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About L Kimberly Smith

  • Member Since: October 3, 2016


A native Philly girl, Kimm is the epitome of what it means to embrace change and transformation. An escapee from the corporate world of telecommunications; Kimm took quite a few leaps of faith and set off on a journey that still has her traveling today. From certified wine educator to sales and marketing diva for high-end cosmetic and jewelry companies; she loves and is challenged by change and learning new aspects of herself. Now a freelance writer/ghost blogger/professional blogger, artist, and spiritual coach with a focus on helping women to gracefully move through fear and sudden change;Kimm works with crystals, stones, and coaching sessions to help women create lives that sparkles.

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5 Natural Ways to Detox the Body

Health News October 3, 2016

Detox diets have been popular for over two decades. Though people have always found various ways to cleanse the body and particularly the intestinal area, with such things as, plants and herbs, within the last couple of decades, the detox drinks and diet plans are everywhere. Many of these products and programs are highly expensive or simply too much of a physical challenge for many people to take on.

Before we begin talking about some of the most natural ways to detox the body without the big price tag or 90-day challenge, let us share some research on whether or not detoxing is necessary.

In a highly stressful world where we are bombarded daily with distressing news, random violence reports and terrorist attacks around the globe, our built-in coping mechanisms, the adrenal glands, can take its share of abuse. When the adrenal glands become too weakened to help you cope with everyday stresses, this is called adrenal fatigue. Detoxing will assist in ridding the body of those toxins, that sugar, caffeine, and that five pm cocktail can produce.

If you are considering purchasing a detox drink or committing yourself to a 1-month to 90 day detox diet, you should take the time to do your research so that you know you are actually detoxing in the healthiest way possible.

Here are 5 natural ways to rid your body of toxins and restore your adrenal health


Matcha Tea: The word “matcha” is becoming pretty popular these days. Matcha teas and Matcha powders for mixing your own drinks or smoothies are showing up on social media sites like Instagram and Twitter every few minutes. But what is Matcha and is it a healthy way to detox?

Matcha is a natural green tea powder that originates in Japan. During the last few weeks before harvesting, the Matcha tea leaves are shaded from the sun. This process increases the chlorophyll content within the dried tea leaves before the leaves are ground into the light green powder we are accustomed to seeing. Matcha is more potent than most other green teas, because the whole leaf is being consumed and nothing has been drained out of the leaf.

Since Matcha has a high chlorophyll content, preliminary research has found that Matcha may help to release some of the heavy toxic build-up within the body. Though not all researchers are yet on-board with these findings, there are already many doctors recommending Matcha for body detox.


Eating the Right Foods: It seems the mystery of health and healthy weight loss always goes back to eating the right foods. Eating the correct amounts of fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to detox the body. Bypassing fast food and processed items is a super great start to switching over to a proper eating plan. If you have access to organic produce, this should be your first choice when it comes to the fruit and vegetables you consume. We have, rightfully so, been hearing a lot about GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods and pesticides, if you change nothing else, begin by avoiding these foods altogether.

A photo by Aidan Meyer. unsplash.com/photos/nvj-PDU98WU

Drinking More Water: Just as mother told you, water is still one of the healthiest ways to detox the body, give you more energy, and jumpstart weight loss. Water is best for detoxing when it is filtered, however, any water is better than none. Adding the standard eight glasses of water a day to your diet and making a commitment to it, will help get rid of toxins, control the appetite, and increase your energy levels.

The body requires water to healthily perform its basic functions on a daily basis. For many people, water is tasteless and they are not encouraged to drink enough. By adding fruit and/ veggies such as cucumber, to your container of water, makes it much more appetizing and you’ll find yourself drinking more.


Juice Fasting: I know you may be thinking that we’ve already warned against these very expensive programs and products, however, we are speaking here about a true natural juice fast. Juicing fresh organic fruits and vegetables for yourself. This is the only way you will truly know what is in your juice each day. You can also choose your favorite combination of fruits and vegetables as you experiment.

Since there are many fruits that are acidic, fresh ginger will help to balance the body’s acidity, flush out your system, while the fruit and veggies will be increasing the amount of vitamins and nutrients in the body. Avoid supermarket juice as they will most likely be filled with sugar and preservatives.


Sleep: We always hear busy people say things such as, “I will sleep when I’m dead”, but ultimately this is the worst idea when it comes to restoring or maintaining good health. During sleep our body goes through a deep cleansing process. For detoxification we should commit to seven to nine hours of restful continuous sleep every night. Our detoxification organs require that many hours in order to work properly.

It is good to prepare for sleep. Electronics should be turned off and ideally the room should be dark. Enjoy all of you reading, television time, and music about an hour before you want to fall asleep, because the body and mind require time to wind down and get into sleep mode.

Committing to an overall healthy lifestyle, with moderate exercise, plenty of water and good nutrient packed foods, is the most natural form of detox there is. Get into the habit of enjoying a full night’s sleep without being plugged in, so that your body can do what it naturally does when everything is in balance, such as diet and rest.

References: Natural Society: 7 Methods to Detox the BodyWellness Mama: Matcha Green Tea BenefitsMatcha Source: Health Benefits of Matcha. Photo Credit: Unsplash Free Commons 

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CDC confirms lemon eucalyptus oil as effective as DEET

Natural Medicine October 3, 2016


More than likely, if you start a conversation with most people about the insect repellent DEET, you will end up with a negative response. People who have used DEET say that it actually works, and if you have ever been camping or simply at a summer BBQ, you know how bad it feels to be a meal for vicious mosquitoes. Mosquitoes will not give up and the presence of food makes the situation worse. However, products like DEET are so filled with toxins that many researchers and physicians say that it’s just not safe to put on our skin. So, if DEET and other mosquito repellents that are made with the same dangerous toxins aren’t safe to use, then what can we carry with us that is equally effective during our outdoor activities?

If you ask the CDC these days (Centers for Disease Control), they will say, “lemon eucalyptus oil”. Difficult to believe? Maybe so, but the research on natural tree and plant oils have been going on for decades now and many naturalist theories have now been confirmed. The CDC reports that lemon eucalyptus oil has been found, through testing on mosquitoes in the United States, to be just as effective as repellents with low amounts of DEET. The oil is also much more comfortable on the skin than DEET products, as DEET can feel heavy and sticky for hours after application. The studies were performed by two publications whose expertise and major focus is science.  It is the actual oil extracted from the lemon eucalyptus plant that acts as the natural mosquito repellent and this lemon eucalyptus oil is not only registered with the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), but is now the only other repellent recommended by the CDC and EPA approved.

Why choose lemon Eucalyptus oil over an effective product such as DEET?

Many consumers will say that they know about the toxins in DEET, but what exactly are the dangers to the body? Studies on lab animals show that the toxins in DEET can affect the central nervous system. Lab rats exposed to the same amounts of DEET that a human would use during application, experienced a serious lack of muscle coordination and the fact that DEET has also been used on children is an even deeper concern. According to the CDC, you can tell if a child’s nervous system is being affected by the use of DEET because there are certain common symptoms they’ll display. Reports show that children affected by DEET report headaches, tremors, involuntary muscle movements, and seizures. However, the CDC does not have information on how much DEET was used on each child and at what point that variation would matter.


For many families who have been living more naturally for decades for the health of their children, it is confirmation that nature itself does hold many of its own remedies and cures for common health problems, concerns, and nuisances such as bug bites. Though many natural remedies often include a list of ingredients, some unknown to those who are not studied in this area, oils are becoming more familiar to the average person simply by reading the deluge of articles on the internet and floating around on social media. A natural remedy, such as lemon eucalyptus oil is far less intimidating than a natural recipe with six or seven different herbs. Therefore this CDC confirmation will make it easier for families and organizations that use DEET to replace it with this healthier and easily available alternative.

How is lemon eucalyptus oil applied for best results?

As a plant-based natural repellent, lemon eucalyptus oil can be diluted with water in a spray bottle and applied to the skin in that manner. A few drops of any natural oil is highly effective and can be diluted for longer use. You can also use a natural sunscreen product with a few drops of lemon eucalyptus oil to be rubbed onto the arms, legs, and feet. Rubbing any oil or natural plant or tree oil on the face is not recommended. Many people are sensitive to oils and the skin on the face is a most sensitive area.

There are many other ways to protect yourself from mosquitoes and if you can combine a few of them, that would be the best option:

  • If it is cool enough or you’re going out at night, cover up as much as possible with longer sleeves, long pants, a long skirt, etc.
  • Bring your chosen mosquito repellent with you on your outing in case you need to reapply.
  • Most varieties of mosquitoes will bite from dawn to dusk, so if you can, stay inside. The Nile Virus, Malaria, and Japanese vector mosquitoes tend to bite at night, so if you have heard reports that they are in your area, beware. Late afternoon to early evening hours, for example 3pm-6pm is the optimum time to be outdoors if you’re not sure what type of mosquitoes are in your neck of the woods.
  • You can also pre-treat your clothing with a natural repellent after you treat the naked skin. If you get dressed and find you have forgotten to apply your repellent, spray or rub your repellent on the exposed skin.

Just as with any new product you try, use a small amount of lemon eucalyptus on your skin to make sure that you don’t experience any bad reactions before applying it over the entire body. Do your own research on natural products as you would with any standard commercial product to make sure it is right for you. Visit the CDC and EPA websites for new and updated information on insect and mosquito repellents and all products that may concern you. The health of our family and ourselves requires being proactive.

Sources: Protection Against Mosquitoes, Ticks, and other AnthropodsCDC Confirms lemon eucalyptus oil as effective as DEETThe Dangers of Deet

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Gut Health: One of the Most Simple and Delicious Ways to Achieve It

Food and Eating September 29, 2016

Did you know that many of the foods we eat every day are the products of fermentation? This type of fermentation is not quite like your favorite microbrew, but it isn’t completely unlike it either. This list of everyday common foods and beverages that are fermented is pretty extensive, but here are a few that may surprise you, unless you are a part of the latest growing food and cooking culture called Wild Fermenters. The term, “wild fermentation” is credited to author and self-titled Fermentation Revivalist, Sandor Katz.

How do I know if my gut needs healing?

This is unfortunately an easy question to answer because so many people are suffering from an imbalance of the good and bad bacteria in the gut. Some of the symptoms of poor gut health are diarrhea, constipation, excessive passing of gas/flatulence, and even halitosis, more commonly known as bad breath. Lactic acid fermented foods are a way to bring back the balance of bacteria to your gut. There is a dangerous misunderstanding that all bacteria are bad. This is nowhere near the truth. We need certain good bacteria, such as bacteria called beneficial microflora, to be able to live with a happy and healthy stomach.

Here is an everyday food and beverage list that are products of a process called lactic acid fermentation:










And the list goes on…

According to fermentation expert Sandor Katz, just about everything we eat can be fermented, and to learn how to do so, will better your health by increasing and/or replacing the good bacteria in your gut that can be destroyed by such things, as antibiotics.

Gut Health One of the Most Simple and Delicious Ways to Achieve It

When we hear the words, “wild fermentation”, it sounds like a complex process, when it fact, fermenting fresh vegetables is one of the simplest ways to create truly delicious and healthy foods. Wild Fermentation begins with the ability to try something new that will develop into very familiar and comforting flavors. The supply list is short, the recipe is super easy, and a bit of imagination can actually be a huge help.

Supply List:

You can use your choice of Mason or Mason type jars/ old pickle jars in the fridge, a crock with or without a lid. Crocks can be covered with a clean kitchen cloth.

Gut Health One of the Most Simple and Delicious Ways to Achieve It

Your favorite fresh vegetables are great for beginners. At least you know that these will develop flavors you will enjoy. As you become more confident and experimental, you can wild ferment any vegetables, maybe even ones you hesitated to try before learning this process.

You will need Kosher or your favorite brand of sea salt.

You can also add your favorite fresh herbs and peppers to the mix, such as jalapenos or sweet bell peppers. This is where the imagination part comes into play.

Clean and sterilize your containers with very hot or boiling water. The most important thing you need to know for starters, is that you are making a simple brine, which is water and salt. You should also be aware that the “bad” bacteria, for example, candida, will not be able to grow and thrive in the wild fermentation environment. As long as you leave your vegetables under the salt brine for at least two weeks without constantly checking them and exposing them to the air, you will be fine. As a matter of fact, if you check your fermentation pots or jars and see a moldy substance on the top, as long the food is still submerged underneath the salt brine, you can just scrape the mold off, cover, and continue. There will be nothing whatsoever harmful about eating the vegetables.

After giving you the reassurance that it is almost impossible to mess up the fermentation process, let us backtrack a bit and explain how you ready the vegetables for the brine. Naturally watery vegetables, such as cabbage and lettuce, will create their own liquid portion of the brine by being massaged in a bowl until they begin to release their own water. Once the vegetables are softened and sitting in their own water, you should then begin to take a handful at a time and literally stuff the cabbage and/or lettuce or other leafy vegetable, into the jar or crock. Using your hands or a wooden spoon, continue pressing down the vegetables removing the chance of air circulating through your food product. Continue to add handfuls of the vegetables, their water, and approximately 1-2 tbsps of salt into your chosen container. There can be room left at the top, but the key is to make certain that your vegetables are completely submerged in the brine. Sit your container in a dark and cool area. Remember, that sun and heat will speed up the fermenting and that is not what we are looking for with this particular fermentation process.

*Note: For vegetables that are less watery, simply add filtered water to cover, along with your Kosher or sea salt, of course.

You can begin checking and tasting your ferments at approximately the two-week mark. There is no strong hard rule as to when fermentation is complete. It is up to your taste buds as to whether or not your fermenting is done and ready to eat. If your taste buds say “yes”, place your container in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation and enjoy.

Spice up your meals by adding your fermented vegetables to your stir-frys, salads, as a condiment on your burger, rice bowls, or as a vegetarian sandwich. The object is to make your meals tastier and more interesting while giving your gut one of the best forms of natural probiotic medicine that is easily and economically available to everyone.

By L Kimberly Smith

References: Dr David Williams, Eating Well, Boundless, Wild Fermentation

Photos by: mogreenjuice.com and Unsplash

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The Secrets Behind Avocado’s Super Powers

Food and Eating September 29, 2016

What makes a large berry so popular with just about everyone who has ever had a taste? Yes, the avocado, oddly enough, is in the berry family. It is a green rough-skinned fruit with a large pit, that has made its way into everything these days, from dips, salads, vinaigrettes, and commercial mayonnaise products, to face masks and even chocolate desserts.

The avocado is a health superhero that is having its day in the sun and for great reasons. It is one of the most health promoting foods that can be added to your diet and is also quite delicious. The avocado is best known for its starring role in guacamole and various other Mexican style dips and nacho dishes. However, if you are not into Mexican or Tex-Mex cuisine, there are endless ways to include the avocado into your breakfast, lunch, and dinner plans.

What are the benefits of eating more avocado?


Avocados are jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients, besides being loaded with the healthy fats called monounsaturated fats, the kind that come from vegetables, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. By simply chopping up one medium-sized avocado into your breakfast smoothie, your body will benefit from receiving at least twenty vitamins and minerals in one meal, including lutein, potassium, and folate. A large portion of the Western world suffers from hypertension, otherwise known, as high blood pressure, which potassium helps to control. High Blood Pressure is called “the silent killer” because it does not always show up as noticeable symptoms. If you are already diagnosed, and are on medication, continue to consult with your physician about what is best for you when it comes to this frightening disease. The dietary addition of avocado to your weekly meals has been proven to be a major help in lowering blood pressure, particularly when combined with a nutrition-filled eating plan along with proper exercise and weight control.


Though most people have heard of potassium, lutein may be a new word of which many are unaware. Lutein is a very powerful antioxidant found in avocados that protects the eyes from many forms of ultraviolet rays produced by the sun. For those who are over forty years of age, getting enough lutein in the diet is vital to enjoying good eyesight into your later years, particularly night vision and the ability to see well in dim lighting. So you can see how important avocados can be throughout the natural aging process.


If you’ve ever been pregnant, you have definitely heard of the benefits of folate in the diet. Folate helps to decrease the risk of serious birth defects of the brain and spine of the fetus. Whether you are currently pregnant or planning a future pregnancy, the consumption of folate is vital to a healthy pregnancy and the delivery of a healthy baby. For all others, folate assists the body in cellular repair.


Now that we know why eating avocados is worth their weight in gold, how do we creatively and simply add this amazing superpower of a fruit to our meals?

As mentioned above, a morning green smoothie is a quick and easy way to enjoy avocados. A recipe as simple as honey, ice, almond, soy, or coconut milk, blended with one ripe, pitted, and peeled avocado, will help you to begin the day with a glass full of wonderfully beneficial nutrients. Lunch can be as easy as an avocado and tomato sandwich, avocado spread on whole grain toast with a boiled egg, or salad greens tossed with an avocado vinaigrette.

Pan seared or grilled avocados alongside a lean meat or a veggie packed salad is a deliciously light and healthy dinner idea. Combining avocado with your favorite version of egg salad or a chicken salad sandwich is rich and decadent in taste, while being tremendously healthy and filling. Top off a vegetarian chilli with slices of avocados or go easy during the workweek and make a salad with whatever you have in the fridge and toss in an avocado for extra flavor, vitamins and minerals.

Healthy can be fun and tasty at the same time. There are many colorful foods that are a great addition to a healthy and whole foods way of eating, and avocados should be at the top of that list.

By L Kimberly Smith

References: Web MD, Baby Center, All Recipes, Cooking Light, Go Ask Alice, The Healthy Maven

Photos courtesy of Unsplash

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Autumn Spices are Delicious But Can They Also Keep You Healthy

Food and Eating September 28, 2016

On the Northern Hemisphere, many people are breathing a sigh of relief after long scorching hot summers. Though so many of us who grew up in wintry places, remember craving the summer sun, the heat of summer can also be quite draining on our physical and mental energies.

So how do we begin to to get ourselves energized again?

Now that it is officially Autumn, our appetites are changing faster than the temperatures. In many areas of the world the heat is still on, but most minds have shifted to Autumn flavors, like apple pie, pumpkin lattes, root vegetable stews and homemade soups and casseroles. There are some spices that bring the Autumn season alive in our recipes whether savory or sweet. Ginger, cinnamon, and clove, are not just deliciously wonderful in our seasonal dishes, but they can also be great for helping to maintain our good health.


Ginger is extremely versatile in its many forms, from fresh to ground powder. Like many Autumn ingredients, ginger is used in desserts, stir-frys, fresh vegetables, and seafood dishes. Besides its very distinctive and often spicy flavor, the health benefits of ginger have been officially researched and scientist supported.


We can thank China for ginger. This country gets all of the credit for introducing the world to this super flavorful and nutrient-packed food. Ginger is packed with a substance called Gingerol which acts as a the superhero of natural medicinals.

One of the greatest benefits you can receive from ginger and Gingerol, is the healthy effects it has on the brain. Increasing memory and helping to stave off the effects of Dementia and Alzheimer’s makes ginger one of nature’s ultimate brain foods.

For all of the workout geeks, ginger root in a tea or as a snack, can help to mend sore muscles and reduce the nagging pain that can come with the exercises we practice to stay fit and strong. If you are an athlete or simply someone who loves outdoor workouts, it would serve you well to add a cup of ginger tea to your morning or evening routine.

It is wise to start at a young age caring about the condition of your heart. There are certain forms of strength training and lifelong nutrition plans that can assist you with maintaining your heart health. Ginger should be included in your weekly menus as one of those special ingredients that helps you to avoid the effects of heart disease.


Cinnamon is probably the most commonly used Autumn spice on this list. Much like ginger, cinnamon is used all over the world in a huge variety of ways. In many East Indian and Asian cuisines, cinnamon is a spice for breads, desserts, cold and hot beverages, along with savory meals containing roasts, lamb, venison, and chicken. Cinnamon tastes so good that it’s hard to believe just how amazingly great it is for your health. From coffee, chai, to holiday pies, cinnamon should remain on your Autumn and Winter shopping lists.


Since cinnamon has a natural lowering effect on blood sugar, it is the perfect ingredient combined with an otherwise healthy diet that can help ward off diabetes and help to calm the symptoms of those who suffer with Type 2 Diabetes.

Wellness Educator, Denise Baron, the Director for Ayurveda for Modern Living, states that cinnamon can help with a wide variety of lung congestion conditions. When used with other natural remedies such as, lemon, teas, and echinacea, cinnamon can be an effective remedy for seasonal colds and other bronchial issues.

With so many people, especially in the Western world, diagnosed with inflammatory diseases, one of the most common being arthritis, cinnamon acts as a natural anti-inflammatory agent. By adding cinnamon to a regular diet, the pain of arthritis along with other types of joint pain and headaches may lessen in severity or completely diminish.

A lot of women around the globe will be happy to know that a regular consumption of cinnamon can also aid and assist in alleviating painful menstruation periods and heavy bleeding, particularly in women dealing with uterine fibroids and endometriosis.


Though clove is used in many seasonal dishes, there are still people who know nothing about it or its health benefits. For nutritionists, clove is a giant when it comes to natural health remedies. Clove has all of the “anti” characteristics one would look for in a healthy spice. Clove is proven scientifically to be antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and analgesic. Clove is also packed with vitamins and minerals, so clove should be an integral part of your nutrition plan.

A very common use for clove is its ability to soothe a toothache by using clove oil on a cotton ball and placing the cotton ball on the aching tooth. Most would agree that a toothache is one of the worst pains to experience, so keep some clove oil in your kitchen cupboard or medicine cabinet.

Clove is another superhero for inflammatory pain that comes with arthritis, and other types of joint pain. This mysteriously looking spice is also good for relieving the pain of rheumatism.

‘Tis the season for the common cold and sore throat and clove fortunately has a very soothing effect on the sore throat that is generally caused by seasonal cold and flu symptoms.

This is also the season of overeating. Clove is also a great natural treatment for diarrhea, gas, nausea, and also helps to relax the lining of the GI tract, bringing relief to those who may eat the wrong thing this season or too much of the right thing.

Remember to pay close attention to your daily diet. This is the most important thing that will help to maintain good health and possibly reverse some chronic health conditions. During a season of celebration, family get-togethers, good food and cocktails, these spices will not be your cure-all, but if you add them consciously to your daily eating routine in a variety of interesting ways, they do have the proven ability to reward you with less pain and better health.

By L. Kimberly Smith

References: Authority Nutrition, WH Foods, MindBodyGreen

Photos: Unsplash Free commons

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Essential Oils: They’re Everywhere but How Much Do You Really Know About Them?

Body and Beauty September 26, 2016

Essential oil

On every social media platform and throughout the Internet, we are hearing everyone from physicians, therapists, to everyday people, tout the benefits of essential oils. Within the last couple of decades there are numerous companies, large and small, selling essential oils in various forms and grades of quality. However, the danger for consumers is that the words “essential oils” are becoming a bit like the word “Champagne”, for many people any alcoholic beverage with bubbles is a “champagne”, just as for many others, if the bottle says “essential oil”, then they automatically believe in its worth and its health benefits.

Let’s begin by breaking down exactly what essential oils are, and explain the difference between the grades and quality levels.

According to the NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy), the term “essential oil” is a breakdown of the original term, “quintessential oil”, and is considered by some ancient cultures to be the fifth element, added to earth, air, wind, and fire. This fifth element is called today by many other terms, such as, spirit, soul, chi, life force, or even breath. The era of Aristotle is credited for creating the use of “quintessence” as the force of all life. In other words, when the essence of a plant is distilled, it is similar to the distillation process of alcoholic beverages, and was therefore, considered a “spirit”, just as gin or vodka is called a spirit or spirits today.
Photo credit aboutaromatherapy.org

Now that we understand the technical and historical definition of an essential oil, what we need to ask ourselves is, are all essential oils equal?

Most people who work with or have been introduced to essential oils today, know that the answer to that question is a definite No. This is why self-education is vital to those seeking to receive the health benefits of this natural process. While some of these benefits include; better focus, gut health, (another phrase we have been hearing a lot of lately), the clearing of sinus conditions, healthy vibrant hair and skin, along with remedies for nausea, an imbalanced metabolic system, and common mental disorders, such as stress and anxiety, if these oils are combined with other substances or unknown ingredients, many or all of these benefits may be lost or even non-existent to begin with.

So how do we tell the difference between the grades and quality levels of essential oils?

Being able to tell the difference between high-quality essential oils and their basic counterparts is not that complex now that you know what essential oils are and how the oil, once extracted from the plant, is then distilled, you can start there by asking an essential oil distributor or private seller these basic questions:

What is your oil made from and how was that extracted and distilled?

Are there any other ingredients in your essential oil products? (This is not necessarily a negative. Many essential oil products such as balms, salves, fragrances, etc., have other safe, pure, and healthy ingredients combined with the essential oil).

Depending on what essential oil product you’re purchasing, the pure oil or one that is combined with, for example, fractionated coconut oil, both can be good choices. However, if you plan to use the essential oil for cooking, diffusing in your home, or placing on your skin or tongue, then your oil must be pure and Certified Therapeutic Grade or Medicinal Grade. Essential oils labeled in this manner, are the best option for the uses above. If you are only seeking the experience of a fragrance, then these high grade oils or simply Aromatherapy Grade are more than sufficient.

The safest thing for any essential oil or essential oil product consumer is to ask questions and do your own research. Knowing the basics about essential oils is a great start but reading and consulting those who are in the business, is the most safe and healthy way to begin using these popular products.

*NOTE: As far as grades and quality levels of essential oils go, it is important to know that there is no official organization that qualifies essential oils. These grades were developed by the essential oil companies themselves.

By L Kimberly Smith

Photo credit: Echo Home Inspired
Sources: Naha, Aroma Web

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Top 10 Medicinal Plants You Can Grow Yourself

Natural Medicine September 2, 2016

Medicinal Plants You Can Grow Yourself

There is no reason to become intimidated by growing herbs and other medicinal plants in your garden. The internet provides a multitude of websites that can help you choose which ones you and your family will actually use. You can also consult with herbalists online if you’re in an area where it is difficult to find a practitioner. Some medicinal plants are more challenging to grow and maintain than others, but it doesn’t mean that it is impossible. The most important things to consider is your geographic area and the quality of your soil.

Here are 10 medicinal plants that most anyone can grow in their yards:

1. Marsh Mallow: This is the same medicinal plant that commercial marshmallow products are made with, but here we will share its healing benefits. The Marsh Mallow plant is great for topical skin issues, such as bites, wounds and bruises, and inflamed skin from insect bites. For internal health issues, such as ulcer pain and discomfort, Marsh Mallow should be brewed as slow-brewed in cold water to preserve its natural healing ingredients for those types of illnesses.

2. Tea Tree: A lot of people who use herbal products have heard of Tea Tree. This plant is in shampoos, lotions, and various skin products. The benefits of Tea Tree focus mostly on the health of the skin. Besides being great for minor skin burns, acne, and warts, Tea Tree can also help with symptoms of fatigue, fevers, and vaginal infections. The best way to use the Tea Tree plant is to soak it water and then place the juice into a bottle along with the water, to use as an antiseptic and anti fungal agent. Tea Tree can also be mixed with olive oil to apply on the skin and diluted with water to drink for internal health problems once a day. You will only need a drop of Tea Tree extract per 8 oz. of water, juice, or tea.

3. Basil: The thought of basil may make you hungry for a delicious Italian meal, but you will be surprised about basil’s health benefits for the body. Speaking of appetite, basil will assist in increasing the appetite for people who have trouble gaining weight or who may have gone down to an unhealthy weight due to illness. Basil also works to heal stomach gas and flatulence.

4. Sage: Sage is another smell-good plant medicinal that many people use to season foods, but what are its other great qualities? The sage leaf is good for gum aches, by rubbing a small piece of sage leaf on your gums or brewing the sage to use as a mouth rinse. This wonderful smelling plant also helps to cure skin infections, ease the discomfort of digestive problems, along with soothing menopause symptoms.

5. Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is a very well-known plant used in many drugstore products such as face creams, medicinal creams for cuts and burns, and anti-aging products. You can easily take a leaf off of the aloe plant and break it open to place the aloe gel directly on a cut or minor burn. However, if you have a serious burn, please visit the nearest hospital emergency room. Aloe Vera when made into a juice or tea, also relieves the symptoms of constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.

6.  Peppermint: We aren’t talking about holiday candy canes here, but instead the pure peppermint plant with all of its medicinal uses. Peppermint, as a leaf, or a tea, is great for nausea, upset stomachs, and many other digestive blockages. This common plant is also an effective breath freshener just by chewing a small piece of the leaf. Peppermint has an abundance of menthol in it which can act as a cooling agent for the skin. For example, those who work outside in the summer, menopause hot flashes, and fevers, would all benefit from a wash cloth dipped in cool water combined with plain peppermint tea placed on the neck and shoulder areas to cool the skin.

7. Pot Marigold: The Marigold is not just a gorgeous flower we use to decorate the porch, with its lovely yellow and orange hues. If grown organically, marigolds are edible and are delicious in salads or tossed with sea salt, pepper, and lightly dusted with flour for frying. Pounding the petals with a mortar and pestle will transform marigolds into a poultice for soothing sunburns. Skin blemishes and acne are both soothed by the same marigold poultice.

8. Lavender: Lavender is best known for its pretty fragrance and its ability to act as a relaxant, but there is more to this beautiful flower than that. This gorgeous plant can relieve the symptoms of a headache with just a few sniffs, and can help to soothe occasional bouts of depression. *disclaimer* If you suffer from clinical depression, please visit a doctor as soon as possible, and if you are already diagnosed and on medication for clinical depression, consult your physician before adding the powers of the lavender plant into your medicinal plan.

9. Chinese Yam: The Chinese Yam is used in cases of fatigue syndrome and assists the weight loss process. Problems with digestion and urination can also be soothed by consuming the Chinese Yam. Since diarrhea is often a symptom of regular bouts of constipation, the Chinese Yam will assist with that as well. When the digestive system is balanced, many of the other issues will dissipate.

10. Lemon Balm: It is the leaves of the lemon balm plant that are packed with medicinal properties. During summer, the lemon balm plant will flower and those flowers can be rubbed directly on the skin for insect bites and minor sores. The lemon balm can be taken internally as a tea or juice for the symptoms of the common cold and insomnia.

As we stated above, check out books like The Farmer’s Almanac to see which of these medicinals will grow best in your area. The fact is, many of these plants help to treat some of the same health issues, so if you are unable to grow one of them, you can always seek out a an effective substitute.


: 12 Healing Herbs You Need to Grow in Your Medicinal Garden 

15 of the Most Effect Medicinal Plants to Grow in Your Garden

Uses for Australian Tea Tree Oil


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