Ten Ways to Naturally Tackle a Yeast Infection

Got that burning/itching won’t go away feeling between your legs?  Before you reach for toxic and messy Monostat or that poisonous devil Diflucan, trust that the answer to your problems is in nature!

A yeast infection is your body’s way of telling you that more than your vagina is sad–your body is out of balance!  Throughout our body exists a delicate and intricate network of micro-organisms that control quite a few things about us.  They help maintain homeostasis across multiple bodily systems.  When our microbiome is out of whack, it can result in a multitude of symptoms.  A yeast infection or candidiasis is just one of these.

Maintaining balance involves lifestyle changes, but they can influence you greatly–from having chronic yeast infections to never having one again!

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Some health issues contribute to your chances of getting “the itch.”  

  1. Compromised immune system:  If you have a chronic illness or are run down, you’re at more risk of a compromised microbiome.
  2. Birth control pills:  Birth control pills can affect the microbiome because synthetic hormones raise “fake estrogen” levels in the body, contributing to a lack of balance in your body.
  3. Antibiotics:  A round of antibiotics will kill both the bad guys and good guys in your system.  The good bacteria eat yeast like pac-men, so when you annihilate your allies, you’re prone to invasion.
  4. Diet:  Processed foods, alcohol, a diet high in sugars and simple carbohydrates as well as fruits and vegetables heavy in pesticides all promote candida overgrowth.

Of course, it goes without saying–because we have heard it over and over again–avoid sitting in a wet bathing suit for eternity, keep your jeans loose (no candida-creating camel toe), and if you’re prone to chronic yeast infections, avoid extremely hot bath sessions, particularly with chemical-laden toxic bubbles.  (Choose an Epsom or Himalayan salt bath with essential oils, such as tea tree or eucalyptus instead)

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So, here are some natural ways to combat a yeast infection or chronic yeast infection issue:

  1.  Take a probiotic daily:  Get in the habit of taking a high quality probiotic daily.  I prefer women’s formulas that contain specific strains of bacteria that help promote a healthy vaginal microbiome.  If one probiotic doesn’t work for you, try a different brand.  Our bodies are all comprised of different chemistry–what works for me, might not work for you!  A daily high dose, high quality probiotic is crucial to combatting candida.

2.    Only eat organic:  Because of the association between pesticides and candida overgrowth, buy only organic fruits and vegetables.  Wash them well prior to eating.  Stick with low glycemic fruits if you are prone to years infections.  Eat plenty of green, leafy vegetables and high alkaline vegetables that will help restore your systemic flora and flush toxins from your system.

3.   Baking soda:  Put a teaspoon full of baking soda in unfluorinated water and drink it daily.  This transforms your system into an alkaline environment—and candida can’t survive in alkaline!  For symptom relieve, you can create a paste with baking soda and coconut oil or just baking soda and a little water and apply to affected area.  (Take that, Monostat!)

4.  Boric Acid:  Although this sounds like some sort of torture technique–applying acid to the vagina–it’s actually not a true acid as you might be imagining and it won’t harm you!  You can purchase boric acid suppositories online or just buy the powder and apply with your finger if you’re not too skeeved out.  Boric acid destroys candida–but it won’t destroy your vagina.  And it works–fast!

5.  Oil of Oregano Capsules:  Oi of oregano is nature’s anti fungal, anti viral, and antibiotic.  Take 1500 mg twice daily (orally, with food) to help kill the candida and restore microbiome balance.

6.  Garlic:  Consume at least a clove a day of garlic.  A garlic clove can also be inserted into the vagina to kill candida at the source.  Here’s the deets on this trick, albeit graphic:  Tie a piece of dental floss around a large garlic clove and insert into the vagina at bedtime.  Remove in the morning.  The garlic should destroy the infection.

7.  Rest:  A go, go, go lifestyle can wear down the immune system, making you susceptible to imbalance and infection.  Take time to rest and reduce stress.  Get outside and connect with nature, which has a way of increasing our spirits and promoting wellness.  Sun naturally increases vitamin D levels, which, in turn, stimulates our immune system to function properly.

8.  Avoid anti-bacterial soap:  Switch to a natural soap with all natural ingredients.  Anti-bacterial soaps kill both good and bad bacteria, and remember, you need the good army to kill the candida.

9.  Stay natural down there:  Do not douche, use perfume, chemical lotions, chemical lubricants, or any other toxic substances on or near your vagina.  Switch from Monsanto/glyphosate laden tampons to all natural tampons (they exist).  Remember that anything you put down there is circulating through your entire system.  Have a mindful vagina!

10.  Coconut Oil:  Coconut oil naturally contains properties that are anti-fungal and kill candida.  You can create a paste with coconut oil and tea tree essential oil (just a little goes a very long way!)  and apply directly to the vagina.  Tea tree is a potent anti-fungal that will destroy candida.

The toxic alternatives aren’t worth it.  Research over the counter remedies for yeast infections as well as the liver-destroying effects of oral Diflucan, and you will likely be revisiting this list.  Nature always, always, always, knows best.  Trust her!

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Herbal Remedies for Hair Loss

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It’s traumatic to lose hair.  We tie youth to our strands, and when they fall, it signals us into a panic, feeling every follicle of loss.

Hair loss can actually be a sign of renewal.  Look around in nature and you will see the death of the old and birth of things new with every season.  Loss is a natural process.  Sometimes, however, hair loss can be dramatic and beyond a natural progression, however, due to illness, nutritional deficiencies, chronic inflammation, side effects of toxic pharmaceuticals, enormous stress, and hormonal shifts.

The number one culprit of hair loss is thyroid abnormalities, which are inclusive of both being hypothyroid and hyperthyroid.  Get a full thyroid panel to check your levels.

Another cause of hair loss is hormonal changes, such as what occurs with the reduction of estrogen levels in menopause.  Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) can also shut down hair follicles due to higher circulating androgen levels.

All illnesses being the result of chronic systemic inflammation will affect both your skin and hair.  Reducing these inflammation levels with proper nutrition and herbal medicine will result in overall improvements to your complexion and hair.

Because of the hair growth cycle, what is happening on your head at this very moment is a sign of what happened to your body three months ago, so take a look back at possible root causes from the past, and move forward to create positive changes.  Be patient!

Here’s a natural herbal list to help you get thicker, fuller hair:

  1. Rosemary: Rosemary has been used for centuries as a remedy for stimulating hair growth and eliminating gray hair.  Rosemary works for hair loss by stimulating blood circulation in the scalp.  Rosemary is also anti-inflammatory and contains nutrients that nourish the scalp, adding shine, soothing an inflamed scalp, and inevitably adding shine and thickness to hair.
  2. Spearmint: Drinking spearmint tea is particularly beneficial for hair loss associated with hormonal imbalances, particularly high androgen levels.  Spearmint reduces free testosterone levels responsible for hair loss and helps balance hormones, such as in the case of PCOS.
  3. Saw Palmetto:  Saw Palmetto is an herb that was historically revered by the Mayans and Native Americans.  Saw Palmetto is originally from the Caribbean and grows readily in the southeastern United States.  This herb blocks the conversion of testosterone into DHT, an androgen that causes male pattern baldness.
  4. Jamaican Black Castor Oil:  Rich in Omega-9 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids, Jamaican Black Castor Oil nourishes the scalp and strengthens hair roots, making it an excellent treatment for hair loss caused by over-processing, chemical damage, dry, brittle and breaking hair as well as thin hair prone to breakage.
  5. Turmeric:  Turmeric reduces systemic inflammation, which can be a culprit to dry, brittle hair and hair loss.  Inflammation is the underlying cause of all disease.  Curcumin, a constituent of turmeric, inhibits TGF beta one, a bodily chemical that causes the death of hair follicles.  Rich in antioxidants, turmeric helps with systemic healing, which will improve the condition of your scalp and hair.
  6. Horsetail:  Horsetail improves the condition of brittle bones, hair, teeth and nails as well as improving acne.  Horsetail contains the nutrient selenium, a mineral crucial to hair growth and the way our bodies process iodine.  Therefore, horsetail is extremely beneficial to hair loss associated with thyroid abnormalities, particularly hypothyroidism, since selenium and iodine levels are directly related to thyroid function.
  7. Evening Primrose:  Gamma linoleic acid present in evening primrose oil helps promote hair regeneration and growth.  It also balances hormones, reduces inflammation, and contains beneficial antioxidant properties.  The omega-6 fatty acids of gamma linoleic acid promote a healthy scalp and complexion.
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Before you reach for chemicals and poisons such as Minoxidil  for hair growth, check in with natural herbs, oils, and food that reduce systemic inflammation, naturally balance hormones, and promote hair growth.  Your hair and skin are the true mirrors of your overall health.   Nature can help you achieve natural health and beauty!



awakening, education

Messages from our Spirit Animals

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Jump down one rabbit hole, and a mysterious thing happens.  More rabbit holes appear, begging you to leap further into them.  Two years of this, and I will assure you, firsthand, that my spare time involves a lot of jumping and leaping.

I’m reminded of the isomer poems of William Blake, The Tiger and The Lamb.  How prophetic was Blake in his knowing of The Lamb not wanting to be awakened Sheeple and the Tiger burning in its knowledge.  It poses the question of whether it’s better to live with the wool over our eyes, in ignorant bliss, or fully awake and aware to truths in spite of miseries that this enlightenment brings.  Aside from Lambs and Tigers, what higher spirit animal can we call upon for change?

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I’ve wandered in a complete 180, from Little Lamb to Wolf.  My appetite for freedom of conformity calls me to a higher consciousness–the silence of snow falling, primitive as a winter wilderness.  I’ve lost trust in our educational system, political system, healthcare system–and all systems far removed from nature, pushing metal and pollution against its spirit and tainting its essence.  I am deeply rooted in my own intuition and instincts.  I am aware of my own power removed from societal constraints, and I know of my ability to call a pack, to lead with strength, howling against societal evils.  I am not easily domesticated.  I cannot be captured.  I will pick the woods over a technological wasteland.  I would rather run free than own a city penthouse.  I favor silence to the rat race.  Success, to me, is making a difference, not making a living.

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Sheep follow, the Tiger knows, and the Wolf leads.  I’ve journeyed with all these animals in my awakening.  Briefly, I was an elephant, in fact, faced with a long journey.  I was hunted, trying to hide, alone in my plight.

I was a monkey, too, in a laboratory, alongside other monkeys, part of a massive scientific experiment.  We were all being tortured by white-coated humans in authority, poking and prodding us, documenting their results.

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I was a cow, repeatedly slaughtered, coming back for a few days to experience horrific conditions and my murder.  Again and again and again I was a cow stuck in a life and death loop, existing but not living, stuck, unable to transcend.

When we awaken, our souls can see similarities in the souls of all living things. Our connections remind us that we are spiritual beings currently having a human experience.  It’s humbling to consider how far our souls have traveled prior to landing in our current form.

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Do Natural Deodorants Work?

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This question pops up a lot about natural deodorants–how well do they work?  How do they compare to commercial deodorants, and is making the change that important to your health?

Well, let’s get started addressing all of these, as this information is vital to your health and well-being–and I definitely want you smelling clean!

I made the change to natural deodorant from Secret Deodorant, which I had been using since sixth grade. In 2015,  my boyfriend at the time (I frequently refer to him as my Spirit Healer, since he guided me greatly down the path of natural healing and a holistic lifestyle) introduced me to a crystal stick.  I used it three times before tossing it in my junk drawer and reverting back to Secret, secretly.  Why?  The Crystal stick didn’t work!  I smelled nasty within a few hours and missed my dry, baby-powder smelling pits, chemically keeping me clean for a full 24 hours.

I did whip out the stick one more time and gave it a try in hopes of it working, but at that time in my life, transitioning from an aluminum and paraben-full deodorant derived from preservatives and chemicals to an all natural one wasn’t working for me! I wasn’t patient, and I became frustrated, particularly because I was amazed at how great my then-boyfriend always smelled.  Why did it work for him and not for me?

Secret Deodorant and many of the other commercial brands are full of toxic chemicals that keep you dry and odor-free.  This includes aluminum, parabens, triclosan, propylene glycol, and many other dangerous ingredients that are absorbed by your skin and lymphatic system directly through your armpit. These ingredients are carcinogens (cancer causing), neurotoxins (cause toxicity in the brain) and endocrine disruptors (affect hormone balance in both men and women).  Keep that in mind.  This is what you are slathering into your arm pits every morning while your skin in moist and likely heated from a shower.  This combination makes it an incredibly viable point of entry for these chemicals/toxins—straight into your lymphatic system, which is an intricate highway to the rest of your body.  Of course, you want an all natural solution, but you want it to work!

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The toxic ingredients of commercial-brand deodorants also manage to disrupt your bacteria microbiome on your skin.  Under your armpit right now, are colonies of bacteria–good guys and bad guys—that are in constant battle with one another.  Commercial ingredients kill the good guys and disrupt this balance.  Now that your microbiome is all screwed up, you don’t stand a chance of naturally combatting odor.  Those good guy bacteria know how to kill the odor-causing bacteria, and since commercial deodorants kill them all, you become completely dependent on deodorant to do nature’s job for you!!!

That Crystal Stick worked for my then-boyfriend because he had been using it for a while. He’d made the transition from commercial deodorant to natural deodorant and allowed his body the time to re-flourish good bacteria.  It takes a little bit of time, but you can help the process along if you’re eager to improve your health and serious about using non-toxic products.

Here are some steps you can take to make a smoother transition:

1, Drink lots of clean water:  Water flushes your system and will also help restore your hormonal balance.  Avoid drinking out of plastic water bottles as the plastic contains endocrine-disrupting chemicals, similar to commercial deodorants.  Water helps purify the system and remove toxins from your lymphatic system.

2.  Stop using anti-bacterial soap:  I know it sounds counter-productive.  You want to kill the bacteria to stop the odor, but the truth is, that anti-bacterial soap is an endocrine disruptor and also annihilates the good bacteria that you want under your arm pits!  Don’t kill them!  You need those guys!  Use a natural-based soap infused with essential oils that will kill off the bad guys without harming the good ones.

3. Take a probiotic daily:  Help restore your systemic microbiome with a good probiotic with several billion good bacteria. Multiple strains add variety to your mix and spice up your vibe and odor-fighting super powers.  Those good fellas are your odor army along with detoxifying your entire system.  You will notice the benefits in your entire well-being.

4.  Clean up your diet:  What you eat affects how you smell.  If your diet is comprised of processed foods, tons of dairy, deli meat, Cheetos, and other crap, it will increase bad bacteria and yeast on your skin—and you will not smell good.  Good blood cleaners include vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds, legumes, and fresh herbs.  Parsley and cilantro will help chelate residual aluminum you might have in your system from your store-bought deodorant.

5. Sweat:  You’re likely thinking, wouldn’t that make me smell bad?  And the answer is likely yes, but you have to rid your body of toxins to get to that cleaner place.  Sweating is a fast way to remove toxins from your system.  Sweat through exercise, Epsom salt baths, or Infrared sauna sessions.  Releasing toxins via your skin will help restore balance, resulting in a fresher, cleaner you.

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So, did I ever ditch the Secret and go natural?  You better believe I did!  And I NEVER regretted it or reached for a commercial deodorant again!!! I made that transition along with many other natural-based lifestyle changes, so it wasn’t that terrible of a leap, after all.

Using a natural deodorant has not failed me, now that my microbiome is balanced.  I definitely still need to wear deodorant, but a natural deodorant is the way to go.

If you’re in the midst of making that transition from chemical to natural, be patient and flexible.  Know that one will surely harm you with its sickly sweet toxicity while the other will help you and support you with a bit of patience and time.  Give it that patience and time.  Do your part in helping make the transition a bit easier and quicker.

alternative health, autoimmune diseases, environmental illness, herbalism, holistic health, nutrition, plant-based

Recovering from Environmental Illness: My Story

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I feel it’s time I share my journey in further detail, how I became so passionate about natural medicine and have found my purpose in helping others with plants.

This was the top of my head in 2014:

By this point, I was several years into my chronic illness and living in South Florida.  This picture was taken several nights before an important job interview, one that I arrived at wearing a wig in the dead of summer.  I remember this night so well.  I’d washed my hair, and in the middle of my shower, clumps of my locks fell into my hands and around my feet in long, tangled ropes, the way I’d imagine might happen to someone undergoing chemotherapy.  It had happened before in my illness, but nothing like this.  I took this picture after getting out of the shower and blow drying what was left of my hair.

At this time, I had already visited about fifteen doctors about my mysterious illness that began around 2010 and gradually escalated to over fifty symptoms.  In the end, I would visit over twenty doctors, be on seven different pharmaceutical medications to combat the symptoms, and inevitably, continue getting sicker and sicker.

This night, looking in the mirror, was proof that there was something seriously wrong.  This was the first time my symptoms were drastic enough to take on a physical identity that the entire world could see.  Prior to that, I had chronic illness that only I could relate to–a slew of symptoms that tore me apart inside but kept me pretty and packaged on the outside.  “You don’t look sick, ” I got from friends, family members and physicians who were trying to understand what I was going through.  Some days, I couldn’t peel myself off the couch.  Getting dressed was agony.  An outing with friends would have me paying for it in bed for three days of resting and recovery.

My symptoms included joint pain, chronic migraine headaches, hair loss, muscle aches, a metallic taste in my mouth, anxiety, extreme exhaustion, depression, brain fog, tinnitus, tightness in my throat, numb extremities, tingling, heart palpitations, chronic diarrhea, sudden food allergies, chemical sensitivities,  chronic cough, air hunger, chronic skin infections, sudden onset cystic acne, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to heat, mysterious rashes, the list went on.

I landed in the hospital in 2010 and was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  Now, I had a diagnosis.  The doctors hung my symptoms like new clothes on hangers in their diagnosis closet.  Case closed.  Take this pill. You’ll be fine now.

But I wasn’t.

In spite of medications for my thyroid, symptoms continued to pile.  That summer, I started sprouting hair all over my body like a monkey.  Literally overnight, I had back hair, a beard, chest hair, and was morphing into an ape.  I visited my gynecologist in a panic.  “Sometimes, these things happen to women of your age,” he explained.  “Here, take these pills to regulate your hormones.”  I took them while asking, “But why all of a sudden? What might be causing this?”  He seemed unalarmed.  “These things just happen to women and their hormones, ” he explained.  But that didn’t sit well with me.

The ape-like hair growth subsided over time, but looking back now at my crazy symptoms, I understand that this was my body screaming at me, yelling, “Listen!  There is something very wrong here!”  My body continued to scream its strangely cryptic symptoms at me.

In 2015, I developed two MRSA infections on my face that again landed me in the emergency room.  Rounds of antibiotics were completely unresponsive.  At this point, I could barely tolerate any food–everything ran through me.  I had gone on a very restrictive diet and was working with an acupuncturist and nutritionist, but my mystery illness still presented itself.

It wasn’t until a routine mammogram in 2016, that I was able to connect the dots and uncover the root cause of my illness.

The mammogram came back “normal,” but a few weeks after the procedure, I developed extreme pain and an exacerbation of my systemic symptoms.  Ding! Ding! Ding!  It was coming from my breast implants.

We trust our doctors, the FDA, the manufacturers of our devices.  Of course there are risks, but never would I have thought that mold could grow inside of a breast implant that was only supposed to contain sterile saline solution.  It turned out I wasn’t the only woman poisoned by her breast implants.

One google search later, I uncovered thousands of women in a support group online who were also experiencing the same symptoms as me–some had silicone toxicity, some saline, others gel—it didn’t matter what medium, there were thousands of women with the same list of mysterious symptoms that also had breast implants.  These symptoms, overall, improved, after removal of their breast implants.

After having my breast implants removed, I had to spend two years detoxing my system.  My intolerance to external mold sources and extreme heat coupled by the absence of any medical professionals willing to help me with what now I had identified as Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome caused by mold toxicity led me to selling my personal possessions and moving to Colorado, where I could have access to cannabis.  At this time, I was delving deeply in research regarding ways to support my toxic system and flush it naturally to once again achieve optimal health.  I knew it was possible.  Nature was my remedy.

In Colorado, I worked with a medical cannabis physician on specific ratios of cannabinoids that would help taper my inflammatory response and target the mold toxicity with such cannabinoids as CBD and high CBG.  A 3:1 ratio of CBD to THC worked for me during daytime and then the reverse ratio THC to CBD in the evening to promote rest and combat insomnia.  Healing is not a straight line upward, and those months felt like a roller coaster, but I noticed daily improvements, gains I could document and begin to see in my complexion, energy levels, hair growth (on my head), and overall well-being.

Nature healed me, providing me with a landscape of beauty that nourished me in a variety of ways.  I spent as much time as possible outdoors, enjoying mountain hikes, putting my bare feet in the streams, taking long bike adventures on the magnificent web of Colorado trails.  Nature wrapped itself around me and gave me hope; she promised me wellness with the changing seasons.  She gifted me with healing in every windy whisper.

Perhaps what took a great blow other than my physical health was my mental well-being, including my body image, dealing with multiple physical and emotional scars left behind from this medical trauma.  Anger brewed in me constantly–anger in our healthcare system from the doctors up to the FDA and our own government.  Once I plummeted down one rabbit hole, other began appearing, provoking me to keep jumping down intricate mazes of deceit and corruption.  Suddenly, the ground I stood on was slanted.  Reality–everything I had believed about healthcare, our food, our society, our world was something to question.

I’ve learned that grief requires a river-like movement toward acceptance. My time in Colorado, although physically healing, had me wading in situational grief and anger and feelings of helplessness that eventually moved me to discover my purpose and call to action.

Back in Florida, I miss the mountains, the healing hot springs, my endless mountain hikes deep in forest bathing with all those medicinal terpenes doing their magic.  When I feel the beginnings of aches and pains that coincide with rising inflammation now, I take off my shoes and walk on the beach, try to find an uninhabited corner of nature to share with the birds for a while, regroup, recharge, reaffirm the purpose of my journey.

Healing with plants is that purpose.  I believe my health struggles landed me in this current space of exploring nature as medicine and helping others to heal.  I’m grateful for not only my health but my experiences, which have brought me to an opportunity to give back, make a difference, and be part of changing our world for the better.

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