Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Natural Solutions-Skin Care & Cold&Flu Care

Welcome to Wellness Wednesday!
Today, I want to share some natural and affordable solutions to skin care and staying well. I don't know about you, but simplifying life is something that is always appealing to me. And let's face it, skin care and medicine are two things that most people have cabinets FULL of! Do we really need all of that?
What if there was just one or two things that did ALL of the things that your 20 skin care products promised you?
What if there was a natural product that worked just as well as the bottle FULL of harmful chemicals?
Well, I'm on board!
Okay, so I was tired of having a drawer full of skin care products; half of which promised to do miracles for my skin and the other half that promised to be 100% natural. I needed something that I knew was natural and good for my skin and body.
I have not always taken good care of my skin. Many nights over the years, I have gone to bed without washing my face and/or without applying moisturizer to my face.
Well, I am not getting any younger and I want my skin to look healthy throughout the years to come and I also want to make sure that what I am putting on my skin is not full of harmful ingredients for my body.
What is my answer? Olive Oil!  Oh my, this stuff is good for your skin, your hair, so many things! And the best part, we always have it because I cook with it sometimes too. Also, it is completely natural and affordable because a little goes a long way and this one ingredient does so many things!
Olive is oil is a natural make-up remover and moisturizer for your skin. You are probably thinking that it will make your skin "oily" but it doesn't!
It can improve the appearance of scars and the elasticity of your skin. It is good for your hair and your scalp too. 
Ah, Coconut Oil....you smell so wonderful and.....you are also great for my skin, hair and body!
Coconut oil is a great moisturizer for your skin as well. It helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles and is a great solution to various types of skin conditions such as eczema.
Coconut Oil provides wonderful nutrition for your hair; enhancing hair growth and giving your hair beautiful shine. It is also great in providing healing to a dry scalp and even warding off such nasty things as lice.

And even better, both of these oils are really great to cook with; tasting great and actually good for your body!

My new skin care regime is as simple as this:
-place a dab of olive oil in the palm of my hand.
-gently rub hands together and then massage the oil into my face
-this is removing make-up and any other dirt from the day
-apply a warm wash cloth over my face for a minute (steaming my face, pulling away the dirt and feeling great!)
-gently wipe away any excess oil

Then, I  take a bit of coconut oil and rub my hands together and apply to my arms, hands, legs, etc.

That's it! And I can honestly tell you that I can see a difference in my skin. It is smoother and healthier looking.
Two little glass jars and that is it.

It is simple. Find a small glass jar and pour your Extra Virgin Olive Oil into it. Because Coconut Oil is solid unless it is warm/heated, you will need to place your jar of coconut oil into a bowl of warm water or bath of warm water in the sink, just long enough to melt enough oil to pour into a smaller jar to keep in your bathroom. Then, the oil in your small jar will eventually solidify as well, leaving you with a nice little jar of moisturizer; really great smelling moisturizer at that!
Okay, now that we have skin care down, let's talk about helping our bodies stay well during cold and flu season.
Two of my children were hit pretty hard in the last week with a nasty cold virus or flu; high fever, chills, aches, headache, etc. So, I got to work pumping them and the rest of the family with lots of Vitamin C. We use Emergen-C packages and also straight Vitamin C powder mixed into a small glass of juice. (Be sure and follow the instructions when using this.)
I also got to work making a double batch of Elderberry Syrup.
Elderberry is known for it's aid in respiratory infections as well as having antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and  antiviral abilities.
It also boasts immune boosting properties too.

 Here is what you need. You can purchase your Elderberries here. It is best to use fresh, grated ginger root, but I was out of that at the time and only had dried ginger. Dried works as well, but fresh is always best. If you have cinnamon sticks, you can use those as well by placing them in the pot while cooking the berries.
And of course, you can also use whole cloves too.
You are going to boil your berries and water, along with herbs of choice. Then simmer for 20 minutes.
Next, you will strain your berries, leaving only the juice from your Elderberries. I use a wire/mesh coffee filter.
Then, you will add your honey, stirring it together well over low heat.
*Did you know that a spoon full of honey will coat your throat and help with a sore throat or that relentless cough?
And you've got a jar of fresh, all natural, and very affective, immune boosting, cold and flu syrup. Store that jar of awesomeness in the fridge and dole out tablespoons full to the family! You can take this at the beginning of cold and flu season daily to help prevent sickness or take it once you are already sick to help lessen your symptoms and the length of your sickness.

Elderberry Syrup Recipe
1/2 cup dried elderberries
1 cup raw honey (best if it is local)
2 cups water
*add ginger, cinnamon and a few cloves

-place berries and water in a pan with any other added herbs.
-bring to a boil
-then simmer on low for 20 minutes
-pour through mesh strainer
-use back of spoon to squeeze any juice out of the berries
-add honey and stir well
-place in jar and store in fridge

Stay well friends! And don't forget to enter the GIVEAWAY!

Some links to check out:
Benefits of Coconut Oil
Benefits of Olive oil
Benefits of Elderberries
Purchasing Coconut Oil (you want extra virgin and organic-there are many kinds. this is what we buy-great oil and great value)
Purchasing Elderberries

(*disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am simply a wife and mother seeking out healthier solutions to care for my family and myself. Please read the links I provided as well as your own research.)

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