Standard dogma from your medical doctor is that your oily skin and acne has nothing to do with the foods you eat. Next time you hear this message, ask for the evidence. Although often denied by American scientific establishments, chronic skin conditions are linked to less than ideal diets. Simple diet modifications focusing on real whole foods including varying fruits and vegetables with good fats can help to clear skin problems after 6-8 weeks. This would mean trading in the acidic and inflammatory foods like highly processed meats, refined oils, foods high in additives, dye, GMO’s and fast food.
Everyone knows that acne is related to surging hormones during adolescence, but to blame acne on puberty is like blaming heart disease on old age. People get more heart disease as they get older, but only when they eat the wrong diet. Heart disease does not exist where people eat healthy, such as in rural Africa and Asia. Heart disease is also cured when sick people change to a healthy diet. Same story with acne.
I struggled with what is considered hormonal acne since I was a teenager. Let me caveat that by saying that I was also a heavy meat eater, I would not eat a meal without meat nor was I willing to give up whole milk. For years I used over the counter acne creams, cleaners, serums, Rx eczema steroid creams. In retrospect, I was being really harsh to my skin, inside and out…between the overly acidic diet, super-hot showers and skincare bottles full of chemicals, my skin was overwhelmed and inflamed to say the least. I dried my skin out, covered my face with makeup & the rest of my body with chemical laced water (store bought lotion). I popped, picked, over-scrubbed to no avail! It wasn’t until I finally admitted that my methods, products and diet was not helping and that it was time to just do something completely different.
I also have sensitive skin and am prone to hyperpigmentation (dark spots) whether I pick an imperfection or not. I didn’t figure that last bit out until I actually took a full step back and started researching & educating myself. I started making my own skincare products, changed my skincare routine as well as my diet. Although it was tough at first… with these changes, only then did I begin to see positive lasting effects that didn’t revert back when I stopped using product….Due to the extra hormones my body was use to receiving from animal products and meat, my acne became so unbearable before things changed for the better. This taught me another valuable lesson; I detox through my skin.
Fast forward, I stuck it out and became even more committed to the changes that I was making. I even challenged myself to go makeup free at that, ha! Looking back, I probably could have put some concealer on, but I was tired of covering up and kept the long-term goal in mind…better, healthier skin. Some of the most important information that I came across and personally experienced was the ways that diet causes acne:
Ways Diet Causes Acne
1) A high-fat diet increases the amounts of fats in and on the skin (sebum). With extreme changes in food intake such as almost total avoidance of fat or inclusion of fat as the sole source of food the amount of sebum production has been found to be greatly altered. Please note that it does not take much fat on the skin to plug the pores, feed the bacteria, and cause acne in susceptible people. Also note the bacteria eat vegetable oil as well as animal fats.
2) The rich Western diet increases sex hormones causing precocious puberty (girls mature at 12 rather than 16 – boys mature earlier too). Earlier maturation of women is known to be associated with more severe acne. Excess male hormones (androgens) in men and women are well known to cause acne and increase production of sebum.
3) Growth hormones adversely affect the sebaceous glands causing them to become easily plugged. Insulin-like growth hormone-1 (IGF-1) is known to be increased by dietary protein (meat, poultry, etc.), and especially by dairy products. Research shows elevated IGF-1 levels are associated with more acne.
Other factors that may play a lesser role are:
4) Acne is promoted by lack of antioxidants and other plant-derived nutrients that keep the skin healthy.
5) Poor circulation to the skin from a high-fat diet allows the skin to be more susceptible to acne.
6) Fat and oils, brought to the skin by hands picking up greasy French fries and burgers, cause acne – this directly-applied grease plugs the pores and feeds the bacteria.
Multiple studies of people living on their traditional native diets – almost all of which are low fat-diets, based on starches, vegetables, and fruits – have found these people have little or no acne. When these healthy people learn the Western diet, acne becomes an epidemic – as do the other diseases of modern civilization (obesity, heart disease, diabetes, prostate and breast cancer).
Whenever I eat something that I should not eat, I notice that I will get a pimple or two. When I wear a full face of makeup, I am 100% certain that my forehead will breakout. However, when I’m sticking to my skincare routine with my Farmhouse Organic products, eating more of what I should be eating, drinking enough water and taking my multivitamins/herbal supplements, I could possibly go a full day or two without even washing my face. I usually don’t, but the point is everything is better when I exercise patience, get the proper nutrition that I need and am gentle on my skin.
Everyone is different and we all have to find what works for us. Are you getting what you need from your food? Are you really what you eat? Think about this for yourself.
As always I encourage you to do your own research!
Peace & Love!
Medically PMS is defined as:
“Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common disorder in women of reproductive age that is characterized by the cyclic recurrence of physical, affective, and cognitive (or performance) symptoms. The symptoms occur in the latter half of the menstrual cycle, resolve after menses begins, and are absent during the early phase of the menstrual cycle. A diagnosis of PMS requires that symptoms are severe enough to negatively impact a woman's ability to function at home, in the workplace, or in personal relationships. As many as 85% of menstruating women experience one or more symptoms of PMS. Approximately 5% to 10% of women have symptoms severe enough to be debilitating.”
OK, where does that leave the rest of us who do not quite have enough symptoms to obtain an official medical diagnosis but are well aware that something just isn’t quite right????
The exact cause of PMS is not fully understood and may be related to a number of factors. The current theories on the underlying causes focus mostly on levels of sex hormones (e.g., estrogen, progesterone) and neurotransmitters (i.e., brain chemicals that control mood), as well as regulation of fluid balance by the kidneys and hormone balance by the liver.
Ok enough technical stuff …on to the good stuff!
Show of hands for those who have been to the doctor for PMS, menopause symptoms or hormone imbalances and your options were birth control pills or some form of synthetic hormone replacement therapy. We now know that those synthetic treatment options can cause adverse side effects that we really don’t want or care to deal with. But it’s left on us, the patients, to find “alternative” treatments.
Please conduct your own research and talk to your healthcare provider before starting any herbal supplements as they could interact with prescription drugs and/or illnesses that you are already experiencing.
First things first, reverse nutritional deficiencies by taking a quality multivitamin and maintaining enough vitamin B6, magnesium and calcium. Secondly know that a variety of herbal approaches have successfully been used to help manage PMS symptoms, many with a history of use dating back centuries. These natural interventions include herbs that support hormone and neurotransmitter balance, fluid balance, and liver health.
There are many however through my own personal experience and intense research, I’ve found the following herbal supplement approaches to be very helpful…although not all at the same time of course!
And just in case you wanted to read some highly technical medical jargon, check out the sources below...
This post will be quick and simple!
To tighten the vagina:
1. Always start with clean hands & complete this treatment at night before bed.
2. Cut a small piece (2-3 inches) off of a fresh Aloe Vera plant.
3. Remove the green skin with a paring knife.
4. Insert the clear firm gel into the vagina cavity and sleep like a baby.
5. Remove or "push out" in the morning. It might slide out on its own, which is completely fine.
6. Repeat as you see fit.
This is a very natural treatment that has been used for centuries. It is excellent after childbearing as well. If you are apprehensive that the Aloe Vera might get "stuck", cut a longer piece for insertion or tie a string around it (think of a tampon). Do not use Aloe Vera gel or Aloe Vera that has been processed in some way. Fresh Aloe Vera plant can be grown at home, or purchased from your local farmers market, Whole Foods or other natural herb stores in your area.
I am not a doctor or acting as one.
Do your research.
A combination of cranberries, Lactobacillus rhamnosus & Lactobacillus crispatus, and vitamin C might produce a clinical benefit due to their additive or synergistic effects.
The association between sexual intercourse and subsequent acute symptomatic UTIs in women is so well known that these episodes are often labeled “honeymoon cystitis”. Sexual activity moves bacteria into the bladder and can lead to colonization of in the urinary tract. UTIs are easily treated with antibiotics. However, given the large number of women treated with antibiotics for UTI, there is a high probability that resistance will emerge and spread. Rapid emergence of resistance among uropathogens/bacteria has been observed for several Antibiotics. This essential means that the UTI are becoming and will continue to be increasingly difficult to treat with antibiotics.
A urinary tract infection (UTI), as defined herein, is an infection of any part of the urinary tract. The urinary tract includes the kidneys, the bladder, the urethra, and the ureter. Infection of the urinary tract typically results in a variety of symptoms, depending on the specific site of infection.
In women the periurethral area provides more places for bacteria to grow. The vaginal cavity provides an additional niche for growth. Bacteria also move easily from the vagina to the urethral opening. This, combined with the shorter distance from the urethral opening to the bladder, increases the chance that a potential uropathogen can ascend to the bladder, multiply in the urine, and invade bladder walls or ascend further to the kidneys causing UTI. Unfortunately, UTI have a propensity to recur. After an apparently cured first UTI, about 20% of women will have another within 6 months. Among sexually active women with a history of 1 or more UTI, one-half to almost three-quarters will have another within a year.
Data (scientific/medical studies/clinical trials & research) suggest that a critical component in UTI development may be an absence of probiotic bacteria. Probiotics are living microorganisms such as yeasts and bacteria that can be formulated into many different types of product which will produce beneficial effects to the person taking the probiotics. A healthy diet, the use of nutritional supplements and probiotics help to reduce the risk of recurrent UTIs. However, the role of supplements taken as single agents appears to be limited. A combination of cranberries, Lactobacillus rhamnosus & Lactobacillus crispatus, and vitamin C might produce a clinical benefit due to their additive or synergistic effects. These options are relatively inexpensive, convenient and available without a prescription.Put the antibiotics away for now and try something else.
I am not a doctor or acting as one.
Do your research.
The oldest written evidence of medicinal plants’ usage for preparation of drugs has been found on a Sumerian clay slab from Nagpur, approximately 5,000 years old. Early 19th century was a turning point in the knowledge and use of medicinal plants. The discovery, substantiation, and isolation of alkaloids from poppy (1806), ipecacuanha (1817), strychnos (1817), quinine (1820), pomegranate (1878), and other plants, then the isolation of glycosides, marked the beginning of scientific pharmacy. With the upgrading of the chemical methods, other active substances from medicinal plants were also discovered such as tannins, saponosides, etheric oils, vitamins, hormones, etc. In late 19th and early 20th centuries, there was a great danger of elimination of medicinal plants from therapy. Many authors wrote that drugs obtained from them had many shortcomings due to the destructive action of enzymes, which cause fundamental changes during the process of medicinal plants drying, i.e. medicinal plants’ healing action depends on the mode of drying. In 19th century, therapeutics, alkaloids, and glycosides isolated in pure form were increasingly replacing the drugs from which they had been isolated. On account of chemical, physiological, and clinical/medical studies, numerous forgotten plants and drugs obtained thereof were substituted by conventional pharmaceutical drugs.
Many of these conventional drugs originate from plant sources: a century ago, most of the few effective drugs were plant based. Examples include aspirin (from willow bark), digoxin (from foxglove), quinine (from cinchona bark), and morphine (from the opium poppy). Yet in present days, almost all pharmacopoeias in the world forbid, denounce or dismiss plant drugs of real medicinal value. We have systematically & conveniently given historically effective medicinal plants the title of “alternative” or “complimentary” medicine.
Ummm, Interesting..Go On
Medicinal plants have been used in clinical medicine for thousands of years. However, it is only in recent times that we have been able to employ scientific methods to prove the efficacy of many of these herbs to give us a better understanding of their mechanisms of action. The ancient system of medical treatment is based on the rich experiences of innumerable Vaidyas over thousands of years, having trials on hundreds and thousands of human beings to its credit, to which no modem system of treatment in the world can ordinarily lay claim. This is one possible reason why this system has survived the critics through the ages and is still catering to the health needs of millions all over the world. The system is basically within the economic reach of the common individual because of nature’s bounty to mankind in herbal wealth of medicinal value. Medicinal plants have played a key role in world health with more than 80% of the total population in the developing world dependence on natural products, because of its time-tested safety and efficacy.
The active components of medicinal plants are a product of the natural, most seamless laboratory. So, are medicinal plants really inferior as we are now taught to believe? Is herbal medicine really “alternative medicine”? No, however, pharma-funded research cherry-picks positive results. Clinical trial data on new drugs is systematically withheld from doctors and patients, bringing into question many of the premises of the pharmaceutical industry—and the medicine we use. In 2010, three researchers from Harvard and Toronto found all the trials looking at five major classes of drug—antidepressants, ulcer drugs and so on—then measured two key features: were they positive, and were they funded by the pharmaceutical industry? They found over five hundred trials in total: 85% of the industry-funded studies were positive, but only 50% of the government funded trials were. That’s a very significant difference. Research funded by drug companies was less likely to be published than research funded by other sources. Studies sponsored by pharmaceutical companies were more likely to have outcomes favoring the sponsor than were studies with other sponsors. Can we believe these pharma-sponsored/funded trials?
Why go through a middle man (Big Phama) when you can go straight to the source (herbal medicine)? You have the history above and are probably still trying to process what you’ve read thus far.
So here is your take away:
The active ingredients of a drug, synthesized in the small unicellar laboratory of the leaf and then transported to reservoirs embedded within roots, fruits and leaves, bark, and flowers under photosynthetic influence, are nature’s gift to mankind. This alone speaks well for the inexpensive nature of the treatment afforded by traditional medicine & medicinal plants when compared to a given method of modern pharmaceutical/surgical treatment that is available to mainly only to the affluent few in human communities.
Ultimately, when deciding on which treatment to choose, most of us place our trust in a combination of the objectivity gained from science and the subjectivity of our own emotions. Just make sure your expectations are aligned accordingly.
Do your research.
Let’s talk about our vaginas. Is it safe to say that women rarely talk about vaginal issues unless its within the privacy of their doctor’s office, a listening partner or a close girlfriend? That may or may not be true. Anyhow my point is, I’m going to talk about it in this blog post!
It is well known that in a female between the age of menstruation and menopause, the normal vagina provides an ecosystem for a variety of microorganisms. Bacteria are the predominant type of microorganism present in the vagina and most women harbor small amounts of bacteria in their vaginal fluid. In this regard, some of the more conventional treatment regimens for various vaginal infections have been described as follows:
Great so, everyone is treated, infection cured! What’s the issue? Well conventional treatments have two important negative characteristics. The first is that some of the treatments described are systemic, such as oral metronidazole for trichomonas or bacterial vaginosis and tetracycline for chlamydia. Systemic treatment may have systemic/adverse side effects. The second difficulty is that none of these treatments or procedures attempt to normalize the vaginal flora growth habitat by either maintaining or enhancing acceptable microbial (bacteria) growth patterns.
Let’s discuss Candidiasis (yeast) and Bacterial Vaginosis more specifically since those are very common. There is limited data regarding the antifungal susceptibility of yeast causing candidiasis, since cultures are rarely performed. Recurrent episodes are more often caused by non-albicans species, for which “azoles” (fluconazole, itraconazole, econazole, clotrimazole, miconazole, and ketoconazole) agents are less likely to be effective. This means that the “azoles” are usually acceptable for therapy of uncomplicated candidiasis. Painting of the vulva and vagina with aqueous Gentian Violet 1%, as an adjunct to other therapies, may be helpful in some difficult cases. Usually this was done at the doctor’s office but doctors do not use this treatment anymore. However, Gentian Violet and the correct strains of probiotics can be purchased for home use from online vendors.
Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common vaginitis, which is derived from a reduction in vaginal lactobacilli and an increased growth of other anaerobic species of bacteria. Vitamin C therapy and the correct strains of probiotics can be effective in treatment of BV through the production of lactic acid. Both of which can be purchased online or in stores for home use.
Although pharmaceutically active agents have been developed (conventional treatments above), it has been difficult to achieve optimal potential effectiveness from these agents. It has been found that conventional gels, foams, creams, pharmaceutical suppositories and tablets that are presently used as vaginal delivery systems break down almost immediately following insertion into the vaginal cavity and have minimal adherence to the vaginal walls. This is believed to be due to their water miscibility and/or their lack of physical stability at 37 degrees C (average normal body temperature by mouth). Thus, they exhibit limited effectiveness. The bigger picture is that these and other bacteria microorganisms are becoming more and more multidrug-resistant to pharmaceutical antibiotics. Which means we have to be more proactive about using effective alternative treatments.
SO NOW WHAT!!!
Farmhouse Herbal Suppositories! Which be purchased here. That’s right, herbal suppositories synergistically comprise the therapeutic effectiveness of the individual herbal ingredients and sustains the natural vaginal flora. In addition, they relieve the symptoms of vaginal infections including inflammation, irritation, dryness, discharge, and unpleasant odor. Each herbal ingredient has properties that treat the symptoms of vaginal infections pointed out earlier. It is estimated that today, plant materials are present in, or have provided the model for 50% of Western drugs. Let’s remember that many commercially proven drugs used in modern medicine were initially used in crude form in traditional or folk healing practices, or for other purposes that suggested potentially useful biological activity. The primary benefits of using plant derived medicines are that they are relatively safer than synthetic alternatives, offering profound therapeutic benefits and are more affordable.
I am not a doctor and am not offering medical advice! Please do your research.
Take care until next time!
Lately, I’ve gotten many inquiries about treatments for dark spots, blemishes and other hyperpigmentation on the skin. Clearly a problem that no one wants to have. I decided to share a quick inexpensive yet effective DIY treatment.
Organic Turmeric + Organic Wildflower Honey + Yogurt = problem solved!
Mix in a small bowl then apply to a clean face for 20-30 minutes daily until your problem areas become better. Rinse with cool water. Wear a dark shirt and use a washcloth that you don’t mind getting stained.
Always remember that anti-hyperpigmentation treatments should be done at night in order avoid the sunlight and to achieve maximum results and don’t forget your sunblock.
So hmmm, why Turmeric?
One of the latest of many studies completed in 2017, done to test the anti-hyperpigmentation effects of Turmeric and Bitter Melon leaves, proved that the combination of these two natural ingredients had a better effect on hyperpigmentation than the pharmaceutical cream containing hydroquinone 4%, tretinoin 0,05%, and fluocinolone acetonide 0,01%. Not surprising since we know for sure that turmeric has been used for hundreds of years for this exact reason! Its just now modern research has the science to support this knowledge.
Turmeric, the major ingredient of curry powder and prepared mustard, comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh. It has long been used as a powerful anti-inflammatory in both the Chinese and Indian systems of medicine. This ancient spice gets its health benefits primarily because of curcumin, a bioactive component with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These properties inhibit pigmentation in the skin and can be effective in reducing the appearance of sun spots and pigmented scarring.
Through diet and supplementation, the active constituents are believed to help block melanin overproduction that is triggered by chronic sun exposure. Curcumin is reported to possess greater anti-inflammatory activity than ibuprofen with the standard oral dose of curcumin is 250-400 mg, three times a day.
In no way is this blog post meant to substitute or in lieu of medical advice. Do not ingest or start any herbal treatments without researching their full contradictions and side effects. I am not a doctor, just a human trying to heal with the power of nature.
In my free-time I enjoy studying Herbalism and reading/researching scholarly & scientific literature on various topics.