natural

Elderberry Syrup Recipe

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I’ve recently been battling a cold and as I love nothing more than a natural remedy when I am under the weather, I decided to make an old but tried and true one. Enter Elderberry syrup, it has been used for years as a natural go to remedy for colds and flu and there are several reasons why. It contains high levels of vitamins A and C , is anti-inflammatory, antiviral, lowers blood sugar and encourages healthy skin. Traditionally elderberry syrup is made with honey for its antibacterial properties but if you are avoiding honey for any reason, it can be made with other plant based sweeteners like coconut nectar.

For the syrup that I made, I used dried elderberries which was perfect although you can of course use the fresh variety too. The recipe makes a lovely tasting and healthy medicine and is also good and safe for kids too. Although it’s good to remember that if you do decide to make this and use honey, that honey shouldn’t be given to children under one years of age.

INGREDIENTS 

3 1/2 cups of filtered water

2/3 cup of dried elderberries  

2 inches of fresh ginger root

1 tsp ground cinnamon powder  

1 cup raw honey ( 2 to 3 tablespoons of alternative sweetener if preferred ) 

 

METHOD

In a medium pan add the elderberries, ginger, cinnamon and water and bring to a boil. 

Cover the pan with a lid but leave a rack open to allow the steam to escape

Allow to reduce for about 45 minutes (reduce the heat to a simmer) 

When the liquid has reduced by half, remove from the heat and allow to cool. 

Strain the liquid into a glass bowl and add the honey (or sweetener) 

Mix thoroughly and pour into a glass bottle or jar. 

Store in the fridge (It will last for a few months) 

 

DOSE

1 tsp to 1 Tbsp every 3 hours when suffering from a cold or the flu, otherwise just a regular once daily dose will do. 

For children the dose is 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp (about 5ml to 10ml) 

Elderberry syrup can also be enjoyed in some dairy free yoghurt or breakfast cereal or pancakes.  

Happy cold / flu fighting!  

 

Magnificent Magnesium Oil

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Yes I'd like to take a moment to talk about magnificent magnesium and why it is important that we get enough of this mineral that many of us are definitely deficient in. It is often hailed as a miracle mineral owing to its many benefits and how it's deficiency in our body can cause many ailments as it is involved in over 300 reactions that regulate health and wellness. Magnesium is also present in every organ of the human body. I personally prefer to use magnesium in its oil form and apply it directly to my skin as the Magnesium is easily absorbed with our skin being the largest organ of the human body. There are many benefits of Magnesium but I will list 6 benefits of magnesium  oil below;

  1. Aids sleep and insomnia : Melatonin is needed to provide us with good quality sleep and magnesium regulates the production of of melatonin. Magnesium has a calming effect on the muscles and helps to induce a sleepy feeling. Increasing magnesium levels can provide a longer and better quality of sleep.
  2. Provides relief of muscle cramps, aches and spasms : Pretty self explanatory but magnesium oil can be sprayed pre or post workout to muscles to prevent cramp. Magnesium has a major role in the movement of calcium in the muscles and their contractions. Got achy muscles? spray on some magnesium and let it work its magic!
  3. Prevents migraine and headaches : Magnesium  can help on those days when we have a bad headache as an alternative to taking a paracetamol. Simply massage the oil at the base of the skull and where the pain is and let the headache or migraine melt away.
  4. Helps to prevent Osteoporosis : In older people hip fractures and broken bones are all too common especially in women. For bones to remain healthy and develop, magnesium is crucial. Increasing the intake of magnesium strengthens and nurtures bone health, decreasing the risk of osteoporosis and broken bones.
  5. Improves mood : As magnesium is required for proper brain function, it stimulates and regulates biochemical reactions in the brain and hormone synthesis. This means that magnesium can have a positive effect on mood disorders like anxiety, depression and addictive behaviour.
  6. Keeps the heart healthy :  Low magnesium can result in the relaxing and contracting of the heart to become impaired leading to heart disease and even cardiac arrest as our heart is after all a muscle. Magnesium helps to maintain a healthy heart rhythm, controls cholesterol production and helps to regulate blood pressure.

Magnesium oil is a very simple DIY to make and can be made quickly with a few ingredients;

  • 1 cup of Magnesium flakes
  • 1 cup of filtered boiling water

Method

  • dissolve the 1 cup of magnesium flakes in your container of freshly boiled water 
  • Allow the mixture to cool
  • Once cooled transfer the mixture into a spray bottle and voila! you have your very own magnesium oil spray!

Happy spraying!

 

                                                           ~E xx

Why You Need Rosehip Seed Oil In Your Skincare Routine

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Lately I have been experimenting with facial oils and have recently added a new one to my skincare routine with very good results. I wanted to use this oil for a good few weeks to allow time for it to work it's magic on my skin and I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised by the results that I have with it so far. I bet you're wondering which oil this is that has me singing its praises and it is non other than Rosehip seed oil.  I have been using this oil for the past 5 weeks at night after I cleanse and tone my face, I apply two to three drops to my skin and gently massage it into my face. As Rosehip seed oil is a "dry" oil it means that it sinks into the skin quite easily and does not leave an oily residue. 

During the past 5 weeks my skin has transformed from dry, flaky and blotchy to nourished, supple and almost completely acne scar free.  I have also noticed that any fine lines that I may have had have appeared to have diminished. Having done a little research into the benefits of this wonderful oil used by ancient Mayans and Egyptians it is easy to see why at last I have found some good and lasting results from using it. I'll share some of these benefits below, the benefits of Rosehip seed oil include;

  • Anti-aging properties : The oil contains vitamins A and C and antioxidants and is able to penetrate the deeper layers of the skin to promote collagen production.
  • Age spot protection : the antioxidants, beta-carotene, tocopherols, and lycopene in the oil fight the free radicals that can cause sun damage and the vitamin A as well as the oils essential fatty acids help to improve texture, skin tone and pigmentation.
  • Acne Scars and eczema : The effects of eczema, rosacea and acne scarring are significantly reduced due to the presence of the essential fatty acids which help to promote skin regeneration.
  • Boosts the immune system : Rosehip oil is a top source of vitamin C and therefore helps to fight infection.

I think that this oil will be a staple of my skincare routine for some time to come and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to try out facial oils but are worried that they might break out in spots as this isn't the case with Rosehip seed oil. The brand of oil that I use is from The Ordinary a beauty brand from the Deciem company but you can get the oil from other reputable brands like Trilogy. It is probably best to get the oil from a certified organic, fairtrade and cruelty free source as you can be sure of the purity of the ingredients and how efficient it will be in delivering great results.

Have you used Rosehip seed oil?

 

                                                               ~ E xx

 

 

Evolve Miracle Mask Review

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Lately I have been a bit of a skincare junkie I admit it! My latest obsession has been with serums and especially face masks so when the opportunity came for me to purchase a new face mask made by one of my favourite natural skincare companies Evolve I jumped at the chance to try their new product on my skin. The Miracle mask is a lovely face mask bursting with fruit acids like Glycolic Acid from sugar cane and also Peruvian Maca which is a superfood that has had a moment in health and wellness circles lately. The Maca serves to provide cellular skin renewal and radiance to the skin. This face mask comes in a dark recyclable glass jar and has a very gloopy consistency to it, it is a deep yellow in colour much like sunshine! and smells fruity and amazing. I applied the mask to my face and waited the recommended five minutes before washing the mask off my face with some warm water, as I looked in the mirror afterwards I did notice that my skin was noticeably brighter and felt really good too. Now I have only used this mask a couple of times but I can see that it is going to become one of my favourite go to masks that I reach for when my skin feels dull and tired.

I love that this mask like all of the Evolve products are natural and cruelty free as well as being made and manufactured right here in the UK.

Have you tried any products from Evolve ?

 

                                                    ~E xx

Natural Teeth Whitening With Activated Charcoal

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I'm always looking for ways to whiten and brighten my smile and I have been trying a few things lately. One of the things I have tried with some success is activated charcoal, "what is activated charcoal?" you may ask, well activated charcoal is charcoal that has been oxidised which gives the surface of it more porosity. The porous nature of the activated charcoal acts as an impurity magnet attracting and adsorbing toxins, metals and chemicals. Used on teeth activated charcoal can remove stains on our teeth and is also great for freshening the breath.

Activated charcoal is relatively safe to use on teeth, it will only remove the bad impurities and stains from teeth and does not affect the tooth enamel. It has a gritty texture when using it but has no taste. One of the only cons to using activated charcoal for teeth whitening is that it can get a little messy. To use for whitening my teeth I usually just dip my wet designated toothbrush into some activated charcoal powder and proceed to brush my teeth for about 2 to 6 minutes. You can re dip the toothbrush into the powder as needed. After brushing with the activated charcoal, I rinse my mouth out and then brush my teeth with my regular toothpaste as normal to remove any remaining residue from the charcoal. I try to repeat this process 2 to 3 times in a week until the desired whiteness has been achieved.

I usually use the powder from an activated charcoal capsule although lately I have come across an innovative way to use the charcoal to brush my teeth. This is with the help of a product called Charbrush which is basically a sustainable and biodegradable toothbrush with activated charcoal bristles which makes the whole process a lot easier. This product also comes with a small tin of activated charcoal called char boost which is basically extra powder to use with the brush as needed. The Charbrush can be found here, so far I have had a positive experience using this toothbrush and my teeth are definitely thanking me!

Have you used activated charcoal to whiten your teeth?

100% All Natural Fragrances To Wear For Spring

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Okay okay, so I know that I may be a little bit premature with this post as in the UK we are still technically in winter. However the days are getting a little bit lighter and with this I am getting excited at the prospect of the arrival of spring as next to autumn it is my second favourite season.  For some time now I have been on the hunt for a signature scent and of course with that I had some criteria that this scent had to fit, which are the usual non-toxic, 100% natural, seasonal and with staying power to last through the day. 

After searching for years I finally found a range of scents that were suitable and fit all my requirements being 100 percent natural and organic and made consciously according to old technique passed down for generations. Enter Coqui Coqui, this is a whole range of colognes, eau de parfum, bath and body products and hotels that have their origin in the Yucatan, Mexico. On my previous many travels to the Yucatan, I fell in love with the area and the culture and it was this that led me to finding these scents that not only evoked many happy memories but was the perfect fit for my lifestyle.

Coqui coqui have a few fragrances and I managed to get hold of a selection of their best ones although it is so hard to choose from these I had to pick two for the spring season and because they might just be my favourite ones. The first is the Orange blossom Eau de cologne a lovely scent with citrus notes that remind you of warmer climates and weather. The second fragrance is Rosas Frescas which is a fresh rosewater like fragrance with hints of citrus in it. I really love the freshness of these fragrances and think they are perfect for spring but really they can be worn any time of year. These scents are currently available on Net-a-porter to purchase.

What are your favourite all natural / organic scents for spring.

 

~E xx

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