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Damaged Hair? 4 Quick and Natural Remedies

Damaged Hair Treatment

We all want that glossy, voluminous hair from the shampoo adverts. The careless flick of the head which sends a shiny mane of luscious locks sprawling into a wave of slow-motion splendour. If only. Unfortunately, not many of us are fortunate enough to have an entire team of hair and makeup professionals waiting at our beck and call.

This means that most of us have about 20 rushed minutes in the morning before beginning the day to try and do the best we can before we leave the house. However, a lot of the things we do to make our hair look good is actually really bad for the hair itself.

There are a million and one ways you can inadvertently damage your hair; bleaching, over-brushing, shampooing too often and being overly active with the straighteners, to name but a few. Thankfully though, there are a good few ways to undo the damage and give your hair the nourishment it needs, using only natural ingredients.

Here are four of our favourite natural ingredients to help you boost your locks back to full health.

 

Angelic Avocado

While we may know of avocado mainly in the context of poached eggs, bacon, rye bread and espresso – it’s also a superstar when it comes to natural hair care. The fleshy, green fruit (technically a berry) is packed full of beneficial nutrients, which is why we love to eat them, but also why they’re so good for repairing hair damage.

Try out our Avocado Hair Mask to start feeling the benefit of the vitamins C and B as they soak into your hair.

 

Beautiful Banana

The humble banana is a staple of any self-respecting fruit bowl; its curved, yellow presence adding a tropical vibrancy to its less glamourous neighbours (we’re looking at you, pear). Not only does it brighten up the kitchen, help with a hangover and make a delicious addition to almost any smoothie – it also helps revitalise damaged hair. This is because banana is an emollient, so it’s fantastic at moisturising hair after it’s been dried out from chemicals and heat treatment.

So, if your locks aren’t at their most luscious, try our Banana Hair Mask to get a well-deserved, all-natural moisturising hit.

 

Luscious Lavender

Most of us know about lavender because of its use as a linin freshener and an ingredient in scented water. The purple-flowered herb is sometimes used as a culinary ingredient, thanks to its ability to lend a sweet and floral flavour to whatever dish it’s added to.

But did you know that lavender is also great for healing damaged hair? That’s because lavender essential oil is an excellent emollient, helping to give back the moisture taken out of the hair during harsh treatments.

To see the power of lavender in action, have a go at making our Lavender Hair Mask recipe in the Damaged Hair remedy hub.

 

Heavenly Jojoba

Oh Jojoba. How strange you are to pronounce. The way your ‘J’s are actually ‘H’s makes you seem so exotic. How easy it is to forget that your other name is pignut.

The fact of the matter is though, jojoba is a heavyweight when it comes to repairing damaged hair. The oil which comes out of the seeds is one of the most nutrient rich oils for hair and is able to penetrate the hair follicles, strengthening hair fibres from the inside.

This wonderful little oil even has the ability to fill in the cracks on the surface of the hair cuticle left from heat and styling. Not bad, huh?

If you want to get a feel for jojoba’s healing powers, check out our Protein Hair Mask, which is packed with the stuff.

 

For a handful more completely natural remedies to help damaged hair, head over to our Damaged Hair Remedy Hub and start making your own recipes today.

Skincare for Summertime

Skin.

 

That stretchy stuff that covers your body. The stuff we sort of take for granted, and quite often neglect more than we should.

Did you know that this soft outer coating of ours is the largest organ in the body, covering an average area of 2 square meters?

 

How about the fact that it accounts for around 15% of your bodyweight, and contains more than 11 miles of blood vessels?

Pretty amazing stuff, we think you’ll agree. So, let’s look at a few ways we can take better care of our skin during its most trying period.

 

Summer Loving

Summer is great. We’re not going to dispute that – we love it. It just about makes those long, dark, winters worth getting through, to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Your skin may beg to differ though; this is its harshest time of year.

 

While there are few better feelings that laying on fresh grass lawn, soaking up the rays you could be doing your skin damage if you’re not taking the right precautions.

As always though, these precautions needn’t involve any manner of unnatural chemical – mother nature has got you covered.

 

Here are 3 of the easiest natural summer skincare tips.

 

1. The Obvious One

We’ll kick things off with the most obvious but still the most crucial piece of advice to keep your skin healthy and glowing during the summer months. Keep. Yourself. Hydrated. See how we put full-stops in-between each word there? Yeah, that’s how important this is.

 

You can use all the moisturiser you can get your hands on, but without giving your skin (and body) what it really needs, you’re falling at the first hurdle.

 

If you’re not a fan of the taste of water on its own, try adding in some lemon or cucumber to give it a fresh twist.

 

Glug.

 

 

2. Prevention Wins

Drinking water may be obvious, but not far behind is making sure that you wear the right amount of sun cream during stints in the sun.

 

The mistake that a lot of people make is thinking that once it’s on, you don’t need to worry about it. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that swimming can reduce the potency of sun cream, especially when towelling off. Sun cream loses potency after a while even without swimming, so it’s important to make sure you’re topping up at regular intervals.

 

It’s worth noting that even on cloudy days, the UV rays can still burn you, so check the weather reports on any day where you know you’re going to spend a while outside to be safe.

A good factor 30 organic sun cream like this one is a valuable addition to any handbag during the summer.

 

3. Get Oily

Your skin is a mercurial being. One time it might be dry and flaky, another time it might be extra oily. Everyone’s skin is different. Knowing which oils treat different skin states will help you immeasurably in giving your skin what it needs in the summertime.

 

Coconut Oil is where you want to be looking if your skin is drier than normal. In the summer heat, this is likely to happen more often, so keep an eye on how your skin looks and feels.

Rubbing coconut oil into your skin is a good practice to get into, especially after you’ve spent time outside or in a swimming pool.

 

Jojoba Oil is a good all-rounder for different skin types, and helps your skin to look firm and taut. In the summer it’s perfect for reducing water loss, while not completely blocking vapour and gases from the skin.

 

Avocado Oil is a super-rich source of monosaturated fatty acids, and is, as a result, an extremely effective natural treatment for skin during the hotter months of the year.

On top of being excellent at hydrating and softening your skin, it is a great treatment for acne, blackheads, eczema, and other types of skin inflammation.

 

Natural Bug Banishers

There can be no doubt – summertime is glorious.

It’s a reward for putting up with the long, cold winter nights and those upsettingly short, frosty days. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel.

One of the best parts of summer has to be the warm evenings, where you can get home from work and still enjoy a good few hours of sunshine in the garden, the park, or the balcony.

But, as with everything, there is a downside. Bugs.

 


Whether it’s the annoying fly buzzing around your barbeque, the wasps trying to get in your wine, or the mosquitoes eating you alive. Pesky insects have the ability to taint even the most golden of summer evenings.

There are ways to protect yourself of course, but did you know, you don’t need to resort to unnatural chemicals? After all, who wants to have bug spray anywhere near their fresh salad or barbeque?

To help you stay bug-free during those beautiful summer evenings, here are our top three bug banishing remedies that you can rustle up at home.

 

1. Neem Spray

When you’re outside enjoying a delicious meal accompanied by the warm weather, the last thing you want is to become a meal to something else. The small but infuriating mosquito is the prime suspect when it comes to being nibbled at night, and their tiny size paired with their impressive agility make them almost impossible to catch in the act.

That’s why we stand by our old favourite remedy, Neem Spray, to act as a preventative measure before the mozzies get to you. Both neem leaf and rosemary have insect repelling properties, so combine forces to create an all-natural yet super-effective bug spray.

 

2. Citronella Candle

Sometimes the oldies are the best. Burning citronella is a tried and tested method for avoiding getting bitten on those long summer evenings. Rather than actively repelling mosquitos, citronella masks the smells which make humans attractive, which is how mosquitos find their targets.
Plus, burning a citronella candle also has the added benefit of adding a certain ambiance to the evening, as well as smelling delicious.

 

3. Parsley and Cider Vinegar Scrub

Parsley may not be the cape-clad superhero you were expecting when reading up on natural bug banishers, but believe us – this one works a treat. Having been used for generations, parsley makes an effective insect repellent, helping you to avoid getting snacked upon by biting flies, midges and mosquitoes.

So, next time you’re cooking up a feast, make sure to keep a little parsley on the side for to whip up your own natural insect rub.

 

If you want some more insect-repelling inspiration, just head over to the remedy hub for a whole load more all-natural recipe guides.

Herbal Help for Marathon Training

Picture the scene

It’s loud. The roaring of thousands of people is slightly muffled through your headphones. Though your volume isn’t set low, you can hear the repetitive chanting even over your music and heavy breathing. It sounds like your name. It is your name. You look up from the road which is blurring past your rapidly moving feet.

All around you people are looking at you, smiling, still chanting your name. Many of them are holding huge signs with your face on, and what looks like the words ‘Our Hero’ on. The adrenaline surges for one last time, and as the finish line draws ever closer all the pain drains out of you – this is it, the moment you’ve been training for.

Arms raised in the air, head held high, you give it everything you have left as you feel the ribbon stretch and then break across your chest. You’ve done it. You’ve done it.

 

Farfetched? Perhaps. But the only limits you have are the ones you set for yourself. And some of those limits easily can be eroded with the help of the correct natural nutrition during your training. That’s right – instead of looking to questionable powders in large, shiny tubs, there are hundreds of healthy ingredients which can supercharge your exercise regime.

So, without further ado, here are our top health recommendations to help boost your exercise efforts – even if you aren’t training for a marathon.

 

Before Exercise

Before going out and pounding the tarmac, hitting the weights, or assaulting any other type of object, you need to prepare your body and mind for the challenge ahead. As they say – if you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail. For an optimal pre-exercise boost, we highly recommend brewing up a cup of ginseng tea drink during your workout; a recipe which has been used for centuries as a natural energiser.

For an added boost, drink around 500ml of beetroot juice about 2-3 hours before starting. Beetroot juice has been shown to support stamina in endurance athletes by promoting blood and oxygen flow to the muscles. It does this by widening the blood vessels and dilating the arteries, allowing you to exercise longer and harder.

 

During Exercise

Whether you’re out running through the fields, or in the gym unleashing your energy on the treadmill, you’re going to need some sustenance to keep your energy levels from dropping too far. Nobody wants to crash halfway through their exercising, and that’s why we recommend regularly sipping on water infused with chia seeds. These have been used by Central American and Mexican natives since 2,600 B.C and were referred to as “the running food”. It’s rumoured that the native warriors in these regions would mix Chia seeds and water to maintain energy levels and stay hydrated during conquests.

Another tip: drink a small amount of grape juice – it acts as a source of quick-burning carbs, as well as offering great antioxidant support for your body. And that’s not to mention the fact that it can aid stamina and endurance.

 

After Exercise

The hours after a particularly strenuous bout of body punishment can be gruelling if not done in the right way. To help make sure your body is in the best position to repair itself after your exercise we suggest rubbing your muscles with Arnica Gel, which is one of the most effective herbal healers for inflammation and muscle pain.

Try also drinking a cup of pineapple juice as a post-workout aid. Pineapple contains an enzyme known as bromelain, which is widely used to support muscle recovery and help with promote a healthy inflammatory response.

Top tip: mix the juice with around 100ml of coconut milk to create a delicious, refreshing, muscle-repairing recovery drink.

 

So, there you have it

The days of dodgy sounding chemicals in unlabeled pouches are over. Your body deserves better, especially after you’ve put it through so much. Use our health tips next time you’re putting on those lycra running pants and neon headband and we’re sure your body will be thanking you.

Good luck.

Natural Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

In an ideal world we’d all be in perfect shape, our stomachs flat, our muscles defined and sporting the regulation number of chins. Sadly, this is not the case, and many of us have to work extra hard to stay in shape whilst others consume the calories without apparent detriment to their physique.

The difference is all down to metabolism – a term that describes the various chemical process necessary for life that occur inside your cells. A major part of metabolism is the conversion of food into energy, known as catabolism. People with a ‘good’ or high metabolism tend to convert calories into energy more efficiently and lose weight easily, while people with low metabolisms can find it difficult to shift the pounds regardless of how much they exercise.

We’ve scoured the globe for the most effective natural ways to increase your metabolism and give you the best chance of shifting those stubborn pounds – let us know which one works best for you.

 

Hydration

Once again, hydration is the key to an efficient metabolism. Near enough every biological process that occurs in your body requires water to function properly; if you are dehydrated, these slow down and work less efficiently. Metabolism is one of the main processes affected, so make sure you drink plenty of water each day – about two to three litres is ideal, more if you’re exercising. There’s evidence to suggest that drinking even a small amount of water can encourage the body to begin thermogenesis – the burning of calories – so there’s really no excuse not to fetch yourself a glass of water RIGHT NOW. Why not try one of our detox water recipes if you have the time?

 

Exercise

Running, jogging, lifting weights and other physical activities have the effect of increasing your metabolism. As your muscles drained of glucose, your body burns more calories to get the energy required to keep using those muscles – so engage in any high-intensity exercise or strength training for a quick metabolic boost.

 

 

Herbs

Every herb and spice from arnica to za’atar has been lauded for its metabolism-boosting properties. They can’t all do the job, so we’ve selected only the most effective for getting you on the road to an increased metabolism and potential weight loss.

  • Ginseng – Best consumed before high-intensity workouts, ginseng provides the body with an uplifting energy boost whilst simultaneously kicking your metabolism into gear. You’ll notice an improvement in endurance and a slight increase in body temperature, both of which are beneficial for an efficient, active metabolism. Consume it in powder form (mix one tablespoons of Baldwins Siberian Ginseng Root Powder with water or milk), or as a supplement. We like Pukka Herbs Wholistic Red Ginseng Capsules or Dr Stuarts Triple Ginseng Tea.

 

  • Cayenne Pepper – a cultivar of the ubiquitous Capsicum annum, cayenne pepper is a fiery and popular spice that’s used extensively in South American and Sichuan cuisine. It’s also a powerful metabolism-enhancer and weight-loss tool as capsaicin – the chemical responsible for a chili’s ‘heat’ -  raises your body’s internal temperature, improves blood flow and nutrient delivery and supresses appetite. Get your hands on some Baldwins Cayenne Powder and use liberally in your cooking, or, if you can handle the heat, drink a tablespoon dissolved in water. Baldwins Cayenne Herbal Tincture also does the trick nicely too.

 

  • Conjugated linoleic acids – conjugated linoleic acids (mercifully known as CLAs) are present in certain meats and dairy products, particularly those produced by animals fed on grass like sheep and cattle. Studies suggest they can play an important role in weight loss, helping you burn calories and fat faster – all of which suggest a significant increase in metabolism. Vegetarians and vegans rejoice: CLAs are available in naturally-sourced supplement form. Quest Conjugated Linoleic Acid Oil is derived from safflower oil and a great way to get CLAs into your diet.

 

At the end of the day, no amount of metabolism-boosting herbs or supplements can help meaningful weight-loss unless paired with a sensible diet and exercise regime. Pair them with high-intensity exercise, however, and you should notice a considerable difference in both your endurance and the rate at which you burn calories. Remember, these things don’t happen overnight so don’t push yourself too hard – patience is key!

 

 

 

 

 

The 7 Scents of Christmas

Quick science lesson:

Did you know, your sense of smell is closely linked with the parts of your brain which process emotions and memory?

This is the reason that a smell can instantly take you back to an almost crystal-clear moment in time, which has been stored away in your mind for years or even decades. It’s also the reason why Christmas smells can bring about those often-sung-about feelings of comfort and joy.

To help you gear up for the festive season, here’s a list of the top 7 must-have Christmas aromas to make your home into a veritable winter wonderland.

 

Cinnamon Essential Oil

One of the staples of Christmas-scented candles is cinnamon, with its sweetly spicy smell which brings forth memories of childhood Christmases. Perhaps because of the recent surge of cinnamon spiced lattes at the nation’s coffee shops, cinnamon is almost synonymous with the festive time of year. Head here now to grab some for your vapouriser.

Properties: Warming, Stimulating.

 

Pine Essential Oil

The indescribably delicious scent of pine is one that’s redolent of taking long winter walks in the forest, picking pine cones from the ground with gloved hands. This seasonal pine essence is a must-have for creating a festive aroma in your home. Head here to bring a hint of the outdoors to your cosy indoors.

Properties: Cleansing, Good in vapouriser.

 

Ginger Essential Oil

Nothing says Christmas quite like the scent of a freshly baked gingerbread house wafting through the room. The classic yuletide spice is the perfect ingredient to a cosy Christmas for your home. Just add presents, mulled wine, and family. Pick up your Ginger Essential Oil right here.

Properties: Warming, Stimulating.

 

Frankincense Essential Oil

What school nativity play would be complete without having a tiny child clad in a ridiculous outfit woefully failing to pronounce the word frankincense? Few people can deny that it’s a staple of Christmas, even if it is hard to say. You can recreate the nativity magic in the comfort of your own home with the help of Frankincense Essential Oil, available right here.

Properties: Rejuvenating

 

Nutmeg Essential Oil

Nutmeg is one of the key ingredients in any good mulled wine, giving the drink its spicy, festive taste and aroma. The good news is that you don’t need to be constantly cooking up mulled wine to have that delicious scent wafting through your living room. Just head here to get your hands on some Nutmeg Essential Oil for some extra festive fragrance.

Properties: Spicy and Warming.

 

Orange Essential Oil

Christmas just isn’t Christmas without the sweet, zesty scent of orange mixed in with the smell of mince pies and mulled wine. Forget having to sit for hours on end drying orange peels though. You can invite the Christmas spirit into your home with the help of everyone’s favourite citrus oil – get your hands on it right here.

Properties: Soothing and Relaxing.

 

Baldwins Christmas Essential Oil Blend

Sometimes it’s easier to have things done for you, especially around Christmas time when there’s usually more than enough to think about. In this case, the best-selling Baldwins Christmas Essential Oil Blend is a very handy companion. With the minimum hassle, you can fill your house with the sweet smells of all things Christmas, and focus on not burning the Yorkshire puddings.

Properties: Uplifting and Stimulating.

 

How’s that for an early Christmas present? Seven of the most sensational seasonal sniffs to help you light up your olfactory bulb as bright as Rudolph’s nose.

We whiff you a smelly sniffmas.