Day 274-WMM-Why I'm Trying CBD Products

For years I have struggled with several medical issues ranging from arthritis to depression, fibromyalgia to anxiety. I have tried many different methods to combat these issues, going Paleo, using essential oils,  and it has helped, but not completely alleviated my symptoms. I was able to get off my anti-depressant and that is a good thing.

Then I started hearing more and more about CBD oil and did some research. Between other blogs sharing information, like Roxy over at The Oily Guru, and product info from CBD websites, to reading about the legislation and how it’s changing and becoming more positive toward the use of hemp and cannabis products, I felt educated enough to make an informed decision to finally try a product for myself.

The product I was most interested in was the CBD oil for vaping, so I checked out three different sources and finally chose the one that was local to me. Turns out one of the shops I normally purchase my “juice” from carries CBD oil and once I learned that, it influenced my decision to buy local. I purchased an oil from Blue Moon brand, it is flan flavored and delicious! If you click on the link, it will take you to the website and you can check out products they sell, quality and testing info and frequently asked questions so you can make an informed decision of your own.

Getting ready to load my tank

The fellow that assisted me at the vapor shop told me I would feel the effect in fifteen minutes. Well, he was off a bit, I felt it immediately! Now, don’t freak out or think it makes you high…all it does is produce a relaxing feeling, no euphoria or psychoactive effect. Just a nice relaxation of my shoulders, like the tension just left me. I call it “taking the edge off” and was pleasantly surprised that I felt something so quickly. Wine may do something similar, but does not provide the same benefit as CBD oil may.

For anyone that has not been following myself or anyone else’s blog that explains what CBD oil is, there are many resources out there that do a great job of it-Leafly, for example, can tell you anything you want to know. Their website mostly concentrates on the CBD from different strains of medicinal marijuana, which is not what I purchased.

CBD stands for cannabinoid and in the case of the product I purchased, it comes from the seeds and stalks of industrial hemp plants specially bred to contain high concentrations of naturally occurring Cannabinoid-Cannabidiol. (CBDa) It contains over 400 phytonutrients and enhances our own endocannabinoid system.

I could have ordered straight from the website but wanted to save money by driving straight to the source. They also had tinctures with CBD oil, which I’m considering purchasing in the future…not only for myself but for my pets. It is totally safe and very beneficial to them, relieves certain skin problems like itching, and provides the same phytonutrients.

Another company I looked into also has a shop in my area, about thirty minutes away. They carry CBD oil products like soap, massage oil and infused coconut oil. I would love to go check out their store next time. For myself, I have decided to use the vapor 50% of the time and the CBD oil the other 50%. I think using it mainly at night will help me sleep by relaxing me from the stresses of the day. There is 100mg of CBD in the whole bottle, so I’m getting a very small amount with each puff, maybe 5mg.

CBD oil from hemp is legal because it contains no THC and will not cause you to fail a drug test. It does not require a permit or a prescription so you can feel safe and confident purchasing those products. (By the way, clicking on the links does not help me in any way, it just takes you to the sites so you can read more information.)

I will keep you informed on how this product helps me and if my pain is alleviated with consistent use. The word is, that using CBD helps with the pain and inflammation of arthritis, but that is not an endorsement from the FDA, nor has it been evaluated by them. Always check with your own doctor before trying a new supplement, I’m providing this information as a service and not telling you to diagnose or treat your symptoms with this product.

Would you be willing to check out something that has been used for centuries to help with your symptoms and/or conditions? Let’s start the conversation, I’d like to hear your thoughts and suggestions! Meanwhile, I will be relaxing on the patio and waiting to hear back from you. See you tomorrow!

Day 267-Wednesday's Medical Minute-Which Is Better, Lemon vs Lemongrass Essential Oil

Let’s talk about the glaring difference first-obviously, one is a fruit and the other is a plant.

Lemon-citrus fruit
Lemongrass the plant

Before I dive into the properties, uses, and benefits of each, let me just say that I believe that God gave us everything we need to heal ourselves, we just need to educate ourselves about them and use them properly. Maybe we could then reduce our dependency on pharmaceuticals and trips to the doctor. I  have to admit since I’ve been using essential oils, which is going on three years now, I’m almost never sick. When I started though, I did my own research and always use quality oils in the manner they were intended. Secondly, when I started, I bought my oils from one of the big companies so popular on the internet, yet over time, I discovered that there are local sources that cost less and worked the same. Again, I did my research, consulted my physician and I now know which are safe for ingestion and which I only use in the diffuser or topically.

Lemon essential oil is made from the peel, which most of us do not consume on a regular basis. I assume most of us use lemon frequently if not daily, whether in our diets or as a cleaner. Lemon has many fantastic benefits including the ability to rejuvenate dull, sluggish skin (when ingested, since it supports a healthy digestive system which then results in clear skin). Here are some other benefits:

Clears and supports the respiratory system-rub on the chest or soles of the feet to clear lungs and nasal passages

Bug repellant-fleas hate lemon

Food flavoring-add to the end of the cooking process due to the fact that heating sometimes destroys the beneficial properties

Has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, making it one of the most essential of all essential oils.

Freshens and cleans the air when diffused, freshens laundry, can be used in mop water to freshen and clean

Can be added to coconut oil for daily oil pulling routine-brightens teeth and freshens breath

Lemon mixed with vinegar and water (and a drop of dish soap to keep the oils from staying on top of the water) makes a great all-purpose kitchen/bathroom cleaner

Just breathing in the scent of lemon can improve the neurological activity responsible for promoting the breakdown of body fat! Hang on, why is my diffuser not running right now? 

Ok, now that I’m back, let’s see how lemongrass can improve our health as well.

First off, lemongrass is steam distilled from the plant. The plant itself is nice, ornamental, and helps repel mosquitos-good enough reason to have it around.

Its flavor is sweeter and milder than lemon and can be used as a substitute when lemons are scarce. (like that would ever happen in my house anyway) Besides its many culinary uses, it has many medicinal properties as well.

  • As an analgesic-relieves pain and inflammation in muscles and joints
  •  As an antidepressant- boosts self-esteem, uplifts spirits and inspires confidence
  • It has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties- inhibits bacterial growth in and outside the body, cures wounds, supports the respiratory system, helps cure infections like typhoid and malaria
  • As an astringent- promotes contraction of gums, hair follicles, muscles, skin and blood vessels, thereby reducing blood loss and falling out of hair and teeth
  • Carminative- helps remove gas from forming in the abdomen and relaxes the muscles providing safe downward passage of excess gas
  • Deodorant- can be used to replace current commercial deodorant, which has an environmental impact. Safe for skin when diluted and no harmful side effects like synthetic deodorants
  • Diuretic- aids in fat loss by removing fats and excess urine from the body
  • Febrifuge- reduces fever by fighting infection and also aids in toxin removal through perspiration
  • Galactogogue- increases and enhances breast milk which indirectly keeps your baby infection free
  • Insecticide- popular insect repellant probably due to such constituents as citronellal, and limonene
  • Nervine- acts as a tonic for the nervous system in general and may help with nervous disorders such as shaking hands, vertigo, convulsions, and sluggishness
  • Sedative- soothing, calming for the mind and relieves tension and anxiety

As you can see, both oils have many unique and beneficial qualities and can be interchanged depending on the way you want to use it. I sometimes switch out which oils I use in my water daily just so I get different benefits. I can attest to the diuretic properties of lemongrass as well as the boost of energy I get from lemon. They can also be used to help reduce cellulite, ladies you can agree that is a great benefit, right?

Oh, and while I’m at it, let me tell you three different sources I used in my own research, e-books I consult frequently to remind myself how to use the different oils. Some, I have memorized-others I need some reminding. Remember, my memory is not the best. I used to keep a handy chart within site at all times, but got away from that practice…it’s time to make myself a new one. Please read The King’s Medicine Cabinet by Josh Axe- The Essential Homestead by Jill Winger and Using God’s Medicine by Eric Zielinski- all great sources for info and proper use of essential oils. (all free too!)

I also consulted Organic Facts for some of this article. I hope it has been a help to you and you will consider adding one or both to your medicine cabinet, kitchen or laundry room- they both help in so many ways!

While I could go on and on, I do have other things to get to before I go visit Dad today- I will surely be encouraging he start using lemongrass oil to aid with his tremors (none of the doctors we’ve taken him to know why he shakes) maybe it will finally be the answer to his prayers. I will admit, that was news to me in my limited knowledge of lemongrass’s many benefits. (I am not an expert, just an avid user and lover of essential oils.) Join me back here tomorrow…ssshhh, it’s a surprise-even I don’t know yet. 😉

 

 

 

 

Day 261-Wednesday's Medical Minute-Rethinking Your Sweeteners

*This post might include affiliate links, or reward codes.

Good morning everyone! Today I want to revamp one of my earlier posts (I believe it was Day 30-What’s Your Sweetener) and explain again some of the finer points about sweeteners and which ones are best for your health.

I said in that long ago post that sugar feeds cancer and that even though I am cancer free (that I know of) why encourage the growth of it, if indeed it is there? The very thought scares me to death, maybe because I used to work for a cancer treatment center for almost 15 years. Not to mention, my own husband and his cancer experience.

I rely on different natural sweeteners like stevia, agave, and 100% pure maple syrup-in small quantities of course. I even switched the brand of stevia I’m using to Pyure sweetener because it’s certified organic, with 0 calories and sugar, 1 carb and 1 fiber per serving, and has nothing added like dextrose or erythritol. I’m guilty of sometimes sharing my home made goodies with my pets, so I cannot use erythritol in my baked goods or they will get sick…and possibly die! Pyure brand sweetener only has organic stevia extract blended with organic agave.

This is how I buy my sweetener, bagged for making tea and cooking, pkts for my daily coffee.

Right now, if you buy it from iHerb you will save 28%. Just saying. Now, I have to add this statement if I’m being completely honest. Ordering from there is best for people who can’t get to a local Walmart or other retailer because iHerb will add significant shipping unless your order totals $35 or more. (Then it’s free) So it is up to you if you want to purchase there. If you do, we will both save, so it’s a win, win! If I run out, I go into panic mode, that’s when I order it online.

Most store bought sweets are chock full of sugar, and I’ve talked about how sugar is the devil before. Honestly, I do not buy store bought sweets, I make my own, that way I control the sweetness by added trusted, organic natural sweeteners. I try not to eat anything processed, if it is in a box or a bag, it usually has artificial ingredients. Here are several reasons why sugar is so bad for you.

  • Sugar has no nutrients and is bad for your teeth- cause tooth decay by feeding the harmful bacteria in your mouth
  • Sugar contains fructose, one of the two simple sugars that enter the bloodstream from the digestive tract. Yes, you get fructose from eating fruit, that’s ok. Large amounts of sugar overload the liver with fructose, which leads to fatty liver and other serious problems.
  • Sugar can cause insulin resistance, possibly leading to metabolic syndrome and diabetes
  • Sugar can contribute to cancer-scientists believe that having constantly elevated insulin levels from sugar consumption has this effect.
  • Sugar is highly addictive-this is because it releases a massive amount of dopamine in the reward center of the brain
  • Sugar…not fat, raises your cholesterol and leads to heart disease-large amounts of fructose can raise triglycerides, LDL levels and blood glucose levels (and insulin levels) and cause abdominal obesity in as little as 10 weeks!
  • Continued sugar consumption makes losing weight nearly impossible
Sugar is highly addictive

I also detest the use of artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose. Many people have reported experiencing bad side effects like migraines and painful joints after years of consuming products with these sweeteners.

The bottom line is-natural sweeteners are better for your health, ween yourself off of sugar before it can cause devastating effects on your body.

I hope I have set the record straight on why sugar is so bad for you, please leave your comments and suggestions in the box and join me tomorrow for another Throwback Thursday or a product review…you’ll have to come back to find out!

Day 254-Medical Minute- Is Green Tea Better For Your Body?

Morning everyone, whatcha drinking this morning? I’m drinking my bulletproof coffee as usual, but I have to tell you about my latest passion…green tea. I know, I’m late to the party, lots of people have been on this kick way longer than me. What I discovered was a new, fresh flavor that I am enjoying in Ice Tea and I like it so much, I’m ready to make a permanent switch from black tea. I did a little research (surprise, surprise), and what I found out is nothing that most people don’t already know, but was good news to me.

Here is my new flavor, (I’m gonna need a bigger box!)-Orange Passionfruit Jasmine (made by Lipton) and I make it by the pitcher and sweeten it with my Pyure brand stevia. It’s fresh and citrusy, light and delicious taste make it an instant favorite, although I’m sure I will want to try other flavors that are available. So sit back, grab a cup of something tasty, and a bowl of that delicious oatmeal you hopefully made yesterday, and let me tell you what I discovered about this ancient tea.

My new favorite!

So you know, all tea comes from the same plant (Camellia sinensis), the difference is in the processing. Green tea has been steamed to stop the oxidation process that occurs naturally in black tea when dried.

Tea fields in Portugal

Green tea is naturally lower in caffeine: 15-25mg compared to black tea: 40-70mg and oolong tea: 18-33. Oolong tea leaves are partially fermented, making it the middle on the processed scale.

Green tea has higher amounts of catechins and vitamin C than black tea because of the fermentation process. Catechins are a type of disease-fighting flavonoid and antioxidants and are responsible for a reduction in body fat, according to some studies. Green tea also has more polyphenols-40% compared to black tea which has about 10%. These compounds help protect you from free radicals-potentially damaging chemicals. They can also be found in apples. (maybe that’s where the old saying came from)

Steeping whole leaves

Green tea was first discovered in China and there are many varieties, but it’s production has spread to other countries as well. Gyokuro is from Japan and is one of the highest grades of Japanese tea. It is grown in the shade which makes it a higher quality green tea.

Gunpowder tea, or “Pearl tea” dates back to the Tang Dynasty and is named that because it looks like tiny pellets until brewed and then it explodes into a leaf form. It also has a smoky flavor and one of my favorite bloggers (MSGT3227) loves the stuff! There are several varieties, each with their own distinctive flavors ranging from honey to smoky to grassy, minty or peppery.

Gunpowder tea
Ready for steeping

 

Much has been made of the benefits of drinking green tea over black tea, but all tea is good for you and each have different redeeming qualities because of the fermentation process. Tea is preferred over sugary soda, for instance and that is the reason I drink water and ice tea all day long. (after my coffee of course) The effects of green tea have been studies for years, but science has concluded that the touted benefits are only found in vitro and not in humans. Darn! Many claims have been made that it can:

  • Help you lose weight
  • lower blood cholesterol
  • lower blood sugar
  • lower blood pressure
  • Treats or kills cancer

However, science has concluded that there is no conclusive evidence that any of these claims are true. If you were to drink up to three cups a day, and were an Asian or a woman, you might have a 4% longer mortality rate than everyone else. Ok, I can live with that…see what I did there? 😉

I reviewed several sources for this article and found no one could promise that green tea is better than black tea, but that both were beneficial. Just being honest here. For me, the taste makes it the clear winner in my book, and for that reason I will make the switch…now, I did see that adding things like lemon juice may boost some of the added fat burning abilities it has but also that adding milk totally negates any good that would come from drinking it. So, for me, I will continue to drink it iced, thank you very much. 🙂

I hope I have given you a better idea of whether green tea is beneficial to you, give it a try and let me know what you think! For now, I’m off to get a glass and start working on my next installment in Friday’s series Angels of Arvada. I don’t want it to sneak up on me and then have no idea what to write. See you tomorrow when I either review a new product I’m using or Throwback to a younger, nostalgic time. See you then!

 

 

 

Day 240-Wednesday's Medical Minute-How Stress Affects Us

*This post may contain affiliate links, please check my disclosure.

Source: Pixabay

In light of yesterday’s post about how stress maybe because of my ear issues, I decided to do today is medical minute on stress and how it can affect us.

While I don’t know yet why or how stress can cause my ears to be hypersensitive, stress is a killer and it affects us in many negative ways. My stress is likely due to a number of factors, guilty conscience (because I was allowed to stop working in the 9 to 5 work world) and David bears the brunt of the responsibility, pressure I put on myself to be there for everyone who matters to me, (Just like any mom, wife, daughter or friend),  pressure I put on myself to become a freelance writer and earn a living from it. Some of the risk factors of stress are:

  • Social and financial problems
  • Physical or mental illness
  • Lack of social support networks
  • Family discord or family history of stress

Signs and symptoms of stress are:

  • Anxiousness
  • Nervousness
  • Excessive worry
  • Distraction
  • Internal pressure
  • Changes in sleep patterns

Good lord I have all of this!!

PS: I am talk texting this post to reduce my stress this morning. 🙂

  • These emotional states began to affect a persons outward appearance:
  •  Unusually anxious or nervous
  • Distracted
  • Self absorbed and/or
  • Irritable or angry

(Guilty of all charges 😉 )

*If it increases or lasts over a long period of time, a person may experience more emotional or physical symptoms such as:

  • Excessive fatigue
  • Depression
  • Thoughts of suicide, or harming others
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Chest pain
  • Racing heart
  • Dizziness
  • Restlessness
  • Hyperventilating
  • Shortness of breath

I will admit to 2-4 of these symptoms myself, but don’t worry-I would never harm myself or others!

What can we do to manage stress ourselves you might ask?

According to my research there are several ways to accomplish this, some I need to implement myself.

  • Set realistic goals and limits for yourself
  • Put things into perspective and try to get upset about insignificant or an important matters
  • Take stress management, Time management, or anger management classes
  • Find activities that you enjoy and set aside time to participate in them on a regular basis
  • Consume a healthy diet
  • Participate in regular physical exercise
  • Avoid or reduce alcohol and caffeine intake
  • Maintain a positive outlook
  • Set goals and break them into easily achievable tasks
  • Reward yourself for the good things that you do each day

*Source-Emedicinehealth

I found a quote by Victor Frank that says, ” When we are no longer able to change a situation we’re challenged to change ourselves.”  I think that’s pretty fitting for me anyway.

For more information on stress visit the American Institute of Stress and also emedicinehealth. 

I realized that one of the things that stressed me out this week was losing my post on SiteGround that I did on my website Products from the Patio. Somehow while trying to insert a picture on that post, that was pin-worthy, I erased the whole post!! Now I have to start all over- or, back up and regroup and relaunch my website later.

Other stressors for me are time limits, which I suppose falls under the category of setting unrealistic goals for myself, since I try to get so much done in one day. Then when I don’t achieve those goals I feel guilty and lose my motivation. Just being honest here, but I can see I have a lot of work to do on myself. Maybe my doctor’s right and part of the problem with my ears is stress related.

What are your stressors? How do you deal with them? Any comments are welcome and or suggestions too.

*Disclosure: Mentions of associated products, services, or businesses within the content of this blog may or may not be noted as an affiliate in every reference. I only choose to promote products, services, or businesses that I have used and or trust.