Henna For Hair 101

 

Product: Godrej Nupur Mehendi Henna Powder 9 Herbs

nupur henna 9 herb

By Grow It Girl Tiki

Nupur Henna is one of the most popular brands of pre-blended henna powders. The product contains multiple Ayurvedic powders that are said to help with hair grow, hair loss, and overall hair health. Henna alone is great for strengthing hair and I have seen an improvement in my hair from using it over the years. Most people love the convenience of not having to purchase multiple powders separately to blend their own treatment mixture. With Nupur

Most people love the convenience of not having to purchase multiple powders separately to blend their own treatment mixture. For most, it’s simply more economical to use Nupur. With Nupur Henna you can simply add water and you are able to use the product with no further blending needed. However, there are some who like to add other powders with the package or who prefer to blend their own henna pack. So, I decided to do

I decided to share a few recipes and tips on mixing Godrej Nupur Mehndi Henna or pure henna. You can use the recipes below to mix any brand of henna and not solely for Nupur Henna. All henna recipes are usable on all hair types: relaxed, texlaxed, natural, fine, curly, straight. Hope you enjoy them!

The package contains 100% pure Rajasthani Henna mixed with 9 Herbs:

Shikakai – Leaves hair clean & shiny
Aloe Vera – Moisturizes hair & makes it silky
Methi (Fenugreek) – Conditions, nourishes and revitalizes hair
Bhringraj – Makes hair luxurious
Amla – Darkens hair color while adding shine & luster
Neem – Fights scalp infection and prevents dandruff
Hibiscus – Rejuvenates hair while making it silky and shiny
Jatamansi – Prevents graying of hair
Brahmi – Promotes hair growth

Also see http://www.minimalistbeauty.com/henna-for-hair-101/

 

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Iced Turmeric Latte

WRITTEN BY ROCHELLE BILOW

If you’re not seeing turmeric everywhere, you’re either living under a rock or are very good at getting out stains (seriously, that stuff makes everything yellow). We’re fans of the vibrant, healthful spice, and the evidence is in our newest recipe for an ice-cold, just-sweet-enough, non-dairy turmeric latte.

The latte calls for cashew milk, freshly grated turmeric, and palm sugar. The ingredients are worth searching for; they make it taste extra-special. But if you’re all, “Oh hell no, there is no way I’m finding fresh turmeric root at my supermarket” we’ve got you. Here are three ways to customize this *highly Instagrammable* drink.

Basic
Instead of palm sugar, use a liquid sweetener, like honey or maple syrup (granulated sugar won’t dissolve in cold liquid). Just mix the sweetener into a glass of milk (any dairy or alt-milk your heart desires) with a teaspoon each of ground ginger and ground turmeric. Stir it all together and pour over ice.

Better
Cashew milk has a luxurious, creamy texture thanks to its high fat content, which makes it an obvious choice for an upgrade. But it has another benefit: It plays well with a squeeze of lemon juice, which helps brighten the drink. If you can’t find cashew milk, you can use another milk, bearing in mind that citrus will make dairy milk curdle. Use your favorite liquid sweetener and the ground turmeric/ginger combo. Bonus points if you have ground cardamom—add a pinch of that in, too; it will add a subtle perfumey fragrance to the drink.

Baller
Digital associate food editor Rick Martinez developed our recipe with fresh turmeric and ginger, because just-ground spices (technically, they’re both roots) have a much more intense flavor. Use a microplane zester to grate them into store-bought or homemade cashew milk. Word to the wise: Wear latex gloves to guard your fingers against stains. Use 4 teaspoons of turmeric and 1 teaspoon ginger for 1 cup of cashew milk. Martinez loves the floral sweetness of palm sugar, which is sold in bricks or blocks, so he grates 2 teaspoons of that into the cashew milk. If you can’t find palm sugar, you can substitute raw sugar, as it will be strained, leaving behind any granules or grit. Stir it all together with a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and a pinch each of sea salt and cardamom. Let it steep for 5 minutes so the flavors infuse, then strain out the solids. Serve over ice with a lemon wedge.

Not for nothing, but this super-healthy latte is also delicious heated up.

Ingredients

SERVINGS: MAKES 1

  • 1 cup cashew milk
  • 4 teaspoons finely grated fresh turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated palm sugar or raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 pinches of ground cardamom
  • Pinch of flaky sea salt
  • Lemon wedge (for serving)

Preparation

  • Whisk milk, turmeric, palm sugar, ginger, lemon juice, cardamom, and salt in a small bowl until sugar and salt have dissolved; let sit 5 minutes to let flavors meld. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a measuring cup, pressing on solids to extract juices; discard solids.
  • Fill a glass with ice. Pour latte over and serve with lemon wedge.

 

 

Recipe by Rick Martinez

Photograph by Alex Lau

Frankincense

10 Surprising Facts About Frankincense and Frankincense Essential Oil

We use frankincense essential oil in a few of our essential oil blends, so we wanted to highlight a few unusual things about it.

1. Some Believed it Was Protected by Dragons

Perhaps to keep others from encroaching on their livelihood, those who grew the Boswellia trees were happy to spread the rumor that their land was protected by dragons. Ancient Greek writer Herodotus (5th century B.C.) wrote: “Arabia is the only country which produces frankincense, myrrh, cassia, and cinnamon…the trees bearing the frankincense are guarded by winged serpents of small size and various colors.”

Because it was more valuable than gold at one time, legend had it that the trees from which frankincense came were guarded by dragon-like creatures that were happy to fend off any intruders. According to Appleton’s Popular Science Monthly, published in 1896, so precious was frankincense that “the old Sabaean merchants invented marvelous stories of genii and dragons guarding the trees and of the woods exhaling deadly odors, in order to protect them from too curious and enterprising trespassers.”

We can relate. There are days that we don’t want to share our chocolate and feel tempted to warn people that there are cockroaches in our desk. But that’s beside the point…

2. The Resin is Edible

Whether in its hardened state or as oil, frankincense is edible. Ancient cultures chewed it like gum, and used it to treat digestive ailments and to boost the immune system. Edible versions are supposed to be “pure,” meaning of translucent color, with no dark-colored impurities.

3. It Contains a Compound That Kills Cancer Cells

In 2009, for instance, researchers found that frankincense oil activated genes that suppress cancer cell growth and kill cancer cells. Yet it didn’t harm normal cells. “Frankincense oil might represent an alternative intravesical agent for bladder cancer treatment” the researchers wrote.

A more recent study found that a chemical compound in frankincense (acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid or AKBA) had the potential to destroy ovarian cancer cells—and that even cells resistant to chemotherapy were more sensitive to this compound. Other studies have shown it to have similar characteristics against colon, prostate, skin, and breast cancer cells.

4. It’s a Natural Bug Repellent

Frankincense has long been used to drive away mosquitoes and other disease-carrying insects. Mosquitos don’t like it.

Burning it keeps these bugs away, which is especially helpful in areas afflicted by malaria. The Egyptians fumigated wheat silos and repelled wheat moths with it. In addition to burning it, you can also apply it directly to skin.

5. It May Help Ease Your Anxiety

A 2008 animal study found that burning frankincense activated areas in the brain that helped alleviate anxiety and depression. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, after administering a constituent of the resin to mice, found that it significantly affected areas in the brain known to be affected by current anxiety and depression drugs. We still need human studies to see if the affects are the same, but it’s an intriguing area of research.

Try adding a few drops to your warm bath to relieve stress, or burn a bit of incense in your office.

6. Women Used it to Make Eyeliner

Think makeup is only a modern-day invention? Think again. Ancient Egyptian women used frankincense to create their famous heavy black “kohl” eyeliner. They charred it first, and then ground it into a powder that they applied to their eyelids.

They believed it not only helped them look beautiful, but also protected their eyes from the sun, and improved vision.

7. It’s Great in Toothpaste.

Frankincense was used historically to treat halitosis (bad breath), and chewed to protect the teeth. You can still find frankincense in toothpaste today.

Studies have found that it is an effective anti-inflammatory, and is great for keeping your gums healthy.

A 2011 study, for instance, found that the extract lead to a “remarkable” decrease in inflammation in those with gingivitis. “Frankincense,” the researchers wrote, “a safe and low-cost herbal medicine, may be feasibly applied to improve inflammation-based disease of gingival as an adjust to the conventional mechanical therapy.”

So if you’re making your own DIY toothpaste, consider using some frankincense essential oil in it!

8. It May Stimulate Your Memory

Feel like your memory is slowing down? This oil may help. So far, we have only a few studies, but researchers believe the anti-inflammatory action may be what’s creating the results.

A 2015 animal study, for example, found that rats with impaired memory, after receiving frankincense extract, had improved memory retrieval compared to those who received a placebo.

An earlier human study on patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) found that those taking frankincense as a capsule (300 mg twice a day) experienced improvements in visual-spatial memory.

9. It’s Super for Skin

Herbalists prize Frankincense for its healing abilities. Combine it with lavender to treat cuts, scrapes, and burns, and use it on its own to help fade scars. It may also help relieve the itching of some insect bites.

Because it’s a natural antiseptic, it’s also a good option for those with acne—simply dab some on stubborn spots at night before bed to wake up with clearer skin. Combine it with a carrier oil to help moisturize and make fine lines less visible. Some also say it helps to get rid of skin tags and warts—apply several times a day directly on the affected area until they’re gone.

10. It May Ease Your Pain

Chronic, low-level pain is something many Americans suffer from on a daily basis. It may come from joint problems, back pain, fibromyalgia, and more.

Many essential oils contain anti-inflammatory properties that can help, and frankincense is a standout in this respect. It’s been used for centuries to treat a wide range of painful conditions, and new studies have been so positive that in Europe, the extracts have been labeled as drugs for reducing swelling in specific clinical settings. Some studies have found them to be just as effective as our modern-day non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (like aspirin and ibuprofen), without the side effects on the stomach.

I. Have made. Butter! (and it was super easy)

I was thinking about what I could eliminate from my grocery list. I’ve been making breakfast and dinner recipes from 100 Days of Real Food and The Fresh 20 that are delicious as well as full of awesome micronutrients. The past month has been chock full of yummy, healthy meals and that has inspired me to take the next step.

My mother lives with us now and is a butter addict. Well, she’s actually a toast addict, who uses butter as lubricant. We had already switched from “spreads” like country crock to real butter, but I wondered if we couldn’t take it one step further and make my own. That way I know exactly how it was made and can choose cream from the local farmers market to make the butter. About two years ago I had insisted we stop using margarine because butter tastes much better, it’s a natural product that human beings have been eating and cooking with for centuries without ­damaging their health, and I trust cows more than food product scientists.

So why on earth did I ever use margarine, a highly synthetic and unpleasant-tasting concoction laced with additives and cheap, low-grade oils refined on an industrial scale? Propaganda. My parents had been fed “the propaganda” since the mid-80s, and I grew up on that funny Parkay commercial that made me trust the creamy yellow stuff that came in tubs. Plus it was easier to spread.

In February 2013 the unholy alliance of Government nutritionists and the food processing industry were exposed in a study of Australian men and subsequent meta-studies of the health consequences of consuming food products like margarine. If they hadn’t lied — and margarine really was better for you, as they’ve been claiming for decades — you’d expect the middle-aged Australian men who switched to safflower oil to live longer and have better health outcomes.

The exact opposite turned out to be true. Those men who ate more of the safflower-derived products were almost twice as likely to die from all causes, including heart disease.

So, butter is better! Plus it’s easy to make:

1. Take a pint of cream and pour it into a mixing bowl.
2. Use a handheld mixer and whip the cream on high until the creamy yellow soft butter separates from the buttermilk. Takes about 5 minutes.
3. Pour 1 cup of ice cold water and pour it over the butter and buttermilk. Mix it for about 1 minute.
4. Spoon it all into a fine strainer or cheesecloth and press or squeeze out the water and buttermilk.
5. Spoon the resulting butter into a butter-keeper or bowl.
6. Savor your 1/2 pound of butter.

That’s it. Super simple and tasty. Enjoy.

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Grow food instead of grass!

So, we bought our first home! Aside from picking all the designs for the interior I was thinking about having a garden out back. Maybe a few herbs and tomatoes, and banana peppers…and, wait. I realized I was totally focusing on edible plants. So I googled ‘urban farming’ to find out the best designs and tips for growing food in the city. I wasn’t prepared for all the cool info I found.

Luke Keegan started with his own small front yard using several raised beds.

First, did you know that people are growing enough food in the yards on their city lots to feed themselves and share with friends? Did you know that your front lawn doesn’t have to be grass? That it could be a beautiful, edible, paradisaic garden?? Well, I didn’t know. So I’m endeavoring to find out. I’d like to grow more of my own food to eat, and then share, trade, or sell the rest. I’m interested in organic gardening and using permaculture to ensure sustainability. What is permaculture, you ask? Well, I asked the same thing. Here is what I found:

“Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted & thoughtful observation rather than protracted & thoughtless labour; of looking at plants & animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single-product system.” Bill Mollison (from the permaculture.net website)

This definition of permaculture expresses a basic concept in permaculture – examining and following nature’s patterns. Permaculture advocates designing your garden based on natural ecosystems. The term permaculture is a contraction of the words “permanent,” “agriculture,” and “culture.” Basically, you design your garden or homestead in the most natural, sustainable way possible.

Front Yard Lawn in Oakland, CA

Not knowing exactly what those sustainable design features were, I did some more digging. I found that several families were on the same path and in the same habitat (urban) as me. So…instead of reinventing the wheel I started reading about how they got started. I wanted to find out their ‘lessons learned’ and figure out how to maximize output and increase the resiliency of my front and backyard garden ideas. I’ve gone from just wanting a few tomatoes to searching for heirloom seeds, thinking about water features so I can have a few ducks (to eat the bugs and fertilize, and lay eggs!), and figuring out how to mimic the southeastern LA terrain on my compacted city dirt/grass lot. I’m also really liking the idea of an herb spiral and hugelkultur.

Herb Spiral

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is where I started:

Tyrant Farms a couple who started out by having dinner at a friends house where all the food served was grown by the friend. They were amazed at the variety and tastefulness of the spread.

Appalachian Feet – the master gardener “friend” who inspired the Tyrant Farms couple to strike out on their own gardening adventure. Every post in her blog is a green living “how to” that can be applied to your own life. The primary focus is local food and growing in the varied altitudes of the southeastern mountains and foothills. She has a great permaculture library and a quick start guide for city folk with lots of photos. Plus a post about how to “forage” in the city 🙂

Luke Keegan – starting small is a good idea. This guy started with 8 raised beds on his front lawn. They look fabulous!! If you can get past the vulgar word in his page title, the photos and tips don’t contain any others.

Derveas Family – have an urban homestead blog, a website, and videos. They live 15 minutes from downtown LA and grow over 6,000 pounds of veggies per year (enough to feed all 4 of them). They make 20K off the excess, which they sell to local restaurants.

English: Forest garden diagram to replace the ...

The (Horror) Story of Cosmetics

So, I’ve been making my own beauty products for a little while now. It started when I was researching cosmetics in the middle ages…and realized that from the beginning of time women have had the choice between safe cosmetics and cosmetics that are harmful to their health. I wrote a little bit about that here.

Even in the times of the Romans there was pressure to achieve an “ideal” beauty standard that most of the women had to work very hard at. To get the prized unibrow, they drew them in. To smell nice, they used scented olive oils. To appear pale (difficult for these naturally olive toned women) they used powder made with lead. Yep, the poisonous stuff. It looked (sort of) ok at first (as long as they didn’t mind the greyish tint, or go out in the rain, or sweat), but eventually it caused their skin to pit (akin to corrosion) and lose elasticity. Then, of course they just piled more on (and on top of little patches made of linen placed over the pits) to hide the effects of the harmful cosmetic. Ugh.

If that sounds horrible, wait until you learn what we are marketed as healthy/happy cosmetics today:

To learn more about which cosmetics have toxic ingredients read about safe cosmetic choices at this website http://safecosmetics.org/ and search the cometics safety database for the brands you use or are thinking of using to see what’s really in them: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

Urban Farmers are my Heroes

Luke Keegan started with eight raised beds (6′x4′) with reclaimed redwood from a barn. The Dervaes family started much the same way.

For over a decade, the Dervaes family have proved that growing your own food can be sustainable, practical, successful and beautiful even in an urban area. they harvest 3 tons of organic food annually from their 1/10 acre garden while incorporating many back-to-basics (permaculture) practices, solar energy, and biodiesel in order to reduce their footprint on the earth’s resources.

Read about them here: http://urbanhomestead.org/

Keegan started his very own garden of Eden on his small front lawn in the busy port city of Oakland, California. He has given me the inspiration I’ve been looking for. Keegan posted what he calls Operation “ the Lawn” to the photo sharing network Imgur, sharing the story of how he replaced his drab lawn with a flourishing edible garden!

Read his story here: http://imgur.com/a/JihrB?gallery

 

If they can do it, I can do it 🙂

The Story of Stuff, or Why I Only Shop Secondhand

I read the following statement certain that I could not be moved to make such a pact:

“Warning: The Story of Stuff Project could cause you to make a pact with your husband to not buy anything new for a whole year, do your shopping on Craigslist and at thrift stores and to cringe when entering Walmart/Target/Fred Myers. Is this a joke? Definitely not. I am here to tell you it happened to me.”

So, I watched the video, because I like learning new things…even if those things aren’t really applicable to me or my lifestyle. I mean, I buy stuff, but not too much. I recycle and have taken strides over the past 12 months to start growing my own food and eating sustainably. So when I watched this it really opened my mind to a larger issue (plus my favorite magazine just had an article entitled “Do we buy too much stuff”:

The Story of Stuff

“Some people say it’s unrealistic, idealistic, that it can’t happen. But I say the ones who are unrealistic are those that want to continue on the old path. That’s dreaming. Remember that old way didn’t just happen by itself. It’s not like gravity that we just gotta live with. People created it. And we’re people too. So let’s create something new.” — The Story of Stuff

Will I make a pact? Maybe (probably!). Will I put the principles of reduce/reuse/recycle into high gear in my life? Absolutely. This is too important (spiritually and physically) to get wrong.

Coconut Oil Deodorant That Really Works

I love simple green smoothies, and today I have to admit one of their posts had really hit home for me. I’ve tried every natural deodorant out there in an effort to avoid the harmful ingredients in commercial brands (i.e. aluminum). So far, every one has failed. You see, I sweat a lot. I sweat so much I prefer to call it “glistening”, like a horse. So, after 4 hours of glistening (yes, even indoors) I’ve sweated my natural-schmatural deodorant off. All the way off. And I get a little smelly 😦

So, when I read the testimonial for this homemade deodorant from another girl who has had the same experience with natural deodorants and who lives in Florida (I live in New Orleans) I had to try it….and she is right. It’s amazing. See for yourself:

Ingredients

——————————————————————————–

1/2 c. baking soda
1/2 c. arrowroot powder
5 tbs unrefined coconut oil
20 drops of grapefruit essential oil

Directions

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1. Mix baking soda and arrowroot together—I used my craigslist-score Kitchenaid Mixer.
2. Next add the oils and mix well.
3. Pour into clean jar.

Application

——————————————————————————–

“Use a popsicle stick to get the deodorant out of the container and make sure you use enough under your arms to keep you “sure” all day long.

It does take a little bit to get used to the application process, but it’s worth it. Not to mention the money I save and the chemicals I avoid, like aluminum. Although, there’s no solid evidence that aluminum-based compunds lead to cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, there are correlations. And to me, that’s reason enough to ditch it.

The less chemicals I put in and around my body, the better chance I have to be doing cartwheels around the grandkids someday.

Simple living takes baby steps. I am trying to get there. Trying to simplify. Trying to reduce my risk of cancer and live a longer, healthier life. And if I can lead by example, then a healthy family is pretty much in the bag, right?”

http://simplegreensmoothies.com/coconut-oil/homemade-deodorant-that-really-works/