Relax and meditation
Natural cosmetics, like kings and queens Part 16, the fragrance of Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar, the renowned Roman leader and politician, in his work the de Bello Gallico speaks of a habit he had, perfuming his body with a particular fragrance called the telinum. Also Pliny the Elder speaks of telinum in his work Naturalis Historia, by explaining that it is an ointment prepared with olive oil in which herbs are macerated, such as fenugreek, marjoram and melilot. A few years ago CNR, the Italian national research council, recreated this ointment with a sweet and slightly pung...
The prunum mume, also called the Japanese plum, is a fruit tree halfway between the plum tree and the apricot tree. The plant is native to China and produces fruits that, in shape and appearance, remind of an apricot. The fruits are dried and pickled for several months together with shiso leaves, or Laminaria Purpurea, which gives to the fruits their typical reddish color. After this process the fruits take the name of umeboshi plums. The umeboshi plums are the most common form with which people...
Chakras and yoga
The chakras, based on the ancient writings of the Indian medical tradition, are the centers in which the energy of the body converges. The main chakras, a Sanskrit term meaning wheel, are seven and are located along the spine. According to tradition, they have the task of receiving and distributing vital energy, by ensuring the proper functioning of the body. Each chakra is in fact associated with particular organs and functions, now we’ll see better in detail! The seven chakras - The first ch...
Cherries, stones and stems
Cherries are so delicious, juicy, tasty and healthy, rich in vitamins, mineral salts and antioxidant substances. And the great thing of cherries is that nothing is thrown away, neither the stems nor the stones, both interesting natural remedies! But let's see better in detail. Cherry stems - Cherry stems are highly diuretic and therefore useful in case of water retention and cellulite (Hooman et al, Pak J Pharm Sci, Oct 2009). Moreover, scientific studies (Aires et al, ABP, 2017) have observed...
Natural cosmetics, like kings and queens Part 11, Rose infused oil worthy of the Gods of Olympus
The palace of the king of Babylon Nebuchadnezzar was decorated with roses whose petals were used to prepare a scented oil. In ancient Greece and ancient Rome, roses were the symbol of the goddess of love, Aphrodite or Venus, they represented beauty and joy and the rose infused oil was also well known. About this special and powerful beauty oil spoke Pliny and Homer, who, in the Book XXIII of the Iliad described that Aphrodite applied on Hector's body a rose infused oil to protect him from the an...
Music, sounds and noise
A walk in the woods, in silence, surrounded just by nature sounds, a low chirping, the murmuring of the wind and the babbling brook. Or a cozy room in which a calming and relaxing music is rising. The sounds that surround us aren’t just a background of our actions and life but have a pivotal role on the mood, the concentration and stress. Nature sounds and music for meditation have indeed an anxiolytic effect demonstrated by scientific researches, as we’ll see in the following. Nature sounds –...
Lemon balm, mother tincture
Lemon balm, also known as balm, common balm or balm mint, scientific name Melissa officinalis, is a plant of the Lamiaceae family. From the leaves of lemon balm a mother tincture is obtained characterized by a sedative, anxiolytic and antispasmodic action (Scholey et al, Nutrients, Nov 2014), therefore useful in case of anxiety, nervousness, insomnia and before exams at school or university or important tests at work. This remedy may be able, indeed, to mitigate the performance anxiety that thes...
The plant of cocoa, Theobroma cacao, belongs to the family of Sterculiaceae and is native to south America. When the seeds are extracted from the fruits of the tree they are subjected to a multi step process involving fermentation, drying, roasting and grinding in order to obtain, as a final product, the cocoa powder that we can purchase in the shops. A fine, brown and scented powder that is commonly used for cooking, sweets, drinks but also as an ingredient of beauty cosmetics. Let’s see the pr...
Natural cosmetics, like kings and queens Part 8, lemon balm honey for the Nefertari’s bath
Nefertari was a queen of Ancient Egypt, the wife of Ramses the Great, who dedicated her a temple that still fascinates all the people who have the opportunity to admire it, majestic and timeless, able to defy the centuries and the works of humans, Abu Simbel, set in the southernmost part of Egypt, in Aswan. Nefertari was much loved by Ramses and, as they say, also very beautiful and she took care of her beauty with ointments, creams and baths. Between history and legend, today we take inspiratio...
Yoga is an ancient discipline, born thousands of years ago in India with the aim to restore and maintain balance and health of mind, body and emotions. We are witnessing a great spread of yoga all over the world and this thanks to the numerous scientific researches that are demonstrating its effectiveness as an aid to control stress and chronic inflammation in the body, which, as we have seen in several posts, can cause in the long run cardiovascular or autoimmune diseases, depression and even t...
Anti inflammatory lifestyle Part 4, the importance of stimulating the brain
Chronic inflammation is a process that can take years to blow up, it works silently and creates the environment for aging and illnesses of body and mind, such as Alzheimer, arthritis, cancer, depression or more visible signs like wrinkles or skin aging. In order to counteract this condition, we should start changing our lifestyle, as we have seen in the previous posts. We have seen also the importance of a good night rest, to regenerate and fight stress and inflammations. Today we will see that,...
Anti inflammatory lifestyle Part 2
Chronic inflammations can be considered one of the most dangerous enemies of our health. In silence, it works inside our body and create the conditions for several illnesses and also depression. Refined foods, fried foods and sugars act on our body by increasing chronic inflammation, also stress can increase chronic inflammation. In the previous posts we have seen the guide lines created by important universities such as Harvard or Rush University Medical Center of Chicago about healthy diet hab...
Anti inflammatory lifestyle Part 1, the physical activity
As we have seen in the previous posts, diet plays a pivotal role in counteracting chronic inflammations, the enemy number one if we want to grow old in good health, both physical and mental. According to scientific studies indeed, chronic inflammation, not the acute and beneficial one able to fight the threats like virus and bacteria, but the inflammation that works continuously and in silence is considered the cause of premature aging and several illnesses such as Alzheimer and depression, but ...
Cherry is the fruit of plant Prunus avium and delights us with its sweetness for a fairly limited period of time, from the beginning of June until the end of July. But cherries are not just delicious, they also have interesting healthy properties. They are in fact a source of vitamins, such as A, C, B1, important for the proper functioning of muscles and the nervous system, B2, useful for the health of skin, nervous system and vision, and mineral salts such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron...
Pilates is a fitness method developed in the early 1900s by Joseph Pilates with the purpose to improve posture, to make the movements more harmonious and to reshape the body. Joseph Pilates created this method with the aim to support the injured dancers on their path to rehabilitation, he mixed the strength, typical of the Occidental exercises, with the calm and concentration of Oriental practice and meditation. Many pilates exercises remind indeed of the yoga poses and in fact this is where the...
Chaga mushroom, scientific name Inonotus obliquus, is a type of mushroom that generally grows on the bark of trees such as birch but also beech, oak and alder in regions characterized by cold weather such as Siberia, Alaska and part of north Canada. The name chaga comes from the Russian word used to indicate the mushroom. This mushroom has been used for centuries and now it is becoming popular thanks to its antioxidant properties, useful to counteract aging processes, wrinkles and dull skin, but...
Mace is a spice native to the Moluccas obtained from the internal part of the fruit of a tree, Myristica fragrans. From the same tree is obtained also nutmeg that comes, on the contrary, from the seed and has a more intense and less sweet taste than mace. Mace has vitamins, such as A, C and group B, and mineral salts, such as magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, manganese, selenium and phosphorus, it contains also antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, very useful to counteract free radicals. In a...
The Kola nut is the fruit of several species of plants belonging to the genus Cola but it is also the ingredient of a famous drink known all over the world, the cola, although nowadays can be replaced by artificial flavors. The Kola nut is characterized by interesting properties, is indeed rich in tannins, caffeine and theobromine, substances that are released gradually and that are able to stimulate the nervous system, improve blood flow but also boost the metabolism. Therefore, the kola nut pr...
Black-Eyed Susan is an Australian bush flower remedy obtained from Tetratheca ericifolia, a flower characterized by mauve petals and tips of the stamens rich in black pollen, hence the name of the remedy. The Australian bush flower essence Black-Eyed Susan helps impatient and hasty people, those who accumulate too many activities and tend to have a hectic and stressful life, those who think that time is never enough. This Australian bush flower essence provides calm and relaxation, promotes intr...
The celeriac, scientific name Apium graveolens var. rapaceum, is known also as celery root, it is indeed a variety of celery, it belongs to the Apiaceae family and its root, white and with a round shape, can be eaten. This vegetable is a low calorie food but it is rich in fibers, that are important for the bowel function, act against constipation and to counteract hunger. The celeriac contains also vitamins, including vitamin A, C and vitamin B, and mineral salts, especially iron, potassium, sel...
Coffea cruda is a remedy prepared from the mother's tincture of unroasted seeds of the coffee plant, or Coffea Arabica, of the Rubiaceae family. This remedy is used to treat excessive nervousness, hyperactivity and insomnia caused by stress, especially when at night you are not able to fall asleep because there are too many thoughts in your mind or if you stay too long on your computer or watch television before you go to sleep. Coffea cruda is also useful in case of headaches and migraines, pal...
Cordyceps sinensis is a parasitic fungus of a moth, usually Hepialis armoricanus, it belongs to the Cordycipitaceae family and is very rare, so much that in ancient times it was reserved only to noble families. Nowadays, it has been found how to produce it in controlled cultivation so that the remedy can be purchased all around the world. Well known and appreciated by traditional Chinese medicine, cordyceps, also called the caterpillar fungus, is considered an elixir for the body, able to reinvi...
Kudzu, scientific name Pueraria montana, is a plant of the Fabacee or Leguminosae family that includes also soy, beans, fava beans, peas and lentils. Native to Asia, it is used for cooking, in fact kudzu root powder works as thickener and gelling agent, but also as a natural remedy. Kudzu, in fact, contains isoflavones, natural compounds with a structure similar to human body estrogens, which help to soothe menopausal symptoms and osteoporosis, as reported in the study published in the Evidence-...
Bupleurum chinense is a plant of the Apiaceae or Umbelliferae family native to East Asia although nowadays it is widely widespread in other parts of the world. The root of the bupleurum is used to prepare remedies that, according to the traditional Chinese medicine, have detoxifying properties. But bupleurum chinense is also characterized by an anti-inflammatory and protective action for what concerns the liver, it is therefore helpful in case of liver problems and diseases such as cirrhosis or ...
Evergreen magnolia, or Magnolia grandiflora, is a medicinal plant of the Magnoliaceae family of ancient origin, since traces of this plant date back more than 95 million years ago. The magnolia bark is used to obtain a highly appreciated anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant remedy used in traditional Chinese medicine to counteract diarrhea, cough and problems of the urinary tract. Moreover, according to a research carried out in 1997 by a team of scientists from the Gunma University ...
Indian ginseng or Withania somnifera
Withania somnifera, also known as Indian ginseng, Ashwaganda or winter cherry is a herb used in Ayurvedic medicine belonging to the Solanacee family, the same as tomato and eggplant. Native to India Withania somnifera is a small bush and its roots and leaves are used as a remedy with important benefits. In the Indian ginseng more than 80 active substances have been identified, among them the withanolides, that name the plant, that have anti-inflammatory properties and result able to inhibit the...
Mache or lamb’s lettuce
Valerianella locusta is called mache, lamb’s salad but other names include also corn salad or common corn salad. This plant should not be confused with valeriana officinalis, in fact, although both plants belong to the Valerianaceae family, valerianella locusta is used as a delicate and tasty salad, the other one, valeriana officinalis, is used as a powerful herbal remedy with calming and sedative properties. Mache salad has tender and rounded leaves, it gives fibers, vitamins, such as vitamin A...
Valerian, scientific name Valeriana officinalis, also known as garden valerian or setwall, is a plant belonging to the Valerianaceae family with relaxing and sedative properties that are useful against anxiety, agitation, insomnia or tachycardia, headache or menstrual cramps and even irritated bowel and colitis. Valerian actually has many varieties, almost 250, but Valeriana officinalis is the one used in phytotherapy since ancient Roman and Greek times. It is indeed particularly rich in calming...
Papaya, also called papaw or pawpaw, scientific name Carica papaya, is a tree of the Caricaceae family that can reach a height of 10 meters. The fruit, which has the same name as the plant, is a very large, orange-colored berry with a sweet and juicy pulp that contains many seeds in the form of black grains. Rich in vitamin C, A and E, but also potassium, magnesium, zinc and antioxidants, papaya fruit helps to fight free radicals and counteracts aging processes. It is useful to restore health an...
Damiana, Turnera diffusa var. aphrodisiaca, is a medicinal plant of the Turneracee family. The plant is a remedy with tonic and stimulating properties and with an aphrodisiac action. Damiana, for these characteristics, is indicated in case of fatigue, general debilitation, stress, anxiety and depression, in situations that require more energy, in case of insomnia but also, as the name suggests, aphrodisiaca from Aphrodite, the goddess of love, in case of low libido in both man and woman and othe...
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