Hybrid Rasta Mama https://hybridrastamama.com For The Love Of Coconut Oil, Holistic Health, Nourishing Foods, Natural Living, Herbs and Essential Oils, & Toxic Mold Awareness Sat, 10 Jun 2017 22:14:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Natural Ways To Calm Nerves Before Your Driving Test https://hybridrastamama.com/natural-ways-calm-nerves-driving-test/ https://hybridrastamama.com/natural-ways-calm-nerves-driving-test/#respond Sat, 10 Jun 2017 22:14:39 +0000 https://hybridrastamama.com/?p=13359 Hybrid Rasta Mama

  When you take your driving test, there is a lot at stake. So, it's natural to feel nervous. Having a certain amount of nerves is a good thing, but you cannot let them take over. If you do, then they can have a detrimental effect on your performance on the day. You need to […]

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Natural Ways to Calm Nerves Before Your Driving Test from HybridRastaMama.com

 

When you take your driving test, there is a lot at stake. So, it's natural to feel nervous. Having a certain amount of nerves is a good thing, but you cannot let them take over. If you do, then they can have a detrimental effect on your performance on the day.

You need to find natural ways of conquering your nerves when you are due to take your driving test. We are going to take a look at three suggestions that can help you do this.

Practice as much as possible

One of the best ways of making yourself less nervous for your driving test is to practice all of the maneuvers that you will be expected to complete during the test itself. This practice needs to be regular, as you need to make sure you know everything in detail and can complete any maneuver you are asked to. You should take lessons with a professional instructor, and supplement these lessons with additional practice, with an experienced driver.

Make sure that you practice driving in different conditions, such as rain and ice. You should also ensure that you practice when the roads are busy. You do not know what the road and weather conditions are going to be like on the day of the test. Being prepared for all eventualities will help to ease your nerves.

Relax the day before

Obviously, it's a good idea to practice until you are close to taking your test. That being said, it's a good idea to take your mind off the test, and relax, the day before. You may want to practice in the morning, but give yourself time to do something enjoyable for the rest of the day. Taking a walk is an excellent way of relaxing, for instance. Meditation would be of great benefit if that is something you already do.

You should also take actions to relax the evening before the test. You could spend some time reading a book or watching your favorite TV show. Then relax in the tub for a while, possibly with a soothing bath bomb before getting to bed early, so you get as much sleep as possible.

Be prepared for the day itself

Natural Ways To Calm Nerves Before Your Driving Test from HybridRastaMama.comMake sure that you have all the information for the day of your driving test in advance, so you can feel more relaxed on the day itself. There are plenty of places to look for DMV locations online. Make sure that you do this so you know exactly where you are going and can plan your route.

Have everything that you need to take with you packed in your bag a day or two before. You should also choose what you are wearing the day before. Having everything ready in this way helps you to remain more relaxed, directly before you take your test.

Be sure to sip on a soothing beverage. An herbal tea is a great way to calm nerves. However, don't drink too much! There is nothing worse than a nervous bladder that is full to capacity!

How do you like to calm nerves before stressful events?

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What Is Homeopathy – A Brief Introduction https://hybridrastamama.com/what-is-homeopathy/ https://hybridrastamama.com/what-is-homeopathy/#respond Tue, 30 May 2017 11:00:57 +0000 https://hybridrastamama.com/?p=13306 Hybrid Rasta Mama

As we spoke about in An Introduction to Alternative Medicine, many different natural therapies are becoming very popular in our society these days. We already learned the basics of herbal medicine here, here and here. Another of my favorite natural modalities, is Homeopathy. Many people misunderstand the word “homeopathy” and think it to be the […]

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As we spoke about in An Introduction to Alternative Medicine, many different natural therapies are becoming very popular in our society these days. We already learned the basics of herbal medicine here, here and here. Another of my favorite natural modalities, is Homeopathy.

Many people misunderstand the word “homeopathy” and think it to be the equivalent of “home remedies”. In reality, Homeopathy is a unique and complete system of natural medicine developed hundreds of years ago and practiced by close to 500 million people around the world today.

Homeopathy is a wonderfully safe, effective and gentle healing art that was founded in the late 1700’s by a physician named Samuel Hahnemann in Germany.

The practice of Homeopathy is based mainly on three fundamental principles. Let's take a quick look at each of them.

The Law of Similars

The first fundamental principle of homeopathy is based on the Law of Similars; the principle of “like cures like”. Hahnemann called this the similimum. This has also been stated as: Similia Similibus Curentur – let like be cured by like. This concept has been acknowledged since the times of the ancient philosophers and physicians. Hippocrates, Galen and Paracelsus have all touched on the philosophy of the Law of Similars.

What this means is that a disease can only be cured by a remedy that produces the same or similar symptoms, when given to healthy people, that the disease produces in those who are afflicted with it.

So, for example, a condition like hay fever, which produces uncomfortable, watery eyes and runny nose would be treated with Allium cepa (a remedy made from the onion plant) because onions can produce the same symptoms in a healthy person.

 

The Infinitesimal Dose

The second principle of homeopathy is that of the infinitesimal dose. One of Hahnemann’s driving forces behind his search for a better system of medicine was his disgust for the medical treatments of the time. The administration of massive doses of poisonous medicines, common at the time, led him to state in par 2 of the Organon of Medicine (Hahnemann's definitive work on the healing art and science of Homeopathy), “ The highest ideal of therapy is to restore health rapidly, gently, permanently; to remove and destroy the whole disease in the shortest, surest, least harmful way, according to clearly comprehensible principles.”

He designed his original provings to gradually reduce the dose to determine the smallest dose that would still remain therapeutically effective. By coincidence, what he found was that not only are infinitesimally small doses even more therapeutically effective, but they are also completely free from the side effects that may be present in larger doses.

 

The Treatment of the Whole Person

Homeopathy is a very individualized modality of medicine. It aims to treat the whole person, to bring about a rebalancing of the vital force, and complete disappearance of all symptoms, or in other words, a total cure.

In homeopathy, the remedy is matched to the individual, as well as to the symptoms, so people who have the same symptoms may receive different remedies. The entire makeup of the patient –their constitution – is taken into consideration when choosing a homeopathic remedy. Hahnemann says in the Organon, par 5: “In bringing about a cure the physician should consider: the evident physical constitution of the patient (especially in chronic affections), his affective and intellectual character, his activities, his way of life, his habits, his social position, his family relationships, his age, his sexual life, etc.” The remedy is matched in every way to the patient – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, according to lifestyle, environment and family medical history. Determining whether a person is anxious, overweight, straight forward and light haired, or confidant, thin, artistic and dark haired can make all the difference in prescribing the correct remedy for that particular person. This shows that homeopathy is indeed a “wholistic” form of treatment and it is, in fact, the third principle of homeopathy – to treat the patient as a unique individual and not just a set of symptoms, or the bearer of a disease.

A fascinating and effective form of natural medicine, homeopathy is becoming accepted in more and more segments of society around the world. In fact, the government of Switzerland recently released a report in favor of homeopathy and its inclusion in their country's national health care system.

In the next installment, we will look further into specific homeopathic remedies, their uses and why they should be included in your home medicine kit.

Have you used homeopathy? What are your favorite remedies? Let me know in the comments.

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Chronic Health Issues? Food Intolerance May Be To Blame! https://hybridrastamama.com/chronic-health-issues-food-intolerance-may-be-to-blame/ https://hybridrastamama.com/chronic-health-issues-food-intolerance-may-be-to-blame/#respond Wed, 24 May 2017 00:20:41 +0000 https://hybridrastamama.com/?p=13294 Hybrid Rasta Mama

Food intolerance. Those two words paired together evoke a wide spectrum of emotions. Food intolerance can elicit fear, anger, depression, worry, guilt, disbelief, and everything in between. And why wouldn’t they? After all, removing foods from one's diet is life altering. Food intolerance is widely misunderstood (which is no shock) seeing how confusing they can […]

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Chronic Health Issues? Food Intolerance  May Be To Blame from HybridRastaMama.com

Food intolerance. Those two words paired together evoke a wide spectrum of emotions. Food intolerance can elicit fear, anger, depression, worry, guilt, disbelief, and everything in between. And why wouldn’t they? After all, removing foods from one's diet is life altering.

Food intolerance is widely misunderstood (which is no shock) seeing how confusing they can be. (Equally confusing is how to go about finding out which foods are causing you trouble, but I will get into that later on in this post). If you were to do an internet search asking “what causes food intolerance” you would likely see the following explanation: Food intolerance occurs when the body's immune system overreacts to substances in food you have eaten, triggering symptoms as severe as an allergic reaction or as mild as a sniffle.

This is not entirely untrue. Your immune system definitely has a reaction to a food or foods in question. However, there is more to it than that.

Food intolerance is a neurological error.

Yes, you read that right. Your brain is having a misfire. As such, the body reacts inappropriately to a completely harmless food. This is not the explanation patients typically hear about food intolerance and allergies. Physiological reasons are usually blamed and while it is true that there are physiological reasons which exacerbate food intolerances and food allergies (like poor gut health or a weakened system due to toxic mold exposure), they alone are not to blame. Your brain is. How you ask? Well it all comes down to the nervous system.

Your brain runs your nervous system. Your nervous system is basically in charge of the ensuring your body is working right. This means that the immune system reports to the nervous system which is run by your brain. (Don’t believe me or want waaaay more information than I have room for in this post? Check out BrainFacts.) When your brain misfires and sends the signal that a certain food is the enemy, it places a great stress upon your nervous system and will continue to do so every time you consume that food. This stress manifests as a wide variety of things, namely inflammation.

Inflammation is a destructive beast. It leads to all kinds of bodily issues including allergies and sensitivities, but more importantly it can lead to chronic health issues and disease.

When people think of food intolerances they usually picture things like hives, eczema or other skin conditions, dark circles under the eyes, digestive upset, etc… What they don’t picture is hypothyroidism, depression, ulcerative colitis, schizophrenia, arthritis, and diabetes. Believe it or not, food intolerance can be the true cause of all of the conditions and hundreds more. (Please note that they may not be the only cause. The body is complex and several things can work together to create the perfect storm for a disease to take root).

Put that all together and the short version is: Food intolerance is often the root of illness and disease. Remove the offending food from your diet permanently and your body can begin to heal.

So how do you successfully go about finding out what foods are causing you harm? Key word here – successfully.

You take the RIGHT kind of food intolerance test.

Health practitioners of all kinds have their preferred method of food testing. Some rely on the skin prick test which truly is useless both in my personal experience and through research. When testing for food intolerance and allergies this is by far the most unreliable way to test for them.

Blood tests are the most common way to test for food intolerances. Many of these tests look at both the IgE and the IgG responses to food to determine whether there is a true allergy or “just” an intolerance. Both an allergy and an intolerance can cause mass destruction within the body. They just do so within a different time frame.

A true food allergy (or an IgE) response will happen almost immediately and can be as severe as death. A food intolerance (or IgG) response can take time to manifest. Since the reaction isn’t immediate, food is often overlooked as the root cause of whatever might be ailing a person. This is why testing for food intolerance is so important. You likely have no idea you have them.

Not all blood tests are created equal. I personally have had 9 different labs perform my food testing. Just like all health practitioners have their preferred method of food testing, they all have their favorite lab and way of going about the test.

The standard food intolerance testing will break down permanent food sensitivities and temporary food sensitivities. There is one huge problem with this. Testing for temporary food sensitivities is unreliable. The results can easily be skewed based on what you have and have not been eating a lot of in the time close to when you were tested. So if you went wild and ate a couple of pounds of bananas the week prior to testing, the results could very well show you have a temporary intolerance when in fact you just had gobs of banana proteins in your system at the time of the test and they were interpreted as an intolerance. In addition, many practitioners will ask you to specifically eat a lot of a food you might have been avoiding previously to determine if you are intolerant. This will lead to the same skewed result. If you happen to already suspect that the food causes problems for you then you are stuck dealing with the symptoms it causes while you are gut loading with that food.

So how do you go about finding a reliable blood test for permanent food intolerance? Easy. You order a kit from Pinnertest.

I know, I know. You are shaking your head thinking that there is no way a food intolerance test that you can order yourself and do in the comfort of your own home with just a little finger prick will be accurate and reliable. It’s true. Pinnertest has not only changed the food intolerance testing game but they have taken things to an entirely new level.

Chronic Health Issues? Food Intolerance May Be To Blame from HybridRastaMama.com

Pinnertest employs advanced microarray biotechnology that thoroughly measures IgG antibody levels against the proteins of 200 foods. This progressive technique, the most accurate of its kind, can tell the difference between temporary and permanent food intolerances to identify the exact foods that your system is sensitive towards. In adults, these permanent food intolerances will not change over time. Therefore, you can save a lot of valuable time and money and just get tested once…or one last time if you played the food intolerance testing game for a while.

Please understand that I am not at all downplaying the role a temporary intolerance might have on your well-being. There are certainly bonafide temporary food intolerances. Those can be measured in other ways (like pulse testing or muscle testing).

Back to Pinnertest. With just a few drops of blood dispensed by a basic finger prick, you can be on your way to piecing together some pieces of your health puzzle all from the comfort of your home.

Chronic Health Issues? Food Intolerance May Be To Blame from HybridRastaMama.comStop the presses! I have even more news! Pinnertest offers a kit specifically designed for children ages 8 and up. Yes moms and dads you read that right! No more taking your terrified child in for a blood draw in a sterile, unsympathetic environment. No more tears and fear. The fingerprick is barely noticeable. I personally am excited about having this option because my daughter does NOT do well with getting blood drawn. It literally becomes an international incident.

One important thing to note about the Pinnertest Junior testing. It will need to be repeated every few years as children’s food allergies are less permanent than adults. While many will stay, some will disappear. So please know that while this is still the best option on the market, it does have it’s limitations with children. It also should not be used on children under 8.

To learn more about Pinnertest, please check out their extensive website. If you are interested in ordering a kit, please use coupon code RASTAMAMA and you will get $60 off the kit. That is a screaming deal.

Also, please don’t be fooled by other at-home food intolerance testing options. I have vetted them thoroughly and let’s just say that while some may be cheaper, I was not impressed with their technology or the results.

Stay tuned for another post in which I share my results as well as my daughter’s results. Good stuff people. Good stuff!

 

Remember to use Coupon Code RASTAMAMA for $60 off your test kit!

Chronic Health Issues? Food Intolerance May Be To Blame from HybridRastaMama.com

*Disclosure – Pinnertest sent me two free kits to try so that I could share my experience with my readers. However, I reached out to them as I was going to order the kits anyway and simply had some questions about their testing process and what made it more accurate than others.*

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Need To Detox From Mold Exposure? Here’s How I Did It. https://hybridrastamama.com/need-to-detox-from-mold-exposure-heres-how-i-did-it/ https://hybridrastamama.com/need-to-detox-from-mold-exposure-heres-how-i-did-it/#respond Wed, 10 May 2017 18:31:13 +0000 https://hybridrastamama.com/?p=13267 Hybrid Rasta Mama

For years my health was a rollercoaster of unusual, maddening, saddening horribleness. Doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I was truly on a downhill slide to my end-game. Little did I know that it was toxic mold and it’s horrific offspring – mycotoxins – that were slowly trying to kill me. Fast […]

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Need To Detox From Mold Exposure? Learn what I had success doing over the course of the past two years. From HybridRastaMama.com

For years my health was a rollercoaster of unusual, maddening, saddening horribleness. Doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I was truly on a downhill slide to my end-game. Little did I know that it was toxic mold and it’s horrific offspring – mycotoxins – that were slowly trying to kill me.

Fast forward a little over 2 years and I have been on a long, winding journey of recovery from mycotoxmosis and mold related illness. My now 8-year-old sidekick has been along for the bumpy ride with me. It hasn’t been easy but there has been forward progress. I am cautiously optimistic that in the years to come, I will regain much of the health I had lost.

I wanted to write a book about my recovery. What I did, how I did it, what products I relied on, what I learned, etc… However, since I am not a medical professional it was a huge legal mess to actually get such a thing published and the risk to me was too great. As such, I am turning the protocol I used into a post that I hope you all will share far and wide. I want to share my healing journey as a source of inspiration, NOT medical advice. Everything I share here is what I did and what had worked or has been working for me. I am not guaranteeing anything for anyone else. Although I will go out on a limb and say that I would be shocked if some of the things I did didn’t help you recover from toxic mold exposure.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I am not going to discuss products I used or supplements I took that did not work for me. Why? Because they were a waste of my time and I don’t want that for anyone who might be using my suggestions as a baseline for what they should do. If they didn’t work well for me, why recommend them right? So I am only discussing things that worked.

Are you ready? Then let’s get right to it!

Please note that some product links may be affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my site!

Need To Detox From Mold Exposure? Learn what I had success doing over the course of the past two years. From HybridRastaMama.com

Detox From Mold Exposure

There are numerous ways to go about detoxing and I took a multifaceted approach. I made lifestyle changes, took various healing supplements, and used other products that are known for aiding in detoxing and healing. Healing from toxic mold exposure takes time. You won’t see results overnight. For some people, it can be a years long process.  But the MORE you can do to aid your body in detoxing and healing, the better your chances are of healing sooner as opposed to later.

Products I Used

EC 3 Air Purification Candles

As an EC3 Candle burns, the heat from the flame aerosolizes and disperses an all-natural, antifungal ingredient embedded in the soy wax into the air. In independent lab tests, EC3 Candles were able to reduce the mycotoxin count in a room by 90% in less than 3 hours. Learn more from HybridRastaMama.comAs an EC3 Candle burns, the heat from the flame aerosolizes and disperses an all-natural, antifungal ingredient embedded in the soy wax into the air. In independent lab tests, EC3 Candles were able to reduce the mycotoxin count in a room by 90% in less than 3 hours. The candles have no added fragrance, so as not to aggravate other chemical sensitivities that are common in sinusitis sufferers. While I didn’t use these daily, I used them often and could actually feel a difference in the air I was breathing after each use. You can find the EC3 candles here.

Near Infrared Sauna

I discuss sweating further on in this post but in a nutshell while all sweating has a detoxifying effect, the sweat you produce as a result of using a near infrared sauna is the most detoxifying and healing kind. Infrared’s deep penetrating heat is what most effectively stimulates metabolic activity, which in turn triggers the release of stored toxins through sweat, as well as through the liver and kidneys. I use a sauna for 20 minutes daily and have seen really amazing results system wide from using this.

Saunas can be expensive and they are definitely not all created equal. This is the one I purchased and I have been more than pleased with it. I also have it on a good recommendation that this sauna is a affordable and effective option. Make sure you purchase these bulbs and only these bulbs.

Rebounder

The rebounding motion stimulates all internal organs, moves the cerebral-spinal fluid, detoxifies fatty tissues, and is beneficial for the intestines. Many immune cells such as T-lymphocytes and macrophages are self-propelled through amebic action. These cells contain molecules identical to those in muscle tissue. All cells in the body become stronger in response to the increased “G force” during rebounding, and this cellular exercise results in the self-propelled immune cells being up to 5 times more active. These immune cells are responsible for eating viruses, bacteria and even mycotoxins, so it is good that they be active. Jumping on a rebounder directly strengthens the immune system, so it's a big deal to do this! This is a great rebounder that really holds up!

Laundry Additive

Fabric and textiles, especially moisture-wicking athletic clothing, are great hiding places for mold and bacteria. That is NOT good for detoxification and healing from toxic mold exposure. I used a great laundry additive product that tackles bacterial and fungal hitchhikers most laundry detergents fail to eliminate. It also neutralizes the musty and putrid smells that accompany mold, mildew, and bacteria problems. It is all natural, safe for all washing machines, and leaves clothes smelling clean!

Sinus Rinse

You MUST rinse out your nose as part of any healing process where sinuses have been impacted. Since mold spores and mycotoxins fly up one’s nose with ease, rinsing out your nasal passage is of utmost importance. My daughter and I used this sinus rinse system twice daily for a year and then dropped down to every few days after that.

Better Air Ecological Balancing System

Environmental Probiotics nourish your indoor space and consume organic pollutants, such as mold and mycotoxins. BetterAir’s Environmental Probiotics are safe, organic and chemical-free. The BA-008 home dispenser automatically releases a carefully cultured probiotic vapor compound into the air. The probiotics land on surfaces and travel around consuming resources (like mold spores) and thus rapidly multiplying. Increasing the ratio of good to bad bacteria results in a healthy microbiome which positively impacts your immune system.

 

Supplements I Took

Activated Charcoal

This is a huge one people! In order to get any sort of toxin out of your system, it is best to give it something to grab on to. Ideally, this is something that easily makes its way out of your system. By easily, I mean causes no disruption to your normal body operations. Activated charcoal does an excellent job of grabbing mycotoxins and ushering them out of your cells. It isn’t instantaneous and takes a lot of diligence but this particular binding agent is well worth it. Basically, you likely won’t have much forward progress without a binder.

You can certainly use something like bentonite clay but I prefer the activated charcoal. If you do choose to use clay, this particular one is very convenient and doesn’t taste horrible.

When using a binder, it is crucial that you time it properly. It must be taken away from all food, beverages, and supplements/medications. 90 minutes before or after consuming anything is ideal. In addition, you want to keep a steady stream of binders in your system. My doctor had me using activated charcoal three times per day, spaced as evenly as possible.

Not all activated charcoal is created equal. Just trust me on this one. That is an entire post in and of itself. These are the brands I recommended in order of what I used with the most success:

Glutathione

Next to taking a binder, glutathione is the next most important things you can put into your system. Glutathione is the body’s master antioxidant and primary antioxidant for detoxification. It’s found in nearly every human cell, and medical experts say that lifespan is directly equivalent to the amount of Glutathione in your body. With its ability to protect and detoxify, it also provides crucial immune system support. It’s also worth noting that glutathione is incredibly well researched. In fact, thousands of clinical studies have been conducted on this powerful antioxidant.

Glutathione is a tricky substance however. You can’t just pop a pill and call it good. It has to get into your system in a very specific manner. Liposomal glutathione is one option but it has to be special ordered through a practitioner and it contains a couple of ingredients that I am not thrilled about. It needs stabilizers and I just prefer not to put anything extra into my system when there is a totally pure and effective means of delivery available.

Glutathione is the body’s master antioxidant and primary antioxidant for detoxification. It’s found in nearly every human cell, and medical experts say that lifespan is directly equivalent to the amount of Glutathione in your body. Learn more from HybridRastaMama.comWhile I did use liposomal glutathione for a bit, I made the switch to the Life Wave Glutathione Phototherapy patches. Let me tell you…best decision ever! I have had my glutathione levels tested at regular intervals and they are stellar! This is great news for my body’s ability to detox.

I could regurgitate all kinds of info on phototherapy science and how the patches work but instead, I will send you here to learn more.

In order to ensure that other people had access to these patches, I created an account with the Life Wave company. If you decide to place an order, you will need to give them my customer account #. That is 890946.

Brain Support

Mold and mycotoxins wreak havoc on your brain. You may or may not realize the impact initially but believe you me…things are going awry in your brain. I noticed some pretty serious neurological effects and I certainly wanted them reversed. I used a couple of different products to help support my brain health and after two years of use, I really do notice that a lot of healing has taken place. I still have some difficulty with comprehension at times but it is only when someone is speaking to me. It takes me a few extra moments to really digest what they are saying. Beyond that, I am just as sharp as I was before.

Phosphatidylserine (PS) is a naturally occurring phospholipid in the brain that has an important impact on specific neurotransmitters including acetylcholine, serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Numerous clinical studies have indicated that 300mg of PS taken daily demonstrated positive support on attention, concentration, focus and memory. I absolutely believe that PS played a huge role in my brain detoxing. My doctor was adamant that there was only one brand worth its weight. I tend to agree. MRM PS 100 is the only brand I trust and use.

The other product I used was the Prevagen Mineral Supplement.  This is a unique product as it contains apoaequorin, a vital ingredient for brain health. Apoaequorin was originally discovered in jellyfish of all things. It has a loyal following and I tend to believe that it really does help with memory issues specifically. PS is a more well rounded brain support product and Prevagen is specific to memory. They make a great combination!

Antifungal Nasal Spray

Removal of mold and bacteria from the nose only requires washing your nasal passages with saline and the use of anti-fungal/anti bacterial agent twice daily. You should flush with a saline wash until water flows freely from one nostril to the other. Learn more from HybridRastaMama.comWhen it comes to your sinuses, the bottom line is that you HAVE to get the mold spores out of our nose. Your entire immune system is compromised until you do. Many antifungal nasal sprays are harsh. The ones my doctor initially prescribed were brutal and my daughter would go into fits at the sight of the bottle. We powered through for far too long. It wasn’t until about 6 months ago that I discovered a more natural option that works!

CitriDrop Nasal Spray is an effective tool for combating bacterial and fungal infections in the nose. This homeopathic nasal spray relieves sinus congestion and inflammation caused by mold and does so very gently. My daughter loves this stuff!

We use CitriDrop Nasal Spray in conjunction with Sinus Defense Nasal Spray. Sinus Defense is homeopathic Lac Vaccinum (not to be confused with being a “vaccine”). It is a homeopathic, colostrum-based Transfer Factor. Discovered in 1954, Transfer Factor was discovered to transfer immunity from one person to another (example: mother/ child via breast feeding) Sinus Defense boosts the immune system’s ability to better identify, remove, and remember foreign antigens. This enables the bodies T-cells, the core of our body's adaptive immunity to allergens, to effectively remove the foreign antigens.

Lifestyle Adaptations I Made

I steered clear of ALL inflammatory foods and foods known to be contaminated with mycotoxins. Your body cannot properly heal if it is being bombarded by inflammatory foods. You need to keep our system as calm as possible. The common inflammatory foods include:

  • Sugar
  • Gluten
  • Dairy (cow)
  • Corn
  • Alcohol
  • Processed Foods
  • Synthetic Sweeteners
  • Food Additives
  • Peanuts

As for foods that are known for being moldy or contaminated with mycotoxins? I wrote an entire post about it. Check out Mycotoxins In The Food You Eat.

I exercised daily and tried to break a sweat. Exercising seems like a no-brainer but really it is the sweating part that is more difficult than it seems. I would make sure to take vigorous walks, hike, and rebound darn near daily but I didn’t always break a sweat. Sweating releases toxins and while any exercise is beneficial, the most healing kind involves sweat. So try to exercise for a good 45 minutes daily making sure you get a good sweat going.

I ran air purifiers in every room. You can’t expect to heal if you are taking on rogue mold spores from the environment. You need to filter those invaders out before they invade you. Mold comes in from the outside due to daily living. And of course, it can happen if you have a mold event occur in your home. To mitigate any setbacks in healing, air purifiers are key.

There are a lot of air purifier options and not all are created equal. The four I use and trust are:

 

While there are many additional supplements I take, they are tailored to my own individual needs. There are also other products I use and love but in reality, they just provide additional support and are not “critical” to healing like the ones mentioned above. I encourage anyone who has been a victim of toxic mold exposure to find a practitioner who can help you from a “functional” perspective. Simply put, you want someone to take a holistic look at your health history, lifestyle, toxin and chemical exposure, etc…  While lab tests can be beneficial, there is so much more to health than what a test results says. From the foods consumed to the amount of water you drink, every little thing that goes into your body plays an important role in healing. So do find a practitioner you can trust. If you would like to know who I used with success, feel free to contact me. All the practitioners I have seen work with patients remotely.

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Mint Chocolate Cookie Dough Fudge Balls https://hybridrastamama.com/mint-chocolate-cookie-dough-fudge-balls/ https://hybridrastamama.com/mint-chocolate-cookie-dough-fudge-balls/#respond Mon, 01 May 2017 23:13:41 +0000 https://hybridrastamama.com/?p=13194 Hybrid Rasta Mama

I have been food allergen free for years now. I will admit…it gets pretty boring sometimes. I love to bake and often find myself uninspired when I can’t dole out the butter into the mixing bowl. Always the curious one, I set out to create a recipe that would trick me into thinking that I […]

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Hybrid Rasta Mama

This amazingly healthy yet super decadent treat will leave you running to the kitchen to make more. Don't feel guilty about eating all the cookie dough balls! They are allergen free and oh-so good for you too. They are allergen free and oh-so good for you too. From HybridRastaMama.com

I have been food allergen free for years now. I will admit…it gets pretty boring sometimes. I love to bake and often find myself uninspired when I can’t dole out the butter into the mixing bowl.

Always the curious one, I set out to create a recipe that would trick me into thinking that I was in fact adding copious amounts of butter to the bowl. Would it work? Could I find something that gave me the same visual satisfaction of butter? More importantly, would is taste like butter?

My friends over at Kelapo came to my rescue just in the nick of time. They have two NEW amazing products that I could not wait to get my hands on. Ghee and Coconut Oil Ghee. Knowing how amazing their coconut oil is, I was optimistic that I was on my way to baking something amazing.

I was mostly right. I was on my way to something amazing using their incredibly tasty Ghee products. It just didn’t involve actual baking. You see, what I created tasted so delicious out of the bowl that I adjusted the recipe a bit and skipped the baking part altogether. This is a bonus when you live in a super-hot desert like I do. The less you turn on the oven the better. But I digress…

The texture and flavors of this recipe are perfect. Both the ghee and the blend of coconut oil and ghee work equally well as a substitute for butter. The ghee had more visual appeal for me but knowing how magical coconut oil is, I felt like I really should favor the blend.

These Mint Chocolate Cookie Dough Balls will bring a smile to your face. They are very healthy and pack a nutritious punch. The tigernut flour brings a lot to the table in terms of gut health. Since it is a resistant starch, it helps all those prebiotics grow which a healthy digestive track needs. It has a lot of vitamins and minerals so you can feel good about consuming it often.

You are welcome to reduce the amount of honey in this recipe to taste although it does lend necessary moisture so you will need to slowly increase your milk. It also helps to bind things together so if you opt to use a lot less honey that what is called for you may need to just eat it out of the bowl with a spoon.

The flavors in these cookie dough balls are intense! This has the feel and taste of a really decadent dessert. But don’t feel bad if you eat the entire batch. It’s good for you!

Are you ready to rock this recipe? Let’s do it! (Please note that there are links to my affiliate Amazon. Thank you for your support).

Mint Chocolate Cookie Dough Fudge Balls

Prep

Inactive

Total

Yield 18 balls

This amazingly healthy yet super decadent treat will leave you running to the kitchen to make more. Don't feel guilty about eating all the cookie dough balls! They are allergen free and oh-so good for you too.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, pulse the flour, collagen hydrosolate, carob powder, salt, and vanilla powder until combined. (I have also used a hand mixer and it turned out fine)
  2. Add the palm shortening, honey, milk, and mint. Pulse a few times until the mixture comes together.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and knead with your hands in the bowl for 1 minute.
  4. Roll the dough into balls OR place it in a small glass baking dish and press it out until evenly distributed.
  5. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours or more.
  6. If using a baking dish, cut the pieces into squares and serve. Otherwise, serve the fudge balls as is.

These must be kept in the refrigerator but may be taken out 15 minutes prior to serving.

Courses Dessert

Cuisine Allergen Free

This amazingly healthy yet super decadent treat will leave you running to the kitchen to make more. Don't feel guilty about eating all the cookie dough balls! They are allergen free and oh-so good for you too. They are allergen free and oh-so good for you too. From HybridRastaMama.com

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What Is Herbal Medicine Part 3 https://hybridrastamama.com/what-is-herbal-medicine-part-3/ https://hybridrastamama.com/what-is-herbal-medicine-part-3/#comments Mon, 24 Apr 2017 10:41:35 +0000 https://hybridrastamama.com/?p=12727 Hybrid Rasta Mama

In past articles, we have talked about the history, myths and misconceptions of herbal medicine as well as the basics of getting started using herbs. In this post, I'd like to share with you some information on specific, common herbs and what properties they possess, as well as how you can use them as medicinal […]

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Hybrid Rasta Mama

In past articles, we have talked about the history, myths and misconceptions of herbal medicine as well as the basics of getting started using herbs. In this post, I'd like to share with you some information on specific, common herbs and what properties they possess, as well as how you can use them as medicinal remedies.

When I teach people about herbal remedies, I love to give them skills they can use right away, wherever they live. So, I teach them about weeds first. They may not sound appealing or exciting, but they make some of the most potent and accessible healing remedies you can use!

 

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Dandelions are a common weed that grows everywhere in temperate climates. It is the perfect herb to start off with! The entire plant is medicinal – flowers, leaves and root.

The leaves contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals including, but limited to, vitamins A, B, and C, and the minerals calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, and magnesium. The have been used for centuries as a spring salad green or potherb.

The roots have traditionally been used as an effective way to support the liver and encourage proper detoxification.

The flowers have been eaten similarly to the leaves, but also infused in oil to create lotions, salves and massage oils that, according to Susun Weed, have a special affinity for breasts. “Regular use of dandelion flower oil promotes deep relaxation of the breast tissues.”

All parts of the plant can be made as a tea or tincture.

 

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Like Dandelion, this plant grows commonly in all over the world in temperate climates. It has been an important source of food and medicine for traditional people throughout the ages.

It is extremely nutritious, containing vitamins A, C, D, and K, as well as the minerals calcium, potassium, phosphorus, silicon, iron, and manganese. It can be used just like spinach in cooking (nettles will not sting once they have been steamed or cooked). My favorite way to use it for food is to replace half of the basil in a pesto recipe with fresh pureed nettle leaves!

Medicinally, it has been used for conditions ranging from sunburn, to allergies to prostrate cancer. Most people use it as a spring tonic to help with detoxification after the long winter. It can be taken as a tea, tincture, or, especially in the case of preventing allergies, in freeze dried capsule form.

 

Plantain (Plantago major, P. lanceolata)

Again, like the plants mentioned above, Plantain is a “weed” that is so common, most people can find it right outside their door. It has been used from antiquity both internally and externally to heal a wide variety of ailments.

Externally, Plantain is best known for its “drawing' abilities. It can draw out splinters, dirt, pus and infection from wounds and injuries. Combined with its vulnerary benefits (medicine used to heal wounds), it is a top-notch first aid remedy.

Due in part to its astringent, as well as demulcent properties, Plantain is an excellent internal remedy for gastric ulcers, GI inflammation and related conditions. Because it is also an expectorant, it is additionaly useful and effective for respiratory and sinus ailments.

Plantain can be used as a tea, tincture, infused oil or poultice.

 

St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Also a common weed, especially in sunny meadows, St John's Wort has become a popular medicine for anxiety and depression over the last few decades. While it is an effective remedy for mild to moderate depression and related conditions, especially SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), when used in combination with Lemon Balm, it also has a number of other uses.

it is anti-inflammatory and pain relieving, especially in nerve related issues, such as, sciatica, neuralgia and injuries to nerve-rich areas like the extremities, spine and teeth and gums.

Another of its most important benefits is that it is highly antiviral. It has an affinity to the herpes virus and can be helpful for all those conditions ranging from cold sores to chicken pox to shingles.

St John's wort can be used as a tea, tincture or infused oil.

 

Wild Rose (Rosa ssp)

Arguably the most beloved and honored flower throughout history, most people who love the beautiful rose, do not know that is is also a powerful medicine.

The flowers, hips and leaves of the rose are the parts most often used for medicine. Internally, the flowers and hips are used for colds, sore throats and sinus infections, as well as heart palpitations and high blood pressure.

Externally, the flowers and leaves can help heal Inflammation, arthritis, injuries, musculoskeletal pain, wounds, infections, bites (bug or animal) and rashes.

Especially prized for its effect on emotions, Rose can help reduce grief, depression, tension, anxiety, nervousness, anger and irritability.

Wild Rose can be used as a tea, tincture, infused oil, infused honey,essential oil or poultice.

 

With these 5 common herbs, you can get started on creating a useful and effective herbal medicine cabinet, safely and with minimal effort. Having these remedies on hand can empower you to keep yourself and your family healthy with natural, practical and efficacious medicines that you can make yourself and feel good about using!

Have you used any of these plants as food or medicine? What is your favorite herbal remedy? Let me know in the comment section below!

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Funnel Cake Pancakes (Gluten Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free) https://hybridrastamama.com/funnel-cake-pancakes-gluten-free-egg-free-dairy-free/ https://hybridrastamama.com/funnel-cake-pancakes-gluten-free-egg-free-dairy-free/#respond Thu, 20 Apr 2017 18:19:21 +0000 https://hybridrastamama.com/?p=12733 Hybrid Rasta Mama

Food is one of those things in life that can conjure up some really vivid memories. Certain foods take me back to specific places, events, and ages. Foods even remind me of specific people. It’s pretty fun to sit there eating bean pie, remembering how much fun you had a certain reggae festival year after […]

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Funnel Cake Pancake Recipe from HybridRastaMama.com

Food is one of those things in life that can conjure up some really vivid memories. Certain foods take me back to specific places, events, and ages. Foods even remind me of specific people. It’s pretty fun to sit there eating bean pie, remembering how much fun you had a certain reggae festival year after year.

One food that always floods my memory bank is funnel cake. Even a small whiff sends me back to the State Fair. Of all the foods offered at the Fair, funnel cake is the one I associate with it.

I used to really love funnel cake. It was sweet, but not in an overpowering way. It was doughy. It was warm. It was just SO. GOOD. I had to get it anytime I was at a fair.

When I learned that I had celiac disease, funnel cake was the first thing that came to mind. Honestly. I was so sad that I wouldn’t get to experience it one last time. That was over 7 years ago.

It wasn’t until recently that it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, I could replicate that taste. I knew it wouldn’t be in true funnel cake form, but I was spurred forward by the memory of the taste and decided to try my hand at something really fun…

Funnel Cake Pancakes

Yep – it’s true. I flipped breakfast upside down by inventing the funnel cake pancake.

The taste is as close as you can get to a true funnel cake without common food allergens including gluten, eggs, dairy, nuts, and soy. These bad babies are packed with protein, resistant starch, and healthy fats. They are also very low in sugar (which may not appeal to everyone. Feel free to sweeten them up).

Well… what are you waiting for? Go have fair food for breakfast! Ingredient links are affiliate links. Thank you for the support.

Funnel Cake Pancakes from HybridRastaMama.com

Funnel Cake Pancakes

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 12 pancakes

This Funnel Cake Pancake recipe is gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, and soy free yet still packs nutrition and an amazingly delightful taste!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, collagen hydrosolate, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  2. With a pastry cutter or two knives, cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Add milk and honey and whisk until mixture is relatively smooth.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon palm shortening to pan and allow to melt.
  6. Pour approximately 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan. Most pans will hold 3-4 pancakes at a time.
  7. Cook until the edges start to look dry and the pancake begins to “puff up”.
  8. Carefully flip and cook the other side until golden. You may need to flip it back over to finish cooking the inside although the inside will be slightly undercooked looking. This is normal.
  9. Remove from pan and place on a serving plate, covered with a cloth to keep the heat in.
  10. Repeat until remaining batter is used up.
  11. Serve hot, with topping of your choice.

Notes

These pancakes freeze well and also keep in the fridge for 3-5 days.

Courses Breakfast

Cuisine Allergen Free

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7 Herbs That Can Boost Your Libido https://hybridrastamama.com/7-herbs-that-can-boost-your-libido/ https://hybridrastamama.com/7-herbs-that-can-boost-your-libido/#comments Tue, 11 Apr 2017 19:48:10 +0000 https://hybridrastamama.com/?p=12621 Hybrid Rasta Mama

I bet you didn’t know that your sex drive, aka libido, is a major indicator of your overall health? You see, your hormones are pretty much the master regulators of nearly every system, organ, and process in your body. This includes emotions and your mood as well. Your libido is a direct reflection of these […]

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7 Herbs That Can Boost Your Libido from HybridRastaMama.com

I bet you didn’t know that your sex drive, aka libido, is a major indicator of your overall health? You see, your hormones are pretty much the master regulators of nearly every system, organ, and process in your body. This includes emotions and your mood as well. Your libido is a direct reflection of these hormones which in turn means that it can tell you a lot about your health.

You are likely in good shape hormonally if your sex drive is responsive and fairly active. However, if you find yourself with little to no sexual desire, then you likely have some hormonal issues that need addressing.

While I am not a medical professional nor do I play one on this site, I do know a few things about hormones and how to kick them into high gear with a libido boost. While I have discussed natural aphrodisiacs before, I am taking things a step further and looking at specific herbs that can boost your libido and in what ways they will do so.

Please note that links are likely affiliate links. Thanks for supporting my site through your purchase.

Herbs That Can Boost Your Libido For Men and Women

As far as herbs go, Pine Pollen is pretty unknown, used mainly in the Chinese Medicine tradition as a powerful androgenic and vitality enhancing substance. Pine pollen literally is just that — the sexual fluid of pine trees. It’s the seed that when mixed with soil, air, sun and water can grow into a gigantic hundred foot plus pine tree. Don’t laugh but it tends to have similar effects on your hormonal system and sex drive. It is a powerful and rather rare herb that restores your sexual and vital essence with distinctly aphrodisiac effects. Want to know which one I think is best? Try this Wild-Harvested Pine Pollen.

Yohimbe is the bark stripped from a tree in West Africa. It is known to stimulate circulation where you want it within an hour of use. Obviously this seems like something a man might benefit from more but trust me, you ladies will see a nice effect as well. Try this great Yohimbe Bark Tincture.

Tongkat ali extract has been used by men and women for centuries to arouse desire and increase erogenous sensitivity. It’s traditionally given to women suffering from low libido, as it also supports positive responses to stress and stimulates memory and overall brain function. The downside of Tongkat ali is that it is a phenomenally rare, tree-like flowering plant native to Indonesia so it can be difficult to source. However, it is one of the most powerful hormone and sex drive-modulating herbs on the planet. And it’s one of the few natural substances that has been scientifically shown to actually boost testosterone levels in men, and it does so powerfully. Would you like to try some? You can get a great Tongkat Ali Formula here.

Herbs That Can Boost A Woman's Libido

Damiana is from the damian leaf, which is a small shrub native to South America and Mexico. It contains alkaloids that stimulate blood flow and increase sensitivity, particularly in those exclusive lady parts. It also relaxes the body and reduces stress, something that is vital to a healthy sex response. This has long been considered the number-one herb for women. I particularly like this brand of Damiana.

Muira Puama is known as the “potency wood.” This small tree is native to the Amazon. The bark and root have long been used by indigenous populations for sexual therapy. This is great Muira Puama extract to try.

Herbs That Can Boost A Man's Libido

Horny Goat Weed has a funny name that certainly has been the butt of jokes. However, this herb is truly no-joke. Found in Asia and the Mediterranean, it is known to help improve erectile function, increase libido, and even combat sexual fatigue. It increases testosterone and nitric oxide levels, helping to enhance blood flow where it is needed the most. Obviously I haven’t tried it myself but this is a reputable brand of horny goat weed with great reviews.

Mucuna Pruriens is a little known herb that contains L-Dopa. This helps create the neurotransmitter dopamine in the brain, boosting mood and sexuality. It’s considered one of the best sex stimulants in the world, and helps increase male stamina, increase sperm count, and boost sex drive. Kind of the holy grail for sexual health and fortitude. I suggest this brand of Mucuna Pruriens.

And there you have it! Seven amazing herbs that will have you feeling in the mood in record time! Have you tried any other herbs with great results? Please politely share in the comments.

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Lemon Basil Sugar Scrub For Headache Relief https://hybridrastamama.com/lemon-basil-sugar-scrub-headache-relief/ https://hybridrastamama.com/lemon-basil-sugar-scrub-headache-relief/#respond Mon, 03 Apr 2017 11:23:37 +0000 http://hybridrastamama.com/?p=12384 Hybrid Rasta Mama

Headaches are something that millions of people experience daily. They are at best, an unwelcome annoyance and at their worst, completely debilitating. There are many reasons for the onset of a headache and many classifications of headaches. While many types of headaches are related to other health issues, the number one cause of headaches is […]

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Lemon Basil Sugar Scrub For Headache Relief from HybridRastaMama.com

Headaches are something that millions of people experience daily. They are at best, an unwelcome annoyance and at their worst, completely debilitating.

There are many reasons for the onset of a headache and many classifications of headaches. While many types of headaches are related to other health issues, the number one cause of headaches is stress and fatigue.

A stress headache can range from a mild throbbing in one location of the skull to an outright assault on your entire cranium radiating clear down your neck and into your upper back and shoulders. While there are many effective natural remedies for headaches, there is one herb that is often overlooked and yet can play a big role in helping ease the discomfort of the headache while working to completely eliminate the headache.

We are of course talking about Basil!

Basil has been a much revered herb throughout history. In fact, it was a Greek physician Dioscorides who prescribed basil for headaches. It is also one of the few “non-traditional” Chinese herbs that is still used in Chinese medicine, specifically for headaches.

Basil has many of the same medicinal effects as other members of the mint family. The volatile oil of this herb works as a muscle relaxant, making it particularly helpful in the treatment of headaches caused by tension and tight muscles. Sweet basil is an anti-inflammatory and will bring down swelling that is either the cause of or the response to a headache.

Basil is widely known to be an antispasmodic which helps ease any spasms that might be causing a headache. A little known benefit to using basil is it’s antiemetic properties. This means that it can ease the nausea that might accompany a headache or for some, cause a headache.

One of the most important properties found in Basil are the analgesic properties, which means it offers pain relief. Recent studies back up the pain-relieving effects of basil essential oil. More specifically, the Eugenol Synthase enzyme in basil suppresses pain, according to a study by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Also, a study in “Planta Medica” concluded that the antinociceptive effects of basil alleviated pain. This property helps your body feel less pain in reaction to certain causes of pain.

So how does one use basil to ease a headache? While there are many options, a simple basil lemon sugar scrub is a great way to bring about relief while offering you a bit of a skin pick-me-up. This can be made in advance and stored for a couple of months in a cool cabinet.

Please note that the links below are affiliate links. Thank you for supporting this site.

Lemon Basil Sugar Scrub For Headache Relief from HybridRastaMama.com

Lemon Basil Sugar Scrub For Headache Relief

Equipment Needed:

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a glass bowl, combine the oils, basil leaves, and lemon essential oil or juice.
  2. Stir until everything is combined.
  3. Add in the sugar ½ cup at a time, stirring well.
  4. Once everything is incorporated, pour into your glass jar and put the lid on.
  5. Allow to sit in a cool, dark space for at least 24 hours before using.

Notes

To Use: When you feel a headache coming on, grab your lemon basil scrub and get to a sink, shower, or bathtub. Ideally, you will be able to get into a lukewarm shower or bath, applying the scrub all over your body paying special attention to your face, neck, and upper back area.

If you cannot get into the shower, simply grab a washcloth and soak it in warm water. Place it over your face for a minute to open your pores. Then grab a small handful of the scrub and begin rubbing it all over your face. Spend a little extra time making gentle circles at your temples and on your forehead.

Rinse your face/body well and pat dry. Before your put your scrub away, take a moment to inhale its basil and lemon scent. The aroma alone can do wonders for that headache! *It is not necessary to use three different carrier oils. You are welcome to choose just one or two oils. In order to make this recipe, you simply need 3 ounces of your carrier oil or carrier oil blend of choice. 


Are you looking for some additional headache support? Try this awesome herbal tincture for headaches!

Headache-Be-Gone Herbal Tincture from HybridRastaMama.com

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What Is Herbal Medicine Part 2? https://hybridrastamama.com/what-is-herbal-medicine-part-2/ https://hybridrastamama.com/what-is-herbal-medicine-part-2/#comments Tue, 28 Mar 2017 02:04:36 +0000 http://hybridrastamama.com/?p=12380 Hybrid Rasta Mama

In the last post in this series, we learned about the history of herbal medicine, the myths and misconceptions surrounding it and some of the reasons it has remained so popular throughout the ages. Now, let's get down to the nitty gritty and find out a bit more about how to use herbs to help […]

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Hybrid Rasta Mama

In the last post in this series, we learned about the history of herbal medicine, the myths and misconceptions surrounding it and some of the reasons it has remained so popular throughout the ages. Now, let's get down to the nitty gritty and find out a bit more about how to use herbs to help you and your family stay healthy!

Working with herbs

There are a few things to know about how to work with herbs before you dive in. Let's lay a good foundation so that you can build your knowledge of herbal medicine step-by-step.

Most people who begin using herbs as medicine will start by purchasing their herbs. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

Purchasing herbs

When you are purchasing herbs, you want to know that what you purchase is going to be high quality, is going to have all the medicinal benefits it's supposed to and it's going to be pure. Here are a few tips to follow to ensure you are getting premium herbs.

  • Know and trust your supplier
  • Make sure the herbs smell fresh and their aroma is intense
  • Make sure they look vibrant and deep in color
  • Look for organically grown

Preparing your own herbs

Alternatively, you may want to harvest and prepare your own herbs. There are many reasons for this. Here are just a few:

  • You know where they came from
  • You know how they have been handled
  • You know how fresh they are
  • You can infuse your own energy into them

 

*Bonus* – Click here to receive a complimentary PDF – “Working with Herbs – The Basics”!

 

Gathering your own herbs

If you are going to harvest your own herbs, there are certain guidelines that it is best to follow to make sure you will end up with the highest quality, most medicinal end product that you can. Here are a few things that you will want to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you have positive ID of the plant!
  • Know which part of the plant you need
  • Know when that part of the plant has the most energy
  • Be gentle, with the plant and the environment
  • Avoid roadsides, railroad tracks, industrial areas, any area that could be contaminated, etc

Gathering Aerial Parts

If you are looking to gather the leaves and/or flowers of a plant to use medicinally, here are a few tips to help you out:

  • Spring and summer are usually the best times
  • If picking leaves, gather just before plant blooms
  • If gathering flowers, right before they are fully open is best
  • Gather late morning after a dry spell of a few days

Gathering Seeds and Fruits

Harvesting seeds and fruits have a few guidelines of their own:

  • Gather seeds when mature, but not so dry they shatter
  • Place paper bag around seed head to catch seeds
  • Harvest fruit when fully ripe, unless otherwise indicated
  • Harvest in dry weather

Gathering Bark

Gathering the bark of a tree for medicinal use has it's own set of challenges and guidelines. Here are a few:

  • The inner bark is the medicinal part of the bark (the cambium layer)
  • Branches the size of a half dollar or smaller are good to use
  • Do not take trunk bark
  • It is important to get bark off the branch before it dries
  • Harvest in spring through summer until leaves turn
  • Harvesting windfall branches right after a storm is often the best option

Gathering Roots

When harvesting the roots of plants to use medicinally, here are some considerations and pointers for you to follow:

  • Harvest when the root is acting as a storage organ-fall/winter/early spring
  • This can make ID difficult, since the plant has died back, so be careful and make sure you have positive identification
  • Waiting until rains begin can make digging easier
  • Long-lived perennials (ex. Echinacea, ginseng) are not harvested until after 3rd, or more, year of growth
  • Biennials, such as burdock, harvest in the fall of 1st year or early spring of 2nd year

How to store herbs

Once you have harvested your herbs, you are going to need to know how to keep and store them properly so they will last longer and remain potent for a longer period of time.

  • Drying Herbs – make sure your herbs are completely dry before storing them. There are several options here – hanging in bunches in a dry area out of direct sun, laying on drying sceens with plenty of air circulation, or using a dehydrator on the lowest setting are all good choices, depending on the herb.
  • Storing – your herbs will last longer if they are housed in a place that is cool and dark, and in an air-tight container.
  • Avoid – to keep your herbs in good shape for a long period of time, avoiding these things is necessary: light, heat, air, moisture and insects.
  • Label with date of harvest and name and check often to make sure the herbs are still in good condition.

 

*Bonus* – Click here to receive a complimentary PDF – “Working with Herbs – The Basics”!

 

Herbal applications

Some of the myriad methods of utilizing herbal medicine include tea blends, glycerine or alcohol tinctures, elixirs, oxymels, capsules, oil or vinegar infusions, salves, ointments, liniments, compresses and poultices.

Here are a few descriptions of the most commonly used herbal applications:

  • Teas/tisanes – most of us are familiar with herbal teas, but there are a few things to know about herbal teas to make the most of their medicinal properties.
    1. Infusions – these are steeped in water for around 20 minutes, then strained and drunk. Leaves and flowers are the best choices for an infusion.
    2. Decoctions – these are simmered in boiling water for around 20 minutes, then strained and drunk. Seeds, barks and roots are good choices for a decoction.
    3. Fomentations – the act of applying a tea externally turns it into a fomentation. An herbal fomentation can be applied easily by soaking a cloth in the tea and applying it to the skin, or spraying in on.
  • Steam Inhalations – this is accomplished by taking a steaming cup or bowl of tea and placing your face 10-12 inches above the vessel, in the path of the steam so that it can be breathed in. Sometimes tenting your head with a towel can increase the effectiveness.
  • Poultices – a poultice can be described as applying mashed up, torn up or water soaked herbs externally onto the skin.
  • Tinctures/extracts – Many of us have used herbal tinctures and are familiar with them. Here are some details to remember:
    1. To make a tincture, you need to soak the herb in liquid for a length of time. This is called Macerating the Mark in the Menstruum (macerate = soak, mark = herb, menstruum = liquid)
    2. The menstruum (liquid) used is generally alcohol, alcohol and water, vinegar or glycerine.
    3. Tinctures are most often used Internally, but can also be used externally if needed.
  • Oils – herbal oils are a wonderful and soothing way to experience the medicinal benefits of the plant kingdom. Here are a few things to remember:
    1. To make an infused oil, the herb is soaked in an oil for a length of time, similar to how a tincture is made.
    2. There is a big difference between infused and essential oils. Essential oils are a component of many plants which are extracted, concentrated and extremely potent, needing to be diluted before use. Herbal infused oils are gentle and many different oil soluble components of the plant are extracted into them.
    3. Precautions with fresh herbs – fresh herbs contain a lot of moisture which may cause the oil infusion to mold. It is best to use dry herbs or herbs that have been wilted for a couple of days.
    4. Salves and Lotions – herbal infused oils are perfect for creating easy to use products like salves, balms and lotions.

 

Armed with all this great information, the next step is to become educated on the medicinal properties of different herbs. In the next post in this series, I will be giving you an overview of some of the most commonly used medicinal plants, what their benefits are and how best to use them. Stay tuned!

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Coconut Oil For Weight Loss https://hybridrastamama.com/coconut-oil-weight-loss/ https://hybridrastamama.com/coconut-oil-weight-loss/#respond Mon, 20 Mar 2017 16:49:25 +0000 http://hybridrastamama.com/?p=12345 Hybrid Rasta Mama

A common misconception about coconut oil is its association with weight gain. For decades, people who were struggling with weight loss would avoid coconut oil. They would read food labels and anything that contained coconut oil was immediately put back on the shelf. This was during that fairly lengthy time period in which people believed […]

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Coconut Oil for Weight Loss from HybridRastaMama.com

A common misconception about coconut oil is its association with weight gain. For decades, people who were struggling with weight loss would avoid coconut oil. They would read food labels and anything that contained coconut oil was immediately put back on the shelf. This was during that fairly lengthy time period in which people believed that almost anything that contained fat was bad and that it was going to lead to weight gain, no matter how beneficial it might be otherwise and no matter what the caloric content was in some cases.

Coconut oil has been redeemed in the eyes of the public now that the crusade against dietary fat has finally gone away. And the good news? Coconut oil and weight loss go together like a hand and a glove. How? Metabolic regulation.

A good portion of what constitutes effective weight loss involves stabilizing one's blood sugar. The rapid spike in blood sugar is what is going to cause weight gain in many cases. People who are able to regulate their blood sugar are going to be able to prevent that from happening. If they are able to keep their blood sugar even, then they're going to be in a situation in which the weight comes off, assuming that they're still exercising and burning calories and eating cleanly.

Coconut oil is high in the healthy fats that are going to successfully regulate a person's metabolism. Healthy fats also have a way of making people feel significantly fuller after they eat, which is going to make a big difference when it comes to how many calories they take in at the end of the day. People will be able to feel full on fewer calories if they are able to supplement what they eat with coconut oil.

Coconut Oil For Weight Loss from HybridRastaMama.comMore technically speaking… Coconut oil consists of 50% lauric acid, which is a medium-chain triglyceride. Also included are myristic, caprylic and palmitic acid. The presence of these acids helps to reduce appetite while increasing proper function of the thyroid. This does not mean they are an appetite suppressant rather they allow a healthy level of food consumption and provide longer time durations of feeling full. The increase in metabolism and thyroid function assists in our body burning fat calories rather than storing them. The presence of medium-chain triglycerides in coconut oil allows the rapid digestion of these acids before they reach the intestinal tract whereas other oils contain slow digesting long-chain triglycerides. These particular long-chain triglycerides also trigger the body's fat storing function ultimately resulting in weight gain.

Some people have been wary of coconut oil because it does contain saturated fat, and it is fairly high in calories in its own right. It should also be noted that saturated fat is no longer considered as unhealthy as it once was. In fact, it might not actually present the health risks that people imagined that it would as it relates to cholesterol. It should also be noted that saturated fat is not going to cause weight gain in its own right for anyone.

So eat up! Coconut oil is an ally in the battle for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. And remember, everyone’s body is different. One person’s diet might look quite different than another’s. Find what works for your body.

Curious about how much coconut oil you should eat daily? Learn more in this post about coconut oil consumption. Want to know which coconut oil I use and love? You can find those brands over on my products I love page.

Wait…..don't go! Check out this awesome coconut oil based lotion recipe that really can help with weight loss!

DIY Weight Loss Lotion

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How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches For Good https://hybridrastamama.com/get-rid-cockroaches-good/ https://hybridrastamama.com/get-rid-cockroaches-good/#comments Tue, 14 Mar 2017 21:24:59 +0000 http://hybridrastamama.com/?p=12335 Hybrid Rasta Mama

I promise you that I will share EXACTLY what I did to get rid of insane amounts of cockroaches for good. But before I do, I have to share the backstory because it not only sets the stage for my cockroach killing approach but it is just too good of a story not to tell. […]

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How To Get Rid of Cockroaches For Good from HybridRastaMama.com

I promise you that I will share EXACTLY what I did to get rid of insane amounts of cockroaches for good. But before I do, I have to share the backstory because it not only sets the stage for my cockroach killing approach but it is just too good of a story not to tell.

November 2015 – I was in a huge panic as I had to find a new place to live and move by December 26th. No one would rent to me which was not a surprise. After all, my life was pretty upside down since Moldagddon the year before. I was getting desperate which is why I pounced on a less-than-ideal situation when it was offered to me.

A neighbor in the condo complex I was living in offered to rent me her unit. She wanted to sell it but was waiting until summer. She knew I was in a tight spot and I was grateful to have a place to go – plus I would get a little more time with my awesome neighbors! This might sound all well and good however there was one huge downside to making the move to this particular condo…

I would be sharing a wall that spanned the kitchen, dining area, bathroom, and master bedroom with a condo full of hoarders.

It was bad. Beyond bad. It was something out of a horror movie.

I knew about the hoarders. In fact, I interacted with them fairly regularly during the 8 months I had already lived in the complex. While I was repulsed by the state of their living conditions, I also felt sorry for them as clearly, they were inflicted with a mental illness.

Picture this – 4 adults, 4 dogs, 17 cats, birds, fish, and about 50,000 cockroaches stuffed into a very hoarded 900 square foot condo. The smell – oh people the smell. It was beyond description. But even worse were the mass amounts of cockroaches. It was completely mind blowing.

You might ask why I made the crazy decision to share a wall with hoarders. Hadn’t I been through enough with mold? Well, yes, but sometimes beggers can’t be overly-choosey. Plus, I was determined to beat these roaches at their own game. And I did. In less than a month.

Yep – you read that right. I literally got rid of ALL the cockroaches that were permeating not just my condo but all the condos in our building. It took a lot of research, a lot of fortitude, and a gut of steel. But I did it. And today, I am sharing how to get rid of cockroaches for good. It is crazy easy but even better, it is inexpensive. You ready to learn my secrets?

 

How To Get Rid Of Cockroaches For Good

 

How To Get Rid of Cockroaches For Good from HybridRastaMama.com

Let’s start with the products you will need. Links to products are from my affiliate partner Amazon. I have found them to have the best price on these particular products.

Gentrol Point Source IGR Insect Growth Regulator

This is the MOST EFFECTIVE product for annihilating a roach infestation. Gentrol is basically a hormone disrupter. Over the course of 3-4 weeks, it greatly reduces each generation’s ability to reproduce. Obviously, once roaches are no longer capable of reproducing, the population will dwindle quickly. However, Gentrol will not kill roaches…it only prevents them from reproducing. You still need to take the appropriate measures to kill the live cockroaches.

Gentrol discs are easy to use. You activate them and stick them around your home. There is a handy guide that outlines placement and spacing based on your home size. I erred on the side of caution and probably used more than I needed to but I wasn’t interested in taking a slow approach to operation kill all the cockroaches.

Cockroach Bait

You can approach the cockroach bait from one of two ways. There is the more natural approach in the form of a cockroach food bomb. The other is a really effective (and irresistible to the roaches) commercial bait.

To make the cockroach food bomb you will need:

  • 3 cups Borax (Boric Acid)
  • 1 cup White Flour (or Gluten Free Flour if you have celiac and cannot risk cross contamination)
  • 1 cup White Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • Water as needed to create the right consistency

Basically, you want to mix everything together – WEAR GLOVES! You want the batter to be malleable enough that you can roll it into half-dollar sized balls. Once you have your balls made, place them in places that the roaches frequent but out of the reach of pets and children. Once the cockroaches ingest the borax, they will blow up. It sounds more exciting than it is. You won’t have cockroaches flying all over as they blow. Their stomachs sort of just pop open.

The tricky thing about this natural bait is that not all cockroaches love it. Believe it or not, cockroaches have flavor preferences. I observed this first hand. My cockroach population had come to love grease. They didn’t care if I was baking cookies but as soon as the bacon came out – boom! Roaches galore. So these bait balls may or may not work for your roaches. If they don’t… you need to bring out the bug guns.

Advion Syngenta Cockroach Gel Bait or Bait Stations

You all know that I prefer to live a chemical free, close to the earth lifestyle. However, I also prefer to live a cockroach free lifestyle. As such, I did end up using the Advion Bait to tackle the live roach population. Let me tell you – those roaches loved this stuff and they would be dead within hours of eating it. I liked the idea of the bait stations but the roaches were less likely to go into them as they were a strip of the gel bait placed in key locations.

The Advion bait is great to put near trash cans, inside and on top of cabinets, and on top of counters at night. There wouldn’t be a trace of it on the counter in the morning but there would be plenty of roach carcasses!

Trapper Insect Traps

My condo must have looked ridiculous. I didn’t care. I placed these traps everywhere I could. And yes, I got stuck in them a few times as did our house rabbit. However, they are very effective at trapping roached. I taped them flat to the walls and ceiling and caught plenty of roaches on the move. Once the trap had a few hitchhikers, I would take them and dunk them in water to kill any roaches clinging to life.

Why drown the roaches and not just squish them? Mama roaches hold on tightly to their egg sacks and squishing a mama roach can lead to her expelling those eggs everywhere. You don’t want that. I promise you.

As a side note – you might be asking “Why do traditional pesticide sprays fail to kill cockroaches?” Because roaches are smart. They can hold their breath for hours which allows the fumes to dissipate. They will also go take a short vacation at the neighbor’s house and then return. Roaches have a ridiculous homing instinct. They want to live where they were born. They will go to great lengths to get back to their birthplace.

These are the products that I used exclusively and like I said in just a few weeks, the roaches were gone for good! However, there was a little more to the story than just using the right products. I also made sure that I limited the ways that cockroaches could get in. I sealed up cracks, I put safety plugs into outlets, and I kept food sealed in glass jars. I cleaned up food debris immediately and never left food on the counter. I also had a super tight closing garbage can and I emptied it before bed every night. It is also important to remove any standing water and fix leaks. Cockroaches can go weeks without food but only a day or two without water.

Because of the hoarding situation, I decided to take action and treat not only my condo but the hoarder’s condo as well. This was one of the most harrowing things I have ever done. At one point, I found myself the victim of a cascading waterfall of roaches. I had opened a closet door and the roaches rained down on me. I was covered. It was awful. I might have gone outside and barfed. But I did it for the betterment of the community and my efforts paid off. While it took a little longer to completely rid that hoarded condo of roaches, it eventually worked. So did getting the hoarders evicted. That certainly aided in a never-ending cycle of roach killing efforts.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are the victim of a roach infestation outside of your control, just keep at it with the products I used. Those hormone disrupters are key and will make a significant impact in keeping the population in check.

Have any cockroach stories to share? I’d love to hear them!

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What Is Herbal Medicine? https://hybridrastamama.com/what-is-herbal-medicine/ https://hybridrastamama.com/what-is-herbal-medicine/#comments Mon, 27 Feb 2017 12:39:14 +0000 http://hybridrastamama.com/?p=12322 Hybrid Rasta Mama

As we spoke about in An Introduction to Alternative Medicine, many different natural therapies are becoming very popular in our society these days. One of my favorites, is Herbal Medicine. What is Herbal Medicine? Herbalism is a traditional medicinal or folk medicine practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. Herbalism is also […]

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As we spoke about in An Introduction to Alternative Medicine, many different natural therapies are becoming very popular in our society these days. One of my favorites, is Herbal Medicine.

What is Herbal Medicine?

Herbalism is a traditional medicinal or folk medicine practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. Herbalism is also known as botanical medicine, medical herbalism, herbal medicine, herbology, and phytotherapy. The scope of herbal medicine is sometimes extended to include fungal and bee products, as well as minerals, shells and certain animal parts. Pharmacognosy is the study of medicines derived from natural sources.

Herbal medicine has been the dominant form of “health care” since the beginning of human culture. Even today, 75% of the world’s population depends on some form of herbal medicine as their primary source of health care.
Many herbs are considered nutrient-rich foods and, as such, can be utilized as dietary supplements benefiting anyone regardless of their level of health, as well as complementing and supporting conventional therapy.

Some of the reasons I feel that herbal medicine has consistently remained so popular world-wide are:

1) Safety – Herbal Medicine is inherently much safer than pharmaceutical medicine. A recent study of all poisonings shows there has not been a single death traced to the use of nutritional supplements, including herbal supplements. Meanwhile, prescription drugs – those properly prescribed – account for 128,000 deaths and 2.74 million serious adverse reactions each year.
2) Accessibility – Most people only need to step out their front door to find medicinal herbs. Even in the city, a window ledge can provide an abundance of plants to use as medicine.
3) Efficacy – There is a long, documented history of success with Herbal Medicine. In fact, TCM and Ayurveda have been practiced and documented with several thousand years of imperical evidence.
4) Synergy – Herbal formulations work in a subtle manner that is harmonious and synergistic with the body’s healing processes. The body’s natural defenses are strengthened, allowing it to heal itself. Herbal remedies don’t just alleviate the symptoms of illness, but actually work towards fixing the underlying cause of the problem.

There are many different ways to incorporate herbs into daily life. One of the best and most meaningful is to grow them yourself. When you work with plants on a daily basis, you get to know them, their “personalities”, their energies. You begin to get an intuitive feeling for their affinities, what they can offer to you, how they can help you flourish, while, in return, you offer them a healthy place to grow and flourish.

 

History of Herbal Medicine

Herbalism has a long and rich history. In fact, nearly all cultures and societies have depended on some form of herbal medicine throughout the recorded history of the human race. From the Ayurvedic texts of India, and the Unani Tibbs system of medicine in the Middle East, to Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Native American ethnobotany of the Americas, Herbal Medicine has been central to how we have always helped our bodies to heal. Ancient Egyptian and Chinese writings describe medicinal uses for plants as early as 3,000 BC.

Interestingly, many drugs commonly used today are of herbal origin. In fact, about 25 percent of the prescription drugs dispensed in the US contain at least one active ingredient derived from plant material. Some are made from plant extracts; others are synthesized to mimic a natural plant compound.

Additionally, the World Health Organization notes that of 119 plant-derived pharmaceutical medicines, about 75 percent are used in conventional medicine in methods that correlated directly with their traditional uses as herbal medicines by native cultures.

Myths/Misconceptions about Herbal Medicine

There are many misconceptions about the use of herbs these days. I will attempt to dispel many of them here.

  1. All herbs are safeHerbalist David Winston does a great job of breaking this down for us: “In Cherokee medicine we distinguish between three categories of herbs (Winston D, 1992). The “food herbs” are gentle in action, have very low toxicity, and are unlikely to cause an adverse response. Examples of “food herbs” include Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Marshmallow, Ginger, Garlic, Chamomile, Hawthorn, Rose hips, Nettles, Dandelion Root and Leaf, and fresh Oat extract. These herbs can be utilized in substantial quantities over long periods of time without any acute or chronic toxicity (it is important to note that allergic responses like with foods are possible, as are unique idiosyncratic reactions, and even common foods such as grapefruit juice, broccoli, and okra can interact with medications).
    The second category is the “medicine herbs”. These herbs are stronger acting – they need to be used with greater knowledge (dosage and rationale for use) for specific conditions (with a medical diagnosis) and usually for a limited period of time. These herbs are not daily tonics and they should not be taken just because “they are good for you”. These herbs have a greater potential for adverse reaction and in some cases, drug interactions. The “medicine herbs” include Andrographis, Blue Cohosh, Cascara Sagrada, Celandine, Ephedra, Goldenseal, Jamaica Dogwood, Oregon Grape Root, Senna, and Uva-Ursi.
    The last category is the “poison herbs”. These herbs have strong potential for either acute or chronic toxicity and should only be utilized by clinicians who are trained to use them and clearly understand their toxicology and appropriate use.
    Even though the herb industry is often portrayed as unregulated* and irresponsible, the vast majority of the herbs in this category are not available to the public and are not sold in health food or herb stores. Examples of “poison herbs” include Aconite, Arnica, Belladonna, Bryonia, Datura, Gelsemium, Henbane, Male Fern, Phytolacca, Podophyllum, and Veratrum.”
  2. All herbal formulas are safe for everyone – Just as we have learned that not all herbs are safe, we know that not all herbal formulas are safe for everyone. For instance, an herbal formula that was created for, and is safe for an adult, may not be safe for a small child.
  3. Herbal medicines are free from side effects – While many, if not most, herbs do not have what we would call side effects, especially compared to the long list of side effects that pharmaceutical medications have, it is important to understand that herbal medicines are not completely free of them. In fact, I prefer not to use the term ‘side effects' at all. Herbs all have ‘effects' on the body. Most are desirable and some are not. It is our job, when we are using medicinal herbs, to know the difference.
  4. Herbal products are always pure and natural –
    Unfortunately, not all herbal products you find on the store shelves are pure and natural. In the past few decades there have been a number of unscrupulous companies who have taken advantage of the upsurge of interest in herbal products and pumped out herbal formulas that were adulterated with cheap fillers, inferior materials and additives. This is most unfortunate, but points to the importance of knowing your suppliers.
  5. More is better where herbs are concerned – Our society has bought into the myth of ‘more is better' hook, line and sinker. There may be many reasons for this, but regardless of the reasons, it is absolutely not true when it comes to herbalism, or any other alternative modality for that matter. There are many times when less is definitely more. Starting small and gradually increasing dosages until the right balance is reached is almost always the better strategy.

Now that we have a better understanding of what herbal medicine is, we can take a look at how to use it for ourselves. In my next article, I will discuss this in detail. In the meantime, let me know in the comment section if you have used herbal medicine and what herb is your favorite?

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Morrocco Method Products Not Working For You? Try This! https://hybridrastamama.com/are-morrocco-method-products-not-working-for-you-try-this/ https://hybridrastamama.com/are-morrocco-method-products-not-working-for-you-try-this/#respond Mon, 20 Feb 2017 12:53:06 +0000 http://hybridrastamama.com/?p=12252 Hybrid Rasta Mama

I have noticed an unfortunate trend in some of the blog comments related to my posts about the line of products. (These great folks are also an affiliate partner.) It seems as though a lot of people have given up on using the Morrocco Method hair care system because they did not like the results. […]

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Morrocco Method Products Not Working For You? Try This! from HybridRastaMama.com

I have noticed an unfortunate trend in some of the blog comments related to my posts about the line of products. (These great folks are also an affiliate partner.) It seems as though a lot of people have given up on using the Morrocco Method hair care system because they did not like the results. Common complaints were, “my hair is so greasy,” “my hair looks gross,” “it is too complicated,” and “I gave up because the adjustment period is taking too long.”

I get it. Believe it or not I had a few moments on my hair care journey where I wanted to give up on Morrocco Method as well. Specifically, when I moved to Arizona and was introduced to the hard water here I absolutely wanted to ditch Morrocco Method. My goodness….my hair was a horrific disaster. The good news is that I powered through this and shared my tips on hair care with hard water here.

What if hard water is not the issue and your hair is truly at the point that you just don’t want to continue with the Morrocco Method shampoos? If you will just hang in there a little longer, I have a few tips that I think will really help your hair get back on track. Don’t worry – I am NOT going to suggest that you give it more time or start from ground zero. Instead, I am going to offer up suggestions on how you can still get the benefits of the Morrocco Method line of products without there being a “gross” mess on top of your head.

7 Ways Morrocco Method Products Can Be Used To Give You Healthy Hair

1. Half ditch the Morrocco Method line of shampoos. Yep – you read that right. Stop using them like you were. By all means if a product isn’t working, you used it correctly and gave it a sufficient amount of “adjustment” time, then stop using it. No reason to raise your stress level because of greasy hair right? So what should you do instead? Try a hybrid approach to washing your hair. Use a shampoo you know works for your hair and follow the washing protocol outlined by Morrocco Method. (Basically it involves washing your hair twice). Then, the next day you shampoo your hair, use one of the Morrocco Method shampoos for the first washing and then follow with your favorite shampoo for the second washing. Go back and forth with this method. I have tried this myself and it worked quite well. You still get the benefits of the MM shampoo but without the grease.

2. Not sure about tip #1? Ok – I get it. No biggie. Wash with your trusted shampoo but use one of the Morrocco Method conditioners. This is also a wonderful way to get the benefits of their hair care system without the shampoo. While I highly recommend tip #1, I think that this makes for a great alternative. I have actually suggested it to a few people and the feedback has been great!

Prefer to totally steer clear of both the shampoo and conditioners? Sure thing! Here are more ways Morrocco Method products can still help you have amazingly health hair.

3. Once a month or more if you like, detox your hair and scalp with the incredible Zen Detox Hair and Scalp Therapy. This stuff is crazy good and I use it religiously. It really is bizarre how much crud builds up in our system and comes out through our scalp. Using this will definitely help the overall health of your hair and scalp without creating “icky” hair.

4. Throw on some Volcanic Powder Dry Shampoo before bed once or twice a week. Volcanic Powder Dry Shampoo combines the finest clays, minerals and botanicals from around the world to provide deep cleansing to the roots and follicles. Its unique formulation dynamically assists in reversing chemical damage caused by synthetic shampoos, giving hair a natural glow without dusty residue. A thin layer of volcanic powder coats the strands, protecting against smog, sun and wind damage. Even if you are using pretty natural shampoo, this stuff will take things to a new level.

5. Brush your hair! Yep – seems ridiculously easy right? There is more to it than just grabbing a brush and running it through your hair. Morrocco Method has a superior line of boar bristle brushes and an effective method of brushing. You can learn more in the post where I discuss the proper way to brush your hair.

6. Perfect for all hair types, Morrocco Method’s restoring Elixirs work to normalize sebaceous glands while promoting scalp and hair reconstruction, revitalization and rejuvenation. This product isn’t something you necessarily use long term however, if you are using synthetic shampoos you would benefit from using the Elixirs every three months or so.

7. Every 6-8 weeks, do a Henna treatment with Morrocco Method’s Neutral Henna. It will bring out the natural brilliance of your hair color by conditioning deeply and treating the hair follicle. The neutral henna is also a fantastic curl elongater for people looking for more definition and length. There is NO COLOR being added and safe to use on all hair types.

So there you have it – 7 ways to still use some of Morrocco Method’s great products while avoiding “blah” hair. I hope those of you who gave up on MM will give them another chance by incorporating one or more of my suggestions.

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Affordable Mold Test? Yes, There Really Is One! https://hybridrastamama.com/an-affordable-mold-test/ https://hybridrastamama.com/an-affordable-mold-test/#comments Thu, 16 Feb 2017 15:43:32 +0000 http://hybridrastamama.com/?p=12241 Hybrid Rasta Mama

I unexpectedly became a “mold blogger” after I went through Moldageddon and shared my experience in this little corner of the world. As such, I get hundreds of questions a month related to mold. Try as I might, I just can’t respond to them all in a timely manner. Since one of the questions I […]

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Affordable Mold Test? Yes, There Really Is One! from HybridRastaMama.com

I unexpectedly became a “mold blogger” after I went through Moldageddon and shared my experience in this little corner of the world. As such, I get hundreds of questions a month related to mold. Try as I might, I just can’t respond to them all in a timely manner. Since one of the questions I commonly see is “is there such a thing as an affordable mold test,” I decided to just turn it into a post that I can point people to as a resource.

Affordable is a relative term really. When it comes to health and longevity, I am quite sure most of us would do all that we could to make the financial end of things come together so that we could get the care we needed to live a long, healthy life. This is why it perplexes me a bit when people write to me concerned that mold is destroying their health and yet, are unwilling to spend a few hundred dollars to determine what strains they have and in what concentrations.

I get it – $300 can be a make or break it between putting food on the table or not. I understand the reluctance of people who just aren’t sure if there really is mold and would like some sort of affordable mold test, no to mention accurate mold screening, that could at least determine whether further testing should be done.

I have done A LOT of mold and mycotoxin testing over the past couple of years. I have spent a small fortune doing it. It stinks to shell out that kind of money and yet, I personally place a priority on making sure my living environment is mold free and safe for me. I typically go full bore and do ERMI dust sampling tests as well as mycotoxin dust testing.

Recently, I learned about a company whose products were geared towards those of us who suffer from mold related illness and mold allergies. While I am still testing out their line of products (and of course will share my experiences ASAP), I noticed that they had affordable mold test plates.

I’ll be honest…I wasn’t too keen on those tests. They don’t give you the kinds of detailed information you need in terms of mold strains and concentrations. Or so I thought.

The good folks at my affiliate partner, Micro Balance Health Products, offer two incredibly affordable (and from what I can tell) accurate ways to test for the presence of mold in your home, office, car, etc… Both tests are in the form of mold plates…those round plates with that clear sticky looking stuff in them…that you leave out in your home for an hour. One simply will alert you to the presence of mold in your home by way of how many fungal colonies grow on each plate after a period of 5 days. The other is a bonafide diagnostic mold test that serves to identify the type and size of the fungal problem you have in your living environment.

An Affordable Mold Test from HybridRastaMama.comThe price tag on the diagnostic mold test?
$45 for one test, with a huge price break when you purchase more than one. It is a ridiculously cheap way to find out what mold strains you have and the analysis is done through an ImmunoLytics testing facility.

I conducted extensive mold testing in the home I am living in now so I knew what the fungal picture should look like here. When I tried out the mold plate screening kits, the results were as expected. While there were 1-2 colonies per plate, it wasn’t anything to be alarmed about. Mold spores are all around us and so long as they do not have a food source, they won’t grow into a crazy toxic mold infestation like I dealt with back in 2014. Based on the screening results, I felt confident that I did not need to conduct further testing. Had the plates come back with multiple colonies, I absolutely would have done more extensive testing and investigation.

For those of you who are on a budget and are not sure if there is mold present, I think the mold screening plates are a good way to start. You can grab a 5 pack for less than $30.00 and get a decent picture of what might be worth further exploration in your home. If you know you have mold or would rather just cut to the chase, then I wholeheartedly recommend the ImmunoLytics Diagnostic Mold Test Kit. Why not find out right off the bat what strain of mold you are dealing with and where? A 5 pack of these kits will only set you back $158.00 This is the most affordable way to test for mold that I have personally come across.

Am I suggesting that you skip the ERMI or HERSTMI test altogether? No. I firmly believe that those are the gold standard in mold testing. However, if you are on a tight budget or just unsure about whether mold is really present, then the diagnostic mold test or even the screening test are viable options.

Stay tuned for more information about Micro Balance Health Products. I think you are going to like what they bring to the table.

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5 Ways To Use Peppermint Coconut Oil https://hybridrastamama.com/5-ways-use-peppermint-coconut-oil/ https://hybridrastamama.com/5-ways-use-peppermint-coconut-oil/#comments Fri, 03 Feb 2017 00:54:17 +0000 http://hybridrastamama.com/?p=12236 Hybrid Rasta Mama

The holidays might be over but that doesn’t mean that I have abandoned the magic of peppermint. Mix it with some coconut oil and you have a year round treat! Mmmmm…peppermint coconut oil. Doesn’t that just delight the senses? You all know I love me some coconut oil in a tube right? Oh wait…some of […]

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5 Ways To Use Peppermint Coconut Oil from HybridRastaMama.com

The holidays might be over but that doesn’t mean that I have abandoned the magic of peppermint. Mix it with some coconut oil and you have a year round treat! Mmmmm…peppermint coconut oil. Doesn’t that just delight the senses?

You all know I love me some coconut oil in a tube right? Oh wait…some of you might be new to my little corner of the world. Well then – let me have you jump over to this post about coconut oil in a tube. Come on back after you get all warm and cozy with this marvel.

All right then. Back to loving me some coconut oil in a tube.

What do you think might happen if that coconut oil I love so much found a match made in heaven and co-mingled with some delightful peppermint essential oil? Yep – you got it! Pure unadulterated awesomeness!

My friends over at one of my favorite affiliates, CocoLuxe, took the whole coconut oil in a tube thing to a new level when they added peppermint essential oil to the mix. I mean, this stuff is amazeballs. I honestly didn’t think I would like it as much as I did but I have to tell you – I sort of forget what life what like without peppermint coconut oil.

You can learn more about their product here so I won’t bore you with all the nitty gritty details. What I will share is that the coconut oil itself is organic as is the peppermint essential oil. That is important to me as is the fact that it is sustainably produced. Total win!

You ready to learn more about how I use this magical combination? Well hold onto your hats…here we go!

5 Ways To Use Peppermint Coconut Oil from HybridRastaMama.com

5 Ways To Use Peppermint Coconut Oil

1. Oil Pulling – this might be a no brainer for my oil pulling peeps out there but for those of you new to it or wanting to give it a whirl, oil pulling with plain coconut oil can be a little bleh. Mix in peppermint and not only are you doing your mouth a world of good but that minty taste make it feel like a party in there.

2. Relieve A Headache – peppermint is awesome for a headache! Rub a little on your temples and behind your neck and let those wondrous soothing properties take over. It improves circulation and relaxes muscles. You get the added benefits of coconut oil and since it won’t clog pores you don’t have to worry about putting it on your face.

3. Stop An Itch – got a bite or a rash? Both coconut oil and peppermint essential oil have antimicrobial properties which will knock out any invaders that get in. In addition, they both will work in concert to calm and soothe and itch.

4. Fever Reducer –Because of peppermint oil’s cooling effects, it is an excellent natural treatment to bring down a fever especially in children. Simply mix peppermint oil with coconut oil and rub it on a child’s neck and on the bottom of their feet to help stabilize a fever.

5. Hair Growth – Coconut oil has worked miracles for hair loss. (Be sure to click that link and read that post!) Peppermint oil is used in many hair care products because it can naturally thicken and nourish damaged hair. Together, these two are hair regrowth powerhouses!

I could go on and on about how amazing coconut oil and peppermint are together. We’re talking sunburn relief, teething relief, repelling bugs, and helping with muscle pain. Oh the list goes on. I’m sure you can find a dozen more uses that I haven’ mentioned here. So what are you waiting for? Grab some of this Peppermint Coconut Oil In A Tube and enjoy its many uses and benefits!

STOP THE PRESSES! Breaking News!

My friends over at CocoLuxe would like one of you – my dear readers – to win a 3 pack of their incredible coconut oil in a tube! Whoo hoo. One lucky winner will get 2 tubes of their newest sensation, Peppermint Coconut Oil, as well as 1 tube of the original coconut oil.

To enter, all you have to do is a leave a comment on this post. What kind of comment you ask? Easy. Please tell me two uses for coconut oil that surprise you. Not sure about all the uses for coconut oil? I share 333 of them in this post. Go ahead and use it for inspiration.

Winner will be drawn randomly on February 14, 2017. This means you have until 11:59pm PST on 02/13/17 to enter. Don’t see your comment? Don’t panic! I moderate comments and will get it approved ASAP.

If you could a little social media love to CocoLuxe, that would be swell. You can find them on Facebook and Pinterest.

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A Brief Introduction To Alternative Medicine https://hybridrastamama.com/brief-introduction-to-alternative-medicine/ https://hybridrastamama.com/brief-introduction-to-alternative-medicine/#comments Tue, 24 Jan 2017 00:15:04 +0000 http://hybridrastamama.com/?p=12233 Hybrid Rasta Mama

“The Doctor of the future will give no medicine; but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” -Thomas A Edison This is a quote by Thomas Edison from 1902. I suggest to you that the future that Thomas Edison spoke of […]

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Hybrid Rasta Mama

“The Doctor of the future will give no medicine; but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.” -Thomas A Edison

This is a quote by Thomas Edison from 1902. I suggest to you that the future that Thomas Edison spoke of over a century ago is today, right now. What Thomas Edison described is exactly what alternative health modalities espouse – using diet, lifestyle and natural therapies to prevent disease and uproot the true cause of illness.

So what is alternative medicine?

According to Merriam-Webster, alternative medicine is “any of various systems of healing or treating disease (as chiropractic, homeopathy, or faith healing) not included in the traditional medical curricula of the United States and Britain”. This type of definition has two inherent problems:

#1 – It is very vague.

#2 – This definition highlights the inconsistencies of how the various types of medicine are viewed differently throughout the world. For example, chiropractic medicine – a form of diagnosis and treatment which involves musculoskeletal manipulation – is still primarily classified as alternative in the US, but not in other countries like Denmark or South Africa.

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) defines CAM as “a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not presently considered to be part of conventional medicine” (NCCAM, 2002).

This tells us what alternative medicine is not, but not what it is.

I feel it is critical to get a better understanding of what alternative medicine actually is, seeing that surveys show that 42 percent of people in the United States report that they have used at least one CAM therapy. Speaking of CAM, here we have another mystery, what is the difference between Complementary, Alternative (and now) Integrative Medicine?

Commonly accepted definition of these various types of health care are as follows:

Complementary Medicine is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are used in conjunction with conventional medical treatments.

Alternative Medicine is a group of diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products used in place of conventional medicine.

Integrative or Integrated Medicine is relationship-based care that combines mainstream and complementary therapies.

Conventional Medicine (also called Western or Allopathic Medicine) is medicine as practiced by holders of M.D. (medical doctor) and D.O. (doctor of osteopathic medicine) degrees.

To help us understand what alternative medicine actually is, however, we can look to one of the most widely used classification structures of alternative medicine, developed by NCCAM (2000), divides CAM modalities into five categories:

  1. Alternative medical systems
  2. Mind-body interventions
  3. Biologically based treatments
  4. Manipulative and body-based methods
  5. Energy therapies.

Let’s take a closer look at these categories.

 

Alternative medical systems

These are natural health modalities that are complete medical systems in and of themselves. They include such modalities as:

  • Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM)
  • Ayurvedic Medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Naturopathy

 

Mind-Body Interventions–

These are therapies that focus on the connection and relationship of the mind, body and behavior and their effect on well-being and health. They include modalities such as:

  • Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Any form of Mental Healing

 

Biologically Based Treatments –

These are therapies that focus on using naturally occurring substances to prevent and treat illness and promote health and wellness. They include:

  • Specialized diets
  • Herbal Remedies
  • Other natural products
  • Minerals
  • Hormones
  • Biologicals

 

Manipulative and body-based methods –

These natural health modalities focus on the structures and systems of the body, such as the bones, joints, tissues, and the circulatory and lymphatic systems. they treat various conditions through bodily manipulation. Therapies included in this category include:

  • Chiropractic
  • Osteopathy
  • Massage therapy
  • Reflexology

 

Energy therapies –

Therapies included in this category are those that focus on manipulating the bioengergetic fields of the body or applying energetic fields to the body to promote health, balance and relaxation and include:

  • Qi gong
  • Reiki
  • Therapeutic touch

 

Why Alternative Medicine?

Now that we have a better idea of what alternative medicine is, the next question is …why would I want to use it? Why is it becoming so popular?

I feel that there are several main reasons alternative medicine has become so popular in this country.

  • Disillusioned Patients – People are becoming disillusioned with conventional medicine. Conventional medicine is a relatively young system of medicine compared to more traditional systems of medicine throughout the world, and it is still experiencing growing pains. At this point, there are over 20,000 deaths annually in the US from prescription drugs, we are experiencing an explosion in chronic illnesses, and it has become devastatingly clear that conventional medicine is not designed to deal with this.
  • Holistic Care – Most, if not all, of the natural therapies categorized under alternative medicine focus on a holistic view of the body, recognizing that all parts and systems of the body are connected and must be addressed to create and maintain wellness. This is one of the biggest shortcomings of conventional medicine.
  • Finding the Root Cause – Alongside its holistic focus, finding the root cause of illness, instead of just treating its symptoms, is a foundational principle for most of these natural therapies.
  • The Rest of the World Uses it Successfully – and has for generations – even thousands of years. For example, many European countries have historically used various forms of traditional medicine such as herbal medicine and homeopathy for many hundreds of years. TCM and Ayurveda have been practiced and documented with several thousand years of successful emperical evidence.

Now that we have a broad understanding of alternative medicine and what it has to offer, I'd like to explore some of these specific natural modalities in more detail. In future articles, I will offer overviews of several of these therapies. For now, I'd love to know if you have used alternative medicine for yourself or your family? What were your thoughts and experiences? Let me know in the comments!

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Gluten Free, Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes https://hybridrastamama.com/gluten-free-vegan-funfetti-cupcakes/ https://hybridrastamama.com/gluten-free-vegan-funfetti-cupcakes/#comments Tue, 17 Jan 2017 17:39:49 +0000 http://hybridrastamama.com/?p=12223 Hybrid Rasta Mama

Food allergies bite, especially around birthdays. While I cook most of what I eat from scratch and stick to a real food lifestyle, I do like to indulge in a little junk now and then. Typically my birthday is when I allow myself to have whatever the heck I want so long as it agrees […]

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Gluten Free, Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes from HybridRastaMama.com

Food allergies bite, especially around birthdays. While I cook most of what I eat from scratch and stick to a real food lifestyle, I do like to indulge in a little junk now and then. Typically my birthday is when I allow myself to have whatever the heck I want so long as it agrees with my system.

The one thing I miss the most are cupcakes, specifically funfetti cupcakes. I love a good funfetti cupcake but haven’t had one in at least 7 years. With my birthday fast approaching I decided that I was going to conquer the gluten free, vegan funfetti cupcake. While I am not vegan, I cannot have eggs or dairy which basically throws me into the world of vegan baking. It’s a tricky beast I tell you!

After about a dozen complete failures, the magic finally happened and a really wonderful funfetti cupcake emerged from the depths of my oven. While it isn’t a dead ringer for the old school funfetti cupcake, it is pretty close if I do say so myself. Basically, it is delicious in its own right and totally satisfied my need for funfetti cupcakes. Plus, they got the seal of approval from my 7 year old and that’s what matter right?

Enjoy!

Gluten Free, Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 12 cupcakes

An easy to make, healthy, and most of all delicious gluten free and vegan funfetti style cupcake.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a standard muffin holder with 12 paper liners.
  2. In a liquid measuring cup, measure out hemp milk and add vinegar or lemon juice. Let set to curdle/activate.
  3. Add softened palm shortening to a large mixing bowl and cream with a mixer. Then add honey and beat until combined and fluffy.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (minus the sprinkles).
  5. Slowly, mix the dry ingredient mixture into the palm shortening mixture. Alternate this with the milk until everything has been added together and is well combined.
  6. Add sprinkles and gently fold/stir with a rubber spatula or mixing spoon.
  7. Divide evenly among cupcake holders making sure NOT to overfill. Keep them under 3/4 of the way filled.
  8. Bake on a center rack at 350 for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. They will have a very, very slight golden brown color.
  9. Let cool completely on a cooling rack.
  10. Frost or top with your choice of cupcake accompaniments.

Gluten Free, Vegan Funfetti Cupcakes from HybridRastaMama.com

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Coconut Oil – The Ultimate Immune Booster https://hybridrastamama.com/coconut-oil-ultimate-immune-booster/ https://hybridrastamama.com/coconut-oil-ultimate-immune-booster/#comments Tue, 03 Jan 2017 19:01:50 +0000 http://hybridrastamama.com/?p=9870 Hybrid Rasta Mama

That time of year crept up on us again. You know what I am talking about. The time when “achoo,” “hack, hack, hack,” and “sniffle, snarf, snort” become background noise in our daily lives. With cooler weather comes the onslaught of germs. Cold, flues, and other viruses are out in full force. No matter how […]

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Hybrid Rasta Mama

Coconut Oil - The Ultimate Immune Booster

That time of year crept up on us again. You know what I am talking about. The time when “achoo,” “hack, hack, hack,” and “sniffle, snarf, snort” become background noise in our daily lives.

With cooler weather comes the onslaught of germs. Cold, flues, and other viruses are out in full force. No matter how many times you wash your hands, it seems like some little buggy will invade your body, leaving all kinds of miserable side effects in its wake.

What’s a body to do?

It is hard to know what immune boosting remedies to take. There are gobs of them marketed to us this time of year. There are tinctures, pills, lozenges, powders, beverages, teas, and the list goes on.

In all honestly, a lot of the immune boosters on the market are cleverly marketed. They are overpriced and offer no real benefits other than peace of mind. However, there is one surefire immune booster that should be in everyone’s cabinet!

Coconut Oil!

I’m sure you aren’t surprised to see that coconut oil is a stellar immune booster. Just one of it 333 Uses, coconut oil is a powerhouse of goodness ready to wage war against any germy invader.

How does it work?

Coconut oil is unique among all fats and oils because of its high concentration of powerful immune boosting medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). Important MCFAs present in coconut oil are lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid.

Coconut oil by itself cannot destroy disease-causing organisms. To activate antimicrobial properties, it needs to be digested first. When it’s MCFAs are digested, they are broken down into monoglycerides and free fatty acids.

The MCFA’s monoglyceride forms (monolaurin, monocaprylin, and monocaprin) hinder microbes from terrorizing the immune system. Individually, these fatty acids attack microbes differently. Some may be effective at killing a particular organism that cause fungus infections but is less effective in killing other microbes. However, their united activity will provide your body with a very powerful shield against diseases. Monolaurin (monoglyceride form of lauric acid) is considered to have the best antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial effect.

How can you make coconut oil work for you?

Human breast milk contains high levels of lauric acid that protects the nursing child from catching all kinds of illnesses and diseases. If one were to extrapolate the content of lauric acid in breast milk received by a baby to an average adult, an estimated intake of approximately 24 grams of coconut oil per day may provide protective levels for an adult. This is the equivalent of 3.5 tablespoons of coconut oil.

Easier said than done right? First, there are a lot of coconut oils on the market and it is difficult to know which ones are the best. It can also be a tad troublesome to simply take coconut oil off of a spoon. What is a health minded person to do?

Good news! There is a post for that! Check out “How To Consume Coconut Oil” to learn all kinds of ways to sneak it into your diet! be sure to read “Which Coconut Oil I Use And Why” to find out which brands I love and trust.

Cooking with Coconut Oil_Ecover1000pxIn addition, I created Cooking With Coconut Oil which is on sale for $5.00 right now! This eBook not only offers 69 nourishing and simple recipes to make it easy to consume coconut oil but also answers questions like “what are the differences between coconut oil” and “what other ingredients go hand in hand with coconut oil?” So bookmark my Store page and make sure you grab a copy before it goes back to the regular price!

Here’s to your health! Your coconut health!

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5 Reasons St. John’s Wort Is The Herb For You https://hybridrastamama.com/12211-2/ https://hybridrastamama.com/12211-2/#respond Mon, 26 Dec 2016 12:09:15 +0000 http://hybridrastamama.com/?p=12211 Hybrid Rasta Mama

One of my very favorite and most commonly used herbs is St John's Wort. Besides the many wonderful benefits it possesses, one of the reasons I find it so valuable is its accessibility and ease of use. I've written about the ways I like to use it, as well as one of my favorite methods […]

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Hybrid Rasta Mama

One of my very favorite and most commonly used herbs is St John's Wort. Besides the many wonderful benefits it possesses, one of the reasons I find it so valuable is its accessibility and ease of use. I've written about the ways I like to use it, as well as one of my favorite methods of making medicine from it, many times.

St John's Wort has a long and rich history of use in herbal traditions. It has been used successfully throughout the ages for conditions ranging from painful wounds, to depression to consumption.

Today, it is most famous for its use and effectiveness on depression. While it does have a powerful effect on depression, it is a potent medicine for many other conditions as well.

 

Depression and SAD

Long touted for it's anti-depressant activity, ST John's Wort now has several studies backing the imperical evidence that has shown its efficacy in this area. Herbalist Susun Weed calls St John's Wort (or St Joan's Wort) “bottled sunshine”. Especially effective for Seasonal Affective Disorder, St John's Wort has also been studied and shown effective for other types of depression, including major depressive disorder, for which it has been found to be just as effective as SSRIs, but safer. It is suspected that one of the reasons St John's Wort is so beneficial for depression is that it seems to have the ability to reduce cortisol and corticosterone levels in the brain.

 

Nerve Trauma

Hypericum (the botanical name for St John's Wort) is often found in topical lotions and creams designed for use on injuries involving deep muscular trauma and damage to nerve-rich areas like fingers, toes, spine, teeth, mouth and ears. In a recent study on ear pain in children, an herbal combination including St John's Wort performed better than antibiotics. Additionally, according to Daniel Moerman, several Native American tribes used St John's Wort for pain, especially toothaches.

 

Anti-tumor

Although there are not as many references to the use of St John's Wort for tumors or cancerous conditions in the historical literature, there have been a great number of recent scientific studies showing very positive results. Even in hard-to-treat cancers such as pancreatic cancer, St Johns Wort has proven to be useful. Other studies on glioblastoma cell lines, nasopharyngeal cancer, breast cancer cell lines, leukemic cells, and colorectal cancer have all shown positive results.

 

Anti-viral

St John's Wort has been known traditionally as a potent anti-viral herb. Herbalists such as Susun Weed use it as a first choice treatment for viral conditions such as shingles, cold sores and other herpes viruses. The scientific literature bears this out as well. This study shows its effectiveness against cytomegalovirus. Many other studies are also showing that St John's Wort is beneficial for HIV treatment and prevention.

 

Analgesic and Anti-Inflammatory

The analgesic, or pain relieving actions of St John's Wort are well-known to herbalists throughout the world. According to David Hoffman, Hypericum's analgesic effect makes it ideal for use in treating neuralgia, anxiety, tension, fibrositis, sciatica and rheumatic pain. This study shows that it is twice as effective as ibuprofen in relieving pain. It's anti-inflammatory nature also allows it to excel in topical problems such as bruises, varicose veins and mild burns. This study shows that some of the reasons St John's Wort is so beneficial in these sorts of cases is that it improves tissue regeneration by enhancing fibroblast proliferation, collagen bundle synthesis, and revascularization.

 

You can see why St John's Wort is one of my favorite plant remedies. Do you use St John's Wort? For which conditions do you find it works best?

Hypericum perforatum

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