Apr
25

Herb Power: Lavender

by Nina Vachkova

By its unique and unmistakable scent, you can easily tell lavender apart from other herbs, even with your eyes closed. In her book The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Valerie Ann Worwood calls lavender “the mother of all essential oils; incredibly versatile, yet powerful.” The strong but pleasant and soothing fragrance gives true meaning to the word aromatherapy – just the scent of lavender has truly therapeutic benefits. A number of different cultivars of Lavender are grown all over the world, but the most known variety is Lavandula angustifolia, also called True Lavender, English Lavender, or narrow-leaved Lavender. If you have a bottle of lavender essential oil in your cabinet, it was most likely derived from Lavandula angustifolia.

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Apr
18

Black Cumin seed oil

by Nina Vachkova

Miracle seeds, magical herbs, superfoods, and healing potions. Many products on the market are labeled as such simply for marketing purposes. The promise of a certain positive effect or quick solution for your problem helps to sell, and unfortunately, we often fall for these tricks and gimmicks. There are a few plants that truly have health benefits, healing properties, and are called superfoods for a reason. Many of these natural remedies were used by ancient civilizations for centuries, but with time, modern medicine and man-made remedies have taken their place. Nigella Sativa, sometimes called Black Seed, Black Coriander, Black Cumin, kalonji seeds, or haba al-barakah (in Arabic) is one of these wonders of nature. Oil extracted from these small, crescent-shaped black seeds has a surprising amount of health benefits and it has been heavily studied because of its active compounds like thymoquinone or crystalline nigellone. It also contains some important minerals and fatty acids that really make black seed oil one of my personal favorites for skincare, hair treatment, and supporting immunity.

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Mar
29

Sulfur and MSM

by Nina Vachkova

We are often told to eat our vegetables to get vitamins, drink enough milk because of calcium, use sea salt for iodine, eat egg yolks for their healthy fat profile, or eat brazil nuts to get our daily dose of selenium. But sulfur is something we don’t hear or read about very often, or at least I have never heard anyone telling me: eat your onions because they have plenty of the sulfur your body needs. When you think of sulfur, you probably think of match heads, glass, or even the paper industry. I spent four years in high school living in a city with the biggest paper factory in my country, and the smell of sulfur used to bleach wet paper matter was horrible and when it rained, yellow sediments appeared around the puddles of water on the ground. Read the rest of this post

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Mar
16

Let’s get negative

by Nina Vachkova

ALL THINGS (ARE) MATTER

Everything you see around you consists of atoms and molecules. Well, even things you don’t see, like gasses and particles in the air that are invisible to the eye (they are not magical, they are just too small for us to see without a microscope). Atoms are the smallest particles of matter; they can no longer be chemically divided into smaller parts, though the can be broken down physically (by a nuclear reaction). Inside of each atom, there is a core called the nucleus, surrounded by an electron cloud. The nucleus contains nucleons – protons and neutrons – and the electron cloud surrounding the nucleus contains electrons. Protons have a positive electric charge, electrons have a negative charge, and neutrons are neutral (as the name suggests). When the atom has an equal number of protons and neutrons, the whole particle is considered electrically neutral. Read the rest of this post

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Mar
07

Health Manifesto

by Nina Vachkova

Health is not a destination, health is a journey. My friend once asked me: “When will I start seeing the results of eating healthy?” I was not able to answer this question for him in one sentence. When we are young, vibrant, and full of energy, we feel like we are on the top of the world and we can do anything; we rarely think about how our life is going to look in thirty, forty, or fifty years. Maybe the biggest change we will experience from living a healthy lifestyle is going to be no change at all. Maybe in a few decades, as a result of our choices today, we will look and feel the same (maybe with a few more gray hairs). Maybe maintaining our current state of health and well-being is the ultimate goal. Maybe our goal is to get out of our current health crisis. The image of our future self is so abstract, we struggle to actually relate to that person. Do we not love our future selves enough to start making good choices for them today? Read the rest of this post

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