Hot Sauce And Multi-purpose Health Aid Rolled Into One!


Wow, every once in awhile I read about a new product and get very excited. This is one of those times. Just got an e-mail from David Wolfe about this new hot sauce, which should not only be amazing taste-wise, but even more fantastic as a health aid. I think it will be similar to the benefits offered by Earthie Mama’s Master Tonic….or maybe even better! Wish I had stock in this or got a commission for promoting it, because if it turns out to be as good as it sounds, then I will be telling everyone about it.

Just ordered two bottles myself because it’s 1/2 price ($9.97) right now….and seems expensive, even at that, but when you think about what we pay for certain health supplements, the cost is minimal and probably a little of the sauce goes a long way. So if you are a gourmet foodie or health nut (or both!) and like things spicy, I think this is a winner!


Introducing the most ADVANCED Superfood Elixirconcealed in a delicious, easy to consume hot sauce!

For years, we’ve slathered our food with brand after brand of commercial organic hot sauce, seeking the perfect combination of spice and flavor.

Some were too hot and some weren’t spicy enough… and not only did the organic alternatives not taste exactly right to us, they also weren’t that healthful either.

Some contained soybeans, agave sweeteners,  and even cheap peppersand those were the organic brands! The conventional brands were oftentimes nothing more thanfiltered tap water, chemically-sprayed, hybridized, GMO peppers, corn sweetenersand ordinary iodized salt.

We knew there had to be an alternative that could not only taste great on most savory foods, but also offer the benefits of of some of the most nutritional substances on the planet…

And that’s when we realized the most advanced information on hot sauces wouldn’t be found in what people are doing now, but what our ancestors have been doing for THOUSANDS of years…

Traditionally, the purpose of mixing hot peppers into a liquid wasn’t merely for culinary benefit, but to boost our immunity and inner health.

In fact, one of the most powerful, ancient tools for warding of illnesses like colds andflus is the combination of medicinal hot peppers, apple cider vinegar, garlic and some honey.

And taken together, the recipe really works! The problem is, it doesn’t taste very good.

That’s when we went into the kitchen, searching for the most PRECISE combinations of some of the world’s most ancient and advanced folk remedies that actually tasted amazing!

Spicy and complex, bold and flavorful, Longevity Hot Sauce™ compliments any meal OR can be taken daily as a solo shot for ongoing immune system support.

Longevity Hot Sauce™ is comprised of TEN incredible ingredients:

1. Superfood Cider Vinegar We all know about apple cider vinegar and it’s incredible health benefits, but do you know about Superfood Vinegar? This organic, raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized, concentrated blend of 100% organic goldenberry, papaya, apple, red banana, passion fruit, rose, and mango vinegars creates a vinegar unlike any you have ever tasted before.

This cold-pressed vinegar contains naturally-occurring strains of friendly bacteria, enzymes, and proteins. By our count, that’s adding the benefits of 6 other vinegars to the power of apple cider vinegar.

2. Organic Fermented Black Garlic Black Garlic is produced by “fermenting” and aging whole bulbs of fresh garlic in a humidity-controlled environment in temperatures of about 140 to 170 degrees F for 30 days.

What’s the black color all about? Well, it occurs naturally as the sugars are drawn out of the garlic cloves during the fermentation process. Once out of the heat, the bulbs are left to oxidize in a clean room for 45 days. This lengthy process, involving no additives or preservatives, causes the garlic cloves to turn black and develop asoft, chewy texture with flavors reminiscent of balsamic vinegar and soy sauce. Yum!

During the fermentation process, the compound allicine (which gives raw garlic its distinctive odor) is turned into the water-soluble amino acid, s-allcysteine, (which means no stinky breath for you). The added bonus? It’s absorbed more quickly by the body, is 100% bioavailable, and is a powerful antioxidant.

Another kudos for black garlic? Compared to fresh garlic, it has been found to have twice the antioxidant levels. Black garlic is also packed with high concentrations of sulfurous compounds.


3. Organic Sundried Tomato Really, who doesn’t love the sun? And these sun-dried tomatoes agree! Picked at the peak of culinary quality, they add a delicious savory tang to Longevity Hot Sauce™. Salt free, sulfite free, and gluten-free, these certified organic tomatoes have been grown without pesticides and are naturally dried in the sun to cultivate an unbelievable flavor.

High in potassium, sundried tomatoes are a great source of iron, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. Sundried tomatoes contain vitamin K and vitamin C, as well asvitamin A in the form of lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which function as antioxidants. They also contain calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.


4. Organic Longevity Pepper Our secret ingredient! This incredibly special type of pepper grows wild in the pristine Valley of Longevity in the Ecuadorian Andes where it thrives in volcanic mineral-rich soil in clean, high-altitude air.

This zesty decongestant is a mega source of vitamin C and vitamin A, and is a hefty source of antioxidants that also contains lutein.


5. Organic Achiote Achiote is a shrub native to the tropical region of the Americas and contains small heart-shaped pods which contain the annato seed. You may not even be aware this delightful ingredient is in many of your foods, but it’s actually used in many dishes for the golden tones it lends. Achiote powder is made from grinding the seeds and is thought to have immune system supporting properties.* Achiote is high in carotenoids, which are potent antioxidants that fight the free radicals in the body and support overall health.* The spicy flavor and beautiful color of achiote add an exotic element to this hot sauce.

6. Organic Coffee Blossom Honey Longevity CoffeeBlossom Honey is organically grown in the pristine Valley of Longevity in the Ecuadorian Andes. This delicious, raw honey is derived from the same plants from which the Organic Longevity Coffee™ beans are harvested. The coffee plants are grown on volcanic mineral-rich soil, fed with pure natural spring water, and nurtured in clean, high-altitude air.

7. Organic Turmeric Extract In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric was considered a whole body cleansing herb. Turmeric contains very rich stores of antioxidants, as well as curcumin, which contributes to a healthy inflammatory response within the body.* Tumeric, in addition to providing beautiful color to any meal or food it is added to.

 Longevity Hot Sauce™: Culinary Grade Taste. Medicinal-Grade Benefits.


8. Organic Coffee Blossom Honey Longevity CoffeeBlossom Honey is organically grown in the pristine Valley of Longevity in the Ecuadorian Andes. This delicious, raw honey is derived from the same plants from which the Organic Longevity Coffee™ beans are harvested. The coffee plants are grown on volcanic mineral-rich soil, fed with pure natural spring water, and nurtured in clean, high-altitude air.

 9. Organic Dragon’s Blood No dragons were harmed in the making of this product! Sangre de grado, Spanish for “blood of the dragon,” has a long history of use for both the bark and the resin of the tree. Indigenous tribes throughout Peru and Ecuador have long used the resin and bark in traditional medicine. Dragon’s blood contains taspine and a proanthocyanidin component that have been shown to be beneficial when taken internally*.

10. Himalayan Salt Himalayan Crystal Salt is a pure, hand-mined salt that is derived from ancient sea salt deposits, and it is believed to be the purest form of salt available. Himalayan salt contains the 84 natural elements needed by the body. These salts do not have any impurities since they are mined with bare hands, and explosives are prohibited in mining to preserve the magnificence of the Himalayas.

 **These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

You can find out more here.


p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on any future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Baking Soda: It’s Not Just For The Kitchen

I’ve used baking soda all my life, initially in baking/cooking and as a refrigerator deodorizer, but later also as a personal care/health aid. This article by Esse Johnson added to my understanding of just what baking soda is and how it works…


(By Esse Johnson, resident author and researcher at BeWellBuzz) With continued economic troubles, and amidst more and more evidence of the unhealthy risks of using unnatural, unheard of, and possibly toxic ingredients for skin and body care, many people are going back to basics. Baking soda is not only awesome for baking and house-cleaning, but can also be more effective than expensive acne and exfoliating treatments on the market. (It is for me!) Read on to find out what baking soda is, how to know if it’s natural or synthetic, and how to use it safely on your skin and hair for amazing results.

What is Baking Soda?

It may be a silly question for some, but for those of us who didn’t know, now you’ll know. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, or sodium hydrogen bicarbonate. It’s pH value is 9.0, making it alkaline. It’s used in cooking, cleaning and in toothpaste.

What’s the Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder?

– Soda

Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate. When used in a recipe for baking, soda must be combined with an acid substance in order to activate its leavening properties. Contact with an acidic such as vinegar, honey, yogurt or buttermilk causes a chemical reaction, creating carbon dioxide bubbles that will expand in the oven heat and cause the batter to rise. Timing is important when working with sodium bicarbonate. As soon as the liquid mixture touches the dry ingredients, the reaction will begin. If you “overmix” or leave the batter out too long, the reaction will stop before baking has begun, and your muffins or cakes will fall flat. L

– Powder

Baking powder contains pure sodium bicarbonate, plus cream of tartar and a starch, often corn starch. If a recipe doesn’t involve a soda activator such as yogurt or lemon juice, it’ll call for the powder, which contains its own activator. Cream of tartar serves as the acid activator. Single-acting baking powder reacts quickly when moistened and must be baked as soon as it’s gently mixed. Double-acting baking powder buys you a little extra time. The reaction begins when it’s moistened, but it occurs again in oven heat. Bicarbonate leavening agents are quicker than yeast and work well with biscuits, muffins and cakes.

Is Sodium Bicarbonate All-Natural? Raw?

Sodium Bicarb is naturally occurring as nahcolite. Popular and generic brands such as Arm & Hammer use a synthetic form; Bob’s Red Mill mines the naturally forming nahcolite from mineral springs in Colorado. “Nahcolite commonly forms by reaction of carbon dioxide with the mineral trona in evaporated lake basins.” Both the synthetic and mined forms are the exact same chemical, NaHCO3 (hence, the name, NaHCOlite). The mining process involves heat, so it’s likely that neither form is raw (although either could be “raw material” in manufacturing).

Baking Soda for Body & Skincare

It’s believed that baking soda was mixed with oils to make a soap some 4,500 years ago in Egypt. The compound is mildly abrasive, drying, cleansing, removes and absorbs oils and body odor. Try some of these and let us know how it goes!

1.    To exfoliate, cleanse, and remove makeup

Dampen a clean wash cloth and add a tsp. or less of baking soda; or, I like to splash a little water on my face, pour a small amount in my hand, rub hands together and gently apply all over face. You’ll need enough water to form a paste-like consistency. For extra exfoliation use your fingertips to softly massage over the skin surface. Rinse and thoroughly remove using a dampened wash cloth. This will effectively remove makeup and cleanse dirt, but is not for eye makeup removal (for that you can use a little olive oil on a cotton pad). Repeat if necessary. To replenish healthy acidity, follow with a swipe of a cotton pad doused with witch hazel, or a splash of fresh aloe vera juice. Try moisturizing with olive or coconut oil.

2.    Acne Mask & Spot Treatment

Baking soda is one of my faves for a simple and effective, completely non-toxic acne mask. Pour a tablespoon (or so, as needed) into your hand. Add enough water to make it pasty and spread over face, avoiding eyes. If you have combination skin or are prone to over-drying, only treat the affected areas. Let it set for about 10 minutes. The soda will absorb oils and dehydrate blemishes. Then rinse and remove with a damp wash cloth. Follow with toner such as witch hazel or aloe vera juice. Moisturize if needed.

3.    Natural Deodorant

It works in your fridge to absorb odors, but it works on you, too. Apply to a powder puff and dust over your body and underarms to absorb moisture and odor.

4.    Clean Teeth, Bright Smile

Apply to your moistened toothbrush and gently scrub. Baking soda isn’t whitening but is an excellent scrubbing agent to remove plaque or any other buildup. Rinse thoroughly. Adding peroxide or a little salt deepens cleaning.

5.    Dry Shampoo

To keep hair oils in check, absorb odor, remove dirt and even some product buildup, take soda into your palm. Flip your hair over the sink or tub. Apply through hair as evenly as you can, not touching the scalp or you’ll have a hard time getting it off without wetting. Flip back gently. If you go to hard and fast you might find a white powdery splat on the wall behind you. Comb through until the powdery white disappears.

BeWellBuzz recommends Bob’s Red Mill Baking Soda. See the end of this post for where you can purchase this product on-line at discount prices.

PERSONAL NOTE: I recommend Bob’s Red Mill, too. They make good quality products and I love supporting a company that operates on the principles it does. If you know anything about the Bob behind Bob’s Red Mill, then you know it would be great to have more people like him out there in the business world.

And here’s a recipe from Michelle Schoffro Cook for toothpaste using baking soda you may want to try…..

Most toothpaste contains sugar, fluoride, artificial colors, and other harmful ingredients that are best avoided.  Instead of using the toxic commercial varieties, why not make your own?  It’s simple and quick.  Once you have the essential oils needed you can use them to make the toothpaste or tooth powder, which more accurately describes it, for years to come. Here’s how:

Natural Tooth Powder Recipe

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 10 drops pure peppermint essential oil (this is not the same as peppermint extract or fragrance oil.  Also, it should be a high quality food grade essential oil, which is available from many health food stores)
  • 5 drops pure myrrh essential oil (optional, also available in many health food stores)

Mix all ingredients in a small jar with a lid, cover, and shake well to disperse oils throughout. Use a small amount on a damp toothbrush the way you would use toothpaste. The peppermint essential oil helps freshen breath, kill bacteria, and clear sinuses.  The myrrh oil is highly antibacterial and anti-fungal.  It is often used in the ancient healing arts of Ayurvedic Medicine.  The baking soda restores a natural, slightly alkaline pH balance to the teeth and gums and helps to whiten teeth.


And another version of baking soda-based all-natural toothpaste….

Make Your Own Mint Toothpaste


2 tablespoons baking soda

1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt

1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin

20 drops peppermint essential oil

Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container. Try this recipe for a toothpaste with a little extra bite.

Worried about baking soda being too abrasive for your teeth? Read this post and you’ll see it’s better for you than all regular brands of toothpaste.

FYI, you can get Bob’s Red Mill baking soda, essential oils, Himalayan crystal salt and vegetable glycerin at discount prices at, one of my favorite on-line places. If you shop at Vitacost, sign up for a free account at beforehand, if you don’t already have one. That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, if you are new to Vitacost and spend a certain amount (I believe it’s $25), you will get a $10 coupon to use; eBates also gives a gift card or some other “prize” when you place your first order of $25 or more. How does it get any better than that?! is another good discount place to shop (use code CJG192 if you are a new customer and spend more than $40 and you will get $10 off and free shipping, plus take advantage of their wonderful Trial Offer section).

And stay tuned for more on the many ways baking soda can be used as a self-help health aid!   


p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Watermelon = Good Medicine

One of my favorite things about this time of year in the southeast is that it’s watermelon season. In my mind, almost nothing beats a good (big) slice of juicy, sweet, refreshing watermelon. That it has so many health benefits is like not only icing on the cake, but whip cream, nuts and a cherry as well. Which reminds me, I’d really rather have watermelon than cake most of the time, and for someone who has had a sweet tooth since first coming down the birth canal, that’s saying a lot. 🙂




Watermelon may not be available year round in most parts of the country, but when it is in season you should definitely take advantage of the many cleansing, protective, nourishing properties it brings to the table. This refreshing fruit may also help quench the inflammation that contributes to conditions like asthma, atherosclerosis, diabetes, colon cancer and arthritis. And it’s packed with some of the most important antioxidants in nature. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C (a cup of watermelon provides almost 25% of the recommended daily requirement), a good source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), and it contains the potent carotenoid lycopene. These powerful antioxidants travel through the body neutralizing free radicals, and lycopene has been found to be protective against a growing list of cancers, including prostate, breast, endometrial, lung and colorectal.

Watermelon is rich in the B vitamins necessary for energy production and is a good source of B1, B6, magnesium, and potassium. Because this fruit has a higher water content and lower calorie content than many other fruits (a cup of watermelon contains only 48 calories), it delivers more nutrients per calorie—a real plus if you’re watching your weight. And even though many of us were told as children to eat our carrots to insure good eye health, it turns out fruits like watermelon may actually provide greater protection against macular degeneration and other diseases of the eye. So eat plenty of this refreshing fruit, or make yourself a summer spritzer by blending some watermelon with a little raw honey, a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, and some seltzer or sparkling mineral water, then serve with a sprig of mint. And don’t forget to have a seed spitting contest with your friends or kids—or even your friends’ kids! 😉

When buying watermelon, select one that is heavy for its size, with dull, not shiny, skin, and then store it in a cool, dark place or the fridge. A large yellow spot on the underbelly is a good sign that the melon ripened on the vine, rather than being picked too early.

3-Day Watermelon Kidney Cleanse:

Cleansing with watermelon is easy to do, delicious (unless you happen to not like this wonderful fruit) and effective. This particular protocol actually serves as a whole body and colon cleanser, but is particularly good for the kidneys and bladder. This routine has positive benefits on the heart, stomach, liver and more, plus acts as a rejuvenating blood tonic, and therefore has a regenerative effect. Watermelon helps the liver to process ammonia (waste from protein digestion) into the safer form of urea, and this increased effectiveness in the production of urea takes some of the strain of dealing with the by-products of protein digestion off the kidneys. For that reason , this cleanse is especially good for anyone regularly eating a high protein diet. It’s also good for those who consume alcohol and/or caffeine, and menopausal women can use it to relieve hot flashes.

Watermelon is considered very alkalinizing, as well as anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant, and anti-coagulating. It’s an effective digestive aid, diuretic, and laxative. It lubricates the intestines and is a good source of beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and silicon. It actually has half as much sugar as an apple, yet tastes sweeter because it’s mostly (92%) water. And watermelon contains glutathione, which guards against cataract formation. This amazing fruit also helps lift the spirits from depression and has been used to improve halitosis, a hangover, mouth sores, sore throat, and urethral pain. Talk about an ideal food choice for a cleanse!

Every part of the watermelon—flesh, rind (if organic) and seed—can be consumed with some benefit. Watermelon rind contains chlorophyll and can be eaten (close to the skin) or run through a juicer for building the blood and strengthening the glands. In some parts of South America  watermelon rind is applied to the temples and forehead to cool a headache, and the pulp is used topically to treat heat rash and burns. The black watermelon seeds are a traditional remedy for strengthening the kidneys. The seeds, juice and pink flesh can all be juiced together. They contain curcurbocitrin which dilates the capillaries. Seedless watermelons are more convenient to eat, but look for ones that contain seeds. The seeded varieties are said to have more life force than the seedless ones, which makes sense since a seed virtually contains the life force energy of a whole plant in sub-compact form!

There are several ways you can do this particular cleanse. You can keep it simple and just consume the watermelon “as is” for the entire 3 days. Or, if you have the time and inclination, you can get a little more creative and use the following routine:

Upon rising: Drink 6 oz. of watermelon juiced with ½ a lemon and some grated ginger (optional).

Mid-morning: Make a smoothie by placing 2 cups of watermelon in a blender, food processor, or Vita-mix. Adding 2 TBS. of chopped cilantro is optional.

Afternoon: Eat 2 to 3 cups of watermelon cut in chunks.

Evening: Make a “soup” by pureeing 4 cups of watermelon that’s been seeded and cubed; stir in the juice of 1 lime, 2 TBS. chopped fresh mint, 1 TBS. minced fresh ginger, and 1/8 tsp. ground cardamom. Eat and enjoy!

Before bedtime: Take a salt/baking soda enema using ½ tsp. crystal salt and 1 tsp. baking soda added to the enema water.

Repeat this routine for a total of 3 days.

And check out this article on watermelon written by Sayer Ji, Founder of Green Med Info….

Let Fruit Be Your Medicine: Watermelon's Remarkable Health Benefits

Watermelon is so much more than just a highly refreshing summertime treat. From the perspective of a growing body of clinical research, it is a truly medicinal food.

Only this month, research published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found watermelon juice is an effective remedy for reducing the recovery heart rate and muscle soreness in athletes who were given 500 ml of watermelon juice (16.9 oz) containing 1.17 grams of the naturally occurring amino acid L-citrulline.

Additional research indicates watermelon may possess the following health benefits:

  • Boosting Your Antioxidant Levels: Watermelon is exceptionally rich in lycopene (hence its red color) and other carotenoids such as lutein and beta carotene. A 2003 study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that regular watermelon juice consumption resulted in significant increases in blood plasma concentrations of lycopene and beta carotene. Keep in mind that lycopene has been found to have over 40 potential health benefits, and beta carotene (especially in its natural, food-complexed form) equally plentiful health benefits, adding extra significance to this finding. Also, the watermelon-induced increase in plasma antioxidant levels may lend explanation to why an epidemiological study of the Chinese found greater watermelon intake to be associated with a lower risk of cancer.
  • Reducing Blood Pressure/Improving Arterial Health: A 2012 study published in the American Journal of Hypertension found that middle-aged obese subjects with pre-hypertension or stage 1 hypertension who were given 6 weeks of treatment with a watermelon extract containing 6 grams of L-citrulline and L-arginine daily, experienced reduced ankle blood pressure and altered carotid wave reflection, an indication of improved arterial function. The inability of the blood vessels to dilate and function properly is known as endothelial dysfunction, and is likely the most well-known initiating step in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. If watermelon can ameliorate or reverse this process, it would certainly provide a breakthrough alternative to many of the drugs used for primary prevention, such as the cholesterol-lowering statin drug class, whose side effects, numbering in the hundreds, include heart muscle dysfunction and damage.
  • Increasing Plasma Arginine Concentrations: A 2007 study published in the journal Nutrition found that watermelon juice consumption increases plasma arginine concentrations in adults, proving that the L-citrulline from this plant origin was effectively converted into arginine. This is a highly significant finding because arginine has a great number of health benefits, especially for ameliorating the aforementioned cardiovascular problem known as endothelial dysfunction. There are at least 20 studies in the biomedical literature documenting its therapeutic role in improving endothelial dysfunction, but you can view over 150 potential health benefits of arginine on the GreenMedInfo database.
  • Combating Metabolic Syndrome: A promising pre-clinical study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2007 found that watermelon pomace, a rich source of L-citrulline, significantly improved metabolic syndrome in diabetic, overweight rats. This study is of particular interest because it lends support to relatively new research showing that fruit consumption is not harmful for type 2 diabetics. The new study results were described as follows: ” These results provide the first evidence to our knowledge for a beneficial effect of watermelon pomace juice as a functional food for increasing arginine availability, reducing serum concentrations of cardiovascular risk factors, improving glycemic control, and ameliorating vascular dysfunction in obese animals with type-II diabetes.”
  • Watermelon Seeds, a Rich Source of Protein:  It behooves us to mention the fact that all parts of the watermelon have something to offer. The seeds, in fact, are an excellent source of protein (see the link at the end of this post for more on the seeds). A 2011 study published in the Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology found that “The good nutritional and functional properties of watermelon seed meal proteins suggest their potential use in food formulations.”  While seedless watermelon are far more convenient to eat, keep in mind that they can not reproduce without human intervention and so there are several good reasons to choose seeded varieties.

So, next time you are in the mood for watermelon, and are concerned about its notorious sugar content, ‘weight-promoting effects,’ and therefore possible diabetogenic and cardiotoxic properties – think again. Quality and moderation are the only things to make sure you are careful about when deciding to consume watermelon. Otherwise, enjoy it (remember Vitamin P(leasure)) and know that it may just be as good for you as it tastes.

Want more on watermelon? Here’s a post that includes just about anything you might want or need to know, but didn’t even know to ask :-): 

And btw, many of the animal critters who visit my backyard seem to love watermelon and know it’s good for them. A couple of years ago I got in the habit of throwing some of the *rind w/ a little “meat” still on it out for the local wildlife, not knowing how many “takers” I’d have. I wasn’t surprised when I saw the groundhogs chowing down (they’ll eat almost anything!), but I didn’t expect squirrels to be so excited about it, too. Another thing they both like is avocados, another near perfect food. Who knew?! It’s fun sharing things with my animal friends and I like knowing we are all benefiting health-wise. Plus, it’s a great way to recycle and cut down on waste. 🙂

*Check out these articles about the benefits of eating the rind, including weight loss:



p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Raw Honey Garlic Lemon Shots = A Supercharged Immune System


Raw garlic is a natural bactericide and fungicide, an excellent source of organic minerals, trace elements, vitamins, and 18 of 20 amino acids. It’s also a fat burner, fights homo-cysteine levels, and contains sulfur, which makes it a good addition to the diet if you are concentrating on ridding the body of heavy metals and parasites. Garlic both prevents loading the liver with fats after a fatty meal, and lowers the amount of cholesterol in the blood irrespective of diet. It also increases the dumping of fat and cholesterol by the bile gland and prevents the liver from making as much fat and cholesterol for deposition in fat cells. It has this preventative effect because the enzymes which make the fats in the liver rely on sulfur molecules with a specific structure and function, and garlic’s reactive sulfur interferes with these enzymes. Here’s a recipe from that combines this potent all-natural health aid with two others into one supercharged immunity boosting shot….. and this shot DOESN’T require a needle. Be sure to keep this recipe on hand for cold and flu season…. 


Description Garlic.jpg


One criticism often received by recipes involving cooked onions, garlic and other alliums is that the heating process destroys much of the allicin that leads to its protective effects. While this is partially true, knowing how to optimize garlic before eating it raw or cooked will maximize garlic enzymes and give them the best chance to survive meal preparation. I’ll share a very simple recipe to use regularly during the cold and flu season that will supercharge your immune system.

With their unique combination of flavonoids and sulfur-containing nutrients, allium vegetables–such as garlic–belong in your diet on a regular basis. There’s research evidence for including at least one serving of an allium vegetable in your meal plan every day. If you’re choosing garlic as your allium family vegetable, try to include at least 1/2 clove in your individual food portion. If you’re preparing a recipe, you should use at least 1-2 cloves.

Washington State University showed that garlic is 100 times more effective than antibiotics at fighting disease causing bacteria commonly responsible for foodborne illness. Its anti-viral potency is perhaps even more effective.

Allicin, one of garlic’s most highly valued sulfur compounds, stays intact for only 2-16 hours at room temperature when it is present in purified (extracted) form. But when it’s still inside of crushed garlic, allicin will stay viable for 2-1/2 days.

If you give your chopped/crushed garlic time to sit before changing its temperature (through cooking) or its pH (through the addition of acidic food like lemon juice), it will give the alliinase enzymes in garlic an opportunity to work on behalf of your health. For example, in the absence of chopping or crushing, research has shown that just 60 seconds of immediate microwaving will cause garlic to lose some of its cancer-protective properties.

Before cooking or adding chopped garlic to lemon juice, let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes to maximize its potency. The following recipe has minimal preparation time and maximum benefits to your health, especially during cold and flu season. I call them shots because they’re a cocktail of beneficial immune boosting constituents inside a lemon half that you can eat in just a few bites. My recommendation is to have one or two of these per day during peak flu activity when viral transmission is at its highest (usually Jan-Mar).


Raw Honey Garlic Lemon Shots

1 lemon (preferably organic)
1-2 cloves of garlic (depends on size of cloves)
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of honey (preferably Manuka but at least Raw)

Step 1
 – Cut a lemon in halves

Step 2 – Squeeze all the lemon juice out of one half and place in a small bowl. Keep the half you extracted the juice from for Step 6 (store the other half for later use).

Step 3 – Chop the garlic and it let it sit for at least 10 minutes. Then add it to the lemon juice with the cayenne pepper. 

Step 4 – Add the honey to the mix and stir all ingredients well.

Step 5 – Pour the entire mixture back into the lemon half (which you extracted the juice from in Step 2)

Consume the finished product in its entirety including all the lemon pulp. Hold it in your hand and cup it as if you’re holding a fruit. Repeat recipe in 4 hours with the other lemon half.

Viruses hate this information, so spread the word.

Natasha Longo has a master’s degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.

Source: Prevent Disease

And read my posts on lemons, honey and garlic, if you haven’t already done so. That will give you an even better idea of how potent the ingredients in this immunity boosting cocktail are.



p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Liquid Castile Soap: No Home Should Be Without It!

I have been a fan of Dr. Bronner’s castile soaps for probably 30 years or more (yipes! I guess I must be much older than I realized), even before I used the peppermint one during a raft trip in Oregon. There’s nothing quite like having a chilly river as your bath tub and washing off with tingly peppermint soap. Invigorating!

I also love Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds, an all-purpose cleaning formula soap. And I love knowing that Dr. B’s products are healthy for me and easy on the planet.  AND I love (that’s a lot of loves!) the fact that “magic” is part of the brand name, as in Dr. Bronner’s Magic Castile Soaps. 🙂 If you are not familiar with these great, multi-purpose health aids, here’s an article from that will introduce you to some of the many ways to replace chemical/toxin-laden home and beauty items with something much more fun and user-friendly….


12 Great Ways to Use Castile Soap


(Chaya, selected from NetWorx) I buy my castile soap in bulk. I’m just a super twigs-and-granola kinda gal, which means I use castile soap by the bucketful. But don’t worry, for those less committed to “crunchy” life, they also sell it in small, tester portions.

I never knew what “castile” was until I started using the stuff, but the moniker just describes a style of soap, not a brand. Think tissue, not Kleenex. Castile means that it’s made from 100 percent plant oils (no animal products like tallow, which show up in most commercial soaps). It’s also a true soap, not a chemical detergent, making castile soap completely biodegradable and very earth-friendly.

What follows is a list of ways to incorporate this cheap, environmentally awesome ingredient into your daily life. Some of the ideas are for beginners, or “hippie-lite.” Others are out and out barefoot-moon-dancing-earth-mother. (Okay, maybe castile soap is not so hippie. Denver plumbing company Quality First Plumbing recommends hot water and castile soap as an all-purpose household cleaner, and they are plumbers, not hippies.) Just pick and choose as you please! And don’t forget, you can add various essential oil herbal infusions to each of these recipes, to customize and diversify your castile soaping experience. Maybe you like orange blossom to clean your tile flooring, and peppermint on your dishes. Lot’s of people prefer lemon in the bathroom, and I love lavender in my laundry. And each oil or herb will confer its own properties. For example, eucalyptus is an antimicrobial, and chamomile is a relaxant. The possibilities are endless and it’s oh-so fun to experiment!

1. Shampoo: Use castile soap as a stand-in for a harsh detergent-based shampoo. Give your head a break! Just mix castile soap with water at a ratio of 1:3.

2. Laundry Detergent: You can make your own laundry detergent with simple, common ingredients. Save tons money and do the environment a friendly favor. It’s a win-win!

3. Tub Scrub: Make a tile or toilet “soft scrub” out of baking soda and castile soap. Simply fill a spray bottle with a dilution of 1:3 castile to water. Sprinkling the area you wish to clean with a liberal dusting of baking soda, then spray the castile solution over the top. Scour with a sponge or scrub brush and watch the stains disappear. This also works great on crusty stovetops!

4. Mopping Solution: Use 2 or 3 tablespoons of castile soap in a full bucket of water, and mop mop mop your floors to a sparkly new luster.

5. Dish Soap: Make a dishwashing soap (for hand washing) or a liquid hand soap (for washing hands) by simply mixing a 1:1 ratio of castile to water.

6. Dishwasher Detergent: Make a fancier DIY liquid dishwasher detergent that’s inexpensive and eco-friendly.

7. Soap Dispenser Refill: You can refill your foaming hand soap dispenser with 1 part castile soap to 4 parts water.

8. Body Wash: You can use castile soap as a gentle yet efficient bath soap/body wash. They actually sell castile bar soap, but if you want to use the liquid just dilute it in a 2:1 ratio of castile to water.

9. Dog Shampoo: What’s good enough for you is even better for your pet! Use the same ratio listed above for an awesome DIY doggie shampoo.

10. Toothpaste: You can actually use castile soap in place of your toothpaste, and pure soap is much better for your teeth than the nasty chemicals they put in most commercial pastes. Just add a few drops directly to your wet brush. It works wonders, although the flavor can take some getting used to!

11. Veggie Wash: Make a simple veggie wash for cleansing all your produce. Add 1 tablespoon castile soap to 2 cups of water, and keep the mixture in a squirt bottle near the kitchen sink.

12. Carpet Cleaner: Finally, you can make an effective carpet cleaner by mixing 1/4 cup castile into 1 cup water. Place the solution in the blender and let it fly until it forms a stiff foam. Apply as you would any other carpet cleaning product.

Swanson’s list of top 20 uses for Dr Bronner’s  Castile Soap:

And here’s a link to a “dilutions cheat sheet” pdf you can download that gives you the different dilutions for working with castile soap:

Click to access Dilutions-Cheat-Sheet.pdf

FYI, you can get Dr. Bronner’s (and other brands of liquid castile soap) at discount prices at and, two of my favorite on-line places to shop for health supplements, personal care products, food items and more. 

7/27/13 UPDATE: I just happened to come across this post by Anthony N. that contains some background history on the Dr. Bronner’s brand that I think you’ll find interesting…

I’m a big fan of Dr. Bronner’s soap. I think it’s one of the best natural health products that I use on a regular basis. I also think that it probably has the most interesting story out of any health product that I buy from Swanson. I say probably because I have yet to find out the entire story. However, I will share with you what I already know…

When I first bought Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Soap about five months ago, I thought I was getting just another ordinary all natural hand soap. But when I opened the box, my first thought was “this bottle is smaller than I thought it was going to be.” My next thought was “look at the label on this thing, it’s crazy.” The label was unlike anything I had ever seen. The entire label is covered with text. Tiny little text, written in every possible direction. Take a look for yourself. I knew there had to be a fascinating story behind this product or brand.

I decided to do a Google search on Dr. Bronner’s soap and came across a trailer for a documentary made on Dr. Emanuel Bronner. I’m a huge fan of documentary films and also a big fan of The Sundance Film Festival, where this film played. After watching the trailer, I realized that I was correct on my label-based assumption that there was a crazy story behind this soap.

Emanuel Bronner was deeply religious and had a strong belief in the goodness of humanity, despite having parents that were killed in the Holocaust. His packaging is covered with his “Moral ABCs,” his philosophy, with a wide variety of influences from Christianity to Rudyard Kipling’s poetry. At one point in his life, Dr. Bronner was arrested and committed to a mental hospital, but he escaped after receiving electric shock therapy. Emanuel Bronner died in 1997, when he was 89 years old.

There are a lot of things to like about the Bronner brand. When he died, his soap factory produced over 1 million bottles of soap per year, yet was still not machine driven. The company does not advertise or have a sales department, instead relying on word of mouth advertising. The products are certified fair trade, entirely natural and use organic oils. Best of all, the brand is known for its generosity and donations to a wide range of charities.

I look forward to watching the life story of this eccentric soap-maker. For those who are subscribers to Netflix, the documentary is currently available for online streaming. Also, have no fear on the little bottle size I mentioned above. This soap can produce tons of lather with just a few drops and seems to last forever. I’m still on my first bottle. It can be used as an all natural hand soap, deodorant, shampoo, toothpaste or practically anything else. I even use it to clean the floors. I recommend you buy it yourself, if only to read the label.



p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Rooibos Tea: How Does A Bush Taste So Good?


If you haven’t ever sipped a cup of Rooibos tea , you may want to give it a try. Good tasting and good for you, with a lovely reddish hue… 



Rooibos tea – pronounced Roy-boss – is indigenous to my native South Africa where it has been used by the African Bushman for hundreds of years. Rooibos means red bush, and it actually is not really a tea plant but is instead part of the legume family and the bush is not even red, it’s green. The red color only appears after oxidation during the tea-making process.

Growing up in South Africa, we always knew about Rooibos tea and that it was regarded as a healthy tea to drink but it was not until fairly recently that it started to become more popular and its health benefits more widely known.

Naturally caffeine-free, Rooibos is loaded with antioxidants which help protect from free radicals – those toxic by-products of normal cell function- which can contribute to aging and weaken the immune system.

Rooibos contains many minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc and potassium, making it very beneficial for healthy bones and strong teeth.

Rooibos is also useful in helping with some digestive disorders such as nausea, constipation and heartburn. Kidney stone sufferers can drink this without fear since Rooibos tea does not contain oxalic acid which can cause kidney stones.

Pregnant and nursing mothers can also use Rooibos to soothe babies who have colic and infants with stomach cramps, as studies have shown that the tea has anti-spasmodic properties.

Rooibos can also be applied to the skin topically to help relieve itchy dry skin like eczema, sunburns, and diaper rash. In fact, on a recent visit back to South Africa, I noticed that more and more skin care products feature Rooibos as one of their ingredients. Alpha hydroxy acid and zinc both found in Rooibos, are great for promoting healthy smooth skins.

Rooibos tea is usually drunk without milk and now comes in a variety of flavors. It has a a slightly sweet taste, though some tea drinkers do add a touch of honey. It can be made as both hot tea and a delicious iced tea. My current favorite is Good Hope Vanilla Red Tea by Republic of Teas – time to put the kettle on…….

And here’s another article about rooibos, this one from Natural News, that mentions it may even reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s….

(From Natural News Newsletter by Carolanne of

If you are a fan of green, black or white tea you may want to rethink your beverage of choice. Rooibos (Aspalathus linear) trumps all three with its substantial health enhancing features. Even if you are not an ardent tea drinker, a second look at this red hued nectar is worth your while for the sake of disease-free living.

Elixir of wellness

Indigenous to South Africa, rooibos is an exceptional healing herb. According to Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham, a Japanese study found it has notable antimutagenic, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and antiviral properties. Teeming with formidable antioxidants, rooibos is a powerful defender of health. Kilham affirms:

“… rooibos is a source of two comparatively rare antioxidants, aspalathin and nothofagin. Aspalathin helps to modify hormones in the body and reduces the output of adrenal hormones specifically, thus reducing stress and helping to inhibit metabolic disorders. Aspalathin also helps to regulate blood sugar and therefore can play a role in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and excessive fat production. The antioxidant nothofagin also demonstrates significant anti-inflammatory activity and, along with aspalathin, may help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Both appear to protect nerves.”

Likewise, the herb is also a tremendous source of the super-antioxidant quercetin. This compound protects the heart, lowers the risk of cancer, knocks out viruses and markedly reduces inflammation – the ultimate bane of health which is linked with every chronic degenerative disease known.

Additionally, rooibos is packed with helpful minerals. Rich in copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, manganese and potassium, rooibos fortifies the bones and teeth while discouraging premature aging. Applied topically, the tea soothes skin conditions such as acne, eczema and sunburn due to its alpha hydroxy acid content. Rooibos also calms colic in babies, hypertension, stress and nervous system disorders.

A mildly sweet tea that is void of caffeine and oxalic acid, rooibos is a beneficial beverage for the young and old and everyone in between. Parents will appreciate the soothing influence on hyperactive children while health enthusiasts will value the outstanding perks of the tea. As Kilham aptly notes:

“It isn’t difficult to live the high antioxidant lifestyle, taking in foods, herbs and teas that will protect your body in many ways, reduce the risk of various chronic and degenerative diseases and make you feel good. As Hippocrates remarked in his credo “Let thy food be thy medicine.” Drink rooibos for taste or drink it for health. In either case, you’ll derive innumerable benefits.”

Sources for this article include:

Find out about how powerful this delightful tea is at preventing and fighting cancer:

PERSONAL NOTE: I first discovered rooibos tea a number of years ago and liked that it had such a nice taste and so many health-promoting properties. Right now I have a Ruby Red Chai (I think from Trader Joe’s) that combines rooibos with delightful spices (ginger root, cardamon, cinnamon, clove bud and black pepper), that, by the way, come with their own health benefits. I brew that in a little hot water (just enough to give the bag something to steep in), fill the rest of the mug with 1 cup heated unsweetened vanilla almond milk, add  1 tsp. coconut oil (or more, after all it’s sooo good for you!), 1 tsp. or so of xylitol (or healthy sweetener of choice), and about 6 to 8 drops of Stevia Leaf vanilla creme and have a wonderfully satisfying dessert-y tea to sip on. This recipe also works well with the Yogi Chai Green I also use. Ummm, must go make some right now!

FYI, you can get rooibos and other natural and organic teas at a discount at (use code CJG192 if you are a new customer and spend more than $40 and you will get $5 off your purchase). Plus, shipping is free on orders of $20 or more, you earn loyalty rewards cash, AND you get an extra 5% off on orders over $60. is another one of my favorite on-line places to shop. Great discount prices, ever-expanding inventory, free shipping on $49 and up, and if you are a new customer and use the link on my website you will get a $10 off coupon with your first order of $25 or more. Woo-hoo! 


p.s. Be sure to read my post Tea: Medicine In A Cup for even more on health-promoting teas. And subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Ginger = Powerful Anti-Cancer Treatment

A few days ago I did a post titled Get Your Zing On With Ginger!that included some of the many benefits and uses for ginger, plus some fun recipes to try (be sure to read it, if you haven’t done so already). Well, today we’re getting down to serious business with an article from Why Don’t You Try This about ginger being a potent cancer treatment…

Ginger, a cousin spice of super anti-cancer substance turmeric, is known for its ability to shrink tumors. Astoundingly, it is even more effective than many cancer drugs, which have been shown to be completely ineffective and actually accelerate the death of cancer patients. Commonly consumed across the world in small doses among food and beverage products, the medicinal properties of ginger far surpass even advanced pharmaceutical inventions.

Ginger Destroys Cancer More Effectively than Death-Linked Cancer DrugsThe subject of one study based out of Georgia State University, whole ginger extract was revealed to shrink prostate tumor size by a whopping 56% in mice.

The anti-cancer properties were observed in addition to ginger’s role in reducing inflammation as well as being a rich source of life-enhancing antioxidants.

But what about cancer drugs? Could this simple spice really topple the advanced pharmaceuticals that are often touted as the ‘only option’ for cancer patients by medical doctors?

It turns out that cancer drugs are not only severely ineffective at permanently shrinking tumors, but they actually make tumors larger and kill the patient more quickly.

More specifically, the tumors have been found to ‘metasize’, meaning they come back bigger and stronger than their original size. What’s more, the ‘metasizing’ was found to be very aggressive. According to scientists Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, the premium priced drugs were little more than death sentences for many patients.

“Whatever manipulations we’re doing to tumors can inadvertently do something to increase the tumor numbers to become more metastatic, which is what kills patients at the end of the day,” said study author Dr. Raghu Kalluri.

These are the very drugs considered to be the scientifically proven solution by mainstream health officials.

Meanwhile, ginger presents virtually no side effects and has been used as a food product by many cultures for countless centuries. Instead of creating super tumors, whole ginger extract was shown to exert significant growth-inhibiting and death-inductory effects in a spectrum of prostate cancer cells.

Over 17 other studies have also reached similar conclusions on ginger’s anti-cancer benefits, with the spice being shown by peer-reviewed research to positively impact beyond 101 diseases.

Source: Natural Society

FYI, you can get ginger powder and extract at discount prices, one of my favorite on-line places. If you shop at Vitacost, be sure to sign up for a free acct. at beforehand, if you don’t already have one. That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, if you are new to Vitacost and spend a certain amount (I believe it’s $25), you will get a $10 coupon to use; eBates also gives a gift card or some other “prize” when you place your first order of $25 or more. How does it get any better than that?!


p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

10 All-Natural (And Sustainable!) Beauty Tips

I use a lot of all-natural things as a part of my “beauty care” routine, including that wonderfood coconut oil, but this article from Food Matters has some great tips and things I’d never considered or heard of before….

By Sarah Wilson and Maria Hannaford

I have a troubled past with makeup. When I worked in magazines I was beholden to the beauty industry, forced to get excited about skin whiteners and lash extenders. It wore me down, one blush stroke at a time. Then, a few years later, I wore too much of the gunky stuff while working in TV and literally poisoned myself.  When I got unwell I realised I had to do something about this and swerved to chemical-free beauty and makeup products.

But there’s also the eco argument that’s worth considering in all this. Not all chemical-free products are ecologically sound. Not all organic products are chemical-free. It’s like food shopping: a knotted ball of competing messages.

I asked Maria Hannaford, from Econest to give her take unnatural beauty tips ‘n tricks. Melbourne-based Maria works for an environmental organisation that’s all about sustainable living and eating.
Maria’s personal philosophy is that “If she can’t eat it, she won’t put it on her skin, and if the product has more ingredients than I have fingers on one hand, it’s bye bye.”

Top 10 Sustainable, 100% Natural and Very Basic Beauty Tricks

1. Befriend Plant Oil

You can replace all manner of beauty products – moisturiser, body cream, hair conditioner, shaving cream, deep cleanser – with just one or two plant oils. Choose from coconut oil (my personal favourite), macadamia oil, olive oil, sweet almond, jojoba or argan oil. A lot of argan oils on the market actually contain only a very small amount of argan oil, and aren’t produced sustainably.

Just make sure whichever oil you use is organic and cold-pressed. Extraction processes using heat destroy all nutrients, essential fatty acids and vitamins and turn oils rancid, causing them to form free-radicals which damage and age your skin.

2. Make Your Face A Cuppa

Make a strong tea using pretty much any herb in your backyard and apply it as a skin toner. Lemongrass and lemon balm calm acne and even out skin tone, chamomile soothes sensitive skin and reduces redness, rosemary protects against the sun’s UV-rays and the damaging effects of pollution and lavender is uplifting, cooling and slightly antiseptic. Oily skin is tamed with a tea made with marigold petals (easily grown in the garden). I make up a tea and store it in a glass spray bottle in the fridge for up to a week. You can also use dried herbs, such as dried culinary lavender, but they need to be brewed for longer.

3. Highlight Your Hair Naturally

Lighten hair using a strong chamomile tea in the final rinse after shampooing.

To enhance dark hair, use rosemary (boiled as a strong tea). Using these natural ingredients will add shine, softness and volume as well as enhance your colour.

4. Fight Blemishes With Essential Oils

I’m one of the unfortunate few women who still get a pimple or two even in their 30s. It’s hormonal, or something. I simply dab a tiny amount of pure lavender essential oil directly onto the offending spot. The oil, which is naturally antibacterial, dries spots out a treat and also reduces redness.

5. Don’t Wear Perfume

Oh how the perfume industry gives me conniptions. A loophole in legislation allows perfume manufacturers to list only a few of the many chemicals they may be using, the true formula officially protected as a ‘trade secret’.

What we do know is that fragrances contain phthalates, which can mimic some of the body’s hormones and cause reproductive and neurological damage. I mix a small amount of essential oil with a base oil such as sweet almond, and rub this onto my wrists.

6. Go Au Naturale

Don’t wear makeup (at least not on a daily basis). A little extreme it may sound, but I remember sitting around with my 78-year old grandma and her friends one day whilst they divulged the secret to their luminous skin – ‘makeup hath not toucheth their face’. Not in their teens, not in their 20s, not in their 30s. Why not? Firstly there was no social norm to wear makeup, secondly they didn’t think it made sense to cover their skin in chemicals! They believed wearing makeup blocks pores and prematurely ages skin. Which makes sense. Granted, the social pressure to wear makeup in their tiny Greek village is pretty low, but that’s not the point. I rarely wear makeup these days, only on very special occasions. It doubles as my little salute to feminism.

7. Get Yourself Some Liquid Castile Soap

Castile soap is traditionally made of saponified olive oil, but these days most contain a few different types of plant oils. Still, mine contains only five ingredients.

It’s ultra handy in the home as it replaces a number of products – I use it as a shampoo as well as a dishwashing liquid.

Diluted, it can also be used as a spray n’ wipe. I personally use one that doesn’t contain any palm oil.

8. Once A Week, De-gunk With Bicarb Soda

Any shampoo, including Castile soap, can leave soap residue on your hair, so once a week wash your hair with a thick paste of bicarb (baking) soda, and rinse with apple cider vinegar for extra shine.

9. Eat Your Skin Conditioner

Healthy, youthful and conditioned skin requires healthy fats, so forget about low-fat foods. I eat plenty of olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, avocados and nuts (activated, of course) everyday.
Also know that fruit like pomegranates and blueberries are rich in antioxidants and promote skin elasticity and vitality.

10. Choose A Natural Toothpaste

My favorite is Phytoshield: all natural plant extracts, not overboard on the number of ingredients, no unnecessary foaming agents (consequently doesn’t foam up very much), and it tastes delicious.

It’s worth hunting around for products made in your local area – farmers’ markets generally have at least one or two producers selling their hand-made soaps and creams. That way you can ask them directly about the ingredients they use etc.

You can view the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database here:

Do you have any of your own natural beauty tips? Leave a comment so that others might benefit from your experience.

Source Link:

FYI, you can get coconut oil and many of the other things listed in the tips above at, one of my favorite on-line places. If you shop at Vitacost, be sure to sign up for a free acct. at beforehand, if you don’t already have one.That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, if you are new to Vitacost and spend a certain amount (I believe it’s $25), you will get a $10 coupon to use; eBates also gives a gift card or some other “prize” when you place your first order of $25 or more. How does it get any better than that?!

And be sure to read my posts on coconut oil, if you haven’t already, as well as posts on castile soap and natural toothpastes.



p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Get Your Zing On With Ginger!


Unlike the person who wrote this post for Swanson, I happen to love the taste of ginger. That it has so many beneficial properties and uses is just icing on the cake….or should I say gingerbread. 🙂

Ginger: Unique Uses, Health Benefits and Fresh Ginger Recipes

What comes to mind when you think of ginger? Childhood memories of an upset tummy and drinking ginger ale to soothe it? Christmas traditions like the friendly ginger bread men or ginger bread cookies? Or, perhaps like many people around the world, you enjoy the spice for its distinct taste and numerous health benefits.

Embarrassingly enough, I had never actually worked with fresh ginger, and it was quite the adventure! I read all about how to pick it out in the produce section, and the right way to work with it. This blog even had helpful tips on how to peel it with a spoon! I did my research, made a few recipes and hope you can take away something useful from this post. I’d love to hear from you about other ways you use it!

About Ginger (This Funny-Looking Food)

Ginger—or ginger root—is a rhizome (collection of roots) found around the world. It’s used traditionally in different countries—like ginger wine that’s produced in the United Kingdom, China’s common use of pairing sliced or whole ginger root with savory dishes like fish, and Jamaica’s regional specialty called Jamaican ginger cake.

There are so many delicious recipes and unique uses for ginger, and it comes in a few recognizable forms. Ground ginger is more commonly used in recipes like ginger cookies and cakes. Fresh ginger, which comes in surprisingly fun-shaped pieces, is used for things like candied ginger, ginger syrup and tea. Fresh ginger can be substituted for ground ginger at a ratio of 6 to 1.

A few of the most prominent nutrients in ginger include amino acids, calcium, essential fatty acids, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and C. Ground ginger also contains Vitamin A.

There are so many ways to take advantage of this spice, especially if you’re a fan of the flavor. But, if you’re like me, and the taste of fresh ginger isn’t really your favorite, ginger supplements are available so you don’t miss out on all of the advantages.

How Can I Use Ginger?!

We know that ginger is beneficial in many ways, but what about its popular and distinct taste? There are so many options for getting it into your body—many of which include sprinkling it on dishes or mixing it into recipes. With a little help from the Internet, below are a few of the neatest ways I found to use and/or eat ginger.

Ginger Uses:

-Grate ginger root and combine it with carrots, apples and lemon juice in your juicer

-Sprinkle grated ginger on desserts

-Follow this simple recipe for candied ginger—a sweet treat! (Check out the photos below!)

-In baked goods—try these yummy pumpkin ginger cupcakes

-Follow this recipe for homemade ginger syrup for ginger ale (I also made this—check out photos below!)

-Pickled—serve it with or add it to sushi

-Make it into ginger tea

-Add a teaspoon of ground ginger to pancake batter

-Sprinkle ground ginger over vegetables before roasting

-Use in a more complex dish like this Warm Ginger Mahi Mahi Salad with Ginger Ponzu or thisSpicy Chinese Vegetable Stir Fry with Chicken

My Turn—Ginger Recipes and Results

When I set out to find something to make with ginger, I decided to work with the fresh kind, and wanted to make something fun! The first recipe I tackled was ginger syrup. I found this awesome recipe which can be used for so many things. I decided to use it to make homemade ginger ale!

Ginger Syrup

  • 2 cups unpeeled, washed, fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 cups water


  • Process ginger chunks in a food processor or blender until finely chopped; add to stock pot.
  • Add sugar and water to the pot and stir.
  • Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook for one hour until a rich syrup is created.
  • Strain the syrup twice through cheese cloth or a fine sieve into a large jar or bottle. Refrigerate.

Homemade Ginger Ale

  • Fill a drinking glass with ice
  • Fill about 1/3 of the glass with your ginger syrup
  • Pour in club soda
  • Top with a slice of lime

Or try this slightly more exotic recipe for old-fashioned ginger ale:

For more on the benefits of ginger, including a possible way to help prevent or off-set cognitve decline and Alzheimer’s, check out this article at Natural News:

And did you know you can use ginger to treat dandruff and hair loss?

And be sure to read my post on Ginger As A Powerful Anti-Cancer Treatment. And if you suffer from migraines, check out this article from The Food Revolution about using ginger to get relief.



p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.


All-natural Suncreen Recipe With Coconut Oil

With summer upon us, at least in my part of the world, a recipe for an all-natural sunscreen is very timely. And this one from Health Impact News includes one of my all-time favorite self-help health aids….COCONUT OIL!

Homemade coconut oil sunscreen recipe

Photo by Jessica Espinoza

by Jessica Espinoza

When it comes to sun protection, would you be shocked if I said that I don’t use sunscreen? I haven’t for years. The main reason for stopping use of commercial sunscreen was because I was deficient in Vitamin D and was striving to get more sun on my skin in order to help boost my levels. Vitamin D deficiency has been proven to create a host of health problems, including increased risk of cancer. That is not to say that I go outside and lay in the sun, unprotected for hours. I am still cautious about my sun exposure and if I know I am going to be outdoors for a long stretch of time, I am careful to cover up with long-sleeve shirts, hats, pants, etc.

UVA versus UVB Rays

Too much sun exposure can damage the skin, and frequent burns can increase the risk of skin cancer, premature aging, wrinkles, and more. That said, we have all been programmed to fear sun exposure of any sort and that really is a shame. We need to enjoy the sun, we just have to be smart about it.

There are many different types of rays that the sun produces, but the two main rays that we are concerned with are the Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. The UVB rays are the good guys – they are the ones that stimulate the Vitamin D production in our skin. UVA rays are the ones that are the primary risk factor for cancer. Experts believe that the optimal amount of sun exposure (and in turn Vitamin D production) each person needs is when their skin turns the slightest shade of pink. Of course, this depends on your skin color, but any exposure after that will not yield more vitamin D, as your body can only create so much in any one day. Once you start turning pink, you are also increasing your risk for a more severe burn. Sunscreens also offer a false sense of protection, as many on the market do not screen for the UVA rays, but do screen for UVB, which makes no sense at all considering UVB are the rays required for Vitamin D production.

UVB rays are at their peak around noon, and they are more easily filtered in overcast and cloudy weather. UVA rays are not filtered as well, so even when it’s cloudy outside, these rays are still shining through. Also, UVB rays are not as strong early and late in the day, but UVA rays are. Something to keep in mind if you enjoy your outdoor activities early in the morning or in the evening.

Reducing Chemical Exposure

A side benefit of my move to avoid commercial sunscreens was that I stopped exposing my skin to toxic chemicals used in sunscreens, several of which are endocrine system disruptors, increase the risk of cancer, and more. Remember, our skin is our largest organ, and what we put on it gets absorbed into our body. Since I strive to live as naturally as possible and avoid as many toxins as I can, this was a welcome “side effect” of stopping my use of sunscreen.

It’s an ironic situation that in order to protect our skin from cancer, we started using sunscreen, but studies are now finding that using sunscreen may lead to an increased risk of cancer. This is due to a variety of reasons, including the fact that many sunscreens only block UVB rays (the good ones), and not UVA (the bad ones), creating a Vitamin D deficiency. Also, research is pointing to the fact that the Vitamin A and its derivatives that are used in many sunscreens turn toxic when exposed to the sun.

The Role of a Real Food Diet and Natural Oils as Sunscreen

No one can refute the fact that diet plays a critical role in the health of our skin. The old adage “you are what you eat” rings true. You only get out of your body what you put into it, so choose your fuel wisely. I have no doubt in my mind that my high consumption of saturated fats like coconut oil and ghee play a huge role in sun protection and the overall health of my skin. In fact, I think my diet plays one of the most important roles in my skin health and sun tolerance of anything I do. Overconsumption of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), like soybean, canola, and other vegetable oils, can leave our entire body, including our skin, unhealthy and at risk for a variety of health problems. When I started focusing on a whole food diet with plenty of saturated fats, I found that the health of my skin dramatically improved. I also find that I do not burn nearly as easy as I used to, even when I end up being outside a tad longer than I should have been.

Not only do I use coconut oil as my primary cooking oil, but I have also used coconut oil on my skin for years. I had heard a long time ago that coconut oil had some natural SPF properties and since I already used it for skin health, that was just an added bonus. When you start researching, many carrier oils have natural SPF. SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor”. SPF is mainly a measure of UVB protection and ranges anywhere from 1 to 45 or more. According to Anthony J. O’Lenick, author of “Oils of Nature”, raspberry seed oil has a natural SPF of 28-50 and carrot seed oil has a natural SPF of 38-40. Other oils, like coconut oil, wheat germ oil, jojoba oil, sesame, etc. will all have lower SPF levels, ranging from 4-10. That said, none of these oils are going to give us 100% protection from UV rays (and keep in mind that they primarily block UVB rays), so you still must use common sense when using natural oils as a sunscreen.

To boost the sunscreen to more of a full-spectrum sunscreen, you can add zinc oxide to the mix. Zinc oxide is a very common ingredient in sunscreens, makeup, and other skin care products and it does help protect against both UVA and UVB rays. All that said, there is no way to really know the true SPF of this sunscreen, so always enjoy your sun time carefully. If you choose to use zinc oxide, there are a few important things to note:

  1. Look for a high-quality zinc oxide that is specificly for cosmetic applications.
  2. Make sure it is uncoated and not micronized or classified as a nano-particle (nano-particles can be absorbed into the bloodstream, which can create health problems).
  3. It will sit on the skin, so depending on how much you use, it may leave a whitish hue.
  4. Use caution when measuring and mixing it, as to not inhale the powder. Some people will use a dust mask to ensure they don’t inhale the powder.

This recipe for homemade coconut oil sunscreen uses a variety of oils and the end product is more of a body butter. It is safe for the whole family, though you want to make sure children do not ingest any of it. The beeswax will help it be slightly water-repellent. When not in use, store the mixture in the fridge to help extend the shelf-life. You can use whatever essential oils you would like for scent, but make sure to stay away from phototoxic essential oils, which includes the citrus family and a few others. When these essential oils are exposed to the sun, they can cause the skin to burn faster. If you’re not already familiar with it, the carrot seed essential oil has a natural woody, earthy scent. This is a rich body butter, so a little goes a long way. You can find all of these ingredients online or at your local health food store.

Homemade Coconut Oil Sunscreen Recipe


1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup shea butter

1/8 cup sesame or jojoba oil

2 tbsp. beeswax granules

1-2 tbsp. zinc oxide powder (optional)

1 tsp. red raspberry seed oil

20-30 drops carrot seed essential oil

Essential oils of your choice (lavender, rosemary, vanilla, and/or peppermint are nice)


1. Using a double boiler (or a small pan over very low heat), melt your coconut oil, sesame or jojoba oil, beeswax, and shea butter together. The beeswax will be the last to melt.

2. When the beeswax is melted, remove the mixture from the heat and let cool to room temperature. If you’re using zinc oxide, whisk it in at this point, being careful not to create a lot of dust. If there are some lumps, that’s OK. They will break up when you whip the body butter in step 4.

3. Move the mixture to the fridge for 15-30 minutes. You want it to start to set up, but still be soft enough to whip.

4. Take the mixture out of the fridge and using a stand mixer or hand mixer, start to whip it. Drizzle in the red raspberry seed oil, the carrot seed oil, and any essential oils of your choice, and continue whipping until the mixture is light and fluffy.

6. Use as you would any regular sunscreen. Application rates will depend on your activity and exposure to water. Store in a glass container in the fridge between uses.


Study: Many Sunscreens May Be Accelerating Cancer”. AOL News. Accessed 5/26/13

Sunscreen Dangers”. Organic Lifestyle Magazine. Accessed 5/27/13

Could This Simple Habit Actually Reduce Cancer and Diabetes by 50%?” Accessed 5/28/13

The Bottom Line on Sunscreens”. Accessed 5/28/13

What’s the Most Dangerous Part of Sun Exposure?” Accessed 5/28/13


FYI, I’ve also read that Vitamin C has sun-protective qualities, so that might be something else to consider adding to a homemade suncreen or your other cosmetics. And don’t miss my other posts about coconut oil:

(FYI, you can get coconut oil and many of the other ingredients needed for the sunscreen recipe as discount prices at, one of my favorite on-line places. If you shop at Vitacost, be sure to sign up for a free acct. at, if you don’t already have one.That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, if you are new to Vitacost and spend a certain amount (I believe it’s $25), you will get a $10 coupon to use; eBates also gives a gift card or some other “prize” when you place your first order of $25 or more. How does it get any better than that?!)


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