Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Healing Benefits of Cinnamon

The sweetness of life can be healing too. Cinnamon has so many health benefits I don’t know where to begin! Cinnamon is one of the most delicious and healthiest spices on the planet. It has been shown to lower blood sugar levels, reduce heart disease risk factors, fight cancer, and help with neurological disorders. It's also stronger than garlic as an antimicrobial, killing off bacteria and viruses. Just make sure to get Ceylon cinnamon, or stick to small doses if you're using the Cassia variety.

In a study that compared the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, cinnamon was the clear winner, even outranking "superfoods" like garlic and oregano. This intense antioxidant property is what gives cinnamon its healing abilities.  

Cinnamon benefits for skin:

  • Has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties which fight acne and pimples
  • Regulates the oil production on the face, making it a good choice for oily skin
  • Cleanses skin pores and exfoliates dead skin cells
  • Improves fine lines with its plumping effects
  • Has antiseptic property to heal wounds
  • Smooths out the dry and itchy skin

Come to our next workshop to learn how to make a cinnamon face mask!

Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by progressive loss of the structure or function of brain cells. Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease are two of the most common types. There are two compounds found in cinnamon appear to inhibit the buildup of a protein called tau in the brain, which is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. In a study looking at mice with Parkinson's disease, cinnamon helped to protect neurons, normalize neurotransmitter levels and improve motor function. These effects need to be studied further in humans.
Cinnamon bark contains strong antibacterial properties. Because of such benefits cinnamon can also be used as a green cleaning ingredient and natural disinfectant. Mix cinnamon in a spray bottle with some warm water, and use it to disinfect your kitchen, bathroom, doorknobs, countertops, or patio furniture. 
Not all cinnamon is created equal. It is better to use Ceylon cinnamon. The Cassia variety contains significant amounts of a compound called coumarin, which is believed to be harmful in large doses. Ceylon ("true") cinnamon is much better in this regard, and studies show that it is much lower in coumarin than the Cassia variety. Unfortunately, most cinnamon found in supermarkets is the cheaper Cassia variety.
When using cinnamon medicinally, different studies show great variety in dosing, from less than 1 gram to levels that would be toxic in humans. The duration of taking the capsules also varies greatly. So it is best to get muscle tested for what your body says is the best way to take it. We also have both Ceylon and Cassia oils in the office for essential oil lovers.

After writing this blog post I am now going to add cinnamon powder to my superfood shake in the morning. Hopefully you start adding more of this healing herb in your diet as well!  

Here are some other convenient ways:

§  Sprinkling cinnamon on top of oatmeal or buckwheat grouts in the morning
§  Incorporating cinnamon into your dinners and sauces, such as with Indian butter chicken or tomato sauce
§  Having a teaspoon of cinnamon or inserting a cinnamon stick into a glass of herbal tea
§  Make cinnamon vanilla milk. Simply combine three cups of coconut milk with one tsp of vanilla extract and one tsp of cinnamon. Stir or blend until ingredients have combined Serve chilled.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Juicing and the Benefits of Celery Juice

Juicing has become all the rage with juice stores popping up all over New York city and lining fridges at Whole Foods. So, what’s behind the colorful garden in a bottle? It’s not just the next crazeit’s actually a great way to help the body cleanse, repair and get its daily dose of nourishment. Juicing has many healing benefits such as boosting your immune system, increasing your energy, supporting brain health and promoting weight loss. This all occurs as the nutrient dense juice floods the body with vital micronutrients, giving your digestive tract a break from solids to allow for rest and repair. Juicing helps break up and flush out any unwanted crud that accumulates from your diet and lifestyle, and has a role to play in the alkalinity of the body, bringing balance to your system.

There are many options out there and it can seem daunting knowing what to choose. Not all juices are potent health healers, so I would like to give you some tips on how to maximize all these wonderful benefits when juicing yourself:

-       Fresh is best: Within 20 minutes, those powerful vitamins and minerals tend to deteriorate being exposed to oxygen so the juice just isn’t as potent (but still healthy to drink). Juicing yourself or buying a freshly made juice at store is your best bet.
-       80-20 rule: 80% vegetables, 20% fruit. This ratio allows for a variety of micronutrients without flooding the body with fruit sugar. Some veggies can be quite powerful so a little bit of fruit can help balance out the taste. Using green apples and berries will add great flavor and they are lowest in fruit sugar.
-       Eat the rainbow: You need some of every color to benefit from the wide variety of nutrients, compounds and antioxidants they contain. So think of the rainbow when your selecting you veggies and fruit.
-       Organic produce: I feel it’s key to buy organic produce as it is farmed without the use toxic of chemicals. Steering clear of conventional veggies and fruit will keep the juice as clean and healthy as possible.
-       Daily routine: There are many juice cleansing routines, but you can easily incorporate juicing into your daily routine by simply adding a freshly made green juice in the morning. It will really help clear out the body after an evening of resting. Make sure to still keep you water intake high as well.
-       Make the swap: Try swapping out your morning coffee or tea for an energy boosting green juice. Green juices are full of chlorophyll, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which are all powerful energy boosters. You’ll feel the natural buzz!
-       Glass jars: It's best to use glass jars to drink and store your juice. This keeps the juice fresh and allows you to avoid leaching (which can occur when using plastic). You can even bring your own glass jars to the store as it's less waste and no leaching! I also recommend stainless steel straws, which you can buy on Amazon. Keep some in your bag or at workit will also save on waste. Winning!

All veggies have healing and restorative properties which vary depending on the type, where they were grown and the quality. Celery juice is the queen of anti-inflammatory and healing with extensive health benefits. You’ll want to have a glass every morning.

Acidity: The important minerals in this magical juice effectively balance the body’s blood pH, neutralizing acidity.
Energy: Celery juice acts as the perfect post-workout tonic as it replaces lost electrolytes and rehydrates the body with its rich minerals.
Blood pressure: Celery has organic sodium that actually reduces blood pressure rather than increasing it. Drinking celery juice every day for a week significantly helps lower blood pressure. A compound called phthalides help relax the muscle around arteries, dilating the vessels and allowing blood to flow normally.
Cancer: Celery is known to contain at least eight families of anti-cancer compounds. Among them are acetylenics, which have been shown to stop the growth of tumor cells; phenolic acids, which block the action of prostaglandins that encourage the growth of tumor cells; and coumarins, which help prevent free radicals from damaging cells.
Cleansing and detoxifying: Celery is a great internal cleanser and detoxifier due to its hydrating and alkalizing properties that aid in kidney function. It's a powerful diuretic as well, helping remove excess water weight from the body and flushing out toxins more effectively. 
Skin: With antioxidants and a high vitamin K content, celery helps preserve and repair the skin's firmness and elasticity. It's also a good source of vitamin A, C and B for healthy skin tone and color.

You can know see why this humble vegetable wears a crown, with an abundant amount of healing properties to keep our bodies healthy and in balance. Celery juice would be a great staple to add to your daily morning routine. Do so today and watch your health kick into gear!!

Celery Juice recipe:


1 bunch celery* (makes approx 16oz juice)

*organic when possible


Wash 1 bunch of celery and run through a juicer. Drink immediately for most therapeutic benefits. If you prefer, you can also blend the celery in a Vitamix, Nutribullet, or any high speed blender with a little water and either drink as-is, or strain as desired.

Optional: If you you find the taste of straight celery juice too strong, you can add a cucumber and/or an apple to the juice. Be advised, though, that this will slightly dilute its effectiveness. If you prefer a more gentle juice you can make straight cucumber juice instead, which is also very healing and beneficial.