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DIY Natural Skincare Recipes

DIY Natural Skincare Recipes

Are you thinking of changing up your skincare and beauty routine? Struggling to think of a present for an upcoming birthday? Or simply just fancy getting stuck into a crafty project?

Well, we’ve got the answer! We know a lot of our customers like to keep as many areas of their lives as natural as possible – whether it’s the food that they eat, using herbal remedies to support their wellbeing or even ensuring their products are as pure as possible. Therefore, we’ve made a handy guide to DIY recipes for creating your very own range of skincare and bath goodies that are made from all-natural ingredients like essential oils, honey and carrier oils like aloe vera and coconut.

DIY Natural Skin Care Recipes

We teamed up with the brilliant Laura who is the creator of Wholeheartedly Healthy to create our seven recipe cards for you to use. (Bookmark her blog if you’re interested in living a wholeheartedly healthy lifestyle – her recipes are brilliant!) Together, we created step-by-step recipe cards that show you just how easy it is to combine natural ingredients to create finished products to use to cleanse, moisturise or exfoliate your skin. They also make brilliant presents – just package your bath salts, cleanser or body scrub up into a bottle or jar (we have a range here) and decorate with ribbon.

We’ll be featuring one of our seven recipes each week, delving deeper into why the chosen ingredients are great for incorporating into a natural lifestyle. We’ll also be putting the images up on our Pinterest  – so make sure you follow us if you haven’t already to keep up to date!

Finally… If you’re feeling lazy but still want to switch your skincare routine up to incorporate more natural ingredients and less chemical nasties, we stock plenty of natural skincare and beauty brands – you can find them here!

 

 

The Benefits Of Ashwagandha

The Benefits Of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is one of our favourite herbs in store because it alleviates many of the symptoms of a stressful modern life. It acts as both a tonic and a sedative making it a must-have in any natural remedy collection. Whilst Ashwagandha is well-known in Ayurvedic healing many of you may know it by some of its other names like Withania Somnifera, Indian Ginseng or Winter Cherry. In this blog post we will introduce you to some of the most useful facts about the history, uses and precautions to consider if you’d like to add Ashwagandha to your diet.

The Benefits Of Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a blend word coming from Sanskrit. The first part of the word – “ashwa” – means horse and “gandha” means smell. It was given this name for two reasons: the first being that it smells a little like a horse in its raw form and the second is that people believe it gives you the power and vitality of a horse!

How can Ashwagandha help?

There is a long list of ways in which Ashwagandha is believed to help the human body. These include:

-          It guards the immune system by acting as an anti-inflammatory and an anti-oxidant.

-          It help fights the effects of stress.

-          Reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression without creating drowsiness.

-          Believed to help increase focus, memory, and reaction times so it is often used by sportsmen and women before competition.

-          Helps lower cholesterol.

-          Enhances sexual potency for both men and women.

Ways of adding Ashwagandha to your diet

If you’d like to try Ashwagandha for yourself there are a number of easy ways to add it into your diet. Probably the simplest way is by taking Ashwagandha Capsules twice a day with water.

Herbal tinctures are another great way to get your regular helping of Ashwagandha. A sensible dosage when using a tincture is 1/2–3/4 teaspoon (2–4 ml) and it can be taken 3 times a day.

The Benefits Of Ashwagandha

To prepare a decoction, we would recommend boiling 3/4–1 1/4 teaspoons (3–6 grams) of Ashwagandha root for 15 minutes and leave to cool. You can drink up to 3 portions (750 ml) daily.

Precautions

Medical practitioners have warned against the use of Ashwagandha if:

-          You are pregnant or breast-feeding

-          Suffer from diabetes

-          You have high or low blood pressure

-          You are being treated for stomach ulcers

-          You have a thyroid disorder

You should also stop using Ashwagandha 2 weeks before any scheduled surgery as, when it is combined with anaesthesia, it may slow down your central nervous system.

If you have any questions, our team of experts are happy to help and advise you on all your personal needs and requirements.

 

Which Cooking Oil Should I Use?

Which Cooking Oil Should I Use?
It’s difficult to keep up with the latest opinions on fat. Previously health guidelines have advocated low fat diets, whereas more recently it seems like butter and full-fat dairy is back in fashion.

Regardless of trends, the majority of people would say fat is necessary in some part to maintain a healthy diet as it helps the body to absorb minerals and vitamins as well as providing energy.

Which Cooking Oil Should I Use

Source

When cooking, many people will turn to a form of fat to add flavour and prevent food sticking to the pan. If the issue of fat wasn’t already confusing enough, there are so many different types of cooking oils that it can be difficult to choose which one to use – whether you’re focused on the healthful properties or just on how different oils will affect your cooking.

At Baldwins, we also have plenty of options of cooking oils, but we thought we would break down a few as examples so you can better understand their properties and feel more confident when choosing which healthy fat to incorporate into your diet.

Grapeseed oil

Which Cooking Oil Should I Use? - Meridian Grapeseed Oil

Extracted from the seeds of grapes, grapeseed oil is another good choice for cooking oil. It contains a high amount of omega 6, helping the body to burn fat, and contains antioxidants to support a healthy body from the inside out.

This oil has a high smoke point which means it can be used at high temperatures without the oil smoking and releasing toxic fumes. It if the perfect choice for general cooking, and also has a light flavour so can be used as a neutral fat in salad dressings, for example.

Sunflower oil

Which Cooking Oil Should I Use? - Meridian Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is the vegetable oil with the highest level of polyunsaturated fat with plenty of fatty acids. This is great if you are concerned about blood pressure or heart problems. Saturated fats can also make people feel sluggish, so polyunsaturated fats are a good alternative to try as they naturally boost energy levels. It also contains vitamin E, which contributes to regenerating cells and protecting you from any skin damage while repairing scars quicker.

When it comes to cooking with sunflower oil, it has a mild flavour which is better preserved if you choose a cold-pressed and unrefined bottle. This will work very well in dressings. It also has a high smoking point so can be used for frying.

Extra virgin olive oil

Which Cooking Oil Should I Use? - Meridian Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Olive oil is extremely high in monounsaturates (considered a ‘healthy fat’) and has anti-atherogenic properties (helps to avoid clogging and hardening of the arteries, lessening the risk of cardiovascular problems). It’s also packed with anxtioxidants, so it’s a great choice to incorporate into a healthy diet for a boost of goodness.

Extra virgin olive oil is probably the best type of olive oil to choose as it is extracted naturally, which makes it a better choice than the majority of ‘light’ olive oils. It also has a stronger fruitier flavour which makes it brilliant for salad dressings.

Coconut oil

Which Cooking Oil Should I Use? - Essential Organic Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is extremely versatile – good for spreading, frying, roasting and baking, as well as using as part of a natural beauty routine! If you’re interested in incorporating coconut into your cooking oils, it contains many health benefits that should convince you.

While it counts as a saturated fat, which some may think is the ‘bad’ type of fat, its structure means it is actually made up of lauric acid – one of the same properties as breast milk. This makes it more digestible, a great source of energy and, unlike other saturated fats, it actually helps to lower cholesterol levels.

Soya oil

Which Cooking Oil Should I Use? Clearspring Soya Oil

Soya or soybean oil contains a high level of plant sterols and fatty acids. Both of these regulate cholesterol levels as well as the Omega-3 contributing to the good health of skin and eyes, lowering inflammation and promoting cognitive function.

Soya oil isn’t the best for using with high temperatures – save it for lightly sautéing meat and veg instead of roasting or frying. It also works well in strongly flavoured recipes, as its mild taste will complement punchy spices.

Sesame oil

Which Cooking Oil Should I Use? - Meridian Sesame Oil

Another heart-healthy choice, sesame oil is high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats regulates blood sugar, and polyunsaturated regulate blood pressure. It has a similar nutritional profile to olive oil, but the main difference is that sesame oil has its own unique taste which works extremely well with Asian recipes such as stir-fries.

If possible, go for cold pressed and unrefined sesame oil as both of these don’t use artificial processing methods, as well as retaining more flavour.

 

 

Natural Remedies for Muscle Cramps

With temperatures outside improving, we are beginning to dust off our athletic clothing to participate in outdoor exercise again. The Christmas hiatus means that sore, tired muscles are common at the moment but it isn’t just exercise that can cause muscle cramps: dehydration, stress and fatigue can all trigger this painful muscular condition. We’ve learnt some handy, natural techniques that we’d like to share with you for making sure you keep your body in full working order.

Natural Remedies for Muscle Cramps - Don't 'Run' yourself down!

Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevebraund

Prevention is better than a cure

Stay Hydrated

Chia seeds have become very popular due to how versatile they are but it is their ability to prolong hydration that has brought them to the attention of athletes. The seeds can absorb many times their own weight in fluid making you resilient to dehydration.

Coconut water is an excellent source of electrolytes as well as having the added benefit of being low in calories plus cholesterol and fat-free. Electrolytes are important in maintaining the water balance inside and outside of cells in your body.

How about combining Chia seeds and coconut water to create your own homemade energy gel? Simply leave your chia seeds to soak in the coconut water (2 parts coconut water and 1 part chai seed) for 11 hours in the refrigerator. When you come back you’ll have a great gel for rehydrating! This is a wonderful way of avoiding all the artificial colourants and flavourings that are used in the energy drinks you’d find in your local store. You could also try this great recipe for a Chia Fresca.

Bananas and dates are good sources of potassium which is essential constituent in avoiding leg cramps. They are also very handy for refuelling on the move.

What to do to alleviate cramp

Hydrate

All the factors that protect you from getting cramp also contribute to alleviating its symptoms. Replacing fluids is vitally important after exercise so you should aim to drink 500ml of water for every pound you lost during exercise.

Have a warm bath

This is probably our favourite tip: treat yourself to a long soak in a warm bath. Using Epsom bath salts can help as they contain magnesium which promotes muscle relaxation.

Vitamin E

There is some evidence to show that vitamin E is a good way of reducing night leg cramps. The easiest way to add extra vitamin E to your diet is by taking one tablet daily with food.

Stretch and massage

Massage oils can be used to relieve aches and pains. We would recommend trying Wintergreen oil to start with. Wintergreen contains methyl salicylate which is great for relieving localised pain. Any massage with oil will be good for relieving the symptoms of cramp so feel free to use whichever oil you find most relaxing. You will need to use a carrier oil to dilute your choice of essential oil if you are going to apply it directly to you skin.

Let us know which natural remedy works best for you!

Liver Cleansing and Boosting Ingredients to Jumpstart Your January!

After a hectic Christmas and New Year you may be feeling a little worse for wear. Many people are looking to revamp their diets after overindulging, but one specific area to consider is the health of your liver. This extremely important organ has several jobs, including processing food during digestion, eradicating toxins and helping to store essential fuel your body needs day to day – even while it’s getting a bit of a battering from alcohol during party season!

There are several ingredients and foods to look out for which help to boost the liver’s functions and act as a supportive supplement while it recovers after the festivities.

Liver Cleansing and Boosting Ingredients – Milk Thistle

Liver Cleansing and Boosting Ingredients to Jumpstart Your January! - Milkthistle

Milk thistle is a Mediterranean herb that many recommend as a complementary ingredient for helping to restore and refresh the liver. Silymarin is its main component, and it works to provide an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant presence in the body.

We have a milk thistle tincture which is perfect for an easy way to incorporate the herb into your health routine. A typical dosage would be 1ml-5ml diluted in water which you can take up to three times a day.

Liver Cleansing and Boosting Ingredients – Turmeric

Liver Cleansing and Boosting Ingredients to Jumpstart Your January! - Pukka Wholistic Turmeric

Turmeric is another ingredient that you can incorporate into your diet to help give your liver some support when it needs it most. It is touted in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as being hugely beneficial for digestion and calming the liver during these processes. Studies into its main component, curcumin, have shown that it helps to stimulate the gallbladder to produce bile, which the liver can then use to breakdown toxins.

You can choose to cook with turmeric powder, or an alternative is to take 1-2 a day of these Pukka turmeric extract capsules to kick-start your liver’s recovery.

 

Liver Cleansing and Boosting Ingredients – Dandelion Tea

Liver Cleansing and Boosting Ingredients to Jumpstart Your January! - Clipper Dandelion Tea

Another all-natural ingredient that you can rely on to help stimulate a congested liver would be dandelion. It’s another substance that helps to ensure a proper creation of bile within the gallbladder, which makes the liver’s job even easier to promote healthy digestion. Clipper makes a lovely ‘cleansing infusion’ dandelion tea – stick a box by your kettle and you’ll feel the benefit!

Liver Cleansing and Boosting Ingredients – Green Tea

Liver Cleansing and Boosting Ingredients to Jumpstart Your January! - Clipper Organic Green Tea

Another form of liquid goodness is green tea. Its health benefits is mainly down to the fact that it is rich in catechins, a type of antioxidant flavonoid. Not only do many people find that green tea in their diet improves various health issues, it has been said it is especially good for cleansing the liver. However, green tea extract, found in some supplements and weight loss pills, has shown potentially negative effects due to its extreme potency. Therefore, it’s best to stick to the tea which has a natural amount of these antioxidants – try this one by Clipper.

 

As well as individual ingredients or components, there are several other types of food that you may already be eating that benefit the liver and help it get back to its best condition. Citrus fruit, garlic, avocado, leafy greens, carrots and olive oil are all examples to pop in your shopping basket or reach for next time you’re preparing a meal.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a quick and easy option to cleansing your liver and promoting its functions within the body, we have specific products for this very need that are extremely easy to turn to in a pinch.

Liver Cleansing and Boosting Ingredients to Jumpstart Your January! - Terranova Liver SupportLiver Cleansing and Boosting Ingredients to Jumpstart Your January! - Renew Life Liver SupportLiver Cleansing and Boosting Ingredients to Jumpstart Your January! - Dr Stuarts Liver Detox

Terranova’s liver support complex capsules contain dandelion and turmeric which we have already mentioned as great standbys after some over-indulgence, as well as all natural ingredients including sea buckthorn and kale. Renew Life’s 30-day liver cleanse kit is another option for a more intensive liver cleanse rather than simply supplementing its functions. Finally Dr Stuart’s teas have a specific liver detox tea blend that combines milk thistle, dandelion and also the age-old remedy Centaury to ‘get it out your system’ as it says on the tin!

As always if you have any questions about our products, or want more information or advice about our herbs and oils, don’t hesitate to drop in or give us a call or email.

 

Baldwin’s Natural Winter Remedies

The weather is getting much colder and the coughs, colds and bugs are already making their rounds. We thought we’d get in there first and hopefully give you some advice to avoid suffering with any Winter ailments but also how to naturally treat your symptoms if you’re already an unfortunate victim!

Don’t Let Your Immunity Be Weak This Winter!

First steps first – prevention is better than cure. There are many things that can help to lower your chance of catching anything nasty. Wash your hands regularly especially before eating, eat well and exercise in order to generally stay healthy and keep your immune system tip top.

As well as the practical tips, there are some natural ingredients that are ideal for working into your Winter routines to enhance your protection.

 Natural Winter Remedies - Astragalus

Astragalus is a Chinese root which is brilliant for helping the body fight infection and boost immunity. Studies have revealed that it boosts your white blood cells – the cells that are vital in fighting infection. You can take this herbal supplement up to three times a day.

Natural Winter Remedies - Siberian Ginseng

Ginseng is another ingredient to look out for. It’s a powerful herbal plant that studies have shown can have an effect on your immune system. Try and take a dose of a supplement like this ginseng elixir as a daily booster, or you could try it in tea as a quick uplifting solution!

 

Natural Winter Remedies - Vitamin C

Vitamin C is probably the best known of supplements to prevent colds, or to ease their symptoms. Consumed daily, it can strengthen your body and health so you are ready to take on whatever Winter may bring. As well as helping you to avoid illness, vitamin C is also necessary to produce collagen, which helps build blood vessels, tendons and bone, produce energy in the body and also works as an antioxidant. Our tablets also contain rosehip, which aids the body’s ability to absorb the vitamins.

How to Ease your Symptoms the Natural Way

If you’ve already caught a cold, all of the above products can help to ease your symptoms and also reduce your illness time – they aren’t only for prevention. If you’re currently suffering you can seek them out for a bit of relief! As well as Vitamin C, ginseng and astragalus there are many more herbal options that can help to unblock a stuffy nose, soothe a sore throat or perk you up when you have a muddled head.

Natural Winter Remedies - Echinacea TeaNatural Winter Remedies - Echinacea TinctureNatural Winter Remedies - Echinacea Tablets

Echinacea is a very well-known herbal treatment for colds – and for good reason! Studies have shown it boosts the immune system’s ability to fight off infection as well as help to ease symptoms. Some people have found it dramatically shortens the average duration of colds and flu so it’s a good thing to look for if your symptoms have only just started. We have many products that contain echinacea, so you have plenty of options as to how you would like to take it. Dr Stuart’s Echinacea Plus tea is a quick brew to get you feeling fighting-fit again, our own echinacea tincture which is a concentrated extract of the herb, and finally there are Echinaforce tablets for the fastest form of treatment taking!

If you choose to use a tincture, we would be happy to advise the best way to take it – including amounts to take and how often. Drop us a line via our Contact page, give us a call on 020 7703 5550 or pop in to our shop!

Zinc is another winner for treating Winter snuffles. Studies have shown it can lessen cold duration just like echinacea, as well as working in the body to generally improve health by aiding skin healing and supporting the intestines. As a vital element it’s a good one to top up if you’re feeling under the weather.

Hopefully this post will have you feeling ready to take on whatever Winter will bring, or feeling that your current malady could be easier to treat than you thought. If you have any questions about other natural treatments don’t hesitate to ask! And always remember to make sure to visit your doctor for medical advice to ensure you’re ship-shape in no time.