Spirulina

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What is Spirulina?

Spirulina is a blue-green “algae” (cyanbacteria) that is a complete powerhouse of nutrients. This is an ancient freshwater algae that has been living on this Earth from the beginning of time. Though it seems as if it is a ‘newer’ superfood, it has actually been consumed for centuries by humans for its nutrient rich healing properties. Spirulina grows naturally in lakes, rivers and ponds; originating from tropical climates such as Mexico and Hawaii. 

Benefits:

  1. Nutrient Powerhouse:
        • Protein: As with the rise in popularity of plant based diets, this algae has become a very popular food choice for its high protein content. With about 60% of each serving being a complete protein, it is the highest source of plant based protein in existence. Often times with other plant based sources of protein such as beans, nuts, and seeds, they will have to be paired with another food to attain all amino acids to be a complete protein. But spirulina is already a complete protein by itself, serving as the most effective plant based source of protein. This plant based protein is also very easily digested and absorbed by the human body. 
        • Iron: Meat is a very commonly known source of iron for many. But for those looking for a plant based source, look no further. Spirulina provides you with roughly 11% of your daily need in just one tablespoon. Spirulina is also a very bio
        • Calcium: Compared to milk, there is over twenty-six times more calcium in one serving on spirulina. 
  1. Decrease Anxiety and Depression: 
        • The elements of Spirulina are known to help balance the brain chemistry, promote better brain functioning and prevent depression. One amino acid found in spirulina, tryptophan, is essential in the body’s process of producing serotonin. Serotonin is the happy chemical in the brain that elevates mood and alleviates depression. Tryptophan can also help the body get a better nights sleep. 
  1. 3. A Powerful Antioxidant: 
        • Oxidative stress is known to cause free radicals in the body, which are extremely detrimental to ones health. One side effect of free radicals is a chronic inflammation, which then leads to a variety of chronic diseases and physical ailments. Spirulina has a very large concentration of antioxidants, which fight free radicals. The main active component is phycocyanin, which also gives Spirulina that blue-green color. Phycocyanin is the power behind Spirulina’s amazing free radical fighting properties, lowering ones overall risk for chronic disease. 
  1. Helps Rid of Heavy Metals:
        • Spirulina is known to bind to heavy metals in the body and flush them out of the system. Seeing as Spirulina is very high in chlorophyll, which is a nutrient that helps remove toxins from the bloodstream and helps to give the immune system a boost as well.
  1. Extreme Immune Boost:
        • Spirulina is rich with beta-carotene and phycocyanins, which are plant pigments that act as very effective boosts to the immune system. The phycocyanin specifically helps fight the damage to cells that would have otherwise caused disease in the body. 

How to consume:

There are a number of ways to consume spirulina, but my personal preference is capsule. Some refer to the taste of spirulina as ‘nutty’ and love to sprinkle it over a salad. Personally I think it tastes extremely fishy and the flavor isn’t necessarily to my liking. So I prefer to take capsules, just purely to avoid the taste. But if the taste doesn’t bother you, spirulina can be mixed in a smoothie, juice or just a glass of water. Your method of consumption is based on personal preference, one way is not better than another.

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One single tablespoon (roughly 7 grams) of Spirulina powder contains:

      • Calories: 20
      • Protein: 4 grams
      • Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 11% of the USDA’s recommended daily allowance
      • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 15% of the RDA
      • Vitamin B3 (niacin): 4% of the RDA
      • Copper: 21% of the RDA 
      • Iron: 11% of the RDA
      • Also containing significant amounts of calcium, 

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Guarana Seeds

Paullinia cupana

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What is Guarana?

A caffeine-rich fruit found in the central Amazon Basin. The fruit is actually quite beautiful, with a red outer layer and inside will be one or two dark brown seeds. Often times the inside of a guarana fruit is said to look like an eyeball and the seed is where all the beneficial properties are stored. Well known for its medicinal properties, the native tribes of the Amazon have been using Guarana for thousands of years. And is actually used frequently in many products all across the globe today. Check out the nutrition label of your next energy drink or energy supplement, most likely you will find Guarana. Seeing guarana contains almost double the amount of caffeine as coffee, guarana or any form of guarana, is a very popular ingredient in products that are made to give one energy.

History of Guarana

This berry originates from the Amazon Basin and has played an important tole in the Amazonian culture for thousands of years. The Mauses-sateres, a tribe in the Amazon, were the first ones to discover the magical medicinal properties of this berry. Though it gets it name from the Guarani tribe. It soon adopted the name “elixir of long life” and would traditionally be used in unison with other native plants such as mate. Often times the plant will be dried out, to make the removal of the seeds easier as the seeds are the ones that hold all the power. The tribes used this berry for energy and as an astringent. This plant was also popular during times of fasting, as it would keep the nutritional levels of the body intact and also providing energy one needs when not consuming any food.

Benefits of Guarana

  • Improved Digestion: Guarana has played a role in the treatment of digestive disorder since ancient Amazonian times. Those suffering from bowel problems such as diarrhea were encouraged to drink tonics with guarana as it is loaded with a lot of fiber. Fiber is essential to maintain overall healthy gut and to regulate bowel movements. Having healthy gut plays an extremely large role in the health and wellness of the rest of the body.
  • Antioxidant: Guarana is known to contain a great deal of antioxidants in one serving, more than found in green tea. But most importantly guarana contains catechin, which reduces oxidative stress and is an anti-inflammatory aiding in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and other chronic illness.
  • Increased Energy: Seeing as guarana is a stimulant, after ingesting your energy levels will rise significantly. Containing almost double the amount of caffeine as coffee, it will sure give you that kick in the pants to get your day started and keep you going. Coffee drinkers often suffer from that 3 pm crash, guarana keeps a sustained level of energy in the body so there is no crash.  Also known to help improve mental focus. Guarana also contains protein, fats and fiber with provide the body with some nutrition as opposed to the empty calories coffee has to offer.
  • Healthy Skin: Seeing as there is protein and antioxidant properties to guarana, it seems to be an ideal mixture for healthy skin. When applied topically, so added to face masks or cleansers, it will help improve skin tone, treat acne and reduce scarring. The antioxidant properties are working to reverse the oxidative stress your skin has suffered so many years, leaving you with healthy vibrant skin.

 

Blue Lotus

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2e72.JPGNymphae Caerulea

Blue lotus, also known as Nymphae Caerulea, has been used for centuries for variety of purposes and plays a significant role in different traditions all over the world. Being strongly connected with ancient Egyptian and Asian culture, blue lotus was associated with the human soul, spirituality and divinity. Being an important element in Buddhist culture, blue lotus symbolizes enlightenment, re-birth and unification. Ancient Chinese traditions refer to blue lotus as the ‘Rising Soul’. Many of these associations of blue lotus stem from the way it grows, which is something quite magical in itself. Growing out of muddy waters, looking like the ugly ducking until its roots are firmly planted in the ground, then blooming into something vibrant and beautiful.

How to use:

Blue lotus can be consumed through a variety of methods. Brewed into a tea is the most common consumption method, boil the entire plant in water for 20-30 min and drink alone or add other teas, herbs, drinks to the mixture. It can also be consumed through smoking, personally I mix my blue lotus with a little cannabis when feeling stressed or needing some deep introspection time.

Effects:

There are many medicinal benefits that come from Blue Lotus. Blue lotus is a common and natural anti-anxiety remedy, sleep remedy, and stress reliever. Working with the nervous system to send a feeling of relaxation through out the entire body. Also containing nuciferan (a natural anti spasmodic) and aporphine (introducing a sense of euphoria). Mild euphoria mixed with the tranquility (and a little cannabis) makes for quite an altered sense of awareness. Making for a great set up to enter a deep introspective meditation. Or if you decide to not spend the day meditating, going outside blue lotus helps you enter that elevated moon and dream like state, but in the conscious mind and very much in control. The mood lifting properties are known in aiding and alleviating mental disorders, especially depressing. Blue lotus is also used as treatment for any gastrointestinal problems, it has been found that cramping, diarrhea, and nausea have been helped when consuming blue lotus.

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Ashwagandha

Withania Somnifera

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Ashwagandha is a miracle little shrub. Native to India, the Middle East and parts of Africa- ashwagandha has been around for hundreds of years used for its medicinal purposes. Ashwagandha is a staple in the Ancient Indian science of life known as Ayurveda. Ashwagandha is relied heavily on in this science because of its extreme array of benefits. The name ashwaganda, in Sanskrit, translates to “the smell of the horse,” referring to the herbs potent smell and ability to increase ones strength. 

Ashwagandha and Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a science, meaning the science of life, coming from Ancient India about 5000 years ago. Ayurvedic medicine uses natural practices and plants to treat a variety of medical conditions. Ashwagandha is arguably one of the, if not the, most important herb used. Ayurveda uses ashwagandha to relieve stress (it is an adaptogen!), improve cognitive functioning and increase energy levels. It is considered a rasayana, a term in Ayurveda that literally means the science of lengthening the lifespan. Rasayana’s are practices and herbs that are anti-aging and should help you live longer, maintaining your health both mentally and physically. 
 

Benefits

  • Adaptogen: combats effects of stress
  • Immune system booster
  • Improves cognitive functioning: learning, reaction time, and memory
  • Aids in reducing anxiety and depression
  • Helps reduce brain-cell degeneration
  • Blood sugar stabilizer
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Increases sexual potency for both sexes
  • Promotes new nerve growth

Dosage and Forms

Ashwagandha can be found in powder, capsule, and tinctures. Which means it is very easy to sneak it into your daily meals or morning coffee. Though it is known for its strong taste and aroma, don’t let that scare you away. This miracle shrub will do wonders for your mental and physical health. For those of you who suffer from insomnia or anxiety, having a cup of hot milk that with a teaspoon of ashwagandha or a capsule before bedtime is seen to be very beneficial. As far as dosage, this is something you will need to decide between your doctor and you. Often times it will recommend a dosage on the package and that is usually what I will abide by.

 

 

 

 

Mugwort

Mugwort is a plant of the Daisy family. Though looking nothing like daisies, it still has its charm. Mugwort can be brewed into a tea or smoked. When brewing mugwort in a tea, this will help more with the digestive and sexual problems. When it comes to dreams and sleep, I have found that smoking it is a little more effective. But either way, any consumption of mugwort will aid you in some way or another.

Digestive Issues

Mugwort is known to treat an array of digestive disorders. Such as indigestion, acid reflux, bloating and flatulence. It also is known to counter any conditions such as constipation or diarrhea. It has been used for a long time to settle the stomach and ease any nausea. Some of the compounds found in this plant can stimulate the production of bile, speeding digestion as well as stimulating the appetite. Mugwort is also a natural way to eliminate any parasites from your digestive tract.

Sexual Issues

Mugwort is known as natures viagra! It will begin to increase the sex hormone levels in your body, resulting in an increased sexual appetite. Mugwort also boosts blood circulation, which is quite an important factor in this category.

Help for your Hair

As said above, mugwort increases circulation, which hair and scalp need good blood circulation to ensure they stay healthy. The increased blood flow will make your hair follicles strong and  aid in preventing hair loss.  Mugwort is also rich in Vitamin E, which improves scalp circulation, balances oil production, add shine, and precent hair loss. It will ensurea more lustrous and glossy look without ever having to worry about a dry scalp ever again.

Immune Support

Mugwort contains a high concentration of vitamin C and many other antioxidants (such as vitamin E) which  makes this tea an prime choice for boosting the immune system. Vitamin C stimulates the production of white blood cells, as well as acting as an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals which cause inflammation and weaken the body’s defenses.

Dreaming

DREAMS! Mugwort is known to help you dream a more vividly at night. Mugwort is known to also help you remember your dreams a little more clearly.  If you generally do not remember anything about your dreams, mugwort can help you recollect bits & pieces. If you remember only a little bit or parts here and there, it will help you put together a more complete narrative of what went on. If you tend to only dream in black and white, mugwort will help introduce colors. If you tend to dream in only visuals, mugwort can help enhance other sensory details during the dream. Last but not least, Lucid dreaming. There is no promise mugwort will make you lucid dream, especially if you have never experienced it before. But if you already have good dream recall and your dreams are filled with color and texture, mugwort can help you transition into more of a lucid dreaming state.

Sleep Potion

Mugwort is known to have helped many people with their sleeping. This herb helps people fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night. If you need a little more help sleeping through the night here is a little Sleep Potion! In a tea mix Mugwort with skullcap, passionflower, betony, and motherwort. This will effectively improve the capacity to sleep straight through the night.

 

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