There's no question, many people are beginning to rethink their consumption, and have been transitioning to more natural ingredients when it comes to food, skincare, and even medicine. If you've ever been curious about some of the positive not-so-known properties of some of these common natural items, then you've come to the right place. We've put together a little 101 to get you started on your path to a more natural and holistic lifestyle in the new year.
Many herbs have been used for thousands of years for a number of different healing applications by cultures around the globe. Many people use these for simple aromatherapy benefits, but they are also used in spiritual ceremonies in different cultures and religions, or simply used in the kitchen to add flavor to common dishes. Whatever the application, many traditional herbs have been found to contain many positive benefits. Some common herbs include lavender (calming, relaxing), thyme (relaxing and uplifting) and rosemary (refreshing fragrance, clarity, enhance alertness).
Apple Cider Vinegar
There are a host of health benefits associated with apple cider vinegar, from helping to aid digestion to potentially reducing cholesterol. While many of these health claims have not been scientifically proven, it is still a great option in dressings and marinades and is useful for many other applications as well. It does have antimicrobial properties and its acidity makes it great as a household cleanser. It is an excellent rinse for hair that may help clear-up dandruff and leave hair shiny.
This is a great oil to have in the home because it can be used for everything from frying foods at high temperatures to moisturizing skin or even brushing teeth. It has a high burning point and a wonderful aroma and flavor when used in cooking, making it an appealing alternative to vegetable oils or butters. It is said to have anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral properties when consumed or used on the skin, but there have not been scientific studies to back up many of these claims.
Being one of the most common beverages across the planet, there has been a ton of research around the many benefits of green tea (and tea in general). It has been touted as having a large number of health benefits from reducing inflammation to helping with weight loss, reducing cholesterol, and controlling blood sugar levels. The jury is still out on whether or not many of these claims are true, but it is safe to drink and helps to hydrate the body even with caffeine levels present.
We'll start with the obvious: Whole grain oats can help lower blood cholesterol and may reduce the risk of heart disease when coupled with a healthy diet. The high level of complex carbohydrates and fiber make is an excellent option for sustained energy and stabilization of blood glucose levels. Beyond being a wonderful breakfast item, it is a great topical remedy for skin issues like eczema, chickenpox, and dry skin. When ground into a powder, it makes an excellent natural exfoliant.
Much like herbs, people have been using a number of different spices to add flavor to their food since the beginning of time. Fortunately for us, some of them do have promising health and skin benefits, too. Turmeric has been having a moment, even though it's been used in ayurvedic practices for centuries to help aid digestion and to treat colds and throat infections. It may have antibacterial and antifungal properties, so it's no surprise that it is also used topically on skin.
Crystals and Gemstones
And then ever wonder what the deal is with crystals? The idea is that crystals come from the earth and help us to become more mindful and attuned to the ancient healing energies of the planet. Different crystals and gemstones are said to have unique metaphysical properties that can help align chakras or energies within the body to help with a host of different ailments. Quartz is considered an all-around positive crystal that helps to amplify positive energy. While these benefits have only been recorded as having a placebo effect, it certainly isn't harmful, and many people simply enjoy them for their beauty.