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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!

 

 

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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.

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Swear By All Flowers: A Look at Our Toxic Educational System

I grew up in the 80s with Ronald Reagan and the War on Drugs.  My English class was comprised of diagramming sentences taking spelling tests.  In math, I had pages and pages of algebraic equations as homework.  I dissected gerunds and memorized prepositions in alphabetical order:  aboard, about, above, across, after, against, along, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by. . . This still clutters my brain with its mindless nonsense.

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I doodled on the corners of my notebooks, wrote poetry, hummed the Clementi Sonatina I was learning on the piano while my history teacher droned out a lecture about what he claimed was proven textbook fact.  After all, it was in the textbook, so it HAD to be fact.  I didn’t question anything then.  I chewed my Grape Ape gum quietly since I was breaking the law, kept my head down, turned in my assignments with my name and date written in the top right hand corner.

I took multiple choice tests and yearned to write.  I waited for that moment of opportunity to be creative, outside the box, to actually think beyond the walls of our classroom and make a difference.  But that opportunity in my standardized education never came.  Do your work, make sure your name is on it, be sure to turn it in on time, get the grade, move on.  That’s school.

When I became I teacher, I pushed against the system and sprinkled creativity into my curriculum.  My students wrote poetry in my English class.  We put on a Poetry Slam with their original work and explored edgy young adult fiction that made my students not only think beyond a textbook, but transformed them into lifelong readers.  They were thirsty for more, requesting authors just like that one, bringing books to show me before the morning bell even rang.  My class attendance was high.  Students didn’t miss an opportunity to be in the safe zone, to allow their creative flow to do just that, to be themselves.  Even gum chewing was allowed.

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Our current educational system has no room for teachers like me.  That’s why I left.  My books were raided from my classroom by administration.  My teaching practices were challenged.  I was eventually bullied out of the system and replaced by Common Core–because common is what is accepted in our society.  Common, not Creative, not Individual or Rare.  Common is a good thing in our current educational system.  It maintains order.  It keeps students “high performing” and in their seats.  It’s a measured construct.

I think of e.e. cumming’s poem where he says, “i swear by all flowers. . .”  In Common Core, there would be a multiple choice option of guessing the meaning of that phrase.  In an ideal world, though, our individuality would produce thousands of interpretations of those words.  e. e cummings, I’m certain, would want a thousand interpretations as diverse as the flowers he was swearing.  Can we truly take raw creativity and intelligence and cookie-cutter it into a system that churns out brilliance?  What exactly are we creating within the current constructs of our schools?  How are schools any different than the expectations of our behavior in society?

We are preparing our children to check the box, clock in and out, eat lunch quickly, take orders from others, spit out information, pass tests,  and be common to the core.  Common to the Core.  Think about that.  Common to the Core is easily manipulated, unaware, following the masses, against individuality, identity, mindfulness, and awakening.  Common to the Core is a controlling mechanism as dangerous as fluoride in our water, chemtrails in our skies, pesticides in our food, and chemicals in our healthcare.  It is another type of poisoning many of us haven’t uncovered yet.  It’s the demise of our free will, free thought, and our future.

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Swear by all flowers!  Start tomorrow.  Before you hit those “back to school” sales and plow through those teacher supply lists, think hard about what education truly is.  Shouldn’t it expand the mind?  Shouldn’t it allow for questioning?  Education and creativity MUST go together.  We need to explore our strengths as individuals in order to truly understand our purpose.  Purpose equals bliss.  Purpose is not a skill.  It’s not a mathematical equation and it’s not found at the end of the preposition.  Allow your children the ability to be creative, expressive, to question, to journey in order to find their purpose.  Then, provide them with the freedom to develop it.

And remember this, it’s never too late to swear by all flowers. . .find your purpose at any age.  Don’t just clock in and out of life and believe that this is it.  There’s always an opportunity to awaken and journey on another path.  But if you chew gum, be sure to read the ingredients.

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Big Pharma Can Suck It!

If something requires a billboard, it likely isn’t good for you.  Real medicine doesn’t require heavy advertising, marketing, signs and flashing lights.  It doesn’t come with paragraphs of disclaimers, commercials, slick campaigns and glossy packaging.  Nature is wholesome and simple.  It doesn’t hide a deceitful back story.  Its intent is obvious and straightforward.

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I left teaching in 2006 and entered into the world of pharmaceutical sales, became a pharmaceutical sales representative for one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical corporations.  The day after I signed my contract (my soul), a new car was delivered to my driveway.  I took my son for a ride in it that day, both of us mesmerized that my new company had given me a car, a gas card, free insurance, the works.

Two days later, my laptop arrived, then a welcome gift from the company–a speaker system for my house.  I was swept away for six weeks of training at high end hotels, sales meetings that included live concerts of famous bands, celebrity guest speakers, more lavish gifts, champagne fountains, and extravagance.

Coming from nearly a decade of teaching, this lifestyle hit me with bling and glam, and I got swept away in it.  I didn’t realize until much later in life–at what cost.

I drank the Kool-Aid.  I thought I held in my hand the life-saving miracles of the world in chemical form.  My drugs could stop heart disease dead in its tracks.  I was a super hero with a grand message for society–I had the tool that doctors needed in order to save their patients from massive heart attacks, strokes, and even death.  I had the power and mission to deliver these chemicals throughout my territory, to poison everyone with their lies and evil.

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Of course, this wasn’t my intent. I truly believed I was saving lives the years I worked for Big Pharma.  It did, however, sit funny with me that during training, two full weeks were given to “handling safety objections” in the field.  The training involved full days of intense studying regarding claims of my drug’s adverse event profile. For each safety issue, Big Pharma had supplied glossy marketing tools with pieces of convoluted data to exemplify the safety of the drug on that body part.

Most of my training, in fact, was around the safety of the drug rather than its benefits.  And still, I saw my company and my role in it as being on the super hero side–chemicals save lives in spite of some serious precautionary risks.

When I lost my job in Big Pharma, they came to take the car away.  I reluctantly handed over my keys and gas card.  They erased me from their slate like I’d never mattered.  I was just a number, as nullified as a patient in the system.

It wasn’t until I was sickened by our system that I could see the big picture, understand the undercurrent of greed over good.  Poisoned by our system, I wandered as a patient for eight years from doctor to doctor–over 20 to be exact–collecting pills that further poisoned me.  I was given no answers.  The most time I received at each doctor visit was 11 minutes. three scripts, and massive medical bills.

Twice I landed in the hospital–tests, IVs, blood work, more pills, more pharmaceuticals, more unanswered questions, more bills, more poison, more sickness—and this was okay with our medical system.  This was the new normal. I was a loyal customer.  A team player. This was treatment.  Take sick people and make them sicker with poisons.  And sadly, this system made sense to everyone. Except me.  That’s the day I walked away from all of it and sought my own answers in “alternative” medicine.  I started seeing my symptoms as sign language my body was trying to communicate to me.  I changed my diet.  I studied natural healing.  And eventually, I uncovered the root cause of my illness and began my journey to true health and wellness.

I’m guilty I worked for this system but blessed that I was able to fully understand its greedy underbelly, to identify its shortcomings, and to now be part of the movement of change in our healthcare system.  The future of healthcare actually relies on us going backwards to a time before we were brainwashed to believe that chemicals heal, that doctors are in charge of our health, and that insurance companies dictate our treatment.  Our new healthcare system won’t be run by corrupt politicians and the deep pockets of Big Pharma.  There will be new initials replacing the FDA, CDC, NIH, and WHO.  These are ME, I, and YOU.  WE have the ability to make changes in our own health and affect change in our community and the world.

Our new healthcare involves drinking clean water that is not poisoned with chemicals and fluoride.  It’s eating real food that has not been genetically modified.  It is using plant-based natural herbs for disease prevention and treatment.  The things that heal us don’t glitter, shine, have commercials, or need a billboard.  They are full of good intention, not just profit.  Our lives matter more than anyone’s bottom line.

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