Keeping your skin healthy in the winter months can be a challenge but with a few simple tips your skin will notice the difference. There are some super simple steps you can take to help dry, chapped winter skin. Keeping the heat down slightly in your home will help. Winter months are naturally low in humidity, heating systems in your home will only further dry your skin. I recommend lowering heat by a couple of degrees at night when you are sleeping and during the day keeping it slightly lower then your skin will surely feel the difference. In addition adding a humidifier with essential oils will also help you keep your skin hydrated. I like adding rose geranium for dry skin as it's a great balancer of skin, hormones, and moods.
Taking long hot showers will also only contribute to drying out your skin in the winter months. Keep the showers brief and hot water temperatures down.
Staying hydrated during the winter months is essential for your health. Often during the winter we are consuming less liquids than we do in summer months but your skin actually needs more hydration during the winter. Although water alone will not be enough to hydrate your skin in the winter it is part of the equation.
An excellent way to do this is with hot water and lemon. I also love water with fresh ginger and lemon. Ginger (ShengJiang) is a warming herb going to the lungs, spleen and Stomach. Ginger naturally stimulates digestion and reduces inflammation in the body.
Coconut oil an excellent moisturizer for your face in the winter months. Coconut oil fights free radical damage, possibly due to its high levels of ferulic & p-coumaric acid, and its natural antioxidant properties keep your skin nourished in the winter. Apply coconut oil after you shower to lock in moisture.
Essential oils such as vetivere or spikinard can also be added to coconut oil to nourish dry skin.
Do not over exfoliate in the winter this will only further dry your skin.
Eat omega-rich foods. Omega-3s are essential part of your skin’s lipid content and help boost the barrier function, this will act like a seal that keeps moisture in.
Foods such as avocado, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, salmon and walnuts are especially high in these "good fats."
It’s hard to believe it’s that time already! The summer is such a an amazing time to rest, relax and recharge from the year. Back to school is always an exciting and high energy time. As kids get back into the school year the goal is to keep them healthy, happy and productive. Kids today have so many after school commitments as well, it is easy for kids to get run down.
Here’s what I recommend. The first thing on my list is a high quality children’s probiotic. Do not use an adult probiotic, it should specifically be for children. Probiotics not only supports gut health but research shows probiotic also boosts immunity as well. In 2018 a double blind study done found that probiotic aided in supporting upper respiratory infections was more successful then placebo. * What we know is that gut health also effects the overall wellness and balance of the body. If gut is healthy our bodies are more likely to be able to fight off infections we encounter. This is especially true for children. Children spend most of their day in classrooms in close contact with other children, germs are spread across surfaces and thought the air. Although hand washing is essential we can’t always depend on this during the day when are not there to remind kids.
Next on my list is Vitamin D3. During the summer months kids are outside getting Vitamin D3 naturally from the sun. In the fall and winter the exposure to the sun will be more limited. Not only does Vitamin D3 help with the absorption of calcium in the body which is essential in adults and children, it also aids with bolstering the immune system. Research has found a deficiency in vitamin D3 is associated with increased autoimmunity as well as an increased susceptibility to infection. *
A staple in our herbal medicine chest is Gan Mao Ling. Gan Mao Ling is a Chinese medicine formula consisting of, Gang mei gen, San cha ku, Huang jing, Ban lan gen and Jin yin hua. This is one of my go to herbal formulas at the onset of a cold or flu for myself and my children. It should always be in your herbal medicine chest. I will even use this formula if I feel my children or I have been exposed to someone who is sick, as a preventative. As with all herbs use a high quality brand which ensures good manufacturing practices and a company that tests for the quality of the herbs. One of my favorites is made by Plum Flower brand.
Meditation /mindfulness and breadth Work are techniques kids can redly use to for a much needed “mental break”. Adolescents today face a host of challenges that previous generations did not. The rise of the digital age, the increasing competition in education, a rise in peer pressure and the burden to succeed in an ever competitive environment. Children today are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety, stress and depression. According to the City of New York office of the Mayor, in New York City’s 1 in 5 adult New Yorkers is likely to experience a mental health disorder in any given year and a staggering 73,000 NYC public high school students report feeling sad or hopeless each month. Meditation calms the nervous system and decreases stress hormones in the body. Studies have shown benefits for gastrointestinal symptoms, obesity, headaches, high blood pressure, pain sensitivity, and immune function. A trial of 300 urban middle-schoolers using school-based mindfulness instruction led to improved psychological functioning and lower levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.
Although guided meditation and having a meditation teacher is invaluable it is also very effective to download a free app and get started. This way kids are able to access the meditation anytime they feel like they need a break! I like, Insight timer and Clam.
Lets not forget moms and dads. I found meditating with my girls is a great way to get them meditating and have some claiming together time.
One of my new favorite things for kids is, Bee Propolis Spray. Propolis is a well know immune system enhancer. Propolis is from the sap on needle-leaved trees or evergreens. When the bees combine the sap with their own discharges and beeswax, a sticky, greenish-brown product used as a coating to build their hives, which is propolis. Propolis from different areas of the world will have a different chemical constitutes bases on the flowers and trees the bees have access to and thus different health benefits. Propolis contains flavonoids which have antioxidant properties. Propolis and its extracts have numerous applications in treating various diseases due to its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antibacterial, antimycotic, anti-fungal, anti-ulcer, anticancer, and immunomodulatory properties. Propolis also contains vitamins, such as vitamins such as, B1, B2, B6, C, and E and useful minerals such as magnesium (Mg), calcium, potassium, sodium, copper, zinc , manganese, and iron. *
I find clinically the throat spray to be very effective in fighting off streptococcus virus in children and teens. Some children are more prone to strep occurrence and reoccurrence. I have found this to be very helpful in prevention and even treating Strep Throat. The brand I love is, Beekeeper Naturals, Propolis Throat Spray.
In Chinese medicine spring time is associated with the liver organ and the time to cleanse from the winter and start anew. This a great opportunity to reset the body. Here is what I suggest you try.
Herbal teas have historically been used during the winter months not only to maintain health but also treat winter ailments. The warming properties of these teas make them invaluable during colder months. Often times people feel winter is a time for hibernation! Although winter is a good time for quiet time and self reflection it can also be an amazing time to enjoy the outdoors and all the activities we have only during these months. With a few special herbs we should be confident in our bodies ability to adapt to colder weather and enjoy the wonders of winter.
Fall is Here! 5 Quick Tips To Keep Your Kids Healthy This Fall!
1. HAND WASHING
I know this sounds to simple to be true. Washing your hands is the #1 thing your kids can do to prevent cross contamination. Meaning - if you wash your hands a lot, you are much less likely to get sick. It is best to wash hands with soap, lather and rinse. If you do not have access to soap and water because you are on the run, use wipes or a hand sanitizer with Etheyl alcohol. I have my kids wash their hands upon entering the house, before eating, after getting off the subway or train, and a million times in between. We were recently at an amusement park, I handed out wipes after almost every ride! They laughed at me, but no one is sick. Its simply, fast and usually FREE. Hand washing isn't just for kids! One of my favorites is from Whole Foods and can be found here.
In Chinese medicine Spring is the time of year for detox. A spring cleanse can be very beneficial for the body to detox from the winter. Giving your body a fresh start for summer. What is great about many of these herbs is that you can find them in your back yard! Dandelion for example is a very common herb seen right outside your door! Many of these herbs have been used for hundreds of years as traditional remedies to cleanse the liver. The liver in Chinese medicine is known as the organ responsible to helping to detox the body.
A few simple things go a long way in keeping you healthy during cold & flu season! Something as simple as washing your hands frequently throughout the day will make a huge difference in preventing cold & flu. There are some key herbs and supplements that I use to keep my patients healthy during this time of year.
Having friends over? Throwing a summer barbecue? Or want a refreshing drink to cool you down on muggy days? This amazing Ginger Lemonade recipe will chill you out! Not to mention, it has countless health benefits.