Sunday, April 26, 2015

5 Natural Alternatives for Eczema

One way to fight back an eczema rash is to use a topical cream like Amour All Naturals' Skin Luster cream. It helps stop itchiness while soothing rough scaly skin. Although, I'm glad to make body care products that alleviate common irritations, I also want to make sure you're well... completely. Total health cannot be packaged, so here's some useful tips and ways you can get involved with helping to prevent an eczema rash from happening at all...

1. RELAX: I cannot emphasize enough how much stress compromises the immune system and wreaks havoc on the body. Once your immune system is weakened it's like lowering the security gates allowing any pathogen (microbe, virus or bacteria) to enter and run amok. In such instances you may experience a symptomatic reaction, i.e. eczema.

2. STOP: Speaking of reactions, eczema could be the result of an allergic reaction from being exposed to something your body just doesn't agree with. For some, it's nuts, chocolate, dairy, seafood, gluten, etc. For others, it could be something you're putting on your skin: dyes (from clothing), reactions from chemicals in soaps, deodorants, laundry detergent, etc. Through boosting immunity, some have curbed their allergic reactions, please keep researching to find out whether this can help you.

3. AVOID: Some overall common triggers have been known to be dairy and refined carbohydrates (flour, rice, pasta, cookies, cakes, bread, etc.), which can spark inflammation. In our genetically modified food culture; several studies have pointed to many ailments being caused by malnutrition as a result of unhealthy diets and seemingly healthy food choices. The best course of action is to eat as fresh, whole and non-GMO foods as much as possible. I'm not here to tell you what to eat; but as with all things -- listen to your body. If you experience a negative reaction in your gut, skin or any other signals, avoid the food or food ingredient that caused it. SIDE NOTE: you may say I don't notice anything so I must be fine, eh huh... this could mean, unbeknownst to you that the body is busy fighting other pathogens or it didn't notice the recent trash you put into the body. If this is the case, what can help you notice bodily signals a little better is to detox... and stick to it, I mean seriously don't let up. For starters, here's a link to some detox recipes and programs. Keep researching until you find the one that best suit you if these don't.

4. SLOW: If you take prescriptions, are recovering, or suffering from serious health ailments (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, etc.), take all suggestions, even mine, slowly. Have your doctor and natural health care provider talk to each other, discussing how best to help you through this.  Add your input about other natural approaches, so that you're learning in the process.

5. FERMENT: Balancing the gut flora is important, considering more than 70% of the immune system lives in the gut. This puts into perspective how important it is to eat nutritiously fresh, whole non-GMO foods as often as possible. You've heard this cliche so much that it's almost lost its bang... but it still rings true, "It's important to eat a well balanced meal." In most instances, "balanced" is determined on a case-by-case basis. There are some general rules of thumb, which in most instances can help the average person, like including fermented foods in your diet to help balance gut flora. This includes: apple cider vinegar, pickles, kombucha, or anything pickled for that matter. They serve as natural probiotics, which helps keep balance in the gut. Gut balance helps nutrient absorption, reduce gas, indigestion and promote healthy, normal digestive activity.

Food is your first line of defense, so make sure it's food that's tasty and delicious; but most of all nutritious and healing. Stay committed to your health and your body, because YOU are worth it, you're worth finding out what works best for you uniquely, so keep going. If you have questions, please post them below. I don't have all of the answers (no one does), but I'll definitely point you into the right direction as best as I can.

-Avec Amour

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Quick & Easy Spring Detox Drinks and Tips

Our products offered at Amour All Naturals are all for external use, but to help see best results a spring flush can come in handy. It's one school of thought to detox the liver during the spring season, allowing a fresh reboot after having exhausted it throughout the year with environmental toxins, pollution, alcohol, chemicals, prescriptions, etc. 

Assuming you ate foods according to the season during the fall and winter, i.e. starchy, hearty foods like cabbage, squash, root vegetables, nuts, beans and legumes, a detox can help optimize health. Please note seasonal eating varies by region, I just referenced foods that are applicable to the midwest/north eastern American region. If you don't eat seasonally, keep in mind that a typical Standard American Diet (SAD) is full of processed foods, GMOs, pesticides, grains, meat, dairy all of which is taxing on the digestive system and liver, which filters waste and toxins that have entered the system.

There are many detox regimens available, I'll list a few easy, simple recipes below. If you're looking to correct some serious damage control, visit: Dr. Keefa at the Sankofa Life Wellness Center or Dr. Karla Mitchell at Exhalation Integrative Wellness Center. Locally, Whole Foods Detroit offers a variety of nutritional courses, free of charge. Check out the latest class schedule here.

Without further ado, here are three quick and easy detox water recipes. These recipes are fairly gentle for the average healthy adult, and can be used throughout the day. Feel free to switch out ingredients and make modifications according to your own set of needs:

1) Water and Lemon -- squeeze lemon in your water, or drop lemon slices in your water let it sit for at least 30-minutes and drink throughout the day at room temperature. For resourcefulness sake, I usually keep refilling my cup with water using the same lemon slices, poke at it with a fork to help the juices excrete. Lemon has an alkalizing affect in the body, and helps improve digestion. It has high amounts of vitamin C and can help gently boost liver function.

2) Coconut water, Cucumber, Lime/Lemon -- this refreshing, thirst quenching drink helps with digestion and helps flush toxins. This sunshine drink, is cooling as the coconut water nourishes the body with electrolytes. Add pineapple, melon or  strawberries for a burst flavor and added nutrients.

3) Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) -- starting out, just a cap full will do. Pour ACV into an 8 oz. glass of water, add more by the cap full as you feel you need. Using large amounts for long-term is not recommended, moderation is best. Overall it's a good cleansing agent, internally helps to cleanse the liver and flush waste.

As with everything, results may vary based on your own body make-up, environment and preconditions. Adjust as you see fit. I strongly recommend adjusting in small portions at a time, better to be safe than sorry. I've said this several times on the blog, and will continue encouraging you to please, please, please keep doing your OWN research and don't just take my word for it. You know you best; if you don't... listen to your body and keep digging/researching until you discover you, fully and holistically!

Finally, when it comes to natural/holistic topics, there usually isn't a lot of studies and scientific research. If that's what you're looking for, I provided some references below. However, one resource that we do have around are elders... some of whom may be in your family, neighbors, co-workers, organizational members, etc. Oftentimes they store invaluable, unrecorded gems when it comes to homesteading or natural health. They may enjoy your company, so spend some time with them and un-dig the treasures.

- Avec Amour