Parabens, Lead, Other Bad Stuff in Cosmetics

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It’s important when picking out not only your cosmetic and beauty products if you’re a woman, but even your personal care stuff like body lotions, which most people use on either parts of their body or their entire body, fairly often, and things like deodorant, and sunscreens, to be aware of the lurking chemicals and contaminants that can be found in them.

These chemicals are not just something that sits on the skin and doesn’t cause any harm because you don’t ingest it orally. No, it actually STILL enters the blood stream, it’s just not as direct a route. In fact, if it’s something you use allover your body, once or twice every day, that just makes it all that much more important that it not have these chemicals in it.

Chemicals like parabens, aluminum, and even lead can be found in personal care and cosmetic items. Lead is particularly concerning since it is a known toxic heavy metal and has been pretty much banned from personal care products because it can cause poisoning of the system. It can build up in our bodies over time and cause health issues.

Aluminum is one that worries me, because it has been linked to everything from Alzheimers to breast cancer, and therefore, I have been using a natural, aluminum and triclosan free deodorant for years now.  Any metal does not belong on the body, no matter what it is being used for – if you see any metal ingredients in a personal care product, run the other way.

Triclosan is a worrisome product additive as well, and it is found in a TON of antibacterial soaps and gels that are used to help keep germs off the hands.  It has been linked to several illnesses, including a variety of cancers.  The FDA is currently reviewing it’s safety in human use, but if I were you, I’d just throw any soaps or hand washes you have with this ingredient away in favor of a more chemical free formula.

You may think that you need chemicals to get clean, but you really don’t. I’ve been using natural soaps without sodium lauryl sulfate or any other harsh chemicals in them now for years, and my skin has never felt better. I also feel good about what I’m using, and don’t feel like I’m exposing my body to constant chemical overload.

Like almost anything, there are individual differences in how people react to different chemicals. Specific health conditions may expand the list of cosmetic products you may want to avoid or take advantage of.

PRP Therapy for Hair Loss

Hair loss can be very upsetting and damaging to the self esteem for both men and women.   One of the more innovative treatments for regrowth of hair is platelet rich plasma cell therapy.  Be sure to check out two of our recommendations for hair loss which are very affordable, Profollica and Provillus as well.

This is a therapy using the body’s own stem cells and, from the article I read, is in an experimental stage as it was presented as a clinical study.

Platelet rich plasma cell therapy is called PRP cell therapy and in this instance, your own stem cells are used for the purpose of regrowth of hair. The benefits of PRP cell therapy are that it is drug free, safe and is done as an outpatient procedure.

The process of PRP cell therapy starts by putting the consumer on oral support for stem cells so they can elevate the number of stem cells in the patient’s bloodstream.

Next, blood is drawn and then is separated to obtain the stem cells and growth factors that will cause cell proliferation.  Then, a topical anesthetic is used to numb the patient’s scalp and the growth formula is injected into their scalp.

The procedure takes about an hour.  Within three months, hair growth is seen in balding and thinning spots.   After the hair growth has started, a low level laser therapy is applied to optimize results.

Follow up exams are done at three months, six months, nine months and twelve months to monitor progress.  At the follow up exams, the physicians measure hair count and hair diameter and take photographs.

After treatment, therapy is lasting instead of temporary.  Therefore there is no need to repeat any procedures or for hair transplants or wigs.  Stem cells have many potential uses in the medical field and the use of it for regeneration of hair growth is fascinating.  The cost of this kind of treatment would be high, however if the hair loss is traumatic , it would be worth the price.

Stem cells occur naturally in our bodies and have the purpose of fighting disease and repairing damage.  They originate in the bone marrow and then can be found circulating in the bloodstream for injury or when new cells are needed.

Medical technology is just starting to discover the many uses of stem cells for present and future purposes in regenerative and aesthetic medicine.  Particularly important in relation to the study of stem cell use is the many applications for fighting diseases and the prolonging of the human life and functionality.

For those that want to regrow hair, there are a variety of viable herbal supplements for hair growth that make quite a difference in your hair regrowth and the health and resilience of the hair you have on your head.

 

Happiness Is Good For Your Health

Happiness is an elusive quality to quantify and look at from a strictly scientific point of view.  The definition of happiness according to the dictionary is “a state of well being and contentment ; joy”.

When looking at surrounding circumstances that we equate with happiness, we think of wealth, health and youth.  Yet, none of these factors equate into happiness.

So, what does bring joy and happiness into most people’s lives?  A social network of family ties and long lasting quality friendships is one key ingredient to happiness and also key to avoiding depression.

An attitude of gratitude is always consistent with a more fulfilling joyful life.  The old adage of counting your blessings every day really does make you feel more contented and helps you find pleasure in the simpler little joys of life.

Always longing for more material possessions will leave you feeling short changed in life and will lead to envy and resentment towards those that possess more than you do.  Money, by itself, does not lead to happiness.

As long as your basic needs are met, such as food, shelter and clothing, any added material goods or wealth will not add to your level of happiness.  Generally speaking, people who volunteer and use their talents for the greater good of their community will tend to be happier types of people.

An effort to be kind in your words and deeds will pave the way to feelings of contentment and peace.  Stress is a constant factor in all of our lives and none of us can escape this fact of life whether we are a happy or a gloomy type of a person.

Finding creative ways of dealing with stress through spirituality, exercise, yoga, hobbies and even humor can help to keep you more positive and cope better.Happiness does go hand in hand with a stronger immune system and a longer life expectancy.

A lot of the reasoning scientifically for this fact is that happy people tend to have better health habits and take better care of themselves.  A happy person is more likely to exercise and less likely to engage in habits such as smoking or drinking excessively.

Emphasizing positive social interactions can help to keep a person happy.  Learning to forgive quickly and easily will help you to better cope with anger and to move on with your life.  Holding grudges and hanging on to your anger will only make you an unhappy person.

Spending as much time as possible with family and friends is mentally beneficial for your happiness.  Making it a point to thank people for any help or kindness will make your life more pleasant.  Bad things do occur in everyone’s life at some time.

The loss of a loved one or any major setback emotionally or financially will cause anyone to be unhappy for some time.  However, if you are an optimistic happier type of person, you will be more likely to move through these rough patches in life with better coping skills in place.

 

The Myth that Salt Causes High Blood Pressure

By now you have been scared straight by your doctor or friends into eating a low sodium diet. You no longer eat seasoned foods because you are afraid that “ your blood pressure” will go up. Someone has to remind you of the last time you ate a meal that you enjoyed. Why? All because you have heard that salt causes high blood pressure. Yet, salt is an essential nutrient that contains sodium and chloride? The sodium helps the body with regulating nerves and muscle functions. Chloride is a chemical the human body needs for metabolism (a process where food is transformed into energy). It also helps keep the body’s acid base balance. So far it does not sound like salt is as big a monster as people have made it out to be.

One common instrument that farmers put out for their cows are salt licks. They are very important in providing nutrients in the growth of the cow, and cows or other animals don’t tend to struggle with high blood pressure. The reason is that the cow will take from the salt lick until it feels that it is satisfied and has had enough. Much of the time, this same principle can be applied by humans. Moreover, you can salt your food to taste and nothing will happen to you because high blood pressure is not caused by salt intake. It is rather a deficiency in a certain mineral. Japanese people who live years longer than Americans and have half the cancer rate and heart diseases, eat 12 grams of salt daily which is three times the amount of Americans.

The reality is that table salt is the big issue NOT natural sea salt. When you are told that salt causes high blood pressure they really mean that table salt causes the ailment. Sea salt is very natural and contains essential nutrients necessary for the body. Table salt is a mixture of several different caking agents and unhealthy ingredients.

The Journal of American Medical Association has yet more concrete information that salt is not the causer of high blood pressure. A cardiology study showed that if you have high blood pressure and restrict salt, you will not see any real benefit. Only two to five percent of those that restricted the salt seen any benefit. He went on to say that there is no need to get paranoid about salt because there is no proof that it causes blood pressure problems. Researchers believe that problem is that the government makes general recommendations to the entire country when the information is more than likely applicable to a select few. Several doctors have stated that the underlying cause of high blood pressure is the lack of the nutrient calcium and eating bad foods, whether processed or fried.

The Importance of Antioxidants

I feel like maybe I take too many supplements. And I don’t even take a whole lot.  I know some people take ten or more a day, and that may seem excessive. My paltry 3-4 a day probably pale in comparison.  Over half the US population takes supplements according to an earlier story we reported on, so either it’s mass hysteria, or supplements really do improve our lives.

But I do notice that when I stop taking certain supplements, such as vitamin C or my antioxidant blends of astaxanthin or other antioxidant vitamin blends, I either get sick or I start to notice my skin doesn’t look so great or that I’m just feeling as healthy as I normally do.  This shows me that supplements really do make a difference.

No one can tell me that my vitamin D supplement doesn’t boost my immunity in an extreme way when a cold or flu is going around the office and somehow I miss it for the tenth time. Vitamin D is also used for cancer prevention.  Or when I do finally get a bug, the strain is so muted and not even that serious that I barely notice I’m sick before I’m getting over it.

How about vitamin C supplements like chewable vitamin C tablets or even products like Emergen-C? Lots of people swear by this vitamin to help get them through the winter cold and flu season around here in Ohio where I live since this season tends to be long as the winters are.

Other antioxidants are things like acai berry extract, cranberry extract, garlic, vitamin e, vitamin k, and folate.  Many women take these to help get them through pregnancy, and men take them to boost immunity and overall health, brain and body function, and even to boost their appearance to a healthy, vibrant one and increase longevity.

There all kinds of ways of adding antioxidants to your diet. Lemon water drinkers swear that they see a new clarity to their skin, and this may be due to the high vitamin and antioxidant value of lemon juice that is fresh squeezed. White tea is another great option.

Even though some in the medical establishment would poo-poo many supplements, there still is the question “why would so many people be totally deluded that a supplement helps them so much? There’s a difference between widespread delusion and downright physical evidence, which I feel has displayed itself over and over with the way people feel about their supplements.

What You Should Know About the Kratom Ban

Early in October, Ohio started making moves to ban Kratom, a natural supplement said to have opioid properties and some stimulant-like effects. As of right now, little is known of kratom’s worth or safety as a therapeutic agent, but in February of 2018, the United States’ Food and Drug Administration stated that there is no evidence that kratom is safe or effective for treating any condition.

Individual users, however, would say otherwise. Some people take the supplement for managing chronic pain, for treating opioid withdrawal symptoms, or—more recently—for recreational purposes. The onset of effects is said to begin within five to ten minutes of ingestion and it lasts for two to five hours. Common minor side effects include nausea, vomiting, and constipation, while more severe side effects include respiratory depression and addiction.

There is growing international concern about a possible threat to public health from kratom use. In some jurisdictions—such as Ohio—its sale and importation have been severely restricted. In August of 2016, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced its intention to place the active materials in the kratom plant into Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act as a warning. A year later, in 2017, the FDA cited serious concerns over the marketing and effects associated with the use of kratom. In April of 2018, the FDA issued the first mandatory recall in its history (over concerns of salmonella)

Most recently, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy voted to classify kratom as a Schedule I controlled substance—alongside heroin, LDS, and other dangerous drugs. The pharmacy board considers kratom a “psychoactive plant” that can cause hallucinations, psychosis, seizures, and death. However, there has been heavy push-back from the small but passionate community of kratom users. The substance has been used as a pain reliever and stimulant for centuries, and it is a common “cure” for pain, addiction, anxiety, and depression.

While the effects and implications of kratom and its ban are not fully known, do your research before ingesting this substance to ensure it is the product you want to use.

 

Assuaging Anxiety with Herbal Remedies

Hundreds of herbal remedies have been studied as treatments for anxiety, but some rise above the rest as more useful or popular than others. Here are a few popular herbal anxiety treatments and what you need to know before trying them out.

Kava

While kava appeared to be a fairly promising treatment for anxiety, reports of serious liver damage cause the FDA to issue warnings about the use of dietary supplements containing the substance. While the initial reports have been questioned, use caution and involve your doctor if you are considering kava products.

Passion Flower

Several small clinical trials suggest that passion flower may help with anxiety. In many commercial products, passion flower is combined with other herbs, making it difficult to distinguish the unique qualities of each herb. The flower itself is generally considered safe—mild side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, and confusion.

Valerian

In some studies, those who used valerian reported less anxiety and stress. In other studies, people reported no benefit. The substance is generally considered to be safe, so give it a go if you’re curious.

Chamomile

Limited data show that short-term chamomile use is generally considered to be safe and effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety. However, use this substance with caution if you are on blood-thinning drugs.

Lavender

Some evidence suggests that oral lavender or lavender aromatherapy can reduce anxiety, but this evidence is preliminary and limited.

 

Ten Herbs You Can Use as Medicine

Most Americans are more familiar with herbs within a culinary context. However, herbs have been recognized as health aids and solutions for thousands of years. You may be familiar with a few—specific types of tea have been making their way into commercial supermarkets, and the juicing trend has brought several important herbs into the spotlight. Herbs are incredibly accessible, fun to use, and a great way to experiment with homeopathy. Here are ten herbs you can use as medicine.

 

Thyme: Type is excellent for respiratory issues. Thymol, its most notable chemical compound, is recognized for its antiseptic abilities. Plus, it tastes pretty great when baked into bread.

Echinacea: Yes, this is actually an herb! You may have taken Echinacea supplements as a kid (raise your hand if your mom shopped at Whole Foods before it was cool), but the benefits of this power plant go beyond tasty gummies. This herb can alleviate joint pain and improve the immune system.

Chamomile: Popular in tea, chamomile is a popular remedy for curing upset stomachs. It can also be used to solve problems related to sleep, morning sickness, bloating, and other skin problems.

Dandelion: This flowering plant is best known for its use as a detoxifying agent for the liver and kidney. Dandelion has also been used to treat infections, minimize swelling, balance blood sugar, and improve pancreas function.

Sage: This herb is excellent for disinfecting sores, healing ulcers, and curing coughs.

Peppermint: One of the tastiest herbs on this lit, peppermint is used to alleviate dyspepsia, gastritis, intestinal colic, and GI tract issues. Essentially, it will sooth your stomach.

Holy basic: This plant has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties. Plus, it tastes excellent with tomatoes.

Lemon balm: This herb is incredibly easy to grow. It is known for its anti-viral and relaxing properties and is often used to treat upset stomachs, bad breath, and sores.

Aloe vera: If you’re using skin treatments without aloe vera, you’re doing something wrong. This herb is used widely to heal wounds and various skin and hair conditions. When taken orally, aloe can act as a laxative.

Bergamot: Essential oils made from Bergamot can help treat high fever and intestinal worms. It can also be used for aromatherapy and act as a tonic for the nervous system, alleviating stress, anxiety, tension, and headache.

 

Planting a Medicinal Herb Garden

A rise in both gardening and self-sufficiency has led to the increased desire to grow personal medicinal herb gardens. Herbs are incredibly useful plants; they can be used for a variety of projects, they look beautiful, and they can aid in healing practices. Most herbs are not difficult to grow, and many have beautiful flowers and foliage. Herbs grow well in pots, but they can also be planted among your perennial beds or in a traditionally landscaped area.

So, which herbs should you use to start? The basics include: basil, mint, and garlic. These are classified as both culinary and medicinal herbs—they are highly nutritive and flavorful, but they can be potent when treating health issues. However, there are literally thousands of herbs you could grow. To choose which will work best for your life, research local growing conditions to see what is successfully supported in your area. Then, sit down and go through the herbs you use regularly. Do you take Echinacea gummies? Do you keep ginger on-hand for that pre-cold tea? Are you always running out of mint? Asking yourself these questions will allow you to determine which will work best for your lifestyle.

Once you have chosen your herbs, understand the conditions they need to grow and thrive. You may need to reseed, prune, layer, or cut. Pay attention to how many hours of sun your herb garden needs every day, and research the water requirements each plant has. Most importantly, look up what kind of soil it needs and what type of temperatures it can withstand.

Once you have your list and caring instructions, you’re ready to plant. Use an herb catalogue or visit a nursey to purchase seeds or young plants. Choose seed packets based on how much information is included, and as your local nursery to see their catalogue. These plant professionals will always have advice when it comes to gardening, so don’t be afraid to ask!

Now, be realistic about the space you have available to you when planning and planting. If you live in an apartment, see what you can squeeze onto a sunny windowsill or a south-facing deck. If you live close to a community or farm garden plot, see if any friends have extra space. Find a decent amount of space to grow so you can prepare for when the herbs are fully realized!

 

 

What is CBD?

If you’ve witnessed the sudden appearance of dispensaries in your state, you’re not alone. Though tetrahydrocannabinol, abbreviated to THC, is not legal in all American states, these dispensaries appear to sell something else. Cannabidiol, appreciated as CBD, is becoming accessible and better-known in nearly every state across the country.

 

CBD is one of at least 113 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis. One of these many cannabinoids is THC, however, the effects of each compound are drastically different. CBD does not appear to have any psychoactive effects, such as those caused by THC. It may have a downregulating impact on disordered thinking and anxiety, but there is little research to support any statistically significant results. A number of studies on CBD indicate that it may be useful in treating types of inflammation caused by a variety of conditions. Cannabidiol has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in acute lung injury, and early studies suggest that CBD may be of value in treating epilepsy. It is shown to be safe and well tolerated by humans, and it does not induce any toxicity. Though

 

So why, then, are dispensaries appearing across the country? If this compound does not have psychoactive effects, why is it touted as THC’s mellower cousin? CBD-infused foods are becoming increasingly commonplace in natural grocery stores, but these products rarely have significant amounts of the compound. In reality, it appears that CBD is a means of providing an alternative to THC through a stealthy marketing tactic; the lack of psychoactive properties makes it the only cannabinoid able to skirt legal bans on marijuana, leading consumers to believe it is a safer but equally enjoyable substitute. While it has been shown to have no downsides or side effects, any phenomena experienced by CBD is likely the result of a placebo effect.