At all stages of their lives, women face specific health challenges to maintaining hormonal balance. More than ever women are now juggling a lot of roles in life which can lead to elevated stress & cortisol levels which in turn can lead to an increase in anxiety, digestive problems, weight changes, and exhaustion. Hormonal balance is vital to reproductive health but also important for maintaining both physical and emotional wellbeing. Many factors influence a woman’s hormonal balance such as diet, hydration levels and stress. Nutrition plays an important role in women’s health as excess sugar can disrupt hormone balance along with an over consumption of high oestrogen & processed foods. Eating a nutritious diet and reducing stress levels are great ways to promote balance in the body. Using essential oils can also help with hormonal balance and in doing so help avoid conditions such as PMS, cramps, bloating and irregular cycles. The following essential oils are my top choices for supporting hormonal balance for women.

Clary Sage

Clary Sage helps with emotional stress and its antispasmodic properties make it a great choice for applying topically to the abdomen to ease cramps and symptoms of PMS. One of the main benefits of Clary Sage is that it helps promote ideal oestrogen production which makes it a great choice for people with PCOS, Endometriosis and during the menopause. There are many studies proving how Clary Sage oil benefits hormonal balance and simply inhaling it can also help reduce cortisol levels in the body. Clary Sage however, should not be used during pregnancy.

Rose

Rose oil helps support hormonal health and provides a natural mood boost. Often used as an aphrodisiac, applying it topically can help with low libido. It can also assist in regulating ovulation and helps to support emotional balance.

Thyme

Thyme essential oil helps to balance progesterone levels in the body and promotes production of the hormone. Progesterone is essential for regulating a woman’s menstrual cycle and optimum progesterone levels are needed for fertility and pregnancy. Low levels of progesterone may cause pms, hair loss, depression, painful periods and infertility. Using Thyme essential oil is a great way to improve progesterone levels and to balance hormones naturally.

Geranium

Geranium essential oil is often chosen for its stabilising and regenerative properties. It is a great choice for anyone suffering from PMS and imbalance as it can help to balance hormones and applying it topically can help to ease symptoms such as breast tenderness. Used aromatically and topically it helps promote emotional balance and is good choice to use post labour or after miscarriage.

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‘PMS Rescue’

3 drops Clary Sage

10 drops Geranium

3 drops Ylang Ylang

40 drops carrier oil

Apply on the wrists & inhale for calming effect/emotional support.

Apply on abdomen daily for hormonal balance.

Essential oils can be used aromatically to affect mood and open airways; topically for quick absorption into the body through the skin, and internally for immune & digestive support. It is important to select therapeutic grade oils free from synthetics.

Essential oils are a great way to improve your health easily and quickly. Drop me a line if you’d like to learn more about using essential oils or where to purchase 100% pure oils.…

 

-Caroline Jackman, Honest about Health

caroline@honestabouthealth.com

Digestion tips, peppermint tea, stress, hydrate, water, exercise, alison canavan, be complete, health and wellness, digestive issues, IBS, bloating, gas, cramps, intestines, good gut bacteria, terranova, probiotics,

  1. GET MOVING AND STRETCH

 

No better way to get your digestive system going than to get your body moving. So make sure to at least get a walk in every day. Stretching is also a great way to help move things along and both can help to stimulate your small intestine and get things moving in your colon!

SIMPLE STRETCH: Lie on the ground and stretch your arms up and legs as long as they can go. Then hug your knees into your stomach and start a cycling motion with your legs just like you would when you are trying to help a baby ease tummy troubles and wind. Yoga is also fantastic for getting a full body stretch combined with breathing as its helps you to tune into your bodies needs.

 

  1. DRINK MORE WATER!

 

I start every day with lemon water as it helps to kick start your digestion but it’s also important to keep sufficiently hydrated throughout the day, which an awful lot of us don’t do. Dehydration is actually one of the main causes of chronic constipation because water helps food to move through your intestines and if your body doesn’t have enough water your stools will be hard and difficult to pass. Check your urine to see if you are dehydrated. The lighter in colour the better!!

 

  1. EAT MORE FIBER

 

Fiber is something most of us don’t get enough of and its important as it keeps our gut healthy, digestive system running smoothly and it can actually help to control hunger as it keeps us feeling fuller for longer. Eat more fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds like chia and flax, brown rice, wholemeal bread, quinoa and oats.

 

  1. INCREASE YOUR GOOD GUT BACTERIA WITH PROBIOTICS

 

Probiotics are live bacteria or yeast that are great and essential for a healthy gut and digestive system. This is actually one of the most researched areas in medicine at the moment and what we are starting to realize is that the gut and the good bacteria that live there are far more important to our overall health than we realized with some people referring to our gut flora as “The Forgotten Organ”. Most of us are in what’s called dysbiosis in our gut and that’s when we have more bad than good bacteria in our gut, which is caused from things like poor diet, lifestyle and antibiotic use. So to help rebalance the bacteria try and eat less sugar, processed foods and reduce your alcohol intake. Increase foods like unsweetened live natural yogurt, sauerkraut, miso, kombucha, kefir and kimchi. I also take The Terranova Probiotics €26.79 BUY HERE which contain a blend of “friendly” bacteria that are normal inhabitants within the intestinal tract.

 

  1. DE STRESS

 

I know instantly when I’m getting stressed as I get knots in my tummy! Ever heard the term “gut wrenching”? Well that’s literally what stress does to your gut. Too much stress is bad full stop so try to eat mindfully, not in front of the TV, in a rush or in front of your computer and chew your food well. These little tips will help you to digest your food easier and better!

 

  1. PEPPERMINT ANYONE?

 

Nothing like a nice peppermint tea after a meal to help ease digestive issues like bloating, gas, cramps or IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) due to the peppermints anti-spasmodic and analgesic properties. I also use a little peppermint essential oil under my tongue from Doterra too (you need to make sure they good quality oils and also oils you can ingest) (To buy oils email Caroline@honestabouthealth.com))

So here’s to a happy tummy,

Shine Bright,

Ali xx

When I was getting sugared recently by Lindsay Leggett at The Hive Salon I picked up an exfoliating mitt and I am naturally bursting to tell you all about it because it’s the rolls Royce of exfoliating mitts and here’s why…

They’re made from a recycled non -porous hard plastic, which means it’s not possible for your dead skin to get trapped in them, so they’re ALWAYS CLEAN.

The company used to make mattresses for burns patients, that’s how clean we’re talking. That’s really important when you’re using something to slough off dead skin, a bath pouf or nylon gloves are trapping your dead skin cells in them, then you’re leaving that in a dark, warm, wet environment where mildew and bacteria can grow.

DESIGN:*Flexible Fusion – Bonded Honeycomb

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The company who makes them supracor studied the nature-proven hexagonal structure of honeycomb and adapted it for commercialization.

Bees are accomplished mathematicians and architects and the hexagonal honeycomb structure they have chosen to build for the storage of honey in their hives allows them to store the greatest amount of honey with the least amount of wax required to create the comb. It is an extremely efficient design.

Developing a revolutionary technique of fusion bonding, supracor are able to produce the honeycomb cellular matrix without the need for adhesives. This has been possible due to an advanced class of materials called thermoplastics.

SO WHAT ARE THEY GOOD FOR:

They’re great for exfoliating before a spray tan

They’re great for sugared areas to prevent ingrown hairs

For men who shave to the skin – for getting a smoother shave

For keratosis pilaris – which are the red bumps on the back of arms and thighs

Great for dry brushing and lymphatic drainage

Basically, they are the Rolls Royce of scrubbies really.

*Chanel buys a few thousand every few years, they use them in their spas for treatments!

Natural beauty, lindsay leggett, sugaring, cleansing, facial exfoliation, supracor, spacells, the hive, exfoliate naturally, beauty, body brushing, cellulite, womens health, honeycomb structure, body exfoliator, body care,

The ultimate body exfoliator features both a soft and firmer version of Stimulite honeycomb. The flexing action of the honeycomb cells exfoliates the skin while stimulating blood flow to tissue. This helps to breakdown the toxins that produce cellulite. Can be used wet or dry. (Dry brushing with upward strokes towards the heart promotes blood flow.) The perforated cells create a foamy lather with just a pinch of soap. They are naturally antifungal, antibacterial and mildew resistant.

Natural beauty, lindsay leggett, sugaring, cleansing, facial exfoliation, supracor, spacells, the hive, exfoliate naturally, beauty, body brushing, cellulite, womens health, honeycomb structure, body care,

SpaCells® Facial Sponge

The facial sponge is the one that I started out using and it not only cleans and removes make-up, but also exfoliates and massages your skin too, stimulating blood and lymph flow to decrease puffiness, eliminate toxins and promote cellular regeneration.

You can use it every day and you will notice your skin becoming much smoother and softer over time. One side is for cleansing and the other is for exfoliating. SpaCells come with instructions for giving yourself a 5-minute rejuvenating facial.

The small three-finger mitt is €15, all the rest are €35, they can buy in The Hive Salon or via email with PayPal.

So only four more sleeps till Santa gets here and as this is also the time of year when we can lose our way a bit, this mindful monday i’ve decided to share my Top 5 Tips for staying on track this holiday season

  1. HYDRATE FIRST THING EVERY MORNING

Keeping hydrated is important every day but over Christmas you might need a bit extra if you have been out at your Christmas party. Your kidney’s and liver will thank you for the helping hand. Starting your day with warm lemon is a great idea and then try and remember to drink water throughout the day.

2. MOVE EVERY DAY AND GET FRESH AIR

It’s so important that we get out and get some fresh air over Christmas especially on Christmas day. Even a 10-minute walk will work wonders and help you digest or indeed prepare for your Christmas dinner. If you are prone to depression and feeling low its imperative that you get up and get out especially during Christmas and remember it’s only a short walk because small changes make a big difference.

3. USE THE 80/20 RULE WITH FOOD AND FUN

I use the 80/20 rule in my daily life and it has helped me to break negative patterns that I have been struggling with for years. It has finally enabled me to have some balance. So enjoy your Christmas dinner (80%) and have some dessert (20%) just try and find a balance so you don’t feel bad. Christmas is a time to rest, relax and be happy. It is certainly not the time to make yourself feel bad about the decisions you make.

4. REMEMBER TO BREATHE

Breathing is essential for survival but it can also come in handy to survive Christmas when someone pushes your buttons (family, in laws!) or when you feel stressed. Simply count to 5 on your in breath and do the same on your out breath. I do this 10 times and I find it helps enormously!

5. ENJOY YOURSELF

Yes enjoy yourself! Try and be present and enjoy the simple things like time with your loved ones and if you are a parent enjoy seeing the magic of Christmas come alive through your child’s eyes. The real spirit of Christmas comes from our hearts and not from what we give to each other so open your heart to both let love in and share the love you have in there too.

Ali xxx

The skin is the largest organ of the body but we often don’t give much thought to the role the skin plays in our health by protecting the organs, guarding against infection, and excreting waste. Often skin conditions can be a reflection of an imbalance inside the body so sometimes the solution can be found in the right balance of nutrition and removal of toxins. Essential oils can also be a very effective natural solution for targeting skin problems and irritations.

 

Top 4 oils for healthy skin

  • Lavender

Lavender’s soothing properties make it an ideal oil to apply topically on cuts and wounds. Adding it to a spray bottle makes it easy to apply especially on children. It promotes skin healing and is an ideal choice for burns, sunburn or scars. Mixing it with a good quality carrier oil makes it an effective substitute for after-sun lotion or applying it neat will help to quickly heal a blister.

  • Melaleuca

Melaleuca essential oil, commonly known as ‘Tea Tree’ oil has been used for centuries for its antiseptic powers. It blends well with lavender and together both oils help to clean and disinfect wounds. Diluting and applying melaleuca topically can also help soothe eczema and it is also a good choice for hives and rashes. Spots and acne can be upsetting for sufferers of any age. Taking melaleuca internally and applying it topically on problematic areas can promote clear and healthy skin. Melaleuca’s anti-fungal properties make it an effective oil to use on athlete’s foot and nail fungus.

  • Frankincense

This restorative essential oil is the perfect choice for promoting healthy skin. It is very effective oil for wound healing and when applied topically can reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks. Adding frankincense to face creams can help with fine lines and wrinkles. To combat warts, a mixture of frankincense and oregano can prove effective when applied daily for two weeks. Frankincense helps to reduce inflammation and to invigorate skin which makes it a great oil to apply topically. Mixing frankincense with a good quality shea butter and applying it daily to the body is the perfect way to moisturise and maintain healthy skin while at the same time benefit from the healing & restorative properties of the essential oil.

  • Geranium

Geranium essential oil helps to balance and hydrate the skin which makes it a wonderful oil to dilute with carrier oil and use in place of moisturiser. It promotes healing making it another good choice for cuts and wounds on the skin. As it helps with oil balance, geranium is a great oil to use on oily or dry skin. It can also help with oil balance of the hair or dry scalp.

 

Exfoliating Body Scrub

-6 tablespoons fine sea salt (or baking soda)

– 12 drops Grapefruit essential oil

-30 ml fractionated coconut oil

Mix ingredients in a glass or ceramic bowl into a thick paste. Before showering rub the mixture on the body in circular motions. Remove with warm water

 

Essential oils can be used aromatically to affect mood and open airways; topically for quick absorption into the body through the skin, and internally for immune & digestive support.

Essential oils are a great way to improve your health easily and quickly. Drop me a line if you’d like to learn more about using essential oils or where to purchase 100% pure oils.…

CAROLINES WEBSITE HONEST ABOUT HEALTH

caroline@honestabouthealth.com

The breathing process is one of the most basic functions of the body and one that we often take for granted. A simple head cold and blocked nose can make a person feel dizzy and miserable. Sinus problems in particular can cause a lot of pain and leave people suffering with headaches, migraines and sleep loss due to congestion. Essential oils can be of great help to the respiratory system and effectively assist in clearing airways and easing congestion in a natural way.

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As we start to lean towards healthier lifestyles I feel it’s important to think about our skincare too, after all the skin is our largest organ and a percentage of what we put on our skin is absorbed into the body. I have seen people turn into freaks about food. They ask a million questions in restaurants and cafes and read every tiny detail of every food label in the supermarket. Then they return home and spray toxic deodorants, shower and lather themselves in perfumed products and as women we use make up with an incredible amount of toxins in them??

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Thanks to fix.com for Contributing this article. It helps simplify just what exactly essential oils can be used for and how beneficial they can be. Do you use essential oils and would you like to know more?

If so contact caroline@honestabouthealth.com who is our weekly resident #EssentialHealth writer.

Whats your favourite essential oil? Comment below…

Any one who has a child understands the joy of getting them to brush their teeth! I’ve even tried turning it into different games including a fun competition to see who can wiggle their bum the fastest while the other person brushes. Needless to say I’m always the clear winner here although James might not agree.

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FROM TRAVEL SICKNESS TO ANXIETY TO SWOLLEN ANKLES I’VE GOT YOU COVERED!!

Travel Sickness

Nelsons_Travella-72tabs-€5.99-

If you are going to travel, don’t’ forget to include some basic essentials: long journeys are generally not enjoyable; however, for those that experience the symptoms of travel sickness they can be even more unpleasant. To help relieve these symptoms, remember to pack Nelsons Travella. (€5.99) It contains a unique combination of seven homeopathic remedies, each specifically chosen to help bring soothing relief for the unpleasant symptoms associated with travel sickness.

 

Planning a boat trip?

Sea-Band_Adult-€9.95

Sea-Band (€9.95) is the natural way to relieve motion sickness (GREAT FOR MORNING SICKNESS DURING PREGNANCY TOO). Sea-band operates by applying pressure on the Nei Kuan acupressure point on each wrist.
They are also suitable for children and help with motion sickness in the car, boat and are great for kids Find out more here Sea-Band

 

Holiday Anxiety and Fear of Flying

Rescue-Remedy_Spray2-20ml-€12.50

Feeling anxious or overwhelmed are common symptoms of holiday travellers, especially for those who fear flying. The thought of sitting trapped in a plane for even a couple of hours can be a terrifying prospect.

Rescue Remedy (€12.50) taken on the day of the flight can be very helpful in dealing with feelings of anxiety and panic. A few sprays or drops can be taken as often as required during the flight until the person feels calmer and in control. It is also safe to take alongside other medications.

 

Swollen ankles and tired legs

AVogel_Venagel-100gr-€16.75 (1)

If your dream holiday is either to explore a city or simply relax don’t forget to nurture your legs. Swollen ankles can be an unwelcomed side effect of flying, especially on long flights. After a long day sightseeing you may also experience tired and aching legs.

Apply A.Vogel Venagel (€16.75) made from Horse Chestnut as it will cool your legs and help to reduce the swelling and sense of fatigue. Drink plenty of water and try to put your feet up at least once a day.

 

Sun care from head to toe

Parasol-Suncare-factor20-100ml€21.50-200ml€38.99

Irish skin is not generally accustomed to sunshine, so protecting your sensitive skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s rays is very important. I have just returned from Spain and I used Parasol (€38.99) for the first time.

I found it great and it is also an Irish brand. It has an innovative broad spectrum with a photostable filtering system. One application per day protects you from harmful UVA and UVB rays, while still letting the sun rays through to give you a lasting tan. Parasol is non-staining, waterproof resistant and includes a wide range of sun factor screens, making it ideal for the entire family.

Optima-Aloe-Pura_Aloe-Vera-Gel-100ml-€4.45After a long day outdoors, you can apply Optima Aloe Pura Vera Gel,(€4.45) a cooling and soothing 100% organic gel which helps to moisture and restore dry and damaged skin.

Smile your way through summer with Optima Aloe Dent Lip Balm,(€3.83) a natural lip balm with UVA and UVB protection. The Tea Tree oil and lysine based formula provides rich and soothing protection for dry & cracked lips from sun exposure. It also helps to prevent the dreaded cold sores I get. Taking Lysine tablets every day when you are away will also help!

Naturtint_3-in-1-Restructuring-Spray-30ml-€9.99 (2)

Your hair may also need some special attention. Naturtint 3-in-1 Restructuring spray (€9.99) is essential for anyone who colours their hair as the three active ingredients are designed to rebuild & repair, strengthen & protect and maintain hair colour. Spray onto dry ends throughout the day, to keep your hair hydrated and glossy (free from parabens, silicone and SLS).

 

First aid kit

Higher-Nature_Citricidal-45ml-€13.52

Whether going camping or travelling to less developed destinations,Higher Nature Citricidal (€13.52) with grapefruit seed extract is a natural disinfectant and antiseptic for external and internal use.

It has the ability to support the digestive system and taken every day while on holiday, it may help prevent any unwanted bacteria from taking hold, avoiding traveller’s tummy problems. A few drops can cleanse utensils and wash fruit & vegetable safely. It is also a powerful ally for all pregnant women, allowing to prepare a healthy and fresh meal, such as salad during summer time.

Probiotic Complex terranovaBecoming ill with a tummy bug or infection can really ruin a holiday so be prepared and don’t forget to pack a good probiotic. I absolutely love Terranova’s products for so many reasons. The owner of the company Stephen Terrass is such an inspiration. There are no binders or fillers used in any his products. I took these on my holidays and for a week after I returned home!!

Above all have fun. As well as letting the sunshine in, let your inner sunshine glow. Be happy, be healthy and be you xxx