Guest post: Fitness Secrets Everyone Should Know To Stay Fit Forever

Fitness Secrets

Fitness Secrets

Whether you are aiming to lose weight or to gain muscles, the processes to achieve these goals are quite challenging. And what’s even more challenging is to maintain what you would achieve in the end.

Apparently, the real challenge of living a fit and healthy life is in the maintenance. And many people would fail on this part. Accordingly, you have to keep on going to stay fit. And in order for you to do that, you will need to do certain improvements and changes along the way.

So, how would you do that?

Here are some fitness secrets that you should know to stay fit and healthy forever:

  1. You need to make SMART goals

If you really want to maintain that weight and fitness level, your goals should be SMART. And by means of SMART, they should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound.

You don’t create goals like “I’ll lose 20lbs in 3 days” because it’s really not going to end well for you. So, write down your goals and try to analyze each if they are suitable as SMART.

  1. Take a multi-vitamin

As much as you are willing and determined to consume foods that will suffice your vitamin and mineral intake, the foods being produced nowadays won’t suffice. It is very difficult to consume all the needed vitamins and the essentials on a daily basis.

Hence, you should find a great multi-vitamin that will work for you and your body. This will fill all the gap in your diet. And you should keep in mind that phentermine is out of the equation for this matter.

  1. Single exercise can reveal your injury risks

Did you know that a single exercise or routine can reveal your injury risks or weak spots?

Apparently, when you ask someone to watch you over while you work out (or even record it on a video), you will see all the weak points in your body parts. And if you don’t pay attention to these areas, the risks of acquiring injuries during a workout routine is very apparent.

So, try to perform a simple exercise. Say, a bodyweight squat. Record yourself in a video or ask someone to watch you over. As you accomplish the routine, watch the video and check all the weak areas so that you could focus on them.

  1. Choose a joint-friendly workout

In relation to injury risks, you must choose carefully the workout routines that you intend to do regularly. Once you have pointed out your weak spots, you should choose joint-friendly workout routines.

This will lessen and decrease the chances of having joint issues as you exercise.

  1. Stay hydrated

Even when you have reached your target weight, you still need to take water as your best fitness buddy. Hydration plays a huge and important role in keeping you fit and healthy.

Also, water is very important to your metabolism. And you will need a fully-functional metabolism if you really want to stay fit. So, instead of ditching the water, keep it always close to you.

  1. Learn to see exercise as a treat

Your mindset also plays a significant role in keeping you fit and healthy. If you see your workout routines and exercises as sacrifices and pains to achieve your fitness goals, this will not help you because you will just keep on insisting to yourself that you need to “treat” yourself after all your challenges and struggles.

Conversely, you must understand and learn to see that your exercises and fitness routines are treats for yourself. If you start to see them as necessities, you will certainly stay fit and healthy.

  1. Get enough sleep

The human body recovers and replenishes during sleeping hours. So, if you lack the needed sleep, your body will surely deteriorate along with your health. Also, the lack of sleep can lead you to not achieving your fitness goals. So, be sure to hit the bed on time with the right number of hours because too much sleep is not good as well.

If you really want to stay fit and healthy forever, you really have to work on it even when you have reached your primary goals. And these fitness secrets will certainly help you as they are proven and tested already by many fitness specialists and gurus.

Dr. Kojian M.D. has had extensive training in weight loss, hormone replacement treatments, anti-aging medicine, and has many med spas and weight loss clinics in California. Dr. Kojian went to Medical School at the University of Illinois and trained at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Kojian teaches patients how to eat to lower their hunger, helps them correct deficiencies in their blood tests to boost their metabolism, and shows patients the best exercises to burn fat and tone muscle. Dr. Kojian has been on T.V. and the news many times in Los Angeles as well in Dubai and the middle east, and is considered a leading expert in weight loss and health. Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/drtohelp/ Twitter – https://twitter.com/drtohelp

Please note that publication of guest posts does not imply endorsement.

Guest Post: Use These 5 Tricks to Beat Your Unhealthy Eating Habits

Eating well is the most effective way to lose weight

Eating well is the most effective way to lose weight

Your unhealthy eating habits are undermining your health. This is one of the main causes of obesity and other related conditions. If you are worried about your health, you need to consider weight loss plans. Getting yourself into a plan to be healthy again is a great plan. But it does not stop there; you should also be serious about the next steps that you will be taking.

Most people cannot stop their unhealthy eating habits because of different reasons. If you go to the store, you will find all these junk food and other instant food around you. For some, their very busy lifestyle is a culprit. They no longer have time to prepare food so they just go for something that does not need a lot of time to prepare.

If you are having a hard time maintaining a good balanced diet, here are some tricks that you can consider to beat your unhealthy eating habits:

Never skip breakfast

There is a good reason why experts are telling you not to skip your breakfast. This is the most important meal of the day because morning is the time where you prepare yourself for a long day. Whether you are going to work or you need to go out for some activities, you need to eat your breakfast. You need enough protein and lesser carbohydrates to boost your energy.

Eating breakfast should not only be done so that you will have something on your stomach. Eat healthy and natural food. If you are going to consider this very important reminder, you will be able to minimize your cravings for junk food.

Plan your meals

If you have a very busy schedule, you should plan your meals ahead of time so that you and your family will be able to shift from unhealthy eating patterns to a healthier diet. You can plan your meals for the whole day or for the whole week.

The best way for you to be able to do this effectively is to start thinking about healthy food that you can prepare for your family. After that, you can now go plan the meals that you will be preparing. Planning your meals can also help you lessen the stress of thinking about what you are going to eat.

Change your plate size & switch to small glasses

There is a psychological explanation that proves that changing the plate and glass size can help you lessen your food intake. This is advice for people who have the tendency to overeat. The body needs to be fed but it does necessarily mean that you are going to stuff yourself with more food than you need.

Healthy eating involves the decision to eat sufficient amount of food. If you want to maintain a healthy weight, you need to limit your food and beverage consumption to what you normally need.

Cut sugar and starch

Sugar and starch can be found in different food that you see on your table regularly. It can be found in muffins, cakes, toast and almost all processed food. You should start by understanding that sugar and starch have a negative effect on the body. It can specifically affect the blood sugar level.

If you want to be healthy, you should gradually eliminate these two elements from your diet. You should do it little by little. This way, you will not feel stressed about the change. The best thing that you can do to make this possible is to lessen the processed food from your list.

Replace crispy

Most people would choose fried food because it highlights the taste of the food. But you should know that this kind of food is not healthy. This can cause serious diseases that include diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases. If you are the type of person who would go to fast-food restaurants to buy fried foods, you have to know that they often serve foods that are cooked in hydrogenated oils which is very unhealthy.

If you want to get rid of crispy fried food, you can do it by slowly shifting to a healthier option. Instead of cooking food in oil, why don’t you consider other healthier options that do not include oil?

Shifting to healthy eating lifestyle gradually

It is not easy to shift from unhealthy habits to a healthy eating lifestyle. You need to do this gradually. You cannot do this overnight. This is why you also need to dedicate yourself to the changes that you are about to apply. Embrace the fact that there will be times when you will find yourself craving for the food that you used to eat.

Eating natural food will help you make this shifting goal possible. If you really want to be successful in shifting your eating habits, you need to eliminate processed food from you’re your kitchen and stick with the tips provided in this article.

Michael Morelli is a writer who loves to write an article on health & fitness. He is always involved in fitness. He always believes in hard work & due to his hard work he has completed 5 fitness certifications. In his articles, he always mentions the benefits of protein, protein powder for your workout & how healthy diet plans are beneficial.
Please note that publication of guest posts does not imply endorsement.

Guest Post: How Green Light Therapy Can Transform Your Health

Photo by paul morris on Unsplash

Photo by Paul Morris on Unsplash

Today, more and more people are turning to light therapy, as it is a simple and painless form of treatment which has been shown by research and studies to be effective in treating seasonal affective disorder, depression, sleep disorders, chronic pain and skin conditions such as psoriasis. Various studies published in the American Journal of Psychiatry specifically proved that light therapy can be effective in the treatment of mood disorders.

Furthermore, light therapy is a very safe treatment which very rarely has side effects. Benefits such as raised energy levels and better skin, make it an all-rounded effective treatment which can substantially improve your health. Studies have demonstrated that green light, in particular, is very effective in improving mood and managing chronic pain, as well as improving skin conditions.

How Green Light Therapy Works

Green light therapy requires you to sit or work next to a 10,000 lux light therapy box, which gives off bright light that aims to mimic outdoor light. A prescription isn’t necessary in order to buy a light therapy box, but it would be best to discuss the options and types with your doctor.

In order for the treatment to be effective, the light must reach your eyes in an indirect manner. You must not directly look at the light therapy box, as this may cause damage, but your eyes must be open. You must also have the right combination of duration, timing and intensity.

Typically, the recommendation is to choose a 10,000 lux light box, placed at approximately 16 to 24 inches from your face. Ideally, a daily session lasts around 30 minutes and is most effective when done early in the morning.

Light therapy works by triggering hormonal changes that alter our body clock and circadian rhythm, changing the way we feel and function. Light also helps us produce serotonin, a hormone that is thought to a be an important factor in depression. By increasing serotonin levels, our mood and well being are affected in a positive way.

When choosing your light box, consider that there are many options available, which vary in features and in price. Make sure you do all your research and talk to your doctor to ensure you purchase a safe, effective high-quality product.

The Health Benefits of Green Light Therapy

Today, a huge number of people have been diagnosed with chronic pain; estimates reveal that globally, one in five adults experience frequent pain and one in ten are diagnosed every year with chronic pain, experiencing pain which lasts for months at a time. Recent studies have shown that green light therapy can be an effective alternative method to manage chronic pain and fibromyalgia.

The exposure to green light has also been shown to reduce the pain felt during migraines by about 20% in some patients. Furthermore, green light seems to affect men and women in the same way, with no decrease in efficacy due to gender.

As well as the substantial health benefits, green light also has many benefits for the skin. It reduces inflammation and skin discoloration, and also diminishes any existing hyperpigmentation. While this may not be the primary focus for your treatment, the added benefits certainly don’t hurt!

Green light therapy is generally a very safe form of treatment. However, in certain circumstances, it may be best to avoid it. While it’s always best to speak to a doctor before starting light therapy, it’s absolutely necessary if you experience conditions such as skin sensitivity to light. This can also be caused by medications that increase sunlight sensitivity, such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatories. Eye conditions which make your eyes vulnerable to light damage must also be taken into consideration.

However, cases in which light therapy isn’t safe to use are actually very few. In general, green light therapy is suitable and can be beneficial for almost everyone. The holistic effects of light therapy are many and varied, and can really make a difference in your energy levels, mood and overall health. For most, green light therapy is a safe and effective form of treatment.

Please note that publication of guest posts does not imply endorsement.

Guest Post: The Health Connection Between Your Mouth And Body

If you want to care for the overall health of your body, your mouth is a good place to start. Why? Consider this: As much as 90 percent of systemic diseases produce oral signs and symptoms. Likewise, people with periodontal disease are at higher risk for a variety of illnesses and conditions. What does this mean? Essentially, the organs and components in your body are so interconnected, if your mouth isn’t healthy, there’s a good chance another part of your body isn’t healthy, too. Your mouth affects your body, and your body affects your mouth. Understanding this connection is key to holistic health and can help you know how to better care for your body as a whole.

What Is Periodontal Disease?

Simply put, periodontal disease is a severe form of gum disease. Patients experience gum tissue pulling away from their teeth — forming pockets where bacteria can build and create infections. They also may experience other related health complications.

Illnesses Linked With Periodontal Disease

How does periodontal disease affect the rest of the body? Consider the following facts:

  • Bacteria from tooth plaque can lead to pneumonia and respiratory illness.
  • Periodontal disease has been linked with heart disease and diabetes.
  • Periodontitis spreads faster in people with obesity.
  • Periodontal disease was an issue for 67 percent of pancreatic cancer patients in one study.
  • Oral health problems can increase the pain of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Pregnant women with periodontal disease can have higher risks for pre-term births or babies with low birth weights.

When it comes to your mouth and body, there’s an undeniable health connection between the two. That’s why, the sooner you treat periodontal disease, the better. Achieving healthy teeth and gums is a way to work toward a healthy body overall. Interested in learning more? To get a better picture of the connection between overall health and what’s happening in your teeth and gums, check out the helpful infographic posted here!

Author bio: Teresa Tuttle is Marketing Director for Grove Dental Associates, a multi-specialty group dental practice in Chicago’s western suburbs. With more than 30 doctors and 50 years of practice experience, Grove Dental Associates’ offices stay on the cutting edge of dentistry to better serve patients. 

Please note that publication of guest posts does not imply endorsement.


Guest Post: Mending Your Muscles as You Sleep

Sleep helps with muscle repair

Sleep helps with muscle repair

People often say their muscles are “tired” after a long workout. While that’s an oversimplification of a complex process, the truth is that sleeping does aid in muscle recovery. If your muscles (and the rest of you) are sleep-deprived, your muscles recover slowly from use and injury. Getting adequate rest may even help you avoid muscle damage in the first place. Sleeping at least seven hours per night is essential to improving your body and overall wellbeing.

The Science of Muscle Recovery

Muscles use different chemicals to heal themselves, and some of these chemicals are only released during the deepest stages of sleep. Growth Factor-1 aids in regenerating tissues, but it’s only released during sleep. A study also hypothesized that the pathways that convert protein to muscle are less active if you’re sleep-deprived. Rebuilding normal wear and tear on your muscles does require a full night’s sleep.

Recovering from Injuries

If you’ve injured your back or leg, you know that these injuries can take a long time to heal. However, sleeping at least seven hours per night may help the recovery process. A study on rats showed that they were less able to recover from muscle injuries when they had been deprived of sleep. Since some of the healing is done while you sleep, it makes sense that you don’t heal as fast if you’re not resting adequately.

Napping to Avoid Injury

Getting enough sleep may also help you avoid injury in the first place. A study that analyzed preschool-aged children noted that the number of accidental falls increased when the kids got less than eight hours of sleep at night. Napping may help. Although naps don’t often reach the deep levels of sleep that you get at night, they still may aid in reducing the risk of accidents.

Steps for Improving Your Sleep

Help your body recover from both injury and daily use by improving your sleep habits and sleeping environment.

Consider setting yourself a bedtime. Although many people believe that bedtimes are for kids, having a reliable schedule for getting to sleep benefits people of all ages. Going to bed at the same time each night helps align your circadian rhythm, an internal “clock” that controls many different processes in your body. This biological clock starts to recognize when you are supposed to get tired and releases melatonin, a sleep hormone. It also may be easier to get up in the morning if you get enough sleep each night.

Develop a routine before going to sleep. Like the regular bedtime, a consistent pattern before bed will help signal your brain that it’s time to sleep. A warm bath and reading a book are calming activities to include. However, reading the news on your favorite electronic device may not be a good choice. The blue wavelength light emitted from electronic devices may suppress melatonin release for hours. Turn off devices at least an hour before bed to start feeling sleepy when it’s appropriate.

Another way to sleep better is to minimize distractions in the bedroom. Light can be disruptive to sleep. Blackout curtains can be used to block out nighttime light pollution for those that live in cities. Some people are more sensitive to sounds. While a new innerspring mattress shouldn’t make any disruptive sounds, if you’re noticing squeaking or creaking when you turn over at night, check your mattress and bedframe and consider replacing the noisy culprit with a newer model. A white noise machine or phone app is also a cheap way to diminish the intrusiveness of sounds. Try not to let any light, noise or other distraction interfere with getting the rest you need.

If you take steps to improve your sleep habits, you may see a reduction in muscle soreness. Sleeping helps you to recover from injury and muscle use. It’s a central part of a healthy lifestyle.

Amy Highland is a sleep expert at SleepHelp.org. She loves taking naps during thunderstorms and cuddling up with a blanket, book, and cats.  

Please note that publication of guest posts does not imply endorsement.

Guest Post: 6 Skin-Detoxing Herbs That Can Heal Your Acne Naturally

Acne on chin

Source: pixabay.com

Who doesn’t want to heal their acne and skin diseases naturally? And I have found that natural remedies tend to work way better than all the expensive skincare products we find in beauty shops. Today we will discuss the benefits of six such herbs that can help you detoxify your bloodstream and make the horrible acne go away forever!

Herbs on a piece of old wood, some in jars, some loose

Source: pixabay.com

1. Red Clover

You might not have heard the name of this magic herb before but take my word for it, this herb can fix almost all skin problems. It supports the cardiovascular tissues and blood flow in the body and when taken orally, it can help clear infections from the system pretty quickly. You can find red clover extract easily.

2. Chaste Tree Berry

This berry can also heal a lot of hormonal imbalance issue, but here the prime use of this berry is helping with clearing your acne. It is known an “amphoteric” berry, it increases progesterone and reduces the estrogens which are premenstrual acne’s prime cause. When dried, this fruit can have pepper like fragrance and taste. If you suffer from premenstrual acne, 20mg extract of chaste berry every day could help you a lot.

3. Echinacea

This is another well-known herb, and it reduces the annoying bacterium P which is the culprit behind acne, it can reverse the effects of inflammatory foods and quickly increase your body’s immunity. If you take this herb orally, you will feel like this herb is causing a slightly numbing effect on your mouth. A good way of consuming this herb is dropping a few drops of this herb’s extract in a glad of water and drinking it. You will thank me for bringing this elixir to your notice later.

4. Chlorella

Does the name sound like an algae species? Well, this herb resembles it a great deal. It is a sea plant, and right now, it is showing up in a variety of smoothies and food supplements as well. This sea herb has all nine amino acids in it, plus it is loaded with other elements like magnesium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. It is recommended that you start consuming low dosages of this herb and then gradually increase the amount. I’m sure it will help you clear your skin by detoxifying your body.

5. Red Sage

You must have heard how sage is a very dear herb to the lady who sang Scarborough Fair; this herb has been around for ages and has numerous benefits. But red sage, in particular, has healing properties when it comes to battling the problem of acne. Start by taking small amounts because it might have side effects.

6. Dandelions

This last herb is my favorite. It has healing and strengthening properties no matter what part of it is used: stems, leaves or flowers. The high amounts of anti-oxidants present in this plant help with renewing the skin.

Author bio:
Sania is a student of accounts and finance. She enjoys shopping, trying out skincare remedies and blogging about anything that is related to beauty and self-care. Her love for pets, tea and travelling is eternal. She has published a post on the facemasks for acne at the smart women blog.

Please note that publication of guest posts does not imply endorsement.


Guest Post: How Technology is Helping to Tackle Eczema Triggers

Eczema on a child

Eczema on a child

Technology has its own significance when it comes to the health tech industry. The new era of technology aims at advancing the modern practice of scientific medicine and patient care, thereby, striving to resolve most complex healthcare challenges. A significant growth in the doctor-patient relationship in the past 10 years has been a result of the introduction of digital medicine.

The Term – Digital Medicine

An estimated 50% of adults in the US are diagnosed with one or more chronic ailments such as diabetes, heart and lung diseases that are the cause of seven out of 10 deaths. Statistics reveal that health-care accounts for 86% of the total costs in the US. It is essential to seek medical advice and follow recommended self-management regimens to treat these health conditions. However, often brief doctor visits, overwhelming self-care demands fail to be beneficiary for the patient and they end up in worsening their conditions.

This is where the role of digital medicine becomes prominent and necessary. Digital health is the utilization of the digital technologies to drive a change in the health, healthcare for better living, more productive lives and improved society. Hospitals and doctors suggest that certain digital tools or health apps are empowering the patients to better track, manage, and improve their lives.

These apps are also helping to minimize the inefficiencies in the healthcare system, improve the doctor-patient access, reduce costs, increase quality, and make medicine more personalized and precise.

Benefits of the Digitally Powered Health Apps

Digital medicine being a convergence of remote monitoring, behavior modification and personalized intervention can help manage symptoms in some of the most chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease. This has resulted in an increased number of healthcare systems and hospitals preferring digital apps that have undergone clinical trials and can be adopted on a large scale at an economical cost simply through the use of smartphones, wireless devices, and sensors.

These health applications are an assurance for the patients that they can manage their health.

In addition to boosting a patient’s confidence, these digital programs are a medium for the doctors to acquire information related to the patients’ symptoms, behavior, habits and know when the regimens aren’t being followed or intervene during the time of flare-ups.

These innovations also help the care teams to consistently motivate, support the patients to change their lifestyle and follow a routine that includes exercising, taking medications or similar to get a complete hold on their disease.

These medical apps help people monitor and manage their condition at home, thereby, reducing the need to visit the specialist more often.

Eczema Tracker App

Eczema is a common skin condition affecting approximately 30 million Americans, including children and adults. Although no definite cause has been determined till date for the occurrence of eczema, it is commonly linked to family history of asthma, hay fever, eczema, allergies and environmental factors. Food and medicine allergies, pet dander, environmental factors, such as pollen, humidity, temperature alterations, molds are common factors that cause eczema flare-ups.

While the ailment can’t be cured, it can be managed by avoiding the triggers that aggravate the symptoms of eczema. It often becomes tough to keep a record of these triggers. This where a relevant mobile app can take hold of your condition.

Eczema Tracker by Redblink Inc. is the most appropriate app that will help you track the triggers, manage the medicine usage, record the flare-up intensity, provides informational blogs and tips to control eczema in a systematic way.

About the App

It helps track outside environmental conditions, including the weather, temperature, pollen count, UV index, the mold for a particular location and the specific date. You can keep a record of your varied triggers such as environmental, food and health-related that result in flare-ups.

You can keep a note of your medication lists

Graphical data to present your flare-up intensity and medication usage for the specific day.

Tips, advice and New & Updates section to provide more information about eczema, its symptoms, triggers, and remedies.

Conclusion

The introduction of this new technology may initially take some time for complete implementation but according to the pace it is growing, soon it will take over the health industry in a positive manner. It will definitely change the outlook and approach of care teams, doctors, while, the patients will feel more connected and experience better care opportunities than before.

Author Bio:

Hi, I’m Nav. For the past few years, I have been an avid learner in the field of eczema and its care. My knowledge in the area developed as a result of my son’s eczema condition. Despite being born as a healthy boy, he was affected with the skin condition when he was merely 6 months old. I adopted several measures, precautions, allergy free dietary habits and treatment plans to help manage my son’s eczema symptoms. My struggle alongside my son, resulted in the development of my blog website Eczema Living.

Please note that publication of guest posts does not imply endorsement.


Guest Post: Health benefits of … gaming!

Most people these days are more health conscious. We know that certain foods are healthy. We have an idea of what kinds of vitamin and minerals we need to consume more of. Exercise has become a part of many people’s daily routine, and some of us are even practicing healthy hobbies like mindfulness. However, few people are aware that gaming can be healthy, particularly for your cognitive health.

Empirical evidence has shown that gaming can strengthen certain areas of our brain. For example, the areas that are in charge of spatial awareness are strengthened by gaming, as are your planning skills, your memory, and other cognitive skills. Likewise, it has been shown that gaming can help you to recuperate after trauma. Research showed that those who had been in an accident, or who had recently had surgery, were quicker to recover if they played video games. This shows us that, though we are much more knowledgeable about how to live a healthy life nowadays, there are some things that can take us by surprise.

If you are quite healthy, and you eat well, watch what you put into your body, and you try and exercise and look after your body and your mind, then carry on doing what you are doing. As well as this, though, dust off your games console, plug in and play!

For more info about the possible health benefits of gaming, check out the infographic below from Computer Planet.

Health benefits of gaming
Please note that publication of guest posts does not imply endorsement.


Goat Willow (or Pussy Willow) health benefits: the original aspirin

Male goat willow plants bear the familiar pussy willow catkins in Spring

Male goat willow plants bear the familiar pussy willow catkins in Spring

Goat willow, Salix caprea, is sometimes also called French willow, great sallow, Kilmarnock willow, or vetasa in ayurvedic medicine. Gardeners are likely to call it pussy willow because of the furry catkins produced on male plants in Spring and beloved by children.

It is a native of virtually the whole of temperate Asia and Europe. There is a similar looking plant, American pussy willow, S. discolor, which is native to North America, broadly used for the same ailments by the native Americans, and nowadays by herbalists.

Description

Female goat willow flowers are not as attractive as the male ones

Female goat willow flowers are not as attractive as the male ones

Goat willow is a large deciduous shrub or small tree which can reach a height of 10m (30′) and needs a lot of space. Smaller cultivars are readily available from nurseries, some small enough to be grown in pots.

Although it is a true willow, goat willow has regular leaf-shaped leaves, rather than the straplike ones borne by most of the genus. It is a great bee plant and is used for the production of honey in parts of the USA.

Goat willow is dioecious (has male and female flowers on separate plants), but the seeds are rarely used, so unless you need to produce seeds you can get away with having just one plant.

Cultivation and harvest

Seed is very small and needs to be sown on bare soil or it will not germinate.

Like other willows, goat willow prefers damp or moist soil of any kind (except over chalk) and is not fussy about acidity. It will not grow in full shade, but tolerates both maritime exposure and atmospheric pollution.

If you are buying a plant to produce the pussy willow catkins, be careful to pick a male plant (ask the nursery staff how to find one), as the ones on female plants are not so attractive.

Edible uses

Inner bark and young shoots are edible raw or cooked, but very bitter and really only suitable as famine food.

Medicinal uses

If you don't choose a dwarf cultivar, you can quickly end up with quite a big tree.

If you don’t choose a dwarf cultivar, you can quickly end up with quite a big tree.

Although it contains a substance similar to commercial aspirin, goat willow bark cannot be used as an anti-coagulant to prevent stroke etc.

Goat willow bark lowers temperature, is anti-oxidant, antirheumatic and analgesic. It is anti-mutagenic, ie. it helps prevent permanent changes in the DNA caused by mutagens (eg. radiation and certain chemicals). Because many types of cancer are caused by mutagens, this means that goat willow helps to prevent cancer.

In ayurveda, vetasa is used to treat painful arthritis and to lower high temperatures, as a weight loss supplement and appetite suppressant. It is also used as a prophylactic and treatment for cancer.

Goat willow bark has been chewed since medieval times to treat pain from headache and toothache. If you prefer, you can make a decoction from the bark using 15g (a half ounce) of chopped bark in a small enamel, glass or ceramic pan. Add 500ml (2 US cups, 16 fl oz) cold water and bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain before use. You can take up to 250ml (1 US cup) a day of this decoction, split into 3 doses.

The decoction can also be used for diarrhea, to treat arthritis and increase joint mobility by reducing inflammation and as a gargle for sore throat.

It is used externally to stop bleeding, to clean wounds and as a remedy for minor skin inflammations, injuries, and aches.

Goat willow tea is made by adding half a teaspoon of powdered bark to a cup of cold water in a ceramic, glass or enamel pan, heating to boiling point and then turning off the heat and allowing to brew for five minutes before straining. You can take up to 3-4 cups of this a day. It is used as a remedy for headache, high temperature, digestive disorders and minor rheumatic pain.

Goat willow vinegar, made by soaking bark in vinegar, can be used as a treatment for warts.

Other uses

It is fast growing and useful as a windbreak and/or shelter belt because it coppices well and is tolerant of pollution and maritime exposure. It’s also sometimes used for pioneer planting, though it is rather hungry.

The wood is good for making baskets and rugs, as it is flexible and tough. Unwanted wood can be burnt to make good quality charcoal.

The bark can be used as a leather substitute. Tannin extracted from the bark is used for tanning leather.

In Sweden the bark has been used as a black dye for wool and linen.

Contra-indications and warnings

Do not use if you are allergic to aspirin or salicylates, or if you are currently taking medicine that contains acetylsalicylic acid.

Consult a doctor before taking goat willow if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Aromatherapy

Goat willow is not used in aromatherapy.

Final Notes

Even if you don’t want to make your own goat willow preparations, it’s worth finding a space for a small pussy willow in your garden, if only for the sight of kids’ faces when its catkins are out. If you are going to use it in herbal medicine, bear in mind that the bark forms part of the vascular system of the plant, don’t cut all the way round your you will kill the tree, and use organic growing methods to avoid funky chemicals in your remedy.


Guest Post – Chamomile: The Perfect Herbal Tea?

The type of chamomile usually used for tea is Roman chamomile

The type of chamomile usually used for tea is Roman chamomile

Chamomile tea has a reputation as being beneficial for the body. But does this herbal tea really deserve all the hype? This article will give you an overview of this perfect herbal tea.

History

The word Chamomile was originated from the Greek word chamaimēlon, which means “ground apple” in English. Its medicinal history dates back to the periods of the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians who prepared it in the infusion form, hence the name “tea”, despite not having Camellia sinensis tea leaves. Because of this, chamomile tea is also considered as a tisane.

The Ancient Romans used chamomile to create flavor drinks, medicinal herb, and even incense. In Spain, chamomile flower is known as “Manzanilla,” which like chamaimēlon, also translate to “little apple.” It was popularly used to add flavor to a light sherry that also goes by the same name. The Norsemen used it to wash their hair. It was believed to make hair shinier.

During the Medieval times, chamomile petals were scattered at gatherings as it brings good odors. According to monks discovered, there is a double-headed chamomile flower in every 10,000 chamomile plants. These double-headed plants had a milder flavor, even though the seeds were sterile, they were refined to use as a medicinal herb and as a tisane.

Did you know that what’s today known as Roman Chamomile wasn’t really cultivated by the Romans? In fact, it was discovered in the Coliseum growing wildly by an English Botanist. He brought the chamomile back with him to England where it has become one of the main types of chamomile now cultivated in the country. Similarly, Chamomile isn’t also native to the Americas but was brought and cultivated by colonists. Eventually, chamomile seeds spread and grew wild in different parts of the world.

Characteristics

What you have to know about chamomile is that it contains great amounts of magnesium and calcium. Calcium is used in many health conditions, one of its uses its ability to help prevent muscle cramps. Magnesium, on the other hand, is known to be a stress reliever, which definitely is something many people can take advantage of these days. Together with a high amount of these essential minerals, chamomile also contains good amounts of phosphorus, potassium, as well as manganese. Iron, zinc, and selenium are also found in chamomile. All things considered, this is a great herbal tea that ideal for regular consumption.

Main Benefits

By now, you should have an idea of how you can use chamomile tea for your benefits, but what can it really do for you?

Medicinal

Chamomile tea has a lot of health benefits! Chamomile is antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antioxidant. It eases stomach ache, colds, irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, muscle spasms, menstrual cramps, back pain, migraines, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, toothaches, sinus infections, insomnia, and a lot more!

Chamomile tea has a high level of quertin, which is a phytochemical that adds color to vegetables and fruits. It combats damage produced by free radicals. Glycine, which is an amino acid of chamomile, maintains a good nervous system.

With a dash of lemongrass, chamomile tea could easily calm the nerves and relieve stress and tension. Because chamomile tea doesn’t contain caffeine, unlike most teas, drinking it is also a great way to beat insomnia.

Chamomile is also known to be the “go to” herbs for those who suffer from digestive disorders like ulcers, upset stomach, gas, and diarrhea. It relaxes muscle contractions, mainly in the smooth muscles in the intestines. In a Swiss journal study, it is said that the herbal blend of chamomile, peppermint, and iberis were revealed to be effective in treating stomach indigestion, inflammation, and irritation.

Skin Care

Chamomile is used to speed the recovery time of wounds, lessens the production of fine lines and wrinkles, makes skin tone brighter, soothes burns and skin irritations, reduces under eyes dark circles, puffiness, and swelling, and keeps it hydrated.

It contains very effective healing, antioxidant, and purifying properties that are proven to help reduce the production of acne and acne scar.

Hair Care

Chamomile is normally used as an ingredient for treating blond hair [Brunettes should use rosemary. ed]. Rinsing your hair with chamomile can make it brighter and lighter. With continuous use, you can add golden highlights to darker hair. That’s why it’s no surprise how many shampoos on the market today add this as one of their main ingredients. On top of making your hair prettier, it also strengthens it and repairs split ends. It also helps to keep a balance between oily and dry scalp.

Caution

Aside from being delicious, there are many other reasons as to why many people chose to drink this herbal tea. And now, you know what those reasons are. However, if you happen to have a strong allergy reaction to plants like ragweed or daisies, you must start with a small amount of chamomile of any form. Even though the side effects are almost nonexistent, it’s still smart to consult with a health expert before using chamomile tea as a health supplement.

David is a blogger at HealthisKing. He has a passion for living healthy through all natural means possible to get the maximum out of his body and teach others along the way.

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