What Are Mantras?

What Are Mantras?

Image source: https://www.thehinduportal.com/2018/01/what-is-mantra-and-how-does-it-work.html

Mantra: Sanskrit word meaning “man”= to think/mind, “tra” = tool/instrument; literally means instrument of thought.

The dictionary defines a mantra as a Hindu or Buddhist practice of repeating a word or sound to aid in improving concentration during meditation. Cambridge Dictionary provides two different definitions. The first refers to Hinduism and Buddhism: a word or sound that is believed to have a special spiritual power. The second definition is more general: a word or phrase that is often repeated and expresses a particularly strong belief. For instance, a football team can choose individual words as their own “mantra”. Wikipedia defines a mantra as a sacred utterance, a numinous sound, a syllable, word, phoneme, or group of words in Sanskrit believed by practitioners to have psychological and spiritual powers. Mantra meditations have been proven to help induce an altered state of consciousness.

The first and simplest mantra is Aum or Om, the sound of life, the divine, or the universe, and is considered the first sound. The earliest mantras were recorded over 3000 years ago (1000 – 500 BC) and were composed in Vedic Sanskrit by Hindus in India. Since then mantras have become a practice of various schools of Hinduism, Buddhism, Janism, and Sikhism. Over time these practices were adopted by Japanese Shingon, Zoroastrianism, and Taoism. Even later, in Christianity, hymns, chants, and prayers were developed using the same purpose.

The use structure, function, importance, and type of mantra depends completely on the school and philosophy putting them to use. They are considered a sacred formula and a deeply personal ritual. Their formula is typically melodic, mathematically structured, and believed to be resonant with numinous qualities. This means they can be like a song with melody, rhythm, and rhyme. They really were the first human development of written song.

The Transcendental Meditation technique or TM is a form of silent mantra meditation, developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. TM is the most widely practiced and researched meditation techniques. The TM technique consists of silently repeating a mantra with “gentle effortlessness” while sitting comfortably with eyes closed and without assuming any special yoga position. The meditation practice involves the use of a mantra, silently repeated, and is practiced for 15–20 minutes twice per day while sitting with one’s eyes closed.

Beginning in 1965, the Transcendental Meditation technique has been incorporated into schools, universities, corporations, and prison programs in the USA, Latin America, Europe, and India. In 1977, a U.S. district court ruled that a curriculum in TM and the Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI) being taught in some New Jersey schools was religious in nature and in violation of the First Amendment. However, the technique has since been included in a number of educational and social programs around the world.

Benefits of Chanting

Chanting is the practice of rhythmically repeating a sound, word, phrase, mantra or prayer for a certain amount of time or number of repetitions. Chanting provides for continued focus in meditation and can provide deep healing to the mind. Five key elements of chanting that make it such a powerful and universally appealing practice:

  • Association (or triggering), in which one’s experiential memories, built up over time, invest a piece of music with ever-deeper levels of meaning.
  • Entrainment, in which the body-mind is induced to align (or vibrate) with a melody or rhythm to which it is exposed.
  • Breath, the salutary effect on the chanter’s respiration as it slows from the normal 12 to 15 breaths per minute to between five and eight breaths per minute
  • Sonic effects, namely the pleasurable sensations and healing effects of extended vowel sounds typical of sacred chants.
  • Intent, which reflects our desire to be close to the divine.

Leslie Howard opens and closes all her classes at Piedmont Yoga with chants, both because of her own affinity for singing and because the clientele enjoys it. “Students say they love that we’re exposing them to other aspects of yoga besides the physical,” she says. “Sound, to me, is the most primitive form of life. It touches the deepest part of you.”

Historic Mantras

Shreem: evokes the presence of the goddess Lakshmi, an aspect of the Divine Feminine who represents the power of auspiciousness, harmony and abundance. She is said to bring both material and spiritual wealth and prosperity.

Aim: If you desire to expand your knowledge and tap into your inner muse, you’ll want to meditate on the mantra associated with the goddess Saraswati. She’s the goddess of creativity and represents the pursuit of art, philosophy, music and higher learning.

Om Mani Padme Hum: a reference to both compassion and wisdom, which are both necessary for attaining enlightenment. If you want to become a more calm, wise and compassionate human begin, meditate with this mantra, and get in touch with your inner Buddha nature. The star of Buddhist mantras is perfect for cultivating more compassion – for yourself and for others.

Om, or Aum: the vibration of the Universe. It’s been called the sound vibration for God and all of creation.

Saat Nam: Truth is my name. *Sat is extended eight times longer than Nam. If you really want the mantra to radiate from the base of your spine to the center of your head, make the Sat 35 times longer than the Nam.

Neti-Neti: Not this, not this. The phrase is a way to rebut something—be it harsh words or a situation in your life you would like to change.

Om Namah Shivaya: I bow to Shiva, the supreme deity of transformation who represents the truest, highest self.

Ra Ma Da Sa Sa Say So Hung: Sun, Moon, Earth, Infinity, All that is in infinity, I am Thee.

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu: May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all

Om Gum Ganapatayei Namah: I bow to the elephant-faced deity [Ganesh] who is capable of removing all obstacles. I pray for blessings and protection.

Oong namo, Gurudav namo: I bow to the creative energy of the infinite. I bow to the Divine channel of wisdom.

Oṁ Bhūrbhuvaswaha Tatsaviturvarenyam, bhargo devasya dhīmahi dhiyo yo naḥa prachodayāt: Let us meditate on that excellent glory of the divine Light (Vivifier, Sun). May he stimulate our understandings (knowledge, intellectual illumination)

Asato mā sad gamaya, tamaso mā jyotir gamaya, mṛtyor māmṛtaṃ gamaya: from the unreal lead me to the real, from the dark lead me to the light, from death lead me to immortality

Oṁ Sahanā vavatu sahanau bhunaktu Sahavīryam karavāvahai, Tejasvi nāvadhītamastu Mā vidviṣāvahai, Oṁ Shāntiḥ, Shāntiḥ, ShāntiḥOm! Let the Studies that we together undertake be effulgent; Let there be no Animosity amongst us; Om! Peace, Peace, Peace. – Taittiriya Upanishad 2.2.2

Om Saha Naavavatu, Saha Nau Bhunaktu, Saha Veeryam Karavaavahai, Tejasvi Aavadheetamastu Maa Vidvishaavahai Om: May the Divine protect and bless us. May she nourish us, giving us strength to work together for the good of humanity. May our learning be brilliant and purposeful. May we never turn against one another.

Om bhur bhuvah svah , tat savitur varenyam, bhargo devasya dhimahi, dhiyo yo nah prachodayatEarth, Heaven, the Whole Between. The excellent divine power of the Sun. May we contemplate the radiance of that god, May this inspire our understanding.

Om gam ganapataye namah, vakra-tunda maha-kaya surya-koti-sama-prabha, nirvighnam kuru me deva sarva-karyeshu sarva-da: O Ganesha, god with a curved trunk, of great stature, Whose brilliance is equal to ten million suns. Grant me freedom from obstacles, In all things, at all times.

Yogena chittasya padena vacham malam sharirasya cha vaidyakena, Yo ’pakarottam pravaram muninam patanjalim pranjalir anato ’smi: With palms folded together, I bow respectfully to Patanjali, the best of sages, Who dispels the impurities of the mind with Yoga, Of speech through Grammar, and of the body by means of Medicine.

Svasti prajabhyah paripalayantam nyayena margena mahim mahishah Gobrahmanebhyah shubham astu nityam lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu: May the rulers of the earth protect the well-being of the people, With justice, by means of the right path. May there always be good fortune for all living beings. May all the inhabitants of the world be full of happiness.

Asato ma sad gamaya, Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya, Mrityor ma amritam gamaya: From the unreal to the Real, lead me. From darkness to Light, lead me. From death to Immortality, lead me.

Purnam adah purnam idam purnat purnam udachyate, Purnasya purnam adaya purnam evavashishyate: That is Whole. This is Whole. The Whole arises from the Whole. Having taken the Whole from the Whole, Only the Whole remains.

 

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantra
  2. https://www.doyouyoga.com/what-are-mantras-and-what-makes-them-so-powerful-35811/
  3. https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-8188/5-ancient-mantras-that-will-transform-your-life.html
  4. https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/13-major-mantras-memorize
  5. https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/can-you-say-om-namah-shivaya
  6. https://www.yogajournal.com/yoga-101/mantras-101-the-science-behind-finding-your-mantra-and-how-to-practice-it
  7. https://isha.sadhguru.org/us/en/wisdom/article/mantras-explained-mantra-to-transformation/
  8. https://blog.mindvalley.com/mantra-meditation/
  9. https://www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org/spiritual-practice/mantra
  10. https://happyblackwoman.com/inspiring-personal-mantras/
  11. https://programminglife.net/mantras-for-meditation/
  12. https://www.phosphenism.com/
  13. https://eocinstitute.org/meditation/vipassana-meditation-technique/
  14. https://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga/mantra/naad-yoga-how-mantra-works/basics-sound-mantra
  15. http://www.kundaliniyoga.org/Mantras
  16. https://www.thehinduportal.com/2018/01/what-is-mantra-and-how-does-it-work.html

 

 

Seaweed & Kelp

Seaweed & Kelp

image:https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/06/20/kelp-seaweed-benefits.aspx

Kelps are seaweeds that grow in particular shallow and nutrient-rich waters around the world. They’ve been eaten and used medicinally for hundreds of years in various forms, and are processed today, with some by-products commonly used in ice cream, salad dressings and even chocolate milk.

According to nutritionist Vanessa Stasio Costa, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.N., kelp “is often considered a ‘superfood’ due to its significant mineral content. It’s especially concentrated in iodine, which is important for optimal thyroid function and metabolism.”

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) say that seaweed such as kelp is one of the best natural food sources of iodine, an essential component in thyroid hormone production. A deficiency in iodine leads to metabolism disruption and can also lead to an enlargement of the thyroid gland known as goiter.

TYPES OF SEAWEED

Scientists have categorized types of seaweed into different categories based on their pigments, cell structure, and other traits. The groups (or phyta) of seaweed that are commonly consumed include:

  • Green algae such as sea lettuce or ulva, and sea grapes
  • Brown algae such as kombu, arame, kelp, and wakame (the miso soup seaweed)
  • Red algae such as dulse, laver, and nori (the sushi seaweed)
  • Blue-green algae such as spirulina and chlorella

BENEFITS OF SEA KELP & SEAWEED

Anti-ageing: The iodine content of kelp also appears to have other benefits. A 2008 study showed that the form of iodine in kelp effectively removed free radicals – chemicals that accelerate ageing – from human blood cells.

Anti-cancer: Researchers found that kelp can slow the spread of colon and breast cancers. A compound found in kelp called fucoidan may also prevent the spread of lung cancer and prostate cancer. The presence of fucoxanthin was found to be effective against a number of types of prostate cancer. In addition, fucoxanthin can help remove drug resistance in cancer patients undergoing dangerous chemotherapy treatments, thereby reducing the amount of harmful drugs introduced into one’s system in order to treat cancer.

Anti-inflammatory: Kelp is naturally high in antioxidants, including carotenoids, flavonoids, and alkaloids, which help to fight against disease-causing free radicals. Antioxidant vitamins like vitamin C, and minerals like manganese and zinc, help to combat oxidative stress and may offer benefits to cardiovascular health. Fucoidan, found in kelp, has also been shown to work as an anti-inflammatory and also to improve cholesterol levels in the blood, responsible for heart conditions.

Anti-radiation: Livestrong noted: “Sodium alginate derived from kelp reduced radioactive strontium absorption in the intestines by 50 to 80 percent … (allowing) calcium to be absorbed through the intestinal wall while binding most of the strontium, which is excreted from the body.”

Blood thinner:  Fucoidan has shown effectiveness in preventing blood clots that can lead to dangerous health problems, including stroke and heart attack. It’s so effective, in fact, that researchers cite it as having potential to be used as an oral antithrombotic agent, potentially reducing the need of prescription drugs to treat clotting problems.

Bone Loss: a rich source of vitamin K — you get almost a quarter of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K in just one serving. One of the many benefits of vitamin K is its role in creating denser bones that don’t as easily succumb to arthritis and osteoporosis. However, people on blood-thinning drugs ought to avoid extra vitamin K, as it can affect how the drugs work. Fucoidan also contributes to healthy bones. Low molecular weight fucoidan helps prevent age-related bone loss and improves the mineral density in bones.

Brain health: seaweed provides glutamic acid, known in your body as glutamate, central to the nervous system and most aspects of cognition, memory, learning and normal brain function.

Hair growth: There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting taking sea kelp supplements can boost hair growth. Whether or not it actually boosts growth, it contains nutrients involved in hair health and strength, so it may help reduce split ends and breakages.

Iodine: helps regulate your thyroid gland to produce strong, healthy hair, skin and nails, as well as to form thyroid hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine. It’s also essential for proper formation of your skeletal framework and regulating your body’s energy and brain metabolism in a process regulated by your pituitary gland. The myelination process in the central nervous systems of newborns is another key function of the thyroid hormone. Balanced iodine in the mother’s body is imperative in pregnancy and breastfeeding for optimal development of the baby’s brain cells. Specialists usually recommend around 150 micrograms (mcg) daily. Consuming too much could lead to either hypo- or hyperthyroidism.

Nutrients: Sea kelp is a natural source of vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D and E, as well as minerals including zinc, iodine, magnesium, iron, potassium, copper and calcium. In fact it contains the highest natural concentration of calcium of any food – 10 times more than milk.

Below is the average iodine content of three different dried seaweeds:

  • Nori: 37 mcg per gram (25% of the RDI)
  • Wakame: 139 mcg per gram (93% of the RDI)
  • Kombu: 2523 mcg per gram (1,682% of the RDI)

Generally, 1 tablespoon (7 grams) of dried spirulina can provide:

  • Calories: 20
  • Carbs: 1.7 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Fat: 0.5 gram
  • Fiber: 0.3 grams
  • Riboflavin: 15% of the RDI
  • Thiamin: 11% of the RDI
  • Iron: 11% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 7% of the RDI
  • Copper: 21% of the RDI

One serving of raw kelp (about 28 grams) contains about:

  • 12 calories
  • 7 grams carbohydrates
  • 5 gram protein
  • 2 gram fat
  • 4 gram fiber
  • 5 micrograms vitamin K (23 percent DV)
  • 4 micrograms folate (13 percent DV)
  • 9 milligrams magnesium (8 percent DV)
  • 47 milligrams calcium (5 percent DV)
  • 8 milligram iron (4 percent DV)
  • milligram manganese (3 percent DV)

Seaweed also contains small amounts of vitamins A, C, E and K, along with folate, zinc, sodium, calcium and magnesium.

If you have a family history of diabetes, you should know that kelp is rich in a little-known mineral called vanadium, which is being studied as an important regulator of insulin and blood sugar.

The protein present in some seaweeds, such as spirulina and chlorella, contain all of the essential amino acids. This means seaweed can help ensure you get the full range of amino acids.

Seaweed can also be a good source of omega-3 fats and vitamin B12. In fact, it appears that dried green and purple seaweed contain substantial amounts of vitamin B12. One study found 2.4 mcg or 100% of the RDI of vitamin B12 in only 4 grams of nori seaweed.

Alginic acid in the seaweed kombu is known for its positive effects on diabetes, as well as its ability to coagulate blood. It prevents dental cavities, promotes digestive health, protects against flu, aids digestion, protects vision and maintains heart health.

Seaweed is an excellent source of fiber, which is known to promote gut health. It can make up about 25–75% of seaweed’s dry weight. This is higher than the fiber content of most fruits and vegetables. Fiber can resist digestion and be used as a food source for bacteria in your large intestine instead.

Particular sugars found in seaweed called sulfated polysaccharides have been shown to increase the growth of “good” gut bacteria. These polysaccharides can also increase the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFA), which provide support and nourishment to the cells lining your gut.

The iron in kelp helps form healthy blood and prevent anemia and the antioxidants fight free radicals, altogether ensuring the growth of strong bones and optimal muscle function.

Weight loss: Iodine is a trace mineral vital for the operation of the thyroid gland which plays an important part in body development and metabolism. It combines with tyrosine – an amino acid – to create T3 and T4, thyroid hormones that regulate metabolism and other physiological functions throughout the body. As sea kelp is the richest natural source of iodine it can help to regulate metabolism and in turn affect weight loss and gain.

In recent years, researchers have looked into kelp’s potential fat blocking properties. Because kelp contains a natural fiber called alginate, studies suggest that it may halt the absorption of fat in the gut. A study published in Food Chemistry found that alginate could help block fat absorption in the intestines by 75 percent. In order to reap the benefits of alginate, the research team plans to add the thickening compound to common foods such as yogurt and bread.

Kelp may have great potential for diabetes and obesity, although research is still preliminary. A study published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism found that a compound in the chloroplasts of brown seaweed called fucoxanthin may promote weight loss in obese patients when combined with pomegranate oil. Studies also suggest that brown seaweed may influence glycemic control and reduce blood glucose levels, benefitting people with type 2 diabetes.

RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH SEA KELP

Heavy Metals: Sea kelp grown in polluted waters may well absorb toxic heavy metals which if ingested can cause major health problems. The potential for this means it isn’t recommended to be taken if pregnant or breastfeeding, or by children or people with health issues, especially liver or kidney problems. It should be possible however to make sure a particular supplement comes from kelp grown in clean waters.

Iodine: the iodine within sea kelp is easily absorbed by the body so it can quickly become too much for the body to process. Most people get enough iodine from table salt alone, adding kelp to the diet can greatly increase iodine levels. Too much iodine in the system can cause hyperthyroidism, Grave’s disease, and thyroid cancer. The amount of iodine in each type of kelp food product and supplement vary greatly.

According to the Daily Mail: “Deficiencies can be treated with 150 mcg of iodine daily. Prolonged use of large amounts of iodine (6 mg or more daily) may suppress activity of the thyroid gland. A safe upper limit of iodine is 1,000 mcg per day.”

Unpredictability: There are a large number of sea kelp supplements available containing a variety of different types of algae that all come under the name ‘kelp’, which may affect your body in different ways. For instance, bladderwrack can cause or worsen acne, and there is a single reported case of it causing kidney failure. The effects depend completely on your individual health status and your body’s overall make-up.

HOW TO EAT KELP & SEAWEED

Nutritionist Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., C.D.N., C.P.T., recommends that you try to eat your nutrients, versus taking them in supplement form. She suggests including kelp in a balanced diet with plenty of vegetables, from both the land and sea. Kelp can be one small part of a broader healthy diet that includes a variety of unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods.

Moskovitz says that one of the easiest ways to incorporate kelp into your diet is to add an organic, dried variety into soups. You could also use raw kelp noodles in salads and main dishes or add some dried kelp flakes as seasoning. It is usually found in Japanese or Korean restaurants or grocery stores and can be enjoyed cold with oil and sesame seeds, hot in a soup or stew, or even blended into a vegetable juice.

You can find kelp at most health-food markets or the Asian section of your regular grocery store. If you don’t eat gluten or are cutting back on carbs, try kelp noodles instead of your regular pasta. They’re raw and work great as a substitute in any regular noodle dish. If you can only find dried kelp, reconstitute it with a little water (this doesn’t take long), then drain it and mix it with thinly sliced cucumbers, a splash of sesame oil and Asian vinegar.

As a food, kelp aficionados laud its flavor as the ultimate, seawater-laced brine that’s the essence of umami. Nori, one of the most popular seaweed species, is dried in sheets to make sushi rolls. Other varieties include dulse, arame, which is black; deep green wakame; kombu; and spirulina.

HOW TO COOK & EAT SEAWEED

Dried seaweed would need to be soaked in hot water, and rinsed well before use. Some thicker and tougher seaweed like kombu might be better sliced thin or boiled. Seaweeds are very versatile. Here are a few different ways to enjoy them:

  • Snacking out of a bag – Nori and dulse can just be eaten out of a bag. You will want to check the labels and watch out for some brands of snacking nori that contain a lot of MSG though.
  • Salads – Most types of seaweed can be made into a Japanese-style salad with vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic.
  • Soups – Seaweed tastes delicious in bone broth, which makes it seaweed soup.
  • Sprinkled on other foods – Seaweed flakes can be sprinkled on salads, rice, soups, or any other dishes.

Most seaweed is not bitter. Some types are a bit sweet and may even have umami flavors, which means that it may be easier to get some picky eaters to eat seaweed than vegetables.

References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/benefits-of-kelp
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-seaweed
  3. https://draxe.com/kelp/
  4. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/06/20/kelp-seaweed-benefits.aspx
  5. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/why-health-is-kelp-good-for-me
  6. https://wellnessmama.com/130117/seaweed-benefits/

Remedies for Low Testosterone

Remedies for Low Testosterone

Image from the Physique Formula Diet.

Symptoms of Low Testosterone: Low testosterone levels can affect the body in different ways. The most common symptoms include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Sleep changes
  • Depression
  • Mood changes
  • Reduced libido
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle loss
  • And more

What Causes Low Testosterone?: A number of different things can lead to low testosterone, in particular things like:

  • High stress levels
  • Weight gain
  • Poor nutrition
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Certain drugs

Treatment often involves using testosterone creams that are rubbed onto the shoulders and allowed to absorb into the skin. However, these can be dangerous to the health of women and children close to the user, and may come with additional side effects. As such, it’s important to focus on using natural alternatives. You should always talk to your medical professional, of course, but adding natural ways or using them instead can be exactly what’s needed to correct many low-T problems.

Essential Oils for Balancing Hormones

The use of oils falls within the purview of aromatherapy, defined as “the science of utilizing naturally extracted aromatic essences from plants to balance, harmonize and promote the health of body, mind and spirit… to unify physiological, psychological and spiritual processes to enhance an individual’s innate healing process,” according to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy. There’s a variety of ways to reap the benefits of these essential oils but be cautious: All 100-percent pure essential oils are incredibly concentrated, so you never want to ingest the oil (unless your healthcare provider recommends you do so).

To inhale an essential oil, you can utilize steam baths, a vaporizer, or humidifier. You can add two to four drops (some oils are more potent than others) and inhale the vapors to dispel headaches, insomnia, depression, and a slew of other conditions. Again, speak to a medical practitioner; some essential oils are irritating to people’s lungs and eyes when inhaled.

To apply to your skin, use a diluted blend of oils. You want one to two drops of the essential oil per tablespoon of the base or carrier oil, which can be almond oil, coconut oil, olive oil, jojoboa oil, sunflower oil, etc. Take care to avoid contact with your eyes and mouth if you’re applying to your face. If you’re massaging sore muscles every day, use a one percent solution (roughly diluted as one drop of essential oil in one teaspoon of carrier oil). If you’re massaging them occasionally, use a three to five percent solution (three to five drops per one teaspoon of carrier oil).

Essential Oils for Balancing Hormones in Men

Basil: Arouses sexual instincts in both men and women.

Cedarwood: Calms fears and anxieties relating to sexuality.

Clary Sage: has been studied at length for its ability to potentially balance hormone levels. While studies have looked specifically at estrogen regulation, there is also evidence that sage oil can help stimulate the brain and nervous system and help properly balance out hormonal levels.

Fennel: This oil boosts mood, particularly in regards to perceptions of self. Fennel has been used to enhance self-confidence, courage and strength. It is also great for relieving the body of harmful toxins from excessive alcohol and food consumption.

Geranium: Clear acne and other skin conditions with this cleansing and hormone balancing oil. Another benefit of Geranium is that it tones the skin and makes it look tighter. Like Fennel, it also helps remove harmful toxins from the body.

Ginger: Heats up libido and increases sex drive.

Jasmine: Deeply soothing and calming. It may help with erectile dysfunction, frigidity, and premature ejaculation. Jasmine enhances the feeling of sensuality and self worth.

Juniper Berry: Enhances self confidence and openness by arousing and awakening love and sexuality.

Lavender: doesn’t directly trigger hormonal changes, but instead it can help reduce stress and make it easier for the body to regulate its own production of hormones. In the process it can help naturally improve testosterone, or improve the results of medications you may be taking for the problem.

Orange, Sweet: Mild aphrodisiac properties. Systematic and regular use can cure problems such as frigidity, erectile problems, impotence, loss of interest in sex, and decreased libido.

Patchouli: Helps release sexual fears by decreasing inhibitions. Helps to improve communication on a physical and emotional level.

Peppermint: This oil is used as an anti-inflammatory and to reduce pain, making it great for use after injury. Peppermint is a very stimulating oil, and helps to improve blood circulation. Its soothing aroma makes it a calming and clarifying oil as well.

Sage: Beneficial as a stimulant, this oil helps activate the brain, nervous system, liver and circulatory system. Sage is a fantastic antioxidant, which makes it great for keeping skin from aging and slowing down macular degeneration (the leading cause of vision loss).

Sandalwood: This oil is great for balancing testosterone levels in both men and women. Since it is a great aphrodisiac, Sandalwood makes for a fantastic addition to homemade cologne blends. It is also a grounding oil that can help relax and center you, melting away anxious feelings.

Thyme Oil: Research discussed in the Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine discovered thyme essential oil has progesterone balancing effects. Thyme oil benefits the body by improving progesterone production. Both men and a lot of women are low in progesterone, and low progesterone levels have been linked with:

  • Infertility
  • PCOS
  • Depression
  • Other imbalanced hormones within the body

Improved progesterone makes thyme a great essential oil you can use to naturally balance out hormones in your body. Plus, it’s far better than turning to synthetic treatments, such as hormone replacement therapy, which can make you dependent on prescription drugs, mask symptoms while developing diseases in other parts of the body and often causing serious side effects.

Ylang Ylang: Enhances sensuality, increases libido, and attraction between lovers, due to its aphrodisiac properties. The scent of Ylang Ylang elevates sexual energy and enhances relationships. May also be helpful with impotence and frigidity.

Foods for Low Testosterone

Tuna is rich in vitamin D, which has been linked to longer life and testosterone production. It’s also a heart-healthy, protein-rich food that’s low in calories. Whether you choose canned or fresh, eating this fish can be a natural way of boosting testosterone. A serving of tuna fulfills your daily vitamin D needs. If you aren’t a tuna fan, you may consider other fishy sources of vitamin D, such as salmon or sardines. Remember that moderation is key. Aim for a max of two to three servings a week to minimize your intake of mercury, which is found in seafood.

Milk is a great source of protein and calcium. Children and women are encouraged to drink milk for better bone health, but milk can keep men’s bones strong too. The vitamin D content may also keep testosterone levels in check. Make sure you choose milk that’s fortified with vitamin D. Choose low-fat or skim versions. They have the same nutrients as whole milk without all of the saturated fat.

Egg yolks are another rich source of vitamin D. While cholesterol has a bad reputation, egg yolk contains more nutrients than egg whites. The cholesterol of egg yolks may even help low T. As long as you don’t have any preexisting cholesterol issues, you can safely eat one egg per day.

Zinc is an essential nutrient during puberty, and its effects can keep male hormones in check throughout adulthood. Men who have low T benefit from increasing their zinc intake if they also have zinc deficiencies. Oysters are good sources of this mineral. An occasional serving of crab or lobster may do your testosterone levels some good. This is thanks in part to the zinc content in these seafood favorites.

There are real health concerns about the overconsumption of red meat. Not only do some cuts have more fat than poultry, but eating too much is also linked to certain cancers, such as colon cancer. Still, some cuts of beef have nutrients that can boost testosterone. Beef liver is an exceptional source of vitamin D, while ground beef and chuck roast contain zinc. To keep animal fats in check, choose only lean cuts of beef and avoid eating it every day.

When it comes to male hormone health, beans may offer more benefits than you think. White, kidney, and black beans are all considered sources of vitamin D and zinc. Baked beans also offer these nutrients, but you’ll need additional sources in your daily diet. As a bonus, these foods are full of plant-based proteins that can protect heart health.

Simple Activities That Boost Testosterone

Exercise: All forms of exercise may increase your testosterone levels. Weight lifting and high-intensity interval training are the most effective.

Healthy Diet: Don’t overeat and don’t restrict calories too much for too long. Try to eat balanced amounts of carbs, fat and protein.

Relax & Meditate: These work to reduce stress of mind and body. High levels of stress are bad for your long-term health and can reduce your testosterone levels.

Vitamin D3 supplements may boost testosterone levels, especially in the elderly and people who have low blood levels of vitamin D. Getting more sunshine is much more effective way to get usable Vitamin D.

Good Night’s Sleep: Make sure you get plenty of high-quality sleep to maintain healthy testosterone levels and optimize your long-term health.

Avoid Estrogen-Like Compounds: High exposure to estrogen-like chemicals may also affect your levels, so try to minimize daily exposure to BPA, parabens and other chemicals found in some types of plastic.

Reduce Alcohol Consumption: It’s probably no surprise that excess alcohol or drug use, whether it’s medical or recreational, can also decrease testosterone levels.

Be Happy: In contrast, laughter, happiness and success may help boost your health and testosterone levels — so make sure they’re a part of your daily life

Supplements that Boost Testosterone

Ashwaganda: One study tested the effects of this herb on infertile men and found a 17% increase in testosterone levels and a 167% increase in sperm count. In healthy men, ashwagandha increased levels by 15%. Another study found it lowered cortisol by around 25%, which may also aid testosterone.

Horny Goat Weed (Goat’s Rue): boosts testosterone levels and works as an aphrodisiac

Ginseng: a strong male stimulant that boosts energy levels and balances hormones

Forget Commercially Advertised Supplements: These are very unlikely to do what they claim to do and in the end can be more harmful than helpful.

Foods That Boost Testosterone

Potatoes: Everyone knows that carbohydrates are extremely important for testosterone production, but on one end grains have a lot of inflammatory properties and they don’t sit well with a lot of people. Grains aren’t necessarily recommended, especially because of the inflammation. Then there’s research showing with too much simple sugar in your diet it also leads to low testosterone. Also with gluten, again with the grains, I know the gluten free thing has become a bit of a fad, and some people have a problem with it, some people don’t. But there is actually studies showing that it increases prolactin levels significantly. We recommend potatoes as the number one item that you should be consuming for starches when you go grocery shopping.

Macadamia nuts: good source of saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, which are very important for testosterone production. They’re also really low in polyunsaturated fats, which are detrimental for testosterone production. Grab yourself some macadamia nuts.

Epic Bar: If you do snack, or maybe if you don’t snack but you need meals on the go grab some Epic Bars. They’re grass fed organic meat and they don’t have preservatives. They don’t have antibiotics or hormone treatment on the meat.

Beef gelatin: good source of proline and glycine, which are two amino acids that also act as neurotransmitters and they help increase LH production, which leads to more testosterone production, but they also help you sleep really well. A lot of people that consume beef gelatin will actually consume it before they go to bed. What happens is you sleep very, very soundly, and that sleep, that better increased quality of sleep is also amazing for your hormones.

Olive oil: high in monounsaturated fats. There’s also a study that showed that in two weeks these Moroccan men changed their main source of fat to the monounsaturated fats in olive oil and their testosterone increased by 17% and that was in 14 days. The monounsaturated fats and saturated fats heavily dominate the fat profile of olive oil. The polyunsaturated fat content is very low, and it’s also an anti inflammatory oil. You get a couple added benefits.

Raisins: for the fructose content, but they contain resveratrol, and resveratrol has been linked to an increase testosterone and lower estrogen levels in men in two studies. Also there’s good research on grape seed extract in a high potency amount that also helps with the same reasons. Also, and most people don’t know this, but raisins contain a good amount of boron. If you are not supplementing with boron, but you want to get boron from your diet raisins are a good day to do it.

Parsley: good for flavoring foods in your cooking. It contains a compound called apigenin. Apigenin increases the amount of steroid acute regulatory hormone or protein inside the Leydig cells of the testes. Really what that does is that is the binding protein that delivers the cholesterol molecule into the mitochondria inside the testicles, which is then converted into testosterone.

Raw Cacao: They have a lot of antioxidants in them and friendly gut bacteria and enzymes to help with digestion. There is research that links it to an increase in cardiovascular health and lower blood pressure, as well as lower blood glucose levels. You want to make sure that you’re getting the raw version of these cacao products but this is what’s linked to all these health benefits. They also have a lot of minerals in them. These cacao products have magnesium, zinc, manganese and iron in them.

Eggs: They’re full of dietary cholesterol, and they’re also full of choline, which is an important estrogen methylator among many other benefits of having the choline. It has a good fatty acid ratio for testosterone production of the fat in the yolks. A lot of these bodybuilders, these guys, more neurotic types just eat the egg whites, which you’re not having any of the nutrients of the egg. All the nutrients are really in the yolk.

Salt: Salt is incredible for your metabolism. Aztec sea salt specifically tastes outstanding. Basically they scrape it out of Mexican lagoons, salt lagoons. They packaged it up and sell it. It makes meat taste so good. Go and definitely grab yourself just a bag of good salt. Again, I recommend Aztec sea salt, but there’s a lot of other good salts. A lot of people like Himalayan salt as well. Just get some real salt in your diet because sodium is very important for cellular signaling. A lot of people try to avoid sodium unnecessarily and what happens, especially in healthier type people, people would be watching this video who are interested in their health, if you avoid the sodium for long enough what you do is you just wash out all the minerals from your body and you start to have issues because of low mineral levels. It’s very common to see guys with low sodium. Higher calcium, lower sodium, lower magnesium, lower potassium. You want to make sure that you can get those minerals in your diet and get them from real sources.

Argan Oil: It’s basically a stable in the Mediterranean diet. It’s good for monounsaturated fats. There’s a study that I mentioned earlier talking about the olive oil where in Moroccan men it increased testosterone levels by 17%. Here’s a study with the virgin argan oil I’m going to up on the screen right here where it was the main source of dietary fat for two weeks and it increased testosterone by 20%. It seems to have a similar effect. If you’re looking for a good oil to have in your diet among coconut oil, maybe avocado oil and olive oil, argan oil is another good option.

Avocadoes: Over 70% of the calories basically in avocados come from fats and the fats are primarily monounsaturated fats, which are awesome for testosterone production. Not only that but avocados taste awesome. You don’t have to eat massive amounts of them, but you can have an avocado or two or three in your diet every week and you’re going to get a good source of all these nutrients.

White Button Mushrooms: The one thing here is there are three studies showing that the anti-estrogenic effects of the polysaccharides in white button mushrooms are outstanding because they block the aroma taste enzyme action of converting testosterone into estrogen. White button mushrooms are something that you should include regularly in your diet. What you can do is you can cook it up with some steak, have the mushrooms on the steak. That’s a good way to do it or you can make your own pizza at home, load it up with white button mushrooms.

Baking Soda: can be used for many reasons, least of which you could have it as a pre workout actually because happens is it will increase cyclic amp in your body, which is cyclic adenosine monophosphate levels in your body which will lead to increased testosterone levels. What happens is cyclic amp activates protein kinase A and serves as a secondary messenger between cells and hormones.

Yogurt: Yogurt, there’s been a lot of prebiotic looks, probiotics, enzymes looks into the effects of fermented foods on your gut health, and in general it’s very positive on your gut health if you’re not cutting the yogurt with tons of sugar, which tends to do the opposite. For example, in this 2014 study, a group of researchers tested multiple different diets with added lactobacillus reuteri on male rodents. Reuteri is also in the new Truth Nutraceuticals supplement Floracil50, we had reuteri in there. But in every case with the addition of the L reuteri to the rodent feed it increased testosterone, increased LH levels and it increased testicular size and weight and also prevented age related testicular shrinkage in these male rodents, as well as improving all seamen parameters and markers of social domination. Certain probiotics actually have an amazing affect on males and lactobacillus reuteri is one of them. You can get it in yogurt. You can get it in probiotic supplements like Floracil50. This other rodent study found that an increased exposure to healthy gut microbiomes lead to an elevated testosterone levels, and then this one saw that the probiotic clostridium scindens can literally convert the stress hormone cortisol into androgens inside the gut.

Pomegranates: When men drank pomegranates for two weeks it was shown to increase salivary testosterone levels by 24% while also dropping diastolic and systolic blood pressure. Now, in this study, another human study, associated with one to three year, which is considered long time pomegranate juice consumption there was a 35% reduction in arterial plaque. It protected LDL cholesterol oxidative damage and dropped blood pressure again. In test tube studies the extract from pomegranates has also been found to be anti-estrogenic, which we’ll show that study right there.

Dark Berries And Cherries: have a massive amount of antioxidants and are extremely healthy for their protective qualities for men and for testosterone and seamen parameters. They also contain a fiber called calcium-d-glucarate, which shown up here on the screen can potentially help your body remove access estrogen. You also find that in grape seed extract.

Grass-Fed Butter: has vitamin A, vitamin E, K2, vitamin D. Those are all linked to healthy testosterone levels in men, and it also contains a good amount of T boosting saturated fat. Grab some grass-fed butter.

Sorghum Flour: not only is it gluten free but it also is a good source of increasing 5-a-reductase levels by 54% and that was in an in vitro study, which can help increase the conversion of testosterone to DHT.

Organic Bacon: Get some high-quality bacon so you know you’re not eating antibiotic hormone fed meat. It’s got a lot of dietary cholesterol, which we need cholesterol to convert into steroid hormones.

Onions: have a lot of anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. In rodent studies, there’s actually three rodent studies there that showed an increase in testosterone and androgenic effect of giving the rodents the onions. One of the coolest result is with onion juice. In rodent feed the researchers in this study found an increase of 300% average in testosterone levels when they put the onion juice into the rodent feed.

Garlic: especially when in combination with vitamin C, whether you’re getting that vitamin C from citrus fruits or if you’re just supplementing with vitamin C, when you consume garlic it has been shown to increase nitric oxide levels significantly, which can be amazing for erectile dysfunction issues and for overcoming those issues.

References:

  1. https://www.webmd.com/men/features/can-you-boost-testosterone-naturally
  2. https://physiqueformuladiet.com/blogs/nutrition/what-causes-low-testosterone-how-to-treat-low-testosterone-naturally
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-ways-to-boost-testosterone
  4. https://prostate.net/articles/10-natural-testosterone-treatments-that-work/
  5. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322508.php
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/low-testosterone/boosting-food
  7. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-ways-to-boost-testosterone
  8. https://www.truthnutra.com/blogs/news/8-testosterone-lowering-foods-that-are-killing-your-manhood
  9. https://askfrannie.com/5-essential-oils-for-testosterone/
  10. https://organicaromas.com/blogs/aromatherapy-and-essential-oils/5-essential-oils-to-boost-testosterone
  11. https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/mans-guide-essential-oils/

Juniper Berry

Juniper Berry

Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis)

Juniper berries actually aren’t berries at all. They are female seed cones that come juniper plants — a type of conifer (Pinophyta), which is a cone-bearing plant or tree. Juniper plants vary in appearance and can grow low and wide like a shrub or tall like a tree. Their uniquely fleshy, merged scales make them look like a berry, thus the name.

In addition to their slightly misleading name, juniper berries are also not a berry you would generally eat with breakfast, like blueberries (even though they’re similar in size). Instead, juniper berries are often used as a bitter spice. In fact, they give gin its distinctive flavor. Juniper berries are officially the only spice to come from a conifer tree.

One of the major uses of these berries is in juniper berry essential oil. Known in folk medicine and some modern research as a natural antiseptic and antioxidant, the essential oil of juniper berries is a popular therapeutic oil. It’s also one of the essential oils the FDA approves for limited internal use.

Juniper is used for digestion problems including upset stomach, intestinal gas (flatulence), heartburn, bloating, and loss of appetite, as well as gastrointestinal (GI) infections and intestinal worms. It is also used for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney and bladder stones. Other uses include treating snakebite, diabetes, and cancer.

There are many species of juniper berries; however, keep in mind that at least one is toxic. Edible juniper varieties include:

  • Juniperus communis (the most commonly used)
  • Juniperus drupacea
  • Juniperus deppeana
  • Juniperus phoenicea
  • Juniperus chinensis
  • Juniperus excelsa
  • Juniperus oxycedrus
  • Juniperus californica

Juniper Berry

JUNIPER ESSENTIAL OIL USES

Colds, flu, acne, cellulitis, gout, hemorrhoids, obesity, rheumatism, toxin build-up. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 58-61.]

The essential oil of juniper is obtained through steam distillation of the needles, wood and powdered fruits of juniper, bearing the scientific name Juniperus communis.

Major Constituents: a-Pinene, Sabinene, B-Myrcene, Terpinene-4-ol, (+)-Limonene, B-Pinene, Gamma-Terpinene, Delta-3-Carene, a-Terpinene. See Essential Oil Safety for more complete list of constituents. [H. Schilcher, D. Emmrich, C. Koehler. Gas Chromatographischer Verleich von Atherischen Wacholderolen und Deren Toxikologische Bewertung. (Pharmazeutische Zeitung 138, 1993), 85-91. Source cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 314.]

Blending: Juniper essential oil blends well with the essential oils of Bergamot, Cedar Wood, Cypress, Grapefruit, Geranium, Lavandin, Lavender, Lavandin, Lime, Lemon, Lemongrass, and Vetiver.

Juniper Berry

BENEFITS OF JUNIPER BERRIES

  1. Relieve Oxidative Stress and Prevent Disease: juniper berries are full of antioxidants that help your body prevent and fight disease by relieving oxidative stress caused by too many free radicals in your system. They contain 87 different distinct bioflavonoids.
  2. Natural Antiseptic: strong antibacterial and antifungal qualities. Powerfully destroys black mold (aspergillus), candida and staphylococcus, kills antibiotic resistant strains, and eliminates bacteria and reduces inflammation in the mouth without toxic side effects.
  3. Improves Skin Conditions: juniper berries, specifically in essential oil form, is to treat skin issues like rash or eczema. The antioxidants they contain are probably one major reason this can be effective. Helps treat skin pigmentation disorders like vitiligo. The essential oil of juniper berries has also been used for some time to reduce the appearance of cellulite, a harmless cosmetic issue involving fatty deposits that are often found on the thighs, hips and buttocks.
  4. Helps Improve Digestion: Juniper berries have long been considered a digestive aid in folk medicine, but few studies have examined these effects at length. Because they function as diuretics, juniper berries can help relieve bloating in some cases.
  5. Aids in Restful Sleep: juniper berry essential oil as a relaxant and has a positive impact on brain chemistry, encouraging rest.
  6. Effective Against Cancer: juniper berry essential oil or extract has been found to cause apoptosis (cell death) in a drug-resistant strain of leukemia, HepG2 (liver cancer) cells and p53 (neuroblastoma) cells.
  7. Good for Heart Health: due in part to its antioxidant qualities, juniper berries can help to improve heart function. For example, juniper berry essential oil has been found to reduce high blood pressure in animal studies, related to the antioxidants it contains. A similar study stated juniper berry’s function as a natural diuretic (in its original or essential oil form) also contributes to its blood pressure-lowering activity. Juniper berries also function as an “anticholinesterase agent.” This is important for heart function because anticholinesterase agents (natural or pharmaceutical) help to build up acetylcholine in the nervous system, which in turn can slow heart action, lower blood pressure, increase blood flow and induce contractions of the heart.
  8. Should Be Part of Diabetic Diet Plan: An ethanol extract and a tea of juniper berries seem to have the potential to reduce high blood sugar in diabetic rats. Juniper berry essential oil also seems to limit the amount of malondialdehyde produced by animal bodies. Although malondialdehyde’s role in diabetes isn’t understood entirely, its concentration is much higher in people with diabetes (and cancer).
  9. Relieves Pain: is numbing when applying to painful joints and muscles to relieve pain and inflammation.
  10. Fights Arthritis: Juniper essential oil promotes and improves blood circulation. It also helps in the removal of toxins like uric acid from the body. Both of these properties help fight ailments like rheumatism, arthritis, gout, and renal calculi, all of which are related to improper circulation and the accumulation of toxins in the body. This essential oil also relieves swelling.
  11. Relieves Cramps: Juniper essential oil is also effective in nearly all forms of cramps, whether it is muscular, intestinal, respiratory or any other area. It relaxes muscle cramps and helps cure spasmodic cholera as well. Being an antispasmodic, it helps cure many other problems related to cramps or spasms.
  12. Improves Breathing: reduces inflammation in respiratory tissues and improves breathing.
  13. Relieves Stress and Improves Emotions: is calming and helps to ease stress without imparting the sedative effects that clary sage and the chamomiles are known for. Spiritually, Juniper Berry Essential Oil used in a room mist, diffuser or candle burner cleanses and purifies the air. It is a good choice for use during prayer or meditation.
  14. Insect Repellent: like citronella oil, the scent of juniper may naturally repel bugs like mosquitoes according to scientific research. Spray it on your clothes, mix it with a carrier oil and massage into your skin, or diffuse it indoors and outdoors to purify the air and help prevent bug bites. You can even include it in your own homemade bug spray.
  15. Might Reduce Cellulite: You can also use juniper oil as a cellulite remedy. It may help to reduce the appearance of cellulite thanks to active components like alpha-pinene, sabinene and juniperene. Add 100 percent therapeutic grade juniper berry essential oil to grapefruit cellulite cream to decrease cellulite.
  16. Promotes Sweating: A sudorific substance is an agent which can bring about heavy sweating or perspiration. This is nothing to get annoyed at. The occasional perspiration makes you feel lighter and healthier and helps in the removal of toxins, excess salt, and water through sweat. This cleans the skin pores and openings of sweat and sebum glands, which prevents acne and other skin diseases.
  17. Healing Tonic: Have you ever heard of health tonics? Have you had any? Juniper oil is also considered a tonic, because it tones up everything, including the muscles, tissues, skin, and various other systems inside the body. This includes the respiratory, circulatory, nervous, digestive, and excretory systems. This tonic effect helps retain youth for a long time and maintains proper health for all your years.
  18. Speeds Up Healing Process: If a diluted solution of this oil is applied on wounds or blended with a skin cream and applied, it helps your wounds heal faster and keeps them protected from infections. This oil is equally beneficial in healing internal wounds, cuts, and ulcers.
  19. Other Benefits: It disinfects air and helps cure kidney stones, inflammation, urinary tract infections, acne, eczema, other skin diseases, dandruff, and enlargement of the prostate gland.

Juniper Berry

USES OF JUNIPER BERRY OIL

The fresh and calming aroma of juniper berry oil is widely renowned for relieving stress and anxiety. When diffused, it can also cleanse and purify the air. If you want to use juniper berry oil to get its healing and calming effects, try these methods:

  • Vapor therapy. Use a burner or vaporizer to diffuse the oil, which helps relieve emotional issues, such as addiction, nervous tension and hangovers.
  • Massage oil or added to bath water. This works well for pain relief, such as for arthritis, pain in passing urine, swollen joints, gout and muscle fatigue.
  • Add to lotions and creams. Try this for skin-related problems, such as oily skin, acne, dermatitis, psoriasis and weeping eczema.
  • Use in a compress. Ideal for eczema, arthritis and general infections.

RECIPES

Juniper Berry Tea: by adding 1 cup of boiling water to 1 tablespoon of juniper berries, covering, and allowing the berries to steep for 20 minutes. The usual dosage is 1 cup twice a day. However, juniper is said to work better as a treatment for bladder infections when combined with other herbs. Combination products should be taken according to label instructions.

Juniper Berry Oil: made by steam distilling the berries. However, you can make your own infused berry oil at home. Here’s a step-by-step procedure from Lisa Lise:9

  1. Put juniper berries in a clean and sterilized jar. Fill at least three-quarters of the container.
  2. Fill the jar with your oil of choice. Choose a safe oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil.
  3. Close the lid tightly and place the jar in a cool and dark place. Give it a good shake every day for four to six weeks.

Note: Check the jar regularly for any unpleasant smell, which may indicate bacterial growth. If it smells strange, throw it out and make a fresh batch.

PRECAUTIONS

Juniper, juniper berry, and juniper extract are LIKELY SAFE when consumed in normal food amounts.

Juniper is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts short-term, when inhaled appropriately as a vapor, or when applied to the skin in small areas. Using juniper on the skin can cause some side effects including irritation, burning, redness, and swelling. Avoid using it on large skin wounds.

Taking juniper by mouth long-term or in a high dose is LIKELY UNSAFE as it can cause kidney problems, seizures, and other serious side effects.

First, pregnant women should never consume juniper berries in whole or essential oil form as it may potentially cause damage to the unborn child or force uterine contractions. Juniper is also not recommended for those with poor kidney function.

It is possible to develop an allergic reaction to juniper berries, which could manifest with skin issues (like a rash) or breathing issues. If you experience any of those conditions after using juniper berries, discontinue use and consult your doctor immediately.

Juniper berries may also interact negatively with certain medications, according to a 2014 study. The berries seem to inhibit a drug metabolizing enzyme in the human body known as CYP3A4. This enzyme metabolizes about half of the drugs on the pharmaceutical market, while the other half of medicines actually inhibit the enzyme.

There is a fairly extensive list of medications that could result in toxicity when taken in conjunction with juniper berries. If you are taking any medications, you should first consult with your doctor before using juniper berries or juniper berry essential oil.

Surgery: Juniper might affect blood sugar levels, making blood sugar control more difficult during and after surgery. Stop using juniper at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

References:

  1. https://draxe.com/juniper-berries/
  2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-724/juniper
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4665443/
  4. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/antioxidants/
  5. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/what-the-heck-do-i-do-with-juniper-berries-12985861/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21707254
  7. http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Juniper_Berries_9389.php
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/juniper-berry
  9. https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/medicinal-benefits-juniper-berries-7691.html
  10. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/juniper-berry-oil.asp
  11. http://www.aromatalk.com/aromatalk/2009/01/spotlight-juniper-berry-essential-oil-juniperus-communis.html
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26784665
  13. http://www.floracopeia.com/Essential-Oils/essential-oils-sub/wild-crafted-juniper-berry-oil.html
  14. https://www.cancercarewny.com/content.aspx?chunkiid=21780
  15. https://draxe.com/juniper-berry-essential-oil/
  16. https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/juniper-berry-oil.aspx
  17. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-juniper-essential-oil.html

Love & Appreciate Yourself First

Love & Appreciate Yourself First

Self-Love is Difficult for Many

When you’re also a survivor of a past trauma such as domestic violence, child abuse, poverty or addiction, learning to love yourself can be challenging. But it’s also one of the most important parts of your healing journey.

Self Love is Doing the Work

When you practice self love, you are continually naming and claiming all of who you are — even the scariest parts. It’s about developing your capacity to be aware, authentic and intentional in every aspect of your life. In doing so you’ll build greater self compassion and also enhance your ability to offer compassion to others.

Journal Prompts to Assist You in Developing Self-Love

  1. What values, beliefs, personality traits, interests or outlooks have defined who you are in different stages in your life? Are there any common threads that seem to weave through every chapter?
  2. Which of your core beliefs, traits, interests or outlooks did you adopt for the sake of others, and which did you choose for yourself—in other words, who are you when no one is looking?
  3. Think about three times in your life when you felt a significant amount of joy, peace or accomplishment. Do these experiences have any elements in common? What might that say about you as a person?
  4. What parts of your past cause you the most embarrassment or pain? How does that relate to the values you named above? Does it confirm or challenge what you believe about yourself?
  5. Think about the relationships you have with other people. Which relationships feel the easiest? Which ones feel more difficult? What is the connection between these relationships and the beliefs you hold about yourself?

Beyond Journaling:  Daily Steps to Self-Love

  1. Stop Caring How You Look:  your appearance does not define who you are and should not affect your actions or choices. Never define yourself according to others’ opinions or judgments.
  2. Let Go:  let go of the past, stop harboring old pains and disappointments, and free yourself of the burden. We’ve all been let down. We’ve all had that someone who didn’t message back, or stood us up on a date, or treated our hearts like dirt. We’ve all been left feeling exposed and vulnerable and weak, our trust abused and our egos bruised. We need to forgive. We need to move on. We need to let go.
  3. Win Yourself Over:  you are perfect as you are, you are a catch, you are a winner, you are important, and you deserve to be happy. So take the time to do what you love, especially when you’re feeling less than cared for.
  4. Don’t Compare Yourself:  everyone is different, with different aspirations, goals, dreams, thoughts, and actions so never will you be where someone else is. So stop comparing yourself to them! You will never be them, you will always be yourself. So find ways to be happy with you instead of worrying about what someone else has or has done.
  5. Build Strong Friendships:  physical relationships can be impermanent and fleeting while emotional relationships can stand the test of time. Having friends to lean on when you need and providing support for them when they do provides so much more spiritually and emotionally than just sex and physical contact.
  6. Get Healthy:  caring for your body and nourishing it with healthy food, exercise, and meditation have nothing to do with appearance and everything to do with feeling good and being able to do the things you want. You cannot be successful at life if you are unhealthy or sick all the time. You cannot enjoy life if you are physically unable to go and do the things you love.
  7. Be Alone:  get out and away from work and life’s daily tasks and wander alone. Spend time by yourself. You will never learn who you are over the chatter, judgment, and competition of others. Spending time alone gives you the opportunity to be yourself without worrying about what others think, feel your own emotions without becoming emotional in public, and hear your own thoughts without someone else telling you they’re wrong.
  8. Know What You Deserve:  you can only accept what you think you deserve so when your standards for yourself are low you will never get what you actually deserve.  You deserve someone who makes you feel beautiful, someone who makes you feel special. You deserve to be someone’s first priority. First and foremost that person you deserve should be you!

 

References:

  1. http://act.liveyourdream.org/5-daily-journal-prompts-self-love-cpc/
  2. https://thoughtcatalog.com/samuel-leighton-dore/2014/08/8-steps-you-need-to-take-in-order-to-love-yourself-first/
  3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/finding-love/201105/how-love-yourself-first