Herbal Teas for Your Health

Herbal Teas for Your Health

herbal teaI was recently asked what my favorite tea is and I answered, "That's like asking me which is my favorite child!"

So many teas to choose from .... and I love them ALL! How can I choose? There is a tea for every purpose. Herbal teas for your health...

Herbal teas come prepackaged by many companies available in our grocery store and can be quite expensive that way. You can actually save a LOT of money if you buy the ingredients in bulk and you can get really creative by combining different loose teas.

You don't need to buy those prepackaged tea bags! All you need is a tea infuser you can use anywhere to turn loose tea into a delicious, ready-to-go, nutritious drink...

(This article is for educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease).

Here are just a few of my favorite teas...

Calming Chamomile

Chamomile flower tea has wonderful soothing properties especially good before bed time and can be a remedy for indigestion. It is an aromatic and flavorful tea made from whole Chamomile flowers. The taste is refreshing and simple with clean floral aroma. You'll know it's ready to drink when your tea is light yellow in color - usually 4-5 minutes steeping time.

Refreshing, Soothing and Uplifting Mint Tea

My favorite company from which I buy all my bulk tea is Mountain Rose Herb Company. They have a wonderful bulk blend of loose mint tea that combines organic peppermint, spearmint for a delicious tea blend. Mint tea is excellent for digestion, headaches and can help you to feel more alert and focused.

Raspberry Leaf for Hormone Balancing

This is a must-have for women over 40. Raspberry leaf tea  has a long history of helping women find hormonal balance - and it tastes very much like black tea minus the caffeine.

Marshmallow Root for Respiratory

Medicinally, marshmallow root tea has been approved in Germany for supporting inflammation of the gastric mucosa, and for irritation of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa. It is often used for mild respiratory symptoms, including cough. The root is traditionally used to support a healthy digestive system also. You can read the research on this herb here.

Warming Chai Tea

Chai tea is wonderful in the winter months or anytime you are feeling under the weather. This blend of herbs contains organic ginger root, organic cinnamon bark, organic and fair trade Darjeeling tea, organic cardamom, organic and fair trade cloves, organic and fair trade nutmeg, and organic vanilla bean. This tea does contain caffeine.

Chai is a warm, piquant, and delightful blend. This particular blend is a great alternative for those who wish to avoid large amounts of caffeine, sugar, and dairy products, which are commonly found in commercial Chai products. It has an exotic, earthy flavor and the aroma itself is therapeutic with the combination of spices and vanilla. You steep it 5-7 minutes and when it is amber/orange in color you'll know it's ready!

Mint Chocolate Mate

Mint Chocolate Mate is a refreshingly smooth blend with just the right amount of kick. Think peppermint patty in a cup! The initial bright minty flavor and aroma transforms into a delightful combination of mate and cacao. A rich cup of tea that could easily be considered a dessert. It has a deep, roasted earthiness with a refreshing minty finish. You'll steep for 7-9 minutes and look for a dark amber color to know when it's full prepared for you to enjoy. This tea does contain caffeine so a little bit goes a long way. It contains organic and fair trade Yerba Mate, organic peppermint leaf, organic and fair trade roasted cacao nibs, organic roasted carob, organic vanilla beans, and organic and fair trade roasted cacao powder.

Tummy Taming Tea

If you or your child is experiencing tummy aches or digestive rumblings, this tea is very calming. Here is a recipe I use in my house I would love to share with you:

Combine ingredients in your tea infuser and then pour 1 cup of boiling water over it and steep for 5 minutes. Sip and be soothed!

21st Century Tea

We all can easily become overwhelmed in this fast-paced time, both mind and body. The air we breathe  is not always the cleanest and the stress of being on the go can easily run us down. This non-caffeine soothing and strengthening infusion called 21st Century Tea is specifically blended to offer support to our immune systems. Both helpful and tasty, enjoy a cup and relax. It contains organic nettle leaf, organic red clover blossoms, organic elder berries, organic alfalfa leaf, organic red Clover herb, organic St. John's Wort, organic sage, and organic ginger root.  Steep for just 3-4 minutes until golden in color.

Herbal teas for your health! It's an easy, delightful way to enhance your mind, body, spirit balance.

I proudly partner with Mountain Rose Herb Company as an affiliate partner because I use their products and know them to the highest quality and integrity products on the market. If you should choose to purchase any of these products using the links in this article, I will receive a percentage payment and utilize these funds to provide free and helpful content to the Wonders Wellness community.

Essential Oils for Cleaning and Immune Boosting

Essential Oils for Cleaning and Immune Boosting

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photo-herbs-essential-oils-fresh-white-background-image38924115I have been using essential oils for nearly 20 years. There are many practical ways to use essential oils for a more natural way of living.

Two of the most widely known companies who make essential oils are structured as multi level marketing (MLM) companies. I've come to the conclusion that I prefer not to work within the MLM business structure per se (although I love the products) and so I no longer participate in the business building aspect of either of those companies.

I so love the therapeutic grade and quality of the oils from those two companies, I order the products and keep them in stock in my wellness center for aromatherapy use at my wellness center and I continue to use them for personal use for myself, my family, friends and pets. I also use oils from three other companies I will tell you about that are not MLM.

I use a vast collection of oils for my clients from Young Living and doTerra. I also carry a line of oils from a wholesale company (not MLM) called Ananda Apothacary in addition to more a very affordable line of oils from Mountain Rose Herb as well as Snow Lotus (all high quality, organic/wild harvested and from whole sale companies and not MLMs).

I want to focus on how you can use a particular blend of certain oils for cleaning your home and supporting your immune system to replace toxic chemicals and over-the-counter medicines in some cases.

First, it is VERY important that if you buy essential oils you buy them from the company or directly from a trusted distributor for a company that produces high quality, laboratory tested, pure grade oils because there are many oils out there that are not pure grade, are cut with synthetic substances and just not good quality.

When you blend the oils of cinnamon, clove, rosemary, eucalyptus and lemon or orange, you get a powerful blend of germ-fighting, immune boosting cocktail. And it only takes a drop of this blend to do the job.

Young Living makes a blend called Thieves oil and doTerra makes a blend called OnGuard that are fairly identical though the OnGuard has more of an orange aroma where Thieves smells more cinnamon-clove prominent. Both of these blends have been tested by outside laboratories and found to be highly effective against airborne bacteria.

The results  of a study done at Weber University in 1997 showed Thieves Oil to have a 99.96% success rate against airborne bacteria.

The bacteria cultures were exposed into an enclosed area and the Thieves Essential Oils blend were infused into the space.

Within 10 minutes of exposure there was a reduction of:

82% in Micrococcus luteus 
 96% in Pseudomonas aeruginosa
 44% in Staphylococcus aureus

If you don't want to purchase your oils from an MLM company such as Young Living or doTerra directly, you can purchase these blends from a distributor directly or a wellness center such as Wonders Wellness OR you can make your own home-made version of Thieves with the following recipe by purchasing the single oils from a company like Mountain Rose Herb or Ananda Apothecary at whole sale prices.

Homemade Recipe for Germ Fighting Blend

Thieves-Essential-Oil-Blend-Blog

20 drops clove oil
 15 drops lemon or orange
 10 drops cinnamon
 10 drops eucalyptus
 6 drops rosemary

Be sure to place your homemade blend in a glass bottle (the oils will eat through plastic - they are that powerful! You can purchase glass bottles here under containers tab. 

1 drop in 4 drops of a carrier oil such as jojoba, almond or fractionated coconut oil if you are going to apply this blend to bottoms of feet and NEVER use this blend on children under the age of 4! 

You can also mix 8 drops of this blend to 8 ounces of witch hazel in a GLASS spray bottle (available at this link under containers) for spraying into the air or on surfaces.

Here are 32 uses for Thieves, OnGuard or your Homemade blend

1.Apply one drop dilluted in 4 drops of carrier oil cuts or open wounds to prevent infection and promote healing. (never use on children under the age of 4)
 2. Take one drop mixed with 2 tablespoons of water, gargle to stop a sore throat.
 3. Apply  1 drop dilluted in 4 drops of carrier oil per foot on the soles of your feet to protect you from colds and flu.
 4.Use a diffuser in home/office to keep the germ count down.
 5. Add 8 drops to 8 ounces of white vinegar in a glass bottle to clean pet areas, creating a healthier environment for them.
 6. Add 1 drop to your dishwasher to really disinfect dishes and keep dishwasher from growing mildew.
 7. Add 1 drop to your laundry cycle.
 8. Add 8 drops to a bucket of water for cleaning floors.
 9. Mix with water to make a spray to repel insects on your plants.
 10. Use to dissolve the adhesive on price labels.
 11. Apply 1 drop to bee and wasp stings to neutralize the toxins and relieve pain (but not on children under 4)
 12. Add one drop to your toothpaste to help prevent and treat gum disease.
 13. Put one drop on the tip of your tongue to help you stop smoking.
 14. Apply 1 drop directly to a pimple to make them disappear over night.
 15. Rub on sore joints diluted in carrier oil to relieve arthritis pain.
 16. Mix with carrier oil and rub on daily for relief of shingles.
 17. Put a few drops in your carpet steamer to disinfect carpet.
 18. Breathe and apply for sinus headaches.
 19. Inhale for relief of allergy symptoms.
 20. Place 1 drop in the AC/Heat vents (comes in handy in a hotel!).
 21. Mix with baking soda to clean bathtubs, sinks and toilets
 22. Apply undiluted to fungus on toenails.
 23. Apply diluted with carrier oil to relieve the itch of poison ivy.
 24. Use a drop mixed with a bit of water to cut grease on kitchen counters and stovetops.
 25. Use to mop floors to clean and disinfect.
 26. Mix a few drops in 1 tsp of castile soap and 3 ounces of water to wash fruits and vegetables
 27. Put 1 drop inside your vacuum cleaner.
 28. 8 drops in a small box of baking soda - sprinkle on carpet before vacuuming.
 29. Use to clean school classrooms to cut down on student sickness.
 30. Add drop to hot water and soak off burned food in pots and pans.
 31. Add a drop to garbage cans to cut odor and disinfect.
 32. Use undiluted directly to surfaces to clean and kill mold on walls & floors.

Lynn office april 2013 editedI provide free classes and I provide essential oils and related products for sale at Wonders Wellness Center in Marietta, GA. I am also an affiliate partner for Mountain Rose Herbs and if you choose to purchase products from Mountain Rose I will receive a small commission which affords me the ability to provide free education on the subject of aromatherapy. For more information about classes, private sessions or purchasing oils please contact me directly at lynn@staging.wonderswellness.com or 404-455-4805


				
					
Radical Self Love and Forgiveness Required

Radical Self Love and Forgiveness Required

This is a lesson I've learned the hard way... And it's been a long time coming.

When I went through sudden surgical menopause at age 44 my whole world as I knew it changed very quickly. My body went into shock after having to have a full hysterectomy in 2011. The past four years has been a journey of ongoing exploration, experimentation, trials, errors, adjustments, tweaks and twists as I've sought this moving target we call "balance."

Just when I thought I had figured it out, the target moved.

And I did what a lot of women do. I was hard on myself. When I saw my reflection in a window the things I said to myself in my head I would NEVER say to someone else.

And it wasn't just my physical body I was judging. I was also hard on myself for continuing to miss the target.

As I was leading a live version of my 12 Weeks to Total Transformation Program recently, this lesson hit me square between the eyes. I heard myself coaching one of the program participants telling her, "Maybe the most important part of this entire program is to just accept you are doing the best you can do and just love yourself..." and she replied, "Yeah... I need to love myself the way my mother loves me - without condition." It clicked for her. And it clicked for me. This is the key.

Choosing to accept yourself  - all of yourself - your BODY, your FEELINGS, the CHOICES you've made up until now with radical love and forgiveness is not only an option. It is required. Required in order to find way to peace.

I realized I had to accept that given the circumstances in every given day I had done the best I could do and it was time to release the struggle. Somehow, this frees up a lot of energy to actively choose loving actions to support my body, mind and spirit each day.

Instead of aiming for that target goal, I shifted my focus to wanting what I have in this moment. Instead of striving and struggling, I decided to accept exactly what is right now and just love all of me. Even in the face of feeling judged or criticized by others.

Here's the thing: There will always be a critic. There will always be someone out there who can find something wrong with what you look like or what you do or what you say. And there is nothing you can do, say or be that will eliminate it. The key is to stop criticizing yourself and choose love and forgiveness of self instead.

Here are 7 ways to begin practicing radical self love and forgiveness:

  1. Acknowledge the gift of your body. In the privacy of your bathroom or bedroom, stand in the mirror and acknowledge out loud that you are a spirit in a human body and this body is a gift - a beautiful gift -  no matter what it looks like. Give thanks to your body for carrying you around.
  2. Write a love note to yourself every day. It need not be long but make it sincere. Find ways to acknowledge your beauty. Here's a sample of one of mine: "Dear Lynn, I want you to know how much I appreciate the way you work so hard to support yourself and your family. I love your tenacity, your generosity and I love your tender loving heart."
  3. Belly laugh. Let it rip. Practice laughing with no reason to laugh when you are all by yourself in the car or in the house where no one can hear you. Pretend like you've just heard the funniest joke you have ever heard. At first it will feel fake but keep going and soon authentic JOY will bubble up from inside of you leaving a REAL smile on your face.
  4. Take an inventory of all the things you consider wrong or bad you've ever done. Dump them all into one long list. Empty out your brain and heart. Get it on paper. Look over the list and say out loud, "I choose today to forgive myself for all of this and I release myself from any further guilt and shame. I move forward choosing to fully and radically love and forgive myself for the past." Then burn it and watch the list transform into ashes. Bury the ashes somewhere outside as a gesture of sending it down into the earth to be transmuted.
  5. Meditate daily. Sit in reverent silence and stillness simply observing the natural rhythm of your breath flow in and out of your body.
  6. Ask for what you need. First, ask your inner self, "What do I most need right now?" and wait for the answer to bubble up to the surface instead of thinking for the answer. Then ask the people around you for the space, the time, the help that you need to support you.
  7. Smile in the face of judgment. Whether it's the criticism of another person or the voice of your own inner critic, when you hear judgment take a breath and smile remembering that everything is either love itself or a call for love.

The most interesting part of this practice is that when we embrace radical self love and forgiveness, it makes room for so much more love and forgiveness for others! When we choose to actively love, respect and honor ourselves and let go of the past, accept our bodies as they are, we naturally have more energy, time and space to find that healthier choices in life are just more appealing.... And they feel like CHOICES rather than obligations....

May you find peace... and if I can be of assistance, feel free to contact me directly at lynn@staging.wonderswellness.com .

 

 

Journaling Along the Journey of Life

Journaling Along the Journey of Life

journaling

After 35 years of keeping a journal myself, I can attest to the fact that the process of journaling helps enrich the journey of life. I am a big fan of writing regularly for a host of reasons and benefits.

Here are just a few:

  1. Journaling helps track thoughts and behavior when you are working to create new and healthier habits.
  2. Run-away thoughts and anxiety can be dumped onto the pages of a journal.
  3. Journaling provides accountability when you are striving toward goals in life.
  4. Writing in a journal allows for processing ideas, dreams, reflections and worries.
  5. Journaling can provide a spark for creativity and a place to envision projects and new realities.
  6. Journaling can be a spiritual experience, opening the heart, mind and put you in touch with your inner world and intuitive senses.

I have discovered over the years of working with clients that sometimes it feels difficult to get started or know what to write.

I was happy to see that one of my colleagues has developed a one-year online e-course that provides 52 journaling prompts geared toward helping people create a more fulfilling life for themselves.

Nicole Liloia, LCSW is a licensed social worker, therapist and a life coach who specializes in helping people create lives they love and learn to reduced stress. Her new course called The Live More E-Course and it provides 4 wonderful video tutorials plus weekly journaling prompts for an entire year - all focused on helping you to create a much more fulfilling life.

When journaling becomes a regular habit, it's amazing what shows up on the pages. Journaling can become like a trusted friend, a faithful companion, a mirror that helps you see yourself more clearly, a trainer and an accountability partner to keep you on track.

You can use write using good ole pen-n-paper or you can register for a free account at www.penzu.com. If  privacy is a concern, Penzu has a yearly fee to keep your journal safely encrypted.

Don't worry about your writing skills. It's not necessary to be a strong writer to keep a journal. In fact, I find it best to let go of all concerns about grammar and proper writing style. Journaling is a place for you to freely spill your feelings, thoughts, ideas, dreams, anxieties in whatever format feels right for you in the moment sans judgment and editorial.

Go check out Nicole's e-course and commit to a year of journaling for a clearer mind, a lighter heart and a more focused outlook.

Aligning and Allowing: Living a Full & Authentic Life Over 40

Aligning and Allowing: Living a Full & Authentic Life Over 40

LIVE color

Since I am a woman who has spent most of my life practicing gentle yoga and meditation, I often borrow from these principles and experience in discussing life to my clients and students.

Even if you aren't into yoga, lean in and take some guidance from this analogy.

Once we have crossed over into midlife, we go one of two directions:

  1. We age rapidly. We see our health decline. We lose our luster for life. We often fall into a state of malaise or depression. We resent and resist what is and we get nowhere with that.   OR....
  2. We choose to do it differently. We allow what is but we begin to work with where we are making different choices, changing our habits, shifting and living authentically. We seek balance. When we do this we feel ALIVE, excited, peaceful, hopeful and fulfilled.

In the practice of yoga, we apply principles to achieve balance between contraction and expansion of both the mind and heart. In fact, the entire path and practice of yoga is about finding balancing and center.

The physical practice of yoga helps us to find the center  and balance in the body. If you are able to find physical balance, it is natural for your mind to follow. If your mind is scattered, your body will also be off balance.

Whether or not you practice yoga, these same principles apply for life.  And living a full and authentic life over 40 requires a practice of seeking center and balance.

In yoga we talk a lot about alignment. Aligning the body and the mind throughout the practice in order to have balance.

I think in life it is essential we constantly check our alignment and practice allowing what is so that we can work with the challenges and the joys that life presents rather than resisting. I recently wrote another article about dancing with life's challenges that speaks to this notion of working with your challenges rather than resisting and fighting.

Here are some steps you can take to begin creating a practice of aligning with your most authentic self, allowing what is, working with your present situation and creating a FULL life over the age of 40:

  1. Set appointments for your self-care. I'm not talking about routine medical or salon appointments (although that is important too!). I'm talking about the care of your spirit and your body in daily life. You know how to take care of others. You've been doing it all your life. Now, it's time to really dedicate time to care for yourself. Set appointments to go for a walk every day! To meditate... to shop and prepare and eat 3 meals/day that are rich in healthy whole foods.
  2. Get your beauty rest. Make time to do guided relaxation (I've got a great free one right here on this website!) Create a healthy sleep routine (grab my free guide Sleep Tight here) With appropriate rest, you will feel more energized and more joyful in your daily life.
  3. Embrace aromatherapy. I've been in love with essential oils for nearly 20 years. I joke about the fact that if there is a housefire and I can only grab one thing it will be my case of essential oils. In mid-life we need to be looking to natural ways to feel good, look our best and live a more fulfilling life - Get away from synthetics and toxic fragrances and check out essential oils. You'll be amazed how they will change the way you feel and look at daily life.
  4. Chug H2O. We hear it all the time but I can't emphasize enough how important this is.... Staying hydrated is so important for every aspect of our health especially as we grow older.
  5. Learn to say no. Sometimes living an authentic and full life over 40 means turning down invitations, politely declining time-consuming projects and making room for open space on your calendar. Open space is time that can be enjoyed taking care of your own self (see #1)

In my 12 Weeks to Total Transformation program and in my coaching programs I address how important it is that we lovingly and gently move into a plan for aligning and allowing.  In all my programs I very purposefully provide a step by step, week by week guide to getting everything in your life lined up. Your eating, your sleeping, your breathing, your movement, your thinking, your feeling... It's all there.

If 12 weeks feels like too much all at once, check out this little bitty one-new-habit-each-week program!  You can create a healthier way of living that will help you be aligned with your authentic self by incorporating just one new habit each week. It's easy really...

Allow what is and embrace who you are, where you are but then choose to align. Take simple, gentle action to redesign your life over 40.

 

Herbs to Aid Digestion for Women Over 40

Herbs to Aid Digestion for Women Over 40

 

herbal tea

Normal digestive functioning can get thrown off pretty easily. When women reach the mid-life point and hormones start becoming more erratic, our digestive health can take a hit.

Fortunately there are a number of herbs to aid digestion for women over 40. And I have a very affordable resource for you. I order all of my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs because they are all organic, a high integrity company and the best prices I've found. I love Mountain Rose Herbs so much I have partnered with them as an affiliate to make their products available to my clients and customers.

So let me tell you about how herbs can help with your digestion!herbs

According to Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP, the science of using botanical remedies to treat health conditions is finding its way back into mainstream medicine. Nature’s healing properties, found in plants, herbs, roots, and flowers have been an essential part of restoring health for centuries, long before we could reach for pills from grocery store shelves.

Sherry Coleman Collins, MS, RDN, LD based in Atlanta recommends people consult with their doctor or registered dietitian to rule out intestinal disease or conditions and incorporate a healthy diet of nutrition-rich foods rather than relying on herbs.

I agree, that women should always consult with their health practitioner before taking herbs, depending on your health and any medications you may be taking.

According to herbalists there are three important herbal properties that can be helpful when our digestive system is off balance include bitters, aromatics, and demulcents. Let's take a closer look…

Bitters

bitters sodaA lot of people turn up their nose to the taste of bitter.... but the bitter taste is actually a very important piece of the flavor spectrum for overall health and well-being.

Bitter herbs can assist to stimulate digestion by helping gastric juices flow and encourage peristalsis. Just a drop of this flavor on the tongue is effective in activating the production of beneficial digestive secretions including saliva, gastric acid, and bile.

This will often help to promote normal elimination, provide relief for gassy cramping and to support a healthy appetite for nutritious foods after an illness or while traveling. It's a good idea to keep a bottle of these bitters on-hand to take by the drop or to make a super easy bitter soda. Here's a recipe:

Dandy Bitter Soda

Fill 1/3 of a 4oz jar with the herb mix. Pour a high grade unflavored vodka over the herbs until the jar is filled. Allow to extract for 2 weeks and strain. Use several droppers in a pint of seltzer water with a squeeze of fresh grapefruit juice, or take a few drops straight on the tongue.

 

Aromatics

Aromatic herbs have been used in cuisines around the world to add bursts of flavor to a meal, and also to help stimulate healthy digestion. These plants have volatile essential oils that present strong aromas like fennelpeppermintdillcoriander, and ginger to name a few. Many aromatic herbs are warming to the digestive tract and carminative, meaning they help expel gas. This action can ease an uncomfortable feeling of fullness especially after a meal by making flatulence more productive and less stagnant.

After-Dinner Digestif Lozengesherbal-digestif-loz

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl. Use a glass dropper to add one dropperful of liquid at a time to the bowl. Keep adding one dropper of liquid until the mixture holds together in a clump, similar to the consistency of cookie dough. Be careful not to add too much liquid. Form into small lozenges about the size of a pencil eraser. They will be strong! Coat the outsides with additional licorice root powder if desired. Allow to dry on a screen or plate for a few days. Store in a glass jar or tin.

Demulcents

Some herbs are mucilaginous and produce a slippery texture that coats, soothes, and protects mucus membranes. These plants also help to ease dry conditions. The slippery action triggers a reflex that promotes natural moistening secretions within the body systems such as respiratory, digestive, renal, and reproductive. Best extracted as an infusion in water rather than in alcohol tincture form, they can be helpful for hot and dried out conditions.

herbsSoothing Marshmallow Rose Tea

Fill 1/3 of a pint jar with herb mix (you can also bundle the herbs in cheesecloth) and cover completely with cool water. Refrigerate overnight and strain. Add honey to taste if you’d like a little more sweetness. Drink and enjoy!

 

*DISCLAIMER: For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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