Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Have a Headache?

I started off my day with a headache. I hate them, they make me nauseated in addition to the pain in the head. I can't work or think straight when I have a headache.
Rather than reaching for the bottle of asprin or other chemical remedies I have a couple of natural solutions for you to consider when you have your next headache.
Two of my favorite essential oils, lavender and peppermint, blended together with a bit of oil will help rid you of that nasty headache.


1 tbs of vegetable oil (olive oil is okay too)
10 drops of lavender essential oil
5 drops of peppermint essential oil
Mix together in a amber glass bottle or another dark colored bottle. Shake well to combine the ingredients, then label your bottle.

Warm a few drops of your headache oil and apply to your temples and go just beyond the hairline. Gently massage this area with light pressure. Cup your hands and inhale the essences of the headache oil. Breathe slowly and concentrate on your breathing....slow it down. You should start to have relief in just a few short minutes.

Another remedy for headaches is a cold foot bath. Brrrr.....it works! Did you know that soaking your feet in cold water will actually draw blood from your head, giving you immediate relief from your headache? Its true!

Recipe for cold foot bath:

2 tbs olive oil
4 drops lavender essential oil
2 drops peppermint essential oil
Tub or other basin large enough for your feet
Cold water
bath towel or hand towel

Fill your tub half full with cold water, enough to cover your feet. Mix up your recipe really well to blend all the ingredients. Add to your water and stir with your hands. Soak both your feet in the aromatic water for 15 or 20 minutes. Make sure to sit comfortably and concentrate on taking slow deep breaths. Relax!

You can purchase essential oils online or I think in some health food stores. Check around your area for a brick and morter store, or hop online. There are many places to purchase essential oils. Just start with a small size bottle. 1-2 ounces is perfect to get started. Make sure to purchase an amber glass bottle and store your essential oils in a cool dark room.

If you are interested in more information on treating headaches with essential oils, let me know and I can expand this a bit more.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Five Free Ways to Express Love to Your Husband

Husbands need love, too. They work hard for their families and deserve to have a little appreciation. As wives, we know all about the need for appreciation. Here are some ways that you can show that love and affection to your significant other without spending a dime.

1. Tell him that you love him. We don’t say it near enough to each other. For most, the words are “understood.” The flaw in that train of thinking is that the understanding can get confusing as time goes on and there is no communication. Tell him when he leaves and when he returns home. End your emails and calls with a special I Love You! Even write a note for him only.

2.Send him off properly. Have his work items next to the door so he won’t have to go searching for them. If your husband is anything like mine, he makes a wide grid search for his keys every morning. Help him out by having his briefcase, keys, and cell phone next to the door and ready to go. You will be helping him get out of the house and on his way to work on time without the stress of forgetting something.

3. Fix him breakfast in bed. This is something we see on television but many don’t even think to do. If you have kids to get ready in the morning, then do this on the weekend. You can surprise him with a simple breakfast of cereal (cold or hot) and juice on one day during the week. Rotate the schedule so that he doesn’t get used to your breakfast treats on any certain day.

4. Meet him at work for lunch. If your husband works close by and your schedule allows for it, have lunch together. This requires a bit of forethought since most people’s work schedules don’t mesh without some finagling. Fix a picnic lunch that can be eaten outside at a picnic table or on the grassy knoll. Choosing a few of his favorites gives him something to look forward to besides your bright shining face. And since its Winter, try to find a quiet spot indoor where you can enjoy your picnic lunch. Think about small tablecloth and a candle to add ambience.

5. How about a foot massage? Feet have a hard time. They take on the pressure of our entire bodies on a daily basis without any thanks. Give his tired feet a well deserved rest with a foot rub. Use a lotion or massage oil to compliment the massage. Contrary to popular opinion, men like that spa-like attention. For women who are squeamish about touching or handling feet, soak his feet in some warm water before beginning the massage. You can do it before bed or while you talk about each other’s day. A hand massage
is equally pleasing too. If your husband works with his hands, or on a computer all day, he will sigh with pleasure if you give him a hand massage. Make sure to massage the fingers too.

Love doesn’t have to be expensive to have meaning. Sometimes, the simplest things have the most lasting effects. Trying even just one of these suggestions to sure to help your husband feel more appreciated and loved. Who knows he might just start returning the favor if you’re lucky too.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What is Gotu Kola and Why Is It In My Shower Gel?

I get asked this question alot because Gotu Kola is not a ingredient you see often. Gotu Kola has been used as a medicinal herb in China, India and Indonesia. It is a perennial plant native to Japan, China, and India.

In ancient China, Gotu Kola was the principle ingredient in a famous elixir called Fo Ti Tieng, a brew that had an astounding reputation as “Fountain of Youth”. Gotu Kola works specifically to stimulate the production of collagen in the skin, as well as the manufacture of new skin cells. This translates into beautiful, renewed, supple skin.

Gotu Kola greatly enhances the integrity and vascularization of connective tisue and skin, hastens wound healing, improves elasticity and rejuvenates blood vessels for improved circulation to the skin. It is also the first ingredient in our organic shower gels. Need I say more?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What are Parabens and Why We Should Avoid Them

Have you noticed an increasing number of labels on personal care products with the words "paraben-free"? Parabens are synthetic chemicals used as an antimicrobial preservative and are found in a staggering array of products, from hand soap to toothpaste. They are known hormone disruptors and have been found in the tissue of breast cancer tumors, but the FDA and mainstream cosmetics industry maintain that they are safe. We set out to get a handle on the paraben puzzle and offer you the following explanations:

The definition of Parabens:

Parabens, short for "para-hydroxybenzoate," are a class of preservatives widely used in cosmetics and personal care products (as well as pharmaceuticals and food)—they are used to prevent bacteria, yeast and mold. There are six types of parabens most commonly used in personal care products: methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, isobutylparaben, butylparaben and benzylparaben. Unlike some complicated chemical names, parabens are easy to spot on product labels because they end in "paraben."

What is a Hormone Disrupter?

In the 1990s the scientific community became increasingly aware that some synthetic chemicals are able to interfere with the function of our hormones—these chemicals are called hormone disruptors (also called endocrine disruptors). With this discovery, many ingredients previously considered safe, such as parabens, were now being considered for their hormone disrupting potential. Hormone disruptors act by mimicking our natural hormones. Our bodies are "fooled" by these imitation hormones, which results in the corruption of our natural hormonal processes. Within the category of hormone disruptors are xenoestrogens, synthetic chemicals that mimic estrogen. A number of studies have shown that parabens fall into the xenoestrogens' group; xenoestrogens may be linked to high rates of breast cancer, and reproductive problems in women and decreased sperm counts, prostate and testicular cancer in men. The FDA acknowledges that estrogenic activity in the body is associated with certain forms of breast cancer.

The Paraben Link to Breast Cancer:

A study published in 2004 in the Journal of Applied Toxicology that detected five types of intact parabens in 18 of 20 samples of breast tumors. The study discusses this finding in the context of the estrogen-like properties of parabens and the influence of estrogen on breast cancer.

According to the lead researcher, Philippa Darbre, the chemical form of the parabens found indicated that they had been absorbed through the skin (via deodorants, lotion, and other personal care products). The presence of intact parabens in tumor tissue shows not only that these chemicals are absorbed through the skin, but that they also persist and accumulate in breast cancer tissue without? degradation. This is the study that most likely started the "deodorants cause breast cancer" scare—and while we take that risk very seriously, the study didn't draw a firm connection between breast cancer and personal care products.

Should we be Concerned or Not?

Both the FDA and the European Union have revisited the safety issue of parabens and have deemed them safe for consumers, but many people agree that more research needs to be conducted. Many people believe that there is enough evidence to warrant caution in the use of products containing parabens.

EclipseSpa's Philosophy:

The level of parabens in one lotion may (or may not) be okay—but consider this: Parabens are found in shampoos, moisturizers, shaving gels, cleansing gels, sunscreens, topical pharmaceuticals, toothpaste, and many more personal care items. In fact, parabens are found in tens of thousands of personal care products. Parabens are just one type of xenoestrogen to which women are exposed, so we can only imagine both the cumulative effect and the interaction of parabens with other xenoestrogens, and with the body's own estrogens – all of which affect endocrine function.

Because of the uncertainity of parabens, Eclipsespa opted not to create any products that contained them and will continue to be a paraben free company.

With so many questions about parabens left unanswered, why not compare labels next time you're shopping for personal care products? The paraben names are easy to spot, and a good ingredient to avoid.