potassium helps your body maintain a healthy heart and blood pressure. In addition, bananas are low in sodium. The low sodium and high potassium combination helps to control high blood pressure.

5. Bananas can aid digestion and help beat gastrointestinal issues

A medium banana will provide about 10-12% of your daily fibre needs. Singapore’s Health Promotion Board recommends a daily dietary fibre intake of 20g for women and 26g for men.
Soluble and insoluble fibres play an important role in your health. Soluble fibre helps your body control your blood sugar level and get rid of fatty substances such as cholesterol. Insoluble fibre adds weight and softness to stools, making it easier for you to have regular bowel movements. This helps to keep your gut healthy and safe from harmful bacteria.
Bananas, especially newly-ripened ones, contain starch that does not digest (resistant starch) in your small intestine and is able to pass into the large intestine. Such bananas help you manage your weight better as you stay full for longer.
That said, bananas can help you beat gastrointestinal issues such as:
  • constipation,
  • stomach ulcers, and
  • heartburn

6. Bananas give you energy – minus the fats and cholesterol​

Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose and glucose – giving you a fat and cholesterol-free source of energy. As such, bananas are ideal, especially for children and athletes, for breakfast, as a midday snack or before and after sports.

Friday, 22 March 2019

Himalayan Pink Salt 1kg - Pure and Naturally Organic Food Grade Fine Salt 1KG - £3.80 - Free Delivery

Himalayan Pink Salt Food Grade – Fine Crystals Our Himalayan Pink Salt comes from a salt range located 300km from the Himalayas; its Kosher, Halal and Suitable for Food Use. Our Himalayan Pink Salt Contains 84 trace minerals vital for well-being and a healthy Lifestyle.

What is Himalayan Pink Salt?
Himalayan Pink Salt was formed from ancient water beds millions of years ago which were covered with lava during the formation of the Himalayas. This salt has been insulated from the outside world for a long time and therefore has not picked up any impurities except beneficial minerals and elements from the surrounding rock formation.

How will Himalayan Pink Salt Benefit Me?

1. Sharpen vital brain functions and improve mental clarity.

   2. Increases hydration, Lowers blood pressure and Improves circulation.

3. Helps Prevent muscle cramping, Helps the intestines absorb nutrients and Strengthen bones.

 4. Anti-ageing Effects; rids the body of acidic wastes that cause skin degeneration.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

PQQ benefits - Pyrroloquinoline Quinone - Mitochondrial Biogenesis

PQQ benefits and how they help the brain

Have you been looking for a supplement to combat ageing? Well PQQ may be it. Scientists found out about this compound only 50 years ago. There have been several health studies conducted about the potential benefits it provides the human body, the brain in particular.

What is PQQ?
PQQ is like a bodyguard to a man’s brain. PQQ is the acronym for pyrroloquinoline quinone. It is a compound found naturally in breast milk, soil, and certain foods. Pyrroloquinoline quinone PQQ helps the mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cells) thrive and continue to give us good health and longevity. According to researchers, PQQ provides neuroprotection, aiding in the formation of new mitochondria cells in the brain. This is very important if you wish to fight ageing issues such as loss of cognitive abilities and decreased energy levels.
Health benefits of PQQ pyrroloquinoline quinone
Here are the 13 health benefits that PQQ may provide you.
Treats obesity
PQQ may be a feasible weight loss solution. A study using rats showed that a diet deficient of PQQ reduced their metabolism by 10 per cent. Another study conducted on obese infant mice discovered that supplementing with PQQ increased their metabolism, reduced body fat, and may prevent nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. To further validate PQQ as an effective remedy against obesity, research on humans needs to be conducted.

Relieves inflammation
Inflammation opens the floodgate to slew of health problems, including accelerated ageing and neurological problems. Chronic inflammation in the brain is common to many neurodegenerative ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease and stroke.  PQQ may be able to combat this problem. Research shows that individuals who supplement with PQQ are protected against brain inflammation. Another study conducted on animals showed that PQQ has the ability to protect against inflammation may decrease the effects of traumatic brain injuries (e.g., concussion).

Enhances brain function
One of the main benefits of this compound is how much it enhances brain functionality. It stimulates the production and release of brand-new nerve cells (called nerve growth factor) that assist in neural tasks. These nerve cells communicate with each other to ensure that organs and other bodily functions are running smoothly. Studies appear to show that PQQ improves the memory, thinking, learning, and other cognitive abilities in ageing adults. In addition, research shows that PQQ has the ability to heal and rejuvenate damaged nerve cells, particularly in the brain.

Reduces oxidative stress
Oxidative stress can cause many different diseases – cancer, brain disorders, diabetes, heart problems, and more. This happens when an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidant defense occurs; a problem worsened by aging. PQQ helps boost the production of DJ-1, a protein that supports healthy brain function. This protein fights off oxidative stress by enhancing cell function and survival. In addition, PQQ protects new nerve cells from oxidative damage. This allows these nerve cells to survive and be able to potentially form new brain cells.

May extend lifespan
This compound may be able to improve your longevity. As one gets older, the brain suffers from multiple sources of damage. As the damage accumulates over time, this usually leads to the formation of brain disorders and chronic diseases such as stroke. Supplementing with PQQ may help guard against these neurological issues, especially as one gets older. And a big reason for this is because of its support of the mitochondria. Research shows that PQQ aids in the creation of new mitochondrial content. This increases longevity as well as improve energy utilisation and protection from free radicals.

Promotes mitochondrial function
Piggybacking off the last benefit, PQQ is a big proponent of the mitochondria. It aids and supports the mitochondria by promoting new content as well as improving the function of the current mitochondria. The mitochondria are responsible for transforming the food we eat into the energy needed to power our cells. This allows our cells to perform at peak function. Aiding the mitochondria promotes longevity and reducing the onset of age-related diseases. A human study showed that supplementing with PQQ rejuvenates mitochondrial function and restore new mitochondrial numbers. The study also showed improvements in the participants’ urinary oxidant levels, an indicator that the mitochondria are performing well.

Decreases cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that’s found in all the cells in your body. Your body needs some cholesterol to serve a lot of functions, including the creation of Vitamin D and hormones. The problem lies when a man has too much cholesterol. High cholesterol clogs up blood vessels, making the heart work harder to perform its daily tasks. Ultimately, this may lead to a heart attack and/or a stroke. PQQ may help regulate cholesterol levels. A Japanese study showed that individuals who supplemented with PQQ disodium salt lowered their bad LDL cholesterol levels.

Improves sleep, mood, and fatigue
Millions of men don’t get enough sleep on a nightly basis. Poor sleep quality is linked to a slew of chronic diseases such as stroke. In addition, a lack of sleep negatively affects your mood and causes fatigue throughout the day. PQQ may be what you need if you have had issues getting good quality sleep. A 2-month research study showed that individuals who used PQQ improved overall sleep quality. They were able to fall asleep with no issues and slept longer. Also, the subjects showed significant improvements in their mood and energy levels.

Improves memory and reasoning
The biggest issue most men face as they get older is the loss of cognitive function. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, men are at greater risk of developing age-related cognitive deficiencies that often cause memory loss and the inability to think clearly. Several studies point out how PQQ could reverse this trend. PQQ may prevent brain decline that stems from ageing. Human and animal studies demonstrate its ability to improve one’s memory and reasoning skills. The main reason for this is due to PQQ’s ability to trigger mitochondrial growth and reduce oxidative stress.

Protects your heart from stroke
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. More than half of the deaths due to heart disease in 2015 were in men. PQQ may be able to curtail those statistics. An animal study showed that PQQ improves cardiac functions and reduce damages for heart attack sufferers. And these benefits can happen when PQQ is taken before or after the heart attack occurred.

Another study compared the effects of PQQ to standard heart attack medicine (metoprolol). Both reduced the size of the damaged areas and protected against further trauma. However, PQQ did a better job of reducing cellular damage. This led researchers to deem the compound as the superior medicine to protect the heart against oxidative stress. Further evidence has shown that PQQ is highly effective at supporting mitochondrial function within the heart cells.

Decreases insulin resistance
Insulin resistance interferes with our ability to effectively regulate our sugar intake. This can lead to health problems such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and obesity. Similar to exercise, PQQ reduces insulin resistance by boosting mitochondrial activity in muscle cells. The compound also inhibits, PTP1B, a protein that’s been shown to cause insulin resistance. (High levels of this protein is found in people suffering from breast cancer)

Improves immune health
It is widely known how essential it is to have an efficient immune system. An efficient immune system prevents the onset of chronic diseases and fights off inflammation. A study showed that mice lacking enough PQQ experienced poor immune function. In another mice study, increased intake of the compound boosted immune health. It did this by increasing levels of two vital immune regulators: CD8+ cells and lymphocytes.

PQQ is neuroprotective against Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, and cognitive injuries
One thing you definitely know by now is that PQQ is neuroprotective. This compound does a good job of protecting memory and cognitive skills. The worst diseases deriving from poor brain health is Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Both diseases affect millions of people worldwide, the elderly in particular. PQQ may protect against the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s disease.

One study shows that it protects the brain against powerful toxins and proteins that are associated with these cognitive diseases. And the compound protects neurons from overstimulation, a condition called excitotoxicity. Excitotoxicity of the neurons is associated with seizures, schizophrenia, and other neurodegenerative diseases.

How to take PQQ
PQQ dosage
Here are the recommended dosage amounts for PQQ supplements:

To boost mitochondrial activity in your cells….0.075 to 0.3mg/kg per day
To decrease chronic inflammation in the average-size male….20mg per day

Supplementation of PQQ is great. But to really maximise your exposure to the compound, your diet should consist of PQQ-rich natural food sources and plant-based foods. Here is a list of such foods:

Sweet Potato
Egg Yolk
Green Pepper
Fava Bean
Green Peppers
PQQ supplement
After combing through a litany of online stores, here are five PQQ supplements that have gained a ton of favorable reviews. (Note: This is not a top five list.)

Doctor’s Best, Best PQQ, 20 mg, 30 Veggie Caps
Jarrow Formulas, Ubiquinol, QH+ PQQ, 30 Softgels
Swanson Ultra: PQQ Pyrroloquinoline Quinone
PQQ + CoQ10 – 60 Capsules – Oral Supplement for Cardiovascular and Mental Support by Dr’s Hope
PQQ 20mg (Pyrroloquinoline Quinone) 30 Vegecaps
PQQ side effects and dangers
As with any supplement, there is a likelihood of side effects. PPQ is no different. In one study, rats were given a dosage as high as 100mg/kg per day but experienced no side effects. However, some humans who took the compound experienced insomnia, mild headaches, and even energy crashes during the midday. The reason for these side effects could be that they either took too much or their body is sensitive to a direct dosage of pyrroloquinoline quinone.

Either way, it is wise to start off with a small dose (0.075mg) for at least one week. If you can handle that, feel free to slightly increase the dosage. It’s recommended that you don’t take no more than 20mg per day.

PQQ supplement may be the next best supplement for men
Protein powder and fish oils may have to make room for PQQ. This compound shows a lot of promise, especially for older men. PQQ may be the best anti-ageing supplement/nutrient that most guys don’t know about. Some who have supplemented with it felt that it immediately:

Improved their mood
Improved their focus and ability to remember things
Boosted their energy levels
Improved workout performance
And those are just the immediate benefits. Other benefits such as lower cholesterol and an improved immune system will obviously take time to manifest. Overall, pyrroloquinoline quinone is a substance that you should consider getting acquainted with as you get older.