Three Surprising Benefits of Ayurvedic Tongue Scraping

Three Surprising Benefits of Ayurvedic Tongue Scraping

Ancient Ayurvedic writings recommend tongue scraping as one of the keys to good health. However, this practice is only beginning to gain popularity in the Western world. Every time we eat or breathe, substances pass over or near the tongue on their way into our respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. Keeping the tongue clean can have surprising effects on whole body health.

1. Improve Dental Health

We brush teeth to remove bacteria and debris from our teeth and gums. However, in actuality most bacteria are merely moved around. The tongue has many crevices where germs and the food particles that feed them can hide; in fact, up to half of the bacteria in the mouth is located on the tongue’s surface. Scraping your tongue can prevent tooth decay, gum disease and periodontal disease.

2. Aid Digestion

Ayurvedic tongue scraping has many benefits for digestion. First, a clean tongue will remove many of the toxins in food before they can enter our stomach and, later, our bloodstream. Second, tongue scraping encourages healthy saliva production, which is essential to good digestion. Last, practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine believe that tongue scraping stokes agni, or the digestive fires, so that food is quickly and painlessly digested.

3. Detox Your System

A coated or discolored tongue is often the first sign that people are suffering from illnesses or have been exposed to toxins. Clearing the coating on the tongue by scraping removes some of these toxins. In addition, keeping your tongue clean allows you to see if there are changes in color or texture that can indicate other problems in your body.

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Mandish, Jillian; 5 Reasons Why Everyone Needs A Tongue Scraper; MindBodyGreen; Accessed April 16, 2015

Patel, Sheila; The Benefits of Tongue Scraping; Chopra; Accessed April 16, 2015

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Filed under Alternative Therapies, Dental and Oral Health

Essential Oils for Athlete’s Foot

Essential Oils for Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s food generally causes mild scaling between the toes, but it can also cause more severe scaling, an itchy red rash, or blisters that cover the toes and the sides of the feet. Since the fungus may also cause the skin to crack, it can lead to bacterial infections, especially in older people or those with poor circulation in their feet.

Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) has a long traditional use in Australia for the treatment of skin and other infections. This use is supported by evidence that tea tree oil is an effective antiseptic, active against many bacteria and fungi. Three double-blind studies suggest it may be helpful for athlete’s foot.

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 158 people with athlete’s foot were treated with placebo, 25% tea tree oil solution, or 50% tea tree oil solution, applied twice daily for 4 weeks. The results showed that the two tea tree oil solutions were more effective than placebo at eradicating infection. In the 50% tea tree oil group, 64% were cured; in the 25% tea tree oil group, 55% were cured; in the placebo group 31% were cured.

These differences were statistically significant. A few people developed dermatitis in response to the tea tree oil and had to drop out of the study, but most people did not experience any significant side effects.

Another double-blind, placebo-controlled trial followed 104 people given either a 10% tea tree oil cream, the standard drug tolnaftate, or placebo. The results showed that tea tree oil reduced the symptoms of athlete’s foot more effectively than placebo, but less effectively than tolnaftate.

Besides tea tree oil, other essential oils may be helpful as well, but the evidence remains inconclusive. One open study hints that oil of bitter orange, a flavoring agent made from dried bitter orange peel, might have some effectiveness against athlete’s foot when applied topically.  Test tube studies indicate that the aromatic constituents of other essential oils such as peppermint and eucalyptus also have antifungal activity.

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Note: This article was encapsulated from a longer article in the iHerb Healthy Library; copyright EBSCO Publishing; Accessed Sept. 23, 2015. For the complete article including references, see:

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Creative Uses for Cotton Swabs

Creative Uses for Cotton Swabs

Cotton swabs have been around for a long time, and they’re great for applying cosmetics and cleaning up infants. What many people don’t realize, however, is that there are many other uses for cotton swabs as well. Here are some creative uses for cotton swabs that you probably never thought of before.

Air Freshener

You can freshen a room using a cotton swab quickly and easily. To do so, grab your favorite bottle of perfume, spritz and use as an air freshener. The cotton swab will hold the scent you’ve sprayed it with for awhile and you can gently wave it through the air to disperse the scent. This is a great way to use your perfume for more than your own personal spray.

Paint Brush

Whether you are painting the walls in your house or working on a piece of art on canvas, cotton swabs make great paint brushes for detail work. You can use cotton swabs to get paint into tiny cracks or to add detail to a painting. The smooth surface of a cotton swab means you will get a smooth finish with no brush strokes.


Some dusters are too large to get into small crevices and cracks. You can use cotton swabs to dust small areas in cars, electronics, and other small items that accumulate dirt and dust. You can even spritz the swab with a small amount of cleaning solution before swiping over the item to be cleaned.

Nail Polish Remover         

Apply nail polish remover liquid to a cotton swab to make nail polish removal quicker and less messy.

Jewelry Cleaner

Cotton swabs work well for getting into small corners while cleaning rings, bracelets, necklaces and other jewelry.

Keep cotton swabs in mind for the uses discussed above, and you may find just the tool you need next time you’re in a pinch. Cotton swabs are very versatile tools, and it’s always a good idea to keep them on hand.

Click here to check out iHerb’s selection of Cotton Products! New to iHerb? Use Rewards Code WOW123 to get $5 off your first order. No minimum purchase.


Paul; 17 Uncommon Uses for Cotton Swabs; Life Hackery; accessed August 5, 2015

Staff; 10 Uses for Cotton Swabs;; accessed August 5, 2015

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How to Prepare Homemade Kimchi

How to Prepare Homemade Kimchi

Kimchi is a delicious and healthy Korean food that is made from pungent, fermented cabbage. Once you have a taste for it, you may find yourself wanting to eat it with everything.

Kimchi is naturally rich in probiotics, like lactic acid. Eating fermented foods can help balance the digestive system and promote healthy gastrointestinal flora. Studies indicate that probiotic foods boost immune function and may help common gastrointestinal problems, such as antibiotic-associated diarrhea.

Here are some easy directions so you can make your own kimchi right at home.

1. Prepare the Cabbage

Cut a medium white (or red) cabbage into quarters and remove the core, then slice each quarter into strips that are two inches wide. Apply salt generously to the cabbage, and then mix it with a little water.

Weigh the cabbage down with something heavy such as a large plate with a jar on top, and let it rest for one or two hours. Then, rinse the cabbage three times and let it drain in a colander for about 15 minutes.

2. Make the Paste and Chop the Vegetables

Combine one tablespoon grated garlic, one teaspoon grated ginger, one teaspoon sugar, and two or three tablespoons seafood flavoring in a small bowl, and then mix together until the ingredients form a paste.

Add one to five tablespoons of Korean red pepper flakes to suit your taste. Next, squeeze any remaining water from the cabbage and add eight ounces of radishes cut into small sticks and four scallions cut into one-inch pieces.

Add the seasoning paste and mix everything together, working the paste into the vegetables until they are thoroughly coated.

3. Let it Ferment

Pack the kimchi into a jar, letting the brine rise above the vegetables. Make sure at least one inch of space is still open at the top of the jar.

Seal the jar with the lid. Let the jar stand at room temperature for one to five days to allow for fermentation. Keep a plate or bowl under the jar to catch any overflow.

Check the kimchi each day, and continue to press the vegetables down to make sure they’re submerged in the brine. When the kimchi is fermented to your taste, move it to the refrigerator. You can eat the kimchi right away, or wait another week or two to let the flavors fully combine.

Follow these steps and you can create your own Kimchi at home. Doing so will allow you to personalize its taste to suit your own preferences.

iHerb sells thousands of natural food items, everything from stevia to gluten free flours to much more!  Click here to take a look at our product offerings.  If  you’re new to iHerb, you can use Rewards Code WOW123 to get $5 off your first order. No minimum purchase.


Newcomer, Laura; Hot and Healthy: How to Make Better Kimchi at Home; Greatist; accessed September 19, 2015

Staff; How to Make Easy Kimchi at Home; The Kitchn; accessed September 19, 2015

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Filed under Nausea, Digestion and Stomach Issues, Recipes

Natural Remedies for Minor Bumps and Bruises

Natural Remedies for Bumps and Bruises

Bumps and bruises can happen easily as you’re living life. Although minor bumps are not serious, they can make you feel discomfort and slight pain. These natural remedies for minor bumps and bruises can help you deal with the discomfort until they heal.

Epsom Salt

After suffering from a little bump, people can get relief by using Epsom salt for a bruise. Soak the bruised area in warm water mixed with Epsom salt for pain relief. Epsom salt works to relieve pain by drying the skin and allowing the muscle tissue around a bruise to relax.


Arnica is a plant that grows in the mountains and it is part of the daisy family. It has been used for hundreds of years to treat bruises because it reduces inflammation and swelling. To use arnica for a bruise, simply apply arnica ointment or gel directly to the bruise on a daily basis until it has healed.


Fresh parsley leaves can help to decrease inflammation and pain, and some experts believe the leaves make bruises fade more quickly. To use parsley on a minor bruise, crush up some fresh parsley leaves, spread them over the bruised area, and wrap the area with an elastic bandage.

St. John’s Wort

Although St. John’s wort is commonly used to treat depression, the oil is effective for helping to heal minor bruises. The oil contains astringents known as tannins that shrink swollen tissue and help control capillary bleeding. People can use St. John’s wort oil to treat bruises by taking a capsule or drinking a tea that contains the oil.

Using these natural remedies for minor bumps and bruises can help you feel comfortable until your body can heal. Try these remedies for an easy and safe treatment; however consult a health professional if your condition worsens.

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Brown, Laurel; Epsom Salt for Bruises; LiveStrong; accessed August 5, 2015

Staff; Natural Home Remedies: Bruises; Best Health; accessed August 5, 2015

Weil, Andrew, MD; Condition Care Guide: Bruises;; accessed August 5, 20150

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Filed under General Health, Skin Health

Sun Warrior Smoothie Recipes

Sun Warrior Smoothie Recipes

Recipes Courtesy of the Sun Warrior Brand

You can never have too many smoothie recipes, especially if they come from a well-known brand like Sun Warrior. Sun Warrior is committed to making  the best plant-based foods and supplements for their customers. So blend and then drink to your good health!

Banana Split Smoothie



  1. Blend and enjoy.

Choco Gladiator Smoothie



  1. Shake well and enjoy.

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie



  1. Blend with a handful of ice until smooth and then enjoy!

Apple Cobbler Smoothie



  1. Blend and enjoy.

iHerb sells thousands of natural food items, everything from stevia to gluten free flours to much more!  Click here to take a look at our product offerings.  If  you’re new to iHerb, you can use Rewards Code WOW123 to get $5 off your first order. No minimum purchase.

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Vitamins that Help Alleviate Heavy Periods

Vitamins that Help Alleviate Heavy Periods

The World Health Organization estimates that 18 million women from 30 to 55 years of age suffer from excessive menstrual bleeding. Ten percent of these women suffered from menorrhagia, with blood loss greater than 80 ml and/or a flow lasting longer than seven days. Studies have shown that certain vitamins are helpful in many cases of heavy menstrual flow.

Vitamin C and Flavonoids

Taking 1,000 to 5,0000 mg per day of Vitamin C with flavonoids was shown in trials to reduce menorrhagia. Research indicates that this is because it reduces the effect estrogen has on the endometrium.

Vitamin A

In one study, researchers found that vitamin A deficiency has a profound effect on menstrual flow, with over half the trial participants showing normal flow within 35 days after supplementation. Although the exact reasons are unclear, it is known that Vitamin A has a complex relationship with estrogen, with estrogen supplementation reducing vitamin A serum levels. Studies found lower serum levels of vitamin A in women who suffer from menorrhagia than in healthy women.


Severe blood loss during extra heavy menstrual bleeding can lead to iron deficiency anemia, but in the reverse, iron deficiency anemia can be the cause of menorrhagia. Iron deficiency affects the strength of the uterine walls, making it unable to control blood flow. Iron deficiency should be one of the first tests run when determining the cause of heavy menstrual bleeding. Taking as little as 15 mg per day of absorbable iron should be beneficial.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K deficiency is relatively rare, but it does exist. Even in women without clotting disorders, vitamin K supplementation was helpful in eliminating heavy menstrual bleeding. In addition, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) used to treat menstrual pain may interfere with vitamin K metabolism, making bleeding even worse. Your doctor can recommend the correct dosage for your needs.

Other vitamins that may help control heavy menstrual bleeding include vitamins B6, B12, folic acid and vitamin E. Ask your doctor for a vitamin supplementation regimen that will fit your needs and be most helpful to you.

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Dr. Heather Barrett, N.D.; Natural Treatment of Heavy Periods; Talking Naturopathic Medicine with Dr. Heather Barrett, ND; accessed June 20, 2015

Could Vitamins Help With Your Heavy Periods?; Ask Women Net; accessed June 20, 2015

Christiane Northrup, M.D.; Heavy Menstrual Bleeding (Menorrhagia); Christian Northrup, M.D.; accessed June 20, 2015

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Herbal Remedies for Heavy Periods

Herbal Remedies for Heavy Periods

Many women struggle with heavy periods, or menorrhagia. Not only is this an inconvenient health issue, but it can lead to other health problems, such as anemia. However, there are several natural ways that you can reduce heavy menstrual bleeding.

These four herbs have helped countless women with this medical problem.

Lady’s Mantle

Lady’s mantle is a popular herbal remedy for a variety of menstrual issues, including heavy menstruation. The leaves and flowers contain a variety of restorative compounds such as tannins and salicylic acid that are anti-hemorrhagic and also relieve menstrual pain. You can purchase the leaves and flowers of this herb and prepare them in a tea to get the benefits.

Shepherd’s Purse

Shepherd’s purse is one of the best known herbal remedies for heavy menstruation. It helps to gently contract the uterus to stop both bleeding and cramping. The herbal tea is widely available, which is another bonus. Drink several cups of this tea daily, starting the day before your period until the bleeding slows to desired levels.

Raspberry Leaf

Raspberry leaf tea is popular for pregnant women, relieving a variety of symptoms and helping the uterus to prepare for labor. However, this herb also helps immensely with menstrual bleeding. Raspberry leaf tea contains high levels of tannins that can slow or stop bleeding. As a bonus, this tea is delicious.


Most herbal remedies for heavy periods work by stopping the bleeding and relieving pain. Chasteberry, instead, balances female hormones that often cause heavy periods in the first place. You will have to take it for several months in order to see an effect, but it may relieve both heavy bleeding and other symptoms of hormonal imbalance. The suggested dose is 160 mg per day of an extract, taken daily.

Since heavy menstruation can signify certain health conditions, it is wise to consult a health professional in order to rule them out before starting new supplements.

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Editors; 10 Herbal Remedies For Heavy Menstrual Bleeding;; Accessed June 23, 2015

Stengler, Angela; Help for Heavy Periods;; Accessed June 23, 2015

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Eight Beautiful Ways to Use Raw Shea Butter

Eight Beautiful Ways to Use Raw Shea Butter

Rich in fatty acids, plant sterols and a laundry list of vitamins, there’s nothing more refreshing than indulging in some beauty rituals involving raw shea butter.

1. Condition the Hair

Shea butter is known to help seal in moisture, condition the scalp, decrease frizz, define curl and even add volume. To use it, melt down shea butter in a double boiler.

Once cooled to a warm, not hot, temperature, massage a small amount on the scalp and through the hair. It is especially effective for thick curly hair, very dry hair or damaged, color treated hair.

2. Use it as a Body Butter

Because the ingredients in the butter match those of the sebaceous glands naturally occurring on the body, it is an almost perfect match for those dealing with constantly dry skin. Warm a small amount in the hands and apply to dry areas such as elbows.

3. Reduce the Appearance of Stretch Marks

Packed full of vitamins and nutrients, rubbing some on those pesky lines helps heal the scars caused by growth and pregnancy.

4. Help Relieve Congestion

A study from the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that shea butter, when applied to the inside of the nostril, works better than some nasal drops to help relieve congestion and prevent chaffing around your nose.

5. Use it to Reduce Wrinkles.

After about four to six weeks, applying the butter to the face may reduce wrinkles and give the skin a healthier glow.

6. Protect Your Skin

One of the little known benefits is shea butter’s antioxidant qualities. Its ingredients may protect your skin cells from harmful free radicals.

7. Use it on Your Lips

Unlike the petroleum-based lip balms that clog your lips, shea butter is absorbed by the skin of the lips and then acts as a moisturizer, keeping them healthy and protected no matter the weather.

8. Reduce Skin Inflammation

Science has shown that shea butter does have anti-inflammatory qualities, namely in the form of lupeol cinnamate. This makes it great for potentially preventing tumor growth and keeping skin conditions under control.

The versatile little product is perfect for just about every inch of your skin. Try out its different uses and see just how adaptable raw shea butter can be.

Click here to check out iHerb’s selection of Shea Butter Products! New to iHerb? Use Rewards Code WOW123 to get $5 off your first order. No minimum purchase.


Saba; 13 Best Benefits Of Shea Butter For Skin, Hair And Health; Stylecraze; accessed August 24, 2015

Breyer, Melissa; 12 ways to use raw shea butter; Mother Nature Network; accessed August 24, 2015

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How to Get Rid of Fishy Kitchen Odors Naturally

How to Get Rid of Fishy Kitchen Odors Naturally

While fish is healthy choice for dinner, cooking it can be less than pleasant. Almost any method of cooking fish can lead to unpleasant odors that tend to linger in the kitchen. Getting rid of those fishy odors after cooking does not have to be difficult, however. Sometimes, just leaving a bowl of baking soda on the counter is enough to do the trick.

Odors of fish and other pungent food linger because the molecules that have wafted into the air are still circulating, triggering the scent.  As long as these molecules are still floating around, the smell will linger.

Adding lemon juice to the fish prior to cooking will help reduce the fishy smell, but won’t wipe it out completely.

Putting out a bowl of baking soda may help to reduce this phenomenon and cause the kitchen to smell fresh once again. Left out overnight, the bowl of baking soda can absorb most unpleasant cooking odors.

Baking soda is able to absorb these smells due to relatively large surface area when spread out in a bowl. This means that the acids that cause the odor are neutralized when they encounter the alkaline baking soda. This makes it a great way to kill certain odors such as fish.

Another way to rid the kitchen of a fish smell is by using strong ventilation system over the stove, turning on fans, or airing out well by opening windows. Be sure to clean thoroughly after cooking and wash all pots and pans completely to rid the kitchen of excess odors.

If grease or any other substance has splattered on a counter top from the stove, be sure to clean it with a strong degreaser to further prevent bad smells. If grease has dripped on the bottom of the oven, clean the area thoroughly to rid the kitchen of odors.

Once you’ve gotten rid of the fish odor, it may be nice to replace it with another delicious scent. We recommend lighting a candle scented with natural essential oils.

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Staff; 5 Tips for Getting Rid of Cooking Smells; The Kitchen; accessed August 4, 2015.

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