Go Spot Go: Stain and Spot Remover

  • Mix ¼ cup clear liquid detergent (i.e., Ivory) with ¼ cup glycerin and 1 ½ cups of water. Pour into a 16-oz squirt or spray bottle.
  • This “wet spotter” is especially good for ball point ink, marker, newsprint, coffee, tea, juice, jams and jellies, barbecue sauce, and mustard. Spray formula on stain, let soak for a couple hours, then wash.

Local farms near you!

Visit these websites to discover fresh produce right around the corner…

Local Harvest provides a comprehensive nationwide directory of family farms, farmers’ markets, CSAs, and other locavores. Just enter your zip code to find those closest to you. You can also find local area events like when farms have visiting hours, special events, as well as conversations on local foods and sustainability.

Find a local CSA near you using the The Robyn Van En Center. They also have information on the history of CSAs and local farmer information.

With chapters all over the country, you are bound to find local foods and farmers right in your neck of the woods. Get together with like-minded people to swap restaurant suggestions, farmers market info, as well as discussing sustainability, nutrition and other foodie topics.

This nonprofit org in Pennesylvania not only promotes eco-friendly foods and farming, they bring together grassroots campaigns from around the country. You can also take the challenge, which promises to spend $10 per week on locally produced food.

Quick Tips & Facts » September/October ‘10

Quick Tips!

Ketchup – When the swimming pool leaves your hair a tinge green, grab some Heinz ketchup when you shower next. Ketchup’s acid neutralizes the chemicals in the pool that make your hair turn on you. So scrub a handful into your wet scalp, let sit for 15 minutes and shampoo like normal. Now who would have thought?

Carrots – Get more benefits from your carrots by not cutting before cooking.  New research finds that boiled-before-cut carrots have 25% more falcarinol, which has anti-cancer properties. Why? When cut, the carrots have more surface area therefore the vital nutrients and good stuff is leached out more easily during cooking. So steam, boil or bake whole and then enjoy.


Quick Facts

$211 million – amount spent on dietary supplements for menopausal symptoms in 1999.
$377 million – amount spent in 2007.
11% – The percentage of 10,500 chemical ingredients in personal care products that the US has evaluated for safety and health.  Source:  The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Pass the Salt, Please?

Looks like Mayor Bloomberg is trying to shake up the business of salt! Too much salt is bad for our health, so the National Salt Reduction Initiative (spearheaded by Bloomberg) aims to reduce sodium levels at restaurants in Manhattan and packaged foods nationwide.  Mayor Bloomberg recently announced 16 food companies that have decided to lose their shakers of salt.

Salt might be hazardous to your health, but it works wonders on the skin. That’s precisely why LUSH Cosmetics won’t be cutting salt from its kitchen anytime soon. In fact, we use loads of sea salt in our products like Ocean Salt Face Scrub, Geophyzz Bath Bomb, Sea Vegetable Soap, and Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub.

When used in skincare, salt helps remove dead skin and dirt without stripping natural oil, leaving skin soft and hydrated.

Recycle all that extra salt in your house by creating an at-home sea salt body scrub.  LUSH Product Creator Helen Ambrosen shows you how….

  • Take 2 tablespoons of fine seat salt and mix to a paste with a heavy oil such as olive oil or Brazil nut oil.
  • Wet the skin and apply to back of arms, legs, and anywhere the skin is rough.
  • Rinse off skin.
  • The best part is that you are not only using up unwanted salt, but also scrubbing your skin into summer shape – it’s a win-win!

–Allie Leung, LUSH Fresh Handmade Cosmetics

Luscious Products to Love

Rub Rub Rub Shower Scrub

Made with 60% sea salt, Rub Rub Rub is rich in sodium, magnesium, and other minerals, it gently scrubs your skin while the scent of mimosa, jasmine, and hints of citrus fill the shower. The floral fragrance is what we imagine a sea breeze blowing through cherry blossom trees should smell like. | $24.95, 16.9 fl oz.

Big Shampoo
Sea salt gives limp locks a major lift, so we put as much as possible into this best-selling shampoo. We add toothed wrack seaweed infusion for nourishment and softness and fresh lime juice and lemon infusion to add loads of lustre. And if you hadn’t already guessed, all that salt, lemon and lime end up making Big smell much like a delicious citrus margarita for your hair. | $22.95, 11.6 oz.

PCOS, Female Reproductive Health, and Ayurveda

by Patricia Wickman

It is a joy for practitioners like myself to see people make the leap of faith to add and subtract elements to and from their daily schedule based on ancient wisdom that seems vastly different from Western medicine. Ayurveda literally means the science of life. It is a complete medical system that has evolved over 5,000 years and has its roots in Ancient India. The devoted student of Ayurveda learns that it is a profound art and science that inspires one to view health, vitality, and longevity as a proactive and creative work in progress, similar to a garden. In this article, I will give a shallow introduction to the Ayurvedic perspective on PCOS and then write briefly on the broader subject of female reproductive health. In doing this, I wish to inspire all women who read this article to experiment with Ayurveda. Just as nurturing a plant yields delicious food, so too, does self-TLC produce a woman whose health, beauty, and vitality originate from deep within her cells and radiate out like petals of a sunflower.

Ayurvedic treatment of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is specific to the individual. The Ayurvedic practitioner does a thorough assessment of the client and determines her Ayurvedic constitution based on the three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Through questioning, observation, tongue observation, and pulse diagnosis, the practitioner and the client jointly determine the nature and degree of imbalance. In the majority of women with PCOS, there is a strong Kapha component: they often struggle with mysterious weight gain that is hard to lose even while maintaining a light diet, healthy lifestyle, and regular exercise. Some women with PCOS appear to be of a Kapha nature: large bone structure, plentiful tissues, calm disposition, etc. Upon questioning, observation, and pulse taking I have found that some are Pitta-Vata (or Vata-Pitta), but are simply carrying extra weight. A few of the women I have seen with PCOS have said that their large bodies do not feel native to them—they feel as if they are going around in a suit that does not belong to them. Other women with PCOS are not overweight, but simply have irregular menstrual cycles. One of the phenomena of this disorder is that the eggs in the ovaries prepare to leave the ovaries, but the necessary hormones that cause the final leap out of the ovaries are lacking. The egg in this instance is like a seed that is ready to burst out of the ground, but then does not succeed because the sprouting conditions are not available. Reference this website to learn more about PCOS from an Ayurvedic perspective.

After the initial consultation, the Ayurvedic practitioner designs a program for you that includes dietary recommendations, lifestyle modification, herbal supplementation, yoga, breathing, meditation, cleansing procedures, and hands-on body therapies. There is no one-size-fits-all in Ayurveda. It is best to see a practitioner who will recommend a program that takes into account your constitution, your current state of health, your schedule, your family situation, and causative factors that are individual to you. For example, one woman may have a high level of ama (toxicity) that is causing imbalance in the female reproductive system. For another woman it may be that her digestion, metabolism, absorption, or elimination is impaired. For another, it could be high levels of stress, lack of sleep, an unhealthy relationship, a poor diet, or a genetic predisposition. Ayurvedic treatment protocols help people pluck out imbalance at its root and create a fertile field with life-promoting conditions.

For female reproductive health in general, Ayurveda calls for a woman to remember her place in nature and her female ancestral heritage that was passed down to her from her mother’s womb. In ancient cultures, womens’ menstrual cycles were linked to the 28-day moon period.  Women menstruated together on the new moon and retreated from the village in tents where they could take a break from nurturing others and spend time resting and relaxing. The modern woman is so busy that she does not take time to stop during her period. The manic pace at which we live our lives contributes to women’s woes such as PMS, PCOS, acne, heavy bleeding, spotting in between periods, endometriosis, fibroids, unsavory menopausal symptoms, infertility, etc. During my training in Ayurveda, one of my classmates shared an experience of being on a surgery rotation during medical school. She started her period in the middle of a surgical procedure and was so compelled to keep up with the other doctors that she bled all over the floor during the surgery.

What are we women of the post-feminist world to do? We are bright, successful, educated, and capable of both professional and domestic excellence, yet our ancient bodies seem to be calling us back to the moon hut. What good is accomplishment if we destroy our health, shorten our lives, and lose our happiness in the process? I propose that we take small steps toward listening to the call of nature and revolt against the market driven, competitive, frantic culture in which we live. In Maya Tawari’s book, The Path of Practice, she explains that connecting with shakti energy is fundamental to women’s physical and spiritual health:

According to Vedic seers, a woman’s femininity cannot exist apart from her shakti—the one energy that gave birth to everything. Shakti is the Mother’s power behind creation, and signifies the sacred mysteries of creation, regeneration, and destruction…The Divine Mother endowed all females with two gifts: the power to nurture and the power to protect. Shakti is more than the energy of reproduction. It is the spirit of protecting the sacred, gathering food, worshiping the Divine and giving birth to children, to inspiration, to ideas and art (Tiwari 54 55).

There are an infinite number of ways to honor shakti. Lie low during your two or three days of heavy bleeding, perform daily warm oil self-massage, oil your hair, receive shirodhara (an Ayurvedic body therapy where warm oil is poured in a continuous stream over the third eye), keep a moon calendar by your bedside and perform the moon salutation on the full moon, practice the goddess pose (supta baddha konasana), do the yoni mudra, drink a quarter cup of aloe vera juice everyday (aloe vera is fantastic for balancing women’s hormones), take moments to squat. Squatting connects a woman to the earth. Have an Ayurvedic practitioner guide you through a women’s cleansing program. Become a master of pelvic floor exercises, paint your toenails, get a henna tattoo, pick up a silk scarf, turn on some sultry music and let your hips and pelvis dance, prepare a lovely meal of farm-fresh food for you and your family, rock a baby to sleep, spend time in nature, cultivate deep and lasting friendships with other women, repair any hurt in your relationship with your mother and/or mother-in-law. Create something. Teach all of this to your daughters. As you nurture shakti, may your reproductive balance be well established, your eyes sparkle, your skin shine, and your garden of health be plentiful and fruitful!

Patricia Wickman is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Certified Panchakarma Technician and Registered Yoga teacher. Her services include private and small–group yoga lessons, Ayurvedic consultations and Ayurvedic Spa therapies.