Cracked Heels Remedy

Dry, cracked heels can make even the simplest tasks, such as walking, uncomfortable,
and using your normal lotions and moisturizers may not effectively provide relief. Using
home remedies for severely dry skin is a simple, affordable option for lasting relief. A
wide range of home remedies are available to soothe and heal dry, cracked heels,
including these easy at-home treatment options.

Soak and Exfoliate

Cracked heels are often accompanied by a layer of thick, hard skin, often called a
callus, that slows the healing process. To remove the callus and speed healing, soak
your feet in warm, soapy water for about thirty minutes, and gently scrub your heels with
a pumice stone to remove the layer of dry skin.

If a pumice stone is too rough, try using a loofah to scrub the dry skin away. After
exfoliating with a pumice stone or loofah, you should immediately dry and moisturize
your feet. Petroleum jelly is an excellent option that protects and moisturizes dry,
cracked skin.

Put a layer of the petroleum jelly on each heel and put socks on to keep the moisturizer
in place. Wear the socks overnight, or for as long as possible, to promote healing. If you
prefer a more natural home remedy for cracked heels, you may find relief in your
kitchen.

Naturally Healing Fruit Packs

Fruit packs are a simple option to treat cracked heels. To make a fruit pack, mash a
banana thoroughly, and spread the mashed fruit over your heels, and put socks on to
keep the fruit pack in place. Leave the banana on your feet for at least 20 minutes and
apply a moisturizer after washing the fruit pack off of your feet.

You can also leave the banana on overnight if you want to promote faster healing. Other
ways to use natural ingredients to heal cracked heels includes the following:

Mash an avocado, rub it onto your heels, and allow it to remain for at least 20 minutes
before washing and moisturizing your feet.

Mix equal amounts of olive oil and oatmeal to make an exfoliating paste that soothes
irritation.

Spread a thin layer of honey on each heel for an antimicrobial, antioxidant-rich home
remedy that naturally speeds healing.

Massage your heels with cold-pressed coconut oil to moisturize skin and help prevent
both bacterial and fungal infections.

You can leave most food-based home remedies on your feet overnight for faster
symptom relief, but you may want to protect your bed and blankets with an extra sheet
in case you lose your socks while you sleep. Your kitchen is full of home remedies for
cracked heels, but other at-home treatments are available if you prefer a more
traditional approach to healing.

Healing Pharmacy Finds

Liquid bandages are a must-have if cracked heels are painful. Use the liquid bandages
according to the instructions on the package, and replace your socks at least twice a
day to keep the area clean and dry. You also need to use a moisturizer to prevent the
dry skin that causes cracked heels. Opt for heel balm that contains rich emollients like
shea butter, or stick with petroleum jelly if you want reliable moisturizing power.

Paraffin wax is also a simple treatment option. Melt the paraffin wax with an equal
amount of coconut oil, then apply the mixture to each heel to form a protective layer
over the cracked areas. Wear socks and leave the mixture on overnight for a super-
moisturizing home remedy that can provide dry skin relief in just one treatment.

Preventing Dry Skin

You can take steps to prevent the dry skin that causes cracked heels. Some simple
preventative methods include wearing shoes that cover your heel and drinking plenty of
water to keep your skin well-hydrated. To prevent stripping your skin of naturally
protective oils, use warm, rather than hot, water for showers and baths.

Regularly soaking, exfoliating and moisturizing your feet is the most effective way to
prevent cracked heels. Add Epsom salt to warm water for a healing foot soak that
encourages good circulation in your feet, or add vinegar to your foot soak to prevent
infections if you currently have cracked heels. Home remedies can provide lasting relief
using natural products and ingredients, offering you a simpler, safer approach to
healing.

All About Natural Sunscreen

All About Natural Sunscreen

Depending on your skin type, your body will produce between 1,000 and 10,000
international units (IUs) of vitamin D when exposed to 30 minutes of the mid-day sun.
This is important because vitamin D deficiency has been linked to weak bones,
insomnia, mood disorders, hormonal imbalances and more. But too much of anything
can be bad, and sun exposure is no exception.

Sun Exposure and Skin Cancer

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), skin cancer is the single
most common type of cancer, with roughly one in five Americans developing it at some
point during their life. A leading contributing factor of skin cancer is sun exposure.
Sunlight contains ultraviolet (UV) rays that penetrate the skin and promote abnormal cell
growth. Statistics show that up to 90 percent of all non-melanoma skin cancers involve
prolonged exposure to the sun.

Sunlight is actually a form of radiation. The Earth’s geomagnetic field filters some of this
radiation but not all of it. As a result, some solar radiation penetrates through the
atmosphere while exposing us and everything else on this planet to UV light. There are
ways to protect your sun from solar radiation, however, including the use of natural
sunscreen lotion.

Choose Your Sunscreen Lotion Carefully

It may sound contradictory, but some sunscreen lotions may actually increase your risk
of skin cancer. Many store-bought sunscreen products, for instance, contain nano
particles of zinc oxide. Zinc oxide itself isn’t necessarily bad; it’s actually an effective
compound for blocking solar radiation. When processed for sunscreen lotion, though,
companies often create a fine chalk-like powder of zinc oxide consisting of 100nm or
smaller particles. The zinc oxide particles are so small that they absorb into your skin.

The precise effects of nano-sized zinc oxide remains unknown, but some health experts
believe it’s a contributing factor in skin cancer. Once absorbed by the body, they disturb
cellular growth and function. This has prompted many health-conscious individuals to
seek a safer alternative form of sun protection.

What Is Natural Sunscreen Lotion?

Natural sunscreen lotion is made using safe, natural ingredients. Coconut oil, for
example, is a common ingredient found in natural sunscreen lotion. Extracted from
mature coconuts, this all-natural ingredient contains a sun protection factor (SPF) of 5. It
also contains antioxidants to strengthen the skin and protect against oxidative stress.
Furthermore, coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, making it particularly
beneficial for people suffering from chronic inflammatory skin conditions like eczema.

Shea butter is another common ingredient used in natural sunscreen lotion. Extracted
from the nuts of the shea tree, it contains high concentrations of fatty acids, including
oleic acid, stearic acid and palmitic acid. The high fat content of shea butter makes it an
excellent moisturizing cream or lotion. Additionally, shea butter has natural sun-blocking
properties, keeping your skin safe from UV rays.

Some natural sunscreen lotions also contain zinc oxide but in larger particles. Zinc
oxide is found in the Earth’s crust. Normally, it doesn’t pose any risk to our health. If it’s
processed into nano-sized particles, though, some experts believe it increases the risk
of skin cancer.

When choosing a natural sunscreen lotion, consider the types of UV light it blocks. All
sunscreen lotion is designed to block the sun’s UV rays. With that said, there are two
specific types of UV sunlight: UVA and UVB. UVA rays are primarily responsible for
sunburns whereas UVB rays are responsible for skin aging, wrinkles and fine lines.
Additionally, they are both associated with an increased risk of skin cancer.

Some sunscreen products only protect against UVB rays, leaving your skin susceptible
to UVA. A broad-spectrum sunscreen lotion, however, is formulated to protect against
both types of solar radiation.

Other Tips to Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage

Wearing natural sunscreen lotion is just one way to protect your skin from sun damage.
You can also cover your skin and limit the time you spend outdoors. By following some
simple steps, you’ll promote healthier, more youthful skin.

5 Health Benefits of Spending Time in the Sun

Being out in the sun has great effects on your mind and body. If you live in an area where there is plenty of sun, it shouldn’t be so hard to get out into the sunshine but, if you live in an area of the world that has many overcast days, you should be able to find at least a few days where you can find some sunshine to bask in.

Here are five health benefits of spending time in the sun:

1. Spend time in the sun to get your Vitamin D intake. The major source of vitamin D is being out in the sun. The UV rays of the sun will help build up vitamin D in your body so you won’t have to take a vitamin D supplement. Research has shown that most people don’t have enough vitamin D in their system, which is essential for many bodily functions. Rather than relying on vitamin D supplements, take your vitamin D through a walk in the sun with at least some of your body exposed to the UV rays of the sun. Be careful in really sunny areas as you can be burned by the sun. You should always wear appropriate rating of sunscreen to protect your skin, especially if you have fair skin and burn easily, which will allow for some sun exposure but will help you get enough vitamin D. In general, it is best to spend time in the sun on less heated days and not be in scorching heat.

2. Spending time in the sun helps you be in nature. There is nothing more relaxing than the scent of grasses, trees, and flowers. If you have the opportunity, you should try to spend time in one of the more natural parts of the world, such as a neighborhood park or other wooded area. You can take in the local wildlife, even if it is just birds and squirrels. Communing with nature helps reduce stress and allows you to function better in your daily life. Even a half hour during your lunchtime spent out in the sun can improve your productivity and can help you have less stress at work.

3. Spending time in the sun reduces stress. You will likely find that you are less stressed and happier when the day is sunny. You can help increase this stress-reducing phenomenon by spending time outside, soaking up some rays. You can sit on a park bench in the sunshine and meditate a bit or take a walk in a sunny area. You can process your stressors better in the sunshine and will have a lesser chance of being stressed afterward. Try getting out in the sun every day for at least a half an hour. You will immediately experience stress reduction and will find being in the sun to be an enjoyable activity.

4. Sunlight can reduce cancer risk. While you are at an increased risk of skin cancer if you burn your skin in the sun, sunshine can actually help reduce your risk of developing other cancers, especially if you choose to exercise in the sunshine. Being in the sun, particularly if you live in an area that is at a lower latitude, you will have a decreased risk of getting prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and Hodgkin lymphoma. People who live in higher latitudes have a lesser exposure to the sun so they don’t get as much reduction in cancer risk when compared to those who live in lower latitudes, where the sun is the strongest.

5. Sunshine can help you sleep better. Being out in the sunshine, especially if you do something relaxing or exercise in the sunshine, you will be more relaxed afterward and will have a better time sleeping later in the day. Just a half hour of sunshine per day has been found to help you get to sleep easier and will help you stay asleep longer. It really doesn’t matter what you do in the sunshine as long as you get out there and get some rays.

Types of Healing Crystals For Holistic Health

If you are interested in natural and holistic health, then you might have thought about using healing crystals. This involves using a variety of different gemstones, usually in their raw form though not always, and removing negative energy from your body. Similar to acupuncture, they are placed on certain parts of the body to remove all of that negative energy. Here are some different types of healing crystals you can use.

Amethyst

One of the more popular healing crystals to try out is amethyst. This is also included in the beginner crystals, which can be placed on your body to remove negative energy, placed in your pocket, worn on a necklace chain, or even rubbed in your hands. Amethyst provides some excellent health benefits, including helping to reduce fatigue and help you sleep, relieve headaches, and improving your skin.

Quartz

Another good beginner healing crystal that can be used for holistic health is quartz. There are also different types of quartz with other health benefits. The main benefits of quartz are easing anxiety, and helping with mental issues like stress and irritability. You can also get rose quartz, which is best for emotional imbalance and fatigue.

Bloodstone

If you can find bloodstone, which is a little harder to find, you can use it for improving your circulatory system. Many stones don’t provide this benefit, so it is always good to have. With bloodstone, you can help prevent or reduce the severity of colds and various other illnesses. Bloodstone is also good for balancing out your blood pressure.

Opal

Opal is a beautiful translucent crystal gemstone that is perfect for improving your imagination, inspiration, and creativity. If you are an artist or looking for ways to be more creative, adding opal to your healing crystals is a great way to go. As an added benefit, opal can also help with headaches and various PMS symptoms.

Citrine

Citrine is a greenish-yellow crystal that is great for your mental health. With citrine in your hands or placed near your head, you can spark creativity and give your memory and concentration a nice boost.

You can also look at beginner crystals for certain ailments, such as using blue jade and amber for asthma, garnet, rose quartz and sunstone for fatigue, and moss agate or green aventurine for Crohn’s disease.

Peppermint Oil Uses, Benefits, Cautions

A hybrid of the spearmint and water mint plants, peppermint comes from the Mentha pipertita and Labiatae categories. Its aromatherapy use dates back to ancient Egyptian and Roman times.

 

When distilled into an essential oil, peppermint is prized for its unique cooling and invigorating effects. Since the days before commercial toothpaste, peppermint essential oil has been the go-to for mouth freshening and disinfecting by way of its antiseptic properties. Some holistic experts claim that the menthol compounds in peppermint oil can immobilize mouth bacteria and stop the herpes virus from multiplying when applied directly.

 

Peppermint essential oil is known to be antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, insecticidal and antispasmodic. It is sometimes used to alleviate symptoms of depression due to its stimulating properties. Conversely, peppermint oil can also provide anxiety relief.

 

Not only is peppermint oil a pleasantly scented reducer of halitosis and clearer of congestion (menthol is a component of peppermint), but it’s also known to stimulate the senses, promote mental clarity, and relieve nausea.

 

If you have a headache coming on, you might try inhaling some peppermint oil in a diffuser or dabbing some, along with a carrier oil, behind your ears and on your temples to reduce pain and ease nervous tension.

 

Peppermint essential oil packs a powerful punch in that its aroma repels many insects including ants, fleas and ticks. It’s commonly used in natural flea and tick repellent recipes, along with clove and citronella oils, and can be used on humans as a safer alternative to chemical bug sprays.

 

If you opt to utilize peppermint oil’s cooling effects on the scalp or other areas of the body, be sure to mix it with a carrier oil such as jojoba or coconut oil. Peppermint oil is extremely potent and will give the sensation of freezing and numbing the skin if applied directly. This is due to the menthol compounds that are naturally present in this powerful essential oil which behaves as a natural anesthetic.

 

How to Make Peppermint Oil at Home

 

Add the crushed leaves of a peppermint plant to a jar and fill 3/4 of the way with a carrier oil. Cap tightly and let rest for 24 hours. Strain out old peppermint leaves, then add new ones and more carrier oil. Let sit for another 24 hours, then strain again and repeat. Do this for 5 days. Finally, strain out the last bunch of peppermint leaves, cap and store.

 

 

 

Peppermint Oil Cautions and Concerns:

 

People who are allergic to menthol should not use peppermint oil. Difficulty breathing may occur as a result of using too high a dose of peppermint oil in common applications. Pregnant women and those with heart conditions should avoid using peppermint oil, as it may result in slowed breathing and heart rate. Do not use peppermint oil on young children, as too high of a dose may result in toxicity. If you are sensitive to stimulants, avoid peppermint essential oil. Peppermint oil should not be used directly on the skin without first combining with a carrier oil.

 

DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you are experiencing unusual symptoms of any kind, please consult with your physician.

Lavender Essential Oil – Uses, Benefits, Cautions

Derived from the lavender plant which originated in England, Tasmani and Yugoslavia, lavender essential oil has been used medicinally for thousands of years. This plant is a member of the Labiatae family which includes mint. There are many different species of this aromatic herb that’s native to the Mediterranean region.
Miraculous lavender has been long celebrated for being able to induce calm, ward off illness, soothe and disinfect. Prior to World War I, lavender essential oil was applied to wounds to prevent infection, promote healing and reduce scar formation. Today, lavender essential oil is experiencing a resurgence in popularity as it is once again celebrated for its amazing healing properties.

Antimicrobial in nature, the power of lavender essential oil of course begins with the plant – a low-growing, woody, silver bush with thickly aromatic purple flowers. Lavender is prized for its qualities of being antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial. Organic gardeners often plant the herb in close proximity to other, more vulnerable garden plants as a means of staving off pests and disease.

Lavender is best known for its calming, soothing and healing properties, though in addition to this it offers many more uses for both personal and household cleaning applications. The heady-scented essential oil is often used in body oil and bath oil blends, along with other calming and balancing oils such as geranium, to promote relaxation and restful sleep. It’s also popular for soothing and nourishing the skin and is a common ingredient in face and body creams, lotions, oils and cleansers.

Lavender is one of the most well-known essential oils, with many healing benefits and holistic uses. It is antifungal and antiseptic, which makes it handy for both surface cleaning and personal use. Mix lavender and other essential oils in a cleaning solution to disinfect the surfaces of your home. Add a few drops to a carrier oil such as coconut, for use as an antiseptic that can be applied to the skin to ease pain and promote healing of cuts and other skin irritations.

Healing properties of lavender include it’s being analgesic, or a pain reliever; antispasmodic, which means that it soothes the nerves and muscles; and hypotensive, or able to lower blood pressure. Primarily known for its sedative effects, lavender imparts a calming influence over the body systems and is often used to promote restful sleep.

Lavender is purported to provide relief from ear pain and infection. Some holistic experts suggest placing a few drops of lavender on a cotton ball and setting in the outer opening of the ear, as a method for relieving and healing earaches overnight. It is also recommended to mix a few drops of lavender into a carrier oil as a way to ease ear, nose and throat discomfort related to the common cold.

To apply lavender for relief from ear pain and sore throat, massage the lavender and carrier oil mix behind each ear and down to the throat, traveling along the area where lymph drains. Some claim that lavender essential oil not only relieves congestion but also may shorten the duration of a cold due to it’s being antiviral in nature.

Lavender is also said to be an emmenagogue. When applied to the body, it stimulates blood flow to the pelvic region and the female reproductive organs, and can bring on menstruation or help with regulating the monthly menstrual cycle.

To make lavender oil at home:

The easiest way to make lavender oil at home is by way of the oil infusion method. Note that this is not the same as steam-distilled lavender essential oils such as those sold by essential oil distributors.

To infuse lavender oil at home, do the following: Gather a bunch of fresh lavender and snip off the flower bud ends to use in your recipe. Let the buds dry for two weeks until they’re wilted but not crumbly. Place them in a jar and cover 3/4 of the way with a carrier oil such as olive oil. Let the oils infuse in the sun for about a month. When ready, strain the plant particles out of the oil infusion by pouring it over a cheesecloth into a new, clean jar. Cap and store.

Lavender Oil Cautions and Concerns:

If you are prone to allergies, use caution when applying lavender to the skin or inhaling it as with a room diffuser. Do a 24-hour skin patch test if you are an especially sensitive person. Discontinue use if you experience unpleasant side effects of any kind. Lavender essential oil has proven toxic if ingested. If pregnant, consult with your physician before use.

DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you are experiencing unusual symptoms of any kind, please consult with your physician.

Rosemary Essential Oil Uses, Benefits, Cautions

Rosemary Essential Oil Uses, Benefits, Cautions

Rosemary essential oil is derived from the powerful, aromatic herb rosmarinus officinalis. This plant is a cousin of mint, and is native to the Mediterranean. Most people know rosemary as a simple cooking herb, commonly used in potato, bread and meat recipes. But this magnificent and hardy plant offers so much more, especially when utilized in its concentrated form.

Rosemary essential oil has been prized for healing qualities for thousands of years. It is said to have been part of the original “Thieves oil” recipe that gypsies used to ward off the plague in centuries past. Today, Rosemary essential oil is touted as being antifungal, antibacterial and anti-septic in nature.

Did you know that organic gardeners often strategically locate rosemary near to other, more pest- and disease-susceptible plants, as a means of protection? The concentrated oils that are present in the needles of this plant are said to effectively repel insects, mold, fungi, viruses and nematodes.

Rosemary essential oil is made either by distilling or steaming the needle-like leaves of this plant until its powerful oils are released; or, by infusing the cut leaves and stems of a rosemary plant together with a carrier oil such as olive or jojoba.

Rosemary is a strongly scented and powerfully invigorating essential oil that only requires a few drops to be effective. When used on the body, rosemary oil should be diluted with a carrier oil. This essential oil is a natural stimulant that speeds up both the heart and breathing rates as it wakes up the brain and increases neurological activity. Some people who are especially sensitive may react to the powerful effects of rosemary oil as an excitant.

Recent research on the rosemary plant indicates that it may aid in nerve growth and regeneration. Additionally, rosemary essential oil is claimed as being anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory. Herbalists recommend rosemary essential oil for relief of muscle and nerve pain as well as for its use in detoxifying the liver, healing the gallbladder, and for improving memory function.

Rosemary essential oil is a common ingredient in natural hair tonics. It is often combined with sage oil and applied to the scalp in order to stimulate hair growth at the follicular level, and reduce the presence of gray hair.

When combined with a carrier oil to use in massage applications, rosemary oil is said to deliver mental clarity, relieve fatigue and act as a mood enhancer.

Make your own rosemary essential oil

To make rosemary essential oil at home, fill a clean jar with rosemary cuttings that have been washed and dried thoroughly. Top the rosemary with olive oil until almost to the top. Cap the jar, and place in the sun to infuse for about 30 days. When ready to use, strain your homemade rosemary into another clean jar, and discard of the plant waste.

Rosemary Essential Oil Cautions and Concerns:

Rosemary essential oil should not be used on children less than 4 years of age.

If you are especially susceptible to allergies or sensitivities, you may wish to test rosemary mixed with a carrier oil on a small patch of skin such as your wrist, to determine if it will be well tolerated.

If you find the scent of rosemary oil to be overwhelming when used in a room diffuser, you can either use fewer drops, or use only in combination with calming oils such as lavender. It is possible that rosemary oil may be too powerful for extremely sensitive individuals — in which case, discontinue use.

DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you are experiencing unusual symptoms of any kind, please consult with your physician.