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Amazing Benefits of Aloe Vera (+5 Beauty Recipes)

Amazing Benefits of Aloe Vera (+5 Beauty Recipes)

Are you suffering with acne, sunburns or ready to go on a cleanse to kickstart your diet? Maybe you just want to boost your immune system.  I have just the solution for you. ALOE VERA! What better way to cure all your insecurities and issues than to go all in and doing it naturally?  Why would I pass all those other products on the shelves at big name companies and settle for this rugged looking plant? Well, because its less expensive and easier to maintain. I don’t know but having $30 extra in my pocket is a big deal for me. So, instead of looking to brand name products for the best results, you could find the super plant in areas such as your garden or backyard. If you decide to go and plant it that is. I don’t want you going outside and looking for it when you didn’t put it there in the first place then when someone asks you, you say Shay said it would be there. Ahhh, no I didn’t. Just messing with you.Now, let me tell you a little more about this succulent plant.

Does This Really Work?

I have proven for myself that this plant does well with acne when I was back in Jamaica and had eaten all the junk the little island could offer. I had 2 weeks to leave to the U.S and my face was not looking the way I wanted it to be. I didn’t have time or the money to use products I couldn’t get at that point. Then, LIGHTBULB! I remembered seeing the aloe vera plant outside and quickly cut off a piece to let it soak in some water for about two hours before I drank the first  cup. Need proof? This is a photo I posted on my Instagram a while back to show people how much it helped me in just 9 days. This was done without a change in diet. Yes! you heard me! I still consumed the junk I wasn’t suppose to be eating and got these results just by drinking Aloe vera water. See how deplorable my situation was? Now, you be the judge. Does it really work?

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    The Makeup

    You will not believe the range of benefits that this one plant has. When you find out, it may become the legal cannabis in your life. Before you get carried away, it will NOT get you high! So, this is 99% water. What is the 1% made of and good for? The 1% is filled with countless vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids. Talk about POWERFUL!  Surprisingly, that’s not all.

    • The amino acids contains chains of atoms which construct protein within the body.
    • Enzymes aid in the production of rejuvenating aged tissues promoting healthy skin.
    • Germanium is a mineral vital for therapeutic benefits like cardiac disorders, eye problems, immunodeficiency and pain.
    • Vitamins A, E and richest in C. This enhances circulation by maintaining tone of blood vessels. This is also amazingly convenient for stress control.

    Others include Zinc, Calcium and Magnesium, Sugars, Lignin, Saponins, Fatty Acids Salicylic Acids and Anthraquinone.

    More Benefits

    As already established above, Aloe vera is works well with acne, sunburns, eczema and boosting immune system. Is this all? Nope! Not even. Well, it works with most skin conditions remarkably quickly but it has the same effect with pain if applied topically. When consumed, it helps with internal epithelial tissue. So, for genital tract, stomach and mouth ulcers, lungs, bowels, nasal and sinuses; Aloe Vera should be your go-to.

    Let’s go a little deeper with the effects on the immune system. It is an IMMONOMODULATOR. What does that massive word mean? It means it can both stimulate one issue and calms the next. It will calm the immune response for problems like Hay fever where less immune reaction is beneficial. On the other hand, it will stimulate the response for those suffering with weakened immune systems either from post illness fatigue or from existing conditions.

    For Aloe Vera juice, over 200 worldwide scientific research papers publicized the effect of soothing digestive tract irritations like colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Where does this ulcer healing effect thrive from? It’s a possibility that it is from its ability to encourage the release of pepsin. That’s a gastric juice enzyme that is necessary for digestion. (Journal of the American Osteopathic Society, 1963, Vol.62). In another study, oral use for 6 months helped mitigate asthma symptoms.

    The juice also cleans the morbid matter from the spleen, stomach, liver, kidneys, bladder and is considered the finest, known colon cleanser. Also, if you have a heartburn, you could use it.  Clinical trials in Japan leads toward certain compounds reduce the secretion of stomach juices and the formation of lesions.

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    Wait! Check this out. In 1994, the US Food and drug Administration approved  Aloe Vera for the treatment of HIV. Unbelievably amazing! People claim relief from arthritis, leg cramps, constipation, hemorrhoids, insomnia and vaginitis. Yes, it is said to be an excellent vaginal douche.

    What makes this plant so rare? Researcher Robert Davis, Ph.D., an endocrinologist-biologist  explains that 15 different compound groups of nutrients work together to make the plant effective. This simply means that the effects of Aloe Vera’s effects cannot be synthesized so easily in a laboratory.

    Life hack offers more benefits here.

    Recipes

    recipe-575434_640

      Now that you know what Aloe vera is made from and what it can be used to cure, let’s get down to business. It’s time for you to start executing and putting this plant into practice. I’ve researched and put together the simplest, most effective recipes for you!

      LET THE HEALTH HACKING BEGIN!

      When used in your hair, they provide nourishment, prevent excess oiliness, eliminate dandruff, encourage hair growth and prevent hair loss.

      All of these benefits add up to beautiful shiny hair and a glowing complexion. Regular application of this homemade recipe is highly beneficial for reducing suntan as well. Both help reduce dark spots and blemishes on your face, and even help minimize stretch marks. They also help heal acne and acne scars.

      Recipe 1 – How to prepare an aloe vera and lemon juice mask (2 In 1 Face and Hair)

      Things you will need:

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      • 2 aloe vera leaves
      • Half a lemon
      • 3 bowls
      • A sharp knife
      • A juice squeezer (optional)
        A blender

      Steps

      1. Cut two thick aloe vera leaves from an aloe vera plant with a sharp knife.
      2. Cut off the serrated edges of both the leaves.
      3. Slit the top layer of the leaves lengthwise. You will see the translucent aloe vera gel inside.
      4. Carefully peel off the aloe vera gel from the leaves.
      5. Put the gel pulp into a bowl.
      6. Squeeze out the juice from half a lemon.
      7. Pour the thick, succulent aloe vera gel into a blender.
      8. Pour the lemon juice into the blender as well.
      9. Blend the mixture for about one minute.
      10. Pour the mixture from the blender into a bowl.
      11. Hair: After working it into your hair, leave it in for about 20 minutes and then wash it out.
      12. Face mask: Make sure to apply the mask to your face and your neck to maintain an even skin tone. Leave the mask on for 10 to 15 minutes and then rinse it off.

      Aloe Juice

      • 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel (extracted from the leaf or purchased from a health food store)
      • 1 apple
      • 1 cucumber
      • 1 lemon

      Steps

      Blend, chill and enjoy

      Recipe 2 – Aloe Juice

      • 1 tablespoon of aloe vera gel (extracted from the leaf or purchased from a health food store)
      • 1 carrot
      • 1 apple (preferably green)
      • 1-2 cups of pineapple
      • Optional: a few tablespoons of coconut milk (health perk: coconut milk will increase your juice’s bacteria-fighting potential)

      Steps

      Blend, chill and enjoy

      Cool Fact: As you are tossing odds and ends into your blender, just remember: as you change the fruit, you’ll change the color. Because aloe vera gel is a clear substance, whatever you toss alongside it will determine what color your beverage becomes. Create a standard green aloe vera juice, or turn it up a notch with a red, yellow or even orange tint.

      Recipe 3 – Homemade Whipped Coconut Oil and Aloe Vera Gel Lotion

      Things you will need:

      • Fresh aloe vera gel
      • Extra-virgin coconut oil
      • Essential oils of your choice (optional)
      • A mixing bowl
      • Measuring cups and spoons
      • A blender
      • An electric or hand whisker
      • A glass container to store it in

      Steps

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      1.  Scoop out the gel from a small aloe vera leaf and blend it.
      2. Put ½ cup of extra-virgin coconut oil in a bowl
      3. Add the blended aloe vera gel.
      4. Whisk the mixture using an electric or hand whisker for 5 to 10 minutes until you get a fluffy, frosting-like consistency.
      5. Optionally, add a few drops of essential oils like lavender and peppermint oils and whisk again.

      Transfer your whipped coconut oil lotion into the glass container and store it in the refrigerator. It will last for several weeks. Use it all over your body as you would use any other moisturizing lotion. To increase its effectiveness, apply it after bathing when your skin is somewhat moist to help lock in the moisture. It also works well as a good makeup remover.

      Recipe 4 – Aloe Vera Face Cream

      INGREDIENTS:

      1 cup aloe vera gel
      1/2 cup coconut oil
      2 tablespoons jojoba oil
      1.5 tablespoons beeswax pastilles (Can also use 3/4th of a 1 oz bar of beeswax, diced finely or grated)
      5-8 drops essential oil like lavender or geranium (optional)

      DIRECTIONS:

      Heat coconut oil, beeswax, and jojoba oil in a modified double boiler, stirring occasionally to make sure contents combine.

      Once liquid, pour mixture into glass blender and allow mixture to completely cool (about 1 – 1.5 hours.) Once the mixture has cooled, take a spatula and scrap down the sides of the blender to loosen the contents.

      Turn blender on low and slowly pour aloe vera gel into the mixture, stopping occasionally to allow contents to combine.

      Recipe 5 – Aloe Vera Stretch Mark Removal

      Ingredients

      ½ cup olive oil,

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      ¼ cup aloe Vera gel,

      2 tablespoons vitamin E gel and

      1 tablespoon Vitamin a gel.

      Steps

      Blend Well

      As soon as the ingredients are properly blended, put it in a container then keep inside the refrigerator until chilled. Put on the skin once daily. All the vitamins and aloe Vera will accelerate the production of new cell as well as lessen the appearance of stretch marks.

      Featured photo credit: Phonlawat_51 via shutterstock.com

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      Last Updated on October 23, 2018

      Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

      Science Says Knitting Makes Humans Warmer And Happier, Mentally

      My mother was a great knitter and produced some wonderful garments such as Aran sweaters which were extremely fashionable when I was young. She also knitted while my father drove, which caused great amusement. I often wondered why she did that but I think I know the answer now.

      Knitting is good for your mental health, according to some research studies. The Washington Post mentions a 2013 survey of about 3,500 knitters who were asked how they felt after a knitting session. Over 80% of them said they definitely felt happier. It is not a totally female occupation as more and more men take it up to get the same benefits. Harry Styles (One Direction) enjoys knitting. So does Russell Crowe although he does it to help him with anger management!

      The Neural Knitwork Project

      In Australia, Neural Knitworks was started to encourage people to knit and also become aware of neuroscience and mental health issues. Knit-ins were organized but garments were not the only things created. The knitters produced handmade neurons (1,665 of them!) to make a giant brain. The 2015 project will make more neural knitted networks (neural knitworks) and they will be visible online. You can see some more examples of woolly neurons on the Neural Knitworks Facebook page.

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      While people knitted, crocheted and crafted yarn, they listened to experts talking about mental health issues such as addiction, dementia, depression, and how neurons work.

      The knitting and neural connection

      The human brain has about 80 billion neurons. Learning new skills, social interaction, and physical activity all help to forge neural connections which keep the brain healthy and active. They are creating networks to control movement and make memories. The knitters learn that as they create the woollen neurons, their own neurons are forming new pathways in their brains. Their creations are mimicking the processes in their brains to a certain extent. At the same time, their brains are registering new and interesting information as they learn interesting facts about the brain and how it works. I love the knitworks and networks pun. What a brilliant idea!

      More mental health benefits from knitting

      Betsan Corkhill is a physiotherapist and has published some results of completed studies on her website, appropriately named Stitchlinks. She conducted some experiments herself and found that knitting was really helpful in reducing panic and anxiety attacks.

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      “You are using up an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements. The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts.”- Betsan Corkhill

      Knitters feel happier and in a better mood

      Ann Futterman-Collier, Well Being Lab at Northern Arizona University, is very interested in how textile therapy (sewing, knitting, weaving and lace-making) can play an important role in mood repair and in lifting depressive states.

      She researched 60 women and divided them into three different groups to do some writing, meditating and work with textiles. She monitored their heartbeat, blood pressure and saliva production. The women in the textiles group had the best results when their mood was assessed afterwards. They were in a better mood and had managed to reduce their negative thoughts better than those in the writing and meditation groups.

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      “People who were given the task to make something actually had less of an inflammatory response in the face of a ‘stressor’.” – Dr. Futterman Collier

      The dopamine effect on our happiness

      Our brains produce a chemical called dopamine. This helps us to feel happy, more motivated, and assists also with focus and concentration. We get a boost of dopamine after sex, food, exercise, sleep, and creative activities.

      There are medications to increase dopamine but there are lots of ways we can do it naturally. Textile therapy and crafting are the easiest and cheapest. We can create something and then admire it. In addition, this allows for a little bit of praise and congratulations. Although this is likely not your goal, all these can boost our dopamine and we just feel happier and more fulfilled. These are essential in facing new challenges and coping with disappointment in life.

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      “Sometimes, people come up to me when I am knitting and they say things like, “Oh, I wish I could knit, but I’m just not the kind of person who can sit and waste time like that.” How can knitting be wasting time? First, I never just knit; I knit and think, knit and listen, knit and watch. Second, you aren’t wasting time if you get a useful or beautiful object at the end of it.” – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, At Knit’s End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.

      If you thought knitting and textiles were for old ladies, think again!

      Featured photo credit: DSC_0012/Mary-Frances Main via flickr.com

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