This is a take on Master Tonic or Fire Cider, a popular folk remedy. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties.
You can drink 1-2 ounces a day, or mix with water or seltzer water. You can also use in place of vinegar in recipes, such as a vinaigrette.
Add different herbs or turmeric for additional health benefits, or use our lemon ginger infused honey to simplify the recipe.
We’ve tried this, and one way or another, I think it will put you out of your misery. CHEERS!
1/2 cup thinly sliced ginger
1/2 cup diced horse radish
1 head garlic, smashed and peeled
3 sprigs rosemary or thyme
2 jalapeño peppers
1 teaspoon black pepper corns
1/2 small onion chopped
1 lemon cut in 1.5” chunks
1/2 orange cut in 1.5” chunks
2 cups + apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup BLB raw honey
Yields approx. 2 cups.
Pack first 9 ingredients in jar and cover with apple cider vinegar. (You might need a little more than 2 cups.) Cover with cheesecloth or parchment paper between jar and lid to prevent corrosion. Store in a cool dark place, shaking every other day for 21 days. Strain through cheesecloth. Discard solids and add raw honey. For additional health benefits, mix 1 tablespoon of ground turmeric with the raw honey before you add it to the vinegar.
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Magnesium is a water soluble mineral that is found in dark green leafy vegetables, unrefined grains, nuts, and beans. It is involved in over 600 different processes in the body. It is integral to metabolism, or energy production, calcium absorption, nerve conductivity, and muscle contraction just to name a few functions of magnesium. It is so useful to the body because it is part of many enzymes that keep body functions going.
What does a deficiency look like?
A magnesium deficiency can range from
to more long term effects such as
metabolic syndrome (a constellation of symptoms including high cholesterol, insulin resistance, too much belly fat)
high blood pressure
It really is something to consider!
The magnesium content of traditionally grown foods has been declining in the US, so even if you’re eating a diet that is high in magnesium rich foods, you could have a deficiency. Studies (you can see more information and the studies here ) have shown that the magnesium content of foods has declined an average of 21% from 1963 to 1992. This ranges from 10% decline of magnesium in spinach to a whopping 84% decline in the magnesium of collard greens.
Another study showed the following decline from 1940 – 1991:
Vegetables – 24% decline
Fruit – 17% decline
Meat – 15%
Cheese – 26% decline
There are several factors contributing to the decline in the magnesium content of our food.
Pesticides – Pesticides save our food from being damaged by unwanted pests, but they also kill beneficial creatures, such as earth worms, and good bacteria living in the soil. Earth worms provide natural aeration and fertilizer for plants, while beneficial bacteria add vitamins to the soil through their metabolism process. Killing off the good bacteria in the soil decreases the vitamin content available for plants to uptake.
Fertilizers – Most fertilizers focus on the major nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, not micro nutrients such as magnesium. Couple that with the fact that some common fertilizers, such as potash, actually impede magnesium uptake in plants, and it’s no surprise that our food supply is declining in magnesium content.
Modified Plants – Plants have been modified to grow bigger, faster, to increase yields. Unfortunately, this hasty growth is not paired with an increased rate of nutrient uptake, and rarely sees the mineral and vitamin uptake of the slow, steady old fashioned approach.
Food processes – Processed food has lost most of the little magnesium that it had. Refined oils lose all of their magnesium, grains lose 80-97%, and sugar loses all of it’s magnesium.
Benefits of Magnesium
Because magnesium is involved in so many processes in the human body, their are SO many benefits to taking a supplement. The most common include:
Improved mood (Magnesium might work as well as some prescription anti-depressants)
Decreased risk of diabetes
Decreased risk of heart disease
Helps maintain a healthy blood pressure
Studies are now showing promising results of slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease
These are just a few of the most common benefits of magnesium. I think we will continue to see more and more benefits of magnesium being discovered.
If you feel like you’d like to try taking magnesium supplements, there are a few things you should know.
Magnesium can impede absorption of some drugs, such as some anti-biotics and osteoporosis drugs. It can also potentiate the effects of some muscle relaxers. If you’re on prescription drugs, it’s always a good idea to run it by your doctor or pharmacist before you start a magnesium supplement.
It’s unlikely, but possible to overdose on magnesium. Extreme doses could cause a slowed heart rate or even a coma, so don’t go crazy with it. Most likely if you take a little more than you need you might experience stomach or bowel pains accompanied by diarrhea until the extra if flushed out.
It is excreted through the kidneys. If your kidneys are not functioning properly, definitely run it by your doc before you start magnesium.
Magnesium can be bound to many different fatty or amino acids. Some are absorbed easier than others, and some work better for certain purposes than others. This is because magnesium is a cofactor in so many different enzymes. For our purposes, we’ll just discuss the 3 most common forms and their benefts.
Magnesium oxide – This is probably the most common type of magnesium. You can pick it up at drug or grocery store. It is not the most easily absorbed form, and it is most likely to cause GI distress.
Magnesium Citrate – This isn’t too difficult to find. It’s easier for your system to absorb, so there’s less of a chance that it will cause stomach distress. Through all of our reading and research over the years, we’ve found NOW Foods and Nature Made to be reliable supplement suppliers that are made in the USA. You can find Nature Made magnesium citrate capsules here, or NOW powdered magnesium citrate here. The capsules are a little easier to take, but the powder is more easily absorbed. To use the powder add 1-2 teaspoons to water to dissolve. It doesn’t really have any taste, but it’s hard to get it all dissolved, so it is a little gritty.
Magnesium Salts – One of the really great things about magnesium is that it can be absorbed through the skin, or transdermally. You can add magnesium sea salts (magnesium chloride) or epsom salts to a bath to increase your magnesium levels, especially if you have GI issues that impede absorption or can’t handle taking it internally. You can pick epsom salts up just about anywhere, or order online in a handy little bucket here. You can also add your favorite essential oils to your salts, or your bath, but make sure to add a little bit of soap or detergent. Oils don’t mix with water and you don’t want full strength oils sitting on top of the water coming in contact with your skin. Just a bit of castile soap (or whatever soap or shampoo you usually use) will disperse the oils through out the water.
Magnesium Oil – You can also purchase magnesium oil. I don’t know why it’s called an oil, because it’s basically magnesium dissolved in water. At any rate, you can spray this directly on your skin for the magnesium to be absorbed transdermally. You can also make your own magnesium oil by boiling water and adding magnesium chloride (1:1 water:salt ratio) and pouring into a spray bottle. You can then spritz your skin as needed. (If it feels a little too itchy or drying, you can add more water.)
So there you have it, the good, the bad, and the ugly of magnesium. Do you think you’ll give magnesium a try? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Inflammation is a catalyst of all the signs of aging in our bodies.
Inflammation is the bodies response to something going wrong. It could be a bacterial or viral attack, an injury, or a exposure to an allergen or dangerous chemical. It is a protective mechanism meant to guard the body from harm. The function of inflammation is to eliminate the initial cause of cell injury, clear out damaged cells and tissue, and initiate tissue repair. The five signs of inflammation are heat, pain, redness, swelling, and loss of function. The trouble with inflammation is that it often times becomes chronic, and begins to cause problems, not protect from them.
Chronic Inflammation vs acute inflammation
Chronic inflammation can result from a multitude of problems. These can include a chronic low grade infection, autoimmune diseases (possibly linked to chronic low grade infection), dysbiosis, or an imbalance in the natural bacteria in your gut, chronic stress, inactivity, poor diet that is high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, eating foods that cause an allergic reaction, and repeated exposure to chemicals and/ or medications that cause an immune response. Examples of more complex chronic inflammation include psoriasis, eczema, insulin resistance, etc.
Acute inflammation results from something the sees as a threat, or that is damaging to the body. Once the pathogen or allergen is removed, the inflammation goes away. Inflammation on skin presents itself with redness, itchiness, hives, broken blood vessels, Inflammation on skin can be caused by both natural and synthetic compounds, with some compounds causing irritation in a large amount of the population, and some only affecting certain individuals. It’s important to monitor the ingredients in your personal care products, and how you react to changes in your care regimen, including changes in laundry detergents and cleaning products.
How to address skin inflammation
Defending yourself against inflammation requires a two pronged approach. You have to root out the cause, but you also have to treat the symptoms.
Often, chronic inflammation is the result of burning the candle at both ends. It’s hard to make time for self care when you’re that busy. Cooking healthy meals is replaced by eating convenient foods. Exercising, enjoying a hobby, learning about what supplements you should take all takes time. When we don’t make time for these things, the stress starts building, and our ability to handle is diminished because of our diet and exercise habits. This decreases our immune systems ability to function properly, which could lead to a low grade chronic infection.
The way to stop this death spiral is to dig in and start to address one problem area at a time. Take a walk every day. Start adding in 1-2 servings of vegetables at every meal. Write in a prayer journal. Take a probiotic and multi-vitamin daily. Participate in a hobby that you find rewarding every week. Any one of these steps will help to improve your health, and give you more momentum to take on the next area.
Chronic inflammation can also result from frequently being exposed to something you are allergic to. This might be a food that you are eating or an environmental factor such as mold or chemicals. If you think you might have food allergies, the Whole 30 diet plan is a great place to start to find out what is irritating your body.
Calm the symptoms of inflammation
There are quite a few natural remedies that help reduce inflammation in the skin.
Apricot Kernel Oil – Apricot Kernel Oil is very light oil that is easily absorbed into skin. It’s high in oleic acid, which means that it’s great at softening skin. It is also high B-sitosterol. B-sitosterol is sort of like the plant version of cortisone, and it helps to reduce the itchy, dry skin feeling. Citrus Grove Skin Smoothing Oil and our Royal Treatment Face Cream both contain apricot kernel oil and olive squalane, so it’s very soothing to skin.
Coconut Oil- Coconut oil is one of the best skin softening oils known to man. It’s high in plant polyphenols, so it has great anti-oxidant power, as well as soothing to skin. Coconut oil has been shown to be acne forming and pore clogging in some individuals, so you might not want to use it on your face. (I have heard from many people that they don’t have any trouble using it on their face, though.) Coconut oil also helps to reduce itching and inflammation in skin. Our Citrus Grove Skin Smoothing oil and our Honey Bee Hand Cream both contain organic extra virgin coconut oil.
Probiotics- Just like our guts, our skin has a microbiome that can be disrupted. When this biome becomes unbalanced, we can experience redness, inflammation, or acne. Applying probiotics topically to skin has been shown to reduce the appearance of redness and fine lines associated with inflammation. Both our Honey Bee Hand Creams, Happy Baby Butt Butter. and Royal Treatment Face Cream contain probiotics. An easy at home remedy to relieve inflammation is to apply plain yogurt to the affected area, let dry, then rinse off.
Calendula- Calendula petals are a tried and true remedy. They have been used for ages to help calm red and inflamed skin. You can infuse oil with calendula petals, then apply to irritated skin. I would suggest infusing calendula petals into an anti-oxidant rich, calming oil such as apricot kernel oil for maximum benefit. Our Calendula soap uses calendula infused oils, as well as petals added to the soap at the trace, so that the wonderful properties of the flower are in the bar, without too many whole petals floating around the tub.
Allantoin- Allantoin is the active ingredient in aloe and comphrey root. It has been shown to reduce redness and irritation and promote wound healing 1. Our Royal Treatment Face Cream, Happy Baby Butt Butter, and Bee Rugged Hand Salve.
Essential Oils- Lavender, Geranium, Rose, Clary Sage, and German Chamomile are all excellent for calming inflammation.
So to recap, eat healthy, exercise, make time for recreation. Use natural oils and botanicals to calm inflammation and give your lifestyle changes time to work. Through the years I have found that I am allergic to gluten and milk. There are other foods that I’ve found I can only eat in small doses without causing a reaction. I steer clear of strongly scented products, and try to use natural alternatives in my cleaning, as my lungs have become very sensitive to chemicals. I would love to hear what has worked for you in beating inflammation.
Klouchek-Popova E et al. Acta Physiol Pharmacol Bulg. 1982;8(4):63-7.
I just turned 40. And to be honest, I’m taking an extra glance in the mirror. And I didn’t like what I was seeing. I wasn’t seeing 40 years of life, I was seeing a depleted woman. I wasn’t taking proper care of myself, and it was showing. I wasn’t even taking time to use the products that I make that are helping so many other women age well. Lack of self care coupled with dry winter air was really doing a number on my skin.
WIth a little help from my husband and my boys, I am off to a much better year. They could see the tiredness in my spirit, and they all stepped up so that I could have a little more space to take care of myself.
Here is I learned from my experience.
Drink more water than you think you need. I was burning the candle at both ends, rarely even stopping for a drink. If I did stop for a drink, it was a cup of coffee, which further dehydrated me. Cold air can’t hold much humidity, and furnaces do away with the little moisture that was left. You might not be sweating as much, but you’re losing more water just through evaporation of water in your breath. Breathe out humidified air from your body, suck in dry air from the environment. Repeat 23,000 times a day. So long hydration.
Our bodies as a whole can become dehydrated, but our skin takes on its fair share in the battle of dehydration. It’s our first line of defense in separating our insides from the outside world. It’s in contact with that dry, thirsty air all day long. Trans-epidermal Water Loss (TEWL) is a fancy way of saying we’re losing our water through our skin. Dehydrated skin can’t function as well as a barrier, and it also begins to look flaky and wrinkled. What’s the difference between a grape and a raisin? A raisin is just a dehydrated grape. In order to maintain that plump, grape-like skin, we have to make sure we’re putting enough water in, and then keeping it in. The very bottom level foundation for a healthy body and healthy skin is proper hydration. The next step is to keep that water in. A good barrier cream will prevent water loss through your skin, and beeswax is a great barrier ingredient. You can check out our selection of beeswax skincare here.
Skin on the outside is a mirror to skin on the inside
Do you feel like you’re wrinkling and aging faster than you should? Is your skin dry, red and flaky? Maybe you’re dealing with hyper pigmentation, aka dark splotches. Did you think that surely you would have outgrown acne by now? All of these things reveal problems that are much more than skin deep, so of course solutions are more than skin deep. The major causes of these problems can usually be traced back to one of the following causes.
Inflammation from a poor diet, sickness, autoimmune problems, stress
Bacterial imbalance of the microbiome of skin and/ or gut ( pretty much the same causes as inflammation)
Oxidative stress from poor lifestyle choices and insufficient preventive measures (think sunscreen and a healthy diet)
Blood sugar issues from too many sweets for too long
Fat, Vitamin or Mineral Deficiencies from a poor diet or poor absorption
Hormone imbalances that resulted from consumption of synthetic hormones, prolonged illness, exposure to too many endocrine disruptors from chemicals in food and personal care products
A diet that is full of organic fruits and vegetables and low in refined carbohydrates and sugar, coupled with regular exercise and successful ways to cope with stress will work wonders in all of these areas. (Might I suggest keeping a prayer journal to help you regularly cast all of you cares on Jesus, because He cares for you?)
Next I’ll discuss causes and effects of inflammation in your body, what your skin has to say about it, and what you can do about it.
Hi, We're Jodie and Josh. We met in college, got married, and had kids. In 2007 we were blessed with a wild swarm of bees in the front of our property. We just ran with it! Bee Lovely Botanicals has changed the way that we go about our lives. If you'd like to know a little bit more about bees, natural skincare, or the foibles and adventures of homeschooling 3 boys, you've come to the right place.
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