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10 Health Benefits Of Cucumbers

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Photo Credit: www.womenshealthmag.com

Alex ‘Earthie Mama’ Du ToitGuest Writer

Cucumbers are the fourth most cultivated vegetable in the world. They are known to be one of the best foods for your body’s overall health, and are often referred to as a superfood. Cucumbers are often sprayed with pesticides so it is important to buy organic or even better, grow them yourself.

Here are 10 proven health benefits of cucumbers.

1. A Quick Pick-Me-Up

Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins, which are vital for brain function and mood. Need a pick-me-up? Put down your sodas and coffee and eat a cucumber slice.

2. Rehydrates Body and Replenishes Daily Vitamins

Cucumbers are 95% water, keeping the body hydrated while helping the body eliminate toxins. Cucumbers have most of the vitamins the body needs in a single day. Don’t forget to leave the skin on because the skin contains a good amount of vitamin C, about 10% of the daily-recommended allowance.

3. Skin and Hair Care

If you don’t like to eat the skin, it can be used for skin irritations and sunburns as aloe would be used. Place a slice over puffy eyes and its anti-inflammatory properties help reduce puffiness. The silicon and sulphur in cucumbers help to stimulate hair growth.

4. Fight Cancers

Cucumber are known to contain lariciresinol, pinoresinol, and secoisolariciresinol. These three lignans have a strong history of research in connection with reduced risk of several cancer types, including breast cancer, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and prostate cancer.

5. Home Care

Eliminates a foggy mirror. Before taking a shower, rub a cucumber slice along a mirror and it will eliminate the mirror fogging up. Instead of WD40, take a cucumber slice and rub it along a squeaky hinge and your door will stop squeaking.

6. Relieves Bad Breath

Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds, the phytochemcials will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

7. Hangover Cure

To avoid a morning hangover or headache; eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish many essential nutrients, reducing the intensity of both hangover and headache.

8. Aids in Weight Loss and Digestion

Due to its low calorie and high water content, cucumber is an ideal diet for people who are looking for weight loss. The high water content and dietary fibre in cucumbers are very effective in ridding the body of toxins from the digestive system, aiding digestion. Daily consumption of cucumbers can be regarded as a remedy for chronic constipation.

9. Reduces Cholesterol, Helps to Regulate Blood Pressure and Aids Insulin Production

Cucumber juice contains a hormone which is needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin which has been found to be beneficial to diabetic patients. Researchers have also found that a compound called sterols in cucumbers may help balance cholesterol levels. In addition, cucumbers contain high levels of potassium, magnesium and fibre. These work effectively for regulating blood pressure, which makes cucumbers good for treating both low blood pressure and high blood pressure.

10. Promotes Joint Health, Relieves Gout and Arthritis Pain

Cucumber is an excellent source of silica, which is known to help promotes joint health by strengthening the connective tissues. They are also rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium. When mixed with carrot juice, they can relieve gout and arthritis pain by lowering the uric acid levels.

Sources
Recommended Articles by Alex ‘Earthie Mama’ Du Toit
About the Author

Alexandra is a true Earthie Mama, helping others tune into their most natural, thriving state while bringing harmony and balance into all areas of their lives. She hosts a well-known blog, EarthieMama.com, where she writes about health and wellness, conscious parenting, green living, self-sustainability and getting off the grid. Alex also has an MA in Psychology, and is a registered Yoga Instructor, environmentalist, conscious mother, green living advocate and natural birthing expert. She also sells all natural products and her ebooks through her website.

Please check out her website at EarthieMama.com, connect with Earthie Mama on Facebook, or sign up to the free EarthieMama e-newsletter here!

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Turmeric Extract Improves Brain Function In One Dose

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Turmeric Extract Improves Brain Function In One Dose
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Sayer JiContributing Writer

Your spice rack may contain the safest, most fast-acting, brain-boosting substance medical science has yet to confirm effective in a human clinical study.  

A remarkable study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology titled, “Investigation of the effects of solid lipid curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy older population,” reveals that the primary golden-hued polyphenol found in the ancient Indian healing spice turmeric  known as  curcumin  is capable of improving cognition and mood in elderly adults (60-85) when administered in either short-term [acute], chronic, or  short-term-on-chronic  dosage schedules.

The study involving 60 healthy adults found that a single dose of 400 mg of a solid curcumin formulation (trade name Longvida)  resulted only one hour later in significantly improved performance on sustained attention and working memory tasks, compared with placebo.

Additionally, a chronic treatment schedule (4 weeks) resulted in improvement in working memory and mood, the latter of which was defined as a positive change in their “state [of] calmness, contentedness and fatigue induced by psychological stress.”

Finally, an acute-on-chronic treatment resulted in improved alertness and contentedness.

The authors commented that,

“To our knowledge this is the first study to examine the effects of curcumin on cognition and mood in a healthy older population or to examine any acute behavioural effects in humans. Results highlight the need for further investigation of the potential psychological and cognitive benefits of curcumin in an older population.”

The study reviewed several therapeutic properties of curcumin that may have relevance in improving underlying physiology associated with age-related cognitive decline and may help to explain its observed brain-boosting effects include:

  • Curcumin may inhibit amyloid pathology (a type of degenerative brain plaque found in Alzheimer’s disease)
  • Protect against oxidative stress
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Neuroprotective, promoting neurogenesis and neuroplasticity
  • Improve the functioning of neurotrasmitter systems

The study also pointed out that epidemiological evidence shows dietary curcumin consumption is associated with better cognitive function and lower dementia prevalence, and that animal research has demonstrated its ability to both and prevent neurological pathologies.

The reality is the positive results described in this study is not be surprising given all the research that exists on curcumin’s neuroprotective properties. The Greenmedinfo database has indexed over 1500 study abstracts on curcumin’s health benefits, covering over 600 different diseases, with 113 of these studies specifically addressing curcumin’s neuroprotective properties.

Consider also that recently a Groundbreaking Study Found Turmeric Extract Superior to Prozac for Depression, revealing again how remarkable curcumin is at improving mood and a sense of well-being.

We have also explored in depth a promising case study which found that turmeric produced a ‘remarkable recovery’ in Alzheimer’s disease patients, and performed a review of turmeric and other natural substances’ role in preventing and even reversing Alzheimer’s disease.

As evidenced by the study featured here, the medical community is increasingly being faced with compelling research suggesting that natural compounds and foods like turmeric provide suitable alternatives to Big Pharma. Increasingly, the public is learning to take back control of their health by utilizing time-tested, food-based approaches that have been part of ancestral cultural practices for thousands of year. Why not look for preventive and truly regenerative solutions in the spice rack, and leave the medicine cabinet for acute care?

Recommended Articles by Sayer Ji
About the Author

Sayer Ji is the founder of Greenmedinfo.com, a reviewer at the International Journal of Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine, Co-founder and CEO of Systome Biomed, Vice Chairman of the Board of the National Health Federation, and Steering Committee Member of the Global Non-GMO Foundation.

For more, visit GreenMedInfo.com and Facebook.com/GreenMedInfo, or sign-up for GreenMedInfo’s free e-Newsletter.

© March 12th, 2018 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for their newsletter here.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Collective Spark or its staff.

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Ginkgo Biloba Benefits: Brain Health, Kidney Function, And More

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Photo Credit: www.rebuildyourvision.com

Dr. Edward F. GroupGuest Writer

One of the world’s most ancient trees, Ginkgo biloba is considered a “living fossil” because it’s been around for nearly 300 million years.[1] Used for centuries, remedies from Ginkgo are thought to improve memory, boost cognitive function, support healthy blood flow, and promote sexual function in men and women.

Even sceptics have been swayed by Ginkgo’s ability to support the brain, kidneys, and other body systems. Curt W., an art director from North Carolina, started taking Ginkgo after reading an article about its potential to promote concentration. “I’m not a big supplement guy, so I wasn’t expecting much. But after a month or so of taking Ginkgo biloba extract, I started noticing a difference in my ability to focus. Now I tell all my friends about it.”

Let’s take a closer look at this ancient plant, and explore some of the many ways it supports wellness.

What Is Ginkgo biloba?

Native to China but cultivated worldwide, Ginkgo biloba — also called the maidenhair tree — can grow to be over 100 feet tall. The trees themselves can live for 1,000 years, thanks to an unusually strong resistance to insects and other pests.[3]

Many people in Asia harvest Ginkgo tree nuts, which are both tasty and nutritious (but shouldn’t be consumed raw).[1] Ginkgo has played an essential role in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for centuries, especially for elderly people and those with certain health conditions. It is an important tool in the complementary and alternative medicine toolbox for healthy people, as well.

In addition to eating nuts, people harvest the Ginkgo tree leaves to make herbal remedies. Ginkgo biloba leaves are rich in bioactive constituents, including potent antioxidants like flavonoids and anthocyanins. Because Ginkgo leaves contain so many health-supporting nutrients, they have been extensively studied, and preparations made with them are among the most popular natural health solutions in the world.[4]

Now that you know a little bit about Ginkgo biloba, let’s dig into some of the reasons you should take it.

8 Reasons Why You Should Take Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba offers so many health benefits to both body and mind! Here are eight reasons why you should consider adding Ginkgo to your wellness regimen.

1. Supports Brain Health

Among its many uses, Ginkgo biloba is most well-known for supporting brain health. Ginkgo extract provides support for people experiencing mild cognitive issues.[5] For people who find themselves becoming more forgetful as they hit middle age and beyond, Ginkgo may improve cognitive function, specifically memory and ability to focus on tasks.[6]

Supplementing with Ginkgo may also support healthy brain function in people with cognitive issues or those who are dealing with age-related brain changes.[5] Experts recommend the use of Ginkgo for adults of all ages who want to stay sharp. “I really feel like it helps me focus at work,” Curt W. says.

2. Protects the Kidneys

The kidneys are the body’s filtration system, removing toxins from the blood. Your kidneys are constantly working to protect you from environmental pollutants like heavy metals, harmful chemicals, and toxins. They help reduce the environmental stress you are under.

Ginkgo biloba has renoprotective effects, meaning it can protect the kidneys from damage.[7] Ginkgo may support these organs after exposure to toxins, like the widely-used herbicide glyphosate, as well as mercury, uranium, and naphthalene.[8] It can also help protect against toxins formed in the gut that are associated with liver disease.[8]

3. May Help With Weight Loss

There are many reasons why people have a hard time maintaining a healthy weight, and Ginkgo may offer support for a wide range of them. It can help women maintain a healthy weight as they go through menopause.[9] Ginkgo extract could support weight loss for people who have trouble making changes to diet and lifestyle by shrinking fat cells.[9]

Ginkgo also has the potential to promote normal insulin balance, which could be particularly beneficial for people dealing with blood sugar challenges related to obesity. Even if people aren’t able to change the way they eat, Ginkgo can support healthy blood sugar levels.[10]

4. Lifts Your Mood

Looking for a natural way to lift your spirits? Ginkgo may help. When used alone or combined with other treatments, Ginkgo biloba extract can support mental health.[11] The same chemical constituents that make this herb good for the brain when it comes to memory and cognition can also help you maintain a positive mood.[11]

Ginkgo’s brain-supporting constituents promote mental clarity. It’s hard to be cheerful when your brain is feeling foggy! Ginkgo biloba can be a ray of sunlight through the clouds.[5] This is one of the benefits Curt W. likes the most about taking Ginkgo. “I used to really struggle with brain fog, and my mind is much clearer now,” he explains.

5. Supports Heart Health

A healthy heart is vital for overall wellness, and Ginkgo helps keep the cardiovascular system strong. Ginkgo extract promotes normal coronary blood flow. This is especially helpful for older people experiencing age-related diminishment of blood flow through the arteries.[12]

The bioactive compounds found in Ginkgo leaves protect the heart in different ways.[13] Terpenes in Ginkgo biloba provide cardioprotective benefits by reducing cell-damaging free radicals.[14] Ginkgo also supports healthy blood flow, which can lead to better overall heart function.[13]

6. Has Anti-Aging & Antioxidant Properties

Ginkgo’s healing properties may support different parts of the body during the aging process.[12] We’ve already mentioned the brain, heart, and circulatory system, all of which have been shown to benefit from Ginkgo biloba’s anti-aging effects.[5, 12, 13] Ginkgo might even protect your ears from age-related hearing issues.[15]

Much of Ginkgo’s anti-aging power seems to come from its antioxidant content. Aging causes oxidative damage to DNA, proteins, lipids, and other macromolecules, and antioxidants in Ginkgo biloba extract may be effective at fighting oxidative stress related to aging.[16]

7. Supports Healthy Sexual Function

Ginkgo biloba boosts blood flow, influences nitric oxide systems, and relaxes smooth muscle tissue — all of which are important for healthy erectile function and arousal in men.[17] For women, Ginkgo biloba extract can have a positive impact on sex drive and increase arousal.[17]

Ginkgo may be especially useful for men and women experiencing sexual side effects from certain medications. Supplementing with Ginkgo biloba extract can help with sexual health issues.[18]

8. Eases Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

What woman doesn’t deal with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) occasionally, if not monthly? For many, PMS comes with uterine discomfort, irregular moods, food cravings, and more. PMS can range from inconvenient to incapacitating.

If you struggle with PMS, you may want to consider adding Ginkgo to your supplement regimen. Ginkgo biloba extract can help reduce the physical discomfort of PMS while promoting emotional balance.[19]

Best Ways to Take Ginkgo

Ginkgo biloba is typically prepared in one of three ways. They are:

  • Tea
    You can brew Ginkgo biloba leaves into tea. Ginkgo leaf tea is sold in teabags, or you can buy dried leaves and brew your own using a teapot and strainer.
  • Tablets
    For those that prefer their herbs in pill form, Ginkgo biloba is sold in tablets. You can also find it in capsules.
  • Liquid Extracts
    This method of preparation captures an herb’s potency and keeps it intact. Ginkgo can be made into a single liquid extract or combined with other healing herbs to form a potent blend like Renaltrex®, formulated to gently flush the kidneys of accumulated toxins.
Points to Remember

Leaves from the ancient Ginkgo biloba tree have long been used as an herbal remedy. Many people rely on the healing power of this resilient plant. Ginkgo biloba preparations are among the most popular supplements in the world!

Ginkgo biloba supports the brain during the aging process, specifically with memory loss and concentration.[5] Ginkgo also promotes healthy kidney function and helps the heart.[813]

Ginkgo appears to support aging gracefully in the mind and body, largely because of its antioxidant properties. It also promotes healthy sexual function and eases PMS symptoms.[16,17,19]. It can help with weight maintenance and lift your mood when you’re feeling low.[911]

You can find Ginkgo biloba in liquid herbal extract, teas, or tablets or capsules. You can use it alone or in combination with other healing herbs.

Have you tried Ginkgo biloba extract?

References
  1. Isah T. Rethinking Ginkgo biloba L.: Medicinal uses and conservation. Pharmacogn Rev. 2015;9(18):140-148.
  2. Major RT. The ginkgo, the most ancient living tree. The resistance of Ginkgo biloba L. to pests accounts in part for the longevity of this species. Science. 1967 Sep 15;157(3794):1270-1273.
  3. Brondino N, et al. A systematic review and meta-analysis of Ginkgo biloba in neuropsychiatric disorders: From ancient tradition to modern-day medicine. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:915691.
  4. Ginkgo. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Updated 10 Mar 2017. Accessed 12 Mar 2020.
  5. Zhang HF, et al. An overview of systematic reviews of Ginkgo biloba extracts for mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Front Aging Neurosci. 2016;8:276.
  6. Silberstein RB, et al. Examining brain-cognition effects of Ginkgo biloba extract: Brain activation in the left temporal and left prefrontal cortex in an object working memory task. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:164139.
  7. Chávez-Morales RM, et al. The Ginkgo biloba extract (GbE) protects the kidney from damage produced by a single and low dose of carbon tetrachloride in adult male rats. Exp Toxicol Pathol. 2017 Sep 5;69(7):430-434.
  8. Pizzorno J. The Kidney Dysfunction Epidemic, Part 2: Intervention. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2016;15(1):8-12.
  9. Hirata BKS, et al. Potential anti-obesogenic effects of Ginkgo biloba observed in epididymal white adipose tissue of obese rats. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2019;10:284.
  10. Hirata BK, et al. Ginkgo biloba extract improves insulin signaling and attenuates inflammation in retroperitoneal adipose tissue depot of obese rats. Mediators Inflamm. 2015;2015:419106.
  11. Montes P, et al. Ginkgo biloba extract 761: A review of basic studies and potential clinical use in psychiatric disorders. CNS Neurol Disord Drug Targets. 2015;14(1):132-149.
  12. Wu Y, et al. Ginkgo biloba extract improves coronary blood flow in healthy elderly adults: role of endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Phytomedicine. 2008 Mar;15(3):164-169.
  13. Mesquita TRR, et al. Cardioprotective action of Ginkgo biloba extract against sustained ?-adrenergic stimulation occurs via activation of M2/NO pathway. Front Pharmacol. 2017;8:220.
  14. Pietri S, et al. Cardioprotective and anti-oxidant effects of the terpenoid constituents of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761). J Mol Cell Cardiol. 1997 Feb;29(2):733-742.
  15. Nevado J, et al. Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb761) protects against aging-related caspase-mediated apoptosis in rat cochlea. Acta Otolaryngol. 2010 Oct;130(10):1101-1112.
  16. Droy-Lefaix MT. Effect of the antioxidant action of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGb 761) on aging and oxidative stress. Age (Omaha). 1997 Jul;20(3):141-149
  17. Meston CM, et al. Short- and long-term effects of Ginkgo biloba extract on sexual dysfunction in women. Arch Sex Behav. 2008;37(4):530-547.
  18. Cohen AJ, Barklik B. Ginkgo biloba for antidepressant-induced sexual dysfunction. J Sex Marital Ther. 1998 Apr-Jun;24(2):139-143.
  19. Ozgoli G, et al. A randomized, placebo-controlled trial of Ginkgo biloba L. in treatment of premenstrual syndrome. J Altern Complement Med. 2009 Aug;15(8):845-851.

Originally published at Global Healing Center and reproduced here with permission.

Recommended Articles by Dr. Edward Group
About the Author

Dr. Edward F. Group III (DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM) founded Global Healing Center in 1998 with the goal of providing the highest quality natural health information and products. He is world-renowned for his research on the root cause of disease. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center earned recognition as one of the largest natural and organic health resources in the world. Dr. Group is a veteran of the United States Army and has attended both Harvard and MIT business schools. He is a best-selling author and a frequent guest on radio and television programs, documentary films, and in major publications.

Dr. Group centres his philosophy around the understanding that the root cause of disease stems from the accumulation of toxins in the body and is exacerbated by daily exposure to a toxic living environment. He believes it is his personal mission to teach and promote philosophies that produce good health, a clean environment, and positive thinking. This, he believes, can restore happiness and love to the world.

For more, please visit Global Healing Center.

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Why You Should Have A Himalayan Crystal Salt Lamp In Every Room Of Your House

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Photo Credit: Pexels

Carolanne WrightGuest Writer

One of the most disruptive environmental toxins in our modern age, electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are difficult to dodge. Wifi and cellphones both generate this invisible menace, as do computers, televisions, cordless phones and microwave ovens. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, depression, headaches, miscarriage and thyroid malfunction are all linked with exposure to electromagnetic pollution.

While EMFs are nearly impossible to avoid, we can take steps to reduce the negative impact. One method is through Halotherapy — otherwise known as dry salt therapy.

Salt, Happiness and Health

For over a century, spending time in salt caves for their healing attributes has been a common practice in locations like Germany and Poland. Early on, it was noticed that salt miners didn’t suffer from the widespread respiratory illnesses of the day, which were running rampant. The miners also tended to be exceptionally happy. It wasn’t until science established salt is rich in negative ions that the reason behind their robust health and sunny outlook was finally discovered. In turn, Halotherapy was born.

Today, a variety of health issues are addressed through exposure to manmade “salt caves — where a natural microclimate is created by dispersing a dry salt aerosol in high concentrations into a halo chamber, whose surface is covered with layers of salt.” [source] When the salt is inhaled, it travels throughout the respiratory system and absorbs excess moisture, clears mucus, reduces inflammation and kills bacteria. The therapy has also been shown to be effective for those with skin and digestive ailments, as well as those who struggle with stress, headaches, fatigue and mood disorders, according to a study published in the Annals of Agricultural and Environmental Medicine.

Negative ions have been dubbed “the happy element” because they help to increase the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood — especially to the brain. Negative ions also speed up the oxidation of serotonin (5-hydroxtryptamine), which has positive effects on mood, pain relief and sexual drive. They also counteract free radicals — known as positive ions — which are created through exposure to environmental toxins — like chemicals, electronic equipment, cellphones and radiation. Moreover, negative ions encourage proper pH and hormonal balance in the body, while also strengthening metabolism and the immune system.

More than any other time in history, we are bombarded by positive ions, which is why making a conscious effort to introduce negative ions into our surroundings is becoming increasingly important. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of Himalayan crystal salt lamps.

Bringing Home the Benefits of a Salt Cave

With their soft orange glow, Himalayan salt lamps aren’t just a soothing addition to your environment. The lamps can also improve clarity, sleep, disposition and overall health. A seemingly tall order, the secret behind Himalayan salt lamps is their ability to generate negative ions and dry out the air — which helps to reduce airborne pathogens like viruses, bacteria and mild.

From a scientific standpoint, there are three principles at work with crystal salt lamps:

  • Ionization — The emission of ions is primarily caused by the alternating actions of the heated salt’s ability to first attract and absorb water, and then evaporate it. The salt goes into a solution as it mixes with the water molecules.
  • Sodium, as positively charged ions, and chloride, as negatively charged ions, become neutral and are released into your environment — which helps reduce pollutants such as allergens and irritants from your air.
  • Electromagnetic oscillation — Every form of life on the planet depends on the electromagnetic field of vibration (known as the Schuman resonance frequency). Due to electronics and industrialization, your body receives artificial electromagnetic wavelengths with many diverse frequency values.
  • Because of the neutral atomic structure of crystal salt, a heated salt lamp helps you harmonize and balance these artificial frequencies, and neutralize “electro-smog”.
  • Transparent-crystalline structure developing the light waves — It’s well-known that you need the light waves of the rainbow spectrum (300-700 nanometres) for your health and preservation of your body. Your cells are supplied by light with new energy in the form of electromagnetic wavelengths.
  • The wavelengths of salt crystal colours fall within the upper nanometre zone (600-700 nanometres) — producing positive and soothing effects.

For optimum benefit, place the lamp in areas where you spend a good deal of time which have high levels of positive ions — such as by your computer, television and next to your bed. Since children are especially sensitive to electromagnetic radiation, make sure to have at least one salt lamp within their bedroom to reap the full calming benefits.

Without a doubt, Himalayan salt lamps are an excellent first step to reduce a number of health effects associated with electro-smog. For additional ideas on how to protect yourself, have a look at the following articles:  It’s True: You Really Can Protect Yourself Against Electromagnetic Radiation — Here’s How and Beware: Shoes Can be Hazardous to Your Health.

Editor’s Note: With the rising popularity of Himalayan Crystal Salt Lamps, there are (ofcourse) many fakes on the market. Check out this article for a simple guide to help you tell the difference between a cheap fake and the real deal.

Article Sources
Recommended Articles by Carolanne Wright
About the Author

Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years

Through her website Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded people from around the world who share a similar vision. Follow Carolanns on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest.

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Maintaining Healthy Boundaries When Being Of Service

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Maintaining Healthy Boundaries When Being Of Service
Photo Credit: Getty

Fiona ReillyGuest Writer

Being of service to others and the world can bring immense joy, inspiration and fulfillment. But, when offering service, maintaining healthy boundaries is essential if we are to remain aligned and in balance. It’s so easy to become exhausted, depleted or resentful through giving too much of ourselves. In this article we explore what it means to have healthy boundaries and how this enhances our lives and that of those around us.

What are boundaries?

A boundary can be defined as something that indicates bounds or limits and healthy boundaries are about knowing and understanding what our own limits are. Having personal boundaries means maintaining and expressing what feels right and what doesn’t, stating what’s okay and what’s not okay.

Boundaries are not necessarily fixed or static, sometimes they may be general guidelines we adhere to, other times they are a recognition of what is right in a particular situation. Each of us is unique and so our boundaries will vary depending on who we are, what our purpose is and what is being invited at a particular point in time. Boundaries can be about how we give of our time and energy, or they can be around what is acceptable to us from others.

“Boundaries are not fake walls or separation, they are not division. They are respect.” ~ Brene Brown

Maintaining Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries require respect and self-love. Setting boundaries and working to preserve them is not only a gift to ourselves, but to the world around us. This is by no means easy. In a world full of societal expectations and “shoulds” we can feel conflicted and find ourselves in roles and situations where we compromise. We end up doing things from a sense of obligation or because we think it is the most loving and kind thing to do. Most of us want to be liked and approved of by others and fear that expressing our boundaries or our own needs would cause upset to others. However in my experience the opposite is mostly true, if we clearly communicate our boundaries with sensitivity and compassion, others are very appreciative, understanding and respect our honest choices. Clear boundaries enhance relationships and mutual respect and help avoid unspoken expectations and misunderstandings.

“When you feel yourself becoming angry, resentful or exhausted, pay attention to where you haven’t set a healthy boundary” ~ Crystal Andrus

People pick up on any incongruence between our words or actions and our inner truth or feelings. Being clear and honest about the boundaries that are good for us is vitally important. If we ignore the boundaries that are being invited, resentments can build. Sometimes and especially with those we are closest to codependency and patterned ways of interacting can develop. It requires immense courage, self-honesty and openness to recognise unhealthy patterns and to find and implement the appropriate boundaries. In such situations it can be invaluable to get to know ourselves and acknowledge our needs. It can be beneficial to explore and ask “What is being invited now?”, to find what is right and come from that place.

At times saying “No” is the most compassionate thing we can do. It encourages and empowers the other to find their own way on their personal journey. At times our not assisting or fulfilling expectations may cause another to feel hurt or some other “unpleasant” emotion. Yet this may be exactly the experience that will help them to grow and evolve.

For example, there have been times in my life when I have been needy and engaged in the drama of situations. I wanted and expected those close to me to act in a particular way and support me. When they didn’t it caused me pain and suffering, until I realized that I have all that I need and that the Universe supports me in other perfect ways. When I let go of expectations and become open, I always get exactly what I need and often in the most delightful of ways. I could not have received this insight if others hadn’t remained true to their boundaries and for that I am grateful. Often by overly supporting others we disempower them.

It is liberating and empowering to take responsibility for our own experiences, and express out to the world when something is not okay for us or alternatively step forward for something that is right for us. I really appreciate when people are clear and express their boundaries even if it something that I do not want to hear or it causes apparent inconvenience. When we change or live our own truth, those around us are inspired and change too. In the words of Gandhi “Be the change you want to see in the world”, whether that be in your relationships, your working life or other circumstances.

Being of Service

We can best serve the world by being true to who we are and finding what is right in each moment. When we find and express who we truly are, it is so fulfilling, perhaps that is our ultimate purpose in this precious life. Maintaining healthy boundaries supports us in this regard and as a result when we engage with the world we do so with more joy and enthusiasm. When we come from presence and trust in our own truth in any moment, we best serve the Whole. Tuning in and asking the question “Does x serve me?” or “What is being invited in this situation?” can be beneficial in discerning the most aligned way to engage. Living within healthy boundaries energises and fulfills us and helps us stay in balance.

Some helpful guidelines regarding boundaries
  • Remain aware so that you can feel what is right for you and where you may need to introduce boundaries. By tuning into what is right for you, you will discover what is most aligned for all life.
  • Ask “What is being invited now?”
  • If you notice your energy becoming low or depleted after certain engagements, question why this is so and if some boundaries need to be implemented?
  • Express your needs clearly to the relevant people
  • Say “Yes” because you really want to, then you do so with joy and lightness in your heart.
  • Begin with small steps, establishing boundaries or saying no is not always easy, especially if we are accustomed to pleasing others or care about what others think. Start with small things and you may be surprised by the positive responses you receive.
  • Seek support from others, if you are struggling to implement and communicate healthy boundaries in your life.
Insightful Video

With love, respect and best wishes for living true to your rightness, Fiona.

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About the Author

Fiona is an Active Listening therapistreflexologist, and experienced doula. She is passionate about living true to her heart and soul and empowering others to do the same. She runs various workshops related to the vibrancy of conscious plant based eating and women’s issues including being childless/free and loves joining women in circle.

Her website is www.fionareilly.co.uk or click here for her facebook page – True Living

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