BOSTON_YOGA_herbalist

 

The skin. It’s how we make our first impression in the world. And yet, it’s so much more than that.   The skin  is the largest eliminative organ in your body. It regulates body temperature, manufactures vitamin D3, prevents dehydration, provides structure for tissues, it’s our first defense against environmental toxins, viruses and bacteria and 1/2 to 2/3 of your blood supply is distributed through it.

Unknown to many, the skin is also a map of what’s going on beyond its surface.

Is your skin dry? Blemish prone? Inflamed? Oily? Does it have irregular spots?  

These are all signs and symptoms of a larger imbalance going on somewhere in your body.

When our major organs of elimination are sluggish or overloaded (mainly our liver, colon & gallbladder) it’s the skin that has to “pick up the slack” and excrete what it can through our pores. Let’s boost our eliminative organ function and promote health happy skin, shall we?

  1. Eat more greens.Eating food rich in chlorophyll is super supportive for gut health, liver health AND skin health. Think seaweeds, kale, collards, dandelion & cilantro! Avoid refined sugars, hydrogenated oils, grains, fried foods, coffee, dairy, wheat & processed boxed, “pre-made” foods. These stagnate digestion and give your body more work for detoxification and elimination- and your liver gets taxed.
  2. Breathe. When we consciously breathe on a daily basis we combat stress- which is one of the top contributors to skin problems. Did you know release 70% of toxins through breath alone? It’s true. Clean pure air is good for every part of the body, so practice conscious breath daily.
  3. Get some sun. It’s a surprise to many folks that 10-15 minutes of daily sun exposure (without sunblock) is super important for vitamin D production for elevated mood, overall skin health & bone health.
  4. Exercise. When we exercise we increase circulation, move the lymphatic system, stimulate digestion and most importantly we sweat out toxins! All huge allies for stunning skin.
  5. Drink ½ your body weight in ounces daily. Hydration is the key, to well, everything! When we aren’t hydrated nothing will work efficiently in our bodies including our livers and colons! So drink up.
  6. Use Protection. After your 10-15 minutes of daily exposure do cover up, whether it’s light clothing or a good natural sunblock. Too much of a good thing, isn’t a good thing, especially with our solar friend the sun.
  7. Get your essential fatty acids (Omega’s 3-6-9). Eat your fats!! Avocados, coconut, nuts, seeds, eggs, spirulina, salmon, cod, mackerel, sardines! Enough good healthy fats in our diet means collagen & elastin rich, glowing skin.
  8. Avoid over cleansing. Our natural sebum (aka oils) of our skin are important for our skin’s health. If we’re scrubbing it away more than once a day, it makes it harder for our skin to retain its natural glow and elasticity.
  9. Avoid excess intake of alcohol. We all like to indulge in a beverage once in awhile, but take it easy because it’s not a secret that alcohol is no friend of the liver.
  10. Avoid exposure to chemicals including cosmetic products that contain petroleum, harsh synthetics and alcohols (if you can’t pronounce ingredients, question it!). Don’t forget that our skin is a two-way membrane that secretes and absorbs through the pores. That means what we put on our skin is just as important as what we put in our mouths. Read your labels.
  11. Use herbal allies. Herbs are amazing supporters for skin health and are wonderful as hot or iced tea. Here are some of my favorite herbal tea blends for healthy skin that you can drink daily;

~Chamomile-Nettle-Rose = parts

~ Dandelion root (1 part) – Red Clover blossom (1 part) -Mint (2 parts)

~Burdock root (1 part)- Hibiscus (2 parts)-Ginger (1 part).

Simply go to your natural food store, buy equal parts of each herb per blend, mix your blend together and store in a mason jar. Then use 1 heaping tsp of herb mix per 8oz hot water steeped at least 15 min. Sweeten with raw honey. Enjoy hot or iced. Drink daily.

Amanda’s Do it Yourself Sunblock Recipe:
By far the best & safest sunblock we can use is clothing! But when we want to get some rays- we can protect ourselves with a safer version than commercial products:

Follow the lotion/body cream recipe below, then choose your desired SPF below and add to your recipe:
Approx. SPF Per 16 oz. Lotion Recipe:
SPF 12 = 1.6 oz. zinc dioxide
SPF 24 = 3.2 oz. ZD
SPF 32 = 4oz. ZD
SPF 48 = 4.8oz. ZD

*Note zinc dioxide is white in color. The higher the spf, the more silvery-white your skin will appear. I usually choose the 24-32 spectrum. There is still a slight silver sheen, but not super opaque.

 

Basic Body Cream Recipe

¾ cup  jojoba or apricot seed oil
.5 oz. Shea butter
.4 oz. Beeswax
1oz. Coconut oil

4oz. Lavender Hydrosol  

1/3 cup pure aloe vera gel
1/8  cup herbal tincture (eg.lavender, calendula, thyme, sage, oregano, rosemary)*This is used as a natural preservative.

Hand blender

*Optional: 7 drops of Lavender essential oil per ounce of body cream.

*Makes approx. 16 oz.

Body cream storage container
 
Melt beeswax, coconut oil and shea butter on medium heat in a sauce pan. Turn off your heat and add the remaining oil. Mix well until all is blended and melted together. Remove from heat.
In a bowl add water & aloe vera.
Use your hand blender to mix the water mixture. Slowly pour the oil & wax blend into the water mixture as you continue to pulse your hand blender.

This make take some time to emulsify. Don’t give up if it looks like soup! Keep going! Or take a break, let it cool and come back to continue blending. Finished product when cooled will be thick and creamy.

Use a spatula in between blending to scrape around the edges of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are evenly blended. Once your cream has completely emulsified,  add your essential oils (optional) and zinc oxide (“non-nano” or non nano particle zinc oxide) powder (according to your chosen SPF). Use the hand blender again to mix the remaining ingredients completely.

Finally pour body cream into storage container. Do this before your finished product is completely cooled as it will continue to get thicker which leads to a more challenging transfer! Enjoy!

Stay tuned to Amanda Stanley through Lion’s Tooth Wellness

Guest contributor Amanda Stanley CHP, CRMT, RYT 500 is a passionate herbalist who teaches empowered health & healing with a focus on individualized care, Amanda has been studying & practicing holistic herbalism for over 11 years. Combining a broad spectrum of integrative practices, Amanda includes ayurveda, traditional herbal medicine, Reiki & yoga, to create a unique, tool-box for each person she works with. Amanda not only provides lifelong tools but also the support needed to have a happier, healthier life ~ mind, body and spirit.

Amanda is a Taurus sun sign, a lover of all things food, nature and comfort. When she’s not on her yoga mat, seeing clients or teaching, you’ll find her in the woods scouting for wild medicinals, in her own gardens harvesting herbs at the local tea shop sipping on Kashmiri chai with her husband or binge watching Netflix at home with her cat. Amanda offers 1 on 1 wellness programs, Restorative Reiki packages & herbal medicine making courses throughout the year, online and in person around the NH Seacoast. http://lionstoothwellness.com