Saturday, July 12, 2014

Lilica: the junkyard mutt

10 Super Clever Natural Ways To Remove Acne Scars

10 Super Clever Natural Ways To Remove Acne Scars
For many acne sufferers, the prospect of living blemish-free can easily lead to a medicine cabinet full of chemical creams and oral medications. While these treatments may offer immediate and powerful results, they also tend to carry a long list of side-effects. For those who desire a safe alternative to get rid of the scars left behind from pimples and acne, try some of these clever natural solutions.

1. Aloe Vera

Fresh aloe vera gel is a potent source of vitamins which can help to heal skin and fade scars. Aloe is gentle, so you won’t have to worry about further damaging or irritating skin. Also, because aloe is such a wonderful natural moisturizer, it will leave your skin looking and feeling softer and healthier.
While aloe vera gel may be found in any drug store or pharmacy, fresh organic aloe is best. Potted aloe plants are easy to find and require almost no maintenance to grow even without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Should you choose to use fresh aloe to combat your acne scars, just break off a small piece of one leaf, peel away the outer flesh to expose the gel, and massage gently into your skin. For best results, let the gel soak in for at least thirty minutes before washing it off.

2. Baking Soda

Baking soda is a common household item with literally hundreds of uses, including the ability to help heal scars. Baking soda is composed of sodium bicarbonate crystals which gently exfoliate skin when used as a cleansing scrub. Just mix a few teaspoons of baking soda with enough water to form a thick paste then massage into skin where scars are present. Once applied, you should leave the mixture on for a minute or two. This will allow the soda to cleanse pores and help prevent further blemishes. After a couple of minutes, wash your face in lukewarm water and apply a good natural moisturizer like rose hip seed, jojoba, coconut, or olive oil.
Do this about once every other day for great results!

3. Coconut Oil

coconut oil for acne scarsCoconut oil is at the top of the list when it comes to natural moisturizers with healing properties. Scoop about a quarter of a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil into the palm of your hand and let it melt as it comes up to body temperature. With your fingertips, massage oil directly onto scarred skin and let it soak in. There is no need to wash coconut oil away as the vitamins and essential fatty acids will continue to work and improve skin health as long as you wear it. However, if the oil is too heavy for your comfort, leave it on for at least thirty minutes before removing with an all-natural cleanser.

14+ Herbal Remedies for Spider Veins

Spider veins are very small, but they are still unsightly. They are smaller than varicose veins, but the effects on self-esteem are similar. When compared to varicose veins, spider veins are closer to the skin’s surface and they are called spider veins because they can mimic the look of a spider web because they are comprised of jagged and short lines.
They are usually blue and red in color and they can cover large or small areas, usually on the face or the legs. Common causes are sun exposure, hormonal changes and injuries, as well as blood getting back up. In the United States, up to 45 percent of men and 55 percent of women experience spider veins at some point in life.

Horse Chestnut Extract

Horse chestnut extract contains aescin and this seems to stop the release of the different enzymes that can cause damage to the walls of capillaries. Studies were reviewed by the Cochrane Collaboration in 2006 that show that this extract is effective in improving chronic venous insufficiency, a condition similar to spider veins. Whole horse chestnut should not be consumed, so those using this remedy must make sure to use an extract and that it is safe for them.


Pine Bark Extract and Grape Seed Extract

Both of these extracts contain antioxidants known as oligomeric proanthocyandine complexes. These complexes seem to strengthen blood vessel connective tissues and they appear to decrease inflammation. Studies on those with spider veins show that these extracts may be helpful in minimizing them and preventing more from occurring. Those taking corticosteroids, those taking immune-suppressing drugs and those with autoimmune conditions should not take either of these extracts.

Butcher’s Broom

Butcher’s broom comes from the lily family and it contains ruscogenins which are thought to strengthen the blood vessel walls by improving the strength of the collagen within them. These are also thought to improve circulation. These effects come together to tighten up vessels that are stretched or weakened. Butcher’s broom should not be taken by those with benign prostate hyperthrophy or high blood pressure, or by those taking MAO inhibitors, blood pressure medications or benign prostate hyperplasia medications.


basilBasil is an herb that contains a significant amount of vitamin K, a vitamin that plays a major role in blood vessel health by keeping calcium flowing. This may help to prevent blood from backing up so that spider veins do not occur. The vitamin K present in this herb also helps in thrombin production. This clotting protein helps to keep blood flowing into healthy veins so that damaged veins do not get blocked up with blood. A study done at Maastricht University found that adding basil to daily meals may help to fade and shrink spider veins in about one and a half months.

German Chamomile

German chamomile is best known for its sleep aid benefits, but it is also a powerful anti-inflammatory herb. This type of chamomile also appears to have significant antiplatelet properties which means that it can fight against unnecessary blood clotting. Due to this activity, those with clotting disorders and those taking medications to prevent clotting should exercise caution and talk to a doctor before consuming German chamomile. Consuming this herb is easy and you just need to get the dried flower and add two teaspoons to a cup and add hot water. As this is steeping you want to keep the cup covered so that the volatile oils that provide the anti-inflammatory effects do not evaporate.

Lemon Oil

Massage the oil into the area of the spider veins, making sure to also work the area a few inches around the spider veins. Doing this once a day can help to alleviate swelling and it helps to improve circulation to the area. Since backed up blood can cause these veins, getting the circulation to flow freely may help to alleviate the issue.

Evening Primrose

Evening primrose is often very helpful for spider veins, especially when they are new. This herb is known to help promote a healthy circulatory system because it works as a natural anticoagulant, meaning that it helps to reduce clotting. It also helps to impede inflammation in blood vessels and it keeps the vessels flexible and dilated. This helps to prevent the backup of blood so that spider veins resolve and new ones do not form. Taking this along with vitamin E can improve absorption to help make it more effective. It is important to note that those with epilepsy should avoid taking evening primrose.

Black Currant

black-currantThis herb reduces the size of spider veins and it can reduce the formation of new ones due to improving circulation. This herb also works to increase diuresis which helps to cleanse the blood and body, and it helps to reduce inflammation. You can create an infused water and drink this throughout the day by taking two to two and a half teaspoons of dried leaves and combining these with a liter of water. Those with fluid retention related to kidney failure or heart failure should not use black currant.

Rutin and Hesperidin

Rutin helps to dilate the blood vessels and it works to prevent fragility of the capillaries. It is usually recommended that it is taken along with quercetin and hesperidin because the effects of each complement each other, making this a more powerful remedy for spider veins. Hesperidin is well-known for its ability to protect capillaries, ensuring greater health for the small blood vessels of the body and these are the vessels that result in spider veins.

Bay Leaves

Bay leaves are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. These can be combined with extra virgin olive oil to extract the nutrients from the bay leaves and moisturize the skin during application. To create a topical solution, use a low heat to warm the bay leaves in olive oil. Allow this to cool, strain the leaves and then apply this to your troublesome spider veins.

Rose Hips

Toning the blood vessels may help to ensure better circulation and alleviate spider veins. Rose hips have powerful astringent properties to support surrounding tissues and improve circulation. Gently massage a rose hip oil into the area of the spider veins and the surrounding area. If you prefer not to massage, you can create a compress with this oil and apply it directly to the affected area.

Ginkgo Biloba

ginkgo-bilobaGinkgo biloba is rich in bioflavonoids, a natural compound with the ability to strengthen blood vessels. Consuming bioflavonoids benefits the veins so that they are more resilient to issues that can cause spider vein formation. This herb also helps to improve circulation and tissue oxygenation.
A ginkgo biloba supplement can be added to your day and to determine the right dose, you should consult your physician. This herb is not for everyone and those with bleeding disorders and those taking blood-thinning medications may not be able to safely use this herb.

7 Mistakes You're Making with Olive Oil

We all know that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is one of the Seven Wonders of the Food World. It contains antioxidants and heart-healthy fats galore—and, of course, it tastes amazing. EVOO is one of the most common kitchen staples, but most home cooks don’t know much about it, says Lauren Winstead, a buyer for Whole Foods Market's exclusive brands who recently underwent extra virgin olive oil savant training (kind of like the olive oil equivalent of sommelier training). Here, Winstead share the top mistakes you’re probably making:
Mistake #1: Buying Plastic or Clear Glass
The two biggest enemies of EVOO quality are oxygen and sunlight, says Winstead—so if you're buying plastic or clear glass, your oil's in trouble. "Once [air and light] touch the oil, it can begin to go rancid," she says To preserve EVOO's pristine quality, opt for glass bottles that are dark green or dark brown.
Mistake #2: Storing Your Oil Near Heat
Heat exposure—whether from the stove or direct light through a sunny window—is also a no-no. "When EVOO is exposed [to heat], it can cause the polyphenols [a.k.a., a type of antioxidants] to degrade and lower the flavor or sensory profile," says Winstead. "You want to store it your pantry, not on a windowsill or above the stove."
Mistake #3: Judging Oil by Its Color
"Consumers mistake color for indication of quality," says Winstead. "Color is only an indicator of when the olive was harvested and when oil was pressed." Quality EVOOs can range from anywhere from vibrant green to soft golden yellow—so don't discount an one just because the color's a little different than what you were expecting.
Mistake #4: Believing One EVOO Fits All
When confronted with six shelves of olive oils, do you grab the cheap store-brand option or the fancy bottle that costs more than a tank of gas? The fact is, most people go with a middle-of-the-road pick and use a one-size-fits-all approach. While Winstead says there's definitely a place in your pantry for an everyday olive oil, she recommends also selecting a premium oil with a more robust flavor profile for when the oil needs to shine through, such as in homemade salad dressings and atop pasta dishes. Naturally, Winstead loves the new line of Whole Foods Market Oils, which range from peppery to fruity.
Mistake #5: Cooking Over High Heat
High-temperature cooking methods can destroy the antioxidants in EVOO and alter the flavor, says Winstead. You shouldn't use olive oil for any cooking method that requires temps above 360° F. So by all means, sauté veggies and poach fish in the oil—just don't fry anything with it.
Mistake #6: Cooking with Delicate Oils
More delicate olive oils—those with milder flavors—shouldn't be exposed to heat at all to protect their aromatic properties and flavors, says Winstead. Instead, use them as finishing oils to bring out the flavors in a pasta dish, bruschetta, or cold salad.
Mistake #7: Hanging On To Your Oil Too Long
Ever bought one of those gas can-sized jugs of olive oil and saved it for years? Never again! Winstead says that the shelf life on EVOO is about 24 months, so toss those old bottles before they overstay their welcome. A rancid EVOO—which you can spot by its obviously unpleasant taste—has lost its health benefits, as well as its flavor profile.