Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mojito-sicles





On a hot day, these mojito-sicles make great pitta popsicles as they relieve the heat in the body and the mind from excess pitta dosha.  The lime and coconut also lend cooling properties as well as electrolytes needed to restore balance after exercise in the heat.


  • Muddle 5 or 6 large fresh mint leaves with 2 tsp organic sugar.  
  • Add the juice of 1 lime and 2 cups of coconut water.  
  • You can drink this mixture as is, ice cold, for a refreshing and replenishing beverage on a hot day or during exercise.  
  • Or pour it into popsicle molds and freeze until set. You may strain the mint leaves or leave them in. Pour into ice cube trays to make a fun and refreshing addition to your guests' water glasses.

If you don't have coconut water on hand, simply use tap water.  Mint is refreshing, invigorating, cooling and soothes indigestion, bloating and gas. enJOY the many benefits of this vibrant green, aromatic and flavourful friend.

Stephanie
atONE Holistic Living


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The many benefits and uses of mint



Versatile mint would demand a lengthy post to sing the praises of its many benefits and uses.  This post will get you started and inspire you to discover more of mint's bounty.

Mint is a refreshing herb for summer.  In ayurveda, mint is invigorating for low-energy kapha and also cooling for over-heated pitta.  It is used to treat digestive issues and stimulate the appetite.

Mint is my go-to for working with issues of 5th chakra, however, mint can be a useful 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th chakra herb.

3rd. Promote digestion and assist with digestive upset, relieve gas and relax the digestive muscles. After-dinner mint tea is soothing to the stomach or a diluted mint oil may be massaged onto the belly.

4th & 6th. Mint essential oil can be diffused into the air or a drop or two placed on a tissue for inhalation to open breathing passages and clear congestion.

5th. Use to open and soothe the throat for clear communication, mint tea or gargle is effective before speaking engagements or important discussions.  Diluted essential oil rubbed on the throat enhances this effect.

6th. Mint is used to soothe headaches. Massage the herb-infused or diluted essential oil into the temples. Mint also cools the skin and the temper.

In fact, mint makes a welcome sore muscle rub for any part of the body, especially invigorating for tired feet.

  • Add a couple drops of essential oil to a warm bath or foot bath. 
  • Infuse the fresh or dried herb in your favourite carrier oil for a body or foot rub.  
  • Add beeswax and a bit of mint essential oil to your mint-infused oil for a cold and cough chest rub or add shea or cocoa butter to the infused oil for a hydrating foot butter.

In aromatherapy, mint is used to energize, increase alertness and for stress relief.

Mint is just as versatile and beneficial when used in the diet.  Soothing the stomach and freshening breath.  Keep in mind... too much of a good thing... excessive essential oil can add to headaches and nausea.  Mint can cause upset tummy if consumed in large quantity, so enjoy responsibly :)

Simple mint tisane
Infuse fresh, gently bruised mint leaves in a pitcher of water placed in the sun to make sun-tea or add to your water bottle during yoga, hiking or other activity for a refreshing pick-me-up.

A few diced leaves make an aromatic and flavourful addition to a mixed berry fruit salad.



On a hot day, these mojito-sicles make great pitta popsicles as they relieve the heat in the body and the mind from excess pitta dosha.  The lime and coconut also lend cooling properties as well as electrolytes needed to restore balance after strenuous exercise.


Investigate, explore and experiment with this gorgeous, green, revitalizing friend.  The uses are endless for restoring balance, naturally.


Stephanie
atONE Holistic Living



As with all essential oils, consult a physician if pregnant, breastfeeding, have an existing health condition or for children, before use.  Mint is not recommended while taking homeopathic treatments as it is believed to reduce effectiveness.  The information posted here is not intended to diagnose or treat conditions but simply as information.


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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Jasmine green tea-infused body butter, naturally




This luxurious and pure body butter uses herb-infused oil to deliver the additional benefits of the plant.  Infuse any of your favourite herbs or aromatic teas for the beneficial properties of the phytonutrients.

Herb-infused oil: 
Place herbs in a clean, dry jar, about 2/3 full.  Add oil, stirring to release any bubbles and fill to the top, capping the jar.  Infuse in a warm window sill for 30 days or more and strain.  Or add herbs to oil in a double boiler or water bath and gently heat for 30-60 minutes, strain and continue with the body butter.

Or simply use a good quality oil like organic olive, sesame or sunflower instead of an infused oil.

This kitchen chemistry DIY is a one-dish, simple method for an indulgent and natural treat.


Melt approximately 1 1/2 cups of shea butter in a double boiler over low heat.



Once all the shea butter has melted, remove from heat and add about 3/4 cup jasmine green tea-infused, other herb-infused or pure oil and stir.

Allow this mixture to cool but not completely set.

I place mine in the deep freezer (or, if in the winter, I place it out in the snow for a little snow prana :) for about 15 minutes or until it just starts to set and then pull it out.

Add approximately 1 tsp of vitamin e, if you have it, and 10-15ml of essential oils, depending upon the strength of the scent of the oil and how fragrant you would like your butter.  I added 5mls of 10% jasmine essential oil and 3mls jasmine absolute, as that's what I had on hand.  It delivers a subtle scent that lingers on the skin long after it has been applied.

Whip until smooth and creamy.
Fair trade shea butter supports African women and their communities.

The making of shea butter is exclusively a female activity, used for centuries to moisturize the skin and protect it from heat, wind and salt water.

Shea promotes soft, silky-smooth, hydrated skin.

Jasmine is an aphrodisiac and is used to pacify excess pitta dosha; too much heat in the body, poor digestion or an agitated mind.


This beautiful jasmine body butter delivers the hydrating benefits of shea butter, the antioxidants of green tea and the sensual aromatherapy benefits of exotic jasmine.  Also the healing touch of having a loved one rub this fragrant butter onto your body!


Other body butter candidates: mint, lavender, lemon balm, chai tea, rosemary, sweet orange, neroli, rose, vanilla...

The possibilities are endless.


Spoon into clean dry containers and enjoy!  Ideal for hands, heels, elbows and whatever other parts of the body need moisture.


Soothing for the skin, the senses and the soul.



Stephanie
atONE Holistic Living



Monday, August 13, 2012

Angry skies


Most of us have been on both the giving and receiving ends of anger.

Angry words spoken by others, to others and to ourselves.

This anger has an impact.

We understand that repetitive thoughts and beliefs can both create and alleviate conditions in the body, depending on the thought.

Psychosomatic disorders result from a strong belief that we are actually ill. And then we become what we believe.  Likewise many illnesses have been overcome through just as strong a belief in healing.

Anger conjures up many vivid associations; heat, fire, turmoil, storm, explosion.

Anger can be very much like a storm, slowly building, gathering momentum, blowing stronger with sharp sudden flashes of lightening strikes and booming thunder, until it passes and calm returns.

It can also appear quite suddenly, as conditions provoke, and catch everyone unaware, wreaking havoc, tossing things about and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake, to be cleaned up by those affected most and a few compassionate bystanders.

Anger, when turned on oneself, plants destructive seeds within the body.  The thoughts first gather and gain sufficient force for the emotion to spring forth.  Deeply-seated, this emotion attacks the wellbeing of the physical body and the self, wearing them down.

Anger against another is rarely really against the other but rather a reflection of something hidden within ourselves that we are denying, fear or are ashamed of because of what someone else once told us and we believed.  Once we realize it is not about the other and understand it is in our power to address this response and its true root, most often the anger dissipates as it no longer has a basis or a target.

"Holding onto anger is like grasping onto a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else. You are the one who gets burned." ~ Siddharta Buddha

Anger appears to have a frequency.  Have you ever felt the anger of a person before they spoke or acted out?  There is an energy, a sensory quality.  You can feel their emotional state.  Likewise with your own anger, you feel it coming on, a heat in the body, bubbling up and boiling over, creating an increase in heart rate, shallower breathing, red face, raised blood pressure, clenched jaw and fists.  A physiological response to an implanted seed thought that has blossomed into a full blown emotional state.


If anger has the ability and sufficient energy to create a state of dis-ease in the body, when turned upon another, often and forceful enough, we essentially inflict dis-ease on those targeted.



"Raise your words, not voice.  It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder." ~ Rumi


An angry mob carries quite a wave of energy and the potential for increased momentum and disastrous effects with it. Quite possibly a synergy where the effect of the whole is far greater than the sum of its individual parts.  One angry person creates turmoil where many angry people together create destruction.

With seven billion people on the planet, many of whom are holding and stoking intense anger, this is a substantial force, a tidal wave of harsh, dense, turbulent energy colliding around the planet.

In every case, anger effects the one who generates it.  Wether turned inward, projected onto another or as part of a collective force, the impact is rarely avoided by the source as the seed is rooted in them and only they can dislodge it, unwrap the tangled roots from their minds and choose to no longer cultivate such thoughts.

Herein lies the power to calm the storm and ease the waters as each person chooses to let go of angry thoughts and the subsequent reactions.  Strive diligently to release these seed thoughts from your own mind and worry not about anyone else's progress but your own.

Control the things you can, which are those things that lie within.  Anything external cannot be controlled by you.  Master your own presence, your own thoughts, actions, emotions and response.  Master your own well-being and this newly cultivated state of ease will ripple outwards.  You will feel ease in your own life and those who share this life with you will, in turn, share this ease.  Then they too will find angry thoughts diminishing, as these seeds can no longer take root.

It is in this way that change becomes simple yet powerful.  You are responsible for your own state.  Each individual mastering their own anger clears stormy clouds and creates bright, open skies for themselves, their families, communities and the global family.

Clearing anger.

There are many methods available for mastering anger.  Choose one, or more, most suited to you.

Traditional practices like yoga, mantra, meditation, breathing, tai chi, qi gong, kriya, herbs, ayurveda, aromatherapy and still more kriya.

Also nature walks, counselling, group support, more herbs, singing, dancing, art, exercise, affirmations, dietjournalling and gardening.

One of the keys to releasing and relieving the effects of anger lies in forgiveness.  Forgive yourself for the storms you have caused and forgive those who have caused storms in your life.
Stephanie
atONE Holistic Living