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Monthly Archives: October 2018

benefits of gardening
Oct 22

10 Benefits of Gardening for Your Health, Your Mood and Your Wallet

By Ellis | Uncategorized

Here’s a topic that rarely gets the attention it deserves: the benefits of gardening.

In fact, a lot of people don’t understand why they should grow anything at home when they can just pop down to the supermarket and have access to everything they need. The modern era appears to be striving more and more on getting away from nature and honing in purely on technology.

The truth is that we need nature and no single one of us can live without it. Gardening has more benefits than one realizes from acting as your personalized organic medicine cabinet to silently protesting against corporate greed.

Here’s 10 ways gardening improves your health, your mood and your wallet!

Gardening Reduces Stress

Firstly gardening is incredibly therapeutic and has been shown to decrease stress. Many people are becoming aware that stress is one of the underlying factors that triggers many a disease from cancer to auto-immune problems. Stress also weakens the immune system and is just a down right bummer.

In a trial done on 30 gardeners who were all in recovery from acute stress disorders, it was clinically proven that just half an hour a day improved mood and reduced levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in the body. Compared to the control group, gardening was significantly more calming than resting in bed!

Promotes A Healthy Lifestyle

Growing your own produce is one of the biggest favors you can do for yourself and your family health wise. There are many faucets to gardening that improve health.

benefits of gardening

In a study done on brain damage patients who gardened, it was shown that overall health, well-being, cognition, motor control, mood, social interaction and life satisfaction all improved significantly! In another trial done on office workers, plants were shown to reduce symptoms of fatigue, runny noses, coughing and negative neurological effects by over 30%.

Another overlooked fact is that plants which grow in your home environment tend to adapt to overcome any hazards. These include toxins and radiation.

Eating your own produce means that you will eat all these compounds the plants made to counteract these things and in doing so, you will become immune to them yourself.

There are many cultural and spiritual references for plants being our medicine in this manner. Wise men, sages and those who are more in tune with nature say that when you are in tune with your garden, it grows to support you back.

Gardening also promotes physical exercise and activity, which is undoubtedly healthy for you!

Increases Your Oxygen Levels

Everyone should know that plants take in carbon dioxide, sunlight and water to produce glucose and oxygen!

By gardening and spending more time in nature, you are increasing the amount of oxygen you take in. Improved oxygen levels are associated with just about every single process in the human body, because we need oxygen to make energy.

With improved energy levels, our bodies can function optimally, reversing oxidative stress and damage, improving our immune functions, performing more tasks accurately, remembering things better and so much more. Every single process that happens in our systems, from digestion to creating enzymes, requires energy.

Furthermore, the parts of our bodies that convert oxygen into energy (the mitochondria) need it to function properly. When they don’t function properly, they do the opposite and start spewing out free radicals!

Spending more time in nature and upping your oxygen content will help to reverse this problem, which is also beginning to be believed as an underlying cause to many immune disorders. The mitochondria are also in charge of longevity, so by improving on oxygen levels and spending time gardening, you will actually live a healthier, longer life.

Decreases Toxins In Your Environment

There are quite a lot of common household plants that suck up harmful toxins from our environments and keep the air cleaner. The spider plant, mother-in-law’s tongue (snake plant), certain species of palm and the money tree are just a few examples!

Naturally spending more time in the garden, away from air pollution, will improve the quality of the air you personally breathe and expose you to less toxins. This is especially good for people with respiratory problems.

Improves Your Mood

Oh yes, being in nature more often, whether in your home garden or in a nature reserve has been shown to improve overall mood.

In a rather sophisticated study, 20 000 participants were each given an app for their smartphones. At random times over an extended period, the app would send out a questionnaire to the participants, collecting information on the light, the weather, who they were with and how they felt. The app also collected GPS coordinates and location.

The majority of the participants were the happiest when in a green, natural setting with friends, once again proving that nature is superior for boosting mood.

This is just one of many studies that support these findings. It was also shown that interacting with nature improves mood even in those who suffer from mood disorders such as depression.

Aside from the act of gardening, the rewards reaped from it take longer to achieve and come with a much larger sense of satisfaction.

Decreases Alienation & Aids Social Interaction

Being in nature allows for better social conduct, more connectedness between people and nature, as well as less isolation.

In a two week case study, groups of students were asked to spend time in either nature or man-made setups. The emotions of either groups were recorded during this time, as well as social interaction. The group that spent time in nature reported having far more positive emotions, a decreased sense of alienation and better social engagement than the other group.

Just about every other study that focuses on gardening in recovery or well being stipulates that it improves social interaction. Even in the most socially awkward cases like autism, gardening appears to help them to engage better with others.

If you find that you have difficulty connecting at social gatherings, try to host them in nature or spend more time in your garden. You may just find a huge improvement!

Increases Focus & Work Ethic

In studies done on office workers, having plants in the office proved to enhance focus and productivity . It follows on naturally that plants and spending more time near them will improve focus and work ethic.

As mentioned above, improved oxygen levels from being in the garden also improve cognition, memory, focus and satisfaction in life, all of which contribute to a better work ethic.

Puts You More In Tune With Nature

This may not seem like a benefit to some, but it comes with hidden perks. Being in tune with your environment will not only improve your mood but it will also allow you to be connected to other people. We already mentioned how gardening improves social interaction.

The extension of being in tune with nature also instils a sense of responsibility and respect for one’s food and environment. Having a connection with the food you eat is linked to eating more balanced and not over-indulging. That has obvious correlations with weight loss as well as longevity.

Being more in tune with nature also puts you in a position where you feel more receptive and giving. In some studies, it was reported that gardening increases a sense of altruism. It also heightens your understanding for why we need to preserve the environment, which leads me on to the next point.

Empowers You To Change The World

Gardening even helps to change the world!

You may or may not be aware that our planet is largely run by many multinational corporations that appear to be mining the planets resources for economic greed. Companies such as Monsanto and oil companies like Shell are largely responsible for much environmental destruction.

Agricultural farming practices may produce lots of produce, but the chemicals used to propagate the whole process actually leach the soil of nutrients. Beyond this, these heavy metals and other toxins travel via ground water or evaporate into rain clouds, further spreading environmental decay.

The sea, forests, mountains and grass lands of our planet are suffering from all this industrial activity. Much land has become less fertile and this places higher demand on farmers to use more of these awful chemicals… or to change their ways.

Aside from these toxins being unleashed like titans across the land, the genetic modification of plants has lead to one health disaster after another. GMO plants can resist drought and are praised as being the solution, but they make it difficult for farmers to stop using sprays as they have far weaker immune systems. They also ruin our planet’s natural genetic diversity.

Eating these crops has shown to lead to increased risk of just about every major disorder from Diabetes to Alzheimer’s Disease to Cancer. All this suits the big corporations. It encourages more money to be spent on their products, from pesticides to pharmaceuticals.

When one takes food production into their own hands, one endeavors into a silent peaceful protest against this kind of negative activity. Furthermore, by not using harmful chemicals in the garden and promoting this kind of logic, you are helping the world to change and become a more fertile place that can flourish.

Saves Money

Last, but not least, gardening will save you money. Growing your own food saves you money on buying expensive food.

benefits of gardening

It is especially cost effective to grow food that is non-GMO and organic, because then you will save money on your health bills in the long run.

Learn how to grow all you need to keep your immune system strong and you may never need to see a doctor again, probably living well into your 90s or longer! If you grow a surplus, you can even make a little bit extra on the side by selling the excess to your community.

There you have it. Ten reasons why everyone should be spending more time gardening and less time watching television! Take up the challenge and help to make the world a better, greener, cleaner place.

natural lubricants
Oct 05

10 Best Natural Lubricants for Better, Safer Sex

By Ellis | Uncategorized

Natural lubricants have been around for hundreds of years (and possibly even before that time) to help promote a longer, better sex life. Nowadays there are many different kinds of lubes lining the shelves of adult novelty shops, all offering unique ways to enhance your sex life from flavoring to perfect consistencies.

It’s really no big secret that they increase sexual pleasure, particularly for women after their 20s or 30s when sex hormones start to decline. Lubricants are also mandatory for anyone engaging in anal intercourse to prevent pain or other problems.

Yet, this pretty little picture is not the full truth when it comes to lube.

Have you ever looked at the ingredients list on your favorite brand of lubricant? It probably looks like a long list of long fancy names that you can’t pronounce easily without pulling a face or two!

Sadly, both silicon or water based lubes readily available at your nearest kinky store are loaded with synthetic ingredients that are harmful for both you and your partner.

Ingredients such as parabens, petroleum (or it’s derivatives), phenoxyethanol, glycerin and propylene glycol all are easily absorbed through the skin and all cause skin tissue damage. Aside from this, many of these ingredients are linked to rashes, skin irritations, reproductive organ damage, and central nervous system suppressant effects.

Silicon based lubricants appear to have the best consistency, but they have similar toxic side effects to that of petroleum. They coat the skin a little too well, preventing it from breathing or functioning normally. Other names for it include mirasil DM 20, vicasil 5M, dimethicone, polymerized methyl polysilozane or methyl polysiloxane.

Now you’re thinking: that’s okay, I can use water based lube!

Water based lubricants are loaded with many of the same above preservatives. One of the biggest problems associated with them is the use of glucose and other forms of sugar. Did you know that sugar feeds yeasts like candida and allows for the rapid growth of thrush and other STI’s? Be very careful, especially when going for seemingly deliciously flavored lube that use sugar for sweetness.

The last problem with synthetic lube is that it is actually the number one cause of rectal tissue damage and diseases! One can’t engage in pleasant anal sex without lubricants but studies have shown that many big brands like K-Y and Delube cause severe tissue damage.

Beyond this, those who partake in anal sex should be thoroughly warned that lube enhances the growth of HIV AIDS, Hepatitis C and other STI’s.

I’m not saying that you must do away with lube altogether. I’m saying that there are far safer alternatives that are natural and even healthy for your genitals!

Like what, you ask? Here’s a little roundup of the best natural lubricants you can get your hands on!

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is praised for having over 100 uses on any high end natural health website. One of these fabulous uses happens to natural lubrication! Many swear by their coconut oil, which has more benefits than simply keeping things saucy in bed.

Coconut oil cures yeast infections and other bacteria that likes to grow down there, improving upon sexual hygiene for both lovers.

It also starts to repair damaged skin, even skin found in the vaginal wall. I myself have used it to heal wounds down there and can say from personal experience that it improves lubrication, but also promotes healthy vaginal discharge and function. Coconut oil also clears away genital warts and scar tissue.

Pros

  • Feels great
  • Lubricates very well
  • Promotes healthy vaginal function
  • Absorbs well into and repairs the skin
  • If odorless/flavorless, coconut oil tastes neutral and pleasant (some people even prefer the one with a natural coconut flavor)
  • Does not stain sheets or clothing
  • Kills bacteria
  • Prevents many STI’s
  • Can be used in the shower or bathtub
  • Can also be used for full body massages
  • Has a long shelf life
  • Does not leave you feeling sticky or oily as it gets absorbed
  • Does not disrupt internal vaginal flora
  • Keeps genitalia at the correct pH
  • Has anti-aging properties

Cons

  • Can’t be used with latex condoms or similar sex toys

Olive Oil

Olive oil is next in line in terms of natural oils that make for fantastic sex. If you can handle the strange taste, it’s exceedingly healthy for both you and your partner.

Like coconut oil, olive oil increases natural vaginal lubrication. It’s recommended to try massaging in a teaspoon twice a day to fend off vaginal dryness. Of course, doing that may lead to some other pleasurable activities of their own…

Ingesting olive oil in your diet will also promote on all factors involved in erectile dysfunction in both males and females. Including it in your diet has been linked to reduced vaginal dryness in menopausal women.

Julietta Capella, a woman whose family has been making high quality olive oil for hundreds of years, stated that while she is in her post-menopausal phase, she does not have any problems with lubricating (with or without lube) and believes it’s from a life long love affair with this oil.

The main ingredient in olive oil that makes it so good for lubrication is Squalane. Some healthy organic lubes are made from extracted Squalane from pure olive oil. Squalane makes olive oil incredibly silky and smooth. It’s also been used for generations to treat skin disorders and will help to repair the skin of the vaginal wall.

Pros

  • Works very well
  • Enhances natural lubrication of women when used externally or internally
  • Feels like liquid silk
  • Treats genital skin
  • Lowers risk of STI’s
  • Has antibacterial properties
  • Promotes longevity
  • Can be used for body massages
  • Is waterproof
  • Does not disturb vaginal flora
  • Does not harm genitalia
  • Is made from nearly 2/3rds Vitamin E, which repairs skin
  • Protects skin from rashes, irritations and outbreaks

Cons

  • Smells and tastes savory
  • Can’t be used with latex condoms or latex sex toys

Other Natural Oils That Work…

Natural oils are great when it comes down to lube, although olive oil and coconut oil are the best. Make sure that with all these oils, you choose a good quality (extra virgin) cold pressed organic variety. Only the best will do when it comes to your sexual organs!

The following oils and natural butters will also work and have similar health boosting properties. These ones are not as good at protecting against infections, but they will do the job.

  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Aloe Vera Gel
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Shea Butter
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Avocado oil

None of the above oils can be used with latex condoms or latex sex toys, unfortunately.

Mucilages

A mucilage is typically a seed or plant that releases a sticky gel-like film when it comes into contact with water. That’s right, these sticky gels can be used as a natural, safe alternatives to lube!

The best mucilages are chia seeds and flax seeds. One can soak 2 to 3 parts water to one part seeds overnight or one can simmer the same proportions over the pan for 10mins and then let cool. You can keep this mixture in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 5 days.

These seeds also happen to be rich in Omega-3s, with chia seed outdoing flax. Chia seeds are abundant in many other trace minerals such as magnesium and iron – these trace minerals are associated with increased libido, reduced menopausal symptoms and improving vaginal lubrication.

Mucilages have healing properties when ingested, acting similarly to prebiotics. They can soothe inflammation and build a protective barrier against infections without disrupting the microbiome. The vaginal walls are very similar and mucilages will protect, heal and prevent disease from occurring in there.

Other examples of mucilages are Psyllium Husk, Slippery Elm and Licorice Root Powder.

Pros

  • Works well as a lube
  • Rich source of nutrition for maintaining healthy libido
  • Aids genital function
  • Protects against infections
  • Does not stain clothing or linen
  • Soothes inflammation and skin irritation
  • Helps heal wounds
  • Easier to apply than an oil
  • Can be used with latex condoms and sex toys
  • Can be eaten for additional benefit

Cons

  • Takes time to make
  • Only lasts 5 days

Silk Condoms

You may not believe when I say that silk (yes, the fabric) works wonders when it comes to sexual lubrication.

Silk used to be used in ancient China and only by the royal family mind you. For men, it stimulates the penis in a way that apparently is unlike anything else a man will ever feel.

For ladies, it stimulates excessive lubrication. Not only does it lubricate, but it’s so smooth that it simply glides in and out, making penetration very easy.

This is all due to the fabric’s incredibly soft feel. Spider’s silk in particular is woven at a nano level, which is smaller than most microscopes can detect.

A silk condom is probably the nicest condom in the world, as it will prevent pregnancy, reduce risk of STI’s (if kept clean) and it feels incredibly pleasurable for both sides. The beauty of it too is that you’ll only need one or two, as they can be washed repeatedly and they never break (unlike latex condoms!).

Just make sure you get an organic silk that has not been chemically treated. You don’t want heavy chemicals down there! Luckily there are a few good suppliers of silk condoms worldwide.

Pros

  • Feels more pleasurable than one can imagine
  • Enhances sexual stimulation for both males and females
  • Does not make a direct mess
  • Never breaks
  • Lasts a very long time
  • Stain resistant
  • Prevents pregnancy

Cons

  • Needs special gentle cleaning agents (as silk lingerie does)

Now you know why you aught to be using a natural lube and which kinds to get – go ahead and give it a try! Your sex life is only bound to get better from here on out 😉